The snow goes on and and....(3-3-13)

<B>(8:15 am Sunday March 3rd)</B>Like a scene from Groundhog's Day, folks woke up this morning and found it snowing, again. It isn't amounting to much but we haven't had a break in the snow since Friday.
We’ve got a bit of a streak going this weekend, one that I’m sure a number of you can do without.  As of 8 am Sunday snow had been falling without a break in Syracuse for 56 straight hours.  It makes it feel a little like a scene out of “Groundhogs Day,” doesn’t it? Officially at 12:54 am early Friday morning we switched from drizzle to snow and it hasn’t stopped.  Of course, the snow has been very light and hasn’t accumulated much.  Through midnight the total in Syracuse was about 1.5.”

I don’t have very complete records to determine the record for the most consecutive hours with snow in Syracuse but I do know that in the big lake effect snow event in December we did have a streak of 98 straight hours of snow.  Of course, back then we had a bit more snow - more than 40” - which made it more eventful than the current streak.

We can blame a persistent northwesterly flow of air and temperatures just cold enough aloft to cause lake effect to kick in.

The snow will continue today and into Monday (again light snow) so there is a chance this streak could approach the one in 2010 before the snowy set up begins to break down.  After that, the pattern could quiet down for us.  We are watching a storm system that could impact the Mid Atlantic states on Wednesday.  That storm is now over the Pacific Northwest and will track southeast across the middle of the country the next few days before spinning up a strong low somewhere off the North Carolina or Virginia coast.  Here is where the GFS model is forecasting the storm for Wednesday morning.

Here is the same period but this time from the NAM perspective:

I haven’t included it here, but the European is a touch farther south so all the models, at this point, keep any snow to our south.  Of course, we’ll keep an eye on things to see if the projected path changes over the next couple of days.

Down around DC, they are all excited because there is a CHANCE they could see there first significant snowfall in about 2 years.  The weather blogosphere has been abuzz since the middle of last week as online meteorologists have sifted through every computer model run data to spot trends.  Even though there haven’t been definite forecast the storm will hit, let alone any accumulations, comments on the blogs are preparing the meteorologists for the backlash if the storm doesn’t materialize.  This is a comment posted on one of the good weather web sites for DC weather: The Capital Weather Gang:

BUT, if this doesnt pan out and I come back here wed/thurs to throw it in your faces that a week+ was wasted on updating a non snow storm, please dont be defensive! All these tweets, FB updates, blog updates, "increased confidence of significant amounts of snow", etc, all say that youve got it coming!  

Just be ready for a full on internet troll assault if you guys are wrong on the job!

That begs the question: When can we, as meteorologists, start discussing the POTENTIAL of a winter storm, hurricane, severe weather outbreak etc. without being accused of hyping a storm?  There has to be some point where a thoughtful discussion that lays out all of the options is useful, right?  Would it be wrong for meteorologists to hold back mentioning possible scenarios about meaningful storms until our confidence is 90% or greater? This might be only a day before or even hours before the event were to take place. Would you feel that is enough ‘heads up?’ Would we then be accused of holding back information? I’m just throwing that out there as a point of discussion.  

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