NWA Severe Storms / Radar Conference Presentation


During the period of 12-13 December 2000, a strong winter storm brought a variety of winter precipitation to much of eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas. Heavy snow fell across mainly far northeast Oklahoma, and extreme northwest Arkansas, while sleet and freezing rain affected southeast Oklahoma and west central Arkansas. This presentation will provide a unique opportunity to study radar data from a Southern Plains winter storm.

Total snow accumulations ranged from 8 to 12 inches across Northeast Oklahoma. Extreme northeast Oklahoma received over a foot of snow, with Big Cabin, OK reporting 16 inches in less than 24 hours. Snowfall totals would have been even greater further south, however, the precipitation fell as a variety of snow, sleet, and freezing rain. Precipitation initially started as snow, but strong warm air advection in the lower levels of the atmosphere turned the snow into sleet. Periods of heavy sleet and freezing rain also occurred, especially south of Interstate 40.

This presentation will examine winter precipitation radar data collected from the Weather Surveillance Radar 1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) located in Inola, Oklahoma (KINX) and the WSR-88D located in Fort Smith, Arkansas (KSRX) during this event. The reflectivity data will clearly show differences in precipitation type as they occurred across the area. In addition, output from the Bureau of Reclamations Snow Accumulation Algorithm (SAA) will be examined for this event.

Snowfall totals from 12-13 December, 2000 with much of the southern half totals being in the form of sleet.

Snow Accumulation Algorithm output from about a third of the way through the event from KINX. Note how poorly it does in mixed precipitation across the southern half of the area.

Snowfall outside the NWS Tulsa Forecast Office on the morning of 13 December, 2000

Click here for the presentation given at the 2001 NWA Severe Storms and Radar Conference

Authors: Sarah J. Taylor and Eric D. Howieson

Email: Sarah Taylor "Corresponding Author"

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