Winter Storm Outlook


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

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wednesday Night Tropical Update: All Signs Still Point to Landfall

Hurricane Joaquin is currently strengthening and all eyes are now on where this storm will make landfall (if it makes landfall). In the video below I give you my latest perspective on what the potential outcomes are. 

Many images provided by 

As a note the ensemble map I used in video actually was an old map by mistake, regardless the new ensemble map below still shows my concern of this storm making a slight shift more north than modeled.

Here is the bottom line as of tonight:

  • All signs point to a land falling hurricane Sunday
    • Right now most likely spot is the Outer Banks into southern Va
    • Winds over 70 mph with beach erosion and torrential rain within 70 miles of the storm center
    • To the north over NJ, NYC, heavy rain, gale force wind gusts (coast), and extremely rough ocean surf Sunday into Monday
  • There are two other scenarios they are:
    • Storm goes out to sea (European model)
    • Storm drifts more north than modeled (my concern)
  • At this time I think a 60% blend of the GFS model and a 35% blend of European makes sense in nailing down this track
    • This would mean a landfall just to the north of the Outer Banks
  • Prior to the main storm impact, Friday will feature rain and wind from tropical energy currently along a stalled front. 
  • When it is all said and done at the very least I am thinking we see another 2-5" of rain through Monday
More tomorrow morning. Stay tuned!

Wednesday Morning Tropical Update: Her Name is Joaquin and She Will Pack a Punch this Weekend

Good morning. We finally are getting some model agreement on what is now Tropical Storm Joaquin. This storm will continue to intensify and become a hurricane in the very near future. Earlier in the week we did not know where this storm would go let alone how much it would intensify if at all. Now we know it is rapidly intensifying and there is strong model agreement it will continue to do so. This mean we need to take this threat seriously. In terms of its track, lets start off by going to the latest guidance from the National Hurricane Center..

You can see above they expect this to intensify to a hurricane and move somewhere between the Carolina's and southern New England. 

Here is the latest Satellite image. The darker colors represent high clouds, which represents thunderstorms clustering. This could form an eye very soon.

Let me now take you though some of the models and give you my initial take on what is going to happen this weekend. 

Above is a projection of all the major models. Take a close look at where each of them projects this storm to go. You can click image to make bigger. From left to right, top to bottom: GFS, Canadian, UKMET, Euro,HWRF, GFDL.

Notice any consistency? I do, and it screams that we could have a east coast landing Hurricane this weekend. At this time the biggest impact zone looks to be somewhere between the Outer Banks and the Delmarva region. This is the region that can see hurricane conditions. Folks in those areas should start preparing now. Notice the European model on the bottom left has the storm way out in the ocean. Could this be correct? Maybe BUT its ensembles do not agree. As a reminder an ensemble is taking a core weather model and tweaking the inputs to adjust for potential error. They do this over 50 times for the European and get 50 different outcomes. Below is an average low pressure placement for those outcomes. Looks similar to the above image.

What does this tell me? It tells me the European operational model might be wrong due to its ensembles not agreeing with it. 

Worst case scenario? Check out the projected radar from the updated HWRF hurricane model hot off the press. This would not be a scenario to get excited about, the Outer Banks would get very beat up with a potential Cat 3 hurricane as this model shows below..

To sum everything up, these are latest tracks of all models..

As you can see, there is big convergence near the Outer Banks with a land falling Hurricane. I have a hunch this might shift a little more north over next two days which brings Delmarva and potentially further north into play. We will see. 

In terms of timing on rainfall and storm impacts for the NY Metro area into South Jersey here is what I expect at this time..

  • Rain picks up again tomorrow from energy along coastal front and continues into Saturday morning
    • Expect another 2+ inches of Rain
  • Hurricane Joaquin should make landfall sometime Sunday between Delmarva and the Outer banks
    • This track can still change more north or south.
  • As storm hits, expect very heavy rain Sunday afternoon lasting through early Monday.
    • Another several inches of rain should fall.
  • Wind gusts along the coastal areas can reach up to 60 MPH
    • This can cause beach erosion and downed power lines
  • Inland there will be winds but not as intense.

