Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Fool If You Think It's Over . . .

. . . maybe.
As soon as some computer models showed a potential snowfall for the first day of spring, some professional meteorologists looked at the data and concluded that the chances of such a thing happening -particularly in the form of a big winter storm - were minimal.  Since then, the models have fallen more in line with a snowfall, including the Euro model.  The Global Forecasting System (GFS) has been up front with such a prediction, and although the GFS has backed off a bit from that prediction, the Euro model has nonetheless followed suit.

This is a GFS model snow map for March 20, which was run early yesterday, and it shows a measurable snowfall in much of the Northeast, including northern New Jersey, accumulating by then.  The thinking is this:  Although temperatures for the New York City area are expected to be in the upper 40s on Sunday, colder air from Canada is expected to seep in regardless of what happens, and a potential coastal storm could not only drag in more of that cold air, but - my jaw dropped on the floor when I read this - produce its own cold air and put down enough snow to generate winter storm warnings.
If the idea of the mild temperatures forecast for this coming weekend being brought down to the freezing mark sounds ludicrous, bear in mind that it was supposed to be 54 degrees Fahrenheit for my area on March 14 - never got out of the 40s.  Also, the blizzard of January 23 wasn't on anyone's radar screen (literally) a week earlier.  And there are many other examples of storms that generated enough cold air to to dump a lot of snow unexpectedly.
Maybe we'll get just a dusting if there is snow.  Maybe we'l get a lot but it will still melt quickly thanks to a higher sun trajectory and a warm surface.  Then again, maybe there are no mitigating factors and the storm we get will be the sort of winter storm you get to tell your grandchildren about.  We've had one of those already this winter; don't think we can't have two.       

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