Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday Morning Snow Update: Winter Returns

What a nice scene it is out there this morning. Snow is falling in all regions and many areas already have a few inches. In my backyard I counted around 2" on elevated surfaces. 

The snow will continue through mid morning and end west to east. 

Image below is radar at 10am..

By Noon this should be mostly over in NJ..

However up in eastern New England they are just getting started. Heavy snow will continue into the afternoon. This storm is going to crank out impressive totals up there. We might see more than the 4 to 8 I had foretasted.  This is a classic snow day for them.

Looks like the roads are holding up decent so far. 

It might not be a blizzard, but this snow reminds us that winter is still here. If anything, I think it foreshadows more to come this month. 

Tonight I will give my updates on our storm threat for early next week. At this time I still need to wait and study more data. I do still think we see impacts potentially major for next week. I cant jump on this yet though due to the complexity of the set up. 

I discussed some of this in my video last night. 

Detailed Update around 630pm

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Thursday Night Update: Surprise Snowstorm Tonight

Well, just in time for February we got more winter weather on tap tonight. A frontal boundary that was originally supposed to stay offshore has trended west. That means snow! Here is what to expect tonight:

  • Rain enters the area late tonight
  • Cold air quickly crashes in from west to east
    • Western counties of NJ changeover to snow first, then areas closer to the coast by around day break.
  • The storm will have to overcome the warm air at the surface which will take some time
    • However, I expect it will start snowing hard enough for ALL areas to see accumulations from this on grassy surfaces.
  • Elevations over 600ft will see roads become snow covered quickly
  • Areas at lower elevations will see some road impacts but treated surfaces should make out ok
  • Snow ends by late morning
  • The jackpot is southern New England as seen by the purple. 
  • In the wake of this, I am tracking a potential major system for Tuesday. 
    • More details in my video below

Here is my map for tonight into tomorrow AM (mainly grassy surfaces):

The video below briefly discusses this along with my thoughts on the main storm I have been focusing on for next week. Enjoy!

Thursday Morning Storm Threat Discussion: The Latest Trends

*A light to moderate snow event effects area tomorrow morning stay tuned for 8pm update on this*

Good morning. Over the next two days much more detail will be able to be put into what the actual fate of our storm threat for early next week will be. At this time, all we can do is study the latest trends and try to project how things might change. The fact of the matter is there is so much going on over next 5 days that the models are really going to struggle. Here is a summary:

  • We have 3 systems to focus on
  • First system is a frontal wave tomorrow that will bring some rain and snow to the coastal areas of NJ into New England
    • Nothing major
  • The second storm system develops Monday and should stay out to sea
    • There are model differences with this system
    • How this system forms will directly effect system 3
    • There is an outside chance this can end up being closer to the coast
  • The third system involves the potential main event which would be a clipper system that redevelops off the coast Tuesday
    • Latest trends have been less impressive with this
    • That does not make me take my guard down
  • My bottom line thoughts are that I think we see something effect the area next week with winter weather.
    • How intense it is I am not sure of yet at this time. 
Starting with system 1, we have a frontal wave that will effect the area tomorrow...

This has been trending closer to the coast over last 5 days and confidence is now high it effects areas closer to the coast with some snow. However, its been very warm and I expect not all areas see snow. Mixing is possible the closer you are to the coast due to warmer boundary layer conditions. In any event, a few inches of snow are possible especially up in eastern New England. 

That is something to take note of, how bad the models did with this first wave. Until yesterday they had this offshore. Shows you how nothing is ever set in stone. 

Moving on, we have a very strong storm that should develop offshore on Monday. Below is the spread of the Canadian ensemble of where this storm could be..

Notice the spread of members to the west as indicated by the red numbers. This shows you how there is much uncertainty with system number 2. All signs do point this stays out to sea, but some models are hinting that this could come closer to the coast than what is being projected.  We are going to have to keep a close eye on this as it will directly impact system number 3.

