Cold air by end of week...

By: Zachary Labe , 6:33 PM GMT on December 01, 2008

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"Afternoon Thoughts" (Updated 12/01)
Welcome to the start of meteorological winter!!! While for many areas it seems like winter has been knocking at hour door for weeks, it is now the official start of the meteorological winter. All areas have seen a trace of snow across Pennsylvania so far and three quarters of the state has seen accumulating snow. Many areas in the snowbelts have seen record amounts of snowfall this season so far. Many ski resorts have opened up weeks earlier than normal. And for snow lovers we have what really could not be a better weather pattern for early season snows. We have plenty of cold air with a nearly stationary trough that has been over the east coast for several months now thanks to a relatively negative NAO through summer and then fall. I feel very confident on my winter outlook, which I issued back in the beginning of September over Labor Day Weekend. I then provided an update several weeks later on any changes. I was planning on issuing a third update for the start of the meteorological winter, but it just does not seem necessary. For links for my winter forecast see below towards the bottom of this blog entry. It is also hard to believe the holidays are just around the corner and that the start of the shopping spree has already begun. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Only 25 more days to Christmas, lol. So I know people will be asking so are we going to have a white Christmas. While almost impossible to officially tell, it would appear odds are much higher for a white Christmas across the state as a whole than they have been in the last year. Back in 2002 was our last widespread white Christmas across the state with nearly a foot of snow in some areas including here in Harrisburg. That storm was part of the 2002-2003 winter, which would not stop. So lets take a quick trip on the memory lane train and take a look at some major winter storms that have impacted much of Pennsylvania. Recent memory suggests a snow drought and that global warming is taking all our snow. But is that really the case, in my opinion most likely not. I was looking back through some historical data for here in Harrisburg, and found that we go through periods of very snowy winters and dry winters have so 10 years. One of my favorite weather books in my weather library, “The Pennsylvania Weather Book,” by Ben Gelber takes a historical recap of all the major weather events in Pennsylvania’s storm history up through 2002. Looking back at historical data this was a very cold period in the early 20th century with the coldest winter on record for Harrisburg in 1904-1905 with an average temperature of 23.1degrees. Also in those winters in the early 20th century we had out coldest summer in 1903. Then jumping a few decades we came upon our warmest winter ever, which was in 1931-1932 with a toasty average temperature of 40.2degrees. Later in the 30s we had our least snowy season on record in 1937-1938 with only 8.8inches of snow. After the 30s we hit a several decade period of average winters until the 60s when the next trend of cold winters entered the picture with the snowiest winter on record in 1960-1961 with 81.3inches of snow at Middletown. Areas in the suburbs saw nearly 100inches of snow. The winters in the 60s were all relatively brutal. We then hit an unsnowy period in the 70s until 1978 when a severe snowstorm struck the east coast starting a new snow period into the 1980s with the heaviest snowstorm in a 24hour period hit Harrisburg in 1983 with 25inches also breaking other records such as 13inches of snow in a 6hour period in Harrisburg and 5inches of snow in one hour. Pretty impressive. The later 80s hit a quiet period in the snow and cold department before we got pounded in the winters of 92-93 and 95-96 with some major east coast snowstorm. The later in the 90s the strong El Nino made for a few very warm winters until 02-03 with nearly 65inches of snow in Harrisburg. After that winter well things in the snow department have been relatively quiet. So in Irving Berlin’s “I am dreaming of a white Christmas just like the ones I used to know,” that is not really the case. We have selective memories and for many of those born during the 60s they remember their childhood full of snow thanks to those snowy winters. All in all it appears we just go through trends and I do not see any information that would lead to me to think otherwise that our winters are becoming less snowy.

"Current Surface Plot"

(Courtesy of HPC)

"Regional Radar"

(Courtesy of Wunderground)

