BLOG: Another Close Shave Sunday Night?

The last couple of storms have avoided the Valley like the plague, spreading their heavier snows either north or south of the region. It seems like this has been an especially tricky Winter, with storms not “showing their hand” until the very last minute…leaving forecasters scratching their heads a bit.

What about the next one? As I mentioned in my “Weather Geeks” video this afternoon, it seems likely to be a miss for us…*BUT* the last couple of storms seemed like they would produce more snow than they did, so will this one bring surprises too??

As always, we will update the forecast over the weekend, so keep checking back. Here’s the way it looks NOW:

Low pressure will emerge from the Plains states and pick up some Gulf moisture as it heads east. By Sunday evening, it will be somewhere over the South. But where exactly? That’s a very important question. The North American (NAM) model has it over eastern Tennessee, with high pressure over the western Great Lakes:

nampress

The GFS (along with the European and Canadian) has a weaker storm, and farther south:

gfspress

Those models also have a stronger area of high pressure over the Lakes AND it is farther east. The location of that high will be very important. In that position, it will have more of a “blocking” effect….meaning the low will only make it so far to the north before it has to turn east. The NAM idea allows to the low to get farther north (and therefore, snow gets farther north).

The result is a big difference in the snow prediction the NAM has vs. the other models.

The NAM forecast: namsnowThat’s a couple/few inches around Youngstown and a foot or so in SE Ohio and southern PA.

THE GFS looks much different: gfssnowGiving the Valley nothing.

The European: eurosnowNothing as well.

The European Ensemble model odds of more than 1″ of snow: PROBThat’s less than 10% for most of NE Ohio/western PA, a bit higher odds south of 224.

So, most of the current evidence suggests this storm is a miss for the Mahoning Valley. That said, as of Friday night, I am not ready to take it to the bank yet. I have seen too many last-minute “shenanigans” this Winter. Saturday should (hopefully) bring more certainty.

-Eric

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