Tim's Weather World: Don't put the shovel away yet

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Brewing in the southwest is potentially the biggest snowstorm of the season so far (for most of us).  Nearly a dozen states have some type of winter storm watch or warning hoisted.  Hardest hit will be Kansas with more than a foot of snow possible.  Snow cover across the US should expand significantly with this storm.  Currently, 33.9% of the US is reporting snow cover with an average depth of 5.1″.

 

Locally, models are suggesting about 3 to 6 inches of the white stuff with most falling early Friday.  Our RPM model (top image below) is more aggressive with 5.5″ at O’Hare while the GFS is spitting out 3.5″. Our biggest snowfall so far this winter was 2.7″ on February 3rd and 4th.

 

Tim RPM Snow Accum ADI

Tim GFS Snow Accum ADI

Speaking of snow…

 

According to a recent study there may be more blizzards in the future for the US but less snow overall.   The Journal of Climate has more on this confusing contradiction.  While computer models are forecasting a fall in global snowfall over the next half-century (30-70% for the US), we have been hit by nearly twice as many “extreme” snowstorms this past half-century compared to the previous 50 years.  In other words, if this trend continues and models are correct, we can expect shorter snow seasons with less total snowfall but an occasional blizzard or even historic snowstorm.

 

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