Widespread Lake Effect/Upslope Snows Expected Later this Week...

By: Zachary Labe , 8:05 PM GMT on December 18, 2012

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Posted Tuesday, 18 December 2012

A closed upper level low will continue to slowly move through southern Canada and upstate New York during the later half of the upcoming week. A deep trough and subsequent northwest flow will allow for the first prolonged lake effect snow event of the year. Widespread upslope snows are also expected across the Appalachians up through the White/Green Mountains. Accumulations will be widespread in the snow belt regions, but generally light to moderate amounts.

Lake Effect Snow Outbreak December 21-23, 2012
A significant winter storm will be tracking through the Midwest and Great Lakes by the middle of this week. This 992mb surface low will track across the Great Lakes and begin to weaken across western New York. A closed upper level low will begin to slowly meander across southern Canada increasing moisture under a northwest flow behind the steep cold front. H85 thermals will fall to a meager -6C, but given that lake temperatures are near 10F above normal, there will be enough of a gradient to spark a widespread lake effect event. The flow for the duration of the event will be around 300-315 degrees with possibly an even more northerly component depending on the track of the ULL. Limited instability will prevent significant banding, but nevertheless with PWATs +0.5SD there will be widespread snow shower activity for several days across the region.

This flow will increase snows across favored upslope and orographic locations from northern West Virginia up through the Laurel Highlands. Favored peaks in Garret County, MD up through Mt. Davis, PA and Laurel Summit, PA may see upwards of 10" of snow during this period. Current model QPF is already at an impressive ~0.5 inches. Across the Chautauqua Ridge in southwestern New York, upslope totals may also approach 10" of snow. This will help lay a fresh snow pack to several ski resorts in the region that are featuring a seasonal snow deficit of nearly two feet to date. As drier air begins to rotate into the region on Saturday, widespread light snow shower activity (with a few enhanced SN bands) will begin to focus into a more cellular nature under diurnal forcing. Mesoscale guidance indicates the development of several stronger bands off of Ontario down through possibly Rochester and Syracuse. UUV and omega growth peak during this period allowing for excellent dendritic growth. Snow ratios during this period may approach 17:1 with snow rates at 1in/hr in some locations. Northern Cayuga County through Onondaga and Madison Counties in New York will see the highest accumulations. During this period upslope snows will increase across northern Vermont in the higher elevations. This will be a multi-day event for this area with amounts approaching two feet above 3000ft by Monday.

Given the length of the fetch and typical northwest flow, a few snow bands may stretch east of the mountains into the central ridge and valley region of Pennsylvania and Poconos. Any accumulations in this area will be isolated and generally around 1-3 inches. A bit of Huron connection may be possible Saturday night during the peak of the lake effect snow event. At this point in the medium range, it is too early to highlight typical bands such as the 322 streamer.

Drier and more stable air will cutoff the cyclonic circulation by early next week with more seasonable temperatures. Winds will also begin to relax.

Regional Radar...

(Courtesy of NOAA)

Regional Advisories...

(Courtesy of NOAA)

Storm Reports...
None.

Storm Impacts...
1. Sustained winds of 20-30mph with gusts approaching 40mph are expected over the region with whiteout conditions possible in snow squalls.
2. Deep moisture field and long fetch will allow snow showers to stretch east of the mountains.
3. Heavy snow accumulations in favored 300 degree snow belts are expected with totals approaching up to 10"
4. First widespread lake effect event of the winter will have greater impacts than normal due to the the infrequency this December.
5. Temperatures and air mass will be marginally cold and generally in the upper 20s to mid 30s for most areas.

Snow Map...

*The heaviest snow accumulations will be confined to the higher elevations and favored northwest flow snow belt regions. The highest accumulations are expected near the Syracuse metro region and across the upslope effect region of the Green Mountains near Stowe in northern Vermont. Heavy accumulations are also likely up through West Virginia and into the Laurel Highlands. Outside the snow belts snow amounts will be more isolated and dependent on the exact location of the bands and showers which are impossible to forecast exactly at this point in time.

