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California Drought Worsening During Height of Rainy Season

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 9:10 PM GMT on January 23, 2015

The Western U.S. winter rainy season has reached its halfway point, and there is only bad news to report for drought-beleaguered California. November through March marks the period when California receives its heaviest rains and snows, thanks to the wintertime path of the jet stream, which dips to the south and brings wet Pacific low pressure systems to the state. The rainy season started out promisingly, with several December storms bringing precipitation amounts close to average for the month over much of the state. Troublingly, though, record-warm ocean temperatures off of the coast meant that the December storms were unusually warm. This resulted in snow falling only at very high elevations, keeping the critical Sierra snow pack much lower than usual. The jet stream pattern shifted during January 2015, bringing disastrously dry conditions to the state. January usually brings 4.19" of rain to San Francisco, but no rain at all has fallen in January 2015 in the city--or over much of Central California. The dryness has been accompanied by near-record warmth at higher elevations in the Sierras, with temperatures at Blue Canyon and South Lake Tahoe averaging nearly 8°F above average for the month of January. As a result, the snowpack in the Sierras--a critical reservoir of water that is used throughout the rest of the year--is abysmally low, running about 30% of normal for this time of year. California's eight largest reservoirs are 33% - 86% below their historical average, and the portion of the state covered by the highest level of drought expanded in mid-January--a very ominous occurrence for the height of the rainy season.


Figure 1. The Enterprise Bridge passes over a section of Lake Oroville that was nearly dry on September 30, 2014, in Oroville, California. Lake Oroville, California's 2nd largest reservoir, was at 49% of average (30% of capacity), the second lowest level on record (behind 1977.) Heavy rains in December 2014 allowed lake levels to recover slightly--as of January 23, 2015 Lake Oroville was at its 7th lowest level of the past 35 years. Image credit: California Department of Water Resources.


Figure 2. The same view of Lake Oroville in happier times: July 20, 2011. (Paul Hames/California Department of Water Resources/Getty Images) 

The forecast: hot and dry
An intense ridge of high pressure will build in over California this weekend, bringing near-record high temperatures in the low to mid-70s to San Francisco. The all-time hottest January temperature in San Francisco of 73°F, set just last year, could fall on Sunday. The ridge of high pressure will stay entrenched over California during the remainder of January, bringing continued dry conditions. A weak upper-level low pressure system will bring a few rain showers to the state beginning this Tuesday, but rainfall amounts will be generally less than 1/2"--an insignificant drop in a very large, dry bucket. With long-range models showing no shift in the jet stream pattern through the first week of February, California may be on its way to a fourth consecutive bone-dry rainy season--pushing the state into an increasingly dire drought situation.


Figure 3. Time series of the change in drought conditions in California from January 28, 2014 through January 22, 2015. The area covered by the worst category of drought--"Exceptional"--peaked at 58% during the summer of 2014. In December 2014, "Exceptional" drought coverage fell to 32%, thanks to heavy rains, but this area increased again to 39% in mid-January 2015 due to unusual dryness. Image credit: drought.gov.

Related blog post: The State of the California Drought: Still Very Bad, January 13, 2015, by water resources expert Dr. Peter Gleick of the Pacific Institute.

Jeff Masters

Drought

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

Quoting 493. Drakoen:

Just Issued.

So we have the clipper portion then coastal portion.
502. bwi
Got it. Thanks Dr
Winter Recon today and tomorrow:


I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 71
A. A62/ DROP 6 (35.8N 70.4W)/ 26/0000Z
B. AFXXX 04WSA TRACK62
C. 25/1845Z
D. 10 DROPS AS PUBLISHED ON TRACK
E. AS HIGH AS POSSIBLE/ 26/0200Z

2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY: ANOTHER POSSIBLE
A62/ DROP 6 (35.8N 70.4W)/ 27/0000Z


starting to see the two feet snowfall more back to the west
Blizzard Watch up for NYC. Exciting for them.
Quoting pottery:
Greetings.
Blizzards?
That means snow, cold blasts of freezing air, ice and general Dread.

The only remedy for all that is Salt and Sand, you know.
That's probably why we don't get those conditions here, being surrounded by beaches.

Islands are like that.

Have a Good Day, everyone !


LOL< in a real blizzard the only remedy is a hot fire and cocoa :)

But I have a question -- I would swear that when I was a kid the definition of blizzard included a temperature threshold, but now it does not? Am I just remembering wrong?

We are unfortunately not in the bulls-eye for this one. I am watching with a great deal of envy the forecasts for 18-24" to the south of us. Sigh.
Quoting 506. VermontStorms:



LOL< in a real blizzard the only remedy is a hot fire and cocoa :)

But I have a question -- I would swear that when I was a kid the definition of blizzard included a temperature threshold, but now it does not? Am I just remembering wrong?