"Regional Advisories"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Forecast Discussion" (Updated 12/01)
A relatively unsettled, but yet quiet weather pattern is in store for this week as a series of troughs move through the Northeast. A deep trough moves into the region for Tuesday, but the coldest of the air stays to our west across the Midwest and Ohio Valley. H85s dip to near -7C across the state on Tuesday with surface temperatures several degrees below normal. The disturbance rotating along the trough will lift out to sea and a ridge builds in ending the lake effect snow, which should only deliver marginal snow amounts. 1000-500mb thicknesses rise above 540 across all of the state for Wednesday ahead of a very strong cold front along with an Alberta Clipper system. By Wednesday night the front will work across the region with a wind shift to the 300 trajectory and H85s near -15C across Pennsylvania for Friday. But for Thursday the front will bring a rain changing to snow scenario for western Pennsylvania and could deliver several inches of snowfall for areas even near Pittsburgh. For eastern Pennsylvania it will generally be rain. By Friday coldest air of the season hits with temperatures aloft several deviations below normal and the wind trajectory will shift to the 280degree delivering the northwest snow belts some decent accumulations. Saturday the trough remains parked over the region with 1000-500 critical thicknesses near 516. Lake effect snow will be ongoing across the state before another disturbance moves into the region for Saturday night into Sunday, which could deliver a widespread light accumulation across the entire state. Some models such as the GEFS and EURO want to develop a miller B coastal storm from the clipper, so that will be something to monitor in the coming week. Even colder air moves behind the clipper system with critical thickness near 504, which would deliver very cold temperatures. Overall the pattern is very favorable for clipper systems and cold fronts in the coming week.

"Regional Satellite"

(Courtesy of Penn State Meteo.)

"Current Water Vapor Loop"

(Courtesy of Penn State Meteo.)

"Weekly Forecasts" (Updated 12/01)
Tuesday- Cloudy skies will persist across the state with a large stratocumulus deck across much of the state. The trough will be over the region with a disturbance enhancing lake effect snows for the western half of the state. Snow accumulations will generally be relatively light and a nuisance compared to what they have seen so far this season. Snow amounts in the western facing slopes in the Laurel Highlands will be near 1-3inches especially in parts of Cambria County. Snow amounts will be slightly higher in the northwest particularly in Erie with amounts in Crawford and Erie County near 3-5inches possibly up to 6inches along the higher hills of southeastern Erie County. Across central Pennsylvania and eastern Pennsylvania conditions will be cloudy with a few flurries at times. Temperatures will be near 5degrees below normal with highs near freezing across the west and highs in the low 40s across the east. Tuesday night will see partial clearing later in the evening with winds calming creating relatively decent radiational cooling conditions for lows in the upper teens across the north to mid 20s across the south.

Wednesday- Sunshine will prevail across much of the state as high pressure remains in control behind the departing trough. A few flurries cannot be ruled out in the morning across the northwest, but skies will be all sunshine statewide by afternoon. Winds will be out of the southwest up to 10mph ahead of the next system. Clouds will approach western Pennsylvania by afternoon ahead of next front. Highs will be a few degrees below normal across the north to seasonable temperatures across the south. Highs will be in the 40s statewide to maybe 50degrees in the metro areas of York, Lancaster, and Philadelphia. Overnight rain showers will approach western Pennsylvania with rainfall generally less than .1inch. Overnight precipitation will advance eastward into central Pennsylvania. Colder air will rush in backside of the frontal precipitation causing a rain changing to snow solution for western Pennsylvania. Snowfall amounts will generally be a coating to an inch or two. Lows will be relatively mild in comparison to what they have been with lows in the 30s statewide with a few mid 20s across the northeast mountains and Poconos.

Thursday- Scattered rain and snow showers will be across much of the state for the first half of Thursday as a cold front and clipper system moves through the state. Rainfall amounts will generally be less than a tenth of an inch and snowfall amounts will generally be an inch or less across western Pennsylvania. Temperatures will be several degrees below normal with highs falling from the low 40s into the low 30s by afternoon as arctic air approaches the region. Clouds will be widespread over the state. As the flow turns more northwesterly the lake effect machine will start up with orographic lift aiding in snow showers across the Laurel Highlands. Snow accumulations will generally be light and only a few inches. Thursday night the lake effect machine will really kick into gear with a northwest flow giving the western half of the state a favorable flow for widespread activity. Snow accumulations will be light to moderate with amounts in the snowbelts from 3-5inches. Lows Thursday night will be chilly and in the mid 20s for much of the state with some possible teens across the northern mountains near Wellsboro and Mansfield.