Current Great Lakes Water Temperatures...

(Courtesy of NOAA)

Current Lake Erie Wind Direction and Speed...

(Courtesy of NOAA)

Current Lake Erie Water Temperature...

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Selected City Accumulations"
Erie- 4-6" of snow with higher amounts to the south and east of the city
Meadville, PA- 4-8" of snow
Bradford, PA- 3-6" of snow with higher amounts near Warren County
Butler, PA- 2-4" of snow
Pittsburgh, PA- 1-4" of snow with isolated higher amounts
Latrobe, PA- 1-4" of snow
Indiana, PA- 2-4" of snow
Johnstown, PA- 5-10" of snow with higher amounts possible
Somerset, PA- 4-8" of snow with higher amounts possible
Altoona, PA- 1-4" of snow
Du Bois/Clearfield, PA- 3-6" of snow with locally higher amounts
Philipsburg, PA- 3-5" of snow
State College, PA- 1-3" of snow
Lock Haven, PA- 1-3" of snow
Williamsport, PA- Locally 1-2" of snow
Mt. Pocono, PA- 1-2" of snow
Selinsgrove, PA- Locally 1-2" of snow
Harrisburg, PA- Isolated C-1" of snow
Hagerstown, MD- Isolated C-1" of snow
Cumberland, MD- 1-3" of snow
Frostburg, MD- 2-4" of snow
McHenry, MD- 4-8" of snow
Oakland, MD- 4-9" of snow
Snowshoe, WV- 4-9" of snow
Buffalo, NY- 2-5" of snow with higher amounts to the south and west
Watertown, NY- 3-5" of snow
Syracuse, NY- 6-12" of snow with locally higher amounts
Albany, NY- Locally 1-2" of snow
Ithaca, NY- 1-4" of snow
Binghamton, NY- 1-2" of snow
Saranac Lake, NY- 3-5" of snow
Utica, NY- 5-10" of snow
Burlington, VT- 1-2" of snow. Higher amounts to east approaching 12"
North Conway, NH- 1-4" of snow
"Subject to Change"

Current Northeast Snow Depth and Northeast Wind chills...

(Courtesy of Wunderground)

Model Analysis
The GFS is a low resolution global model that typically does not do well in mesoscale events such as lake effect snow. But forecast QPF maps already suggest widespread high amounts over the Northeast snow belts, which is very impressive at this forecast range. A deep moisture field and long northwest fetch is suggested. The ECMWF is also in full support of this event especially across the upslope regions of northern Vermont where an extended multi-day period of heavy snow is possible. Isolated amounts in this region could reach 24" in some areas above 3000ft. All guidance supports a closed low that will allow for a bit of synoptic influence favoring some lighter snows outside the typical snow belts especially for western Pennsylvania and upstate western New York. These amounts will remain light though with QPF less than .15" for most areas. At this range, the NAM and other high resolution guidance is a bit too far out for their time frame. Latest trends in the GFS/ECMWF are showing a possible increase northerly component which would decrease the widespread activity of the snow showers. At this time it looks like the Buffalo metro area will be spared the worst of the event, while areas towards Rochester and Syracuse will be more favored.

After the Storm
As temperature anomalies approach +6F for the month of December for many climatological reporting stations across the Northeast, many are left asking where is winter. A majority of the cold air is locked well to the northwest of the contiguous United States in northern Canada. Even across areas seeing the next bout of winter weather in the Midwest, H85 thermals never even fall below -10C south of the Canadian border. This is a clear indication that much of the nation is well above normal in the temperature department. A +EPO in correspondance with a -PNA will continue to keep the cold air locked up to the north through the end of the month. A few energy meteorologists have been hinting at winter storm chances post Christmas in the Northeast, but given the latest tropical monsoon forcing indices out of the Indian Ocean and the status quo of the current NAO, it is likely these middle latitude cyclones will continue tracking through the Great Lakes. If any secondary cyclogenesis occurs on the east coast, it will only favor far northern New England with wintry precipitation. Unless we see a dramatic change in ensemble guidance and teleconnections, period through the end of December will be snowless across much of the east. While temperatures will likely average near normal, they will feature an oscillating pattern of unseasonable warmth as lows track to the northwest, and then brief arctic air behind the cold fronts.