We are unfortunately not in the bulls-eye for this one. I am watching with a great deal of envy the forecasts for 18-24" to the south of us. Sigh.


Watching with envy from just south of the big hit areas. Will just have to settle for 4-6 inches.
I had several 8+ snow events last year.2 in March alone.I think my new neighbors from Key west FL are bringing the bad luck...
There are still some detail that need to be ironed out. Many of the GEFS ensemble members are west of the deterministic. Looking at the GEFS total accumulated precip you can see a tongue of higher QPF values in central MD that rides the same contour as up into EPA. I still think there is great potential for amounts higher than the NWS forecast, but will agree with them for now and wait for the rest of the 12z guidance.

Quoting 509. Drakoen:

There are still some detail that need to be ironed out. Many of the GEFS ensemble members are west of the deterministic. Looking at the GEFS total accumulated precip you can see a tongue of higher QPF values in central MD that rides the same contour as up into EPA. I still think there is great potential for amounts higher than the NWS forecast, but will agree with them for now and wait for the rest of the 12z guidance.


The NAM/ECWMF/GEM show 3 inches and less here in the D.C area.A pretty good consensus with the GFS being the out liner.You just have to except this is not our storm to worry about.I'm not sure exactly where the NWS is getting 4-6 from.
Quoting 510. washingtonian115:

The NAM/ECWMF/GEM show 3 inches and less here in the D.C area.A pretty good consensus with the GFS being the out liner.You just have to except this is not our storm to worry about.I'm not sure exactly where the NWS is getting 4-6 from.
Yea, waiting for Spring to come.
Sneaux is of the Devil so we avoid it.

: P
As mentioned

Blizzard Watch
URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW YORK NY
953 AM EST SUN JAN 25 2015

...POTENTIALLY HISTORIC WINTER STORM TO IMPACT THE AREA FROM LATE
MONDAY INTO TUESDAY
....

CTZ005-009-NJZ004-006-103>108-NYZ069>075-176-178- 252300-
/O.CAN.KOKX.WS.A.0002.150126T1800Z-150128T0500Z/
/O.EXA.KOKX.BZ.A.0001.150126T1800Z-150128T0500Z/
NORTHERN FAIRFIELD-SOUTHERN FAIRFIELD-EASTERN PASSAIC-HUDSON-
WESTERN BERGEN-EASTERN BERGEN-WESTERN ESSEX-EASTERN ESSEX-
WESTERN UNION-EASTERN UNION-ROCKLAND-NORTHERN WESTCHESTER-
SOUTHERN WESTCHESTER-NEW YORK (MANHATTAN)-BRONX-
RICHMOND (STATEN ISLAND)-KINGS (BROOKLYN)-NORTHERN QUEENS-
SOUTHERN QUEENS-
953 AM EST SUN JAN 25 2015

...BLIZZARD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM MONDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH TUESDAY
EVENING...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NEW YORK HAS ISSUED A BLIZZARD
WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM MONDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH TUESDAY
EVENING.

* LOCATIONS...THE GREATER NEW YORK CITY METROPOLITAN AREA.

* HAZARD TYPES...HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW...WITH BLIZZARD
CONDITIONS LIKELY.

* ACCUMULATIONS...SNOW ACCUMULATION OF 1 TO 2 FEET...WITH LOCALLY
HIGHER AMOUNTS POSSIBLE.

* WINDS...NORTH 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 50 MPH.

* VISIBILITIES...ONE QUARTER MILE OR LESS AT TIMES.

* TEMPERATURES...IN THE LOWER 20S.

* TIMING...HEAVIEST SNOW AND STRONGEST WINDS WILL OCCUR
OVERNIGHT MONDAY INTO TUESDAY.

* IMPACTS...EXTREMELY DANGEROUS TRAVEL DUE TO HEAVY SNOWFALL AND
STRONG WINDS...WITH WHITEOUT CONDITIONS LIKELY. SECONDARY AND
TERTIARY ROADS MAY BECOME IMPASSABLE. STRONG WINDS MAY DOWN
POWER LINES AND TREE LIMBS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A BLIZZARD WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR FALLING AND/OR
BLOWING SNOW WITH STRONG WINDS AND EXTREMELY POOR VISIBILITIES.
THIS CAN LEAD TO WHITEOUT CONDITIONS AND MAKE TRAVEL VERY
DANGEROUS.

