The Northeast Weather Blog...

Complex Midwest Storm for End of Week...

By: Blizzard92, 11:44 PM GMT en Febrero 23, 2012

A strong low pressure originating out of the Midwest will continue to track northwest just north of the Buffalo metro region up through central and northern New England. A narrow temperature gradient along the warm frontal boundary will lead to varying precipitation types across the region. As the cold front passes through strong winds at the surface will be accompained by increasing lake effect snow showers. High pressure will begin to move in towards the weekend before more unsettled weather around midweek.

"Afternoon Thoughts" (Updated 2/23)
A cross cultural common factor is food. But this critical phenomenon often goes completely forgotten in its importance in our daily lives. The United States continues to lead global trends in the highest rates of obesity. And in fact many of these trends can directly be related to the present food culture that continues to modify in ever-concerning rates. There are many concepts in life average society values as important, but food often is forgotten. In fact the United States can be classified as being in an overnutrition crisis. Overnutrition meaning excess calories with limited vitamins. While many foods are fortified with additional nutrients and many Americans take a daily vitamin, it is only whole foods and plants that can provide the correct nutrients to not only support short term health, but long term as well. While most people know the dangers of processed foods, fried foods, etc., this does not stop any consumption of such products. So the question is why is this not a larger concern for the general public as a whole? Perhaps it lies in the realm that food can often be a pleasurable and satisfactory experience and therefore this concept is most important. Or maybe the answer lies deeper in cerebral decision making. None the less, the detrimental effects of poor food choices will continue to play a dominant role in the future from rising health care costs to varying life expectancy rates. It is time to investigate not only global hunger, but the overnutrition crisis.

"Current Surface Plot"

(Courtesy of HPC)

"Regional Radar"

(Courtesy of Wunderground)

"Regional Advisories"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Forecast Discussion"(Updated 2/23)
A complex low pressure will shift out of the Midwest towards the Northeast Thursday night into Friday. The low pressure and associated 850hPa low will track just north of Buffalo east across upstate New York into central New England. As the low begins to weaken, recent high resolution model guidance suggests the formation of a secondary low towards the Gulf of Maine. The NAM and RGEM continue to be the most bullish for this portion of the event.

Thursday night: A 992mb surface low will track north of KBUF overnight with a sharp warm front lifting north across Pennsylvania. An impressive temperature differential boundary will exist along the front with H85s to the south near +10C and to the north sub 0C. The rain/snow line will linger north of the warm front and shift north. An area of impressive frontogenesis as noted on NAM guidance indicates an area of heavy QPF just north of the warm front in the form of a southwest flow event (SWFE). Model QPF ranges from .5-.75in for areas along and north of I-80 to about as far north as I-90. This area will also correspond to impressive UVM lift and will likely be associated with brief heavy snow. Marginal surface conditions at or slightly below 0C will maintain a wet snow variety with ratios only around 10:1, but decent Omega and dendritic growth will allow for some favorable snow development at peak intensity where rates could be near 1-2in/hr. This heavy snow will fall about 50mi north of I-80 up to I-90 and last for a 3-5 hour period for most areas. It will be a rapid burst of accumulating snow during the early morning hours. Dynamic cooling and evaporational cooling will prolong the snow before changing over to rain especially from KBGM up through the Catskills and western Berkshires were 3-7in is possible especially above 1000ft. Elsewhere in this snow area a more widespread 2-5in is likely. Farther east into New England, QPF will be lighter before the H85 0C line approaches and therefore amounts will be at or less than 1-2in of snow. Lows will range from the mild upper 40s across southern Pennsylvania and the rest of the Middle Atlantic to the 20s north of the New York State border ahead of the warm front.

Friday: The 992mb low will begin to shear apart while tracking across New York State and the associated overrunning precipitatio will begin to weaken. By the morning commute the freezing levels will begin to rise as far north as I-90 with any residual precipitation changing to rain, although little QPF is likely and therefore drizzle will prevail across the southern tiers. By mid morning the energy transfer will begin as the coastal low develops near Long Island at around 996mb. Heavy QPF will develop once again along the warm front and associated cold front. A warm nose up through southern New England will limit precipitation to rain in this period. Temperatures will begin to rise into the mid to upper 60s as far north as Washington DC up through extreme southeastern Pennsylvania. It is possible for a few low to mid 70s for some areas if the sun peaks out in the dirty warm sector. A thunderstorm cannot be ruled out in portions of the Middle Atlantic. As the low deepens off the coast the H85 0C line will begin crashing south to the coast. An enhanced UVM lift region will focus across northern New England with heavy snows ongoing from upstate New York through the Greens and Whites. Snow rates will exceed 1in/hr for a period of time. Snow will be of the wet variety plastering the higher peaks with over 12in of snow. A few high resolution models indicate dynamically cooling the precipitation as far south as the Berkshires from rain to snow during this transition with additional snow accumulations, but for now this remains uncertain. By Saturday night the low will deep sub 990mb in the Gulf of Maine with a deformation axis of snow across extreme northern New England.

Another factor in this event will be very strong winds associated with an impressive right front entrance region of the low level jet especially across central Pennsylvania. Current boundary layer winds may actually exceed 60mph in some areas and therefore high wind warning criteria may verify for parts of northern Maryland up through central Pennsylvania. It still remains how much force mixes to the surface. Elsewhere advisory criteria winds are likely all the way up through southern New England. This is an extremely tight pressure gradient. Temperatures will not fall very much behind the front.

