Winter Storm Heads Towards MidWest

7-9 Inches Mon-Wed From Texas to Michigan; Chicago and Other Locations On The Verge of A Major Winter Storm

December 3, 2011  |   Filed under: Climate,Climate Information,Winter Weather,Winter Weather Information  |   Posted by: 

16+ States Are Likely to be affected by this winter storm! Are you prepared? 

Winter has officially set in as Meteorological Winter Started last Thursday December 2but it sure hasn’t looked like winter or even fall prior to the start of December. Almost all of the Center and Eastern portions of the United States ended up above normal in temperatures. But as quick as warm weather was sent in it will leave in a nippy fashion as we roll towards the weekend. Currently, Storm Central’s Jonny J has been tracking and forecasting the low pressure development of Storm #1 as a swath of snow from Nebraska (northeast) to Michigan. That storm is forecast to drop around a half of foot of snow. On a more nationwide basis, a huge drop in the Jet stream is bringing cold air from Canada all the way south to Texas just in time for yet another Snow Storm.

Storm Central’s Gino Recchia noted this storm system Thursday night as shown by the DJEX model. Since then, this storm has taken over the larger topic in the weather center as this storm has the potential to drop snowfall for at least 16 states come Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday. 

The current low pressure expected to move north east and be in Canada by Sunday is set to send a trailing cold front in it’s wake. That is not only going to set the stage for cold weather but is also forecast to spin up a low pressure between Northeast Texas and Southwest Arkansas. Models have had this storm complex way east and heading up the east coast on Thursday but totally flipped Friday morning. Alike the past storms, this storm has shifted westward a good 200 miles so that puts places areas that weren’t in the forecast for snow on Thursday model runs, on the model runs come Saturday. The low pressure is expected to strengthen over portions of Indiana then continue its north east to north north east pattern up towards Buffalo, New York. The major thing about this storm is going to be its snow side. This storm is going to be a slow developer at first then race north eastward over time. But Oklahoma and Texas will likely see an significant accumulation of snow due to cold air in place and plenty of Gulf Moisture to tap.Reading a few posts, It seems as forecasters are worried about the low pressure sitting their for time after time and picking up plenty of gulf moisture. In fact, their so worried that they are throwing out over 18 Inches of snow in all the wrong areas. Trust us folks… no 18+ Inches in any locations (aside from Mountains).

With every storm complex they always have their share of wild cards and this one has plenty!

  • How far south is this storm going to develop? How long will it sit and inhibit moisture into the system and therefore cause much higher rain and snow totals?
  • The exact track of the system is still undefined but we do know the general area (within 300miles) of track forecast.
  • How far south is the storm system going to track south? Lake effect?

Plenty more wild cards but those are the three major ones. Currently, model runs have noted back east with each run but what I am concerned about is the past 5 storms have all transitioned back westward. For example: Last Monday (Nov 21) Models noted a Chicago 6+ snowfall. Well, look where we are at 10 days later with this storm track 500miles west of Chicago. That very well could occur again and that is what I am concerned about.

Keeping all that in mind, Storm Central has placed a Winter Weather Key with our new and updated graphics. As you can see, from New Mexico to Michigan, you are under “watch for impact”. Please note the picture below to see what key you are currently under. These keys will change over the next day so this key is only valid for Saturday’s Forecast ONLY.

So how much snow are we talking is what everyone wants to know correct? Their is going to be a very narrow band of heavy snow like the previous storm. Some locations are going to see a mix of snow and rain and others are likely to see heavy rain from this which could tally up to over 3 inches.

*Please Note: Instead of releasing an early forecast, Storm Central would like to continue our accurate and precise forecasts by waiting till 3 days out on a tricky forecast like this. So, even though this forecast is out, remember the wild cards and how they can change virtually everything*

Here is what to expect:

-Oklahoma City, Oklahoma- Heavy snow likely to begin Monday Morning and quickly spread into Northeast Oklahoma by Monday Afternoon. Snow will be heavy at times with snow falling at over 1 inch per hour. Winds will not be horrible but an accumulation of at least 6 inches cannot be ruled out. (Just to the east will receive slightly higher amounts of snow) Snow is likely to last well into Tuesday Morning.