&&
Landslide blog, 23 January 2015
You must watch this! An amazing new landslide video from Dagestan



-------------------------

Good Sunday everyone and all the best with your upcoming blizzard! Europe should see some remarkable winter weather in the second half of next week. If it pans out we'll keep you updated of course ...

BBC weather forecast video for the week ahead.
Quoting 511. Climate175:

Yea, waiting for Spring to come.
2010-2011 winter all over again.Wet when mild cold when dry and when cold air and a storm finally do link up we get jipped and everyone else gets bomb.But if this is like 2010-2011 winter then it should be over for us by late February.It was fully over by about mid March and spring came into the picture.A matter of fact I remember a couple of 60 degree plus days in February of 2011.

EDIT Aaaaand the GFS puts the finale nail into the coffin.Another storm down the drain and blown into the wind.
Quoting 510. washingtonian115:

The NAM/ECWMF/GEM show 3 inches and less here in the D.C area.A pretty good consensus with the GFS being the out liner.You just have to except this is not our storm to worry about.I'm not sure exactly where the NWS is getting 4-6 from.


I'm sorry but my methodology for snow forecasting doesn't come from looking at snow maps and calling it a day. If that is the case, NWS offices should be shut down as model output forecasts can be automated. The GGEM is something to look at when you want additional guidance but it certainly isn't better than the ECMWF or the GFS. There are still details that need to be ironed out that you are failing to understand.

Sure we will not get as much snow as NJ, NYC, or New England but right now I agree with the NWS forecast.
Quoting 515. washingtonian115:

2010-2011 winter all over again.Wet when mild cold when dry and when cold air and a storm finally do link up we get jipped and everyone else gets bomb.But if this is like 2010-2011 winter then it should be over for us by late February.It was fully over by about mid March and spring came into the picture.A matter of fact I remember a couple of 60 degree plus days in February of 2011.
Yea, Feb starts next week and P said by mid-late Feb we could enter a mild spell, still officially 7 more weeks until Spring.
Groundhog Day is also next week.
Nice deformation banding on the GFS from NJ, PA, down into MD.

A heavy snow band is just like a tornado. Mesoscale rules.
521. beell
In the GFS and NAM, the biggest impediments to greater totals in the DC area stem from marginal surface temps and a warmish layer above the surface Monday afternoon/evening. Some of the precip gets wasted cooling things off.
12Z GFS going to Wedneday. It's looking a little more promising around the D.C. area.
Quoting 521. beell:

In the GFS and NAM, the biggest impediments to greater totals in the DC area stem from marginal surface temps and a warmish layer above the surface Monday afternoon/evening. Some of the precip gets wasted cooling things off.


See post 488.

Quoting 522. Sfloridacat5:

12Z GFS going to Wedneday. It's looking a little more promising around the D.C. area.



It doesn't matter what you post. Some already know what's going to happen and how much will fall. Trace amounts in DC at best right? LOL.
524. bwi
51 degrees at DCA. Maybe that's why the NAM backed off on the clipper! I'm going for a bike ride...
Morning all . The blog post is pretty depressing ... meanwhile continuing rainy conditions and blizzards over the eastern U. S. may contribute to spring flooding later this year ...

Quoting 496. hurricanes2018:

where is conn snowfall map n

Looks like you're in for it :)



CWG is still weary about the back end moisture band scenario occuring do to potentially dry air problems.Which is where the extra snow totals are coming from.

523. Drakoen
You haven't lived in this area long enough and I'm getting my information from CWG.I guess they're wrong too right?
NWS updated it's map and still has a general 4-6 inches with totals raised in the NE. The Winter Storm Watch will be issued tomorrow for the second part according to some people.
Quoting 527. washingtonian115:

CWG is still weary about the back end moisture band scenario occuring do to potentially dry air problems.Which is where the extra snow totals are coming from.

523. Drakoen
You haven't lived in this area long enough and I'm getting my information from CWG.I guess they're wrong too right?


Not having lived in an area long enough does not impede on my abilities to forecast. I don't care where you got your information from . CWG is often too conservative. What will you do if their forecast busts?
They're Break Blog Fighting over Sneaux, OMG!





Quoting 530. Patrap:

They're Break Blog Fighting over Sneaux, OMG!






That's nothing compared to the blog fighting over where a hurricane is going to track. #wishcasting. How are you doing this morning Pat. What's the weather like up in NOLA? Here it is a nice clear, sunny, and crisp day. Currently 56. Perfect day for the Rolex 24.
532. beell
Quoting 523. Drakoen:


See post 488.


