Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Wind and Snow

Our OWLeS field program team has had quite a night.  We've been out getting some really interesting data and also observed some impressive thundersnow in Sandy Creek, North Redfield, and Barnes Corners.  The strike here at our North Redfeield home gave me enough of a jolt to keep me going until about 4 am before taking a nap.

The heaviest lake-effect snow has been to our north.  Teams in that area have been sampling that part of the storm.  We also have the Doppler Wheels out and an aircraft currently in the air using a bunch of fancy gadgets to study the cloud and precipitation structure of the storm.  The yellow and red lines show the flight track and the red circle the position of the aircraft when I grabbed this image and it was making a turn.

Source: NCAR/EOL
The situation this morning has been characterized by a very narrow, pencil shaped band with an area of precipitation enhancement to the south over the Tug Hill Plateau.

Our place in North Redfield has had some snow, but nothing like locations to the north.  We are currently seeing snowfall rates fluctuating between about 1/2–1 inch per hour.  From 1 to 7 am we had about 4 inches.  Yeah, it's not snowing hard, but at least it is really cold and windy.  Current temperature is -3ºF with gusty winds.

The snow is pretty low density, so the wind is transporting it all over the place.  Even though it wasn't snowing very hard, I made a pretty lonely and disorienting trip out to our snow study stations at about 3 am last night.  You need to be super careful about navigation under such conditions.


  1. How hard is it snowing in the dominant band? 3-4/hr?

  2. We posted some satellite imagery (including 1-minute-interval GOES-13 Super Rapid Scan Operations visible channel images) on our CIMSS Satellite Blog: http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/goes/blog/archives/14719