NORTHEAST SNOW STORM - THE PIVOT POINT

By: Tom Niziol , 5:43 PM GMT on February 10, 2013

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This is a quick look at the Upton New York radar loop (courtesy College of DuPage NEXLAB) from 1800 UTC 2/8/13 through 0800 UTC 2/9/13 at approximately 15 minute intervals. The point I want to make with this animation is to show how the band from NEMO sets up across Long Island and literally pummels them for several hours. Note how the band pivots right across the island as the Low moves from south to north several miles to the east of the island during the night. This pivot point is often the reason that we see tremendous snowfall amounts because it anchors the band over one location for an extended period of time.


Figure 1: 0.5 degree Reflectivity image loop from WSR-88D at Upton, NY, 1800 UTC 2/8/13 through 0800 UTC 2/9/13. Note how the band from NEMO sets up across central Long Island and pummels the area for several hours. (Radar images courtesy College of DuPage NEXLAB)

In Figure 2a and 2b I show the Digital Storm Total Precipitation (DSTP) products before the heavy snow began and after most of it ended. I included the pre-event STP as well since the product was not reset before heavy snow began. This gives you a better idea of the STP for the snow event itself.


Figure 2: Digital Storm Total Precipitation (DSTP) from WSR-88D Upton, NY at (a) 2/8/13 1859 UTC and (b) 2/9/13 at 12:59 UTC. The latter image shows the plume of greater DSTP across central and eastern Long Island as well as southern Connecticut. (images courtesy College of DuPage NEXLAB)


Figure 3 shows some of the preliminary snowfall totals from NEMO based on our reports we received at The Weather Channel. I do not have a key for the colors but you can see the relative maximum across Central Long Island with the maximum extending up into Connecticut. This matches the radar animation and DSTP images quite well.


Figure 3: Preliminary snowfall totals across parts of the Northeast at 2000 UTC 2/9/13. The color key shows the relative snowfall maximum over Central Long Island, running north into Connecticut. (image courtesy The Weather Channel)


Finally, in Figure 4 is the meteogram for Islip, NY (KISP) showing the evolution of the snow storm. Note how the extended period of visibility 1/4 mile or less (0 on the meteogram) and heavy snowfall matches up nicely with the period during which the snow band pivoted across Long Island.


Figure 4: Meteogram for Islip, NY (KISP) shows the evolution of the snow storm. The time runs from 1700 UTC 2/8/13 (left) through 1700 UTC 2/9/13 (right). Note the extended period of less than 1/4 mile or less visibility in heavy snow between about 2200 UTC 2/8/13 and 0800 UTC 2/9/13, about the same period the band pivoted across Long Island. (meteogram courtesy Plymouth State Weather Center)

There will be a lot of research looking back at what is already a record-setting snow storm for the Northeast. I look forward to hearing more about this storm.


As always, if you have any questions or comments you can send them to me at tniziol@weather.com



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3. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
3:43 PM GMT on March 01, 2013
tniziol has created a new entry.
2. GeorgiaStormz
7:32 PM GMT on February 10, 2013
Thanks for the blog!
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9770
1. trHUrrIXC5MMX
5:50 PM GMT on February 10, 2013
It's hard to believe those snow totals... Milford, CT 38", Hamden, CT 40" and over 30" in Central Long Island. WOW!

I ca't wait to see the NESIS rating for Nemo.
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14875

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About tniziol

I have always enjoyed nature and in particular, I love watching the sky, there is so much to see and I always want to know "why" things happen.

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