For you guys who are more into the weather, check out this upper level chart showing the storm getting captured by the trough digging into the east..

This is a rare occurrence and any slight change in these variables can change the track more north or south. 

What will today's updated models show? Will the track shift? 

Video update tonight at 8pm!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Quick Evening Update

Well today's model runs certainty did not make this any easier. Here is the updated spread.

The European model stalls the storm and allows it to drift off to the northeast late this weekend..

Still very heavy rains but the high impact storm threat in terms of wind is left out to sea as seen above.

The other models not so fast..

Latest GFS is defaulting to the worst case scenario with a mid Atlantic Hurricane impact..

I still think this is over done BUT..its ensemble mean shows similar low placement..

Not to mention the unreliable hurricane models are not backing down..

Do we believe this worst case scenario? It is still to early to buy into this. HOWEVER, I think there is a higher probably of this being a land falling storm and not drifting out to sea like the European shows. Just because it hits land does not mean it will be as strong as above. That is something we have to watch evolve. 

I will have a video out first thing in the morning. I will also try to nail down a forecast by tomorrow night or Thursday morning.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday Morning Tropical Update: Starting to Hone in on Solutions

Good morning once again. Now that the stage has been set for at the very least a very wet week ahead lets start to iron out some finer details. I am going tofocus on Tonight into tomorrows rain event then give you updates on Tropical Storm Joaquin. I do not have the time this morning to go into great detail and will save that for tonight.

Here are updated model projections for cold front passing though tonight into tomorrow..

You can see the low pressure center developing on the front and just to the west. This is a little more west than yesterday so the heaviest rains might be more west as well. Here is rainfall through tomorrow..

Now lets focus back on the tropics. Here is the latest projection from the National Hurricane Center..

You can see the cone of possibilities and also the uncertainty with this system.  Right now it appears two potential outcomes are evolving.

Outcome 1: The tropical storm get more absorbed in the frontal boundary and it "sheers off" its major development. This would mean heavy rainfall but no destructive winds.

The GFS operational model is showing this..

The European is also trying to do this as well.

However, many of there ensemble members do in fact show a stronger storm due to..

Outcome 2: The tropical storm does not get sheered off by the frontal boundary and strengthens more. This would then the chance for a very powerful storm to turn into the coast.

The hurricane models (not always reliable) have been consistently hinting at this..

Don't get too worked up yet, I do not this think is a likely outcome. 

We need to now turn to the ensemble guidance which takes the main models and adjusts them for potential error. You can see the GFS ensemble has a big spread still..

Looking closely you can see all the different low pressure centers from the ensemble. This represents where this storm can go based on GFS model.  This shows you how there is high degree of uncertainty of how strong this storm really gets.

To sum it all up, here are the updated tracks from most major models..

You can see the spread but notice many members continue to show the storm effecting somewhere between NYC and the Carolina's. I will note these are not all strong storms for all of those lines but some are quite impressive.

Yes the worst case scenario is on the table but it is not likely at this time. Right now expect heavy rain this weekend and keep checking in for updates. 

I am going to try to nail this thing down sometime tomorrow night or Thursday morning. Right now there is so much going on that its almost impossible for models to nail this down.

Update at 730 tonight after todays model runs. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Special Monday Night Tropical Update: Big Cause for Concern

Video below discusses the potential for a tropical storm if not hurricane to effect the eastern seaboard this weekend. A lot of details need to be worked out including strength and track. However one detail has a lot of compelling evidence and that is inches of rainfall between now and Monday. We could be talking over 4" in spots. The flooding potential alone is enough to have me concerned. We still are over 1oo hours away so for now lets just evaluate the potential.

Video below breaks it all down. Updates will be out from me daily. I will start to try to nail down the finer details by Wed or Thursday. 