Saturday- Colder air will filtrate across the region under a northwest cyclonic flow. Cold air advection and associated H85 thermals sub -10C will promote a 305-325 degree wind trajectory and therefore lake effect snow. The wind trajectory setup is relatively similar to that from a week or two ago favoring the Rochestor-Cortland, NY corridor. Lake effect accumulations will approach 6-10in in the favored snow belts. See more on this below. Temperatures will be much colder for the Middle Atlantic compared to Friday but still above normal for climatological means. Temperatures will range from near 40F from Washington DC to the mid 20s in northern New England. In general not an impressive air mass.

Sunday- By Sunday warm air advection will end the lake effect snow machine with any additional accumulations limited to the Tug Hill plateau and generally less than 2in. Temperatures will be slighty above climatological norms with sunshine especially east of the Appalachians courtesy of downsloping.

Monday-Tuesday- A southwest flow and upper level ridging will once again allow high temperatures to rise well above normal and into the 50s as far north as the I-80 corridor and up through I-95. Sunshine will prevail for the entire Northeast. Snow melt will likely be ongoing for New England during this period. It may be worth mentioning a weak shortwave passing through extreme northern New England on Tuesday with some clouds, but QPF will be less than .1in and a mix of rain and snow showers. No accumulation is likely outside the highest elevations above 3000ft.

Wednesday-Thursday- A major low pressure will be gathering strength across the Midwest and will likely track up through the Great Lakes. Therefore this puts much of the Northeast in the warm sector again. Extremely high temperatures are possible once again for the Middle Atlantic in the warm sector. Any overrunning snow potential will be limited to northern Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Rain will be the dominate precipitation type for most areas.


***Note that this snow map may look unusual do to the combination of snows from both the synoptic event and following lake effect snow regime. Elevation has also been taken into account in several locations. These are snowfall totals expected through Sunday evening in all locations.

"Regional Satellite"

(Courtesy of Penn State Meteo.)

"Current Water Vapor Loop"

(Courtesy of Penn State Meteo.)

"Lake Effect Snow Conditions" (Updated 2/23)
A rather potent lake effect snow outbreak is likely for Friday night through Saturday night, but potent being compared to the meager events so far this winter. In fact the wind trajectory and parameters are quite similar to the event a week or so ago. As the double barrel low system pulls to the northeast across the Canadian maritimes a tight tight pressure gradient and cyclonic flow will promote winds in the 310-320 degree range. Temperatures thermals will be a putrid H85 -12C or so and therefore not ideal for February standards. High RH values across the region will add additional moisture for the lake enhancement. Current high resolution guidance favors a few Huron-Erie streamers to form as far south as western Maryland where even the upslope regions across the Laurel Highlands may see 3-6in. Given the history of snow bands across western Pennsylvania, even Pittsburgh may see 2-4in of snow in some parts of the metro region. The coldest air will remains north towards Lake Ontario along with where the greatest water/air temperature differential will be located. This setup favors the Rochestor metro especially with possible 6-12in amounts that cannot be ruled out. Bands from Ontario will likely stretch southeast across the northern Finger Lakes through Cortland and Dryden before downsloping by Binghamton. This primary band will produce advisory 3-7in amounts in its path and generally waffle only slightly north and south. The band will likely stay south of Syracuse for the majority of the event. Upslope enhancement will also allow advisory criteria snows for the Chatauqua Ridge region in western New York also. By Saturday evening warm air advection will begin to cutoff lake effect snows for most areas with only light snow showers across the Tug Hill Plateau with 1-3in. This wind trajectory will not be favorable for Oswego east to Redfield and therefore accumulations will remain less. The highest threat of reaching warning thresholds for snowfall will be in the Rochestor area.

"Current Great Lakes Water Temperatures"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Current River Ice Reports and Ski Conditions" (Updated 2/23)
Once again lousy conditions for icy formation continue to be a problem for most waterways across the Northeast with little to no ice formation on most all main stem rivers. Even major lakes remain generally ice free up as far north as central New England. In any water locations that have ice formation, extra precautions should be taken to ensure safety given the record antecedent milder weather. The ice fishing industry certainly has taken a hit this winter. Another industry suffering are the ski resorts which have had to primarily rely on man-made snow to keep in operation. Even for areas that received some natural snow, it has generally melted within a few days. This is especially true for the lake effect snow belts during this past week. Fortunately for the northern resorts and snow belt resorts some snow is coming during the next 48-60 hours, but more mild weather looms towards next week with midweek rainfall. In any case enjoy the conditions while the last as it is likely the Greens in Vermont will get plastered with 12-15in of snow by Saturday evening above 3000ft. Even the Adirondacks will see nearly a foot with the lake effect snow belts more or less at 4-8in. Resorts as far south as the snow belts in Garret County, Maryland will likely see 3-4in of natural snow before the warm up on Monday.

-Link to official reports page from NWS... Link.
-Link to local ski resort snow conditions... Link.

