Northeast Winter Forecast 2012-2013

By: Zachary Labe , 5:28 AM GMT on November 09, 2012

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Zachary Labe
08 November 2012
Winter Forecast 2012-2013

Many areas are beginning to clean up after another impressive coastal storm moved up the eastern seaboard with high winds, snow, and heavy rain. Heavy snow accumulations occurred in many areas from Delaware up through Maine breaking 100 year snowfall records in some locations for the month of November. Maximum snow accumulations reached as high as 13.0" in Freehold, New Jersey, but even parts of the New York City metro region saw as much as 7.0" of snow. A narrow baroclinic zone off the coast of New Jersey allowed for a period of rapid cyclogenesis as the low pressure became vertically stacked. Precipitation began to spread inland beginning as a mix of light rain/snow/sleet for much of New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. As the surface low began to deepen sub 996mb, frontogenic forcing allowed for several mesoscale bands to form from central New Jersey up through New York City and into southcentral Connecticut.

Snow rates exceeded 1in/hr. Temperatures began to drop hovering around 32-34F courtesy of the impressive dynamic cooling responsible from the banding structures. Snow ratios remained low and in some places 4.0" of snow melted down to 0.70in of QPF. The 12 hour radar loop from last night shows the near steady position of the intense band for almost 6 hours. By later in the night, the surface low began to decouple halting further strengthening. The precipitation shield began to become a bit more disorganized and dBz returns began to wane. Once rates decreased, boundary layer temperatures began to rebound into the mid to upper 30s along the I-95 corridor and the snow began to melt from the both the bottom and top layers. Widespread tree damage has been reported throughout much of New Jersey into southern Connecticut especially given the weakened foliage post Hurricane Sandy. Fortunately, it appears a quieter weather pattern is headed our direction over the next two to three weeks. Computer models verification charts show relatively fare scores for this nor'easter with the NAM likely the most accurate in the 24 hour forecast lead time. It was able to pick up on the eastern jog and tight precipitation gradient; this is likely due to the NAM's higher resolution and hydrostatic capabilities.

Winter 2011-2012 was characterized by a moderate La Nina. The Oceanic Nino Index numbers for December through February averaged around -0.9. A strong, dominant southeast ridge flooded much of the east with warmer air preventing the classic Miller A and B nor'easters. The Climate Prediction Center's mean NAO for the winter of 2011-2012 averages out to around a peak of +2. An unfavorable Pacific and stationary Alaskan Vortex also prevented colder air from penetrating south into the contiguous United States. Much of the nation had one of their warmest winters on record in the last 30 years. Snowfall departures were also near record low values, but an early October historic snowstorm prevented many records from being broken. Across the great lakes, a multi-year drought continued with snowfall below 50" in many of the common snow belt regions. Cold outbreaks were scarce across much of the country. Looking at comparisons through the current ENSO, Asian snow cover anomalies, and teleconnections, it is evident the setup is radically different for the upcoming winter; there are very few similarities in the overall long waves pattern.

The following data will analyze the makeup for my forecast for the 2012-2013 winter. I define these months by the meteorological winter starting December 1 and lasting until March 1. Therefore my snowfall and temperature forecasts will only be for this exact three month period and will exclude any out of season snowfall (i.e. the 11/7 nor'easter and Hurricane Sandy).

Below I will define a list of common acronyms that will be referenced throughout the forecast:

Teleconnections:
ENSO- El Nino and Southern Oscillation
MEI- Multivariate ENSO Index
ONI- Oceanic Nino Index
SO- Southern Oscillation
MJO- Madden-Julian Oscillation
NAO- North Atlantic Oscillation
PDO- Pacific Decadal Oscillation
PNA- Pacific/North American Oscillation
AO- Arctic Oscillation
AMO- Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation
QBO- Quasibiennial Oscillation
AAM- Atmospheric Angular Momentum

Miscellaneous:
BL- Boundary Layer (surface conditions)
QPF- Quantitative Precipitation Forecast
ULL- Upper Level Low
SST- Sea Surface Temperatures
WWB- Westerly Wind Burst
SSW- Sudden Stratospheric Warming
AV- Alaskan Vortex
PV- Polar Vortex
H5- 500mb height level
H85- 850mb height level
H3- 300mb height level
Miller A- Nor'easter with origins in Gulf of Mexico
Miller B- Nor'easter with origins from secondary development off NC coast
ECMWF- European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
GFS- Global Forecasting System
CFS- Coupled Forecast System
SD- Standard Deviation
CONUS- Continental United States

Forecast City Locations (Metar Airport Codes):
KDCA- Washington, DC
KBWI- Baltimore, MD
KPHL- Philadelphia, PA
KMDT- Harrisburg, PA
KNYC- New York City, NY
KBOS- Boston, MA

Differential heating across Earth due to a variable albedo, geographical influences, unequal heating due to the curved surface, and other critical factors make the entire atmospheric column in a chaotic fluid state. But the energy budget utilizing convection, conduction, and latent heat release allow for a balance and a semi-uniform state. Therefore it is critical to note the importance of weather conditions over the entire planet. While the majority of our weather occurs in the thin bottom layer of the atmosphere, troposphere, it is equally important to note conditions aloft in the stratosphere. That area of meteorology is one of particular interest over the past few years with recent research noting warm and cold trends correlating to general long wave patterns over the northern and southern hemispheres. Below I will try to capture a picture of the present atmospheric conditions through a series of indices helpful in long term weather forecasts. Forecasting beyond a month requires a different set of meteorological skills that are unique to day-to-day predictions. Given the high variability of synoptic and mesoscale meteorology, it is impossible to produce an accurate picture of the weather conditions beyond a few days lead time. But using a combination of teleconnections, forecast models, historical analogs, and present rossby long wave patterns, we can try to capture a general education estimation for the forecast ahead. The most important part to take away from all of this are the physical connections interacting with each other on such a large scale; the butterfly effect is highly evident in seasonal forecasting. Remember the atmosphere is one giant fluid.

