Winter's Return: Last week of January?

By: Pcroton , 1:36 PM GMT on January 14, 2014

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In my last blog entry I covered why I felt this present week and into the next would be seasonal and relatively quiet. Since that topic has been covered I figured we should open a new blog entry to look forward and discuss the upcoming threats.

I know everyone was hoping for and even expecting a quick return to arctic outbreaks and coastal storms due to the widespread thinking bouncing around the web but it was not going to happen that quickly. We continue to target the last week of January for this potential.

Ok, so here we go, as I anticipated this week will come to a close with just a few small disturbances unlikely to amount to anything significant for the greater cities of the middle atlantic or north east. Clipper after clipper dancing through starved of moisture..some disturbances reaching the water and developing but due to a fast progressive flow, too many disturbances chewing up the available energy, and a lack of blocking...they end up shooting harmlessly out of the area.

======================

Here is the current NAO forecast:



======================

Wednesday into Thursday we have our incoming Clipper #1. It immediate wanes and heads back up into Canada..with the next Clipper #2dropping in.





======================

Late Wednesday into Thursday Clipper #2 follows Clipper #1 up into Canada and wanes...missing a phase with a coastal development that won't affect us. You can see Clipper #3 enter the picture.






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Late Saturday into Sunday Clipper #3 dives through the region while waning and then hits the water and develops while Clipper #4 enters the picture. Due to the speed of the flow and lack of blocking #3 just harmlessly heads out to sea. Now this is one of those instances you want to keep an eye on because sometimes (rarely) these can develop a little quicker and catch the coastal regions with a light to moderate snowfall before departing. At this time that doesn't appear to be the case.






======================

Then on Monday Clipper #4 stays north and heads out of the picture.




As we can see there is a lot of activity but there's nothing of actual concern here. Snow/Rain showers perhaps with each passing disturbance. At this time nothing promising looming over the next 7 days.

======================

Now we get into the more distinct threat timing. Our first threat, January 22-23 time frame, could yield a potential storm. So far as it has been modeled it is not coming together in a favorable position to deliver a blow to the middle atlantic. It's too late and too sloppy. I would caution we're too far away to call the timing on phasing at this time. I think we can't really do that for at least another 4 days. It's nice to see the system there and the new pattern coming into sight which would lead to this type of storm development. That being said we can't just jump on the hype. As we learned this week that's the wrong way to forecast. Those pessimistic about a dramatic return to winter this week were in a tiny camp of thinking. Now they're not just the majority they're the authority. It's the weather, folks, and while it's tough to not get caught up in the computer generated versions of it, you got to add a little smarts to it when you can and say "Ok, nice solution, but are the components there to support it?" And this time around I felt there wasn't, which led to the last blog entry.


======================


Here is the evolution disturbance. Nice polar energy, nice sub tropical energy, and a phase. Poor/Late timing for us, but details aren't to be laid out this far in advance:






======================


Here are the temperatures associated with the peak system potential for the region.




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Here is the upper level dynamic..a negatively tilting trough but it may just happen too late. Again now we're talking details that you cannot iron out this far in advance. By the time we get to this point maybe we have an earlier phase and earlier tilt and the region finds itself under the gun. However, again, there isn't blocking with this system, and if that remains the case then you don't get earlier tilts or phases because everything is moving too fast.





======================

One nice piece to the 22-23 storm puzzle is this piece of cold air rocketing south east towards the US.



======================



At the very end you can see it goes into the Canadian Maritimes and if this system sticks around - we finally have a blocking mechanism.

Perhaps the follow up storm can utilize this and we FINALLY get our big one? It is what we will be watching.







======================


If we wanted any of our storms to produce this year this is what we want to see a day or two before the next storm enters the picture. We haven't seen this so far this year. However don't get your hopes up quite yet...because if the system doesn't hang around up there in the maritimes to provide blocking and instead moves along - we're looking at more of the same. We need to see this happen in 10 days, need to see it stick there, and need to see the next storm come in on it's heels. Then we have our blocking and we could have our blockbuster.

Unfortunately....the answer in the models is no to that. Again we're way out here now to be trusting things. Yesterday's runs showed a 2nd storm on the heels of the first around the 27th. That is gone now and replaced with one on the 30th. By the time the 30th rolls around the nice blocking provided by the Jan 22-23 system is gone and retrograded far east into Canada. While there are some positive signs here that the final week of January may produce - nothing is locked in.


======================


January 27th: Nice Blocking.





======================


January 30th: Much less blocking...late storm.





======================

Stay tuned...the final week of January looks like it will produce. Two good threats there for a moderate to heavy snow event. The only unsolved question is that of proper blocking...to lead to a blockbuster or maybe two. That's something we just cannot see this far in advance. However pattern wise it appears we will have the threats to deal with.

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222. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
11:29 AM GMT on January 20, 2014
Pcroton has created a new entry.
221. NYBizBee
9:04 AM GMT on January 20, 2014
Quoting 220. NYBizBee:


So NWS taking a stab saying .5 to 1.0 aross long island but .5 elsewhere( thats liq)Why talk this up as snow showers when it is trending more, my question is even .5 with 15 to 1 is a nice gen 6 inch snow storm, and thats the light end. Thoughts?

I work overnights is reason im posting while all of you sleep, my question is answered as mt holly issues watchs for south jerz already
Member Since: February 5, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 289
220. NYBizBee
8:05 AM GMT on January 20, 2014
Quoting 212. Pcroton:
HPC graphics updated. Very interesting here.

2"+ Probabilities much higher now due to 12Z GFS.






More interesting is the Maximum Potential Accumulation numbers - these are very high - and they alluded to this in their discussion that the probabilities for 3-4 inches or 6-8 inches was the same. Not sure why but that's what they are going with.



