Major storm to end work week...

By: Zachary Labe , 2:06 PM GMT on November 09, 2008

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"Afternoon Thoughts" (Updated 11/09)
So yes here it is already the unofficial end of Fall in my book. Leaves are just about gone out of most of the trees except for a few lone yellow oaks. Mountain has quickly turned brown and countryside looks drab with fields of brown. With temperatures last week in the 60s in low 70s it certainly did not seem like the end of Fall. For the first eight days of November temperatures were above normal except for the 2nd here in Harrisburg. The positive temperature anomaly is 6.3degrees here in Harrisburg with a max of 70degrees and a min of only 46degrees. But things are changing. A trough has blow into the region with more seasonable temperatures and even below normal temperatures helping to cut back on those positive averages.

Alrighty my last blog I ranted about the inaccurate climatology readings from area weather stations. So this blog I want to talk about weather service forecast low temperatures. This has bothered me for quite a long time with how inaccurate temperatures are for low temperature predictions. It seems that almost every night temperatures are colder than predicted by local weather services. Now I do understand that the suburb and rural locations are colder, but still even in the city locations temperatures are always colder. It does not seem meteorologists take into account the full effects of radiational cooling especially in Pennsylvania. Radiational cooling has some impressive effects in Pennsylvania thanks to the deep valleys between the mountains. As the sunsets, cold air goes rushing down the mountainsides. During the day higher elevations have cooler temperatures and the equilibrium pull pushes the colder temperatures down the mountainside into the valleys. With now clouds there is no cover to keep the warm air insulated so the warm air rises and colder air sinks. When the winds decouple (calm) temperatures are allowed to fall. Typically temperatures get about as low as dewpoint values are, but during best of radiational cooling nights dewpoint values may also fall. Sometimes I found forecasts for low temperatures are off by 10degrees, but yet I am only in the suburbs, so even the rural locations are colder than I am. I just wonder why especially local forecasts cannot take account prime radiational cooling conditions. Rarely do low temperature forecasts bust on the cold side. So overall I was just wondering if other people have the same experiences I have with low temperatures being much colder than forecast even with point and click NWS forecasts?

"Current Surface Plot"

(Courtesy of HPC)

"Regional Radar"

(Courtesy of Wunderground)

"Regional Advisories"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Forecast Discussion" (Updated 11/09)
A relatively amplified jet remains parked across the nation with a trough in the east and a ridge in the west. Several deviations below normal, the 850s drop to near -8C across northern Pennsylvania with a westerly cyclonic flow during the day Sunday and Monday. Westerly winds will draw up moisture from the lakes and keep a stratus deck over the Allegheny Mountain region east to the Ridge and Valley region. Surface temperatures will remain below normal for Sunday and Monday. Flow becomes capped off from lakes by late Monday evening with flurries being the only precipitation scattered about the region. By Tuesday a 1028mb high pressure moves across the region making for Sunshine across the region. High temperatures remain below normal. An occluded front moves north across the region with rising heights to near 0C around the I-80 corridor. A low stratus deck moves over the region for Wednesday with the chance of some flurries or sleet pellets across the southern part of the state as some light precipitation with QPF around .01inches is forecast. High pressure moves off to the northeast with building heights over the east near 10C. Trough moves in from the Great Lakes with coldest air of season poised to moves across the Pennsylvania towards the weekend. For Thursday light rain is expected over the region, with mild temperatures in western Pennsylvania back up into the 50s. But with 1028mb high pressure northeast of region some cold air damming will keep temperatures in the 40s in eastern Pennsylvania. All precipitation will remain rainfall. Then some questions arise as we head towards Friday. GFS wants the trough to tap into the southern branch of the jet stream forming a strong low pressure system dumping heavy rain across the region for Friday and Saturday while the EURO and CMC take a more moderate route with just a typical frontal passage followed by colder air. But some of the ensemble models also have a similar solution to the GFS. 0z GFS solution on Saturday showed the 988mb low pressure heading straight up through the Appalachians, which is not a typical storm track. 12z Saturday CMC sort of showed a more coastal solution while the 18z GFS Saturday run showed a solution with a low pressure headed up through Michigan. In any case heavy rain does look possible for Saturday with H85s near 10C and PWATs several deviations above normal. QPF may be in excess of 1inch if the trough can tap into the southern jet. A lot of variables need to be modeled out for the late in the week system, so forecast for weekend remains pretty questionable. I sort of like the storm track solution up through the eastern Great Lakes with heavy rain up the east coast, followed by the frontal passage. After the front moves through the coldest air of the season overtakes the region with lake effect snows. 850s fall once again below 0C.

"Regional Satellite"

(Courtesy of Penn State Meteo.)

"Current Water Vapor Loop"

(Courtesy of Penn State Meteo.)

