Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday Afternoon: Very Cold This Week, Storm This Weekend?

Yesterdays storm turned out to be a nice moderate event as expected. Accumulations were on par with the snowfall map I posted the other day. Most areas in north Jersey saw at least 4 inches, and some places saw up to 6. Down in south central Jersey accumulations were a little less. The highest totals I saw from this storm were up in New England where some places saw up to a foot of snow. 

Things will quiet down this week but the headlines will be the cold air that will be in place. Early this week temps will not get out of the 30's and by the latter part of the week we will see highs in the 20's. At night temperatures will plummet into the high teens and possibly single digits in our far north west counties by the end of the week. Here is a graphic for Morristown NJ that shows model predicted high and low temps for next week (from Disregard top graph.

I am still keeping an eye on a potential storm for next weekend. The models do not show it but only a few variables need to change for some coastal development. I will post more on that this week once I analyze a few more things.  

After the cold period this week things will warm up briefly, then I expect more cold and stormy weather to return mid month. Stay tuned.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Storm Update

Snow will continue at a nice moderate pace until about 5 pm. Expect accumulations of 3-5 inches for North Jersey and a little less to the south. Looks like some areas up in eastern Mass and CT will see the most out of this storm and end up with around  6-8 inches. I am still looking at another storm threat for next weekend. I will post more on this sometime this weekend.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday Afternoon Discussion: Snow Totals for Tomorrow

Here is an update for the snow that we will be seeing tomorrow. Snow will spread into the area tomorrow around 10 am and last until around 11 pm. The heaviest snow will occur between 1 and 7 pm. Rain will not be an issue with this system so all precip will be in the form of snow. Below is my forecast accumulations for the area. I think north Jersey will see 4 inches from this system, central jersey 2-3 and south jersey 1-2. So overall not a huge deal, a standard moderate snow event.

Out in the long range I think we will see another storm after the new year. It is not showing up on the maps yet, but there is evidence of it in some of the other large scale patterns I look at. I will post more on this later in the weekend. Check in tomorrow for updates on this storm. The trend over the last day has been stronger and to the west so there is a chance these totals can be updated.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thursday Night: All Snow This Time

I was on the road most of the day so I did not have time to update blog. The storm yesterday spread a general area of 2-4 inches across North Jersey (I-80 corridor) and higher amounts close to 6 inches in Sussex county. As expected the snow changed to sleet then freezing rain before it tapered off. Forecasters did not expect as much frozen precip for our area and because of that the roads had alot of issues. Overall my snowfall map ended up being fairy accurate with the exception that northeastern NJ saw more snow than I thought and some areas south of I-80 in North Jersey had less accumulations. We hit the lower end of my totals for Morris County and my range of 4-6 for Sussex county turned out to be good. 

All eyes are now on Saturday where the next round of snow will spread into our area. At this time it looks like a light snow event with accumulation of 2-4 inches across the entire area. Rain is not an issue at this time. I am looking to see if the model runs tonight strengthen the storm before it passes to our north. If this happens then the totals can be much higher. I will post more on this event tomorrow in the AM. Check in for a snowfall map and timing for this next event. I will also outline my ideas for the month of January.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Wednesday Evening Update

Most of the snow has changed over in north jersey to ice and Rain. The rain and ice will continue till around midnight. The cold air held as expected today and many areas saw a few inches before the change over to sleet. Far northwest NJ will see the most when its all said and end up with over 6 inches. The original map I put out today i believe will be roughly accurate when the snow totals come in tomorrow. 

Keep in mind it wasn't until a few hours ago that the national weather service updated their forecast from all rain for our area to ice and snow. Hope I was able to keep some people ahead of this storm as the roads got very bad around I-80 today due to the fact the road crews did not have advanced notice it would be so icy.

I am still tracking another storm for the weekend. This storm if it materializes will be more snow for the whole area and less ice. I will update on this early tomorrow morning or late tomorrow night, so check in. 

Wednesday Noon Update

Snow will spread into our northern counties this afternoon. The snow will continue eventually changing to sleet and freezing rain for the area. This change over will occur first in the more eastern north jersey counties then possibly make it over to northwestern jersey. I like the snowfall map I put out two days ago for this storm and most of these accumulations will occur in the first 6 hours of this event before the change over..

The most intense precip will be around 8-10 pm tonight and expect rain to the east during this point and freezing rain and sleet in northwest jersey. The model below shows where this change over will be at 8pm. The dark blue is where it should stay snow, light blue ice, orange and red all rain. If we get lucky snow can hold strong in northwest counties.

I would recommend even if it is raining to be careful because roadways will be slick in spots. The storm will end well before day break tomorrow.