After a near record dry November, the polar jet has begun to increase in activity as we continue a stormy pattern with several shortwaves per week. This pattern will continue through early January with precipitation totals averaging above normal for all climatological stations. While the MJO forcing remains meager and few changes in the NAO are expected, there are a few signs that the EPO will shift negative and begin to dump some arctic air farther south. As we also enter the coldest portion of the year, it is likely snow chances will begin to increase by early January. That being said, there are no signs of any abnormally snow periods.

Despite another snowless and record warm start to the meteorological winter, the synoptic pattern is very different than last winter. Whether that is encouraging or not, it is critical for snowlovers that we do not see any development of a PV in Alaska. This would disrupt the potentially favorable Pacific by January and allow increasing upper level heights over the eastern United States. The main idea to take from the long term will be a continued stormy pattern of Great Lakes cutters, while the east coast sees mostly rain in association with frontal passages. Any front end warm air advection winter precipitation will likely be confined to northern New England. If any pattern change does occur, it will likely be post New Years.

Please post storm reports in this blog from across the Northeast during the winter storm and please post location of observation in each report...

This blog is in progress. Check back soon...

Winter Forecast 2012-2013... Link

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)- 9.5"
Seasonal Total- 10.3"
Winter Weather Advisories- 4
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
Enhanced Clipper - December 24 - 2.1" - Christmas Eve Snow!
Miller B - December 26 - 3.3" - 0.15" of freezing rain also
Miller B - December 29 - 4.1" - Moderate all snow event

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Merry Christmas everyone!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Also, of course, Merry Christmas to all of you here on Blizz's Blog and to of course the man himself, Blizz and his family. Looking at the radar, the area of precip. is moving quite fast and I think will be over and done with here in SW CT.by mid night. Looks now like it will stay all snow! Yea!
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 8010
I know its not going to last, but moderate snow and a dusting up here in Huntington,NY sure makes it feel like Christmas. Merrrrry Christmas to all!
Member Since: October 29, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 96
Snowing, 33F here in Stamford CT. Grass is beginning to turn white. Can see the back edge of the precip. in Eastern Pa already. Looks like it will be over by 3-4AM. Maybe I will get an inch or two , mainly on grassy surfaces, if we can keep it all snow. That would qualify as a" White Christmas"!
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 8010
From the radar it looks like the snow here in Campbelltown, PA is going to come to an end. I just measured 3" of snow. The roads are very slick and covered. The snow began just before 4pm.

Amazing how the models showed NOTHING since the beginning of December and look we have a White Christmas. I don't recall any snow on Christmas Eve in my lifetime which spans since the 60's. Not to mention very little Christmas snow.
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Light mix here in TF, NJ. 38F.

Maybe a slushy dusting on the grass tonight.

Heavy rain and wind on the way for part 2. Could be somewhat interesting NW NJ, and interior SE NY and CT depending on how the low tracks and winds up.

Pretty strong onshore fetch for us down here at the coastlines. Something pretty dramatic would have to happen to get us in the heavy snow.

Catskills could see quite the storm tho. Both NAM and GFS slam em 12-15".


Weekend a better shot for all? Seems to be some hints about that. Let's see how the big one Wed pulls out first.
Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 70 Comments: 12444
Wet snow for about an hour now, sticking to grassy surfaces!
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Looks like we here in SW PA are in the watch area. Talking to a friend of mine who is a MET, this is going to be a heavy wind blown snow, he mentioned this will wrap up in a big way along the coast for a secondary low, the difficulty will be how much warm air gets pulled in.

