European & Canadian Forecast Models Suggest Snow Shovels May Be Needed; 12z GFS shifts a tad west as well! Is this a Trend?

March can be a fickle month as Washington has had several wet snow events including a few crippling storms (March 1993) during this time of the year.  There have been lots of early March predictions out there stating that “Winter is over”.  (For example, the folks at the Capital Weather Gang:  stated on March 7th,  “It’s gone. The winter of 2015-2016, which will long be remembered for the great Snowzilla blizzard of Jan. 22-23, has departed. We no longer see a credible threat of accumulating snow and/or acute cold weather.” click here to see for yourself)

After living in Washington for almost 20 years you learn that you don’t make claims on Winter being over in early March despite periods of warmer, spring-like weather. 

Regardless of how Sunday’s storm pans out… Winter weather which includes “acute cold” will return for the first day of Spring (Sunday). 

Today’s models have, shall we say, opened up the possibilities that a Nor’easter may track close enough to the coast to produce an accumulating snowfall event across portions of the Mid-Atlantic and New England.

I am well aware that this storm system could very well track out to sea sparing the DC Area from any accumulating snow.  However, if today’s trends in the European forecast model continue, we might need to pull out the snow shovels again.

Let’s take a look at the latest forecast models (Images courtesy

Latest (12z) Operational European Forecast Model – Shows the storm taking a closer track to the coast… is this a trend? We will certainly have more confidence tomorrow to see if this shift in track continues.


Now let’s check out the latest Snow Accumulation Potential:

ecmwf_slp_precip_ma_18 ecmwf_slp_precip_ma_19

The following images are not ensembles and are solely based on the latest operational (12z) run of the European model showing snowfall potential accumulations for the Northeast big cities *IF* the above track (12z) were to pan out:

ecmwf_tsnow_washdc_21 ecmwf_tsnow_philadelphia_21 ecmwf_tsnow_nyc_26 ecmwf_tsnow_boston_26

Here is the latest Canadian operational model also showing a shift westward (closer to the coast) in track:


Latest Canadian forecast model (12z):


The latest 18z Global Forecast System (GFS) operational model (image courtesy continues to advertise a more offshore track.


Latest European Ensembles: (images courtesy  I’m noticing an increase since yesterday in the number of ensemble members showing a decent snowfall across the DC Region.  Keep in mind that several members continue to show no snow and as I’ve said, an offshore track is still in the cards.

eps_snow_25_washdc_21 eps_snow_50_washdc_21

Blend of the Ensembles:


Latest Control:


In ReviewIt appears the future holds a likelihood of some “acute cold” with a chance of a late March winter storm possibly impacting the Nation’s Capital.

If the storm does impact our region I will definitely take into account a higher March sun angle as well as the recent spring-like warmth in the event that I have to issue a snow map.

Oh and if anyone was curious, my favorite meteorologist here in Washington is Doug Kammerer.  Best graphics and best overall forecast … and congratulations to you Doug for your accurate Winter Forecast this year!

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2 thoughts on “European & Canadian Forecast Models Suggest Snow Shovels May Be Needed; 12z GFS shifts a tad west as well! Is this a Trend?

  1. Wouldn’t it be great to see these arrogant geniuses with about 12 inches of “egg” on their face!

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