Before we get started, I would like to quickly define El Nino/La Nina due their importance in seasonal forecasting. An El Nino event is defined as a short term climatic event resulting in a warm phase across the equitorial Pacific. SST deviations are usually above +0.5C; the warm pool of water helps to feed increased rainfall in the eastern Pacific east towards the South American west coast. La Nina conditions are associated with a cold period as SST anomalies drop below -0.5C with warmer waters being displaced farther west. Tropical trade winds are increased as the cold pool intensifies. ENSO conditions often affect long wave patterns across a large portion of the globe and directly impact our weather in North America.


Fig. 1 shows the effects of El Nino/La Nino on surface temperatures.

The SO and MEI indices are responsible for ENSO records since 1882 during warm and cold periods and help to differentiate the two phases.

An important short term climatic index often referenced below will be the NAO. It is an index measuring pressure anomalies across the northern Atlantic Ocean. A -NAO phase is associated with a weak pressure gradient between the subtropical high and Icelandic Low. The Icelandic low is displaced to Newfoundland; the -NAO phase is commonly responsible for blocking patterns and an increase in the strength of the polar jet. A +NAO results in a stronger pressure gradient between the two circulations and results in a strong southwesterly flow over eastern North America.


Fig. 2- General NAO phase correlations to synoptic weather patterns

While the NAO is a shorter term index than other teleconnections, I strongly believe their are direct correlations to 10 year period trends This is supported by long term means over certain decades such as the 1960s ~negative NAO. More recently the NAO has also featured a long term negative trend, but again shorter term variations are common.

In a case study by Paul Kocin and Louis Uccellini, 18 sites were subdivided to reflect the impact of the NAO on cities with seasonal snowfall averaging less than 20 and greater than 40in. The results indicated the impact of the NAO on seasonal snowfall is greatest along the I-95 corridor including all of the major metropolitan areas. "Since the seasonal snowfall within this region is significantly influenced by the occurrence of moderate to heavy snowfalls, an important relationship between the NAO and the occurrence of significant snowstorms is indicated." Also Kocin and Uccellini uncovered another relationship noting the transition periods from negative NAO to positive NAO characterized by east coast cyclogenesis. For further information on this correlation check out the 1950 Appalachian Storm, 1962 Ash Wednesday Storm, 1979 President's Day Storm, 1983 Metropolitan Storm, 1993 Superstorm, and 1996 Blizzard. I highly recommend this case study featured in their "Northeast Snowstorms" Monograph. This periodical is perhaps the most comprehensive collection of research to date on winter storms across the northeastern United States and a must have for the amateur to professional meteorologist.

Winter 2012-2012 Forecast:
Looking across the equitorial Pacific, it is evident rapid changes in SST anomalies have occurred over the last six months. We have seen a gradual transition from a Nina to near Nino cycle change. The latest ONI numbers are in for ASO (August, September, October) at ~0.4. While this still represents neutral conditions, this is dramatically higher than last year at this time. But interestingly enough over the last 6 weeks, SST anomalies have began to decrease in response to an area of cooling a few hundred miles west of Peru. Latest global models are forecasting near neutral conditions during the meteorological winter. These prognostics have changed dramatically from original forecasts of a moderate strength El Nino with anomalies around +1C.


Fig. 3- Current global climate model Nino Region 3.4 Outlook

I am going to differ a bit from the current operational forecast. I have noted an increased in SST's along the central pool of water in Nino 3.4 in response to a recent weak WWB in association with the recent Kelvin wave. This is supported by the latest MEI at around +1SD.


Fig. 4- MEI means over the 1950-present period

Therefore I am expecting weak El Nino to be present throughout the first half of the winter, although its effects will be subtle. In fact looking at long term wavelength patterns as we enter December, it looks more like a Nina synoptic weather pattern over North American than a Nino.

We continue to see an anomalous cold pool over water over the northern Pacific in association with the present -PDO. This will continue throughout the winter, although its forcing may be a bit mediated in reaction to the +ENSO. This will continue to favor the development once again of an AV near the Aleutian Islands. This will focus a deep trough over the west coast of the United States. Its effects are already evident with an impressive middle latitude cyclone delivering blizzard conditions over the inner mountain west. The PDO has been steadily negative over the last 5 or so winters and was highly responsible for the progressive flow during much of the last year.


