Let’s Talk Snow

If the morning computer model guidance is right, it’s game on for snow this weekend in much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. This is not uncommon…just a few days ago, the models were basically offshore with the storm, but as the energy is now moving over the Western US (with observations) and not the ocean, it’s gradually bringing the models closer to each other in terms of track, confidence, etc.

I’ll try not to bore you with the details, but here’s a quick synopsis of each model’s morning run.

Morning GFS Forecast for Monday Morning, from Penn State E-Wall (click to enlarge)

AM GFS: Moderate to heavy snow starts in southeast Virginia Sunday morning after midnight.  Light to moderate snows continue through the day Sunday south and east of I-95. Moderate to heavy snow spreads into Southern New England east of I-91 Sunday evening and tapers off Monday afternoon. Additional lighter snow is possible with another system later Tuesday through Thursday. Impacts would be minor for most of the I-95 corridor until you get to Connecticut, minor in NJ, and significant in interior southern New England.


Raw model output is:

4-8″ with a mix for Boston and Providence
12-18″ for the interior parts of Mass/NH/RI/NE CT
Hartford is about 3-6″
Jersey/NYC is about 2-4″
Less in NW NJ through Philly and DC.

Morning European Model Forecast for Monday Morning, from PSU E-Wall (click to enlarge)

AM European model:  The timing is similar, with snow overspreading eastern VA Sunday night after midnight, and DC/Baltimore/Philly/South Jersey Sunday morning, into New England by late morning. Snow would taper off Sunday night in Balt/DC, Monday morning in NJ/Philly, and Monday late morning in NYC, with gradually ending snow Monday afternoon in New England. Impacts would be significant on the immediate coast from Long Beach Island south into the Virginia Tidewater, severe in interior South Jersey and Delaware, up through NYC and then in between I-87 and I-91 in NY/CT/southern VT/NH and MA.

Raw Model output/my manual adjusting is roughly:

4-8″ DC/Baltimore
6-12″+ in far Eastern VA
12″+ for interior South NJ/Delaware
6-12″+ coastal South Jersey (some mixing with sleet likely)
6-12″ for Philly
8-16″+ for NYC/interior southern New England, with potentially high end or more on Long Island depending on mixing.
7-14″+ for the mountains in NW NJ
6-12″ Albany
7-14″+ Boston area

These are just rough and subject to change obviously.

My thoughts? Both models are trending toward each other, so very often, you find the answer in the middle. So somewhere between these two current solutions (the offshore GFS and and closer to the coast/bigger hit Euro) likely lies what will ultimately happen. The European model is next to lethal in this timeframe though, so this close to the coast/high impact solution cannot be ignored. Right now I would say the odds for significant snow are:

Very High in interior southern New England
High south and east of I-95 from NYC-South Jersey
Moderate from Philly to DC
Moderate-high for VA through Richmond
High east of Richmond to Delmarva

So stay tuned, and consider getting prepared for a bigger storm than usual (though likely a little under the big ones from last winter). More on this as we get closer!


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