Written: 2:20 AM 1/28/2021
Written by: Nick Dunn
You are likely seeing plenty of social media buzz about another wintry mess this weekend. In this day in age, it is simple for someone to post a model image showing a #snOMG scenario and it gets shared thousands of times, making people panic is freak out. We talk about this often, and more times than not that worst-case is never the true outcome. Why is that? Models change from run to run when we start getting more than 3 days out (and even sometimes change with 24 hours until precipitation starts!). So, is there another system on the horizon? It certainly looks that way. As of now, we don’t see as much ice with this, but more of a rain, snow, or mix of rain/snow type of event.
Let’s look at 5 computer models we typically look at on a daily basis and see what they are currently showing:
Keep in mind these are approximate locations, however look at how much agreement there is at “Position 1” and then as we get to “Position 3” and “Position 4” things are not in agreement. The further north it tracks, the more we see warmer air nose in and cause issues with snow to rain. The further south it tracks, colder air hangs on, meaning fewer of you see that rain/snow mix. So, which one is right? It is too soon to say. These are all long-range models. The short range models are just now getting into range, so let’s check this again in 12-24 hours to see where we stand!
Does the above graphic look familiar? We used this exactly 1 week ago today about a potential system, which ended up being weaker than advertised. This is another reason we will not publish totals several days in advance. We typically look at posting numbers when we are 48-72 hours out, which we just entered this window. We want the system that moves through Wednesday Night fully out of the picture before getting too enriched to the next system.
One thing we will show is the probability of seeing at least 1″ of snowfall based on some model data. There is a high consensus that 1″ of snow falls for most of the region. Again, this is based on just one run of the GFS Model and will change. However, this is a signal that at least light snow looks like an increasingly likely scenario.
There will be warmer air nosing in from the south, but the biggest question will be just how much warm air makes into our area. That will determine final locations of heaviest snow and that all important rain/snow/ice line. We do think that precipitation is likely for mainly the second half of the weekend into the beginning of the work week next week. We will get our first thoughts out there later today or first thing Friday Morning!