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Lake Effect Snow Outbreak...

By: Zachary Labe , 8:13 PM GMT on December 30, 2009

"Afternoon Thoughts" (Updated 12/30)
Good afternoon!!! Usually being New Year's Day only a short few days away I would give one of those annoying and cliched "New Year, New You" type feel good about yourself paragraphs. But this year I decided to stay away and talk about forecasting. Quite a bit of confusion has occurred surrounding this New Year's Day storm system. Being a multi-wave event, details are highly questionable even 24hrs from the first impacts. Much of this week and past week at that, many speculated on possible analogs for this coming storm system. Even the HPC mentioned January of 1996 as a possible similar synoptic setup. Eventually GFS ensembles and MREF trends indicates several embedded vortices of energy located in the H5 flow causing some discrepancies between guidance trends. Then finally yesterday I found my own analog for the second wave of this event (coastal low wave) and noted January 14-15, 2008 being a close relative. This now appears to be exact, although a warm air advection wave Wednesday night and the first half of Thursday will cause some light snow. So after nearly a week of speculation, the final scenario looks evident excluding a few minute details. A 'forecast' so to speak encompasses quite a bit more than just model guidance. The most accurate forecasts encompass two important qualities... 1) The ability to correlate past events 2) The ability to analyze trends and biases in previous forecasts. Of course one could argue some other important qualities, but in general those two in combination make for the most accurate forecasts. The first ability is often abused in a mismanner... Typically people evolve analogs for storm systems based on the synoptic setup, but they use the exact forecast from the analog and use it for the current event. An analog is a basis for general storm track for the most part and also helps in indentifying mesoscale features. The best aspect of forecasting is being able to encompass all of these variables to make a prediction. Simplistically, it is the 'scientific method.' Essentially meteorologists use observations and gather data to make a hypothesis, which is proven true or false. As in a detailed hypothesis, there will always be one aspect proven false. Every forecast is false in some aspect, for if it was accurate one could able to say you will see 3in of snow instead of the generic forecast of 2-4in of snow. Forecasting the weather involves practice and a boatload of trial and error, but typically results can be rewarding. The general public whom tune in for the 6pm news for the most part are not able to identify the difficulty in making the forecast. Several accurate forecasts in a string can be destroyed by one critical error the next day. Also the forecaster has a responsibility, one may recognize and acknowledge the error and taken knowledge from the 'why' but they also must see to the accurate side of the forecast. So for those going into the New Year looking to make weather forecasts remember three essential factors and/or abilities; recall, analyze, and acknowledge.

"Current Surface Plot"

(Courtesy of HPC)

"Regional Radar"

(Courtesy of Wunderground)

"Regional Advisories"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Forecast Discussion"(Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware)(Updated 12/30)
COMING THURSDAY!!!

"Regional Satellite"

(Courtesy of Penn State Meteo.)

"Current Water Vapor Loop"

(Courtesy of Penn State Meteo.)

"7-Day Zonal Forecast Outlooks"(Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware)(Updated 12/30)
COMING THURSDAY!!!

Snow Map- December 31...

*Locally higher amounts are definitely possible. It would definitely not surprise me if the 2-4in amounts are a bit more widespread.

"Current River Ice Reports and Ski Conditions" (Updated 12/30)
Approaching the coldest month of the winter, January, we generally see an increase in ice located on local waterways. The first river ice report of the year was received a few days ago for central Pennsylvania along the main stem of the Susquehanna with small frazzle planes being reported in the shallow waters towards areas just north of Sunbury, but for the most part most of the channel remains open. Further northward across Pennsylvania, recent cold temperatures have allowed for ice development on local streams and creeks, but across southern areas towards Maryland and Delaware this remains to be seen. Many small farm ponds are now also ice covered from about the Mason-Dixon Line on northward but for the most part ice remains too thin courtesy of the recent thaw in the December 25-27 time frame. But an arctic blast is approaching the region towards January 1, which will allow for dramatically colder temperatures bringing an increase in ice on local waterways even southward into Maryland and Delaware. By the end of the cold spell it is likely many main stem rivers also see ice development. For now though it is advised to stay away from ice even on smaller farm ponds. Towards Lake Erie, for the most part the lake remains ice free. Although towards the more shallow lake bed near Cleveland at the southwest corner, ice buildup has begun especially along the shoreline. Expect this to increase by mid January. For now the ice build-up will generally not affect lake effect snow patterns. Ski conditions remain excellent over the region especially towards the Laurel Highlands and northeastern Poconos. Recent lake effect snow has allowed for 4-9in of snow across ski resorts such as Hidden Valley Four Seasons and Blue Knob. Also towards Blue Mountain Ski Area recent snow showers have added about 1in or so. Many ski resorts across the Laurel Highlands are 100% in trail openings with even the natural snow trails being opened. Towards the southern half of the state from South Mountain east towards the mountains of York County, snow is generally machine packed, but fresh snow is likely Wednesday evening through Thursday morning with light lake effect snow possible also towards the end of the week. A major lake effect event is likely towards the end of the week adding up to a foot of snow or more for elevations above 1600ft in the snowbelts. In general the next two weeks look to be excellent for skiing across the northern Middle Atlantic. Towards Maryland, Garret County ski resorts will also likely pick up a total of 6-9in by the end of the week with light snow likely Wednesday night and lake affect towards the end of the week.

-Link to official reports page from NWS...Link.
-Link to local ski resort snow conditions...Link.