System 3 is the potential main event and involves a clipper system diving down from Canada and developing off the coast. It is my opinion that the stronger system 2 is, the less chance system 3 has of being a major threat to the area. The reason is that system 2 being too strong would prevent system 3 from amplifying over the area. Latest trends on system 3 are below..

Old GFS model is on left new is on right. Its hard to see but the new run of the model is a little less impressed with how much this energy "digs" and amplifies. I tried to show this with the red circle. I am not too concerned about this right now. We are still 5 days away which means we can see drastic changes to this solution. At this time all we can do is keep an eye on it. I need to wait for this initial wave tomorrow to leave the area before I even try to make a prediction on system 3. 

Here is the GFS at the surface. No chopped liver but not very strong. This can and will change in the coming days. 

Given this whole pattern I would be very surprised if we get through Wednesday of next week unscathed. Major potential is still on the table here, we just need to wait for the road to clear ahead of our main storm before making any conclusions. 

I will have an update up tonight around 8. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Wednesday Morning Storm Outlook: Case Study Storm Now on Most Models

Good morning everyone. Well we have come a long way since I started my case study last Tuesday focusing on the period following the Superbowl. Here is quick summary:

  • Big cold surge moves in over the weekend
  • On the heals of this cold surge a coastal storm can develop Tuesday
  • This is supported by a very large scale ridge of high pressure out west which is causing the jet stream to buckle over the east coast. 
  • Many details have to be ironed out including who gets the hardest impacts if this storm does in fact develop
    • At this time everyone in northern Mid-Atlantic and New England is in play
    • No storm is also still a possibility 
  • More details to come as I continue to break this down

We have gone from pure speculation to now staring down a legitimate storm threat for next week. To review, the image below where my initial thoughts from early last week..

Fast forward to this next image valid for the same time (only much closer range)...

So what does this mean? It means the upper air pattern has trended towards a potential major storm developing early to middle of next week. The key thing to look at in the image above is the strength of the tough in the east seen by the blue and green colors compared to my original image. This shows the strong trend. 

As always we have a spread of model outcomes and we can not nail down specifics yet. However, I have seen enough to start to discuss in more detail.

All models right now are starting to agree with two main elements. The first element is an initial area of low pressure that will drift off to sea on Monday..

There still are some modeling differences with this initial low pressure center and it will cause the overall prediction of next week to be very difficult. However, most guidance does suggest this  stays out to see clearing the way for the main storm. In the wake of this, here is the set up that evolves for the main storm..

Now if, where, and when this storm forms will depend on the features I outlined above. For example, the stronger that ridge of high pressure to the west the greater chance that big trough of low pressure to the east digs more and amplifies. If we start to see that ridge out west trend less amplified, then our projected storm will form more out to sea due to a more progressive pattern and flatter trough. When this trough digs and amplifies it causes a surface low pressure center to form directly to its east as I indiced by the low pressure symbol above. That is our potential storm. So bacially the key to this whole set up is one, how does that lead system behave and two, how amplified does the actual pattern become in its wake.

Models right now at the surface look like this...

Again, depending on how amplified the upper air pattern gets will dictate the actual position of this storm. That means yes, inland areas are in play as well as coastal areas. The image above is just one model projection. To sum this up better, here is a spread of outcomes..

I am showing to drive home the point that there are many possibilities to this storm including no storm at all.

Regardless, it seems my ideas are starting to show some merit here and I will be watching closely how this evolves over the next few days. If I had to make a guess right now I would say this is a storm that develops around the Delaware bay or just over NJ and tracks due north effecting areas just to the west of the I-95 corridor into New England with snow.

I will start cutting nightly videos discussing this threat as it evolves. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Tuesday Morning Discussion: More Evidence of Next Week Heating Up (Not Literally)

Good morning. As we continue to hone in on our colder and stormier pattern for next week, certain details will start to become more clear. Some trends have started to emerge over last 24 hours and if they continue, we could be in for an action packed week!