So NWS taking a stab saying .5 to 1.0 aross long island but .5 elsewhere( thats liq)Why talk this up as snow showers when it is trending more, my question is even .5 with 15 to 1 is a nice gen 6 inch snow storm, and thats the light end. Thoughts?
Member Since: February 5, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 289
219. originalLT
4:13 AM GMT on January 20, 2014
Hey "P", at this late hour, the 00Z for January 20th, GFS gives us a decent storm for our area. Has come quite a bit North and West with it's track. I would guess, 3-6". For late tuesday into Wed. (If this run comes to fruition).
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 7500
218. originalLT
3:05 AM GMT on January 20, 2014
johnbluedog69 all the best to you, hope you are feeling a lot better.
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 7500
217. MAweatherboy1
1:55 AM GMT on January 20, 2014
This is definitely getting more interesting for all of the Northeast and mid-Atlantic. Hopefully we get a nice surprise out of this one!
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 83 Comments: 7724
216. johnbluedog69
1:39 AM GMT on January 20, 2014
thsnk youP for all the hard work and effort you put into yyour blogs i've got an uneasy feeling we we're gonna get seriously dumped on a tthe end of this month.each of the recent storms we've gotten has been progressively better we sre bound to get hit soon.i got a solid 8 inches of powdery snow here in seaford delaware on thelast storm. personallsmy not hoping for a a big sdump of heavy wet snow at one time due to he fact i spent dec,23-31st in the hospital recovering from a mild stroke. and i dint need to be shoveling too much anymore sorry I'll still root for you guys to get it though!!!!
Member Since: October 26, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 437
215. originalLT
1:12 AM GMT on January 20, 2014
Good evening "P', yes it's getting a bit more interesting. Let's hope things continue to evolve. Waiting for the 00Z. Also I think you are being kind with the temps. in Sw Pa. --it will be brutal there too, I'm sure the NWS sees this too.
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 7500
214. Pcroton
10:52 PM GMT on January 19, 2014
12Z NCEP Cyclone Tracks for Tuesday. NoGaps and GFS agree.

The northern red line is the GFS for a 1/28 system. Disregard.





12Z CMC at 52, 56, and 60hrs. Also agrees.






Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 48 Comments: 7669
213. Pcroton
10:33 PM GMT on January 19, 2014
Curious... DC quickly put out a snow map ending Tuesday 7PM:


DC HWO: LOW PRESSURE AND ASSOCIATED ARCTIC COLD FRONT MAY BRING A PERIOD
OF ACCUMULATING SNOW TUESDAY.



==============================


Mount Holly HWO issued:


.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...MONDAY THROUGH SATURDAY.

AN ARCTIC FRONT WILL SETTLE ACROSS OUR AREA MONDAY, ALLOWING A
BITTERLY COLD AIRMASS TO ARRIVE LATER TUESDAY INTO WEDNESDAY. THE
COMBINATION OF VERY COLD TEMPERATURES AND SOME WIND COULD RESULT
IN WIND CHILLS BELOW ZERO DEGREES AT TIMES.

ALSO THERE IS AN INCREASING LIKELIHOOD FOR MEASURABLE, POSSIBLY
PLOWABLE SNOW ON TUESDAY AND TUESDAY NIGHT AS A LOW PRESSURE
SYSTEM MOVES OFFSHORE. PLEASE LOOK FOR FURTHER UPDATES TONIGHT AND
MONDAY.


==============

Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 48 Comments: 7669
212. Pcroton
10:28 PM GMT on January 19, 2014
HPC graphics updated. Very interesting here.

2"+ Probabilities much higher now due to 12Z GFS.






More interesting is the Maximum Potential Accumulation numbers - these are very high - and they alluded to this in their discussion that the probabilities for 3-4 inches or 6-8 inches was the same. Not sure why but that's what they are going with.

Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 48 Comments: 7669
211. Pcroton
10:23 PM GMT on January 19, 2014
Mount Holly issued a PDF briefing package for the Tuesday snowfall and cold week.

Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 48 Comments: 7669
210. Pcroton
10:04 PM GMT on January 19, 2014
Evening LT. Yes my NWS also has very cold temperatures listed in their zone product. I think Peng is out in SW PA so maybe there's something different there.

We need the tropical pacific to awaken but we also need it to be properly shuttled along. Got to get that jet stream to get active and come within contact with the polar jet to make use of that moisture. It won't be a Tuesday player. Some outside the box thoughts maybe it could lend a hand to Thursday. Should be a big player for the following week however (if not, no good storms, if so then good storms).

Here are some evening Bufkit printouts for snowfall.

Given the cold I opted to choose a 15:1 ratio. Also disabled the compaction just to see exactly what may be falling.









It looks like everyone is in a 1-3" range. Further north is of couse less due to storm location.

Mount Holly did suggest don't go for totals yet - meaning they still don't know if it will slide off the coast, do what the 12Z modeling shows, or perhaps be more.

Hold the enthusiasm just yet. Still just looking at a nuisance event for most of the area.


I will do a new blog entry tomorrow early morning now that we have a good idea what to work with.
Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 48 Comments: 7669
209. originalLT
9:47 PM GMT on January 19, 2014
Hi "P" and all, well, the Tropical Pacific does appear to be "making a come-back," as you point out and as Steve Di. said. Also I must say that the NWS does call for very cold weather during the next 5-7days, despite what Peng alluded to in his post # 200--towards the bottom of his post. Had to say that to be fair to the NWS.
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 7500
208. Pcroton
9:47 PM GMT on January 19, 2014
Mount Holly went big on their discussion for this coming week. It's worth the read because they cover basically all my questions posed today on this blog given the modeling and potential pattern changes.

Sensible pieces bolded.

====

.Long term /monday night through sunday/...
The ecmwf initialization over alaska looked the best of all the
models. The gfs looked a bit too sharp with our digging short wave.
The wrf-nmmb`s domain on awips doesnt go that far north. Over the
conus the wrf-nmmb`s initialization looked better than the gfs.
The 00z run model suite with our tuesday low was rather dry and
flat. If we go back to the previous day`s 12z run (or today`s 06z
run) was see a slighter but still present northwest drift. The
gefs mean was pretty close to the op run while the sref mean has a
few amped members that makes it difficult to get a middle of the
road solution. Some of its pops for 8 or greater inches of snow
are nearly equal to its pops for 4 or greater inches of snow. The
same can be said for the ecmwf ensemble members as the mean is
close to the op run, but the large standard deviation to the west
of the ensemble mean track indicate it too has some amped members.

