Winter Storm Draco ends record snowless streaks across Midwest

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:03 PM GMT on December 19, 2012

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Winter Storm Draco is powering up over the Upper Midwest, and is poised to bring a resounding end to the record-length snowless streaks a number of U.S. cities have notched this year. Blizzard warnings are posted over portions of Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin, and snowfall amounts of up to a foot are expected in some of the affected regions. While the heavy snow will create dangerous travel conditions, the .5" - 1.5" of melted water equivalent from the the storm will provide welcome moisture for drought-parched areas of the Midwest. Though much of the moisture will stay locked up as snow for the rest of the year, runoff from the storm may help keep Lake Michigan and Huron from setting an all-time record low for the month of December, and may also keep the Mississippi River at St. Louis above the -5' stage though the end of December. If the river falls below -5', barge traffic on the Mississippi may be forced to halt, costing billions of dollars. The Army Corps of Engineers is blasting away rocks on the river bottom south of St. Louis and releasing water from Carlyle Lake in Southern Illinois this week, in order to keep the Mississippi River high enough to allow barge traffic to negotiate the near-record low water levels. Several gauges on the Mississippi have set all-time record lows this year: the New Madrid, Missouri gauge on August 30, 2012 and the Tiptonville, Tennessee gauge on September 2. Records at the Tiptonville gauge go back to at least 1879.


Figure 1. Predicted precipitation totals fopr the 3-day period ending on December 22. Approximately 0.5 - 1.5" of melted water equivalent from Winter Storm Draco is expected over much of the drought-stricken Midwest. Image credit: NOAA/HPC.


Figure 2. Average water levels on Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are near their lowest December levels ever recorded, preliminary data from NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory indicate.

Record snowless streaks coming to end because of Winter Storm Draco
The U.S. has had its warmest and 12th driest year on record, according to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. It should be no surprise, then, that a number of major cities have set records for their longest period without snow. Most of these streaks have come to and end (or will do so in the next day or two) because of Winter Storm Draco:

MIlwaukee, Wisconsin's record streak without measurable snow ended December 18 with 0.5" of snow; the streak was 288 consecutive days, bookended by measurable snowfall on March 5 and Dec. 18. Milwaukee is likely to get an additional 4 - 6" of snow from Draco.

Omaha, Nebraska's record streak without measurable snow ended December 16 with 0.6" of snow; the streak was 295 consecutive days, bookended by measurable snowfall on Feb. 24 and Dec. 16. Omaha is likely to get 6 - 9" of total snow before the current storm winds down. Record latest first snow of the season: December 26, 1888.

Chicago, Illinois' new record snowless streak continues at 289 consecutive days as of Tuesday. The last measurable snow there was March 4. Previous record: 280 consecutive days between the measurable snowfalls of March 1, 1994 and December 5, 1994. Chicago has also broken its record for latest snowfall in the season, previously set on December 16, 1965. These streaks will likely end on Thursday, when 1 - 4" of snow are expected.

Rockford, Illinois' new record snowless streak continues at 289 consecutive days as of Tuesday, but this streak will likely end on Thursday, when 3 - 6" of snow are expected. The last measurable snow in Rockford was March 4. Previous record: 286 consecutive days between the measurable snowfalls of March 3, 1922 and December 13, 1922. Record latest first snow of the season: January 7, 1940.

Lincoln, Nebraska's new record snowless streak continues at 308 consecutive days as of Tuesday. This streak will likely end Wednesday or Thursday, as 6 -8" of snow are expected. The last measurable snow there was Feb. 13. Previous record: 295 consecutive days between the measurable snowfalls of Feb. 6 and Nov. 28, 2004. Record latest first snow of the season: December 31, 2006.

Syracuse, NY is often the snowiest major city in the contiguous U.S. This year, Syracuse has not yet had a 1" snowfall--the second latest such streak. The 3.0" that has fallen is over 28" below what Syracuse usually gets by this time of the season. The latest in the season that the first 1" snow has come to Syracuse occurred on December 22, 1998 (the previous warmest year on record in the U.S.) With the forecast calling for lake effect snows on the 22nd, Syracuse may just miss setting its mark for latest 1" snowfall of the season.

