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Winter forecast...

By: Zachary Labe , 5:27 PM GMT on March 04, 2009

Verification Winter Forecast...
Wow, would you believe it is March 4 today? It is hard to believe the meteorological winter is already over and soon astronomical Spring will be headed our way. We delt with quite a many hardships this winter as cold air was available, but it was extreme that it surpressed much of the storm activity. I first want to thank everyone for the wonderful blog activity this blog got this winter. This was wonderful valuable scientifical informations along with spot on observations. I hope that everyone sticks around for the summer season to endure severe weather season. Thunderstorms is one thing we can count on in summer, snowfall is more questionable in winter, lol. Thanks again all!

So it is time to look at my winter forecast which was posted Labor Day weekend back in September. My forecast was for the months of December, January, and February. Looking at temperatures, my call was nearly spot on. Again they were severly negative departures, but they were still below normal. The only anomaly was Mt. Pocono with a normal value that was slightly above normal. I consider values from -.5-+.5 to be around seasonal normal. A trough dominated the region for much of winter especially in January. The pattern was a bit more variable in the other months. My call for a negative NAO for a majority of the season panned out pretty well. The CPC data base confirms a negative to neutral average value for the three month period. As for snowfall my call was not quite as good. Above normal snowfall did fall across the western half of the state, but the eastern half did not exactly pan out. The snow drought was located across the Upper, Middle, and Lower Susquehanna Valley this year. Snowfall was above normal in the far northeastern mountains, snowfall was near normal in the Poconos, and snowfall was above normal in southeastern Pennsylvania. This left central Pennsylvania with a deficit due to the lacking of a major snowstorm. Overall I am quite pleased with my forecast. Snowfall was definitely lacking in accuracy, but precipitation forecasts are much harder to forecast. For example my summer outlook featured a near spot on temperature call, but my precitation was not as accurate. My summer outlook for 2009 will be debuting around the first week of April, so just a little less than a month. My regular weekly blog will be posted on Saturday for next week's forecasts. Feel free to critique my winter forecast along with posting your data for the winter such as temperature and snowfall. Have a fantastic day!

Fig. 1- This is my winter forecast for temperatures. Above is the verification map with the plotted temperature anomalies for the three month period for all of the official climate reporting observation stations in Pennsylvania.

Fig. 2- This is my winter forecast for snowfall. Above is the verification map with in red the snowfall anomalies for the official climate reporting observation station. In blue are seasonal snow totals for the season so far. For comparison below is map of the average snowfall per season in Pennsylvania. Keep in mind the totals in the map above do not include any March or April snowfall that gets calculated into the averages for the map below.


Winter Outlook 2008-2009 (December, January, February)

(Ice Storm of December 2007)

Introducing thoughts...
So I have been announcing this blog for quite awhile. Many forecasters like to get out their forecasts come October and early November because there is a more clear focus on what will happen with ENSO forecasts. But I like to get my forecasts out early and ride with them without making any changes. My seasonal forecast for winter is unusual to a point as I do not define an analog year and I do not base my forecast purely on the overall climatic scheme. My winter outlook is based on recent weather patterns, climatic forecasts from models, ENSO type patterns, sun forecasts, and teleconnections. As many people know I am definitely a winter person. I have been waiting for the return of winter for a long time, especially after a most boring summer with non-eventful weather. But there were some interesting events that occurred in the winter that could possibly show us future patterns for early winter. There is also one other thing I slightly base my forecast on and that is nature patterns, which basically no professional meteorologists forecast based on. But I have always felt that animals are the world's best little meteorologists. Below the following sections will the key forecasting techniques I use for making my winter forecasts break all up. For those who missed my first in the Labor Day Weekend blog series, here is a link... Link. In this blog I took a look back at my summer forecast I made in April of 2008 and I looked at where my forecast errors were. See comments #1 and #13 for more details. So now onto my winter outlook!!!

Look back at typical Pennsylvania's winters...
An average winter in Pennsylvania consists of many different types of winter weather. Winters in Pennsylvania are more severe than middle Atlantic winters and Ohio valley winters, but less severe than neighboring New England winters. On average the first snowflakes fall in mid to late October in the northwestern part of the state. And the last snowflakes typically fall in the northwestern part of the state in early May. Frost season lasts from early October to mid May in most areas. The geographic regions of Pennsylvania play a major part in snow totals and temperatures.

("Courtesy of NOAA")
There are two regions of Pennsylvania that see significantly higher snow totals than the rest of the state. The Laural Highlands and Northwest Mountains see snow totals well over 100inches every winter. In extreme winters snow may be on the ground into June with seasonal totals of over 200inches. The seasonal snow total record is held in Corry, Pennsylvania of 237inches. The monthly snow total record is held in Blue Knob, Pennsylvania with 96inches of snow. Corry is found in the northwest mountains and Blue Knob is a ski resort found in the Laural Highlands. Blue Knob is the highest ski able mountain in Pennsylvania. Below is a map of average seasonal snow totals in Pennsylvania.

