What the Heck is a Snow Waterspout?

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Well let the fun begin…my suspicion about this arctic airmass to the north is coming to fruition. We won’t totally get into it, but we will be dabbling in it for a couple of days into the weekend. The two-three days in particular would be Thursday-Saturday.

It’s not too bad out there now, actually in the realm of things pretty seasonable. Readings now are 35-40° or so, and that’s about average for this time of the year. One look towards the north of the region however shows the change that will be sweeping in early tomorrow, towards daybreak.

Here is the 1PM surface map, the numbers in RED are the temperatures, and if you notice we’re talking some 10-20° below zero in the N Plains in the middle of the afternoon. Also notice that the air is warming through the central plains. I think thats what happened this past Friday night, might happen again through early tomorrow AM. Where temperatures actually are steady or even rising ahead of the front into tomorrow AM…then temperatures crash behind the front tomorrow AM and then struggle to recover for the rest of the day. My feeling, like it was this past Sunday, is that highs tomorrow may struggle near 25°. Could be an interesting temperature plot tomorrow AM from midnight through 8AM or so.

Then as quickly as that shot of cold moves in, it tries to move out. I’ve been concerned all week about something “weird” happening as we transition between the two airmasses on FRI..at this point nothing is really showing up in the model data to suggest that and I kept the forecast dry for now. It’s something that still bears watching, but if anything, it does seem like what little moisture there will be, might not be thick enough to even generate that precip, which is probably a good thing since that would probably be some light freezing mist/drizzle.

Just as we try and perhaps fail to moderate on Friday PM, another shot of arctic air will move in on Saturday, knocking highs back into the 20s. then that will start to move away SUN AM and we try to moderate again. Although the hoped for BIG warm-up won’t happen (I don’t think), we should be able to warm into the 40s by Sunday. it should be noted that the EURO tries and develops some weird rain or mix precip on Sunday. the GFS, which did this yesterday, isn’t doing it today, and I’ll run with that for now. Something though to file in the back of your mind for the end of the weekend,

The big weather story today is what’s happening in the PAC NW area where snow and rain are hitting the region. Seattle has picked up 3-6″ of snow so far with moderate snow being reported. The storms are moving in through the PAC at a rapid rate and the moisture is streaming in as well from the Hawaiian Islands. A lot of water vapor is streaming right into the PAC NW and is creating a massive precipitation event out there.

Farther south into OR it’s as much of a mess, if not more.

Here is what the folks @ the NWS are thinking for that region…

As I type this, assuming the report is correct, the Coast Guard Station Cape Blanco, off the coast of SW OR is reporting sustained 72 MPH winds with gusts to 99 MPH…basically your CAT 1 to CAT 2 hurricane from a wind standpoint, pretty darn impressive.

Here is a look the NAM model’s forecast for snowfall accumulation out across the PAC NW…the skiers, who have waited months for something will be rejoicing, the potential for avalanches though will exist as well!

Click on that image to make it more readable.

Meanwhile in Fairbanks, AK the low this AM was -43°. That’s the 12th time this month they’ve dropped to below -40° which is the most since 1989 (14). The record is 21 set back in 1971. It was also the 6th straight day with lows -40° or below.

OK, I’m almost done…I did want to tell you the NWS in Pleasant Hill has released the schedule for the Severe Weather Spotter talks. These are totally free and are a great way to learn about severe weather and how to become a Severe Weather Spotter

I saw this video last night from SD, and I wanted to share it with you today. The phenomena occurred yesterday morning along the MO River. I’ve never heard of this happening before, but I guess for the folks up there it has.

What you do need to occur is have a sharp temperature contrast between let’s say a body of water, in this case the MO River and the clouds about. It’s no secret that the weather had been awfully warm up there, like here, for the winter. They finally dipped into the arctic air yesterday AM.

Take a look at this, it’s pretty cool! It’s from KELO-TV

index.cfm?VideoFile=120117winterwaterspouts

Joe

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