See post 521. Same issues listed. Only a difference in perspective (optimism vs pessimism).
:)
Quoting 532. beell:



See post 521. Same issues listed. Only a difference in perspective (optimism vs pessimism).
:)


lmao. Touche!
Quoting 510. washingtonian115:

The NAM/ECWMF/GEM show 3 inches and less here in the D.C area.A pretty good consensus with the GFS being the out liner.You just have to except this is not our storm to worry about.I'm not sure exactly where the NWS is getting 4-6 from.


Don't verify a forecast with another forecast.

What will make this event or not is how fast we can get the cold air in tonight and tomorrow and whethe

we get a good band while it's here.

It would be more convenient for me tomorrow if we just got a crushing event that made an easy decision to shut down but that is far from certain right now. My earlier scenario of sufficient cold to freeze initially melted slop on roads to ice, is definitely in trouble.. too warm today and only marginally cold tonight. Still looks bad tomorrow though.
Quoting 529. Drakoen:



Not having lived in an area long enough does not impede on my abilities to forecast. I don't care where you got your information from . CWG is often too conservative. What will you do if their forecast busts?

The NWS has busted in the last few years as well.Showing 6-8 inches for a storm that dropped nothing but flurries last time.The best example? the March 6th fail storm in 2013.I was ripped apart on here for saying to not expected much and what do you know a rain and wind storm transpired rather than a large snowstorm.

I will continue to follow CWG because they have a over all good track record and honest information.
My very latest snowfall map... just completed

Date | 2015-01-27 09:00 UTC
Data | Wind @ Surface


Source

Does anyone have any insight as to the wind speed color scale this site uses? I've looked around their site, but no luck. (Looking for quantitative, not just the qualitative scale).
Quoting 535. washingtonian115:

The NWS has busted in the last few years as well.Showing 6-8 inches for a storm that dropped nothing but flurries last time.The best example? the March 6th fail storm in 2013.I was ripped apart on here for saying to not expected much and what do you know a rain and wind storm transpired rather than a large snowstorm.

I will continue to follow CWG because they have a over all good track record and honest information.


The NWS is not perfect and everybody will have a busted forecast at some point or another.
CWG will have an update around 1:30.
Quoting Drakoen:


The NWS is not perfect and everybody will have a busted forecast at some point or another.


I've seen it snow 8" in D.C. when the forecast was for 30% chance of snow flurries with no accumulations expected.
Current conditions. We see the front around the I-70 corridor across Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio acting as the dividing line between rain and snow.

Quoting 536. MaxWeather:

My very latest snowfall map... just completed


I think if this was the cover for a book I would buy it. Cool graphics!
Quoting 538. Drakoen:



The NWS is not perfect and everybody will have a busted forecast at some point or another.
I was countering with what you were saying in terms of busted forecast from CWG and what would I do if their forecast busted.
good luck on any rain south florida..this model says Tuesday.................................
545. beell
GFS P-Type (00Z, 06Z, 12Z, 18Z)



NAM P-Type (00Z, 06Z, 12Z, 18Z)


(click for larger images
Quoting 537. LAbonbon:

Date | 2015-01-27 09:00 UTC
Data | Wind @ Surface


Source

Does anyone have any insight as to the wind speed color scale this site uses? I've looked around their site, but no luck. (Looking for quantitative, not just the qualitative scale).
Have you seen this website? NWS Enhanced Data Display v4.4
Quoting 542. GTstormChaserCaleb:

I think if this was the cover for a book I would buy it. Cool graphics!

every year I try to improve my graphics a lot... you can see that

keep the picture... its large in HD quality
548. beell
Quoting 537. LAbonbon:

Date | 2015-01-27 09:00 UTC
Data | Wind @ Surface


Source

Does anyone have any insight as to the wind speed color scale this site uses? I've looked around their site, but no luck. (Looking for quantitative, not just the qualitative scale).


Left click on your point of interest. A tool-tip pop up appears.
Quoting 537. LAbonbon:

Date | 2015-01-27 09:00 UTC
Data | Wind @ Surface


Source

Does anyone have any insight as to the wind speed color scale this site uses? I've looked around their site, but no luck. (Looking for quantitative, not just the qualitative scale).
they use kmh wind measurement point mouse in area you would like to know wind speed and a info box will pop up within the image lower left giving you location and wind speed
CLIPPER-TYPE SYSTEM EVOLVING INTO A NOR'EASTER MON/TUE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~
PREFERENCE: GENERAL MODEL COMPROMISE
CONFIDENCE: BELOW AVERAGE

THERE REMAIN SOME SLIGHT EAST-WEST AND SLIGHT PROGRESSION ISSUES
WITH THIS SYSTEM WHICH PLAY HAVOC WITH THE
QPF/PRECIPITATION/WINTER WEATHER FORECAST. IN REVIEWING THE 00Z
ECMWF, 12Z NAM, AND 12Z GFS, ALL THREE HAVE WHAT APPEAR TO BE
CONVECTIVE FEEDBACK BULL'S EYES CONTAMINATING THEIR SOLUTIONS.

