Coastal Storm Uncertainties

GFS_12zrunJan10_valid_0zJan14

GFS_0zrunJan11_valid_0zJan14

The latest round of computer model runs out of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction has not resolved any of the uncertainty with regard to a potential coastal storm Sunday night. The U.S. models seemed to be coming in line with those produced in Europe and Canada after the early morning and midday runs showed a significant low pressure area just east of the Delmarva Sunday evening, with cold air covering western and central Maryland. The Thursday evening run of the U.S. models, however, has backed off and they are now showing a much weaker low positioned farther east, away from the coast. The top image posted here shows the 7amThursday run of the GFS valid at 7pm Sunday. It clearly shows the low pressure system just southeast of Ocean City, MD. The second image is from the 7pm Thursday run of the same GFS model valid at the same time, 7pm Sunday. Note the much weaker low positioned much farther off the coast with little or no precipitation in central Maryland! With so much flip-flopping it is hard to hang your hat on any one particular model. The European models seem to have done a better job overall with storms on the coast this winter, so I decided to discount the abrupt change in the model forecasts this evening. On our 11pm newscast I stuck with the forecast from the early evening; a 50% chance of rain Sunday evening, changing to snow showers Sunday night into Monday morning. We’ll get a look at the new runs of the European and Canadian models early Friday and hopefully they will not show the kind of instability the U.S. models have shown. More on this developing situation in the morning.

Tom Tasselmyer

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