"Current Northeast Snow Depth and Northeast Wind chills"

(Courtesy of Wunderground)

"Long Term Outlook" (Updated 2/23)
To date the monthly outlook for February has verified quite nicely with well below normal snowfall for most areas and well above average temperatures. For many southern New England stations, snowfall is at a trace for the entire month of February and is in potential record territory for low monthly snow totals. Teleconnections continue to become even more unfavorable for this final week period of February into early March with an anomalously positive AO strong arguing against any east coast snowstorm development. In fact going off historical climatological odds, the chances are near nill for a major synoptic snow event. SWFE's will be the primary possibility for any snowfall and these will likely focus only for northern New England. Therefore any widespread snow outside New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine will have limited opportunities in the coming two weeks outside a fluke event or two. Temperatures will continue to be well above normal for several 'torch' periods possible especially for this Friday and midweek next week. Looking ahead to March most all teleconnections look unfavorable and therefore a continued mild forecast looks like a safe bet. I will be posting my March outlook in about a week, but it does not look pretty at all.

"Current NAO and PNA Predictions"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Anchorage, Alaska Tower Cam"

*Back due to popular demand!

"Monthly Temperature/Precipitation Outlook"(February)(Updated 2/2)
Using the MJO teleconnection and I rollover technique, my February forecast will be a continuation of the mild theme of the past nearly 12 months. Current ECMWF ensemble and GEFS guidance suggests the monsoonal patterns in the Indian Ocean will maintain MJO phases 5-8. Looking at quick composites of these phases and their associated global surface temperature anomalies, there is a clear indication of positive numbers over much of North America, particularily across the United States. While many forecasters have pointed at other indices including the -AO, the general Pacific and Atlantic regimes continue to lock up the cold on the other portions of the globe. This will likely continue through much of February. As we enter the end of the month, the MJO phase composites become a bit more favorable towards phases 1+. This may allow a bit of colder air to bleed south out of Canada. Current CFS and ECMWF weeklies indicate anomalous warmth across much of the eastern United States. This is also supported by several operational model runs. Given the La Nina-lag effects, February will likely be a very mild month for many climatological reporting stations.

Temperatures- Given the La Nina rollover effects, mild Pacific air will continue to flood much of the lower 48. I am predicting anomalies of (+)3.0-(+)3.5F for most all climatological reporting stations. This fits the regime of the past several winter months also.

Precipitation- The general zonal flow will inhibit most strong cyclogenesis and middle latitude cyclone development for at least the first half of the month. Precipitation looks to average at or below normal for most all climatological reporting stations. Snowfall is a difficult variable to predict given any possible outlier that can easily skew totals. None the less I will use probabilities for this forecast... higher likelihood of below normal snowfall.

"Temperature and Precipitation Outlooks from Climate Prediction Center for next 30 days"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Lower Susquehanna Valley Doppler"

(Courtesy of WGAL)

Follow my 24hr forecasts on Twitter... Link and Facebook... Link.

"10mi northeast of Harrisburg 2011-2012 winter statistics"
(Snow Stats)
Monthly Total (October)- 5.5in
Monthly Total (November)- 0.0in
Monthly Total (December)- 0.4in
Monthly Total- (January)- 5.2in
Monthly Total- (February)- 5.3in
Seasonal Total- 16.4in
Winter Weather Advisories- 2
Winter Storm Warnings- 1
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 1
Winter Storm Watches- 1

(Temperature Stats)
Lowest High Temperature- 29F
Lowest Low Temperature- 10F
Wind Chill Advisories- 0
Wind Chill Warnings- 0

(Snow Storms Stats)
Historic October Nor'easter - October 29 - 5.5in of wet snow
322 Lake Effect Snow Band - December 17 - 0.3in of wet snow
Weak Clipper - December 29 - 0.1in of snow
322 Lake Effect Snow Band - January 18 - 0.2in of snow
Southwest Flow Event - January 21 - 5.0in of dry snow
Weak Shortwave - February 8 - 2.3in of wet snow
Weak Coastal Storm - February 10 - 1.0in of wet snow
Mid Level Shortwave - February 11 - 2.0in of dry/blowing snow

Weekly Forecast

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Miller A near miss coastal...

By: Blizzard92, 1:20 AM GMT en Febrero 19, 2012

"Current Temperature"


"Current Dewpoint"


"Current Surface Map and Weekly History of Jet Stream Position"


"Regional Radar"


"Regional Satellite"


"Regional Advisories"


"Soil Moisture Anomalies and 5-day Precipitation Amounts from Hydro Prediction Center"


"Severe Weather Outlooks from Storm Prediction Center Days 1, 2, and 3"


"12hr Estimated Precipitation"


"Forecast Max Temperatures"


"Forecast Min Temperature"


"Forecast Weather at 2pm"


"Current Storm Reports"


"Fire Outlooks from Storm Prediction Center Days 1, 2, and 3"

(All maps courtesy of NOAA and Penn State Meteo.)

"Forecast Model Links"
-NAM model 12z...Link
-GFS model 12z...Link
-NMM model 12z...Link
-SREF model 9z...Link

"Severe Weather Links"
-Atmospheric Soundings Skewt T charts...Link
-SPC Mesoscale Analysis Pages...Link
-Public Spotter Reports for State College NWS...Link
-Severe Weather Model Forecast indices...Link
-Severe Weather Parameter Definitions...Link

"Flooding Links"
-Automated Pennsylvania Rainfall Recording Stations...Link
-Flash Flooding Guidance...Link
-HPC Forecasts for Excessive Rainfall...Link
-Hydrology Predictions for Lakes, Rivers, and Streams...Link

Lower Susquehanna Valley Doppler...

