Blizzard to impact eastern United States...

By: Zachary Labe , 8:56 PM GMT on December 22, 2010

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Thoughts on December 26-27 Possible Snowstorm...
Despite a moderate to strong La Nina, an anomalous negative NAO and record breaking negative AO have made for unusual blocking in the northern Atlantic. This has allowed for a steady trough over the east coast with the core of the coldest standard deviation over the Southeast where some areas are running near 12F below normal. Across the northern Middle Atlantic most temperature means are around -5F below normal. This cold and suppressed pattern has prevented synoptic storms from entering the area north of the Mason-Dixon line. The only snows in Pennsylvania have been from lake effect with impressive totals near 3ft across the northwestern portion of the state. South across Maryland and Delaware a clipper paved a path of light snow over the region with steady light accumulations. Currently we have a semi-similar upper level pattern as portions of last winter during the multi-blizzard period. Again this is all thanks to the anomalous blocking in Greenland and the Davis Straights. A split flow could result in the phasing of the subtropical and polar jets off the coast of the Southeast and drive up along the western periphery of the trough. Model guidance certainly highlights an impressive upper level ridge over the western United States. A piece of energy will be ejected out of the southwestern United States and gather strength near the mouth of the Mississippi River. 500mb maps indicate a closed low forming in southern Louisiana. This energy will rotate through the Gulf Coast and will track dependent on the exact phasing of the separate jets and the alignment and timing of the negatively titled trough. A strong area of confluence associated with a Polar Vortex in Canada will slow the progression of the 500mb synoptic pattern and maintain a slow progression of this enhanced vortex. As the area of confluence lifts northward and the ridge in the west becomes more amplified, a surface low will try to develop in the southeast and move northeast. If we can get the ridge axis far enough west and slow the progression of the pattern enough, we may be able to get a strong area of cyclongenesis to occur south of Cape Hatteris. Often significant eastern cyclones occur during phases of the NAO transitioning from negative positive. Therefore signaling a pattern change. This would be our pattern changing storm and fits nicely as the NAO transition is supported by ensemble and operational model guidance. While climatology in high end moderate La Ninas completely signals against Miller A storm systems, the record breaking high heights/blocking over the north Atlantic may outweight climatology for a rare event. Given the incredibly amplified ridge in the western United States, the players are certaintly there. It all comes down to timing. If we can get the phasing to occur as the trough becomes negatively tilted then this will turn up the coast and stay about 100mi offshore. But if we do not get this pieces of the puzzle together, then this will travel offshore.

Model guidance has been polar opposite recently with the ECMWF harping on several runs of a near historical east coast snowstorm. The GFS and other models have been indicating a weaker low with a less amplified flow therefore paving a storm for the fish. But the models each have a few biases. The ECMWF tends to overamplify storms and hold back energy in the southwest. If this were bias were to be occuring, then that would be the reason we are seeing the very strong low pressure. The GFS on the other hand tends to be east with coastal cyclones along with underestimating the strength of the southern and northern streams. While the ECWMF has remained relatively steadfast with a slow moving low undergoing bombogenesis near the Delmarva, the GFS has been quite inconsistent. In fact the 12z run took significant strides with a much more amplified pattern and deeper initial shortwave. Given the 500mb pattern, it would not take much for the 12z GFS to be a huge hit. Also encouraging are trends on the 12z ECMWF and GFS ensembles which both have moved about 100mi to the west. The 18z NAM is also significantly trending more favorably towards the ECMWF with quicker phasing and a stronger surface low developing in the Gulf of Mexico. At this point, a forecast is impossible. Yes, the ECMWF is probably overdone, but you cannot ignore the trend of its consistency. Keep in mind last week or so when the ECMWF persistently indicated that very impressive low over the Midwest, while other guidance danced around.

