Predict the Path – Winter Storm Regis

As the Northeast begins to become aware and prepare for the potential of one more round of winter weather this weekend in the form of Winter Storm Regis, it’s shaping up to be a classic nor’easter form. Two questions remain about this storm, however – where will it go and how much snow will it bring?

The answer to either of those questions is clearly complicated. After discussing yesterday how the setup is perfect for a late season nor’easter, the models have shifted to and fro in the direction which Winter Storm Regis may take. In the end there are three scenarios I see happening:

  1. The Western Track – If the storm shakes to the west, there will be more precipitation impacting the megalopolis. However, that precipitation could prove more likely to mix because of the warm air being dragged up by the coastal storm. Mixing is already expected in Cape Cod and southern and coastal New Jersey. However, the closer it runs to the coast, the more the mixing moves inland.
  2. The Ocean Track – The trend that has been building over the course of the day shows a shift back to the east. However, trends can be broken in the atmosphere. This ocean track would understandably mean less precipitation for the northeast, though parts of northern New England could still be clipped by this storm in that situation.
  3. The Sweet Spot – A path that runs a decent length off the coast, yet not too far off shore to restrict precipitation, would be the best case scenario for snow lovers. That sweet spot would likely put the storm close to the eastern end of Long Island and to Cape Cod as it ride up the coastline, still providing that chance of mixing along the coast. However, this would mean more sustained cold air over the northeast, and likely a chance at more snow.

Of course, it’s worth noting the major differences between a true winter storm and one seen in the springtime, like this one. With the ground having already been warmed throughout February and March, with days where we reached over seventy or eighty degrees in spots. This would mean that any snow that were to initially fall over the area will likely melt on impact, until the ground cools enough to allow it to accumulate. This means roads and paved surfaces may take a while to turn white.

Regardless of how much snow may or may not fall on Sunday, this storm deserves the region’s attention until it no longer poses a threat. Be sure to stay tuned to your favorite weather resources for the latest on Winter Storm Regis and its developments.

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