Winter Storm Outlook


Threat Level: Low
Period: Jan 27th-28th
updated 1/21

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Tuesday Update: Cold Relaxes This Week, Colder Weekend, Rumors of More Storms

Good morning. The impressive arctic blast currently over our area moves out today and temperatures climb back towards the 30s and 40s by tomorrow.

Rain then moves into the area on Thursday with a frontal system...

Rain is over by Thursday evening and there may be a few flakes on the backside of this front.

Some colder air then moves in for Friday into the weekend. This air will be slightly below normal with highs in the upper 20s and low 30s.

In terms of storm outlooks, there is the chance of storm development early next week...

Below is the potential setup for this...

Looking above, we have a  few factors to track.
  • Big ridge of high pressure developing over the Gulf of Alaska
    • this drives cold air into the country from Canada
  • Energy in the Gulf of Mexico with a negative tilted trough
    • this enhances the chance for low pressure to develop
    • I have not seen to many negative troughs this year yet
  • A little big of blocking in the northwest Atlantic
    • this if placed properly would aid in the storm not escaping out to sea
There are a few impressive components here, I will not lie. I love seeing energy that far south in the Gulf of Mexico and some blocking out ahead of it. However, based on how this winter has gone I am not inclined to jump the gun on this. Lets just see how things track over the next few days. 

More to come.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Update Tomorrow

No post today. Tomorrow AM I will take a look at the next 7 to 10 days. This bitter arctic air (very impressive) leaves by Wednesday (slow exit) and we are faced with some rain mid week. Towards the end of this weekend we need to watch for some storm development but more on that tomorrow. 

Saturday, January 19, 2019

730 am Update: Final Forecast, Made Some Changes

12pm Video Supplement: Warm Air Winning

**Don't forget brutal arctic air rushes in Sunday night. Monday morning will be in the single digits**<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Good morning. A few changes to discuss this morning. The current data is coming in  warmer than originally projected and that will have forecast implications today. It is time to get ahead of this and update things.


  • Storm is trending warmer than thought based on current observations
  • This means rain will be more of a factor vs some initial ice and snow for many in the tri-state
  • Ice and snow line now will be pushed more northwest on my new map
    • NW NJ to southern New England can see high ice impacts (freezing rain)
    • I circled region in yellow on my new map.
  • Lower snow accumulations for some compared to yesterday
  • Storm starts roughly around 5-7pm today.
    • snow to start for many, changing over to ice and rain (see new map)
  • Still bitter cold on Monday
So lets get to this:

The Final Forecast:

Although it may seem cold out now, the models are now insisting a warmer surge moves in by this afternoon. Image below shows the model trend in surface temperatures (warmer)...

My whole concern about today was that the dense cold air would hang in tough as the storm approached. However, as recent modeling trends show above, more warm air looks to move in as storm gets underway. Notice how the air may warm above freezing even up to northern NJ. We will have to see if this actually happens.

Here is an updated model projection of the storm starting at 5 pm today ending tomorrow morning...

Heavy snowfall for the interior with that ice zone more northwest than originally thought.

Here is current model consensus for the ice zone...

A narrow but potentially high impact band of freezing rain. That spells trouble.

Stay safe out there, I will have another update this evening as storm is underway. 

Friday, January 18, 2019

6:30 Update: Winter Storm Hits Tomorrow

No changes to this mornings forecast guys. I like what I have. Strong front end thump of snow later tomorrow afternoon followed by sleet and freezing rain for many in NNJ. To the south it does change to plain rain. Storm over by late Sunday morning with bitter cold air to follow (close to 0). More details in my latest video. Final update out in the morning.

Friday: Updated Winter Storm Forecast

Good morning. The new data is in, and it is time to make a few tweaks to my original forecast. A major winter storm will be impacting most of the region Saturday into Sunday.As the story goes every single time no forecast is easy. In this case, my biggest concern is trying to nail down a narrow 20 mile band of freezing rain that I think will occur with this storm and cause big impacts. Also, trying to nail down where the heavy snow accumulations cutoff is the next challenge. Combining model data with experience I have come up with this as my updated forecast map.

The timing is Saturday afternoon through Sunday Morning...

Looking at this map the critical areas are the light and dark pink. Somewhere in this area should see signifigant icing. At this time I think its in the form of freezing rain for the light pink area. Just to the NW in the dark pink I expect more sleet than freezing rain. Some models are warmer than what I have and would shift this whole map NW but I think those models are under doing the cold air as I have discussed all week.