("Courtesy of NOAA")
Different types of winter storms affect the state of Pennsylvania, clipper systems, lake effect snow outbreaks, nor'easters, advection snows, and etc. The coldest month is typically January statewide. And the snowiest month statewide is typically February. Northwest Pennsylvania typically sees a majority of their snows in Lake Effect snow outbreaks. While eastern Pennsylvania sees most of their snows from coastal storms. When coastal storms come up the coast many areas in Pennsylvania can see major snowstorms. The Poconos typically see the most snow from coastal storms due to their elevation aid to precipitation totals. Some of the greatest storm total snowfall records are actually held in eastern Pennsylvania and not in the northwest Snowbelt regions. The highest average seasonal snow average is found in Corry, Pennsylvania with an average of 118inches. While the low seasonal snow total is found in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with 21inches of snow. As far as temperatures go the coldest temperatures are found in the Alleghany Plateau region with the lowest temperature every recorded in Pennsylvania was in Smethport with -42degrees. Temperatures typically dip below freezing every day from November to March statewide. Extreme cold outbreaks typically occur around mid to late January. At times warm thaws may occur, but they are rare and sparse. As for ice storms they typically occur in December when the sun's rays are at their lowest. Very odd winter weather features occur each year including thunder snows, etc. and thunder snows are like thunderstorms but with snow instead of rain. Snow rates up to 5inches can occur. Thunder snows are mostly likely associated with frontal passages and lake effect snows. As far as winds, typically northwest winds setup on the coldest of winter days and can gust up to 50mph. Wind chills as low as -25degrees are felt almost at least once in the mountains of Pennsylvania. On average winds gust to 30mph several times each month. For ice on waterways, many northern lakes and rivers solidly freeze every winter. For southern areas ice forms every winter, but does not necessarily become very thick. During extreme winters though even southern regions can see ice thicknesses of over a foot. The most extreme winter storms that affect Pennsylvania are nor'easters though. They affect large areas of the state with high winds and heavy precipitation. On rare occasions snow totals of over 35inches have occurred with snowdrifts as high as 6ft in many areas of eastern Pennsylvania. Winters in Pennsylvania overall are relatively severe, with geographic regions playing a major part in average snow totals and cold temperatures.

Recent weather patterns...
This summer has been very unusual with our warmest weather falling before summer officially begins. The worst heat wave occured in early June and after that temperature trends began to decline to below normal. One other thing to note is the extremely cool May weather we had in 2008. Troughs dominated the region with many days going in the 30s for lows. Here is a statement I made back on May 19 about the weather we had so far that month. Good Wednesday afternoon!!! Wow, what a miserable May it has been. My highest temperature is 79degrees and that is basically one of very few 70degrees temperatures this month. Yesterday my high temperature was 49degrees along with .39inches of rain. It is amazing of how winter like this pattern we are in looks like. Like the rain yesterday was from an Alberta clipper type storm. And today a cold front is moving through with rainsqualls. Northwest flows also have been quite common this month. Snow this month has been surprisingly more often than it was in April for some mountain areas. Also remember the strong nor'easter we had two weeks ago with 2-4inches of snow in the mountains and in the valleys up to 1inch of snow. Then more traces of snow were recorded. And just the other day snow was reported in Bradford and Johnstown with lake effect snow. In the suburbs of Buffalo, NY up to 1inch of snow fell that day also. Now still snow is in the forecast for northern areas as a shortwave moves through Thursday morning. This is just getting unbelievable. Then came June and a brief impressive heat wave occured in the early part of the month, but throughout the rest of the month temperatures were below normal with troughs. But overall the month ended up above normal thanks to the record-breaking heat wave. For July temperatures were pretty close to normal with a brief heat wave or two during the month, but overall once again more troughs over the region. And August, well what happened to summer during the month, troughs dominated the region with blocking highs. Temperatures were near 6 degrees below normal in the mountains of Pennsylvania. Pretty amazing. For the most part of summer the NAO has consistently been negative which is indicate of east coast below normal temperatures. From April 15 to August 30 the NAO has only been positive for five short periods.

(Courtesy of NOAA)
So looking ahead to September it appears the NAO stays negative and keeps troughs moving over the region for the most part. I always have believed in long-term patterns with the teleconnections and it appears the negative NAO will continue through the winter, but I will talk about that more in a section below. Here is a map showing the average storm tracks from the past 90days along with accumulated precipitation...

(Courtesy of NOAA)
There is no definite correlation between a cold summer leading to a cold winter, but I do feel it sometimes helps in the situation.

Climatic forecasts from computer models...
I really do not rely on computer models for the most part in forecasting short-term climate forecasts, but in any case here in the CFS forecast which takes an average of the NCEP models for several month periods. But overall looking at the CFS there appears to be the forecast of a very cold fall, especially November with normal to above normal temperatures for the months of December, January, and February. The CFS though has been back and forth with predictions with just two weeks ago it was predicting below normal temperatures for the key winter months. Here is a link to the month temperature anomaly forecasts... Link. As for the EURO long-term model, it is released to professional meteorologists each month. Last that I had heard from the August 15 release, it showed below normal temperatures with above normal precipitation across much of the east coast. Here is a link to the release statements... Link. My forecasts usually do not use too much computer model guidance for long-term forecasts. So overall that is all the information I use for my overall forecast.

