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Mild and Rainy for the Northeast

By: Zachary Labe , 1:09 PM GMT on December 03, 2013

"Current Northeast Surface Station Plots"


"Current Surface Map and Weekly History of Jet Stream Position"


"Regional Radar"


"Regional Satellite"


"Regional Advisories"


"Current Great Lakes Water Temperatures"


Current Northeast Snow Depth and Northeast Wind chills...


"Current NAO and PNA Predictions"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Forecast Max Temperatures"


"Forecast Min Temperature"


"Forecast Weather at 2pm"


(All maps courtesy of NOAA and Penn State Meteo.)

"Anchorage, Alaska Tower Cam"

*Back due to popular demand!

"Forecast Model Links"
-NAM model 12z...Link
-GFS model 12z...Link
-NMM model 12z...Link
-SREF model 9z...Link

"Severe Weather Links"
-Atmospheric Soundings Skewt T charts...Link
-SPC Mesoscale Analysis Pages...Link
-Public Spotter Reports for State College NWS...Link
-Severe Weather Model Forecast indices...Link
-Severe Weather Parameter Definitions...Link

"Flooding Links"
-Automated Pennsylvania Rainfall Recording Stations...Link
-Flash Flooding Guidance...Link
-HPC Forecasts for Excessive Rainfall...Link
-Hydrology Predictions for Lakes, Rivers, and Streams...Link

Lower Susquehanna Valley Doppler...

(Courtesy of WGAL)

Follow my 24hr forecasts on Twitter... Link and Facebook... Link.

"10mi northeast of Harrisburg 2013-2014 Winter Statistics"
(Snow Stats)
Monthly Total (October)- 0.0"
Monthly Total (November)- Dusting
Monthly Total (December)- Trace
Seasonal Total- Dusting

Winter Weather Advisories- 2
Winter Storm Warnings- 0
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 0
Winter Storm Watches- 0

(Temperature Stats)
Lowest High Temperature- 30F
Lowest Low Temperature- 14F
Wind Chill Advisories- 0
Wind Chill Warnings- 0

(Snow Storms Stats)
Trace - November 8 - First trace of snow - Lake effect snow shower
Dusting - November 12 - First snow on the ground - Anafront

(Cornell University (950ft elev.) Snow Stats)
Monthly Total (October)- 0.0"
Monthly Total (November)- 3.7"
Monthly Total (December)- 1.5"
Seasonal Total- 5.2"


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

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 129 - 79

Page: 1 | 2 | 3Blog Index

129. Pcroton
9:39 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
I just have to say... through all the "forecasting is difficult" bit - can they at least offer products that support each other?

I mean, this is from the same office, folks:

THE BETTER CHANCE FOR ACCUMULATION
WOULD BE ALONG PORTIONS OF THE EASTERN SHORE OF MARYLAND, DUE TO
SOME COLD AIR DAMMING FEATURE ALLOWING BOUNDARY LAYER TEMPERATURES
TO STAY RIGHT AROUND 30F, AND THEN NORTH AND WEST OF PHILADELPHIA,
BUT LATER IN THE EVENING AS STEADIER PRECIPITATION MOVES IN.





The map doesn't match the discussion.

In fact if you scrutinize, the zone products, the public maps, the forecast discussion, and the forecast summary all paint a different picture of the event - and all four products come from the same source.

Come'on now LOL
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
128. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
9:37 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
Blizzard92 has created a new entry.
127. PengSnow
9:28 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
WOW, Just got back and it seems as though, a hockey game broke out!!! With having 2 friends in the field and one who is very popular, they have both admitted that the field is like a financial advisor picking a stock for a portfolio....some you win and some you lose, both using some type of historical and futuristic forecasting model. When you hit it big you are right on and are considered the best expert, when you miss-you are the worst in the world. With that being said we live in a cynical world, which challenges us to all be better and hopefully doing it the legit way. I do respect the point and counter points, that appear on this blog, as well as the scientific understanding by all. Through all of this we have a dramatic love for the weather and the extremes it offers. Per the field I am in, there is constant critism for one reason or another(i am not a politician), it is this critism that I do not lose sleep over by taking it(although it is/was never personally directed towards me), i use this critism to make me better and the team that i am on to be better.

To all keep doing what you doing, this makes it a GREAT BLOG!!!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
126. originalLT
9:21 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
Good to hear from you Hoy, are you still in Brooklyn?--off to the gym now, back in an hour or two.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
125. Hoynieva
9:04 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
Hello everyone, long time no post for me, but I had to come on and thank Blizz for posting a comment against the negative positions frequently meted out against the NWS and forecasting in general. First of all, what other fields predict the future and are then harshly criticized when wrong. They're predicting the future! I know we have all sorts of models, satellites zooming above collecting data while miles below them weather balloons fly and below them reconnoissance planes, etc. etc., but, regardless of all the advances we've made, this is a science that will always remain highly unpredictable as fluctuation is constant and no matter how long we watch the global patterns (we only have reliable data for the past several decades of a planet that is more than 4.5 billion years old) there will always be surprises. It is also what keeps things interesting.

We should be thankful for the forecasts we get here, as I've lived in other areas of the world and they're in awe of the ability the US seems to have in predicting weather. European friends visit us and are often shocked when I tell them the forecast for the entire week of their stay and for the most part it turns out incredibly accurate. They've come to accept, in their various countries, that what is said on the television regarding the week's weather can be taken with a grain of salt and to never leave home without your umbrella, for instance, if you don't see blue in the sky.