(Courtesy of WGAL)

Follow my 24hr forecasts on Twitter... Link and Facebook... Link.

"10mi northeast of Harrisburg 2011-2012 winter statistics"
(Snow Stats)
Monthly Total (October)- 5.5in
Monthly Total (November)- 0.0in
Monthly Total (December)- 0.4in
Monthly Total- (January)- 5.2in
Monthly Total- (February)- 5.3in
Seasonal Total- 16.4in
Winter Weather Advisories- 2
Winter Storm Warnings- 1
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 1
Winter Storm Watches- 1

(Temperature Stats)
Lowest High Temperature- 29F
Lowest Low Temperature- 10F
Wind Chill Advisories- 0
Wind Chill Warnings- 0

(Snow Storms Stats)
Historic October Nor'easter - October 29 - 5.5in of wet snow
322 Lake Effect Snow Band - December 17 - 0.3in of wet snow
Weak Clipper - December 29 - 0.1in of snow
322 Lake Effect Snow Band - January 18 - 0.2in of snow
Southwest Flow Event - January 21 - 5.0in of dry snow
Weak Shortwave - February 8 - 2.3in of wet snow
Weak Coastal Storm - February 10 - 1.0in of wet snow
Mid Level Shortwave - February 11 - 2.0in of dry/blowing snow

Observation Blogs

Updated: 2:45 PM GMT en Febrero 19, 2012

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New England Coastal Snow Event...

By: Blizzard92, 10:52 PM GMT en Febrero 09, 2012

"Current Temperature"


"Current Dewpoint"


"Current Surface Map and Weekly History of Jet Stream Position"


"Regional Radar"


"Regional Satellite"


"Regional Advisories"


"Soil Moisture Anomalies and 5-day Precipitation Amounts from Hydro Prediction Center"


"Severe Weather Outlooks from Storm Prediction Center Days 1, 2, and 3"


"12hr Estimated Precipitation"


"Forecast Max Temperatures"


"Forecast Min Temperature"


"Forecast Weather at 2pm"


"Current Storm Reports"


"Fire Outlooks from Storm Prediction Center Days 1, 2, and 3"

(All maps courtesy of NOAA and Penn State Meteo.)

"Forecast Model Links"
-NAM model 12z...Link
-GFS model 12z...Link
-NMM model 12z...Link
-SREF model 9z...Link

"Severe Weather Links"
-Atmospheric Soundings Skewt T charts...Link
-SPC Mesoscale Analysis Pages...Link
-Public Spotter Reports for State College NWS...Link
-Severe Weather Model Forecast indices...Link
-Severe Weather Parameter Definitions...Link

"Flooding Links"
-Automated Pennsylvania Rainfall Recording Stations...Link
-Flash Flooding Guidance...Link
-HPC Forecasts for Excessive Rainfall...Link
-Hydrology Predictions for Lakes, Rivers, and Streams...Link

Lower Susquehanna Valley Doppler...

(Courtesy of WGAL)

Follow my 24hr forecasts on Twitter... Link and Facebook... Link.

"10mi northeast of Harrisburg 2011-2012 winter statistics"
(Snow Stats)
Monthly Total (October)- 5.5in
Monthly Total (November)- 0.0in
Monthly Total (December)- 0.4in
Monthly Total- (January)- 5.2in
Monthly Total- (February)- 5.3in
Seasonal Total- 16.4in
Winter Weather Advisories- 2
Winter Storm Warnings- 1
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 1
Winter Storm Watches- 1

(Temperature Stats)
Lowest High Temperature- 29F
Lowest Low Temperature- 10F
Wind Chill Advisories- 0
Wind Chill Warnings- 0

(Snow Storms Stats)
Historic October Nor'easter - October 29 - 5.5in of wet snow
322 Lake Effect Snow Band - December 17 - 0.3in of wet snow
Weak Clipper - December 29 - 0.1in of snow
322 Lake Effect Snow Band - January 18 - 0.2in of snow
Southwest Flow Event - January 21 - 5.0in of dry snow
Weak Shortwave - February 8 - 2.3in of wet snow
Weak Coastal Storm - February 10 - 1.0in of wet snow
Mid Level Shortwave - February 11 - 2.0in of dry/blowing snow

Observation Blogs

Updated: 4:22 AM GMT en Febrero 12, 2012

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Wednesday Middle Atlantic Light Snow Event...

By: Blizzard92, 2:02 PM GMT en Febrero 07, 2012

A weak low pressure along a frontal boundary will spread light snow across the Middle Atlantic with light amounts in the 1-4in for many areas especially in southern Pennsylvania and northern Maryland.

Current Surface Plot...

