Jesse Ferrell

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Hype: First Northeast Snowstorm?

October 23, 2006; 8:27 PM ET

It's winter hype time, folks! Guess what... the GFS Forecast Model [JessePedia] is predicting snow next weekend over much of New England and the mid-Atlantic! Of course, it does that a lot during the winter, though to be fair we're talking one week out, not two, so this one might, er... stick.

The precipitation map from the GFS for next Saturday evening looks hauntingly familiar to the one from last week, which did not pan out in a snow event, except for the favored lake-effect areas.

But the key to this one would be colder temperatures, frozen ground in many areas, and most importantly a long duration -- the model shows snow over most of Pennsylvania for more than 60 hours. The only other model which runs in that time frame is the DGEX, which runs from GFS conditions at 84 hours. It is much higher resolution and shows the event as only happening in the higher elevations of the Appalachians Saturday:

It's hard to tell if this is just the difference in resolution talking but it seems that, unlike the GFS, the DGEX never really shows snow outside of the higher mountains. Professional's Joe Bastardi (PRO) is also hyped, predicting a 28.80" Hg low pressure Saturday in the Gulf of Maine (the equivalent of a Category 2 Hurricane according to Saffir Simpson [Wikipedia]). He also says:

"Heavy to excessive rainfalls from Texas to the mid-Atlantic, with heavy precip that could very well turn to snow from the Upper Midwest through the Great Lakes and interior Northeast, strong winds that can gust over 60 mph in the cold part of the storm driving flurries and squalls as far south as we will see them go now, perhaps even further."

But, he points out that there are a lot of factors which appear to be in place now, but could drop out between now and then, spoiling the equation.

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Jesse Ferrell
Jesse Ferrell's WeatherMatrix blog covers extreme weather worldwide with a concentration on weather photos and Social Media.