What I think sometimes happens, when a group of people is accustomed to something positive (in this case, mostly accurate forecasts), and then things start to fluctuate (a sunny day becomes rainy and vice versa, for instance) they start to lose faith in what they thought was a reliable indicator and question what went wrong, which totally makes sense. But, the problem, I think, is that they then start dissecting every detail and nitpicking about every single variation, regardless of size, to a point that they're becoming stressed out about it and the only way to vent is to others who might possibly be going through the same inner turmoil.

I admit, I am often disappointed when a seemingly reliable forecast fails to come to fruition, but I merely chalk it up to a much more powerful force at play, one which we've still only dipped our toes in, so to speak. I won't get into global climatic disruption as many likely recall my position on this matter, but I do have to say that more taxpayer funding in the meteorological and climatological sciences is necessary for our future as a species. I can only hope we continue to invest heavily in sciences and that the "predicted" END is a big bust.

Hope all is well with you, my fellow humans, wherever on this rock you may be.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
124. Pcroton
9:01 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
For what it's worth, here's the WPC comments on the 12Z guidance. This explains why they shifted right to it adapting their products to follow suit. Why the NWS is half on the same page (in discussion/summaries === out in zone products/public map products) who knows.



MODEL DIAGNOSTIC DISCUSSION
NWS WEATHER PREDICTION CENTER COLLEGE PARK MD
136 PM EST SAT DEC 07 2013

VALID DEC 07/1200 UTC THRU DEC 11/0000 UTC

..12Z FINAL MODEL EVALUATION ALONG WITH PREFERENCES

THERE DID NOT APPEAR TO BE ANY INITIALIZATION ERRORS WITH THE 12Z
NAM/GFS DEEMED SIGNIFICANT ENOUGH TO IMPACT THEIR FORECASTS.

***FRONTAL WAVE LIFTING NORTH INTO THE MID-ATLANTIC REGION***

PREFERENCE: GENERAL MODEL COMPROMISE
CONFIDENCE: SLIGHTLY ABOVE AVERAGE

THE ARCTIC FRONT THAT IS CURRENTLY SITUATED OVER THE NORTHERN GULF
OF MEXICO IS EXPECTED TO HAVE A FRONTAL WAVE EVOLVE ALONG IT AND
EVENTUALLY DEVELOP A SURFACE LOW EAST OF THE MID-ATLANTIC COAST BY
MONDAY MORNING, ALONG WITH AN INVERTED TROUGH AXIS NEAR THE SPINE
OF THE APPALACHIANS. THIS WILL RESULT IN A WINTER WEATHER EVENT
FOR THE MID-ATLANTIC AND NORTHEAST U.S. BOTH THE GFS AND NAM ARE
IN GOOD AGREEMENT WITH THE UPPER LEVEL PATTERN BEFORE THE SYSTEM
EXITS THE COAST. THE NAM HAS A SLIGHTLY STRONGER SURFACE LOW OFF
THE COAST COMPARED TO THE GFS, WHICH HAS SLIGHTLY STRONGER COLD
AIR DAMMING FROM THE SURFACE HIGH OVER THE NORTHEAST. THE ECMWF
WAS CENTERED CLOSE TO THE MODEL CONSENSUS, WHILE THE UKMET HAD A
SLIGHTLY FASTER TRACK WITH THE SURFACE LOW.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
123. Pcroton
8:44 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
Yet the zone forecast products don't match the discussions or summaries which seem to follow the HPC who follows the new guidance. I give up with these people for now. Their own products are in constant odds with themselves. The guys writing the discussions write zone products that dont match. They're pretty worthless. Shifting all over the place endlessly.

Whatever we get we get.

MANHATTAN
SUNDAY NIGHT
SNOW LIKELY IN THE EVENING...THEN RAIN...SNOW AND
SLEET AFTER MIDNIGHT. SNOW AND SLEET ACCUMULATION AROUND AN INCH.
LOWS IN THE LOWER 30S. EAST WINDS 5 TO 10 MPH. CHANCE OF
PRECIPITATION NEAR 100 PERCENT.

CENTRAL NJ
SUNDAY NIGHT
RAIN. SNOW AND SLEET IN THE EVENING. LITTLE OR NO
SNOW AND SLEET ACCUMULATION. LOWS IN THE LOWER 30S. EAST WINDS
5 TO 10 MPH. CHANCE OF PRECIPITATION NEAR 100 PERCENT.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
122. Pcroton
8:40 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
Shifting....I guess they all like the 12Z guidance shift.




NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW YORK NY
330 PM EST SAT DEC 7 2013

(snip)
SNOW IS THEN
EXPECTED TO START FALLING ACROSS THE REGION AFTER SUNSET SUNDAY. AS
THE LOW MOVES NORTH...WARM AIR WILL ACCOMPANY IT AND CHANGE THE SNOW
OVER TO A WINTRY MIX...AND THEN TO ALL RAIN BY LATE MONDAY MORNING
AND INTO THE AFTERNOON.


===

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
118 PM EST SAT DEC 7 2013

(snip)

LOW PRESSURE WILL IMPACT THE AREA SUNDAY INTO MONDAY.
ACCUMULATING SNOW AND SLEET IS EXPECTED SUNDAY MORNING INTO SUNDAY
AFTERNOON. PRECIPITATION WILL CHANGE OVER TO FREEZING RAIN AND ICE
ACCUMULATION IS EXPECTED ACROSS MOST AREAS OVERNIGHT SUNDAY.
PRECIPITATION WILL FINALLY CHANGE OVER TO RAIN MONDAY MORNING AS
WARMER AIR WORKS ITS WAY INTO THE AREA.

====



Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
121. Pcroton
8:12 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
It would be difficult to find any better a scenario in regards to the cold air damming that is driving the potential icy precip.

