Mid-week System Potential Impact on ENC

Written by on November 23, 2014 in Winter Weather

The past couple of days I decided not to address this week’s coastal system that has the potential to impact ENC. This was primarily to avoid spreading the hype that has been spread across social media of snow for ENC.

There was only one forecast model that showed a potential and even at one point had 5-10″ accumulation totals by Wednesday night. The offending model was the GFS which does not have a great history forecasting snow for ENC. If one were to take a look at other forecast models and climatology, one would see that there was very little agreement on this solution. In fact the GFS has even gone away from this solution once again proving that hyping snowfall for ENC is a bad method of forecasting this far out.

So where do we stand? That’s difficult to say since there is a wide range of solutions that result in major forecast difference. Since I have already addressed the GFS, I will comment on today’s 12Z GFS run. Yesterday and Friday, the GFS had a low pressure develop along a stationary front just off the coast. A surface low develops and travels northeastward just off the coast. These solutions had the low further off the coast and put the “rain/snow line” closer to the coast as well leading it to believe there would be snow accumulation over ENC despite the fact that the atmosphere below 850 mb was above freezing. For today’s run, the developing surface low travels much closer to the coast with the snow line west of Raleigh leaving ENC with mostly rain. Keep in mind these are just forecast models and not an official forecast.

12Z GFS has the coastal surface low much closer to the coast with any potential frozen precipitation further west.

12Z GFS has the coastal surface low much closer to the coast with any potential frozen precipitation further west.

Today’s 12Z NAM is not as impressive as the 12Z GFS which shows a very narrow line of precipitation along the front with moisture not making it far inland. This would place all precipitation in the rain category for this solution.

UPDATE: The 18Z NAM does show more moisture spreading inland but the rain/snow line still west of ENC.

nam

12Z NAM has a very narrow precipitation range with all precipitation over ENC as all liquid.

The 12Z ECMWF has the most westward track of the surface low bringing it directly over the Carolina coast. This solution also brings in much more rain for ENC and pushes the rain/snow line over western NC.

12Z ECMWF surface low track just over the ENC coast. Image source: EUROWX.com

12Z ECMWF surface low track just over the ENC coast. Image source: EUROWX.com

Given these wide solutions, confidence on exact track and results are very low and will require more examination of future models to determine the best forecast. Right now it appears snow will be unlikely for ENC but the question becomes where does the rain/snow line lie? I will post more updates as new solutions become available.

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