Jeff Masters

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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 5 Comments: 51837
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 5 Comments: 51837
I think I'll go to www.fijitimes.com for my news vacations from now on. Beautiful beaches, no hype, straight and to the point. Sigh, then I'll have to return to the US media with all of it's silliness, drama, inaccuracies, distortions, hypocrisy and just flat lies.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6195
We have a high wind watch in affect.Winds are expected to last through Friday and Saturday.So it'll be like having a miniture tropical storm around for 36-48 hours.It's been windy all week long actually.I haven't seen something like that in a while.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 19589
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 5 Comments: 51837
12 days of Christmas (Redneck Version)

countdown clock

13 hours 13+ minutes to go as of 12:57 PST
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Humidity is 10 percent, now that is dry air.
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gee the whole gulf coast has gone nuts..............
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 5 Comments: 51837
Quoting bappit:
From www.fijitimes.com:

"Mayan prediction stupid, say Methodists

"The Methodist Church in Fiji believes the prediction of ancient Mayans that an apocalypse will take place today %u2014 December 21, 2012 %u2014 is stupid."

I like how they lay the story out there. They don't lolligag around.
I just want to know if I have to do my nails tonight... I already bought a bottle of Barefoot Red Muscato...I'm ready now.
Member Since: October 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 6019
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
flash freezing


I think someone in Iowa actually died in a bad car pile up from the snow...

CNN Blizzard slams Midwest...


Member Since: February 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 5 Comments: 51837
SQUALL LINE TO BRING DAMAGING WINDS AND POSSIBLE ISOLATED TORNADOES LATE THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 5 Comments: 51837
Quoting dabirds:
Well, below 32 now, starting to get some sticking on areas with higher grass.

Hate to hear that whitewabit. Think I saw there was 24 car one earlier as well. Hope nobody was hurt too badly.


TWC is reporting that there were fatalities in that large accident ..
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Looks like that line of storms in the gulf is getting stronger.....
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 5 Comments: 51837
THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR EAST CENTRAL FLORIDA.

.DAY ONE...THIS EVENING AND TONIGHT.

.THUNDERSTORM IMPACT...
A FRONTAL BOUNDARY WILL APPROACH CENTRAL FLORIDA THIS EVENING AND
MOVE THROUGH THE FLORIDA PENINSULA OVERNIGHT. TORNADO WATCHES HAVE
BEEN IN EFFECT FOR PARTS OF THE PANHANDLE TODAY FOR CONVECTION
JUST AHEAD AND ALONG THE FRONT. THE THREAT OF SEVERE STORMS WILL
TRANSITION EAST AND NORTHEAST WITH TIME TO IMPACT PARTS OF THE
NORTH FLORIDA PENINSULA AND UP THROUGH GEORGIA AND THE CAROLINAS.
A SLIGHT RISK IS OUTLOOKED BY THE STORM PREDICTION CENTER FOR THIS
AREA. AS THE BAND OF CONVECTION NEARS CENTRAL FLORIDA...THE
BOUNDARY WILL STRETCH AND THIN LEAVING MAINLY THE POSSIBILITY OF
ISOLATED TO SCATTERED STRONG SHOWERS AND STORMS FROM TITUSVILLE TO
KISSIMMEE NORTHWARD. ALTHOUGH LOCAL INSTABILITY REMAINS
LIMITED...APPRECIABLE WIND SHEAR WILL PROMPT A CONCERN FOR STRONG
WIND GUSTS TO 45-50 MPH WITH A FEW CELLS. A SEVERE STORM IS
UNLIKELY...BUT NOT OUT OF THE QUESTION.

EXPECT SHOWERS AND STORMS TO APPROACH LAKE COUNTY JUST AFTER SUNSET
AS THE BOUNDARY MOVES SOUTHEAST THROUGH THE FORECAST AREA DURING THE
EVENING AND OVERNIGHT HOURS. SHOWERS AND STORMS SHOULD APPROACH
DAYTONA BEACH LATER THIS EVENING...ORLANDO AND CAPE CANAVERAL JUST
BEFORE MIDNIGHT...REDUCING TO SHOWER ACTIVITY AS IT PASSES THROUGH
VERO BEACH...FORT PIERCE...AND STUART OVERNIGHT AND BEFORE
SUNRISE.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 5 Comments: 51837
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 5 Comments: 51837
772. VR46L
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


but the mayans will still be on the 21... :D

but I wanna talk to some 12.21.12 believers on saturday and ask them what happened.


