Winter Storm Outlook


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

Monday, January 30, 2017

Monday Morning Weather Discussion: Snow and Winter Returns

Good morning. I am still up in Stowe VT (coming home today) so posting has been limited. However, there is much to talk about this week. A chillier air mass has moved in and over the next 10 days we will see the chance at light accumulating snow then possibly a bigger storm post Super bowl.

Lets take a look..

We are currently under a much colder air mass thanks to a front that moved through over the weekend. This is the result of ridging of high pressure out west (haven't seen much of this yet this winter) seen below...

The image above shows the average pressure pattern over the next 6 to 10 days. Notice this ridge of high pressure wants to stay in place. This a big factor in supporting a wintery pattern for the east. Also notice some red or ridging over Greenland with a nice vortex of cold air in Canada. This will aid in supporting rounds of disturbances and light snow over the next 10 days. The stratospheric warming I  have been talking about is definitely influencing the pattern.

Starting off tomorrow, a wave a low pressure approaches from the northwest and brings light snow to the region from late morning through afternoon..

Models vary on accumulations, but I would say a 1-3 inches in in the cards for areas of central NJ northward. I will have more on this tomorrow.

Moving on, things then stay on the chilly side through super bowl weekend. We then really have to turn our attention to a potential winter storm as we head into Sunday and Monday. As always we will have energy in the upper levels of the atmosphere to track and see how it comes together. Below shows the two projected disturbances that can combine..

You can see one diving in from Canada (supported by that ridge out west) and another moving through the plains. We also do have some blocking with a vortex in eastern Canada and some riding over Greenland. This means there is a chance these two pieces of energy combine. The track however can range between inland to just off the coast. At this time models are spread (as usual). The GFS is the most aggressive..

Again this would be valid for Sunday into Monday. I will be tracking this all week so be sure to keep tuning in.

So where to we go from there. Well, there is support the wintery pattern does continue into weeks 3 and 4 but I really would like to see how these storms pan out first. If we end up getting more inland runners that cause rain, it just isn't mean to be. The bottom line though is that there is hope for Winter weather lovers looking at this pattern. Now we just have to see if it delivers.

More tomorrow as I will be back home from Vermont.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Thursday Weather Update: Winter Will Return, For Now

Good morning everyone. We have some changes approaching weather wise as our mild spell fades away and we go more into a seasonal pattern as we enter this weekend through at least the 1st week of February. 

A cold front will move through tonight ushering in the new air mass..

This means that by this weekend into next week high temperatures will be back in the 30's for many areas. 

Up in the high peaks of New England the ski resorts should see some moderate mountain snows this weekend as disturbances aloft enhance mountain up sloping...

Through next week, we will be seeing more of a clipper pattern meaning weak low pressure systems move in from Canada giving areas light snow possibly down to the big cities at times. At least it will feel like winter again.

You can see below the nature of this pattern which is supported by more riding of high pressure to the west and a broad trough in the east..

Seasonal drivers are starting to change. The la nina is fading and the stratosphere is under a period of sudden warming as seen below...

This major factor alone means the chances of this colder pattern holding for most of February are increasing. The timing of this stratospheric warming is ideal. We will usually see a response in the lower atmosphere in the 2-3 week period, which in this case could support a colder than normal February as the polar vortex is knocked off axis. I am also interested to see if we get more consistent ridging of high pressure out west. That would be a major key to locking this pattern in. Right now models are back and forth on this.

Big storms are another story however as many factors would need to come together. There has been some chatter about bigger storm activity post Superbowl weekend but I am not ready to discuss that yet. Lets see how the next few days play out and take it from there. From my standpoint of a winter weather lover, it could be a lot worse based on the changes I see coming. Lets hope we all are in for a surprise, winter is certainty not old yet. 

More on this Friday. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

6pm Update: There She Blows

The storm is now winding up over the region and it is no slouch. 

Wind driven rain for most areas but higher elevations to the NW are seeing sleet mixed in. Winds especially near the coast will continue to gust high overnight. There have already been reports of gusts over 60mph. I expect power outages.  