 I will update again once event starts and we get an idea of where the cold air wants to hold. Check in again late this afternoon.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas! Not Much to Add

Merry Christmas! It was nice to see some light snow in our northern counties last night. The national weather service was predicting all rain..figures. My idea on the storm for tomorrow night has not changed and I am sticking with the snowfall map I posted yesterday morning. This storm is going to be a very close call. The difference between rain and snow will be 30 miles. Expect the areas that do see snow for it to start as snow then eventually change to sleet and freezing rain. Most of the accumulation on the map below will occur in the initial 6 hour period at the start of the event..

Storm for the 30th is still showing on the models and I will be posting detailed updates this week on the chances of it occurring. In the meantime check in for updates for the storm coming tomorrow. I will be updating frequently during the event. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Monday Morning Update

Good morning, here is the finalized forecast for tonight't light snow event and my updated snowfall projections for the event on the 27th. Tonight light snow snow will spread into the area by 7pm and end by day break xmas morning. Our most extreme northwest counties at higher elevations can see 2-3 inches and north jersey elsewhere expect about a inch of accumulation. South of I-80 I am going with a dusting. Again this is not a big event and just a nice precursor to xmas.

So lets now focus on the event on the 27th. After looking at all the models here is my best guess at what I think will evolve with this storm..

I-95 is a big battle zone and I have ice in that region. The further north and west you go is where there will be the best shot at more snow. I have 2-5 inches from Morristown to Chester and 4-6 inches from Long Valley up in higher elevations into northwestern Sussex county.  To the south and east of I-95 I expect rain with this event. The forecast for this storm is extremely complicated. The difference between rain and snow right now literally is within the margin of 30 miles. This makes any slight change in the modeling change these bands I drew. I have looked a lot of models to come up with this forecast but let me show one as an example (the european) to give an idea of why this event is going to be such a close call (from pro site).

The first graphic is the precipitation and the second one is were the rain snow line will be according to this model. Notice how it is holding the cold air in North Jersey. As the system approaches even closer that line moves more north and west based on the track of the low pressure center which now looks to move from Chesapeake bay to Boston Harbor. Any slight shift in this track will influence the snowfall map I published above. The major weather networks will have rain and mixed precip for most of our area with no accumulation. The reason being that since this is such a tough forecast they are going to play it as conservative as possible right to the end then change the forecast 12 hrs before. They also favor the American model since our govt. created it (not as accurate as the European). There is a margin or error right now of literally 40 miles! However, as you know I want to try to actually make a prediction on this website. Everything I have looked at has shown a trend to a colder storm as opposed to yesterday which was showing all rain and I am going to stick with my snowfall map above. If I have to make any adjustments it will not be until later tomorrow. In terms of timing this will start by late afternoon on Wednesday and last until Thursday morning.  I will be making brief updates until then on this system.

So how bout that storm for the 30th I been mentioning....Well its still showing and this can be more of a snow maker for all parts of North Jersey. I will keep updating on this situation as well over the next few days. Looks like it can be a widespread 6-12 inch event for parts of the state.

Keep checking in for updates!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Update on Storm Coming Tonight..Check In

Very tricky  but interesting forecast. All eyes on the 27th and 30th.  I'll break it down later.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Saturday Morning Update: Get Ready for Winter

We are in for a very exciting 10 day stretch from Xmas though the New Year. Three storms will threaten our area and it looks like we are setting up to have a classic stretch of winter. I want to break down each storm in this post and what the possibilities are for snow/rain/ice for our area.

So starting with the snow event that is coming for late Xmas eve lasting until Xmas morning this is pretty locked in. Snow will spread into north Jersey by 8 pm and last until about 7 am Xmas morning. This is not a major storm and will be a light to moderate event. I am calling for 4-5 inches over the high elevations of North Jersey (1000ft+), 3 inches for the central part of the state, and 1-2 inches on grassy surfaces south east of Trenton. Travel should not be too much of an issue considering the heaviest snow will occur after midnight. It will be a nice scene to wake up to. My confidence for this storm is very high and I see no reason why this event will not materialize.

Now after Xmas is where things get more interesting. All eyes are on the 27th of December for a potential powerful coastal storm. Now anytime a complex storm system like this is 5 days out there are always a range of possibilities for where the exact track will be. Here is what we do know...A storm is coming that's a given. This storm will have more cold air to work with than the last few rain storms that hit our area. Because of more cold air in place the surface storm which will originate in the south central part of the country will be more likely to want to transfer its energy where there is a contrast between cold and warm air. That region is over the Atlantic ocean. The question becomes how late or early will this transition take place. If the parent storm stays stronger and waits to transfer its energy then we will more likely be in for a mixed precipitation event (snow to ice to rain to snow) If the source of the cold air up in Canada holds strong then this transition will take place faster, allowing the storm to form in an ideal spot for snow for everyone to the west of I-95. Let's take a look at the model output (from pro site) then I will make an initial prediction. Clicking on all images makes them bigger.

