Wednesday storm thoughts for 14-15th...

By: Zachary Labe , 7:27 PM GMT on January 06, 2008

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"Afternoon thoughts"
Good January afternoon. For Thursday things quiet down all in preparation for the next front that will come through this Friday. This will be a stronger front, that could pose some problems in terms of mix precipitation in the far north. The NAM model shows it really cold with mixing as far south as I80. But for now I like the GFS solution, with a little mixing in the extreme north. There will not be to many flooding issues as most of the snowpack is gone, though rainfall could be heavy. Possibly over 1inch can be expected. The mix of precipitation should not cause too many problems. Then things clear out completely by Friday night with much more seasonable air.

"Short Term"
Ok, this short term is devoted to all the weather events this weekend that will lead up to the 14-15th storm. For saturday it appears that temperatures will be getting back to normal with highs in the 30s statewide. The real colder air is going to move in for Saturday night and Sunday ahead of the real storm. Alot of ingredients are there for this storm.
1. High pressure to north of storm(in Canada).
2. Contrasting airmasses of real warmth and cold.
3. Strong pattern shift.
4. Above normal Atlantic Ocean temperatures.
5. Strong gulf flow.
6. No low pressure heading up west of Appalachians.
7. 992mb pressure possible, off of the coast of Cape Cod.
8. High pressure will slow movement of storm.
9. NAO-Neutral to negative.
10. Cold air with eastern trough will push the storm just far enough off the coast to affect many people with snow.
These are the top reasons I could come up with to support the storm. Sunday appears to be cloudy and cool with snow approaching southern PA by noon.
Current Radar...
Current Radar...

"Long Term"
This long term is devoted now to the 14-15th storm. But real quick, for the long term after the storm. It appears it stays cold with more possible snowstorms. I see no warmup in sight after this one. Ok, now on to the storm. First off I want to start off by saying that even though the storm is getting closer, I still do not think any of us have a better idea than yesterday or the day before then on this storm. The GFS still shows a flat wave heading out to sea and some of the other models such as the EURO show a big coastal storm. I think that the GFS will gain a concensus soon. It is hard to say what is going to happen with this storm. I would be interested to hear everyone thoughts on this system. My thoughts are that it heads up the coast and areas west of I95 see snow. So for today I want to hear everybodies thoughts and tomorrow I will update fully on new updates on the potential storm.
Outlook for Coastal Storm...
"Subject to Change"

Current NAO...
NAO...
Notice the negative trend.


"Just to throw out there"

I think we should throw out the recent 12z run of the GFS. I do not think this is the solution of the storm. All of my forecasts made today are based off of several models including the 6z GFS. This is a similar solution to what I think will happen.

"Regional Forecasts" (Wednesday Night)
1. Eastern- (Allentown, Southern Poconos)-
Windy with clear skies.(WestnorthWest). Low 32.

2. South Central (Harrisburg, York, Lancaster)(my home)-
Winds becoming calmer.(WestnorthWest). Low 31.

3. Southern- (Philadelphia)-
Windy.(WestnorthWest). Low 36.

4. Central- (State College)-
Clear skies. Low 30.

5. Northern- (Erie, Bradford, Williamsport)-
Partly cloudy. Low 28.

6. Western- (Pittsburgh)-
Partly cloudy. Low 29.

7. Johnstown, Altoona-
Mostly clear skies. Low 26.

January Outlook
Well already it is January 3rd and it seems like the holidays flew by. Anyway it is time to look at the monthly outlook. Overall it appears temperatures on average will be around .5-1degree below normal when the month comes to an end. Periods of arctic air and somewhat mild air will cause only a minor below average temperature. There will be though times of very warm conditions, especially from the 6-11th of the month. Then there will be cold times like the first few days in January and the last 2-3weeks in January. Precipitation should come out well above normal. We are in a very active weather pattern due to the La Nina especially. Storms seem very frequent throughout the month. Snowfall will probably be above normal across much of the state except the far southeast. About 1-4inches above normal looks likely. So overall it appears to be a relatively cold January with normal to above normal snowfall. I know this does not agree with other January outlooks by Accuweather or NOAA, but I still believe it will end up being overall cold. Those weather services seem to be overestimating the warm air from the La Nina. They predicted a warm December and it ended up being colder with alot of snow in some areas. It will be interesting to see how the rest of this month plays out. So stay warm!!!


***Note on regional map, the number equals which region in Pennsylvania. I chose regions with similar climates, geography, and elevation to make my overall forecast for the region.

Regional Map...

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96. eaglesrock
3:02 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
All your answers are right here.

Click on the dates preceding the storm to see the patterns that occurred, and do this with any other storm back to 1979.

