Worst conditions of the winter here in mid-February....not the coldest, but the snowiest, most inclement....
Wet phase MJO combined with loose Polar Vortex & big Southeast & Greenland Block is making for snowy pattern here & record cold in the Plains.
Lows this morning ran -5 to 5 with wind chills -21 to -6.
This is the largest amount of real estate under winter weather alerts since January-February 2014.
Since 2000 the only other years that are very close to this amount in a Winter Storm Warning is:
1. Storms in the 2013-14 winter
2. Groundhog's Blizzard of 2011
February 1996 saw a similar area under Winter Storm Warnings with accumulating snowfall to south-central Texas.
Before that, you have to go back to January 1994 & then prior to that, December 1989.
The real record cold will be over the Plains, especially Oklahoma to Texas.
Looks like the coldest weather in Texas since February 1996.
Two rounds of snow are expected now to Tuesday AM.
Both will have gusty northeast winds 25-35 mph resulting in widespread blowing & drifting snow.
The second round looks heavier than the first round.
Round 1 of the snow should begin to arrive later today & last into tonight. It should taper Monday morning.
A lull should ensue for a time.
Round two should arrive Monday afternoon & last through Monday night & taper Tuesday morning.
Slippery, snow-covered roads are expected Monday morning.
Slippery snow-covered roads are also expected Tuesday morning.
The worst conditions of the entire Sunday-Tuesday period are expected Monday evening-night.
Deep drifts of 1-2.5' are possible on open rural roads by Tuesday morning.
A good chunk of the area is looking at 4-6" of snowfall total. However, the south & southeast half should see 6-8" (Attica to Lafayette to Peru) with isolated +8" amounts by Tuesday morning.
Potential is there to expand the 6-8" & isolated +8".
We have a break Wednesday & the winds relax, followed by strong winds & accumulating snow & potentially some ice Thursday.
Northeast to north winds of 25-35 mph are expected.
Warmer weather with thaw & melting with rainfall will then occur next late weekend & beyond.
Concern will go to ice jamming & some flooding.
Given that SSWE effects last 30-60 days, cold & wintry precipitation will try to flirt with us to early March, but warmth will tend to out-do it more & more.