As a footnote for those who are more interested in the technicals, this pattern alone is what is allowing me to believe some of these model projections. All models are signaling a big blocking area of high pressure in the northwest Atlantic. This acts like a pinwheel and causes any developing storm to make a left turn into the coast. The image below shows this.

Special Tropical Update 830 Tonight!

Monday Morning Special Weather Video: Crazy Weather Pattern This Week, Multiple Storm Systems, Inches of Rain

Good morning everyone! We have an absolutely crazy weather pattern on tap for this week. I had to cut a video due to the complexity of multiple storm systems, tropical influences and fronts that are all going to play a role in our weather!

I recommend you watch the video to get the full breakdown of what to expect. 

In case you can't, here are the highlights:

  • We currently are under a weather pattern that features low pressure under high pressure to the north (Rex Block)
  • This means any weather systems that form get blocked and stall in East Coast region
  • We have a tropical system off coast of Fl and a low in the gulf currently
  • Both these systems along with a cold front will effect area all week.
  • Heavy rain Wednesday as front interacts with gulf system
  • Heavy rain again Friday into the weekend as this tropical system potentially interacts with more gulf moisture
  • When it is all said and done we can be looking at 2-4 inches of rain this week. 
  • Big pattern change next week to cold fall weather

Like I said, check out the video its not too long and this is a pattern you do not see every day. If this doesn't get you interested in the weather than nothing will. I will update daily this week!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Negative NAO this Winter?

I am always researching variables as they relate to winter. As most of us know having a negative North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) during winter is key for big winter storms. In fact this pattern can even save an otherwise warm and mild winter due to other external factors.

As a refresher this image below represents a -NAO pattern..

Below I took five of the largest negative NAO winters (good for cold and snow) and subtracted five of the most positive NAO winters in terms of sea surface temperature anomalies.

The result is below..

 Few key areas in the Atlantic. Notice the largest -NAO winters had warm water in the Caribbean, colder water to the North and then warmer water in the Arctic near Greenland. This is actually called the Atlantic Tri Pole and is a good precursor to a negative NAO winter (always other factors too at play). 

Here are current model projection ocean temps for this winter..

Comparing the two, notice the Atlantic does not look as favorable for a Negative NAO. We would need warmer water near Greenland and that cold pool to drift a little more south. 

However, look out in the pacific in the El Nino region. Notice in the top -NAO winters (first image) we had the warm waters more west and in the model projection they are more west as well. That is a favorable sign for a -NAO. What will the final verdict be? Too early for me to say, just showing you guys my observations as of now. 

Find out more in my Winter 2016 Outlook coming in October!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Thursday Morning Weather Update: Most Areas Should Stay Dry This Weekend

Good morning, as we are now towards the end of the week lets revisit some of the discussion points from my post on Monday.

Starting off with the low pressure that is developing off the southern coast, I still do not expect this will effect anyone north of Baltimore/Washington with too much unsettled weather. There is the slight chance that South Jersey and Phili can get more rain than I expect on Sunday with this, but overall it looks like the high pressure to the north will hold long enough that the whole region will stay more on the dry side. Here is an updated model projection..

This is the GFS model which is a little more aggressive with bringing the rain a little more north. However, even in this more northern case here is the total rainfall..

Notice the biggest areas is south of DC into VA and the Carolina's. In fact the Canadian weather model ensemble might have the right idea here in terms of the rainfall map..

Bottom line: Anyone south of DC should expect rain this weekend. For south Jersey I am still leaning towards mostly cloudy skies with the chance for a few showers at best. North Jersey, just mostly cloudy on Sunday. We will monitor to see if this trends north at all over next two days. Temps for most areas will be in low 70's all weekend. 

Moving on to the Gulf of Mexico, I mentioned we would have to watch for some storm development due to the overall weather pattern (high pressures to the north, low pressures to the south). At this time it does not appear anything major (hurricane) will develop, although it is likely we see a storm hit the area early next week..

