© 2019 Terry Swails

LATE SEASON SNOWSTORM, BUT FOR WHOM?...

April 6, 2019

it's looking more and more likely a late season snow is headed for some part of the Midwest Wednesday/Thursday of next week. When I say snow, I'm not just talking a few flurries. This is a legitimate storm that could produce significant heavy wet totals of at least a foot.

 

What we don't know 5 days out is the precise track of the storm and the critical thermal profiles that will determine where the heavy snow falls. Early Friday, all the major models were focusing snow squarely on my area. Check out these forecasts.

 

The EURO

The GFS

The experimental GFS (FV3)

The Canadian GEM

As you can see, there was good consistency among the day runs of the 4 models on the general placement of the snow band. That leads to higher confidence than one would typically expect to see 5 days in advance of the storm, especially in mid-April. I was feeling pretty good about snow in my area.

 

Then came the 0z night runs and so much for confidence. All the models took a major jump north on the track shifting the heavier snows into Minnesota and Wisconsin. My assumption is that fresh data caused the models to initialize differently (and probably more accurately) creating the northward jog.

 

Now look at the latest snowfall forecasts.

 

The EURO

The GFS

The experimental GFS (FV3)

The Canadian GEM 

Most of my area is now void of significant accumulations. To be honest, the northward solution make more sense considering seasonal climatology and the lack of cold air ahead of the surface low in my area. I have no way of knowing for sure just yet but I think the northward correction is likely correct. 

 

For my area this means mild weather should last at least through Wednesday (and parts of Thursday) before the storm passes and cold blustery conditions take over later next week. While snow looks to be less of a threat here, showers and thunderstorms (along with the snow to the north) should bring significant moisture to the upper Midwest. This could be problematic for renewed flooding. Something to watch next week.

Before I end this, I do want to stress nothing is set in stone just yet. Over the weekend the track could change allowing the threat to shift again. I'm not expecting that but it's spring and storms this time of year are known for being fickle. Roll weather...TS

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