Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Storm threat update

No panic before it's time: Storm still a possbility, but models are squabbling.

Storm threat update


Not only has the winter of 2011-12 been short on drama and snowfall, it has been almost shockingly bereft of decent storm rumors.

That's one reason you're seeing so much attention directed toward this weekend's virtual threat.

The general theme: A winter storm could affect the region sometime during the Presidents Day weekend, perhaps as early as Saturday night, but the deal isn't even remotely done.

Our advice would be to defer any anxiety until at least late tomorrow, if not later, and expect last-minute changes.

You can follow the model-by-model discussions, some of them quite detailed and learned, on the American Weather Forums site.

Keep in mind that the tone of the discussions can change radically from model run to model run, not unlike the fortunes during a sporting event.

For an excellent overview of the uncertainties and complications, we refer you to the National Weather Service discussion posted this morning by Mike Gorse at the Mount Holly office.

He points out that a storm system full of moisture is going to move out of the Gulf, and the issue becomes whether it can interact with upper-air systems that would blow it up into something big and pull it northward.

Another major question would be how much of the precipitation would be snow, and how much of it would stick. Surface temperatures may be flirting with freezing.

This may well end up being all sound and fury, and in any other weather, it might have constituted just another threat


Inquirer Weather Columnist
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About this blog

Everyone talks about the weather, and here we write about it.

When we’re around and conditions warrant, we’ll keep you updated about what’s coming, but we will do our best always to discuss weather and climate developments in context and remind you that nothing in the atmosphere happens in a vacuum.

Tony Wood has been writing about the atmosphere for The Inquirer for 26 years.

Reach Tony at twood@phillynews.com.

Tony Wood Inquirer Weather Columnist
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