Friday- Snow showers will be widespread across western Pennsylvania for much of the day until late afternoon. Downsloping winds will bring brilliant sunshine to eastern Pennsylvania with a stratocumulus deck across western Pennsylvania. Additional snow accumulations will generally be light with amounts from 1-4inches of snowfall. Temperatures will be well below normal as the trough moves over the region with the coldest air of the season. Highs will be likely below freezing statewide even possibly into Philadelphia. Northwestern Pennsylvania near the Pennsylvania Icebox of Bradford may see highs in the upper teens thanks to a snow pack near a foot. Friday night will see very cold conditions as skies clear from east to west thanks to dwindling lake effect snows. Winds will also calm down from the northwest giving way to some radiational cooling for some of the coldest temperatures of the season. Dewpoints are progged to be in the single digits as far south as Harrisburg so temperatures will likely fall into the teens statewide with some single digits across the north. These lows are near 20degrees below normal.

"Current River Ice Reports and Ski Conditions" (Updated 12/01)
Well what a wonderful start to the ski season for much of the Northeast and especially some parts of the Pennsylvania snowbelts in the Laurel Highlands such as Shawnee Ski Area and Blue Knob. Snowfall has been very heavy over parts of the Laurel Highlands with parts of Somerset County, Erie County, Crawford County, and Warren County seeing nearly 40inches of snow already this winter. Other locations across the northeastern mountains have seen nearly one and a half feet of snow this season with some locations near two feet thanks to a few heavy early season snowstorms. Also with this very cold weather snow machines were able to make snow nearly every night throughout the end of November. Ski Rountop, which is just south of Harrisburg has opened the earliest it has in several or more years with even some fresh snow to boot along with the snow machines. Many other areas have had record early openers for the season. Parts of northern New England have had ski resorts operating since October thanks to the early season October 28 snowstorm. As for the ski resorts, most locations do not have all their runs open and snow tubing has yet to open for most locations. Looking at just the snowfall forecast for this week there are several opportunities for snow including lake effect in the beginning of the week, which should deliver some areas up to 3-5inches of snow in the northeast snow belts and near 1-2inches in the Laurel Highlands. A front passage on Thursday will also bring a C-2inches of snow for western Pennsylvania, and by the end of the week temperatures will be very cold and below normal by nearly 20degrees favoring some more lake effect in the snow belts. Towards the weekend a clipper system is progged to come down over the region with possibly a widespread light snow and looking ahead to next week the pattern is very stormy. Overall things could not look better for the ski season here in Pennsylvania. As for ice reports they still remain relatively slim, but many smaller farm ponds have started to ice up. Lake Erie water temperatures have also been rapidly declining, which should result in lake ice by mid December. Many of the other local streams have seen ice accretion too, making for a very early start. All of the ice statewide is not thick enough to walk on, so take precautions when around water surfaces this time of year.

-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 12/01)
A few periods of lake effect snows are possible this week. Starting Monday a deep trough will move into the region along with a shortwave rotating around the trough bringing and enhancing orographic and lake effect snows across western Pennsylvania. With snow ratios being relatively low near 10:1 and marginal boundary layer temperatures right around freezing, accumulations do not look to be too widespread more or less right around 1-4inches. Some more enhanced lake effect snow could occur in the northwest snow belts with 3-5inches possible near the Lake Shore near Erie. Overnight Monday night snow showers will become a little more widespread with a few snow showers making their way as far east as the central Ridge and Valley region. Ridge will build into the region by late Tuesday evening bringing an end to the snow showers across western Pennsylvania. It does not appear any organized banding will occur excluding the northwest snow belts near Erie. Later in the week a clipper system and nearly an arctic front moves through for Thursday with a rain changing to snow scenario. Flow turns northwesterly by late Thursday into Friday with some more organized lake effect snow banding into parts of the region. Snow accumulations will be moderate in the snow belts up to 6inches in some areas. But with high inversion and high shear values I do not expect a major lake effect snow outbreak by any means. Lake effect machine shuts off by Saturday as a ripple in the jet stream moves in with a clipper system then will enhance the flow back northwesterly bringing widespread lake effects to the western snow belts in the Laurel Highlands and northwest mountains. Heights drop to thicknesses near 525 and H85s near -15C bringing some very extreme instability to the region. Lake effect snow outbreak could be relatively significant, but that is still a long way out by nearly seven days. Overall appears that the lake effect machine will be pretty active throughout this coming week, but nothing should be overly significant and more advisory type amounts possibly up to 6inches in some locations.