"Weekly Forecasts" (Updated 11/09)
Monday- After shortwave moves over region Sunday night, some snow shower and flurries will be about the region especially during the morning hours. Stratocumulus will be around much of Pennsylvania during the afternoon hours with snow showers towards northwestern Pennsylvania. Snow accumulations will generally be near one inch. Winds will be westerly at times gusting to 30mph, especially on the ridge tops. Highs will be very cold with them in the low 30s across the northern mountains and elevations above 2000ft. Upper 30s to low 40s can be expected in western Pennsylvania, mid 40s in central Pennsylvania, and upper 40s in eastern Pennsylvania. Downsloping winds will turn eastern Pennsylvania sunny in the afternoon towards dusk. Snow showers will end by early evening and debris clouds will float around central and western Pennsylvania. Winds may calm down Monday night making for some very cold temperatures as dewpoints may be in the low 20s. Lows may be in the 20s statewide with low 20s across northeastern Pennsylvania valleys.

Tuesday- High pressure dominates the weather over the region with only a few flurries expected over northern Pennsylvania during the morning hours. Winds will shift west-northwesterly and the stratocumulus deck should break giving way to widespread sunshine across the entire state during the afternoon. Highs will be the coldest day of the week with most areas not making it out of the 40s even with brilliant sunshine. Highs may stay in the upper 30s for all elevations above 2000ft. Clouds from the west will be approaching the western Pennsylvania region by desk as an occluded front moves into the region. Lows will be in the mid 30s across western Pennsylvania, low 30s across central Pennsylvania, and upper 20s in eastern Pennsylvania. After midnight some light sleet/rain will move in across western Pennsylvania gradually turning to all rain. Precipitation amounts will be less than .1inches.

Wednesday- Any leftover rain showers should fizzle out over the mountains while trying to move eastward. Mostly cloudy skies will dominate the entire state during much of the day Wednesday keeping a cap on temperatures rising. Also high pressure to the northeast will keep eastern Pennsylvania region cold air dammed. Highs in western Pennsylvania will be in the upper 40s, in central Pennsylvania in the upper 40s, and eastern Pennsylvania in the mid to upper 40s. A few flurries cannot be ruled out in the northeastern mountains during the day Wednesday. By Wednesday night precipitation will advect into southwestern Pennsylvania and overspread the entire state. As temperatures aloft and boundary level in parts of northeastern Pennsylvania, there could be a rain/snow mix with no snow accumulations. But by later in the night any snow should turn over to all rain. Rainfall amounts will be less than .25inches. Lows will be milder than past nights with them in the 40s statewide, except for the northeastern mountains, which will be in the 30s. Some fog may form on the ridge tops later at night as ceilings drop to 1000ft.

Thursday- Rain showers and clouds will dominate the weather over the state of Pennsylvania as a cold front approaches the region with low pressure moving up from the south advancing gulf moisture northward. Rain will generally be showers in nature with rainfall amounts less than .25inches with the heavier amounts in southwestern Pennsylvania. Highs will stay cool as high pressure remains to the north keeping temperatures statewide in the upper 40s to low 50s. Some southern areas in York, Lancaster, and Philadelphia though may squeeze out some mid 50 readings as winds begin to shift to the south. Later in the day winds may become breezy as winds aloft and increase and at times migrate to the surface. Winds should be out of the southwest and no more gusty than 30mph. Fog will be over the ridge tops as ceilings will be low during the day with a stratus deck. By evening rainfall will increase over the region and become steadier and increase to a moderate intensity. Lows will be quite mild in the low to mid 40s across the state and should not move much from daytime high temperatures. Rainfall amounts will generally be less than a half an inch during the nighttime hours. Winds will be gusting up to 25mph at times.

Friday- Low pressure will be closing in over the region with the front advancing eastward through the Ohio Valley. Temperatures aloft soar, but boundary layer temperatures remain slower to respond with highs generally in the mid 50s in the mountains and low 60s across elsewhere in the state. Rainfall may turn more convective in nature and cellular with pockets of very heavy rain. Rainfall amounts should generally be less than .5inches statewide with the heavier amounts in western Pennsylvania. Winds will again be gusty out of the southwest to at times 35mph along the Laurel Highland ride tops especially. By Friday night the front will be moving in towards western Pennsylvania with rainfall now falling in a large band and plume of moisture. This band of moisture will slowly progress over the state with rainfall amounts less than .5inches. Low temperatures will be quite mild Friday night and possibly in the low 50s in southeastern Pennsylvania with upper 40s elsewhere. A lot of questions remain with the Friday forecast, so a Saturday forecast will not be issued until the date becomes closer to the event. Stay tuned.

"Current River Ice Reports and Ski Conditions" (Updated 11/09)
Still another three weeks before ski resorts begin to open up across Pennsylvania and before the snow pack begins to build up in the snow belts. This time of year it can snow but usually the cold weather is followed by mild air quickly melting any snowfall. There is though a building snow pack across some of the mountains in New England, especially Mt. Washington where already nearly a foot of snow has fallen and not completely melted. No river ice probably for more than a month across most waterways, but water temperatures are definitely falling even into the upper 40s across some mountain lakes in the north country near Bradford; most water temperatures including Lake Erie are in the low to mid 50s. These temperatures are cold enough for hypothermia if fallen into the water during a cold night with temperatures below 40degrees, so please act responsibly when near waterways this time of year.

