Things are winding up again in the central Plains. After a huge storm dumped snow from Chicago to Kansas City the weekend after Thanksgiving, a very similar looking storm developed ever so slightly north, putting Omaha and Milwaukee in the crosshairs.
Low pressure associated with a classic, mid jet trough progressed from California eastward, before losing its identity at the surface of the Rockies, and reemerging bigger and better on the lee of the Rockies. It developed rapidly over the central Plains on Saturday and started shifting north as the afternoon wore on.
There is good news and bad news with this feature. The bad news is that it’s long track and good organization allowed the feature to absorb a lot of Gulf moisture, ready to deposit across the middle of the country. The good news is, the storm is expected to be in motion throughout the life of the feature, and there won’t be any lingering bands of heavy snow stacking feet of snow across any broad swaths of the upper Midwest. 8” for sure, though.
Below is a graphic with the forecast for heavy snow ahead of the feature, and because of how swiftly the storm moved, it looks like the highest totals were not attained.
On the other side of this system, and is often the case with strong, fast moving features, there was a sizeable threat for severe weather, which straddled Dixie Alley through Friday, though most of the activity occurred in the Ozarks yesterday. There were tornadoes warned for across the region, though most of the storm reports pertained to straight line wind issues.
The rapid movement of the storm worked against its sustainability, as the southern end of the storm moved east too rapidly for the northern portion, causing distention and disorganization with the surface low. Straight line winds, as opposed to tornadoes, seemed to be be a more prominent threat on Saturday in the Southeast, while in the north, the intense moisture continues to wane fairly swiftly, but not before a whole lot of snow fell on a lot of places.
The surprise in all of this was a burst of energy that ejected north from last night’s stormy weather, with a mini tornado outbreak (a day too late and well away from where it was expected) in western Illinois. There are many good videos of well formed tornadoes, but fortunately there weren’t any injuries with all the twisters.