Friday, January 18, 2013

January 24-26 Potential Winter Storm (Updated 1/18)

Image courtesy TropicalTidbits
There is still potential for a storm system to impact much of the northern and northeastern US between the 24th and 26th of January- the question now is where could it go?

The above forecast shows the 12z GFS model forecast, valid for the morning of January 25th. Here, we see low pressure centered over Gary, Indiana, with another low pressure system down over the Texas/Oklahoma border. These two systems are the pieces to this puzzle, the question is could they combine into one storm system? That is another discussion not for this post. At the moment, we will focus on different model scenarios. This GFS model is on a similar track with the ECMWF model, which I will show below:

The ECMWF model, valid for the later morning hours of January 25th, has this storm system most likely affecting the central and eastern Great Lakes with accumulating snow, not to mention the following lake effect snow. Both models show the two areas of low pressure; we already mentioned the GFS low pressure areas, and can already see the main low pressure area on the Ohio/Pennsylvania border in the image above. But if you look closely, in Mississippi, you can see almost a tail-like curve in the pressure contour lines. That is the second area of low pressure. You may notice the storm systems do not line up with each other in each forecast. The reason is simple: The immediate above image (ECMWF) is valid for Hour 168, while the very top image  (GFS) is valid for Hour 162, meaning the ECMWF is slightly further to the east than the GFS.

Exciting times ahead folks- this system could deliver a swath of accumulating snow anywhere from Duluth to Chicago. Right now, the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes are in the crosshairs, but that will certainly change with time.


1 comment:

Ray T. said...

Very nice update my friend. How old are you? I'm curious because you are as good as me and other 30+ year meteorologists out there. You seem to have a lot of expeirence with weather, or you are just incredibly smart. No body can always be right 100% of the time, but you seem to be fairly accurate. Great job on this! It's looking to fially bring some areas their first accumulation, like Chicago which has yet to see a 1" snow from a single storm, could see 3-5" out of this!