Snow? Maybe? Finally?

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.

12z Euro 500mb Forecast Valid 12z Saturday

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.

12z Euro Surface Forecast Valid 12z Sunday

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.

12z GFS 500mb Forecast Valid 12z Saturday

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.

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5 thoughts on “Snow? Maybe? Finally?

  1. A Blizzard on the East Coast/Mid Atlantic – really ?
    There seems to be few people left in the weather business who have any sense of regional climatology, physical geography, and long term climate averages. One of the saddest things in weather forecasting today is that hype, marketing, and even the personal interests (bias) of the disseminator (think AccuWeather and the pro snow agenda)…have caused the public to lose sight of the true climate of the region and the true “long term mathematical odds” of what weather will likely occur. I understand the intense marketing and financial pressures folks are under to keep the public tuned in – its time and money for sure. However, in my opinion (perhaps I’m wrong)…but weather should be delivered without any angle or bias, and with serious weight given to the prevailing climate of a particular region. More importantly, long term historical data has to be the “main foundation” for any weather forecast…not the 99 yard pass.

    Take winter weather for example:

    Get yourself a map of seasonal snowfall of the United States. You’ll notice that places in the Intermountain West average 100 to 300 inches of snow each winter, places around the Great Lakes (Duluth, Michigan’s UP, Cleveland, Erie, Buffalo…etc) averages 75 to 140 inches of snow each winter. However, the so-called “I-95 corridor”…from the Washington DC metro area through the Tri-State area (NY/NJ/CT) …. annually receives only 15 to 40 inches of snow on average. However…the media only seems interested when snow falls in the I-95 states. Anyone who even has a cursory knowledge of United States regional climatology… knows quite well, that heavy snow and “blizzards along the East Coast from NYC/Connecticut southward.

    Why so many busted winter forecasts on the East Coast? The combination of marketing, the wishful weathercaster, and the computer model that gives an “unrealistic weight” to extreme numerical events…creates a scenario that fly’s in the face of the long term climate data and regional climate of the USA East Coast. Places like Washington DC, Baltimore, MD, Philadelphia, PA, NYC, New Haven, CT, Long Island, NY…are likely to see perhaps one or two – 7 or 8 –inch snowfalls each winter in 95% of the time. We know this because the long term numerical data says so. The problem is that the long term climate data is ignored for several reasons and because of several agendas.

  2. A Blizzard on the East Coast/Mid Atlantic – really ?
    There seems to be few people left in the weather business who have any sense of regional climatology, physical geography, and long term climate averages. One of the saddest things in weather forecasting today is that hype, marketing, and even the personal interests (bias) of the disseminator (think AccuWeather and the pro snow agenda)…have caused the public to lose sight of the true climate of the region and the true “long term mathematical odds” of what weather will likely occur. I understand the intense marketing and financial pressures folks are under to keep the public tuned in – its time and money for sure. However, in my opinion (perhaps I’m wrong)…but weather should be delivered without any angle or bias, and with serious weight given to the prevailing climate of a particular region. More importantly, long term historical data has to be the “main foundation” for any weather forecast…not the 99 yard pass.

    Take winter weather for example:

    Get yourself a map of seasonal snowfall of the United States. You’ll notice that places in the Intermountain West average 100 to 300 inches of snow each winter, places around the Great Lakes (Duluth, Michigan’s UP, Cleveland, Erie, Buffalo…etc) averages 75 to 140 inches of snow each winter. However, the so-called “I-95 corridor”…from the Washington DC metro area through the Tri-State area (NY/NJ/CT) …. annually receives only 15 to 40 inches of snow on average. However…the media only seems interested when snow falls in the I-95 states. Anyone who even has a cursory knowledge of United States regional climatology… knows quite well, that heavy snow and “blizzards along the East Coast from NYC/Connecticut southward are rare.

    Why so many busted winter forecasts on the East Coast? The combination of marketing, the wishful weathercaster, and the computer model that gives an “unrealistic weight” to extreme numerical events…creates a scenario that fly’s in the face of the long term climate data and regional climate of the USA East Coast. Places like Washington DC, Baltimore, MD, Philadelphia, PA, NYC, New Haven, CT, Long Island, NY…are likely to see perhaps one or two – 7 or 8 –inch snowfalls each winter in 95% of the time. We know this because the long term numerical data says so. The problem is that the long term climate data is ignored for several reasons and because of several agendas.

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