Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Tuesday Morning Update: Surge of Warmth Followed by One Last Shot at Winter

Good morning. The snow that fell over the weekend has already begun to rapidly melt. That process will accelerate today and tomorrow as temperatures will be hitting the mid 60's to 70's for many spots!

Why so warm? We have a massive area of high pressure off the Atlantic coast spinning in warm air from the south...

Temperatures will moderate lower after Wednesday, but things will still stay quite mild for the next 7 to 10 days. For New England mountains, there still can be a few snow bubbles mixed in with this warmer air.

The big story is a impressive pattern that will develop as we get into the 1st two weeks of March...

The pressure pattern over Greenland and eastern Canada will really change during this period. We will get blocking high pressure over Greenland which will help pool up and lock in cold air along the east. Any energy that moves into the east will have a good chance of getting slowed down and consolidated causing the chance for a storm or two to develop. This is called a -NAO pattern.

I do not expect very cold conditions with this pattern, but it will be cold enough to snow if a storm does develop. 

The first time frame to watch will be from February 28th to March 5th for a storm.

Lets see what happens, winter is very close to the end but the atmosphere is setting up to give us the chance at one last hurrah. 

More to come.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sunday Morning Recap: What a Suprise

Good morning. What a Suprise yesterday! I never would of thought in a 5 hour period we would of seen those snowfall rates yesterday. It snowed 3 inch an hour in places. One of those places was my parents house in Schooleys Mtn NJ (1000ft)...

Here was the difference in 1 hr...

The total there was around 10 inches...

Here are some reports...

Of course this storm happens when I am hundreds of miles away.

So the lower amounts to the south came in as expected but for PA NNJ into Southern New England, I was low. My 3 to 5 should have been 5 to 10. The good news is this was a true suprise. This will be a good case study on how this evolved.

Here is a map of totals...

Vs my map...

As you can see i busted on the higher totals but did good with placement of heavy snow area.

In any event, massive warm up this week. 70s will be seen in spots. 

We will however have one more stretch of stormy weather for the 1st half of March. It will be interesting to see if we can get a big storm. I will comment more on that this week.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

5pm Update: Heavy Snow Moving In

Heavy Snow is now moving into the region...

Snowfall rates will be 1 to locally 2 inches an hour in spots. The worst conditions will be from now through midnight.

Updated models show snowfall inline with my thoughts...

You can see spots of 5+ inches (purple) and much less to the south.

Snow tapers off for NJ around 1am and a few hours later up to the north seen below..

Stay safe roads will get slick. I will have more updates on Twitter.

Saturday Storm Update: No Changes

Good morning. I have no changes to my forecast from yesterday. The snow moves in for many areas (rain south) late this afternoon and lasts till very early tomorrow morning. By dawn it is completely over.

The original map still stands...

I really like the idea of 3 to 5 inches  for NNJ into Soutern New England. I do expect mixing to the south still and plain rain in the southern most areas. For folks in Balt, Phili areas I really do not expect much and have you in mixing on the boarder of 1-2 (pink) and best case scenario 2-3(light blue). NYC I say sees 2 to 3 inches.

Here is an updated animation of the storm from 4pm to 6am...

I think this shows my forecast idea the best with rain snow placement.

No live update this time as I am a little under the weather (no pun intended haha).

I will however have an update out this evening as the storm Is underway (between 6 to 8 pm)

Stay tuned! 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Friday Storm Update: Preliminary Snowfall Forecast

  • Winter storm to impact the region Saturday night into early Sunday morning
  • Light to moderate accumulations for many areas
    • Expect mixing and rain to the south with limited impacts
    • Highest impact zones are NE PA, NW NJ and Southern New England
  • Big cities (Phili,Balt,NYC) I do not expect high amounts
  • There is a chance this will fizzle out and I will reduce accumulations on the final Forecast (out tomorrow morning)
  • Confidence is moderate at this time

Colder air arrives tomorrow...

A low pressure system will then develop on the back of this cold air tomorrow night...