Just follow the isobars and the wind barbs down through the coastal plain.



7am Sunday.




Well, curious to see what the evening forecasting shows. Changes are likely. Given the HPC quickly shifting over and other people chattering away about the 12z guidance as well - I'd think we're going to see forecasting follow suit. Probably not quite the snow totals shown on the guidance but at least towards it/following it.



==

Another 12Z guidance shift follower. TWC



Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
120. Pcroton
8:03 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
Quoting 119. originalLT:
See a lot of clouds gathering in SE and East Tx. on the vis. Satellite could that be our Sunday night storm, or part of it?


I think what you see in Texas is the developing disturbance, the upper support is over the rockies, the sub tropical jet is strong, and then we will see a second surface feature develop off of DE/NJ early tomorrow morning.


Well, forecast shifts happen, and the HPC is on board with the new 12Z guidance. Let's see if the NWS follows suit or not. As of now they haven't shifted in local products or maps - just in discussions - but I think they will inevitably follow suit - unless the next guidance flips back (I dont...think it will.)



You can expect the probabilities there to go up with the next map releases but I would venture a guess they are confident with the new swath placement.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
119. originalLT
7:59 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
See a lot of clouds gathering in SE and East Tx. on the vis. Satellite could that be our Sunday night storm, or part of it?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
118. Pcroton
7:29 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
I think it is a given we see another forecast shift this evening. Could be distinct changes in some cases. More cold meaning more snow for MD-DE-NJ, but drier colder air may mean an abrupt stripping of any weather from northern zones.


===

Steven DiMartino %u200F@nynjpaweather 1h
Temperatures have stalled in the mid 30,s to lower 40's this afternoon.


Steven DiMartino %u200F@nynjpaweather 1h
This evening we will monitor the development of the Cold Air Damning and how dry the atmosphere becomes as Arctic air builds in.


Steven DiMartino %u200F@nynjpaweather 4m
The 12Z guidance is coming in drier for the region with the bulk of precipitation focused over MD,DE, and S NJ.

Steven DiMartino %u200F@nynjpaweather 3m
Going to monitor development of Sub Tropical jet stream and may adjust down ice accumulations tonight.


====
NWS Discussion also hints at shifting thinking, yet read this discussion and look at their zone products and maps, and they haven't translated their new thinking to the zone products --- yet.

I'm guessing the 12Z maps threw them for a loop as they have us and they probably want to see more runs for continuity - to see if the model shift is one of logic - or one out of whack run.


--

GETTING INTO IT...
SURFACE WAVE TO OUR WEST AND POSSIBLY TO THE EAST WILL ALLOW DECENT
WARM AIR ADVECTION TO KICK IN AS SURFACE RIDGING RETREATS FURTHER
EAST-NORTHEAST DURING THE DAY SUNDAY. THERMAL PROFILES SHOW THAT
EVERYONE SHOULD BE COLD ENOUGH TO SEE A LIGHT SNOWFALL SPREAD SOUTH
TO NORTH, THOUGH ALL THE WHILE THE MOISTURE ALOFT WILL BE COMBATING
DRY SURFACE AIR, SO NOT QUITE SURE HOW MUCH WILL ACTUALLY MAKE IT TO
THE GROUND, AND ULTIMATELY STICK. THE BETTER CHANCE FOR ACCUMULATION
WOULD BE ALONG PORTIONS OF THE EASTERN SHORE OF MARYLAND, DUE TO
SOME COLD AIR DAMMING FEATURE ALLOWING BOUNDARY LAYER TEMPERATURES
TO STAY RIGHT AROUND 30F, AND THEN NORTH AND WEST OF PHILADELPHIA,
BUT LATER IN THE EVENING AS STEADIER PRECIPITATION MOVES IN.

STILL EXPECTING A RAPID CHANGEOVER TO OCCUR ACROSS A MAJORITY OF OUR
ZONES BY MONDAY MORNING, THOUGH THE SURFACE TEMPERATURES WILL BE THE
TRICKY PART. DEPENDING ON THE PLACEMENT OF THE COASTAL LOW, ENOUGH
OF A NORTHEAST FLOW COULD STAY IN PLACE TO KEEP SURFACE TEMPERATURES
FROM WARMING ABOVE FREEZING FOR A FEW MORE HOURS, MORE THAN WHAT IS
CURRENTLY ANTICIPATED. THIS WOULD MEAN MORE FREEZING RAIN, THOUGH
ACTUAL ACCRETION AMOUNTS STILL NEED TO BE REFINED, PROVIDING AT
LEAST A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORISH TYPE OF EVENT...STILL NEED TO WORK
OUT A FEW MORE DETAILS.



===

The problem I have in all of this is there has to be a cutoff point where you make a forecast and go with it. While I understand if a dramatic shift occurs inside that window you need to make a change - there has to be a point where tweaking stops. Otherwise we never actually have a forecast - we instead of a running commentary of each new model run.

At what point you draw that line I do not know but once you get inside of 30 hours and especially 24 hours preceeding the onset of an event I start getting the feeling that we're getting past where we should be seeing firm decision making.


Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
117. Pcroton
7:19 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
Well, here's our little trouble makers:

1. Rockies storm.
2. Texas disturbance developing.
3. Sub-Tropical Jet.

#3s persistent involvement in our recent weather is yet another reason to have high hopes for the winter storm season in general.







In fact the Sub-Tropical jet is outstanding...



Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
116. Pcroton
6:57 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
The difference with the new runs in respect to old is that both models give the coastal system a stronger and tighter identity thus cutting off the inland surge of heat for a longer period of time.