-Joplin, Missouri- So Far, Joplin looks to be in a bulls eye if current forecast come through. Heavy snow will spread in Monday night and accumulations between 7-9 inches are a potential with some locations seeing 10 inches of snow nearby. Wind will likely not be a major threat either as sustained winds between 20-30mph. Snow will likely end Tuesday evening.

-Springfield, Illinois- Springfield is also looking to get a decent accumulation with at least 6 inches of snow. Higher accumulations are a potential.

-Fort Wayne/Bluffton, Indiana Locations- Either way you move it, you are in for a solid snow event. A potential 6+ is in the forecast with most locations ending up with a 7-9 inch effect. Heavy snow at times will fall with winds between 20-30 sustained. Snow should begin Tuesday morning and last into Wednesday morning.

-Chicago, Illinois- Chicago is right on the verge of snow in this forecast. Due to model runs trending east again, we may come out with nothing. But, like other storms, this one should make a bit of a left turn and place some snow in the City and south. North suburbs could luck out. The track of this storm varies as the lake machine could turn on and add to some extra accumulations on Wednesday morning.

-Grand Rapids, Michigan- Another tricky forecast due to the track of the system but Grand Rapids should receive at least a half of foot of snow, if not more, out of this storm complex.

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25 Tornadoes across seven states so far, another system next week

Published on November 17, 2011 8:00 am PT
– By TWS Senior Meteorologist
– Edited by Staff Editor

( – A string of severe storms moved from mainly Louisiana to the Carolinas between Tuesday and Wednesday, which proved fatal in some cases as damaging winds and tornadoes struck.

So far 25 tornadoes hit from Texas to the Carolinas. One of those supercells travelled from Louisiana, eastward to the South Carolina coast. This was a long tracking supercell, but a long track tornado did not form from it. It dropped tornadoes along the path, none of them through most, or the entire length.

A similar system will try again for the Southeastern United States next week, stay tuned .


Another San Antonio, TX Earthquake

Earth moves again for San Antonians

Updated 06:16 p.m., Saturday, November 12, 2011

SAN ANTONIO – A magnitude 3.3 earthquake shook a rural area south of San Antonio early Saturday morning.

The quake, with its epicenter about 44 miles southeast of the city, struck at about 4:35 a.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

No damage was reported.

A 4.8 magnitude quake that struck the area last month was the largest ever recorded since USGS began keeping track.

Experts say smaller earthquakes are not uncommon for the area.

Alan Dutton, chairman of the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Texas at San Antonio, has told the Express-News that the region generally gets a tremor every two to four years, more or less.

The largest quake ever recorded in Texas history happened Aug. 16, 1931. It had a magnitude of 5.8, and its epicenter was near Valentine, in Jeff Davis County in far West Texas.


Southern Plains Severe Weather Alert

Severe weather, including Tornadoes likely on Monday for the South U.S. Plains

Published on November 5, 2011 9:40 am PT
– By TWS Senior Meteorologist
– Edited by Staff Editor

( – A storm system will move out of Southern California through Arizona on Sunday. This system will move eastward and impact Northwest Texas to Western Oklahoma in the form of supercells with a tornado setup developing. 

We usually want to wait for these things to get a bit closer for details to run the numbers for the Tornado Risk Model and this seems about the right time to get a ‘general’ idea of the setup

An upper level jet streak will be moving through the New Mexico and Western Texas border on Monday evening. This will provide the needed upper level divergence across the Eastern Texas Panhandle, down to Childress.

This upper level divergence, strong instability, good dewpoint/temp value, low level shear, and even convergence at the surface will make for a severe weather setup, including tornadoes on Monday evening.