Given the high impact this potential nor'easter would have given the calendar days, I thought it was relative to post a new blog to discuss the threat. Also the recent boring weather pattern has been quite dull forecasting-wise, so this is a decent change. If I see the 12z ECMWF tomorrow maintaining the strong coastal low, I will then signal the whistle. For now feel free to discuss the threat in the blog above. If the storm becomes an imminent threat, I will update the sections below as usual.

Radar...
Radar...

Warnings...
Warnings...

NAO...
NAO...

This is my current rain/snow line...
STAY TUNED!

Storm Reports...
STAY TUNED!

Storm Impacts...
STAY TUNED!

Snow Map...
STAY TUNED!


Selected City Accumulations for the Northeast...
STAY TUNED!
Hagerstown, MD-
Baltimore, MD-
Salisbury, MD-
Washington, DC-
Wilmington, DE-
Dover, DE-
Trenton, NJ-
New York City, NY-
Poughkeepsie, NY-
Binghamton, NY-
Albany, NY-
Hartford, CT-
Concord, NH-
Providence, RI-
Worcester, MA-
Boston, MA-
Nantucket, MA-
Hyannis, MA-
Portland, ME-
Bangor, ME-
"Subject to Change"

Model Analysis
STAY TUNED!

After the storm...
STAY TUNED!

Please post storm reports in this blog from across the Northeast during the winter storm and please post location of observation in each report...

This blog is in progress. Check back soon...

Please take an opportunity to vote in the new poll!

"Here northeast of Harrisburg 2010-2011 winter statistics"
(Snow Stats)
Current Snow Cover- 0.00in
Monthly Total (November)- Trace
Monthly Total (December)- 0.6in
Seasonal Total- 0.6in
Winter Weather Advisories- 1
Winter Storm Warnings- 0
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 1
Winter Storm Watches- 1

(Temperature Stats)
Lowest High Temperature- 24.1F
Lowest Low Temperature- 12.8F
Wind Chill Advisories- 0
Wind Chill Warnings- 0

(Snow Storms Stats)
First accumulating snow - December 10 - 0.50in

Lower Susquehanna Valley Doppler...

(Courtesy of WGAL)

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1017. appledust36
8:41 PM GMT on January 24, 2011
Blizz, I don't post much, but I've followed your blogs lately, and thank you for the fine analyses you present. I also appreciate offerings like your "Short Computer Model Introduction" above.

As for the upcoming, it looks like maybe a soaker over here in the Princeton area, but if I have to get wet, maybe central and eastern PA will get the snow they are pining for this time around! In that case, good luck, PA.
Member Since: December 20, 2001 Posts: 1 Comments: 3
1016. TheDawnAwakening
6:11 PM GMT on December 30, 2010
I agree Blizz, but when there is a Manitoba Mauler in the mix, chances are the upper level pattern is much more dynamic than the models give it credit for, something to watch.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 245 Comments: 3935
1015. Zachary Labe
4:28 PM GMT on December 30, 2010
Quoting TheDawnAwakening:
12z GFS shows a potential clear phase between the Manitoba Arctic jet disturbance and the northern jet stream disturbance around 72-96 hours, or Sunday night into Monday. The model is just a little too late in allowing the Manitoba Disturbance to phase with the upper level trough. It is so close, but yet so far away. It still shows little if any true precipitation in the region and the colder air is just too late in arriving. 6z GEFS ensemble mean took a step backwards from the 00z run with a less amplified system moving through, having showing the most amplified solution in the 00z runs. 12z runs should be interesting to see which way they lean, 00z EURO was out to sea with the frontal low.

