October Nor'easter???

By: Zachary Labe , 1:53 AM GMT on October 12, 2009

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I must say this has to be one of my favorite Octobers in the last few years. I took one of my typical hikes Sunday afternoon up on the trail that strattles the summit of Blue Mountain near Linglestown for a few miles to the power line clearing/hawk migration viewing location. Fall leaves were looking pretty nice with oaks even beginning to show some yellow color change. Colors are about a week ahead of schedule with maples reaching their peak here in the Lower Susquehanna Vally by the end of this coming week. Then this evening my church held a nice fall festival function with bonfires, hayrides, and overall just a nice community get together. While I was sitting their chit-chatting with all the locals at the bonfire on this clear and cool October night, it just is that great feeling you get that everything is great. To me an open fire with stars in the sky in an open field is so relaxing, I just can never see myself ever living in a city. This Sunday evening sure was beautiful with the temperature already down in the mid 40s by 8pm with a wonderful sunset in the midst of Fall leaves. And looking ahead this wonderful cool weather pattern is going to continue. The weather pattern is indeed fascinating and I gather from many people it brings back memories of a typical Autumn with cool, breezy days and cold nights. Looking back at my daily weather journals I can definitely concur we have had our fair share of 80 and even a 90degree days in the last few Octobers, especially October 2007. Forecasting the weather is not just be able to analyze data from computer models and weather maps, but it is also necessary to be able recall past weather events/synoptic setups and apply them to present weather forecasting. This blog is going to take a look at the current weather pattern for the week ahead and take a look at a possible nor'easter setup towards the weekend, which in my opinion is foreshadowing what is yet to come this winter! I am going to try to do my best to recall other past October nor'easter and rain/snow events to summarize the scenarios present for the upcoming week.


Fig 1.1- (Courtesy of HPC) Looking across the current surface map a few features are evident including a large and expansive high pressure over the middle of the nation, a trough over 2/3rds of the continental United States, and an approaching low pressure towards the California coast.

Frost and freeze advisories/warnings are out for a large portion of the Northeast including parts of the northern Middle Atlantic in much of Pennsylvania and western Maryland. This is courtesy of a trough over the east coast with cool Canadian air funneling down with a high pressure to the west allowing for ideal radiational cooling conditions. Many areas in the northern 2/3rds of Pennsylvania will see an abrupt end to their growing season. As the week progresses a shortwave will progress through the eastern United States later on Monday through Tuesday enhancing the cold air and amplifying the jet stream with a ridge in west/trough in east orientation. This is where the forecast takes a turn to a more interesting approach which may prove as a good test for some of us to renew our coastal storm forecasting skills (that would be me hahaha). In any case it appears several scenarios will present themeselves with interesting thermal progressions that may allow for some wrap-around rain/snow showers in northern Pennsylvania.

Before we look at the current synoptic setup, lets review a few past October nor'easter events. The one of recent memory is the 28-29 October 2008 nor'easter special for northeastern Pennsylvania.

Fig. 2.1- (Courtesy of NWS BGM) This is a 12z October 28 surface map indicating a 992mb low off the New Jersey coast.

The event featured a negatively tilted trough under a deep amplified jet allowing a low pressure to move up along the New Jersey coast north through the Connecticut Valley up through Canada. Now keep in mind being this was the very end of October, there was a bit more cold air to present itself. Bufkit profiles indicating winds of 50-60mph a few thousand feet aloft allowed for some strong winds to occur across eastern Pennsylvania. Across the higher elevations coupled with H85s near (-4)-(-6) blizzard conditions occurred resulting in some areas of 2ft of snow from Luzerne up through Wayne Counties.

Halloween seems to be a common time for nor'easters to strike the eastern seaboard. Another similar low track occurred in 2005 on October 24-25 when remnants of Tropical Storm Alpha and Hurricane Wilma allowed moisture to stream along the negatively orientated trough with an upper level low over the Great Lakes. This setup allowed for moderate snowfall totals to occur over the mountains of Pennsylvania with rainfall for elevations below 1900ft. As cooler air funneled in from the northwest courtesy of the upper level low, the complex synoptic setup featured up to 10inches over the ridges of the Laurel Highlands up through the north central mountains.

Fig 3.1- (Courtesy of the NWS CTP) This surface map shows the 984mb primary low off of Long Island coast with the moisture from the water vapor loop indicating heavy precipitation over Pennsylvania. Rainfall totals for much of eastern Pennsylvania totaled over 1-2inches.

