Ph.D. Student - Earth System Science (UC Irvine), B.Sc. - Atmospheric Sciences (Cornell University)
By: Zachary Labe , 1:34 PM GMT on November 01, 2011
"Afternoon Thoughts" (Updated 11/01)
The first round of prelims (what Cornell calls tests) is over the and the second round is underway. Course selection for next semester has already begun. The year is surely on its way. I have been part of this community now for several months, and I am quickly adapting to my daily wash/rinse routine; although this is what I prefer. The general atmosphere remains a very difficult and stressful regime with concerns over prelims running amuck. Socially, I remain deprived and this continues to remain my biggest challenge. My meteorology classes are going excellent and even Calculus is going pretty well.
A few weeks ago I attended a seminar by the Randy Olson, a scientist (Harvard PhD) turned filmaker. His seminar featured the concept of scientists relating their information to the general public. This concept is in correspondance with his lastest book, "Don't be Such as Scientist." This storyline is about how to get your message across to the general public and how scientists typically come up on the other side of proficient. Looking at this concept is definitely true. Scientists have a very difficult time relaying their findings to the public. Perhaps this is why the global warming crowd has such a difficult time finding acceptance through public acknowledgement. Scientists often are more concerned with elaborating on the 'whys' where instead they should focus on telling a story. This story being on how it impacts the average person. The general society is very focused on themself and how it will personally impact them. Scientists and communication do not go hand in hand and this will continue to be a big issue for any policies in the future. While scientists should not have to 'dumb down' their ideas, they should be able to manipulate them in a way that tells a story and impacts the average person. Think of this as a movie storyline. Until science finds an alternative solution to public communication, many important concepts will go lost. And even with the advent of the internet, this problem still remains. While I have not read Randy Olson's book, for those looking for an interesting read here are the chapters...
1) Don't Be So Cerebral
2) Don't Be So Literal Minded
3) Don't Be Such a Poor Storyteller
4) Don't Be So Unlikeable
5) Be the Voice of Science
"Current Surface Plot"
(Courtesy of HPC)
(Courtesy of Wunderground)
(Courtesy of NOAA)
"Forecast Discussion"(Updated 11/01)
Well given the impressive kick-off to the winter season with many areas already running well above normal in seasonal snowfall totals, I decided to begin the month of November with my winter format for my weekly weather forecasts. Below you can find information on lake effect snow and eventually ice reports as we get farther into the winter season. There are also links to my winter forecast for 2011-2012 down below. It is hard to believe that all I-95 cities have reported their first snow accumulations. In some winters, even as of recently 2007-2008, many first 1in snowfall amounts did not occur until early to mid January! This record breaking October storm you could say is as rare as they come and had it been mid winter, it would have likely been a widespread 2ft KU storm. The records broken in October 2011 are likely to stand for many years, although it does appear the frequency of these nor'easters associated with snow in October are on the rise in the last decade. Perhaps this can be associated with the decadal -NAO trend we have entered or maybe it is something more. One of my meteorology professors announced in class that the Northeast Regional Climate Center (NRCC is located here at Cornell in Ithaca, NY) will be performing a study to determine whether the relatively frequency of October snow is on the rise. In any case it appears the weather for the first week in November will be a bit more benign...
We have now officially entered the month of November and the associated last week in Daylight savings time. I always signal the start of winter storm tracking by the beginning of standard time. This is because the models all come out a hour earlier! Climatological normal high temperatures are now into the upper 50s daily for areas as far south as Harrisburg, PA while areas in northern New England are entering the low 50s for average highs. October is the month with the largest temperature extremes from the beginning to the end for climatological means.
A coastal storm well off the east coast with little to no effects on the mainland will continue to pull to the northeast into the north Atlantic shippling lanes. Visible satellite images indicate clearing skies from west to east over the Northeast indicating generally nice weather for Tuesday with seasonal temperatures as H85s continue to remain below 0C. High pressure and upper level ridging will move into the region for Wednesday allowing for radiational cooling Tuesday nights as temperatures drop at or below freezing for much of the Northeast. Temperatures may drop into the lower 20s for parts of northern New England. Sunshine will dominate the region's weather for Wednesday with once again seasonable to slightly above normal temperatures ranging from the mid 50s across the north to lower 60s in the Washington DC region.
A weak shortwave will advance towards the region on Thursday and will quickly begin to shear apart. The 850hPa low track will be across New York state with most moisture along and north of the track. QPF for NAM/GFS guidance remains low and this shortwave will have little to no impact on the region. Less than 0.03in QPF is likely for the entire Northeast with only scattered drizzle or a light rain shower in spots. H85 heights will rise to near +8C so all precipitation will be in the form of rain.