The upper level winds are not too favorable for major storm development here but it still bears watching as we get into the weekend.  

Moving into the longer range, some evidence is building that we can see a pattern change as we get into the second week of October. This would mean our first real shot at fall weather. I am still analyzing this and will have more information over the next week.

Thanks for checking in, I will have a brief update tomorrow afternoon if anything changes with Sunday's weather. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Monday Morning Weekly Weather Summary: A Beautiful Week Ahead, Watching Tropics

Good morning everyone. Weather wise we had an excellent weekend with summer like temps on Saturday. As we look into this week temps will be more seasonal staying in the 70's in most spots. This will be due to a northeast flow of air from a stubborn area of high pressure that will be to our north for most of the period..

This will also keep our weather dry for most of the work week, so not much more to say here. Temps during the day will be in the mid 70's and lows at night in the 50's.

Now to the next issue. As this area of high pressure builds, parts of the jet stream will split under it and start to cause potential mischief in the long run.  Think of the high pressure as a brick wall and any storms that develop under it stall and in some cases move back towards land.  This starts to happen mid to late week as all models show an area of low pressure developing off the southern coast..

The low is unable to move too far northeast due to the blocking high pressure so it lingers. Now when you have a low lingering and ocean temperatures looking like this, you need to be careful..

The answer is simple, the warmer than normal ocean helps feed developing storm systems by giving them a supply of moisture and heat which is critical to their development. It is because of this that we need to watch what this low pressure center does by the weekend. Here is gfs's projection for end of week..

It cant bring it too far north due to the high pressure but you can see it drifts the storm inland by Friday. This has the potential to cause an impressive rain event in the southern states. Other models are trying to show the same thing as well.

As we get into the even longer term this pattern does not want to let up..

As the upper level ridge shifts to the east we now have to look for development of storms in the gulf by end of this week/early next week..

Map above shows the blue area that represents low pressure and the reds that basically represent areas of high pressure. You can see the potential for something to develop under the area of high pressure. 

You can see by Wednesday of next week the operational European model is hinting at a potential storm in the gulf..

Yes this is very far off but the pattern supports it and the European models ensemble system is also showing this as well. This means we will have days of model watching ahead of us. Again, the pattern is ripe for this type of storm development. Historically, tropical storms and or hurricanes have developed in patterns like this. That does not mean it will be the case this time, but it bears watching.

Stay tuned, more this week!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Monday Morning Weather Summary: Not Much to Say..Beautiful Week Ahead

Good morning everyone. Now that we are in mid September we are all starting to get a real taste of fall. Temps might still get warm during the day, but at night lows are dropping now into the 50's. As for this week, we are going to have a very large area of high pressure in control of our weather..

Winds today will be from the northwest which will keep things on the cool side with temps only in the low to mid 70's. Tonight check out these lows, they spell out fall..

As we get to mid week on the weather stays dry and temps will rise into the 80's during the day but stay cool at night. 

Speaking of cool, snow is starting to fall in northern latitudes. This will only pick up as we head into October..

I release my winter forecast in mid October. Every week I will try to have a post related to things I am looking at as it relates to the final prediction. Stay tuned. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Wednesday Morning Weather Discussion: Wet Weather Ahead!

Good morning everyone. If you are sick of this recent heat the good news is you have one day to go until it breaks. The bad news is a period of wet weather is going to work its way into our region tonight through Thursday. This will be a dual threat from a cold front and then again from a low developing along the front. Lets take a look..

Cold front comes in late tonight/early morning with showers and a few rumbles of thunder possible..

A low pressure system then takes hold along the front on Thursday into Thursday night..

All models are in agreement with this. Image above is valid 8pm Thursday night. Bottom line, expect a rainy day tomorrow possibly into early Friday.

It is no secret that this is due to a approaching trough in the jet stream over our area. This is the opposite pattern that is currently giving us the hot weather..

In the short term this is great news once the rain clears out as we will have a few days of nice cool temps in the 70's and low 80's.  However after early next week the warmer air will return although I expect it will not be as warm as the last two days..