THE ECMWF'S SLOWS DOWN THE OVERALL CYCLONE MORE THAN THE OTHER
GUIDANCE STARTING TUESDAY NIGHT. THE NAM'S BULL'S EYES OVER THE
GULF STREAM OFFSHORE THE SOUTHEAST APPEAR TO CAUSE AN EASTWARD
SHIFT IN ITS 12Z SOLUTION AT THE SURFACE AND ALOFT. THE GFS'S
BULL'S EYE/QPF BOMB DRAGS ITS BOUNDARY LAYER WIND CIRCULATION
ACROSS CAPE COD AND THE ISLANDS ON ITS 12Z RUN, MORE TO THE WEST
OF THE OTHER GUIDANCE DESPITE ITS SURFACE PRESSURE PATTERN. THERE
IS A CHANCE OF SOME WOBBLING OF THE OVERALL SYSTEM DUE TO AN
INVADING SHORTWAVE ROUNDING ITS SOUTHWEST SIDE ON TUESDAY, WHICH
WOULD LEAD TO A LESS EVEN FORWARD PROGRESSION. THE 00Z GLOBAL
ENSEMBLE GUIDANCE ENVELOPE OF SOLUTIONS MIRRORS THE ENVELOPE OF
DETERMINISTIC SOLUTIONS AMONGST THE GFS, NAM, ECMWF, CANADIAN, AND
UKMET. THERE IS NO OVERARCHING TREND SINCE THIS TIME YESTERDAY
TOWARDS A QUICKER OR SLOWER SOLUTION, THOUGH THE
NAM/GFS/ECMWF/UKMET HAVE TRENDED WESTWARD -- IN THE DIRECTION OF
THE 12Z GFS. THE OCCASIONALLY SLOW/PLODDING 09Z SREF MEAN LIES IN
THE MIDDLE OF THE DETERMINISTIC MODEL SPREAD, QUICKER THAN THE 12Z
NAM/00Z ECMWF SOLUTIONS. SINCE NO SOLUTION CAN BE COMPLETELY
DISCOUNTED WHEN USING THE SURFACE PRESSURE FIELD, 700 HPA HEIGHT
FIELD, AND 500 HPA HEIGHT FIELD, FAVOR A COMPROMISE OF THE 00Z
ECMWF/00Z UKMET/00Z CANADIAN/12Z GFS/12Z NAM, WHICH ROUGHLY
RESEMBLES THE 09Z SREF MEAN AT 500 HPA AND THE SURFACE. FOR QPF
AND WINTER WEATHER CHOICES, SEE OUR QPF AND WINTER WEATHER
DISCUSSIONS AND GRAPHICS.
One of the few times I agree with DT..

These sorts of weather systems almost invariably always SCREW over Washington, DC Richmond and much of Virginia. So this new solution by the GFS model I simply cannot state.
It appears that the classic model bias or tendency of the GFS model is at more here once again. The model again has shifted the LOW further to the east than any other model and as a result it's heavy snow band is this place to the east. The 12z GFS Model only has 10 to 12 inches of snow and New York City and the thing that is going to be correct I have a bridge to sell you.
And that places the entire snow forecast wash and DC Baltimore Northern Virginia in jeopardy. Logic tells us that if the entire system a shifted to the east... The significant to heavy snow area should be over the Delmarva NOT over central MD.

Mike Masco ABC Baltimore Meteorologist
If you're in DC and south you may have a wetter situation going to snow and low rations. Yes, problems. However, If you are in Baltimore N & E you're MUCH colder!
All DT does is regurgitate model output.
Quoting 551. washingtonian115:

One of the few times I agree with DT..

These sorts of weather systems almost invariably always SCREW over Washington, DC Richmond and much of Virginia. So this new solution by the GFS model I simply cannot state.
It appears that the classic model bias or tendency of the GFS model is at more here once again. The model again has shifted the LOW further to the east than any other model and as a result it's heavy snow band is this place to the east. The 12z GFS Model only has 10 to 12 inches of snow and New York City and the thing that is going to be correct I have a bridge to sell you.
And that places the entire snow forecast wash and DC Baltimore Northern Virginia in jeopardy. Logic tells us that if the entire system a shifted to the east... The significant to heavy snow area should be over the Delmarva NOT over central MD.

Mike Masco ABC Baltimore Meteorologist
If you're in DC and south you may have a wetter situation going to snow and low rations. Yes, problems. However, If you are in Baltimore N & E you're MUCH colder!