Its always difficult with northwest drifting as to how for do we
go. On the one hand we will have a relatively progressive system
with plenty of cold, dry air feeding into it. On the other hand,
it is a fairly impressive baroclinic zone and negative tilt short
waves have done rather well this winter.


The op ecmwf which at
one time was the most dynamic with this system, is now the must
muted. But we have seen instances this past two winters (1/3 comes
to mind) where its been too flat until we get within 48hrs. So
with this package we are going with a ukmet/12z wrf-nmmb blend
into wednesday. While the short wave has made it into the denser
sounding network, am not sure if this is it for the amplification
of the digging trof. History leans against saying we are done.



Beyond wednesday, the latitudinal adjustments by the models have
been maddening and we have opted to go close to a modeling
consensus until solutions settle.
Only change with greater
emphasis on tuesday, we are reducing our emphasis on thursday.
Regardless of the snow, if january 7th did not occur, we`d be
talking about the coldest blast in a while. What little small
comfort it is, the coming blasts look slightly less than the 1/4
and 1/7 combo.

No pops in for monday night as the cold front continues to move
south. The attending short wave is still too far to the west. Min
temps are a stat guidance blend. Au revoir to near normal temps
until maybe next weekend.

Tue please do not get attached to any accumulation number as too
much of a spread exists in ensemble members.


Diagnosing the gfs forcing mechanisms support the 12z wrf-
nmmb`s pcpn field more so than itself. The concentration of 850mb
theta e convergence and advection, isentropic lift at 285k as well
as the mid level qvec convergence is concentrated in our three
sern nj counties and the lower half of delmarva. The entrance
region of the 250mb jet looks better in the morning, but drifts
offshore as the day progresses. The isentropic vapor transport
values suggest .1 to .25 water equivalent. Not that we feel
confident, but given we have seen outcomes like this before, we
have upped pops going likely into the i95 corridor. We now brings a
measurable snow around i95 corridor and a plowable snow farther
to the southeast. The morning commute should not be a problem, but
the evening one may very well be. Details are not etched in stone.
Elsewhere, the short wave will have to move through and we are
carrying chance of measurable pops thrut our cwa. Max temps are
predicted to occur early and fall as the afternoon progresses.

The snow should end during tuesday evening with much colder arctic
air continuing to move into the area. Because of the combination of
a stronger surface low (tighter gradient and more wind) and snow on
the ground, we lowered min temps. This now produces widespread wind
chill factors below zero and reaching wind chill advisory criteria
in parts of our cwa.

Very cold day on wednesday. Winds should diminish during the
afternoon, but high temps may not reach the 20 degree mark. The next
albert clipper is expected to arrive on thursday. Given a stronger
tuesday low solution, we are opting for the thursday clipper to have
less moisture to work with.
Pops were kept low with the highest
values in the northern part of our cwa closer to modeling consensus
to its path. The air mass behind this clipper is forecast to be ever
so slightly not as cold as the tuesday night/wednesday one. Sub zero
wind chill factors again thursday night not out of the question.

Relatively speaking a moderating trend is then expected for friday
into saturday.
Another cfp might bring another round of snow showers
on saturday. There is a fairly large model spread as to low far
south the next arctic salvo goes on sunday. Max temps were
two-thirds toward ec mos.
Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 48 Comments: 7669
207. Pcroton
9:39 PM GMT on January 19, 2014
Tuesday's disturbance up in NW Canada...looks pretty good.




Tropical Pacific making a comeback.






If the Thursday feature is going to be any more than the Tuesday feature we would have to see something happen quickly with the sub-tropical jet stream.

Otherwise then we're into the following week and it's threats potential for a decent storm. If we're going to get one it has to involve this energy. If not it's more of the same coming.


Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 48 Comments: 7669
206. Pcroton
9:28 PM GMT on January 19, 2014
The Tuesday snow maps..

12Z NAM



12Z GFS




=============

I also looked at the 12Z Long Range GFS and it backed off of any warm thoughts for the east.

However the GFS, as does the Euro, still look to reduce the western ridge to a more normalized feature starting around day 6.

I'm still looking at late this coming week before we can actually begin to make good sense of the Week 2 and beyond time frame.

We have to see how this pattern changes this week to get an idea as to what it will look like and then what it's next steps in evolution may be.

I still feel that the final week of January will produce but the questions in mind is how? Progressive or blocked negative tilted lows? 4-6" or 6-12" system potentials? Or... Big ones?

Nobody knows. Given the recent failures of the 16th, 18th, and the 21st/22nd as being put forth as potential significant events I want to remain conservative there.
Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 48 Comments: 7669
205. Pcroton
9:15 PM GMT on January 19, 2014
NWS has pulled the trigger on Tuesday now.

Mount Holly: (For Central NJ)

TUESDAY
CLOUDY. SNOW LIKELY...MAINLY IN THE AFTERNOON. LIGHT
SNOW ACCUMULATION POSSIBLE. COLDER WITH HIGHS IN THE MID 20S.
NORTH WINDS 10 TO 15 MPH. CHANCE OF SNOW 60 PERCENT.

TUESDAY NIGHT
MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF SNOW IN THE
EVENING...THEN PARTLY CLOUDY AFTER MIDNIGHT. BRISK WITH LOWS
AROUND 8 ABOVE. NORTHWEST WINDS 15 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO
30 MPH. CHANCE OF SNOW 40 PERCENT. WIND CHILL VALUES AS LOW AS
7 BELOW AFTER MIDNIGHT.