Fig. 5- NAO time Series post 1950

The NAO has recently entered a short-term negative phase. This is evident by the colder temperature deviations over the last seven days across the CONUS. We also saw two instances of strong east coast cyclogenesis, which is often correlated to -NAO phases given an amplified jet stream under blocking conditions near Greenland. Current GFS ensemble means highlight +3SD H85 temperatures near Greenland over the last seven days.

It appears this is only a short term relief to the general +NAO regime over the last 18 months. Also an extended +AMO regime has been noted across the Atlantic basin over the last twenty years. This will likely continue through winter 2012-2013. Present water temperatures off the east coast range around (+)1C-(+)3C.

The latest QBO data support a negative regime. Direct correlations can often be made between a -AO to -QBO - blocking pattern over North America. I think we will see an eventual breakdown to the persistent -QBO present in the lower stratosphere. Typically mean periods last approximately 30 days. But longer trends can be noted. The AO has also reached a sharp -2SD and has resulted in a transfer of cold air across much of Asia and Europe over the last two weeks. Snow levels have rapidly increased particularly in Asia resulting in the most widespread mean snow cover for the month of October since 2002.


Fig. 6 Departure from Normal Snow Cover for October 2012

This is perhaps the most encouraging chart for the upcoming winter. Direct correlations can be made between east coast troughing and Eurasia snow cover. It eliminates several analog years that featured low snowfall across the Northeast during weak +ENSO/+NAO regimes. It also enhances our chances of seeing a continued -AO regime and therefore reinforced blocking.

After a short recovery for Arctic sea ice, we are once again below the 2007 record low extent during the month of November.

Present monsoonal trends in the Indian Ocean support weak forcing by the MJO. This is consistent with trends over the last few months by GFS ensembles. I do not expect this to be a large factor this winter.

Present stratosphere and ozone data support a possible SSW event occurring by early December. Recent research out of several universities highlight a clear correlation between a stratosphere warm phase and east coast troughing. These SSW events though are short term, highly variable, and difficult to forecast.

While sunspot activity has been on the increase over the last two years with the advent of cycle 24, we have seen relatively quiet activity in sunspots.


Fig. 7 Solar Sunspot Cycle Monograph

Low solar activity has been directly related to periods of colder weather across the northern hemisphere. This science is relatively misunderstood and research periodicals are generally limited. I do believe given the importance of the sun in the energy budget that direct relations are likely. Looking at the latest data from the Space Weather Prediction Center, I am expecting a slightly quiet period of solar activity over the next few months.

A quick look at long range guidance suggests a mild approach to the upcoming winter. The latest ECMWF monthlies and CFS prognostics flood the nation with anomalous warmth at nearly +2SD. It is basically a repeat as far as temperature and precipitation deviations. These operational forecasts are generally low in accuracy, but interesting to look at.

Teleconnections and long term wavelengths remain relatively intermittent and do not highly lean warm or cold for temperature trends over the meteorological winter. But I think one of the more important features to look at is the previous six month's synoptic weather pattern. We are having a hard time breaking down the -ENSO pattern due to the persistent -PDO. I think we will continue to struggle with this throughout the winter. The latest H3 charts off the the global operational ECMWF/GFS are beginning to develop the AV. Whether it remains consistent will remain in question, but this portion of the forecast is critical to the upcoming winter. I am expecting low end Nino conditions, but its effects will have little impact on the general circulation. I am not sold on a -NAO regime over the next few months; in fact the north atlantic has been highly volatile over the past six months. As the -QBO begins to break down, even less support will be there for widespread blocking over the northern Atlantic.

I sort of like the winter of 2006-2007 as a possible analog for the upcoming winter, although possibly a bit warmer for H85 and BL mean temperatures. I expect a return to the amplified southeast ridge that will raise upper level heights up through the Middle Atlantic into possible southern New England. In fact the synoptic pattern may be more similar to a Nina throughout the first half of winter. Nina winters tend to run cold for December; that is important to note.

Long term trends support a lower frequency in Miller A development with a weak, progressive subtropical jet so large KU storms are not expected. Most QPF may occur in association with S/W overrunning events with possible late redevelopment off the New England coast. These events often produce a myriad of precipitation types depending on the anticyclonic conditions to the north.

In correspondance with a weak subtropical jet and generally progressive wavelength pattern, I expect precipitation to average near normal to below normal. The highest threat for below normal precipitation will stretch up through the Ohio Valley into western New England. This remains consistent with the subtle long term drought over this region.

Temperatures will be highly variable throughout the winter. It is evident by the position of cold air pools and PV relations that cold air will be more readily available on this side of the globe (unlike last winter). Therefore continental polar and arctic outbreaks can be expected, but their frequency and length will at times be limited. There will be periods of abnormal warmth under a screaming southwesterly flow during periods when the -NAO relaxes. The threat for mixed precipitation including freezing rain will be amplified this winter due to the abundance of cold air to the north strengthened by CAD (cold air damming) east of the Appalachians as overrunning systems approach from the southwest. Many shortwave and middle latitude cyclones will be fueled by a tight thermal gradient over the middle of the nation. Overrunning, frontogenically-forced precipitation events can quickly produce a quick 6-10in of snow in the cold sector, so they can have widespread impacts despite not being a MECS (major east coast snowstorm).

Overall meteorological mean temperatures will lean above normal for most all climatological reporting stations.