As to the banding placement it is something that Steve brought up in his video discussion when he said he lowered is area totals not due to a change in temperature but a change in where he thought the QPF slug would be - and the shift in these model runs reflect his thinking.

It's very curious, but even if correct in thinking, I would think the actual physical amounts are too high. While the ground will be cold the upper layers will not - so I would venture a guess here: The models are over doing the liquid to frozen ratios.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
115. Pcroton
6:51 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
Yeah, uhm, this seems a little out of hand, but having such similiarity between the two models suddenly definitely raises an eyebrow. Both models did a significant shift in thinking to get to this as well.





I'd be curious if the 0Z runs mirror these with continuity...or if the run proves to be an anomaly (still, odd both models went for it) If they do then I think a forecast shift might be inevitable.

Let's see if the NWS shifts at their mid-afternoon forecast updates or not.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
114. Zachary Labe
6:25 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
ThePoetSirrah- Yeah, I am thinking the models are a bit overdone in the snow department for the Middle Atlantic. There is not a lot of forcing for QPF before the warm air moves in aloft. I think there will be a narrow snow accumulation of 2-3in somewhere in northern Maryland, but outside this small area, most people will see less than 1in of snow before the changeover. Lots of dry air should eat the initial precipitation away. I hope to have a snow map out later today.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
113. goofyrider
6:18 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
0.75 in for the storm. No snow no sleet no ice ok.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
112. ThePoetSirrah
6:05 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
I agree about toning it down on the rants.

I'm curious to know why both models are snowing a good bit of snow for the mid atlantic. I'm guessing the totals are overdone, but why does the location of the snow band differ so much from the official forecasts?

12z GFS



12z Nam

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
111. Pcroton
6:02 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
Western NC has replaced it's Winter Storm Warnings with Ice Storm Warnings and Freezing Rain Advisories.

VA/MD are presently maintaining their WSWarnings and Watches citing 1-2" of storm and greater than 0.25" of ice accumulations.


I hope these ice storms aren't going to be a recurring situation this winter. I still can't get over how many times I had to break into my car both in 94 and 95 during those endless ice storms here in NJ. I certainly don't want a repeat of the catastrophic 2006 valentine's day ice storm.



Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
110. Pcroton
5:51 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
Temps aren't rising as much as thought today and forecast highs adjusted downward from mid to low 40s. Tonights lows keep adjusting downward now calling for low 20s. However tomorrow remains the warmer solution than they had last night. Seems a bit contradictory.

Here is also a flip of wording mistake they have written right in. Sunday's highs and lows are wrong.

We're going to see temps rise all day Sunday and Sunday night into Monday. We will set Sunday's high temperature at 1159PM probably in the mid 30s if not upper 30s at the beaches. During the day Sunday we will watch the early morning 20s warm into the low 30s during the afternoon.

So tell me how is Sunday a high in the Mid 30s (it will be, just at midnight... but Sunday Night has lows in the low 30s? When temps will just rise all day and night?

The perception painted is temps will reach mid 30s during the day on Sunday then slip into the low 30s at night... whereas reality is temps will start in the 20s early sunday morning and steadily rise all day setting a mid 30s high temp just before we slip into early Monday morning.





THIS AFTERNOON
PARTLY SUNNY. COOLER WITH HIGHS IN THE LOWER
40S. NORTHWEST WINDS 10 TO 15 MPH.

TONIGHT
MOSTLY CLEAR IN THE EVENING...THEN BECOMING PARTLY
CLOUDY. LOWS IN THE LOWER 20S. NORTH WINDS 5 TO 10 MPH.

SUNDAY
MOSTLY CLOUDY. A CHANCE OF RAIN AND SNOW IN THE
AFTERNOON. HIGHS IN THE MID 30S. NORTHEAST WINDS AROUND 5 MPH.
CHANCE OF PRECIPITATION 50 PERCENT.

SUNDAY NIGHT
RAIN. SNOW AND SLEET IN THE EVENING. LITTLE OR NO
SNOW ACCUMULATION. LOWS IN THE LOWER 30S. EAST WINDS 5 TO 10 MPH.
CHANCE OF PRECIPITATION NEAR 100 PERCENT.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
109. Pcroton
5:38 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
A good read from http://midhudsonweather.com/ on the (lack of a) Friday event. Just scroll down below the radar image along the left side.

It's an interesting site in a few ways it's worth poking through.


---------

Well, with the weather discussion, the NWS is going to be involved in such discussions, and when they are wrong (which seems more frequent than not) it's going to find it's way into the conversation. To not discuss them I think would be odd since they're recognized as the trusted and highest authority.

Funding: Yes, NOAA is all in on climate science theories so raising their budget wouldn't change where they appropriate the funds.

The problem isn't the computer models it's the data that is fed into them and as we know the data collection network is outdated, failing, or has been mothballed without replacement.

We saw computer models perform at great precision when the data from frequent and repetitive massive ballon launches and unrelenting waves of aircraft recon covering the entire eastern third of the US and western third of the Atlantic ocean were fed into them.

You rarely hear it but occasionally forecasters will suggest they don't want to look at a 7 day forecast because the data collection network west of the Mississippi is so poor that they don't trust model initialization on features that would affect us while they are still in that region. If initialization of a feature is off just think what that translates to error wise down the line. Then think why are they forecasting off of this?


We either need to move forward in revitalizing and improving the observation network and number of nodes within the network - or we need to investigate if satellite sensing can be further developed to reliably replace hands on data collection.


I don't think it's the right course of action to obsolve the NWS of poor forecasting because of poor data collection. They didn't always have these tools so what did they rely on then? I think they need to revamp their operational procedures to match the tools they have.