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PITTSBURGH PA
425 PM EST MON DEC 24 2012

OHZ039>041-048>050-PAZ007>009-013>016-020>023-073 -WVZ001-250530-
/O.NEW.KPBZ.WS.A.0006.121226T0300Z-121227T1100Z/
TUSCARAWAS-CARROLL-COLUMBIANA-COSHOCTON-HARRISON- JEFFERSON OH-
MERCER-VENANGO-FOREST-LAWRENCE-BUTLER-CLARION-JEF FERSON PA-BEAVER-
ALLEGHENY-ARMSTRONG-INDIANA-WESTMORELAND-HANCOCK-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...NEW PHILADELPHIA...DOVER...
UHRICHSVILLE...CARROLLTON...EAST LIVERPOOL...SALEM...COLUMBIANA...
EAST PALESTINE...WELLSVILLE...CALCUTTA...COSHOCTON...CA DIZ...
HOPEDALE...STEUBENVILLE...SHARON...HERMITAGE...GR OVE CITY...
GREENVILLE...FARRELL...OIL CITY...FRANKLIN...SUGARCREEK...
TIONESTA...NEW CASTLE...ELLWOOD CITY...BUTLER...ZELIENOPLE...
CLARION...PUNXSUTAWNEY...BROOKVILLE...REYNOLDSVIL LE...BROCKWAY...
ALIQUIPPA...BEAVER FALLS...AMBRIDGE...MONACA...BEAVER...
PITTSBURGH METRO AREA...KITTANNING...FORD CITY...LEECHBURG...
FREEPORT...APOLLO...INDIANA...GREENSBURG...NEW KENSINGTON...
JEANNETTE...LATROBE...MONESSEN...WEIRTON
425 PM EST MON DEC 24 2012

...WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY EVENING THROUGH LATE
WEDNESDAY NIGHT...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PITTSBURGH HAS ISSUED A WINTER
STORM WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY EVENING THROUGH
LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT.

* HAZARD TYPES...HEAVY SNOW.

* ACCUMULATIONS...THE POTENTIAL FOR AT LEAST 6 INCHES OF SNOW.

* TIMING...LIGHT SNOW WILL BEGIN LATE TUESDAY NIGHT. SNOW
INTENSITY WILL INCREASE DURING THE DAY ON WEDNESDAY BEFORE
TAPERING OFF WEDNESDAY NIGHT.
Member Since: January 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 461
On our way out and just have to quickly report that it's snowing here!! Sticking, too, on the trees. (About 10 miles west of south Philly.) Feels like a little Christmas miracle to me. :)
Member Since: December 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1270
SL: Rain approaching. Looks like liquid form since temps are warm along the Jersey Shore. If MM is right the lows would put us on the right side warm and toasty for both tonight and the 27th. Looks like Heavy might make out on this one at least on the return flow.

Merry Christmas to one and all.
Member Since: February 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2933
Map I made of the 12/24/12, 12z model suite for the 12/25 to 12/27 event

Member Since: June 11, 2011 Posts: 36 Comments: 677
Thanks for the snow maps, Zach! Looks like we might get some snow tonight for a rare white Christmas. Even a covering will do.

Good luck, everyone! And have a very Happy Holiday.
Member Since: December 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1270
I forgot how excting it is to see snow nearby on the map!
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Snow changed over to cold rain now, here on the DC burbs. The snow was pretty while it lasted.
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151. bwi
Spitty snow-ish stuff in DC. Not sticking to anything, even the wood porch, but better than rain!
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1406
Snow currently falling in SWPA (Confluence, elevation 1336"). The snow flakes are sticking together forming large flakes around the size of a 50 cent coin.

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Quoting originalLT:
Blizz, nothing came through on your post #146.

Hmmm that is odd. It was a map of the HRRR model expected snowfall over the next 12 hours; basically shows a widespread 1-2in
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 285 Comments: 15140
Blizz, nothing came through on your post #146.
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 8010
It's been flurrying here in the western burbs of DC for the last 20 minutes. We have 37F falling and 29.89 steady. Nice to see at least some snow, after Blizz's maps showing us with 2 swings and misses.

