Winter Storm Outlook


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

Monday, February 27, 2017

Gone Out West Skiing

I am currently in the air in route to Snowbird, UT for a ski trip. I will have a few posts here and there this week as it permits. Chilly weather early this week makes way to another big warm up by middle to end of the week. Cold air this filters in this weekend and winter should return for a brief while.

I will have more details on this tomorrow. Thanks for checking in.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Thursday Weather Discussion: Beautiful Weather On Tap, March Madness?

Good morning everyone. We have beautiful spring weather on tap today with temperatures in the mid to high 60's and even 70's in some spots! These nice temperatures hold through Saturday where we then will have a cold front bring things more towards normal Saturday night...

So where do we go from there? As I mentioned earlier this week, I believe winter is over for the Mid-Atlantic but not New England. Of course just after I say that models are hinting at some March mayhem, but overall I think the idea stays intact.


  • Warm weather through the weekend with the chance at showers as a cold front passes through Saturday
  • Brief return to chilly weather early next week before more warm air to follow.
  • Pattern then potentially changes to more winter like for 2nd and 3rd week of March
    • Details still need to be worked out
  • Areas in New England and maybe parts of northern Mid-Atlantic could see on last gasp of winter with this pattern.
  • When it is all said and done I think it will be more of a 10 day wave of winter weather among an overall spring pattern (exception New England).

Lets take a look..

Next week warms up again relative to averages after a short chilly spell from the cold front the weekend..

From there, models then all start to show a little bit of a change in the tide as we get towards the end of next week and into the 1st week of March...

You are looking at the European, American and Canadian models above centered on the end of next week. I want you to focus on two areas, the red on each over the west coast and the red over Greenland. This represents a pattern that can actually deliver cold to the central and eastern USA. Now, if the red over Greenland is not strong enough then the cold centers more in the central and the east continues its pattern of mild air. That can happen as well and would not surprise me. Regardless, the signals are strong for one last push of a winter pattern for the 1st half of March somewhere from the plains eastward.

The image below simplifies this using the GFS ensemble model centered on 2nd week of March....

Again, this is very long range. I am confident in a push of cold but am not sold yet on the idea that this makes it all the way to the east coast. The theme of this winter has been to center the energy more towards the central US and keep warmer air along the east. The high pressure over Greenland seen above is what would counter this.

Bottom Line: Winter may have one last gasp from the plains eastward in the 1st half of march. Details still need to be worked out and at this time I think we see some adjustments to center the cold a little more west than what is shown above.  

Monday, February 20, 2017

Monday Morning Pattern Update: Spring for Mid-Atlantic

Good morning everyone. Well, spring is certainly in the air. We discussed last week how this would occur and now we are seeing it in full swing along the eastern 1/3 of the country. Birds are chirping, flowers down near the Mason Dixon line are sprouting, and snow is melting. Out west, the mountain regions are seeing and will continue to see the action over the next 2 weeks. Expect multiple episodes of snow for those mountains. That is great for the ski areas.

So is this really it, is winter over? For the mid-Atlantic south I really think so. For New England, I wouldn't make that call yet. I can see March being a active month up there for the ski areas.  Overall it just was not in the cards this year for the Mid-Atlantic region. Most areas are well below normal for snowfall and well above for temps. Up in New England, northern areas have actually done very very well while areas near Boston have been around average. 

The warm pattern continues over the next 10 days...

You can see the trough of cold air/low pressure out west and the warm air in the east in the image above. This has been the theme of the winter and I see no reason why this will not continue into March as the models show. 

Looking at the tropical pacific, a pattern of tropical convection called the MJO also supports this as it may head into its phase 3 as we enter March. Think of the MJO as a cluster of thunderstorms that moves through different regions in the tropics. It influences the jet stream.

This is what phases 3 tends to produce..

Notice the trough hanging west and evidence of ridging of high pressure in the east. This is not far off from what the models shows.

