Another arctic outbreak set to blanket the U.S.

Snow predicted from Florida's Panhandle, central Georgia, Carolinas

Author: John Gaughan, Chief meteorologist,
Published On: Jan 26 2014 04:04:37 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 27 2014 11:18:51 AM EST

Another massive arctic outbreak for United States may result in a rare major southeastern snowfall from late Tuesday into Thursday morning, leaving an area of snow stretching from Louisiana through central Georgia into the eastern Carolinas.

By now, you can barely peel your eyes off that model data image that is shown above. It shows one of the more extreme forecast models suggesting up to 12 inches of snow just north of Florida. Normally I would discount such an extreme possibility, but this model has been consistently suggesting this over the last day. Model consistency is extremely important to whether it model data to verify, or not...

But, before you decide to take a trip up towards where this model is suggesting the snow may occur, consider these thoughts: First, this is a potentially life-threatening situation to travelers. Roads and bridges in particular may become impassable and interstates may actually be closed in spots due to this.

Secondly, computer models are inherently wrong. There is almost always some variation of the model that is wrong. These errors are called systematic errors and are prone to every model forecast. Not just the one I show here...

Thirdly, forecast models can shift dramatically from one model run to the next forecast. Models are you typically run four times a day, every six hours, so that's about as often I (meteorologists) can update a forecast.

Remember, models are not actual forecasts. Models merely give meteorologists guidance or, shine the light in the direction of where the biggest trouble could be.

So, stay tuned in! Especially if you live in south Georgia or have friends and relatives who live just north of us, as their forecast will be very critical as to how severe ice/snow conditions may become.

You can bet I will be model watching (as opposed to watching models) the next few days!