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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SL @ 222: Actually some folks were expecting this. Here Zach, Sully, PC, and KOG were not shy in calling attention to the storm and its potential. Private forecasters well in advance, Mike Smith, Ryan Maue, or the the Mt. Holly office of the NWS for example, left no doubt as to the power of Hurricane Sandy. It was billed as being worse than either the '92 N'easter or Irene and would say from the damage, the forecast verified. The winds were as advertised. The tides were as advertised. The storm arrived at high tide, in the dark, with a full moon watching from behind the clouds. The back bay flood impacts were as expected based on SLOSH studies made in the 80's whose methodology was verified by Hugo. Maybe the rain was the only part of the equation that was lacking. In spite of a tree trimming program inspired by the winter snow storms 2-3 years ago, and given new importance by Irene, the impacts to transmission, distribution and local communication lines were still massive.

Water levels of + 9 to 11 ft above MSL, with 3- 6 ft waves driven by 30 - 40 mph winds are going to produce wave impacts on structures. As an example only one commercial structure built above el 12, under the guidelines for coastal hazard survived with limited damage in the Highlands. As an aside, remarks by local and outside line crews felt that older homes seem to have survived better than newer construction. An interesting observation if it holds up.

The shore construction is a mix of homes and structures on the coastal plain going back more than a hundred years. Older work took the high ground. Newer work filled in the lesser sites, or crowded the shore and inland lakes and estuaries. The flood insurance studies of the early 70's that defined the coastal hazard areas were only made part of or adopted as state building code requirements in the last few years. Still out there, are lots of structures that today would not meet the specs of the former South Florida BC, revised after Andrew hit South Dade CO. We were lucky that this storm didn't pack 100 + mph winds.

The settlement of claims, after action reports and future mitigation studies are a few months to a year or more away. This includes the in-house review by NHC. Why for example did NYC initially avoid mandatory evacuations and reportedly ignore its Hurricane SOP'S for Fire and EMS. Why was a portion of a local transit agency's rolling stock based in the flood plain for the storm instead of moving to high ground as other regional agencies ? Because Hurricane Sandy was not so advertised by NHC or NWS prior to landfall ? It will take a few years while we see how the chips fall. We will learn from our failures. The seaside is a compelling magnet, just ask the Dutch.
Member Since: February 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2650
Well, here's another year with no December 5 magic. :(

Quoting goofyrider:
SL @ 209 & 217 Towns with restrictions locally are Spring Lake, Belmar, Bradley Beach and Avon. Problems are primarily due to access restrictions and bridge failures. The surge hit at dusk to 3 hours after sunset. Power was out at the shore by sunset. Curfew was in progress from about 1600. Drive in salt water and toss the car. Getting hit by debris can dampen your spirits. Trees and downed power lines and other flying inorganic stuff not healthy in winds gusting to 60 kts. Lots of vids the next morning but few folks out in storm and fire, police and first aid too busy to look. Hope this answers some questions.


Ah ok, I suppose that shines some light on things. I just feel like there's a lack of home videos capturing the incredible event as it unfolded. Guess no one was really expecting that.

I took another ride on Saturday, this time to Tuckerton in southern Ocean County. The cleanup process was a lot slower and more gruesome than Belmar's. The town took on 5 feet of water and the beach section (on the Great Bay) lost ~130 homes. There were several bare foundations, boarded up houses that said things like "SANDY SUCKS" and "STAY STRONG TUCKERTON", the classic boats in the street, and even entire houses still sitting in the lagoon, a month after the storm.

Not to mention there was visible wind damage driving through winding Pine Barren roads and on the Parkway. An especially hard hit section was the causeway across the Mullica River/Great Bay, a wetland area about 10 miles north of AC. Signs were blown over and some were totally wrecked. No doubt parts of that were underwater during the peak. The damage on the Parkway is almost convenient though; the widening project has almost reached that section and the signs were going to be torn down and upgraded anyway.

I'm strongly opposed to that by the way. The Parkway runs through very sensitive areas and was NOT built with further expansion in mind. The causeway I just mentioned is built on reclaimed land that doesn't look like it can handle the existing four lanes let alone six, yet they're certainly going to try and make it.