The cold air in place will be marginal. That means I expect rain to the south, mixing in the central areas and all snow to the north. My map reflects that.

This will be a quick hitter and is over before the sun rises on Sunday for most areas.

I still am not very impressed with this system and would not be surprised if I have to lower amounts tomorrow. 

Lets see what happens. Final update out tomorrow. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Thursday Storm Outlook: A Thread The Needle Situation for Sunday

Good morning. I want to expand on what I discussed yesterday regarding possible winter storm development Saturday night into Sunday.

I see many places simply saying we have a snow event coming and posting maps like this...

I would be very careful with this however as it really is a "thread the needle" type storm. What I mean by that is we do not have cold air that will be locked in ahead of this system. That means the track, intensity and precipitation type will all depend on the exact timing how how the northern and southern jet stream interact. The energy we are speaking about is seen below...

Few things to note here when looking at these two circled areas:

  1. If the flow becomes too fast they do not interact and you get a very weak precipitation event or nothing at all
  2. If the northern piece is too slow and more amplified then the southern piece brings in too much warm air ahead and we get rain for the mid Atlantic and even southern New England
  3. If the northern piece if just fast enough but not too fast, allowing it to interact with the southern piece at just the right time, then we get what the GFS is showing below...

In the image above we have a northern Mid-Atlantic to southern New England snow event with a general 2-5 inches of snow. Areas to the south (Phili, Balt, SNJ) see mixing and rain Saturday night into Sunday morning.

So what I think happens? 

At this time I favor Southern New England being the main target zone with Northern NJ and central to NE PA getting in on the action as well for a light to moderate snow event. I do not like the prospects for CNJ and the big Cities (ex Boston). It appears a storm will develop but the cold air is too marginal in my opinion. The timing is Saturday night into Sunday morning.

Lets see how this evolves.

I will have a map out tomorrow if necessary.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Wednesday Update: A Glimmer of Winter Hope?


  • Warm end to the week
  • Cold front arrives Saturday making it feel like February again
  • A storm can develop on the back of this cold front Saturday night into Sunday
    • Snow is possible but at this time I favor areas to the north or a minor snow event further south as the two scenerios
  • Impressive warmth returns next week
  • We get one more shot at winter in the end of February into March as a -NAO pattern develops
    • This pattern which features high pressure over Greenland allows cold to pool up and get locked in along the east coast ahead of approaching storms
  • Time is running out for winter so this is our last glimmer of hope

Good morning. Well, just as I called off winter a few days back the models are trying to hint that mother nature might have a few more tricks up her sleeve before this is all said and done. 

It all starts off this weekend as a cold front swings through...

In the wake of very warm temperatures to end this week (with some rain Friday) this will make it feel like February again Saturday.

Now here comes the tricky part- models are indicating a low pressure system may spin up along this front Saturday night into Sunday...

Yes, you are seeing snow on this projection above for  parts of the northern Mid-Atlantic into southern New England. 

So do i buy it at this time? Well, looking at the pattern we do have what seems to be a very progressive flow. with a lot of energy on the field..

The key is how does that dip in energy behave that you see above in the northeast. 

Right now I think two scenarios are plausible

  • This trends more north giving New England and maybe parts of the Mid-Atlantic snowfall Sunday morning
    • areas to the south would be rain
  • This trends flatter causing limited impacts which could mean light accumulations to the south

I just do not see an amplified pattern to support the cold air staying locked in for areas like Phili, NYC, CNJ to see anything from this. In any event, we got something to track here that can throw a few surprises.

In the wake of this system the blast of warmth returns next week...

This will result in many 60's for highs in the Mid-Atlantic next week. 

So is that it?

Well, we got one more interesting thing evolving for the end of Feb into March, The return of the -NAO pattern. This is a pattern that has been absent for a few years now and is a critical puzzle piece needed to increase the chances for cold and stormy weather in the east.

In a -NAO pattern you get high pressure to develop over Greenland which buckles the jet stream in the east allowing cold air to lock in ahead of storms. Models are now indicating we can see this pattern develop quite impressively...