As we approach midnight my concern is that areas over 1k feet to the north and west see enhanced sleet and ice as the heavier precipitation cools the air. This will turn back to plain rain by tomorrow expect for at the high elevations that are more north and west (PA,NY state). 

Below shows projected radar later tonight. Up in Sussex county NJ, parts of Morris County and PA should see more ice take over for a period of time as the heavier precipitation cools the column.

Up in ski country I like a nice 6-12 inch snowfall in the higher mountains...

This is not all snow on the map above but overall gives the right idea.

This storm lingers through tomorrow with more rains and should taper off by late afternoon..

In its wake cold air moves in for the weekend. We will have to evaluate the evolution of this colder pattern and if it sticks for the month of February.

Thanks all for now.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Mondy Morning: Powerful Storm Approaching Area, Multiple Impacts Expected

12pm note: ice will be a concern over 1k feet in NJ and surrounding areas. Blog update around 6 pm tnt on this.


Good morning. I cut a video last night below breaking down the storm system that is entering our area today. This storm will pack a powerful punch with high winds near coastal areas (gusts above 50mph), rain, and some ice across the interior. Areas of the Poconos and extreme NW NJ can see some ice tonight but overall this is a rainstorm. To the north the mountains of VT,NY, NH, and ME see snow and sleet with mainly more snow in the north country. The storm winds down tomorrow from south to north across the whole area. Our pattern change then takes place this weekend as cold air moves in. Latest data still supports that this cold and possibly stormy pattern can last at least through the 1st week of February. I will keep my eye on any storm threats from now until then.

More tomorrow. Enjoy the video. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Friday Discussion: Rain Storm Next Week, Cold to Follow

Good morning. As we are about half way through our mild spell things continue to look on track for at least colder than normal conditions to return by next weekend through at least the 1st week of February. This of course will bring the chance to see the white stuff again but I can not hone in on any opportunities at this time. We are going to have to leave this one up to mother nature. I am interested to see if this upcoming pattern change is brief or is able to lock in. If it comes and goes, then the winter can pretty much be written off. I am not ready to say that at this time.

Early next week we have a very dynamic storm system that will bring rain and winds Monday and Tuesday. There is the shot that if this storm deepens enough and takes the right track, the mountains of New England see a nice wet snowfall from this. If you do not live near a ski area I would not be counting on seeing any snow from this system. MAYBE on the back end if everything aligned perfectly. The fact of the matter is, there just is no cold air ahead of it.

This storm is the result of an upper level area of low pressure barreling under a big block or ridge of high pressure in eastern Canada seen below..

As we then approach next weekend the cold comes..

This will bring us into a clipper pattern for a few days where disturbances can dive down from Canada and give the shot at light snow..

If one of these disturbances was to dive in very sharp and redevelop off the coast then a bigger storm would form.  Again, we just have to wait and see how all this evolves.

As we then enter the very long range, we need to see if this colder and stormier pattern holds. Right now models are not fully convinced on this and revert back to the default winter pattern this year of storminess in the west and a mixed bag in the east..

This is the very long range so we will have to see if this locks back in or corrects to maintain the initial colder pattern we see. My gut feeling is that its a blend of the two. February could be snowier than January but that isn't saying much. At this point if we get to an average winter snowfall wise, its a win in my book. Lets see what happens. Like I said let mother nature surprise us.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tuesday Morning Discussion: Waiting and Seeing

Good morning. This post is a follow up to my last post that discussed the potential pattern change late month into February. This would follow the current mild spell we are going to see over at least the next 10 days. Nothing has really changed from what I discussed on Friday so I figured I would share some updated model projections.

But first, a nice mountain snowstorm hits New England today with rain to the south..

Several inches of snow possible at the high elevations with this system.

As we head into the middle to end of this week the warm air builds in..

Remember warm for this time of year does not mean 65, that would be a blow torch. This is more of a mild pattern with temperatures in the high 40's and low 50's.