I would not really expect anything. These scenarios rarely produce much.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
1014. TheDawnAwakening
4:26 PM GMT on December 30, 2010
12z GFS shows a potential clear phase between the Manitoba Arctic jet disturbance and the northern jet stream disturbance around 72-96 hours, or Sunday night into Monday. The model is just a little too late in allowing the Manitoba Disturbance to phase with the upper level trough. It is so close, but yet so far away. It still shows little if any true precipitation in the region and the colder air is just too late in arriving. 6z GEFS ensemble mean took a step backwards from the 00z run with a less amplified system moving through, having showing the most amplified solution in the 00z runs. 12z runs should be interesting to see which way they lean, 00z EURO was out to sea with the frontal low.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 245 Comments: 3935
1013. zotty
4:19 PM GMT on December 30, 2010
Reading chatter that the Caps-Pens game on New Year's Day may have to be moved to New Year's night or maybe even later in the season due to the threat of rain and warm conditions.  That's not cool.  
Member Since: August 19, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 742
1012. Zachary Labe
2:48 PM GMT on December 30, 2010
Quoting HeavySnow:


Me too.

I cannot see them either this morning. I saw them yesterday though, so maybe something is offline today.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
1011. HeavySnow
2:04 PM GMT on December 30, 2010
Quoting originalLT:
P451 and Keeper, I'm having the same problem with seeing those images.


Me too.
Member Since: July 7, 2004 Posts: 18 Comments: 2989
1010. originalLT
1:31 PM GMT on December 30, 2010
P451 and Keeper, I'm having the same problem with seeing those images.
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 7588
1008. pittsburghnurse
12:15 PM GMT on December 30, 2010
Quoting wxgeek723:


Classic Pittsburghese.


Yes, thank you. However, is this region the Ohio valley? Great Lakes to me means the Illinois/Michigan area, but it could mean Erie and downstream hence Pgh. The northeast in this last go-round meant the I-95 corridor... pretty far from SW PA. For the purpose of discussion, where the bleep am I?
Member Since: October 14, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 639
1007. TheDawnAwakening
3:42 AM GMT on December 30, 2010
Blizz - the Blizzard's lowest pressure was south of Halifax, NS around Monday afternoon it was observed as 960mb by a buoy on the North Channel. There was a 962mb reading on Nantucket, MA around 730am that day. Harwich, MA had a pressure that morning of 965mb.

Interesting post frontal system being modeled about 4-5 days from now.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 245 Comments: 3935
1006. wxgeek723
2:54 AM GMT on December 30, 2010
Quoting pittsburghnurse:
So where is here? Great lakes? Northeast? Interior Northeast? When yinz are talking about these locations, where is da Burgh?


Classic Pittsburghese.
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3588
1005. pittsburghnurse
2:52 AM GMT on December 30, 2010
So where is here? Great lakes? Northeast? Interior Northeast? When yinz are talking about these locations, where is da Burgh?
Member Since: October 14, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 639
1004. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
2:52 AM GMT on December 30, 2010
big temp flip is biggest concearn with standing water going under flash freeze could be interesting we will see shortly
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 54268
1003. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
2:47 AM GMT on December 30, 2010
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 54268
1002. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
2:46 AM GMT on December 30, 2010
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 54268
1001. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
2:44 AM GMT on December 30, 2010
latest info

remember things can and will change


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 54268
1000. wxgeek723
2:42 AM GMT on December 30, 2010
1,000th comment! Lol, we made it. Anway, things will get back to normal eventually. You'll get your snow Blizz. I guarentee. It might be a bit of a wait though.

Out of curiosity, what kind of storm setups give Central PA a respectable amount of snow? And what's Harrisburg's greatest single storm total?
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3588
999. Zachary Labe
2:31 AM GMT on December 30, 2010
I know the GFS has been hinting at an anafront wave on Sunday riding up along the cold front with snows for parts of the area. I do not buy this though as the GFS often shows this and they usually do not pan out (at least for most of the Middle Atlantic; sometimes New England can cash in).
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
998. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
2:27 AM GMT on December 30, 2010
Quoting originalLT:
The next possible snow event, Heavy! That's what he's talking about.
after the warm up comes on the heels of a flash freeze
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 54268
997. originalLT
1:49 AM GMT on December 30, 2010
The next possible snow event, Heavy! That's what he's talking about.
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 7588
996. HeavySnow
1:47 AM GMT on December 30, 2010
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
4 days after tomorrow



Would that be Monday or Tuesday? And what in the heck are you talking about?
Member Since: July 7, 2004 Posts: 18 Comments: 2989
995. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
1:44 AM GMT on December 30, 2010
Quoting HeavySnow:


DAY AFTER TOMORROW
4 days after tomorrow
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 54268
994. Zachary Labe
1:37 AM GMT on December 30, 2010
Quoting wxgeek723:
Personally, I've had enough historic storms. Let's just have clippers, rain from Midwest blizzards, or weak/moderate nor'easters with rain, mixing, or no more than 6" for the next few years, lol.

