92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Wednesday, 25 January 2012
A 500 Millibar Climatological Analysis of Winter Storm Events Across the Southern Plains
Hall E (New Orleans Convention Center )
Vanessa J. Vanyo, Oklahoma Climatological Survey, Norman, OK; and J. Hocker

Since the year 2000, Oklahoma has had more winter weather related FEMA disaster declarations than any other state. Prior to the year 2000, Oklahoma had not received a single winter weather related disaster declaration. To address this apparent increase in significant winter weather events that produce devastating impacts to society, this study aims to document high impact events of the past decade through a geospatial and temporal assessment of 500 mb vorticity maxima tracks for 17 different events. The storms were tracked from approximately the west coast of the United States to approximately the Mississippi River and the number of days taken to cross this region was recorded. These storms were then classified by type of event (such as blizzard, ice storm, mixed ice and snow storm, etc.) and mean storm tracks were created. An examination of the categorized events revealed several distinct differences in storm tracks and their durations among the different event types. Several full winter seasons were also examined for the purpose of comparing high impact events to those with lesser impacts.

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