I also don't think it's the right approach to pinpoint forecast nor forecast beyond 5 days if you know you don't have the data to do it. Yet, they do anyway.

They essentially are setting theselves up for failure and then are confused when scrutinized for those failures.

They should scale back what they forecast and the detail they forecast it in to match the data they trust.

Until then it's going to continue to be a problem.


Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
108. TheF1Man
5:36 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
Quoting 107. Blizzard92:

Yeppers! My first final is this coming Wednesday night and my last is Friday the 20th. What meteorology class are you taking?


Wow that seems spread out! Best information on the class I could find was this:

"This is an introductory course in meteorology for the non-technical student. Topics include the earth-sun system, the earth's atmosphere, the earth's heat budget, weather measurements, clouds, horizontal air movement, stability, fronts, short-term weather forecasting, and climate."

It probably just covers most of the basics, but seems interesting.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
107. Zachary Labe
5:31 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
Quoting 106. TheF1Man:
Looked as though the precip collapsed last night, received a coating on the grass and some slush on sidewalks here in Springfield,MA. Have finals next week then I'm home free! I believe you have just this week as well, right zach?

I mentioned a while back that there is a single meteorology course at my school offered in the spring, so i'm pretty excited for that! Hopefully we have some real good storms to talk about come January/February.

Yeppers! My first final is this coming Wednesday night and my last is Friday the 20th. What meteorology class are you taking?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
106. TheF1Man
5:29 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
Looked as though the precip collapsed last night, received a coating on the grass and some slush on sidewalks here in Springfield,MA. Have finals next week then I'm home free! I believe you have just this week as well, right zach?

I mentioned a while back that there is a single meteorology course at my school offered in the spring, so i'm pretty excited for that! Hopefully we have some real good storms to talk about come January/February.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
105. Zachary Labe
5:29 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
New blog out by early this evening for my forecast for Sunday night into Monday. Unfortunately, does not look like too exciting of a winter storm.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
104. NEwxguy
5:17 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
You have a good point Zach,and I'll just be posting weather updates and my opinions on what I think might occur. Makes for a more enjoyable blog
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
103. Inyo
5:15 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
Since it's rant time, I'm gonna toss one in too. No, the forecasts aren't bad because "too much money is spent on climate change". If anything not enough money is spent, but people don't like what the scientists say about climate change so they turn it political. If we ignore how our climate is changing the forecasts will only get worse. Sorry to get political here but... The denialists crowd has bad science and questionable motives, or in the least heavy denial. Yeah there is some chance we aren't the main cause of warming but at this point that chance is small. There is some chance natural factors will override us, but if they do the process may be as damaging as warming would have been. Finally, a changing climate, for natural or human caused reasons, plays havoc with models largely based on analogy with past events.

I agree with Blizzard... The forecasters do a good job with limited resources. The private forecasters basically use public taxpayer funding to turn around forecasts for a profit. Everywhere I've lived I've found twc and especially "accu" weather to be worse than NWS. Maybe if they paid for their own satellites and radar sites id be more into it. I used to love twc but these days I just find them annoying.

We may never be able to forecast an exact rain snow line in marginal storms because there are so many factors it is near impossible to model. And I do believe in intuition and folk knowledge but that only gets you so far.

Ok, that's my rant for today I try to keep the climate change stuff out of my comments but if everyone else is...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
102. cchamp6
5:13 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
I agree. No need to constantly bash NWS here. You run a great blog and it is interesting to read about everyones weather. Hopefully we can keep it about your pretty accurate forcasts and learning from from errors. Ill stop in now and then. Hope you are doing well.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
101. Zachary Labe
5:06 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
cchamp6- Hey! Hope all is well and hopefully you'll be around this year. I always find your microclimate in CT interesting. I should rephrase my argument... The NWS is far from perfect and there are many problems. And yes forecast accuracy seems like it has been poor this winter thus far, however my rant is more at the constant bashing in the comments section here. Complaining here and there is fine, but it seems that the only comments posted anymore are just rants at the NWS. That is not what I want my blog to be about. It is about sharing observations, forecast, occasional complaints, and really anything else weather related that amateurs and such can discuss. But it is not about incessant bashing. PS: I was shocked with that Winter Storm Watch for you yesterday. I had no idea where that was coming from, lol.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
100. cchamp6
5:00 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
Hey Blizz,

Checking in for the first time probably since last winter. I have been trolling every now and again and want to put my two cents in on this discussion.

First off you do a wonderful job and so do many of the guys on line that put out forcasts. Its where I get most of my good information. As you know I plow snow for a living for the local DOT in my town here in CT. Going on 19 winters now. It seems to me that the NWS offices and particularly the TV outlets are doing a horrendous job. I agree about the funding and computer models needing more funding and upgrades. In my field we are very dependent on accurate forcasts. Huge amounts of money are spent trying to keep roads safe and passable for people who quite frankly shouldnt be driving on dry roads. LOL. We do alot of gambling based on forcasts and knowing our local climate. Elevations in my town range from say 550' to around 1250'. Yesterdays event for example. NWS Albany issued a winter storm watch in the morning. No local news outlets picked up on this. In the afternoon it was changed to an advisory. I heard snowfall amounts of around 4-8" from the NWS. Local stations were 1-2". After I talked with them the local stations said the NWS was wrong and then upped the snow amounts to 2-4". In the end we got some sleet and a bit of snow. Less then one inch. We spent hours on the roads last night waiting for the snow to come in and it didnt. I mean jeez ok if somebody predicts 8" and we get 5" or we get 10" I would say that the prediction was pretty good. I dont remember forcasts being so bad 10 years ago. The last couple of years I have seen NWS offices in Upton, Albany and Taunton have comepletly different forcasts for the little state of CT. Something needs to change because I for one need accuracy and so do many people who commute and depend on decent road conditions.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
99. Zachary Labe
4:59 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
There really isn't enough QPF for destructive ice totals in excess of 0.5" but the highest freezing rain amounts will likely be from Hagerstown, MD up through Bedford, Franklin, Blair, and Huntingdon counties in PA.


...WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM SUNDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH
MONDAY MORNING...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STATE COLLEGE HAS ISSUED A WINTER
STORM WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM SUNDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH
MONDAY MORNING.

* LOCATIONS...MUCH OF THE CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN MOUNTAINS.

* HAZARD TYPES...SNOW MIXING WITH SLEET...THEN CHANGING OVER TO
FREEZING RAIN.

* ACCUMULATIONS...1 TO 2 INCHES OF SNOW AND SLEET ON SUNDAY.
FOLLOWED BY POTENTIAL ICE ACCUMULATIONS GREATER THAN A TENTH OF
AN INCH. ICE ACCUMULATIONS GREATER THAN A QUARTER OF AN INCH
POSSIBLE.

* TIMING...ACCUMULATING SNOW AND SLEET WILL BEGIN EARLY SUNDAY
AFTERNOON...AND TRANSITION TO FREEZING RAIN BY SUNDAY EVENING.
FREEZING RAIN IS THEN EXPECTED TO LAST UNTIL MONDAY MORNING
BEFORE CHANGING TO RAIN.

* IMPACTS...HAZARDOUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS ARE PROBABLE DUE TO SLICK
ROADS AND ICY CONDITIONS. POWER OUTAGES WILL ALSO BE POSSIBLE.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
98. Pcroton
4:44 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
NOAA is pouring their money into the Climate Change theories so I doubt you would see more money utilized to improve forecasting.

As for bashing them I think it's well deserved. They are an unmitigated disaster, they have internal office conflicts between crews, adjacent NWS offices are at odds in forecasting, they seemingly wildly swing forecasting every few hours at times, and some offices seem to have a success rate bordering on inexcusable.

I know you're in the field, Zach, but it's pretty bad. If you're telling me there's no way to forecast the weather then what's the point? Moreso, what is missing that causes such poor forecasting?


Anyways, Steve adjusted his totals, his reasoning is that there will be less QPF further north and thinks the focus will be more towards DE/MD with the higher precipitation totals. Generally just took 1" off of his snow totals but kept his overall reasoning the same.




Steve, like Upton NY, have been the most stable forecasters leading up to this event and I believe the two have a handle on the situation.

Steve also mentions a damaging ice storm potential for western VA/MD into southern PA and I think given the cold air damming situation unfolding it should be taken seriously.

Also Gary S from Mt Holly also put out the idea of a damaging ice event in the same areas. Kinda baffles me that Gary S is pretty darn good with his information he puts out personally on twitter but the office he heads is a disaster. Just leads me to beleive internal politics between forecast shifts is causing many of the problems there.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
97. Zachary Labe
4:40 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
Quoting 96. originalLT:
I hear what you're saying Zach--but the first line of your paragraph is not good for your argument!. But in general I do agree with you, but some "human" sense and experience should be incorporated into the forecasts, not just "waffling" with every computer run. And I agree with you about funding, but it's tough with this current "atmosphere" in Congress. (pun in tended!)

Lol, I know. But that is mostly due to a mess of a system.

But what a lot of people don't see is that there is a lot of human input in these forecasts. It is not model waffling that everyone assumes.

And I am just plain tired of reading the same things in this blog day by day this year. It used to be full of fun forecasting and ideas, but now its just a depressing read through the comments that takes full anger out on the meteorology field.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
96. originalLT
4:37 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
I hear what you're saying Zach--but the first line of your paragraph (post#94) is not good for your argument!. But in general I do agree with you, but some "human" sense and experience should be incorporated into the forecasts, not just "waffling" with every computer run. And I agree with you about funding, but it's tough with this current "atmosphere" in Congress. (pun in tended!)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
95. Zachary Labe
4:37 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
Tomorrow's storm system is an un-amplified mess. There is no real strong area of frontogenetical forcing and therefore we are left with WAA aloft and at the surface. I am thinking dry air will create an extended period of virga, so I doubt we see much snow accumulation in an areas. However, with a fairly strong high to the northeast, there may be an extended period of freezing rain across northern Maryland up through central Pennsylvania that may reach winter storm warning criteria. I'll have more on this later. Also models are developing a potential weak wave Tuesday night for snow in some areas, but this is highly uncertain. The entire pattern is void of organized synoptic systems and therefore we are likely to continue to see these weak, strung-out events that are hard to forecast bringing a whole mix bag of precipitation.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
94. Zachary Labe
4:22 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
What a disastrous forecast yesterday for snow accumulation and QPF forecasts. Only 1 inch fell here in Ithaca. I am not sure why in the last year there is so much hatred towards the NWS here on the blog. I am not sure people really understand what actually goes into the grid forecasts and how they are processed. I have taken my share of classes and attended conferences to have a much better idea of the private and government forecasting sectors. It is a very interesting system that has a much higher accuracy than people give them credit for. Without the computer models there is simply no way to forecast the weather with any semblance of accuracy. It is impossible just to look at a surface map and tell whether we are going to see 1-3 inches of snow or a quarter inch of rain a day or two in advance. Impossible. And much what to what people may believe, accuracy for forecasts has improved with amazing verification rates over the last ten years. Sorry for this rant, and while I am always willing to criticize the NWS and other forecast sectors, there are many times when critiquing them is not warranted. And I am tired of seeing a constant bashing of the meteorology field in this blog. If you really want change, talk to congress. The ECMWF organization sees much higher funding and therefore higher accuracy forecasts. Perhaps if NOAA saw a few more tax dollars, some things could be changed.
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93. Inyo
3:06 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
Well, the whole storm last night went to our south. Just a few stray flakes this morning. Rain thurs night melted much of the snow and now it's cold again.
Looks like mostly snow for us on Monday but low precipitation amounts and maybe some afternoon rain mixing in. We will probably be back to the wet 3 inches we lost last week. Well, if we are lucky, enough to get out the xc skis.
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92. Pcroton
3:03 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
Good Morning, Peng and LT.