The first panel directly to the right is showing both  lows. Notice the one on the left (black circle) is weakening and the one on the right is taking over. By the time we get to the 2nd panel the storm has fully transitioned into one coastal low. Under this scenario the transition is taking place too late. This would result in more mixed precip and rain for our area.I am showing this first bc this is the latest run of the GFS model as of 10 min ago. Last night it had a colder solution with more snow but it has backed off a bit. I am not a flip floper with models so like I said once I illustrate all the info I look at I will give you my prediction. 

So now lets go to a model that is more bullish for snow- the European (3rd panel down on the right side). Notice compared to the first panel from the GFS this model is showing the coastal low taking over quicker, which allows the cold air to flow in 
from Canada. This scenario would give everyone to the west of I-95
 6+ inches of snow with the 
higher elevations getting 8-10. 
The panel directly below shows
 snow cover by next Friday from
 this model. 
Click the image to get a bigger view.

So based on all of this info along with other outputs I look at what is my initial prediction for the 27th storm? Lets break it down by region. South East of I-95: mostly rain changing to snow at the end with a few inches of accumulation possible. North West of I-95 below 600ft: light snow changing to moderate to heavy mixed precipitation changing back to snow accumulating 4-5 inches. Northwest of I-95 above 600ft (western morris county, warren county, sussex county): Snow possibly mixed with sleet and rain initially becoming all snow accumulating 5-8 inches. 

So there it is, my initial prediction. As the days pass I will keep updating these projections but that is my best first guess based on everything I am looking at. Of course there is the possibility that these amounts can be more (high range of 12 inches) or less (a few inches) based on how the dynamics set up as explained above with the graphics.

So after the 27th event whats next? Well I am tracking two more potential snow threats one on the 30th (could be big) and another one on January 3rd. I will post more on these once I can iron out more details with the 27th storm. In any event not counting the Xmas eve snow, if we dnt see some other big event from now until January 3rd with this pattern, then we can pack it in because I don't know any other set up that could. Keep checking in daily for updates.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday 5PM: Light Snow on Xmas Potentially Heavier on the 27th

All modeling is converging on a coastal storm for the 27th as I have been hinting at over the last few days. In addition, it now appears we will have a light snow event on Xmas eve into Christmas morning as well. Winter has arrived. Check out temperature departures from normal for Dec 30th through Jan 5th from the site.

 I will be posting a detailed update tomorrow before Noon. I will make my initial projection at that time. Be sure to check in.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thursday Night: Chances Increasing Next Week for Snow

Good evening. I like what I saw today from the models. After this rainstorm passes our area (blizzard on western side in Wisconsin) tonight and tomorrow its show time. We will now have one component in the mix that has been absent ahead of all these miserable rain storms we have had last two weeks...COLD AIR. Since cold air will be in place next week, any storm that forms will likely form closer to the coast where there is a cold  area over warm water (read last nights post for more info).  This will avoid the problem we have been having of inland running storms. 

So lets start with Xmas eve and day. Believe it or not we have a shot at light snow entering Xmas morning that would be a great surprise for many of us. Im not talking about heavy accumulations, but enough to coat the ground. After this small wave passes our area all eyes are on the 27th.  Here is the GFS and EURO models output from pro site.

As you can see both models have the storm forming close to the coast unlike the storm today. GFS has storm more out to sea while the euro is closer to coast. Now I have no idea what the exact track will be yet, but I can tell you in terms of probability this is the best chance we have had all season for accumulating snow. Yes if the low is too close to the coast it will rain in NJ just as if it is too far off the coast it will be light snow. However, this would be a very powerful storm if it forms as models are showing above. I am going to have to track the trend next few days, and I will keep posting on how are chances are for snow.

I said last night and i'll keep saying that this is a very active pattern. If for some reason we miss out on the 27th situation, my storm on the 3rd of Jan is still on the maps. Bottom line if we dont see some snow from this pattern it is just not meant to be for NJ this winter. Why is this an active pattern? Unlike last year Canada is loaded up with high pressure which will allow frequent shots of cold weather and storms as opposed to last winter where there was all low pressure over Canada causing the opposite. 

In conclusion:

1. Although delayed from my initial calculations (15th-25th) winter is coming
2. We can see light snow Xmas eve
3. All eyes are on the 27th for a potential coastal snowstorm
4. Evidence of a storm threat on Jan 3rd
4. This will be not like last winter

Keep checking in. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wednesday 7PM: It's Not Like We Don't Have a Shot

Now wouldn't that be nice for someone who wants to see snow. That's total accumulated snowfall on December 27th.