New York: (For Manhattan)


TUESDAY
MOSTLY CLOUDY. A CHANCE OF SNOW SHOWERS...MAINLY IN THE
AFTERNOON. COOLER WITH HIGHS IN THE MID 20S. NORTH WINDS 10 TO
15 MPH. CHANCE OF SNOW 40 PERCENT.

TUESDAY NIGHT
MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A SLIGHT CHANCE OF SNOW SHOWERS
IN THE EVENING...THEN PARTLY CLOUDY AFTER MIDNIGHT. LOWS AROUND
9 ABOVE. NORTH WINDS AROUND 15 MPH. CHANCE OF SNOW 20 PERCENT. WIND
CHILL VALUES AS LOW AS 7 BELOW AFTER MIDNIGHT.
Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 48 Comments: 7669
204. Pcroton
9:12 PM GMT on January 19, 2014
Thanks for the comments.

It's amazing how many things clash in this region and how sensitive it can all be to whether or not you get a storm...and even whether or not you get a cold snap or warm spell.

You can see the hypersensitivity reflected in the models. You always see the largest errors in the Middle Atlantic/North East region.

Even in the short term we have little to no idea what Tuesday may actually bring.



Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 48 Comments: 7669
203. NYBizBee
7:39 PM GMT on January 19, 2014
Quoting 202. Pcroton:
HPC Graphics for Tuesday storm.


Probability of 2"+:




Maximum potential accumulation:




========================

Today's storm discussions begin on post #185

========================


P thanks for the work you put in, it does teach us one main factor, going back even to past winters it really is a complex area of the globe we live. So many diff factors to the formation of a blockbuster storm ( since we need the development of secondary lows etc..)
Looking foward to future model runs this week and your feedback! Stay warm.
Member Since: February 5, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 289
202. Pcroton
6:56 PM GMT on January 19, 2014
HPC Graphics for Tuesday storm.


Probability of 2"+:




Maximum potential accumulation:




========================

Today's storm discussions begin on post #185

========================
Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 48 Comments: 7669
201. Pcroton
6:40 PM GMT on January 19, 2014
Hi Peng! Welcome back and thanks for chiming in. Seems with the pattern evolving during the week next week we are stuck in the cheap seats today with no good view of the players on the field.

There are a multitude of scenarios that could play out. At this point it looks like our threats this week are on the low side.. Tuesday's threat did re-enter the picture some, and Thursday still has a threat as well, but it appears the flow is too quick to allow either to really organize.

I think I'll still stick to my idea that if we see a significant snow threat it will be towards the next work week and not this one.

I hope you find the time to do that little model verification project! It's not that I don't have the time but I don't have the desire these days to indulge.


Well good to hear from ya. Don't be a stranger. The more input the better.



Here is the 12Z Euro... it's not buying Tuesday. Low and away still.



So we have the 12Z Euro, and as posted before above...

here is the 12Z GFS:



12Z NAM:




And the 09 SREF:





If the morning 0Z model runs prove significant I will do a new clean blog entry to highlight the Tuesday and Thursday threats.


12Z NAM Snow Map Post 191.
12Z GFS Snow Map Post 199.


===================
Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 48 Comments: 7669
200. PengSnow
6:23 PM GMT on January 19, 2014
P, Again Great Job in analyzing the models!

Just got back from the left coast last night and I enjoyed Thursday, Friday with warm temperatures, i believe that got into the low 80s in San Diego and it was nice Tues to Thurs too, but had some business meetings to attend and could not get the feel of the weather the first 3 days.

I am looking at the forecasted temperature the next 10 days and I am going to monitor by day for my area and as well as precip. I am going to note each day during that 10 day span to see how good long range forecasting is working and how much of a change there is from days 1-10 and really how it changes daily.

I am still confident that we will get something decent by weeks end and how it was put to me about two weeks ago and how i conveyed the dates thru the 24th on specific chances for a major storm. As one of my friends put it to me the weather patterns is like grabbing a rope and snapping it-when that happens you get the rippling effect with rope and that is how i came up with my statement a couple of weeks ago in the upcoming pattern(s).

In terms of modeling precip and temp, as well as NAO, one thing to understand is that man is inputting info based of what might be happening in another area and puts the final inputs for my area. As mentioned above and two weeks ago, there will be a storm coming by weeks end, confidence is still there and we will have cold air in place. Hopefully if it happens in by weeks end or maybe just a few days late that storm will be our weather pattern changer.

The Great Lakes within the next two weeks, the ice shield will probably be at its highest or maybe even more so as it was in the late 70s, that could be the difference maker believe it or not.

Last comments, we will see how Joe Bastardi prediction of this upcoming cold snap pans out, just like the first that he forecasted way beyond anybody else. For one of the companies that helps us with budgeting of energy costs, they utilize weatherbell and have been pleased with their long term forecasting and has enabled that to plan on their purchasing side for events like the first cold snap and the forecasted 2nd, THEY DO NOT PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT THE NWS mentions. If all comes to fruition we could have some colder days in the next 5-7, althought the NWS does not seem like it will happen.

To All, be safe in your travels.
Member Since: January 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 418
199. Pcroton
5:46 PM GMT on January 19, 2014
12Z GFS Snow Map came in. I think it may be too bold given available moisture versus cold air setup.




At this point we will see where things are in the morning for the Tuesday system.

By then we should have model continuity... while right now we just seem to have trending with more moisture pushing into the area.

Hesitent to jump at this time but it does appear maybe it'll be more than just snow showers for the near coastal areas.

NAM snow map and models are on posts 189, 191. 12z GFS surface representation on post 193.

Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 48 Comments: 7669
198. Pcroton
5:26 PM GMT on January 19, 2014
Quoting 197. aquak9:
hi P et al, my goodness this blog has become so busy.

Have given away 3, gallon bags of letti. Got TOO MUCH. And soup? dear sweet buddha in a basket, what army did I think I was feeding?

P if you got another storm coming, you gotta start a new blog. But can ya toss in a little wave of the magic wand, to temper the drought in Cally? I really don't want to see the state burn down next year.

be kind, please rewind~


Hi Aqua!

