For anyone looking to head out early and take advantage of some great sunbathing weather… instead of getting more confident as we get closer to the event, models are now beginning to stray, and now muddy the waters with a new twist: Warm with showers. I’m not gonna commit to this new wrinkle until some more data rolls in. For now, assume we’re still on for rain changing to ice and snow on Monday, potentially heavy. Prepare for the worst, and be thankful if we don’t get an ice storm.
Early guidance is rolling in, and the big issue continues to be when will the cold front come through and how far south will it get. Some of the high-resolution Short-Ranges Ensembles Forecast data (SREFs) have offered a totally new twist, and that is the front never gets south of the MD/PA line Sunday into Monday… and we get nothing except some rain as the front finally comes through Monday. If this is right, then this would be a big to-do about nothing. Here’s the SREF’s pcp type for Monday at 1 pm; Green is rain, orange is mix/ice/ blue is snow:
The latest NAM has a really nasty ice storm, with snow falling in the far north along the PA as cold air pushes south overnight Sunday into Monday. Honestly, I hate “races” like this… where we are waiting for cold air to arrive while pcp pushes in; models often over-state the cold air’s arrival, as we saw with a storm earlier in February where far nrn MD got socked with 4 to 8″ of snow and the rest of us got 35-degree rain.
Anyhow, I’m not even close to offering a final take, especially now with the first set of data suggesting nothing but just plain rain. The GFS – IMHO – has been consistent with its handling of this storm, offering up a rain to ice to snow fcst, while the Canadian is in line with this but a bit colder and snowier.. The European is flipping forecasts like a line-order cook at McDonald’s (altho, maybe that’s not a good analogy… since I don’t think they cook anything onsite anymore; maybe I should go with “Boardwalk Burger and Fries“, but that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. I’ll have to think this over.) … anyway, the Burning Bush over the last three cycles went from a warm rainy fcst to heavy snow to northern snow and srn rain.
I’ll ping you this afternoon with something far more concrete. Well, concrete that has been freshly poured but far from cured… still soft as mud, actually.