TS Karen Is Born, Blizzard Expected Over N Plains, SPC Issues Moderate Severe Risk

Written by on October 3, 2013 in United States of America with 0 Comments

There’s basically no change in the models with the first big storm coming to the Rockies and Plains but where there is change since last night’s post, well that’s with newly formed Tropical Storm Karen. Karen is currently a 65 mph storm and appears to be en-route to make a SE Louisiana or Mobile Bay, AL landfall sometime later Saturday, whether she’s a storm or a hurricane remains to be seen. The NHC has hoisted a hurricane watch from Grand Isle, LA to Indian Pass, FL.

Here’s the latest visible satellite imagery of Karen and you can see that there is westerly shear as the entire western side of the system is exposed with all the convection on the east side.

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Karen will be closely monitored over the next 24 to 36 hours as she continues tracking north over the Gulf. This system is likely to be a big rain maker for the Southeast and potentially the East Coast depending upon the connection with an eastbound frontal system.

Check out the projected 72 hour rainfall totals according to the QPF

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As for the storm now beginning to cross the Rockies, we already have heavy snow breaking out across Idaho and through tonight and tomorrow, Wyoming takes centre stage and later in the day, once the system enters the Plains and taps Gulf warmth and moisture, we’re going to see not only snow rates cranking but winds too. Expect 40 mph sustained with gusts topping 60. That kind of wind combined with heavy snow is sure to produce blizzard conditions across eastern Wyoming into western and central South Dakota.

Here’s the ECMWF surface/precip chart early Saturday and you can see how the system is winding up.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

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As for snow, the ECMWF is looking tame snow total-wise but the GFS appears to have a better handle. We could see upwards of 2 feet in parts of Wyoming as well as South Dakota where records are sure to tumble.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

As the system sweeps in warm air is forced north ahead of the front, within the warm sector poised for severe weather while very cold air is drawn south on the backside. Take a look at the projected temperatures tomorrow afternoon according to the GFS.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Note the mid-80s over SE Nebraska while the NW corner is 35 with snow. Also notice the 90s reaching Kansas while the Colorado high country to the west of Denver is stuck in the mid-20s.

Here’s a look at early Saturday morning readings and you can’t help but notice the 0F over Wyoming while Iowa has 70F at the same time.

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

Courtesy/Owned by AccuWeather Pro

In terms of severe weather, the SPC has now issued a small area of MODERATE risk. An area stretching from Oklahoma up to Wisconsin is primed for damaging and dangerous severe thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon but the focus will be just south and east of the center and appears to be Iowa.

Here’s the latest from the SPC for tomorrow.

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More long range thoughts tomorrow.

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