The precipitation situation across the nation, both rain and snow, has significantly increased in activity and complexity over the past week with several areas of existing and potential concern.
I’ll be covering this situation in more detail in tomorrow’s weekly briefing but want to provide a quick update today.
Blizzard conditions continue over the Northeast U.S.. Portland Mane has already received 30 inches of snow setting a new record. Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts are also hard hit with snowfall amounts expected to reach 18-24 inches with some higher amounts.
There are two other areas of concern over the next week.
North Central U.S. Snow Event
Heavy snow will fall over the Upper Midwest over the next few days, including parts of NW Nebraska, the Dakotas, and Minnesota. This system will bring a widespread 4 inches of snow, with many spots exceeding 8 inches. The areas shaded in blue and orange are likely to receive from 4 to 8 inches of snow.
Both the Northeast U.S. snow as well as the upper Midwest snow event will significantly increase the U.S. snow coverage as we head into the middle of February.
Keeping and Eye on the Southeast U.S.
A widespread soaking rain is expected over the Southeast U.S. over parts of the next 5 days. While there is still uncertainty in the actual axis of heavy rain – it looks certain that there will be a widespread multi-day event. Much of Alabama and Mississippi, and parts of Georgia and Northwest Florida, are fairly wet and this rain could reach thresholds where runoff is enhanced and flooding becomes a concern.
Here is the 7-day rainfall forecast fron the NWS HPC.
I think there is still some question whether either the axis of heavier rain will be somewhat further north, or the entire axis will be wider. Here is the 06Z GFS raw model output for a similar time frame. Note that the axis of heavier rain extends a bit more into central Alabama and northern Georgia. Keep in mind that the potential for runoff is significantly different in this region (greater potential for runoff) than further south in Georgia. While the confidence in the potential for rainfall quantity is high there is less confidence in the actual axis of heavy rainfall.
I’ll be discussing these events in more detail in tomorrow’s WWO and throughout the week.