These are the types of events we don't know what is going to happen until it happens, very complex system.
GTstormChaserCaleb,Click on "earth" in the lower-left corner. On the qualitative scale, hover your mouse over the different colors. The wind speed will pop up based on the color you are hovering on.Hope this helped!-matt
Quoting washingtonian115:
One of the few times I agree with DT..

These sorts of weather systems almost invariably always SCREW over Washington, DC Richmond and much of Virginia. So this new solution by the GFS model I simply cannot state.
It appears that the classic model bias or tendency of the GFS model is at more here once again. The model again has shifted the LOW further to the east than any other model and as a result it's heavy snow band is this place to the east. The 12z GFS Model only has 10 to 12 inches of snow and New York City and the thing that is going to be correct I have a bridge to sell you.
And that places the entire snow forecast wash and DC Baltimore Northern Virginia in jeopardy. Logic tells us that if the entire system a shifted to the east... The significant to heavy snow area should be over the Delmarva NOT over central MD.

Mike Masco ABC Baltimore Meteorologist
If you're in DC and south you may have a wetter situation going to snow and low rations. Yes, problems. However, If you are in Baltimore N & E you're MUCH colder!


D.C. might not see significant accumulations until late Monday night into Tuesday morning.
I think by Tuesday morning there will be several inches (3-6") on the ground in the D.C. area.


winds just off Avalon off newfoundland showing location wind direction using degrees and wind speed using kmh
Quoting 553. Climate175:

These are the types of events we don't know what is going to happen until it happens, very complex system.


Exactly.


Right now my forecast agree with the NWS. General 4-6 inches with the potential for higher amounts.
558. beell
Quoting 552. Drakoen:

All DT does is regurgitate model output.


All my experiences with regurgitation have not been near that useful. So...that's something nice to say.
Mike Masco ABC Baltimore Meteorologist
1 hr ·
BALTIMORE / DC FRIENDS... THE UPDATED NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SNOWMAP FINALLY AGREES WITH MY THINKING... A half foot and more from Baltimore City N & E for grand totals.
4-6" overall. Sharp cutoff from DC and south.
Quoting 559. washingtonian115:

Mike Masco ABC Baltimore Meteorologist
1 hr %uFFFD
BALTIMORE / DC FRIENDS... THE UPDATED NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SNOWMAP FINALLY AGREES WITH MY THINKING... A half foot and more from Baltimore City N & E for grand totals.
4-6" overall. Sharp cutoff from DC and south.
Mike knows the general idea.
Quoting 559. washingtonian115:

Mike Masco ABC Baltimore Meteorologist
1 hr ·
BALTIMORE / DC FRIENDS... THE UPDATED NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SNOWMAP FINALLY AGREES WITH MY THINKING... A half foot and more from Baltimore City N & E for grand totals.
4-6" overall. Sharp cutoff from DC and south.

I had a hard time trying to decide over that area... I traced the 6-12" line in between right through BWI...
Thanks, beell, Keep and frodoid!

Caleb - I have seen that site, but haven't played too much with it (yet). Thanks!

Looks like the winds will be howling on the Cape - based on the 'point & click', 100 km/h (62 mph).
went back to your image clicked area just at eastern tip of long island looks like 77 kmh winds there for the time frame you selected at 25 degrees which is ene direction

Blizzard Watch for Southern New Haven County, CT
From 1pm EST, Mon, Jan 26 Until 12am EST, Wed, Jan 28
Affected Areas
Radar

Jan 25, 12:15pm EST Weather In Motion®
Issued by The National Weather Service
New York City, NY
Sun, Jan 25, 9:53 am EST
... BLIZZARD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MONDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH TUESDAY EVENING...
* LOCATIONS... SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT AND LONG ISLAND.
* HAZARD TYPES... HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW... WITH BLIZZARD CONDITIONS LIKELY.
* ACCUMULATIONS... SNOW ACCUMULATION OF 1 TO 2 FEET... WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS POSSIBLE.
* WINDS... NORTH 25 TO 35 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 55 MPH.
* VISIBILITIES... ONE QUARTER MILE OR LESS AT TIMES.
* TIMING... HEAVIEST SNOW AND STRONGEST WINDS WILL OCCUR OVERNIGHT MONDAY INTO TUESDAY.
* IMPACTS... EXTREMELY DANGEROUS TRAVEL DUE TO HEAVY SNOWFALL AND STRONG WINDS WITH WHITEOUT CONDITIONS LIKELY. SECONDARY AND TERTIARY ROADS MAY BECOME IMPASSABLE. STRONG WINDS MAY DOWN POWER LINES AND TREE LIMBS.
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...
A BLIZZARD WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR FALLING AND/OR BLOWING SNOW WITH STRONG WINDS AND EXTREMELY POOR VISIBILITIES. THIS CAN LEAD TO WHITEOUT CONDITIONS AND MAKE TRAVEL VERY DANGEROUS.
&&
More Information
... POTENTIALLY HISTORIC WINTER STORM TO IMPACT THE AREA FROM LATE MONDAY INTO TUESDAY... .
Quoting 561. MaxWeather:


