Weekend System

>> Tuesday, January 12, 2016

First of all, the system Friday will move through in the form of a decent rain event. The exception to this is up in the mountains where I think a lot of the precipitation might fall in the form of a very wet snow.

Now, on to Saturday night-Sunday. With the 12z run today, the GFS operational continued its trend on the 0z and 6z runs of making the system a little stronger, and therefore, the associated precipitation field further to the north into the chilly air. The result was a light snow from parts of northern MS, AL, GA, parts of TN, and into the western Carolinas.

Here's a couple of snapshots:

On the European model, the system remains weaker and shunted well to the south.

Why the difference? I think the biggest difference is the piece of upper level energy that drives the system is simply stronger on the GFS than its European counterpart. On the GFS, the system evolves like this:

On the European, the system is weaker, less consolidated, and the energy winds up getting split in the Gulf of Mexico instead of turning the corner as a consolidated system up the coast as it interacts with the northern branch:

The Canadian is similar to the Euro...even weakening the energy totally as it get absorbed into the big trough early next week.

Looking to the ensembles, the GFS has support from a number of the members in its suite. There are a few members of the European suite that print out a nice snow for parts of the region, but most are dry.

What will happen? It's simply too soon to tell. The Euro is still king, and the Canadian has had a pretty nice winter to this point. So, as I did on the air today, I would still lean my forecast in the more suppressed direction...i.e. more in the Euro/ Canadian direction.

However, this is a weather scenario where the GFS could score the coup. It has been locking onto this idea for a while now, and it is not a scenario where you inherently toss out the GFS in favor of the Euro.

So, it bears watching. We will likely not know anything with a great deal of certainty until late in the work week and the associated piece of upper level energy begins to get better sampled by the observation network.


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