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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173. listenerVT
7:04 AM GMT on November 28, 2012
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
172. wxgeek723
2:19 AM GMT on November 28, 2012
Quoting Pcroton:


If we had a historical record as deep as the one we have since 1980....stretching back 100s of years...you'd find this region is no stranger to the big ones and even back to back hits in a week, and a decade long period of intense activity.

A few instances that come to mind to downplay the Sandy/Blizzard back to backs as some strange unique and terrifying evidence of impending global doom where 1000 year storms come weekly.............is.

The 1888 Blizzard - which if you read accounts and we had the technology, could very well have been a back to back hit of epic proportions.

And... the period of the 1950s through the early 1960s where there were multiple and I mean multiple hurricane and nor'easters and blizzards of a very grand scale. In fact if you talk to relatives that are weather knowledgeable from that time, and point out the similarities of our 2010-2012 run of two hurricanes and six-seven blizzards - they will say it sounds all too familiar to the multiple storms of that time period.


So, to answer what I think was an earlier question from you, regarding Sandy raising an eyebrow, it really doesn't to me.

We live in a region of quite possibly one of the most volitile land based storm track collisions on the planet. When you have this...every so often, perhaps every few decades, things will line up just right for a string of superstorms to come about.

It's what this region has clearly experienced for centuries...and you can even find evidence of it going back to the 1700s.

George Washington's accounts of 3-4 feet of snow followed by sweltering heat in Philly the following summer during the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

If ya look it up NONE of what we have experienced lately is some fish out of water events. It's not. In fact it sounds not just similar but perhaps even missing the higher extremes. We're talking a brutal stretch of sub-zero multiple-blizzard accounts in a winter followed by months of 100F daily temps that very summer.... 240 years ago.


Every so often everything comes right into place for it to occur. It would seem we are simply experiencing this phenomena....and it will wind down once again.


One poorly introduced parallel would be the NYC region earthquakes. I believe we were hit badly in the 1730s and again in the 1880s by a 5-6M quake each time period. Well, we're getting close if the Ramapo fault likes to operate on a time schedule. Will the next one be out of the ordinary? Only theorists will believe so....and they will do it in the face of historical accounts that say otherwise.



I don't know that the 18th and 19th century earthquakes in NYC actually occurred on the Ramapo? The epicenter of the 1884 quake was near Coney Island, and the epicenter of the 1737 quake was in Bergen County. It is possible the fault is responsible for the 1783 event though.

The Ramapo Fault is always a "back of the brain" concern to me, though I don't think the assumptions that it can produce a M6-7 event are true. The only recent event on the fault that I know of was a 3.8 in Morris County on August 2, 2004.

We had a temblor down here early Black Friday, but I did not experience it. Epicenter was in an area with a history of minor earthquakes (in fact the location of a 2.0 weeks after the Morris quake in 04). It's probably just the sediment in South Jersey moving around a little. I'm more concerned about hurricanes and blizzards around here though.


Ironic that you bring up the Northeast's storm history. I have a book entitled "Seven Superstorms of the Northeast" written by a guy named James Lincoln Turner. You could probably find it in boardwalk book stores. He doesn't really stick to the title, mentioning more than 7 storms and alluding to other significant weather events in the Northeast. A very good read and supports the point you made very well. Apparently the East Coast was hit by two hurricanes a week apart in 1893. The situation in New Jersey was very similar to Sandy, with Hoboken and Jersey City both practically sinking.

New York Hurricane, 1893:


And we all know we were bombarded by Carol, Edna, and Hazel in 1954.

I also found a picture of a devastated Sea Bright, NJ after a string of winter storms in 1913-1914.

So you are definitely correct that the East Coast has a long history of storms from hell and the recent devastation with Sandy shouldn't come as a surprise. I guess I shouldn't be fixated on the odd timing of Sandy, hitting in late October. According to the book, George Washington described a hurricane in the Mid Atlantic in July.