Yes, some time next week a new blog will come...once the picture of the future events comes clear. Right now too much speculation so we will keep this blog open.

I too had a lot of lettuce in recent years. I will continue to tailor down what I plant so I'm not going so nuts with that. Just enough for me, and a little spare for some friends is all I want to do anymore. No more farming!



I think there is hope for the West. Perhaps not to the degree the last two days of GFS has shown....but that ridge is going to lessen it's grip and could let some moisture back into the picture.

Problem is, until the ridge has broken fully down, they will remain below average precip. They really do need the GFS to be correct in completely disassembling the west ridge by Day 14...and allow those Pac NW storms to get down into California.

They need the ridge to fall apart while the winter storm season still exists. The North Pacific anomaly may unfortunately prevent a full release of the ridge.
Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 48 Comments: 7669
197. aquak9
5:12 PM GMT on January 19, 2014
hi P et al, my goodness this blog has become so busy.

Have given away 3, gallon bags of letti. Got TOO MUCH. And soup? dear sweet buddha in a basket, what army did I think I was feeding?

P if you got another storm coming, you gotta start a new blog. But can ya toss in a little wave of the magic wand, to temper the drought in Cally? I really don't want to see the state burn down next year.

be kind, please rewind~
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 164 Comments: 25825
196. Pcroton
5:08 PM GMT on January 19, 2014
Of absolutely zero help to the "coastal bomb" idea is the lack of a negative NAO. Remember it was thought when we saw the slight negative blip around the 16th of January that this thing was going to go strongly negative. It was a key component of the return to major arctic outbreaks coupled with strong coastal snow threats.

Well... it's not going negative. It's reinforcing it's positive phase...and it's been largely positive all winter.




Sorry all, even though I feel we cannot write the book on the Jan 25 and beyond time frame... there aren't any positive signs at this time....and keep in mind there were no positive signs the Jan 16, 18, 22 would have featured large coastal storms coupled with arctic outbreaks, either, but that was the chatter going around at the time --- much like the chatter going around today is that the storms are coming.

I want to see proof. And nobody is going to SEE proof one way or another until later next week.




Member Since: September 26, 2011 Posts: 48 Comments: 7669
195. Pcroton
4:51 PM GMT on January 19, 2014
Hi, Philly! Pattern changes are always difficult to decipher until you're right on top of them. My hunch is I'd give more weight to the idea of the western ridge releasing it's strong grip than most seem to be doing so at the moment.

==============

HPC starting to talk about the West ridge possibly breaking down. Again this won't be a two day process. Regardless of the end result the west ridge IS going to be losing it's amplification in the 8-15 day range. The blocking that it has caused for the west coast will begin to subside. This is going to happen. I think the question lies more along the lines of how far does the ridge subside.

12GFS btw continues to back up the theme of breaking the ridge over the 10-20 day time frame and thus warming the East.


===

Extended forecast discussion
nws weather prediction center college park md
1059 am est sun jan 19 2014

valid 12z wed jan 22 2014 - 12z sun jan 26 2014

...Overview and preferences...

Amplified ridge/trough pattern will remain in place... But
models/ensembles continue to waver on embedded shortwaves in the
east and the renegade weakening closed low in the west. The ecens
and naefs means /aided by the canadian ensemble members/ maintain
the ridging along the western north american coast longer than the
00z-06z gefs mean does through next weekend... And given the
strength of the ridge and model biases will continue to maintain
above average heights through the pac nw/bc into eastern ak until
there becomes a clear signal that this persistent/impressive
ridging will finally break down. The 00z ecmwf clusters well with
its ensemble mean and was used to add detail to the forecast
throughout the period.

====

IF the modeling is correct. Two days of GFS, day and a half of Euro... de-evolving the western ridge.

This would be your long term end result. This is just for kicks, and just to illustrate the "what if-then this" scenario. The west needs this. And to be honest if we're not getting any good storms out East there is no point in cold air.

February 2nd, 7AM:






=================
Here is that evolution again, but now on the 12Z








Again, for our Eastern pattern to change, the western pattern must change, and I feel so many people want our pattern out East to change, with the west pattern remaining as a huge death high ridge of pressure. I don't think you can have it both ways.

So that ridge is going to subside in amplification. I mean we're in the mid-term now to see that. I wouldn't dismiss that idea at all.

The question is: HOW FAR does it subside. Does it erode entirely. Does it just get to where we got it at 150 hours and that's the new pattern.

That's what is unanswered to me.
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194. PhillySnow
4:27 PM GMT on January 19, 2014
Good morning! 32F here, going up to 39. This is all quite frustrating. It'll be cold and dry, or cold and snowy, or warm. Oh well. Thanks for your explanations, P and LT.
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193. Pcroton
4:01 PM GMT on January 19, 2014
12Z NAM/SREF are in posts #189 & 191.

Here is the 12Z GFS on Tuesday. Seems all three agree at getting brushed by the system.

We're talking 0.1" to 0.15" QPF though so don't get too excited.




GFS Snowfall map will follow when available.
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192. Pcroton
3:48 PM GMT on January 19, 2014
I see a recent trend this winter is to say 'Yeah that's what the operational says, but ignore that, the ensembles show different'.

Ok, we can do that...and I see a very similar pattern. West ridge is breaking down in these model runs. It's not going AWAY mind you but it's releasing it's grip and allowing something to occur we haven't seen in a long time - instead of the Gulf of Alaska storms retrograding and heading into the Bering Sea - they're dropping into the Pacific NW.

It all begins with the sub-tropical disturbance that begins as a cutoff low entering the Pac-NW, then dropping southward along the coastline... this is the start of a pattern change.














Again, I feel like we're doing the same mistake earlier in the year but in reverse. We want a pattern change that energizes the sub-tropical jet but we don't want to accept that this pattern change could be signaling an end to the massive grip of the western ridge...and then those downstream effects push us mild here in the East.