Well, it looks like we're not going to get any answers until later this afternoon at this rate.

Seems like nobody agrees on the storm potential at all anymore.Seems to me Upton, NY is the closest and the most stable forecasting thus far.

It's inconsequential really for those of us at the coast as honestly what's the difference between a coating and two inches all on grass...changing to rain. Nothing much.

But for others inland this is shaping up to be a big screw up. Do we get 1" do we get 6" do we get crippling ice..

Just one look at the maps below, combined with some things I posted earlier... makes you scratch your head at the widely differing solutions - and apparently - further widening at that. Aren't we supposed to be narrowing our thoughts?












Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
91. originalLT
2:46 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
Thanks "P" and hi Peng, Well it sure better get it's "act" together quickly!, there's a lot of "empty" on that radar screen!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
90. PengSnow
2:03 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
P, Again Great Work!!!

For last night we ended up with 2, that by this morning I shoveled off about 1 on my driveway....in spots. This was after a projection of 4-6, i guess this one was a lot tougher to predict.

Kind of interesting i was expecting more warnings and watches this morning, but not much difference from last night, i expect that will expand by late morning/early afternoon.

For SW PA, my friends mentioned in a text they expect 2=4 inches in my area with a possible very bad ice situation Sunday night for the Mountains of PA. They did remind me to be patient for a big snow look for it the week after next................if it stays cold.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
89. Pcroton
1:49 PM GMT on December 07, 2013





Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
88. Pcroton
1:44 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
Hi LT. Yes everything is in the developmental stage. The storm out west will come in and "energize" the frontal system still in place so to speak.

Here is a good read on the scenario from the WPC Discussion. However I caution that their thinking is probably going to change today. Still it outlines what is going on for the most part...I just wouldn't look to derive details from this discussion.


Short Range Forecast Discussion
NWS Weather Prediction Center College Park MD
304 AM EST Sat Dec 07 2013

Valid 12Z Sat Dec 07 2013 - 12Z Mon Dec 09 2013

...Freezing rain and sleet possible from parts of the Lower
Mississippi Valley to the Central Appalachians/Northern
Mid-Atlantic...

...Snow from the Middle Missouri Valley to the Upper Great Lakes
and over parts of the Mid-Atlantic...

...Heavy rain possible from the Lower Mississippi Valley to the
Tennessee Valley...

...Temperatures will be 10 to 35 degrees below average from the
High Plains to Great Lakes/Central Gulf...

A storm over the Great Basin will move eastward to the Middle
Mississippi Valley and merge with the system over the Southeast by
Sunday evening.
The system will produce snow over the Great
Basin/Central Rockies and the higher elevations of California that
will move eastward into the Central Rockies/Middle Missouri Valley
by Sunday morning.

In the meantime, a front over the Southeast will begin to lift
northward over the Central/Eastern Gulf Coast by Sunday evening
and merge with the storm from the West. The system will produce
showers and thunderstorms over parts of the Southeast/Southern
Mid-Atlantic on Saturday. Rain will develop over parts of the
Central Gulf Coast on Saturday and will lift northward into the
Tennessee Valley/Southern Mid-Atlantic by Sunday. Snow will
develop
over parts of the Ohio Valley on Sunday morning that will
expand into the Upper Great Lakes to the Northern Mid-Atlantic by
Sunday evening. A band of freezing rain/sleet will develop over
parts of the Tennessee Valley and the Mid-Atlantic on Sunday.


Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
87. originalLT
1:32 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
Morning, I wound up with 0.70" of rain. It was basically done by 1:30 or so last night.. My Temp. also got down to about 33F and leveled off---saw some snow flakes mixed in with the rain but that was it. Looking at the national radar this morning, not to much yet , "up-stream" are they still sure we'll have something here by Sunday late afternoon or evening?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
86. Pcroton
1:28 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
I hear ya TRP. Then like I thought of this morning we also have individual crew shifts who don't think alike putting their own spins on things.

Well, the HPC is entirely out to lunch. Their thinking matches absoluely no one's but their own.



*shrug*


Even the tiniest inconsistencies are evident, like SE NJ having higher probabilities than northern NJ... that's not even possible given the setup at hand.

I suspect later today things will come into focus but when you look at the timing of things it's a bit inexcuseable to have such variation in ideas so close to the event. It's not like we're looking for a meteorological bomb here that relies on major timing and phasing. It's a modest event.

The simplest thing, the temperature profiles, is being screwed up because why? A few models warm us? Well, look at those models and they don't show the cold air damming on them that we all know will exist. So it'd make sense to follow the models that do render what we know will be there, right?

Wrong?

Strange world here.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
85. TheRasberryPatch
12:54 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
1.08" of rain yesterday after I emptied the gauge at 7am yesterday morning from a week's worth of any precipitation in the rain gauge (0.15").