Now once again what is important to observe in these short case studies is the date of the events. Many nor'easters in October are featured in the later half of the month. Remember the perfect storm in 1991, again featured at the very end of the month. Archives prove October has featured some very harsh nor'easters and cold Outbreaks as it is a transition month. The month is very similar to April or May with complex storm systems across the mid section of the Nation and sharp temperature contrasts from cold fronts and ridge orientations. So why all of this talk about nor'easters? Well the end of the week poses a few interesting possibilities.

Interesting 500mb initiations from models for the end of this week as a large -EPO fueled ridge will allow for a large ridge across the west coast.

Fig. 4.1- (Courtesy of Raleighwx Models) Current GFS predictions indicate the negative EPO to last through the end of this week before it rises to positive for a short time before once again transitioning negative by the end of the month. A negative EPO and positive PNA are typical for a western United States ridge formation.

Looking at the NAO, which is a general rule of thumb with the AO for eastern troughing events. A decent theory is the idea of a progression from an extended negative NAO to a positive NAO or an extended positive NAO to a negative NAO is usually coupled with a large east coast storm.

Fig 5.1- (Courtesy of CPC) Once again note the transition from negative to positive occuring around the 15-17th of October, which is the exact period for the possibilities of a coastal storm.

Current 10/11/09 18UTC GFS took an interesting approach for the low pressure and is more in line with 0UTC ECMWF guidance. Model guidance has generally been extremely poor for the last few weeks so this end of the week system can be taken with a grain of salt. But I am going to lay out the scenarios is pose my highest threat scenario. As the week progresses I will update through comments on the possibility. For all we know this system may not even exist by Thursday. But generally this a decent model consensus on a general progression as followed...

06UTC Friday...

Generally a low pressure tracks across the Tennessee Valley as moisture moves up from the south from the Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile a large expansive western ridge with orient an approaching trough from the Great Lakes to cause colder air to funnel into the system.

18UTC Friday...

Transfer from primary low to coastal low off Virginia coastline will allow for double barrel low to continue to produce heavy precipitation over the Middle Atlantic. While H85s are below 0C for much of Pennsylvania, that does not mean snow. I will talk more about this later. Also take note of the deformation band axis over the I-80 corridor in Pennsylvania.

06UTC Saturday...

Finally the low pressure begins to weaken and move to the northeast over the region with some residual rain/snow showers over western Maryland and western Pennsylvania.

So it appears the setup is isentropic lift allowing for some rain to start towards Thursday along a quasi-stationary boundary over the Middle Atlantic. Then a low pressure will transition from across the Tennessee Valley and reform along the eastern seaboard tracking towards 40/70 benchmark and on northeastward. Meanwhile high pressure will be over southern Canada trying to funnel in marginally cold air to the rear northwest flank of the system. Thermal layers from GFS bufkit data indicate most of the Middle Atlantic to range from 1000-500mb thickness around 541-549dam, which especially in October is not cold enough for snow even in the highest of elevations. It generally looks like a rain event for most areas for a large portion of the event which may feature some moderate to heavy rain.

12z ECMWF indicates a similar forecast to the 18z GFS, except the track is a bit closer to the coast near KACY. As the system wraps up is when the potential for snow flakes exists as cold air rushes into the back-end of the system with the potential for some snow over the higher elevations especially towards northeastern Pennsylvania. Latest ECMWF, GGEM, GFS consensus definitely is leaning towards H85s well below 0C with 540dam thickness as far south as Mason-Dixon line. I think for this event a few things are possible. For one I have noticed a slight south trend in model data within the past few days. Previous runs, especially of the GFS had an over-amplifyied 992mb low up the east coast under a negatively tilted trough with cold air rushing down the spine of the Appalachians. Also I would like to see the high pressure about 5mb stronger to reinforce blocking and cold air into the system. The pressure gradient is relatively tight and the easterly flow coupled with high historical astronomical tides this year may pose for a large coastal erosion and flooding threat with 40-45mph gusts along the coast. So in conclusion it appears a moderate to high threat of a coastal storm is likely towards Thursday and Friday. I think the GFS is a bit slow in the lows progression. I think as model runs progress the actual track may be a bit farther to the south and slightly weaker. Moderate to heavy rain is possible over the Middle Atlantic in this time frame with breezy conditions. Coastal flooding and erosion is extremely likely along the Chesapeake coastline and Atlantic Ocean. Depending on wet bulb heights and precipitation intensity, some snow may mix in on the rain towards the end of the system towards Friday night as a deep trough moves over the region. Though this time of year I would like to see H85s a bit colder. Although a good rule of thumb of October snows is usually you will only be able to predict if one will see snow flakes hours before the event. Stay tuned for updates throughout the week. The general pattern regime for this week is steady below normal temperatures. This is an exciting pattern that may be setting up for the winter. My call for a moderate El Nino looks set with an westerly wind burst really causing SSTs to rise again towards Nino region 3.4. The PDO is also rising, which is more good news. As long as we do not get a sudden switch, I think it is likely many areas see their first snowflakes at or before Thanksgiving.