Same as early in winter quite a few outlets pointed out the massive west ridge, but still wanted the whole US mild at the same time - when you HAD to have a trough in the East in response.

This is why I'm having a hard time buying "pattern change"... WITHOUT... A Pattern Change!

'cause THATS what it sounds like! We want a favorable pattern change without the negative implications?

And again, I don't have an ACTUAL OPINION here, I am merely pointing out some factors and some modeling changes.

What we have to do is watch the west and Gulf of Alaska to see what is going on over the next 5 days or so.

I feel like the time for a strong opinion on the matter would be best laid sometime middle to late next week. By then all this will have sorted itself out and the pattern evolution will be there to be seen...and then one could extrapolate downstream effects and continued evolution of the new pattern.

I don't like trying to have things both ways. I don't like agreeing with those who keep trying to forecast a big storm, when they just got done doing so in the recent past, and those storms failed to come.

It's akin to the GFS in April constantly having a strong tropical storm in the WCar towards the end of it's 10 day period... and every new day - the storm was still in the 10 day period... and those wanting a storm just kept saying one was coming.

I don't like doing that and this appears to be what some thinking has been doing the past week, for this coming week, and now for beyond.

When this type of trending is going on I'd rather step back, stop trying to figure it out, and let time pass.



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191. Pcroton
3:27 PM GMT on January 19, 2014
12Z Nam Snowfall...



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190. Pcroton
3:19 PM GMT on January 19, 2014
Just to make things clear I have no opinion at this time one way or another in regards to the January 25 and beyond time frame. I think it's too early to go fishing there. There is too much volitility in potential scenarios now.

It seems at this time we have two possiblities. One is the cold/stormy pattern returns and stays deep into February.

The other, which recent modeling has hinted, is the west ridge releases it's grip in the 10-20 day time frame and the downstream effect is a SW flow aloft over the eastern 2/3rds of the US resulting in mild temperatures and no coastal snow storm threats.

Just going to stick to my thinking this won't be resolved much until the middle to late next week time frame.
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189. Pcroton
2:57 PM GMT on January 19, 2014
Hi LT. The interesting thing with the Sub-Tropical jet becoming re-energized is that the models do show that and not just allow it to take over but to dominate with a storm track through the central US into the Great Lakes - and then we don't have the polar jet involved anymore in the long term.

Forecasting hasn't been good the past week, it doesn't appear that anyone has a real handle on it for next week, and with the models shifting now the following week is entirely unknown.

I understand the whole 'Dont follow the models follow the signs and the pattern' idea - but it hasn't panned out recently.

The GFS wants the warmup. The Euro also wants the warmup. So we aren't any longer just talking about a single GFS model run out of bounds. It's 4. It's also 3 Euro runs on top of it.

This coming week is important in seeing how everything evolves out west to figure out our downstream implications. I think attempting to forecast the rest of winter has already proven to be an impossible venture with the recent busts - so why just keep forecasting cold and storms? I'd rather wait this week out at this point.

My personal feeling is that so many eager thoughts about winter's big return that folks are just dismissing any warm and non-stormy possibilities - because they don't want to believe it is possible.

We have just gone through 2 systems, and Tuesday possibly a third, where the warmer or quieter solutions that were dismissed ended up being correct in the end.

So to just dismiss the GFS/Euro solutions of the western ridge breaking down and the 500mb pattern going SW-NE flow bringing warming east....I think is premature.


=================


For those hopeful that Tuesday's system could be a little bit more... the SREF says so. The 12Z Nam is a little closer. Still not feeling any significant threat here. A brushing requiring a broom perhaps.





Maybe 0.15" total thru central NJ with that SREF...which is the boldest guidance on the system.

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188. originalLT
2:44 PM GMT on January 19, 2014
Morning "P" and all, just watched Steve Di's video discussion out now, and he basically says the clipper systems are developing too far off shore because the pattern is very progressive and you basically have one storm after another, pushing the front ones out too quickly. Also that one must watch the subtropical jet and moisture building in the Pacific and not just the models, because they don't pick up on this too well.Also he doesn't see the big warm-up that the GFS is seeing, saying it will basically be below normal into Feb.
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187. Pcroton
1:32 PM GMT on January 19, 2014
You look at all of this and begin to wonder...what happened? I thought we were heading back into deep winter with coastal bombs?

Remember, around January 5th, that was slated to begin January 16th. Then as we moved forward Jan 16 was given up on but Jan 18 was new big storm - then that failed and Jan 22 was the next big one - now that's pretty much failing.

Now we're going AGAIN. Now it's the Thursday maybe storm. If not that we got Jan 26-27 right? Oh not that one well then there's always the 30th!

But now...the GFS wiped all that out and flips warm and spring like with a Texas to Michigan storm track.


Also noteworthy is the Euro through 240 hours echoes the GFS' desire to close down the Western death ridge and produce a SW to NE flow across the USA...thus warming the East.


What happened! Are these all BS model runs? Are the dire cold/storm predictions for the second half of January and all of February going up in smoke just like that?

It's entirely possible. The models do not drive the weather. Human interpretation of models most certainly doesn't drive the weather.

We will see how this all plays out. First lets get to the end of next week to see if the Jan 25-31 time frame (which now kinda looks like a Thursday the 23-31s time frame?) is going to pan out or not.

Until then we really can't start forecasting much. We can just model watch and ponder it.

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186. Pcroton
1:27 PM GMT on January 19, 2014
Then the GFS keeps us in northern stream energy, another repeat, but no more southern stream involvement and the GFS had dropped the southern stream involvement a long time ago for this system.





Here is the Euro: Also northern stream and in Canada with the low and a trailing front.



============================================



And then at 240 hours the GFS on 4 runs consecutive has now destroyed the western ridge and brings storms into the Pac NW, and the sub-tropical jet stream awakes. Could THIS finally be the start of a chance at a big coastal event down stream with these two disturbances in this new pattern? It's entirely possible. What made the GFS switch it's mind a day or so ago and break the present pattern I'm not sure...but it went from continuous ridge west, trough east, to suddenly breaking that.