I had a hard time trying to decide over that area... I traced the 6-12" line in between right through BWI...
Sounds about right Max.
its been quiet dry here in Kingston, Jamaica, although we had some light to moderate rain on Wednesday January 21, in some parts of the city and also a week before on January 14 we had light to moderate rain in some parts of Kingston, but nothing to write home about. The last time we had some good rains was on December 17 over most of the city.
The top 5 largest snowstorms across Boston, Hartford, Providence, and Worcester (via NWS Boston) are listed below.



For comparison, the current forecast for the region:



At the very least, this will be a significant, long duration, and life-threatening blizzard for much of the Northeast, with the potential for historical totals in some locations.
And when the rain rain falls it only lasts for about 15 to 20 minutes the most.



the new GFS got this storm littie more to the west again right next to the coast of northeast



wow two feet on snow for new haven!! i live there
Quoting VermontStorms:


LOL< in a real blizzard the only remedy is a hot fire and cocoa :)

But I have a question -- I would swear that when I was a kid the definition of blizzard included a temperature threshold, but now it does not? Am I just remembering wrong?

We are unfortunately not in the bulls-eye for this one. I am watching with a great deal of envy the forecasts for 18-24" to the south of us. Sigh.


I really think there used to be a criteria for cold as well. Some dictionary definitions still mention "intense cold". However, it seems there are only two things now that officially define a blizzard - wind and visibility. This is the NWS definition, complete with the all caps teletype abbreviation. :-)

Blizzard

(abbrev. BLZD)- A blizzard means that the following conditions are expected to prevail for a period of 3 hours or longer:
Sustained wind or frequent gusts to 35 miles an hour or greater; and
Considerable falling and/or blowing snow (i.e., reducing visibility frequently to less than 1/4 mile)


Link
The dream!
Quoting 571. hurricanes2018:




wow two feet on snow for new haven!! i live there
u and your little dog best stay inside till its done by wed around noon o yer gonna need a shovel too to get out once its finished



keep adding more snow on this snowfall map pink color getting bigger by the hour of over 2 feet of snow in pink
1993..storm of the century(catskills etc............50 inches................................


Warning: The information on WeatherAlert-Forecast is not guaranteed to be up-to-date and is prone to large errors. Never use for important decision making.
What is a blizzard?
Blizzards are dangerous winter storms that are a combination of blowing snow and wind resulting in very low visibilities. While heavy snowfalls and severe cold often accompany blizzards, they are not required. Sometimes strong winds pick up snow that has already fallen, creating a ground blizzard.

Officially, the National Weather Service defines a blizzard as a storm which contains large amounts of snow OR blowing snow, with winds in excess of 35 mph and visibilities of less than 1/4 mile for an extended period of time (at least 3 hours). When these conditions are expected, the National Weather Service will issue a "Blizzard Warning". When these conditions are not expected to occur simultaneously, but one or two of these conditions are expected, a "Winter Storm Warning" or "Heavy Snow Warning" may be issued.

Blizzard conditions often develop on the northwest side of an intense storm system. The difference between the lower pressure in the storm and the higher pressure to the west creates a tight pressure gradient, or difference in pressure between two locations, which in turn results in very strong winds. These strong winds pick up available snow from the ground, or blow any snow which is falling, creating very low visibilities and the potential for significant drifting of snow.
Through 36 hours, the 12z ECMWF is more amplified and more negatively tilted with the shortwave when compared to the 0z run. We'll see where this goes.
Quoting 579. TropicalAnalystwx13:

Through 36 hours, the 12z ECMWF is more amplified and more negatively tilted with the shortwave when compared to the 0z run. We'll see where this goes.


What does this mean? Stronger system? More snow? I sure hope not.
Quoting 580. mcluvincane:



What does this mean? Stronger system? More snow? I sure hope not.

Track shifts slightly farther west, could allow for heavier accumulations.
lowest pressure as per 12z nam looks to be 976

We'll really need to see how the storm evolves off the Southeast coast on Monday to determine where the best banding will set up.
About 2 inches for D.C on the EURO.
Link
Quoting 561. MaxWeather:


I had a hard time trying to decide over that area... I traced the 6-12" line in between right through BWI...


