Breaking Down the Sun-Mon Storm

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By Quincy Vagell on December 12, 2012, 4:45pm Last modified: December 13, 2012, 5:21pm

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Current forecasts bring a storm system into the Great Lakes on Sunday. Ahead of a warm front, precipitation is expected to move into Connecticut. While the main storm passes to our northwest, a new low may form near or south of the area. This could help bring more cold air into the situation.

At this point, it looks like precipitation could start as early as Sunday morning. 
--For inland areas, a wintry mix or snow is currently expected at the onset.
--Closer to the shore, rain is favored at this time.
As the storm tracks to our west, warmer air tries to work in, which could change all areas back over to rain before precipitation tapers off late Sunday night.
The other thing to watch is how a second low pressure center develops. If this is far enough south of Connecticut, not only could colder air move in, but precipitation could continue through part of Monday. This will need to be watched as the Monday morning commute could potentially be affected. Details are not set in stone.

The 12z Euro came in considerably colder and keeps inland areas mostly snow or a wintry mix. Closer to the shore, it does look like warmer air tries to move in, but even there mixed precipitation could fall for a while.
On the other hand, the 12z GFS is not as robust with the cooling. While precipitation may initially start as a mix, a front front lifts northward and changes everyone over to rain. While a secondary low does form south of Long Island, the precipitation ends before colder air might have changed things back over to snow.

One thing that the models are having trouble resolving is how a series of storms (waves) move through the area between Sunday and Wednesday. The Euro tries to keep precipitation going through Monday and Tuesday, but this has not been consistent on that model. It looks more likely that we would see an initial system Sunday into early Monday and then perhaps another significant event towards the middle of next week.
Another issue relating back to the Euro is how the model is not being consistent. While the operational run looks cold, the Euro ensemble mean is warmer. The mean looks like a better depiction of the storm, as a mix changes to rain and possibly ends as a touch of snow, mainly across inland Connecticut.

Below is a rough sketch of how the Euro and GFS differ:

I will not comment on the second potential storm just yet. It's too far out and there's a lot of uncertainty. Any kind of specific guess at this point would have low confidence and could easily change.

Stay tuned to for the latest forecasts and discussions.
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Quincy Vagell

Town: Marlborough, CT  

Reporting for WXedge since January 2012.

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