Thursday, December 19, 2013

Wintry Weather Forecast for December 19-26, 2013


Update on the wintry weather outlook for December 19-26, 2013

The upcoming weekend of December 20-22, 2013 will be one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.
Two separate winter storms will develop and move across portions of the lower 48 states.

Forecast Precipitation Type:  December 19-26, 2013.
The third line in the map title shows the date of each animated map.
Colors:  Blue = snow; green = rain; red =  ice pellets; tan = freezing rain

Storm #1: Thursday afternoon, December 19:  LIGHT Freezing drizzle possible across southeast Nebraska. Snowfall across the Great Lakes region.

Storm #2:  Saturday-Sunday, December 21-22: Heavy snow from Kansas to southeastern Wisconsin; light snow possible in the Lincoln-Omaha area.  Since southeast Nebraska will be on the northern edge of this storm system, forecasting amounts will be a challenge.  A shift in the storm track by just a few miles will mean the difference between a dusting of snow and a plowable snow. 



Snowfall total Storm #1 + Storm #2: December 19-26, 2013.


Note how close Lancaster County, in Southeast Nebraska, is to the area of heavy snow. The computer forecast models have moved the path of the Plains snowstorm a little bit further north with each model run over the past 3 days.  The forecast path was originally central Oklahoma to Chicago.  When this storm starts moving out of the southwestern U.S. on Saturday any slight deviation in its path will have a significant impact on where the band of heavy snow falls relative to southeast Nebraska.

Snowfall totals, Model Uncertainties Southeast Nebraska.

The following graph for Omaha and for December 19-23, 2013 shows the forecast snowfall accumulation for 23 different forecast models.  Many of the models show NO SNOWFALL during the time period.  One of the forecast models indicates a snowfall total of  SEVEN INCHES.  The black line is the median of the snowfall forecasts and indicates a snowfall total of around ONE INCH


SEVERE WEATHER?
Spring like severe weather is also possible with the 2nd storm system.  Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are possible any time of the year, not just spring and summer (especially across the deep south and the gulf states). The Storm Prediction Center forecast map for Saturday December 21, 2013 shows an area from eastern Texas to the Ohio River Valley that has the potential for severe thunderstorms.




NWS LINCOLN FORECAST December 19-26:  Cloudy and cold through Saturday with a 20% chance of snow Saturday afternoon overnight into Sunday morning.  Clear and cold on Monday with a rapid warm up to near normal by Christmas day.

Update on the wintry weather outlook for December 19-26, 2013

The upcoming weekend of December 20-22, 2013 will be one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.
Two separate winter storms will develop and move across portions of the lower 48 states.

Forecast Precipitation Type:  December 19-26, 2013.
The third line in the map title shows the date of each animated map.
Colors:  Blue = snow; green = rain; red =  ice pellets; tan = freezing rain

Storm #1: Thursday afternoon, December 19:  LIGHT Freezing drizzle possible across southeast Nebraska. Snowfall across the Great Lakes region.

Storm #2:  Saturday-Sunday, December 21-22: Heavy snow from Kansas to southeastern Wisconsin; light snow possible in the Lincoln-Omaha area.  Since southeast Nebraska will be on the northern edge of this storm system, forecasting amounts will be a challenge.  A shift in the storm track by just a few miles will mean the difference between a dusting of snow and a plowable snow.



Snowfall total Storm #1 + Storm #2: December 19-24, 2013.


Note how close Lancaster County, in Southeast Nebraska, is to the area of heavy snow. The computer forecast models have moved the path of the Plains snowstorm a little bit further north with each model run over the past 3 days.  The forecast path was originally central Oklahoma to Chicago.  When this storm starts moving out of the southwestern U.S. on Saturday any slight deviation in its path will have a significant impact on where the band of heavy snow falls relative to southeast Nebraska.

Snowfall totals, Model Uncertainties Southeast Nebraska.

The following graph for Omaha and for December 19-23, 2013 shows the forecast snowfall accumulation for 23 different forecast models.  Many of the models show NO SNOWFALL during the time period.  One of the forecast models indicates a snowfall total of  SEVEN INCHES.  The black line is the median of the snowfall forecasts and indicates a snowfall total of around ONE INCH



Snowfall total Storm #1 + Storm #2: December 19-23, 2013.



SEVERE WEATHER?
Spring like severe weather is also possible with the 2nd storm system.  Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are possible any time of the year, not just spring and summer (especially across the deep south and the gulf states). The Storm Prediction Center forecast map for Saturday December 21, 2013 shows an area from eastern Texas to the Ohio River Valley that has the potential for severe thunderstorms.



NWS LINCOLN FORECAST December 19-26:  Cloudy and cold through Saturday with a 20% chance of snow Saturday afternoon overnight into Sunday morning.  Clear and cold on Monday with a rapid warm up to near normal by Christmas day.



Related Links:

Lincoln, NE Weather and Climate
Forecast maps including snowfall forecasts
Lincoln, NE Snowfall Climatology
Nebraska Weather Photos

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