"Current Lake Erie Wind Direction and Speed"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Current Lake Erie Water Temperature"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Long Term Outlook" (Updated 12/01)
The upcoming pattern seems very volatile in terms of placement of the core of cold weather and tracks of major storms. One thing for sure though is there will be well below normal temperatures across parts of the CONUS and there will be a very active northern jet stream, which will favor big time storm development and even some decent warm air advection type snows. In the shorter term overall pattern it appears December clippers will be quite common. The difference in November clippers and December clippers is that December clippers tend to produce more widespread light snow accumulations thanks to the colder temperatures and higher snow ratios. GFS is very optimistic on a very cold pattern through the 10th of the month with temperatures aloft near -15C for most of the period and a very active clipper type pattern any of which could form a Norlun trough or a miller B type scenario and throw snow back over the east coast as it redevelops across the coast. 500mb pattern remains high amplified with quite a negative NAO, but the PNA is also headed negative from it’s current positive state. I would not be surprised if the GFS ensembles back off on the highly negative PNA in the coming days. After the 10th of the month both EURO ensembles/weeklies and GFS ensembles indicate the cold centered over the Great Lakes and Northeast. But the operational runs favor more of the core of cold air across the Midwest with a weak western Atlantic ridge keeping temperatures only slightly below normal over the east instead of well below normal. GFS though has been consistent with an arctic blast towards mid month with H85s as low as -30C across Minnesota on some of the runs. Some of the GFS runs even showed -20C 850s across the Northeast and through Pennsylvania. That would make for temperatures nearly 20-25degrees below normal. In any case those forecasts have been relatively inconsistent in terms of placement of the artic high. The overall pattern in my opinion though looks highly storm with cold blasts in between some slight warm ups. I do not see any extended period of warmth in the foreseeable future.

"Current NAO and PNA Predictions"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Monthly Outlook" (December)
So here it is the first month of the meteorological winter, and quite hard to believe at that. It feels like we were just watching severe thunderstorms role across the heartland and hurricanes roar across the Gulf of Mexico. But now it is our season for extreme weather; winter storms. Looking back at my November Outlook I called for normal to below normal temperatures with normal precipitation. That is very close to what actually happened and with the temperature department I nailed it spot on. Temperatures for the first half of the month were well above normal and by the second week temperatures plummeted to the coldest temperatures we had seen in November in quite a long time. Temperatures average below normal by a few degrees, but it could have been an even bigger anomaly if we had not seen that very warm outbreak in the beginning of the month. Snowfall I called for normal snowfall to above normal snowfall, and many areas across Pennsylvania are running 150% above normal in the snowfall department. The only area really lacking snowfall is in the Lehigh Valley where they have only seen a few coatings, even the Philadelphia snow season is starting off with a bang. Some areas in the snow belts near Erie have seen some of the snowiest weather in November in decades. Precipitation as a whole though was slightly below normal to normal in most areas. It seems we have been caught in a somewhat drier pattern lately in comparison to other years, still though we are far from a drought. So for December here is what I see…

Temperature- For quite a few months as far back as August, December was looking to be an extremely cold weather in comparison to normal. Now as we approach December, very little has changed in that regard. I am forecasting below normal temperatures across the entire state. Now the anomaly will not be extreme, but it will be enough for a couple of degrees below normal as a whole. I am expecting very cold weather for first week or two of December, before a more rollercoaster type pattern with cold followed by warmth. Then for the end of the month I think the coldest air moves over the Northeast with the coldest weather possibly of the whole winter. There are teleconnective signs of a decent negative NAO that would favor deep troughs over the east coast. But there are a few discrepancies with the models with some favoring a western Atlantic ridge and warm air up the east coast. But I still think the models think we are in a stronger La Nina pattern than we actually are. Just recently the climate CFS model which was forecasting a strong La Nina again, has now backed up to a weak La Nina which is more reasonable. I must also mention that now the CFS shows below normal temperatures across Pennsylvania for every meteorological winter month. All in all I think December will favor below normal temperatures with even some more favorable blocking scenarios towards mid to late month.

Precipitation- Lately we seem to have been in a drier spell, so I find it hard to forecast above normal precipitation. So my forecast calls for normal precipitation with above normal snowfall. Looking at all of the global models, the ECMWF, GGEM, and GFS they all forecast a much stormier weather pattern starting the second week in December and lasting for quite a while. The northern jet seems to become the focal point of all the weather with storms even coming into the northern US Pacific coast and traveling transient across the nation and out to sea in the Middle Atlantic. At times there may be phasing between the northern and southern jet, which could lead to some strong winter storms across the central and eastern US. I also believe the pattern favors many Alberta clippers in which some of them could even be Saskatchewan screamers. Lake effect machine may end towards later in the month as Lake Erie may freeze over this winter, especially with how the pattern is looking. Warm air advection snows are also possible.

