As you may have heard, much of the southern states were socked in with snow, ice, and well below average temperatures. At the end of the storm, 13″ of snow was recorded in the Texas panhandle and at its peak, 142,000 customers were without power within the state of Oklahoma. This picture is from Andy Boxell who works for the National Weather Service in Romeoville. He was visiting Norman, OK during the storm and was kind enough to share this picture with us. What was the cause of the intense winter weather so far south? The main contributor to this system was a shift in the jet stream. Locations near the gulf are usually under the influence of what’s known as the Subtropical Jet. This jet stream is usually found closer to the equator, is situated higher in the atmosphere, and transports warmer air. During this storm, the Polar Jet, which brings us much of our cold air, took over and transported much colder air very far south. Combined with a disturbance, this setup dumped a massive amount of wintry precipitation in an area that is not well equipped to deal with the magnitude that fell.
Posted under winter storm
This post was written by Aaron Brackett on January 31, 2010