Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wed 9pm: The Dynamic Nature of This Storm Makes For a Tricky Forecast

Good evening. Before I begin I stand by the forecast I made last night. I really do think that when this is all said and done we see more snow than rain in our northwest counties and possibly all snow above 1000 ft. The models all have a storm, but that is where their similarities end. The European model which historically is the most accurate has a very powerful storm forming middle of next week. By very powerful I mean a storm that has a duration of 12hr+, winds over 25mph, and snows over 8 inches potentially much higher. The GFS is playing games with the storm and has a more inland track producing mostly rain for our area and a less intense low pressure center. I am not buying it- Snow or rain the storm will be very strong. Complex winter storms very rarely show their true colors 6 days before the event. Instead we see exactly what we are seeing now- a big question mark of will it be rain? will it be snow? will it be both? So from experience I tend to be in the camp of what the trend of this season been. And the answer is storms are initially projected to form more inland, then as the event approaches the models correct and shift east (colder). I said two days ago that I think this is a northwest of I-95 snow event and I am sticking with that prediction. Here is the European model which most accurately represents my view..graphics are from the accuweather.com pro site



The first image is the  precipitation intensity for 7pm wed (blue is very intense). The second picture is the temperature at 5000 ft in the atmosphere (anything blue is below freezing). This is the level that dictates the rain snow line for our area. As you can see at the height of the storm the rain snow line is just to the northwest of I-95. However, this does not take into account elevation, any area above 1000 ft that is close to the blue region will most likely be all snow. Areas in northern jersey in the green will start as rain and change to snow at the end possibly picking up a few inches. As the days go on I expect the rain snow line on these models to stay close to where the European shows and if anything become a little colder for our northwest counties. If this was to remain all snow for our northwest counties we would be easily looking at 12+ inches of snow with 2-4 inches in central jersey, and 1-3 near the coast. The difference between over a foot of snow and 2 inches is literally going to be the difference of 50 miles from southeast to northwest. With the warm Atlantic ocean and the blocking high pressure to the north I think the modeling has a warm bias right now and well continue to fall in line with my thoughts. So for those of you who like snow who live more towards NYC do not throw in the towel yet.

For my friends down in Baltimore you better hope this trends even more colder than I think or your looking at maybe a dusting. This will be a northeast event. Its safe to say If anyone wants to go skiing next week the Catskill mountains of NY will be blanketed. That's all for now, keep checking in daily and spread the word about this site.


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