Major Winter Storm Begins Tomorrow in Panhandle
Winter Storm Watches and Warnings have been flying this evening across portions of the Panhandle, Eastern New Mexico, the Oklahoma Panhandle, far Southwest Kansas, and Southeast Colorado as a major storm system moves toward the region.
Currently, we have two pieces of energy that will come into play in the mid levels of the atmosphere to generate the snowfall across the region. A mid level shortwave over parts of California will combine with a diving wave from Montana by tomorrow evening to generate widespread snowfall. At the surface, an area of low pressure near the coastline will develop and sling moisture back northward and provide a rather large mass of rain over Central Texas into the Arklatex.
The NAM forecasted reflectivity shows heavy precipitation from eastern New Mexico into the Red River region of Texas. The rain to snow transition looks to be near Lubbock, Texas by midnight with areas of western Oklahoma also become involved in frozen precipitation. Heavy snow will likely cause hazardous travel along the I-40 corridor by this time in the Amarillo and possibly Elk City areas. Travel won’t be recommended.
Thus far, the NAM seems to be on the aggressive side of things with over a foot of snow expected in some locations through 6pm Friday evening. The heaviest snowfall would be between Santa Fe and Borger if this solution were correct.
The GFS is more aggressive for far NW Texas at this point and a bit lighter for some of the other areas than the NAM projects. The overall trend is that a high impact snowfall event will take place over much of the south plains region. LSM will have several stringers in the field providing coverage of this event starting during the afternoon on Wednesday.
As we approach the weekend….we then have to monitor areas further east in the Tennessee Valley as the Gulf low begins to crank up. The GFS/NAM solutions are somewhat similar in these areas except for the snowfall total amounts.
So, this system will impact a large portion of the country starting tomorrow and we will cover it from coast to coast. Stay tuned and make sure to visit our social media pages linked below.
Stay tuned for future updates regarding this high impact storm system…