It is now late Saturday. We are 3 full days away from ANY impact from this storm. As I've posted numerous times, it's important to pay attention but stay grounded as we go through this process. As a snow lover I have to let the facts dictate the forecast and NOT my emotions. The last time we had substantial snow was on January 5th, 2018. Yes. Almost 3 years ago! Insanity. We've been in a severe snow drought since then...especially last year!
This is the first real snow threat of the season and being such, it will undoubtedly be a very difficult forecast for numerous reasons. The first one is the hardest because we haven't forecasted one in a very long time, it's also complicated by the fact that this won't be a straight forward storm. There are multiple pieces that need to come together, or consolidate to create our storm. You've got the primary coastal low and another piece of energy to the west over the Ohio Valley that will come together. WHERE that happens will have big implications on what plays out. If it forms sooner, we are in a better spot for state-wide snow... if it's a later process, our chances dwindle. It's just the nature of the beast.
All major forecast models agree with the storm. They have minor disagreements on track and intensity. We will likely figure out those differences and see things in more agreement (hopefully) by tomorrow.
Because there are so many models that we could pull up and look at, I'll just use the GFS because I believe, at least with this one, it's doing a good job. It's pretty consistent.
This is where we are at on Wednesday Afternoon:
Notice the position of the low. A 995mb low isn't exactly earth shattering. But we've got high pressure to the north that will help create a gradient which will enhance winds. On-shore flow obviously becomes a concern because of the new moon and therefore tidal flooding. Right now I think solid minor up and down the coast, but not ruling out moderate. Flood levels will be discussed more in detail by Monday.
Aside from the wind, let's look at the precipitation and what the track. Obviously I think it's very well known that the farther east the storm goes, the colder the air will be and the more snow will be seen throughout New Jersey and the closer to the coast it comes the better the chance for rain is. The trend in past years has been for storms to travel NORTHWEST of what's modeled. I've seen that happen ALOT. This year though? The trend seems to be more SOUTHEAST. So we shall see. If this low happens to go another 50 miles of where it's modeled now, I'd say measurable snow right up to the beaches.
As it stands right now, I'd say there is a decent chance the shore will be mostly rain, perhaps even just east of Hammonton. SOME snow, but nothing really to get excited about - that's AS OF RIGHT NOW. The plowable snow would be through Salem, Gloucester, Camden, Burlington etc. I will put out a preliminary snowfall potential map on MONDAY. No point in doing it this early.
The EURO model is quite impressive. It brings VERY heavy WET snow to our area on Wednesday night...windy conditions too. This EURO also is closer to the coast with the consolidation process happening LATER. It favors rain at the coast and a decent snow storm in Philly and the other big cities.
Let's look at the 5k temperature profile:
In order for there to be snow you NEED these numbers below 0 (celcius). The heaviest banding would likely be in that area of -7/-8. IF it played out like that you've get convective banding and perhaps thunder snow. Not really out of the realm of possibility.
I'll do another update tomorrow to give you an idea of where we stand... then if everything remains unchanged and favorable for snow, we will start the coverage with the details on Monday. Stay tuned! And don't forget to download my NorCast weather app!
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