>Winter Storm March 7-10 2011 Overview


A strong low pressure is expected to form across the west US and track into the Midwest and Great Lakes. This is an overview of that storm.
First, we will start out with who will get what form of precipitation. Below is an image from the GFS Ensembles.
The bold blue line is the freezing temperature in the clouds. We see the blue line close to this low pressure system. People below this blue line are projected to get rain, while people above are expecting snow.
At this time, The Weather Centre is toying with the idea of that blue line wrapped closer around the low pressure system, but for now will go with the image above.
Next, we will get an idea of how strong this low will be. It will be carrying a cold front, which will likely introduce severe storms. However, we will talk about the severe storm part in the next post. Below is from the latest GFS Ensemble to get an idea of how strong the low will be, or at least how windy it can get.
In the image, we see the low centered around North Illinois. The tighter the isobar lines get by the low is the windier it will be. So for people in Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri, Michigan and anyone else in those tight lines, expect very windy conditions in your area come midweek.
The storm itself doesn’t look to be incredibly strong, with a central pressure of around 1001 millibars. It will definitely produce sufficient precipitation, but lows above 1000 millibars are typically on the weak side.
Finally, we will take a look of how much precipitation can be expected. The reason I use the GFS Ensemble images is because they make up the GFS images.
People in the rainy section of this low are going to be under quite a flood threat. After all the saturation of other rains, this will only worsen the flooding problem. Below is the GFS Ensemble image for 72 hours precipitation.
So we definitely see some intense precipitation across the Plains into the Midwest and Great Lakes. Anyone in the .5” + area should be prepared for minor flooding.
The Weather Centre will continue watching this situation unfold.
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