This zone will be narrowed down and does issue Tornado Watches on this site for viewers that are interested. Those watches appear on the top right of all articles and the main page when issued and one might be needed on Monday should trends continue.

The main threat will be hail, but the Tornado Model numbers indicate a yellow/red value which is good enough for EF1 to EF2 type tornadoes on the south end of the storm system, over and around Childress, Texas.


Texas Earthquake 10/20

Moderate extremely shallow earthquake in Atascosa County, Texas, United States

Last update: October 20, 2011 at 8:06 pm by By 

Shaking map, Texas October 20 2011 earthquake – courtesy USGS

Update 18:07 UTC :  The region southeast of San Antonio has experienced earthquakes before. There was a 4.3 magnitude earthquake in 1993 near the same location, and there have been smaller quakes recorded back to the 1970s.

Update :  It looks that we are lucky that the epicenter is located in a rural area without many houses and buildings.

Update :  Intensity in relation to villages / cities:
Light shaking: Karnes City, Poth, Kenedy, Floresville, Pleasanton, Three Rivers
Weak shaking: Corpus Christi (277,000), San Antonio (1,257,000), New Braunfels    (46,000), Victoria (62,000) and San Marcos (47,000)

Update :  According to USGS, 77 people will have felt a MMI VII very strong shaking. Damages are not excluded at this intensity. 166 people a strong shaking and 3,000 people a moderate shaking.  639,000 a light shaking and finally 2,490,000 people a weak to very weak shaking.

Update :  We received I Have Felt It reports from Austin to Corpus Christi.

Update :  The uncertainty of the epicenter location is horizontally  +/- 19.3 km (12.0 miles) and vertically (depth) +/- 3.1 km (1.9 miles). In other words the epicenter can be located below another village than mentioned.

Other locations in the epicenter area : KenedyFalls CityChristinePleasanton and Jourdanton.
Preliminary data show that the earthquake has been felt as far as Austin, Texas

to read more, and for updates, go to:


Weekend Storms for Tornado Alley — OK & TX

Supercells will return to Tornado Alley on Saturday

Published on September 16, 2011 12:45 pm PT
– By Kevin Martin – Senior Meteorologist
– Article Editor and Approved – Warren Miller

( —
 A storm system ejecting out of the Southwestern United States today will set the stage for severe weather across the plains on Saturday. 
As of right now there are several dynamics coming into play that will promote severe thunderstorms with mainly a hail and wind threat. Strong instability along the dryline will promote rapid growth around the Texas and Oklahoma borders, west and southwest side of the state.

These storms will be developing in an area of increasing low level shear by the evening which could support a brief tornado chance. There are dynamics such as boundary layer stabilization that will diminish the tornado probability toward the evening and early night hours so again this window is very small.


Snyder, Texas Earthquake

Shallow magnitude 4.4 earthquake close to Snyder, Texas

Last update: September 12, 2011 at 2:13 pm by By 

Earthquake overview : At 07:27 AM local time, a short moderate earthquake struck the Snyder area. Too weak to create damage or injuries, but strong enough to scare people for a couple of seconds.

Update 21:56 UTC :  We have noticed 2 +2aftershocks so far :
– 20:31 UTC or  03:31 PM LT –  2.7 magnitude @ 5 km : Epicenter location
– 18:36 UTC or  01:36 PM LT –  2.5 magnitude @ 5 km : Epicenter location

Update 20:20 UTC : was this quake caused by fracking of the oil industry ?  This a a (nameless) comment we received a couple of minutes ago : “i slept thru it but i work in the oil fields near and around where the earth quake struk and i am confident in saying it was caused by man. we dig and drill and extract and frac the earth leaving cavities. This wont be the last quake we create. When we will see what we are doing is creating vast damages to our earth.”