I mentioned on my last post how without a positive PNA it is very hard to get a east coast snowstorm unless the high pressure to the north sets up in a perfect spot. Basically to have a storm develop off the coast under those conditions you need a cold air mass over our area ahead of a storm that is approaching. This creates a zone between cold and warm air on the Atlantic coast. We all know storms like to form when there is instability or cold and warm air clashing. Thus when we have this setup, an approaching inland low will jump and reform off the coast producing snow. Since we have not yet had a big outbreak of cold air ahead of one of these recent storms, the primary inland low has dominated and we were caught on the northern end. You can see this below which the storm approaching the area tomorrow.

Notice the storm in the central US and the lack of cold air over NJ (red lines mean warm). This results in this storm tomorrow cutting into the lakes and not redeveloping a surface low out in the Atlantic  This has been happening all month, resulting in rain. The next storm approaching on the 27th might be a different story however..

See how unlike the first graphic there is more cold air out ahead of this storm (left panel blue lines). This will allow the storm to jump to the coast (as seen on smaller panel) . Now of course this all assumes  the modeling is correct on where the high pressure setup to the north is- feeding the cold air into our area. If this trend continues, we will have a shot at a snowstorm between Christmas and New Years. If the trend breaks, then expect more rain like we have been used to seeing. Out past the 27th I think we still will see a setup that could favor snow if the situation on the 27th falters. The PNA looks like it wants to trend more positive after the new year which would result in these storms forming more in the gulf as opposed to needing to jump across the central plains to the east coast. In any event, even tho we have not had any snow in NJ this pattern is extremely active around the country. It is just a matter of time until our number is called. The GFS snowfall forecast as show in the beginning of this post suggests that. Don't rule out some light snow showers Christmas eve either.

Keep checking in. I will keep updating on what will evolve with the 27th situation.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday Night Discussion

The modeling over the last two weeks has been very poor. Trends that where shown for a cold and stormy setup for NJ were broken Storms that looked to be a lock in for the east coast have instead cut into the lakes as a result of the model errors.  This threw off my forecasts and I also had a bias based on the trend we saw in November (sandy and two snow events). There are three major drivers of cold stormy weather in the east coast. A negative NAO which is high pressure over Greenland which supports a east cost through and prevents storms from easily escaping to the north from that trough. A positive PNA which is basically a ridge in the west coast which amplifies the through in the east coast more than the NAO alone. And finally a negative AO which is high pressure over the poles which results in general cold over the US. Here is what the models are showing:

AO: Trending Neutral                          NAO: trending neutral to negative

PNA: Trending Negative

You do not need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that these trends do not look good for a snowstorm over NJ over the next two weeks. We had two out of the three over the last week which produced storms and still will produce storms this week, but without the positive PNA (which has been absent all winter) it is very hard to get the trough amplified enough over the east to let a storm ride up the coast. Instead you are seeing these inland great lake storms that leave us on the eastern end , resulting in rain. It is possible to have a snowstorm over our area without a positive PNA but the odds are more stacked against it. The high pressure region over Canada has to set up in a precise spot. Otherwise we have a flat flow in the jet stream which can produce cold but when a storm forms it does not "crank" up. 

So am I throwing in the towel on this winter? Not in any regard. This winter will be nothing like the dry and mild winter we had last year and I believe we will see snowstorms. Over the next two weeks there will be three storms that effect the eastern third of the country- one late this week, one after Christmas, then one on the real long range. As of now however, they look to run into the great lakes leaving us on the warm side. Of course that can always change so keep checking in especially for the post Christmas storm.

 This weekend there is a chance we can see a brief period of snow at the end possibly dropping 1-3 inches. For the big snows I will reiterate we need that positive PNA unless we get lucky and the high pressure sets up in the perfect spot as I mentioned.  Who knows maybe that will happen in the next two weeks, one can make the argument that the pattern is changing so that's why the modeling has been so poor. I do not have enough conviction to make that call at this time. Keep checking in daily and I will keep updating on this pattern- it will be evolving daily. 