"Here 10mi Northeast of Harrisburg, PA 2009 Statistics"
(Severe Weather Stats...)
Severe Thunderstorm Watches- 8
Severe Thunderstorm Warnings- 9
Tornado Watches- 0
Tornado Warnings- 0
Total Thunderstorms- 33

(Precipitation Stats...)
Flood Watches- 4
Flood Warnings- 1
Monthly Precipitation- 0.97inches
Yearly Precipitation- 33.50inches

(Temperature Stats...)
Heat Advisories- 2
Excessive Heat Warnings- 0
90degree Days- 9
Highest Temperature- 95degrees


KTHV (York-Thomasville, PA)...
Mason803- September 30
Blizzard92- October 4
Snowlover2010- October 5
wxgeek723- October 7
Lawntonlookers- October 14
TheRasberryPatch- October 15
hurricane30- October 17
Tazmanian- October 20

KMDT (Harrisburg-Middletown, PA)...
Snowlover2010- September 30
Blizzard92- October 7
TheRasberryPatch- October 8
wxgeek723- October 11
hurricane30- October 17
Lawtonlookers- October 21
Mason803- October 22
Tazmanian- October 30

KBFD (Bradford, PA)...
Snowlover2010- September 15
Mason803- September 18
hurricane30- September 18
Blizzard92- September 22
TheRasberryPatch- September 23
Lawtonlookers- September 28
wxgeek723- September 30
Tazmanian- October 1

KPIT (Pittsburgh, PA)...
Snowlover2010- September 28
Mason803- September 28
Blizzard92- October 1
Lawtonlookers- October 5
TheRasberryPatch- October 6
hurricane30- October 12
wxgeek723- October 14
Tazmanian- October 20

KPHL (Philadelphia, PA)...
Tazmanian- October 9
Snowlover2010- October 12
TheRasberryPatch- October 17
Blizzard92- October 27
Mason803- October 30
hurricane30- November 4
Lawtonlookers- November 5
wxgeek723- November 6

KIAD (Dulles International-Washington, DC)...
Tazmanian- October 15
Mason803- October 15
TheRasberryPatch- October 15
hurricane30- October 22
Snowlover2010- October 27
Blizzard92- October 28
Lawtonlookers- October 28
wxgeek723- November 9

KHGR (Hagerstown, MD)...
Blizzard92- October 6
TheRasberryPatch- October 8
Tazmanian- October 10
Snowlover2010- October 10
Lawtonlookers- October 14
wxgeek723- October 16
hurricane30- October 17
Mason803- October 20

KBWI (Baltimore, MD)...
Tazmanian- October 7
TheRasberryPatch- October 17
Snowlover2010- October 25
Blizzard92- October 25
Lawtonlookers- November 1
Mason802- November 4
wxgeek723- November 9

KILG (Wilmington, DE)...
Tazmanian- October 15
TheRasberryPatch- October 20
Weathergeek5- October 24
Blizzard92- October 25
Snowlover2010- October 27
Mason803- October 29
hurricane30- October 29
wxgeek723- November 3
Lawtonlookers- November 5

KSBY (Salisbury, MD)...
TheRasberryPatch- October 25
Snowlover2010- October 27
Mason803- November 3
hurricane30- November 4
Tazmanian- November 5
Lawtonlookers- November 8
wxgeek723- November 15
Blizzard92- November 18

Autumn's festival of colors... (Blizzard92)
Leaves beginning to really show along Blue Mountain near Harrisburg at the top with an elevation around 1230ft.
Autumn's festival of colors...

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18Z NAM is looking nice so far 850 freezing line is right on top of me
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18z NAM coming in a good deal colder actually, looking at H85s. 0C along turnpike instead of I-80. Now this time of year H85 0C is not a rain/snow line for valleys, but it can be for higher elevations.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
The last time I remember Snowfall in October was 2003 and that was around the 30th-31st or closer to it. I was living in Huntingdon County at the time where I was a Sr in High School and it snowed on "trick or treat" night. Totally unexpected by me as I was hanging out at my best friend's house and we stepped outside to walk down the street to the local OIP for a food run and as soon as we opened the door everything was white. Only a coating, but nice nonetheless.

