Snow Totals Tuesday and Wednesday's Potential Storm
by Cody Matz
December 18, 2012 8:05 PM
The snow Tuesday may not have been a surprise for many as we had talked about snow and freezing drizzle with light accumulations Monday night, however the intensity and ultimately the amount of snow that fell was unexpected by even the weather community. This impressive band of heavy snow that you can see on your left set up right along I-90 and is called convective snow. This is where you get the heaviest snowfall rates, topping 2 inches an hour in some spots Tuesday morning. You typically find these snowfall rates during large storms that have a tremendous amount of moisture…. Which are very common to our east in the Great Lakes and Northeast, as well as the highest elevations of the West Coast. This convective snow develops from strong instability (uplift) in the atmosphere that forms at the perfect height above the surface to get much larger snowflake development. This allows those “golf ball size” flakes to fall to the surface and collect much faster, leading to higher snowfall totals in a shorter amount of time. These totals are listed below along with more information on our next potential winter storm moving in Wednesday afternoon.
After Tuesdays snow there is very little time to get ready for the next round, at least for some of us. A vigorous storm will move through the Plains Wednesday and Thursday, which could dump upwards of a foot of snow in some areas from Colorado to Wisconsin. For the most part, this storm will stay to our south, but northwest Iowa is still likely to get some snow Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday evening. Take a look at our snowcast for the area.
Notice that the only accumulation above an inch is in northwest Iowa where 1 to 4 inches of snow could fall with the best chances the further southeast you go. Even though very little snow is expected across our area, for those to our south or traveling south, it’s a much different story. Check out what snowcast is showing for the Upper Midwest.
Heavy snow can be expected from Colorado and southern Wyoming through Nebraska, Iowa, and then eventually Wisconsin where upwards of 15 inches could blanket the area. But the track of this storm is not a certainty as some “wobbling” in the overall track is still a possibility where the band of snow could shift further north or further south. This shows up well in different forecast computer models. The first one shows the more likely track of this storm taking the majority of the snow to our southeast. But second image shows there is still some uncertainty with this particular model shifting the snow some 100 miles further northwest and dropping anywhere from 1 to 6 inches across the majority of the southeast.
While the latter of the two images is pretty unlikely, it is still a possibility. Stay tuned to KDLT for the very latest on this potent winter storm.