Ski Sawmill... 12/08
Ski Liberty... 12/05
Shawnee Mountain Ski Area... 11/29
Camelback Ski Area... 12/05
Blue Mountain Ski Area... 12/05

-Link to official reports page from NWS...Link.
-Link to local ski resort snow conditions...Link.

"Current Northeast Snow Depth and Northeast Windchills"

(Courtesy of Wunderground)

"Lake Effect Snow Conditions" (Updated 11/09)
A relatively minor, nuisance type lake effect snow event is headed towards northwestern Pennsylvania Sunday night through Monday morning. A secondary, undefined cold front will move through Sunday afternoon to reinforce the cold air. Followed behind that is H85 temperatures of nearly -10C. Looking at some of the recent data in the Midwest it appears that temperatures aloft are slightly colder that be currently progged by recent GFS model runs such as the Saturday 12z. Thickness 1000-500mb looks pretty cold enough for snow for elevations above 1000ft for Sunday night. With cooling columns overnight I would not be surprised to hear some valley snow flurries and coatings about as far east as the ridge and valley region. Flow is not too great with about a 270 westerly vector. But it looks enough for a decent fetch into the Laurels and Northwestern Mountains. Looking at CAPE levels they are about 50-100 j/kg nearest to the lakes along with some decent Omega growth for decent snowfall crystal growth. With some of the decent CAPE, some thunder snows cannot be ruled out. Downsloping winds should keep snow showers and flurries confined to mainly the mountainous terrain, but early Monday morning snowflakes may make it east of the Blue Ridge. Snow accumulations will remain pretty much of a nuisance, as ground temperatures are very warm from the recent mild spell. Favorable snow belts in southwestern Erie and Crawford Counties, Warren County, should be able to squeeze out 2-4inches of snowfall in the highest ridges with elevations above 1900ft. Valley locations should just be dealing with C-2inch type amounts. Some of the latest short models such as the SREF and NMM models show that a pretty decent band could form through Crawford, Erie, Warren, and McKean Counties as the flow is westerly. The highest accumulations should be found in this region. Lakeshore regions near Erie will stay mostly rainfall with some graupel mixed in at times maybe coating the ground. By early Monday evening flow looks to be capped off with drier air moving in with light and variable winds thanks to a 1024mb high pressure. By Tuesday it appears the region will be under sunny skies. As for lake enhanced precipitation it appears that the flow will be cutoff for the rest of the week until next weekend after a large cold front moves through the region. But details are nil to none at this time.

Snow Map for Lake Effect Accumulations from Sunday to Monday Night...


"Current Lake Erie Wind Direction and Speed"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Current Lake Erie Water Temperature"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Long Term Outlook" (Updated 11/09)
We have about two more weeks before looking into decent snow chances in the long-term section, but for now we can try to look for any possibilities as we are already past the first week of November. But I am relatively pleased with the pattern I see shaping up for mid to late November, but there are a few worries of mine too. Looks like a full pattern changing type system will be headed this way towards this weekend. GFS brings in an impressive system with heavy rains and wrap around snows. Then as cold front departs a cutoff low forms up in Canada keeping instability snow showers and flurries around for the beginning of that week along with extremely gusty winds. Mostly likely a lake effect snow outbreak potential would occur and be pretty widespread, as latest guidance wants to keep flow relatively favorable for an extended period of time. Latest EURO anomalies also favor a very deep trough over the region with quite cold temperatures keeping highs in the low to mid 30s across the north and low to mid 40s across southern Pennsylvania. Some of the GFS model runs have been extremely cold for this time period with for some reason the 0z runs being colder than the 12z runs. But it does seem a general consensus for the 850s to be near -10C as far south as the Mason-Dixon line. Now the question remains is how progressive will the pattern be. The EURO weeklies seem to want to have the colder weather stick around through the end of the month while the GFS has been back and forth with model runs between progressive troughs lifting in and out or a consistent deep eastern trough. I have yet to see solid guidance to indicate either scenario until I see evidence for a development of Greenland Blocking. The Saturday 0z GFS showed extreme below normal temperatures over the eastern United States towards the 20-beyond period with temperatures below freezing for high temperatures for most of Pennsylvania according to the 2m Charts with temperatures aloft near -15C. But then the 12z GFS Saturday run showed a progressive pattern with troughs and below normal temperatures between zonal flows with average temperatures. Looking at teleconnections the NAO is forecast to remain neutral to slightly negative, which is usually a pretty good sign for eastern below normal temperatures and the PNA will be from neutral to slightly positive favoring a ridge in the west. One major index I am looking at is the AO, which is forecast to head negative for the first time in quite a while. Now there is no definite correlation for the AO as sometimes when it heads negative the polar air is pushed towards Asia, but other times it can be pushed towards the United States. From some of the indicators I think it should bring a push of colder air to the United States towards the end of November into December. I like chances of snow potential around Thanksgiving or so. One thing that does look pretty likely is that an extended period of mild temperatures does not look likely anywhere in the near future. Overall it appears an extended period of below normal temperatures is possible through mid to late November. So for the short term each trough will reinforce the one before it before a final push of cold air heads towards the region around the 18th.

