EDIT 01/11/11 1024Z:  Here is a look at the radar returns from late afternoon today across the central plains:


A prolonged winter weather event is poised to provide a decent snow machine for much of the central plains.  The NWS has hoisted winter storm watches and warnings for most of NE, KS, IA and MO for the Monday through Tuesday time period.

Here is a look at some basic surface features, as well as the watches/warnings, as of 11 a.m. CST January 9, 2011:

An area of low pressure, if you can call it that, and an associated inverted trough is going to be the focus for precipitation across the four state area beginning late tonight and lasting through Tuesday morning.  The storm system can be seen very easily on this morning’s water vapor imagery in southern Canada and diving into MT.  In addition, a developing shortwave can be observed near the four corners region that will provide us our first shot of snow late tonight.  The main show will hold off until Monday afternoon and evening!

This storm system will be slow to move allowing a prolonged period of light to moderate snowfall to accumulate.  Current NWS forecasts are for 5″ to 8″ to fall.  I feel extremely comfortable with my initial forecast on January 4, 2011 of  3″ to 6″ of snow from this sytem.  Here is a look at the forecasted QPF for this storm system:

Here is a look at the HPC probabilities forecast for 4″ and 8″ of snow for the Monday-Tuesday time frame:

One other thing to note is the strong winter storm that is going to affect the Gulf States region and eventually the southern Atlantic Coast.  This storm will produce ice and snow on a level not normally seen in this part of the country.  In addition it is helping stream gulf moisture northward that will ultimately interact with our snow machine to allow ample moisture to be available for decent snowfall. The interesting and devastating weather from 2010 continues into the early part of 2011. ~ CS

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