Thursday, January 21, 2016

Thursday Night Update: The Final Forecast

Good evening everyone. I have crunched the latest numbers and arrived at my final forecast for the 1st major storm of 2016. This will be one for the record books if you live in the Baltimore Washington area! 

For areas in northern NJ, NE Pa, Southern CT it will come down to the wire. You could end up from anywhere between 2 and 12 inches. I tried my best to estimate where the snow cutoff will be. 

Here are updated storm highlights. I also made a video for those of you who enjoy my company. Great details included for those of you who are interested. 

  • Major winter storm impacts the area tomorrow night through Saturday
  • Storm will feature heavy rates of snowfall and gusting winds
    • Near the coastal areas expect some mixing along with gale force wind gusts Saturday
    • Beach erosion and some flooding are a concern
  • This storm will have an intense cutoff in accumulations to the north.
    • Most of the analysis I did today was on where this will be.
    • My updated map reflects those thoughts
  • The cutoff will be due to an intense snow band developing Saturday over north central NJ extending into PA and long Island. Anyone to the north of this band will be cut off from heavy snow due to sinking air. This cutoff should happen somewhere in NW NJ. This will cause forecast headaches and upset snow lovers. 
    • Believe it or not models still are trying to figure out where this sets up!
    • This will come down to the wire for northern zones
    • I tired my best to show this in my map.
    • More in my video on this
  • For areas in Baltimore/DC this storm will be historic. Over a foot of snow is very likely.
  • NYC I really do believe you are in the game for this system.

So lets get right to it. Here was my original preliminary prediction..

And now my final call..

Notice how I have a sharp cutoff in totals. This is due to the banding I expect to develop. For the most part to the south is pretty consistent with my original ideas. 

More details in the video below. I will do a write up tomorrow morning and a play by play tomorrow night as the storm approaches. 

Note: For those paying attention to details meant to say upper levels of atmosphere colder than surface when explaining the upper level low. 


  1. Thanks as always buddy!!! You're awesome and you've been my trusted source for years. Damn accurate. Looks like 6-10" closers to the higher end for bridgewtaer? We seem close to the 12-18 line.

    1. Thanks Larry. Yeah thats the best I can estimate right now, its like splitting hairs trying to forecast N NJ. Going to be fun to see how this plays out.

  2. Hey Willy, I'm with you on the latest map. If I heard and read correctly, the 12Z Euro remained on the low side for NoNJ, and the 12Z CMC came around to a similar conclusion. But the 12Z GEFS and Canadian ensemble showed higher mean accumulations, and a look at the 18Z plumes for the GEFS shows even higher, around 10 inches now. The 18Z GFS was up a little higher too, around 8 or so, up from around 6 earlier. Pretty late in the game for all this up and down, but I appreciate the point that you have been hammering home, that just a small jog north or south in storm trak makes the difference between hours of plowing and a broom sweep. Yes, quite a snow gradient -- I've been staring at the screens all day, and that gradient ain't going away no matter which way the overall picture shifts. As you say, this one is going to be one of the hardest storms to get right; the underlying variation potential remains quite high. It's almost all over but for the shoveling and plowing. Just a few more model outputs and a few more jinks up or down, then it's go time. From what I just saw tonight from the model runs, your map is a pretty good summary of the current mean expectation. Excluding the 18Z NAM and its 30 inch scenario right up to Danbury, of course. Jim G

    1. That is correct Jim. Thanks. This is what makes it so much fun all this computer info and still we are down to the 11th hour. There will be many suprises, some will be upset but overall this will be a memorable just in the fact of the craziness of tracking it. The 0z nam is juiced, prob overdone but remains its north trend and is consistent. Tomorrow morning should be interesting.

  3. Ok glad to see you've tightened up the banding and I'm starting to come around on the idea that we might get some precip of some kind, but I'm still thinking sub-6". And BTW i'm loving the oblique references to the Swede rock band Europe: "The Final Forecast" and frequent use of the word 'banding.' I had "Final Countdown" in my head as I read the blog.

    1. Haha thanks. Its gunna be close but I think that makes this more fun- some folks will be in for a surprise others will not

  4. Very nice job on the analysis Willy!