I'm a CMU Honors student and love meteorology and extreme weather. I've been fascinated by weather since I was 5, and plan on becoming a meteorologist
By: wxchaser97 , 5:20 AM GMT on March 09, 2013
Winter Storm Saturn
Winter Storm Saturn has finally finished dropping snow in the US. From the northern plains to the Northeast, there were multiple places were 1-2 feet of snow fell. Places in Montana, WV/VA, and Massachusetts got 2 feet or more of snow. Travel was disrupted/shut down in many major US cities. I believe that this storm definitely deserved a name, even with the DC fail. The last, but not least, part of the storm was in the NE. Winter storm warnings were posted for parts of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode island for 6-10" of snow. This area would end up getting over a foot of snow. Continues moister being pumped into the area along with temperatures staying favorable for snow in all levels allowed for more snow than expected. Coastal flooding has also been occurring in coastal areas of Massachusetts. Warnings and advisories for this were posted and are still in effect, there has been reports of flooding. Besides totals overachieving, my snowfall forecast turned out fairly good. I got the area of accumulating snowfall down good and where the higher totals would be. Here is my forecast snowfall totals from Thursday night for some selected cities compared to actual totals. My graphical forecast from then can be seen below in fig 1. It was a surprise overachiever snowstorm to likely end winter.
Philadelphia, PA: T-2" - Airport: 0.2"
New York City, NY: 3-5" - Central Park: 4.0" and surrounding areas saw 3-6"
Providence, RI: 5-8" - 5.1"
Boston, MA: 6-12" - 13.1"
Albany, NY: 2-4" - Airport: 9.6"
Portland, ME: 2-4" - ~2"
Fig. 1: my snowfall forecast from Thursday night.
On a different note, the extra-tropical cyclone is still spinning over the Atlantic ocean. Since it is a strengthening extra-tropical cyclone, there is some latent heat being released. This should cause some warm-core seclusion to occur. This is only at the low levels, thus it is a shallow warm core. this is not to be confused with a subtropical cyclone as a warm seclusion still doesn't have any common characteristics with a tropical/subtropical cyclone. We know it isn't a subtropical cyclone as it still has fronts attached to it. This is shown in the cyclone phase evolution images on models. Figure 2 shows this on the GFS, a shallow warm core cyclone for a little while.
Fig. 2: Cyclone evolution diagram showing the shallow warm core before weakening and turning cold core again.
Winter Storm Triton
A new winter storm is currently impacting the inter-mountain west. This storm has been named Winter storm Triton by TWC, the 20th winter storm. It is bringing snow to higher elevations and rain/storms to the valleys. It will bring snow to cities like Denver, CO, Grand Island, NE, and snow, sleet, and rain to Minneapolis, MN. I may or may not make a graphic for this storm, but I will at least provide some forecasts for a few select cities. Even if I do decide to make a graphic, it will be added in later to the blog or as a comment. The low is currently in the Colorado region with it expected to further strengthen as it heads ENE. This system is also responsible for the development of severe thunderstorms in Arizona and Texas. Dynamics aren't great but a few damaging wind gusts have been reported. As the system moves east tomorrow so will the severe threat. The snow and ice threat will begin to move into the plains over the next day as well. Travelers and residents should use caution when traveling during the storm, especially where blizzard and winter storm warnings are posted in CO. Here is my forecast for selected cities. First, a rainbow IR satellite loop of the US showing the system in the west (Triton) and the extra-tropical storm off the east coast (Saturn) in fig 3.
Fig. 3: Satellite loop of Triton.
Selected cities forecast:
Salt Lake City, UT: T-1"
Denver, CO: 8-12"
Grand Island, NE: 3-5"
Goodland, KS: 4-6"
Fargo, ND: 1-3"
Minneapolis, MN: 2-4"
Sioux City, IA: 3-6"
Recent rainstorms and snowstorms over the central and southern US have slowly been trimming away at the drought. Most of the drought in the Southeast has been knocked down due to recent heavy rain events. More rain can be expected in the next two weeks thus reducing drought even more. The Plains have been impacted by several snow/rainstorms in the past couple weeks. This has put a dent in the exceptional and extreme drought. More precipitation is expected and the eastern part of the drought area should see improvement. Hopefully once the ground unfreezes even more water can get into the soil and reduce the drought. Also, with this precipitation any effect the drought has been having on tornado season can be minimized. Here is the latest drought map, fig 5, put out by NOAA and released on Thursday the 7th.
Fig. 5: the latest drought monitor map.
I'll be back with my local forecast Sunday afternoon/evening and I'll be releasing my 2012 hurricane season summary in the next couple weeks as I am pressed for time. Have a great rest of the weekend everyone.
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.
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