Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Bizzard Warnings from Colorado to Wisconsin

Surface map for 10:00 am EST December 19, 2012
A potent winter storm is spinning up over southern Colorado and northern New Mexico, and the probabilities for high sustained winds and snow have prompted blizzard warnings for an area extending from northeastern Colorado all the way to southern Wisconsin. Winds from 25-40 mph with gusts from 50 to 55 are expected with this storm in the warned area, beginning this afternoon in Colorado and well into Thursday for Iowa and Wisconsin.

NWS Watch/Warning map for 1:26 pm EST December 19
. Counties in orange are under a Blizzard Warning.

Snowfall north and west of the storm center track will be heavy, with  9 to 12 inches or more of snow expected from southwestern Iowa into southwest Wisconsin. Model runs from this morning are indicating the as much as 18 inches of snow could fall in this band.

Probability of at least 12 inches of snow in the 24 hour period ending  6:00 am CST December 20

Forecast snowfall totals by this morning's run of the GFS model.
Image courtesy of Harris WeatherCaster.

This is a dangerous storm, and everyone in the warned areas should take it very seriously. The combination of wind, snow, and low wind chill values will create life-threatening conditions for anyone caught outside. Even where snowfall amounts are expected to be only a few inches the winds will cause very hazardous travel conditions.

Be sure to check your local National Weather Service web site for the latest updates and information on this storm and its impacts on your area. The next round of forecast updates will be done mid to late afternoon.

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