"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- 0.75inches
Monthly Total- 0.75inches
Seasonal Total- 6.85inches
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- 28
Lowest Low Temperature- 14
Wind Chill Advisories- 0
Wind Chill Warnings- 0

(Snow Storms Stats)
First Snow - October 29 - Trace
First Snow on Ground - November 18 - Coating
Lake Effect Snow - November 21/22 - 6.00inches

Snow Map for December 6 - December 7....

*Note this snow map will be transferred to a new blog which will be coming sometime tomorrow.

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321. Snowlover2010
8:53 PM GMT on December 09, 2008
Check out NWS forecast for west Chester County, PA:
Wednesday Night: Rain likely, mainly before 1am. Cloudy, with a low around 35. North wind between 7 and 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Thursday: Rain and snow, becoming all snow after 4pm. High near 34. North wind between 9 and 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.

Thursday Night: Snow, possibly mixed with freezing rain. Low around 29. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.

Friday: A chance of snow before 11am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 33. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Seems optimistic.
Member Since: January 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 1003
320. PalmyraPunishment
8:24 PM GMT on December 09, 2008
global warming?!?!

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

signed,

the last 3 polar bears in existence.
Member Since: January 31, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 2250
319. Zachary Labe
8:17 PM GMT on December 09, 2008
PalmyraPunishment- Lol, its a real mess over there. At least they don't bring up the global warming excuse, and how we are never going to see snow again.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 281 Comments: 15083
318. PalmyraPunishment
8:16 PM GMT on December 09, 2008
i have spent the day over at accucrap.com's forums and in about 5 minutes' time you would have sworn they had reenacted Hiroshima over there.

amazing.
Member Since: January 31, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 2250
317. Zachary Labe
8:10 PM GMT on December 09, 2008
sullivanweather- I am sticking to my guns on this one for a more frozen than liquid precipitation event for my area, but I am losing confidence. I saw the Binghamton issued winter products.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 281 Comments: 15083
316. sullivanweather
8:07 PM GMT on December 09, 2008
Winter storm watches already issued!
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
315. Zachary Labe
8:05 PM GMT on December 09, 2008
Well this morning I was confident, but once again models always seem to crush it. Way to early to say this is any precipitation type. I was planning on issuing a new blog today, but my confidence is just not there. Definitely tomorrow there will be a new blog.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 281 Comments: 15083
314. onoweather
7:20 PM GMT on December 09, 2008
blizz- latest 12z gfs looks as though this might be more of an elevation event, much the same as previous storms. The cold air just doesn't seem to want to stick around. This one's definitely going to be very hard to forecast for the lower susquehanna valley in terms of precip. type. I would guess more a liquid/mix event, with lower snow totals for the valley and mostly snow with larger snow totals for the coal region.
Member Since: December 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 58
313. WeatherBobNut
6:51 PM GMT on December 09, 2008
Hi Blizz, boy what a set-up huh? Wild week for sure, 12z run look a bit more west and the colder air harder to get in here, i'm waiting for the 18z runs even though that's not my favorite run of the day, but should be worth checking out.

PP, i laughed like crazy at your comment...Wishcastuweather.com!! That's a good one! LOL!!!

Yes, i stopped going to that forum, it's a joke. Much more realism here, that's for sure. There's a lot of good people here and Blizz, i know soon i'll check in and see you got a Featured position here.

Now blog coming soon? I'll check in tomorrow, tty all soon.

-Weather Bob
312. PalmyraPunishment
1:49 PM GMT on December 09, 2008
i just did another tour of the wishcastuweather.com forums and they seem pretty down (granted, 75 percent of the populous of that forum are direct I-95ers who don't care about any location west of them) about rain.

it's still 3 days off - a lot of model runs to go.
Member Since: January 31, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 2250
311. TheDawnAwakening
1:45 PM GMT on December 09, 2008
I know I saw that Palmyra. They just all love to see snow, I do to, but maps are too early. I will go check the models now. I heard the 00z EURO is further inland bringing rain to the coast.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 243 Comments: 3673
310. PalmyraPunishment
1:43 PM GMT on December 09, 2008
well, henry has officially pontificated on friday suggesting that snow falls from I-95 Corridor to 200 miles west of it.

in Pennsylvania terms that would be Philadelphia to roughly Huntingdon. he hasn't posted a map yet (thank god!, the other donkeys on the accuforums have done enough for all of us)

what say you?
Member Since: January 31, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 2250
309. sullivanweather
12:16 PM GMT on December 09, 2008
12Z EURO IS THE
LADDER...AND IT IS PREFERRED. 00Z EURO HAS BACKED OFF BUT HPC
DOES NOT PREFER THIS ABRUPT CHANGE.