Update Coming Tonight For Next Two Weeks..Check In

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Weekend Update: The Jury is Out

To be blunt, and I regret to say it for those of you who love snow but it is going to rain this week. I always knew this  would be a borderline event as seen in my last posts saying the areas that had a shot at snow would be our most western counties but the models have converged on even a warmer solution. What did us in was the lack of cold air in place ahead of this approaching storm. Instead we had to rely on a perfect track (one where the storm had to manufacture its own cold air by setting up in the perfect spot) along with the high pressure in eastern Canada setting up in a precise location to allow this storm to form off shore. None of the two materialized which was surprising to me for a few reasons. 1. We knew a pattern shift was taking place next week. 2. All the fall storms did not run inland and instead formed along coast (two snow events in Nov) and 3. There was a storm in December of 1969 (dumped 10 inches in our area) that on Thursday night appeared to have the exact same upper air pattern as what the models were showing at that time for next week. Friday morning came and all the models backed off, converging on a warmer inland track for this storm. So you can say although I tried to make a bold statement 6 days out I ended up falling short of my forecast which is going to happen sometimes. But I rather be wrong and stick to a overall forecast idea, then switch my forecast with every run of the modeling just to say at the end I nailed it. That is not the purpose of this blog.

So whats ahead after this washout this week? Well first a very strong storm will form end of next week but looks like it wants to give inland areas a chance at heavy snow and not our area. I will monitor this and early next week will post on what I believe will happen and if we will see any frozen precip. 

Beyond next week this pattern still will produce storms through January so activity in the atmosphere will not be the problem. We just need cold air in place ahead of one of these systems or the block to the north to be a a perfect spot to not allow the initial surface lows to charge into the great lakes and instead suppress them further south allowing them to reform along the mid Atlantic coast with more cold air in place. According to the modeling, the cold air should be there as seen below...

Stay patient, we missed out this time but the party is not over. We still can see snow on the ground (over 3 inches) before Christmas and if not shortly after. I will comment more on Monday. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday AM: Shot at Two Storms Next Week

Looks like the models are starting to finally converge on a common solution and that is two storms next week. The first one will be middle of the week (one we been discussing) and second one will be on the weekend. So starting with storm # 1, what should we expect? This is a tough one I originally had areas northwest of I-95 at higher elevations (over 1000 ft) seeing a shot at decent snow. Looks like that option is still on the table but its going to come down to the wire. If for some reason the snow line sets up further west with storm 1 it is not a end all be all as storm # 2 could pick up the slack a few days later. Now we are very far away from storm #2 so I am not going to go into much detail now. However if by the end of the next 10 days we do not see snow on the ground in some shape or form, I will be very surprised. We are in a pattern that should produce snow before it is all said and done. Some details of how the snow is going to fall will be unclear at times, but the setup is there. So your probably thinking what are the details with storm # 1 since I have been talking about it over the last few days. Lets look  at the European model ..

It develops a healthy storm over our area early Tuesday morning, but under this model setup it is a rain changing to snow at the end event. This puts heavy snow into PA, NY state, and VT but leaves our northwest counties with a few inches at the end. Given the shifts in the models all converging on this solution I might have to update my original forecast made a few days ago and shift the snow line further west. I still want to wait till this weekend before I make any changes. Now if this storm middle of next week does not give our area the snow I have been discussing, we have another shot at a larger storm a few days later on Sat. 

This threat is too far off to comment in detail on but here is the point: It was clear two weeks ago that the pattern was going to get active. I originally mentioned the 15-25 of Dec as being the active period  We have a shot at a storm that still can produce snow (storm #1) on the 18th and now another shot on the 22nd. So the setup is there we just need one of these systems to form in the right spot to yield our area some snow. Do not give up on the first storm yet; a lot can still change and if for some reason it ends up more rain than originally thought another shot at snow is right behind it. I will update throughout the weekend.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Late Night Update: No Clear Model Solution

This will be a real quick post due to the fact I will be updating this early tomorrow morning so I can include the latest run of the European. Overall, despite the disagreement of the models I am still  bullish on this storm. The GFS is faster with the system causing it to develop more off shore resulting in Maine getting dumped on and less precipitation for our area. The afternoon run of the European was a little closer to our area but still off shore. It will not be until this weekend that the models will have a good grasp on what this system is going to do. There will be a storm its just a matter of where the low pressure center wants to develop in relation to our area. Tomorrow morning I will show the updated models as well as a historical storm from 1969 that had a very similar setup. In any event this will be interesting to track and I stand by the forecast I made last night. If I have to change anything it will not be until this weekend. Check in tomorrow morning.

