Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I quote Abe Stephenson from September 23, 2009 at 9:05 P.M.

"ok i think there is one question on everyone's mind.... or maybe just mine.


I quote this becuase this weather forecast has kind of given me an insight into what it must be like if you don't really know what weather is coming, because frankly, I have little to no clue if we are going to see snow or not. Let's give a rundown of what is coming our way.

First, the next few nights and days will be continued cold, but they will moderate a little bit. Instead of highs being stuck below freezing and lows plummetting into the single digits in outlying areas, highs should make it into the mid 30s Thursday and the upper 30s Friday and Saturday. Humidity and clouds will also be on the increase, but this shouldn't give Washington much precipitation besides a couple snow flurries. The biggest effect that these will have is to keep temperatures much warmer at night, with lows around 30 both of these days. The models are in fairly consistent agreement about that. Then, things get much more complicated.

The forecasting models have basically been flip flopping between 3 completely different scenarios for the weekend and early next week. One has a light snow-to-rain event Sunday, another one has just rain showers Sunday, and another one, the mm5 GFS, shows a major snowstorm Monday night into Tuesday after fairly dry weather Sunday. Before you kids get too excited about the words "major snowstorm," that is just what a model is predicting, and I don't trust it (or any of the models at all). Still, I do like to ponder about big storms, so the above diagram indicates the snowfall from the 24 hour period from 4 P.M. Monday to 4 A.M. Tuesday.
The bottom line here is that the forecasters are really freaked out because it is inevitable that they will end up somewhere with an egg on their face. There is no consensus in the models in a rapidly approaching situation, and when snow is involved, this spells disaster. If I were to guess, I'd say we'd see only rain for most of this, just because so many things have to occur for snow to fall here. Thanks for bearing with me and I'll keep you posted!

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