"Current Northeast Snow Depth and Northeast Wind chills"

(Courtesy of Wunderground)

"Lake Effect Snow Conditions" (Updated 12/30)
Impressive setup is poised towards the lake effect snow belts towards the end of the week and weekend. The synoptic setup allows for a wave of low pressure to form towards Thursday, but with weak and slow southern stream interaction, phasing will occur to late for the northern Middle Atlantic. Towards New England cyclogenesis will occur as the low moves northeast. But as it counteracts with the dropping south Polar Vortex and impressive upstream blocking, it will retrograde slightly to south and west in the Gulf of Maine eventually becoming cutoff from the general mean flow. As the low pressure begins to fall below 975mb, the cyclonic regime will be quite impressive with even a bit of relative humidity towards 700mb aloft. This will set the stage for an extended northwest flow, which may produce very heavy snow totals along with having a large extension towards some bands east of the mountains. Towards Saturday will be the initial start of the pure lake effect snow event. Low resolution GFS QPF is towards 1.25in for Erie and nearly .5in towards Bradford with .1in or so even as far southeast as Harrisburg. GFS QPF has the tendency to not be able to forecast high enough numbers for lake effect, so this is already impressive. With generally directionally shear, this will allow for a multi-band event during the night with the loss of diurnal heating along with a cellular and embedded band event during the day with more orographic lift type snow. Initially Saturday the trajectory will be around 305degrees, which is favorable for a majority of Pennsylvania including the Laurel Highlands. Starting Sunday the flow shifts a bit more northerly towards 320degrees. The questionable factor in this event remains how much is the northerly component, for now it looks northwest enough to effect Pennsylvania. Sunday appears to be the most widespread lake effect day with bands stretching east of the mountains courtesy of enhanced moisture aloft and instability. H7 plumes indicate RH values over 40% impressively for some areas, indicative of quite a bit of moisture aloft. Saturday and Sunday will have the most westerly component favoring orographic lift towards the Laurel Highlands. Snow accumulations are likely 4-8in across the Laurels. Towards the northwestern mountains snow accumulations will be over a foot for favorable snow belts. I will have more details on banding locations with a snow map coming out Friday. Towards northeastern Pennsylvania being this is a north-northwest event, lake effect will cause 2-4in towards Wayne, Susquehanna, and Bradford Counties with 1-3in towards the Poconos. The rest of Pennsylvania stands the opportunity for C-1in throughout the multi-day event. GFS and ECWMF plumes indicate lake effect lasting through midweek as the cutoff low maintains the cyclonic flow and gradually lifts northeast and weakens. Snow growth looks excellent with Omega approaching values such as -10 for Bradford and Erie with excellent dendritic growth as H85s drop below -10C with a favorable saturated column around -12C. Another limiting factor in this event will be the lack of band with unidirectional shear towards the end of the week preventing mesoscale banding. The event generally looks to have light to moderate orographic lift snow shields over the region. All in all an extended lake effect snow event is likely after New Years.


*Note the higher end of totals are confined to higher elevations with lower values for valley locations. For instance 2-4in designates 4in above 1700ft and 2in below 1500ft. Also this is over an extended period therefore for instance the 1-3in zone will accumulate 1in over time persay through several coatings and such. Also the southern extension of 1-3in will generally just have coatings with isolated 1inch several day storm total. Also many areas may not even see more than a few flurries in the 1-3in extension.

"Current Lake Erie Wind Direction and Speed"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Current Lake Erie Water Temperature"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Long Term Outlook" (Updated 12/30)
Looking towards the longer range side of the forecast allows for the highly advertised Arctic blast to approach the region. Current AO values are approaching -6, which have only occurred about five times since records have been kept for the Arctic Oscillation. Several similarities are evident with the brutally cold airmasses of the winter of 1976-1977; although I doubt anything too that record extent will approach the region. The beginning of the air mass will approach towards January 2, as a closed low near the Gulf of Maine becomes cutoff from the flow maintaining a steady northwest cyclonic flow across the region up through the Great Lakes. Impressive snow cover across the Great Lakes will allow this arctic air mass to maintain much of its intensity as it moves south and east. Recent 12/30/09 0UTC GFS and ECMWF runs indicate the coldest weather to occur in the 6-10 time frame with H85 height anomalies around -3SD. This cold will also penetrate the Southeast as a cold front moves through areas such as the Panhandle of Florida. Several GFS runs indicate record low temperatures and freezes possible towards Florida. A few individual GFS ensemble runs indicate storm formation towards the time frame of January 5-7, but at this point operational guidance proves otherwise and with a retrograding 50/50 low and west based negative NAO along with the PV sliding south through the Hudson Bay, suppression is highly possible in this time frame. The general theme of the long range is cold and dry, but maybe it is a good thing the GFS and ECMWF do not show east coast storm threats as long range storms never pan out. None the less lake effect snow and clippers may be prevalent in this range, which will allow for some interesting forecasting. So in general very cold temperatures with generally dry conditions are likely from the 4th of January to about the 10th of January.

"Current NAO and PNA Predictions"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Anchorage, Alaska Tower Cam"

*Note I am only posting this towercam until snow starts falling over the northern Middle Atlantic, lol. For now we can all be jealous of the Alaskan snow.