Slightly colder air will move in behind the shortwave along with high pressure making for a wonderful Fall weekend. Slightly below normal temperatures are likely for Saturday and more frosts and freezes are likely Friday and Saturday nights. Increasing cirrus ahead of the next advancing shortwave will move from west to east Sunday night with precipitation chances on the rise for Monday. Once again it appears QPF will be light and in the form of rain.
General weather theme for this week is seasonable temperatures under generally partly cloudy skies. Nights will be cold with several frosts and freezes as far south as Maryland.
(Courtesy of Penn State Meteo.)
"Current Water Vapor Loop"
(Courtesy of Penn State Meteo.)
"Lake Effect Snow Conditions" (Updated 11/01)
The lack of lake effect snow is not abnormal for the Northeast given the season generally does not start until mid November. There have been a few days with lake effect rain bands stretching across the Buffalo metro region and off of Lake Ontario into areas such as Syracuse, but no lake effect snow bouts have occured yet for this young winter season. Given the mild weather for the next 7-14 days, it appears there will not be any lake effect snow events. As the pattern rapidly alters towards the middle to end of November, it is likely the first lake effect snow outbreak will occur. Water temperatures are still running about 2-5F above normal with slightly higher averages in some shallower basins. Given the warm lake water, it is likely some very impressive snow bands will form this winter season.
"Current Great Lakes Water Temperatures"
(Courtesy of NOAA)
-Link to official river ice reports page from NWS... Link.
-Link to local ski resort snow conditions... Link.
"Current Northeast Snow Depth and Northeast Wind chills"
(Courtesy of Wunderground)
"Long Term Outlook" (Updated 11/01)
The next two weeks will feature above normal temperatures in a very warm regime with some of the major metropolitan regions perhaps touching the 70s once again. But this warm pattern will be associated with drier air, so the temperatures will feel very nice in this Indian-summer pattern. All areas in the Northeast have finally ended their growing season which is a tad earlier than normal for the major cities. The -PNA and +NAO will materialize troughing over the west coast of the United States while the southeast ridge strengthens over the east coast. Minimal precipitation chances are likely in this period given the relatively benign weather pattern. ECMWF ensembles indicate a west-based -NAO pattern returning for the second week of the month, but I think it is likely the warmer pattern prevails. A slight, transient cool shot is likely for the first weekend of the month, but temperatures will be predominately near normal generally for high temperatures as radiational cooling will allow for a few chilly nights. Little to no chance of snow is likely in this period.
"Current NAO and PNA Predictions"
(Courtesy of NOAA)
"Anchorage, Alaska Tower Cam"
*Back due to popular demand!
"Monthly Temperature/Precipitation Outlook"(November)(Updated 11/01)
The first two weeks of November will feature well above normal temperatures particularily towards the second week of the month. La Nina is continuing to strengthen in the equitorial Pacific with noticeable effects beginning to occur across North America including the effects of the southeast ridge. The MJO will be entering and moving through phases 1-4 favoring troughing over the west coast of the United States, will warm air moves and situates itself over the Northeast. Teleconnections also correspond with this forecast as the PNA retreats back towards negative and the NAO postive. Also a positive EPO will last through at least mid month. Given these several indices, there will be little to block the warmth from entering the Northeast through the first two weeks. Current global ensembles continue to indicate the pattern change coming mid month and perhaps a tad bit later. ECMWF ensembles indicate an even quicker turn to a negative NAO suggesting an earlier change. MJO may even approach the more favorable phases of 7-8 towards late month linking towards east coast troughing. At this point it appears the cold air will rapidly move south from Canada after it bottled up for the first half of the month. Canadian snow cover though will likely average near climatological normal through the month of November. The last week of November looks very cold.
Temperatures- Temperatures show average around (+)0.5-(+)1.5 for most climatological reporting sites in the Northeast. My forecast takes in account for a very mild second week of the month and a tad longer of a switch to a colder regime for the second half of the month.
Precipitation- I am expecting near normal precipitation for most areas, although a few areas could average below normal. The first half of the month looks relatively dry at this point, especially in comparison to the recent pattern over the last six months or so. I am expecting a bigger storm to form late in the month given the MJO pattern. This may be in the form of snow for some areas. Snow should average near normal for most locations this month and I think it is likely many areas see their next snow in the month of November with the highest chance right around Thanksgiving.
"Temperature and Precipitation Outlooks from Climate Prediction Center for next 30 days"
(Courtesy of NOAA)
"Local Harrisburg Radar"
(Courtesy of WGAL)
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