Major Storm Keeps Changing Paths, May Miss The Sault Again!


A Major Winter Storm that is expected to develop late next week may miss the Sault Ste. Marie after all, according to the latest forecast data.

Computer models all week have shown a major low pressure system from the Pacific that is currently making its way onto the north west coast of the United States. Forecast models showed projections of the storm taking a path over the Rookies then re-organizing into a major winter storm with a path over the great lakes.

This map shows the computer model forecast as of yesterday. 

Image courtesy NWS – This was the original computer model forecast – The surface map shows the position of the low pressure system for Friday February 5th 2021

Recent computer models now show the low pressure system taking a more easterly path into the Ohio valley instead into the Lake Superior area. That will move the bulk of the snow over Lake Huron into the north shore and nickel belt regions. While a rain snow line will set up just south of Sudbury.

The latest models now show a slightly different path, producing a much different picture for the Sault.

This latest forecast now shows the low taking a slightly different path. Courtesy NWS

Original forecasts has the low pressure system moving directly over Lake Superior, putting Sault Ste. Marie and most of the Algoma district in the cross-hairs for significant weather events from heavy snow, rain and freezing rain.  With the current  tracking of the storm, Sault Ste. Marie could only receive 2 to 5cm of snow instead of 20 to 30cm .

BUT! that doesn’t mean we won’t see significant snow develop late next week. 

On Thursday, a quick moving clipper system could leave 5 to 10cm , while as the bigger low pressure system tracks north east, it will also drag colder air over the great lakes in a westerly flow, putting Sault Ste. Marie and the snowbelt areas to the north at risk for prolonged lake effect snow showers last for several days.

The recent change of path should come as no surprise this season. A series of low pressure systems that would traditionally deliver the average snowfall of 350cm for Sault Ste. Marie, have one by one, missed the Sault completely. This trend started in the fall and has now lasted into winter, allowing us one of least snowiest winters in recent memory.

Now, keep in mind, this system continues to slightly change its trajectory and next weekend is still 7 days away, so it could change once again.

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  1. That is good news, Craig. The city will continue to save big bucks on snow removal and clearing. The storm tracks have all been south of us this winter and seem to be following that path with this one too. Early SPRING ???

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