Rain, Gusty Winds To Generally Miss East

A recent update to Premium subscribers has been posted that details 4 future storm threats and the long-range pattern for the rest of January into the beginning of February.  If you’d like to purchase that forecast, you can do so here.  Attached below is part of the forecast on the storm this Sunday into Monday that was earlier sent out:

SUNDAY STORM: Models continue to vary greatly on impacts from this storm, mainly because there are a number of key variables that are necessary to nail down on a small scale, like the exact track and extent of cold air, before really getting a concrete forecast.  As always, I’ll lay out some of the model scenarios and conclude with my overall thoughts and a first take at a forecast for the storm.  First, the updated 18z GFS has this, with the wave of low pressure creating heavy rain and gusty winds off to our east, whereas we would get some lighter, cold rain.  It’s unlikely that there is much, if any, snow in this scenario, and overall in most scenarios with this storm.  However, a surface temperature analysis shows that the GFS is dangerously close to giving us some patchy freezing rain from this scenario, which is my largest concern with the storm.  The 18z NAM, shown here, similarly has heavy rain moving near the region, but again keeps all winds offshore with the freezing rain threat again inland over Westchester County briefly.  The model shows very little precipitation for the region, with eastern CT getting most of the rain in this scenario.  The CMC has a similar scenario, seen here, but could show some snow mixing in.  And the ECMWF again is close to showing snow, but shows all rain for coastal counties again without many strong winds.  And the SREFs here indicate some freezing rain threat before an all rain threat.  So the model consensus is generally for some cold rain here on Sunday afternoon, but it continues to look like we will get spared the worst.

That’s similarly what I expect, especially when looking at the 500mb ensemble charts.  The 18z GEFS look here shows the upper level trough get a little pushed by the weak ridge/higher heights centered over Missouri, seen here.  We remain in a fairly progressive pattern, and with that branch of the vortex sitting over northeastern Canada I struggle to see how this storm gets pulled too far west.  Instead, I see a scenario where it gets shunted a little further east, thus sparing the region any dangerous winds (which the Climate Prediction Center seems to think are likely) and also sparing us much rain.  It is in this scenario that part of the region could actually see some snow, but again I don’t think the boundary layer will be cold enough to support much snow anywhere in the region.  The larger threat is freezing rain, though I think any regions where the surface is cold enough for freezing rain will not see any precipitation, at least for the three counties I cover, and thus I am not overly worried about freezing rain either.  Rather, rain looks to break out late Sunday morning and end by Sunday evening, with the majority of the impacts being to the east of the region.  Any freezing rain would be in northwestern areas at the onset of the storm, and that is also where any snow would be more likely.  There remains a strong possibility the rain just completely misses the area as well.  So I’ll continue watching this closely, but at this point it looks just like a brief rain storm whose impacts will spare the region.  It is the storms later on, however, that I am tracking for more wintry potential, and those are available in more detail in the Premium forecast.

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