Risk For Ice Growing For The Northeast But Where? Models Battle Over Key Cold Air Mass
We watching the next cold front very carefully. Also being watched is a cold high and whether that high builds more east into New England rather than South into Texas. This is what will be key regarding the potential for an icing event Thursday night and Friday, and possible a significant icing event for our area and that includes the coast. Before any of this happens we have a slow warm up getting under way over deep snow cover in many areas. High clouds are on the satellite picture and this will help to hold temperatures up some tonight. Lows will be in the teens to low 20s. If skies clear, cold spots could certainly see single digits. There isn’t much change in the outlook into Thursday. Tuesday look for some sunshine. Highs will be in the 30s. Wednesday we will have clouds around as highs head back into the 40s. More clouds will be around on Thursday. Highs will be in the mid 40s to lower 50s assuming we don’t have much sun.
On to Thursday night and Friday where as always we have weather models going in two directions. The very cold gfs model is bringing very cold air at low levels southward faster and takes the freezing line to Southern New Jersey by Friday morning. With lots of overrunning precipitation much of it will be freezing rain and there could be some serious ice accretion with this.
The European model along with the Canadian model has the front stalling much further north in which case the cold air doesn’t reach the coast until Friday afternoon. A change to freezing rain and a little snow would occur near the end of the event and while it would mean some icing, it would be nothing like the picture the GFS is painting.
Many of you have been asking about snow with this system This is a totally different set up than what we had this weekend. This is very warm air aloft (3000 ft and above) over very cold air below that level to the ground. The map above shows the upper air getting cold enough for snow on the GFS starting where you see the light shading of blue.
The warmer European has that potential freezing line aloft for snow WAY UP in update NY for the same time frame which is 1pm Friday. If this is right a significant accumulating snow at the end when the cold air collapses would diminish considerably as you go south. We are left with 2 models where one is getting colder with every run (the GFS) and one getting warmer with every run (European). Much of the time in cases like this, the warmer solution prevails and that would be very good news. Snow is one thing but ice is quite another due to how destructive it can be. I’m cheering for the European model to be right on this because nobody wants an ice storm
MANY THANKS TO TROPICAL TIDBITS & F5 WEATHER FOR THE USE OF MAPS
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