Sorry I keep bringing up the storm and my aftermath adventures guys! It's not often there's a major disaster zone 40 miles away from me, lol.
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3320
SL @ 209 & 217 Towns with restrictions locally are Spring Lake, Belmar, Bradley Beach and Avon. Problems are primarily due to access restrictions and bridge failures. The surge hit at dusk to 3 hours after sunset. Power was out at the shore by sunset. Curfew was in progress from about 1600. Drive in salt water and toss the car. Getting hit by debris can dampen your spirits. Trees and downed power lines and other flying inorganic stuff not healthy in winds gusting to 60 kts. Lots of vids the next morning but few folks out in storm and fire, police and first aid too busy to look. Hope this answers some questions.
Member Since: February 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2650
BTW, it warmed up here and we got some rain so just about all of last week's 6" of snow is GONE. And it will be even warmer tomorrow.
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5405
Pcroton, that is indeed interesting about Japan! I wonder if that could be part of why a tunnel collapsed a bit SW of Tokyo this past weekend. My daughter is in Japan and was out site seeing when the tunnel collapsed, so we sure were glad to hear from her and know that all was okay with her.
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5405
Quoting Blizzard92:

Thanks! Alright semester, all of my courses are math and science intensive so I definitely miss my liberal arts classes. Next semester are some economics classes, which I am anxious to take to give some relief to the differential equations coming up in spring.


You are wise to soften a semester that has Diff E in it. My husband had to take that for his Electrical Engineering degree and says that for each problem it takes about a half hour to work out the solution. And if your answer isn't correct you get to spend the next half hour trying again. Heh.

Will you be required to take Multidimensional Calculus after that? Hope not. ;-)
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5405
P, exactly which towns are you talking about? Just curious. I feel like I have a pretty good idea as to what happened up there. It can't get much worse than what I saw in Mantoloking. And I think the media definitely highlighted the end result of Sandy in Seaside and elsewhere in Ocean and Monmouth Counties. I think some of the most shocking pictures came from Staten Island and the Raritan Bayshore region. Given the angle of approach, this comes as no surprise.

This may be a dumb question but why is that no one was able to capture just how devastating the event was to the Jersey Shore as it happened? Why aren't there videos of Seaside Heights getting swallowed up by storm surge? Was it because the slow progress of the water rise? I just feel like the 'during the storm' videos I'm seeing do not correlate to the level of devastation seen afterwards. They seem pretty benign, honestly. It seems like there are TONS of good clips of Katrina's breathtaking storm surge. Obviously the damage doesn't lie, but I can't find a good video of Sandy's storm surge in NJ. You can't possibly tell me that no one who stayed in the mandatory evacuation zone didn't at least have access to a phone that takes videos.

There are a lot of convincing videos in Manhattan and on Long Island though.
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3320
Very interesting information Pcro. I did not know that about Japan. I wonder why it hasn't been reported.

Blizz - I think you will do fine with DiffEQ. Economics wasn't my favorite classes. I found them a bit boring. Maybe because I was more interested in Science and Math.

Temps got in the low 60's here today and forecasted for 70F tomorrow. I don't mind it one bit. It was enjoyable to be out in shortsleeves.
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6233
Quoting originalLT:
Check out Levi32's Blog about the possibilities for this winter here in the North East and Middle Atlantic.
Thanks for this, LT! A hot tip for sure. Excellent videoclip that explains what's happening in terms even I can understand. Really interesting winter coming up! I think. Eventually. Unless it's "stolen."
Member Since: December 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1210
Hi all. Sunny and warm here. Can't believe it's December. Can't see this going on all winter.

I'm glad you're getting back to the office, P, and congratulations on your snow, Listener, and happy end of semester, Blizz!
Member Since: December 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1210
Check out Levi32's Blog about the possibilities for this winter here in the North East and Middle Atlantic. I know Heavy, you have all ready!.
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 7068
Broke the record at DC National Airport. Worst December 3rd, EVER.
Member Since: July 7, 2004 Posts: 18 Comments: 2989
211. bwi
63 in DC last hour -- they've upped the forecast to 73 later this afternoon.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1357
Quoting TheRasberryPatch:


Good luck in your finals. How do you think you are doing this semester?

Thanks! Alright semester, all of my courses are math and science intensive so I definitely miss my liberal arts classes. Next semester are some economics classes, which I am anxious to take to give some relief to the differential equations coming up in spring.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 278 Comments: 15045
Good morning all. LT, Goofy, Hoy, WX, Philly, etc!