We have the potential for a big driving rain storm early next week...

Then the question becomes what will follow. All the data still supports a turnaround. Lets look at the models valid end of next week.

European Ensemble..

GFS Ensemble..

Canadian Ensemble..

Notice by late next week they are all showing pressures (red) build out to the west. With a key trough south of the Aleutian Islands and lower pressures (blue) in the east. This pattern is projected to possibly lock in for February. If that happens then February is a wintery month.

We also still have support from the stratosphere which is currently warming and could turn into a sudden warming event...

This is current state way up in the stratosphere. Notice the warming taking place. This is projected to continue and put stress on the polar vortex. This would increase the chances for cold air to filter into the country as February gets underway. This is never a factor to overlook. 

So as the title of my post says we are waiting and seeing. The models and their projected atmospheric factors look great but remember they are still PROJECTIONS. We need to now see where the rubber hits the road. If it does, then we could be having a lot of fun this February.

I will discuss this all over a video sometime this week.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday Morning Pattern Discussion: Warming Up...For Now

Good morning everyone. Today we will talk about the next 10 days and beyond and what the weather might bring. There are certainty changes going on right now that will shift us to an overall milder pattern over at least the next 10 days (exception of this weekend). There then is building evidence that things start to turn back to winter again as we approach the last week of January into February. Lets take a look...


  • Temperatures fall today and stay cold for the weekend.
    • Highs in the 30's for many spots
  • There is the chance for some light snow tomorrow with light accumulations <1"
  • As we head into next week things start to warm up by Tuesday.
  • This milder pattern should hold till at least the end of the following week
    • Expect temperatures in the 40's and 50's for this time period with chances at rain
  • As we enter the end of January signals from the models, stratosphere and pacific suggest winter makes a return to the east
    • The magnitude of this remains to be seen
Cold air moves in and light snow spreads across the region tomorrow...

The cold air holds until Tuesday when a warm front crosses our area. This marks the start of the milder pattern I am talking about. You can see this pattern is characterized by a trough of low pressure to the west and a ridge of high pressure in the east. Notice the low pressures over Alaska. This prevents arctic air from surging into the country..

As we then get towards the 10 day + period, evidence is building that we see this pattern start to shift back to cold and stormy for the east. That ridge of high pressure over the east could migrate to the west allowing storminess to form under it as seen by long range models below...

Remember this is a long range model which can be very volatile but putting a trough south of the Aleutian islands of Ak really helps pump up a ridge in the west and trough in the east which supports a stormy pattern. The model is hinting at this. 

We also are getting support from the stratosphere which has about a 2 to 3 week lag in effecting what happens at the lower levels of the atmosphere. You can see below that way up in the stratosphere there are projections that things can really warm up. This puts stress on the polar vortex and can lead to increased chances at cold. Notice how the vortex is getting stretched out and weakened. This is called a wave 1 response.  If it were to split, well then that would be even more impressive. We need to monitor this.

Generally what you see above can make its way into the lower atmosphere eventually.  Just looking at this alone is pretty impressive. This is a very strong signal for our upcoming mild pattern to erode as we head into the heart of winter (February into 1st week of March). 

Also, we have a pattern in the tropical pacific called the MJO that is projected to move into a favorable position towards the end of January. The MJO is an area of tropical convection that migrates into different areas of the tropical pacific. Based on where it goes influences the jet stream and in response our weather.  Models are projecting it can move into a phase that supports this pattern..

Remember this is similar what long range model showed seen again below..

