Potential Storm: Trending Out to Sea

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By Quincy Vagell on November 14, 2012, 3:45pm Last modified: November 16, 2012, 7:56am

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The latest computer model data keeps next week's storm out to sea.

After a lot of talk about a potentially significant storm along the East Coast, there now appears to be a trend that leaves the area with less of a direct impact.

Forecast overview: 
A low pressure system is likely to develop east of the Carolina coast this weekend. If the storm does stay far enough out to sea, Connecticut may only see light precipitation or possibly stay dry. On the other hand, if the storm is larger and/or passes closer to the coast, we could be talking about more storminess and precipitation.
Regardless of the exact track, winds are expected to pick up along the shoreline and this could cause minor flooding, even with a storm staying hundreds of miles to our east. 

Model overview:
The European (Euro) computer runs yesterday and even last night were still suggesting that a nor'easter would track up the East Coast. The GFS began to trend away from that prediction, taking the storm out to sea.
Today, the 12z GFS continued to stay with an out to sea forecast and the 12z Euro made a HUGE trend east. That new data suggests that Connecticut stays dry!

More details:
The ensemble members yesterday were hinting at a further east track, even with the Euro. Now the models appear to be coming into more alignment. Even the Canadian, NOGAPS and UKMET are showing a similar scenario.

Technical discussion:
Although high pressure appears to be in a good location, a lack of upstream blocking and more of a progressive upper level flow may allow for this storm to move east and out to sea. Previous model runs showed a potential phase, which could have caused the storm to move northward or even take a left-hand turn towards the coast. 
The latest data suggests that although the NAO may be shifting towards neutral and negative, the shift lines up too late for a strong indicator of an East Coast storm.

***Keep in mind that we're still talking about next week, so a lot can change. Computer models tend to waffle around different solutions days before a storm. It's still interesting that the GFS caught onto the trend before the Euro, so it's not a clear and simple forecast.

Below is the 500mb height and relatively humidity forecast from the 12z GFS...
It shows two distinct areas of moisture. Without the two merging (phasing), the storm remains smaller and continues off towards the east-northeast. Previous runs of the Euro were showing a very large single storm, but the trend is clearly away from that now. 
 

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Quincy Vagell

Town: Marlborough, CT  

Reporting for WXedge since January 2012.

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