Friday, February 19, 2010

Another Significant Snow on the Way?

This could go down as one of the snowiest winters on record if the solution mid and long range forecast data suggests comes true. Right now we know a strong cold front will move through Sunday bringing us a chance of thunderstorms, some of which could reach severe limits, followed by cooler air next week. For quite sometime now all indications were the air mass behind the front would not be all that cold but continue to give East Texas below normal temperatures. But all that is beginning to change over the past 12 hours. New forecast data suggest a much colder week is in store for East Texas and an area of low pressure will once again develop to our south in the strong subtropical jet.

So what does all this point to? The chance of another significant snow across East Texas. Now remember, what I am showing you is the forecast trend, not an official forecast. However, if this trend continue over the next day or two, look for snow to be put back in our forecast.

Above is the forecast sounding for Tyler at noon on Tuesday afternoon of next week. This sounding screams heavy wet snow, like we saw last week. The forecast sounding 6 hours before and 6 hours after look about the same. This would give us a prolonged period of heavy wet snow, again only if this scenario pans out. A few things that peek my interest looking at this sounding. First, the atmosphere is at saturation from the surface to 300mb, basically this time of the year the stratosphere. This would allow for very heavy precipitation to fall. Also you can see the temperature of the atmosphere remains below freezing except the last 300' or so near the surface, much like last week. This means the snow will be very wet. Finally there is some upper level instability in this sounding. This means there could be some lightning in the clouds giving us, yes, thundersnow.

Below is the forecast for the accumulation of snowfall up to 120 hours out, or Tuesday afternoon. You can see that through the Dallas area, another significant snowfall is shown with over 10" in a few places.

The next image shows the snowfall farther east into East Texas. Again this only goes out to 120 hours when the heaviest snow begins to fall. If you interpolate the data it looks as though another swath of 4"-6" is possible across the northern half of East Texas.

Again a lot can and probably will change between now and this event. However, long range forecast data performed very well on last weeks snow event, even under forecast the snow amounts. This is in no way is an offical forecast for the area but, if this trend continues parts of East Texas could get more snow making this the snowiest winter on record.

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