NEW 00Z ECMWF HAS ADJUSTED
INCREASINGLY FASTER THAN PREVIOUS RUNS... AND IS NOW FASTER THAN
THE UKMET AS THE NRN STREAM TROF TRENDS MORE AMPLIFIED BY THU-FRI.
LACK OF CONFIDENCE IN THE ECMWF CHANGE GIVEN PREVIOUS
CONTINUITY
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
308. sullivanweather
12:11 PM GMT on December 09, 2008
I just went to see what the HPC says and they seem to think the 00Z ECMWF is an outlier and are hanging their hats on the 12Z ECMWF
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
307. sullivanweather
12:01 PM GMT on December 09, 2008
Ehh, I'd split the difference 70/30 weighted towards the American models. I don't think we'll see an inland runner, but the low should move right up along the coast (GFS/NAM still show it slightly offshore).
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
306. Snowlover2010
11:57 AM GMT on December 09, 2008
So right now we should look more at the NAM/GFS vs the Euro/GGEM
Member Since: January 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 1003
305. sullivanweather
11:55 AM GMT on December 09, 2008
In situations such as the one currently developing, frontogenesis typically is strongest right along the coast (coastal front development). It is notoriously hard to push this front inland given the boundary layer flow expected, so I would side with the coastal low scenario shown in the American models.
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
304. Snowlover2010
11:48 AM GMT on December 09, 2008
I don't know what to think. This model says this, this one says another thing. Which one is the best?
Member Since: January 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 1003
303. sullivanweather
11:36 AM GMT on December 09, 2008
I'm not hanging on any one particular solution right now. Right now the models will wrestle over where phasing occurs and vary quite a bit. Obviously the Euro believes that phasing will occur sooner, hence the westerly track. It's not completely out of the question that this occurs, although I hesitate at the fact of this happening being that the low over the Gulf will be cut-off for a time, which is usually able to hold off such phasing between northern and southern stream systems. It's hard to break down the confluence that exists on the northwest side of cut-off low pressure.
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
302. Zachary Labe
11:28 AM GMT on December 09, 2008
sullivanweather- Any thoughts on the 0z EURO solution?
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 281 Comments: 15083
301. sullivanweather
11:26 AM GMT on December 09, 2008
Good morning, Blizz!

I guess I'm not the only one up this early...

Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
300. Zachary Labe
11:15 AM GMT on December 09, 2008
Alright I will start with the bad and end with the good. I have a new major concern, a westerly track. The beloved 0z EURO run has shifted a few 100miles in track tracking up through central Pennsylvania just about. The 0z CMC also agrees. This has me very concerned. But the 6z NAM looks beautiful for snow here in Harrisburg printing out 10inches, and the 6z GFS does not look bad either. Basically it is the american against foreign models. Also I want to add the HPC have added most of eastern Pennsylvania into central Pennsylvania for a slight to moderate chance of 4inches+ for this event.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 281 Comments: 15083
299. JDinWPA
5:08 AM GMT on December 09, 2008
Hi guys. Temps here are starting to slowly rise. It up a whole degree in the past 2 hours, from 26 to 27. I might be up to freezing by dawn! Maybe higher!
298. PalmyraPunishment
3:04 AM GMT on December 09, 2008
still a few days -- right now we're in the trending east stage. don't be surprised if by the time the storm gets here that we're trending back west to where we're all the big winners.