So lets get to the play by play of how this may evolve...

Very cold air settles into the region by Saturday morning...

A low pressure system loaded with moisture then begins to approach this cold air from the southwest...

By the time we get to mid afternoon Saturday or just past mid afternoon (3-7pm) Saturday, snow will start to break out for many areas in our region...

For areas in CNJ northward, I think the initial few hours later on Saturday is a pretty good front end thump of snow where even areas like CNJ can see a few inches pile up with several more to the NW.

By the time we approach midnight below, warm air starts to work in aloft and the snow changes to sleet and freezing rain for many s...

This is the critical forecast point as models are mixed on how far north the mixing and rain line goes. Some have it more north than what you see above. I am going on the colder side here based on experience which is why I am showing this model.

Regardless, if I am right, surface temps stay cold for many during this critical period...

This is where my iceing concerns come into play for areas in the light pink zone as there is a chance a good amount of freezing rain can occur.

As an example, this high resolution model at 4 am Sunday shows that freezing rain band. It is prob a little too far south in this model projection but you get my point...

The pink to the north is a sleet storm. Again the placement of these features is still pretty uncertain but my forecast map tries to make a prediction.

By daybreak Sunday morning the back end of the storm approaches and the narrow freezing rain band and sleet continue with heavy heavy snow to the NW. 

There is a chance that just after daybreak things can change back to snow for areas seeing ice seen below...

The storm is over for many by late morning and by mid afternoon in New England.

Then comes a major major cold shot Sunday night which will cause any liquid areas to flash freeze by Monday morning...

Although this may be a little overdone you can see how serious this cold air is. Sub zero temps possibly all the way down to the NJ boarder...

Snow and ice removal will be key Sunday ahead of this brutal air mass.

Stay tuned for my next update at 6pm tonight. I will be making the final tweaks if necessary to this forecast.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

830 Video: Taking a Look at This Weekend's Storm

No major changes from this morning. I will be updating my forecast in the morning based on the new data tonight. Regardless, I think this storm has big impacts for areas in the dark pink zone to the NW. The video goes into further detail.

Thursday: Major Winter Storm This Weekend, Major Ice NW of I-95 Possible

Good morning. As our weekend storm threat continues to close in on us, we can now try to sort out additional details. My post yesterday really broke down the setup for this storm and why I thought the cold air at the surface would put of a fight. I suggest you check out that post if you missed it.

Today I want to focus on some more detail behind what the major impacts will be. As I continue to look at updated models, one word keeps coming to mind, ice. Also, who ever does see more rain, temperatures are going to plumet Monday morning and cause a flash freeze. A lot going on!

Before I get to that, do not forget we have light snow coming in late tonight till daybreak. Expect 1-3 inches for many CNJ  northward with locally 4 inch amounts by tomorrow morning.

Back to our weekend storm...

What will start for many as a front end thump of several inches of snow later on Saturday afternoon into Saturday night, will then transition to sleet then freezing rain. This is going to happen as precipitation rates really pick up. That means we can end up seeing signifigant ice accumulations by Sunday. My updated map below illustrates my point...

First off for areas in dark blue, this is an all out snowstorm with well over a foot of snow for many. The region I want to focus on however is the dark pink where after several inches of snow fall, we can see over a half inch of ice accumulate. That would not be a good situation and we need to monitor closely. Remember just because you many only see 4 inches of snow, that does not mean impacts are low. The ice to follow will be a much bigger threat.

Lets take a look at model projections. I am using the NAM model because I think it looks correct...

What starts as a front end thump of snow Saturday afternoon...

Changes over to ice as warm air works its way in aloft...

Due to the deep arctic air mass ahead of this storm...

Temperatures at the surface are not looking to budge seen blow, despite the fact warm air will work in aloft....

This spells ice storm and I am concerned there will be big impacts.

To make matters worse, bitter cold air moves in on Monday morning with temps in single digits and teens causing a flash freeze...

We still are 2.5 days away from this event. Things can change to warmer/colder as always. However, I think its important folks know whats on the table here. If it trends warmer, the map will shift NW if it trends colder, snow amounts will increase and the map shifts SE. I do think what I have looks good however.

There will be a video tonight around 830 pm to break all of this down.