Looks like we finally get our warm day here today. Good news is I return to work in NYC tomorrow. Have had a nice work from home thing going on - except I learned quite quickly why those who do this are quick to say they'd rather be in the office - it gets very tiresome...makes you stir crazy. But I am thankful for the opportunity to make some money while they straightened out the transit problems. Seems delays are now minimal which is good!


The weather...we have been running as much as 10-15 degrees colder than forecasted since Friday...on 36 hour forecasting. They really did poorly expecting high 50s starting Friday and 60s all weekend. We were mid 40s and just yesterday hit 55F which was the highest yet. Today looks like 58-60 is possible from an original 'mid 60s'. Tomorrow they pulled back to 62 from 68.

So whatever they initially saw did not materialize. It was clear the warm front never made headway until yesterday and then we had the weak cold front come through.

Good solid shot of rain last evening for about an hour with continued showers into the morning hours at times. Definitely more than expected.



-===-

wxgeek, yes we have some nice little towns along our shorelines in northern Ocean county up through Monmouth county. A little further north a handful fell victim to the late 1980s poverty problems but have recently begun to spring back to life.

No one locally is trying to hide the damage that is for sure....about every 4 miles along the coast there is a designated collection point where there are 3-4 story high piles of housing debris. There is a 3 story high pile of boardwalk planks in Long Branch near Pier Village - it is quite the sight!

I haven't gone to the smaller towns myself, as many are still off-limits without proper paperwork and passes, and a couple of local roads and bridges remain closed -- yet knowing many first responders and also talking to several families who have moved into their relatives' homes in this neighborhood - I have seen countless cell phone pictures and videos of just complete destruction. It's overwhelming really.

I think early on the media simply wasn't allowed into the sensitive (recovery) areas and that is why those outside of the region never got the full picture - and once access was allowed the media lost interest in the storm - it became the Presidental Election and they have since moved on to other topics.


====

Also saw your post on the Japan cities suffering daily flooding. If you check around you could probably find some good articles written shortly after the earthquake of 2011. Japan as a whole moved laterally and they figured out that the eastern coastline actually subsided as much as 10 feet in some locations and thus normal tides are now flood tides. They originally figured this out when they saw 30 foot waves breaching 40 foot structures and they quickly realized something wasn't quite right about that! One town a 25 foot wave easily breached the 35 foot sea wall. Baffling...until they took measurements and found that the earthquake occurred, the land dropped ten feet, and then the waves came in!

Similiar smaller known effects have happened along Alaska's coastlines. Several smaller islands suffer flooding weekly now with the larger tides. While some want to point to the topic that shall not be named - it is actually the subduction zone at work. The land the islands stand on is steadily moving northward towards the subduction and is being pulled downward to the zone..where one day those islands will slip under the sea and then under the land as it subducts into the mantle. So the islands as a whole have seen their elevation drop - creating the visual appearance of a rising ocean - and this will continue over thousands of years until they meet their end.

This is what occurred in Japan - but - in ten minutes time!!! As the land was violently shaking it was dropping ten feet from under their feet! What might take thousands if not tens of thousands of years to occur along a slower moving landmass happened in minutes.


Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 29 Comments: 5162
By hour 192...GFS begins laying down snow cover from Texas to Michigan.
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Quoting Blizzard92:

Yep, my last day of classes was on Friday. I will be headed home around December 15 after finals.


Good luck in your finals. How do you think you are doing this semester?
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6233
36 degrees below average temps...GFS Dec.16th.

Link
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SL Fog increased overnight.
Member Since: February 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2650
Finally some long range fantasy storms showing up on the GFS...better than last winter already.

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Eerily foggy and quiet outside tonight.
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3320
Quoting TheF1Man:
Woke up to a light coating on non-asphalt surfaces. 2 Weeks left, how about you blizz?

Yep, my last day of classes was on Friday. I will be headed home around December 15 after finals.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 278 Comments: 15045
Woke up to a light coating on non-asphalt surfaces. 2 Weeks left, how about you blizz?
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Quoting Blizzard92:
It does not look like the expected cold pattern will be coming to fruition for the next two weeks. A mild flow will continue with occasional threats of rain. No major snow chances are expected for at least two weeks or so.

TheRasberryPatch- That was actually the first snow we have had on campus this year. We are already a few inches below normal for the season. Last year was the least amount of snow on record.


