Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tuesday mid-day update on Wednesday's snow event

Not a lot has changed since last night's post as of this time. The GFS model still seems to be an outlier, predicting about an inch of snow for Memphis with more south. The other models are clustering around of solution of 2-4" accumulation.  Timing of the snow in the metro area now appears to be about noon through midnight Wednesday with the best chance at accumulation in the late afternoon hours, prior to rush hour. Most of the snow we get will likely be on the ground by 7pm with light snow showers or flurries continuing through the night. The highest snowfall totals in this region of the country will be south and west of Memphis, with an axis of heavy snow likely across central AR into northwest MS.  My forecast of 2-4" of snow stands for now with the higher end of that range likely seen to the south of the city and the lower end to the north.

To give you an idea of where this storm is coming from, and the huge portion of the country that it is affecting, check out the map below (taken at noon today) showing the forecast track of the low pressure system responsible for the snow and the huge area covered by winter weather watches, warnings, and advisories (color-filled counties from NM/CO all the way to AL):

The next map shows the probabilities of a 4"+ snowfall from 6am Wednesday to 6am Thursday. This shows the axis of heaviest snow from southeast OK through AR to northwest MS. Memphis is right on the edge of a "moderate probability" (40%) of 4" of snow. I expect some place in central AR, near or south of Little Rock, is going to see a heavy snow event of 8" or more!
Probabilities of a 4" snow event from the National Weather Service (click image for larger image)
Finally, from the NAM model, the expected snow totals FROM THIS MODEL are shown below. While it seems to be overdoing it for places to our west, I think it's not as bad for our area and generally shows 2-4" for the metro counties (light blue and yellow colors).

Tuesday 6am NAM computer model output showing 2-4" over Memphis (click image for larger view)
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