National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Storm Moving through the South; Pacific Storm to Impact the West this Weekend

A storm is expected to develop over the southern High Plains today and track to the Mid-Atlantic through Friday with showers and thunderstorms. On the northern edge, snow, ice, and/or a wintry mix is possible over the central Plains. A significant storm is expected to arrive late Friday through the weekend with rain, heavy mountain snow, and gusty winds for much of the West. Read More >

February 24th - 25th 2016
Snowstorm


 

Overview

Snowfall Map and Reports

What Caused this Event? 

Radar Loop 

Pictures

Other Useful Links

 


Overview

A vigorous disturbance embedded with the subtropical branch of the jet stream lifted out of Texas early on the 23rd and phased with a northern stream disturbance crossing the northern plains.  This system intensified rapidly, eventually closing off across southern Indiana on the 24th.  A pronounced deep moisture surge out of the Gulf of Mexico combined with just enough cold air in place at the surface, resulted in a signficant winter storm for portions of the Great Lakes.  While heavy snow fell over eastern Illinois northeastward across northern Indiana and much of lower Michgan, enough warm air wrapped into the intensifying cyclone to change the precipitation over to rain across east central Indiana and western Ohio.
 

As the system lifted out into southeast Canada the night of the 24th, residual moisture combined with renewed cold air crossing Lake Michigan resulted in considerable lake enhanced snowfall over northern Indiana and southwest Michigan. Most locations here received between 6" and 12" of snow with pockets of heavier snow noted over northern La Porte, Porter and Lake counties with 17.8" measured at the La Porte COOP station.


Snowfall Map and Reports

Below is a map of general snowfall reports across the area.

2 day snowfall

Click here for Snowfall Reports

Click here for Peak Wind Gusts


What Caused This Event?

 
Surface Analysis Loop from 7 pm Tuesday through 1 am Thursday
Radar Loop
This loop shows the track of the surface cyclone from northeast LA on the evening of Feb 23th to western NY by early morning Thursday.


 

Radar Loop from 330 am Wednesday through 927 am Thursday
Radar Loop
This loop shows how persistent the strong radar echoes (dark blues - moderate precipitation, purples - heavy precipitation) were across northwest and north central Indiana for a several hour period on Wednesday, from early morning well into the evening.  Additional lake enhancement developed Wednesday night and continue through mid morning Thursday dropping several inches of additional snow.


 

Regional Radar Loop and 700mb Frontogenesis
from 330 AM CST Wednesday through 1130 PM CST Wednesday
Radar Loop
A regional view of the radar evolution for a similar time period on Wednesday shows how this event evolved around a deepening low pressure center.  This analysis shows what the low pressure system looked like approximately 9000' above the surface, which was an area of the atmosphere where there was strong support for snow production during this event.  The purple contours on the north and west side of the low center align along the west edge of the persistent radar echoes.  This is not surprising considering these purple contours show where forcing for upward motion and snowfall development was strongest at this level of the atmosphere.  Within the axis of strongest forcing, the upward motion will be most favored toward the warmer side, which in this case was the eastern side of the contours. Courtesy WFO LOT


 

Water Vapor Satellite Loop
from 615 PM CST Monday 2/22 through 945 AM CST Thursday 2/25
WV Satellite Loop
Here is an even wider view showing a multi-day evolution of this strong low pressure system across the eastern United States from the perspective of the GOES-East Satellite Water Vapor channel. In addition to bringing heavy snowfall and dangerous blizzard conditions to the Great Lakes, this very large storm system also was responsible for a significant severe weather outbreak on Tuesday along the Gulf Coast and on Wednesday along the Atlantic Coast. Courtesty WFO LOT


 


Pictures

Robb Quinn - Lake Michigan Lighthouse Valparaiso IN
Mario Sanchez - Westville IN Jolene Hardwick - Michigan City IN Rob Archer - Ligonier IN Scott Taylor - Hillsdale MI
Scott Taylor - Moscow MI Amy Lane - Kouts IN

 


Other Useful Links


Updated 2/27/2016 5:30 AM EST