(Courtesy of HPC)

February 8 Middle Atlantic Light Snow Event Timeline and Discussion...
A weak low pressure will move along a stationary front across northern Virginia during the day Wednesday. An enhanced jet and increasing southerly flow will advect a bit of moisture around 700mb enhancing a light area of precipitation from West Virginia up through southern Pennsylvania. This area will primarily be driven by isentropic lift maintaining light to moderate precipitation rates. Cold air advection originating out of Ontario will continue to funnel south through the Northeast on Tuesday setting the stage for a light snow event on Wednesday as precipitation enters the Middle Atlantic. The current track of the primary vortex of energy will be across northern Virginia. This track is favorable to spread the heaviest QPF 50-100mi north of the vort using the typical rule of thumb. QPF totals will range from .1-.25in for most areas with the highest amounts on either side of the Mason-Dixon line within 25mi. PWATs will increase to near .5in during the day Wednesday as moisture begins to funnel through the entire atmospheric column. Dry air will battle the northern edges of the shield of precipitation particularily towards I-80. Surface temperatures will be in the lower to mid 30s across central and northern Maryland to around 30-32F for southern Pennsylvania. This will limit snowfall especially given antecedent mild temperatures. Snowfall will generally occur in grassy locations especially for Maryland.

Temperatures in the mid 30s towards Washington DC will set up the battleground across this region for rain vs. snow. Temperatures through 950mb will be below freezing, but the warm bounday layer temperatures will allow for the mix. If the vort travels a bit farther south than expected an area of enhanced moisture may occur across the capital district with bursts of moderate snow, but at this time this looks unlikely. Still the city and surrounding suburbs may see up to 1in of snow. The highest QPF and coldest surface temperatures will favor the highest accumulations across extreme southern Pennsylvania into Somerset, Bedford, Fulton, and Franklin counties. I cannot rule out a spotty 5in or 6in amount across the Mt. Laurel/Davis area. Elsewhere in those counties 2-4in amounts are more likely especially above 1000ft.

Spotty 2-4in amounts are also possible across the high ground (above 600ft) in far northern Maryland.

9am-12pm Wednesday- Light snow will begin to across western and central Maryland/Pennsylvania/Virginia. Temeperatures will slowly fall below freezing for areas near the Mason-Dixon line given initial low dew point values. Elsewhere temperatures will also fall, but hover around 34-36F towards Washington DC. Snow accumulations will be limited to 1-2in generally across western Maryland and the Laurel Highlands.

12pm-4pm Wednesday- This time period will feature the primary event with light to occasionaly moderate snow occuring. Visibilities will generally range from 1-3mi during this period with brief TAF IFR conditions possible. Accumulations in this period will be around 1-3in for most areas.

4pm-6pm Wednesday- Precipitation will change to light snow as far south as Washington DC before ending for eastern areas also. Additional accumulations will be 1in or less for all areas.

6pm-8pm Wednesday- Downsloping and waning isentropic lift will weaken the precipitation shield for extreme eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. By 8pm all precipitation should be over across the Middle Atlantic.

Regional Radar...
(Courtesy of Intellicast)

Regional Advisories...

(Courtesy of NOAA)

This is my current rain/snow line...
Warrenton, VA - Washington DC - Annapolis, MD - Dover, DE - Vineland, NJ

***Areas north of this line will feature a mostly snow event with the region 25mi either south/north of this line featuring a rain/snow mix. Even areas along the line may see a very light accumulation of snow. Given the upper level thermal profile, there will likely be no mixed precipitation and either a rain or snow event.

Storm Reports...
None.

Storm Impacts...
1. Light snow accumulations of 1-4in for most areas.
2. Snow will falling during the daylight areas including the evening commute with travel impacts likely.
3. High snow accumulations will be along the southern Pennsylvania border counties particularily in the Laurel Highlands.
4. Snow will fall across a region that has not been exposed to much winter weather weather this season.
5. Most of the accumulating snow will end by 8pm for all areas.

Snow Maps...


***There will likely be a few spotty coatings to 1in amounts just north of the 1-4in region, but virga should reduce amounts along and north of I-80 to near nothing. The highest amounts will be across the Laurel Highlands and Garret County, Maryland with a few isolated 5-6in amounts possible in the favored upslope regions.

Current Great Lakes Water Temperatures...

(Courtesy of NOAA)

Selected City Accumulations for the Northeast...
Hagerstown, MD- 1-3in of wet snow
Baltimore, MD- 1-2in of wet snow mixed with rain at times
Salisbury, MD- Light rain
Pittsburgh, PA- Light snow; Up to 1in of snow possible
State College PA- Light snow showers, up to 1in of snow possible
Williamsport, PA- Light snow showers, little to no accumulation
Altoona, PA- 2-4in of snow
Harrisburg, PA- 1-4in of snow
Lancaster, PA- 1-4in of snow
Philadelphia, PA- Light rain and snow mix; Up to 1in of snow is possible
Allentown, PA- Light snow; Up to 1in of snow is possible
Scranton, PA- Few light snow showers; no accumulation
Washington, DC- Light rain/snow mix; Up to 1in of snow is possible
Wilmington, DE- Light rain/snow mix; Up to 1in of snow is possible
Dover, DE- Light rain/snow; coating of snow is possible
Trenton, NJ- A few light snow showers; no accumulation
New York City, NY- A few stray flurries
Poughkeepsie, NY- Cloudy
Binghamton, NY- Cloudy
Ithaca, NY- Cloudy
Albany, NY- Cloudy
Hartford, CT- Mostly cloudy
Concord, NH- Cloudy
Providence, RI- Mostly cloudy
Worcester, MA- Mostly cloudy
Boston, MA- Mostly cloudy
Nantucket, MA- Partly cloudy
Hyannis, MA- Partly cloudy
Burlington, VT- A few flurries
Portland, ME- Mostly cloudy
Bangor, ME- Mostly cloudy
"Subject to Change"

Current Northeast Snow Depth and Northeast Wind chills...