Like I said, I really want to buy into the climate change skepticism around here because you put up valid arguments but the evidence against you guys is, well, a little overwhelming, lol.
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3321
171. testbenchdude
12:51 AM GMT on November 28, 2012
Thoughts on the GFS take on Dec 5th? Looks like it might be something to watch...
Member Since: October 19, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 217
170. Zachary Labe
9:24 PM GMT on November 27, 2012
My parents reported only 0.75in of snow back in Linglestown, PA.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 278 Comments: 15045
169. Pcroton
8:35 PM GMT on November 27, 2012
Nice Map of the snowfall event.


Not sure how accurate but it's something new I haven't yet come across.



Meanwhile look at the NY map and the MA Map. Talk about discrepancies office to office! Wow!

Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 29 Comments: 5163
168. Pcroton
8:20 PM GMT on November 27, 2012
TF, NJ. Been a steady rain all day. Temp has dropped to 38 down from 40.

We have been under heavy radar echoes indicitive of ice aloft all day and now you even see banding setting up which shows heavy snow aloft.

However at the surface it's purely rain I haven't even seen any hints of even temporary light mixing as of yet today.


Looks like the R/S line set up and held. That forward progress in SE PA probably halted about ten seconds after I commented on it LOL
Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 29 Comments: 5163
167. TheF1Man
6:52 PM GMT on November 27, 2012
It's been slowing lightly all day though no accumulations. Springfield, MA.
Member Since: February 23, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 669
166. weathernewbie
6:03 PM GMT on November 27, 2012
Now back to wet-ish snow. Snall flakes with some bigger ones mixed in.

After school activities cancelled at my children's school.


Laura
Buckingham, Pa
Member Since: September 26, 2005 Posts: 3 Comments: 47
165. PhillySnow
5:43 PM GMT on November 27, 2012
Large wet snowflakes for about thirty minutes and now back to rain.
Member Since: December 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1210
164. TheRasberryPatch
5:14 PM GMT on November 27, 2012
I measured 2.7" of snow with a water content of 0.36" as of 1150am. It is still snowing lightly
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6233
163. originalLT
5:10 PM GMT on November 27, 2012
Here in Stamford CT., at 12:05pm, it's down to 36.5F, still light rain, with a little snow mixed in. Baro. 30.26F. Very light winds, mostly northerly.
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 7068
162. weathernewbie
4:58 PM GMT on November 27, 2012
Here in the Buckingham, PA area, we have had 2.5-3inches of snow. was close to white out conditions for a while! The snow has stopped and now looks like light rain. Beautiful!

Quoting Blizzard92:
Looks like a nice enhanced snow band is running from Harrisburg down through Chester County into Philadelphia. Areas in this band will see .5-1in/hr snow rates over the next hour; roads will become snow covered and slippery.
Member Since: September 26, 2005 Posts: 3 Comments: 47
161. PattyNorthShoreLI
4:04 PM GMT on November 27, 2012
temperatures in NY metro and LI seem to be trending downwards down to 37/38 from 41 earlier. Is this the trend the rest of the day and perhaps some snow ahead later on today? I saw there was some banding occurring north of Philly... will the column cool completely further east for snow? Could just be wishful thinking...
Member Since: October 29, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 96
160. goofyrider
2:12 PM GMT on November 27, 2012
2 in snow in Liberty, NY. Rain started here bout 0630. Still light.
Member Since: February 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2650
159. originalLT
2:11 PM GMT on November 27, 2012
In Stamford CT. where I am, about 4 miles inland from the coast, at 155ft. altitude, we have 37.3F Baro.30.29" and steady, with light rain falling, with an occasional snow flake mixed in.
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 7068
158. TheRasberryPatch
1:58 PM GMT on November 27, 2012
Quoting Blizzard92:
Looks like a nice enhanced snow band is running from Harrisburg down through Chester County into Philadelphia. Areas in this band will see .5-1in/hr snow rates over the next hour; roads will become snow covered and slippery.


