Blizzard Warnings Across Midwest; ‘Historic’ Snowfall Expected

By iScienceTimes Staff on February 25, 2013 3:59 PM EST

Blizzard Warnings Across Midwest
A historic blizzard has shut down travel in parts of Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma. (Photo: Reuters)

Blizzard warnings have been issued to states across the Midwest as a massive winter blizzard continues to blow east. The blizzard warnings extend from Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle to Illinois, Indiana and parts of Ohio. Snowfall was as heavy as two to three inches per hour in the Texas panhandle early Monday, causing whiteout conditions that made driving impossible across much of the state. The Texas Department of Transportation was forced to sideline snowplows during the heaviest parts of the storm. Complicating cleanup efforts and travel conditions are massive wind gusts of nearly hurricane-like strength.

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"Amarillo Airport just recorded a gust of 65knots/75mph! This is truly a historic blizzard!" the Texas DOT posted on Facebook. "Conditions have NOT improved. Please stay inside and do NOT venture out."

[CLICK HERE FOR LIVE RADAR FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE]

As of noon, Central time, 17 inches of snow had fallen in Amarillo, Texas, the weather service said in a Twitter post.

The massive storm system that's causing the blizzard warnings in the Midwest and parts of the Northeast is also responsible for tornado warnings that are cropping up across some southern states. The Storm Prediction Center has placed parts of eastern Texas, southern Arkansas, southern Mississippi, all of Louisiana, and northern Florida under a tornado watch until 8 p.m., EST.

The blizzard warnings serve as indicators for a severe storm that will have a range of effects on the nation's breadbasket. On the positive side of things, some experts are predicting that this massive blizzard provide some relief for drought-stricken areas of the country.

"Is it a drought buster? Absolutely not," Victor Murphy with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, Texas, told the Associated Press. "Will it bring short-term improvement? Yes."

However, the blizzard may also spell disaster for cattle ranchers in the Texas-Oklahoma region. One rancher told the Associated Press that grazing cattle, and calves born in the last few days, are at risk for suffocation as the wind and snow forces the cattle into smaller, fenced-in areas.

"This type of snow is a cattle killer," rancher Jay O'Brien told the AP.

Here is the official blizzard warning from the National Weather Service:

STORM SUMMARY NUMBER 02 FOR CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN PLAINS WINTER

STORM AND GULF COAST HEAVY RAINFALL

NWS HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER COLLEGE PARK MD

900 AM CST MON FEB 25 2013

... ANOTHER HEAVY SNOW EVENT IS EXPECTED ACROSS NORTHERN PORTIONS

OF THE SOUTHERN PLAINS INTO THE MIDDLE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY TODAY

WITH HEAVY RAINFALL ALONG THE CENTRAL AND EASTERN GULF COAST...

BLIZZARD WARNINGS...WINTER STORM WARNINGS...AND WINTER WEATHER

ADVISORIES ARE IN EFFECT FROM EASTERN NEW MEXICO...ACROSS TEXAS

PANHANDLE...THE NORTHERN HALF OF OKLAHOMA...AND THE MAJORITY OF

KANSAS. WINTER STORM WARNINGS AND WINTER WEATHER ADVISORIES

CONTINUE TO EXTEND NORTHEASTWARD ACROSS PARTS OF THE MIDWEST INTO

THE LOWER GREAT LAKES.

FLASH FLOOD WATCHES ARE IN EFFECT FOR SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA...THE

SOUTHERN HALF OF MISSISSIPPI AND ALABAMA...THE FLORIDA

PANHANDLE...AS WELL AS MUCH OF GEORGIA.

FOR A DETAILED GRAPHICAL DEPICTION OF THE LATEST

WATCHES...WARNINGS AND ADVISORIES...PLEASE SEE WWW.WEATHER.GOV

AT 800 AM CST...A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM WITH A CENTRAL PRESSURE OF

999 MB...29.50 INCHES...WAS MOVING NORTHEASTWARD ACROSS

NORTH-CENTRAL TEXAS TOWARDS SOUTHERN OKLAHOMA.  NATIONAL WEATHER

SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR AND SURFACE OBSERVATIONS INDICATED THAT

BLIZZARD CONDITIONS WERE EXPERIENCED IN THE TEXAS PANHANDLE DURING

THE PAST FEW HOURS WHERE WIND GUSTS OF UP TO 60 MPH WERE RECORDED.

 ELSEWHERE...LIGHT TO MODERATE SNOW WAS SPREADING INTO CENTRAL AND

SOUTHERN KANSAS WHILE LOCALLY HEAVY SNOW HAD BEEN REPORTED IN

WESTERN OKLAHOMA. FARTHER EAST...RAIN WAS CHANGING TO SNOW IN

CENTRAL OKLAHOMA.  MODERATE TO HEAVY RAIN WITH EMBEDDED

THUNDERSTORMS WERE REPORTED ACROSS EASTERN OKLAHOMA NEAR A

STATIONARY FRONT.  ELSEWHERE...A LARGE AREA OF MODERATE TO HEAVY

RAIN WITH EMBEDDED THUNDERSTORMS HAD MOVED INTO SOUTHERN

ALABAMA...THE FLORIDA PANHANDLE AND INTO THE SOUTHEASTERN U.S.

AHEAD OF A WARM FRONT WHICH EXTENDED ALONG THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF

THE GULF COAST.

...SELECTED STORM TOTAL SNOWFALL IN INCHES FROM 400 PM CST SUN FEB

24 THROUGH 800 AM CST MON FEB 25...

...COLORADO...