Will this provide us with the 4th quarter comeback to winter we need? We will have about a two week period to get it done by the time this pattern occurs (hard to snow by the 3rd week of March). That is not a lot of time but at least we have a glimmer of hope for winter weather lovers.

Stay tuned.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Monday Weather Update: February? More Like Late March

Good morning. For winter weather lovers I have bad news, winter is pretty much over in the east. Every major factor I look at indicates warmth dominating along the east coast over the next few weeks. Sure, things can swing back by March but then our time is very limited. By the second half of March it becomes very difficult to snow.

You can see my point with this upper level pattern...

We got a perma ridge of high pressure off the SE coast bringing with it a mild southeast flow into our region.

There isn't really much left to say. The long range climate model (which isn't that accurate imo) shows winter returning in March...

Lets see what happens. If we got one more moderate snow event I would be thrilled.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Friday Pattern Update: Winter Is Ageing, Can we Get One More Run?


  • Seasonable to mild over next 10 days with more rain than snow for areas south of  Ski Resorts
  • Chance the pattern changes by end of Feb into Early march
    • This would mean we might get one more punch of winter
  • The chances of this are 50/50 in my opinion
    • This means there is a good chance that winter fizzles out as well
  • So far this season has not been very impressive at all snowfall wise :-(

Good morning. Well, for the most part I would call this winter average for snowfall region wide year to date. Some areas are running above average due to the bigger storm that hit the areas near the shore earlier in January, but areas like NNJ, Harrisburg, Allentown, Catskills are running below average. New England is finally getting some snow which should get them to average or above average on the season. 

So my point is we got work to do, this has not been the most impressive season for snowfall. Yes we did have good frequency of smaller snow events earlier in the season, but as of late the pattern has been awful.

Will this change?

Few factors to consider...

The stratosphere is undergoing a major warming right now and the polar vortex will split and move into North America (very impressive)..

The effects of this will be felt later this month into early March where we should see the Arctic Oscillation tank and keep cold air on our side of the globe.

We also have the MJO pattern (tropical convection in the Indian Ocean and Pacific) that MIGHT go into a favorable phase but the strength remains to be seen. It is currently in phase 7 but IF it goes to phase 8 we can see a pattern like this...

The GFS says no...

European says maybe...

So this factor is hard to nail down.

The models in the long range are looking a little better once we get past next week...

Evidence of a ridge off the west coast to block the pacific air, and some ridging possible over Greenland. We have our cold pool in Canada which is a good supply for arctic intrusion.

So whats the bottom line? I think the chances of winter making a comeback for areas in the Mid-Atlantic and Southern New England are 50/50 right now. If it happens it happens towards the end of February into early March. Otherwise, expect winter to fizzle out which also would not surprise me.  I wish I was more optimistic but when you already are in the 4th quarter of winter and loosing the game, we need a big game wining drive here. 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Storm Update: Ice/Snow Moving In

Good morning. As of 7am snow and ice are now moving in toward our region...

Temperatures at the surface are below freezing so any type of precipitation that falls will make things slick. I expect surface temperatures to get above freezing by later this morning and closer to noon for NNJ.

I mentioned this yesterday and I will say it again, do not expect much snow accumulation with this. I expect a very quick changeover to sleet, freezing rain then plain rain by later this morning...

The map below gives what to expect for snow accumulations which is very low for NJ...

For those of you who got an early start on your commute you will have no issues. Travel will be the worst from 8-10am.

Thats all for now.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Tuesday Update: What To Expect Tomorrow

Good morning. As I discussed yesterday, some winter weather will move in tomorrow morning but it will change to ice then plain rain as the day goes on. Regardless, the timing of the onset of the snow will not be good for the morning commute in central to northern NJ and the surrounding areas. The snow with the cold surface temperature will cause impacts so be prepared. 

Here is what to expect:

Snow will start to break out for most areas by 7am tomorrow morning and earlier in PA...

