Winter Storm Outlook


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

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Wednesday Night Video: Big Powerful Storm to Impact the Region

This will be a big news maker. I will iron out in more details of rain vs snow tomorrow morning but the video gives my latest thinking. There will be many surprises from this.

Wednesday Morning Update: Strong Prolonged Storm to Impact Region Thurs-Sat

Good morning. I have put together an initial impact map for Thursday-Saturdays's storm system. This will be a long duration event and have big impacts across the interior Northeast as well as on the coast with high surf and strong winds.

Above is my initial estimate on what this long duration system can do. All areas start as rain Thursday night then snow should start to breakout in the mountains of New England, especially NY State(purple zone).

 For areas in the dark blue zone in the northern Mid-Atlantic, rain will continue a little longer but then change to snow in the higher elevations (above 1000ft) then IF the storm deepens enough will change to snow across the whole dark blue area. 

For the light blue area this is mostly rain but there is a chance this can change to some snow as the storm pulls away Friday night into Saturday morning. 

Recent projections of this storm echo my concern that this storm will linger near the coast. The storm loop below is from Thursday afternoon to Saturday afternoon...

You can see the rain changing to snow and the long duration of this event as the low does a loop over the area. This is due to the dynamics of the storm pulling down cold air that is up in the atmosphere to the surface. Another more major concern of mine is coastal impacts as winds and surf will batter the New England coast for a prolonged period of time seen below...

In addition, the long duration of this will really blast a few areas with very impressive snowfall amounts. I am thinking the Catskills and Southern Green Mountains of VT can see easily over a foot of snow with this if not 2 feet plus.

The reason this storm is stalling out is because of a massive block of high pressure to the north as seen over Greenland...

Storm get trapped under it and just lingers.

There are still a lot of details that need to be working out with this. I am confident in the snow for the Mtns of New England but for areas in the dark blue zone, the jury is still out. In NNJ and northern PA for example, at the higher elevations, a 6"+ accumulation would not surprise me . For other areas, your best shot is a few inches at the end of this storm.

Big update tonight around 6pm. I will also be finalizing my map as the storm approaches.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Tuesday Night Video Discussion: Big Storm Coming

The video below breaks down my latest thoughts on a coastal storm that will impact the region Thursday night through Saturday Morning. This will be interesting to say the least and many details will evolve in the next 24 hours! My first prediction will be out tomorrow morning.

Key Takeaways:

  • High impact  storm moves into the region Thursday night
    • All rain for most areas to start
  • By Friday morning the storm redevelops off the east coast
  • Many areas in New England should see at changeover to snow at this time, especially the higher elevations and it can pile up quickly
  • Whether or not snow can pile up in northern NJ remains to be seen and will be dependent on the strength and location of the coastal low
    • I assign a 50% chance
  • Coastal areas will see impacts from prolonged high surf and winds
    • this needs to be considered as one of the biggest impacts
  • Storm pulls away on Saturday morning

Tuesday Morning Storm Note: Higher Resolution Models Showing Potential

Good morning. Per my video last night, I mentioned how this will be a storm that needs to produce its own cold air for any areas south of New England to see snow. What I meant was the storm needs to deepening in the right spot off the coast and be strong enough to "pull" cold air down from aloft.

The shorter range models tend to handle this process better and we are starting to get in range of those models. The jury is still out on what happens with this system but there is the chance many areas see a changeover to Snow on Friday morning with this system. Where exactly that occurs remains to be seen. I still favor southern New England into the Northern Mid-Atlantic, preferably at the higher elevations.

As an example the NAM model is starting to pick up the storm. Here is the evolution...

Rain moves in Thursday afternoon/evening as low cuts to the west...

By late Thursday low starts to redevelop off the coast, snow seen in the Catskills developing...

By the early Friday morning, you can see hints cold air is getting pulled down to cause snow to possibly break out in other areas. Also notice the low is intensifying and stalled out...

By mid morning Friday, more cold air gets pulled in...

Notice this model is showing snow for many areas!

So we do not know if this is the exact way it evolves but the point remains the same. We have a very dynamic prolonged storm system that will impact the region Thursday and Friday. Depending on the track and intensity, I do expect a process like you see above evolve. I just am not sure yet the exact locations that see a changeover to snow. My best guess is Southern New England into the Northern Mid Atlantic.

On another note, a storm like this will really batter the beaches and the the prolonged nature of it and the winds from  east will have impacts...

This component can not be taken likely.

I will have more details out tonight at 7pm. I will also have my first prediction on this tomorrow morning.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Monday Night Storm Discussion: Will It Snow?

Will update again in the AM. As of now expect rain with the chance flakes can fly if this comes together perfectly. 

Monday Storm Outlook: Big Storm To End The Week

Good morning. We will have a big storm to impact the region from Thursday night through Saturday morning. The question is what will the precipitation type be. This storm will be a rain maker initially but does have the chance to deepen enough to pull in colder air aloft and cause snow to break out in spots. The details behind this process are still very unclear.

Storm approaches from the west on Thursday night..

Warm air ahead of this storm means no snow to start...

Since there will be blocking high pressure to the north, the storm is forced to redevelop off the coast Friday...

This is where things get interesting. Depending on the location and strength of this redevelopment will determine how much cold air gets pulled into this storm. You can see the model trying to show snow breaking out as it pulls away and deepens Friday...

 And by Friday night...

I am very confident this storm pulls in cold air to snow aloft. The issue is the surface and layers just above the surface are going to be very warm. That means it will take a strong storm to "pull" that cold air aloft down to cause snow.

So where can the change over to snow occur. I think this map below gives the best idea of where accumulating snow can fall...

Bottom line: If you live in the Mtns of New England, it will snow from this. If you live in southern New England and the northern Mid-Atlantic there is a chance it can snow towards the end of the storm but the jury is still out.

Since this is such a dynamic set up I will have a video out tonight to break down in further detail.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Friday Weather Update: First Period to Watch Will Be Next Weekend

Good morning. As I mentioned on Tuesday, the mild spell we will in will transition in a stormier pattern as we head into March. This will be due to the upper air weather pattern turning much more favorable for east coast storm development.

The first period to watch will be towards next weekend...

Models are in very good agreement on a significant area of blocking high pressure to develop over Greenland. In response to this a vortex of low pressure forms off the east coast of Canada (50/50 low). This is just as significant as it serves to lock in high pressure over eastern Canada and just to the north of our area. Any storms that develop become trapped under the high pressure and with cold air locked in to play with.

Now we do not have details on where the cold air boundary sets up, but there is likely to be some sort of storm around a week from today and the chances are it will not be moving very fast because of the factors I discussed above.

For example, you can see the euro ensemble below shows a storm that is a little too far north for snow...

Due to the block to the north however, a storm like this would not just cut to our west but instead likely redevelop along the coast...

A pattern like this simply will not allow an inland cutter. That doesn't necessary mean snow for the Mid-Atlantic however. We need to evaluate the strength of this block over the next few days and how the models handle the energy moving under it.

Bottom line: The action picks up towards the end of next week and will continue into week 2 of March. Winter will try to make a comeback, the question is how far south....

More to come.

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.