"Current NAO and PNA Predictions"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Monthly Outlook" (November)
So hard to believe October has already passed, but it has and we are now entering November. Looking at my October outlook I called for normal to slightly below normal temperatures with normal precipitation. Looking at most official climate stations most areas came in with below normal temperatures around 1-2degrees below normal. I am very pleased with my temperature forecast, but as for precipitation almost all areas were below normal in precipitation and many areas did not see rain until the last few weeks in the month. It seems the Fall season has been pretty dry in consideration to normal. Snowfall was highly above normal in all locations with snowfall totals over a foot in parts of the Poconos and areas in western Pennsylvania saw record monthly snow totals including Pittsburgh which I believe saw the 8th snowiest October on record. Looking at now November there are some better signals for the temperature and precipitation totals than there were last month. Last month there were few signals for the overall pattern.

Temperature- Temperatures look to be near normal across much of Pennsylvania, except southern Pennsylvania which should see below normal temperatures. Across other parts of Pennsylvania I cannot rule out some slightly below normal reports. It seems that the first half of the month will favor above normal temperatures, but clouds from marine layers in an easterly flow will keep temperatures closer to normal in the south. The positive temperature departure should be much higher in the north and west than in the south and east come mid month. By midmonth teleconnective signals are showing a dive-bombing AO along with a positive PNA and a negative NAO. I am thinking the second half of the month will be very cold and that pattern should continue through December. Looking like some nice Greenland Blocking will develop. EURO weeklies and GEFS indicate this pattern switch come midmonth, but the operational GFS is a bit slower to show this pattern change. So overall looking at normal to below normal temperatures statewide.

Precipitation- I think precipitation will be near normal. I am looking at a more active storm track than recent months, but still not anomalous in comparison to normal. Coastal storms look possible along with warm air advection events especially near the pattern switch come midmonth. Snowfall looks to be near normal with almost all areas likely seeing their first accumulating snow before the month’s end. Lake effect snows look possible along with some nuisance clipper type events. Looks like snowfall will be in quite a positive start in comparison to normal for parts of eastern and western Pennsylvania as we head into the start of winter.

"Temperature and Precipitation Outlooks from Climate Prediction Center for next 30 days"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

-Winter 2008-2009 forecast... Link.
-Winter 2008-2009 forecast update... Link.

"Here northeast of Harrisburg 2008-2009 winter statistics"
(Snow Stats)
Current Snow Cover- 0.00inches
Monthly Total- Trace
Seasonal Total- Trace
Winter Weather Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Warnings- 0
Heavy Snow Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Snow Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 0

(Temperature Stats)
Lowest High Temperature- 43
Lowest Low Temperature- 26
Wind Chill Advisories- 0
Wind Chill Warnings- 0

(Snow Storms Stats)
First Snow - October 29 - Trace

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65. Zachary Labe
9:06 PM GMT on November 12, 2008
TheRasberryPatch- For us snowlovers we could not be entering a more perfect pattern for this time of year. Check out that link I left in comment #59 and look at the long term hours on the GFS. Lows in the mid teens for Harrisburg!!!
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
64. Zachary Labe
9:04 PM GMT on November 12, 2008
PalmyraPunishment- Thankyou! Lol, always look foward to your posts. Ugh, I know, this Christmas stuff is out of control! Yesterday you would have never known it was not December as temperatures were cold and Christmas is all anyone talks about. Until after Thanksgiving is when the holiday season should officially begin. So far this Autumn season really has been anything but typical with 18inches of snow in some areas before Halloween with flurries elsewhere. Then a freak early November warm spell with temperatures in the 70s and lows in the 60s!!! And now this predicted extreme cold spell with the crazy computer models forecasting record type low temperatures. I do not feel too sound on a coastal storm, but I do feel somewhat confident many areas will see snowfall from a clipper sometime during the time period. There will be lots of reinforcing cold shots to watch out for with clippers attached. Last year November 18 was our first accumulating snow here in Harrisburg with 1inch here so we are entering that time of year and the sun is definitely not as strong as it was even just a week ago. All I can say is lets hope that by the end of the winter, you do not have a blog out titled "Lower Susquehanna Valley- Where storms come to die" lol. Thanks for stopping by!
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
63. PalmyraPunishment
8:55 PM GMT on November 12, 2008
*sniff sniff* did somebody say "snowstorm"?

Blizz! Man, first off - just read your last comment to dragonfly -- the Christmas decorations are INSANE! It's November 12th and I just saw people stringing up their lights last night when out for a stroll. Insanity. Halloween (granted, i don't celebrate halloween) just ended -- Election day was last week, Thanksgiving is still 15 days away and yet everybody (including walmart, ugh) is getting ready for Christmas. C'mon people.

okay -- onto other matters. Just read on a few specific sites (your blog, and crapuweather) in regards to the potential weather event in the coming future. gotta tell ya... I have a gut feeling here.