Yes the snow has picked up. The flakes are bigger. The roads are covered at least on my road. I cleaned off my wife's car and 10 mins later it had to be cleaned again.
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6233
157. Zachary Labe
1:24 PM GMT on November 27, 2012
Looks like a nice enhanced snow band is running from Harrisburg down through Chester County into Philadelphia. Areas in this band will see .5-1in/hr snow rates over the next hour; roads will become snow covered and slippery.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 278 Comments: 15045
156. TheRasberryPatch
1:05 PM GMT on November 27, 2012
Light snow I would guess since early morning. Approximately and inch on the ground. Roads have some slush on them, but not fully covered. Grass is almost fully covered. The temperature is 32.5F

What is really bothersome about WU is their forecasts...This past weekend they wrote starting Wednesday into the weekend that the lows were going to be in the teens. Now it reads the upper 20's. How can they be that far off? I am so glad I didn't need an accurate forecast for this coming week. I don't know where to turn though....I don't want to follow TWC, but maybe or I will go to local TV weather sites....UGH

Pcroton - You do a very thorough job in your writings. I agree with you.
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6233
155. Pcroton
1:04 PM GMT on November 27, 2012
Quoting wxgeek723:
Possible precedents to Sandy?

Snowicane of October 1804

Gale of 1878


If we had a historical record as deep as the one we have since 1980....stretching back 100s of years...you'd find this region is no stranger to the big ones and even back to back hits in a week, and a decade long period of intense activity.

A few instances that come to mind to downplay the Sandy/Blizzard back to backs as some strange unique and terrifying evidence of impending global doom where 1000 year storms come weekly.............is.

The 1888 Blizzard - which if you read accounts and we had the technology, could very well have been a back to back hit of epic proportions.

And... the period of the 1950s through the early 1960s where there were multiple and I mean multiple hurricane and nor'easters and blizzards of a very grand scale. In fact if you talk to relatives that are weather knowledgeable from that time, and point out the similarities of our 2010-2012 run of two hurricanes and six-seven blizzards - they will say it sounds all too familiar to the multiple storms of that time period.


So, to answer what I think was an earlier question from you, regarding Sandy raising an eyebrow, it really doesn't to me.

We live in a region of quite possibly one of the most volitile land based storm track collisions on the planet. When you have this...every so often, perhaps every few decades, things will line up just right for a string of superstorms to come about.

It's what this region has clearly experienced for centuries...and you can even find evidence of it going back to the 1700s.

George Washington's accounts of 3-4 feet of snow followed by sweltering heat in Philly the following summer during the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

If ya look it up NONE of what we have experienced lately is some fish out of water events. It's not. In fact it sounds not just similar but perhaps even missing the higher extremes. We're talking a brutal stretch of sub-zero multiple-blizzard accounts in a winter followed by months of 100F+ daily temps that very summer.... 240 years ago.


Every so often everything comes right into place for it to occur. It would seem we are simply experiencing this phenomena....and it will wind down once again.


One poorly introduced parallel would be the NYC region earthquakes. I believe we were hit badly in the 1730s and again in the 1880s by a 5-6M quake each time period. Well, we're getting close if the Ramapo fault likes to operate on a time schedule. Will the next one be out of the ordinary? Only theorists will believe so....and they will do it in the face of historical accounts that say otherwise.

Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 29 Comments: 5163
154. Pcroton
12:52 PM GMT on November 27, 2012
Good Morning. Despite an icy/mixed/snow signature on radar we have pure rain here at the surface in Tinton Falls.

Warm also at 40F.

MT Holly reintroduced snow wording late last evening into the forecast after having stripped it out earlier in the day. Should have left it out but it seems they were struggling with multiple precip boundaries in their forecasting so we will give it a pass.

There isn't enough intensity to the precip to bring any cool air down. Evaporative cooling seems non-existant. It would appear those of us furthers east and especially south and east will see rain.

The one thing to note is the apparent forward motion of the rain/snow line marching eastward through SE Pennsylvania. Trenton to NYC is a relatively steady line between the two but SE PA has quite the forward motion to it. So it is something to keep an eye on as the day progresses.


Regardless of outcome there is nothing that will cause anyone any true difficulty today.

Seems state college stripped their snowfall forecast map entirely? Glitch? Mt Holly still has a solid output in PA...and NY has a decent swath of 2" from northern NJ through CT except for the immediate coasts.


Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 29 Comments: 5163
153. wxgeek723
11:58 AM GMT on November 27, 2012
Steady rain.
#coastalplainprobz
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3321
152. PhillySnow
11:36 AM GMT on November 27, 2012
Quoting listenerVT:

Road Crews Caught Off Guard

http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/201211 26/NEWS/311260011/Road-crew-drivers-caught-off-gua rd-first-snow?odyssey=nav|head


Yet the question remains:
What was so unusual about this storm system that forecasters were still saying at 3:40am "20% chance of a few flurries", but the reality was 100% chance of an inch of snowy wetness that turned instantly to black ice? A trooper said it was as if the whole interstate turned to ice at once. Why? And why wasn't it foreseen? Ideas?
I don't know why it was hard to forecast; just want to say I saw this happen in Nashville, TN. One minute it was raining and the next the highway was a sheet of ice. Some of us drove on the grassy median to the exit, while those who remained had to be towed off the highway. It was amazing, and very scary. They didn't forecast it either.

BTW - It's raining here. Mt. Holly still saying chance of snow mixing in, but it seems doubtful.
Member Since: December 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1210
151. MariettaMoon
4:57 AM GMT on November 27, 2012
nm
Member Since: June 11, 2011 Posts: 36 Comments: 677

Road Crews Caught Off Guard

http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/201211 26/NEWS/311260011/Road-crew-drivers-caught-off-gua rd-first-snow?odyssey=nav|head


Yet the question remains:
What was so unusual about this storm system that forecasters were still saying at 3:40am "20% chance of a few flurries", but the reality was 100% chance of an inch of snowy wetness that turned instantly to black ice? A trooper said it was as if the whole interstate turned to ice at once. Why? And why wasn't it foreseen? Ideas?
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5405
Quoting Blizzard92:
Sorry I have not been around recently. The last few days my new iphone crashed right away, so I have been trying to get that fixed. And I just got back from break with a busy last full week of classes. I would be able to post more steadily by this coming weekend.


First things first! :-)
We need you to pass your classes so you can use your talents to the full.
We'll be here cheering you on while you work. GO BLIZZ!!!
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5405
Quoting Blizzard92:
Sorry I have not been around recently. The last few days my new iphone crashed right away, so I have been trying to get that fixed. And I just got back from break with a busy last full week of classes. I would be able to post more steadily by this coming weekend.


Blizz - you concentrate on your studies and don't worry about the blog. We will be just fine.
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6233
Quoting Pcroton:
Hi Philly.

Sure does seem to be a complicated forecast for Mount Holly...having to split forecasting into three distintive P-Types/Zones. Will be tough for them to toe the lines I would think.

They have NOW released a Snow Map.

New York has released a Snow Map.
Thanks for the link to the snow map, P. It'll be fun to see what actually happens.
Member Since: December 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1210
Sorry I have not been around recently. The last few days my new iphone crashed right away, so I have been trying to get that fixed. And I just got back from break with a busy last full week of classes. I would be able to post more steadily by this coming weekend.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 278 Comments: 15045
WWA has been issued for those NW of the I95 corridor, excluding Philadelphia metro.

--
* LOCATIONS...THE POCONO REGION, THE LEHIGH VALLEY AND THE
SOUTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA COUNTIES OF BERKS, CHESTER, MONTGOMERY
AND BUCKS. ALSO THE NORTHWESTERN NEW JERSEY COUNTIES OF
HUNTERDON AND WARREN.
--
Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 29 Comments: 5163
Hi Philly.

Sure does seem to be a complicated forecast for Mount Holly...having to split forecasting into three distintive P-Types/Zones. Will be tough for them to toe the lines I would think.

They have NOW released a Snow Map.

New York has released a Snow Map.


At 330PM they have actually made me here in Tinton Falls warmer...with less mention of snow...and now no mention of any accumulations.

We have been running a couple degrees warmer of guidance the last 24 hours so maybe that will factor in.



Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 29 Comments: 5163
NWS has us very mixed. Forecast is for snow to rain to snow here (about 10 miles west of south Philly), all rain southeast of I-95, and all snow northwest. Seems it could be anything from nothing at all to around 2". They're saying not a lot of precip in any case. Be sweet to get a coating, though!
Member Since: December 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1210
WWA up for LSV.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Afternoon, goofy, LT, etc.