Link
95. dean2007
2:55 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
Why does it need to happen at night even if this is January and the sun angle has no effect on snowfall. What happened that we got a full fledged blizzard in 2005?
94. eaglesrock
2:52 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
The new NAM looks pretty good. High pressure building in and lots of digging in the SW.

93. eaglesrock
2:50 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
I remember that Dean, I got about 2 feet from it.

You need a weak clipper system or no clipper at all, and/or a high pressure to your northwest. The low needs to build lots of energy in the SW then bomb as it travels along the Gulf Coast and up the Eastern Seaboard just east of the 40/70 lat./lon. line. The storm must happen at night for the majority of the precip type to be snow.
92. eaglesrock
2:47 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
0z NAM is coming out and it has all the ingredients for an East coast snowstorm - more digging and weaker lakes cutter for Friday.
91. dean2007
2:46 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
Whats the worst case scenario or potential this storm has?
90. dean2007
2:46 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
I live on Cape Cod, MA eaglesrock and I mean everything needs to come together correctly or perfectly for us to have a foot or more of snow. One example is the Blizzard of 2005, man what a storm. The Clipper phased with southern stream energy along with another upper level disturbance to create one of the most prolific snowstorms my area has ever seen since records began, a 35" snowstorm.
89. Zachary Labe
2:16 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
I am lucky enough that I live far enough north and west that typically I do not have rain/snow issues. Usually it is either definitely rain or definitely snow.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
88. eaglesrock
2:11 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
There's just too many things that need to come together for a perfect I-95 hit.
87. Zachary Labe
2:09 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
Very true. Wow, why can we not have an easy to forecast storm that heads up the coast and everybody sees snow.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
86. eaglesrock
1:59 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
That's what I'm thinking, too. But the thing is the storm will be in its early stages when it's time for the clipper to phase with the storm.
85. Zachary Labe
1:58 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
The clipper does not appear strong at all to push the entire coastal storm out to sea. I am thinking it may phase with the coastal storm.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
84. eaglesrock
1:56 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
But if the clipper comes far enough south, it will phase with the energy in the south and make the coastal low stronger.

The keys to this system are the clipper and its track, and the amount of digging at 500 mb.
83. eaglesrock
1:49 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
I don't think a high chance. But I think we have a pretty good chance right now, about 50-60%. One con of the setup for the Nor'easter is that a clipper system may come through the region near the time of the storm, pushing the coastal low out of the way and bringing us another coating to an inch snow event.
82. Zachary Labe
1:50 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
eaglesrock- Do you think we have a high chance of seeing a snowstorm on the 14th across eastern Pennsylvania, including Harrisburg?
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
81. eaglesrock
1:49 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
Hey Blizzard!

The 500 mb pattern looks pretty good on the ensembles at 87 hours. We need lots of digging at this level to produce a snowstorm. It also helps that the NAO and PNA are coming into favorable positions for a storm.

After this storm, I think there's a legitimate threat for a storm or maybe 2 storms between the 19th and 25th. A trough looks to be forming in the SW at day 8 on most models after an invasion of cold air.
80. Zachary Labe
12:09 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
18z DGEX shows a good coastal storm with snow for the 14-15th.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
79. Zachary Labe
9:40 PM GMT on January 08, 2008
Well thats a big compliment. Thankyou.
Also every afternoon storm updates will be added here. Your welcome here to express also what you think will happen with the storm. More opinions help me to create a better forecast.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
78. Bonedog
9:38 PM GMT on January 08, 2008
your welcome Blizzard.

It seems to me personally that the blogs especially this one and sullivan's featured blog read into the models more then the local offices or at least your willing to speculate about outcomes.

The local offices in NY/NJ esp OKX and PHI always seem to downplay everything then say afterwards the system did something unexpected. Yet it did exactly what you and sullivan said it would.
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
77. Zachary Labe
9:33 PM GMT on January 08, 2008
I belive this blog more then the local met office LOL

Bonedog- Well thankyou, lol.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
76. Zachary Labe
9:31 PM GMT on January 08, 2008
Wow, I almost forgot today in 1996, was the infamous blizzard. We got here north of Harrisburg about 30.5inches of snow.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
75. dean2007
9:30 PM GMT on January 08, 2008
I agree bonedog, new blog about the relation of earthquakes and the Caribbean plate.
74. dean2007
9:29 PM GMT on January 08, 2008
I think the track will be really close to what the 6z GFS had today, although I think a stronger one and more snow should be added.
73. Bonedog
9:28 PM GMT on January 08, 2008
I belive this blog more then the local met office LOL
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
72. Bonedog
9:28 PM GMT on January 08, 2008
its funny my local forcast offices are down playing this system. all are saying its going to track too far offshore for anything.

guess they dont like beliving the models.
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
71. Zachary Labe
9:26 PM GMT on January 08, 2008
Yes this could be quite a storm from southcentral pennsylvania towards Massachusetts there could be alot of snow.

