Monday, January 3, 2011

Midwest Winter Storm Next Week Model Analysis 1/4/11

So, here we have the possible Midwest storm that could strike. Let's check in with our computer models.

First and most importantly is the ECMWF model, or the Euro model. The Euro model says, compared to this morning's update, that the low pressure from the Gulf will be close to the Gulf. It may have shifted south a bit. Compared to how far away we are from the storm, that's a very VERY small shift.

The GFS Model is currently updating.

The DGEX Model, a lesser-known model, compared to this morning's run, takes the low possibly a tad farther south and maybe a bit weaker.

The UKMET, ETA(NAM), WRF models are all too short for this storm.

Weather Explained: Shortwave

What is a shortwave?
A shortwave is an area of prolonged low pressures. They are not a low pressure system, but rather low pressure readings.

Can they cause precipitation?

Are they dangerous?
Since shortwaves typically aren't as powerful as a low pressure system, not really.

What does a shortwave look like?
A shortwave can be identified by a series of millibar lines on a map pushed down.
See the lines pushed down in the middle of the country?
That's a shortwave.

Possible East Coast Storm...s

Yes, that's right. TWO possible East Coast storms are showing up on the computer models, and they are beauties.

Let's start off with the nearest one in the time frame. That would be the Sunday-Monday storm.

The following is from the GFS model. Here's the tricky thing about that. It actually goes IN the East Coast without staying offshore. I would hazard a guess that the Canadian regions would be brutally hammered.

For the much more watch-worthy ECMWF model, it says that 2 East Coast storms will be in the vicinity on Sunday, both powerful, but there is only one that would cause a major effect.
The next storm time period would be next Wednesday into Thursday. It would be very powerful as well.

Computer Models Hinting At Midwest Storm.

Computer models have begun hinting at the possibility of a shortwave to come through the Midwest area next Tuesday into Wednesday.

The ECMWF, noted as a heavy hitter in the way of computer forecasting models, and the Navy's NOGAPS model are both showing the shortwave bring up precipitation into the Midwest.

The precipitation would be snow for the Midwest area.

The CMC model has a different low pressure tracking farther north and affecting the southern Midwest areas. I will explain it in the next post.
However, the CMC does not bring in the idea of a shortwave.

The GFS, also a major model, is showing a shortwave forming. However, the GFS prefers the shortwave to weaken as it moves through, bringing light to possibly moderate accumulations.

All in all, it's the ECMWF and NOGAPS versus GFS and CMC.

If I had to choose, I wouldn't want to because it's so far away. But I'll make a VERY VERY PRELIMINARY estimate.

I will say that, at this time, I would go along with a GFS/ECMWF mix and have the shortwave move through and slightly weaken.

IT IS STILL 8-10 days away.

Rush Hour Forecast

I hope you're having a good evening on this Monday January 3rd, 2011, as we take a look at your Rush Hour Forecast.
Not much in the way of precipitation is falling across the US tonight, however we do see some snow occurring in the Upper Midwest as a clipper system moves through. The Midwest overall can expect clouds as that system, along with a couple others surrounding the Midwest, move along.
Out West, low pressure is stationed offshore of California. But high pressure systems dominate the region. I wouldn't be surprised to see a few sprinkles out on the Southwest coast of California, but don't expect any rain accumulation.