That's what I am thinking too. With the negative PNA continuing to flood the nation with Pacific air; cold and snow will be hard to come by. Its almost the PNA is saying to the NAO/AO hold it I will decide what kind of air comes to the US. This idea came from: Link
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Don't know if this has any merit or not...figure I would post it tho.

EURO Hour 240 showing a substantial snow event.
Link
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as a side note, Laurel Summit is up to 23.1" of snow for the season
Member Since: November 5, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1139
It does not look like the expected cold pattern will be coming to fruition for the next two weeks. A mild flow will continue with occasional threats of rain. No major snow chances are expected for at least two weeks or so.

TheRasberryPatch- That was actually the first snow we have had on campus this year. We are already a few inches below normal for the season. Last year was the least amount of snow on record.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 278 Comments: 15045
Well, it's snowing again.
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5405
goofy ~ Yes, here in Jericho, VT and one place in northern Japan are at the right latitude and juxtaposition between a certain size lake and mountains that we get perfect snowflakes. This is the hometown of Wilson A. "Snowflake" Bentley! :-)
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5405
We got 6.5" of snow, and on Friday the high was 20°F. It was 9°F at 4pm. back up
to about 19°F now.
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5405
Quoting Blizzard92:
0.5in of wet snow today here at Cornell.


Have you had much snow at school this Fall?

Most of the snow has melted, here.
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6233
0.5in of wet snow today here at Cornell.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 278 Comments: 15045
Quoting Pcroton:
On the weather front we're pretty calm it seems. Another little warming into the mid 50s will be nice.

CPC has us a bit warm in the 6-10 and a little less in the 8-14 days but still above.

Their longer range, 1 month and 3 month, have us in normal - and not just normal but far removed from any above or below normal areas.

Their longer range predictions have been shaky going back to late last spring though so I would discount them. (In June, July was supposed to be ice cold, it was hot --- in August, S-O-N was supposed to be very warm and it was cool, etc)





By the way P, I visited Belmar on Sunday for a volunteer school trip and we cleaned a few condemned homes on the border of Belmar and Lake Como. Looks like everything is recovering well. Nice little towns, I liked 'em. I wanted to see the beach, but no one was allowed on it. They said they should be able to rebuild their boardwalk before the summer, which is great news. The town made no effort to hide their recent issues; all of the storm debris is being transported to a parking lot on Route 35.

You could also visibly see that a major storm occurred driving into the region on 195, significant number of downed trees as you get past Freehold. I saw a boat in the woods too but I don't think that's storm related, that's just New Jersey LOL.
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3320
@ LVT: Warm water off the Lake maybe. Radar suggests this " River effect snow." Around 1500 freeze line at surface followed lake shore. As temps drop may changeover locally. Green Mts. should help as moisture comes off L. Champlain.
Member Since: February 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2650
Still snowing. 3" so far...and word of freezing rain nearer Lake Champlain.
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5405
188. bwi
Quoting NEwxguy:
It definitely looks like after this week, the artic air gets stuck in Canada for a while.


EC 12z model even seems to back off that cold front for weekend after next. I know it's silly to look so far in advance in some respects -- but on the other hand, the models are getting a lot better at basic patterns in the 7-10 day period in my opinion...
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1357
Seriously snowing here!
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Quoting TheRasberryPatch:
For those with a clear to somewhat clear sky...Jupiter is extremely close to the Moon in the sky. It looks great. Not sure what the other light to the south of the Moon


It's the star Aldebaran of Taurus. Just found this out last night, actually.
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It definitely looks like after this week, the artic air gets stuck in Canada for a while.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 862 Comments: 15079
SL More than 0.7 in rain here for the last 6 days. North end of Ocean Ave still closed to traffic.
Member Since: February 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2650
On the weather front we're pretty calm it seems. Another little warming into the mid 50s will be nice.

CPC has us a bit warm in the 6-10 and a little less in the 8-14 days but still above.

Their longer range, 1 month and 3 month, have us in normal - and not just normal but far removed from any above or below normal areas.

Their longer range predictions have been shaky going back to late last spring though so I would discount them. (In June, July was supposed to be ice cold, it was hot --- in August, S-O-N was supposed to be very warm and it was cool, etc)



Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 29 Comments: 5162
Quoting wxgeek723:
I find it funny how we get a snowstorm on the coastal plain and then a snowstorm in the interior and I'm 0 for 2 because I live in the awkward stage in between the two.


