On Friday a storm system will be moving through the deep south. It now appears that this system will stay well south of the Washington Area over the weekend maybe touching off a few rain showers with some snow showers possible in the higher elevations. If the system nudges further north on Saturday evening some of the higher elevations could pick up a few inches of snow but right now this is appearing less likely.
A stormy pattern will continue through Christmas Eve with much colder air beginning to infiltrate the eastern two-thirds of the nation. The various forecast models have several scenarios playing out Monday through Christmas Eve with everything from heavy rain and wind to thunderstorms to some wintry precipitation. There will likely be some travel headaches early to mid next week across the eastern two-thirds of the nation.
The forecast models are all backing off on what was looking like a “blockbuster” nor’easter and are now advertising a less phased, faster moving system producing lighter precipitation. However, a word of caution is that there still remains a lot of uncertainty because again this storm system hasn’t formed yet. While it is looking less likely of getting a 6 to 14″ storm (as the European was advertising a few days ago)… it is still possible that our region will receive a light accumulating snowfall with some spots picking up several inches of snow.
Here are the latest snowfall accumulation forecasts from the European, Canadian and GFS models:
After this weekend, the pattern is looking colder with arctic air likely beginning to spill into the Midwest. At the same time, storms will continue to enter the west coast and move east making for an active weather pattern through Christmas Eve here in the Mid-Atlantic.
The atmosphere behaves like a river of air and when it comes to our forecast models it is impossible to have confidence in a storm track this far out. Forecasting exact storm track is like dropping twigs in a river and then mathematically trying to predict how the currents interact and where and how the pieces of energy (the twigs dropped into a stream) will interact downstream.
The GFS model is flat and continues to be the furthest south with track and doesn’t phase the upper level energy with the coastal storm.
Bottom Line: The forecast models will hopefully begin to converge on a solution as we head into the Wednesday night/Thursday time frame. The piece of energy hasn’t even hit land and until it does, forecasting its path downstream with accuracy is next to impossible this far out. Stay Tuned for updates this week.
Does anyone remember the winter of 2009-2010? How could any of us here in the Nation’s Capital forget. It was mid December, not terribly cold and actually by most standards pretty mild.
Then came December 18th and 19th, 2009… Snowpocalypse with nearly 17″ of snow falling at Reagan National Airport with our western suburbs getting crushed with well over 25″ of snow!
Fast forward to this week… the 5 year anniversary of that wonderful occasion…. and if the current European Forecast model is on to something… we have good reason to get the snow blowers ready.
Now for the cold water in your face: We are still 6 days away from a potential east coast storm… one that hasn’t even formed yet and this far out, accuracy in forecasting its exact track is not so good.
The point is that history can repeat itself and if we do in fact get crushed on Saturday with heavy snow… a major travel weekend would be impacted. If it materializes and even if your travel plans are affected… there will be lots of festive looking yards covered in snow… and if you are not in the Holiday mood yet…some snow may do the trick. Stay Tuned!
The forecast models show a storm system moving out of the Deep South late this week and possibly impacting the Mid-Atlantic over the weekend.
The Global Forecast System (GFS) model has been all over the place with track while the European forecast model has been steady with the idea of a storm moving in some fashion along the east coast.
The storms exact track will be key and it is way too early for accuracy this far out. It is worth mentioning that if this storm system does in fact become a Nor’easter and heads up the coast… there is the potential for major travel problems across our Region next weekend.