This entry was originally labeled Saturday’s storm even though the content made it clear it was Friday’s! I have fixed the title. Not my day.
At this point the storm due for early Friday is showing less stability than Charlie Sheen! What looked like snow early Monday and rain late Monday has reverted to its evil ways. The guidance points to snow again… and its arrival now as early as Thursday night! I won’t be surprised if the scenario changes again.
In order to better explain what meteorologists look at I’ve created a small animated map (above). These things are always confusing to people who don’t deal with them on a daily basis so let me lay out what you’re seeing.
First, there is a map under there! It’s hidden because it’s overlayed with indicators for precipitation, sea level pressure and atmospheric thickness. To make it easier I’ve thrown in an arrow pointing to Connecticut (its tip is pretty close to New Haven).
Second, the two maps in the animation both correspond to a forecast for 2:00 PM Friday, One was produced last night, the other this morning.
Third, the center of the storm is the center of the circular lines and marked by the letter “L.” The center of the storm is where the barometric pressure is lowest.
OK? I haven’t lost you yet, right?
What’s the difference between the maps? Last night the center of the low was over Northcentral New Jersey. Today it’s pushed just east of Cape Cod.
Because this storm has much colder air on its west side moving the center farther east chills the atmosphere above us! That’s why the chance for snow is now greater.
I still expect rain to mix in on the shoreline and much of this snow to be heavy and wet. If (and that’s the operative word)… if this forecast holds much of Connecticut will see six inches of snow or more.
As we move forward the models should begin to stabilize. We’ll also start having access to more models that don’t even attempt to forecast this far in the future.
Is there utility in a forecast this likely to change? Yes! Knowing there’s a reasonable chance for a storm allows people to have alternate plans. On the other hand it’s much too early to cancel or change your plans.
These were the work days I hated. I don’t want to disappoint.
I wish there was a way to be absolutely sure and know the forecast would never change. Dream on.