Elliot Abrams

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The Pre-Valentine Snowstorm of 2014

February 11, 2014; 11:12 AM ET

Tuesday morning

A major winter storm from the Gulf States will be picked up by an energetic upper-air feature (a short wave with cold air aloft (a long wave is the kind that can cover much of a continent, but it often has a number of shorter waves traveling through it)) to develop a storm that strengthens on its way up the East coast. There is still some model wobble on the location of the snow/rain line at the height of the storm. This is a very big deal in a storm like this because in places where snow changes to rain, it can be snowing 1-2 inches an hour before the changeover. If a forecaster misses the timing by 3 hours, that can mean a 3- to 6-inch forecast error on accumulations. This video shows two of the model ideas from last night. The GFS (U.S. model) had taken the storm out to sea 24 hours earlier but has since trended toward the European model idea, which has changed little from run to run.

This is a draft of our accumulation forecast from this morning. Note how a shift in the storm path by 50-100 miles will have major consequences in the accumulation department. From a big picture standpoint, any storm that can affect places from Atlanta to Atlantic Canada with snow and ice will cause major disruptions.

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About This Blog

Elliot Abrams
Elliot Abrams from AccuWeather.com offers this Northeast Weather Blog for the U.S. with regular updates on NE weather from a leading forecaster and meteorologist.