Two paths yet

Still some question today as where this next system will go. Right now it is sitting off the coast of California north of the Baja peninsula. The storm will track over land and start its deepening process over Texas over the next few days. Everything is pretty set in stone up to that point. What lies after, is up to how much it deepens when it does and some other confusing aspects of the atmosphere. All that fiddle-faddle that will eventually mean something to me but escapes me now.

One aspect I do understand is the Appalachian Mountains’ ability to change storm tracks. To put it simple, think of them as almost a guide track for storm systems.  In this case, the storm will enter and follow either on the west or east side of the chain. An easterly track would take the system up the coast and parts of the Ohio Valley will see measurable snow. Following a westerly track, much of Michigan would get walloped by another major storm…our third of the season.

Why do we have these differing paths? Two of the more commonly used computer models have waged a war over the past few days. One model, the GFS, takes the system east of the Appalachian Mtns giving the northeast some snows. The European model (which has had a good hold on past storm tracks this season) takes the storm west of the mountains resulting in another wall of winter for much of lower Michigan.

Assume for a second we follow the Euro model (if you want snow this is the one to follow at this time). We will be looking at our third winter storm. Moderate to heavy snow accumulations possible, with a wintry mix in extreme south locations. NWS Detroit has already forecasted 3-7 inches for Thursday which shows their confidence in the Euro. I think with the track difference being a couple hundred miles apart it is too soon to call out that much.

Will have to keep an eye on this as it offers some learning opportunities and the chance for more white stuff later in the week!


Next storm sitting pretty off the west coast.




About gweatherc
Live in Michigan and enjoy observing the weather. Want to pursue it as a career! Currently taking classes at Central Michigan University.

One Response to Two paths yet

  1. dad says:

    Very interesting. I hope the storm goes east. Dry roads semed really nice coming to work this morning!
    Standing by, Dad

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