Friday, February 8, 2013

34 inches, and still snowing...
- Hartford, CT Courant




STORM REPORTS: 

IN CT, MASS, RI: 

ACROSS SOUTHERN N.E.:
WINDS OF 60 MPH +  
2+ FEET OF SNOW WIDESPREAD






8:30 AM EST 2/9/2013 (Northeast US Team) This excerpt from the Hartford Courant in Connecticut sums up the extreme crippling nature of this historic blizzard:
"Roads across the state were impassable Saturday morning, with drivers, emergency responders and even highway crews stuck in 2 to 3 feet of snow.

At 5 a.m., Gov. Dannel P. Malloy ordered all roads closed until further notice, according to spokesman Andrew Doba. 
Just before 7 a.m., more than 36,000 Connecticut Light & Power customers were without power, along with more than half a million households in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. 
Snowfall totals ranged from 34 inches in New Haven, Hamden andShelton to 25 inches in New Hartford and Stafford, 18 inches inWaterbury and 16 inches in Litchfield. Snow was still falling at 7 a.m"



OUR WISHES FOR YOUR SAFETY The Winter Stormcast Team conveys our wishes of safety to all readers being impacted by this storm. We hope our advance forecasting has been of value to your decision-making and preparation. Our efforts will begin shifting to analysis for the next storm event now developing across the Rockies this weekend, heading to the Western Great Lakes. 


Our previous reports below...

Winter Fury Joining Forces
STATES OF EMERGENCY: MASS, RHODE ISLAND, CONNECTICUT
NYC EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT WINTER SAFETY INFO

HEAVY PRECIP BANDS OFFSHORE ARRIVING BEFORE SUNDOWN
AMTRAK SERVICE SUSPENDED FOR NORTHEAST CORRIDOR
OVER 2 FEET POSSIBLE CT & RI TONIGHT INTO SATURDAY

1:40 PM EST 2/8 | STORM IMPACT STATEMENT FOR CONNECTICUT READERS
In collaboration with U.S. Leadership Team & Winter Stormcast Team

SNOWFALL & TIMING
  • We expect snow to be light to moderate through later afternoon with a few inches of accumulation possible by evening rush.
  • The heavier snow will begin during the evening hours and continue until shortly after midnight.
  • By Saturday morning, expect 18-24” to have fallen across the entire state, including Hartford and Bridgeport, with some isolated higher amounts possible. The graphic below from the NAM model as rendered on coolwx.com shows a possible 2.60" of liquid for Bridgeport, CT. At a normal 10:1 ratio, this would be 26" of snow.

IMPACTS:
  • Bands of heavy snow with rates of up to 3” per hours tonight into Saturday.
  • Combination of these high snowfall rates and gusty winds of 30-40 mph will make travel impossible.
  • Snow drifts up to 4-5’ will be likely,

RECOVERY: 
  • We recommend avoiding travel and outdoor activity at all costs after sundown today until Saturday afternoon at the earliest. Roads will quickly become snow covered as crews will not be able to keep up with the heavy snowfall rates. 
  • Back roads may stay snow covered through Sunday, post storm temperatures are expected to remain near freezing, and slow melting thereafter will slow recovery efforts. 
  • A second storm is likely to affect the region by the middle of next week.


A Textbook Storm:
Primary Low Stays Stronger Longer
FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO HISTORIC WINTER STORM INCLUDE:
ABOVE NORMAL SEA SURFACE TEMPS; AMPLE GULF MOISTURE; COLD AIR RESERVOIR IN QUEBEC; UPPER LEVEL ENERGY IN OHIO VALLEY


11:25 AM EST 2/8 (Winter Stormcast Team) Why are we and other weather organizations confident about this storm? Because of a rule we employ called  "the primary low stays stronger, longer." 

This earlier animation from Penn State Meteorology depicts how wind speeds at upper levels will exceed hurricane force. This also reveals how the storm will produce sustained surface gale to storm force winds tonight into Saturday (39-55 mph), if winds at 5,000 feet are nearly 100 mph. Regardless of your snow amount, this storm will make your area look blizzard like for a 6-12 hour period, because of the wind issue.

Animation capture from PSU Meteorology's E-wall show how the 
coastal low is expected to absorb energy from the inland low.