That's the last time I saw snow in October of any real substance. I can't believe however, we're nearing a year since the November lake effect snow event from last year. Man, how time flies.
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TheRasberryPatch- Here is a great American Meteorological Society scholarly journal essay on the jet stream and special synoptic conditions. Link is to abstract, but the PDF file is listed near the top of the page... Link.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
wow, Blizz, i guess i didn't realize we are a month ahead of average high
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6255
TheRasberryPatch- Yep it is a sine/cosine curve and winds blow from west to east up to 200knots sometimes during the winter. A lot of things go into the position of the jet including things such as the MJO, which takes in account tropical rainfall anomalies and tropical convection activity. El Nino and the effects of the monsoonal rains effect the jet stream.

onoweather- (~2800ft)

wxgeek723- Well a few Octobers have featured snows in north central Pennsylvania, but none to recent for this time period in October.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
Oh wow Bliz you seem to be getting excited. I knew from the beginning I wouldn't see anything other then heavy rain. I need to move away from the ocean. You must be furious to be just outside a Winter Storm Watch, lol. Especially in October, when was the last time the region saw snow this early anyway?
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blizz- do you know what elevation that webcam is at?
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the jet is usually a sine wave, correct? so doesn't it move west to east depending on the ridge and trough? what controls the jet? the indices? doesn't the jet slide east giving us a ridge or trough?
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6255
TheRasberryPatch- O I do too. But the high is still well below normal. November 24 is when the average high hits 49degrees!
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
high of 49.7F and it is now 48.5F with a dewpt of 35.7F
i love the feel of this weather. nice crisp autumn afternoon.
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6255
By the way who would have thought State College is the first NWS east of the Mississippi to issue a WINTER STORM WATCH, hahaha.


Current Garret County, Maryland webcam...

TheRasberryPatch- It has a major influence but it is built around the indices. For instance positive PNA tends to favor an amplfied jet stream with a ridge in the west and trough in the east. All of these indices tend to oriente the jet to their liking in simplistic terms. Also during El Nino/La Nina years the historical average suggests different ways the jet stream is positioned. I hope that helps.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
one question for you Blizz. i have found the jet stream and the way it sets up has a lot to do with storm track at least from when i used to watch the tv mets before internet. what makes the jet line up to give us these storms along the coast? or am i just wrong in thinking the jet has any part in the storm track? i know you talk about the PDO and the moderate la nina, but doesn't that jet play an intricle part?
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6255
onoweather- You beat me, lol. See that winter storm watch is close enough to give some snow to the mountains of Dauphin, Perry, Lebanon, and Franklin Counties.

lawntonlookers- Yep it is raw out. Quite a few sleet reports coming out of the western Washington DC suburbs due to evaportation cooling.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
Good afternoon Blizz. It looks like snow the way the clouds are. I think Thompsontown had a 32 F reading this morning at 7:53AM
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blizz-did you see the WSWatch issued for schuylkill and points North and West.
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PDO September readings...

2005- (-.46)
2006- (-.94)
2007- (-.36)
2008- (-1.55)

2009- ( .52) Not sure I completely agree it is positive, but none the less it is rising.

By the way take the snowy winter of 2002-2003. The September PDO reading was ( .43).

Link.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
PalmyraPunishment- That PDO you and I talked a lot about last winter is rising; let me go try to find the current values vs. last year at this time.


Here is the link all to the blog being referenced... Link.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
What I find interesting is that Bastardi apparently feels (keep in mind, it's Bastardi. The guy hasn't exactly been a pillar of accuracy lately) that the El Nino will fade into a more neutral pattern for the winter.

If that's the case I point your attention to Blizz's "The Mid Atlantic Winter" blog from the middle of last winter where he posted several graphs depicting winter weather patterns that presented a strong case for cyclical winter weather in terms of decades. The 80s in regards to PDO appear to be the only anomaly having a mostly positive value, the 90s were rough, and this decade - for our part of the world, has been relatively tame. Interesting to point that we are approaching the beginning of a new decade. The graphs provide historical evidence that might suggest that this winter could be a swing of the pendulum towards another decade that is more conducive to wintry weather.