You can see above the ridge develop over our area in the jet stream with the trough back east for middle of next week. 

Shifting gears, lets take a current look at updated El Nino projections..

The above image is from the CFSv2 long term model. It shows the water temperature anomalies in the Nino 3.4 region. You can see currently it has it peaking around November over 2.5 degrees above normal (very intense). However, notice the crash afterwards as we head into winter. We should still have a strong El Nino for winter but it will be decreasing in magnitude. Other models are agreeing with this. For winter weather lovers I think that is decent news overall. Having an El Nino that is too strong makes for a more complicated winter forecast. We are all reminded of the Winter of 1998 which had one of highest El Ninos on record..

You can see the temps were well above average that winter. Now I will say the Pacific overall was different and the El Nino that year was more east based. Regardless, it is nice to see the models start to decrease our current El Nino just in time for winter.

Here are current Sea Surface Temps..

These were the Sea Surface Temps in Fall of 1997..

You can see the warm water in the El Nino region is more to the east in 1997 compared to currently and the pacific is warmer near California. That region will be key this winter, if the warm water currently gets too skinny then we could be talking mild. If it stays consistent and builds along with the el nino region staying more west, then we could be talking cold and stormy. 

This among many other things is what I look at when making winter forecasts. Stay tuned for the forecast coming in October!

Thanks for reading. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Labor Day Weekend Weather Forecast

Good Friday morning everyone. It looks like we could not ask for better weather heading into the last weekend of summer. We currently have whats called a backdoor cold front working our way into the region. This will cause temps to stay on the cooler side today into Saturday. You can see the front below by the lower dewpoints (green) to the northeast approaching our area with also a change in wind direction..

On Saturday we have sunny skies with temps in the 70's and very low humidity..

Due to the cooler air mass from the backdoor cold front, we will have low temps in the lower 60's and 50's for many areas Saturday night. This will remind everyone fall is not far away. 

By the time we get to Labor Day warmer air returns as an upper level ridge turns the flow back to the southwest. Expect temps to climb into the upper 80's for Monday. 

In terms of rainfall there is very little chance as we head through the weekend. Maybe a isolated shower here or there but not worth forecasting.

On another note, the new monthly run of the SST CA forecast model just came in yesterday. Here is its projection for winter temps..

Do I buy it at this time? That is a big maybe. This is certainly a possible outcome based on the research I have been doing for my winter forecast (comes out in October). However, there are some other things I am closely monitoring that could drastically change the Winter outcome. I think this model overall is sniffing something out but we can not take this output literally at this time. Any change in the sea surface temperature pattern between now and December can really change the outcome you see above. Another model the CFSv2 which I will mention never seems to get anything right has this for winter..

I can see this as also a possible scenario. It is all going to come down to how the ocean set up effects the jet stream position. That is all I will say for now. I will share some other thoughts leading up to my official 2016 Winter Forecast as the weeks go on.

Enjoy the weekend!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Tuesday Morning Weekly Weather Summary: A Hot Humid Week to End Summer

Well technically summer is over from a meteorological standpoint, but from the unofficial end of summer we look to Labor Day. The hot and humid weather will continue through the rest of this week as a tropical like air mass sits over us. Below you can see the upper level pattern characterized by a trough out west and a ridge of high pressure over our area..

Now for you winter weather lovers, this is the exact pattern you DO NOT want during the winter for cold and snow. Anytime you get that trough near the west coast and into AK it rises pressures downstream to the east. In the summer that results in hot humid conditions, in the winter mild conditions. Will this be the pattern for the winter? Time will tell.

We get some relief as we head into the weekend where temps should drift back into the mid 80's. I do not see any sign yet of any blasts of fall weather on the horizon. Summer should want to hold on overall for some time. 

By the way, just in case none of you have seen this check out the Pacific! Three typhoons at once!

Not going to see that too often let me tell you. 

Thanks for checking in.