This flurry some big fat flakes!

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Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 285 Comments: 15140
Quoting Blizzard92:
First guess at midweek storm...

Here is a better explanation of each category:

Rain- Primarily rain with only a trace of wintry precipitation at the onset
Freezing Rain- 75% plain rain with just a light accumulation of freezing rain/sleet/snow at the onset. Amounts generally at low end winter weather advisory criteria.
Sleet- Some moderate amounts of snow/sleet/freezing rain reaching winter storm warning criteria before changing to plain rain at the end of the storm
Heavy Snow- Winter storm warning criteria snow accumulations. Southern areas may see a bit of mixed precipitation during height of the storm.


Looks as though per your map Pittsburgh would be a mix---any thoughts on this---it looks per your map that the Heavy snow would miss us, any additionally cooling coming into play? THX
Member Since: January 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 461
First guess at midweek storm...

Here is a better explanation of each category:

Rain- Primarily rain with only a trace of wintry precipitation at the onset
Freezing Rain- 75% plain rain with just a light accumulation of freezing rain/sleet/snow at the onset. Amounts generally at low end winter weather advisory criteria.
Sleet- Some moderate amounts of snow/sleet/freezing rain reaching winter storm warning criteria before changing to plain rain at the end of the storm
Heavy Snow- Winter storm warning criteria snow accumulations. Southern areas may see a bit of mixed precipitation during height of the storm.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 285 Comments: 15140
Snow Map for tonight...
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 285 Comments: 15140
Looks like as I was writing my question you were reading my thoughts, Blizz. Wow, you are gifted...hahahahaha
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Blizz - any thoughts on the 2 upcoming events? From the WU forecast I would guess they are expecting the storm on Wednesday to track over the LSV? Since they are forecasting snow with accumulation and then to rain
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As for the storm midweek, it is critical to watch the development of the secondary low. I am holding a bit colder scenario as my best guess at this point with locations along the PA turnpike as the battleground between a majority of the precipitation being rain versus mixed. Light to moderate snow accumulations may even occur this far south.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 285 Comments: 15140
A widespread 1-2in of snow is likely tonight northwest of I-95 from northern Maryland up through New England. Many locations will likely see an official white Christmas before it melts later in the day as highs approach 40F with sunshine.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 285 Comments: 15140
Quoting wxgeek723:
Blizz I have a question. I think I asked this back during the Feb 2011 ice storm but I'll have to inquire again. Why does Pittsburgh often get rain when the rest of PA is seeing snow?

Western Pennsylvania is not effected by cold air damming due to their location on the windward side of the Appalachians. Therefore there is no forcing mechanism for them to hold in low level cold air. Long duration freezing rain is a near rarity for those areas.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 285 Comments: 15140
Quoting MariettaMoon:
Made a map of model guidance track forecasts for the 26th-28th. The NAM can only see out to Ohio. I even included the NOGAPS, only because it has a respectable forecast at the moment, but can only see out to Tennessee. I plotted each model in 6 hour segments. The HPC forecast is in 12 hour segments, hence the longer-straighter lines. Take the HPC line from West Virginia to New Jersey with a grain of salt, as it probably goes under an energy transfer to the east first more like the ECMWF does, instead of cutting across the LSV. All model runs are from zulu time, 12/23/12.

Great to see you on the blog, MM! Thanks for this map of the models. It shows why the forecasts for Philly are all over the place, from mostly snow to all rain. *sigh*