Winter 2012-2013 Selected City Conditions:
KDCA- (+3.5F) (75-90% of normal snowfall)
KBWI- (+3.2F) (80-100% of normal snowfall)
KPHL- (+3.0F) (80-100% of normal snowfall)
KMDT- (+3.0F) (90-105% of normal snowfall)
KUNV- (+2.5F) (100-110% of normal snowfall)
KNYC- (+2.5F) (100-110% of normal snowfall)
KBOS- (+1.8F) (110-125% of normal snowfall)

The bottom line for the upcoming winter support a higher frequency of warm spells in comparison to Arctic Outbreaks. I expect several extended periods of abnormal warmth, particularly during the second half of the winter. Snowfall estimates may be near normal to slightly above normal, but that is strongly based on the fact that the NAO may allow for several periods of blocking. If these -NAO periods do not pan out, I would expect a well below normal snowfall season. Snowfall has the highest chance for above normal deviations north of the I-80 corridor especially across southern New England where they normally do well during S/W flow events. I would expect possibly one larger MECS, but this remains dependent on the state of the NAO. Most snow will occur from other shortwave sources.

As usual, seasonal forecasts often feature lower than normal confidence and accuracy. The forecasts above are highly contingent on the state of the NAO given the general benign forcing from the other factors this year. No additional snow is expected over the next two weeks across the Northeast. Signals for any storminess around Thanksgiving remain pretty weak, so I am not convinced by any long range guidance at this point. I have heard rumbles from energy meteorologists favoring the first week in December for a possible winter storm, but this period is beyond what I can forecast. As in correspondance with my last four winter outlooks, I will post a verification blog during the beginning to middle of March.

Winter Forecast 2011-2012: Link
Winter Forecast 2010-2011: Link
Winter Forecast 2009-2010: Link
Winter Forecast 2008-2009: Link

***All images above can be found at the NOAA Climate Prediction Center, Space Weather Prediction Center, Rutgers Snow Lab, and Allan Huffman's Raleighwx Maps.

Kocin, P. J. and L. W. Uccellini, 2004: A Snowfall Impact Scale Derived From Northeast Storm Snowfall Distributions. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 85, 177-194

Follow my 24hr forecasts on Twitter... Link and Facebook... Link.

Lower Susquehanna Valley Doppler...

(Courtesy of WGAL)

"10mi northeast of Harrisburg 2012-2013 winter statistics"
(Snow Stats)
Monthly Total (October)- 0.0in
Monthly Total (November)- 0.8"
Monthly Total (December)- 0.0in
Seasonal Total- 0.8"
Winter Weather Advisories- 1
Winter Storm Warnings- 0
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 0

(Temperature Stats)
Lowest High Temperature- 36.1F
Lowest Low Temperature- 18.5F
Wind Chill Advisories- 0
Wind Chill Warnings- 0

(Snow Storms Stats)
First Trace of Snow - November 24 - Lake Effect Snow Showers
First Measurable Snow - November 27 - 0.8" - Overrunning Event

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323. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
8:05 PM GMT on December 18, 2012
Blizzard92 has created a new entry.
322. wxgeek723
7:42 PM GMT on December 18, 2012
I'm dreaming of a....stormy Christmas?
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3323
321. Pcroton
2:08 PM GMT on December 18, 2012
We finally got a good blast of rain over night here in central NJ.

The two systems just never really got together to produce the strong storm models hinted at a week ago...but they still generally got it right that a disturbance would move through. Mostly saw one slip to our south out to sea and the second slip to our west into PA/NY. Then the front rolled through.

Friday still has a strong front coming in and this has been modeled nearly identical for three days now. NWS wording is still weak in comparrison to the model renderings - except they finally jumped on the wind component of the system.

The Dec27/28 system is still modeled as a very strong system but the low is now heading towards the great lakes - following Friday's general modeling - and we get the trailing front which looks quite strong with heavy rain and perhaps even convection.

That system has also been modeled for days nearly identical except for shifting the low focus to the Great Lakes as oppose to the OH Valley/Western Appalachians path of earlier runs.


Active, warm, wet... with windy and cold after the systems depart.

A green christmas is a certainty for most.
Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 30 Comments: 5196
320. GTOSnow
12:06 PM GMT on December 18, 2012
My local mets have already called off winter here in central Ma!
Member Since: February 10, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 223
319. VTUPSer
11:29 AM GMT on December 18, 2012
Are any of you seeing a Rex blocking pattern setting up next week? Maybe bringing VT some colder temps so when precip falls it's snow?
Member Since: February 2, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 21
318. iceagecoming
11:27 AM GMT on December 18, 2012
except snow.

Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1034
317. iceagecoming
11:23 AM GMT on December 18, 2012
Long Count Calendar

Three days till nothing happens.