Update On Storm Coming Tonight at 11:30 PM

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wed 9pm: The Dynamic Nature of This Storm Makes For a Tricky Forecast

Good evening. Before I begin I stand by the forecast I made last night. I really do think that when this is all said and done we see more snow than rain in our northwest counties and possibly all snow above 1000 ft. The models all have a storm, but that is where their similarities end. The European model which historically is the most accurate has a very powerful storm forming middle of next week. By very powerful I mean a storm that has a duration of 12hr+, winds over 25mph, and snows over 8 inches potentially much higher. The GFS is playing games with the storm and has a more inland track producing mostly rain for our area and a less intense low pressure center. I am not buying it- Snow or rain the storm will be very strong. Complex winter storms very rarely show their true colors 6 days before the event. Instead we see exactly what we are seeing now- a big question mark of will it be rain? will it be snow? will it be both? So from experience I tend to be in the camp of what the trend of this season been. And the answer is storms are initially projected to form more inland, then as the event approaches the models correct and shift east (colder). I said two days ago that I think this is a northwest of I-95 snow event and I am sticking with that prediction. Here is the European model which most accurately represents my are from the pro site

The first image is the  precipitation intensity for 7pm wed (blue is very intense). The second picture is the temperature at 5000 ft in the atmosphere (anything blue is below freezing). This is the level that dictates the rain snow line for our area. As you can see at the height of the storm the rain snow line is just to the northwest of I-95. However, this does not take into account elevation, any area above 1000 ft that is close to the blue region will most likely be all snow. Areas in northern jersey in the green will start as rain and change to snow at the end possibly picking up a few inches. As the days go on I expect the rain snow line on these models to stay close to where the European shows and if anything become a little colder for our northwest counties. If this was to remain all snow for our northwest counties we would be easily looking at 12+ inches of snow with 2-4 inches in central jersey, and 1-3 near the coast. The difference between over a foot of snow and 2 inches is literally going to be the difference of 50 miles from southeast to northwest. With the warm Atlantic ocean and the blocking high pressure to the north I think the modeling has a warm bias right now and well continue to fall in line with my thoughts. So for those of you who like snow who live more towards NYC do not throw in the towel yet.

For my friends down in Baltimore you better hope this trends even more colder than I think or your looking at maybe a dusting. This will be a northeast event. Its safe to say If anyone wants to go skiing next week the Catskill mountains of NY will be blanketed. That's all for now, keep checking in daily and spread the word about this site.

Tuesday 11:30 pm: Storm Middle Of Next Week Looks Powerful

Following up on my post last night, Storm # 2 I mentioned looks to be a major event for our region middle of next week (Storm # 1 will be rain on Monday). Here is the latest GFS model that just came out 10 min ago..

Yes that does say 969mb for the low pressure center. A winter storm with that pressure level is very strong (Super Storm of 93 had pressure of 960). Now we are still a week away so there are a lot of details to iron out with this system, including where it will form along the coast and how intense the low pressure level will end up. I will say this, I can confidently say a storm will form. I conclude this based on the large scale pattern with blocking to the north and also the trend of this season so far of storms favoring our area for snow. What will happen is a low pressure center is going to move through the south central portion of the country and then transfer its energy to the coast around NC and reform into a storm you are seeing in the graphic above. With a strong area of cold high pressure to the north the storm cannot cut into the interior north east thus ruling out a massive rain storm. Instead, how far off the coast the storm forms will depend on who gets rain or snow for regions near the ocean. Now to counteract my forecast bias for snow, what would cause this storm not to form? Basically the only way I can see this storm not forming is if the two pieces of energy do not phase together and one shoots ahead of the other one which would flatten this system and result in storm development out to sea. The operational European model did show a hint of that this afternoon, but its ensembles did not confirm it (ensembles are a alternative run of a particular model that tweak a few assumptions and determine some alternative forecast outcomes). The next run of the European model comes out in a few hours so I will post it in my morning update. In any regard as I mentioned I am very bullish on this storm and believe it can effect our area with very heavy snow north and west of I-95. That's a very bold statement to make 8 days out and normally I would stay reserved for another day or two, but I cannot ignore the large scale weather pattern (see last post). It has cold and storms written all over it. It usually snows where it wants to snow and if November was any indication it wants to snow in our area. Let the trend be your friend. I also mentioned last night the party is not over after next week, we still will have the threat at more storm development around Christmas (see last post). 

I will update this blog daily as this situation unfolds. Lets see if I am on to something. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday Night: BOOM!

Remember how for the last 10 days I have been talking about a pattern change and multiple shots at snow from the 15th of December on? Well lets lead with this valid next Wednesday...

and lets not forget about next Monday beforehand...

oh and did I mention after Christmas too?

