Sunday, February 20, 2005


IS THIS A COUP, A BUST OR SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN ?

LOOKS LIKE THE WEATHER AND THE FORECAST ARE ONCE AGAIN, MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE OF EACH OTHER. This storm has confounded most meteorologists from the get go, it's trends have eluded detection by the computer models, it has successfully avoided being correctly forecasted by even the world's best weather service, Accuweather, who have had to revise their snowfall projections for this event at least 3 times now. With the NWS yanking Winter Storm Warnings, something that is embarrassing to do, I think we're all ready to throw in the towel and as Andy said, "Write this winter off altogether."

Radars indicate the storm has split into two parts. The bulk of frozen precip has progressed through PA, going into New York and New England later tonight. To the south of Maryland is a large area of rain. Both of these precip swaths are heading mostly east. In between them is this large twilight zone encompassing most of Maryland. The infamous, much scowled-upon "dry slot" has found a home. Perhaps the moisture got forced out trying to get over the mountains, and downsloping on the east side in central Maryland dried the air further. With dewpoints already 20 degrees or so away from temps, it is highly unlikely that anyone in Maryland will get much of anything, so those of you near Baltimore, forget the "1-3 inches of wet snow" idea on TWC. This will be a bust for Maryland, a coup for the GFS, and a touchdown for New England. Hmmm, that sounds familiar.

I'M MORE CONFUSED THAN DISAPPOINTED...THIS IS SUCH A BIZARRE STORM

Three items I indicated earlier made me think this was going to turn out weird.

First item is the NAO continuing it's strong negative trend Unusual for a storm to just totally go against the grain and head into northern New England on a neg NAO signal. The Jan 22 storm went north because NAO was beginning a slow trend back to neutral, allowing more northerly track with time. This is totally opposite of that situation, and yet it continues to head north.

Second item are the talk of a secondary Low. While I was expecting this, it now seems unlikely that will even happen. Seems to me the overall system is moving too quickly to the east, and there is too much west to east zonal flow for a secondary to develop anywhere.

Third item is that current observations show the Canadian high is now parked in the classic spot for a good Nor'easter...just over upstate New York. It is a secondary piece of the main High, but with a 1 millibar difference (1032 v. 1033) I'd say that's not really much. Another high off the DelMarVa would argue AGAINST coastal redevelopment in that same area, thus the further south idea for the secondary. Unless we are going to violate all laws of physics and have two different parcels of air occupying the same exact place at the same time. Isn't that the Heisenberg Uncertaintly Principle?

It would now seem that High is what the storm will tap for a good snow in central New York, Massachusetts and into Boston. I am going to revise/cancel some of my snowfall totals, as I doubt we will be seeing anything near what I advertised for certain areas, while others are probably going to be right on target.

CHANGES TO THE SNOWFALL AMOUNTS

Maryland/West Virginia: All forecasted amounts have been cancelled. Sleet indicates there will be virtually no snow at all, or any that does will be less than 1 inch. Storm Grade: E

Pennsylvania: Amounts for York lowered to 1 inches, Paoli 3 inches, Philadelphia 3 inches. Other amounts stay as forecasted.

New York: 4 inches in Central Park, up from 2 inches before. Binghampton: 4 inches

Massachusetts: All previous amounts remain. No changes will be made.

I may add a few new cities for fun given the new storm dynamics.

WHAT'S THIS ABOUT ANOTHER STORM LATER THIS WEEK ?

As if you really want to hear about "another possible storm." It reminds me of the final scene in "Hunt for Red October" when the Russian Ambassador speaks privately with the U.S. National Security Advisor about the loss of a second sub, and the advisor says, "General.... you've lost ANOTHER submarine?"

22 comments:

Foot's Forecast said...

Sorry gang, the comments from earlier today were accidentally deleted I guess because I did a new post on the same day. I will look into your questions from earlier, as to the possibility of more snow or other uncertainties with the storm. I think it will be a quick snow, starting any moment now, go heavy for a few hours then start changing over.

Hannah said...