"Monthly Outlook" (January)
In general I am extremely pleased with my December Outlook. While forecasting for long term, it is important not to focus on the minute details, but look at the general idea and/or perspective. The temperature anomaly outlook for the month came in a shy warm with forecasts for (+.5)-(-.5). In general across the northern Middle Atlantic, temperature anomalies for the month were around (-.5)-(-1.0). Now diving in a bit deeper, the general temperature trends were forecast near accurately. The increasing warmth around Christmas went ideally with the forecast of warmer anomalies towards the end of the month courtesy of some weak undefined southeast ridging. In actual verification a La Nina like pattern for a few days allowing for a large Great Lakes storm complex with temperature anomalies over the east near +5.0 for the time period. Also what seems to be accurate is the idea of a cold regime towards the beginning of January and in near verification it appears an arctic blast is headed across the northern two thirds of the United States. In general the temperature forecast was relatively accurate with a slight warm bias for the overall anomaly. Precipitation for December was again a shy warm with snowfall across the entire Northern Middle Atlantic averaging well above normal. But once again diving deeper into the forecast, the forecast for first accumulating snow on December 5 went perfectly with a general 1-5in over the northern Middle Atlantic. Also my best forecast here on Wunderground occurred this month with the advertisement of the December 19 KU storm nearly 10-12 days in advance. But my forecast for normal snowfall and above normal snowfall over the northwest fell a tad too dry. Once again I am pleased for December. Now we look towards January...

Temperature- January will be an interesting month. Teleconnections point to in general a well below normal month. Interestingly enough the Arctic Oscillation Index is towards record values of below -5 and -6. In fact the CPC had to enlarge their AO index chart to include values as low as -6. An interesting of note was also accompanied by similar values and that would be 1976-1977, which was one of the coldest winters on record for a majority of the northern United States. Also the NAO is diving through negative values and as this closed low becomes cutoff towards the Gulf of Maine up through Nova Scotia and Newfoundland towards January 1, this will reestablish a more favorable 50/50 low position allowing with retrograding the negative NAO towards more west-based. This all may allow for a favorable storm track most of this month along with steep troughing over the east coast. Looking though at long range H85 temperature anomalies they are showing above normal temperatures towards Canada. This may have implications farther down the road for a temporary relief from the cold. Currently it appears my forecast will generally appeal to an arctic blast towards the first two weeks of January with perhaps a few record numbers being broken especially across the lower Middle Atlantic where ECMWF and GFS numbers indicate H85 anomalies near -3SD. Towards the last two weeks of the month may be a more thaw-like pattern as the cold air retrogrades back across the arctic before another 'step down' pattern towards February. Keep in mind considering January climatology even occasion warm patterns favor snow. Overall anomalies for the month I am going pretty cold with (-1.5)-(-2.5) for the entire Northern Middle Atlantic.

Precipitation- Forecasts for monthly precipitation are generally the most difficult as one large storm system can throw a monkey wrench into the forecast. This was evident back in December where the historical Middle Atlantic snowstorm caused many areas in Virginia and parts of Maryland to receive nearly their average seasonal snow total in one event. But considering an Arctic blast poised to enter the region along with a cutoff low allowing for a cyclonic flow for nearly a week, it is a likely call for above normal snowfall for northern and western areas especially towards the snowbelts. This also includes western Maryland too from Frostburg on westward. Being an arctic air mass, dew points are usually dry and storm systems are typically suppressed, but considering the El Nino climatology and brief warmer temperatures towards the end of the month normal to above normal snowfall is likely for a majority of the northern Middle Atlantic. I do not have any storm dates currently other than lake effect from January 1-6.

"Temperature and Precipitation Outlooks from Climate Prediction Center for next 30 days"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

-Winter Outlook 2009-2010...Link

"Here northeast of Harrisburg 2009-2010 winter statistics"
(Snow Stats)
Current Snow Cover- 0.00in
Monthly Total- 2.1in
Seasonal Total- 18.1in
October Total- 0.0in
November Total- Trace
December Total- 16.0in
January Total- 2.1in
Winter Weather Advisories- 5
Winter Storm Warnings- 1
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 1
Winter Storm Watches- 1

(Temperature Stats)
Lowest High Temperature- 22.9F
Lowest Low Temperature- 13.7F
Wind Chill Advisories- 0
Wind Chill Warnings- 0

(Winter Storms Stats)
Dec 5 - 1.5in - First accumulating snow of season
Dec 8-9 - 2.5in - Snow changed to plain rain
Dec 13 - .1in - Freezing rain
Dec 19 - 9.0in - Heavy snow, higher amounts to south
Dec 31 - 3.0in - 2.5hr warm air advection event
Dec 31 #2 - .2in - Freezing rain/sleet later in day
Jan 8 - 1.5in - Light snow associated with clipper

Update 4:30pm 29 December 2009...
Good afternoon!!! In a few days I will be approaching my third year on Wunderground. When I approached this site in December of 2007, I expected creating a blog only forecasting basically my opinions for the Harrisburg geographic region. To some it may be a surprise, my age 17, or perhaps not in some regard. I kept my age hidden in part because of the dangers of the internet, but also the reaction. How in the world would adults respect a teenager forecasting the weather and telling them information? Knowing the acceptance level across the meteorological community for teenagers being regarded as weather weenies, I was apprehensive and kept this minuscule fact hidden. Upon the creation of my blog, I was going to go above and beyond a mediocre performance.
My passion for weather is correlated back to a very young age and my interest consumes not just the actual tangible thunderstorm presence, but for the "physics" behind the mechanics of the atmosphere. I built a foundation in general with the presence of books, in my meteorological library. But as I advanced in books from "The Weather Channel Basic Comprehension Weather Book" I moved into meteorological textbooks. This correlated with my current curriculum in high school of college level honors Calculus and Physics allowed me to bridge the transition from pure weather enthusiasts and weenie to actually understanding the process of let’s say "the reason driving a car on a clear night will allow for violent temperature fluctuations driving over hills and into valleys." Having pursued personal interviews with meteorologists, taking online courses, visiting different meteorological communities, and using the resources of the 21st century; I grew as a young adult. The sails of my ship were visible at a young age, which is for the definite pursuance of meteorology and this goal has not left the tip of my eyes ever since.