So what does this all mean? It means the models are now finally after much waffling starting to get a hold on this pattern change that is taking place. Anytime there is a change in the weather pattern the models have a hard time ironing out all the details. However, by looking at a blend of the overall climate signals such as the NAO PNA and AO, you can still get an overall sense of what can happen. Where most people go wrong is they live and die based on every run of the modeling and get discouraged. So lets break down each one of these storm threats starting with the second graphic shown which is early next week storm #1:

This really could go anyway. For it to snow, we need to have the high pressure to the north build stronger and more towards eastern Canada. This will force storm to redevelop off the coast and supply the cold air necessary for snow. Right now, It looks as if that will be the most likely solution for Storm #2 which is the first graphic shown. If you look at the 1st graphic you can see the high pressure area over Canada feeding the storm with cold air and preventing it for escaping. I am very bullish on this storm and I think we will see snow  potentially very heavy for our area. As we get closer to the weekend I will start to take a crack at possible snowfall amounts. Finally, Storm # 3. This is very far out on the models so you cannot look into it too deeply. Could this storm form? Absolutely and I say that based on the trend in the upper air pattern over Canada. Lets take a look at the driver behind all of these storms which is that upper air pattern.

The red area over eastern Canada is the magic behind all of this. It allows the cold air to stay locked underneath (over our region) and when storms do form they tend to develop along the coast and bomb out. We want this red area to stay right over the Hudson Bay (west of Greenland) as shown above. Everyone remember last winter when we had no snow? Well the setup was the opposite of what is shown above.  This setup stays strong for at least 10 days starting on the 15th which is why all of these storms are not out of the question. Once you have the pattern in place its only natural for the atmosphere to produce disturbances. Even though this morning things did not look as promising, I said to stay patient and now you know why I have not backed off. Winter is coming and I would guess by the end of this week you will see the weather media start to finally pick up on all of this. Keep checking in daily and I will keep everyone one step ahead of all the public weather outlets. 

Stay Patient

You would never know it by looking outside but winter will arrive. For the last few weeks I have said between December 15-25 we should see colder conditions with at least one snow event and I am sticking to that prediction. Some more rain will come through our area, but by the end of the week things will cool down. In terms of storms, I am looking at early and late next week on the long term maps and I will start to post more on these potential threats and if they will occur based on my analysis over the next few days.  Keep checking in every morning. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

More Detail on Active Pattern We Will See

As I mentioned last night everything is coming together perfectly for an cold and stormy pattern over the next few weeks in the eastern US. Starting late next week, we will see shot after shot of storms rolling through the middle section of the country undercutting the blocking high pressure that is present to the north. Let me show what this set up looks like on a map.

As you can see the red region over north eastern Canada forces storms to not cut up into the lakes and mid section of the country. Instead they undercut the block and tend to form more towards the mid-Atlantic coast line. On the maps, starting late next week a few storms are starting to surface. The first possible one being late next week.

Although it is not showing this turning up coast yet, I would not be surprised if it did based on the progression of this pattern. In fact, there are a lot of similarities to the pattern we saw in winter of 2010 which if you remember was extremely active for the mid Atlantic in particular DC and Baltimore. Both the AO and NAO are going to crash, which creates the red blocking regions you saw on the first graphic letting cold stormy weather form. This pattern will start middle of next week and I can see it going into January. If we do not have snow on the ground for Christmas I would be very surprised. I will start to post on each individual storm threat as they materialize and I make a determination on what the chances are of them effecting our region. But in any regard after the rain we will see early next week things are really going to get fun if you like cold and snow. Here are temp departures from normal from the 17-22

If you compare all of this to the setup we had this time last winter (which we all know was mild with no storms) it is the complete opposite. Keep checking in over the next few days, I will be updating this with the potential upcoming threats of snow.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I am Looking at December 15-25: This 10 Day Stretch Looks to Be Wild

I do not have much time to post in detail this morning, but in summary as I have said repeatedly things are really going to wind up leading up to Christmas. The cold air is imminent as verified by latest models and by the looks of things, we can be locked in a pattern for at least 10 days that gives us shot after shot at snow leading up to Christmas day. I will post in more detail tonight so check in.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Forecast Still On Track For Cold and Stormy Mid Dec- Storm Next Week

Good Morning, everything I discussed on Sunday night is still on track. We will notice a big cool down middle of the month lasting into Christmas. A storm is going to effect the eastern third of the country early next week and right now it looks to me mostly rain for our area. I was playing with the idea of making a bold prediction yesterday that the storm would form more along the east coast and have a colder snowier solution but I have backed off for now. If I am going to change my forecast from rain to snow for early next week it will be by tomorrow morning. Here is what the GFS model has for early next week.