O.K. Now I hope that it doesn't precipitate at all tomorrow. My dear friend has to drive to the hospital and I don't want anything but smooth sailing from then on out. So I hope we get it all over and done with this evening or it misses us completely. Sorry guys.

mommyof3 said...

Just an update from the wv area. We have not had any snow but it is starting to sleet. I hope this is not an indication of a major ice accumulation.

Karen said...

It snowed for a few hours here in southwestern PA. Now it is sleeting.

linda said...

It is snowing in Bucks county, and starting to lay on grassy surfaces.

Andy, Southern York County PA said...

Have not seen any snow here, only a light flurry and it stopped here in southern, PA, 45 miles due north of Baltimore, MD. It's 8:10 and has not snowed. Maybe a bust for us.

steve said...

This storm is turning out to be very interesting. Currently, Central PA, northern NJ and Southern NY are getting some snow (you can see that it has been snowing in Central PA via this webcam at my alma mater http://cws.met.psu.edu/webcam.php ). Central and Southern VA, most of NC and SC are experiencing the rain. Many of us are caught in the middle where nothing has happened as of yet (basically from North Central VA to south central PA). Lightning has already occurred in parts of PA so the convective nature, and therefore the upward motion are definitely present. If any of this precip can jump the mountains and stay organized, the area of north central maryland into south central pa could get a nice period of snow, and/or sleet and ZR. I would say that the forecast is far from a bust at this point (late in arriving for some, but not a bust). Just watch and someone in sc PA will get snowfall rates of 1-2 inches/hour for a little while later tonight! If it is a bust? Who cares! The NAO is going in the tank and starting later this week we should get real cold and stay that way for a little while. Wouldn't a nice BIG storm make everyone happy sometime late this month or early in March?

Andy, Southern York County PA said...

Can't agree with you anymore Steve! Hope it all works out for us here! Just a little anxious. Has been a very weak winter for us snow loving powderhounds here in the York PA area. I also hope accuweather is correct in its speculation that a giant storm will hit the East Coast later in the week.

Andy, Southern York County PA said...

Official bust for us here! Have not seen ANY snow barring a really light flurry. WINTER STORM WARNING HAS BEEN CANCELLED! If we are lucky at some point the indications are that 1-2 inches may fall per new winter weather advisory. I am doubtful though. I am in the position that I will now write this winter off. It has truly been one of those years where we have gotten less than 10 inches of snow the entire season so far. Our average is around 36. It does happen some years, and I'm hopefull next year will more than make up for this one! SORRY FELLOW POWDERHOUNDS, WE ARE PUSHING MARCH NOW.

Foot's Forecast said...

I don't know guys, NWS has had to pull their Winter Storm Warning, which is embarrassing for them and me. This is just such a bizarre situation. I think the little pocket of high off the DelMarVa screwed things up, and the storm appears to be splitting in two and can't seem to get it together in time to affect DC-Baltimore at all. I think it is time to throw in the towel, or at least throw what is left of the storm to New England, cause that's where is it going. Hannah, I think you were right with this one.

E.H. Boston said...

I don't think I can really feel your pain Andy and Mr. Foot, but I kinda know how it feels when it seems like there is a curse on snow...a few winters ago (2001-2002) I believe only about 13 or 14" of snow fell that season...it was PAINFUL. The next season we racked up over 6 FEET of snow...things will come around, if not this year, they will next year...

4-7" is the call for Boston, with 5-8"+ north of the city around Woburn and northward to southern NH. Just a thought, but could this still turn out to be a bust storm for us too...one minute calling for heavy snow and the next an inch...I don't know what to say to comfort you guys, but Accuweather.com is saying a big storm is brewing for late next week, there is always hope until May 1st the end of snow season.

Foot's Forecast said...

Sleet and flurries mixed in Dundalk, but at least there is no school Monday. Ahhh memories of the Feb 2003 Blizzard, when will the good old days be here again? Winter's last stand is coming, and then we look ahead to HURRICANE season. Three words: LOOK OUT TEXAS.

E.H. Boston said...