Link


he Mayans designed the Long Count calendar to last approximately 5,125.36 years, a time period they referred to as the Great Cycle [source: Jenkins]. The Long Count calendar is divided into five distinct units:
one day - kin
20 days - uinal
360 days - tun
7,200 days - katun
144,000 days - baktun
To find the Lon­g Count date that corresponds with any Gregorian date, you'll need to count the days from the beginning of the last Great Cycle. But determining when the last cycle began and matching that up to a Gregorian date is quite a feat.
English anthropologist Sir Eric Thompson looked to the Spanish Inquisition to calculate the Mayan-to-Gregorian date conversion, known as the Thompson Correlation. Events that occurred during the Inquisition were recorded on both the Mayan Long Count calendar and the Gregorian calendar. Scholars then gathered dates that matched on both calendars and compared them to the Dresden Codex, one of four Mayan documents that survived the Inquisition. This codex confirmed the date long thought by Thompson to be the beginning of the current Great Cycle -- Aug. 13, 3114 B.C.
Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1034
316. listenerVT
12:33 AM GMT on December 18, 2012
Thanks, Philly!

When we woke we still had a pretty dusting of icy snow. Tomorrow's rain should finish that off. =Sigh=

First though, here comes round two...which sounds like exactly the same weather as last night's. This time, though, we're at home!

=Whew!=
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5407
315. PhillySnow
7:55 PM GMT on December 17, 2012
I'm glad you all made it home okay, Listener!

Raining lightly here. Yucky forecast and still we wait for winter to arrive.
Member Since: December 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1210
314. listenerVT
7:33 PM GMT on December 17, 2012
Quoting originalLT:
Wow, that was some drive Listener, felt like I was there with you, glad you are home.


Thanks, LT. In a way, you were there. We made it home okay, and the other three carloads of our kids and their loved ones made it home safely too. =Whew!=
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5407
313. vhfan
6:26 PM GMT on December 17, 2012
I live just south of Boston and I have seen this before. Rain and warm temps for a couple days and then some cold. Repeat this pattern till about March. Same as last winter. Looks like there wont be any snow here anytime soon. Anybody want to buy a new snowblower? It wont get used around here.
Member Since: December 30, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 0
312. NEwxguy
2:05 PM GMT on December 17, 2012
Lot of icing going up here,this may start to get serous if we don't get some warm air in here,and right now this cold air is holding tight.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 863 Comments: 15124
311. bwi
1:58 PM GMT on December 17, 2012
Quoting Blizzard92:
Long range is awful for snow lovers, just awful. I know people have been enthusiastic about chances towards Christmas, but I do not see anything by great lakes cutters.


Drat! And I just got my snow bike all ready for action.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1361
310. Pcroton
1:13 PM GMT on December 17, 2012
Wow Listener. Turned out quite more intense than it was modeled 3-4 days in advace.

Snowfall totals with widespread 6-8" area.

Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 30 Comments: 5196
309. Pcroton
12:34 PM GMT on December 17, 2012
After late Thursday/Friday's front goes through there's nothing out there until a couple days after Christmas.

Very cold air on several models after Friday's frontal passage into the Mid-Atlantic. NWS conservative with temps however. 40/28 splits for the general region...and has the wording for the weather as showers whereas the model runs show quite a strong line of convection coming through.

GFS just has an absolute monster system along the northern GOM in 10 days riding up through the mid-south and into the mid-atl/north east 2 days after.

Rain though. Rain. Very very heavy rain. Been showing it for two days now consistently if not rendering it as an even more widespread heavy rain event as before. As in an entire eastern third of the nation gets heavy rain event.

We'll see about all that when it comes near. Long range model runs rarely get it right in such detail.



Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 30 Comments: 5196
308. originalLT
6:20 AM GMT on December 17, 2012
Hey, good to see you stopping by, MM.
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 7083
307. HeavySnow
4:00 AM GMT on December 17, 2012
ugh
Member Since: July 7, 2004 Posts: 18 Comments: 2989
306. MariettaMoon
3:18 AM GMT on December 17, 2012
What a crappy pattern
Member Since: June 11, 2011 Posts: 36 Comments: 677
305. doom22015
2:33 AM GMT on December 17, 2012
All too often, what we end up singing in DC is "I'm dreaming of a wet Christmas..."
Member Since: February 12, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 222
304. TheRasberryPatch
2:13 AM GMT on December 17, 2012
Quoting Blizzard92:
Long range is awful for snow lovers, just awful. I know people have been enthusiastic about chances towards Christmas, but I do not see anything by great lakes cutters.


Sounds like a typical Christmas for the mid-Atlantic. I've been around the calendar a few times and rarely do we get a White Christmas or even New Years. It seems like snow doesn't start around here until after Jan. 1st. At least from my experience. And many Christmas' week weather was RAIN, sorry to say.
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6234
303. originalLT
1:23 AM GMT on December 17, 2012
Wow, that was some drive Listener, felt like I was there with you, glad you are home.
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 7083
302. listenerVT
11:41 PM GMT on December 16, 2012
Home!
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5407
301. listenerVT
11:09 PM GMT on December 16, 2012
Got better as we approached our exit. Dropping off Son at the park and ride and now have ten more minutes 'til home!
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5407
300. listenerVT
9:46 PM GMT on December 16, 2012
Okay, now it's getting really dicey. SUV upsidedown in the median; emergency vehicles on scene. I-89N mile marker 17. Traffic is going about 35mph.
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5407
299. listenerVT
9:02 PM GMT on December 16, 2012
Quoting originalLT:
Listener, on radar at least, there appears to be quite a bit of snow activity going on in NH and VT. Not sure how the roads are though, take care. LT