Notice the huge shot of cold into the central US (seen represented by blue lines) that will eventually come our way but not until after this rain storm clears the area. For this to end up being snow for the east coast, the  ridge in the west has to progress more eastward pushing the trough further to the east as well. This is still not off the table, but I usually look for trending in the modeling and there is no clear trend to shift this eastward. Yesterday it looked like it was going that way, but it backed off last night. I am still holding to my perdition that we will have a white Christmas and at least one snowstorm before month end. As I mentioned in my last post, this storm early next week was always on the table, but it might not be till after next week that we see snow. Keep checking in daily and I will keep posting updates.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sunday 10pm: Pattern for Mid December Now Solidifying- Cold and Snow Very Possible

I wanted to wait a few days since my last detailed post to see if the trend kept materializing and it has. The middle of this month starting around December 11th lasting through Christmas will get very cold across the entire US. In addition all the factors are in place for things to get very active as well in terms of the potential for a storm or two. So lets take a look at what those factors look like on December 12th..

Notice all the red across Greenland (Negative NAO) the north pole (negative AO) and in the Gulf of Alaska region (negative EPO). All three of those triggers in there negative phase result in a very cold pattern for the US as seen above with the green and blue region spreading across the entire US. When it comes to cold stormy patterns in the US especially the east coast, it doesn't get much better as what this model (European) is showing. Now the question becomes will a storm develop within this time frame. Right now the european model has a storm out in its long range projection as seen below..

Now going out this far on models anything can change and in most cases they can just give an idea of what COULD happen. Not every model is as aggressive with cranking a storm like the European but historically the European is the most accurate weather model out there. 

So what is my take given this robust output from the European and also the GFS (didn't show graphic but looks similar to European)?. Even tho not every model out there is converging on this cold stormy solution, I am predicting that what is show above will happen. I cannot at this point say at what date a storm will form- it could be around the 12th like the european model shows or it could occur later in the month, but in any regard I would be surprised not to see  a winter system form during this time frame- giving us a white Christmas. I see too much evidence supporting this prediction and not as much to the contrary. 

In summary, while the next few days will be warm, a winter pattern will return starting around December 11th and last through the end of the month. All the players are on the field from a meteorological standpoint, and whether we see snow fall on December 12th as shown above or sometime later in the period, I believe snow will fall and be on the ground for Christmas. Keep checking in, I will be posting updates.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Details Coming Tomorrow On Upcoming Pattern

In short, things will be very exciting from mid December on as I have been saying for a while now. The chances of a white Christmas are increasing every day. I will go into more detail tomorrow with some graphics.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday 12 PM:Not Many Changes From Prior Post

Looking at latest guidance, things look on track as I originally discussed a few days ago. Middle to the end of December looks very cold and active and there is still a chance a storm can develop between Dec 6-10 time frame, but at this point I am making no predictions. Once I have a chance to review more modeling this weekend I will update this blog.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Looking Calm Till Mid Dec. Where Things Can Get Wild, Maybe a Surprise Along the Way

Good Afternoon. I have been evaluating the weather pattern and also some of the wide scale climate signals I look at such as the trend in the NAO, AO, PNA (see basic lingo defined page for explanation) along with some long term modeling that shows potential temperatures and precipitation for the month of December.  What I can say is from mid December on watch out, things look like they will become very active giving us increased chances of a white Christmas. The best way to show this is graphically so here are some of the outputs I have been evaluating.

Above you can see what the GFS model is predicting for temperatures in the Mid December time period. Notice along with the below normal temps shown on the east coast, there is also an enormous amount of cold air building up in central and western Canada. This is called the source region and once the jet stream buckles it allows all of this cold air to flow into the USA similar to a dam breaking. Usually when I see this along with some other signals I will show you in a second It tells me cold air is on its way. Now lets take a look at the NAO index.

The blue line is what the observed value of the index was (already occurred)  and the black line shows the forecast for this pattern. The NAO is very low right now, will rebound entering the beginning of December then crash again heading into mid month. This gives the East Coast a good shot at a favorable Storm setup mid month. Many times north east storms occur when this pattern is in its transition phase meaning when it is on the move from negative to positive. You can see from the 1st of December to the 6th of December it is making this transition. Which gives us the potential to see a storm develop around the December 6th time period. Here is what the upper atmosphere will look like at that time.

Notice the trough over the east coast with the ridge in the west (blue vs orange). Now modeling does not have a storm at this time just has a strong front coming through, but I wanted to show how there is a chance but I am making no perdition at this time.

Finally, lets put all of this together and have a little fun and look at what the long term climate model is showing for snow cover for the middle to end of December. This is far to overdone, but It is exciting to see none the less and shows that the idea of a white Christmas is on the table. Check this out, each box represents the same model but run with a few different variables changed as you can see much of country is covered in snow. Again this is overdone, but can provide a clue...

In summary, things will warm up and quite down over the next week. All eyes are on mid Month where we will have a favorable atmospheric setup for cold and stormy conditions giving us a chance at a White Christmas. If there will be any action before this period it will occur around the 6th of Dec. Stay Tuned.