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Blizzard of 2011 video available for licensing

Stormchaser Steve Polley captured this footage of the Blizzard at its peak in Eastern KS today (2-1-11).  Licensing is available at

Footage can be seen here

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KAKE TV Announcement

I am proud to announce that I have joined with Aaron Blaser at KAKE-TV in Wichita, KS this year (2011) for the upcoming storm chasing season.  I will be providing live streaming of severe weather events throughout KAKELand.

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Cyclone Yasi ~ Australia

Cyclone Yasi was the largest cyclone to hit the Australian island since people settled there.  The cyclone was rated a category 5 cyclone and made land fall around midnight near North Queensland Australia.  Winds were estimated at 186 mph and waves were 9 meters high

The width of the cyclone was 300 miles wide and have affected over 400,000 people.  150,000 folks are without electricity.  The devastation is widespread and currently being assessed by the Australian government. ~ CS

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FCST: Jan 31 / Feb 1 ~ Historic Winter Storm

A little late to the blog wagon but I have been busy with some family matters.  My mother passed away this morning at 3 a.m. so I write this blog with a heavy heart but in honor of the woman who taught me to respect mother nature and understand severe weather.

A historic and potentially life threatening winter storm is taking aim on a large part of the CONUS.  Winter Storm Warnings are currently in effect and are to be replaced by Blizzard Warnings at 6 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

Today, Monday, we experienced light freezing drizzle with some embedded freezing rain showers that produced a nice glaze on roadways and elevated surfaces.  Travel problems was the main headache with the first wave of this three day winter storm.  This was courtesy of a short wave and inverted trough that was oriented north/south along the KS/MO border at mid-day. 

This trough has moved very little during the day and basically dissects the western 1/3 of MO at this hour.  It will continue to push off to the east as the main storm system ejects into the southern plains.  This will allow the atmospheric column to cool significantly setting the stage for a very large snow event over a large part of the CONUS later on Tuesday.

An area of strong low pressure is situated over the desert southwest and is expected to eject out into the southern plains overnight Monday and into Tuesday.  Here is a look at the storm system on water vapor imagery: 

Ahead of the low pressure system copious amounts of moisture is being pulled northward from the Gulf of Mexico.  Here is a quick look at the QPF for the Tuesday into Wednesday time frames:

In addition to a strengthening 90 kt upper level jet dissecting the area there will be a continued moisture conveyor 850mb 40-60 kt LLJ adding insult to injury for an impressive winter storm.  A storm we have not seen in as many as two decades.

250mb Jet

 850mb Jet

As you can see the storm is just beginning to ramp up and is expected to continue to intensify and reach peak intensity just east of St. Louis, MO on Wednesday. Here is a look at the current surface features as of this evening.  

Here is a look at the forecast surface features at midnight Tuesday and 6 p.m. Tuesday evening.:

One thing of significant notice on this forecasted surface map is the tight pressure gradient on the back side of this system.  This is congruent to the 1050mb high in the high plains and deepening surface 995mb low in the MO bootheel.  This will produce wind speeds in the neighborhood of 25 to 35 mph with gusts over 40 mph.  This will create blizzard conditions over much of the Midwest, lower Missouri Valley and Ohio Valley’s into Wednesday.

The low pressure system is forecasted to take a classic track for a significant snowfall for much of Missouri.  Here is a look at the forecasted surface low as depicted by the HPC in Washington, D.C.:
Here is a look at the snowfall accumulation probabilities composite as outlined by the HPC for Day 1 and Day 2.  I am forecasting an easy 9″ to 14″ snowfall total for the Cameron area with higher amounts to the east and northeast.  Drifts will be several feet high making some roads impassable during and after the storm.

Once the storm passes to our east, air temperatures will plummet to the single digits.  Here is a look at the forecasted low air temperatures Wednesday/Thursday night:
Here are the forecasted high temperatures for Thursday:
Factor in any wind at all and wind chill values will be well below zero for much of the latter half of the work week.  Wind chill map for Wednesday and Thursday:

Governor Nixon has declared a state of emergency for the entire State of Missouri.  Travel in the state is highly discourage and will be impossible by this time, if not before, Tuesday evening.  
Another system is visible in the NW flow late in the weekend that will need to be watched for an additional shot of snow.  For now, we will focus on this historic storm and enjoy it as weather nerds.  STAY SAFE FOLKS ~ CS
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NOW: 1/10/11 ~ Snow Northern Missouri

On-going snow storm over the Midwest has dumped anywhere from 3″ to 5″ of snow thus far with total storm accumulations forecasted to be 6″ to 10″.  An area of low pressure is currently sitting over west central IA with an inverted trough extending northward and a cold front sagging back into southwestern KS.  Model progs are forecasting a low pressure system to form over SW MO and it is forecasted to swing northeast over the next 24 hours. An inverted trough is positioned along the MO/KS border and will be the foci of additional snowfall through the overnight hour tonight.  A cold front extends from the low pressure center through the western part of AR and back into east central TX.

This storm is not particularly strong but a slow moving system which is providing a prolonged period of light to occasionally moderate snowfall.  Thus, allowing the accumulation of moderate amounts of snow.  Here is a look at the current surface map:

Here is a look at the surface maps spaced over a 6 hour period beginning at 6 p.m. Monday evening:

A winter weather advisory remains in effect for most of the Midwest through late this evening.  ~ CS
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steve polley storm chaser