What is fracking?
The process of drilling down and creating tiny explosions to shatter and crack hard shale rocks to release the gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well. The process is carried out vertically or, more commonly, by drilling horizontally to the rock layer. The process can create new pathways to release gas or can be used to extend existing channels.
There are also worries that the fracking process can cause small earth tremors. Currently we have a lot of discussion whether the Virginia earthquakes were also triggered by fracking.

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Governor Perry VS Firefighters

As a former Emergency Medical Technician, I can attest to the necessity of proper and state of the art equipment in responding to emergencies on all levels and in all situations. You cannot respond to a critical situation with only the hope that your supplies will be there. You can only respond confidently KNOWING that you have adequate, up to date, and effective materials. Emergency Services deal with matters of life and death, sometimes their own. If one does a bit of soul searching, I am sure that you would agree that your life is worth the price of a non-rebreather, oxygen, fuel, even a fire hose. Any responsible politician would have to agree.

In Rick Perry’s Texas, Firefighters Forced To Pay For Gear, Engine Fuel

Rick Perry

Under Gov. Rick Perry, Texas has slashed firefighting budgets.

Posted: 9/9/11 07:56 PM ET

WASHINGTON — In Texas, firefighters aren’t just battling the wild fires raging around Austin and Houston. The state’s first responders have also had to deal with budget cuts affecting everything from fuel purchases to hoses and oxygen tanks.

In some cases, fire officials say, firefighters have had to pay out of pocket for basic necessities like proper protective gear and fuel to get them to the scene. One fire department that battled the blazes in Bastrop County had to pay for a hose, recalled Bastrop City Fire Chief Henry Perry, speaking to The Huffington Post during a break from working the wild fires.

“That fire department has been on this fire every day,” he said. “Before this fire, they were having to buy stuff out of their own pocket.” Perry said he knows of at least one other department whose firemen had to pay for equipment maintenance and engine fuel.

Earlier this week, HuffPost reported that Gov. Rick Perry, the GOP front-runner for president, had signed off on millions in firefighting cuts as part of the state’s most recent budget legislation. The Texas Forest Service’s funding has gone from $117.7 million in the 2010-2011 budget years to $83 million in the 2012-2013 budget years.

Severe cuts have also hit assistance grants to volunteer fire departments throughout Texas. The grants decreased from $30 million per year in 2010 and 2011 to $13.5 million per year in 2012 and 2013. These are cuts that firemen are now dealing with.

“I don’t agree with it. I understand what Governor Perry did,” said Henry Perry (no relation). “Do I like it? No. I don’t like it at all.”

The cuts come at a time when Texas fire departments have already been slowing purchases of new fire trucks and other critical equipment as a way to save money, said Guy Turner, president of the Texas State Association of Fire Fighters. The association had endorsed Perry in his re-election for governor in 2010.
“What I fear will happen is equipment will start to fail and put our members at peril,” Turner explained. “You can imagine if you’re inside a structure fire and your engine quits.”

Turner doesn’t have to imagine it. He said he knows of firefighters whose breathing apparatus has malfunctioned during fires. There have also been “instances of hoses failing during the course of firefighting operations.”

“For years, public safety was the golden calf — that we were untouchable,” Turner said. “Nobody’s untouchable. It is a shame. They are basically putting a price on how much our lives are worth. It’s disturbing at best.”

for the rest of the story, go to:

Texas Wildfires

Central Texas wildfire destroys nearly 800 homes

APBy JIM VERTUNO – Associated Press | AP 

BASTROP, Texas (AP) — Firefighting crews started Wednesday to gain control of a wind-stoked blaze that has raged unchecked across parched Central Texas for days, leaving hundreds of charred properties in its wake and causing thousands of people to flee.

As the crisis unfolded, Gov. Rick Perry flew off to a Republican presidential debate in California as authorities commanded operations fighting the disaster.

