Friday, November 27, 2015

Dangerous Flooding, Icing Continues In Southern Plains

Bad weather in the central and southern Plains today.
Ice storm, winter storm and winter weather advisories
(in purple, pink and blue) and flood alerts (in green)
Some of the worst possible weather you can get this time of year is going on in the southern Plains extending into the Ozarks.

Where it isn't very icy, there's a major flood threat in the region. And where neither is happening, it's snowy and windy.

More often than not, storm systems during the late fall, winter and early spring zip right along, meaning any one location usually ends up with just a day of bad weather before things improve.

This thing is slow, slow slow. An upper level low pressure system is in the region, a mass of cold air has plunged southward through the Plains, and the set up has created a very sharp cold front that is just inching eastward as little ripples of low pressure run northward along the front.

As expected, wetness from Hurricane Sandra off the west coast of Mexico is getting into the Plains system.

By the way, this hurricane adds to what has been an incredible hurricane season in the eastern Pacific. Sandra intensified to a Category 4 storm yesterday with sustained winds of 145 mph. This is latest in the season that a major hurricane has been observed in the Western Hemisphere.

This follows Hurricane Patricia off the Mexican west coast in October, which was the most intense hurricane on record in the western hemisphere.

Very weird indeed.

Anyway, back to the southern Plains. Some areas in the central panhandle of Texas and southwestern Oklahoma can expect a half inch or more of freezing rain/ice accumulation through Saturday. Combined with gusty winds in the region, that will be more than enough to bring down trees and power lines.

Travel through that area will be next to impossible today. I hope people don't drive around there looking for Black Friday Christmas bargains. Is a cheap flat screen TV really worth sliding your car into a telephone pole and getting killed?

I stll think the big story out of this storm will be the flooding. Some areas have already picked up two to four inches of rain, and another four to eight is due through Saturday.

I noticed Dallas has now broken a record for the rainiest year on record. The old record was 53.54 inches in 1991. Through Wednesday, Dallas had 50.55 inches of rain. But by my calculation, Dallas had received 3.83 inches of rain out of this storm through 6 a.m EDT, bringing the year's total to 54.58 inches for a new record.

Additional rain if forecast in Dallas through Saturday.  I'm sure they're thrilled to death at Southfork Ranch over this forecast.

As has been forecast for days, I think the heaviest rain, though, will be in northeastern Texas, eastern Oklahoma and most of Arkansas. I'm sure you'll be hearing on the news about the very nasty flooding that will develop there today.

This slow storm will eventually move off to the Northeast and weaken. The Northeast is due for rain and maybe a little bit of snow inland early next week, but by then, precipitation won't be particularly heavy.


Since this is a Vermont based blog, for my Green Mountain State readers, I'm going to start at least occasional forecast discussions or factoids for our area.

Expect windy conditions in the Champlain Valley today, but it will be warm for the entire state today. It was already 52 degrees in Burlington before dawn today. The normal high temperature for the entire day is 41 degrees.  It'll be way up in the 50s statewide this afternoon. (50s doesn't sound too impressive to people reading this south of here, but really, 50s in late November is considered very toasty in Vermont.)

It'll get cloudy today if it isn't already and rain showers will begin to move in from the west late today, and pretty much everybody in Vermont will get wet tonight.

Near normal high temperatures in the 30s with little if any precipitation is due in Vermont Saturday through Monday.

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