Thursday, February 07, 2013

To Snow Or Not To Snow That Is The Question

10:45 AM Thursday Update... Most of the models indicate a stormy Sunday, but then disagree as to what will happen Tuesday into Wednesday.  Yes, wintry weather is a possibility, but it's wayyyyyyyyyyyy to early to tell for sure.  The video below takes you through the new version of the GFS (Global Forecasting System).


If there's one thing you can say about the models, their inconsistency is consistent.  

I don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves here.  We do have a very significant storm system which will arrive Saturday night and into Sunday.  This will bring locally heavy rainfall and a strong thunderstorm or two.  The severe potential at this time looks low, but can't be ruled out at this point.  

The next wave of energy is not being handled well by both of the major long term models and I suspect they will have problems for a few of reasons.  First of all, there's so much going on in the atmosphere with different waves of energy flying through the flow aloft.  Also, we're dealing with a couple of jet streams and their interactive with each other, and until this system gets sampled well, the models will struggle to agree on a solution.  

Yesterday, I posted a video showing you the European model indicating a chance for snow Tuesday night and Wednesday morning of next week.  The newest run does NOT show it anymore.  The Global Forecasting System (GFS), which is run 4 times daily, is confused as well.  It's yesterday evening run had the wintry weather, then the new overnight run took it away.  To say any model is consistent just isn't the case.  Like I said, we really won't have a good handle on the system until late in the weekend.

Here are a few maps below.

This is the 00Z run of the GFS at 500 mb.  It shows quite a strong area of low pressure aloft over Oklahoma late next Tuesday.  That's all the oranges and yellows you see.  This would bring some wintry weather to the state, especially over northern Arkansas.
The very next run of the same model shows the storm much differently.  The energy is more spread out and is further east.  This is NOT a good scenario for snow lovers around here.  The "off hour" runs of the models (06 and 18Z), I don't like to use for long range forecasting.  This is one of those. 
The European model run last night shows the low, but it's over north Texas.  This trough would bring very little if any wintry weather due to it's orientation.
The run of the Euro, yesterday, indicates a low a bit further north and a tad stronger resulting in chances for wintry weather.  It's way too early to make any call on this so let's watch how this unfolds.

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