Thursday, October 27, 2011

Eyes Turn to the Northeast for Weekend Snow Event...

With the cold air settling down into the Plains and Rina swirling about out near the Yucatan, all weather eyes are now shifting to the Northeast and the potential for the first measurable snow event of the season by Saturday.  

There will be some light snow tonight especially in higher elevations of New England in association with a rapidly departing storm system, but the event I'm talking about here is coming up for the weekend, Saturday in particular.
There are still some uncertainties, and this post is mainly intended to get the word out as early as possible (although I first mentioned this possibility in a less detailed way this past Tuesday).

The big question is how close to the coast a surface low pressure center will track on Saturday.  Right now the GFS model is forecasting it to track quite a distance off shore, as you can see in the image below valid 8pm EDT Saturday:

The NAM, another major U.S. forecast model, is tracking the low even further offshore in this image valid at the same time:

The ECMWF model, which originates from the European weather community, currently lies at the other end of the spectrum, and is forecasting the low to track much closer to the coast, as shown in the image below, valid at the same time Saturday evening:

The further West (i.e., the closer to the coast) that the low tracks, the higher (and further West) the potential for accumulating snow in the Northeast.  The image below is a forecast of total snowfall accumulation through Saturday based on the GFS model's current forecast:

Based on the current GFS track, the forecast calls for a dusting to 2 inches in most areas (including New York City) within the lighter pink shaded region on the image above, with locally heavier amounts over the higher elevations of Vermont and New Hampshire.

We will need to closely monitor this situation today and tomorrow and gauge the best idea as to the likely track of the low before making a final determination, but needless to say some wintry precipitation is heading for the "big cities" of the Northeast by Saturday.

I think it's also important to point out that this will be a heavy, wet snow like we saw in Denver yesterday, which could cause problems with trees and power lines if enough accumulates.

Stay tuned for more information on this developing situation...

If you enjoy reading 'The Original Weather Blog', please be sure to "like" our facebook page!

No comments: