What's the deal on a weekend snowstorm? (2-15-12)
Meteorological buzz is increasing this evening on the POTENTIAL of an east coast storm this weekend. Basically, our computer models have settled into 2 camps, with the overwhelming majority supporting no impact for us. The 2 sides are the GFS model (storm for us) vs. all the other guidance (no storm). What the heck is going on? Why the difference?Basically it all boils down to the phasing, or coming together of jet stream impulses, in the eastern US. Phasing is notoriously poorly handled by our weather computer models. A difference of a few hundred miles in the placement of these jet stream impulses can lead to big differences in the subsequent forecast.These features aren’t something a few states away. They’re THOUSANDS of miles away. So far, we’ve been relying on remote sensing of these disturbances by satellites scanning over the Pacific Ocean. As good as those techniques have gotten, there is still an inherent margin of error. A better way is to sample those disturbances within our network of weather balloons. We’ll get a good handle on those features tonight (Wednesday) That’s why I would expect some sort of nudge either way during the day Thursday. Which is right? Honestly, I don’t know at this point. No one does. All I can say at this juncture is keep an eye on Sunday’s forecast. We’ll provide updates constantly, whether a certain side is “winning” as we get new information. A good place to go (or ‘like’) is our weather Facebook page.
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