Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Wednesday Morning Storm Update: Back on Track

Good morning! After the model drama of yesterday, last night provided a sense of releif as it relates to what I expect for this system. As I mentioned last night these models always move back at forth approaching a big storm as they try to pin point the track of this storm. Its important to filter out that noise and anticipate where things are going to trend.  At this time I feel very good about the ideas I laid out. In fact, you will most likely see a final forecast issued by me tomorrow . Below are my updated thoughts:

  • Major/Historical winter storm effects whole region Friday night thought Saturday
  • All areas from Washington DC to NYC should feel the brunt of this system
    • Expect periods of heavy snow and wind Saturday with significant snow accumulations
  • The height of this storm should be Saturday afternoon into Saturday night
  • This will be a long duration event lasting up to around 24 hours. 
  • There will be a very sharp cutoff in snow amounts most likely around the I-84 corridor or slightly south of that
  • The southern trends in the models have worked their way back north overnight
    • I still expect these models to move around more but overall I think they settle in with what my updated map has below

You will notice I made two tweaks to this map. I highlighted the area of 5-8 inches to the north and have that as a potential risk for much lower amounts. Also, I inched up the mixing line (pink) into SE NJ. I still expect good snow amounts there but as this storm approaches some warm air might filter in. Otherwise I really like the other amounts I originally had. As I mentioned, I will issue a final map sometime tomorrow. 

The American model went all out in its run last night copying the blizzard of 96! I think it might have been a little extreme and its most recent run, which is no small potatoes by the way, is more realistic. Below is the storm in 6 hour increments..

Unbelievable to see how this just stalls off the Delaware bay! This is why some areas I really believe can see over 24" of snow with this storm. Tomorrow I will try to nail down potential areas that can see the localized jackpot amounts. 

The beloved European model which I cannot show shifted about 75 miles north from its big dud of a run yesterday. This was a huge trend and needed to be seen. It brought the heavy snow back into NNJ. I still think it  might be a little too south and accumulating snow can work its way into CT and extreme SE Mass. My map reflects that.

Regardless though, that sharp cutoff should verify. Below shows example of what I mean courtesy of the Canadian model. 

If you notice guys I blend a lot of models when trying to make this forecast. I think the Canadian in this case has the best idea for its precip printout. Notice the sharp cutoff around I-84. 20 miles can be difference up there between no snow and several inches. 

Here is another image showing the warm air that can work its way into the storm at 5000ft..

This is just the nature of a storms circulation. Yes we have a cold high pressure system to the north funneling in cold air but this storm should inch just close enough to give those areas I highlighted in pink some mixed precipitation. Could this mixing line move more north? It could but that is not my forecast at this time. 

The next image below shows you guys the unbelievable moisture circulation associated with this storm...

If you are a fan of weather this is right out of a textbook for a historical winter storm. Notice all the moist warm air this storm brings up and throws into the cold air being supplied by the high pressure. This is how you get feet of snow!

So there you have it guys I am sticking to my guns with the going forecast. I firmly believe folks rather see an actual forecast made rather than flip flopping. At this time my confidence is growing. I will make any adjustments if necessary tomorrow. Hopefully no big curve balls get thrown today! Mother nature is never a guarantee. 

As usual a video breakdown will be up around 8pm tonight. Stay tuned! This can get exciting!


  1. Ah Willy, doubling down on the map. So last nite's Euro did another jog. The 0Z storm stays near the 40-70 and dumps a lot of precip over us, as the GFS and CMC anticipate. But that northern high that's supposed to pump down all that cold air is now pretty far out ahead of the storm in the set up. Other modeling seems to have the NAO and AO back near neutral or slightly positive on the weekend. So, not sure how much cold air that Canadian high is going to pump south, or for how long. Quite a big rolling ridge from the southwest to keep the storm moving. This one is still a horse race. GEFS 0Z ensembles are still about 50% big snow, 50% littler snow for NJ inside 287. Euro 0Z ensembles gave us about 50-50 odds of going over 6 inches. So AFAIAC, the mean estimate is 6-8 inches right now for east of 287. Sleet phases are possible. NWS discussion saying roughly the same right now. OK then, for those of us who can't afford WB, back to Ryan M's Twitter feed, searching for some choice Euro 12Z leavings dropping from the weather model banquet table! Good luck on this horse race, Willy. We shall see what really happens at the finish line this weekend! Jim G

  2. Not to put too fine a point on it, but your reputation is at stake here after last year's "snowmaggedon" dusting. Also, I see that you've introduced the Canadian model as a potential scapegoat ;-)

    1. I rather make an actual forecast then change a forecast 10 times like other places do. This is my preliminary prediction and the final one comes out tomorrow. On track so far. Can't be afraid to be wrong.

    2. To be fair, a lot of meteorologists got that one wrong. If one traveled east of NYC there were places on Long Island that got 20-30 inches, it just barely missed the city. A shift of a few miles would have resulted in accumulations in Manhattan being significantly larger (in the 20-30 range vs 11 inches).

  3. Accu-weather and the weather channel are both calling for 8-12. Where is the 14 to 20 coming from? After looking at the map there is a concentrated region of 12+ but its located in the DC area. Any specific reason to think that this will shift up north?

    1. 10 to 14 are based on my analysis of storm strength and precip amounts. These storms always will waver up until the 11th hour. I like the forecast as of now and will have the final one oit tomorrow. Thanks for reading