Atmospheric Waiting Game

By Meteorologist Joe Joyce, WBZ-TV

At this point there are still more questions than answers in regards to the upcoming storm. We are still playing a game of  “Wait and See”. Not just what the models are going to say..but also how the actual weather is going to behave. I have been eyeing this Global Enhanced Water Vapor Imagery. Isn’t it beautiful?

There are several things we have to watch that will have a major impact in determining how much if any snow we will receive. First, is our departing storm SSE of Newfoundland. This low continues to loop around. It needs to pull out soon…or this could help to force the storm further south…like the NAM has been advertising.

Secondly, the main piece of energy which we are tracking is up near Hudson Bay in Canada. This is a vortmax which will be directed south by and upper level ridge in the west which is being forced east by another digging trough along the west coast. Got it? Once the snow in the midwest shifts south and weakens…I expect this shortwave to coming slamming down into the trough and help to merge the polar and subtropical jetstreams and help this storm get going.

gfs 500 054m Atmospheric Waiting Game

But if this piece of energy does not link up with the southern stream at just the right time…then all the moisture from the Gulf just may be steered out to sea like some of our models have been showing. What an atmospheric dance! It is amazing how everything has to be exactly perfect for a storm to happen.

But let’s be honest here. We are not thinking a miss quite yet! In fact the Euro and the GFS  look similar this morning with a moderate thump of snow for eastern MA. My concern is looking at the GFS ensembles  which many STILL do not show a hit, with some just clipping East MA.. The offshore track  is certainly must remain in play until we see this atmospheric waiting game start to play out.

This morning I am mostly leaning on the 00Z Euro and 06Z GFS which have similar looks. These models have shown a fair amount of consistency…but the Euro has tracked a bit farther east…so we will have to see if that east trend continues at 12 Z. The models seem to be a good compromise to the offshore/miss scenario.

This storm will come out of the Gulf of Mexico and bomb out south of New England. Today it appears that the heaviest snow  and wind will be confined to the coast with the track just far enough off shore to spare inland areas outside of 495 the heaviest snow. A track or trend to the west would have more serious reprecusssions with heavier snow totals for most areas and stronger winds for the coast.  I have been saying on television the best chance of heavy snow 6-12+”  is Southeast MA with a good chance of plowable snow extending back to Worcester county to the Merrimack Valley into NH. Obviously, Plowable snowfall can mean a lot of things…a few inches to something much more. Early estimate…heaviest amounts closer to the coast. 

It’s BAAAACK. 12 Z GFS is a beast! A shift back to the East? Nah.

gfs op apcp f66 us Atmospheric Waiting Game

Check out the latest run of the Japanese. It’s a monster too!

conus jma 1000 500 slpthkprp 72hr1 Atmospheric Waiting Game

I could give out numbers and snow totals but what is the point? It is just going to change by tomorrow.  The thump of snow is starting to look more and more like a blizzard. These latest runs are nuts! A shift back to the west is back in play. The stakes are extremely high. Look out! If this is the track verifies…we will be snowfall measuring in feet.

That is thinking for now in another episode of As the models turn….

Oh by the way…Here is my holiday gripe:  Where are all the Nativity scenes? Are we not allowed to have these in public anymore? You never see the manger, the three kings, and baby Jesus anymore. I loved this as a kid. It is such a wonderful charming story and the true spirit of Christmas. Silent night is an amzing song to play tonight. Instead we are bombarded with advertisements of couples buying diamonds and cars for each other. Kids are getting laptops, Ipads, Game systems. What a spoiled entitled generation this is becoming and it makes me sick. Consumerism and Secularism running wild. It must be Santa! Give me a break. It’s a very sad really.

I ask you to make sure you take the time this Christmas to step away from the madness and insanity. Put down the Iphones for once and just enjoy what Christmas is all about. Peace, Love,  and Family.  Have a very Merry Christmas. And don’t ever be ashamed to say it!  More updates tomorrow. Guess how I will be celebrating?? Watching the next model run come in…Yippee! Care to join me?


More From CBS Boston

Summer of Savings
Download Weather App

Listen Live