Thanks, LT. Almost to the VT border now.
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5407
298. originalLT
8:31 PM GMT on December 16, 2012
Listener, on radar at least, there appears to be quite a bit of snow activity going on in NH and VT. Not sure how the roads are though, take care. LT
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 7083
297. listenerVT
8:23 PM GMT on December 16, 2012
Well, we made it from Kennebunk to I-89N, and so far we have skidded with anti-lock brakes through a red light, passed a fender bender and saw a serious traffic backup at the intersection of I-93 & I-89. The snow witches give the road a lava lamp effect, and black ice is definitely an issue. If anyone has info about roadways in VT, please post.
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5407
296. wxgeek723
7:04 PM GMT on December 16, 2012
Quoting Pcroton:
It would depend on which pattern you favor. The southerly zonal flow....or the inland Appalachians (sw-ne) flow.

I'm thinking the latter during the meat and potatoes part of the season.

Either scenario is unfavorable for my region (either dry or too warm) - but I just can't see us sitting in the teens for a month while the southern Mid-ATL gets those 2-6 inch dusty snow storms from clipper after clipper. I don't see or feel that type of cold setting up.


--


Meanwhile it seems the NWS has backed off on the overall intensity of all three storms coming through this week. Late today, late tomorrow, Friday. All had wording for heavy rain. Now it's showers.

QPF cut in half since late yesterday's runs. Pretty big change in thinking. I guess they feel the GFS is just well overdone as it itself has not changed.


GFS shows a hard hit Friday - and it would look like severe storms given it's presentation - but something is really off with it all - as the 540 level is deep into the GOM while the system itself is presented as a very strong late spring or early fall system - Ontario low with strong trailing cold front. So something is likely amiss.

--

Then the GFS at 10 days shows an incredible setup along the northern gulf coast which would hint at a very strong "storm of the century" type setup riding up the Appalachians.

I never ever like anything that far out but if it were to be correct it'd be one of those 3 foot WV thru central PA type scenarios while the coastal regions got 3" of rain and even thunderstorms.

I guess let's see how the GFS handles this week intensity wise before we put any thoughts into such an intense system in the 10-12 day range. NWS seems to dislike GFS' intensity as too overdone.



Well, we all know what Friday is ;) JK.

Confession: I actually enjoy wintry mixes. I think it's cool to see so many different precipitation types at work; why have pure rain or pure snow when you can mix it up? They are a pain afterwards though.
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3323
295. PhillySnow
6:32 PM GMT on December 16, 2012
Congratulations on your 5 years of blogging, Blizz! Hard to believe it's been 5 years - I remember when you started it and were asking Sully for tips on how to run a blog. And here you are with what's probably one of Wunderground's most popular blogs! Thanks for doing us all a great service by maintaining the community with great forecasts, thoughts, conversations, and blog management.
Member Since: December 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1210
294. Zachary Labe
5:30 PM GMT on December 16, 2012
Long range is awful for snow lovers, just awful. I know people have been enthusiastic about chances towards Christmas, but I do not see anything by great lakes cutters.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 278 Comments: 15045
293. Pcroton
2:25 PM GMT on December 16, 2012
Annnnd just like that the heavy rain wording is right back into my forecast for the same periods they were in as of last night's forecasting, and then stripped out as of this early morning's.

Seems like NWS Mt Holly is model watching with this event. Models showed heavy, they worded heavy. New runs showed lighter, they went lighter. Next runs heavy again, wording heavy again.

I don't understand why this is done in this way. Seems lazy to me. Or dare I even worry and go conspiracy theory that there is a text bot out there that reads the model run and converts it to text and posts it....without human interaction (some day I'm sure).

Everyone knows there is limited continuity between model runs falling on 6Z/18Z and those on 0Z/12Z due to the lack of sounding incorporations on the 6z/18z runs. So why flip flop forecasting accordingly?

Hell we even know some model runs, like the NAM for example, have a bad habit of every other frame going heavy-light-heavy-light in their precip contours as you cycle forward through the 3hr/6hr frames.

So what gives, we gunna get forecasts of "Heavy at 12pm, light at 3pm, heavy at 6pm" etc next?


L-A-Z-Y


What gives, we only get real forecasting during the super storms now? The rest is "whatever the model run says and whichever model my dart lands on" forecasting methodology?


/rant
Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 30 Comments: 5196
292. Pcroton
12:37 PM GMT on December 16, 2012
It would depend on which pattern you favor. The southerly zonal flow....or the inland Appalachians (sw-ne) flow.

I'm thinking the latter during the meat and potatoes part of the season.

Either scenario is unfavorable for my region (either dry or too warm) - but I just can't see us sitting in the teens for a month while the southern Mid-ATL gets those 2-6 inch dusty snow storms from clipper after clipper. I don't see or feel that type of cold setting up.


--


Meanwhile it seems the NWS has backed off on the overall intensity of all three storms coming through this week. Late today, late tomorrow, Friday. All had wording for heavy rain. Now it's showers.

QPF cut in half since late yesterday's runs. Pretty big change in thinking. I guess they feel the GFS is just well overdone as it itself has not changed.


