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Major Winter Storm System Will Bring A Variety Of Impacts To The Central, Southern, And Eastern U.S. Through The Weekend

An impactful winter storm will track from the Plains to New England through Sunday, with bitter cold behind it. Heavy snow is likely from the Corn Belt to interior Northeast, with significant ice accumulations in the Ohio Valley and New England. Farther south, heavy rain could lead to flooding in the Tennessee Valley on Saturday, with isolated severe thunderstorms in the lower Mississippi Valley. Read More >

Overview

The combination of an anomalously high precipitable water for this time of year worked in concert with strong synoptic-scale lift, as shortwave energy lifting through the region took on a negative tilt, to bring accumulating wet, heavy snow across much of the Upper Peninsula on Monday, January 7th, 2019. As the mid-level trough axis shifted from a neutral to negative tilt throughout the event, this allowed ongoing strong warm air advection/istentropic lift and vorticity advection to line up, favoring strong, deep lift across the region. Snow that fell took on a very wet, dense characteristics as the majority of the lift fell outside of the dendritic growth zone. This wet, heavy snow make for very difficult travel at times across the Upper Peninsula, especially Monday morning through the afternoon hours. The highest snowfall amounts were observed across central and eastern Upper Michigan, and then across the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula where southeast winds aided in additional moisture off of the Great Lakes and lift was locally enhanced due to upslope flow across the areas. 

Radar Loop
Radar loop that shows the initial surge of snow early Monday Morning across all of Upper Michigan, and then additional wet, heavy snow impacting mainly the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula and central and eastern Upper Michigan through the rest of the day on Monday.
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Mesoscale Discussion Issued by the Storm Prediction Center just before 11am EST highlighting the potential for high snowfall rates. Details can be found at: https://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/md/md0011.html Mid-level water vapor showing a tropic connection to remnants of Pacific Moisture feeding into our winter storm ahead of the main longwave trough moving across the central CONUS late Sunday night into early Monday morning. The tropical connection allowed for anomalously deep moisture, all the way through 500 mb (around 15,000-20,000 feet above ground level). Image courtesy of the NWS Western Region Ensemble Situational Awareness Table.
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