At A Glance

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So here’s the difficulty with forecasting winter precipitation and why I leave the vast majority of winter systems alone — leaving aside the fact that I am not a meteorologist and have to rely solely on models in the winter…

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Three models, run at the same time. Three hugely different forecasts for snowfall. Do I pick one and go with it (the GFS like I did yesterday), or do I do some sort of blend of them (the sarcastic “a trace to a foot or more” snow forecast), pick the mid point, what?

I’d simply discard the FV-3 forecast, given how badly it’s been performing almost since it was released, but it’s soon to be the “latest-greatest” model that’s going to be the basis off which NOAA will base its forecasts. So I’ll leave it in there only for that reason.

This is one place I’m going to let having lived in this area for all but 6 of my 54 years be a little bit of guide to what I think is the sensible progression. I’m going to lean most heavily on the NAM (which happens to be the midpoint of the snowfall forecasts for Scott City). Those are the graphics I’m going to show below.

Before I do that, though…the preliminary forecast graphics from the Weather Prediction Center tend to support my choice of the NAM. First, the national forecast map at 6am Saturday and 6am Sunday:

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And the forecast probability of snowfall of greater than 4″, 6″ and 8″ between midnight CST Saturday morning and midnight CST Sunday morning:

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Forecast Wind/Pressure

The NAM graphics below start at midnight Saturday morning (CST) and run through 3pm. The low pressure center should clear us to the east during the evening Saturday.

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Forecast Precipitation

The precipitation is a little slower to exit than the low pressure, so these graphics go another 3 hours, to 6pm.

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Forecast Snow Depth

Rather than editing them down, I’m leaving these images full-scope. For those who are traveling, I want to let you see what the forecast for the region entails, and I want to give Pivotal Weather their due. All the images above come from Pivotal Weather unless noted otherwise on the image.

Time span on these is as above, midnight Saturday morning to 6pm.

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NWS Situation Reports

Goodland Office

GLD Fri SitRep

Dodge City Office

DDC Fri SitRep

Hastings Office

GID Fri SitRep

Wichita Office

ICT Fri SitRep

Topeka Office

TOP Fri SitRep

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Selected Places Forecast

from Weather Underground

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All in all, I think I preferred the early week storm to what this weekend is forecast to hold for about half the state. On the plus side, the worst conditions should last six hours or less at any location. Further coverage on this system coming later today and tomorrow on Facebook and Twitter