Member Since: January 31, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 2250
297. TheDawnAwakening
3:00 AM GMT on December 09, 2008
Also I will receive at the least rain changing to snow with some coating.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 243 Comments: 3673
296. Zachary Labe
2:53 AM GMT on December 09, 2008
0z NAM out and not too bad (considering it is the NAM) for parts of southcentral Pennsylvania with parts of eastern Lower Susquehanna Valley and southern Lehigh Valley seeing light to moderate accumulations.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 281 Comments: 15083
295. Zachary Labe
2:43 AM GMT on December 09, 2008
pittsburghnurse- Right now I do not see any precipitation out your way. This low pressure system off the coast is relatively tightly compact with what should be a sharp precipitation gradient on the west end.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 281 Comments: 15083
294. pittsburghnurse
2:42 AM GMT on December 09, 2008
Blizz and anyone else who wants to comment, so where do Pittsburgh and points west of the Laurels figure in terms of precipitation with the coastal storm as you see it now? What's the window?
Member Since: October 14, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 639
293. Zachary Labe
1:16 AM GMT on December 09, 2008
weathergeek5- That seems reasonable at this point, but things could change.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 281 Comments: 15083
292. weathergeek5
1:14 AM GMT on December 09, 2008
Quoting Blizzard92:
PalmyraPunishment- Yes, just went the consensus was beginning the 18z DGEX and 18z GFS shift eastward. Thank goodness it was only the 18z runs and the horrible DGEX model.

weathergeek5- The 18z GFS looks great for you.

TheDawnAwakening- Good points, placement of trough axis you may want to add too.


Yeah but the 18Z run is not reliable. Guess I will be ready for rain changing to snow at the end.
Member Since: December 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1744
291. Zachary Labe
1:11 AM GMT on December 09, 2008
PalmyraPunishment- Yes, just went the consensus was beginning the 18z DGEX and 18z GFS shift eastward. Thank goodness it was only the 18z runs and the horrible DGEX model.

weathergeek5- The 18z GFS looks great for you.

TheDawnAwakening- Good points, placement of trough axis you may want to add too.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 281 Comments: 15083
290. TheDawnAwakening
12:40 AM GMT on December 09, 2008
We need a high to the north over Canada province Quebec.
1.) placement and strength of high pressure over Canada
2.) placement of frontal boundary
3.) phasing of the northern and southern branches
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 243 Comments: 3673
289. weathergeek5
12:28 AM GMT on December 09, 2008
Quoting Blizzard92:
TheDawnAwakening- This does appear to be an interior snowfall and really the I-95 snow threats the models had in the past day should not have really been taken serious.

onoweather- Pretty amazing stuff for being the 7th of December. It is ashame a warm up is coming next week, I would have liked to have seen how much things freeze over.


Darn!!! I need the storm to be more to the east then I will be happy.
Member Since: December 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1744
288. PalmyraPunishment
12:26 AM GMT on December 09, 2008
And the dancing continues...

did the latest models have the storm take a stroll to the east?
Member Since: January 31, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 2250
287. Zachary Labe
12:10 AM GMT on December 09, 2008
TheDawnAwakening- The ingredients will not be there though in this case, lack of blocking, slight warm air advection, lack of east based negative NAO, December ocean temperatures. 0z GFS will be very interesting to see if this easterly trend continues though.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 281 Comments: 15083
286. TheDawnAwakening
11:47 PM GMT on December 08, 2008
All we need is all of the ingredients to come together for a big snowstorm Blizzard. It happened in 2005 and it can happen again, this time we need a stronger high to the north. Its there which is great news and the 18z GFS run today didn't suppress the storm like it normally would. Some think the next run will show a monster storm for the East Coast, some say rain and nothing but rain and some say a messy mix. This morning the NWS HWO stated the possible significant snowstorm emerging from the models, but at the 4pm discussion said rain most likely. A lot can change and probably, most likely will, but the 18z GFS run said otherwise which is encouraging.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 243 Comments: 3673
285. Zachary Labe
11:00 PM GMT on December 08, 2008
wxgeek723- Yep this cold air was a rude awakening for a lot of us, but at least it put us all in the holiday spirit.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 281 Comments: 15083
284. wxgeek723
10:58 PM GMT on December 08, 2008
Hey Blizz. 19F degrees this morning in the Camden-Philadelphia area! BRRRR! Coldest morning since February. But nothing says Merry Christmas better then a chilly breeze swelling your cheeks.
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3464
283. Zachary Labe
10:48 PM GMT on December 08, 2008
TheRasberryPatch- Yep it will get seasonable to slightly above normal, nothing too extreme I do not think at this point. Seems to be another one of those reloading periods.

jthal57- Freezing rain does look possible for the first hour of precipitation too, but accumulations will be light. Still though even a trace of freezing rain can cause major problems.

