Snow is forecast for the drought-stricken West whereas showers head to the South

Snow is forecast for the drought-stricken West while showers head to the South


Confidence is rising {that a} important winter storm might be pushing via parts of the Midwest at first of the week. Several areas might see heavy snowfall, gusty winds, and harmful ice accumulations.

At the identical time, a sequence of techniques are shifting via the southwestern US the place the moisture is far wanted to assist ease drought situations.

“A pair of winter storms will impact the area Sunday and Monday afternoon into Tuesday with a good chance of valley rain and mountain snow,” in keeping with the National Weather Service office in Tucson. “The strongest and coldest storm is expected to start Monday afternoon with lower snow levels possible and more significant accumulations in the mountains.”

Widespread rainfall throughout the desert southwest might be as much as 1 inch, however snowfall throughout California, Arizona and Colorado might exceed 1 foot via Monday.

Snow within the desert could sound like an oxymoron, nevertheless it is dependent upon which desert you are referring to as elevation performs a key position and mountain vary peaks differ broadly. The forecast space for the National Weather Service workplace in Las Vegas contains parts of three main US deserts: the Great Basin, Mojave, and Sonoran.

“Elevation is a huge factor for snow in the Western US as elevation varies widely,” mentioned Jenn Varian, a climate service meteorologist in Las Vegas. “Our forecast area has both the highest elevation and the lowest elevation point in the CONUS (continental United States). And they’re in the same county!”

Varian is referring to Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain within the 48 states at 14,505 toes within the Sierra Nevadas, and Badwater Basin, which is 282 toes beneath sea stage in Death Valley. They are about 84 miles aside in Inyo County, California.

This means snowfall accumulations will vary from just some inches for elevations of lower than 4,000 toes to greater than a foot of snow at elevations above 6,000 toes throughout Arizona, California and Nevada.

Then one other system is forecast to push via the area on Wednesday.

“The midweek system aligning with an atmospheric moisture surge has the potential to dump an extreme amount of precipitation, potentially flirting with snowfall duration records, in portions of southern California and the western Great Basin,” Varian says.

The area badly wants the rain and snow. Nearly 80% of the western US is underneath drought situations, with practically 25% underneath distinctive drought, the best stage potential.

Heavy snow and ice within the Midwest

The first system will steadily shift from the Southwest into the central Plains and Midwest.

A swath of very heavy snow will prolong from northern Kansas to northern Illinois via Monday. Widespread snowfall totals of 6-Eight inches, with over one foot potential throughout areas of Iowa.

Ice can also be within the forecast and will probably accumulate as much as 1 / 4 inch throughout a number of states. For now, the best confidence in ice exists from Topeka, Kansas to Philadelphia.

Even although it’s January, many Midwestern cities have with snowfall deficits this winter.

Both Grand Rapids and Marquette, Michigan, are about 30 inches beneath regular for the season. Oddly, some Southern cities have truly seen extra snow than ones within the Northeast.

For occasion, Amarillo, Texas, has had greater than 15 inches of snow, surpassing Green Bay, Wisconsin, which has had 11, in addition to Chicago with about 9 inches complete.

As of Saturday, Milwaukee has picked up 11.9 inches, which is the very same quantity as Oklahoma City.

San Angelo, Texas, has had 5.Eight inches, which is greater than Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Louisville, Kentucky.

At this level, the forecast snowfall throughout the Midwest is probably going not sufficient to make up the distinction in snowfall deficits in a few of these cities.

Rain throughout the Southeast

On the southern facet of that very same system pushing via the Midwest, moisture pulled up from the Gulf of Mexico will create situations for average to heavy rainfall to develop. This might result in an elevated menace for extreme rainfall and flash flooding situations, particularly for the southern Plains and the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys.

From Oklahoma via Kentucky, rainfall totals of 1-Three inches are anticipated with remoted greater quantities.

There is the potential for some sturdy to extreme thunderstorms throughout parts of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas on Sunday. More than 15 million persons are underneath a minimum of a marginal threat for tornadoes, damaging winds, and enormous hail Sunday night via early Monday morning.

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