Wednesday, March 9, 2005


FOR THOSE OF US IN THE NORTHEAST, WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES! Monday afternoon I was resting comfortably after school in my "captain's chair" in the corner of my room as the wonderful sunshine filtered through the blinds. I am looking out over green fields and blue skies. The temperature is 70 degrees in downtown Baltimore.

24 HOURS LATER...I am sitting in the same chair, looking out the same window. A near blinding mini-blizzard has just ended, the fields of green are white again. The temperature is 26 F and wind is howling something fierce. No doubt all of you experienced in some unique way how Winter hit back hard today. The winds beating against my door makes it feel as though if I were to open it, I would find myself back on Killington Peak in Vermont in -30 temperatures.

SO THIS IS WINTER'S LAST BLAST? Oh no no no. I know it seems that weather people keep saying this, but it continues to be true....the WORST is YET to come. If you thought this was bad, wait until you see the weekend storm that will be a bonafide coastal and not a bomber that drops and moves on. Behind that storm is more cold air and wind that will test even those with nerves of steel. And after that is the potential for the grand finale blockbuster event of the winter I've been indicating now for weeks and weeks. The ULTRA KAHUNA that will once and for all end this whole charade and get the atmosphere moving toward Spring again.

WHAT ULTRA KAHUNA? It's been 12 years since the last one, and there are many lined up in history that were the final great event of the winter and served to once and for all kill the polar vortex pattern and send it back to where it belongs... THE POLE! The timeframe for this very significant East Coast event looks to be in the period from St. Patrick's Day to the 20th. The Ultra Kahuna of March 1958 dropped 4 feet of heavy wet snow just west of the major cities from DC to NYC. The pattern we are in favors this whole game to go out in a blinding white squall of glory that will challenge even the hardiest powderhounds and make them cry uncle.

UNTIL THEN, THE FOCUS IS ON THE SET OF MAJOR SNOWSTORMS TO IMPACT THE NORTHEAST...the Tuesday-Wednesday event and the Friday-Sunday event.

Current Storm: An overall 6-12" was a reasonable forecast for areas from Boston on north and west into interior New England. Local amounts in excess of 12" are likely from central Vermont into central and northern Maine. Other forecasts that verified fairly well was the 2-4" in New York City and 3-6" in Connecticut and Rhode Island. As you already know, incredibly strong winds of 50-60 mph and blizzard-like conditions raked most of New England yesterday and today, as a sub 970 mb low continues to intensify and charge northeast. These are the kind of pressures we usually see in tropical systems. The last storm to have a pressure nearly this low was... the March 1993 Superstorm. All this from a glorified cold front. Makes you wonder what the next storm could end up doing.

The Next Storm: Since you asked, I'll explain it. This second event has the potential to be a very heavy snow producer for the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and New England again. It is a system coming east out of the Lakes which will incorporate upper level energy from a shortwave in the southeast, and then "bomb out" once it reaches the coast. New information makes it more likely that the Lakes system will head across Pennsylvania, reach the Jersey coast, and then intensify heading north-northeast. This would make it another major storm for most of New England into the weekend.

SNOWFALL AMOUNTS: This will be a hit and miss storm for areas from Philadelphia on south and west. The slowly rising negative NAO will allow for this system to lift north and keep accumulations in the PHL to DC corridor less than 4 inches overall. However from northern New Jersey to Maine, be on the lookout for another potentially explosive storm that could EQUAL OR EXCEED amounts from the current storm. A general guide this time around would be another 6-12" forecast from N NJ to Maine, except that most areas should be at the 6" mark or above it.

More evidence this will be a Boston and north event is the current Day 4-5 QPF. It shows a moderate amount of precip .25-.50 in the southern I-95 corridor from Friday morning to Sunday morning, with .5 to .75 in northern New England. Higher snow ratios farther north in the drier air will mean a 15:1 conversion, and perhaps 20:1 in far northern areas above Burlington and west of Portland, ME.

TIMING OF THE STORM: In the southern I-95 corridor, (PHL on south) snow showers will be on the increase Friday and taper off by Saturday morning. Central and eastern PA could easily get 3-6", more the farther east you live. Again this has explosive written all over it as a sharp temperature contrasts between the Gulf stream and coastal waters will allow this Low to really crank up as quickly as the current storm did. From Central and Northern NJ to Boston, expect snow to break out by Friday night, and move up the coast by Saturday morning, with snow throughout the day Saturday, tapering with gusty winds behind it late in the day.

SPRING SPORTS FORECAST: Strong March sun will melt the light snow covering today in most areas in southern PA and Maryland. Breezy and cold winds will dry fields off quickly, but make practice very unpleasant, especially for coaches who have to stand still and tolerate the wind whipping through your coat. Snow showers returning Friday makes for another day indoors. Next week, some warming back to seasonal temperatures is expected, highs getting back to the low 50's in advance of yes... another big storm late in the week.