Here is the Euro: It shows the same sub-trop dist but earlier. Then shows the Pac NW system dropping in at 240hrs. Timing off for the Euro but the IDEA is the same.








============================

Long Range:


Now looking farther ahead, the GFS continues to have the entirely changed pattern. West ridge is just mysteriously gone and replaced with a trough while the East goes warm - Spring warm. Mysterious because all modeling until starting yesterday, and all forecasting even today, says west death ridge remains and east is dead cold. GFS entirely disagrees with this now. If the GFS is right an awful lot of folks just crapped the bed in regards to long range forecasting and thoughts - and suddenly the TWC which I mocked had February warming being correct. Well, we're dealing long range, so who can say, but this is troubling for us snow lovers.












==========================
GFS is really demaning winter ends. Warmup. West trough.














Today's and Yesterday's guidance, if you were to take it in full faith, says that through the end of January a couple of weakly phasing systems that move off shore before really doing anything noteworthy - are replaced with a spring time warmup that brings us deep into February. If this were to be true then suddenly deep winter is over - you'd be in Mid-February, deep trough in the west, big ridge in the east, you'd be mild, and winter's done.

This brings me all the way back 2 weeks or more when I suggested that if these couple of storms don't pan out in the long range (And let's face it, the last three scenarios all went total bust once we got to them) that we could find ourselves in mid February without a storm - and then, it's mid-February and we all know that's the start of the winter thaw.


Imagine if like the previous three scenarios... the next three also bust? Then we warm? Oh boy... oh well?





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185. Pcroton
12:56 PM GMT on January 19, 2014
I think the Tuesday storm is going to be out to sea, Biz. Maybe at the absolute best we get clipped by it's western edge but that's unlikely with the cold involved and the origin-heading of the cold. It's interesting the NWS is discussing the systems but the zone forecast is stripped of all weather. Bone dry through Saturday.

Well, let's take a look at what's going on. Our clipper seems to have morphed into what the NAM sim radar was showing last night.





Quite cold out there this morning. 22F here.





Here is the GFS for Tuesday system. Clipper phases off shore with developing low and heads away:





Here is the NAM:





Here is the CMC:





Here is the Euro:





All see out to sea, late development.

Even the GFS Spag is in great agreement on out to sea.




=================================
Late Week:


GFS has a similiar scenario for the end of the week:





CMC:





Euro:






=================================

Looks like the later week system might hold more promise.







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184. NYBizBee
6:55 AM GMT on January 19, 2014
Quoting 183. NYBizBee:
P, nws diss for long term sounds promising. Starting thursday with a low passings south of the benchmark. Then another towards sunday. Both are mentioned now. What are your thoughts im thinking bust bust and bust.


Tuesday still mentioned and seems maybe the best shot for anything, thoughts?

AFTER THE FRONTAL PASSAGE BUT THE FRONT SLOWING DOWN OFFSHORE WILL
HAVE A LOW DEVELOPING ALONG IT. THE LOW DEVELOPS OFF THE MID-
ATLANTIC COAST AND APPROACHES TUESDAY...TAKING A TRACK SOUTHEAST
OF THE BENCHMARK OF 40N/70W AS IT HEADS JUST OFF THE COASTS OF
NOVA SCOTIA AND NEWFOUNDLAND. THE HIGH PRESSURE AFOREMENTIONED
WEAKENS QUITE A BIT AS IT MOVES INTO THE LOCAL AREA WEDNESDAY.
ANOTHER WEAK WAVE OF LOW PRESSURE FROM MANITOBA AND ONTARIO MOVES
SOUTHEAST INTO THE GREAT LAKES WEDNESDAY AND INTO THE LOCAL AREA
WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND THURSDAY. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN GFS...ECMWF...AND
CMC WITH REGARDS TO MAGNITUDE OF THE LOWS WITH ECMWF BEING THE COLDER
AND WETTER SOLUTION. MEANWHILE...ANOTHER STRONG CANADIAN HIGH
PRESSURE AREA...SIMILARLY COMING FROM SASKATCHEWAN AND MANITOBA
MOVES INTO SOUTHEAST U.S. ON THURSDAY AND THEN INTO OUR AREA
THURSDAY NIGHT AND FRIDAY. THIS HIGH PRESSURE AREA MOVES OFFSHORE
FRIDAY NIGHT INTO NEXT WEEKEND WITH ANOTHER FRONTAL SYSTEM
APPROACHING FROM THE NORTH AND WEST.
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183. NYBizBee
5:37 AM GMT on January 19, 2014
P, nws diss for long term sounds promising. Starting thursday with a low passings south of the benchmark. Then another towards sunday. Both are mentioned now. What are your thoughts im thinking bust bust and bust.
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182. Pcroton
12:18 AM GMT on January 19, 2014
DC and State College release snow maps:







Here is the 12Z Snowfall maps...ran the GFS to 120 because it's slower with the tuesday system.



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181. Pcroton
11:23 PM GMT on January 18, 2014
And here's some general reading.... as of now no NWS snow maps for Mount Holly or Upton - whereas last night at this time they had some out. I don't think they're very confident at this point.




================

Area forecast discussion
national weather service mount holly nj
353 pm est sat jan 18 2014

.Synopsis...
A weakening area of low pressure and associated cold front in the
lower ohio valley will quickly move across the area on sunday. A
stronger low pressure system will swing east across southern
canada sunday night into monday, dragging a frontal boundary across
our area on monday. A low pressure system is forecast to form on
this frontal boundary monday night and pass east of the area on
tuesday. Arctic high pressure will build into the southeast on
wednesday. Then another clipper type low pressure system is forecast
to pass through the forecast area on thursday. The next arctic
high pressure system is also forecast to move into the southeast
on friday. Then a cold front from canada should pass through the
great lakes on saturday.


