A Hatful of more Wintry Maybes by Late in the Week

December 16th, 2012 at 9:22 pm by under 4 Warn Weather

I’ll have to keep this post suitably vague due to the lengthy lead time involved. As I began talking about on air Friday evening, I still have rather high confidence that we’ll feel some impact in our region from a deep and vigorous area of low pressure beginning on Thursday, taking us into wintrier weather overnight Thursday and into next weekend. That’s the big picture. The relatively high confidence fades quite a bit when digging for details due to model differences and ensemble differences–which are to be expected. One of the main questions concerns the path of this future cyclone. The European and many of its ensemble members takes the low nearly over us, which lessens the pressure gradient but still could get us into some wraparound snow followed by lake effect snow on a primarily NW flow. The GFS and many of its members take the low on a more common/climatologically favored path which would get us into strong to high winds by Friday, possibly with some initial dry slotting ahead of lake enhancement, then lake effect. Winds would veer to the W, then the NW, with lapse rates increasing as the WNW/NW flow takes hold. What cannot possibly be seen this far out is embedded short waves in the mid-level flow which could cause some occasional backing and veering.

I have a number of concerns, one being the GFS’ fairly big changes from the 12z run (not a true flip-flop, but still a marked lengthening of the period of time for cold advection, and a heightening of the strong to high wind potential by Friday AM). It is more important that the majority of the GFS MREF (ensemble) members show decent agreement than just the operational GFS run. On the other hand, the GEM is now closer to the Euro in operational runs, and the Euro is–as we know–often the better of these models. I can’t call it a “toss up” right now, because there are more than 2 outcomes possible. But we’ve now had approximate agreement on the bigger, fuzzier part of the picture for 3 days running. In other words, this system may prove to be more exciting and potent, or somewhat disappointing. But it’s not going to just disappear.

The trite phrase applies: The Devil is in the Details.

687 Responses to “A Hatful of more Wintry Maybes by Late in the Week”

  1. Southern Tier Hunter says:

    Will try not to speculate, but the shooting of the firefighters seems intentional. A crazed idiot set the fires, waited for the FD to show up, then started shooting. It’s horrific.

  2. Dave from Roc says:

    In a press conference that I just watched, the Webster Police Chief stated that it appears to have been a trap. Additionally, dozens of residents along the lake had to be rescued from their homes by an Armored Personell Carrier. In addition to the firefighters, an off duty police officer who happened to be driving by was also shot.

  3. Sled dog says:

    Amelia’s noon forecast said she was only looking 6″ from the midweek storm

  4. Michelle says:

    Yup. Totals will be down as it mixes with rain.

  5. jjc1733 says:

    Not sure how totals would go down with the models indicating a more southerly path of the storm, more cold air for our area??

  6. Stan says:

    So were getting rain with this system now? I’m so confused.

  7. Luke says:

    No at this point they’re not expecting rain to mix in this far north.

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