Thursday, January 17, 2008


-The catch phrase popularized by Wrestling announcer Michael Buffer
The Middle Atlantic States may experience two or possibly three snow events over the next 7-8 day period, combined with very cold Arctic air this weekend with another round of cold later next week. One point to make clear is that by Saturday morning, sidestreets and parking lots will likely be slick and "cruncy" as Justin Berk of ABC2 News noted. This may impact school activities and events planned for tomorrow.

ON THE WEEK AHEAD: (I'ved moved graphics to bottom of the post, as they are blocked by some school servers.) The Saturday storm has potential to deliver anywhere from a glancing blow to a similar amount of snow as occured on Thursday. The second event next Tuesday will feature some winter precipitation but does not appear to be significant. Next Thursday into Friday could very possibly contain the necessary ingredients for a major coastal snowstorm. The setup for this third and final storm of the month looks similar in orientation to that which we saw prior to the February 2003 Blizzard. I know that sounds like a hypecast statement, but bear with me on the explanation as to why I am seeing this.

The meteorologists whom read this site are going to chuckle and say, "Yes, but that's the GFS 7 days from now. Come on, you know a lot can change between now and then." I must agree that they would be right. To the contrary, they would also agree that the GFS has sometimes shows a big storm in the long range, then loses it for a few days. We've looked back at model verification to see that the final solution occasionally ended up looking a lot like the initial projection. With that precedent in mind, allow me to explain the dynamics of a Mid-Atlantic Big Kahuna # 1.

If you're not able to view the graphic below, I'll summarize the main features:
1. The next two events are going to orient the upper atmospheric flow in such a way as to leave behind a "piece of energy" or a closed 500mb Low in the Southwest, as alluded to in HPC discussions of late.
2. Between Monday and Wednesday, this upper level feature will begin to rotate east and eventually eject into the Gulf of Mexico. An active southern stream will provide the impetus for a surface low to develop.
3. High pressure in northern Canada should settle to Ontario and expand over the Northeast and Great Lakes by Thursday morning.
4. Easterly and southerly flow off the Gulf and Atlantic will allow precipitation to break out over the Lower Mississippi valley Wednesday into Thursday as the developing storm moves northeast. A slightly neutral to postive NAO and generally slightly positive PNA should allow for any Southeast Canadian High Pressure to remain in place as the surface low travels through the Tennessee Valley and toward the Carolina coast by Friday morning.

IN CONCLUSION FOR NOW: While I'm not saying the map that some of you can't see will exactly verify, what I am saying is it represents the general trend of pressure systems over the next week. One of the most important features necessary for a solid East Coast snow event is a strong, stationary High Pressure in SE Canada. I think the climate teleconnectors are indicating the environment becomes most favorable for this arrangement by middle to late next week. How much snow is too early to tell, but the potential is there for a large scale winter weather event across much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

Thu 1-24 Banana High


Mr.S said...

Ok, I'm going over your forecast for next week and I'm not liking what I see. That 3rd storm (Thurs- Fri) "Major Coastal Storm". Come on, tell you're confused, and it's not coming until Sunday the 27th! Otherwise there will be several thousand "Frozen Plungers" on Jan 26th participating in the MSP Polar Bear Plunge! I guess we lucked out with the warmer weather, in the fifties during the day, last year!

Unknown said...

I hope we go to school 2 hours late tomorrow ;)

Foot's Forecast said...

Well sorry everyone, the wisdom of the masses did not lead the day this time, as your interactive poll I thought was sure to show what would really happen. Or maybe you all were wishcasting??!?

I'll try to refresh the Rumble Post with graphics and an overview of the next 3 events, before I head out to grab those donuts for homeroom, right Grant?

Anonymous said...

Simply amazing... had to postpone an audition yesterday and of course we have major production planned for next weekend.. looks like plan B should be dusted off!

Thanks for the heads up Mr. Foot!! :)

Mr.S said...

Well a 1 hour delay for BCPS, and a Regular day for most other counties. At least this won't mess with schuduling for the exams.

AA County wouldn't have been able to do a delay anyways, they are already scheduled for a 1/2 day b/c of testing!
See you at 8:30 Mr. Foot

wvm said...

We ended up getting today off too:)
My children are so excited!! They get a five day weekend.
Mr Foot I am excited about your forecast but also nervous. I am due in Feb. so even though I will always love the snow. I am hoping we do not have any crippling storms until after the baby comes:)

Mr. Brisko said...

Mr. foot

I had 3.75" here. I don't know about these upcoming events. I just don't see anything.

Anonymous said...

Bummer.... Justin Berk says Saturday wont be an event for us ... Oh Well.... there is always hope for the following week!

russ l said...

mr. foot,
been looking at different areas all moring and many people seem to think that this coastal storm could move more north rather than go out to sea. looking at the radars I can see what they mean. not being a professional, does it have a chance to do this?