Feb 202013

Possible Precipitation Type at 9 a.m. Thursday

Everything is progressing at about the same pace as this morning’s forecast.

One exception is the development of a light snow band out ahead of the main band expected later this evening.  This has produced some minor accumulations in portions of Barry, McDonald and Stone Counties in Missouri and Boone County in Arkansas.  It will remain light and weaken as it moves northeast.

The main show is still tonight and Thursday. Remember that many, including folks in Springfield, will go through a progression of precipitation types. It will start as snow later this evening, change over to sleet late tonight and then go to freezing rain by Thursday morning.

So waking up in Springfield, there will be several inches of snow/sleet on the ground with a glaze of ice on top of that.  Some icing of trees and wires will occur in Springfield however I don’t believe we will see the worst of it.

The heaviest icing should occur over areas of north-central Arkansas and south-central Missouri. I still feel as if coatings of near .40″ of an inch of ice are possible in these areas by tomorrow afternoon.

Pure snow accumulations will be reserved for areas about an hour north drive from Springfield during this storm.

I will have more updates later today.  This will include my video blog and a live web show at 6 p.m.


Feb 202013

Main Precipitation Threat Tonight/Thursday

All of the Ozarks are under some short of winter storm warning this morning for later tonight and Thursday. Ice accumulation is still a concern.

A huge amount of humidity is being lifted over a dome of cold air which will result in lots of rain aloft, which will transition to a mess in the Ozarks on the ground in the form of sleet and freezing rain.

Layout of Precipitation

There is an expected transition of precipitation type for many in the Ozarks. When the initial wave comes in tonight, it’s expected to be snow and some sleet.  This will probably stay snow in areas from let’s say Lamar to Camdenton northward.

As for Springfield, snow will give way to sleet and eventually freezing rain (ice) by dawn on Thursday.

Freezing Rain vs. Sleet: What’s the Difference?


Areas of northern Arkansas and south-central Missouri will hold on to freezing rain the longest and have the biggest threat of significant ice accumulations.


I expect Springfield will see several inches of snow/sleet overnight tonight with a glaze of ice on top of that starting sometime in the early morning hours of Thursday.

The snow up north could amount to 1-3″.  This of course will become a major snowstorm north and northwest of the Ozarks.

Ice accumulations will be between .10 and .40″ I think with the higher amounts in the area specified on the graphic.

Information Today/Tonight

I will post a winter storm update after the morning computer model runs come out, right around noon.

I will post a video review/blog by late afternoon.

Also, look for a live web show tonight to discuss the situation. Details coming up later today!

Mar 092012

Springfield Temperatures Winter 2011-2012

As you already know, no snow! Or very little this winter 2011-2012.  Can it snow in March? Yes. Will it? Not likely!  The pattern into the middle of March looks quite warm.


Winter goes in the record books as the period of December, January and February.  In Springfield, all three winter months recorded above normal temperatures.

There were a total of 14 sixty-degree high temperature days over our winter months with the highest reading of 69 occurring in January.

Our coldest mornings, 10 degrees on both days, came to us on the weekend of February 11/12 (right before the “snowstorm”)

Missouri as a whole recorded its third warmest winter on record going back 117 winters.  Most of the country was above normal with many states in the northern and northeastern U.S. within the top five warmest on record.

The lower 48 states recorded the 4th warmest winter on record and the warmest since the year 2000.


The snow total stands at 2.8″ which is in a tie for second on the least snowiest winter list with winter 1931-1932. Nearly all of the Springfield snowfall came on two “events”: a post cold front on January 11/12 and what I would classify as the only storm of the season on February 13th.  The February system dumped over 5 inches of snow to locations east of Springfield but only officially accumulated to 1.7″

In terms of precipitation, Springfield came in at 6.15″ which is on the dry side of normal by 1.88″

NOAA’s Report on Winter

NOAA Review of Winter for the Lower 48 States

Lots of States Above Normal Winter 2011-2012

Feb 142012
Potential Storm Tracks

Monday’s much anticipated snow got better at accumulating as it travelled east. Some of the higher totals:

 Licking  5″
 Plato  4.5
 Vichy  4.0
 Rolla  4.0
 Mansfield  4.0
 Iberia  4.0
 Highlandville  3.8
 Monett  3.0
 Richland  3.0

Springfield measured 1.7″ officially with a season total of 2.8″, still pretty slim!

Springfield National Weather Service Summary

Back to Rain

The next weather system looks warmer which means rain for the Ozarks. In fact, there might be enough instability to support some lightning and thunder as it swings through on Wednesday. The winter side of this next weather maker will be far to the north. Northwest Missouri may get a swath of snow along with portions of Kansas.  The severe storms’ side of this next system will be from east Texas through the deep south into Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on Wednesday.

Storm Tracks

It’s interesting to watch potential storm tracks over the next week or so. So much so that I made a map showing their most likely tracks.  As of now, I don’t see any winter preciptation makers.  The only potential candidate would be the deep south weekend system.  Then there’s a hint at something the middle of next week (yellow). Stay connected…







Feb 132012

Snow Near A and 60, Webster Co. Credit: Paula Dean Little Wood

Today’s winter precipitation is unfolding pretty much as forecast.  I’m calling this our “speedbump snow”!

The band of snow moved in before sunrise.  Widespread totals of 1-2″ have be reported in the area with an occasional 3″ total. (Mansfield picked up just over 3″)  A viewer did also report 5 inches of snow near Norwood late this afternoon.

