Friday, January 21, 2005

SOME THINGS ARE TRUE
WHETHER YOU BELIEVE
THEM OR NOT...PART 2 

JANUARY 21, 2005
THE FINAL WORDS ON THIS STORM: STAY THE COURSE

PREPARE FOR SIGNIFICANT SNOW IN MAJOR CITIES OF THE
I-95 CORRIDOR, NEW JERSEY AND INTERIOR PENNSYLVANIA

Reasons for my snowfall predictions:
1. While western origin storms do not usually bring a lot of snow to the East Coast, the situation continues to be the high snow-to-liquid ratios due to the entrenched cold air and a fresh supply of Arctic air in a nearby high pressure to the north.

2. The NWS is holding back or staying conservative because their flagship model, the GFS is doing that. What you see above is the ETA, which is more in line with what I see most TV stations and Accuweather going with. The farther away from DC you get, the more that I see forecast offices being willing to consider other models in their call. If you spent millions of dollars of taxpayer dollars on a ground-breaking computer model, would you disregard it in the shadow of Washington DC and opt to follow other programs?

3. Waters off the Atlantic Coast continue to be above normal. This will allow for more moisture to be pulled into whatever coastal low develops, even if it is weak.

4. Daytime and overnight temperatures will be colder by 2-5 deg F than forecasted throughout the northeast. This will lead to a bump in accumulations from 2-4" depending on where you live.

QPF/SNOWFALL ANALYSIS
I agree with the prognostication of many readers who have posted, especially Philadelphia, York County and Boston. There seems to be the feeling that when a snowfall amount that is generally "less than a blizzard" is made, the reality ends up being a bit more than that. Contrast with March 2001, when everyone was calling for the end of the world (24-36"), and major cities saw a few inches at best. Contrast THAT with the 2003 Blizzard and many a New England Nor'easters, all of which were either going to go south or out to sea.. then you woke up to 6-12" and more coming. Reminds me of the famous phrase I once heard someone call into to a TV Weather Station: "Mr. Forecaster, could you please come to my house and help me shovel the 6 inches of partly cloudy on my driveway?"

In the final analysis... I think QPF (liquid equiv in atmosphere) will be HIGHER than expected, temps will be COLDER than expected, the primary low will eject off the coast a LITTLE SLOWER than expected, thus everyone will receive slightly MORE than forecasted.

Here's my final QPF/snow breakdowns... might be slightly different to account for adjustments in liquid forecasts. Then I am off to school and the ski trip. Next post late tonight from Seven Springs Resort.

Boston: .50/15/25:1/6-12" (slightly more than the banner listed at top)
NYC/Long Island: .5/20/20:1/8-12" Philadelphia: 1.0/25/15:1/12-15"
Pittsburgh: .75/20/20:1/12-18" Interior/Central PA: .75/20/20:1/12-15" (incl. York County)
Baltimore: .75/25/15:1/10" Washington: .5/30/10:1/4-6"
Richmond: .25/30/10:1/3-5" Norfolk: .75-1.0/35/2-4" then rain

Please continue to post your questions and observations once the fun begins! I will do my best to keep you updated throughout the storm from where I will be this weekend with my students.

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