Last night I was at church and the number one question I got was, "Is it going to snow later this week?" My answer was "I have no idea!"
The truth is, I was off from work all week and didn't look at much. But working a slow Christmas morning has given me plenty of time to look at things and here is what I think ... Maybe.
I know that's not a definitive answer, but we are still a long way off, and there's plenty of time for the models to alter their course.
How much can they change? Answer: A lot! If we look at a pretend front on this morning's model run at 7 a.m. and project it out 96 hours, we can peek at a fictional Friday morning forecast.
Just a 5 mph shift can mean 430 miles difference! 5 mph slower and it's in Indiana, 5 mph faster and it's in the ocean.
That is why weather models can be vastly different the further you are from an event.
Now, let's look at a couple of models and what they are saying for Friday morning. First the Canadian model.
If you are a snow lover, this one is for you. It shows a couple of inches of the powder.
This solution is not a snow forecast, but it does trend toward snow.
The American model (GFS) shows more mixed precipitation working into the area.
We still see snow, possibly 1-2", but more rain and sleet mix in and knock those totals down.
The low-pressure system is a little further west than the Canadian. And we know how that can change this far out!
The European model (Euro) is the driest of the three and keeps all precipitation as rain.
It incorporates more dry and warmer air into the mix.
Now we, as meteorologists, look at many other factors and blend the various models to help determine our forecast. We even put a percentage on those precipitation forecasts. So, what's my forecast?
At this point, there is a 40 percent chance of precipitation on Friday morning. I think some of it could be snowflakes, but it won't be sticking around.
With Friday's forecast high in the upper 30s, most of will melt off.
And oh, by the way, the even longer range forecasts show more chances of snow next week. And now we know how much those forecasts can change by tomorrow!