ENSO climate forecasts...
One of the key players in this winter's forecast is the development of either a pacific La Nina or El Nino. Last year the winter was highly dominated by a very strong La Nina, which caused an unusual jet stream favoring very heavy snow north of I-80 also causing a very active storm pattern. Looking over some of the latest data I have come up with this conclusion. Neutral conditions will persist through the Fall of 2008. Come the winter months of December, January, and November conditions will generally be near neutral slightly leaning towards a weak La Nina. Below are the latest sea surface temperatures for the Pacific which indicate neutral conditions...

(Courtesy of NOAA)
Looking at the latest global model forecasts they generally agree with neutral conditions to even slightly positive conditions with a weak El Nino. But still overall mainly neutral. Looking at the latest CFS spaghetti plot it shows neutral to weak La Nina conditions persisting through most of the winter months. Overall with a weak La Nina possible this favors colder than normal temperatures along with above normal precipitation due to active jet stream. Many infamous winters occured with a weak La Nina such as 1995-1996.

Sun forecast...
While some people do not agree on this topic, one thing for sure is the sun controls our weather. According to the USA Today Weather Book by Jack Williams, sunspots are dark regions on the sun's surface that average about five times the size of the earth. While the sunspots are associated with cool temperatures, they release tremendous amounts of heat and energy towards the Earth. During periods of low sunspot cycles some astronomers and meteorologists agree that is correlated to slightly below normal temperatures on the Earth. Currently the sun has been ever so quiet with absolutely no sunspots in quite a long time. I have seen several correlations between low sunspot periods and rough east coast winters. Here is a chart showing future predictions for sun spot cycles...

(Courtesy of NASA)
Based on this many meteorologists believe this winter will be faced with below normal temperatures. The Farmers Almanac believes we are headed into a colder pattern thanks to cycle 23. Forecasts continue to push back the date of the next cycle, 24 which may max out around 2011, but that date has been pushed back several times. Here is a link to the current picture of the sun... Link. While many meteorologists do not agree on the impact of sunspots, there is some factual evidence to suggest that the "Little Ice Age" was due to a low sunspot cycle.

Now I hinted on this earlier, but I do believe we are headed into a long-term negative NAO regime. Here is a link to the CPC teleconnection page... Link. Also it appears that a positive PNA and negative AO will persist through the winter. I really do not have much to mention about the teleconnections for the winter other than my predictions.

A look at what mother earth is telling us...
While this section is anything but scientific, I do find that animals have a sense of forecasting the weather. No I do not mean like a groundhog seeing its shadow, but I mean by looking at annual migrations of bird, etc. I have seen abnormal amounts of Canadian Geese already beginning their migration southward throughout the past week. This is way ahead of schedule. Fall leaves are beginning to change much earlier than normal. Last year leaves changed late. There are plenty of other unusual things occurring. Squirrels have been actively gathering acorns for the winter also. If anyone else has any observations, please leave them in a comment below. Nature can tell us a lot about the weather, but most professionals are reluctant to take notice.

Overall forecast...
So overall here is my forecast for the 2008-2009 winter for the months of December, January, and February. For snowfall I am thinking normal snowfall for most locations, but above normal snowfall in the typical lake effect snow belts thanks to very active arctic front patterns followed by lake effect snow. The pattern will favor very chilly and dry air sometimes suppressing precipitation to the south of the region as we have seen this August already.
Snowfall Outlook

As for temperatures I think we are going to see widespread below normal temperatures for a majority of the state, though I do not see temperatures being values anywhere near record values for coldest winters.
Temperature Outlook

Concluding thoughts...
While my discussions above are at times not typical to other seasonal forecaster's methods, I try to use techniques that work for my liking. I do not use any previous analog years. Also I did release my winter outlook relatively early, because I like to get my thoughts out early, even though some may argue it is too early to get a feel for the overall climatic scheme. On March 1, which is the end of the meteorological winter, I will reopen this seasonal outlook and take a look at my forecast accuracies and errors. I was pleased with my summer 2008 forecast, so we will have to wait and see how this forecast turns out. These are experimental forecasts, which provide several learning opportunities for others and myself. I do not consider seasonal forecasting one of my strong subjects, as it takes an expert to look at all of the forecasting variables to make a seasonal prediction. In any case I am excited about the prospects of this winter and hope everyone will be ready to share forecasting ideas for each major winter storm with speculation ranging from best to worst case scenario. I will release my winter format for my blogs sometime this month probably in a week or two. Hopefully this will be an exciting winter. Have a wonderful and safe winter!!! And be sure to stay tuned throughout the winter to my blog updates, lol. Have a great day!!!

-Part II Winter Forecast... Link.

-Middle Atlantic Winter Blog... Link.

-Winter Recap... Link.