Information in my actual physical blog and comments has always been and will always be of my own. While I learn from others, as asking a question is key for education, I believe in credit given where it is due. Being apprehensive about being accepted on here was critical and has always been. Understanding perfectly, I can see adults being unable to accept me for being anything but a weather weenie. While yes I love the idea of monstrosity of a blizzard affecting my region; I also enjoy the physics behind the due process of the low pressure bombogenesis. All I am asking is really for no changes on the blog as really nothing is changing other than this announcement. I have been on this blog for three years and I have gained a solid reputation and a plethora of experience. Yes I love vegetable gardening, photography, PennDOT jokes, etc... I am what you would call perhaps unusual for one's age, hahaha. But my peers, family, associates, community, have continued to always encourage my passion for the science of meteorology. There is a cliche saying "you learn something new every day," this is true more than ever in the process of education. It is a constant transition and/or push or pull between educating others with adults teaching students, and students teaching adults.

In general I ask this, approach this with an open mind and not with a biased opinion and conclusion. Wunderground remains a mature and respecting community, so expect nothing to change here. While I may come off a bit conceded or mellow dramatic, this is all to prove my point that my blog is all collaboration of my knowledge and not that of others in some twisted form of plagiarism. One can consume as much education as the next if you put your mind to it. So go about this in strife as we have been the last three years here on Wunderground. Thank you to all in support of my blog over the years.

Here is to another few years!!!
Blizzard92

***Update as of 1/7 6:30pm...

A highly advertised clipper is poised to move through the northern Middle Atlantic including the Ohio Valley spreading light snow in its wake. While it does not appear many high totals will occur in the accumulation department, several mesoscale features may allow for some higher snow totals closer to the moderate range. As of 6:15pm, NEXRAD radar indicated a comma head type precipitation shield with the front wave moving into western Pennsylvania with visibilities from observations around 1mi. Towards northern Michigan a deformation axis of snow was added in a well mixed moist column with snow ratios upwards of 20:1 or slightly higher. The 500hPa low will continue to transfer energy towards the coast as it progresses along the Mason-Dixon line. The center is very evident on radar as coincided with the dry slot across the Northern West Virginia. Temperatures aloft in the H85 layer will range around (-10)-(-14)C, with cloud temperatures well below -10C corresponding to excellent ice crystal growth with the dendritic growth layer around -10C. A well saturated column will support also the ice crystal growth. This combined with some PVA support and favorable Omega growth will favor high snow ratios despite the moistured starved clipper originating out of Alberta, Canada. Snow ratios near 15:1 south of the Mason-Dixon line and 20:1 will be common, even being highly advertised on GFS/NAM Bufkit prognostics. Throughout the night the front band will progress eastward across the Laurel Highlands where orographic enhanced precipitation courtesy of additional lift provided by upsloping will help to produce locally higher totals. Downsloping to the east despite surface dewpoint temperatures around -20F, will cause a general weakening of dbz on radar. But mesoscale models indicate the transfer or energy will occur a bit closer to the coast, but not too amplified with the positively tilted trough. A weak inverted trough situation will likely setup towards daybreak over the Delmarva and eastern Pennsylvania albeit light. GFS and ECMWF profiles indicate QPF ranging from .4in over KJST to about .2in near KPHL with .1-.15 over central Pennsylvania. NAM and local high resolutions WRFs indicate lesser amounts with a dry slot indication towards southern Pennsylvania paricularily from KAOO to KMDT, which may or may not verify. In any case snow totals will be light but a few favored upslope regions may receive moderate totals. Clippers typically cause a few surprises and disappointments so expect that to occur as usual. Also just to note the local NEXRAD NWS radars are having several issues this evening so hopefully the turn on clear mode tonight. My largest concern is the potential for dry slotting in Pennsylvania courtesy of the energy transfer to the coast, but we shall see. I have final note as I have mentioned before there are several techniques that need to be used against public NWS forecsts and especially local weatherman such as high temperatures on snow days always verifying colder than forecast as the wetbulb temperature is usually around the high. Anyways here is another, if you have not noticed precipitation events always start and end about 2-3hrs earlier than forecasts, especially end times. So I expect the main accumulating snow to be towards the eastern zones by rush hour with leftover snow showers elsewhere. The following are my forecasts snow totals in a zone forecast for the clipper. Snow belts will pick up to 6-12in of additional lake effect snow on Friday into Saturday...

KPIT-KLBE... 2-4in
KJST-KDUJ-KERI... 3-7in
KAOO-KUNV-KFIG... 1-3in
KHGR-KTHV-KMDT-KSEG-KAVP...1-3in
KIAD-KBWI-KDCA... 1-2in
KLNS-KRDG-KPHL... 1-4in
KABE-... 1-2in

Winter in Pennsylvania... (Blizzard92)
Clark's Creek in central Dauphin County; snow depth 2in
Winter in Pennsylvania...
Winter in Pennsylvania... (Blizzard92)
Ned Smith Center near Millersburg along Little Wiconisco Creek; snow depth 1in
Winter in Pennsylvania...
Winter in Pennsylvania... (Blizzard92)
Fishing Creek Valley; central Dauphin County; snow depth 3in
Winter in Pennsylvania...
Winter in Pennsylvania... (Blizzard92)
Clark's Creek in central Dauphin County; snow depth 2in
Winter in Pennsylvania...

