Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wednesday's Storm

I have decided not to issue a snowfall map for this storm simply because it looks like the entire area will have a pretty uniform accumulation from this. All of the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier look to be in for a good 7-12". I upped the amounts slightly from this morning based on the models bringing in more moisture than previous runs. I even saw some indications of amounts over a foot, but I think that is overdone.

All of the models are now in pretty good agreement with each other except for one. Normally, when a model is drastically different from the others, it wouldn't put too much of a damper on my confidence levels. However, this time it is the European model, which has been out-performing the other models all winter. The problem is...the Euro brings in enough warm air to cause a snow/sleet mix to occur over Central New York. My forecast totals do not reflect that happening, but if it does happen, I would think accumulations more on the order of just 4-8".

Another concern I have is my old nemesis, the dry slot. With any big storm, dry air works around the center and gets wrapped up into the storm from the southwest. If I mess up a big-snow forecast, usually it seems to be the dry slot that is the culprit. The models have this punch of dry air working across Pennsylvania during the day tomorrow, staying to our south. I imagine the counties right along the State Line have the best chance of being hit by it, meaning their snow totals may be on the lower end of the 7-12", where as the northern areas will be on the higher end. Like the mixing, my forecast doesn't have the dry slot coming in, but if the models miss and it ends up 50-100 miles further north, most areas will be hard pressed to get into that 7-12" range.

As for the timing of this storm, the snow will likely start tonight between 9-11PM. It won't take too long for the snow to get heavy, and we should have 3-5" by tomorrow morning's commute. I do not expect the snow begin to let up until after sunset tomorrow. Even then, we will be dealing with snow showers and perhaps some occasional periods of moderate snow right through the night. I would say a snow day is a decent bet for most places tomorrow, but its never an absolute. The WeatherChat will be opening sometime after 6:30 tonight and will likely stay open right through 11pm or midnight.

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