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Moderate Snow Tonight, Major Snowstorm Looms.

Over the course of the next few days we have a two moderate and major snowstorms to track respectively. I will update as much as possible as I am rather busy this weekend but I wanted to get this blog in detailing you my thoughts and analysis of both storms.


3/1-3/2

This first snowstorm which was once thought to be cutter turned into a sunny day and models have now brought it to a snowstorm. Here's a trend of the GFS model to show what I am talking about.

This storm really only popped up on the models about 2-3 days ago. Regardless we still must track. Models really backed off the huge snowfall total ideas as I expected in my blog yesterday and have basically caved to my forecast. I only issued some very slight adjustments which I will feature later. The model I tend to agree most with is the NAM, although not the 10:1 snow maps, I am a fan of the positive snow depth change maps.

As you can see the trend has been for less and less snow across the region. This does not surprise me at all as this has been the trend all year and I am still edging on the lighter side of guidance. The storm is moving just too fast and is not strong enough to produce big totals. The NAM soundings and lifting are marginal at best, with the best lifting not really that strong and the DGZ layer high in the atmosphere. I am just not keen on this event at all. However, one of our best short range models, the HREF is still showing a decent event. Still I wold edge on the lower side of things. Down below I attached my ongoing forecast.


I have a swatch of 1-3" of snow stemming from central Pennsylvania through New York City and up north towards Boston with the hardest hit areas being aimed at southern Connecticut through most of Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts. The hardest hit areas will likely see 4-5" with an isolated 6" amount. The 6" amounts would likely be near Plymouth Massachusetts.


3/3-3/4

The next storm is likely going to be a more classic nor'easter, dropping a lot of snow through a large area of the northeast. This will likely be many areas biggest snowfall of the year and will be a major snowstorm. However, a lot of questions still remain regarding the evolution of this one.


Right on the heels of our last storm another low pressure will begin to develop and move up the coast, just how close is the question. Yesterday I was siding more towards the European guidance but it has started to trend towards the GFS guidance in regards to what track the storm takes.

Above is the NAM model for Sunday night into Monday morning. It is showing incredible lifting in the upper atmosphere which leads to very heavy snowfall. If caught under this lifting snow will be very heavy and the current NAM is centering it at the coast. This would tread on the colder side of things and would likely keep most of the coast and I-95 white instead of wet. However, if this lifting moves offshore or too far northeast, there will not be heavy enough precipitation to drag cold air down and make the storm snowier.


Over the past few model cycles we have seen a trend towards a more progress and flatter system, leading to colder outcomes.

A flatter system is much more beneficial to snow along the coast because the low would track south and further out to sea rather than right through land which would surge in warm air. I have not had enough time to make a forecast as I have been very busy, but I did make two scenarios to demonstrate my points.


Scenario 1:

This scenario would be more like the ECMWF and bring the low pressure right next to the coast into southern New England. Although the euro has somewhat backed off this idea, it is still holding rather steady. The heaviest snows would be in northeastern Pennsylvania directly northeast through Maine as it would be cold enough for snow. As the low moves north I-95 would switch over to rain and have very little snow accumulation. Currently most models are trending away from this idea but I want to keep it on the table.


Scenario 2:

This scenario is a coastal snowlovers dream. With the low tracking further south and east cold air would be strong enough to keep moat areas north of New York City snow. This scenario does have a lower ceiling though as the low would need to be weaker for this to occur. The hardest hit areas would get 6-8" but it would be very heavy snow for a short period of time. Most are trending closer to this solution however not all are there yet. Stay tuned more updates to come tomorrow!