Snowlover2010- Models will be expected for some waffling back and forth.

TheDawnAwakening- A lot of things going against snow for I-95 including past climate observations, but odder things have happened.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 281 Comments: 15083
282. TheDawnAwakening
10:37 PM GMT on December 08, 2008
18z GFS is perfect with position of the low for I95 snow lovers as well as coastal snow lovers, the only problem or problems were the fact it was only the 18z run, the high needs to be a little further south and a little stronger as well as a stronger low pressure center. Track was almost ideal.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 243 Comments: 3673
281. Snowlover2010
10:17 PM GMT on December 08, 2008
18z GFS seems too far east for us to get good snows.
Member Since: January 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 1003
280. jthal57
9:51 PM GMT on December 08, 2008
Blizz-NWS just issued a statement about some light freezing rain Tuesday am here before temps rise. Thursday night/Friday beginning to look interesting.
279. TheRasberryPatch
9:43 PM GMT on December 08, 2008
a warm up next week? for December i guess that would be expected.
give it time, Blizz. if it gets back to this cold and then January comes by we will see some frozen rivers and lakes and maybe even bays.
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6247
278. Zachary Labe
9:32 PM GMT on December 08, 2008
TheDawnAwakening- This does appear to be an interior snowfall and really the I-95 snow threats the models had in the past day should not have really been taken serious.

onoweather- Pretty amazing stuff for being the 7th of December. It is ashame a warm up is coming next week, I would have liked to have seen how much things freeze over.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 281 Comments: 15083
277. PalmyraPunishment
9:31 PM GMT on December 08, 2008
the river has ice. i drive over it daily - it had a lot of sheet ice on it this morning going south.
Member Since: January 31, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 2250
276. onoweather
9:28 PM GMT on December 08, 2008
blizz- I live next to the swatara creek and it had ice almost completely covering it this morning, so I wouldn't be to surprised for the river to have some small ice.
Member Since: December 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 58
275. TheDawnAwakening
9:27 PM GMT on December 08, 2008
Taunton NWS has trended warmer for the coastal storm. This is what has me worried: the high is not present when the storm comes up the coast. Taunton said the EURO brings 3" of RAFL.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 243 Comments: 3673
274. Zachary Labe
9:20 PM GMT on December 08, 2008
TheDawnAwakening- 12z EURO is what has me concerned bringing in some warm air advection from the south and scoring out the shallow cold air.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 281 Comments: 15083
273. Zachary Labe
9:19 PM GMT on December 08, 2008
TheRasberryPatch- I would say a good soaking of rain probably up to an inch in some areas. I am also concerned for a short period of freezing rain tomorrow. If the chance looks imminent I will update early tomorrow morning. Today has a very damp and bitter feel. I have not been down to the Susquehanna River myself, but I head some people are reporting very shallow sheet ice traveling down from the north, which would be quite an anomaly for this time of year.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 281 Comments: 15083
272. TheDawnAwakening
9:16 PM GMT on December 08, 2008
I mean these storms look promising in the long and medium range and then end up too far east or offshore to give us anything substantial. They have been trending westward however with these ocean storms. The one a week ago that missed us by 50 miles and then the one yesterday missed by 20 to 40 miles with the heaviest precip. The models are not overly strong with this low which would tend me to believe that the SE winds ahead of the storm won't be too strong and if thats the case maybe the storm will bring in a better chance for snowfall. If that high directly to our north in Canada moved further west on the NAM in hour 84 we would be in business.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 243 Comments: 3673
271. TheRasberryPatch
9:14 PM GMT on December 08, 2008
any predictions on the amount of rain for the next couple of days. right now the ground is very frozen. i just put in my snow gauge and am ready, but it wasn't easy getting it into the ground.
a high of 24.5F today. that is cold. i have been in and out a bit today and the nose gets cold very fast. i always wear a hat. its amazing how we look back on men in the past and how they wore those fedora's. i think they were smart wearing those hats. i have a picture of my Dad and about a dozen other men including the mayor of Baltimore when they opened a bridge and everyone is wearing a fedora. you don't see that these days. were they smarter? certainly would lead you to believe that. sure when we go out to shovel or do work outside in the yard we may wear a hat, but i never see fedora's worn anymore. as the saying goes you lose a lot of body heat from your head. just a few thoughts.
Member Since: January 26, 2007 Posts: 72 Comments: 6247

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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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Linglestown, PA
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