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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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: 6276
Possible precedents to Sandy?

Snowicane of October 1804

Gale of 1878
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3714
Hey everyone from the Burgh. Expecting to see our first flakes of the season fly pretty soon. It sure feels like something's getting ready to kick up. For those of you who had to work today, I feel for ya. I had to work too.
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Convection is really blowing up over Lake Erie now with light snow already being reported in Erie.

Local Erie Radar
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That's what she said?
Member Since: August 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 7
Magnitude 2.1 earthquake in my county last night. I was up but didn't feel a thing.
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3714
Happy Thanksgiving! Hope everyone had a good one. Thanks for the mini-forecast, Blizz!
Member Since: December 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1273
Live Aurora Borealis here:

http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/astronomy/auroramax/ hd-480.asp
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5597
***Happy Thanksgiving!***

Some of us may see the Aurora Borealis after midnight tonight and/or late evening tomorrow night.
http://www.softservenews.com/Thanksgiving_Day_Nor thern_Lights_Show_Possible.html

See also:
http://www.gi.alaska.edu/AuroraForecast/NorthAmer ica/2012/11/22
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5597
Anybody have a suggestion about the best weather app for an iPad?
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Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Question that has been asked here before that I am asking again. My home weather station crapped out last year and I want a new one. Something that is in the
$150 to $250 range. I also would like to transmit to WeatherUnderground as I have in the past. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Happy Thanksgiving! Among my blessings I count all of you who contribute so much to the community of this blog.
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Happy Thanksgiving all!!!
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 285 Comments: 15140
Happy Thanksgiving you turkeys! Jive and otherwise...
Member Since: August 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 7
To Everyone, have a Great and Safe Thanksgiving!!! The Weather south of Pittsburgh is calm, cold and sunny this morning. To everyone who has been affected by the recent storms hopefully normalcy at Thanksgiving is closer.

Now onto the Turkey Bowl, which is now Kick Ball, since we have had 2 injuries the past two years playing tag---it is our whole cul de sac event. Ages from 7 thru 56.

Enjoy and be Thankful!!!
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I am not overly enthusiastic for snow prospectives for a widespread area next week, but we will see. It does look a favorable stormy and cold pattern will set up for the first three weeks of December. But there are signs towards Christmas of an unfavorable pattern developing. Nevertheless I would expect most areas to see their first measurable snow, if they have not already, during the next two weeks.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 285 Comments: 15140
Something's up, every forecaster on facebook went berserk this morning it seems.
Member Since: August 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 7
Quoting HeavySnow:
Snow back in my forecast for days 9 and 10.
Fun to at least have the possibility. Our forecast is for rain with a high of 49. That seems odd.
Member Since: December 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1273
Snowcast, gone again.
Member Since: July 7, 2004 Posts: 18 Comments: 2990
Snow back in my forecast for days 9 and 10.
Member Since: July 7, 2004 Posts: 18 Comments: 2990
Hey,just to let everyone know,you expect a storm for the 28th.Its my birthday and almost every 3 or 4 years I get hit with some kind of major storm,and its been a while,so Im due.I don't need models to predict that,although models are showing something brewing around that time.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 888 Comments: 15989
Latest GFS run showing some snow for the Midwest and Northeast for Days 7 and 8. The NAO Index is currently predicted to be in a mild to moderate negative phase for the next few weeks. The weather here in NE has been great these past few days, but winter is upon us, my friends.
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101. bwi
A cold front on Sunday and a possible storm on day 9? I'm OK with what. I have to admit, I've been loving the mostly dry weather -- we needed that after 9" of rain with Sandy in central MD.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1407
I like belgian model waffle with apples and syrup after a few sleet pipes. It's the only way to go.
Member Since: August 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 7
Mmmmmmmm, model waffle.
Member Since: July 7, 2004 Posts: 18 Comments: 2990
Time to begin model waffle for the 28th?
Member Since: August 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 7
Quoting Blizzard92:
Sure is quiet in here, although not too much weather to talk about really.
I keep having the thought that the weather is really boring, and then I think "OMG - maybe I should be happy for boring." Never does feel that way, though. I'm eager for winter and snow.