GFS shows a hard hit Friday - and it would look like severe storms given it's presentation - but something is really off with it all - as the 540 level is deep into the GOM while the system itself is presented as a very strong late spring or early fall system - Ontario low with strong trailing cold front. So something is likely amiss.

--

Then the GFS at 10 days shows an incredible setup along the northern gulf coast which would hint at a very strong "storm of the century" type setup riding up the Appalachians.

I never ever like anything that far out but if it were to be correct it'd be one of those 3 foot WV thru central PA type scenarios while the coastal regions got 3" of rain and even thunderstorms.

I guess let's see how the GFS handles this week intensity wise before we put any thoughts into such an intense system in the 10-12 day range. NWS seems to dislike GFS' intensity as too overdone.

Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 30 Comments: 5196
291. HeavySnow
3:23 AM GMT on December 16, 2012
Not really a rant Pcroton, just a comment on your shabby forecasting skills. :D The pattern change is out there and heading this way. We'll get more snow than central Jersey this year, with those storms cutting to your south and dumping snow on us.
Member Since: July 7, 2004 Posts: 18 Comments: 2989
290. Pcroton
10:26 PM GMT on December 15, 2012
Ah a HeavySnow rant. Been some time since one of those came about. Nah, you're screwed down there. The glory of 2010 is firmly set in the rearview mirror.

As for this winter...eh...just fielding a guess it'll be more traditional in the sense of heavy rain storms along the coastlines with the far interior getting those big snows. Forecasters will be speaking of the I95 corridor from Philly to NYC often in terms of rain/snow lines...along with the Mason-Dixon line.

Had enough storms recently anyways. I'd be just fine with the "one big hit" year with a bunch of slushy rainy storms.

===

TRP with these storms coming in from the west and moving fairly quickly I don't think anything more than minor tidal rises should be expected. Unless one slips off the coast just to the south and takes a left up the coast and deepens unexpectedly I don't see any problems.

Just looks like a two-pronged rain event early in the week and then a heavy rain event end of the week for us. The two lows, one sunday, one monday - both appear inland/interior passers to our west then north. A low could pass to our south east out to sea on Tues/Wed and not influence much at all. Then comes late Thursday/Friday in from the west again.

Plenty of time for the Friday storm to deviate a bit from model runs and prove a little more interesting frozen precip wise but I wouldn't expect it really.

Seems too zonal and too warm for it... despite the 24F start to Friday morning.

Saw two very faint streaks overhead around 430am Friday as I was getting in the car to head to the train.

Otherwise it seems no one saw anything from the shower of any interest beyond faint streaks around here.
Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 30 Comments: 5196
289. doom22015
2:21 AM GMT on December 15, 2012
Quoting Blizzard92:
I just realized today marks exactly five years that I have been blogging on wunderground; time sure does go by fast!

I want to thank you Zachary for all the insights I have gleaned over more than 4 of those years, lurking mostly and only occasionally chiming in. What is especially great from my point of view is that you are still in school and are only going to learn more and become even more of a valued source of informed commentary and perspective for all of us weather fanatics.
Member Since: February 12, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 222
288. listenerVT
1:47 AM GMT on December 15, 2012
Quoting TheRasberryPatch:
Wow, that was some show last night. Reminds me of the show back in 2000 or 2001. I think it was when the Earth passed through a comet. I also remember it being cold with temps in the single digits, at least in Chester, NY (55 miles from GW bridge). If anyone remembers let me know. I don't think it was the Leonids.

My favorite night show was Hale-Bopp. I believe that was the comet. You could see tail so vivid. I remember drawing pictures


It was hazed out here. I remember Hale-Bopp, but the best light show was the phenomenal northern lights display on November 8th...was it 1988? The entire dome of the sky looked like someone had overturned a can of paint onto it!

Congratulations underscored with deep Gratitude, Blizz!!!
And look how much you've learned in that time, and better: shared!
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5407
287. Zachary Labe
1:36 AM GMT on December 15, 2012
Thanks everyone for your support!

Quoting TheRasberryPatch:
Congratulations on 5 years with fabulous blogs.

My family and I saw many of the Geminids last night in less than 30 mins of watching. My kids had never seen anything like it and loved it.

Blizz - what do you think about next weeks weather? Will there be much sun?

Looks like a stormy weather pattern coming up with many shortwaves, but not really any cold air. Therefore I think there will be many rain chances over the next 10 days more so than snow chances.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 278 Comments: 15045
286. TheRasberryPatch
12:17 AM GMT on December 15, 2012
Congratulations on 5 years with fabulous blogs.

My family and I saw many of the Geminids last night in less than 30 mins of watching. My kids had never seen anything like it and loved it.

Blizz - what do you think about next weeks weather? Will there be much sun?
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6234
285. PengSnow
10:43 PM GMT on December 14, 2012
Quoting Blizzard92:
I just realized today marks exactly five years that I have been blogging on wunderground; time sure does go by fast!


Zach, Congrats and no doubt a job well done with this blog!!!
Member Since: January 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 417
284. bwi
9:33 PM GMT on December 14, 2012
Quoting Blizzard92:
I just realized today marks exactly five years that I have been blogging on wunderground; time sure does go by fast!


+1 -- actually plus lots -- Thanks!