Lol, you are now banned from the blog. Excuse me; some of us inland are suffering a snow drought this winter.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
993. originalLT
1:31 AM GMT on December 30, 2010
Good to see you are OK cchamp6. In Stamford CT where I am I think we got 15-16", it was hard to tell. My highest wind gust(which I think is a low reading due to snow on the anamometer cups), was 58mph.
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 7588
992. HeavySnow
1:23 AM GMT on December 30, 2010
Quoting wxgeek723:
Personally, I've had enough historic storms. Let's just have clippers, rain from Midwest blizzards, or weak/moderate nor'easters with rain, mixing, or no more than 6" for the next few years, lol.



Somebody whack this joker. - Fat Tony
Member Since: July 7, 2004 Posts: 18 Comments: 2989
991. wxgeek723
1:14 AM GMT on December 30, 2010
Personally, I've had enough historic storms. Let's just have clippers, rain from Midwest blizzards, or weak/moderate nor'easters with rain, mixing, or no more than 6" for the next few years, lol.
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3588
990. HeavySnow
12:36 AM GMT on December 30, 2010
Quoting Snowlover2010:
Hey Bliz, last few GFS and EURO runs have a storm riding up the east coast along the cold front on jan 4. Thoughts?


DAY AFTER TOMORROW
Member Since: July 7, 2004 Posts: 18 Comments: 2989
989. Snowlover2010
12:22 AM GMT on December 30, 2010
Hey Bliz, last few GFS and EURO runs have a storm riding up the east coast along the cold front on jan 4. Thoughts?
Member Since: January 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 1003
988. cchamp6
10:17 PM GMT on December 29, 2010
Checking in after a long few days. That was an incredible storm. The snows rates and wind were amazing. I recorded a 52 mph. gust at my house in a valley. I really couldnt tell you how many inches of snow. It is impossible to measure. I have heard 15" range. It seemed like way more. It doesnt matter as the drifts are 6-10' high. Time to sleep. When is the next blizzard??
Member Since: December 21, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 1641
987. LettyS
3:54 PM GMT on December 29, 2010
Quoting TheRasberryPatch:
Letty - on a good year you might not see the grass until April. That area is amazing for snow.

My strongest gust of wind was 29mph around 620am. I am with you Mason. I'd rather have cold vs. this wind.


When we get hit, we get hit hard. I don't know what it is about our location. Must be the sweet spot. :)
Member Since: January 10, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 92
986. LettyS
3:52 PM GMT on December 29, 2010
Quoting Hoynieva:
Nice before/after, fz1 :) Thanks for posting some pics. You need a snowblower, Letty.


Do I ever. :-) I consider shoveling my workout for the day, though.
Member Since: January 10, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 92
985. shipweather
3:24 PM GMT on December 29, 2010
I WANT SNOW.

That is all.
Member Since: December 15, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 987
984. Zachary Labe
1:37 PM GMT on December 29, 2010
Quoting NumberWise:
I haven't seen cchamp check in yet.

