Christmas Storm snowfall forecast remains difficult

Graphic: Snow background with word, "uncertainty" stamped over it

“Uncertainty.” If you’ve been following this blog (or any other information sources) for information on a winter storm forecast for Christmas Eve, you’re probably growing weary of that word.

But “uncertainty” remains the key word, because the low pressure system that will be responsible for the storm is just beginning to form in the area of the Gulf of Mexico this morning.

Currently, that low pressure system is forecast to move straight up through Indiana. Most of the snowfall will be to the west of the low. That means if the low goes right over you, you won’t get as much snow as you will if it goes east of you.

Meteorologists use a suite of computer forecast models to predict things like where that low pressure system will go. Different models calculate things differently, so meteorologists don’t rely on a single model, they look at several. Agreement between the outputs of several models helps them forecast confidently.

Unfortunately, as of this morning, the range of storm tracks provided by those models “remains a bit wider than one would like to see at this time,” writes meteorologist Sam Lashely in an “Area Forecast Discussion” that the northern Indiana National Weather Service office issued.

Lashley continues, “The details with where any accumulating snowfall will develop remain in question,” and “we continue to stress the uncertainty and need for people traveling to continue monitoring forecasts and remain aware.”

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