Blizzard blasts the southern plains

While we will be enjoying a rather mild day today, a severe blizzard is blasting the southern plains. Blizzard Warnings have been posted from eastern New Mexico across the Texas panhandle, much of Oklahoma and into Kansas. More than a foot of snow could pile up across that area and get blown around by winds gusting over 50 mph.

Many roads have been closed.

At the center of the whiteout is Amarillo, Texas, where heavy snow has been falling and the north wind has been gusting almost to 60 mph. The headline from the National Weather Service Office in Amarillo has issued the headline “Crippling, Historic Blizzard Expected Today.”

AMA blizzard feb 25.jpg

credit:NWS Amarillo

It’s looking troublesome for Kansas, also, where the NWS is referring to it as the “Blizzard of Oz.”

Kansas blizzard feb 25.png

credit:NWS Wichita

In the warm air southeast of the snow, a severe weather and flooding event due to persistent heavy rain is underway from Louisiana to northern Florida and Georgia.

severe MOB feb 25.gif

credit:NWS Mobile/Pensacola

This winter storm will spread snow northeastward into Kansas City by this evening and then to Chicago tomorrow.

We will be off the northwestern fringe of this big weather-maker, with just a few light snow showers for the southeastern corner of Minnesota today.

And a sign that we are into late winter is that, although we will be on the colder, northwest side of the storm, our temperatures will remain fairly mild. Highs today in Minnesota will range from the upper 20s to the mid 30s. The Twin Cities should top out around 34.

If the clouds break, as forecast, look for a lovely full moon to rise this evening shortly after sunset. Some people call this the “Snow Moon.”

Highs the rest of the week right through the weekend will be mainly the 20s and 30s.

Our next chance for a shovelable snow looks like it will come in the form of an Alberta Clipper next Monday, a week from today.

If you would like to look ahead to March, here are the temperature and precipitation outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center:

March 2013 temp.gif

March 2013 precip.gif

At this point it looks like a warmer than normal March is likely for much of the southeastern half of the country but cooler in the northwest. Minnesota is in the “equal chances” area that could go either way.

More precip than normal could be on tap for much of the Great Lakes and Midwest.

Bill Endersen

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