Let’s first begin with the snow threat going into Thursday morning. We will be having a arctic front that will be slowing sinking southward across the Mid-Atlantic taking temperatures in the 40’s down to subfreezing. In addition with a transition of rain to snow behind that front with a weak disturbance riding along this front. Some of the high resolution model guidance have a good agreement that a changeover is expected during the morning hours Thursday.
Now i don’t expect anything significant regarding accumulations with this one but some could pick up a light accumulation. Especially those further north on the shore. We could be looking at some slippery travel in the area during the morning commute Thursday. Colder temperatures will continue to plummet throughout Thursday into Friday just in time for the second and maybe even more significant threat.
When the passes through we are going to see a fresh supply of arctic air with temperatures dropping down into the teens Thursday night and really struggling to get anywhere near 30 on Friday. This is setting up the stage for round number 2.
Now this is where the really messy situation begins. Unlike the last bigger snow threat to Delmarva, we have some of the best model consensus I have seen in quite some time which made it easy. Well it’s back to the confusing nightmare once again. So let’s break things down into groups.
This group is the very aggressive solutions where we are showing a January 3rd snowstorm repeat across much of the region. Snow and a lot of it too. With the phasing of two jet streams allowing for a low to develop down in the Gulf Of Mexico and move off the Carolina coast. With a strong 1038mb high to north keeping that fresh arctic air locked in. This is a snow lovers dream with a textbox major snowstorm for the Mid-Atlantic. The EURO model has been very persistent with this solution for the last several days but for awhile it was alone in that matter. The recent NAM model even though its not out far enough to really see the impacts, but its very aggressive and further northwest. UKMET has a limited amount of products we have access too but its also following the more northwest solution. Now going into the ensembles, there is a very tight agreement in low placements with the 52 members of this model. With some heavy hitting more reliable models getting on board with this solution, it’s something to take note of for sure.
Now this group of models keeping all the pieces of energy separate with a much weaker and suppressed solution. We are going to have model runs like because there is so many different pieces these models are going to have to figure out what to do with them. Not 1, or 2, but 3 vort maxes in play. I’m going to be honest especially with the GFS model, It’s creating some very unrealistic movements with that northern piece of energy near Ohio by ejecting that straight east even though its pashing with that southern one near the Gulf States. Can that still happen? Of course but it’s on the low end of my scale right now. We really need a aircraft to sample the upper atmosphere in the next day or so to be ingested to these models so we can get a bit of better censuses. They did this for the storm occurring for MLK day and that’s why we had a major shift in the track to being much more inland.
As it stands now for Friday into Saturday, we have a lot time to work out the kinks and we are going to be seeing some back and forth movement with solutions until we get these pieces of energy into range of observational data and or a aircraft to do research into the atmosphere the next 24 hours. I will be keeping a very close eye on this one that’s for sure.