============

On TUESDAY Potential:



Monday night will be tell tale sign as to how snowy tue can or can
not be as the deeper dew point drop, the farther south the
baroclinic zone will progress. Given modeling errors with timing, we
included a chance of flurries late.

The short wave associated with the digging trof was passing through
the aleutians with the 12z run model run suite. The next sounding
run it should be in noam. There is a trend toward the deeper trof.
The question is will it be too late for our cwa. Removing the
cyclogen from the picture for the moment, the trof itself still
has to move through with dpva fcst during the day. The fcst mid
level qvec convergence not surprisingly is concentrated in the sern
quarter of our cwa and mid level fgen does not get amped until
offshore. Today`s 12z suite is as far northwest features can go
without bringing a more confident likelihood of snow. The gefs
mean is slightly weaker and offshore which because of its poorer
resolution corroborates the op solution. The ecmwf ensemble mean
also looks slightly farther offshore. So for now we kept pops in
the chance category and gave the credit (snow showers) more to the
short waves than the sfc low.


================


Interesting Thursday:



Next clipper type low to pass on thursday. The gfs and ukmet remain
most muted. While the can ggem, nogaps and jma are most bullish. The
ecmwf was trending more toward tue and slightly less toward thu. It
will be cold on thu so whatever snow falls will stick easily. There
is a norlun clustering around monmouth county in our cwa. Last
couple of winters one cant go wrong expecting a snow max in
monmouth county. Our highest pops are north vs south.


====================================

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180. Pcroton
11:18 PM GMT on January 18, 2014
NAO continues positive...through February 1st.




So while we continue to see some signs of a few elements coming into play in the 25th-31st time frame that could lead to a couple of decent storms - we are still missing that important feature that leads to blockbuster events.

I think at this point nobody would be unhappy with the chance at a couple of 6-12" events....but we are unlikely to see any of those 2010'ish widespread 20"+ storms any time soon unless this index changes.

Of course it's not the end all...nor a death sentence...but it sure does help.

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179. Pcroton
11:13 PM GMT on January 18, 2014
Quoting 177. Hurricane614:
Hi there. Is this clipper you are talking about the one currently in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio area? If it is, it looks like quite a healthy clipper.


Yep, that's the one. It's a repeat system in terms of location and heading...but it's development on this side of the mountains is quite different. Not sure what to expect to be perfectly honest.

This morning's featured a secondary low development off of DE that moved northward and had a period of strong lift over northern NJ leading to the thunderstorms and thundersnows. That element isn't modeled for tomorrow's event.

Quoting 178. GTOSnow:
I had to go in and plow my new office in Shrewsbury, Ma. There was an easy 6" on the ground withe more still falling. I'll be out of all this come Monday morning on my way to sunny warm AZ. Have fun with all this while I am gone!


Enjoy your vacation! Seems like you picked a good week to bail with the arctic air and winds returning.

That clipper really did well through the region today. Unfortunately it was "in pockets" and not widespread.
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178. GTOSnow
11:04 PM GMT on January 18, 2014
I had to go in and plow my new office in Shrewsbury, Ma. There was an easy 6" on the ground withe more still falling. I'll be out of all this come Monday morning on my way to sunny warm AZ. Have fun with all this while I am gone!
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177. Hurricane614
10:54 PM GMT on January 18, 2014
Hi there. Is this clipper you are talking about the one currently in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio area? If it is, it looks like quite a healthy clipper.
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176. Pcroton
10:52 PM GMT on January 18, 2014
NAM and RAP seem to like our clipper... here is simulated radar reflectivity for select hours:







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175. Hoynieva
10:50 PM GMT on January 18, 2014
Thanks, P, I'll let you guys know how it went come mid/late February

Quoting 169. PhillySnow:
Good evening, all. Fun with forecasting these days. There are chances of bits of snow anyway these next few days; in spite of the seemingly endless dry weather. Waiting....

Have a wonderful journey, Hoy! Sign on if you can - it'd be interesting to hear what's happening in Asia.


Thanks, Philly. I doubt I'll sign in here while I'm over there as I won't really have access to a computer most of the time and this area is a pain to get to on my phone. I do have an Instagram account where I always post photos though, if you're interested.
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174. trHUrrIXC5MMX
10:46 PM GMT on January 18, 2014
What has been the biggest negative factor these recent years for a hurricane season is dry air in the upper atmosphere.

From 2009 on, excluding that season, we have had a bunch of weak tropical cyclones that due to the excessive amounts of SAL can't really intensify into solid and strong cyclones.

Wind shear is still a big factor but not as big because we have had record activity 2010-2012... The three top active seasons ever.

The real problem is when those storms form, they remain very shallow in terms of pressure even if winds rise to 60 mph or so... Weak pressures could be lethal for any storm depending on a potential hostile environment.

Examples... Ana, Henry, Colin, Danny, Don, Franklin, Nicole, Dorian, etc.. Countless storms

However, 2010 was a pretty decent season.
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173. Pcroton
10:40 PM GMT on January 18, 2014
Some more snowfall totals coming in. What a hit up in NW CT/SW Mass!









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172. Pcroton
10:35 PM GMT on January 18, 2014
Quoting 169. PhillySnow:
Good evening, all. Fun with forecasting these days. There are chances of bits of snow anyway these next few days; in spite of the seemingly endless dry weather. Waiting....

Have a wonderful journey, Hoy! Sign on if you can - it'd be interesting to hear what's happening in Asia.


It's a little frustrating for those who have to produce forecasts for people though. It's very tough to say which one of these disturbances can make it through the mountains with some moisture, and which ones will develop when they near the coast. So many variables.

Every disturbance be it today, tomorrows, monday nights, tuesday nights, and thursday nights, and fridya nights... I mean, every one has the chance to bust with flurries or nothing - or for some people be a boon with 2-4".

Very difficult to predict.
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About Pcroton

Located in Monmouth County in central NJ. Watching the weather from North Carolina to Maine.