So we never know exactly what the weather will do but we can build a case as to where we think it can go. Based on the factors I outlined above I would not be calling winter off due to this upcoming mild spell. In fact we might just be getting started as we enter Feb. Of course I do have a bias because I love cold and snow but I have some major atmospheric factors along with model support on my side. Now we just have to see how this plays out. If things do not turn well then that's just how the weather is sometimes.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Thursday Morning: Warming Up for Now

Good morning. Just a quick note today. We are entering an overall warmer than normal pattern for around the next 10 days or so. It does get chilly this weekend with the chance at some light snow but nothing to write home about. However, evidence is building of a powerful transition back to winter as we approach the end of January into February. I am going to break this down before the end of this week for everyone. There are no guarantees of course but winters only need a few weeks of action to be remembered. Taking out this warm spell we will have 5 legitimate weeks of winter left  which is more than enough time to play with.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Tuesday Morning Weather Discussion: Little Bit of Everything This Week

Good morning. This week will be quite interesting as we will see a little bit of every type of weather from cold, to warm, to ice, to snow, to rain. We are currently on the back end of a very cold air mass that has been flowing through our region since last week. Warm air moves in tonight causing some mixed precipitation and a little snow to the north before changing to all rain. That will cause temperatures tomorrow and Thursday to be in the 50s! Things then change again as a cold front approaches the area at the end of this week. In its wake we get more warm air trying to attack the new cold air on Saturday which actually can cause some snow/ice for the weekend in northern counties. Lets take a look..

Mixed precip initially tonight as warm air moves into region and the colds hangs tough..

Temperatures should rise fairly quickly and most areas all see rain after some snow and ice in NNJ and surrounding areas this evening. The area is actually under a Winter Weather Advisory because of this.

In the wake of this warm front, temperatures really climb tomorrow and Thursday. I expect highs in the 50's for mostly all areas. Im sure many of you will welcome that (not me).

A cold front then approaches on late Thursday bringing with it the chance at a quick shower.

In the wake of this cold front we have a massive high pressure system that gets established moving in from our west..

That is a 1046MB high, very strong stuff. This is where things get concerning. Strong higsh like that love to hold in cold air especially near the surface. We will have warm air try to attack this high pressure on Saturday which has the chance to cause some snow for northern counties and ice as shown below..

As the warm air moves in from the west it runs over the cold air causing snow initially. As the warm air overwhelms the cold air aloft the snow changes to ice. The issue will be however that at the surface the cold might really want to linger. That can cause some icing concerns. We are going to have to watch this very closely. A few inches of snow are definitely possible for areas of PA, NJ, into New England Saturday.

This will all come down to the nature of how the upper air disturbances align. We will have a big closed off low pressure system in the southwest and pieces of energy will try to break off of this and move into the region. It all depends on the magnitude and strength of these disturbances regarding how we are effected. Below you can see what I am talking about..

Notice pieces of yellow breaking off the main vortex in the SW. These disturbances cause lift in the atmosphere and precipitation. If we get a stronger than modeled disturbance to eject faster and run into that big high pressure I talked about watch out we could have something bigger on the horizon. I am not ready to make a call on this yet but it is something we have to monitor closely.

More to come!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Busy Day

No time to post today, might have a post up tonight or def by tomorrow morning. I am still watching the weekend closely. I will explain in my next post.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sunday Morning Note: Forecast Verificaton

Good morning. It ended up being since snowstorm for many areas yesterday especially as you get closer to the coast. Here is a verification of my forecast...

Latest tallies are in the right image. Overall the map worked out well although I made it around 5pm on Friday. Still, this storm was very difficult so I guess that is ok.

You can also find county by county tallies here..

Snow Tallies

Will resume posting tomorrow morning on upcoming pattern. Warmer air moves in by mid week with some rain then next weekend MIGHT be interesting. I am eyeing a set up that doesn't show any action now but not much would have to change.

Stay tuned. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Saturday Morning Storm Update: Snow Blowing In Fast

Good morning. A snowstorm is underway for many areas and the radar is very impressive currently. I am not making any changes to my forecast issued last night..

You can see the current radar showing bands of snow breaking out throughout the area...

It is interesting that we are seeing snow fly already in SE PA into the Allentown area. That was not projected and we will keep a close eye on this.

Two min video below explains in more detail and gives a play by play. Next update will be out in a few hours..

Friday, January 6, 2017

Friday Night Storm Update: The Tables Have Turned!

