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WINTER STORM RIDES THE FENCE

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WINTER STORM RIDES THE FENCE..

For decades the gold standard for weather models was the European. My reputation as a forecaster (such as it is), has been largely tied to its ability to consistently out perform competing models. It's been so good for decades and created such a trust level, that when I get into situations where it comes down to it or the GFS, I lean on the money ball which is the EURO. As long as it's solution is supported and makes sense with the overall synoptic set-up, it's my go to model.


I don't know if its a permanent thing, climate change, or just dumb luck but with the impending storm the GFS has taken it to the EURO. For nearly 48 hours, it has trended ahead of the EURO showing the system just clipping the southeast half of the area while the EURO had much of the region buried in snow. It's garnered newfound respect in some other recent situations as well. I tip my hat. At least in this battle, the victory goes to the U.S. based GFS.


THE WRITING ON THE WALL...

So now all the deterministic models and thier ensembles are coming into better agreement on where this is heading which leads to higher confidence in the position of the snow band. However, there are still some issues that give me pause. First, lets look at the deterministic runs of the GFS and EURO. Notice they keep the snow east of my region. Simple put, a miss.


The GFS

The EURO

However, when we look at the ensemble means of the two models, comprised of multiple members we see a further westward trend back to about the Mississippi. What that means is that there is still some wavering going on in the clustering of individual tracks of the various members. In other words, there is some chance the snow could end up a little further west than what the deterministic solutions are showing.


The GFS ensemble mean

The EURO ensemble mean.

Even the latest GFS deterministic run shows its snow band has moved a little further NW and filled in across Illinois from the previous run 6 hours earlier.

Chicago is shown taking a real hit with up to a foot of snow. Here's a closer perspective.

In the end, it looks like the northwest half of my area will avoid snow altogether. However, there is still a chance southeast of the Quad Cities accumulations of 1-3" are possible, heaviest in my far eastern counties in Illinois. At the onset of the event, precipitation is likely to start as rain or a mix in the far south early Friday before flipping over to snow thanks to the impacts of evaporational cooling. Needless to say, this storm has been a real bugger to pin down and we still have until Friday before it hits. There is room for additional changes and I still don't feel overly confident how this all plays out, especially with the hi-res 3k NAM still showing amounts like this in my far SE counties.

Obviously the 3K is an outlier and what I would consider an unlikely long shot. Anway let's see what Thursday's data brings.


Before I pack it in I also want to touch on a pattern change that is going to bring colder weather to the Midwest that could be around for much of March after it arrives in just over a week. Notice about 10 days from now the MJO is shown in a highly amplified state moving into phase 1 with a logical transition towards phase 2 after that.

The temperature analogs for phase 1 and 2 are cold in March.

This certainly has merit when one looks at the 500mb height anomalies at northern latitudes March 6th. From Alaska to Greenland the red indicates high pressure that arcs across that region.

The high pressure means the cold in Canada is going to push and already the 7 day period March 8-15th shows temperature departures that are well below normal across the nation on the EURO control.

The past 20 days have looked like this so that would be a signifcant change!

With that, I will close for now with one eye open on the storm coming out of the southern Plains. More on that later Thursday. Have a rewarding day and roll weather...TS

MARCH MADNESS AT THE CHURCH

FLASH SALE ALERT...

I still have the coming weekend open at my Airbnb just north of Galena. You can get 2 nights for the price of one. Plus, due to the short notice I will take an extra $150 off the price. The total cost is $350 dollars for both Friday and Saturday night, a savings of $650 bucks off the high season cost (as good as you'll ever get it).

Additonally, I am still doing 2 nights for the price of one through spring with some open dates still on the calendar. Treat that special somebody with a romatic trip to one of the regions most unique destinations. Or, split the cost with a friend and just get out of dodge. Dial Carolyn at 563-676-3320 or E-mail Carolyn at carolynswettstone@yahoo.com This is a first come first serve deal. Click the link for pictures and information. https://www.tswails.com/galena-airbnb

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