We continue to track the possibility of the development of a coastal storm during the middle of next week which, given cold air in place, could be a snow-producer. However, today’s models track the storm far enough south that the Washington, D.C. area would miss most of the precipitation.


The European model - which has been the champion for this storm in some previous runs - develops an impressive area of low pressure off the Carolina coast. But, rather than turning north up the coast, the model suggests the low will track due east, leaving Washington, D.C. high and dry.

The latest GFS model (not shown), which has consistently simulated the storm passing too far south of the region, also shows a miss (just a couple of its 12 ensemble members show a hit).

“Right now it looks like the system will most likely stay just far enough south to miss us,” said Capital Weather Gang winter weather expert Wes Junker. “The block [to the north] is just a little bit too strong, that’s what helps force it almost due east.”

GFS model simulation, 120 hours into the future. (WeatherBell.com)

The problem for snow prospects is a large, sprawling area of low pressure off the coast of New England (or upper level trough), which is keeping the Carolina storm from turning up the coast. It’s effectively squashing the storm, forcing it to move due east. Storms move towards higher pressure, not into other low pressure systems.

Since the storm development is still 6 days away, it’s possible it could shift far enough north to reintroduce some snow potential into the area. For example, if the models’ are simulating too strong of a low off of New England or have it positioned too far south, that might allow the Carolina storm to gain some latitude.

We’ll keep you posted on this evolving situation, as the current model solution is unlikely to be the final one.