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    A Seemingly Quiet Period Leading up to the Next Storm

    3/07/2014, 7:33:40 AM

    Friday, 11:55 a.m.

    A strong storm off the Southeast coast is lashing the southern mid-Atlantic down into the Southeast today with a cold rain, gusty winds, some ice and even some snow. As we see this storm sliding away from Cape Hatteras tonight and look back over the modeling of the storm the past two or three days, it becomes clear that the NAM was overzealous at bringing the precipitation northward into Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. It's trying vainly to approach these cities from the south at midday, but in the end it will not get there, and the dry air will hold. The GFS has performed fairly well, as has the European model. Of course, that's THIS storm. With the modeling as untrustworthy as it has been this winter, I have little faith in their ability to nail down the details of the storm next week this far away!

    Before we get to that storm, the weather from the Plains to the East will be rather benign. To highlight that, here's the 12z March 7 NAM model forecast of total precipitation from 12z tomorrow through Monday evening:

    Really, aside from what attacks the Northwest as the weekend progresses, the only action of note is in the southern Plains/Mississippi Valley, especially in Southeast Texas and Louisiana. That, for a change, should be virtually all rain. There might even be some thunder and lightning along the Gulf Coast. That will come about by an upper-level trough of low pressure sliding southeastward across the Rockies this afternoon and tonight with some rain and snow. Denver will get their second snowfall of the week, a little more than with the feature that came through Tuesday night. Like that snowfall, though, this one will disappear quickly this weekend. What doesn't melt tomorrow will be completely vaporized Sunday as sunshine sends temperatures toward 70!

    Anyway, this feature will head toward the southern Plains tomorrow, and some rain will break out across parts of Texas and Oklahoma. There can be some wet snow mixed in as well over parts of Oklahoma and Kansas, but few areas away from the Rockies will get any appreciable snow.

    To the north, a series of moisture-starved cold fronts will slide southeastward from the northern Plains and Midwest to the mid-Atlantic this weekend. The first of these will move through the Great Lakes tonight, then across the Ohio Valley to the Northeast tomorrow and into the mid-Atlantic tomorrow night. Precipitation will be scant with the front, and the good news is that ahead of the front, it'll get surprisingly mild tomorrow from the Ohio Valley into the East.

    Behind the front, Sunday will be cooler, but not terribly cold. Right on the heels of this front will come another, but the storm pulling the front along will pass north of the Great Lakes late Sunday and Sunday night and toward northern New England, but probably north of there, on Monday. As a result of the whole thing being so far north, precipitation will again be lacking, and the air that will warm quickly over the eastern Rockies and Plains tomorrow and Sunday will be pulled right into the Ohio Valley and mid-Atlantic region Monday and hold into Tuesday. Look at the projected anomalies Monday:

    And for Tuesday:

    Then the storm will come. The models, of course, are still all over the place, trying to figure out if there's any phasing between northern branch and southern branch features, which one is stronger that the other, the timing, the placement of the storm, its track, etc. The details are still lacking, but there's again high confidence OF a storm. The TIMING and TRACK and INTENSITY of the storm are as yet uncertain, and, therefore the forecasts of snow and snow amounts remains highly debatable. The one thing that concerns me is from the European weeklies last evening, concerning the high snow potential from the Ohio Valley to New England next week. And unless I'm really missing something, it pretty much has to be with this midweek storm:

    The model has done very well from last Thursday evening at ferreting out where the snow was most likely this week, so I'm betting it is on top of it for next week, too, regardless of the waffling ways of the operational run of the model.

    And regardless of what happens with the storm, it's quite certain another blast of cold air will follow it into virtually all of the eastern half of the country late next week into next weekend. At least by then, assuming my plane gets off the ground Wednesday morning, I'll be headed to Pensacola to visit our radio affiliate there. Good timing on my part I'd say!

    The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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