The Pains of Snowfall Forecasting in the Pacific Northwest

 

Sorry for the lack of posting this weekend, as this would have been an excellent time for a live blog type of event, but I was dealing with a bout of food poisoning. Not fun.

But do you know what's even more painful than food poisoning?

This snowfall forecast, which has turned into a bit of a 'nowcasting nightmare' relying on satellite imagery and observational data, instead of model predictions. 

But hey, that's okay. That's how this business works sometimes.

Well, not all models were complete garbage, the high resolution Canadian model below looks okay...and by okay, it at least forecasted snow in the Lower Mainland...

unlike the American model this morning.

24 snow total through until late Monday night by the high resolution Canadian

24 snow total through until late Monday night by the high resolution Canadian

silver.png

I think the GFS (American model) is still a little bitter about the silver medal in men's ice hockey yesterday morning. 

It's okay, we forgive you... (see photo to the right).

As long as the tap is turned on with that cold Fraser River outflow slowly leaking towards the coast today, the snow will continue. The temps in the interior are still mighty cold, with modified Arctic air hanging around in the valleys.

The image below also highlights what the GFS missed in the latest run this morning.

Pretty significant bust!

Boy, it's going to be interesting to see some of the monster snow totals when this event winds up later today/tonight.. 

Early dismissal may be required in several hours depending on how this snow event pans out around the lower mainland. A partial snow day may still be in the cards..

Close to 40 cm on parts of inland Vancouver Island... Not out of the question. 

EDIT: And, it wasn't. Over 54 cm unofficially at higher elevations of Nanaimo

Yeah, I circled the lack of snow for the Vancouver area. Not a flake of snow forecasted for the Lower Mainland from 4am monday- 4am Tuesday. Looks like it's performing a little better on Vancouver Island...

Yeah, I circled the lack of snow for the Vancouver area. Not a flake of snow forecasted for the Lower Mainland from 4am monday- 4am Tuesday. Looks like it's performing a little better on Vancouver Island...

EDIT: Looking back, the Canadian model faired quite well, actually. Who would have thought :) 

This archived model was initialized the evening of February 20th, showing vast amounts of snow south of Campbell River, Bellingham, and the Lower mainland (30+ cm in spots_

This archived model was initialized the evening of February 20th, showing vast amounts of snow south of Campbell River, Bellingham, and the Lower mainland (30+ cm in spots_

Also, if you'd like an insane amount of weather updates, follow @50shadesofVan on Twitter:

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