By 10am some accumulations can be expected in PA, NNJ into southern New England...

Between 10am and 12pm mixed precipitation starts to move into the region as warm air moves in aloft...

As you can see despite the fact this changes to ice then plain rain the timing of the snow is not good for travel. In fact temperatures will be below 32 degrees and in the high 20's for many areas when this starts. Expect impacts.

 By the afternoon expect a cold rain for many areas south of interior New England. 

When it is all said and done I like the idea of a general 1-3 inches in NNJ with the 3 and maybe localized 4 inch amounts to the extreme NW. 

The GFS model has a good handle of snow amounts for this in my opinion...

In the wake of this storm system, things will cool back down to seasonable through the weekend. 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Monday Weather Update: A Ski Country Pattern, Mixed Bag Wednesday

Good morning. One week of February is almost in the books and many are wondering when will it snow again. Well, flakes will certainty fly but the issue I see in this current pattern is that they will struggle to remain frozen for many areas. As I mentioned last week, the issue we are having is when cold air moves into the region, there is nothing to lock it in ahead of an approaching storm. The result is storms moving in warm air changing any snow to rain or mixed precipitation. We just saw that happen yesterday and we are likely to see it happen again on Wednesday.

Temperatures will feel seasonable over the next 2 days as high pressure builds into the region...

On paper this looks great, all we need is some moisture and we get snow right? Well no, moisture means warm air and if the track of a storm system is not perfectly positioned off the coast we see mixing.

Wednesday is a perfect example of this...

On Wednesday morning snow will move into the region as low pressure approaches from our west...

There are indications that a few inches could pile up for many areas initially which could make for a very trick morning commute.

However, as the afternoon wears on, the cold air gets eroded and the snow changes to a mix and plain rain for many as low pressure passes too close to the coast (allows warm southern air to move into region)...

Notice how the ski country stays all snow. This is a great pattern for them at least. The next 2 weeks should be great up there. 

So what about that cold high I showed in the first image. Why isn't that locked in? Well the answer is no 50/50 vortex over eastern Canada...

So whats the bottom line? How much snow can we see for the changeover Wednesday?

At this time I like the GFS model's printout of a few quick inches of snow for the areas below Wednesday morning...

Stay tuned, I will update on this again tomorrow. 

Long Range Note:

In the long range I expect a lot of cold air to stay in play for the month of February. This cold air will go to waste until we see high pressure develop over Greenland (-NAO). There are some hints this can occur for the last two weeks of the Month.  The atmosphere is expected to undergo an major stratospheric warming in the next 2 weeks where the polar vortex will completely split. How this evolves and where the split vortex ends up will tell the tale for the rest of the season. I will also be commenting on this.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Thursday Update: Storm Next Week Looks To Target Intereior

Good morning. As a follow up to my most recent posts of a coastal storm developing on Monday, we are starting to get a little more clarity. At this time it looks to be an interior focused event with liquid precipitation for all areas on and off the coast. The fact of the matter is, there is nothing to lock in the cold air ahead of this system. As the storm develops it will erode the cold air causing any snow to change to rain except for in the interior.

The GFS shows this and its hard to argue with...

Image above is valid Sunday night into Monday morning. For most setups that produce snow for the I-95 corridor you need blocking high pressure over Greenland which helps lock in the cold air ahead of the storm. If you do not have that, then many times a storm will move in and sweep away the cold air off the coast. In the image below you can see how there is no high pressure over Greenland...

Using historical analogs also supports an interior event...

So whats the bottom line? The best case scenario right now for anyone wanting snow is this tracks a little more southeast. That would allow areas Nw of I-95 like NW NJ, central CT, MA, etc. to get a shot at accumulating snow. Otherwise this is a storm for the ski areas.

The pattern we are in will feature frequent cold shots and also the chance at some minor to maybe moderate events, but I am not excited about any major snowstorm until I see the pattern change over Greenland. This will just be an average winter snowfall wise for many if that does not change.

Lets see how this plays out over the next few days.