By Steven Strouss
Rumors are flying about a big weekend storm but with a snow-starved winter such as this, I’m not buying into it just yet. If this were last winter or even two years ago then I might feel more optimistic, however I have a feeling that this one misses us or gives us a glancing blow at best.
There is just one computer model, that we analyze, that brings the storm into our area. In fact, the model brings the storm so far inland that it would primarily be rain or a mix for us cutting down the chances of any significant snow accumulation. The other solutions (and there are several) keep the storm south and bring us little or nothing at all.
The problem is that the normally reliable computer model has been all over the place lately. Just a couple of days ago, it had the storm out to sea and a day earlier it didn’t have a storm at all. Now, it has a monster of a system developing over the Mid-Atlantic region Sunday afternoon with the strength of nearly a hurricane.
Here is the reason why I don’t see it playing out that way. As we described in our winter and February forecasts, we are currently in a climate pattern known as La Nina. These winters are typically not as snowy because the southern branch of the Jet Stream (which provides the moisture) and the northern branch of the Jet Stream (which provides the cold arctic air) rarely come together. In order to get a big coastal storm, like the snowmageddons we had in 2010…we would need these Jet Streams to phase. In addition, the lack of consistency between models and model runs shows us that they do not have a good handle on the situation. In order to make a confident forecast, we ideally want to see more agreement in the tools we use to forecast.
Despite all that, we can confidently tell you that you should have your umbrella handy tomorrow afternoon and that the CBS3 Weather Team will continue to track the weekend storm chance and provide you with any changes to the forecast.