When you're on the edge of a predicted storm, only a slight change in track can make a big difference.
For this Christmas weekend, that change is faster, weaker and farther east.
Many of the computer models had kept the storm far enough offshore to prevent a big snowstorm in our area, but some had been trending west. The most reliable computer model overall, the European, has been going for the big storm solution for several days now, with computer runs twice a day. Now, it has joined the average position of most other models, adding confidence that there will be no big snowstorm Sunday/Monday.
This is why we do not even mention possible snow amounts three to four days ahead of time. There are too many possible changes, and once people hear a number, even if it's cloaked in "maybe, possible, potential," etc., they don't forget it.
I'd rather be right than be first.
This is the second week that a possible storm has (or will) tracked offshore. We've mentioned the battle between the Atlantic and Pacific weather patterns before. The Atlantic and Arctic patterns have been favorable for snowstorms, but the Pacific pattern has been very unfavorable (largely due to the strong La Nina).
The Pacific won out last week, and appears to be winning this week as well. There's got to be a reason we haven't seen a storm of more than seven inches in Philadelphia during a strong La Nina in over 60 years!
The Sunday storm could still spread some light snow in parts of the area, especially near the shore. Or the upper-air part of the system could trigger some snow showers. Gusty winds should follow Monday and Tuesday, but the big story next week could be the overall pattern change.
No more Atlantic blocking pattern that led to the consistent cold this month! It will be a milder start to the year, with no prospects for significant snow for a good while.
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