Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sunday Morning: Digging Out

Below are reported snow totals for the blizzard of 2016. I reported 20 inches close to where you see the 33 inch mark in the middle of northern NJ. NYC looks like they broke their all time record! Tonight after football I will have a storm summary and thoughts on what to expect on the week moving forward.

As far as my backyard, I think this has to be the picture that takes the cake..

Thanks for everyone for checking in over the last few days, it made this a lot of fun! More to come this winter!


  1. We are so lucky to have you! We love your enthusiasm and appreciate the time you put into your forecasts and videos. Thank you for all that you do. Time to go dig out... we are so buried!!!

    Kevin & Dawn
    Franklin-Somerset, NJ

  2. Jim G still here (despite getting plenty of exercise with manual shoveling over the past 24 hours -- still required where I live, long story). I gave this storm every excuse to be just another garden variety nor'easter, the main winter models seemed on board with that thru Thursday, even Friday morning; but nature obviously had its own thoughts. Incredible. I saw the storm stalling off the Carolina/VA coast in the final model runs, and I knew that couldn't be good (depending on how you look at the idea of deep snow, of course). What was blocking this system? I don't recall Nor'easters getting stalled like that. I mean, even the mighty Euro didn't sense this until the final 36 hours or so, and even after it started trending upward, it didn't predict 24 inches in NYC until the final few runs. (Interesting how the probabilistic model-means started trending upward before the synoptic outputs did).

    But that damn NAM . . . everyone said it was an "outlier", and I myself just laughed. And you know what got the last laugh. Has the NAM actually get better? Was it skill, or was it like one of those boys that keeps crying wolf and one day gets lucky? Every model seems to notch a big win now and then, but the NAM mostly had big losses up to now . . .

    So Willy, you got your winter, all in one fell swoop. An average season's snowfall in 24 hours. It's gonna be another one of those El Nino winters where it was mostly warmer and wetter, but one huge storm came along (both Feb 83 and Feb 03 if I'm getting the records straight). Definitely gonna be one to remember! Kudos to the models though for sensing a big storm in the works more than a week ago, and kudos to you Willy for saying early on that you thought this one was real, despite some false alarms over the past month or so. But we all got thrown at mid-week by model consistency in the under-12 inch range for metro NYC (and I kept saying under 10, but that's just my SWAG, I'm no weather pro, just an interested by-stander). Except for those who took the NAM seriously all the way -- I thought I saw a few bloggers who did, what's the guy, Joe Nostro-something?

    For now, gotta hunker down and try to get thru the next week or two. I'm still seeing some 40 numbers on the week's forecasts, hope that holds up. Maybe I will actually check on what the NAM says, even though it only goes out 84 hours.

    1. It was really a remarkable storm Jim. This thing completely closed off causing the upper level low to pull the surface low back to the coast. That HP to the north slowed all this down and it only was able to drift out to sea once the upper low began to finally move NE. Jim trust me, this winter is not over. El Nino's are known for being back loaded winters. We might see a pullback but I think we got one more big one in the cards for this year.

      Time will tell.

  3. Also, was reading that the liquid total wasn't really spectacular, maybe 1.4-1.6 inches of water around here, closer to 2 for Manhattan. Very fluffy snow, I guess! Maybe it will melt faster. Jim G

    1. How much did you get by the way?

    2. Montclair north end, rough shovel estimate in level snow -- 23 to 25. We're in a local wind cove, drifting wasn't much of a problem on my block.

      Phew, glad we have a + NAO trend! Morning GFS and CMC runs still have the Friday storm just missing us. But the NAM will be weighing in on that tonight, gonna be interesting to see what it "thinks".

      As to this past weekend -- ah, OK, so that Canada high was a bit more pokey than the synoptic models were anticipating (some ECMWF runs made it look like a cannonball fired from the Great Plains!). The NAO and AO were going from negative to neutral at the time, but I guess there was still some residual blocking to the NE, a little more than the models assumed. And as you said, the sensitivity of results is very great for high-energy storms like this (hi-energy thanks in part to El N, maybe); just a little variation in something upstream, like the Greenland high and Iceland low set-up, makes a huge difference in what we finally experience downstream. Ah the fun of modeling in large-scale chaotic systems! PS, driving in Newark this AM is a system thrown into chaos. Jim G

  4. I don't want to start a climate change debate but this winter season seems to be what's to become more common in future winters. Shorter milder winters with extreme precipitation/snowfall events. We haven't broken a record of above 27 inches in Central Park but I do see 30-40 inch snowfalls in the coming decades. Of course this is my interpretation of the data and those who will disagree.