Either way, I've noticed that while it hasn't gotten as cold as early as in previous years -- it hasn't exactly been Indian Summer either. This year may be the proverbial "toss up"...
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onoweather- Not quite sure yet, I think it is a possibility especially for you and I along Blue Mountain. The 850 low, which always moved north of us last year during S/W events causing the lack of snow is finally going to move south of our region especially towards Friday night. This will allow the flow aloft to turn ENE which may allow H85s to fall just enough for some snow to mix in. It will be close. Just interesting to note a coating of snow/sleet has been reported in Garret County, Maryland but also some low valleys such as Leesburg, Virginia have reported sleet currently.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
Its amazing to see so many reports of snow on Oct 14,a very unusual event going on the next several days.I actually managed to reach 50 this afternoon.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 875 Comments: 15639
Blizz- do you think we'll see snow down here at the lower evelevations? or is it only on the ridgetops northward of the turnpike?
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SHORT TERM FORECAST
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PITTSBURGH PA
215 PM EDT WED OCT 14 2009

MDZ001-PAZ030-032-WVZ023-041-142015-
GARRETT-WESTMORELAND-FAYETTE-PRESTON-TUCKER-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...OAKLAND MD...GRANTSVILLE...GREENSBURG...
NEW KENSINGTON...JEANNETTE...LATROBE...MONESSEN...UNIONTOWN...
CONNELLSVILLE...OHIOPYLE...KINGWOOD...TERRA ALTA...PARSONS...
DAVIS...THOMAS
215 PM EDT WED OCT 14 2009

.NOW...

...SNOW MIXING IN WITH RAIN AT HIGHER ELEVATIONS...

SPOTTERS AND NWS EMPLOYEES HAVE REPORTED SNOW ABOVE 2500 FEET
ACROSS THE RIDGES OF NORTHERN WEST VIRGINIA...SOMERSET AND
WESTMORELAND COUNTIES IN PENNSYLVANIA...AND GARRETT COUNTY
MARYLAND. WHILE A COATING OF SNOW WILL OCCUR IN A FEW
LOCATIONS
...PRECIPITATION INTO THIS EVENING WILL BE MAINLY RAIN
AND NO SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL IS EXPECTED.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
weathergeek5- Carbon and Monroe counties may seem some snow, but the farther west one goes the better so Mt. Holly CWA should only get mostly rain.

jthal57- Low of 37 here, once again winds overnight would not decouple

TheRasberryPatch- Hahaha, wouldn't it be nice to see a light dusting of snow against the fall colors. I am hoping Blue Mountain sees some snow to get pictures. The elevation behind my house on the summit is around 1300ft. Well we certainly have the cool air. Today is the second day this month I have not gotten out of the 40s for highs and departures from normal by the start of next week will be around -4degrees for the month, well below normal. Also I definitely will be using the WGAL radar this winter nothing is any better. But a bit too early now, lol.

NEwxguy- Thanks for the report, raw day here currently 47.

originalLT- Thanks for your report! There is two waves of precipitation so timing is a bit low confidence (along with everything else, lol)

SilverShipsofAndilar- Looks like Accuweather winter forecast is out and very snow for Middle Atlantic. I really think there is the potential for an I-81 corridor winter.

PalmyraPunishment- Yeppers, you better march on back here, hahaha. Interesting times ahead.

onoweather- Lol, not quite the same Saturday forecast. 850s are marginal yes, but with such a strong easterly flow and cold high to north, I can see the higher elevations (aob 1200ft) seeing snow along and north of the turnpike. Also look towards the end of the storm on the models. They all feature an area of energy held back with cooler H85s. That will likely be the potential snow for higher elevations Friday night. And I definitely think the NAM is overestimating QPF. It has a severe wet bias and performed that way all summer. Really most of the models are probably a bit too much in the QPF department.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
blizz- so much for my dry saturday in state college, looks like it might be white. Do you think the 12ZNAM is to heavy on QPF? Also doesn't look like to much snow south of I-80, 850 temps are very marginal.
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am i missing something by not being here on the regular yet? hahahahaha
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i see they have a high wind watch, a gale watch and hazardous weather statement and coastal flood watch up for the coast. they expect a strong coast storm. if this storm plays out like they predict it will do some serious damage along the east coast.