LOL ... thats a great answer :)
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 7130
Well I'am prepared for a 9.5 earthquake tomorrow with a 5 mile high tsunami coming afterward.This should be interesting.OH! I'm already hearing rumbling!!,oh yeah that's just the planes above coming from the near by air port...
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 19589
Well, below 32 now, starting to get some sticking on areas with higher grass.

Hate to hear that whitewabit. Think I saw there was 24 car one earlier as well. Hope nobody was hurt too badly.
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 929
Pressure is falling pretty rapidly in SE MI. Right now it is at 993.5mb when just like 10-15 minutes ago it was 994mb. I am getting a pretty bad headache from this storm.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7984
Quoting VR46L:


But 2/3 of the world will already be into the 22nd ... Hmmm dont think I am panicking LOL


but the mayans will still be on the 21... :D

but I wanna talk to some 12.21.12 believers on saturday and ask them what happened.
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 5 Comments: 51837
Latest update from NWS Wilmington, North Carolina. Thank god for very low instability or this could have been a big event for East NC.

CURRENT SPC SWODY1 INCLUDES THE ENTIRE AREA IN A SLIGHT RISK...WITH
15% WIND AND 5% TORNADO PROBS. AS THE FRONT PUSHES EAST...IT WILL
INITIALLY ENCOUNTER VERY LIMITED INSTABILITY (TYPICAL WITH THE HSLC
EVENTS IN THIS AREA). HOWEVER...STRENGTHENING LLJ AT 925MB (50 KTS)
AND 850MB (65 KTS) WILL PROVIDE SIGNIFICANT WIND JUST OFF THE DECK
WHICH WILL BE TAPPED EVEN BY LOW-TOPPED CONVECTION.
ADDITIONALLY...0-6KM BULK SHEAR VECTORS OF 50-70 KTS IS MORE THAN
ENOUGH TO CREATE STORM ORGANIZATION. MORE IMPRESSIVELY...0-3KM SRH
OF 600-900 M2/S2 IS WELL ABOVE THRESHOLD FOR TORNADO
DEVELOPMENT...ESPECIALLY WHEN NOTING THAT THE MAJORITY OF THIS
(300-500 M2/S2) IS IN THE LOWEST 1KM OF LARGE RIGHT-TURNING
HODOGRAPHS
. EVEN THOUGH UPDRAFTS WILL REACH ONLY MARGINALLY HIGH
INTO THE COLUMN...A QLCS WITH POTENTIAL EMBEDDED ISOLATED TORNADOES
SEEMS LIKELY. WITH SUCH STRONG SHEAR/HELICITY VALUES...A DISCRETE
LOW-TOPPED SUPERCELL IS NOT OUT OF THE QUESTION EITHER. ALTHOUGH
INSTABILITY WILL BE LIMITED (NAM SHOWS 0-100 J/KG ACROSS WESTERN
COUNTIES)...THE STRENGTHENING LLJ WILL ADVECT A RICH THETA-E PLUME
INTO THE EASTERN COUNTIES...AND THIS SHOULD PROVIDE THE IMPETUS FOR
FURTHER STRENGTHENING/STORM ORGANIZATION AS THE SQUALL LINE PUSHES
EAST...EVEN DURING THE OVERNIGHT HOURS. ADDITIONALLY...THIS HIGH
THETA-E AIR WILL ENHANCE MUCAPE...AND THE SEVERE THREAT LOOKS MORE
SIGNIFICANT ACROSS THE COASTAL COUNTIES...ALTHOUGH NO LOCATION WILL
BE IMMUNE FROM POTENTIAL DAMAGING WINDS TONIGHT. NOTE THAT THESE
NOCTURNAL HSLC EVENTS DO HAVE A TENDENCY TO UNDER-PERFORM...BUT THE
PRESENCE OF THIS THETA-E RIDGE SUGGESTS THIS EVENT AT LEAST HAS MORE
POTENTIAL THAN MANY RECENT HSLC SYSTEMS.

