East Coast snowstorm?

Allow me to back off from blogging about writing and books for a moment.  There’s an interesting dilemma brewing for weather forecasters in the Eastern U. S.  (Thankfully, I’m retired and really don’t have to worry about such things anymore.  Now I’m just a strap-hanger and kibitzer . . . and blogger.)  Here’s what’s going on.  Look at the two maps below.  On the left is the European model forecast for next Wednesday evening. Look closely and you’ll see an “L” located just off Cape Hatteras.  That’s a rapidly strengthening storm system predicted (at least by the Euro) to race up the coast and drop a blanket of snow from North Carolina to New England.

On the right is the U.S. model (GFS) forecast for the same time.  Note there is no “L” off Cape Hatteras.  The nearest “L” (storm system) is just southeast of Newfoundland!  All that’s over the Eastern Seaboard is a sprawling, albeit very cold, high pressure area. Big difference, huh?  So which model is right?

The Euro model is often touted as being better than others in the extended medium range, which this is.  It was the Euro that picked up on the anomalous track of Superstorm Sandy last year before any of the other models had a clue.  So maybe it’s on to something this time.  On the other hand, there is NO support for an East Coast storm from any of the other models I looked at (the GFS, Canadian and UK Met) or their ensembles.  Ensembles are a mean of many model runs using slightly different initial conditions.  Even the Euro ensemble says, “Close, but no cigar.”

So, what’s going to happen?  Beats me.  Like I said, I don’t have to worry about it.  But it is an extremely challenging situation.  If you live along the Eastern Seaboard, I wouldn’t raid the local Piggly Wiggly just yet, but I’d certainly pay attention to the weather forecasts over the next few days.


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