Scientific Forecaster Discussion
Area forecast discussion...updated
National Weather Service Pittsburgh PA
1218 am EDT Sat Mar 15 2014
a cold front will cross the region tonight bringing a period of
light rain and possibly some light snow. A crossing disturbance
is likely to spawn some snow on Sunday and Monday.
Near term /through today/...
fast moving cold front will exit the area before dawn. Lower
atmosphere remains relatively dry as seen in the lower surface dew points and
ceiling heights. The rainfall right along the boundary is light
with most locations reporting no restrictions to visibilities.
Line of showers/light rain will move through quickly and clear
most of the area before dawn.
Cold air advection and a westerly flow behind the front may produce some les snow
showers/flurries across the far north during the Post dawn morning
hours. Have kept probability of precipitation in the chance to slight chance Cat for snow
showers as the cold air advection is not real impressive and the core of the main
shortwave swings through southern New York.
The area will be under cold air advection throughout the day so expect strato cumulus
to develop. Additionally...expect cooler highs today...most if not
all readings below normal.
Short term /tonight through Monday/...
colder air remains in place overnight...but with surface high
pressure building into the Great Lakes...conditions will remain
Another more potent...but progressive shortwave is prognosticated to approach
the region Sunday...and complete passage on Monday. Models have been
inconsistent in the placement and magnitude of this trough...especially
in conjunction with potential phasing of southern stream flow...which
would have implications on the dynamics of the precipitation spprt.
Nevertheless...confidence is sufficient to forecast categorical probability of precipitation
over areas south of I 80 into Sunday night. With an Arctic high
projected to sag over the Great Lakes...most of the region would
see primarily snow for the event...although middle March filtered
insolation and boundary layer warmth may retard intial accumulation on
Sunday afternoon...especially over southern zones where precipitation is more
probable...and where warm advection above the surface might spprt a mix
for a few hours.
Of particular interest in the model world is the difference in the
Omega fields as projected by GFS and NAM today. NAM apparently
once again is exploding its precipitation prognosis due to the overheated
warm advection dynamic...while GFS values are much more reasonable.
At any rate...accumulating snow was forecast for the region...but
totals are currently expected to remain undr warning thresholds for
all but the highest elevations. Due to the aforementioned
factors as well as collaborative hesitations...have abstained from
issuing a watch for those zones today. Middle shift will have a look at
the next round of solutions and likely have a more decisive answer.
Long term /Monday night through Friday/...
in the wake of the exiting system...drier air is projected over the
region alng with sub normal temperatures. Another shortwave is forecast to
spread showers once again by Wednesday. Northwest flow is thereafter prognosticated
to spprt continued cool temperatures and chance probability of precipitation.
Aviation /04z Saturday through Wednesday/...
surface wind will continue to gust toward 25 knots this evening as a cold front apprches
the area. That front is likely to spawn some light rain...light
snow...and eventual MVFR for northern ports with passage tonight.
Improvement can be expected Saturday...although tight pressure
gradient will maintain gust potential near...or just above 20 kts.
Outlook.../Saturday night through Wednesday/...
the next chance of genl restrictions will come with northern flank precipitation of low
pressure crossing the middle Atlantic region on Sunday into Monday. Another
disturbance may spawn showers and restrictions later on Wednesday.