So can this change? Maybe as we head into the 2nd-3rd week of March but I would not count on it. Sure we can get big mid March storms, but my gut tells me its just not that kind of year. Up in New England ski areas I can see a better shot at this. 

It will not be long before we are discussing severe weather season which could be active this year. 

Look guys, no one loves winter more than me. I hate to see a snap like this into early spring, but its just the reality staring us right in the face. I am not going to "search" for cold and deny reality. Mother Nature always have a few surprises up her sleeve so let me be pleasantly surprises. Until then, I will be polishing up my golf clubs for spring. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Wednesday Morning Weather Discussion: The S Word is Becoming Relevant

Spring, thats right. It will not be long before spring takes it hold on the Mid-Atlantic. Now I am not like most people, if it was up to me I could have winter until May but that's not the way it works. With the exception of northern VT,NH and Maine it has been a pretty below average winter for snowfall. It just was not in the cards for us this year. Some years it wants to snow, others it doesn't. This year it was clear it wanted to snow out west and way up north. But hey, at least we got something. 

Winter is never officially over in my book until the 3nd week of March. However, when it comes to this year the window is shutting rapidly. We will have a big warm up next week followed by a wildcard, rabbit out of your hate type set up for a storm to develop late next week. This means it probably will not happen. Heading into early March one last gasp of winter is not off the table but it is too early to predict that at this time. Overall we are clearly in the 9th inning here.

A storm that could have been is missing us to the east and will hook back into Maine tonight with more snow...

Maine currently has a 50 inch snowpack in spots and this will add to it. It has been an epic week for that state. Areas in NH,VT and eastern Mass also will see snow from this. Expect several inches there as well. This was sooo close to being a big storm for everyone. 

Here are updated snowfall projections for this...

Moving onto late this weekend into next week, a surge of warmth...

Storm activity will pick up late next week but the models are trying to sort it out. You can see below it shows a lot of activity on the maps...

We clearly are not going to have two side by side storms like this. What will likely happen is one big storm that cuts inland with rain. The chances at snow are there but very slim. Everything would have to be timed perfectly.

That is all for now, more to come later this week. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Monday Morning: Close, But No Cigar?

Good morning. As a major snowstorm currently bears down on Maine the natural question is will a big one hit our region? The ironic thing is we have a set up this week that can support a major storm but it does not look like it wants to come together properly.

Before we get there, lets look at current radar over Maine..

You can see bands of heavy snow over the state. We should see a lot of snow amounts close to 2 feet near the coast. In Mass and surrounding areas over a foot was reported in many areas. Not bad at all!

So moving on, we have a very interesting set up this week in the weather pattern. Two main things to focus on: Energy moving in from the SW corner of the United States and energy diving down from Canada. I highlighted these features below..

Now in addition to these two pieces of energy, notice the ridging of high pressure over the west coast, ridging of high pressure over Greenland and a vortex of low pressure over northeastern Canada. All off these ingredients are in the recipe for a major east coast storm. If everything aligned properly, and those two pieces of energy combined along the east then the storm blows up. However, just because the ingredients are there does not mean a storm. It has to come together properly and right now that does not look to be the case. 

The timing of the two is off as labeled below..

This results in an offshore strung out wave of low pressure..

Now can this change? Yes, it can. I have been watching this very closely for several days and although it has trended better it is still not there. By tomorrow morning we will know for sure the fate of this storm threat but at this time I say its a 25% chance. We need to see major trends in next 24 hrs from models. They need to speed up #2 and slow down #1. Considering the departing storm over Maine currently can play a role in this, it is not out of the question. We need to see how the models handle the departure of that storm.  Stay tuned for updates on this.

Following this near miss, things then warm up next week before maybe one last gasp of winter around the last 5 days of Feb. The season is ageing guys and if it doesn't snow again soon most areas will stay below normal for the year.

Thats all for now, more to come. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Major Snowstorm To Bear Down on New England

Another major winter storm will take a grapple on New England Sunday into Monday with wind driven snows near the coast up into Maine....