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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Well, if it's going to get warm, it better get super warm. Won't settle for the snow melting 40s and 50s. Lets get some summer 60s! LOL

Imagine.....snowmobiling with shorts and T-shirt!

My two feet of snow won't be going anywhere soon!

Pineapple expresses usually mean very warm and dry weather for the U.P, with the occasional giant rain or snowstorm. In fact, some of our worst snowstorms, the ones with the wet tree downing snow and thundersnow, usually occur during a El Nino pineapple express pattern.

Still trying to sort out what summer will be like, as I'm getting many mixed signals from the analog data.

I found several analog years to represent to 2009 summer and 09-10 winter, and the summers after the types of ENSO patterns that were similar this year vary greatly. I looked to find a correlation in severe weather, however, prior to the 1990s, it didn't seem like many spotters sent reports in, even during some of the stormiest years. This is likely due to the smaller population and less technology using residents. Trust me, many yoopers mainly just know how to drive a truck, shoot a gun, and use the TV, but not call or go online and make a storm report. That means data on severe weather dosn't prove as true as in other areas of the U.S.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Bliz how long will this thaw last? Will it ruin February?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting Blizzard92:
Also if the Martin Luther King Day threat does not pan out or produces rain, that is probably the last decent threat for a while, especially for the Middle Atlantic and Southeast. The pattern just will not support east coast coastals, so we have to have a more perfect setup to get snow during the rest of January and we all know how that goes.
That's too bad :( Was hoping this weekend's storm could bring us at least some ice (not a lot though), but even that looks unlikely, let alone snow. The Wedge just doesn't look like it'll be strong enough...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
just one of those patterns i guess Blizz. you have to admit we have bit pretty cold for a month. i am not saying we need a change, just saying that here on the east coast we don't usually have 3 months of complete cold.

so i guess the chesapeake bay and the delaware river won't be freezing this winter.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Also if the Martin Luther King Day threat does not pan out or produces rain, that is probably the last decent threat for a while, especially for the Middle Atlantic and Southeast. The pattern just will not support east coast coastals, so we have to have a more perfect setup to get snow during the rest of January and we all know how that goes.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
upweatherdog- 11-15day 850HT anomalies are ridiculously warm across the northern plains and western lakes, with ECMWF leading the way for the warmth. You will likely suffer even worse than the east during the thaw.

TheRasberryPatch- This has to be one of the oddest strong El Ninos I have ever studied. In fact the entire global jet has zero resemblence to a typical El Nino and strong at that. But long range does indicate the development of the pineapple express as a very wet pattern will finally begin shaping up over the West Coast, but up until now it has been much drier than +SO climatology.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting Blizzard92:
HeavySnow- And if some guidance is correct we start off with a rainy monsoon over the weekend before we shoot up into the 50s/60s.


OMG! NOOOOOOOOOOO! I was just ice skating for the second straight day. On natural ice of course. This pattern seems to doom much more of that. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I am sure all those snowbirds and locals in Florida will enjoy it as well as the farmers in Florida.

how is the west coast fairing this winter? are they getting their snow and rainy season? how will the west coast swing be affected by the el nino? hahaha...like most people will know what i am talking about. anyone know if the seals came back to the pier in san francisco? i heard they left completely a couple of weeks ago.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
We got 8 inches of snow last night to this afternoon from lake effect. Our snow depth is now 24 inches!

I don't like what the models are forecasting come later next week. Some of the GFS runs forecasted a inch or more of rain with highs near 50! Latest 18utc GFS is much cooler and further east with the storm system with some rain and significant snow in the U.P. This seems reasonable given the blocking pattern in place and the negative NAO. These kinds of patterns rarelly flip in less than a week, so I'm going with the cooler and surpressed model data.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
HeavySnow- And if some guidance is correct we start off with a rainy monsoon over the weekend before we shoot up into the 50s/60s.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
I'm not ready for devastation.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Snowlover2010- Not right now, lol.

TheRasberryPatch- Yeppers! The ECMWF even shows a hideous GOA low similar to that of the anomalously warm pattern this recent November. If that resulted, this would be a devastating pattern for snowlovers.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
no way...really Blizz? wow, that would be awesome. always nice to have a bit of a warm up in winter. seems a bit early. usually we don't get that until late February
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Bliz, thoughts on Sun-Mon?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
TheRasberryPatch- Hahaha... Eh it has been a long day. By the way maybe golf on the horizon. Very mild pattern looks to head our way to close the second half of the month with GFS and ECMWF indicates highs in 50s to maybe 60 for a time.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
no no no Blizz. I am unprepared not having a snowboard. hahahaha
sorry you mistook my statement. geez. young ones. hahahaha
not that i probably wouldn't have said that. hahaha
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting TheRasberryPatch:
Thanks Mason. that video was very precise in what to do. its ashame you can't get the large rain gauge they had. it appears to work for snow water equivalent and if you want to take a core sample. not that we get that much snow to probably worry about that.

do you know if the rule that they used is sold anywhere? i liked the rule the guy used.

Where is Blizz? i got about a trace, not using a snowboard. i am unprepared right now.


