Mar 022014

Meteorologist Kevin Arnone explains what happened to the snowstorm that was threatening to hit tonight into tomorrow.

Well, from the beginning these storm had many uncertainties.  The computer models never really had a good handle on it.  First last week Wed/Thur, the models were very bullish on it putting out 10+ inches. Then beginning Friday then starting trending south, then back north, and the models were not consistent with one another.

It was almost comical looking at the data because of how inconsistent they were with one another.

I posted a blog on Thursday stated that in my gut I felt this storm was going out to sea and we would have light accumulations. Why did I feel that way? Well, if I took the science out of it, predicating weather has a lot to do with trends.

The past 2/3 storms we have had, models 5 days out of impact would have heavier accumulations and then back off significantly 24-48 hours out of storm impact. I felt as if that would be the case this time as well!

Could have I been wrong? Of course, it wouldn’t have been the first time nor will it be the last.

Science is very hard to predict but obviously I do the best I can every storm to put out the most accurate forecast but sometimes the models aren’t on our sides like this storm.  I like to call this situation this weekend flip-flopping.  Where the models would flip back in forth from heavy accumulations to light accumulations one run to the next.

The science behind why this storm went out to sea is actually pretty simple to understand, but the models had a tough time picking it up.  I know most of you have heard the term “Polar Vortex” this winter. The media blew it up like it was something new but all along it is apart of our weather year in and year out.

Anyway, a piece of this “Polar Vortex” which is really just a large pocket of cold air that moves south from the polar region actually moved south again this weekend which will once again bring us another arctic blast of cold air this week.  Well this pocket of cold air, or polar vortex or high-pressure system, what ever you want to call it was strong enough that it actually pushed our storm system south.

This system was riding along a frontal boundary or cold front in this case and the boundary layer set up just too far south to bring us the significant snow! Most of the heavy snow was south in Maryland and parts of Pennsylvania.

I must say this system had all the right ingredients for a potential significant storm for us.  Abundance of moisture from the Gulf, cold air to the north (Which ending up being one of the reason why the storm was a miss), strong thermal gradient aloft however the track was just too far south to bring us the blockbuster most snow lovers were wishing for.

So was this storm a bust? Storms like this one when there is high uncertainly it’s tough to put out a snowfall map and be confident about it.  Obviously snow totals are what people care about.

In some respects, yes this storm was a bust but from the get-go this storm had many caution flags that I mentioned and as we know now those were justified.

If you read my blog on Thursday I guess sometimes it’s just better to go with your gut! Thanks for reading guys, have a great night and YES it will be cold this week.


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