The storm rapidly intensifies in gulf of Maine with winds battering the coast...

Further to the south there will be mixed precipitation as storm approaches tomorrow in areas of southern NY and northern NJ..

We will watch this closely and see how far south the colder air can get. Regardless most of New England especially Maine will see 1-3ft of snow!

Boy did I wish I lived in Maine this weekend, this will be some storm.

I still also have my eye on the end of this week. I will comment more on that tomorrow. 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday Morning: More Action Looms

Good morning. It turned out to be a powerful storm yesterday. Many areas from NNJ into New England saw 8-14 inches of snow with some very high local amounts.

Here is a verification of my forecast.....

Overall not too bad. I got the 1-3 in Philadelphia right but was a little high for some parts of south central jersey. I was a little too low for areas of New England. Notice there is an isolated 19 inch amount near West Hartford! I give myself a B+ on this one.

So moving on, the folks in New England have another major snowstorm on tap for early next week!

Check this out..

Sunday night..


This is a major storm. A upper level short wave dives down from Canada and completly closes off into a rapidly deepening storm. Areas of NYC are too far south on this one and see rain with potentially some light back end snow. 

Here are GFS models estimated snowfall totals (click to make bigger). I will make my own map tomorrow...

We then have to watch for another storm threat late next week. We have very impressive players on the field for this one I am just not sure if they will come together correctly....

Big ridge out west, ridge of Greenland, low pressure vortex near 50/50, and two pieces of energy from northern and southern jet stream. We need that southern piece of energy marked by the X to eject faster. IF that happens and it combines with the northern stream X then we get a major storm. At this time I say chances are 35%.

So winter is finally here guys. New England gets another significant snowfall and areas to south are still in play next 2 weeks. Let see how it all plays out. We need more snow to save this winter. 

More later.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Thursday Morning Storm Update: There She Blows

8am Live Update: Storm At It's Peak


Good morning, the forecast is on track...

Heavy snow is now breaking out throughout the region as of 545 am. Few inches of snow reported in NNJ already...

The rain snow line is also crashing south...

Models indicate this heavy snow continues till at least 10am...

Snow accumulations will pick up rapidly from now till then. We are in the height of the storm and by 7am it will be whiteout conditions in most places with snowfall rates of 1-3 inches per hour. Below is snowfall projections from now through this afternoon.

Southern New England sees snow continue through this afternoon.

Why will the snow pile up so quick? Dynamics or lift in the atmosphere is off the charts...

Stay tuned for hourly updates on twitter @weatherwilly

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Wednesday Night Storm Update: Time To Hunker Down the Hatches

*A major winter storm is imminent*

Below is my final snowfall forecast along with a play by play video breaking down what to expect tomorrow. This may be a quick hitter but it will pack a very big punch. I think a lot of you might be surprised how quickly snow can pile up if you get caught in the worst of it. More updates to come on twitter and on the blog over next 24 hours..

Updated Summary:
  • Snow breaks out after midnight for most areas
    • snow starts as rain and a mix to the south
  • Snow picks up rapidly in intensity around 3am 
  • The heavy snowfall should last till around 10-11am and later up in southern New England
  • Snowfall rates could hit 1-3 inches an hour in hardest hit areas

Play by play video:

Stay tuned for live updates!

Wednesday Morning: The Calm Before the Storm

*Winter Storm to Affect Region Tonight*

It doesn't get much more calm before a storm than today. High temperatures will hit mid 50's to 60's in some spots with mostly cloudy skies.


  • Strong winter storm moves into area tonight
  • Snow starts just after Midnight and picks up rapidly in intensity
  • At times snow will fall 1-2 inches per hour
  • At daybreak the storm will be at its peak
  • Snow starts to taper off by mid-morning
  • When it is said and done many areas see 6-12 inches with some local areas over a foot

You would never know we are all under a Winter Storm Warning...

I have made no changes to my forecast from last night...

The final forecast will be released tonight with any necessary tweaks, so stay tuned for that. At this time I like what I have.