As I stated on wishcasting.com's forums - it's paramout for everybody to hone in on the storm and whether it's going to effect us or not before we begin talking precipitation type and go busting out MS Paint and making refrigerator keepers. Nonetheless -- I have a gut feeling that we may be in for a little surprise. Something our region hasn't had in quite a while.

Of course I'll never allow a gut feeling to get in the way of prediction -- that's why I have folks like you and Sulli here to guide me. However there's just something building here -- I'm hoping my dreams aren't dashed again.

Keep up the good work, Blizz. Always informative, never hopes-and-dreams based!

- The Punisher
Member Since: January 31, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 2250
62. TheRasberryPatch
8:48 PM GMT on November 12, 2008
Hey Blizz - i noticed the long range for next week we are looking at high temps in the low 40's. that is cold for November. I would suspect that is pretty normal for Jan and Feb temps. and a snowstorm. Wow. we don't see much snow here until sometime in December usually. if that.
dragonfly - our leaves all came down by last weekend. not much left in the trees except my pear trees and willow and of course the pin oak.
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6259
61. Zachary Labe
8:48 PM GMT on November 12, 2008
dragonflyF15- Some people even seem to think it is already December 25 out there with all of their Christmas Decorations, lol. But anyways the leaves are just about 7/8 gone here in my area, only a few late oaks left with some yellow. Landscape has been pretty winterlike with a definite winter sky; overcast stratus deck and even a few flurries the other day with highs in the 40s. Thanks for stopping by!
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
60. dragonflyF15
8:42 PM GMT on November 12, 2008
Snowstorms? >shudder< It's that time of the year again....

Fall is trying to hang on around here as the leaves are not all down on the Maples and Oaks just yet. I gather after this weekend below freezing temperatures that will change and I will be out working on clean up next week!

The pics from the Conservation area remind me of around here. A few weeks back I got out for a hike and could have kicked myself for leaving the camera in my other truck. I love how the sugar maples bark just seems to pop out at you when the leaves light up in yellow/peach/orange.

Member Since: February 13, 2006 Posts: 194 Comments: 2152
59. Zachary Labe
8:32 PM GMT on November 12, 2008
TheDawnAwakening- O well. Maybe this year will be even better.


***Update on next week snowstorm potential...

I do not want too get excited, but the 12z GFS is back on with Miller B coastal storm showing a clipper coming in with the third shortwave and developing right off of New Jersey throwing a moderate accumulation snowfall from the Lancaster-Allentown-NJ/PA border on westward. Boundary layer temperatures are marginal in the eastern areas, but still probably cold enough for snow. Temperatures aloft in the 850s are near -7C and 1000-500mb near 526 thickness. Also 12z EURO I have heard has some clipper type/coastal storm around that time period with snow as far south as Virginia. So this is just an update on the model runs and by no means am I forecasting a snowstorm. In any case I think the potential is rising and we are getting closer to the time period for the models to catch on to at least there being a storm. Details always come later. By the way found this really awesome link, which takes the GFS model runs for each hour and provides details for your specific location. Just enter your local weather observation weather station code at the top. Link. The meteogram from the link is for Harrisburg, PA just to note. The thing is with the miller B scenario is everything has to fall to place perfectly to get cyclogenesis for the clipper off the coast. So for now I like the scenerio of a moderate clipper moving over the region late next week with maybe some snow accumulations. A lot of questions remain.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
58. TheDawnAwakening
8:13 PM GMT on November 12, 2008
I must have deleted them or something. The pictures are no longer in my blog and I don't have them in a folder. Maybe in the camera still, however I find that very unlikely.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 246 Comments: 3947
57. Zachary Labe
8:08 PM GMT on November 12, 2008
TheDawnAwakening- When you find it get a link. I would like to see the pictures.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
56. TheDawnAwakening
1:20 PM GMT on November 12, 2008
I will go do that Blizzard. The Blizzard of 2005 was a great example of that as well.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 246 Comments: 3947
55. Zachary Labe
11:21 AM GMT on November 12, 2008
weathergeek5- Miller A is a coastal storm that comes from moisture in the Gulf and heads up the coast starting to strengthen off of Hatteris. Miller B takes a weak clipper system and bombs it off the coast. The blizzard of 2006 was a good example of a miller B.

TheRasberryPatch- I guess your right about the factories. Baltimore does not seem to be really helping with the situation either.

Spetrm- No snow this week, but starting later Sunday it looks like the snow machine will turn on in the Great Lakes with a nice 300 vector. Looking like a pretty decent outbreak with some good snows in the northwest and Laurels. Then late next week a clipper will try to move through the region and will be a potential little snow maker. But for this week no snow, just a bit of heavier rain for Friday and Saturday, though I think the GFS and HPC are overestimating QPF.

