March 16-17 Storm

March 16 -17 Storm

Large Upper Level Storm System brings snow, freezing rain, sleet and thunderstorms to the region.

 A large potent low pressure brought a variety of winter weather across the Tri State Area. For the latest information on this storm please see the latest Hazardous Weather Outlook, Winter Weather Statement, Weather Story of the Day, and Storm Total Snow Graphic.

Storm Reports

Location Snow (inches) Total Precipitation (inches)
4 miles E Vernon, CO 4 0.34
Goodland, KS 1.1 0.17
St. Francis, KS 3 unknown
2 miles N Densmore, KS Trace 0.50
16 miles NNE Wakenny, KS 0 0.68
Wray, CO 5

unknown

1 mile E Hill City, KS 0 0.57
Parks, NE 4 unknown
Oakley, KS 0 0.70
4 miles SSW Winona, KS 0 0.88

Synopsis

A powerful upper level low pressure system moved into the four corners area during the evening of March 16th. Although this system stayed well to the south of the area, southeasterly winds ahead of this system allowed for ample moisture to return to the region creating a large band of snow across the northwest half of the Tri State area early in the evening. The following images give a brief overview of what was taking place around 8 pm MDT on March 16th.

Click on Image to Enlarge...The image displays the Water Vapor Satellite image (which shows water vapor at mid and upper levels in the atmosphere) with the height field at 400 mb (upper level of the atmosphere). In the satellite image, greens indicate ample moisture at the mid and upper levels, while brown indicates drier air. Click on image to enlarge
730 pm MDT 400 mb heights and Water Vapor Imagery 8 pm MDT Radar Reflectivity

As the system continued to slowly drift to the east, precipitation became more widespread across the area. A band of heavy snow was observed along a Pueblo...Yuma....North Platte and Broken Bow line. Thunderstorms also began to develop (yellow image on water vapor image) across southwestern Kansas which were also apparent on radar imagery.
Click on image to enlarge. The above image is the Water Vapor Satellite image (which shows water vapor at mid and upper levels in the atmosphere) with the height field at 400 mb (upper level of the atmosphere). In the satellite image, greens indicate ample moisture at the mid and upper levels, while brown indicates drier air. Click on image to enlarge

130 AM MDT Water Vapor/400 mb heights

130 AM MDT Radar Reflectivity

Strong southeasterly winds continued pull moisture northward into the Tri State Area. This increase in moisture destablized the atmosphere enough to alllow for weak thunderstorms to develop into the extreme southeastern portion of the area. The following images show infared satellite and lightning strikes. These weak thunderstorms can also be seen on regional radar data (below), and appear as the more cellular looking returns. These storms did not produce any sever weather, but did produce periods of moderate rain with rainfall rates around a quarter of an inch per hour.

 
Click on image to enlarge Click on image to enlarge

 5 AM MDT Infared/1 hour Lightning Strikes

615 Infared/1 hour Lightning Strikes

Click Image to Enlarge
5 AM MDT Radar reflectivity
Water Vapor satellite and 500 mb heights at 10AM MDT Radar image from 10 AM MDT
10 AM MDT Water Vapor/500 heights/lightning 10 AM MDT Radar

 

At 10 AM MDT, even though the center of the low pressure system was moving closer to the region, dry air being advected into the region had led to the majority of the precipitation ending in the Tri-State region. However, many areas still had freezing fog and drizzle.



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