A Closer Look At Sunday’s Storm

Here’s a quick update on the weekend storm. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post the forecast models will continue to bounce around back and forth all over the place with their tracks over the next few days. So if you are someone who knows how to look at the forecast models and are reading this post don’t get upset or happy with what you are seeing or not seeing. The bouncing is to be expected with something like this. It more than likely won’t be until Friday when we have a solid idea as to the specifics with this thing. Or at least a much better idea.

Yesterday I mentioned the trending positive NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) and how that would force the storm further north then what the forecast models were showing at that time. Well I was not expecting the kind of jump north in the models that I saw this morning. Not only did they come further north, they came so far north that they are now suggesting rain and not snow as the milder ocean air (mid 40s) gets pulled into this storm.

[The one thing I am not going to do here is change my mind on this storm with each and every passing computer run. I like the idea of this storm coming further north, that was stated, but not as much as it is showing right now on the GFS (Global Forecast System). ]

The biggest question im trying to answer right now is the phasing of the jetstreams. If they phase (come together) along the east coast then this will be a “BIG” storm. Im still not sure what that would mean for us as far as what type of moisture we get, but it would be a big system. If the piece of energy from the southern branch comes out first then is quickly followed by the piece of energy from the northern branch, and the two do not phase then this is not going to amount to all that much.

Because this is such a big question mark at this time the Action News weather team will go with two potential tracks. The first track takes the storm off the Carolina coast and out to sea. This would mean nothing more then just a few snow showers Sunday Night. The Carolinas would see a wind swept rain out of it, but we dodge the bullet. The second track calls for this system to come further north off the coast of the Delmarva or Virginia Beach (some where within that vicinity). That would mean possibly snow or rain or even both for the Delaware Valley.

Once the piece of energy riding the southern branch of the jetstream jumps the Rockies, comes out of the desert southwest and into the plains states we will more than likely know which track will pan out. It will be at that point that the forecast models will know what’s going on here. If the “out to sea” track becomes the track of choice then this is a non event for Philadelphia and its immediate surrounding suburbs both north and south. If the “up the coast” track becomes the favorite then “specifics” would need to be looked at a little more closely. Specifics such as where does the rain/snow line set up, how much moisture are we working with, when the storm moves in and when does it moves out, etc. All that fun stuff.

So we are in the very early stages with this right now. Tomorrow afternoon should begin to shed more light no this. Meteorologists Adam Joseph and Cecily Tynan will both be talking about this on Action News tonight starting at 4:00pm. They will have the latest from AccuWeather.

Chris Sowers

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About Chris Sowers

I'm the weekend meteorologist for WPVI-TV, Action News in Philadelphia. I've been forecasting for nearly twelve years now. Some of my stops along the way include Bowling Green, Kentucky and the windy city of Chicago, Illinois. I have an identical twin brother, Gary, and a younger brother Jason. I'm a big sports nut. I watch everything from football to baseball to hockey, even horse racing. Another passion of mine is finance. There's nothing like making money, and lots of it! But most of all I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I have a little niece, Gabriella, and four year old nephew Hayden. They both mean the world to me. So much so that I've started a little segment on my Action News facebook fan page called "Gabby says". Once a week little Gabriella gives her forecast to the city of "Brotherly Love!" You can catch me Saturday and Sunday mornings from 6-8am, 9-10:30am and then again at noon.
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