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Friday, December 31, 2010

Winter Severe Weather Outbreak

A strong and quickly moving frontal boundary is making its way across the southern and central US spawning a tornado outbreak. The line of storms are currently located over the eastern borders of Arkansas and Missouri and western Kentucky and Tennessee. The line of storms are moving at a northeasterly direction. As of 0302 UTC on 01/01/11 (8:02 pm MST) there have been 31 tornado reported (
The first tornado touched down at 1205 UTC (605 am CST) on the far northeastern boarder of Oklahoma in Westville, OK and possibly continued or redeveloped over Cincinnati, AR at 1209 UTC (609 am CST). There were homes and barns damaged with three deaths reported. Multiple tornadoes have also developed over eastern Missouri, western and central Illinois, and central Mississippi. As of right now there have been 6 death  confirmed, 3 in Arkansas and 3 in Missouri.** ( 
The low pressure system and frontal boundary will make its way easterly with more severe storms developing along the frontal boundary line in the south and snow showers in the north. As the system moves off into the Atlantic and eastern Canada, colder temperatures will set in.  
**For a meteorologist to hear that there have been deaths as a result of a weather event is devastating. With weather as our passion and knowing that deaths could have possibly been prevented fuels us to educate ourselves even more so that deaths could be prevented in the future. We believe that one of the most important jobs as a meteorologist is to inform the public whenever possible.


Winter 2010's First and Last Major Storm

2010's last weather hurrah came in the form of rain, snow, sleet, and severe weather across the nation.   A pacific low pressure system and an Arctic air mass delivered a one-two punch to much of the nation over the past few days.  The west coast got rain, that quickly turned to snow in  higher elevations.  The precipitation  then spread east and south, causing Winter Storm Watches and Warnings to be issued, as well as Blizzard Warnings across much of the Midwest.  Snow began to fall in many locations on Wednesday, and as much as a foot fell in the Rocky Mountains. The Front Range was under a Winter Storm Warning, and Winter Storm Advisories.  Cheyenne and much of south eastern Wyoming was under a Blizzard warning as well.  The mountains saw the most snow from this storm, getting up to a foot in some locations.  The front range saw anywhere from 3-8 inches, which was on the lower end of what was forecast.  The reason this storm didn't produce as much snow as it had the potential to, was because temperatures dropped too rapidly and too low.  Put simply, it got too cold to form snowflakes.  As this storm gradually moves off to the northeast, winds will increase as the pressure gradient tightens.  Winds will mainly be gusty towards the north, especially into Wyoming, and will continue through the weekend.  This will cause hazardous driving conditions in many locations, including along I-80. 

This is our first blog post, and just a sample of what this blog will be like.  When major weather events are on the horizon we will be putting out our forecast and updating them as the event gets closer.  As events affect our area and move out, we will provide up-to-date information on what is happening and an overview, like this one, of the weather event.

Questions and comments are encouraged and welcomed, as well as any input and advice for this blog.  Feel free to comment, and/or email at