TheDawnAwakening- Last year you had a pretty decent sized spell of ocean effect snow. You should go dig that blog up with the pictures.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
54. TheDawnAwakening
3:16 AM GMT on November 12, 2008
Ocean Effect Snows are rare here on cape cod, MA because of the wind direction needs to be precisely north to south. Otherwise the snows occur just off the coast of where I live. My father told me of a story back when I was younger about a clipper type low that after the storm moved offshore ocean effect snows occurred and gave us 2 feet of light fluffy snow because the snow to liquid ratio is extremely high. Arctic temperatures normally need to occur to counteract the very warm ocean temperatures relatively speaking. The northerly winds are very rare simply because on the coast and the ocean winds never stay the same direction for a long period of time. They do occur once or twice a year when the NWS issues winter storm watches or warnings for 2 - 4" of snow, its happened once or twice before but they normally end up as busts. Maybe we can get a break this month and get the extreme temperature difference and we have a lot more moisture involved. However we need the northerly wind and Arctic air.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 246 Comments: 3947
53. Spetrm
2:20 AM GMT on November 12, 2008
Hey Bliz, I see your forecasting snow. This week in PA. I really don't see it. Maybe in higher elevations just a trace not even sticking but thats about it.

The main reason I say this is the 540 Line dosent even really make it past lake erie...

Thats my only thought on it though. What do you think?
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 409 Comments: 9857
52. TheRasberryPatch
2:17 AM GMT on November 12, 2008
one thing Blizz - it is not all about the Susquehanna polluting the Chesapeake. There are many factors. development along the Chesapeake is a big factor. farms along the many tributaries of the Chesapeake, especially on the eastern shore. oyster population. they said back in the past the oysters were so thick you could walk on water and that it took a day for the oysters to clean the Chesapeake. not anymore. speaking of oysters -Mmmmmmmm i need to take a road trip to Baltimore and get some. I will eat half a bushel over the Thanksgiving weekend.
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6259
51. weathergeek5
2:12 AM GMT on November 12, 2008
Ok whats the difference between a Miller type A and B nor'easter?
Member Since: December 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1744
TheRasberryPatch- Ocean effect snow is very particulary on how it forms, also the salt content of the ocean seems to limit moisture. The Chesapeake on occasion produces bay effect snow but it does not usually amount to anything. I always wonder that if all of the pollution in the Chesapeake makes it take a lower temperature to freeze over such as salt water freezes at a lower temperature than pure water. We can all thank the farms along the mighty Susquehanna for the lovely pollution downstream.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
wow, Blizz temps in the teens by the end of the month? thats cold even for January.
as for 1950, we all realize that there was a tiny ice age going on back then. that is a good storm.
ocean effect - you don't hear about that one too often. what is surprising is you don't hear about the chesapeake having any effect on the eastern shore. not at all like the great lakes. speaking of the chesapeake - it has been a long time since it has froze over. probably back in the mid to late 70's. it used to be almost every year occurence, i think. not any more
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6259
Update on long term weather pattern...

We have quite an interesting weather pattern coming up next week and the week after. A pattern changer type system is headed our way right now across the Mississippi Valley with rain and some sleet and snow to the north of the low. This system will bring in a strong cold front dropping temperatures for Sunday into mid next week. Temperatures will only be a few degrees colder than what they have been with this past trough, but the flow is looking a bit more favorable for Pennsylvania lake effect snows. At first the flow was looking more southwesterly, but now the flow is looking more west-northwesterly bringing lake effect snow showers across all of Pennsylvania. Looking pretty unsettled for the first half of next week with high temperatures in the low 40s in the south and low 30s across the north. Another reinforcing cold front moves in for mid next week bringing the coldest air of the season with H85s below -10C across all of Pennsylvania. Then the weather starts to get interesting. A weak clipper type system wants to move across the Great Lakes and swing around the trough. Snow showers should be pretty widespread. But a few scenarios are looking possible. Latest GEFS continues to show a miller B type situation with the clipper system strengthening into a coastal low. Some of the other models such as the OP GFS show a disturbance forming in the Gulf and heading up the coastline but for the most part it has been progged to stay off the coast as the trough is generally positively tilted. But as with recent past troughs seem to want to turn negative. Also with this setup the pattern does not look overally supressed as NAO is neutral to slightly negative. Now the jet will be quite amplified with a positive PNA and a negative EPO so the west will have a decent ridge. After the end of next week the pattern looks to stay cold with some of the operational GFS runs, operational EURO runs, and EURO ensembles showing even colder air to penetrate next weekend with temperatures near record lows. But that remains to be seen as GFS has been back and forth, but looking upstream wise across other areas of the world it seems that a deep trough over the east is possible continuing towards Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving I am expecting a slight warmup as the pattern will need to reload. Extended cold patterns this early in the season are just very rare, but come the end of the first week in December I think the arctic air settles back in for a very cold and maybe snowy December.