E.H. Boston said...

Snowfall Updates:

Really hard to measure with all the drifting and blowing...

Here is a general idea anyway...

Boston: 4"+

Woburn: 6"+ so far....

Heavy snow continues...

Hannah said...

How much snow do you think this "Ultra Kahuna" will bring? I sure hope it is a lot!

E.H. Boston said...

Snow Update:

Boston: 4-5" so far

Woburn: 6-7" so far

Another 1-3" before the night is done bring...

Boston: 5-8"

Woburn: 7-10"

Schools are up in the air for tomorrow AM. Time to sleep...shoveling at 6 in the morning is in my future.

Julee said...

Okay, I'm finally thinking about a move to New England. How much snow have you *had* there this year? 500 inches?
With my luck, by the time I get there you'll be suffering a drought.

Mr. Foot! How can you continue to allow this happen???? By promising us 4 feet next week?


Frank said...

Weatherchannel had SNOW for Friday, not changed that to Rain/Snow showers, and snow showers for Saturday. I wonder how many times that will change in the next 2 days?

E.H. Boston said...

Julee this storm will bring Boston into the LOW 80's (in inches) for the season of snow. Probably will be around 82" for the season tom. AM. If you like snow, move to northern New England. Winters can range dramatically here from about 10" in a year to 110" in a year. AVG. 41"...northern New England always gets between 80-110"+ yearly. More in the Mts. That is the place to be

Andy, Southern York County PA said...

I'm not too impressed with the snow potential for the mid atlantic with the upcoming systems. Hope I'm wrong for our sake, but I think the storms will become more of a New England event than a middle atlantic event. If winter ends today I would give this winter 2004-05 a D for snow here. Last winter 2003-04 gets a B-, the 2002-03 an A+. MAYBE next year will be an A year for us. New England an all out A++ this year! The truth for us here is that we have not really had a snow much over 6 inches this year that has had much real impact on anything. That in my book makes it a poor winter.

Hannah said...

Don't fret, Andy. I am sure the Mid Atlantic will get more snow yet. Or so I hope. There are plenty more opportunities to give this winter a B- or at least a C.

E.H. Boston said...


Snowfall to date: 83"


E.H. Boston said...



Boston: 3-6"
Woburn: 3-6"
Portland, ME: 5-8"
Cape Cod: 3-5"
NYC: 2-4"
Baltimore: C-1"
Philadelphia: 1"
DC: Sorry
York, PA: 2-4"

If coastal low moves closer to the coast expect these preliminary numbers to rise.

E.H. Boston said...

Mr. Foot...looks like the storm is going merrily OUT TO SEA with light snows in the cities...ON ALL OF THE COMPUTER MODELS.

Are you seeing something that I am not seeing? 6-12" looks a bit this storm going to start moving NW to affect us?


What is the JMA/Canadian saying about this storm? They are ALWAYS CORRECT. They picked up last night's storm a week in advance. Good luck...

E.H. Boston said...

SPS are on the air for Southern New England regarding the weekend storm.

STEP 3: WSWarning/Advisory

Step 1: CHECK

Frank said...

All the NY weathermen are saying a near miss for a coastal storm for this Friday night/Saturday for our area. Just some light snow/rain for Friday. They are all saying that the models are keeping this system out to sea. The CBS station here does an extended trend up to 10 days out, and he said as of right now a miss again for a coastal system for next Thursday. Just thought you would like to know what they are saying here. I'm looking forward to your update!

Hannah said...

Oh no! My computer burped too! So sorry everyone.

Foot's Forecast said...

Yes I am aware models are showing this. When was the LAST time that models were a slight bit off on near misses for metropolitan areas? How about 18 inches off for the January 22 storm. How about the "snow changing to rain" storm that became a brief raging blizzard all up and down the I-95 corridor on Tuesday? I think this pattern has to be considered armed and dangerous with a potential for EACH system coming across to explode with little warning. The low that just departed dropped to near 970 mb. No model predicted it would get so low, which is why I think anything remains possible for the next 2 systems.

My next update probably won't be until later tonight or early Thur morning. I am getting ready for weekend ski trip to Sunday River, Maine. Lots of snow there, but lots of lesson plans here to prepare.

So sit back, relax and enjoy the waffle game, it has just begun. E.H. what was the final number for you on that storm?

E.H. Boston said...

Final number for Boston was about 4.5". Woburn saw about 7" of snow.


Boston: 5/6 = B

Woburn: 7/8 = B+


E.H. Boston said...

Rounded the 4.5" to 5". So hard to measure because of the drifts. One side of the street had 2" and the other side had over a foot. (MY SIDE, ON MY CAR) Similar story in Woburn.