Blizz - is it time to break out the WGAL Doppler? hahaha
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6255
Hi Blizz, at work but snuck onto the computer here, local mets are forecasting the heaviest rain to occure here late tomorrow afternoon untill Fri AM, then intermittant lighter rain after that through the weekend, is that true?, I thought the heavier precip would be during the day Friday, seems they speeded things up a bit?
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 7448
If this is what Accuweather is calling for, http://www.accuweather.com/mt-news-blogs.asp?partner=accuweather&blog=Weathermatrix&pgurl=/mtweb/con tent/Weathermatrix/archives/2009/10/model_maps_ne_snowstorm_effects.asp , then my forecast is for all rain.
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Morning, low here overnight was 34.4F , Totally clear now, Baro. 1027mb. wind NW 5 mph. Stamford CT.
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 7448
31 degrees this morning in the suburbs of eastern mass.Brrrrr!!
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 875 Comments: 15639
33.3F here this am. Patchy frost in spots.
I guess as always it depends on the track of the storm and coastal lows/nor'easters have a mind of their own. 60 miles east and we get nothing and 60 miles west we get rain. pretty amazing that we are getting a nor'easter with snow implications this early.

Blizz - you are funny. no hype or excitement in the blog, but we know you are hoping and wishing like a little kid. hahaha. its ok you can let it out. :))

a low of 36F this morning with some patchy frost on the grass. still haven't hit 32F yet for the season. I am surprised. I would have thought we would have hit the 20's by now.
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6255
From my NWS:

SHORT TERM /6 PM THIS EVENING THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT/

QUITE AN INTERESTING PERIOD OF WEATHER IS COMING UP...STARTING
DURING THURSDAY AS THE COASTAL LOW STARTS BOMBING OUT. THE GFS
SEEMS INITIALLY DEEPER, BUT THE NAM CATCHES UP AND THE ECMWF DOES
THE GFS A LITTLE BETTER (DEEPER) BY 12Z FRIDAY. GFS AND NAM 925
HPA WINDS ARE 45 TO 55 KNOTS OVER THE OCEAN AND ALONG THE COAST.
SO, IT WAS DECIDED TO ISSUE A HIGH WIND WATCH FOR THURSDAY
AFTERNOON INTO EARLY FRIDAY MORNING FOR THE COASTAL ZONES
(INCLUDING THE NEXT GROUP INLAND). IF THE STORM IS ACTUALLY A
LITTLE STRONGER, THEN LATER SHIFTS CAN SEGUE TO A HIGH WIND
WARNING, WITH A WIND ADVISORY INLAND. OTHERWISE, AND THE MORE
PROBABLE ROUTE, IS FOR THE WATCH TO TRANSITION TO A WIND ADVISORY
AS THE EVENT GETS A LITTLE CLOSER IN TIME.

ALSO, COLDER AIR WILL BE OVER OUR NORTHWESTERN ZONES. WITH
PRECIPITATION POSSIBLY MODERATE AT TIMES, DYNAMIC COOLING MAY
CAUSE SOME SNOW OVER HIGHER ELEVATIONS. GFS 1000-850 THICKNESSES
WERE NEAR 1300 METERS THURSDAY NIGHT IN OUR FAR NORTHERN AREAS, SO
FOR THE OVERNIGHT PERIOD INTO FRIDAY MORNING RAIN AND SNOW WAS
MENTIONED, WITH SOME ACCUMULATIONS (UP TO 1.5 INCHES) ADDED TO THE
GRIDS FOR NOW. THIS COULD BE UNDERDONE A BIT IF THE THERMAL
PROFILE IS COLDER THAN CURRENTLY PREDICTED. ALSO, AS A VERY WET
SNOW IS EXPECTED, THIS COULD LEAD TO HIGHER SNOW AMOUNTS.

SEE THE HYDROLOGY SECTION BELOW FOR THOUGHTS ON RAIN AMOUNTS.

THE NAM AND GFS MOS WERE CLOSER THIS MORNING ON TEMPERATURES, SO A
BLEND WAS USED FOR HIGHS THURSDAY AND AGAIN FRIDAY.

EVEN THOUGH WINTER IS STILL A FEW MONTHS AWAY, THIS PATTERN IS
DEFINITELY WINTER-LIKE. COOLER LANDMASS TEMPERATURES AND WARMER
OCEAN AND COASTAL TEMPERATURES WILL ACT AS A NATURAL BAROCLINIC
ZONE, THUS PROVIDING A CONVERGENT ZONE TO KEEP A TROUGH ALONG THE
EAST COAST FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.
-- End Changed Discussion --

Member Since: December 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1744
After checking the morning guidance I still like my zone of snow fall as the top of Blue Mountain up through Mansfield/Wellsboro west to Philipsburg and east through northeastern Pennsylvania. The ridgetops will get most of the snowfall and/or elevations above 1100ft.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
Look at the new section of the long-term forecast put out by CTP.