Here are a few things to keep in mind...
-Quite rare to get major snowstorms in November
-(-)NAO is not quite very favorable for what the models are showing
-PNA will be highly positive
-Air will be over Arctic origin and not Pacific
-Blocking pattern looks a bit questionable
-Alaska has been suffering some extremely cold weather in past three weeks
-Pattern will need to reload so maybe some very warm weather for end of month?
-First negative AO in quite a time
-Major lake effects snows will occur none-the-less even if we do not see a coastal storm
-Warm air advection light snows or light clipper snows are very possible
-Cold weather could challenge a few records if what the EURO shows is true
-Temperatures will be January-like
-All areas of PA will see their first snow flakes if not already seen
-Pattern has been favorable towards coastal lows this Fall

So overall a very below normal temperature pattern is upon us from this weekend until Thanksgiving possibly beyond. Chances of snows are looking better than usual for this time of year. Still many questions remain so do not "live" and "die" by each model run (especially the GFS, lol). EURO weeklies have been very accurate this year and have called for this cold weather pattern back in October, and latest weeklies are favoring Arctic Outbreak in early December. So winter is definitely upon us. Stay tuned and have a nice evening!!!
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
shoreacres- Evenings are always so nice when the temperature drops from radiational cooling after a warm day. And I am sure down there in Texas you are getting tired of the warmth and humidity. Thanks for stopping in!
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
WhooHooo! I am sitting in front of my north facing window and JUST NOW the temp dropped by about l0 degrees, and my windchimes are beginning to stir. It was so hot and sticky today - they were muttering about severe weather, but if it's cooling already, ahead of the front - maybe not so bad.

Hope you're having a good evening!
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TheDawnAwakening- Ocean effect snow is very interesting, but pretty darn rare and needs that perfect wind vector. Lake effect precipitation has always fascinated me, especially with other parts of the world other than in the Great Lakes, such as in the Great Salt Lake, Chesapeake Bay, Long Island Sound, Japanese Mountains, and many other regions. As for late this week into the weekend I think once again the GFS is overestimating QPF as it has been doing for almost the last six months. I am not sure why, but it has been having some major convective feedback problems.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
Hopefully Blizzard, that would be way cooler then a monster snowstorm and here's why:
the only time I was able to witness an ocean effect snowstorm over 4" was a long time ago roughly at least 4 years ago, or longer. An ocean effect snow event is way cooler because we have already seen a monster blizzard back in 2005.

Now as for the storm the GFS has been showing some 10 to 14 days from now is roughly fantasy. The 18z GFS normally an unreliable run because of past experience shows roughly no cold air south of the US/Canada border and a rather mild Gulf of Mexico storm riding up the coast with rain.

Now the main storm I will be focusing on now is the storm this late week or cold front coming through. The 18z NAM and GFS shows a storm developing on a front to the west or east of the Apps. Only time will tell but the HPC has Cape Cod, MA area in the 1.5" to 2" of rain range. I will wait until tomorrow to focus on any potential details.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 246 Comments: 3947
TheDawnAwakening- Maybe you will get lucky enough for a wind vector for ocean effect snow during this time period.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
That sounds good Blizzard. Lets hope this one falls through.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 246 Comments: 3947
***Sometime this evening I plan on putting out a comment on the update for the upcoming pattern next week and how potentially there could be a major storm chance around the 19-21 and I will talk about those variables. This upcoming progged pattern could not look any better for someone who wants snow in November.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
cchamp6- Lol, that place is just such an interesting place. Like a our own little Arctic circle here in the States.

lawntonlookers- I have now a member there and they do offer trips there during the winter for daily and nightly stays. Maybe one of these winters. It is a pretty long drive to get up there.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
Quoting cchamp6:
If you guys want winter. Just head up to Mt. Washington. Lovely weather there today. Link


It does look cold Blizz should take a trip up there in the winter.
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If you guys want winter. Just head up to Mt. Washington. Lovely weather there today. Link
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weathergeek5- I do too. I would also like a snowy December which looks likely. I love the white ground around the holidays.

TheRasberryPatch- Lol, I haven't even been posting about some of the extremes the models have with lows in the TEENS. Crazy! Back in 1950 we had a big November snowstorm here in Harrisburg with over 15inches. But you are right large November snowstorms are rare and far in between. But there year there is a heightened chance for seeing at least a little clipper snow.

lawntonlookers- Yea it is way to early for Thanksgiving forecasts, but still most models in the long term have a general cold consensus.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
Good morning Blizz. I will wait for next week to see what the short term forecast is for Thanksgiving.
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come on guys, it is too early in the season for a big snow storm. after Thanksgiving i go out and get a tree from a farm and put up my lights sometime in the beginning of Dec. i can't much of that if we have snow on the ground. i don't mind some snow, but hopefully, it will fade away until all my lights are done. : )
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6259
OK. I know it is early in the season. I just want a big storm.
Member Since: December 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1744
sullivanweather- This is quite an exciting weather pattern for late November. I keep saying the long term GFS does a fairly decent job on picking up on overall patterns in the scheme of things. GFS keeps a storm on this morning's model runs for late next week. Could be quite interesting.

weathergeek5- It will definitely be cold, but snow chances in November are always questionable especially for Delaware. But I do think there will be some type of storm system in this pattern. But one thing I think you can count on is a least light snow showers during the instability after each front moves through.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
So should I get excited with this or hold my breath on the snow possibilities for the end of November? I see that it will be cold for the end of the month
Member Since: December 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1744
Good evening, Blizz!