"Here northeast of Harrisburg 2008-2009 winter statistics"
(Snow Stats)
Current Snow Cover- Patchy C-1inch
Monthly Total- 3.00inches
Seasonal Total- 25.40inches
Winter Weather Advisories- 7
Winter Storm Warnings- 2
Ice Storm Warnings- 1
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 4

(Temperature Stats)
Lowest High Temperature- 14degrees
Lowest Low Temperature- -3degrees
Wind Chill Advisories- 0
Wind Chill Warnings- 0

(Snow Storms Stats)
First Snow - October 29 - Trace
First Snow on Ground - November 18 - Coating
Lake Effect Snow - November 21/22 - 6.00inches
Synoptic Snow - December 16 - 3.50inches
Clipper - January 17-19 - 1.50inches
Synoptic Snow - January 27/28 - 4.00inches
Lake Effect Snow - 2.00inches
Coastal Storm - 2.00inches

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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151. Zachary Labe
11:06 PM GMT on March 13, 2009
weathergeek5- I think there is the potential. On the latest drought risk maps, the abnormally dry area is moving into southern Pennsylvania...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
150. weathergeek5
11:01 PM GMT on March 13, 2009
Quoting Blizzard92:
*Wow, I have been a bit busy the last few days. Time for a new blog this weekend and guess what... time to transition to summer format!!!

Mason803- Yep, here you are... This is the COOP 30 day totals... Link.

weathergeek5- Northern Pennsylvania is above normal with southern Pennsylvania well below normal.

Do you think there is a possibility of a drought this spring and summer?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
149. Mason803
10:39 PM GMT on March 13, 2009
Quoting Blizzard92:
Mason803- O, ok. Here is a neat interactive national map... Link.

now that's what i'm talkin about. very cool site. thanks
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148. Zachary Labe
10:08 PM GMT on March 13, 2009
Mason803- O, ok. Here is a neat interactive national map... Link.
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147. Mason803
8:00 PM GMT on March 13, 2009

i use that coop page all the time. i was looking for more of a national map.
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146. Zachary Labe
7:04 PM GMT on March 13, 2009
*Wow, I have been a bit busy the last few days. Time for a new blog this weekend and guess what... time to transition to summer format!!!

Mason803- Yep, here you are... This is the COOP 30 day totals... Link.

weathergeek5- Northern Pennsylvania is above normal with southern Pennsylvania well below normal.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
145. weathergeek5
2:06 AM GMT on March 13, 2009
Blizz how has PA fared in precip for the year? Is it normal above or below?
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144. PalmyraPunishment
2:04 AM GMT on March 13, 2009
nice evening out. a little chilly, but nice nonetheless.

RP - In regards to Pittsburgh basketball... I think I'll issue an "I rest my case." haha
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143. Mason803
11:12 PM GMT on March 12, 2009

do you know of any good 30 day accumulated precip maps?
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142. PalmyraPunishment
8:48 PM GMT on March 12, 2009
no snow storm? good. lol.

tell me when the next thunderstorm is -- and make sure it's not an evening where i have plans that involve the outdoors. do it now. haha
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141. TheRasberryPatch
8:23 PM GMT on March 12, 2009
not to mention the air doesn't seem to be cold enough for snow. not even rain?
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140. Zachary Labe
7:53 PM GMT on March 12, 2009
My thoughts for next week are with a progressive flow preventing most storm systems from organization.
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139. freybear
12:58 PM GMT on March 12, 2009

#1 Website for Tornado & Weather links, on the web!


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138. crowe1
11:56 AM GMT on March 12, 2009
Quoting TheRasberryPatch:

still seeing the geese flying way up and heading north. did you see marcus schneck's article in the paper today about how they desperately want hunters to take out the snow geese.
here is the link

Holy Honkers that's a lot o' geese!
I don't recall seeing them around here. Perhaps this year?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
137. Zachary Labe
10:09 AM GMT on March 12, 2009
Snowlover2010- Just something to watch. The EURO is having some problems resolving the western ridge so take anything with a grain of salt. But the 0z EURO did have the Harrisburg area in the bullseye with 1.1inches of QPF.
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136. Snowlover2010
1:02 AM GMT on March 12, 2009
So Bliz what is the truth about this storm next week? Is it really a viable threat?
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135. Zachary Labe
12:06 AM GMT on March 12, 2009
Another fearsome windy night in this virtual wind tunnel we call home, lol.

TheRasberryPatch- I must have missed that article. I never made it down to Middle Creek and it appears now it is too late. About a week ago down in Lancaster County I passed a field of about a hundred or so. It does definitely seem that they are really widespread.

MNTornado- Yea, it must be something. I saw the civil emergency messages were out for some of those areas just the other day.
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134. TheRasberryPatch
11:35 PM GMT on March 11, 2009
looks like another dry front went by this evening. very breezy.
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133. TheRasberryPatch
9:04 PM GMT on March 11, 2009
haha PP - one of these days i will get out and go Duck and/or Goose hunting. I have heard canadian goose is better than snow goose to eat. i am sure has to do with the diet.

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132. MNTornado
9:00 PM GMT on March 11, 2009
Blizzard92 said,
Wow, would you believe it is March 4 today? It is hard to believe the meteorological winter is already over and soon astronomical Spring will be headed our way.