Unprepared eh, from January 9th comment in my blog, lol...
Dry conditions will persist much of the week, but a weak shortwave may produce light snow particurily over the mountains towards the beginning of the week with ratios around 25:1 causing C-2in.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Good evening!!! Heavy coating of snow here this evening from a squall and just enough to register about .1in with a bit even on the backroads.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
As we all sit around twiddling our thumbs and waiting for the next storm to arrive, I figured I'd share a couple cool links to pass the time.

The first one is called "Ray's Winter Storm Archive." This is an archive covering the mid-atlantic which includes weather maps, satelite images, radar data, observations, forecasts prior to storms arrivals, and snow totals from winter storms which have affected west central New Jersey since The Superstorm of 1993. Well worth the look. COPY & PASTE LINK: http://www.njfreeways.com/weather/Weather.html

The other site is called "Climatological Observastions for Trenton, New Jersey", which was created by the same guy. A daily climate report exists on this site for every single day starting in June of 1865!!! It updates every day. There are sections dedicated to Biggest Snowstorms, Record Snow, Snow Season Data, Record Temperatures, 0 degree days, 90 degree days, all dating back to June 1865. COPY & PASTE LINK: http://www.njfreeways.com/weather/TrentonClimatology/
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Thanks Mason. that video was very precise in what to do. its ashame you can't get the large rain gauge they had. it appears to work for snow water equivalent and if you want to take a core sample. not that we get that much snow to probably worry about that.

do you know if the rule that they used is sold anywhere? i liked the rule the guy used.

Where is Blizz? i got about a trace, not using a snowboard. i am unprepared right now.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting TheRasberryPatch:
Blizz - I came across this checking out my data in CWOP. pretty good video if you click on it. I will have to get some of the equipment that they have in the video. I wonder if Mason has information or a website to go to to purchase the equipment.

Link

btw - RAVENS WON


Patch,

I watched the video you provided. Very Nice!! Anyone measuring snow should watch this video to keep the quality control as high as possible. As far as the equipment used, the rain guage he was using is known as the standard rainguage (srg) and is what all coop observers use to measure precip. I couldn't find the 8" srg for sale anywhere online as the nws provides this guage along with the measuring stick to their observers. However I'd recommend the 4" version of this guage which cocarahs uses to measure their precip. (blizzard92 has one of these)I own both of these guages and they usually read with a few one hundrenths of each other. It's the only way to go without spending crazy amounts of money to keep accurate yearly precip totals. Even with heated tipping buckets for davis or rainwise stations etc, sleet bounces out and you lose that data. And as far as a snowboard is concerned, use a 2ftx2ft piece of wood and paint it white on both sides and there you have it. If i missed anything let me know. Here's a link to the 4" guage i mentioned earlier. Link

GO RAVENS
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Hello Blizz, et al.
We have flurries in the overnight forecast. Small craft advisory for Virginia portion of the Chesapeake Bay and Currituck Sound...

Any chance we'll get MORE snow. I just have a feeling with cold air in place and the low sea temps we might get a little surprise. What say you?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
583. RkTec
Guess I may see some flurries tonight from the weak clipper. NWS says my area could receive 0.01" of QPF (in other words, a dusting). lol

Here it comes.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
582. bwi
Even this far out, HPC pretty optimistic on the weekend storm possibility:

http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/medr/day7nav_color.html

...GULF COAST/EAST...
A LARGE AND ANOMALOUSLY DEEP CYCLONE MOVING THROUGH SOUTH TEXAS
AND THE GULF OF MEXICO DAYS 3-5 SHOWS GOOD AGREEMENT ON TRACK AND
INTENSITY...INCLUDING THE LIKELIHOOD OF HEAVY RAIN ACROSS PORTIONS
OF EASTERN TEXAS THE CENTRAL GULF COAST STATES. STANDARDIZED
ANOMALIES ACROSS MEXICO IN BOTH THE 500 HPA HEIGHT PATTERN AND 850
HPA TEMPERATURE PATTERN ARE IMPRESSIVE...APPROACHING 6 AND 4
SIGMAS BELOW NORMAL RESPECTIVELY. THIS ATYPICALLY COLD AIR ALOFT
WILL INTERACT WITH THE NATURAL TEMPERATURE GRADING IN THE
NORTHWEST GULF OF MEXICO...AND SHOULD LEAD EXPLOSIVE CONVECTIVE
DEVELOPMENT WITHIN THE GULF OF MEXICO IN 4-5 DAYS TIME WHICH
SHOULD DEEPEN THE SURFACE LOW. IN SOME RESPECTS...THIS IS SIMILAR
TO THE FLOW PATTERN AROUND NOVEMBER 8-9 2009...BUT WITH STRONGER
DYNAMICS ALOFT AND NO TROPICAL CYCLONE INVOLVED. WHILE THE 06Z
GFS WAS A FAST OUTLIER WITH THIS SYSTEM...ITS 12Z RUN HAS MADE
FAVORABLE CHANGES TOWARDS OUR PREVIOUS PREFERENCE. IF THE
GUIDANCE IS SOMEHOW A LITTLE TOO WEAK WITH THIS
SYSTEM...MEASURABLE FROZEN PRECIPITATION WOULD BE POSSIBLE ACROSS
SOUTHERN/CENTRAL TEXAS AS 850 HPA TEMPERATURES ARE BARELY ABOVE
FREEZING WITHIN ITS EXPECTED COMMA HEAD. ONCE THE SYSTEM LIFTS
OUT ALONG THE GULF COAST/DEEPENS NEAR AND OFFSHORE THE EAST
COAST...PRECIPITATION COULD START AND END AS FROZEN ACROSS THE
MID-ATLANTIC/NEW ENGLAND STATES THIS WEEKEND INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK.
STAY TUNED.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Blizz, yeah I figured there might be mixing issues with that scenario seeing that the 0C line went through the Philly-Jersey line. Thanks for confirming the specifics on that. That was the 18Z GFS run last night that had the low traveling northeast and exiting off of the southern Delmarva, to just off NJ with a good amount of moisture, then ENE and out to sea from there.

The 06Z GFS has changed its tune again, taking the Gulf low right through northern Florida and ENE way out to sea with the northern fringe of Precip only reaching extreme southeastern Virginia. Someone needs to get rid of that blocking high in Ohio.

I don't get excited about any of these potential storms until they are within 3 days out from the forecast onset. Just keep an eye on whether things swing back north again.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
579. RkTec
Record Report

Statement as of 7:40 am EST on January 11, 2010

... Record low temperature set in Key West...

The temperature at Key West Airport dropped to 42 degrees at 455 am
on Monday January 11th. This set a new record low temperature for
the date. The previous record was 48 degrees set in 1970.

This was also the second coldest temperature ever recorded in Key
West... with weather records dating back to 1873. The all time record
low temperature in Key West is 41 degrees... which has occurred
twice... on January 13th 1981... and January 12th 1886.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
578. RkTec
I moved from Ft. Lauderdale 1.5 years ago. All the years I lived there we would get 2-3 nights a year when it would go into the upper 30's, then low to mid 50's during the day. I can't recall any year where it didn't get above 50 during the day. Amazing cold down there and so prolonged. Friends told me iguanas are falling out of trees from being immobilized by the cold.

According to this article very old records are being broken and thousands of people are without power due to the strain on the electrical supply system from home/building heating.

South Florida breaks cold weather record set in 1927; thousands without power this morning
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Blizz - I came across this checking out my data in CWOP. pretty good video if you click on it. I will have to get some of the equipment that they have in the video. I wonder if Mason has information or a website to go to to purchase the equipment.

Link

btw - RAVENS WON
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
TrentonThunder- There is a warm layer aloft around 925-950mb so be mindful about 50mi along and northwest of the H85 0C line is likely sleet, it is not all snow.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting TrentonThunder:
THX! Would've been better if the Eagles weren't so...


You don't have to say it because I am thinking it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Today's 18Z GFS looks pretty good to me...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Today Miami had a high temperature of 48F. Their all time record low max was 45F, pretty darn close. This cold across the southeast is really quite amazing especially considering the length of time; nearly all week they have been experiencing hard freezes at night.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
THX! Would've been better if the Eagles weren't so...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting Blizzard92:
Happy Birthday Trenton!

Yes I meant below zero below. Took a trip around Dauphin County today to get a snow survey along with pictures, which will be uploaded shortly. Interestingly enough the Blue Mountain region had the most snow depth. Up towards Millersburg along Berrysburg Mountain there was about 1in of snow at the Ned Smith Center, which I visited as the Winter Gallery is open. Then towards Clarks Creek in Clarks Valley there was about 2in of snow. Then along Fishing Creek Valley and at the summit of Blue Mountain there was about 3in on the north side. Here on the south side of the mountain sunny spots have patchy snow cover from drifts, but shaded areas have about 2in of snow.


THX Blizz
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting hurigo:
Stan: awwwhhhh. Is that a baby goat? Do they usually come in singles, doubles or triples?


Yes, it's a baby goat.
That's one of the two born.
They usually have 2. But they can have 1 or 3.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Stan: awwwhhhh. Is that a baby goat? Do they usually come in singles, doubles or triples?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good evening Blizzard,

It finally stopped snowing yesterday. Two really nice but cold days. Snow pack is 14".

We had two new additions to the farm. They always seem to come on the coldest days.



Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Brrrrr in Florida. wow, those people must be going crazy, especially after the RAVENS domination of the patriots.

pretty cold here as well.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Looking with antipation for this late weekend event to unfold!!! I have a good feeling about this one, and will be interested to see just how strong this blocking high will hold and slow this low down.I think this low will move more east, than NE.I also think that it may have the biggest impact NC thru Eastern PA. I know this is alot of very eary speculation on a storm that has not even formed yet,so this is just my early opinion of events to come...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Lovely day in Disney World today, currently 40F with a hard freeze warning and wind chill warning. Also currently 43F along the beaches of Miami, o joy!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
You are right Blizz. Its way too early to get either excited or dissappointed at this stage of the game.But by then, 7 or 8 days from now, we might be "due" for some action!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
weathergeek5- Best of luck!

P451- Eh this threat is a week away so a surpressed approach is probably best at this point if one believes the northwest trend for gulf lows.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Hello everyone!! I wanted to let everyone know that I start school tomorrow night. Chances are I will not be on this blog as much until May when the spring semester ends. I looked over my syllabus for my classes. 2 of the classes are difficult and 2 of them are not as hard. I will keep my schoolwork current so I can come on this blog when I can. I will be working full time still so my time will be short to do other things. Here is the latest from my NWS:

.LONG TERM /TUESDAY NIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY/...
A MILDER PERIOD IS EXPECTED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE EXTENDED
PERIOD. THE RECENT EAST COAST TROUGH WILL HAVE PASSED OFF THE
COAST AND BROAD UPPER RIDGING FROM THE PLAINS WILL MOVE ACROSS OUR
REGION WED AND THU. SURFACE HIGH PRESSURE WILL GENERALLY RULE,
WITH PERHAPS A FEW DRY FRONTS MOVING ACROSS THE REGION. THE
WEAK TUESDAY COLD FRONT WILL THEN RETREAT BACK ACROSS THE AREA
WED NGT. WE WILL KEEP THE FCST DRY AT THIS POINT WITH ONLY SOME
CLOUDINESS EXPECTED.

