Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Snow again! Recap of the 2nd Mid-South snow event of winter '11-'12

It may seem like déjà vu, and it’s still not even officially winter yet, but for the second time in just nine days, accumulating snow has made a visit to the Mid-South! With another upper level disturbance moving across the region overnight through Wednesday morning, precipitation which broke out Tuesday evening across central Arkansas began to move into the metro area. As colder temperatures and stronger upper-level dynamics moved in, light rain quickly changed to snow and the result was another decent accumulation event for much of the metro. For some areas, snow amounts were heavier than seen in the November 28-29 event, even though the event did not get nearly the hype prior to onset.

While it may have been a surprise to some, computer models came into agreement on the likelihood for snow accumulation in the area on Tuesday morning. Given the higher confidence presented by the model solutions, MemphisWeather.Net ramped up our snow forecast accordingly during the day and pretty much nailed the event by Tuesday evening.  In fact, in this blog post, we provided a window of 1-3am for snow onset and 10am for an end time.  Memphis Int'l Airport officially switched over to snow at 2:11am and the snow ended at 10:18am!  We also predicted about an inch on grassy and elevated surfaces last night. While some locations in the northern metro got about 3" of snow, the official observation from Memphis was 1.3" with many metro locations reporting 1.5-2.0".

Similar to the November 28-29 event, temperatures throughout the duration of snowfall were borderline, with readings near the freezing mark. This meant that snow accumulation once again mainly occurred on grassy surfaces and elevated or non-paved surfaces. However, where heavier snow fell and temperatures briefly dipped to 31-32, some slush did accumulate on roadways in outlying areas and on a few bridges and overpasses area wide. Fortunately, travel impacts still remained limited overall.

In the city of Memphis, snow amounts were more significant compared to last week’s event, with several locations recording 1 to 2 inches of total accumulation. Memphis International Airport received 1.3”, with 1.8” at the National Weather Service in East Memphis. Other locations in Shelby County received similar amounts, and these amounts were also common in the other metro counties. Higher snow totals were found across portions of Tipton and Fayette County, another similarity to last week, with some localized areas reporting unofficial accumulation of 3 to even 4 inches!  Some pics we took this morning are below.

Snow on the weather equipment in the backyard at MWN. 1.5" total.

North Bartlett about 8:15am.

Austin Peay (Highway 14) at Old Brownsville - 8:15am.
The system responsible for the snow began moving east of the metro by mid-morning, bringing an end to the precipitation. Once snow ended, temperatures began warming back above freezing and snow quickly started melting. By late afternoon, patchy areas of snow on grassy surfaces were about the only remnant left from this morning’s snow event and clouds were just moving out, creating a nice sunset for many to enjoy.
Back edge of clouds entering the Memphis metro. Taken at I-240 west of Airways.
It’s certainly been an early and active start to the winter weather season in the Mid-South! If you don't want to be surprised by another snow storm, be sure to stay updated with MemphisWeather.Net.  We'll keep you posted on all weather threats and potential impacts, including any potential for winter weather over the next few months.

--Kevin Terry & Erik Proseus, MemphisWeather.Net

For weather information for Memphis and the Mid-South, where and when you need it, visit on the web, on your mobile phone, download our iPhone or Android apps, or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

No comments: