Swing....and a miss

By: sullivanweather , 12:22 AM GMT on March 06, 2014

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So, what went wrong with the snowstorm for the Northeast on Sunday/Monday? There were several key factors which led into a much further southward track with the storm; two of which were strong confluent flow over New England and one of the coldest March outbreaks of arctic air over the northern US in the last 140 years thanks to an unusually strong 1050mb surface high pressure sagging south over the northern Plains.




Selection of all-time March records for cold broken during arctic outbreak


This surface high also had a eastward extending ridge axis which extended over eastern Canada and resulted in strong wedging down the east side of the Appalachians. The combination of the confluent flow and surface high pressure led to strong subsidence and vast amounts of dry air becoming entrained into the front-end of the storm in the ageostrophic flow east of the Appalachians. These two factors severely cut down the precipitation arriving with the first system on Sunday behind the arctic front. However, the main 500mb trough still hung back to the west over Texas and surface low pressure with the developing storm was still back in the mid-Mississippi Valley. What led to the main storm also taking a detour south from expectations which held for nearly a week?



One of many consistent model runs of expected storm for Monday, March 3rd showing southern stream shortwave moving out ahead of northern stream trough.




Final solution showing the southern stream shortwave obviously left behind by rapidly advancing northern stream shortwave.

Just some minor shifts in the longwave pattern, it turns out. Large scale features, such as the North American center of the polar vortex, were slightly removed from the regions in which they were modeled to be in, with small changes in the configuration of individual vorticity centers within the core of the vortex and subsequent changes in the resulting orientation of minor trough axes (oddly enough, that is the correct spelling of the plural of "axis"). What ensued was a faster northern stream of the jet from the southwestwardly placed center of the polar vortex over eastern Canada. This helped to move a minor trough axis (A Rossby wave, really) through the North American northern stream flow out in front of the Pacific-origin system in the southern stream by the time it emerged out in the southern Plains. The height falls associated with the passage of the northern stream Rossby wave out ahead of the southern stream system essentially put in place an atmospheric wall which kept the southern stream system from penetrating too far north.

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63. listenerVT
1:01 AM GMT on July 25, 2014
Can't wait to hear what you've been working on, Sully. I know you said it's weather related. How's it going?
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5504
62. listenerVT
3:44 AM GMT on July 03, 2014
7 firefighters injured in Vermont, when lightning struck the housefire they were battling.
http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/loc al/vermont/2014/07/02/seven-vermont-firefighters-i njured/12114133/
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5504
61. listenerVT
4:02 PM GMT on June 12, 2014
Hi Sully, I know you're busy, but I hope you see this. My son, the wildlife biologist, is in upper Hudson Bay doing bird research. The weather is 40's by day and 30's by night, winds often 20-30kts, and they have to take a 12 gauge shotgun to the loo due to the polar and grizzly bears. He just posted the first report of the three week expedition. Enjoy!

http://shorebirdscience.org/coats-2014-01/
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5504
60. listenerVT
5:51 AM GMT on June 09, 2014
Quoting 59. jerseycityjoan:

Listener,

You are such a loyal and unselfish person.

Your warm and kindly presence here on the weather blogs is a blessing. Thank you for sharing your goodness with us.


Joan


Aw, Joan, thanks. It's rare to receive such a warm comment on a blog. :-)

I greatly value Sully's talent for forecasting and his helpful articulation of things I can barely grasp. I know there are seasons in life when one needs to be busy elsewhere, and I don't fault him (this is all voluntary, after all!). But I miss his sharing of some of his great strengths. I hope his endeavours lead him back to this blog soon.

Meanwhile, thanks for stopping by. I post over at Pcroton's blog and of course at Blizzard92's as well. But this is still my weather blog home. :-)
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5504
59. jerseycityjoan
9:48 AM GMT on June 08, 2014
Listener,

You are such a loyal and unselfish person.

Your warm and kindly presence here on the weather blogs is a blessing. Thank you for sharing your goodness with us.


Joan
Member Since: September 29, 2001 Posts: 0 Comments: 176
58. listenerVT
5:28 AM GMT on June 08, 2014
I still pop by every day.

Come by and say hallo to us, Sully!
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5504
57. listenerVT
10:08 PM GMT on May 26, 2014
Sure hope your Memorial Day Weekend went well, Sully!

Garden in? :-)

Any thoughts on this Summer's heat, storms or growing potential?
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5504
56. Skyepony (Mod)
12:29 PM GMT on May 18, 2014
Quoting 52. listenerVT:

Every day, Sully, before I check any of the other weather blogs, I come by here to see if there's anything new. You had said this was going to be a priority for you. Has something else become the priority? Gardening, perhaps? Please check in and say hallo sometime soon. Thanks.

I miss Sully too.. So you blew one forecast a bit. We all do.. Get back on that horse:)...
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 164 Comments: 37855
55. NumberWise
3:52 AM GMT on May 18, 2014
Hi, overlooked. Yes, I see that many of the weather maps and radars are stuck. I, too, use Classic, but I checked in NUWU, and the same problems seem to exist. Some maps will change to the current time if I click on "Animate", but some do not. I'm rather surprised that I haven't seen any other comment about this, but perhaps it's because I don't read the popular blogs, like Dr. Masters'.
Member Since: October 22, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1701
54. overlooked
3:01 AM GMT on May 18, 2014
Hi!!!! I'm getting crazy here, the radar out of Binghamton has been stuck for about 2 days. Does anyone have an idea how to make it update? Yes I use the old version, I really don't like the new one. Are they just trying to make me switch by leaving the radar alone for a couple days?
I can't find any where to contact WU.
And I'm tired and cranky and going to bed, I'll try again tomorrow.....
Any suggestions welcomed....
Member Since: February 16, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 21
53. listenerVT
3:02 AM GMT on May 15, 2014
We made it to 81F today! So tonight we took a Full Moon Walk. It was 65F at 9:30pm and no bugs! Really nice.

I have two loved ones in San Diego near the fires there, where it's to reach 106F tomorrow, with wind, and no rain in sight. I feel wildly lucky to be in Vermont.
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5504
52. listenerVT
2:08 AM GMT on May 03, 2014
Every day, Sully, before I check any of the other weather blogs, I come by here to see if there's anything new. You had said this was going to be a priority for you. Has something else become the priority? Gardening, perhaps? Please check in and say hallo sometime soon. Thanks.
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5504
51. listenerVT
7:25 PM GMT on April 20, 2014
Joyous Easter and Good Passover to all who observe!
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50. listenerVT
1:13 AM GMT on April 18, 2014
Quoting 49. originalLT:

Listener, Snow pile #2? :)


LOL! No, we only get plowed if we get 6" or more of snow. Below that, we just drive through it. :-)
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49. originalLT
5:31 AM GMT on April 16, 2014
Listener, Snow pile #2? :)
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 7526
48. listenerVT
5:08 AM GMT on April 16, 2014
Quoting 47. originalLT:

Great Ally news Listener. And the pic. you posted on post #41 looks like an oil painting, just beautiful!


Thanks, LT!
Mom Nature sure knows how to paint at sunset! :-D

Tonight she is having some fun with us:
Looks like 2-3" of snow. We'll see for sure come morning.

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47. originalLT
1:54 AM GMT on April 16, 2014
Great Ally news Listener. And the pic. you posted on post #41 looks like an oil painting, just beautiful!
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 7526
46. listenerVT
1:52 AM GMT on April 16, 2014
Quoting 45. overlooked:

Listener

We have snow here in NY they're calling for only an inch or so, I hope! If they called for 3 to 8 here I'd cry. But we had almost 75 on Sunday, so there's hope and what falls now won't last long. My last little snow pile just melted last Saturday.

I think that Sully feels that he has to put a large amount of work and thought into the blog and if he can't do it right then not do it at all.
How's Ally doing?


Ally is doing GREAT! :-D She will have scans sometime this month, but is going strong, and we are just delighted!! Thanks for asking.

We broke a precipitation record here today. Previous record for April 15th was 1.41" in 1942. We're already up to 1.51" and it's 9:30pm. So much rain today that the water was over the road in a bunch of places. The fire department was on scene in one place 3 miles from me, where the river was raging along its banks and flooding a road; they were making sure it was safe for folks to cross and ready to close it when needed. It's 2 miles from my house to work, and there was water level with the road when I was driving in. It would have gone over the road, but that the precip turned to snow first. We had an inch on the ground when I got home around 8:20pm. Lake Champlain is reaching flood stage too.
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45. overlooked
12:53 AM GMT on April 16, 2014
Listener

We have snow here in NY they're calling for only an inch or so, I hope! If they called for 3 to 8 here I'd cry. But we had almost 75 on Sunday, so there's hope and what falls now won't last long. My last little snow pile just melted last Saturday.

I think that Sully feels that he has to put a large amount of work and thought into the blog and if he can't do it right then not do it at all.
How's Ally doing?
Member Since: February 16, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 21
44. listenerVT
1:45 AM GMT on April 15, 2014
Hi Sully,

You mentioned back in February that you hoped to have a weather project completed by mid-Spring, so I have my ears pricked up, awaiting a post about it, or an update. You also wrote:

"I have to get back into the habit of structured writing, something I really haven't been doing much of lately. So all these things have been tugging at me, pulling me in different directions and trying to find the time to devote to the many things I'd like to get done is leaving me without any singular focus on one thing. I believe I need to have this singular focus from which everything else I'd like to work on could come to me easier. And as much as I would like for one of the other projects to be that single focus, due to the process of these projects it makes it nearly impossible. So that single focus for me will be blogging."

Please know I'm thinking of you and hoping all the best is happening for you! :-)
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43. listenerVT
3:25 AM GMT on April 11, 2014
Help!

NW VT is expecting 75F on Monday (=What!?!=) and 3-8" of snow on Tuesday night, with a high on Wednesday of 39F. So that means we're getting Summer and Winter next week. What happened to Spring?

Do you think we'll really get snow?

Does 75F mid-April suggest we'll have 100's come July? Will I need to buy my first ever air conditioner?
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5504
42. listenerVT
4:47 AM GMT on April 08, 2014
We topped 60F today!!

While I was in town (two towns from here), I heard and saw Redwinged Blackbirds and saw a pair of Turkey Vultures riding thermals. All good signs of Spring! :-)
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41. listenerVT
5:05 AM GMT on April 01, 2014
Our lamblike end to March:


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40. listenerVT
12:04 AM GMT on April 01, 2014
How about we celebrate the end of March with a new Warming Temps thread? :-)

Welcome April!
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39. Skyepony (Mod)
3:09 PM GMT on March 30, 2014
What a great use of a great pumpkin:)
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 164 Comments: 37855
38. listenerVT
5:45 AM GMT on March 29, 2014
Quoting 37. sullivanweather:
Listener,

Kate just returned home from work and was told every one of our loaves sold!


That's wonderful~!!! :-)

So we had actual liquid stuff coming out of the sky on Friday! Amazing! We now have 3" of ice water on all walkways. Heh.

Saturday night some are calling for 6+" of wet snow here while others say we'll have ice pellets. It's sure going to be a mess. What's your take on it?

Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5504
37. sullivanweather
3:00 AM GMT on March 28, 2014
Listener,

Kate just returned home from work and was told every one of our loaves sold!
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
36. listenerVT
1:02 AM GMT on March 28, 2014
Oh, that was so good of you and Kate to do!! It makes a huge difference in being able to bear it when friends do something so tangible and practical, to show caring.

It's such a hard thing to get a diagnosis like that. As word on staging and treatment comes, I hope the news is good.
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5504
35. sullivanweather
6:05 AM GMT on March 27, 2014
Good evening, Listener!

I'm doing well. The last couple days featured an unexpected change of plans. One of Kate's co-workers was just diagnosed with lymphoma and they were holding a bake sale fundraiser for her today at the hospital where she works. We spent the last two days of our free time making 20 loaves of pumpkin bread from our last pumpkin (25lbs) leftover from the fall. Thankfully, all of them sold @$6/loaf.





Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
34. listenerVT
1:21 AM GMT on March 27, 2014
Hi Sully!

I don't know whether you found a house to buy or decided to ditch the new blog because the storm tracked so far east, but anyway I thought you might enjoy this:

My sister-in-law on Nantucket has some 5ft snow drifts (one engulfed her bird bath) and winds got up to 60 (gusts as high as 83mph) there today. Wild! She got to be home with her three cats, so is fine.

Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5504
33. listenerVT
1:09 AM GMT on March 25, 2014
We're told to expect a little light snow on Wednesday. Does that mean the storm is going to reach this far inland, or is it coincidental? We're also told to expect some ice pellets on Friday morning as the 40's finally arrive. What say you, Sully?

I hope it was something happy that kept you from posting yesterday. :-)
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32. Skyepony (Mod)
5:03 AM GMT on March 23, 2014
Happy house hunting...
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 164 Comments: 37855
31. listenerVT
5:02 AM GMT on March 23, 2014
Quoting 30. sullivanweather:
Hiya, Listener!

Thanks for keeping my blog active while I've been away.
Kate and I have been busy house hunting all week long (on days we're not working) so it's been hard trying to get on here to devote some time for meteorological analysis for the storm we have upcoming. Tomorrow I should have a few hours of downtime to hopefully post some thoughts I have on the possible storm.


Thanks, Sully! :-) I'll be interested to discover if the storm is coming this far north. I'll be sure to come by!

Just popped back here to say "Happy House Hunting" and see that Skyepony was faster. :-) Try not to get discouraged. The right house is out there. My daughter spent several years hunting, and found the perfect house at last.
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5504
30. sullivanweather
3:58 AM GMT on March 23, 2014
Hiya, Listener!

Thanks for keeping my blog active while I've been away.
Kate and I have been busy house hunting all week long (on days we're not working) so it's been hard trying to get on here to devote some time for meteorological analysis for the storm we have upcoming. Tomorrow I should have a few hours of downtime to hopefully post some thoughts I have on the possible storm.
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
29. listenerVT
12:22 AM GMT on March 22, 2014
Glorious sunshine today, and so warm streaming in the windows that I turned the heat off for over 6 hours! Tomorrow we are expecting 3-5" of snow, or an inch of snow, depending on which forecast you believe.

But that's okay because we bought the movie Frozen to watch with our granddaughter. :-D (First Disney movie I've seen since I can remember.)

We'll watch that on Saturday evening while enjoying sundaes, then on Sunday we're going to a sugar-on-snow event with daily. Ahhh, Spring.
Member Since: July 11, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5504
28. listenerVT
5:41 PM GMT on March 20, 2014
It's SPRING!
Anybody else besides me got sleet? LOL!

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27. listenerVT
2:39 AM GMT on March 20, 2014
SPRING EQUINOX tomorrow:
12:57 p.m EDT, 11:57 a.m. CDT, 10:57 a.m. MDT, 9:57 a.m. PDT, 8:57am AKDT

It's okay with me if Spring comes in on tip toe, or in this case, with some sleet.
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26. listenerVT
3:37 AM GMT on March 18, 2014
25. listenerVT
3:36 AM GMT on March 18, 2014
A friend of mine got a foot of snow in Sugar Grove, W Va.
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24. originalLT
1:49 PM GMT on March 17, 2014
Well Sully, we didn't get one snow flake here, but I see southern NJ did get anywhere from 6-9 or 10". Also parts of DE., Md., and Va., did OK. I feel thats going to be about it for any chance of decent snows for me, Sure we may get snow showers or rain/snow mixes but no more "big ones"! You still could up in Sullivan Co. though.
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23. listenerVT
12:47 PM GMT on March 17, 2014
La fhaile Padraig sona dhaoibh!

B'fore long 'twill be time fer th' plantin' o' the green!

O' course...

-12.9F last night that I saw.
-11F at 8:00am.
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22. listenerVT
1:28 AM GMT on March 15, 2014
Hi Sully! :-)

Yeah we got socked with snow. We kind of feel survivor guilt about it because we've had plenty this season. Maybe everyone who loves snow needs to move to Vermont. ;-)

Wicked windy today! Another branch came down in the driveway. It was probably hanging there since December's ice storm. We had gorgeous sunshine, though.

So, on Monday I'm supposed to drive to Concord, NH for meetings. Bad idea? Where is the storm likely to go?
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21. sullivanweather
4:49 PM GMT on March 14, 2014
Hiya, LT!

I did see that. I think the GFS is out to lunch, however.

I was discussing this two days ago with someone on twitter. The GFS seems to want to take the energy coming ashore Washington State and dives it all the way into central Mexico, pinching off a piece of it in the sub-tropics. The trough which emerges in the southern Plains is notably weaker as result. I don't expect this to be the case as much of the energy diving into the trough should stay within the trough itself rather than dropping south and out of the trough. This harboring of vorticity within the H5 trough should make for a stronger storm which tracks a bit closer to the coast and have a much more widespread zone of winter weather in the cold sector.

Now that we're into March and atmospheric heights are rising in the sub-tropics it gets much harder for polar disturbances to penetrate too far south or for low pressure eddies (cut-off lows) to do so either.
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
20. originalLT
4:34 PM GMT on March 14, 2014
Hey Sully, just checked out the 12Z GFS and it has trend South again. Could be another "swing and a miss" for us again. LOL.
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19. sullivanweather
4:30 PM GMT on March 14, 2014
Great pics, Listener!

You guys really got it good from this one!

I'm feeling kind of left out here.

The March 3rd storm went to our south by 100 miles.
The March 12th storm went to our north by 100 miles.

I am looking forward to spring but I also hate missing out on big snowstorms that are just within a short drive away. Frustrating.
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
18. listenerVT
3:30 AM GMT on March 14, 2014
Here's how it looked here when the sun came out!

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17. listenerVT
2:22 PM GMT on March 13, 2014
Thanks, Joan.
At 8am it was 4F here and the snow measurement was 17.5"! It is still falling fast, though should lighten up in a few hours, ending around 10pm. I'm in that sweet little circle of precip hanging over northern Vermont.





Spring is one week away, right?
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16. jerseycityjoan
6:51 AM GMT on March 13, 2014
15 - Listener:

We've continued to drop. Now Central Park is 28. But that's a heatwave compared to what you have up there.

I have been looking around and checking the status of the snow along the curbs, front yards, etc. I know it will leave me soon, after such a long, long visit. The staying power is just amazing. During our afternoon and evening rain, I saw many small spots of blackened and beaten down snow and many large patches that are snowless at last. But there were still numerous piles several feet high.

I wish you could send us some of your fresh snow too. Thanks for the offer.

Feel better soon.


Joan
Member Since: September 29, 2001 Posts: 0 Comments: 176
15. listenerVT
4:03 AM GMT on March 13, 2014
Quoting 14. jerseycityjoan:
An hour ago Central Park was 48; its now 37.

The great descendant has started. Too bad no snow (well, none to speak of) will go with it.


I wish we could share our snow with you, as we certainly have enough to go around.

Stay snug! Our temps have been slowly dropping all day...

9:00am 28.4F
Noon 25.5F
4:20pm 20.5F
7:00pm 16.1F
11:00pm 14.1F
Expecting 3F overnight.
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14. jerseycityjoan
3:52 AM GMT on March 13, 2014
An hour ago Central Park's temperature was 48; it's now 37.

The great drop has started from the 50s to the 20s. Too bad no snow (well, none to speak of) will go with it.

Very frustrating to go just halfway from April-like weather back to January's norms. Maybe we'll have better luck next week.
Member Since: September 29, 2001 Posts: 0 Comments: 176
13. listenerVT
2:29 AM GMT on March 13, 2014
Sully, how are you doing in the day's storm? Snow, ice, a bust, or what?

Up here we have over 8" of new snow atop the foot of ice and snow we already had, and it's still coming down hard.

Here's our porch, and those sticks in the snow (beyond the porch and near the window) are the tops of Dogwood bushes which are now just about covered!

2:30pm


11:00pm

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About sullivanweather

Thomas is an avid weather enthusiast, landscaper and organic gardener. This blog is dedicated to Northeast and tropical weather forecasting. Enjoy!

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