(Courtesy of Wunderground)

Model Analysis
Model guidance is in general agreement for this weak surface wave, but a few differences arise especially for boundary layer thermals across the Washington DC area. The ECMWF remains a bit warmer than other guidance, but I tend to find it runs a tad too warm. This was certainly exhibited last Saturday with the light snow event across the Middle Atlantic. General SREF/NAM/ECMWF/GFS QPF is in the .1-.25in range for most areas with a northern cutoff around I-80. The track of the vort will be critical for areas in the rain/snow area, but most models have generally agreed on a similar track. In the longer range, models indicate colder air plunging across the Northeast this weekend although nothing out of the ordinary for early February standards. GFS and ECMWF argue for a few potential snow squalls along the arctic front, but this remains a low probability especially east of the Alleghany Front. After a 4-5 day cooler period, warmer temperatures are likely to move back in across the Northeast with a zonal Pacific flow in control with limited precipitation events.

After the Storm
The next two week period looks to feature well above normal temperatures with well below normal precipitation; therefore the likelihood of snowfall is below climatological averages. The MJO will continue to rotate through phases 6-8 over the next two weeks with strong forcing. Composites indicate a mild pattern from this regime over the Northeast. The arctic oscillation is actually anomalously low (near the record low values of 2010) which is quite coincidental given the record high values back in December. But the other teleconnections are not in favor to send this arctic air across North America especially given the swirling Alaskan Vortex. Much of this cold air has been focused across Europe into parts of Siberia. Model prognostics indicate a dominate 1060hPa anticyclone (models will verify too high for pressure) over Siberia. Arctic air will flood this region of the world over the next two weeks, while North America is sitting under a zonal Pacific regime. Very few perturbations in the jet will characterize a very dry period over the next two weeks. This is supported by recent global model runs indicating less than .4in for most of the Northeast over a 16 day period.

Any potential for snow will remain slim. A few ensemble runs have noted the February 10-12 period as of particular interest, but the placement of the polar and subtropical jet do not appear favorable. While there will be occasional cold fronts with 1-2 day periods of cooler weather, the overall pattern is mild with many days running 5-10F above normal. I cannot rule out an unexpected snow threat, but it is likely this will appear at the last minute on guidance if it should occur. Given the end of the Nina flow, chaos has consumed most model guidance especially post 3 days. Therefore any model output should be taken with a grain of salt. If one can get past operational and ensemble model output, the overall pattern is similar to that of much of this winter.

Please post storm reports in this blog from across the Northeast during the winter storm and please post location of observation in each report...

This blog is in progress. Check back soon...

Winter Forecast 2011-2012... Link

Follow my 24hr forecasts on Twitter... Link and Facebook... Link.

Lower Susquehanna Valley Doppler...

(Courtesy of WGAL)

"10mi northeast of Harrisburg 2011-2012 winter statistics"
(Snow Stats)
Monthly Total (October)- 5.5in
Monthly Total (November)- 0.0in
Monthly Total (December)- 0.4in
Monthly Total- (January)- 5.2in
Monthly Total- (February)- 2.3in
Seasonal Total- 13.4in
Winter Weather Advisories- 2
Winter Storm Warnings- 1
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 1
Winter Storm Watches- 1

(Temperature Stats)
Lowest High Temperature- 29F
Lowest Low Temperature- 10F
Wind Chill Advisories- 0
Wind Chill Warnings- 0

(Snow Storms Stats)
Historic October Nor'easter - October 29 - 5.5in of wet snow
322 Lake Effect Snow Band - December 17 - 0.3in of wet snow
Weak Clipper - December 29 - 0.1in of snow
322 Lake Effect Snow Band - January 18 - 0.2in of snow
Southwest Flow Event - January 21 - 5.0in of dry snow
Weak Shortwave - February 8 - 2.3in of wet snow

Winter Storm Blog

Updated: 1:13 AM GMT en Febrero 09, 2012

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Very Mild February for the Northeast...

By: Blizzard92, 11:14 PM GMT en Febrero 02, 2012

"Afternoon Thoughts" (Updated 2/2)
The field of sciences often poses several ethical questions and conflictions. Instead of devouring these conceptions on paper, it may be of different note to look at another ethical question: Is it better to not know why some things happen? There are plenty of fields in all sciences that remain unclear ranging from the conceptual idea of what is the human conscience to our understanding of the cosmological timeline. While science places an emphasis on trying to understand such topics, one has to wonder if it is better not knowing the answer. Certainly most could argue that a better understanding in any field should lead to a myriad of solutions to increase the sustainability of the human race, but what if the answer is something we are better off not knowing. Perhaps lets focus on an example: is life unique to planet Earth? Either answer to this question can lead into somewhat unwanted responses. If we do find other sources of life (intelligent life), does this represent mass pandemonium in modern society? But what if we find out we are all alone in the cosmos... Does this answer find itself focused on the conceptual idea that we are indeed alone?

