Monday, July 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Bolaris: ‘Yukon energy’ could yield some snow

A tree took down power lines on Route 29 in Phoenixville near the intersection with Bridge Street. Sixty percent of Chester County is still without power. (Michaelle Bond/Staff)
A tree took down power lines on Route 29 in Phoenixville near the intersection with Bridge Street. Sixty percent of Chester County is still without power. (Michaelle Bond/Staff)
Gallery: Winter Ice Storm Nika hits Philadelphia region

The weekend is upon us and we finally can put to bed all this insane talk of a huge snowstorm for the weekend after a particular weather firm irresponsibly issued a map depicting 2-3 feet of snow across the entire region.

That was last weekend and the firm should’ve known better than to post the alarmist map. I’m sure that if the storm did materialize, the firm would shout: “TOLD YA.” But there was only a small chance a big storm would happen. And they never say anything when a forecast made 15 days before it turns out to be wrong.

Having dispensed with that, here’s your forecast for the weekend and potential weather for next week.

Saturday looks pretty good. It will be cold but mainly dry. A storm system sliding off the Mid-Atlantic coast could produce a few flurries especially Saturday night, but we’re not looking at any real accumulations – maybe a dusting in a few spots. Temperatures will be in the 30's with increasing clouds.

More coverage
  • Interactive map of area power outages
  • Over 280K still without power; wait may be days
  • How to prevent - and thaw - frozen pipes
  • Some merchants get power, others get anxious
  • In Chesco, elderly residents struggle through the storm
  • Bolaris: ‘Yukon energy’ could yield some snow
  • Photos: Storm slams Philly area
  • So you should certainly go ahead with your weekend plans. And this will not impede PECO as it continues to work to restore power.

    On Sunday evening, the Yukon energy I have been talking about will move through. That’s a bundle of upper air rotation which at times could ignite, or come to phase, to produce coastal development.

    And that could produce a period of accumulating snow from Philadelphia and points South across Southern New Jersey, Delaware and Northeast Maryland.

    It’s not out of the question that this zone could see one to three inches by Monday morning. I’ll keep a close eye on it for you as the potential of some slick Monday a.m. roadways at this time is a possibility.

    I’ll fine tune this forecast on Saturday, since snow would fall within a narrow strip in an exact location not yet pin pointed.

    There is a storm potential for Wednesday night/ Thursday of next week. But, once again, models have drifted apart. Computer runs yesterday had both the GFS (Global Forecast System) and the European model in basic timing and positioning agreement.

    Not anymore. The European model has been consistent in placing a very moist storm in the Southeast on Wednesday morning and then moving it up and along the East coast with a prolonged period of wet snow, ice and rain. And yes it would mean accumulating snow across the Northwest suburbs and the possibility of some ice.

    On the other hand, the GFS has had a complete reversal with any storm moving well off the Southeast coast with the big impact being another polar punch come Valentine’s day (next Friday) with snow showers likely.

    Both models agree upon yet another Polar outbreak for Valentine’s Day, as well as on the 15th. So this end of the forecast has high confidence.

    As for the storm threat potential sometime in the middle or second half of next week: My projection of accumulating snow and ice has been reduced to a low-moderate threat (40-50%). Getting the timing right of embedded short waves (energy packs that eventually induce storm development) has been an extreme problem.

    Eventually this will come together, but unfortunately we might have to wait until Monday to have a good handle on what it will produce.

    John Bolaris For Philly.com
    Also on Philly.com
    Stay Connected