Thursday, February 18, 2016

Thursday Morning Storm Update: Warmer Trends Emerge, Will They Hold?

Good morning. As the title says, recent trends in model ensembles have been towards a warmer solution for next week. This means the chances are decreasing for a snow event along the coastal plain and even some areas NW of I-95. I discussed yesterday how the position of the ridge of high pressure to the west is critical for this storm. This directly influences where the storm forms and how close to the coast it tracks. Pump up a ridge too close to the west coast and you have a storm that track too close to the east coast. Pump up a ridge near Montana and you put a storm in a perfect spot for snow. Along with this, you need an area of high pressure to our north funneling in cold air for a big snowstorm. Models have not been too impressive in this regard either. Here is the latest bottom line:

  • Big storm is becoming likely for next week
  • Recent model trends have been warmer with this system
  • The is due to the projection of the ridge axis of high pressure out west trending closer to the west coast
  • This results in a projected storm track closer to the coast
  • A storm track closer to the coast means warm air can filter into the coastal plain
  • In addition, models are not too impressive with showing a strong high pressure system to our north.
    • This is needed to supply cold air, especially if a storm develops too close to the coast
  • As of now I am sticking with the idea of rain for big cities, a chance of snow for NW of I-95 with the sweet spot of this storm being up in interior New England
So lets take a look at the trend in the key factors. I am going to use the European ensemble to keep things simple. In the below image, the old European ensemble runs are on the left and new on the right.

Notice the key factors on this image. On the left images (old run) the ridge axis is more to the east near Montana. This causes the low to be more off the coast thus a colder solution. Also, notice the high pressure trying to hold on. 

On the right images (new run), notice that ridge axis now more towards the west coast. This causes a warmer storm closer to the coast. That high pressure is also more to the east. 

So that is all I have for now. We are still so far off that this will inevitably change more. However, lie I said I am really not expecting big cities to see snow. My big question mark is can the areas NW of I-95 (NW NJ,NE PA) see winter impacts from this. At this time I am not ready to make that call. Snow lovers in those areas there still is hope but this is gong to be tough. For ski areas, this looks like it could be your storm.

Lets see how this evolves. I will start to get more detailed on my prediction by this weekend. Still speculation for now. 


  1. How does the snowless areas of NY (Elmira/ Binghamton) look for snow for this storm?. Thanks.

    1. Just as much in the game as I am at this time. Will know more this weekend.