Yea, I wonder how he did there in western Connecticut.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
983. zotty
6:06 AM GMT on December 29, 2010
also doing what i can to get to 1000 posts...
Member Since: August 19, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 742
982. zotty
6:04 AM GMT on December 29, 2010
ok, now that the "smush smush" crowd has receded (no offense P), can we expect any flakes before MLK?  i dont see anything in the models but am not a telly-tubby guy so have no idea after 72 hours.
goofy- i hear you on the rocker- little guy is just 9 weeks, so it only does so much.  the nanny is still horrible.  dvr'd conan has helped, along with the occasional "creme fraiche/shake weight"  thanks for the intel, though, it certainly helps post 4 am feedings...
Member Since: August 19, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 742
981. originalLT
12:48 AM GMT on December 29, 2010
You are right Numberwise, hope he is OK. And P451 you've been real fortunate to get some great banding over your area that just sat there, incredible!
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 7588
980. NumberWise
11:26 PM GMT on December 28, 2010
I haven't seen cchamp check in yet.
Member Since: October 22, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1709
979. goofyrider
10:12 PM GMT on December 28, 2010

  
We are truly blessed here in the Garden State.  We seem to have assembled a management team and players who have eclipsed NYC'S former mayor John V. Lindsey record (thought to be impossible to surpass) for the how not to manage a response to a severe snowstorm.  We are now 48 hrs or more into the effort and major roads are still unplowed.  
Nuts
Member Since: February 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2787
975. originalLT
9:50 PM GMT on December 28, 2010
Boy, blogs been quiet all day, been reading on Dr. Masters blog that late next week the NE could be in for another "winter" type storm, as the GFS indicates a return to colder weather after a relatively brief week or week and a half warm up. Storm would probably be a Miller B type. I see P451 alluded to this already .
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 7588
974. NEwxguy
3:00 PM GMT on December 28, 2010
GM,what a storm,should make most of our storm lovers happy,still feeling the effects up here,wind gusts still around 30 or 40.Some coastal neighborhoods still under water.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 881 Comments: 15808
973. jrzyshore
2:42 PM GMT on December 28, 2010
Quoting Blizzard92:
I plan on working on a new blog this week which will be a special feature blog. The past ten years have featured a greater than normal number of historic east coast snowstorms. In comparison to other decades many areas have broken all time snowstorm and/or seasonal records. I will try to take a look at this and seek out patterns.

Cool Blizz'....I'm lookin' forward to that...I was just saying the other day on here, it seems there have been a bunch of "100 year storms" in the past few years.

Old Chinese Curse " May You Live In Interesting Times"
Member Since: March 1, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 211
972. originalLT
2:36 PM GMT on December 28, 2010
Hi Blizz and all, I think I heard 961mb, one higher than Super Storm of 1993, but I could be wrong. They also could be still trying to figure it out too.
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 7588
971. Zachary Labe
2:05 PM GMT on December 28, 2010
Great pictures! What a storm!!! I think I saw it dropped to 963mb at its lowest; correct if I am wrong.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
970. jrzyshore
1:58 PM GMT on December 28, 2010
Hey P451 , Thanx for that Traffic cam link...I'll be using that often.....

I threw some bread out in the backyard for the birds yesteday.I look out the window this morning and see a flock of seagulls fighting over it.I'm about 2miles as a crow(gull?)flies from the beach..don't see them in the yard normally.
Member Since: March 1, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 211
969. HeavySnow
1:40 PM GMT on December 28, 2010
How I long to see that message on my TV.
Member Since: July 7, 2004 Posts: 18 Comments: 2989
968. jrzyshore
1:28 PM GMT on December 28, 2010
Quoting wxgeek723:
I feel like this storm deserves some sort of special name. End of Decade Blizzard? 2010 Kwanzaa Storm? What do you guys think?

Let's stick with Blizz's theme "The Phantom Blizzard of 2010"

this is the message on my local(Brick) cable station this morning...

"Snow plows continue to work around the clock to clear township streets.We recieved 34 inches of snow and our crews aree doing their best to clear the streets,Please be patient."

I don't know how you accurately measure that wind blown mess, but that sounds about right after digging out all day yesterday...
Member Since: March 1, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 211

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

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Elevation: 520 ft
Temperature: 24.2 °F
Dew Point: 15.2 °F
Humidity: 68%
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