The sciences risk pushing this ethical boundary in every discovery, and while every new scientific document enhances our understanding, perhaps the answer is better off a mystery. Science will never have the answer to every problem and maybe that is for the better.

"Current Surface Plot"

(Courtesy of HPC)

"Regional Radar"

(Courtesy of Wunderground)

"Regional Advisories"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Forecast Discussion"(Updated 2/2)
Very boring seven day period for all of the Northeast under a zonal Pacific flow with few embedded shortwaves. This discussion will be quick and to the point.

Friday- A weak disturbance will approach western New York with widespread strato-cumulus across much of the Northeast north of Pennsylvania. South of the New York southern tier sunshine will prevail with temperatures reaching into the upper 40s as far north as the Pennsylvania turnpike. The low cloud deck and excess moisture around 10,000ft aloft will allow for the development of flurries and sprinkles mainly across New York State and northern New England. Highs in this region will be around 5F above normal. Sunshine may also peak out across southern and eastern New England. By Friday night light lake effect snow activity across New York will begin to dwindle with increase drier air in the lower levels of the atmosphere. Any snow accumulation remain at an inch or less.

Saturday- Another weak disturbance approaches the Northeast with more widespread clouds particularily later in the day. Highs will be nearly 5-10F above normal for all locations with sunshine in the morning. Most snow shower activity with the disturbance will focus across northern New England and across New York. Snow accumulation will remain below 2in for all locations. Conditions will remain dry outside those listed regions.

Sunday/Monday- Warmer temperatures will enter much of the Northeast with highs nearing 10F above normal with partly cloudy skies for all areas.

Tuesday- A cold front will approach the region, but weak dynamics will prevent any QPF. A few lake effect snow showers are possible across typical snow belts, but accumulations will remain in the nuisance category. Highs will be about 5F above normal for all locations.

Wednesday-Friday- Sunshine with warmer than normal temperatures will continue to be the theme with no areas of weather hazards or interests. Temperatures will range from the lower 30s over northern Maine to low 50s near Washington DC for highs. Lows will be seasonal to slightly above.

Post Friday- Guidance has been hinting at a cold shot towards the weekend, but even this colder air will only put things likely at 'average.' No significant threats of snow look likely over this seven day period outside a few flurries and snow showers across the snow belts. QPF will remain below .1in for most all locations. A few models have hinted at a coastal storm towards Sunday scraping some locations, but for now I am not overly enthusiastic given the setup.

"Regional Satellite"

(Courtesy of Penn State Meteo.)

"Current Water Vapor Loop"

(Courtesy of Penn State Meteo.)

"Lake Effect Snow Conditions" (Updated 2/2)
Very few chances of lake effect exist in the next seven days as high pressure dominates the daily weather forecast. A weak disturbance will approach northern New York State on Friday and will assist in the development of a few snow showers across northern New England. Model QPF is generally less than .03in so this will not be a big deal. A bit of Ontario-enhancement will allow for 1-2in snow totals Friday evening across the Tug Hill Plateau into northern Vermont throughout the western facing Greens. Another weak disturbance will approach western New York State in the Saturday/Sunday time period with a bit of lake enhancement. High shear values aloft and dry air will prevent any organized lake effect activity from forming, but a few streamers and showers are possibly mainly across the Tug Hill Plateau with a wind direction at 330 degrees. Any accumulation will remain below 3in. GFS indicates a bit of lake effect across the Finger Lakes given the northerly flow on Sunday, but any accumulation will remain below 1-2in favoring towns such as Dryden and Cortland. Warm air advection will cutoff any activity by late Sunday night as H85s begin to rise above 0C. A cold front will move through the region Tuesday with winds shifting to a north-northwesterly flow. H85s will drop sub -10C and will allow for a bit of instability to develop. This period has the highest threat of lake effect activity. But given the unfavorable direction, most organized streamers will not develop. Instead a more widespread multi-streamer event is likely across central New York with light to moderate amounts. Given the northerly flow, most lake effect snow activity will remain north of Pennsylvania outside Crawford, Erie, and Warren counties. Little to no lake effect is likely over the Laurel Highlands or western Maryland over the next 7 days. The best location will be across the Tug Hill Plateau and northern Vermont (higher elevations towards Mt. Mansfield) where 7-day totals of 4-8in are possible.

"Current Great Lakes Water Temperatures"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Current River Ice Reports and Ski Conditions" (Updated 2/2)
Given temperatures nearly 20F above normal over the last few days, much of the Northeast has little to no sign of winter outside the higher elevations in northern New England. Ice reports are few and far between with hardly any reports for mainstem rivers and even lakes. South of the New York freeway and the Massachusetts turnpike thin to no ice exists on most all waterways. This has definitely hurt the ice fishing industry given the frequent warmups preventing any large freezes. In fact cold spells have become the rarity and not thaws this winter. Outside locations in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont the ice remains to thin for any activity to take place. This will heighten the dangers over the next week for anyone near waterways; please use caution and remember to always check the thickness.