THE UPPER RIDGE WILL WEAKEN AT THE END OF THE WEEK AND A COLD
FRONT WILL MOVE DOWN FROM THE NORTHEAST AND CANADA FRI. THIS WILL
CAUSE TEMPERATURES TO RETURN BACK TO BELOW NORMAL READINGS BY NEXT
WEEKEND. AN ARCTIC HIGH WILL MOVE ACROSS THE GREAT LAKES INTO THE
NORTHEAST. WHILE A FEW FLURRIES OR SNOW SHOWERS MAY OCCUR ACROSS
THE SRN POCONOS...IT`S TO EARLY TO TRY TO TIME THESE
FEATURES...SO I WILL JUST KEEP IT DRY FOR NOW.

THE SOUTHERN STREAM WILL BECOME MORE ACTIVE LATER THIS WEEK. BOTH
THE GFS AND ECMWF INDICATE A FAIRLY STRONG LOW DEVELOPING THEN
STRENGTHENING OVER THE GULF STATES FRI AND SAT. THESE FEATURES CAN
PRODUCE INTERESTING WEATHER ACROSS OUR AREA DURING THE WINTER...SO
IT`S WORTH KEEPING AN EYE ON.
THE LATEST 12Z MODELS SEEM SLOWER THAN
YESTERDAYS WITH REGARDS TO THE MOVEMENT WITH THE SYSTEM. THE 12Z
ECMWF SHOWS THE LOW WEAKENING AS IT MOVES UP THE SOUTHEAST COAST
TOWARD COASTAL NC BY 12Z MON. IT OFFERS LITTLE IN THE WAY OF
PRECIPITATION TO OUR AREA. THE GFS IS SOMEWHAT SIMILAR BUT WITH LESS
UPPER RIDGING ACROSS OUR AREA SUN...IT ALLOWS THE PRECIPITATION TO
CREEP UP INTO THE DELMARVA SUN NGT. WAY TOO EARLY TO SPECULATE ABOUT
WHAT MAY HAPPEN...SO STAY TUNED SEEMS THE BEST THING TO SAY AT THIS
POINT.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
pittsburghnurse- Yep, this would qualify, lol.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Ever since I came to the North from Florida I keep hearing I hadn't been through a bad winter yet. So would this qualify?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Wow...

State Lows:
Bradford -15°F
New Castle -7°F
Washington -5°F
Erie -2°F
Butler -2°F
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
557. bwi
Faithfully reporting this morning's prelim HPC discussion:

MEANWHILE...A PRIMARY SYSTEM TO BE CONCERNED WITH INVOLVES AN
AMPLIFYING SHORTWAVE TROUGH TO CALIFORNIA/SW US THROUGH MIDWEEK
THAT EVOLVES INTO A LARGE CLOSED LOW OVER NORTHERN MEXICO/TX INTO
FRI BEFORE EJECTING ACROSS THE SRN/SERN US IN RESPONSE TO
ADDITIONAL KICKER UPPER LOW ENERGIES REACHING CALIFORNIA. THE 00
UTC GFS WAS CONSIDERED A LITTLE TOO FAST WITH BOTH OF THESE
SENSIBLE WEATHER FOCUSING UPPER LOWS AND ASSOCIATED SURFACE
SYSTEMS...WITH SUPPORT OF THE SLOWER 00 UTC ECMWF PROVIDED BY THE
00 UTC UKMET/CANADIAN AND MANY 00 UTC GLOBAL ENSEMBLE MEMBERS.
THESE SYSTEMS HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO BE A WIDESPREAD PCPN PRODUCER
WITH WRN US PASSAGE AND DOWNSTREAM AS DEEPER MOISTURE IS PULLED
INLAND FROM THE GULF OF MEX THEN ATLANTIC. IN THIS PATTERN...IT
REMAINS INTERESTING TO SEE HOW THE NRN FRINGE OF PCPN IN THE
SRN/SERN/MID-ATLANTIC STATES INTERACTS WITH THE SRN FRINGE OF THE
NRN STREAM COLD AIRMASS BY NEXT WEEKEND AS THE PARENT GULF LOW
EJECTS AND TRANSFERS ENERGY DOWNSTREAM...EVENTAULLY INTO AN
ORGANIZED COASTAL LOW. THE 00 UTC ECMWF/GFS/CANADIAN/NAEFS
ENSEMBLES...EXPERIMENTAL HIGHER RESOLUTION GFS ENSEMBLES...00 UTC
GFS/CANADIAN...AND 06 UTC DGEX OFFER HEAVY PCPN SHIELDS THAT NOT
NEARLY AS SUPPRESSED AS THE 00 UTC ECMWF OR 06 UTC GFS. HPC PROGS
WERE MANUALLY ADJUSTED A BIT EXTRA TO ACCOUNT FOR THIS LESS
SUPPRESSED SCENARIO.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Snow in S. Fl! Definitely a records book year.

And who didn't get the memo this morning? The forecast called for partly cloudy and dry. Well hello, it's snowing AGAIN. I was hoping my shovel and I could have some time apart today.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:

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Ph.D. Student - Earth System Science (UC Irvine), B.Sc. - Atmospheric Sciences (Cornell University)

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