ANALYSIS: While a northern system (at 1008 mb) is producing snow across the eastern Great Lakes, a southern system has tapped Gulf of Mexico moisture, and has already developed a surface low (at 1000 mb) deeper than than the northern system. The coastal system has ample time to rapidly develop as it moves up the Eastern seaboard, projected to deepen to 974 mb upon reaching the New England coast. As it does, upper level energy is slowly transferred from the weaker system over the Great Lakes, into the stronger system moving northeastward. The latest NOAA surface map as shown below: 


RESULT: The result will be a long-tracked, rapidly developing coastal storm which is widely expected to produce sustained winds of 35 mph or greater and reduce visibility during times of heavy snow to less than 1/4 of a mile. Hence the official definition of a Blizzard, according to National Weather Service winter weather terminology.

The New England Blizzard of 1978 paralyzed the region for weeks.



Forecasters Foot [MD] 

Zach F., Andrew B. [PSU], 

Zach J.[NYC]

10 comments:

ravensbbr said...

"...and then it suddenly retrogrades back to the SW, burying central MD in 48"+ of 15:1 powder and liberating man, women and children to free their inner powderhound and stay home for a week..."

(wakes up, rubs eyes, looks around)

"Dang daydreams."

ravensbbr said...

Wow, L is projected to hit 984mb @1900L tonight...

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

It has been a tough 2 year stretch for powder hounds in our region. It is coming to an end this month I promise you!

The pattern is active, we are in our historical prime snow season. Many threats in the medium and long range. Now we can actually chase storms and not snow showers from dying clippers, or hope that we get some bands from a storm two hundred miles away.

I feel like the Ray Lewis of Foot's Forecast, but I am a true believer in this pattern so it's game time. Wednesday night into Thursday is our first threat. On the table is the prospect of 6-10 inches of snow. Let's see if it evolves the way we need it to!

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Although its at the outer edge /and just beyond our current day 7
forecast period/...the past few U.S. And Euro model operational runs and
their respective ensemble means have trended toward a much higher
amplitude/phased upper trough being carved out across the
Appalachians for next weekend...with a potential for low pressure to
develop over the southeast states and move up the East Coast.


Operational GFS and gefs display the higher amplitude upper trough
and more southern surface low solution with the 09/00z gefs containing a
strengthening...1000 mb surface low just east of korf next Sat evening
- 17/00z.


It/S way too early to place much emphasis on a particular storm
track/precipitation outcome...but extensive amplification to the favorably
located upstream...and downstream upper ridges will help to target
the central Appalachians and NE states for another round of snow.

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

This is our time, it's our year, game on.

Jeremy S. said...

So...do you think models are going to trend more north? I've heard that the 12z EURO made a nice adjustment in giving us the storm we in Baltimore want, the GFS stood its grounds, but many other models scoot the storm out to sea. I don't know whether If Virginia gets another major snowstorm while Baltimore sees a flurries, I will flip. DT at WXrisk says that the GFS model (which gives us the storm we've been wanting for years) is useless and is deeply flawed. Right now, he says, the storm looks better for NC, VA, and DC. He's always so negative when it comes to giving Baltimore snow. Whenever you disagree with him, he'll comment back to you, "You're such BS!!" I think I'm going to go ahead and dislike him.

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Jeremy S.,

Problem with some weather bloggers etc. is that they are model absolutists. If a model does not show something literally then it can't happen philosophy.

Some absolutists hug certain models no matter what and run with them. I think this storm has the best chance to give us our largest snowfall in a couple years. Heck if 4 inches verifies that would do it. We are in a favorable time period from a climatology standpoint, the southern stream is active, and the devil as always is in the details.

I am excited to watch the evolution and I think a warning criteria snow is a possibility. if this does not pan out, the next couple of weeks show the greatest promise since 2011. I like our odds and am convinced that this pattern will deliver.

Jeremy S. said...

Can you please make a post on this storm? Everyone powderhound in MD needs a moral boost from watching Nemo on TWC.....I smile at the fact that only a few years ago, Snowmageddon pummeled MD with the as much power as Nemo. The memories from that storm are priceless.

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

6 to 10 inches are still on the table for Wednesday. Guidance continues to trend more amped up and cold.

Jeremy S. said...

Loving it!!