At least two people have died in the wildfire, which destroyed nearly 800 homes and blackened about 45 square miles (116 square kilometers) in and around the city of Bastrop, outside Austin, the state capital.

The Texas Forest Service said Wednesday that blaze had consumed 785 homes, making it the most catastrophic of the fires that have erupted in the past week across Texas. One of the most devastating wildfire outbreaks in state history has caused four deaths and pulled the state’s firefighting ranks to the limit.

But Bastrop County Judge Ronnie McDonald also sounded an optimistic tone, saying firefighters had a “good night” and that no new structures were lost overnight in the battle to contain the 33,000-acre (13,350-hectare) blaze about 25 miles east of Austin. Containment remained at 30 percent.

The forest service said it responded to a total of 19 new fires Wednesday totaling 1,490 acres (600 hectares) across the state, bringing the count over the past week to more than 170 fires consuming more than 130,000 acres (52,600 hectares).

Texas Task Force 1, an elite search team that was sent to New York following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and to New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, will be assisting in Bastrop.

The team has dogs that can help look for people trapped in debris, Chief Bob McKee told The Associated Press. “We also have human remains canines that would scent on deceased persons or animals,” McKee said.

Crews finally got a reprieve Tuesday from winds pushed in by Tropical Storm Lee that whipped the blaze into an inferno over the weekend. Texas Forest Service spokeswoman April Saginor said the lighter winds were assisting firefighters in their efforts.

“Even though the fuels are critically dry, the grass is dry and the relative humidity is still pretty low, they were able to take advantage of lower winds,” Saginor said.

Perry cut short a presidential campaign trip to South Carolina to deal with the crisis, and on Tuesday toured a blackened area near Bastrop.

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More Texas & Oklahoma Wildfires

Wildfires again rage through Texas and Oklahoma

ReutersBy Marice Richter | Reuters – Wed, Aug 31, 2011
DALLAS (Reuters) – Wildfires raged through Texas and Oklahoma again on Wednesday, threatening homes and buildings and charring thousands of acres of parched, dry land.

The Texas Forest Service has declared this to be the worst fire season in the state’s history. Forest service officials, along with firefighters in communities across the state have responded to 20,155 fires that have burned a record 3.5 million acres since last November 15.

Six of the 10 largest wildfires recorded in Texas occurred in April and 20 of the 40 largest were recorded this year, according to the forest service. Fires this year have destroyed 3,000 structures, including 679 homes.

The danger is not over as new fires continued to break out due to hot, dry weather and extreme drought that persists throughout most of the state.

In North Texas, firefighters were still trying to control a massive fire that erupted in a lakefront community west of Fort Worth on Tuesday.

Central Oklahoma remained under a red flag fire warning on Wednesday, the day after a wildfire destroyed 33 homes in northeast Oklahoma City.

Evacuations at Possum Kingdom Lake, about 75 miles west of Fort Worth, resumed Wednesday afternoon when the wind picked up and fanned the flames that firefighters had some success in containing overnight.

“As soon as the wind picked up, the fires started spreading quickly again,” said John Nichols, a spokesman for the Texas Forest Service.

The fire destroyed at least 39 homes and buildings and burned more than 6,200 acres by Wednesday evening. Property owners in several neighborhoods around the lake were evacuated by boat to a hotel on another area on Tuesday because roads were cutoff by the flames.

But as the fire again quickly spread on Wednesday, those evacuees were again forced to flee, along with others from neighborhoods that were unaffected on Tuesday.

“Fortunately we were able to move our car yesterday before it got too bad,” said resident Laura Kirklen. “We heard a local church was sending a bus for some of those who had no other way out.”

Firefighters were battling the fast-moving fire from the ground and air. Heavy air tankers, single-engine aircraft and helicopters were dumping water on the fires. Possum Kingdom Lake was the sight of the state’s fifth largest recorded wildfire in April, when more than 160 homes were destroyed and over 126,000 acres were burned during two weeks.

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