Sounds like me with summer thunderstorms.

Geography is quite important.



As to the other topic discussed, I don't think of things in terms of skepticism or proof as neither really exists. Unproven theory is how I view it. When I dip my toes in the ocean I am in the same exact spot I was 40 years ago. When I walk up the tidal river basin I am stepping in the same footprints I did 40 years ago.

Storms come and go. Periods of calm and periods of activity. Sandy was unique but so were many storms over my 40 years of being here. Halloween/Perfect storm, 42" of snow in 3 days in Feb 2010, Gloria, Feb 06 ice storm, etc.

Thing is, we're prone to that type of development here. Unique currents, clashing jet streams, clashing ocean currents.

What is being discussed as unique, and being twisted by some into undeniable proof of their theories, is simply the norm in the big picture to me.

I haven't ever seen evidence to accept the theories of recent decades nor have I seen evidence to completely dismiss them either.

Unfortunately our data pool, our historical observations, are very limited in scope and continuity. Conclusions cannot be drawn.

Throw in the fact that weather and nature is a continuously fluid dynamic we really have absolutely no idea what is "average" or "normal" which would lead you be able to label an event as "normal" or "unique". Who is to say we know the baseline?

Tomorrow may be warmer or cooler than today. Does that make tomorrow anomalous? Or today?

Just too much to define a baseline and then compare. Especially when everything is so fluid and dynamic in nature.

Computers don't help. All those fancy models and charts do nothing. Computers see things in 1's and 0's. They see things in a static state. The planet, and our weather, has never been static, and never will be. A continuously and constantly evolving and changing dynamic.

Who can say what is average and what is a deviation.

Who can say if our influence is a drop in the bucket or a lever tipping a rock over?

We don't know, and we're unlikely to know, and even when we think we do it'll simply be an interpretation of something that never has a baseline, is not a static entity, and from beginning to end will always be a dynamic and constantly changing medium.

Can't predict the weather? A cliche that holds truth and always will.




Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 29 Comments: 5162
180. bwi
Quick glance at the models looks like mostly warm for the next 10 days or so... Was a chilly ride this morning -- about 30 in the DC burbs. You could really feel the thermocline on the bike trails -- get near the river cool sinks and the temp fell 5 degrees due to the calm winds.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1357
For those with a clear to somewhat clear sky...Jupiter is extremely close to the Moon in the sky. It looks great. Not sure what the other light to the south of the Moon
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6233
I find it funny how we get a snowstorm on the coastal plain and then a snowstorm in the interior and I'm 0 for 2 because I live in the awkward stage in between the two.
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3320
Quoting Blizzard92:

They actually were in some of the more intense bands; temperatures were pretty mild preventing most of the accumulation. Even the crazy Middletown airport received 1.1in, which is more than them. I do not know what happened, lol.


I was just above 32F when I came down in the morning close to 7am on Tuesday. The snow was on the ground by then and it still accumulated until 12 noon. Hershey got a bit less I think.
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6233
176. bwi
We saw our first snowflakes yesterday, but not in central MD -- we were one ridge west of Berkeley Springs, WV on vacation. No accumulation out there, though, at least at the altitude where we were.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1357
Quoting TheRasberryPatch:


That is surprising. I was close to 3". Were they in some dry slot? I thought from the LSV up to State College got similar accumulations.

wxgeek - Valid arguments are thrown out the window these days if you're not with the program...hahahaha

They actually were in some of the more intense bands; temperatures were pretty mild preventing most of the accumulation. Even the crazy Middletown airport received 1.1in, which is more than them. I do not know what happened, lol.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 278 Comments: 15045
Quoting Blizzard92:
My parents reported only 0.75in of snow back in Linglestown, PA.


That is surprising. I was close to 3". Were they in some dry slot? I thought from the LSV up to State College got similar accumulations.

wxgeek - Valid arguments are thrown out the window these days if you're not with the program...hahahaha
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6233
Quoting TheF1Man:
It's been slowing lightly all day though no accumulations. Springfield, MA.


Same here.

It's getting colder. The HIGH for Friday is supposed to be 18F. They're also speaking of a warmup with rain next weekend with temp as high as 52F by Tuesday.

Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5405

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About Blizzard92

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

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy
64 °F
Partly Cloudy

Personal Weather Stations

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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