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March 9-10 Winter Storm


madwx
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I'll go with 5.5" for mby. .5" liquid seems to be about the model average and we should stick around 10:1 ratios. MKX talking potential dry air to overcome to start so we will see what that does to totals. Feels like general 4-6" in and around southern WI seems like a safe bet.

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10 hours ago, tuanis said:

Let's keep talking about Dallas in a winter storm thread when Dallas is a solid 650 miles away from any winter weather related to the event.

Thank you, idk why we are talking about Dallas, Powerball could go to the corpse of the Western subforum and talk about it there.

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Not an expert by any means, just part of we the people... but I have lived in LOT my entire life and I think the office has done a terrible job with headlines this winter, well below their average. Lake, McHenry, and even Northern Cook should be under a Winter Storm Warning if you ask me. I bet we'll be seeing plenty of 6"+ reports out of this region Friday morning. Too much pessimism and not enough objectivity.

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11 minutes ago, snowman33 said:

Not an expert by any means, just part of we the people... but I have lived in the LOT AFD my entire life and I think the office has done a terrible job with headlines this winter, well below their average. Lake, McHenry, and even Northern Cook should be under a Winter Storm Warning if you ask me. I bet we'll be seeing plenty of 6"+ reports out of this region Friday morning. Too much pessimism and not enough objectivity.

does ricky know that you're living in the afd?

but really though, nothing really supports warning amounts on a widespread basis (headlines are not always issued based on amount criteria anymore, though).

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7 minutes ago, Chicago Storm said:

(headlines are not always issued based on amount criteria anymore, though).

Clearly that's the case, if a couple of inches of snow, cold wind, and Christmas hype results in a Winter Storm Warning.

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And honestly, it was a typo but I have indeed "lived" in the AFD to an extent by reading it all the time. The headlines are based too heavily on feelings now, that's my complaint. It is called atmospheric science.

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The pre-Christmas storm was absolutely worth Winter Storm Warnings btw...it wasn't much snow (yes, less than expected), but it was blowing around quite a bit for a day and a half with brutal wind chills. There was a prolonged period where travel was hazardous in any kind of open/windy area with dangerous cold causing infrastructure issues. It was a distinctly elevated risk to life and property for those not prepared for the conditions and lasted a solid day and a half. It was worth the warnings even if the impacts weren't as significant as what looked possible a couple days out. 

For this one, it's the short duration and marginal boundary layer that's the issue. The lift and moisture are good, agree with Stebo there should be some banding on the east/northern flanks, but it just won't last long and won't be extremely efficient so it'll be hard for many to get 6"+. It'll snow hard and be a wet/picturesque snow (though not quite as wet as last Friday's) but the totals will mainly be in the 3-6" range IMO. The area that could *locally* get 6"+ is near the western Lake MI shoreline where some lake enhancement will be in play, especially if banding can pivot over that general area. That'd be enough for a narrow 6"+ lolli just inland from the lake in WI or NE IL. 

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29 minutes ago, OHweather said:

The pre-Christmas storm was absolutely worth Winter Storm Warnings btw...it wasn't much snow (yes, less than expected), but it was blowing around quite a bit for a day and a half with brutal wind chills. There was a prolonged period where travel was hazardous in any kind of open/windy area with dangerous cold causing infrastructure issues. It was a distinctly elevated risk to life and property for those not prepared for the conditions and lasted a solid day and a half. It was worth the warnings even if the impacts weren't as significant as what looked possible a couple days out. 

For this one, it's the short duration and marginal boundary layer that's the issue. The lift and moisture are good, agree with Stebo there should be some banding on the east/northern flanks, but it just won't last long and won't be extremely efficient so it'll be hard for many to get 6"+. It'll snow hard and be a wet/picturesque snow (though not quite as wet as last Friday's) but the totals will mainly be in the 3-6" range IMO. The area that could *locally* get 6"+ is near the western Lake MI shoreline where some lake enhancement will be in play, especially if banding can pivot over that general area. That'd be enough for a narrow 6"+ lolli just inland from the lake in WI or NE IL. 