Before I begin, now that January is in the books, here is how my January forecast did that I put out in October..

Overall not too bad. But New England is very snow starved right now and that needs to change. The big storm helped the Mid-Atlantic and it wouldn't take much more to get 30% more than normal (my forecast) for those spots hit by the storm. 

I expect this for Feb (our banner month)..

In any event, we will evaluate how my whole forecast did in the spring. Back to next week...

  • A very active and stormy period is in store for next week
  • Cold arctic air moves in this weekend with the potential for storm(s) to develop through next week
  • A split flow in the jet stream will be a driver in this
  • My first focus is Monday into Tuesday
  • Details are starting to emerge but we have a lot more data to study before any forecasts can be made

Here is a diagram that sums up my latest thoughts from the European Ensemble..

Over last 48 hours the trends have been to move the western ridge position more east along with the development of a 50/50 low. This is huge as it supports energy to consolidate along the east coast. The diagram above shows how this happens. At the surface you can see the model is projecting that low pressure center to develop offshore and move up the coast due to the northern disturbance diving down and steering it along with blocking from the 50/50 low.  Below is the surface projection..

48 hours ago this was not projected due to the upper air placement being much further west. The next image shows this. Old is left new is right..

As you can see drastic changes in the position of the ridge and trough. As the days go on we will have to work out the finer details, but all models agree a storm or storms could develop from Monday through Friday of next week. At this time I want to focus on the period Monday into Tuesday. 

Due to the split flow in the jet stream and massive surge of arctic air we really could be looking at multiple disturbances merging with the sub tropical jet which would mean waves of precipitation all week. 

You can see how impressive this split flow is projected to be. Talk about cold air meeting warm air!

Thats all for now. We are starting to come a long way from my original post a week back when I started this case study..

More later. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Monday Night Video Discussion: All Eyes on Next Week

As I have been discussing over the last week we have a lot to track post Superbowl. Will a big storm develop? Will it be rain or snow? Too early to nail down specifics but I like what I see. Who's backyard it effects remains to be seen. At the very least much colder conditions arrive by this weekend through next week. 

Enjoy the video. If I said Mississippi valley in video I meant Ohio valley. 

Monday Morning Weather Discussion: Breaking Down The Long Range

Good morning everyone and welcome to February! From the beginning I expected February to be our most active month this winter in terms of temperatures and snowfall. In today's post I want to revisit my case study focusing on the week following the Superbowl. At the very least, we will all see much colder air enter the area by this time frame. In addition, the overall pattern will support storms and rumors of storms for the eastern 1/3. This was the original image I posted a week ago when we started to focus on this period..

Before we get there, this week will be warmer than normal with temperatures surging into the 50's for many areas. By the time we get to Wednesday a storm will cut to our west bringing in rain to the area..

In the wake of this storm cooler air settles in for the weekend. This is where things will start to get very interesting. We have two periods to watch, Sunday night into Monday and Wednesday of that week.  

I am a little pressed for time this morning and will cover all of this in more detail tonight. Here is a general summary of what I am watching:

  • Split flow in the jet stream enhances the potential for big storms to develop next week.
  • The first shot is Monday
    • Hard to nail this down right now as a lot will depend on how a frontal wave on Friday sets up ahead of this threat
    • low confidence at this time
  • The 2nd and more probable shot is a big storm to develop middle of next week
    • This storm should effect someone in the eastern 1/3
    • An inland running (warmer) scenario is a possibility.
So much of how these systems develop depends on what happens ahead of them. What I mean by this is we have so much on the maps right now to track. For example, this rainstorm Wednesday will set up the weekend which will then set up middle of next week. It is almost impossible to say what will happen next week without ironing out the initial storm systems first. What we need to do is monitor trends and understand that the overall pattern is very juiced up right now. Models will always have a hard time when we have a split flow in the jet stream like you see below..

I will have a post up tonight around 7 discussing all of this in more detail.