Tracking Potential Winter Weather This Weekend

by MCS Staff

The National Weather Service has a slight winter storm threat for our areas on days 6 and 7, for potential winter weather this upcoming Sunday and Monday.

As it looks now the threat seems to be between Saturday night and Sunday night (and potentially Monday night), but anyone who has experienced winter in the area knows how quickly things can change when it comes to potential winter weather.

The GFS (American model) has fared well this winter, sniffing out our last two previous winter storms before  the Euro (European model), which tends to be a little more accurate with long range winter forecasts.

Both models are currently showing potential for this weekend, but there are a lot of moving parts.

Fox 5’s Mike Thomas tweeted some raw data earlier this afternoon that shows potential outputs from both the GFS and Euro. The GFS shows a significant storm that could potentially bring 6 inches or more to MoCo, while the Euro has the edge of the storm running through the county with 6 inches upcounty and an inch or so closer to DC.

As Mike Thomas notes below, this is very likely to change.

Below you’ll see the “forecaster’s discussion” from the NWS.

An upper low feature currently situated just off the NW coast will begin to shoot down across the CONUS. Following its initial path across the western third of the CONUS will allow for ridging in its wake. A cutoff low will subsequently shoot down near the Tennessee Valley by Saturday night with a coastal low poised to form off the Carolina coastline.

This, along with subtropical ridging across the western Atlantic will keep the low tracked most likely closer to the coastline than further south. Main uncertainty now is the exact track of the low.

This will greatly influence the potential for a widespread snowfall for the Mid- Atlantic or even the potential for snow in the mountains and maybe a slight severe threat further east. GEFS 12z guidance has come a little bit more in agreement to EPS (a bit further south) but overall trends are still favoring a significant snowfall event somewhere between central NC and closer to the Mason-Dixon line and points further NE.

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