The Noon model data has just completed and as the bidding passes my spot, I'm throwing in another buck so the pot is a little richer now.
Quick run down by model
Recall- We need the Monday storm to BLOW UP forcing the cold air deep to our south AND the upper air energy (Vortmax) to not shear out or just not be consolidated.
1. GFS (American Model)-- Blows up the clipper and pushes in cold air. However, it struggles to hold the upper air energy and we get a minor storm. As shown, its a 1-3 inch snowfall Thursday.
2. GGEM (Canadian) Blows up the clipper, holds the upper air energy a little better and its maybe a 2-4 inch snowfall.
3. ECMWF (European) Blows up the clipper as needed and keeps the vortmax VERY strong. as a result, its a BLOCKBUSTER snowstorm. Literally, 12-15 inches region wide-- maybe more because the air is cold and the ratio of snow to liquid could be more like 15-1.
Waiting game is on. Almost all data shows the clipper blows up. At this point, its just making sure its at an ideal location and drives the cold air well to our south. Second, the data is all over the place with the strength of the vortmax. Despite some data suggesting it could be a bigger storm to our south and east, my greatest fear is always it trending north. Despite the models being very cold, a subtle 100 miles north track in the vortmax leaves us open for a mix to ice or even rain. With this being a fast moving volatile pattern, anything is possible. Even compared to the midnight data, the ECMWF was several degrees warmer with the antecedent cold shot. Comparing to the great MW blizzard from this past week-- St. Louis was at one point was forecasted to get a dumping of ice with a foot of snow on top. The low drifted MUCH further west then modeled an ended up with less then an inch of total precipitation when they were modeled to get over 2 inches.
When will we know??
Like most events, nothing will be set in stone until a day out or less. Both the GFS and ECMWF computer models have biases that are at play here. The GFS tends to crush storms at this range while the ECMWF has consistently OVER done coastal lows at this point in the game. The GFS issue holds water because of that HUGE low that develops. The EC isn't really a over blowing a coastal low, its just an amped up vortmax.
My gut call as of now-- IF we see the big storm idea come to fruition, we will have to battle the dreaded rain/snow/ice line across much of region, including Lynchburg and Roanoke.