SNOWFALL TOTALS FROM SUPER BOWL SUNDAY'S SNOWSTORM
DETROIT'S SNOW TOTAL OF 16.7" FOR 2/1 - 2/2/15, PUT IT IN 3RD PLACE FOR
BIGGEST SNOWSTORM ON RECORD GOING BACK TO 1880.
Snowfall Totals from the February 1-2, 2015 Winter Storm /NWS - DTX/A strong low pressure system developed across the Great Plains and drifted across lower Michigan on Sunday and Sunday night. Snow began in the southern counties around 1am Sunday and snowed continuously throughout the day on Sunday. Better moisture arrived by mid-afternoon resulting in heavier snowfall rates (up to an inch per hour in some locations). The system finally pushed east of the region round 7am Monday morning. This long duration winter storm resulted in snowfall totals between 9 and 15 inches across the Metro Detroit area, with slightly lower amounts across the Thumb and Saginaw Valley regions (3-6 inches).
Update 2/1/15 - Posted 240PM 2/1/15
As discussed the past few days; our ongoing snowstorm has shown increasing classic
atmospheric phasing; resulting in an outstanding moisture supply and good dynamics for
a major snowstorm across much of Southeast Lower Michigan (see blog updates below
this update)! Yesterday and this morning; the Weather Prediction Center of the NWS in Maryland
agreed with my analysis yesterday (update 1/31/15) on why we had/have the makings of a major,
notable snowstorm across the Southern Great Lakes and Northern Ohio Valley (see below):
PROBABILISTIC HEAVY SNOW AND ICING DISCUSSION NWS WEATHER PREDICTION CENTER COLLEGE PARK MD 420 PM EST SAT JAN 31 2015 VALID 00Z SUN FEB 01 2015 - 00Z WED FEB 04 2015
...CENTRAL PLAINS/MID TO UPPER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY TO NORTHEAST... QUITE POSSIBLY THE MOST EXTENSIVE WINTER STORM OF THE SEASON WILL IMPACT PARTS OF THE MIDWEST INTO THE NORTHEAST ON SUN AND MON. AN AGGRESSIVE AND SHARP NORTHERN STREAM SHORTWAVE TROUGH WILL AMPLIFY OVER THE NORTHERN/CENTRAL PLAINS ON SUNDAY AS IT INCORPORATES SOUTHERN STREAM DYNAMICS AND ANOMALOUS MOISTURE CONTENT EMANATING FROM THE SOUTHWEST. THIS WILL RESULT IN A SURFACE WAVE DEVELOPING SUN MORNING OVER THE LOWER MO/MID MS VALLEYS. THIS LOW IS EXPECTED DEEPEN AND TRACK EASTWARD...REACHING THE LOWER OH VALLEY BY SUN EVENING AND THE UPPER OH VALLEY/CENTRAL APPALACHIANS BY MON MORNING. ANOMALOUS PWS FROM MID-HIGH LEVEL MOISTURE FROM THE PACIFIC/SUBTROPICAL JET AND LOW-LEVEL GULF OF MEXICO MOISTURE WILL SURGE OVER AN EXPANDING COLD SECTOR ASSOCIATED WITH A POLAR/ARCTIC SURFACE RIDGE. THE TREND OF THE GUIDANCE OVER THE LAST FEW DAYS IS TO GRADUALLY SHIFT NORTHWARD THE WEST TO EAST AXIS OF FROZEN PRECIP. FOR DAY 1...SUN MORNING INTO EARLY MON...THE GUIDANCE HAS SETTLED ON A HEAVY SNOWFALL AXIS ALONG THE MICH/IND/OH BORDERS INTO THE LOWER LAKES REGION...WHERE A SLIGHT TO MODERATE PROBABILITY OF A FOOT OR MORE HAS BEEN INDICATED.
The latest prognostication, surface, radar and satellite data all continue this trend with
just a slight upward tweaking of both amounts and area coverage. I do believe we will
most likely place in the top 25 biggest snowstorms at Detroit with a good chance in the
foot or better category.
SNOWSTORM TOTALS AND WEATHER FORECAST:
Snow, heavy at times with considerable blowing and drifting later afternoon into the night. Winds will pick up from northeast at 15 to 25 mph and gusty, becoming north on Monday. Snowfall, with considerable blowing and drifting snow will create near blizzard conditions at times (the winds must at least frequently gust to 35 MPH for a blizzard). Temperatures will drop to around 8 far north to teens south by Monday morning. Ironically, Monday morning is Groundhog Day and I suspect he might be buried and downright crabby if he is pulled out of his hutch; both here and in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania!