Steven DiMartino has us with snow tomorrow morning and Wednesday night, mix on Thursday, and then all snow Sat-Sun. He's often very accurate, so there is indeed hope! :)
Member Since: December 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1270
AW showing maps this morning of major snowstorm WED/THURS for the northeast, for my area-Pittsburgh they are predicing 6-12,central-through central NY, predicting 12-18, other METS on twitter are predicting about the same, however on the WC the are predicting a rain/FRZ rain event? WHO WILL BE RIGHT.
Member Since: January 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 461
Blizz I have a question. I think I asked this back during the Feb 2011 ice storm but I'll have to inquire again. Why does Pittsburgh often get rain when the rest of PA is seeing snow?
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What we need is the King (Euro) to reign su-preme once again.
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Hope someone posts some snow pictures from tomorrow...we are forcast for ice pellets here in So MD.....darn. At least some will have a white Christmas! Merry Christmas to all..........
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Hello Blizz,
To you and all who post here...
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

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Quoting MariettaMoon:
Made a map of model guidance track forecasts for the 26th-28th. The NAM can only see out to Ohio. I even included the NOGAPS, only because it has a respectable forecast at the moment, but can only see out to Tennessee. I plotted each model in 6 hour segments. The HPC forecast is in 12 hour segments, hence the longer-straighter lines. Take the HPC line from West Virginia to New Jersey with a grain of salt, as it probably goes under an energy transfer to the east first more like the ECMWF does, instead of cutting across the LSV. All model runs are from zulu time, 12/23/12.



MariettaMoon,
Thanks for putting together, looking at the model tracks and prelimary forecast it seems as though warmer air will be more prevalent causing some accumulations to be lessened---however listening to local Mets in my area in the South Hills of Pittsburgh and some other Twitter Mets, they believe as you mention above the energy transfer will cause the air to cool enough for even my portion in Western, PA to be all Snow---which would be a 6-10in event and for the LSV this could be a big one. It will be interesting how much warm here is out there with XMAS eve event---that might dictate temperatures for the big event.
Member Since: January 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 461
Quoting weatherspotter1923:
The Chautauqua ridge varies between about 1300 - 1800 or higher in Chautauqua county. I live at 1700 feet on a ridge down towards the PA border. As you get further east into Cattaraugus County, you start seeing 2,000 feet and higher elevations in what they call "The Enchanted Mountains" and that is where a couple of the really nice ski resorts are is in those mountains.

When the NWS out of Buffalo does their mesoscale lake effect reporting, they will refer to the "snow belt" or "ski country". The snow belt means anywhere down this way from the escarpment east and south from Lake Erie, the ski country is more the higher terrain of mid-Cattaraugus County.

Another beautiful sunny day in the neighborhood here, the temperatures are staying below thirty so the snow is staying fresh and clean, and is still clinging onto some of the branches from the storm where it wasn't blown off by the winds.


1700 feet is a great elevation to be at for that lake effect. You should post some photos during some of the deeper snow depths up there.

I'm in south-central PA, Marietta, Lancaster County, 280 feet a couple blocks from the Susquehanna River.

Where I'll be located on Wednesday-Thursday depends entirely on the storm track. My wife and I both have off of work and I asked if I could pick where we go based on the storm lol. It's either Marietta, Philly area, or the Poconos depending on where the best snow is, which right now looks like either the Poconos or none of the above.
Member Since: June 11, 2011 Posts: 36 Comments: 677
Made a map of model guidance track forecasts for the 26th-28th. The NAM can only see out to Ohio. I even included the NOGAPS, only because it has a respectable forecast at the moment, but can only see out to Tennessee. I plotted each model in 6 hour segments. The HPC forecast is in 12 hour segments, hence the longer-straighter lines. Take the HPC line from West Virginia to New Jersey with a grain of salt, as it probably goes under an energy transfer to the east first more like the ECMWF does, instead of cutting across the LSV. All model runs are from zulu time, 12/23/12.

Member Since: June 11, 2011 Posts: 36 Comments: 677
Good morning, all. 33F here, sunny. At least it's feeling colder. I like the low forecast confidence - there's hope! Maybe it'll be one of those surprise snowstorms.
Member Since: December 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1270
Rain/Snow line forecasting is a near impossibility for both the Mon PM/Tue AM and the Wed/Thu AM systems.

Intensity and timing however is not. Weak on Mon-Tue, Strong on Wed-Thur.

