Thursday, February 4, 2016

Thursday Morning Storm Threat Discussion: The Latest Trends

*A light to moderate snow event effects area tomorrow morning stay tuned for 8pm update on this*

Good morning. Over the next two days much more detail will be able to be put into what the actual fate of our storm threat for early next week will be. At this time, all we can do is study the latest trends and try to project how things might change. The fact of the matter is there is so much going on over next 5 days that the models are really going to struggle. Here is a summary:

  • We have 3 systems to focus on
  • First system is a frontal wave tomorrow that will bring some rain and snow to the coastal areas of NJ into New England
    • Nothing major
  • The second storm system develops Monday and should stay out to sea
    • There are model differences with this system
    • How this system forms will directly effect system 3
    • There is an outside chance this can end up being closer to the coast
  • The third system involves the potential main event which would be a clipper system that redevelops off the coast Tuesday
    • Latest trends have been less impressive with this
    • That does not make me take my guard down
  • My bottom line thoughts are that I think we see something effect the area next week with winter weather.
    • How intense it is I am not sure of yet at this time. 
Starting with system 1, we have a frontal wave that will effect the area tomorrow...

This has been trending closer to the coast over last 5 days and confidence is now high it effects areas closer to the coast with some snow. However, its been very warm and I expect not all areas see snow. Mixing is possible the closer you are to the coast due to warmer boundary layer conditions. In any event, a few inches of snow are possible especially up in eastern New England. 

That is something to take note of, how bad the models did with this first wave. Until yesterday they had this offshore. Shows you how nothing is ever set in stone. 

Moving on, we have a very strong storm that should develop offshore on Monday. Below is the spread of the Canadian ensemble of where this storm could be..

Notice the spread of members to the west as indicated by the red numbers. This shows you how there is much uncertainty with system number 2. All signs do point this stays out to sea, but some models are hinting that this could come closer to the coast than what is being projected.  We are going to have to keep a close eye on this as it will directly impact system number 3.

System 3 is the potential main event and involves a clipper system diving down from Canada and developing off the coast. It is my opinion that the stronger system 2 is, the less chance system 3 has of being a major threat to the area. The reason is that system 2 being too strong would prevent system 3 from amplifying over the area. Latest trends on system 3 are below..

Old GFS model is on left new is on right. Its hard to see but the new run of the model is a little less impressed with how much this energy "digs" and amplifies. I tried to show this with the red circle. I am not too concerned about this right now. We are still 5 days away which means we can see drastic changes to this solution. At this time all we can do is keep an eye on it. I need to wait for this initial wave tomorrow to leave the area before I even try to make a prediction on system 3. 

Here is the GFS at the surface. No chopped liver but not very strong. This can and will change in the coming days. 

Given this whole pattern I would be very surprised if we get through Wednesday of next week unscathed. Major potential is still on the table here, we just need to wait for the road to clear ahead of our main storm before making any conclusions. 

I will have an update up tonight around 8. 

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