**This post is dedicated to Ana Marquez-Greene, age 6, a victim of the Connecticut shootings.**
Before we dive into the concept of where this system will go, let's analyze the atmospheric structure first. The first thing I want to point out is two low pressure systems to the north of New England. This phenomenon is known as a 50-50 Low, as discovered by wxrisk.com. The 50-50 low acts as an attractant for the storm track to head towards the Northeast. In response to the 50-50 Low, high pressure develops close to or in the Great Lakes. This pushes the jet stream south into the US, pressing into the storm track and forcing storm systems to go into the Northeast, because storm systems do not head into high pressure systems.
Some of you more avid weather enthusiasts may recognize a high pressure system to the west of Greenland as a west-based negative NAO. Not so fast. See that system of low pressure right up against Greenland? That's the Achilles heel of the NAO. Typically, when you have high pressure over Greenland, the jet stream wants to push south and encourages cold and snow to hit New England. However, such an encouragement of cold and snow can be enhanced by the high pressure system being WEST of Greenland, a.k.a. a West-Based negative NAO. I find this potential negative NAO to be too far west of Greenland to be completely effective. The presence of a low pressure anomaly right against the east coast of Greenland then disbands any effects the ridge may have on the NAO. I expect this index to be neutral- neither supportive or unsupportive of snow in the Northeast.
The ECMWF has the system stronger than the GFS, that's the first and foremost issue. A common thing to remember for storm systems is that they will turn north the stronger they are, as is observed with tropical systems. Additionally, the ECMWF is lacking a good 50-50 Low. It has half of the phenomenon, but not the whole package. This, combined with that dicey negative NAO situation, is not all that encouraging as far as snow prospects for the Northeast go. However, that big high pressure over Canada suppresses the storm from the Midwest and thus induces a higher likelihood for a Nor'easter track.
I went forward a couple more days with this system and found that it went out to sea instead of riding up the coast, a solution that would be very possible if a negative NAO and/or 50-50 Low failed to formulate. However, I have a feeling that if the huge high pressure system is present in Canada where the ECMWF/GFS are both forecasting it to be, the storm system should rightfully move into the Northeast, bringing significant snows to that region, as well as the Ohio Valley.
Early estimate on best snowfall areas are the Ohio Valley and Northeast. No specific amounts as of yet.