PINECLIFFE 4 SSE                     27.2                   

GOLDEN 12 NW                         23.9                   

ELDORADO SPRINGS 4 WSW               18.0                   

CONIFER 3 N                          17.0                   

ARAPAHOE PARK 5 SSW                  14.3                   

GENESEE                              14.3                   

IDLEDALE 2 NW                        12.7                   

ASPEN SPRINGS NNW                    10.6                   

WHEAT RIDGE 1 W                      10.1                   

DENVER INTL AIRPORT                   9.0                   

MONUMENT 6 E                          8.5                    

DENVER 3 SSW                          7.5                   

...KANSAS...

GREENSBURG 9 E                        4.5                   

ASHLAND 17 NW                         4.0                   

COLDWATER 13 SE                       3.5                   

LYONS                                 3.0                   

COLBY                                 1.5                   

...NEW MEXICO...

SAN JOSE                              6.0                   

CLINES CORNERS 7 SE                   4.0                   

COWLES                                3.0                   

SANTA FE 6 SSE                        3.0                   

SANDIA PARK 4 E                       2.5                   

TRUJILLO                              2.5                   

TESUQUE 1 W                           2.4                   

LITTLE WALNUT VIL 2 SSW               2.0                   

...TEXAS...

FRITCH                               13.0                   

DUMAS                                12.0                   

TULIA 2 W                            10.3                   

MORSE                                10.0                   

SILVERTON                             9.0                   

AMARILLO 1 WNW                        8.0                   

CANYON                                8.0                   

SPEARMAN                              8.0                   

VEGA                                  8.0                   

LITTLEFIELD                           6.0                    

BORGER                                5.0                   

FRIONA                                5.0                   

STINNETT                              5.0                   

HEREFORD                              4.0                    

WHITE DEER                            4.0                   

...SELECTED STORM TOTAL RAINFALL IN INCHES FROM 400 PM CST SUN FEB

24 THROUGH 800 AM CST MON FEB 25...

...ALABAMA...

MOBILE/BATES FIELD                    2.18                   

...FLORIDA...

PENSACOLA RGNL ARPT                   2.76                   

MARIANNA MUNI ARPT                    2.29                   

APALACHICOLA MUNI ARPT                1.83                   

...LOUISIANA...

NEW ORLEANS/LAKEFRONT                 2.58                   

SLIDELL                               1.99                   

...MISSISSIPPI...

PASCAGOULA                            2.73                   

GULFPORT-BILOXI                       2.45                   

...SELECTED PEAK WIND GUSTS IN MILES PER HOUR EARLIER IN THE

EVENT...

...NEW MEXICO...

SAN AUGUSTIN PASS N                   71                   

RATON CREWS AIRPORT                   64                   

DUNKEN 2 NE                           59                   

TULAROSA 20 WNW                       59                   

BOSQUE DEL APACHE REFUGE 22 SE        54                   

CLAYTON 2 ENE                         54                   

FORT STANTON 2 SSE                    54                   

OSCURO 7 W                            51                   

ROSWELL 4 SSE                         51                   

SANTA TERESA 5 SW                     51                   

LAS VEGAS 6 NE                        49                   

MILNESAND 4 E                         48                   

DORA 2 SW                             46                   

...TEXAS...

EL PASO 2 N                           84                   

FORT BLISS 1 S                        62                   

THE SURFACE LOW IN CENTRAL TEXAS IS EXPECTED TO DEEPEN TODAY AND

MOVE NORTHEASTWARD INTO THE MIDDLE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BY THIS

EVENING...REACHING THE OHIO VALLEY BY TUESDAY...AND INTO NEW

ENGLAND BY THURSDAY.  TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF OVER A FOOT ARE

FORECAST FROM THE TEXAS PANHANDLE AND WESTERN OKLAHOMA...ACROSS

SOUTHEASTERN KANSAS AND INTO CENTRAL MISSOURI. THE GREAT LAKES

REGION CAN EXPECT 6 TO 9 INCHES OF SNOW FROM WEDNESDAY INTO

THURSDAY...WHILE THE OHIO VALLEY SHOULD RECEIVE UP TO 3 INCHES.

BY THURSDAY...MOST OF THE SNOW WILL MOVE INTO NEW ENGLAND WHERE UP

TO 10 INCHES OF SNOW IS EXPECTED. ICE ACCUMULATIONS UP TO

TWO-TENTHS OF AN INCH ARE EXPECTED ACROSS CENTRAL

MISSOURI...CENTRAL ILLINOIS...AND CENTRAL INDIANA... WITH ALMOST

HALF AN INCH EXPECTED ACROSS SOUTHERN PORTIONS OF THE APPALACHIANS

ON TUESDAY.  ON WEDNESDAY...SOME SIGNIFICANT ICE ACCUMULATIONS ARE

EXPECTED ACROSS THE CENTRAL APPALACHIANS...THE LOWER GREAT

LAKES...AND THE SOUTHERN PORTIONS OF THE UPPER GREAT LAKES.

ADDITIONALLY...RAINFALL AMOUNTS IN EXCESS OF 2 TO 4 INCHES WITH

LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS ACROSS THE SOUTHEAST IS EXPECTED OVER THE

NEXT FEW DAYS WHICH COULD RESULT IN FLASH FLOODING.

THE NEXT STORM SUMMARY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL

PREDICTION CENTER AT 300 PM CST. PLEASE REFER TO YOUR LOCAL

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS

EVENT.

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