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FIRST ACCUMULATING SNOW OF THE SEASON ON THE WAY!!!!! (maybe)

by Matt Chambers

KMOV.com

Posted on December 13, 2007 at 9:16 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 3:30 PM

How's that for wishy-washy?

Forecasting the weather in and around St. Louis at any time of the year is difficult at best, but there is no more challenging time than late fall and winter. The last few days have been evidence enough of that, as merely a few miles meant the difference between freezing rain and rain, between losing power and keeping the lights on, between icy roads and wet roads.

Now comes our next challenge -- Saturday. It appears as though parts of our area could see their first accumulating snowfall of the season during the first half of the coming weekend. When I left the storm center yesterday afternoon to go home for the evening, I remember thinking to myself...

"I'm sure the computer models will have a much better grasp of Saturday's storm system when I walk in the door tomorrow morning."

When I did walk in the door this morning and sat down to forecast, this is what I found...
ETA.gif

I won't waste your time explaining all of the information above, but I will tell you that the lower-right corner shows the amount of precipitation that this particular forecast model is indicating from Midnight through 6AM Saturday. The light blue color indicates just a few flurries, with minor accumulations at most.

Wow! Great! No problem! But wait...

Let's look at a different model, focusing on the same time period.
GFS.gif

Uh-oh! The darker blues over St. Louis in the lower-right panel on this model indicate more significant accumulations of snow.

Let's make this long story short. Some computer models are indicating nothing more than some very light snow, while others are showing the possibility of 3-5 inches, mainly over the southern half of our viewing area! That's a tremendous difference!

So, now what? Well, we'll continue to watch the latest data stream into the weather center, and hope that the models come into better agreement. In the meantime, check back frequently with us on KMOV.com and on News4, and know that travel trouble could be on the way Saturday. We'll continue to fine-tune the forecast as this storm system rolls closer.

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