My thoughts from yesterday are relatively unchanged. A coastal storm is looking more likely, but how close will it be to the battered coastlines of NJ to RI? This is still a tough call as we are still about 3-4 days away from the event and the disturbance is only now entering the upper-air network. This information will help to improve the model solutions and quite honestly, the models look to be in decent agreement. The Euro and UKMET models are farthest west near the Delmarva, while the GFS and Canadian models are farther east, which would still cause problems along the coast with less precipitation and wind inland.
The latest Day 4 HPC forecast for surface features is above. As you can see, the forecaster feels that the more western solution is the best based on the Euro and UKMET performance of late. I actually agree with this idea with a moderate-strong coastal storm developing along the East Coast and paralleling the coast to a position just southeast of New England by Thursday morning. A period of higher winds will be possible from NC through NJ and into New England with my early best guess of 40-60 mph wind gusts and heavy rain. Snow will be possible with this system, but confined to the western edge of the precipitation shield.
The two images above are from the 06z GFS which shows a modest storm off the NJ coast by Wednesday evening. The GFS does print out some snow accumulation, but mainly east of the DC/Baltimore area and confined closer to the coast. Now, the GFS is on the right side of the track guidance, while the Euro (can’t show) depicts a much different story with stronger onshore winds along the coast with heavy rain, while inland could accumulate snow. I think snow should be downplayed for now and the focus should be on potential wind and coastal flooding. Either way, the Jersey Shore and Long Island look to experience strong winds, which is something that they don’t need.
My personal feeling is that we should have a good handle on this storm in the next 24 hours. I will try to post either this evening or tomorrow. Thanks for reading!