Terminal C or terminal B??

Quoting mcluvincane:


What does this mean? Stronger system? More snow? I sure hope not.
Yeah, that's about right. However, exact track still has to be worked out and probably won't be any further out than 12 hours before the storm sets in. Keep an eye on the development of a low that should take place on Sunday evening. The further south the low develops (say, north Alabama compared to middle Tennessee) and the deeper it is, the more likely that the heavy snow will also have a greater southern extent on and near the coast. That's also dependent on where and when a coastal low develops that's going to be the main source of moisture for this system. How those two lows interact is going to determine who gets what and how much. This is a very complex weather system, which is why the models keep shifting things. By tonight, you can just start watching the surface maps and pretty much not worry about models.
Lol TWC.

First it was Nemo


Then it was Hercules


Now it's Juno
Quoting 540. Sfloridacat5:



I've seen it snow 8" in D.C. when the forecast was for 30% chance of snow flurries with no accumulations expected.


Veterans day Snowstorm 1987. Forecast flurries, verification 18" in Central and South PG County.
Quoting 581. TropicalAnalystwx13:


Track shifts slightly farther west, could allow for heavier accumulations.


Will be a great storm to watch for sure. Convective snow bands running over the same areas for a long period of time. Dangerous situation.
Quoting MaxWeather:
My very latest snowfall map... just completed



I must say, I like your map better than the current NWS forecast for my area, but while you are at it, could you move that 30" forecast into Vermont? (You may note that when snow is involved I always count on the highest end of the forecast as a promise)
Quoting sar2401:


I really think there used to be a criteria for cold as well. Some dictionary definitions still mention "intense cold". However, it seems there are only two things now that officially define a blizzard - wind and visibility. This is the NWS definition, complete with the all caps teletype abbreviation. :-)

Blizzard

(abbrev. BLZD)- A blizzard means that the following conditions are expected to prevail for a period of 3 hours or longer:
Sustained wind or frequent gusts to 35 miles an hour or greater; and
Considerable falling and/or blowing snow (i.e., reducing visibility frequently to less than 1/4 mile)


Link


Thank you, in my memory it seemed that the criteria included total snowfall, high winds and very very cold. I am not sure how to measure snowfall in high winds, though.
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
As CFS predicted last week the westerly winds are starting to change the pattern in the Atlantic, this is likely to continue to change, with the cooling of the subtropics sea surface temperature.. Which favors the upcoming Atlantic Hurricanes season.

Quoting 576. LargoFl:

1993..storm of the century(catskills etc............50 inches................................


What's the biggest one so far this century?
Quoting 536. MaxWeather:

My very latest snowfall map... just completed


i like your snowfall map
Quoting 597. Hazardousweather:



What's the biggest one so far this century?


This was huge for total snow over a large area, severe weather over FL and Cuba, storm surge over FL, Snow into the FL panhandle, huge snow totals deep into the southeast and near record single storm accumulations over the Piedmont from Georgia to Maine. It was not huge for snow along the I95 corridor, every major metro got about a foot followed by dry slotting rather than the forecast 2-3 feet with no dry slotting. This error was due to 12H earlier than forecast development of the storm resulting in a more westward track, and a shift of the warm air a little (50 miles) further west which also placed the dry slot along the metro corridor rather than just offshore. West of that dry slot in Central Va and the foothills of the Appalachians, they got what we were fearing, 2-3 feet of snow.
Quoting 569. wetrain:

And when the rain rain falls it only lasts for about 15 to 20 minutes the most.
But that's pretty typical for winter rain, yes? 20 minutes either side of the cloud deck as a front passes through ...
Quoting 439. sar2401:

Yes, it is, but finding out you avoided that 100 car pileup that started at the exit just after the one you got off on because you were dying for a Whopper can help brighten your outlook considerably. True story. I was saved from certain death, injury, and/or property loss by a Whopper. :-)


That is absolutely crazy
603. vis0
     Thanks a lot WxCh naming a storm Juno thats to be near NYC.
     Now i have to spend 3 times longer on the phone explaining to my relatives in Puerto Rico, that i'm not asking them if they know?! Juno?

If its been said too bad, i just woke up and filling my calories  to get ready for a long hard walk across Manhattan during the storm, gonna wifi the storm abroad LIVE lets see if wx conditions allow it.
Quoting 596. stormchaser19:

As CFS predicted last week the westerly winds are starting to change the pattern in the Atlantic, this is likely to continue to change, with the cooling of the subtropics sea surface temperature.. Which favors the upcoming Atlantic Hurricanes season.


Coldest I've personally felt in 2015 so far. Monday was so nice too.