Snow Amount Estimates:
Again; I feel the general model trend and intensification are better inline to what I'm seeing most likely for the event: There will be a somewhat sharp line of demarcation from north to south with this system with highest amounts generally to the south of the delineated area. Look for 4" - 7" north/south in the Saginaw Valley and Thumb Region; 7" - around 12" from the Flint area east across to Port Huron (I-69) and then; south into the Ann Arbor area to Metro Detroit. Further south across the 1-94 corridor to the Ohio border; 12 - 14+" of snow is possible.
Update -1/31/15 - Posted 343 PM 1/31/15
First of all up front; let's define Super Snow; when I first sent that out in the title I was thinking of one of our bigger snowstorms in Southeast Lower Michigan; particularly in Detroit where the heaviest snow of the three cities was expected (and still is). I had envisioned of snowstorms of a foot or more when looking at the chart below. As one can see by the chart in which I developed years ago at the NWS for the net (and is kept up to date by the NWS), it's not that easy to officially get a foot or more with just 12 times since 1880 it happening (good way to remember; 12 for 12). Therefore; I thought that would be a good place to start when using the play on words and title "Super Snow For Super Bowl Sunday" At that time, the chances looked fairly low for a foot or more when first issued. Now I'm not so sure they are that low...
Detroit's Heaviest Snow Storms
|1||April 6, 1886||24.5|
|2||December 1-2, 1974||19.3|
|3||March 4-5, 1900||16.1|
|4||February 28-March 1, 1900||14.0|
|6||February 12-13 1894||12.8|
|7||February 19, 1908||12.6|
|8||January 31-February 1,1881||12.5|
|16||January 2-3, 1999||11.3|
|17||December 19-20, 1973||11.2|
|19||March 7-8, 1931||11.1|
|20||January 13-14, 1992||11.1|
|21||December 31, 2013-January 2, 2014||11.1|
|22||February 25-26, 1965||11.0|
|23||December 4-5, 1898||10.6|
|24||January 4-5, 2014||10.6|
|25||January 6, 1994||10.3|
*NOTE: DETROIT'S 16.7" SNOW TOTAL FOR 2/1-2/2/15 PUT IT 3RD PLACE FOR BIGGEST SNOWSTORM ON RECORD GOING BACK TO 1880.
Latest guidance has ramped up a major (or worst - best if you are snowstorm nut) snowstorm for extreme Southeast Lower Michigan; while still somewhat lesser amounts north of the Flint into Port Huron. As mentioned in previous blog last night; the moisture and dynamics with this system were coming together for this to be a better, more developed Ohio Valley storm that actually slows down some as it approaches western Pennsylvania on Monday.
It's been my observation over the years, usually these St Louie lows are good achievers (but still not as good as the Gulf Low) in their own right as they "paddle-boat" moisture in from the Gulf while they form and develop while moving across the Ohio Valley. What was originally missing like many times (or at least was questionable) was the phasing or interaction of the dynamics in the upper levels to affect the lower levels of the atmosphere. These dynamics are in the form of short wave energy from the northern Pacific, southern Canada and the Central Pacific - which is observed as a "Cut-off Low" (cut off from the main jet stream). Therefore; the amount of energy that was needed to come together to lift and support the increasing moisture pulled north from the SW and Gulf was questionable to produce a major storm.
This distant player in this system is indeed, the large upper low system of the Baja area of California into the Southwest. Even while remaining nearly stationary, it still has been able to pinwheel spokes of energy and moisture from the Pacific over the southwest part of the country. This moisture has been pushed broadly upward into the south and even central part of the country. While the main system stays put, still enough energy and moisture is forecast to be tapped to aid in development of this major Ohio Valley system. See maps and explanations below:
Snowfall and weather forecast:
Snow will commence during the early morning hours of Sunday. Look for the snow to become heavy at times as the day wears on along with a stiffening northeast wind at 10 to 20 mph. Snow, heavy at times with considerable blowing and drifting later afternoon into the night. Winds will pick up from northeast at 15 to 25 mph and gusty, becoming north on Monday. Considerable blowing and drifting snow with temperatures dropping into the teens to lower 20s by Monday morning. Ironically, Monday morning is Groundhog Day and I suspect he might be buried and downright crabby if he is pulled out of his hutch; both here and in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania!
Snow Amount Estimates:
I feel the general model trend and intensification are better inline to what I'm seeing most likely for the event: There will be a rather sharp line of demarcation from north to south with this system with highest amounts generally to the south of the delineated area. Look for 2" - 4" north/south in the Saginaw Valley and Thumb Region; 5" - 10" from the Flint area east across to Port Huron and then; south into the Ann Arbor area to Metro Detroit. Further south across the Southeast corner of Lower Michigan 8" - 12" of snow is possible. If the storm deepens further and slows down more - some isolated 12"+ amounts are possible in those areas.
Latest European Model Monday Morn 2/2/15:
Bill Deedler -SEMI_WeatherHistorian