I am a bit surprised the models aren't showing enhancement off of Lake Huron as well, this is the type of setup where we should get some.

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The area that could *locally* get 6"+ is near the western Lake MI shoreline where some lake enhancement will be in play, especially if banding can pivot over that general area. That'd be enough for a narrow 6"+ lolli just inland from the lake in WI or NE IL. 

And on that note, the lake enhancement looks quite marginal in itself.


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2 hours ago, OHweather said:

The pre-Christmas storm was absolutely worth Winter Storm Warnings btw...it wasn't much snow (yes, less than expected), but it was blowing around quite a bit for a day and a half with brutal wind chills. There was a prolonged period where travel was hazardous in any kind of open/windy area with dangerous cold causing infrastructure issues. It was a distinctly elevated risk to life and property for those not prepared for the conditions and lasted a solid day and a half. It was worth the warnings even if the impacts weren't as significant as what looked possible a couple days out. 

For this one, it's the short duration and marginal boundary layer that's the issue. The lift and moisture are good, agree with Stebo there should be some banding on the east/northern flanks, but it just won't last long and won't be extremely efficient so it'll be hard for many to get 6"+. It'll snow hard and be a wet/picturesque snow (though not quite as wet as last Friday's) but the totals will mainly be in the 3-6" range IMO. The area that could *locally* get 6"+ is near the western Lake MI shoreline where some lake enhancement will be in play, especially if banding can pivot over that general area. That'd be enough for a narrow 6"+ lolli just inland from the lake in WI or NE IL. 

Isn't snow/blowing snow and cold wind chills just common winter weather though? You even said it wasn't as significant. Also, don't we have wind chill headlines for this kind of thing? Wouldn't that be easier for the public to understand? Advisory/warning for snow amounts and advisory/warning for wind chills.

It's water under the bridge at this point. Just felt the need to state my opinion.

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7 hours ago, snowman33 said:

Isn't snow/blowing snowing and cold wind chills just common winter weather though? You even said it wasn't as significant. Also, don't we have wind chill headlines for this kind of thing? Wouldn't that be easier for the public to understand? Advisory/warning for snow amounts and advisory/warning for wind chills.

It's water under the bridge at this point. Just felt the need to state my opinion.

To your point, an argument could be made that there should've been a Wind Chill Warning (along with or perhaps instead of a Winter Storm Warning) since the cold was just as big of a hazard, sure. Unfortunately, it's not entirely consistent when offices issue cold headlines separately from or included in other winter weather headlines (some offices try not to issue both at once, others sometimes issue both at once). I think in that case the Winter Storm Warning was locked in more than a day out when the snow looked somewhat more impressive. In our area we figured about 2" of that snow led to enough blowing snow to necessitate a Winter Storm Warning, though we had prolonged 40-55 MPH wind gusts which may have been a bit stronger than what you had. 

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1 hour ago, Stebo said:

I am a bit surprised the models aren't showing enhancement off of Lake Huron as well, this is the type of setup where we should get some.

 

1 hour ago, Chicago Storm said:


And on that note, the lake enhancement looks quite marginal in itself.


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683947533_download(56).thumb.png.fa78ce8c20716e177e2032e18abb2eab.png

To both of these points, soundings off of Lake Michigan do support some marginal lake enhancement...there's a conditionally unstable layer up to about 900mb and while it isn't much (or into the DGZ), it's modeled to be saturated which if accurate would at least contribute some precip production. Since flakes are being made aloft and seeding the lower level lake enhancement, those low clouds will be able to make flakes and add some amount of snow. It won't be a ton, but over the course of several hours maybe is an extra inch or two.