Campbelltown, PA just east of Hershey

No unexpected accumulation's here. I doubt we had any snow. At midnight there was no snow. Partly to mostly sunny and 31F

As we keep saying, I am astounded that the NWS rely's solely on model runs and not use any intuition and intelligence and balloons and weather instruments. At least that is what they leave me to believe.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
84. Pcroton
12:48 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
Quoting 77. originalLT:
Here in Stamford CT. We have light to occasional moderate rain, Temp. is falling, down to 37.5F. We've had about 0.25" of rain so far today.


Well I think I am done ranting for the morning.

We dropped to 35F rather early last evening and then it held there and we are still there. Had a few moderate bursts of rain late evening. We did well with the event but came no where near the 0.75-1.00" that the NWS had us down for.

This also means the HPC 2.0-2.5" forecast for both combined events is going to fall quite short... looking like about half overall for everyone in the end.


Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
83. Pcroton
12:45 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
For what it's worth the RAP performed great with last night's low temps in the northern rockies. The NAM was about 15 degrees behind showing -10 to -20 temps, the GFS was out to lunch showing even warmer. RAP nailed the widespread -30s that are now present. The NAM has also been performing much better with our storms the past 4 weeks than the GFS which has done some odd things. So why the NWS love affair with the GFS? Heck, you be the judge...

GFS vs NAM:





The subtle difference seems to be the GFS isn't as strong with coastal development and instead keeps a link to the far inland low - which as we know from experience acts like a conveyor belt for marine/warmer air to flood far inland. The NAM is a stronger coastal disturbance which cuts itself off more from the inland low thus no conveyor belt.

Now the third bit is what we know is going to happen regardless of models: COLD AIR DAMMING. The NAM is clearly on top of that and the GFS isn't at all.

I think you put everything together and I think you lean NAM which is what most forecasters seem to be doing. If they're blending it's probably 70 nam 30 gfs.

We're 30 hours from onset. IMO we should already have a trustworthy forecast in place, no? Once you get to 24 hours, a little after Noon today, you think they will get it right?

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
82. Pcroton
12:31 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
And the NWS remember has two or three crews who rotate so you get forecasting changes based solely off of one crew's opinion differeing from the other. You also throw in the fact that NWS crews will re-write forecasts with each new model run.... and what you have is so many variables in place you pretty much get set up for awful forecasting.

That is when you turn to the private forecasters.

Here's what Steve of NYNJPAWEATHER has to say on the storm:






Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
81. Pcroton
12:23 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
Quoting 78. goofyrider:
Lots of weather tonight. Ice with wind as the player. Lots of folks without power in the south and along the storm track.
High winds in Scotland and storm conditions in Europe. Think we are are on the small end of it this time.


Not that I'm one to wish a storm to go elsewhere and clobber them instead... we've had our fair share of damage last year so I'm fine with it. I'm sure we'll get a snow storm with 35mph winds soon enough and be good with that.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
80. Pcroton
12:21 PM GMT on December 07, 2013
NWS holds firm for Upton on Sunday's snow.
NWS wavers back warmer for Mt Holly on Sunday. Why they tweak back and forth I don't know. From Rain and Snow... to Snow... back to Rain and Snow forecasting. I'm sure they'll come right back, then go back again, and back again, etc.

They still don't even know, 30 hours from the onset, how the storm is going to develop? Pathetic.


616 AM EST SAT DEC 7 2013

.SYNOPSIS...
A COLD FRONT STILL REMAINS TO OUR SOUTH AND EAST TODAY AS A COLD
CANADIAN HIGH PRESSURE SYSTEM NOSES IN BRIEFLY BEFORE PUSHING OFF TO
THE NORTHEAST BY SUNDAY MORNING. A COMPLEX LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM WILL
THEN ENTER INTO THE LOWER GREAT LAKES SUNDAY EVENING WHILE A
SECONDARY LOW PRESSURE MAY FORM ALONG THE MID-ATLANTIC COAST ON
MONDAY.


You don't know whether or not a storm will form? The hell LOL





STILL EXPECTING A VERY COMPLEX SYSTEM TO EJECT INTO THE LOWER GREAT
LAKES SUNDAY NIGHT INTO MONDAY AS PRECIPITATION OVERSPREADS THE
REGION FROM THE SOUTH-SOUTHWEST DURING THIS TIMEFRAME. A COASTAL
WAVE COULD DEVELOP
ALONG THE OLD BAROCLINIC ZONE, THE OLD ARCTIC
FRONT, AND MOVE TOWARDS THE REGION MONDAY MORNING PROVIDING BETTER
FRONTOGENETIC FORCING AND MODERATE PRECIPITATION...IT ALSO POSES
PTYPE ISSUES
GIVEN THE THERMAL PROFILES. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THE
00Z GFS LOOKED BETTER AT ALL THERMAL LEVELS WHEN COMPARED TO THE
NAM, THOUGH BOTH WERE A TAD COLDER UPSTREAM AND THE EC WAS SOMEWHERE
IN BETWEEN.



"Could develop."

"GFS..."

Oh, I see, back to liking the GFS again after not liking it last night. Seems what we have here is a split forecasting ideology within the same walls.

Those who wrote our forecast last night favor the NAM and those who wrote it this morning and the previous morning favor the GFS.

So the night time crew are GFS fans, the day time crew NAM fans.

And us little citizens of no consequence get to watch our forecast flip around based on their tug of war.

Wonderful....

I also love "VERY COMPLEX" and "PTYPE ISSUES". It's like they're saying to us they don't know what they're talking about.... setting up the potential forecast failure as "We told you it was complex dont look at us" when it doesn't verify.


Genius. They should have been politicians not weathermen.

:/

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
79. TheRasberryPatch
2:00 AM GMT on December 07, 2013
Moderate rain and 35F. 0.80" of rain for the day.

Is that what they were forecasting?
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