Latest models are still indicating a 6 hour heavy burst of snow peaking around daybreak. You can see projected radar for 7 am tomorrow morning with heavy snow for most areas...

This will not be ideal for travel, especially north and west where surface temperatures will be colder.

More tonight around 7pm.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Tuesday Night: Updated Snowfall Forecast

Here is my updated snowfall forecast. I had to up totals from this morning and for good reason. This may be a quick hitter but it will pack quite the punch for areas off the coast. The video below breaks down my updated thoughts. Next update tomorrow, keep checking in. 

Tuesday Morning: Preliminary Snowfall Forecast for Thursday Morning

Stay tuned for tonight's important update. Data coming in so far today is impressive.


Good morning everyone. Below is my initial estimate of snowfall for Thursday morning...

Here are the major takeaways:

  • Details still not ironed out on track but the chances of an accumulating snow are increasing
    • could be shifting this more north or south over next day
  • Snow starts very early Thursday morning and ends early Thursday afternoon
    • This is a quick hitter that can pack a punch
  • Areas NW of I-95 see biggest impacts due to colder surface temps
    • Roads should be manageable due to this
    • *Remember it will be 60 degrees in many areas day before the event*
  • Higher elevations see biggest impacts due to roads holding snow better
    • This includes NW NJ, PA, and into Southern New England
  • Overall this should be a moderate not major event

Snow starts early Thursday morning...

Latest models peak the storm around 8-10am Thursday...

I will emphasize again that this is a NW of I-95 special. Snow will fall to the SE of this corridor, but the road impacts will not be as bad and the accumulations will be mostly on the grass.

Stay tuned for a video around 8 pm tonight!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Monday Morning: Show Me Snow and I'll Believe It

Good morning everyone. After a little lull in posting, I am back in action this week. It has been one of those winters so far. Limited snow for the Mid-Atlantic and New England region and plenty of rain as we start to look back on this winter season. We are now in the final stretch of Winter which in my book ends around the 2nd week of March. Will we see snow again? Im sure we see flakes fly again but I am not counting on much to be honest.

Some years it wants to snow some years it doesn't and it seems like this year is one of those years. For example, the rain storm that we will see tomorrow originally looked like it could be snow. As you see below, that clearly will not be the case..

Now there is a shot we do see a snow event Thursday morning as a wave of low pressure develops along an approaching polar front....

Not all models agree on this but at this time I say this is a 50/50 shot at a moderate snowfall for many areas. If all the cards align properly, we would be looking at maybe 3-5 inches. I will make more of a stance on this tomorrow after I look at today's data..

In the wake of what ever happens on Thursday, we then go into a back and forth type pattern. There will be more cold shots, but there also will be some mild days as well. We can get a big storm in the pattern over the next 2-3 weeks, I am just telling you guys that its the type of winter were I would't count on it. Lets just see if we are pleasantly surprised. 

I will say the 2-3 week pattern on paper really doesn't look bad.....

Looking above we got nice trough of low pressure south of the Aleutian Islands, ridge of high pressure over the West Coast, Trough of low pressure in the east and a nice area of high pressure over Greenland. It def can deliver guys so do not be fooled, it just hasn't this year so far. It will be interesting to see if the models back off on this as we get closer to the target period.

So lets see how this plays out, one step at a time. Stay tuned for updates on Thursday.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Normal Posting Resumes Monday

Thanks for all the nice comments, it's been a long week. Lost my grandfather who was a true American hero. He served in the 3rd Marine Division in WWII and was in the Battle of Iwo Jima. He witnessed the flag raising on Mt. Suribachi and told me many times the scene was the greatest display of patriotism he's ever seen. Tom Ciccone was part of a special generation. They just don't make men like him anymore.

I also was sick and had to move into a new house to top it off. So I think that's a good recipie for no posting

On Monday we will revisit the rest of winter and I will discuss my thoughts.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Post Later Tonight

Will give updates on the long range as a follow up to my thoughts on Monday.