.LONG TERM /WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY/...

-- Changed Discussion --
HAVE UPDATED THE HWO AND ISSUED AN SPS FOR A POTENTIAL EARLY SEASON
HEAVY-WET-DAMAGING SNOWFALL DURING THE DAY THURSDAY INTO FRIDAY.
18Z GEFS SHOWS THE STRONG EASTERLY LOW LEVEL WIND ANOMALY WHICH
DEVELOPS AHEAD OF THE EXPECTED EAST COAST SECONDARY SFC LOW.
THERMAL PROFILES ARE FCST TO BE VERY MARGINAL...HUGGING CLOSE TO
FREEZING THRU A DEEP LAYER WHICH COULD CREATE THE POTENTIAL FOR A
WARM SNOW EVENT. WITH LEAVES STILL ON THE TREES...COULD BE VERY
DAMAGING WITH THE POTENTIAL HEAVY/WET SNOW CAUSING DOWNED TREES
AND POWER LINES.

18Z BUFKIT SOUNDINGS FROM THE HIGH RES NAM AND GFS HAVE A LOT OF
SNOW IN THEM. HARD TO BITE OFF ON THE ACTUAL QUANTITIES...IN
EXCESS OF A FOOT EACH...BUT EVEN IF WE SEE A MAINLY A HIGHER
ELEVATION SNOW EVENT OF A FEW TO SEVERAL INCHES...RESULTS COULD BE
VERY DAMAGING.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Um. The new NAM model is absurd! haha

Look at the 60 hour precip ending at hour 84.





Just about all of that from north-central Pennsylvania to the southern Catskills is snow.

If that's the case this would be disastrous.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Looks like 0z NAM continues the idea of holding some energy back allowing H85s to drop for some back-end snowfall for much of central Pennsylvania.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
That is reasonable Blizzard, I understand that feeling totally, especially like two winters ago and last winter.

Man that Great Lakes Blizzard of 1978 was amazing, also known as the Cleveland Superbomb of 1978, (pressure all the way down to 958mb and wind gusts to 100mph. I can just imagine what it would be like if it happened in late January along the Eastern Seaboard.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 243 Comments: 3718
sullivanweather- I sort of like the State College-Mansfield/Wellsboro corridor. State College usually does extremely well in these situations and seems to always benefit from any possible dynamic cooling. Almost all the leaves are on the trees through the lower and mid Susquehanna Valley so some of the ridges may have some serious tree damage if they get snowfall accumulations. A lot of trees remained damaged from the ice storm of December 2007.

TheDawnAwakening- Believe me if this was towards the winter months I would be definitely liking the H5 setup.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
Blizz,

It looks to me like north-central PA might come out on top with this one. That area seems to be right in the perfect juxtaposition between the surface low offshore and the approaching mid-level disturbance from the west which should maximize frontogenesis over this region.

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if you got something out of this in the wrap around. Philly got some snow last year with that October storm. Even though the snow in Philly didn't accumulate I think you would have a better chance at getting a slushy inch on grassy areas and car tops Thursday night.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I don't know Blizzard. You sounding a little pessimistic with this storm. I believe the +PNA and -NAO trending positive teleconnections give the area a more amplified jet stream and stronger surface cyclogenesis as the blocking pattern allows the energy to merge and the amplification of the ridge in the west and trough in the east allows cold air to funnel into the storm, now this is more of a typical winter storm pattern, but given that it is still mid October many areas will still receive rain, except for the higher locations in the mountains that are more climatologically favored for early season snowfalls. I think in the end the pattern will give us a strong single coastal low, but I am definitely more wrong then right so I don't know close to certain, but that is my inexperienced opinion.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 243 Comments: 3718
sullivanweather- Eh trying to keep it on the down low, haha. I mentioned earlier about Blue Mountain on northward through White Deer Mountain near Williamsport would be at highest threat and that seems to be where the NWS is pinpointing. Not really expecting anything here, maybe on the mountain though.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
Hey Blizz!

I bet you're getting a lil excited now, huh?

Imagine what it must have been like in 1987 when that crazy snowstorm struck on the 4th!! I know it missed you guys but from the Poconos and points northeast got clobbered!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Includes Harrisburg...