Well, blizz the map you posted has updated and is now further south and heavier in amounts by quite a degree.

It would appear some thinking has changed. As I mentioned...a further south and possibly stronger low scenario could play out? It looks to be what State College is hinting at with it's updated snow map. (For those wonder, the map Blizz has posted a few posts back, had a swath of snow quite a bit further north with totals around 2".... its now further south with 3"+ totals)

If this new outlook were to be correct then the bigger cities may be in for some snow afterall.

Let's see how the forecasts update later this evening - and see if Mt Holly follows suit in the same line of thinking or not. As of 1230PM they have not.

Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 29 Comments: 5163
Quoting listenerVT:
Okay, I need a rapid response here...

It's snowing to beat the band here on the western slopes of the Green Mountains of Vermont. I'm leading a meeting in Concord, NH at noon.

Good to go?



Well, I didn't go. I was packing up my things, to head out the door, when my husband called. He had left for work (a half hour drive) an hour before and was sitting on the interstate at a standstill. It took him another hour to get to work. Our 20% chance of snow ("a few flurries" said the TV weather forecaster last night) turned into a three hour snow squall that coated all the roads with black ice. Moreover, no sand or salt trucks had been sent ahead of it, so even the folks with snow tires and studs couldn't get up a simple hill on the interstate, let alone navigate back roads.

http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/201211 26/NEWS/311260011/Police-Parts-89-blocked-due-blac k-ice-car-crashes?odyssey=tab|topnews|img|FRONTPAG E

My husband was in that traffic. This must have been after the police car parted the traffic to make way for the salt truck.

Wow! The photo I first posted has changed at the site!
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5405
Hi goofy, I think the snow or sloppy mess you will get will start Tues. Morning, rather than Tues. night. Should end in the early evening on Tues.
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 7068
Morning all. Cold here. Our forecast has chance of snow Tues nite.

Zach Clock times right? Looks like PM after 12 midnight? Yesterday kept getting an internal server error. Time sent 0940 Mon AM :-))
Member Since: February 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2650
Hey Blizz,

With the Lake Effect snow machine now working whats your thoughts on the long range Lake effect snows.

Im particularly interested in the Tug Hill Plataeu and surrounding areas.

Last year was kind of a bust for us avid Snowmobilers.

I have Hope for this season though.

Looks like they received about a Ft Here

http://www.northernchateau.com/northernchateau.ht m

The web cam, and what we call "base camp," is located in Worth, New York. 43°46.337' N 75°49.055 W @ approximate 1581' elevation, and faces North. It is in an area of New York know as The Tug Hill Plateau. "The Hill," as most will refer to it, is located mostly in Lewis county and is approximately 12,000 acres of predominately state forest land . It has over 600 miles of groomed snowmobile trails.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Okay, I need a rapid response here...

It's snowing to beat the band here on the western slopes of the Green Mountains of Vermont. I'm leading a meeting in Concord, NH at noon.

Good to go?
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5405
Quoting Blizzard92:
Seems a bit high to me...


Just fielding a guess... they might be watching the NAM which is very bold.. going anywhere from 3-8" for Harrisburg.

GFS is around 2"

NWS seems to be following the GFS and even being conservative with it.

For me it is the opposite here in coastal NJ. GFS is bold up to 2", NAM has 0", NWS mentions up to 1" slush accumulation inland of here.


I suppose the storm is a bit borderline but with it's trajectory I'm not sure how much of a chance there is of a surprise cold air intrusion --- like with the coastal lows pulling it in rapidly.

I doubt we see anything special here but for Inland PA I suppose it's quite different since they are closer to the cold air to be tapped. Slightly southern track of a slightly more energized low could give a surprise band of accumulations?



Eh, I'm not impressed, but I'm sure a couple of hilltop dwellers might get a nice day of it.




Oh, and, it seems the discrepencies in regards to the models is a question of moisture not temperature.

NAM is high on QPF. GFS not so much....

Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 29 Comments: 5163
Quoting colortheworld:
Something's up, every forecaster on facebook went berserk this morning it seems.


It seems that every time we get a big storm, and it just happened to be forecast/modeled closely, the natural reaction is to sound the alarm at the sight of any cloud and any long range model showing anything other than bright sunshine on the map.

I guess people like to be fooled...or have very short memories.


"They finally got one right." is a cliche that will forever ring with truth when it comes to forecasting the weather.
Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 29 Comments: 5163
Morning. Dropped to 31 at 7PM and stayed there all night. Guess the return flow has begun. Ice in the bird baths each morning a regular sight.

Winter came in with that last frontal passage...and seems here to stay. From this point forward when we warm up it's a day or two in the low 50s before going back down.

Seems a gross rain snow mix and 30s is on tap for Tuesday.

Bright red sky this morning. Quite a few of those the past month...been kinda spoiled with nice sunrises.

Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 29 Comments: 5163
What a scare! Glad she came around so fast. Stay strong Ally.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Seems a bit high to me...
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 278 Comments: 15045
Written 17 minutes ago by Ally's Mom...

This morning Ally was rushed to the hospital in the back of an ambulance. Just before eating breakfast Ally went limp and was unresponsive. She was spending the night with Grammie and Grampa, so they called 911 and the ambulance was at their house quickly. They remembered when Ally was unresponsive with us over a year ago, so they thought to make the EMTs check her blood sugar right away. It was 39. The paramedics pulled into the driveway soon after that and transferred her over to them. They gave her an IV and a big dose of dextrose. By the time they were off Grammie and Grampa's road Ally was coming around.

She ended up spending around 2 hours in the ER (her shortest time in the ER ever). The ER doctor called up to DHMC (He was very impressed with Ally's oncologist!) and we will need to call the endocrinologist tomorrow and set up an appointment.
Ally is doing fine now, and I think Grammie and Grampa are going to be okay too...she scared them something fierce. They did everything right, and we have a plan for her next sleep over.

Hopefully the rest of the month will be less dramatic. I will be sure to update after our endo appointment and when I know more about the procedure to take out Ally's port.
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5405
Happy Thanksgiving weekend, everyone! We have snow coming and going in our forecast for Tuesday, so there's a little chance here. I saw possible accumulation of 3 inches at one point.

Holiday lights are going up around us, and it's that time when I start craving snow for the beauty of it all. Must move north.
Member Since: December 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1210
Quoting pittsburghnurse:
Beautiful morning for our Macy's holiday parade. About a half inch on the ground with flurries and LES showers. We did have a 10-car pileup on the parkway and it had to be closed for a time. The first snow is always bad, even if its just a coating.

The snow on paved surfaces is melting away now. It was nice to wake up to a solid blanket of the white. Now I feel like the holidays are officially here.


Ironically, we up here in NW VT had 58F on Thanksgiving and 59F yesterday. Today we got the drop in temps and a dusting...it finally began to stick on the dirt areas of the gardens just before nightfall.
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5405
is there a chance?

Member Since: November 5, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1139
Afternoon all! If anyone is in the Harrisburg area, check out the large forest fire currently on the top of Blue Mountain!!!
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 278 Comments: 15045
So today I noticed TWC is showing programs called Top Tailgaters and Ultimate Football Fans.

What?
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3321
Beautiful morning for our Macy's holiday parade. About a half inch on the ground with flurries and LES showers. We did have a 10-car pileup on the parkway and it had to be closed for a time. The first snow is always bad, even if its just a coating.

The snow on paved surfaces is melting away now. It was nice to wake up to a solid blanket of the white. Now I feel like the holidays are officially here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
CChamp - go to eBay and look up weather stations. I would recommend Davis Vantage Pro II. It is a bit costlier, but not much. I won with a winning bid of $355 last year. Keep trying if you don't win. That is what I did. DVP is easy to use and setup. Btw - are you still golfing? Did you compete in club championship?

Doom - for iPad why not use wundergrounds iPad app?

Blizz - I guess it's time to get lights up sooner rather than later?


Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6233

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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
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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