Not if you live in my part of the USA. As you may know, the Upper Midwest just got done going through another Winter Blast again. March is sure leaving it's impression on us this year. March came in like a lion, exists as a lion, and will probably go out like a lion the way this Winter is going. And to think that back in January I too thought that Winter was almost over. Surprise!!!!!!!!!!!
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131. PalmyraPunishment
8:55 PM GMT on March 11, 2009
save your bullets. i have 4 golden retrievers and a chow-chow at my parents house that could eliminate half the snow geese population in a few hours time. granted they're not flying.

if they're in the air... just shoot cannonballs lol.
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130. TheRasberryPatch
8:49 PM GMT on March 11, 2009
If you get a chance Blizz - plant some garlic cloves ASAP. it should work. the bulbs might not be as big, but they are so good and fresh. and come end of May you have space for something else. plant them in spaces like an onion.

still seeing the geese flying way up and heading north. did you see marcus schneck's article in the paper today about how they desperately want hunters to take out the snow geese.
here is the link
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129. Zachary Labe
8:38 PM GMT on March 11, 2009
TheRasberryPatch- Ugh, I would have loved to plant garden. Garlic is used immensly in almost every dinner here. From what I can tell my outlook is dry, dry, dry. In fact with a trough over the east in late March/April that can spell sometimes really dry weather.
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128. TheRasberryPatch
8:31 PM GMT on March 11, 2009
well one thing Blizz - i have had onions shrivel or not break ground and then everything is gone and here comes an onion springing up out of the earth. also, late in the season you should pick them early. they might not get to be big, but they are still good small.
also, if you get the chance, and i keep forgetting, plant garlic in the fall. all you need is one clove to get a plant started. come this time or early April it will break ground again and by late may early june you have garlic. they won't last into the summer.

as for the pattern break, well it is a change in seasons coming up and hopefully, it did change, even though we are dry dry dry. as much as i hate to say it we need a couple of weeks coming up of some soaking rains.
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127. Zachary Labe
8:21 PM GMT on March 11, 2009
TheRasberryPatch- Thanks for the gardening tips. I planted some onions last year late in the season hoping for some in the fall, it turned out they all shriveled up, hahaha.
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126. Zachary Labe
8:13 PM GMT on March 11, 2009
TheRasberryPatch- Actually the storm in the beginning of March was very similar to what is progged. 10inches of snow from just north of Richmond to Maine. That was a pure coastal nor'easter. I really thing that was a pattern breake, not saying that next week anything happens, but I am saying that it has occured this winter.
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125. TheRasberryPatch
8:09 PM GMT on March 11, 2009
sportscenter is over for the day. just something to pass the time and day.

Blizz - and how many times did we see something like this scenario you mentioned all winter?

sully did mention a return to winter temps for next week. hopefully, it won't last very long. i want to get the gardens turned a few times. maybe get in some plants.

Blizz, speaking of planting i have a great gardening book 'the joy of gardening' kind of like the joy of sex but for gardening. haha
anyway, the author is from vermont and he asked a veg. growing business neighbor when he would plant. the guy told him "if you don't lose some of your first planting or some of your last planting, you just aren't planting early enough or late enough." the author began planting a bit earlier each year and after awhile he learned to time to plant, especially his early crops.
i have taken that to even consider my midseason crops. last year i had my tomatoes and cukes etc in by beginning of May. I may even start earlier, like last week in April if weather holds. if i lose something it can be easily replaced. just some thought. and with global warming each year i can get earlier and may even be planting in January. hahahahaha
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124. Zachary Labe
8:00 PM GMT on March 11, 2009
PalmyraPunishment- EURO prints out 10inches of snow for DC/PHL with about 6inches for Harrisburg.
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123. PalmyraPunishment
7:59 PM GMT on March 11, 2009
not a shocker, blizz. it is still just march lol.

although a storm south of 80 would be a bit surprising lol.
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122. Zachary Labe
7:55 PM GMT on March 11, 2009
Looks like a bit of a wintry regime pattern will be moving in next week. Latest 12z EURO indicates a snowstorm from I-80 southward with a stalled frontal boundary then a large low bottoms out near VA coast spreading snow up through Boston. Winter may not be over yet. GFS is showing something similar in some runs too.
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121. PalmyraPunishment
7:49 PM GMT on March 11, 2009
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120. Zachary Labe
7:47 PM GMT on March 11, 2009
"This is Sports Center" Hahaha.
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119. TheRasberryPatch
7:45 PM GMT on March 11, 2009
temp outside is great. a bit breezy
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118. PalmyraPunishment
7:20 PM GMT on March 11, 2009
tell ya what. the temperature outside is very nice... but the humidity can go away. holy cow -- a thunderstorm would be beautiful...

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117. TheRasberryPatch
6:52 PM GMT on March 11, 2009
you are correct about the traditions and the stadiums and fans in the big ten. except for schools in the big 12 or SEC you don't get fans buying RV's just for tailgating.

i don't know why cincinnati is mentioned in this conversation. that is like mentioning the harrisburg senators when talking about the AL East.

all those teams you mentioned have all had cycles of winning vs. losing. USC went through some bad coaches.
Florida lost spurrier and their way until Meyer came on the scene.
Miami and Fla State has seen their recruits go elsewhere as well as Notre Dame. not to mention ND hasn't been able to find a coach.

you mention tressel can't coach in the big games. look what USC did to the big ten last year. treated them like a dog and an old rag. big ten may have had #1 and #2 playing each other, but you know as well as i do polls mean NOTHING. DIDDLY. PU can go undefeated and if they were #30 at the beggining of the season they probably didn't make it to #1.
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116. PalmyraPunishment
6:34 PM GMT on March 11, 2009
RP - The reason the Big Ten won't do Thursday night games is because they don't need to. Simple as that. Between the Big Ten Network, ABC Coverage and ESPN coverage on Saturday games, they don't need to take the risk of doing weeknight games. Not to mention -- the risk it entails. The Big Ten is a conference of tradition, and with tradition comes attendance by people who don't necessarily live on or near campus.