How are relief efforts going, P? I heard Atlantic City is opening up again already.
Member Since: December 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1273
Tinton Falls, NJ
36F with a heavy frost again this morning. Calm weather this week. Generally 35/50 splits.


The Carolina low headed well out to sea with a spectacular cloud formation as expected.

Not sure why any model or any forecaster had it coming north....I saw nothing to believe that idea. I guess jitters on the heels of the back to back hits.

Seems every time a model or forecaster gets one or two storms right they are suddenly considered bulletproof. Not sure what happens to all the consecutive failures leading up to the "broken clock is right twice a day" circumstance as we saw with Sandy/Snow Storm - but I guess it's just the law of the land.

What have ya done for me lately. Oh you were right last time? OK, you'll be right in your next prediction.


Ah well... Have a good thanksgiving all.
Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 72 Comments: 12735
Never mind. That snowcast has gone away, but it is cold.
Member Since: July 7, 2004 Posts: 18 Comments: 2990
WU has snow in my forecast on and around Nov. 29 and 30. What say you Blizz?
Member Since: July 7, 2004 Posts: 18 Comments: 2990
Quoting doom22015:
Blizzard, if Sandy had happened in 1912, how well would meteorologists have been able to determine its track? No doubt that it could have been recognized that the storm crossed eastern Cuba and the Bahamas, continued north and clobbered the New Jersey & New York coasts. Would the sharp left turn and westward path across south Jersey have been recognized?

Granted that what happened with Sandy was unusual, what I am asking is whether a storm path such as this could have been recorded in a clear and accurate way, so we could look it up and say "yes, there is a precedent for this behavior."


Well Agnes did take a left turn into NYC. And you could argue Hurricane Hazel's track considering it hit in October.
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3714
Blizzard, if Sandy had happened in 1912, how well would meteorologists have been able to determine its track? No doubt that it could have been recognized that the storm crossed eastern Cuba and the Bahamas, continued north and clobbered the New Jersey & New York coasts. Would the sharp left turn and westward path across south Jersey have been recognized?

Granted that what happened with Sandy was unusual, what I am asking is whether a storm path such as this could have been recorded in a clear and accurate way, so we could look it up and say "yes, there is a precedent for this behavior."
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Sure is quiet in here, although not too much weather to talk about really.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 285 Comments: 15140
So is it just me, or are there a lot more weather outlets making adjustments to their "winter forecasts" this year than in most others? Accuweather is releasing their "updated" winter forecast tomorrow. It's an update from last month's "official" forecast. Uhhhhh, what?

Just seems strange...
Member Since: August 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 7
How far back do reliable weather records go for the east coast? 150 years, maybe? And if a storm made a left turn like Sandy did, would anybody have been able to observe it or record it 100 or 150 years ago? On a timescale that makes sense for defining our climate, maybe a Sandy trajectory is an infrequent but normal phenomenon.

Events with a 1% probability happen every day somewhere.

What I am trying to say is that we don't really have a very long observational record to rely on, if we are inclined to point to a single storm as evidence that something has fundamentally changed.
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Ctw,
I for one would be happy to see some thoughtful and non-ideological discussion on the topic of climate change, and if this blog can offer it that would be nice. I have tried very hard to keep an open mind on the subject, but it is not easy. It is hard to find people who can think and talk about the subject impartially, without trying to push you to an answer they prefer. So much of what I read on the subject amounts to rhetoric from people whose politics I either like or dislike, but neither situation ought to sway my thinking about a scientific topic.
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wxgeek - What about the hurricane that created the inlet between OCMD and Assateague Island? That occurred back around 1930? Was that caused by manmade climate change? Maybe it was since the town of OC and the fisherman had been begging the Army Corp to dredge an inlet there for years. J/K of course. Look at those huge snowstorms that hit back in the 18th century that crippled cities. I just think we throw out GW too easily whenever a storm does so much devastation.