ONE OTHER THING TO NOTE...WHILE STORMS WILL BE STRONG...THEY WILL
ALSO BE SHALLOW AND WITH UPDRAFTS REMAINING MOSTLY BELOW
CHARGE-SEPARATION TEMP THRESHOLDS...THERE WILL BE LIMITED LIGHTNING
TONIGHT. STORMS WILL BE MOVING RAPIDLY TO THE E/NE AND ACCOMPANIED
BY VERY LITTLE LIGHTNING...SO THIS COULD BECOME A VERY DANGEROUS
SITUATION WITH FAST MOVING STORMS...AT NIGHT...WITH LITTLE
LIGHTNING/THUNDER TO ANNOUNCE THEIR ARRIVAL.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 34482
red flag up in central florida and winds picking up also............................
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 5 Comments: 51837
From www.fijitimes.com:

"Mayan prediction stupid, say Methodists

"The Methodist Church in Fiji believes the prediction of ancient Mayans that an apocalypse will take place today %u2014 December 21, 2012 %u2014 is stupid."

I like how they lay the story out there. They don't lolligag around.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6195
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
flash freezing


Black Ice ..
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


In regards to my earlier post, I was just reading about the Great Blizzard of 1899, and it got down to -2F in northern Florida, with Gulf Effect snow noted across the entire western coast, with blizzard conditions noted Tampa upwards. It even got sub-30 degrees in Miami. Now that's a cold snap!
one time long ago you could of skated from the gulf shore up the miss river during a freak cold snap which occur they have happen before it will happen again nothing but a matter of time
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761. VR46L
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


nope wait for winter solstice 611-612 eastern time.


But 2/3 of the world will already be into the 22nd ... Hmmm dont think I am panicking LOL
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 7130
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
Rare event:





Its a period from 1998 to 2016 i believe where we are aligned.
Nothing special
To bad we'll be dying when it's happening.Seriously though tomorrow it's going to be cold especially with wind chill factors in the 20's.The first real bundle up of the season!
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 19589
Quoting charlottefl:
Quote: Jedkins

Yeah tell me about it!

Up here in the Tampa Bat area, at one point it was 33 to 34 degrees for hours with mix of sleet and rain, I would have rather it hit 32 for freezing rain to make things more interesting. The high was only 38 here too.

I'm pretty sure that's the coldest max temp I've ever seen down here...




In regards to my earlier post, I was just reading about the Great Blizzard of 1899, and it got down to -2F in northern Florida, with Gulf Effect snow noted across the entire western coast, with blizzard conditions noted Tampa upwards. It even got sub-30 degrees in Miami. Now that's a cold snap!
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 25169
Quoting whitewabit:
news reports of a 40 car pile-up on the interstate 74 near Galesburg, Il ..
flash freezing
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Rare event:





Its a period from 1998 to 2016 i believe where we are aligned.
Nothing special
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Quoting JTDailyUpdate:
While were on topic about the end of the world tommorow; found this interesting article on Fox News Website



Link
Ummm kids on the blog?.I'm not worried about that stuff now.It's nothing special anyway.It's just something to do when adults are board.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 19589
news reports of a 40 car pile-up on the interstate 74 near Galesburg, Il ..
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Quoting 1900hurricane:
I think the cold front ended up bringing more West Texas dust than rain here. Lots of dust everywhere, especially on my car.


Yeah no rain here in Austin but a lot of wind last night. Do flying Christmas decorations and trash cans count as measurable precip?
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
the precise time of the so call start of the end date is 11 11 gmt or 6 11 est as the sun rises in the morning sky at which time the entire system will be in line with the centre of the milkyway galaxy
But will Walmart be open?
Member Since: October 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 6019
The 291 day snowless streak record in Chicago, Illinois is about to fall as snow heads towards the city. The 982 millibar center of Draco lies just southwest of Chicago right now.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 34482
today marks the last day of fall/autum
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


nope wait for winter solstice 611-612 eastern time.

A friend told me it was 12:00am EST, which is "the real" time?