By giving us advance heads up on weather in our area, you've done us a great service over the years.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1361
283. stansweather
4:38 PM GMT on December 14, 2012
Keeping my fingers crossed (Snow lover here)! May be enough of a pattern change to bring acumalating snow here in southern NE late next week.That may be our only hope for a white xmass this year.
Member Since: December 18, 2001 Posts: 9 Comments: 22
282. Zachary Labe
3:38 PM GMT on December 14, 2012
I just realized today marks exactly five years that I have been blogging on wunderground; time sure does go by fast!
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 278 Comments: 15045
281. originalLT
2:47 PM GMT on December 14, 2012
Went out in the early morning hours today, from 1:25AM till about 1:50AM, was pretty disappointed. Saw only 2, and they were faint. Maybe I was just unlucky, or looking in the wrong spots or there was too much light around. But it sure was clear, great viewing conditions. Temp. was about 26F., no wind.
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 7083
280. TheRasberryPatch
12:35 PM GMT on December 14, 2012
Wow, that was some show last night. Reminds me of the show back in 2000 or 2001. I think it was when the Earth passed through a comet. I also remember it being cold with temps in the single digits, at least in Chester, NY (55 miles from GW bridge). If anyone remembers let me know. I don't think it was the Leonids.

My favorite night show was Hale-Bopp. I believe that was the comet. You could see tail so vivid. I remember drawing pictures
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6234
279. PhillySnow
11:36 AM GMT on December 14, 2012
Quoting HeavySnow:
I'm just really jonesing for another real winter. Last year was a no-show and the season before was cold but the snow was all around us but not frequently on us.
I'm with you, Heavy. I keep waiting for cold air. Rain for us this weekend. NWS has the possibility of a mix next week.
Member Since: December 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1210
278. HeavySnow
3:52 AM GMT on December 14, 2012
I'm just really jonesing for another real winter. Last year was a no-show and the season before was cold but the snow was all around us but not frequently on us.
Member Since: July 7, 2004 Posts: 18 Comments: 2989
277. HeavySnow
3:50 AM GMT on December 14, 2012
Quoting Pcroton:


Not for you this year I would venture a weak guess.

Seems like the north of the Mason-Dixon and north/and/west of I95 best hope kind of year?

Other than our heavily damaging 10"+ in early November here in central NJ...it's looking like one of those borderline years where we will constantly hear about the I95 and also north versus south jersey rain/snow lines.

Who can say...for me in Central NJ I am waiting for that around-xmas pattern change - does it go warm or cool. Then I know what January will be like and if it's warm then you wait for the late January/early Feb pattern change and wonder if we'll get 4-6 weeks of deep freeze February or not... and then you wonder if it's the year that March gives you two big storms, one early, one late, and where the freezing line is. Then you throw in the towel with the slightest wonder if this is the one of four year chance we get the surprise early April snowfall before spring comes.

The point of that little writing is Winter isn't one big long static entity. If it's not cold by December 20th no winter - and if it is - big winter - type things.

It's really a three to four part series for us here. And most of the time one part does not in any way tell you what the next part will be. We've had cold dec, hot jan, cold feb, hot march. We've had 4 cold periods throughout. 4 warm... etc. We just never REALLY know.


I guess for you further south it's much different..either it is cold or it isnt..and this year, seems you're out of luck (sans the "one storm" bit we all wait and watch for every year).


Really? Duh. Sorry about that, but I know of everything you wrote here. It is not over yet I realize. November was 3 degrees below normal, why would I base my whole winter guess on 2 warm weeks in December? I wouldn't. It's just starting to look bad and non-Arctic air mass like in the pattern. No change seems coming soon, but I hope I'm way off on that and a huge arctic chunk breaks off and slides our way asap! And no, it's not either it's cold or not here way down south in Northern Virginia. Why would it be? Our climate is very similar to south and central Jersey, better for snow sometimes due to more distance from the ocean. I am WEST of that important I-95 dividing line. Here, the rain/snow line is usually situated diagonally along a sw to ne axis near I-95.
Member Since: July 7, 2004 Posts: 18 Comments: 2989
276. listenerVT
3:25 AM GMT on December 14, 2012
Quoting TheRasberryPatch:
Geminid meteor shower going on. I've seen 3 within 2 minutes and they are close. I was looking up towards Jupiter and even have my spot lights on.


Whoo hoo! Thanks! We'll go take a peek!

Sooo, what are my chances of "arriving alive" if I attempt to drive home from Maine on Sunday? Some areas have gone from 20% chance of precip to 50% chance. Does anyone know HOW MUCH precip to expect?
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5407
275. TheRasberryPatch
1:59 AM GMT on December 14, 2012
Geminid meteor shower going on. I've seen 3 within 2 minutes and they are close. I was looking up towards Jupiter and even have my spot lights on.
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6234
274. bwi
4:36 PM GMT on December 13, 2012
Looks like EC has a big coastal storm for New England next week, but GFS keep it out to sea? (GFS doesn't even seem to bring much cold air down behind it...)
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1361

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About Blizzard92

Cornell University- Atmospheric Sciences Student; Central PA SKYWARN Storm Spotter; American Meteorological Society Member; PA CoCoRaHS Branch Member

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Linglestown, PA
Elevation: 520 ft
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Updated: 10:37 AM EST on January 18, 2014

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