The ski and snowboard industry has also been hit hard this winter with continued cancellations each weekend plaguing many resorts including those up through Stowe and Killington. Frequent rainfall as far north as the Canadian border has prevented a powdery snow pack across the northern New England resorts. Farther south there has been a complete lack of natural snow even across the snow belts into the Laurel Highlands and Garret County, Maryland where Wisp, Seven Springs, etc. have had little to no natural snow over the last seven days. The outlook for the next week will continue the poor conditions with a zonal flow and general lack of precipitation. Even the upslope/lake effect machine will remain quiet instead of aiding the snowbelt resorts. The best conditions over the next week will be across northern Vermont where several weak disturbances will allow the upslope effect to squeeze out a probable 3-5in over the seven day period. Still though for early February odds, this is very poor.

-Link to official reports page from NWS... Link.
-Link to local ski resort snow conditions... Link.

"Current Northeast Snow Depth and Northeast Wind chills"

(Courtesy of Wunderground)

"Long Term Outlook" (Updated 2/2)
I have just posted my February forecast below. The next two week period looks to feature well above normal temperatures with well below normal precipitation; therefore the likelihood of snowfall is below climatological averages. The MJO will continue to rotate through phases 6-8 over the next two weeks with strong forcing. Composites indicate a mild pattern from this regime over the Northeast. The arctic oscillation is actually anomalously low (near the record low values of 2010) which is quite coincidental given the record high values back in December. But the other teleconnections are not in favor to send this arctic air across North America especially given the swirling Alaskan Vortex. Much of this cold air has been focused across Europe into parts of Siberia. Model prognostics indicate a dominate 1060hPa anticyclone (models will verify too high for pressure) over Siberia. Arctic air will flood this region of the world over the next two weeks, while North America is sitting under a zonal Pacific regime. Very few perturbations in the jet will characterize a very dry period over the next two weeks. This is supported by recent global model runs indicating less than .4in for most of the Northeast over a 16 day period.

Any potential for snow will remain slim. A few ensemble runs have noted the February 10-12 period as of particular interest, but the placement of the polar and subtropical jet do not appear favorable. While there will be occasional cold fronts with 1-2 day periods of cooler weather, the overall pattern is mild with many days running 5-10F above normal. I cannot rule out an unexpected snow threat, but it is likely this will appear at the last minute on guidance if it should occur. Given the end of the Nina flow, chaos has consumed most model guidance especially post 3 days. Therefore any model output should be taken with a grain of salt. If one can get past operational and ensemble model output, the overall pattern is similar to that of much of this winter.

"Current NAO and PNA Predictions"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Anchorage, Alaska Tower Cam"

*Back due to popular demand!

"Monthly Temperature/Precipitation Outlook"(February)(Updated 2/2)
Using the MJO teleconnection and I rollover technique, my February forecast will be a continuation of the mild theme of the past nearly 12 months. Current ECMWF ensemble and GEFS guidance suggests the monsoonal patterns in the Indian Ocean will maintain MJO phases 5-8. Looking at quick composites of these phases and their associated global surface temperature anomalies, there is a clear indication of positive numbers over much of North America, particularily across the United States. While many forecasters have pointed at other indices including the -AO, the general Pacific and Atlantic regimes continue to lock up the cold on the other portions of the globe. This will likely continue through much of February. As we enter the end of the month, the MJO phase composites become a bit more favorable towards phases 1+. This may allow a bit of colder air to bleed south out of Canada. Current CFS and ECMWF weeklies indicate anomalous warmth across much of the eastern United States. This is also supported by several operational model runs. Given the La Nina-lag effects, February will likely be a very mild month for many climatological reporting stations.

Temperatures- Given the La Nina rollover effects, mild Pacific air will continue to flood much of the lower 48. I am predicting anomalies of (+)3.0-(+)3.5F for most all climatological reporting stations. This fits the regime of the past several winter months also.

Precipitation- The general zonal flow will inhibit most strong cyclogenesis and middle latitude cyclone development for at least the first half of the month. Precipitation looks to average at or below normal for most all climatological reporting stations. Snowfall is a difficult variable to predict given any possible outlier that can easily skew totals. None the less I will use probabilities for this forecast... higher likelihood of below normal snowfall

"Temperature and Precipitation Outlooks from Climate Prediction Center for next 30 days"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Lower Susquehanna Valley Doppler"

(Courtesy of WGAL)

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"10mi northeast of Harrisburg 2011-2012 winter statistics"
(Snow Stats)
Monthly Total (October)- 5.5in
Monthly Total (November)- 0.0in
Monthly Total (December)- 0.4in
Monthly Total- (January)- 5.2in
Seasonal Total- 11.1in
Winter Weather Advisories- 2
Winter Storm Warnings- 1
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 1
Winter Storm Watches- 1

(Temperature Stats)
Lowest High Temperature- 29F
Lowest Low Temperature- 10F
Wind Chill Advisories- 0
Wind Chill Warnings- 0

(Snow Storms Stats)
Historic October Nor'easter - October 29 - 5.5in of wet snow
322 Lake Effect Snow Band - December 17 - 0.3in of wet snow
Weak Clipper - December 29 - 0.1in of snow
322 Lake Effect Snow Band - January 18 - 0.2in of snow
Southwest Flow Event - January 21 - 5.0in of dry snow

Weekly Forecast

Updated: 11:37 PM GMT en Febrero 02, 2012

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About Blizzard92

Cornell University- Atmospheric Sciences Undergrad; Research Assist.- Onset of Spring Indices Toolbox; Interests- Small spatial scale climatolology

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