A Note About Snow and looking ahead

Wednesday, January 12, 2011
4:29 P.M.

Hey everybody, I am going to try and update this blog more often, even if it is only for a little while. We saw more snow than what was expected last night, although not that much more. The reason? The models scoured out the cold air too quickly. This is something I have seen with the last three of these overrunning events. It takes a significant amount of energy to melt snow to rain, and it seems as though the models underestimate this amount. They seem to simply “swap in” milder, marine air without paying attention to the latent heat of fusion (energy required to melt ice). Next time, I will add in a note and forecast the snow to end a little later than what is forecast on the models. However, there are also times when the snow has ended and switched over to rain sooner than predicted. Just goes to show how hard it is to forecast in the Pacific Northwest!

Looking ahead, we have a fairly active week in front of us, with several moderately strong storms passing to the north of our region. The latest GFS model has a strong zonal flow over Oregon, which would give Oregon lots of rain and the mountains lots of snow. We will be mild, with highs getting up into the upper 40s/low 50s.

That’s all for now, thanks for reading!
Charlie

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