Very very low confidence in temperature forecasting and exact surface low tracking right now. This unfortuntely is unlikely to be resolved in much time before the onset of either event.

Not much one can do when we have an active storm pattern during the seasonal pattern changes.

Models certainly have a lot of difficulty in developing the surrounding environment that steers the surface systems along.

Can't get upset or impatient on this one....
Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 70 Comments: 12444
We've got 24F this morning here in Burke VA (western burbs of DC), as cold as we've seen so far this season.

Unfortunately, I expect that by the time we get any precip tomorrow, it'll be up into the mid 30s. Cold rain -- yuck!
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The Chautauqua ridge varies between about 1300 - 1800 or higher in Chautauqua county. I live at 1700 feet on a ridge down towards the PA border. As you get further east into Cattaraugus County, you start seeing 2,000 feet and higher elevations in what they call "The Enchanted Mountains" and that is where a couple of the really nice ski resorts are is in those mountains.

When the NWS out of Buffalo does their mesoscale lake effect reporting, they will refer to the "snow belt" or "ski country". The snow belt means anywhere down this way from the escarpment east and south from Lake Erie, the ski country is more the higher terrain of mid-Cattaraugus County.

Another beautiful sunny day in the neighborhood here, the temperatures are staying below thirty so the snow is staying fresh and clean, and is still clinging onto some of the branches from the storm where it wasn't blown off by the winds.
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About 8-10" just south of Jeffersonville,VT at 1000". Smuggs reporting 10 and Stowe 8-12". Champaign Powder. Too bad I have to work!
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Thanks for the snow photos listener. The way things looks now down here, I don't think I'll be seeing that for a while! But I guess things can change.
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 8010
Yesterday the rain and wind melted away our 2" of snow.
70mph gust here in town and 125mph gust atop Mount Mansfield!

Today we got the snow back and it's still snowing. I'd say we have 2-3" so far. The good news is that it's going to stay cold, so we'll get to keep it through Christmas.

I took some photos as we drove home from an ordination in Montpelier today. So I'll post some photos. Ready?







Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5591
Well, TheF1Man, if what Blizz says comes true, and we get the Ohio Valley solution, it sure looks like a good soaking rain:(.......Ps I hope your semester and finals went OK, you said they were rough.
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 8010
I do not mean to sound wishy-washy, but I think the Ohio Valley cutter solution for the 26-28th has substantial support.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 285 Comments: 15140
So we're at some light snow here for CT Christmas Eve/Day and then the main event whether it be rain or snow is 26-28th? LT how do you think its looking for our area?
Member Since: February 23, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 685
It's beginning to look a lot like RAIN!
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Blizz,
For the storm after Christmas will the I95 line be the battleground between frozen or liquid precip or will it be further inland around the OH/PA border?
Member Since: January 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 461
Yeah, I see what you mean, MM, well we can hope over the next couple of days another "flip-flop" by the GFS. (Probably with our luck it will not.)
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 8010
Quoting weatherspotter1923:
To MariettaMoon,

The description of Chautauqua County and the Chautauqua ridge goofyrider gave is correct, we just think of it as the escarpment along lake Erie that marks the beginning of the snow belt. The elevations rise about 1/2 to a mile in from the lake and continue higher over the rest of Chautauqua and into Cattaraugus counties, and we get bands of lake effect throughout the area depending on prevailing winds.

This time, southern Chautauqua county got the highest amounts (Jamestown 13, we ended up with 11, Kennedy had 12 etc.) while Cattaraugus and northern Chautauqua (Dunkirk area) was lower. It all depends.

Interestingly, being WNY, we have lots of plows and know how to use them so travel is no problem despite the foot of snow. Today everyone at the busy stores and markets was in a really happy mood despite the wind and cold, I think we were just really ready for lots of snow and now things are back to how they "should" be (at least in our snow-warped minds).


Oh ok, so it's basically the fall line of the Alleghenny Plateau / Great Lakes coastal plain. What's your elevation?
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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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