How many times have you seen the crowd at Cincinnati or Virginia Tech or any of these other place consist of non-students? Easy -- not many.

ESPN's Wednesday, Thursday, and Tuesday (for MAC Schools) coverage usually takes place from schools with stadiums no larger than that of your local High School -- the games are better because of the atmosphere, yes - but that obviously isn't going to happen in Big Ten Land.

True Story: Penn State's student section fits roughly 22,000 students. That leaves 80,000 empty seats. 80,000 people that for the most part... don't live in Centre, Blair, or Huntingdon Counties anymore to make the trip. Ohio Stadium, same story. Michigan Stadium, same story... College Football is big business, and most revenue is generated from Home game attendance -- you really think the Big Ten is going to allow Northwestern to come to State College and play in front of 18,000 kids alone? Not a chance. A person's sneeze would deafen the entire crowd as the sound waves bounce off the erector set that is Beaver Stadium.

I don't see where you're saying the Big Ten is becoming a Historical Statue. Have you forgotten than just 3 years ago - Michigan and Ohio State met in Columbus ranked number 1 and 2 respectively? How about the fact that just 2 years ago the Big Ten went 5-2 in Bowl games? Fact is -- Ohio State is just a strong as they are every year. You can't punish the entire conference for Jim Tressell's inability to coach in big games. Michigan is going to be down for a couple years, but that's what happens when you transition to the spread offense via a new coach. Michigan State is on the rise, as is Northwestern and Minnesota. Purdue never really mattered pre-Tiller and probably won't post-Tiller (they are our Vanderbilt.) I refuse to believe that Ron Zook won't build a winner in Illinois, and Wisconsin will always be one of the staple teams in the conference. I fail to see where the game is really going to pass them by. College Football, unlike the NFL is a constant cycle of change. Show me one program that hasn't seen a dark period, and I'll call you a liar.

USC? Let's talk USC Football post Marcus Allen pre Pete Carroll. There was a time Arizona owned USC on the gridiron.

Florida? Probably the closest thing to an exception we have here.

Miami? uh... they're just not climbing out of rock bottom

Florida State? until this past week I thought they were in the clear. uh... they're done with postseason football for a while.

Oklahoma? the 1990s weren't too kind to ole' Boomer Sooner.

Nebraska? finally climbing out of the hole.

Alabama? It took Nick Saban's arrival to lead that resurrection.

Texas? The 1990s were very up-and-down for Texas. 2 10 win seasons, 2 5 or fewer win seasons.

I think I've proven my point here lol. All I'm saying, is that give the Big Ten the time it needs to re-adjust, and they'll be back on top. Contrary to what you think -- they're not as far back from the pack as you think.

btw, i don't know the basketball records cuz i haven't looked for them lol

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
115. TheRasberryPatch
5:58 PM GMT on March 11, 2009
PP - again your blue and white colors are showing. to say that temple was the 2nd best is a PU'er slapping pitt in the face again. what is it with you PU'ers.
Pitt made it to a second tier bowl this past year. was it the worse game in bowl history, probably. but they made it there. wow, i am sounding like a PU'er, except in regards to another school.

as far as pitt's schedule that depends on whether espn wants to televise the game. the big ten wants nothing to do with espn and thursday's for now. that is because the big ten thinks it is heads and shoulders above other conferences when it comes to football. as bad as they did this past year in bowl games, they better starting looking over their shoulder. if it wasn't for abc carrying games throughout the country the big ten will be begging to get on thursday's. not to mention the stupidity of the big ten having all teams finish so early when most other teams are still playing. but the big ten is becoming a historical statue. they don't want to get with the times. instead they prefer to let the times pass it by.
i enjoy watching some of my favorite teams on thursdays. i like to hear the announcers and espn give a lot of talk about them.

oh btw - PP - you never did mention what is PU's record in men's basketball vs. maryland. just like a PU'er. i will just throw out one that suits me and not bother with the others. haha
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
114. PalmyraPunishment
4:37 PM GMT on March 11, 2009
HAHA I think you've misread me in regards to Pitt. I think they're a great team -- but clearly they're not capable of handling the top ranking, and I don't think they could handle a top seed. Just my opinion

in regards to the PSU - Pitt football series. I agree it should come back. I personally have no problems with it, because even when the game is played at Heinz, it would still be a PSU home game since Pitt can't fill any more than 35 percent of that atrocity by themselves. There's no way it would ever be the last game of the season again -- Big Ten won't allow that. That game has to be saved for PSU - MSU over that stupid land grant trophy.

