With a monsoon drenching New England this evening and a snowbowl on TV in Chicago I’ve got snow on the mind. The European computer model has been insisting on developing a major nor’easter next Saturday and Sunday. The GFS model shows virtually no storm next weekend. The GFS and Euro ensembles are all over the place but in general are in between the 2 operational models.
The Euro has 2 features worth watching. #1 is a disturbance in the jet stream moving across Texas and Louisiana. Feature #2 is a closed low (the same one that will be over the northeast all week long) splitting up with an intense secondary low developing over the western Great Lakes.
The 12z Euro phases features 1 and 2 and results in a major nor’easter or blizzard for New England and the Mid Atlantic. If this model verified 12″-20″ of snow would be likely along with storm force winds near the coast. This is, by far, the most extreme solution the models have been printing out over the last couple days.
On the other end of the spectrum are recent runs of the GFS. It’s important to note the GFS is not as good of a model as the Euro. Still the disparity in solutions is so substantial it’s hard to run with one over the other. As is the case most of the time the truth probably lies in the middle.
The GFS keeps the closed low strong and in tact over New England and acts as a giant block keeping any storminess way south and east. In addition the southern stream disturbance (labeled #1 in the first image) is extremely weak on the GFS. It’s barely noticeable and not enough to phase especially given the setup over the Great Lakes.
What’s going to happen? It’s really hard to say. The GFS and Euro ensembles are definitely closer to the op Euro than the op GFS run. They do have a storm developing off the coast but not nearly as close to us as the Euro. The pattern does look much more favorable than we’ve seen in recent weeks to get a storm to develop. The issue is going to be getting a strong enough southern stream disturbance and getting the closed low over New England to “spread out” enough to allow something to phase and come north.