January 24 – It’s funny how we just got through the largest storm in recorded history and still have over 2 Ft on the ground, and some people are itching for more. Faith in ‘more’ flakes. There has been some chatter about a storm at the end of the week and I think the rumors have gone a little wild. The double blizzards of February 5 to 10 2010 are still fresh in our memory and perhaps it is human nature to think it will happen again. What I am seeing does not show that. At least for now. There will be another storm, but off the coast.
I do not rely only on weather models, but I subscribe to the philosophy that ‘”f it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Well the GFS has wind two storms in a row, so I want to use that model to explain how things will progress this week. But also, what to look for should something change.
Event 1: Tuesday Night-Wednesday
I am not even sure there will be school open by then, but this might apply the southern and eastern part of Maryland. Notice the showers approaching from the west. There will be upper level support that catches up overnight. At this time, it should arrive as it reaches the Chesapeake, and you will see the rain flare up as a band of steady snow.
Should the work out, we are only talking about a couple of inches of snow. This is important to follow as it could give clues as to the following set up.
Deep Snowpack= Colder temperatures than computer models can account for. We should adjust out forecasts accordingly.
Timing is everything: If the upper level energy arrives sooner, the flare up could impact central Maryland Tuesday evening.
The development shown here by Wednesday will give rise to another storm in the south….
Upper Level Energy
This snapshot from the GFS Model on Thursday morning shows what is needed for a large storm to form. A trough is weakness of stormy weather showing up at jet stream level. Getting the ‘northern branch’ and ‘southern branch’ to phase is when the large storms form.
Here the GFS shows then not linking forces. The lagging southern energy according to this model, gets kicked out too far off the coast. See the surface storm reflection in the slider below.
Should the timing of these two ingredients change, the result could be dramatically different.
Event 2: Developing Southern Storm Along Front
Notice the GFS Model develops a larger storm, similar to what we just saw, but well off the coast.
Things to look for:
If the cold air does affect the first event, bringing more snow or the timing changes, we could have more action.
The southern branch is El Nino charged. That it likely to arrive a little faster than seen now.
The Canadian has not been the best performing this winter. I didn’t expect it to be as it is a cold pattern model the benefits from the northern jet being the dominant feature. Then it has a leg up on the competition. But this model suppressed out last storm too far south, and lost the challenge. So I can’t give it much credit, even though it is close to the GFS now.. Out to sea. Even the clipper snow showers to the west would be a miss for us.
The European Model is more aggressive. This is the model of choice for many meteorologist, but I think it is running second to the GFS lately… especially since the massive computer upgrade NOAA completed two weeks ago. Maybe the Euro is trying to hard to make something happen? More likely it is giving the southern branch credit for arriving faster and then phasing. This projection looks impressive, but the net snow result I’ve seen is nothing compared to the system we just had. In fact it keeps moving, not a stalling event.
So in short, at this time I do NOT see a major winter storm next weekend. But something is trying to develop. It will. Just a matter of where and when. I have to lean with the model on a roll, which shows a later forming event going off the coast. Still something to watch.
For the record: Baltimore is at 30 inches of snow for the season. That is at the upper end of my winter outlook. We’ve proven my suggestion for a third ‘above normal’ snow season in a row, and snow being backloaded for the season. Anything above this mark will be bonus, and over shoot my seasonal outlook.
See all of our shirt designs here: Due to high demand, here is a new link with many more options. You can change the color of each item when you select it. Thank you FITF
Get the award winning Kid Weather App I made with my oldest son and support our love for science, weather, and technology. Our 3 year anniversary of the release and our contribution to STEM education is this November. It has been downloaded in 60 countries, and works in both temperature scales. With your support we can expand on the fun introduction to science and real weather.