Good afternoon everyone, Draco is still giving me some rain showers. Some flooding occurred earlier when the rain was heavy. I am just hoping the change over really does happen and I get at least some snow.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7984
The winter solstice of 2012 will occur at 11:11 GMT on of course 21-12-2012 the same day the Long Count flips over. On that morning the sun will appear to rise into the patch of sky we refer to as the galactic centre or nuclear bulge. It is the location of the super-massive black hole at the centre of rotation for the Milky Way galaxy.
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...NWS DAMAGE SURVEY FOR 12/20/2012 TORNADO EVENT...

Excerpt:


.TORNADO # 1...

RATING: EF-1
ESTIMATED PEAK WIND: 86-95 MPH
PATH LENGTH /STATUTE/: 0.64 MILES
PATH WIDTH /MAXIMUM/: 200 YARDS
FATALITIES: 0
INJURIES: 1


PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LITTLE ROCK AR
135 PM CST THU DEC 20 2012
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Quoting VR46L:
Less than 4 hours to DOOM for me .. Australia and the Far East must be well into the 21st by now..


nope wait for winter solstice 611-612 eastern time.
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Quoting yonzabam:


You want freezing rain? I had the worst fall I've ever had 3 weeks ago, due to black ice caused by freezing rain.

A 78 year old woman who lives 50 yards down the street fell and broke her arm in 3 places.

The accident and emergency departments of hospitals in areas affected by freezing rain will be hard pushed to cope with the influx of casualties from falls and car accidents.

You really don't want freezing rain.


Well, I only said that somewhat sarcastically, but I really don't actually want freezing rain, its destructive and scary.
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 9202
Quoting ILwthrfan:


You might get one next week washi115, pattern is beginning to change. This is Day 7....



All you need is cold enough air, the low track is very favorable for you in a snow setup. Question will be how much warm air will be drawn into system.
Yes our local mets are also watching this storm.They think for now it will be a all rain event since temps will be in the 40's.I need the real artic air!.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 19589
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:





So for my perfect storm we need a lot stronger and a bit farther southeast. lol


lol dude, the not even 15 minutes ago I was looking at keepers satellite loop and first thought I had was the super storm of 93', just further northwest.
Member Since: February 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
Quoting charlottefl:
Quote: Jedkins

Yeah tell me about it!

Up here in the Tampa Bat area, at one point it was 33 to 34 degrees for hours with mix of sleet and rain, I would have rather it hit 32 for freezing rain to make things more interesting. The high was only 38 here too.

I'm pretty sure that's the coldest max temp I've ever seen down here...





I would imagine that probably is! I know that was the coldest day Ive ever seen since living here, we had a low of 26 the next morning, which i think was probably the coldest I've ever seen living here too.

That whole winter was extremely cold, I felt like sleeping all the time, having highs in the 50's and lows in the 30's during that winter wasn't even a big deal anymore. I remember we had at least a week straight without hitting 60 degrees and having lows in the 30's and it dipped below freezing several times even here in Pinellas county. That was a winter that we may never see for many many years to come again. Yet we still didn't get real snow.
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 9202
Quoting washingtonian115:
Oh didn't have my glasses on.Now if only it was a few degrees colder here this rain event could have been a snow event.


You might get one next week washi115, pattern is beginning to change. This is Day 7....



All you need is cold enough air, the low track is very favorable for you in a snow setup. Question will be how much warm air will be drawn into system.
Member Since: February 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753





So for my perfect storm we need a lot stronger and a bit farther southeast. lol
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Quoting Doppler22:

He said Washington, IL.... so Washington, Illinois
Oh didn't have my glasses on.Now if only it was a few degrees colder here this rain event could have been a snow event.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 19589
Quoting Jedkins01:



Yeah tell me about it!

Up here in the Tampa Bat area, at one point it was 33 to 34 degrees for hours with mix of sleet and rain, I would have rather it hit 32 for freezing rain to make things more interesting. The high was only 38 here too.


You want freezing rain? I had the worst fall I've ever had 3 weeks ago, due to black ice caused by freezing rain.

A 78 year old woman who lives 50 yards down the street fell and broke her arm in 3 places.

The accident and emergency departments of hospitals in areas affected by freezing rain will be hard pushed to cope with the influx of casualties from falls and car accidents.

You really don't want freezing rain.
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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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