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Storm Trending North Equals More Impact…But How Much?

By Meteorologist Joe Joyce, WBZ-TV
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Joe Joyce

Joe Joyce, WBZ-TV meteorologist

Well, it all comes down to a model run which will help to decide which way this storm is going to go. It is never a good idea to put to much faith in any one model. But when it comes to reliability, The Euro model is the go to model we use for long range forecasting. But many times within 3 or 4 days, it starts to run out of use….and becomes just like all the others…a tool used for guidance. But in this circumstance, it is what is going on in the North Atlantic with atmospheric blocking which is the key to if this storm comes up or rides south. Being the GLOBAL model, The Euro has the ability to monitor the blocking happening in the higher latitudes a bit better than the GFS does (North American)…so we still favor the EURO thinking because of it’s broad resolution.

The Euro really has it’s back up against the wall today and most of our models have trended north with this storm. if you go by these, No longer does this storm look like it will ride south of New England. The High pressure block does not look to appear strong enough and it is opening the door for a more northerly track closer to New England which would have a more significant impact on our region with more snow and wind…at least if you go by the NAM, GFS, Canadian, Japanese, SREF ensembles, RPM solutions today…which have ALL trended north…

A finally, the latest information comes down from the coveted 12 Z Euro, an it too has a slight shift to the north and slightly closer to New England…along with the 12Z UKMET, who were the remaining model outliers. This means there is going to be some sort of impact now. The question is now how much of an impact we are talking about? The Euro finally brings in the snow Thursday and has this confined across SE MA from Boston to the Cape with generally light amounts. BUT still it has the much energy riding well south and east off the coast of Virginia and North Carolina…to far away to deliver any sort of heavy snow to New England. It is a bit baffling. Euro still keeps the storm away for the most part.

Meanwhile, the GFS model has the upper low stalling off the coast and the energy closer to us to provide for more lift and heavier snow totals, with some areas seeing over a foot of snow! It is still hard to figure out who to believe here. The GFS has a lot of model support from others and the ensembles. Meanwhile, the Euro gave a little today and may start to show more agreement to what the others are saying. We are simply going to need a little more time with this one.

What we do know are seas are going to become quite rough thanks to a large onshore fetch from the east. Seas will build to 15-25 feet off the coast Thursday. Tides are not astronomically high which is great news, but we still could see some minor to moderate coastal flooding on Thursday morning’s high tide on our eastern facing beaches. Strong winds will develop due to the combo of high pressure to our north and deepening low pressure to our south. NE with gusts 40 to 50 mph at the coast along with the rough seas will make for a stormy day at the beaches. This storm has potential…and once again as always…just a few 50-100 mile shift in track will make a HUGE difference between a hit or a miss. More updates to come.

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