There’s no shortage of weather hype available online. Some of it is funny and some of it manages to peddle a lot of misinformation. The Capital Weather Gang had a great article about bad forecasts from suspect sources and their proliferation on social media a few weeks ago.
Last night’s European model run developed a significant nor’easter and snowstorm for Thursday across a large portion of the northeast. Yesterday, it was targeting the southern Appalachians and even areas near Atlanta as potential recipients of heavy snow and now it’s New York City and parts of New England.
While there is a mall chance this will actually occur – most signals are pointing in the other direction. The operational GFS, the Euro’s American counterpart, has virtually no storm at all.
In a day 6 (or 7) forecast it’s generally best to not look at operational/deterministic model forecasts but rather look at the ensembles (read more about ensemble modeling here). The GFS ensembles for next Thursday don’t show much of a storm at all.
You can see one solution there with an amped up coastal low – the rest have nothing. For the Euro ensembles (of which there are more than 50 members) only a handful have a coastal storm that impacts us.
So while you may read or see posts about the European’s big snowstorm next week – keep in mind it’s just one possible solution that is quite unlikely. Posting a map of ensembles that show no storm at all isn’t very exciting – and that’s why you don’t see many of them!
I do think that we run the risk for some snow squalls on Tuesday as the Arctic front races through. The phantom storm on Thursday, while not impossible, isn’t something I’m awfully excited about right now.