Thursday, November 07, 2013

Buffet of Meteorological Outcomes

As I was looking at the various modeling options out there for the storm, I hearkened back to the days when Andy Reid used to run the buffet lines at Nova Care -- you know, Taco Tuesdays, Fast Food Fridays, and thinking about the plethora of greasy options for Eagles dining at lunch.

Computer modeling for a storm a week out is, in some weird, twisted way, similar to going to a buffet. A bunch of options on the table, a couple you will like...most pretty intolerable depending on one's perspective of dining. In some respects, you get to make the choice in what to accept as potential reality.

Case in point -- the two stark differences between the Euro and GFS for next week's possible (can't stress that enough) storm system. Euro has five different outcomes in each of the last five runs. Some runs have been 60's and showery, others have shown snow (like below).  The GFS, likewise, has waffled from snow and mild as well depending on what model run is out there.

If you want to take things a step further -- the ensemble guidance of the GFS (below, click for the full show) shows a wide swath of options as well for the same storm -- anything from "no storm for you" to a wrapped up, bombed out snowstorm.

Needless to say, a buffet of options is on the table.

This is a timing and detail type of storm that fine details will impact the final outcome.

High pressure will be building across New England and across the Midwest, providing the cooler air needed to give the backside of the storm snow. A faster track, such as the GFS, will probably take a more northerly track as the high can't block the northward advance as it is moving in at the same time as the low (but the low wins the "speed" battle) and thus would be a rainy solution for the region. Note that "normally" the Euro model tends to be a bit slower with track and detail at seven plus days out and the GFS typically has a better handle on northern jet speed and detail.  A slower track, such as the Euro, could produce snow...especially if the mid level energy is stronger and the storm gets cut off, allowing a more bombed out scenario to take hold. That then comes down what the track is and requires a perfect balance with the building high.

Like 90 percent of our winter storms around here, everything's got to come together just right.

Needless to say, it's a week out. Don't worry about the details and specifics. As we said yesterday, modeling is showing a storm threat next week. It could snow (odds are low but it *could*) and it could rain. Worrying about the details is still silly this far out. We will see a lot of variation in modeling over the next several days but the details are nowhere near settled. Your hopes for snow, if you want it, should probably be tempered given how much waffling is going on between each model run and each model.