Kansas City, Mo. – Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012 – NOAA forecasters said just about everybody in the United States will experience some type of precipitation today, with plenty of stormy weather to go around.
The variety of storm systems will include:
Forecasters said a disturbance currently centered over the desert Southwest is moving rapidly to the northeast. It strengthened considerably when it reached the lee of the Rocky Mountains and began interacting with increasingly moist air from the Gulf of Mexico. The result will be blizzard conditions with up to two feet of snow, 40-45 mph winds from this afternoon through Wednesday morning. High winds will cause drifting snow and whiteout conditions, making travel extremely dangerous.
A band of freezing rain and sleet is forecast for areas just south of the snow with ¼ to ½- inch of ice possible over central Minnesota and western Wisconsin.
Severe weather and flooding are also possible today and Wednesday due to the moist and unstable air mass moving north from the Gulf.
Updated forecasts from NOAA’s National Weather Service offices in the path of the winter storm show conditions to have continued to strengthen. Snow accumulation updates include:
Web-based local storm presentations may be found on several office web pages including:
Outside the major storm area, forecasters said there will also be heavy snow today inparts of Utah, New Mexico, Arizona and the Pacific Northwest.
Graphics of short-term winter weather forecasts from NOAA’s Hydrometeorological Prediction Center may be found at http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/wwd/winter_wx.shtml.
Forecasters at NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center identified two areas at Slight Risk of severe weather development today and Wednesday.
Tuesday’s risk area includes parts of Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. See Storm Prediction Center severe weather outlook graphic at: http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/outlook/day1otlk.html.
For Wednesday, the risk area includes parts of Missouri, Arkansas, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. See graphic at http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/outlook/day2otlk.html.
Readings from NOAA’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Center showed 5 river gauge sites around the country at some level of flooding. Two river gauge sites were at Major Flood and three were at Minor Flood. Eleven gauge sites were Near Flood. See map at http://water.weather.gov/ahps/index.php?stage=7.
Precipitation forecasts and graphics are available at http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/qpf/qpf2.shtml.
Access to local National Weather Service information is available by selecting the appropriate office location at http://weather.gov. All segments of the U.S. weather and flood forecasts and outlooks are available through the NOAAWatch briefing page at http://www.noaawatch.gov/briefing.php.
Contact: Public Affairs Specialist Patrick Slattery (816) 268-3135