Thankyou.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
70. DS2434
9:23 PM GMT on January 08, 2008
Nice Update! From what the GFS and the Euro have shown today, a foot or more of snow is possible from Worcester through northern New England. One thing's for sure- the Monday commute looks like it'll be a fun one.
69. Zachary Labe
8:52 PM GMT on January 08, 2008
Yes, I agree too.
The 12z EURO cranks out a pretty good coastal storm with todays run.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
68. dean2007
8:48 PM GMT on January 08, 2008
I agree WeatherBobNut, with what you say.
67. WeatherBobNut
5:47 PM GMT on January 08, 2008
Well, the NAO still looks great for a storm the 14th...Todays 12z run lost the storm but it'll be back...61 degrees here and climbing...at least my furnace is catching a break! Looks like a high maybe positioned just to the north of the storm. Most Nor'easters had a high to the north....This also looks to be a long duration storm as well in which is a good thing! Well, the models by Friday should have a good idea in the strenth and track...Stay tuned!
66. Zachary Labe
11:27 AM GMT on January 08, 2008
That map looks good eaglesrock.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
65. dean2007
3:08 AM GMT on January 08, 2008
that seems likely, WSB is in a severe thunderstorm warning right now. Let's make sure its nothing serious.
64. eaglesrock
12:52 AM GMT on January 08, 2008
First thoughts for 14th storm:

Blue - Mostly snow
Sky blue - Mix of rain and snow
Green - Rain

63. Zachary Labe
12:41 AM GMT on January 08, 2008
Personally, I agree with the latest DGEX model run for a storm track for the 14th storm. 18z.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
62. Zachary Labe
12:34 AM GMT on January 08, 2008
Hopefully it happens. LOL.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
61. eaglesrock
12:30 AM GMT on January 08, 2008
Maybe Dean. It's too far out for specifics, but I do at least see some energy building up in the SW.
60. dean2007
12:27 AM GMT on January 08, 2008
Any signs of that happening?
59. eaglesrock
12:24 AM GMT on January 08, 2008
The 500 mb energy moves through the Southeast then travels inland, beefing up precip amounts. Usually when lots of it is in the SW, a major East Coast storm happens.
58. Zachary Labe
12:22 AM GMT on January 08, 2008
Yes, I saw the new blog. Very interesting idea, hypercanes. I love weather books. I have a whole library of weather books.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
57. dean2007
12:21 AM GMT on January 08, 2008
Blizzard I have a more in depth updated blog about the hypercanes, Bonedog has helped. Thanks eaglesrock, what does the 500mb energy in the SW buildup do?
56. eaglesrock
12:15 AM GMT on January 08, 2008
Dean - You need a storm track just east of the 40/70 benchmark (the place where many major I-95 storms cross) and lots of 500 mb energy building up in the SW about 2-3 days before the storm. The majority of the storm must happen at night if that doesn't happen.
55. dean2007
12:13 AM GMT on January 08, 2008
Thanks eaglesrock, for the links. I like the DGEX solution however, its still too warm for an all snow event here on the coast, what is it going to take for that to happen here on the coast?
54. Zachary Labe
12:11 AM GMT on January 08, 2008
jthal57- Thankyou
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
53. Zachary Labe
12:09 AM GMT on January 08, 2008
eaglesrock- I appreciate those links.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
52. jthal57
12:09 AM GMT on January 08, 2008
Great update Blizzard. I agree that the models will no doubt jump around a bit until we get a couple days away from each event. Anxiously awaiting a REAL snow here in Northampton County, PA!!!
51. Zachary Labe
12:07 AM GMT on January 08, 2008
Snowlover2010- I remember those storms in December, it was very frustrating. For some reason this storm is telling me either it will snow or we get no snow at all. And I do not know when the models will agree agian.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
50. eaglesrock
7:05 PM EST on January 07, 2008
I have 2:

Link
Link
49. dean2007
12:03 AM GMT on January 08, 2008
Any link eaglesrock to the DGEX model?
48. Blizzard92
11:59 PM GMT on January 07, 2008
eaglesrock- Well thats interesting for the DGEX. Thankyou for showing me.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 282 Comments: 15099
47. Snowlover2010
11:59 PM GMT on January 07, 2008
I remember a few other storms like this in December, where a week ahead of time it looked like a snowstorm but turned into rain.
Is there anything that might foreshadow these storms not turning to rain and when will the models start agreeing?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
46. eaglesrock
6:55 PM EST on January 07, 2008
I don't think so. Whatever path storm comes towards us (in this GFS run a CONUS runner) we have a great chance at seeing snow given the cold air that will be in place.

On a side note, here's the 18z DGEX for Monday morning:

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