Snow is pretty much confined to areas east of Springfield and still coming down pretty good in some of those areas.  This will slowly wind down this afternoon and early evening.

Some warmer air aloft has changed the snow over to sleet or light freezing rain at times in areas from Springfield west.

Temperatures at the surface have warmed to around freezing in western Missouri and Arkansas. Readings will hover where they are or perhaps even rise a degree or two into the early evening hours.

I don’t believe the freezing rain or drizzle poses an additional travel problem. Arctic air is not poised to come slamming in here tonight and instantly freeze everything.  Temperature will be just below freezing however and drivers should take it easy of course.

Feb 132012

About 3/4" at 7am in Springfield

The snow has arrived!

This snow system has behaved itself quite nicely thus far.  It has initially run  into some very dry air so the snpw start time and totals so far have been somewhat hindered.

One inch snow totals are very common through about 6:30 am this Monday morning including Mtn. Home AR and Springfield.  The snow is sticking to area roadways.

Now that the air has been primed with higher humidity by this first snow batch, additional snow later today will be somewhat more efficient when it falls.  A forecast of 1-3″ storm total still looks just about right for the area.

Later today and this evening, a changeover to freezing drizzle is expected.  Since this is light precipitation, ice accumulations will be very light.

Oh, also, the Springfield National Weather Service radar is down for an upgrade in case anyone trying to access radar images on-line is wondering.


Feb 122012

Slick Conditions Monday AM


I will be doing a live web show talking about our upcoming winter precipitation tonight at 7 pm.  The show is called “Upstream” and it will feature more “geeked out” weather explanations and computer model data.  There is a live chat connected to it as well for folks to ask questions.

The link is on this website and can be viewed here

Winter Precipitation

As you can see, the winter weather advisories have been expanded to include just about all of the Ozarks, eastern Kansas and a large chuck of Oklahoma.

Much of the initial snow aloft will be falling into dry air therefore it will take a bit to start reaching the ground tonight despite the way it may initially look on weather radar.

This will be overcome throughout the morning hours on Monday and I think light snow will start in Springfield around 4 am, give or take an hour or so.  Some of this precipitation will be mixed with sleet especially west and southwest of Springfield.  Sleet generally has the effect of reducing snow totals (it’s not fluffy!)

Totals of 1-2″ inches are expected over a broad area of the Ozarks.  Note that Newton County AR (and counties just to the south) is under a winter storm warning. These elevated areas may see enhanced precipitation totals of up to four inches.

A transition to light freezing precipitation will happen gradually on Monday afternoon.  The type of precipitation is regulated mostly by what happens aloft.  Some of the ice crystals needed for snow may start to disappear which would leave us with freezing drizzle. The jury is still out on exactly when or if this will take place.  One morning model keeps Springfield in light snow throughout much of the day but the temperature profile is so close that a mixture would be the best way to describe it.



Feb 112012
Probability of Snow >4″

Two things:

1) There is a Winter Storm Watch in effect for a portion of the Ozarks. Winter Weather Advisories will likely be in effect by Sunday night.

2) My web show “Upstream” will come back for special weather events!  Expect an installment on Sunday evening at 7 pm.  This can be found on this web site now (not Ceaseless Wind).

If you don’t know, “Upstream” is a special look at weather, kind of “behind the scenes” if you will, which will feature more detail then you can get on T.V. or in blogs.  You can also chat live!  I will provide “linkage” on Sunday.  I did this show daily about two years ago.

A Winter Storm!

Well, this is different!  With our season snowfall total practically non-existent at 1.1″, we have a chance to quadruple it by Monday afternoon.

Actually, I think totals of 4″ will be the exception rather than the rule!. Widespread 1-3″ totals seem a bit more plausible.

Late night model runs are hinting at a later start to the snow, say closer to 6-7 am Monday morning. It has been trending this way during the day.



Feb 112012

One Model's View of Snow (inches) by Monday PM

It looks like we have ourselves the first of what I would call an organized winter storm system.  While the snow and sleet totals expected with this system won’t be outrageous, it’s the timing and relative lack of any real storms this winter which makes this worth noting.

This is forecast to start Sunday night and last into early Monday.  This of course will make travel to work and school Monday morning a bit treacherous.  Temperatures will be far below freezing to start early Monday and will only recover to right around freezing by later that afternoon.

As I mentioned in the first post, this system will feature southerly winds in the lower layers of the atmosphere.  Isn’t a south wind a warm wind?  Yes, usually, but since winter precipitation depends greatly on whether various layers of the atmosphere go above or below freezing, much of this really depends on how cold Monday morning will start and then how effective warming will be later in the day.

Many times in this situation, it actually warms to above freezing in a layer of air above the ground. This fact is indeed which causes sleet and freezing rain, both of which are accomplished when liquid precipitation in the warmer layer falls into the coldest air near the ground and refreezes.  Sleet forms in a deeper cold layer with time to totally refreeze.  Freezing rain hits the ground as raindrops and then freezes.

On Monday, the cold is deep enough for all snow to begin.  Then, as the day progresses, warmer air will begin to modify the precipitation type.  Sleet is more likely to mix in the later in the day it gets and the farther south you are, closer to the source of warmer air.

How much?  The total looks like it will be from around 2 inches to perhaps as much as 4 inches of either snow or a mixure of sleet and snow.

I’ll be updating this blog and have a complete look at the weather on KOLR/KOZL and Ozarks First all weekend.