PAZ004>006-010>012-017>019-024>028-033>035-037-041-042-045-046-
049>053-056>058-140400-
WARREN-MCKEAN-POTTER-ELK-CAMERON-NORTHERN CLINTON-CLEARFIELD-
NORTHERN CENTRE-SOUTHERN CENTRE-CAMBRIA-BLAIR-HUNTINGDON-MIFFLIN-
JUNIATA-SOMERSET-BEDFORD-FULTON-TIOGA-NORTHERN LYCOMING-SULLIVAN-
SOUTHERN CLINTON-SOUTHERN LYCOMING-UNION-SNYDER-MONTOUR-
NORTHUMBERLAND-COLUMBIA-PERRY-DAUPHIN-SCHUYLKILL-955 PM EDT TUE OCT 13 2009

...UNUSUAL EARLY SEASON DAMAGING HEAVY WET SNOW POSSIBLE...

THE COMBINATION OF A DEVELOPING STORM OFF TO THE SOUTH OF THE
REGION...AND ABNORMALLY CHILLY AIR IN PLACE OVER THE NORTHEASTERN
UNITED STATES COULD CREATE THE POTENTIAL FOR AN EARLY SEASON
SNOWFALL FOR PARTS OF THE REGION LATER IN THE WEEK.

A STORM SYSTEM IS EXPECTED TO APPROACH FROM THE TENNESSEE RIVER
VALLEY THURSDAY...BEFORE REDEVELOPING ALONG THE CAROLINA COAST
LATER THURSDAY INTO FRIDAY. WITH COLD CANADIAN HIGH PRESSURE
PERCHED UP JUST TOP THE NORTH OF THE LOCAL AREA...AND MOISTURE
SPREADING IN FROM THE DEVELOPING STORM TO OUR SOUTH...THE
POTENTIAL WILL BE FOR A HEAVY...WET...DAMAGING SNOW TO DEVELOP
OVER PARTS OF CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA. AT THIS TIME...THE AREA THAT
LOOKS TO BE MOST VULNERABLE TO THE EARLY SEASON SNOW WILL BE FROM
ABOUT INTERSTATE 80 SOUTH TO THE PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE...ESPECIALLY
OVER THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS.

WITH MOST TREES STILL HAVING ALL THEIR LEAVES...EVEN A FEW INCHES
OF HEAVY WET SNOW WILL HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO CAUSE SERIOUS TREE
DAMAGE...ALONG WITH POWER OUTAGES FROM LIMBS FALLING ON POWER
LINES.

EARLY SEASON ACCUMULATING SNOWS ARE VERY UNUSUAL BUT NOT UNHEARD
OF IN PENNSYLVANIA. SOME EARLIEST FIRST DATES OF MEASURABLE SNOW
ARE PROVIDED BELOW.

WILLIAMSPORT OCT 16 1977 1.0"
HARRISBURG OCT 19 1972 1.2"
STATE COLLEGE OCT 18 1901 0.1"
WELLSBORO OCT 17 1977 7.5"
ALTOONA OCT 27 1957 0.3"
JOHNSTOWN OCT 10 1925 0.2"
YORK OCT 19 1972 1.5"

STAY TUNED TO LATER FORECAST AND STATEMENTS ON THIS POTENTIAL EARLY
WINTER WEATHER EVENT. WITH TEMPERATURES EXPECTED TO BE VERY
MARGINAL...IT WOULD ONLY TAKE A SMALL INCREASE IN EXPECTED
TEMPERATURES TO TURN THE FORECAST FOR SNOW TO PREDICTIONS OF JUST
A CHILLY RAIN.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
yes it is Blizz. did you happen to see the two new fields they put in for sports? i watched it all summer since i drive 322 to go to grocery stores in hershey. amazing.

all the fields there in hershey are well kept. i never see a field looking bad
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6255
TheRasberryPatch- Every year they looking wonderful heading into Hershey. Hershey really is a wonderful town though and very well kept.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
thats not good, Blizz.

btw - didn't the maples along 322 in hershey and along the milton hershey school look really good?
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6255
TheRasberryPatch- I am afraid the weekend is not looking great with very chilly conditions, highs in low to mid 40s with clouds and occasional rain showers.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
what is the time frame for this Blizz? will the weekend be sunny? i saw that they were expecting cold temps
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6255
weathergeek5- I do not think it will be that strong. Just two low pressure flat wave passages.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099

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About Blizzard92

Cornell University- Atmospheric Sciences Undergrad; Research Assist.- Onset of Spring Indices Toolbox; Interests- Small spatial scale climatolology

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Linglestown, PA
Elevation: 520 ft
Temperature: 24.2 °F
Dew Point: 15.2 °F
Humidity: 68%
Wind: Calm
Wind Gust: 9.0 mph
Updated: 10:37 AM EST on January 18, 2014

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