Hurricane's Blogs: March Nor'Easter Suspense - NBC 10 Philadelphia
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March's Winter Storm

Hurricane's Blogs: March Nor'Easter Suspense



    Hurricane's Blogs: March Nor'Easter Suspense
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    You have to enjoy suspense to be a meteorologist-at least the ones who forecast for a living. It’s exciting to wait for the latest piece of data to come in to (we hope) shed more light on a coming storm.

    That suspense doesn’t stop when we leave our workplace. In the old days, there was nothing to look at once we left the building-no computers, no Weather Channel. Nothing. Now, we can see practically every bit on information at home or on the phone ANYWHERE. Hey, isn’t this my day off? I’m at the shore visiting my father, but can’t escape.

    So what has changed since yesterday? The computer models are getting more consistent (even the usually inconsistent American-GFS-model). There is going to be a storm along the East Coast Wednesday, with a lot of wind. Some state or states in the East will see places smashed with snow. Coastal flooding and beach erosion will be a threat. But where?

    The blocking pattern mentioned yesterday is still crucial. It will prevent the storm from tracking right up the coast, as so many Nor’easters do. The tendency is to push it to the Southeast and then East into the Atlantic. With that kind of track, only a relatively small area will feel the brunt of the storm. There will be a sharp cut-off on the north side from no snow to heavy snow.

    This means that the Philadelphia area is likely to be near the northern edge of the snow and strong winds. Best chances of significant snow should be in Delaware, with the heaviest snow in the mountains somewhere from Maryland to Virginia.

    Yes, it looks like we’ll be on the edge again. We were on the southern edge of the heavy snow in the New England blizzard last month. Now it’s the opposite, thanks to that blocking pattern.

    I’m starting to get asked that question more and more from viewers and tweeters. After hearing me talk about it on-air and in blogs ahead of Sandy, and in the controversy afterward, a lot of people know that the computers from Europe crushed the good old USA model in the Sandy forecast. CRUSHED IT! The EURO also beat the American GFS model for the New England blizzard.

    And, what a surprise!-the EURO was the first to suggest a big storm somewhere along the East Coast last week. The GFS was consistently squashing it southward to the Georgia coast, and then suddenly changed its tune a couple of days ago. We are now less than 4 days from the event, so the GFS and other models tend to converge, as they are doing now.

    The main European this afternoon shows a similar solution to what it showed for the past couple of days-a North Carolina/East track that would leave much of our area high and dry (but kind of windy). But the even more reliable “Ensembles” of the EURO are a bit farther north, bringing snow into at least part of our area. The Ensembles are an average of running the EURO 51 times. Any individual model run can go off on a tangent (known as “Chaos Theory”), but averaging eliminates that and scores better overall.

    Since we’re on the edge, it’s too soon to tell. It sure looks like parts of Virginia (and maybe southern MD and part of NC) will get the most. But for us, the suspense continues another day-at least. Well, there goes my day off Sunday……