Mr. Foot don't depress us with hurricane season yet, I still have hope for snow...let that stuff wait till June 1st.

Andy, Southern York County PA said...

Although I am really skeptical about snow prospects for us this season, I can still say this my fellow powderhounds and scientists; ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. When it comes to mother nature there is no passion or prejudice, only WILDERNESS! I will not write all snow off until April 1 for PA. As Mr. Foot indicated in previous posts "It happened before and it will happen again". This is true! There have been VERY poor winters, this one included, and really endless snowy winters. There is no doubt we will celebrate one day again! Maybe late this week per accuweather or if it's a bust, in March, or next year. BUT WE WILL HAVE OUR STORM AT SOME POINT! I can remember 2 years ago in New Freedom, PA 33 inches of Snow in 30 hours! It will happen again for Baltimore and Boston. Keep your heads up, trust me and mother nature.

Julee said...

Just left my sister's in Hunt Valley driving through a sort of drizzly mist. I passed NINE salt trucks in a park-and- ride piled HIGH with NaCl (or KCl), lights ablaze ready for anything.
But . . . there's nothing.
Just heard some ice pellets outside my window in Pikesville but it was momentary.
This weather is giving winter a BAD name!

Terpboy said...

20 Feb 2320

Hi, new guy on the block. BCPS secondary Science teacher and weather nerd. Logged in to your site right before the last "no-snow".

I commented earlier, but you erased it.....sort of like this storm.

What's the old saying? You don't like the weather in Maryland, wait a minute.

Got a 140 foot driveway here in Harford County...just rolled out the trash on the grass.....snow, sleet, and freezing rain bigtime

I like your site, and the research that you put into it.

Keep up the good work.

Terpboy

Uncle Rico - Oklahoma said...

hey hey - i like that comment about the weather in MD -
DON'T LIKE IT... WAIT A MINUTE.

I see we are back in business. Good to see the usuals still in attendance - however I don't like the sign in function - Mr. Foot - you keeping tabs on us? For the others - it took some lengthy emails and several pleading rants to Mr. Foot, but you can all thank me, as I got Mr. Foot to put the comments back on.

Sorry about the weather there - must be annoying to look for 4 inches and get nothing - according to the posts. Mr. Foot - what's this thing you said about Texas????

Foot's Forecast said...

Terpboy, the erasure was accidental. I made a new post for the same day, and for some reason blogger erased the previous set of comments. Sorry. The baby and I are sharing a bowl of cereal as we look through morning reports. Another ho hum storm. Maybe I'll just forecast hurricanes from now on. Uncle Rico, better go buy some blue plastic tarp while it is cheap, I think this summer will be busy for you.

Foot's Forecast said...

Hold on there partner... No one is going to take credit for being the reason comments returned. I let nature take it's course and waited until there was another storm in the offing. Don't like signing in? Well there are some things we like to do but don't have to do, and then there are some things we don't like to do but have to do. Comprehendez?

linda said...

Good morning. Got maybe 21/2 inches of wet heavey snow here in Bucks county.It sure looks beautiful, as with this kind of snow it just sticks to everything.Mr. Foot, do you think that there is a chance of one more big snowstorm left for this year? Thanks again for all the time that you put in, and for sharing with us. L.M. Bucks County

Andy, Southern York County PA said...

Nice and icy this morning here in York County. We had no snow but sleet and freezing rain, with a few snow flakes tossed in for good measure. You have to admire the weather in a sick kind of way if you are a powderhound. It is amazing that it simply will not snow in this region that averages about 36 inches of snow per year. That in and of itself is interesting and amazing. My gut feeling tells me to write winter off because despite forecasts, winter storm warnings, etc., there really has been no snow. I must say though, the snow we did get this year was not forecasted by the NWS. Everything has been a surprise, SO I wonder what awaits us as we THINK we are heading for an early SPRING!

Frank said...

4 1/2" here in central NJ right by Rutgers University. Right on with just about all the predictions I heard. One of the few times this year that the local forecasters got it right. They were calling for about 3-6 and 4-7.