*A moderate to major winter storm will effect the region tomorrow*

What a ride it has been watching this storm evolve. Models always shift around but it is rare to see these kind of shifts so close to an event. This has caused me to make some big changes to the morning forecast. Tomorrow looks to be a fun day!

Here is my latest forecast video giving a quick rundown of what to expect...

And updated snow I said major changes..

Updates throughout the day tomorrow on the blog as well as on twitter @weatherwilly!

Update at 530pm

Totals going up.

Friday Morning: An Updated Look at the Weekend Storm

Good morning everyone. Most areas saw a nice white coating last night which does remind us it is in fact winter. Latest trends for our weekend storm have been to bring it more west which means there will be some impacts for areas near the coast on Saturday. As you all know I have been talking about this storm since Saturday so at least we will have something to show for it when its all said and done. To start off here is my snowfall forecast for Saturday..

Most areas do not see more than up to an inch, but close to the coast things get interesting. Extreme southern coastal NJ, DE, MD and especially the cape can see a nice moderate snowfall Saturday as this storm brushes by.

To show the shift, here was the model projection from yesterday morning..

And now 24 hrs later (current run)..

You can see a very big shift west and most models are all following this trend. It does not mean a big snowstorm for the I-95 but it does mean there now will be impacts near the coast.  

The reason this has come back west is due to the energy in the southern jet stream being sharper and stronger than originally modeled..

Thats all for now lets see what last second trends evolve and I will have an update out tonight. For now I feel good with the snow map I have as it is a compromise between many different models.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Thursday Night Snow Discussion: Flakes Fly Tonight, Weekend Storm Trending West

Video below gives my updated thoughts on tonight's light snow and the storm that develops over the weekend. A few westward trends developed today, we will see if they hold. If they do, then coastal areas are in play for more snow Saturday. More tomorrow morning.

Thursday Morning: Light Snow Tonight, Wide Right This Weekend with a Suprise

Good morning. The arctic front has arrived and much colder temperatures have come along with it this morning. This cold air will hold for at least the next 5 days with temperatures only reaching the upper 20's to low 30's for highs and teens for lows. Bundle up!


  • Light snow moves in late tonight for most areas
    • 1-2 inches with the higher amounts closer to the coast
    • Locally 3 near Long Island and Boston
    • Snow ends by day break south to north
  • Weekend storm misses to our east and scrapes the coast with light snow
    • Areas near Boston need to watch out for enhanced snowfall Saturday night due to something called an inverted trough
  • Still a little room for the weekend storm to trend west but not enough for major impacts inland

Light snow moves in later tonight as a wave develops along this arctic front. Snow should start a few hours before midnight in many areas..

By day break it is moving out and focusing on the Boston area..

Since it will be very cold there will be high snow ratios. This means only a 10th of an inch of liquid can produce 1.5" of snow. 

Right now I like this ratio adjusted snow projection for amounts...

General 1-2 inches with locally 3 near the coastal areas especially near the cape.

There should be some travel impacts due to the timing of this system.

We then move on to my whiff of a weekend storm. Believe it or not, the models have trended back west a little due to enhanced blocking but it is too little too late. However, an interesting situation is developing where something called an inverted trough can develop as this time passes by. This means a small area of heavy snow mostly likely near Boston. Lets take a look..

As is most major models now show a close miss for Saturday..

This can still trend about 50 miles west so coastal areas and the southern Mid Atlantic say around DE, VA, E MD, and NC need to keep an eye on this.

Heres where things get interesting. As this storm scrapes by with light snow in coastal areas an inverted trough can develop somewhere near Boston shown below..

Inverted troughs are small scale features that can produce a small localized area of heavy precipitation or snow. They are extremely hard to predict but models have been hinting on this feature to develop somewhere in that red circle on late Saturday night. If this occurs there will be moderate snowfall amounts associated with it. 

For example look at the GFS snowfall projections because of this inverted trough..

We are going to have to watch this closely due to the difficult nature of nailing this feature down. Just know its possible. 

Thats all for now, I will have an update on the light snow and the weekend situation later tonight around 8pm.