Blizz - you bought some cold air for the first week of December? wow....did it cost much? hahahaha I had forgotten about Dec. 5th and it being a date to remember.
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6276
Hi CTW, yeah, you did miss it. Check out www.osdpd.noaa.gov --for charts on temperature anomalies in the NW Atlantic, the area where Sandy was when she made her WNW turn. It shows sea surface temps to be about 1.5-3.0 degrees celsius above average at that time-late Oct. 2012. The Gulf Stream itself was warmer than average.
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 8010
Quoting colortheworld:
Since when did man have the ability to craft a storm and target cities, turning left on a dime?

Man has a hard enough time, and in many cases, hasn't even crafted an automobile that has that kind of maneuverability. I'm to believe we can do it to the weather?

Look, I'm all for the discussion of "climate change" or "global warming" or whatever you want to call it, but let's have a real talk about it. No finger pointing or slam-dunk calls, just some evidence and discussion. I don't think we're at a point yet where we can say either way what the truth is with this "issue", but there's a lot of evidence out there to suggest man has a limited impact overall.

But I'm willing to hear all sides...


That's a roundabout way of putting it. I didn't say someone deliberately deflected the storm our way. It's not that simple. And it's a bad idea in any situation to underestimate what mankind is capable of doing.
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3714
Warm and sunny for Thanksgiving? BOOOOOOO!!!
Member Since: August 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 7
Morning all! Quick long term summary... Warm through Black Friday with a few days with highs touching the middle 60s. Cooler weather with finally some rain during the last week in the month. Next bout of cold weather should enter around the first week in December. Maybe another December 5 first snowfall? We'll see!
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 285 Comments: 15140
Were Ocean temps really above normal as Sandy made her way up? The fact that she fluctuated from low-level hurricane to tropical storm and back as she went north of Charleston - Hatteras and so on would suggest to me that the waters were likely near average temperatures for October. She also intensified due to being over the Gulf Stream which is basically when you're at the lake and you feel a warm spot because somebody pissed in the water. Do we have a chart showing major temperature differentials? Did I miss it?
Member Since: August 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 7
Since when did man have the ability to craft a storm and target cities, turning left on a dime?

Man has a hard enough time, and in many cases, hasn't even crafted an automobile that has that kind of maneuverability. I'm to believe we can do it to the weather?

Look, I'm all for the discussion of "climate change" or "global warming" or whatever you want to call it, but let's have a real talk about it. No finger pointing or slam-dunk calls, just some evidence and discussion. I don't think we're at a point yet where we can say either way what the truth is with this "issue", but there's a lot of evidence out there to suggest man has a limited impact overall.

But I'm willing to hear all sides...
Member Since: August 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 7
Wxgeek723, I'm 63 years old and have been a weather geek for about 58 of them , this storm, at least to me, just came along and had everything fall into place for that sharp "left hand turn" mainly a strong blocking high off to it's north east. It just could not plow into it and continue to the NE, it had to make that turn. I think the ECMWF model predicted it's movement very well in advance. Then finally the GFS got on board. I don't think you can attribute this to GW, except perhaps, in the most broadest terms-if that. Ocean temps. were above normal, but that has happened in the past too. I don't think it's "coincidence" , just circumstance.
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 8010
Quoting TheRasberryPatch:


I started to read the article, but when they mention manmade climate change increased the water level...that is where I stopped reading the article. Where do they have proof that the increase in water level was manmade?



What does a hurricane/superstorm making a hard left into New Jersey have to do with climate change? We get hurricanes coming along the east coast in November. When was the last time the East Coast got hit hard by a hurricane? It's been a good while. So when one does occur we need to look at other factors? Really?


I figured I should've braced for backlash when I wrote that. Other than the Perfect Storm when has the East Coast had a significant hurricane in November? And a hit like that was definitely coming, but can you find me an example of the track Sandy took? No I don't think so. Closest is Vagabond Hurricane 1903 which still came from the south. I do think Sandy was still mostly bad luck.

Look I very much want to believe what you guys are saying but I just think that whole event was extraordinary and hard to dismiss as coincidence along other things these years. I'm just young and concerned and when I see the things that have gone on recently it makes you really wonder. For instance when we start seeing patterns of freakishly large (though weaker) hurricanes. I think you guys are much more logical than other blogs on this site and you make very compelling arguments but when it comes to this topic I worry that your opinions may just be...wishful thinking at best.

