Ph.D. Student - Earth System Science (UC Irvine), B.Sc. - Atmospheric Sciences (Cornell University)
By: Zachary Labe , 8:26 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
Well good afternoon!!! Here across Pennsylvania it is much more mild than it was yesterday. Current temperatures are from the mid 30s to mid 40s. Also there is some precipitation moving across the state as we speak. Also of variety is occuring with the precipitation. Most areas are seeing light rain. But out of Du Bois and Bradford the latest observation is light snow. So for the rest of the day expect light rain, light sleet, or light snow. Then for tonight when it gets colder at the surface there may be some freezing rain. Across the north and across the
Poconos there are some freezing rain advisories. So if you are heading out to night, be careful. In the upper atmosphere it will be above freezing, so expect no snow.
Well this coming week looks mild with highs in the mid 50s for most areas this week. On Wednesday a strong front moves through and this cools everything down with back to normal temperatures and then another front moves through this weekend with temperatures getting colder than normal. With the first frontal passage there may be some heavy rain associated with it. So stay tuned for this. They may be some flooding issues with the rapid snow melt and ice melt on rivers combined with over 1inch of rain. So for most of the week expect warm conditions with clouds and an occasional shower. See the longterm for more information on snow chances.
Well interesting long term. After the warm air leaves(talked about in the short term), some cold air moves back in. And there is a storm, as usuall. A couple points I want to make about the long term outlook.
1. We go in patterns of well warmer than normal temperatures to well colder than normal temperatures and then back to warm and so on...
2. Strong storms will develop between these air mass changes.
3. Snow lovers who are already dissapointed, remember there is still plenty of winter to go.
4. It will finally snow sometime soon I believe in the middle atlantic states.
5. The NAO appears to remain neutral for a while, which to keep out temperatures in the northeast either normal or colder than normal.
Ok, now lets talk about the winter storm the models have around for the midmonth period. Well first off the GFS has had the storm on all of its runs for quite a long time, which shows there is some consistency. Then now the EURO has it on its long term. It is even more agressive with the storm than the GFS is. Another thing to note is there will be alot of cold air around and even a strong high pressure north of the storm in Canada, which helps to bring in the cold air. During the worst of nor'easters there is always a high pressure to the north of the system. Another point is the NAO goes from positive to neutral by midmonth. As seen below. Many people think a coastal storm is less likely without a negative NAO, but the superstorms of 1993 and 1996 had neutral NAO's. So for now I would not get to hung up over that the NAO is only neutral. Now lets talk track of possible storm. Well the GFS has it going up right through the Appalachians, and personally I do not by it. I think it will end up either going west of the mountains or heading up the coast. Also I choose the coastal storm over the west of mountains storm, because there is alot of cold air that will push the storm to the east. Now remember this storm might not even happen. It sounds like I am saying this storm will happen, but really it might not happen. I just enjoy tracking these long term forecast systems. And even though it is a long way away, I still get excited for the possibility. Stay tuned for more updates in my blog throughout the next week on this potential storm. Well for today the models continue to show storms for midmonth with a major snowstorm around the 14th of January. This storm has been on the models for almost a week now. So confidence is growing by the day. I do think we will see a major snowstorm this month! Well the 14th storm is still on the models and it shows snow all the way to the coast with no rain/snow issues. So for now, stay warm! I will have updates throughout the weekend on the potential coastal storm.
Here is the 12z run of the GFS for the 14th of January...
Here is the 12z run of the EURO for the 15th of January...
"Just to throw out there"
Well for the 14-15th storm the models have similar ideas on the storm. The only difference is the GFS has the storm earlier than the EURO does. But they both have the storm and cold air. So my confidence is very high with this upcoming storm. So tuned for furthur updates that I will issue in my blog everyday. I have faith that this will be a major snowstorm.
***Update as of 1000pm...
Well the 18z GFS has no storm for the 14th, but it does have a big blizzard for later in the month. I do think though there will be a storm for the 14-15th. I just think the 18z run was a dud. Also I want to emphasize that there will be enough cold air for most areas to see snow. I though have two worries. One is that the storm heads west of the mountains or two the storm heads straight out to sea. Personally I do not think at all though that the storm will head up west of the mountains. Also it will not go straight up through the mountains either. I have rarely seen any storm go right up through the Appalachians. This would tear the storm right apart. For now I will stick to this... That a storm develops right of the southeast coast and tracks quite close to the coast with the rain/snow line 15miles east of I95. This is just my gut feeling. Also I think when it is all said and done somebody sees over a foot of snow in the valleys with maybe 2ft in the mountains. Have a great night!!!
"Regional Forecasts" (Saturday)
1. Eastern- (Allentown, Southern Poconos)-
Warmer and partly cloudy. High 44.
2. South Central (Harrisburg, York, Lancaster)(my home)-
Warmer and mostly cloudy. High 43.
3. Southern- (Philadelphia)-
Partly cloudy. High 46.
4. Central- (State College)-
Warmer and cloudy. High 42.
5. Northern- (Bradford, Williamsport, Erie)-
Much warmer. Snow melt. Cloudy. High 40.
6. Western- (Pittsburgh)-
Much warmer. Snow melt. Cloudy with a few rain showers.
7. Johnstown, Altoona-
Much warmer. Rapid snow melt. Cloudy. High 42.
Well already it is January 3rd and it seems like the holidays flew by. Anyway it is time to look at the monthly outlook. Overall it appears temperatures on average will be around .5-1degree below normal when the month comes to an end. Periods of arctic air and somewhat mild air will cause only a minor below average temperature. There will be though times of very warm conditions, especially from the 6-11th of the month. Then there will be cold times like the first few days in January and the last 2-3weeks in January. Precipitation should come out well above normal. We are in a very active weather pattern due to the La Nina especially. Storms seem very frequent throughout the month. Snowfall will probably be above normal across much of the state except the far southeast. About 1-4inches above normal looks likely. So overall it appears to be a relatively cold January with normal to above normal snowfall. I know this does not agree with other January outlooks by Accuweather or NOAA, but I still believe it will end up being overall cold. Those weather services seem to be overestimating the warm air from the La Nina. They predicted a warm December and it ended up being colder with alot of snow in some areas. It will be interesting to see how the rest of this month plays out. So stay warm!!!
***Note on regional map, the number equals which region in Pennsylvania. I chose regions with similar climates, geography, and elevation to make my overall forecast for the region.
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