Early week snow preview

It may be hard for some to accept – especially after the 50s and 60s we’ve experienced in recent weeks – but we are still technically in winter. Mother Nature will remind us of that early next week as a low pressure system passes by to our south on Monday and into Tuesday. A few stray snow showers will be possible Sunday night and into the first half of Tuesday, but as you see in Futurecast above, widespread snow looks to hold off until Monday afternoon.

Light snow will continue Monday evening and overnight before becoming more scattered and tapering off Tuesday morning. There has been some uncertainty with the timing of this storm, but forecast models are beginning to come into better agreement with the Monday late through Tuesday morning time frame.

Image: NOAA/NWS.

One of the tools we look at in the weather center to help determine snowfall totals is what we call “plumes,” which is what you see above. This represents an ensemble of models. So rather than just look at 1 or 2 computer forecast models to see what they are saying, we look at 26. After all, the more data you have, the more likely you are to make a better forecast. In the “plumes” image above, you can see each model represented by a different color (y-axis represents snowfall amount in inches, x-axis represents the time). The black line represents the mean, or average, of all of those models. In this particular case, the mean for Fort Wayne during the Monday PM – Tuesday AM time frame is right at 2″ of snow.

It is still a bit too early to make our official snow prediction since there has been some flip-flopping with the forecast models over the past few days. One thing I do feel more confident about saying is what areas will likely see the higher snowfall totals. With the track of the low to our south, I think the heavier snow will be from Allen County northward. Even though it may be lighter south of Allen County, a few inches of snow may still be possible. We’ll continue to look over all the data and release our official snow forecast on First News Sunday, so keep checking back!

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