Friday, March 1, 2013

March 6-8 Potential Nor'easter

Note: This will not be a full-blown Nor'easter.

Both major weather models are pointing towards a late-season partial Nor'easter that would be spit out of the Mid-Atlantic to dump snow in New England before moving out to sea.

Shown above is the European model's (top) forecast for mean sea level pressure about 7 days out. The bottom image shows mean sea level pressure and precipitation, again for 7 days out. Analysis of the two forecasts reveals that they are similar in both strength and placement of this storm. To have both major weather modeling systems in agreement at this point in time is certainly a good sign for those wanting snow in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

With that agreement noted, I have opted to show the 48 hour accumulated snowfall forecast from Hour 156. We can clearly see a major hit of snow for Pennsylvania, New York and maybe a sliver of New Jersey, while coastal states are in the no-snow zone, as a typical Nor'easter will do. We see amounts exceeding one foot of snow, and these totals are centered in southern New York into eastern Pennsylvania. Major amounts of 6-12 inches are still found widely across New York and in the middle of Pennsylvania, as well as western Massachusetts and one or two other coastal states. Lower amounts below half a foot are found widely across the Northeast into the Mid-Atlantic.

Right now, such good model agreement is certainly a good sign for the above forecast to work out but we are still over 5 days away. That's a lot of time for things to change, and the system hasn't even gotten into the nation's upper air network, where the weather balloons can get data from the storm and put it into models to enhance forecasts.

Despite all the caveats, I feel confident in my call for all in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic to keep one eye open on this system. It has good potential to bring heavy, wet snow to parts of the regions mentioned above, and must be monitored.


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