Blizz have any of your profs ever expressed their stance on the issue? Just curious.
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3714
Quoting wunderstorm87:
Here's a great article/blog from the Capital Weather Gang that explains how climate change did or (more so) did not impact Sandy:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weath er-gang/post/the-whole-truth-about-superstorm-sand y-and-climate-change/2012/11/15/d3b7ceea-29e4-11e2 -bab2-eda299503684_blog.html


I started to read the article, but when they mention manmade climate change increased the water level...that is where I stopped reading the article. Where do they have proof that the increase in water level was manmade?

Quoting wxgeek723:


P I understand your strong skepticism on the topic and I'm not trying to sound alarmist or something but when a hurricane takes a hard left into New Jersey in late October I feel like it must, at the very least, cock your eyebrow...


What does a hurricane/superstorm making a hard left into New Jersey have to do with climate change? We get hurricanes coming along the east coast in November. When was the last time the East Coast got hit hard by a hurricane? It's been a good while. So when one does occur we need to look at other factors? Really?
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6276
Here's a great article/blog from the Capital Weather Gang that explains how climate change did or (more so) did not impact Sandy:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weath er-gang/post/the-whole-truth-about-superstorm-sand y-and-climate-change/2012/11/15/d3b7ceea-29e4-11e2 -bab2-eda299503684_blog.html
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quiet blogs to go along with the quiet weather,extended period of quiet,which is probably a good thing for holiday travelers and so the east coast can take a deep breath.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 888 Comments: 15989
Quoting Pcroton:
The naming thing is extremely pointless. The TWC is pretending like they knew it all along with the near-blizzard we just had here in central NJ - but the forecasts only showed modest snow totals further west with rain for us. It would have been a bust of a storm. But since it took everyone by surprise they are beating their chests over it. If it followed forecasts it would have been a total bust and they would have looked absolutely foolish for naming it.

What's worse is it should have at least been the second named storm if they're going to do this correctly. Bruce or whatever...as Athena already hit the upper mid-west weeks ago.

Then you have Bruce over Montana and that was just a run of the mill disturbance for them.

There are two purposes to doing this.

1) LOOK AT US WE NAMED THE STORM
2) "Climate Scientists" can use this as a way to compare seasons and say "Most named winter storms since ____" and crow about their ridiculous theories.


Either way, it's a big joke, and I refuse to acknowledge it other than to rant about it.

Anyone who takes the naming thing seriously needs to step away from the computer and breath some oxygen so they can come to their senses.



P I understand your strong skepticism on the topic and I'm not trying to sound alarmist or something but when a hurricane takes a hard left into New Jersey in late October I feel like it must, at the very least, cock your eyebrow...
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3714
Quoting originalLT:
Philly, thanks for the note, we may have to postpone the surgery till after New Years. My wife's a teacher and I will be doing some Xmas retail work, so we won't be home most of the day. I don't think that's fair for him. He's getting along quite well now, not in pain nor is he limping. We are going to restrict his movement for several weeks while we are out of the house. See this web. site, www.tiggerpoz.com. Don't know how true it is, but since we have to wait, we'll try what he suggests. Thank you again.

We investigated that as well, and I think it makes sense to give it a shot given that he's not in bad shape. I feel alternatives therapies are better than surgery whenever possible. Our dog was a mess when she had the surgery - she could barely put that leg down, we didn't want to wait. The risk was that she'd favor the other leg so much that she'd then damage that one as well. We have friends who used an alternative to surgery and their dog recovered. It required quite a bit of oversight, and his injury was also not that bad. Can you get a second opinion from a vet who's open to alternatives?
Member Since: December 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1273
Quoting NumberWise:
Pcroton? I was looking for another update from you! I hope your area, including transportation issues, is coming along.


Things are going well. Most every road open and most everyone returned to power.

Mostly it's about the collection of tree debris and such. For others about the collection of the gutted house's possessions.

Things are generally returning to normal now.

Services wise everything has finally come around and balanced out... gas, groceries, etc - all normal operations.

Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 72 Comments: 12735

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

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