Last night’s 1 AM model runs (06 UTC) display slight differences. Most of the QPF differences are the result of differences in model resolution and the fact that we’re trying to predict an “edge” or “boundary” area condition – where moisture meets dry colder air. Models have a limit in accuracy in such boundary conditions.
Another way of putting this is that we’re ‘trying to split hairs’. This is going to be a minor weather event for our area. It doesn’t merit the designation “snow storm” and there are times when snow flurries or fast moving snow squalls put down heavier snow than what’s expected here.
Put another way, when we get rain, does anyone really know or care if we get 0.06 inches of rain vs. 0.11 inches?
Now that I got that out of my system, let’s talk about the current model predicted QPF:
The latest NAM still comes in high at 0.14 inches water. The GFS comes in at 0.06, the NBM at 0.04 and the ECMWF at 0.15. (For data point KPHL- Philadelphia airport)
This graphic probably captures the best precipitation breakdown:
Philadelphia is cut in half – 0.15 at the airport, 0.08 in Mt Airy 0.04 in Langhorne. (Multiply by 10 or 12 and you get the snow total in inches.)
My preference in these situations is the NAM or NAM/GFS average with the slightly higher snow total,
Other differences are with the start time of the light snow. The GFS starts early, about 8 PM while the NBM is later, after 10 or 11 PM.
We’ll see if anything changes.