Remember what I said about the track of this storm being fairly certain yesterday? Yeah, that’s not really happening. As guidance, observations, and satellite imagery give conflicting messages. it is becoming harder to formulate a forecast. There are two plausible scenarios at the moment, either the storm tracks farther east and is weaker/faster, or the storm is farther west and is stronger/slower. I’ll break down each solution below. As of now, I’m thinking that the storm stays weaker/faster.
A Weaker/Faster Storm That Tracks East
The first solution would involve a storm that develops in the SE US and moves ENE passing well to our SE and near or outside the famed “Benchmark” of 40N, 70W. The RGEM, NAM, and GFS are the big proponents of this solution and based on the sluggish strengthening of the disturbance supposed to energize the storm, I think this solution holds merit. That being said, I don’t buy the GFS verbatim. I think it’s a little too fast and weak with the storm. It grazes the coast with but an inch of snow late at night Sunday with sun returning by the Monday commute. I think a faster solution would most likely involve an inch or two at the coast and a dusting inland with the foothills and mountains remaining high and dry. This is what I’m leaning towards though with the Canadian and Euro models holding on to a stronger/farther west solution, I’m not ready to fully commit.
A Stronger/Slower Solution That Tracks West
The other possibility is that the storm tracks more NE than ENE and moves over or just west of the benchmark. This would result in a stronger storm that arrives later and drops more snow. With some reputable guidance on board, I’m not throwing this one out yet observations and satellite imagery aren’t completely favoring it. Should this pan out, the coast would see 4-8″, inland/foothill areas 2-4″ and the mountains a coating-2″. Snow would arrive late Sunday night but would last through midday Monday as bands of snow moved onshore. Winds would also become a concern with this solution but the storm doesn’t look to be close enough or get strong enough for serious blowing/drifting.
What I Think Will Happen
Here’s how I think things go down. I think the storm moves over or just outside the benchmark as it slowly strengthens. The bomb solutions of yesterday seem far-fetched based on latest guidance as well as observations. Light snow moves in Sunday night and lasts through Monday midday with light snow becoming moderate at times along the coast. The map at left shows what I expect accumulations to be. Remember, this is highly track/intensity dependent. A shift west in guidance and upper level features appearing stronger in observations will cause this map to be adjusted upward. A shift east in guidance and upper level features appearing weaker in observations will cause this map to be adjusted downward.
I’ll have another update tomorrow evening.