Wow! Has this not been exactly the pattern we described as happening a couple weeks ago??

Chances for snow look great beginning next Thursday through Thanksgiving weekend, from the looks of things.
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TheDawnAwakening- I saw some nickel and penny sized hail this summer up in Oswego, which was pretty interesting. Thundersnows happen usually once a year around here typically with a lake effect or arctic front squall or the rare blinding nor'easter.

Mason803- Winds are still up here north of Harrisburg gusting to 11mph. But they usually decouple late and lows could be very chilly. Thanks for stopping by!

philliesrock- Oh I have not missed them. I have very pleased with what I see. Tonight I did my ensemble model run throughs for the GFS and CMC and am pretty impressive. Looks like a general consensus. 18z GFS was nutzo with -20C 850s into northern Missouri. Also looks like a few chances of snow around Thanksgiving and possibly a miller b type event late next week at least according to the long term GFS>
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
Hey Blizz, did you see the past few runs of the GFS and their ensembles? There's an intense +PNA and east coast trough.

Thanksgiving week snowstorm?
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Hey Blizzard92 I agree with ya. If those winds stay calm watch out! I've got 31 w/ a dew of 18 @7:15 here in orrtanna (western adams county)
Member Since: November 5, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1139
I would take thundersnow over severe weather now that I have witnessed pea sized hail this year. The only thing I have never been in is a tornado.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 246 Comments: 3947
TheRasberryPatch- If we can get those winds to decouple it will be an extremely cold night. Dewpoint here is exactly 20degrees.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
high today was 44 and with a brisk wind, it was very chilly. temps were pretty steady for the day with a low of 40
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6259
TheDawnAwakening- Storm coming this weekend I sort of doubt it with severe weather. Winds aloft are pretty high, but the inversion does not seem to want to favoring mixing. More or less just some heavy rain with embedded convection. I am turned my tables from really looking at severe weather chances as with this cold pattern we are definitely cold enough for several chances of snow starting next week. Highs will be late December like or even colder in some spots. Pretty impressive stuff.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
It has just begun to get colder outside after a few days of 55 to 60F temperatures making it feel like it was late Spring. Quite enjoyable. A few showers Saturday night however nothing on the major or exciting side. With one of these troughs of very cold air come down and we have surface temperatures in the mid 50s to lower 60s we could get some severe weather. However that doesn't seem likely. haven't been on the internet or looking at the models for a few days so I don't know what the storm is going to do.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 246 Comments: 3947
***What a cold day outside with a high here of 45degrees along with a brief morning snow shower.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
Spetrm- This time of year always reminds me of April when the weather is back and forth between seasons. November is a tough month to either have a warm pattern or a cold pattern, usually it is a mix of both.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
OOOO, well. I still stick my synopsis on that low this week. But ya your right about that though. But its kind of climatic this time of year. Maybe a little earlier than normal but still.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 409 Comments: 9857
Spetrm- I mean the overall troughing pattern the week after this coming week around the 18th or so. GFS is talking some big time cold along with EURO. I was looking at some of the bufkit data from the 12z GFS for the long term pattern and it prints out highs in the upper 20s on the 2m charts towards Thanksgivinig.

weathergeek5- Yep!
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
Thanks for the explanation. I know Dr. Gray does that for his hurricane forecasts too. I just never knew why they do it. You learn something everyday!! I like that
Member Since: December 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1744
Well if were talking about this same system forming on tuesday definatly a classic area for cyclogenesis. Quick formation due to pos vort cuasing upper level divergance. The big thing though is what you said about the rush of cold air. On this 48 hour thickness outlook from NOGAPS there definatly is a large amount of CAA south of the Grt LKS.

(Ok hmmm won't work, I think its becuase its a https site. But trust me...)



Whats unique though is the low is bringing a surge of warm gulf air increasing instability ahead of the warm front.

I wouldnt be suprised for a lot of embedded TS mixed in stratus in the warm front.

Then as you probally figured lake effect snow when that low makes if farthern north due to NW wnd west of the low over the lks. Thats a given. And from what I see in the microwave shot above of lake erie the lakes are still in the 50s so could be a large amount of snow. Definatly interesting stuff eh?
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 409 Comments: 9857
Hmm Blizz you talking about this one at 48 hours out? Link Or you looking far out on the long wave patter? If were talking about 48 hours, give me a min. I really not paying attention.
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 409 Comments: 9857
TheRasberryPatch- Lol, I hate seeing rain at 18degrees. To me it is just wasted cold air when it could be snowing if only aloft it was cold enough. But yes I do admit it is a pretty interesting concept with rain at 18degrees. Also when I look back on that -21 figure it does amaze me and I am sure surrounding suburbs were even colder as that -21 reading was taken at Middletown.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112

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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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