A U.S. satellite caught this image of the major storm that's bringing a risk of thunder to Mississippi and 16 inches of snow to the Oklahoma Panhandle.
- A major low-pressure system dropping snow and booming with thunder is crawling across the Midwest. Satellite photo taken by GOES East on Dec. 19, 2011. (NOAA)
Here's hoping nobody is trying to fly into Oklahoma today for the holidays. An abominable blizzard is howling in the Midwest and Southern Plains, and places like northwest Texas and the Oklahoma Panhandle stand to receive 12 to 16 inches of snow.
The list of current blizzard warnings is longer than a Microsoft end-user license agreement. Other states in the path of this monster include New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas and Mississippi, where there's a risk of severe thunderstorms. If you visit the National Weather Service's map of active warnings, you'll spot what looks like an angry Eye of Cthulhu glaring out from the center of the country. (Red = blizzards conditions.) By the time the storm moves out toward the Ohio Valley on Tuesday, a "stripe of roughly 12 inches of storm total snow" will likely paint the ground from New Mexico to Kansas.
Here's another shot of the system taken by GOES West:
And an infrared image of the water vapor above the U.S. reveals that this storm bears the classic comma shape of a low-pressure cyclone: