By Kate Bilo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Another week, another threat for major winter weather — this time on Thursday.
All day I’ve been waiting to see some agreement in the model guidance, and I can tell you that we are still waiting. The foreign models (European, Canadian, Japanese) are in agreement that a major snowstorm will impact the area. The North American models (GFS, NAM) have the track further east – still impacts for us, but most of the area would get roughly half the amount of snow that’s being put forth by the Euro.
At this point, with the storm coming in three days, I think we need to be prepared for the threat of a major snowstorm, on the order of 6-12″ with the possibility for more in a few spots. The European model is one of our most reliable, and it hasn’t budged from this storm idea for days. I think the current run may be a bit overdone, and if the storm track DOES go east, those numbers could be shaved. But especially with the way this winter has been going, it’s better to plan for the worst and hope for the best.
One thing we’ll be battling this storm is a surge of very warm air that will accompany the low center. Temperatures will torch in the middle of the storm, meaning for some of us (likely the city on east through south Jersey) the snow could mix with and change to rain for a time period. But it’s looking more than likely that at least half of the precipitation that falls will be in the form of snow for Philadelphia, could stay all snow in areas to our north and west, with a better chance of more rain than snow for the shore points.
Because of that rain/snow line hovering right over Philadelphia, the track of the system is SO important here. Just a jog 15-20 miles either way could make a huge difference in snow amounts and precipitation type.
The timing of the storm has the heaviest precipitation falling during the morning and early afternoon hours on Thursday, with things gradually winding down late Thursday night. I do expect that many schools will have cancellations on Thursday, so now is the time to begin planning.
We are closely monitoring the guidance on this system and will keep you up to date with all the latest, up-to-the-minute information.
Also follow me on Twitter @katebilo for my latest thoughts and latest model runs.