another wrench in the PSU - Pitt rivalry is the schedule. Pitt being in the Big East plays games on Wednesday and Thursday evenings from time to time. I don't think State will ever jump on that train again. It certainly will NEVER happen in State College, but probably never in Pittsburgh either. State scheduled a Thursday night game with Virginia back in 2001, but it was pushed back due to 9/11. I think that's the one and only non Saturday affair that State will ever have -- the Big Ten has A LOT to do with that.

that, and I think Pitt would have to guarantee a competitive squad. lol. Sad to say -- but Temple was the 2nd best college football team in Pennsylvania this year.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
113. TheRasberryPatch
4:29 PM GMT on March 11, 2009
Duke has underachieved the last couple of years, but to say that those teams and this years team are the same is false. yes, they lost to michigan, so what. every team has a bad loss. UNC lost to maryland. Pitt lost to providence.

i can't believe you think the big 12 is only capable of a 2 or 3 seed.

your blue and white colors are showing big time by saying pitt isn't that good. they beat uconn twice. again they had a couple of losses after getting #1. so what. find me a team this year that held onto #1 for more than 2 weeks. if it happened it was only once. you PU'ers need to stop this we are the best and pitt is nothing. PU might blow away pitt in football, but pitt owns pu in basketball. pu is pitt's little sister when it comes to basketball. haha
and it is amazing joepa won't have a home and home with pitt. it should be a mandatory game each year and played on each home teams field every other year. that used to be a game i looked forward to watching on the friday after thanksgiving. for some reason joepa got cold feet playing pitt.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
112. PalmyraPunishment
2:38 PM GMT on March 11, 2009
I think the Big East Champ gets it, but I don't think they should if it's Pitt or Louisville. I just don't think Pitt is deserving of a 1 seed given their inability to hold onto said number 1 ranking.

Then again, neither could UCONN. Maybe it's just the Big East beating eachother down? I don't know -- PITT beat UCONN twice, but Pitt lost to Providence as number 1... not exactly something that Pitt wants to have mentioned in Public array.

I never mentioned Duke, because I don't think they're a 1 seed caliber team this year -- losing to Michigan does that to you. I also will hold off on Duke until they prove to me they won't sleepwalk through the first round of the tournament and require theatrics to beat a 16 or 15 seed like they needed last year to sink Belmont. Next round they got destroyed by West Virginia. Duke has underachieved in the tournament the past couple of years, and I blame Coach K for that. His involvement in Team USA has come at Duke's NCAA expense.

Kansas or Oklahoma would be a good 2 or 3 seed -- I just don't see them getting a 1. Oklahoma depends largely on Blake Griffin who is battling a concussion right now -- so I wouldn't be too shocked if they are sent packing earlier.

As far as any upcoming tournaments bearing pressure on bubble teams, I think we're past that point. Most of the mid-majors have wrapped up their tournaments yesterday or monday. Big East Tournament is underway, Big 12 and Pac 10 start this afternoon, and ACC and Big Ten start tomorrow. The only way I see any of the bubble teams being knocked out from here on out without losing a tournament game themselves is if a team such as Tulsa (C-USA) or a Pacific (Big West) win their tournaments.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
111. TheRasberryPatch
2:19 PM GMT on March 11, 2009
all good arguements.

i like UNC and the big east champion as long as it is Conn or Pitt. Like you said Sparty gets in if they go all the way.
One team you didn't mention is Duke. They can't beat UNC, but they pretty much beat everyone else. Will they make it to the final four, probably not.
Kansas is another team that can be a #1 or Oklahoma depending on if one wins their tourney.
I am not a petino fan and am not sure about Louisville.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
110. PalmyraPunishment
1:21 PM GMT on March 11, 2009
My issue with Sparty getting a 1 seed is solely based on my not thinking they're better than 4 other teams more deserving

I'll say right now: Pittsburgh is the most overrated "big time" team in the country. The fact that they were handed the top ranking twice and threw it away almost 48 hours later both times is disgusting. If they get a top seed (and I think they will) I'll vomit a sea of blood.

UCONN? they got beat twice by Pittsburgh and should have lost to Gonzaga this year (if the Zags don't issue a careless toss leading to a miracle 3 with 2 seconds left, they beat UCONN and get their first ever number 1 ranking) -- I don't see UCONN winning their conference tournament even though they get like, 4 byes since the Big East is so massive.

Louisville? Can we ride on the reputation of Rick Petino any further?

North Carolina is a team that I feel is deserving of a 1 seed only if they win the ACC

you know what? as I type all this up I'm finding that I'm canceling out every team except for Memphis who won't get a 1 seed this year because they have no Derek Rose to promise them a final four appearance. Conference USA dominance doesn't exactly warrant a 1 seed quite yet. I guess I just canceled them out now, too...

agggggh! Just throw them in a hat -- Big East Champion (unless it's like... Rutgers or Notre Dame or DePaul), ACC Champion, uh... Washington? and one other team get the 1 seeds.

if Sparty wins the Big Ten tournament in a convincing fashion -- I wouldn't see any problem with a 1 seed
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
109. TheRasberryPatch
1:08 PM GMT on March 11, 2009
the senate race - the franken wants in without any challenges and the judges keep sending it back for more from the board. back in january the board was acting ridiculous when it came to what ballots to accept and what not to accept.

a dunk in warm ups is a technical foul. i think it has to do with guys used to dunk - way back - and would hold on and there was worry of the rims bending or also back then the backboard breaking.

