A dip in the jet stream down the East Coast allows for an area of low pressure in the Gulf to move to the Carolina coastline and up the East coast. Exact track determines rain/snow lines, however moisture should not be lacking.
Periodic light snow breaks out this evening and continues overnight across the area. A general coating to 2" of snow is expected with an isolated higher total in a couple towns possible near the coast, with the highest chance for that from Cape Ann to the Maine coast. Most of the snow is done by 3:00AM, meaning we're dry for the morning commute, although a few slick spots still prevail on the secondary roads and sidewalks. In addition, leave a couple extra minutes to dust off the car.
So what about Thursday? What we call the "operational models" have been all over the place today in terms of the track, ranging anywhere from a rainstorm to a snowstorm to a complete miss. Delving deeper into the pattern, it seems like the "ensembles", which are essentially numerous runs of the same models using slightly different initial conditions/physics of the atmosphere, are handling this pattern better.
The result of the ensemble average appears to favor a coastal low near the Carolina coastline overnight Wednesday, spreading snow and coastal rain up the East Coast overnight Wednesday and through Thursday. For us, it's mainly a Thursday event, but could be an all day event at that. While it's too early to draw rain/snow lines, I will say that this system won't lack moisture coming up the coast, so where it stays mostly snow, plows and shovels will be out again. Onshore winds will also increase through the day, although tides run closer to astronomical lows vs. highs. Strength of wind to be determine as pattern becomes clearer.
The chance of a total miss tends to be fading at this point, so it's certainly something to track over the next few days as we can iron out more and more details.
Behind this system, a few quick moving disturbances may bring some batches of light snow overnight Friday and again late Sunday, but timing out those systems this far out is challenging. Also, the moisture potential with those systems is a lot lower than what we'll need to keep an eye on for Thursday.
As always, we'll do our best to keep you updated on-air, and online, including through twitter. Follow @clamberton7, @jreineron7 and @pbouchardon7 for the latest.