The Tools and Concepts for Forecasting Winter Precipitation

Introduction This informative forecast writing will focus on the weather forecasting tools and concepts that are used to predict winter weather events. There are various types of winter weather events that are analyzed and forecasted including mid-latitude cyclones, ice storms, lake-effect snows and sleet storms. Each of these will be discussed separately. In addition, bust […]

Historic snowstorm in North Texas on 2/12/2010. DFW recorded its greatest 24-hour snowfall of all time (12.5").

General Snow Forecasting

Snow is a precipitation type that results from the build-up of ice deposition upon condensation nuclei. The snowflake size is amplified as ice crystals join together as the crystals move in the wind. A common theme in ice crystal development is the 6-sized structure of the ice crystals. The chemical bonding of ice molecules produces […]

Snow to Liquid Equivalent and Associated Forecasting Pitfalls

The snow-to-liquid equivalent is the amount of liquid precipitation that is produced after melting snow. The temperature profile of the troposphere and the surface temperature are important factors that determine this value. The “average” snow-to-liquid ratio is 10:1. This is saying that if 10 inches of snow fell and that snow was melted it would […]

Dangerous Ice Storm Likely For Portions of the Plains and Midwest This Weekend

Update #4 [Sunday January 15 at 1 pm EST] – Tom Moore The multi-day ice storm continues in the nation’s heartland. So far, the greatest amount of ice, reported by the NWS from this storm (.50″-1.00″), has occurred from parts of northern Oklahoma to southern Kansas and into southwest Missouri. Dangerous conditions continue Sunday from much of […]

Beware of weather hype this winter. Know your weather source.

Beware of Snow Hype & Weather Hoaxes on Social Media

It’s that time of year… Winter. The season when those unrealistic snow and ice accumulation maps, for an unlikely event 10 days into the future, that often go viral on social media. So, I wanted to briefly discuss the nature of internet weather hype and how you can learn to recognize it. As the National […]

Atlanta’s Top 20 Snowstorms & Temperature Trends

Atlanta’s biggest snowfall events of all time are listed in the table below.  The most snow ever recorded on a single day in Atlanta was on January 23, 1940 when 8.3 inches fell. The top 10 snowstorms in Atlanta have a median accumulation of 4.2 inches.  View the full list We often hear the cliche: […]

Weather Myths: Too Warm for the Snow to Stick?

Before I begin this piece, I want to present a challenge.  The following chart shows the actual high and low temperatures for a full month in Atlanta, Georgia. *A condensed version of this writeup was also featured in the Douglas County Sentinel. Challenge: Can you spot the day with a historic snowstorm? During this particular […]

Birmingham’s Winter Storm Watch, Warning, & Advisory Criteria for Alabama

The National Weather Service has sole responsibility for issuing weather watches and warnings.  When it comes to winter weather, there are numerous advisory types ranging from Wind Chill Advisories to Ice Storm and Blizzard Warnings.  This page is devoted to the four main winter weather products:  Winter Storm Watches, Winter Storm Warnings, Winter Weather Advisories, […]

Lake effect snow formation illustration

Lake-Effect Snow: The Physics of Colossal Snow

One of the most awe-inspiring forces of nature is lake-effect snow. The amount of latent energy required to produce the lake-effect convection is astounding, and in some situations, snowfall rates can reach as high as 5 to 6 inches per hour.  In this article, we discuss the atmospheric physics, dynamics, and thermodynamics responsible for the […]