Sparty can lose, but not sure by whom. My wife is excited that they might win another big ten and get a #1. Which is possible, even though all or most of the espn pundits have their agenda. probably why i haven't watched espn in so long. they lost a lot of viewers. their programming has gotten so bad.

i am not sure if anymore tourney's have implications on bubble teams. granted the big conference tourneys could should someone come from the middle and win, but i don't see that. definitely PU fans have to be on edge the next game or so and then sweat out the tourney annoucement
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
108. PalmyraPunishment
12:55 PM GMT on March 11, 2009
couple of things, first off -- nice cool morning. hope it actually makes it to the temps as they were forecast.

secondly, RP - I had forgotten all about the Senate race in Minny. Last time I actually paid any attention it seemed like a recount was coming. Did Coleman keep his seat or are they still fighting it out?

thirdly, ugh... Cleveland State beating Butler throws one hell of a wrench into things as far as State, Florida, Creighton, and Providence are concerned. Butler is in, no matter what because of their regular season accomplishments. I felt better about State's chances yesterday than I do now, also given Saint Mary's out west has added a game Friday (their conference tournament ended Monday with Gonzaga spanking them 83-55, scoring 1 point before tip-off due to Saint Mary's dunking during warm-ups, which is apparently a no-no).

That said... they gotta beat Indiana in the first round and look at the very least, respectable against Purdue in round 2. Considering they've beaten Purdue this year -- they can accomplish this. Going to be tough however playing both Indiana schools in the first 2 rounds at Conseco Field House.

I was reading the Big Ten blog yesterday about the tournament, and one of their main "experts" feels that if any team is going to knock Sparty off in this tournament, it could be State considering they're one of the fastest teams in the conference, one of the best rebounding, and three-point shooting teams (which, for the record. i have yet to see any rebounding prowess from State. they take the shot, and as soon as it leave the hand, they go back on defense). I don't see anybody knocking Sparty off, however.

It's funny though. Izzo is barking at the moon to get Sparty a 1 seed. lol.

so yeah... we'll see. they beat Indiana and look good against Purdue win or lose, and I think they're in. Beat Purdue and it's a lock.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
107. TheRasberryPatch
12:42 PM GMT on March 11, 2009
PP - now what do you think about PSU getting in. with Butler getting beat by Cleveland St. it takes another at large of bubble teams off the board.
the committee has to put Butler into the tournament. I thought Cleveland St had an RPI close to PU's rpi.
you are fond of mentioning espn well here is one from cbssportsline

"Up until their loss in the regular-season finale at Iowa, all of the Nittany Lions' losses were vs. teams in the RPI top 50. They did absolutely nothing out of conference. All six top 50 wins came vs. Big Ten foes, while their best non-conference victory is against Mt. St. Mary's (sub-100 RPI). Pending Big Ten tournament, they still look somewhat questionable. "

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
106. TheRasberryPatch
2:02 AM GMT on March 11, 2009
Blizz - i am not worried about a new blog. i just thought you could throw out a 2 or 3 day forecast in a post.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
105. Zachary Labe
11:54 PM GMT on March 10, 2009
TheRasberryPatch- Yea, Glenn Beck is pretty good. He usually is not too far off base like O'Reily can get at times. Although he went a bit off the deep end after the election saying he was heading out of the country, ha.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
104. TheRasberryPatch
11:46 PM GMT on March 10, 2009
PP - i don't know how anyone can listen to franken. notice that the dems haven't even put up a fit about the senate race in minnesoda. i don't think they want franken in there either.

i watched glenn beck this evening. some of the people he gets on there are very informative.

some stiff breezes out of the SE this evening.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
103. Zachary Labe
11:15 PM GMT on March 10, 2009
TheRasberryPatch- Lol, definitely a new blog this weekend. These March and April months can be so sloooow with weather for our area.

upweatherdog- I agree with your thinking, but I am not sure about a warm April especially with such similiarities to last April. Looks like the upper Great Lakes drought will continue as storms seem to miss your region to the east, south, and west.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
102. PalmyraPunishment
10:25 PM GMT on March 10, 2009
RP - Glen Beck is an acquired taste from what I've seen of him. You have to sift through the rubble of a thousand stupid jokes and one-liners to find the substance of what he's trying to get at. However sometimes he does fire off some gold without car-bombing a series of childrens hospitals in the process.

Still easier to listen to him than Al Franken. I haven't found the bigger tragedy -- his ideals or his vision of "what's funny"?

the search continues...

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
101. upweatherdog
9:26 PM GMT on March 10, 2009
Hey bliz- do you think the northern Great Lakes are done with snowstorms for the winter. Looks to me like a greenland block will cause high pressure to rotate southeast across the great lakes, and keep the precipitation to the northwest and east of the great lakes. It seems to me like April will then become warm with rain, not snow for the great lakes as the western ridge heads eastward.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:

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