© 2019 Terry Swails

THE WAITING IS THE HARDEST PART...

October 26, 2019

Tom Petty sang it back in the day, the waiting is the hardest part. That's precisely my feeling Friday night as I wait for the pieces of the puzzle to come together on next weeks storm. This is what I live for, the challenge of seeing something before it's ever a thing. For me, I guess you could call storms a mild religious experience. Everyday I have faith that I can end up seeing what I believe in. The good thing for me is that I don't have to die to know if I'm in heaven. I'm saving the pearly gates for later.

 

Here's where the key to the mystery of next week lies. It's with energy that's located over the north Pacific. Precisely how it interacts with additional energy entering NW Canada will determine our fate in terms of snow, rain, and temperatures.

As it stands now, all this vorticity/energy is expected to buckle the storm track into this sharp trough by next week, at least that's what the EURO thinks. If the model is right, (and at this range there is still much that can change) that's the sweet spot for my area to get snow.

One of my biggest concerns as a forecaster is the data that's being fed into the models right now is being derived from oceans and land masses where frankly, it's sparse or non-existent. It's a no brainer that the better the data and the more of it we can ingest into the models, the better they perform. If a model initializes wrong it's doomed from the start. I wonder if that's what's causing the GFS to have such different solutions than the EURO and Canadian.

 

In the next couple days, the data will get better and that should lead to much better consistency in model output. I sure hope so just for confidence sake. Until then I have the best model the U.S. makes, the operational GFS sending up a cloud of doubt. Is there fire, I think not. (Beware of false prophets). For that reason, my faith remains tied to the EURO and GEM which I believe are at least pointing in the right direction. Not just because I want them to be right (wish-casting will bury you) but because I believe the pattern supports them. A very important distinction.

 

The other concern I have the depth of the cold air. This time of year it is tough to get cold air far enough to produce snow as far as the models have been indicating. There tends to be a bias towards a cold solution initially that eventually turns out warmer. That's especially true early in the year and when storms are in a deepening phase as this one appears to be Halloween. It would not shock me to see a northward push in the EURO and Canadian in future runs. I finished this portion of the post at 9:20pm Friday night.

 

Now it is 2:15 am Saturday. Finally, the latest models are in house and the endless cycle of finding new trends and pitfalls begins. Such is the life of a weather nerd like me. 

 

That said, lets take a look at the latest trends from what's known as the 0Z model runs Friday night. As I've mentioned numerous times, it looks as though there will be two precipitation producing waves. One Tuesday night and the second Halloween day. Here's what the models show for total snowfall accumulations. 

 

The GEFS

The model is far more bullish on snowfall than it has been but it's focused very far south. That seems to be an outlier to me. I doubt it.

The Canadian. That's a big dump of snow for my area. Will believe it when I see it.

Last but not least, the king, the EURO. The big take away here is a slight northward shift on the snow shield. I mentioned that possibility and the EURO bit, not to my pleasure. I would not be at all surprised if this trend becomes reality in the coming days. 

That's the latest and greatest for now and we're only in the first quarter. Time to call it a day. Roll weather...TS

 

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