** This post is dedicated to the lives potentially lost on the QZ8501 flight, reported missing last night. **
The potential for a winter storm in the January 3-5 period appears to be growing.
I'm going to go through the different mechanisms for this storm, and why ingredients are here for both a north and south track.
Now, it's time for a bit of analysis.
Adding to this concern is that all model guidance has a known bias to be too slow with the progression of Arctic air southward. Lo and behold, we have a strong Arctic high pressure system on the heels of this storm system, and if models are retaining this bias, it's quite possible the storm ends up shunted to the south, giving snow to the Ohio Valley and Northeast.
Our Christmas Eve storm was expressed well by this Typhoon Rule application, and this storm looks rather similar to the track the storm took in Japan preceding the Christmas Eve event. The only difference here is this time around, the low pressure system drifts out to sea instead of cutting up the eastern coast of Japan. This is a huge red flag, and tells us that this storm may very well go further south and east than current model guidance is suggesting. Given the success this predictor has had in the past few years I've used it, there is reason to believe this system could go further south and east.
For now, I'll set my sights on this storm tracking to the south, more in line with what the GEM/GFS-Parallel are showing. The GFS model, in addition to being too far north, may be too quick with the storm, so other guidance appears to be good to use at this time. The combination of potential model error, as well as expected high pressure issues, in addition to the Typhoon Rule, is too much for me to put faith in the northern solution. The GEM snowfall prediction is shown below (this event's snowfall would be through the upper Ohio Valley into the Northeast).
- Model guidance is now confirming the possibility of a storm in the January 3-5 timeframe.
- A southward track is expected at this time, with snow hitting the upper Ohio Valley and Northeast.
- Substantial uncertainty still exists.