Sunday 12 PM Update: This morning’s models have become available. The trends—
Less QPF is expected today, rain amounts reduced from 1 inch to about 0.6 inches water.
For Monday, temps in the upper atmosphere support snow fallling during the afternoon, but surface temperatures remain too warm until evening.
The upper atmosphere cools after 2 AM tonight and any precip will fall as rain >> snow by afternoon. The lower atmosphere temps are slow to chill down, complicating accumulation forecasts.
The NAM has a coating up to 1 inch (with the lower range more likely) by late Monday evening. The GFS has surface temperatures too warm for any accumulation in PHL and the immediate suburbs.
For snow, I tend to go with the NAM.
Sun 7:30 AM Update: The 1 AM run of the GFS and NAM has moved the start of the precip to about 9 AM. The latest HRRR depicts the freezing rain further north and west —
As I said yesterday, with the precipitation onset being revised each model run suggests that the models are having difficulty with this storm’s forecast.
That said, my rule of thumb — when the models are having trouble with the very short term forecast, it puts into question their forecast for the following day.
The models are still predicting a mix of rain and snow during the day and evening Monday, significantly more snow to areas north of Doylestown. Last night’s ECMWF is all on-board with that forecast. Can we really trust it with Monday’s forecast? Stay tuned.
…from last night—
Earlier this week, I described this weekend’s weather as “interesting” and indeed it is a complex scenario involving a secondary coastal low pressure system and an upper atmospheric low that will interact in complex ways. See my previous discussions about the systems involved, as the general scenario appears to be playing out as predicted. Here are the latest model trends —
Freezing rain and sleet begins 5-7AM from the city just north and west, and changes to all rain from 9 AM to noon. The city proper, south and east will have mostly rain. Areas north and west will have a prolonged period of sleet and freezing rain. The graphic below is the latest NAM model forecast of PTYPE.
The other models are in general agreement.
After the changeover, rain heavy at times is expected. QPF values about 1 inch water.
Sunday night, cold air filters in in the upper atmosphere.
For Monday —An upper low trailing the surface low will bring additional precipitation on Monday. A changeover to snow and snow showers is expected during the day, however for the immediate PHL area and adjacent suburbs, surface temperatures remain above freezing until late afternoon, so accumulation will be highly limited here. Currently, the models are showing a coating to an inch by the time it ends late Monday night, with considerably more in far northwest counties.
There remains uncertainty about this Monday’s snow. Stay tuned.