Wednesday, December 1, 2010

[UPDATED] Saturday's Snow...

Before you make plans for a big shopping trip on Saturday, you might want to check out the forecast.  We are going to get snow!

Before we get into the forecast, let's take a trip down memory lane to a clipper system which hit during the overnight of February 19-20, 2008.  The system didn't get much attention from forecasters.  Even the weather enthusiasts like me didn't get too hyped up about an ordinary clipper coming though the area.  I called for one to two inches and the NWS in Indianapolis finally got on board with my call and acknowledged the clipper forecasting the same accumulations.

This ordinary clipper decided to thump its chest a few times and roar.  When the morning came, it had left behind four to five inches across Howard County.  What a sweet busted forecast.  Take a look at the snowfall map below.

Fast forward to today and we have another clipper forecast to come across the region now.  Unlike the clipper above, the forecast models have been a bit more bullish with this system.  This system looks to be a powerful clipper system.  (Please note that clipper systems are not generally potent systems.)

The NAM shows a decent swath of precipitation with the clipper system and cold (but borderline) temps.  

A high resolution snow map for our area show 8-10 inches for Kokomo.  Well, that is just poppycock.  But it does give some credence to a higher than normal total for this system.  The one item to take special note with this map is the narrow path of decent snow with a very tight gradient on the edges.  A shift of a couple of counties either way will have significant changes to the total accumulations.  Right now it is too early to lock anything in but the potential for a solid snow for someone in our area is there. 

The GFS is not nearly at crazy with the snow totals as the NAM and shows a more realistic 2-4 inches across Howard County.  I could support that idea.

The European model be out a bit later.  This will be the first year I have access to those maps in detail.  (Don't tell the wife I am spending $20 per month for a weather map subscription.)  Hopefully it will also show us in the snow path of the clipper.

As for now, I will continue to hold with my initial call of one to two inches.  The good news is I feel pretty good about it now.

Update: The Euro and Canadian models are also in line with the GFS.  The NAM is still the outlier.  

Another positive quote from an area NWS meteorologist:

Usually with moisture-starved clippers we halve the QPF to make our forecast. However, looking at water vapor and the pacific origins of this system GFS/ECMWF QPF progs may not be too far off. This system has my attention...

1 comment:

Scott said...

Alright, you've got my attention, and my snow plow is licking it's chops! All I really need is two inches, but I'd welcome anything above that, the more, the better!