1513825441_download(57).thumb.png.292697f42a4af86a439eadff5c29d259.png

Models briefly have a rather similar look off of Lake Huron so there probably will be some enhancement, but it's similarly marginal...and the synoptic precip starts shutting off quicker so the lake enhancement may not last long off of Huron. Since it won't be that intense it may just not be able to add more than an inch? 

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And honestly, it was a typo but I have indeed "lived" in the AFD to an extent by reading it all the time. The headlines are based too heavily on feelings now, that's my complaint. It is called atmospheric science.
Sorry you feel the way you do about our efforts. It's cliche, but in weather forecasting, there's always going to be a bit of 'you win some, you lose some.'

However, that being said, I can assure you the headlines are not based "off feeling." When there's a watch in effect and potential to upgrade to a warning, it's a collaborative intra office discussion, in addition to the inter-office collaboration that goes on. Last Thursday, we had about 3 hours worth of discussions on how to handle the existing watch, not exaggerating.

Since we inherited a watch on the (Wednesday) day shift yesterday, and it's within a timeframe when we usually make a decision, we're left with a) upgrade the watch or a part of it to a warning; b ) issue a WWA; c) hold onto the watch

Options a or b are the typical courses of action. Option C is what we went with for last Friday's event given the unusually large uncertainty up to go time. Preference today (including input up to local management level), was to go with the WWA as our highest confidence option. In that, we explicitly forecast up to 7" amounts in spots for the state line counties. That shows it's not as simple as 6" = definite warning.

My own thinking on the decision process was informed on how last Friday played out, with a similar expected 2m temp starting point at precip onset, and the 1-2 hour lag until progressively worse impacts, amidst intense snow rates and TSSN.

If part of the evening commute is spent in a lagged ground and pavement response prior to worsening impacts, and 12-hour amounts end up at 6" or less due to shorter duration of sustained heavy rates, plus lighter snow rates Friday AM with temps near to slightly above 32F, that's part of how we felt comfortable going with a WWA.

Confidence was not high in widespread 6-7" amounts per non-NCEP guidance being drier, and with much of the accums occurring at a less impactful time of day, we didn't think it necessitated a warning issuance.

This of course doesn't imply that we will be right, but shows the process that goes into headline decisions. There's also collaboration between WPC and the WFOs regarding QPF, SLRs and snow and ice amounts.

With the milder winter we've had, and no real classic winter storm setups this winter, we've been left with marginal and thus more uncertain synoptic evolutions. There is consistent post event evaluation going on that we use to build mental models of future events. But it doesn't ever make forecasts and headline decisions easy, and there's opportunities for future improvement that come about, from forecasts and headlines to our graphics and DSS.




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Have not looked at any model runs, and not to much to glean from the discussion here, but LOT(IZZI) have pretty much made this a non-event here south of I-88.  Even the heart of the I-88/290 corridor is basically a meager 1-4" forecast. The late great Jerry Taft approves. 

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2 minutes ago, Cary67 said:

P&C went from 4-8", to 4-6", now 3-5".

 

Will bump my call from 2.5" to 3". 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

your golden.... 6" for you is my take. I'll hope for 3-4" which is the biggest event of the season.

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Feeling a little more confident out this way.  Gonna bump my 1-3" call up to 3-4" for here/QC, with a good chance this beats our seasonal best snowfall so far (3.2").  Some decent banding may help ratios fight off the slightly warmer ground/marginal temps.  

It'll be nice to see a daytime snowfall even though it may cut into amounts a bit.  Seems like many events this season exclusively happened in the dark of night.

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20 minutes ago, cyclone77 said:

Feeling a little more confident out this way.  Gonna bump my 1-3" call up to 3-4" for here/QC, with a good chance this beats our seasonal best snowfall so far (3.2").  Some decent banding may help ratios fight off the slightly warmer ground/marginal temps.  

It'll be nice to see a daytime snowfall even though it may cut into amounts a bit.  Seems like many events this season exclusively happened in the dark of night.

there ya go! Thinking about the same here. Might help me it'll be at night.

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