Thursday, January 30, 2014

Could the Groundhog get snowed (or iced) in??

Could the Groundhog get snowed (or iced) in??
Long range indications for Feb 1-8 suggest a prolonged period of wintry or potentially icy weather for much of the eastern United States, bearing similarity to the January-February ice storms of 1994. 

3:26 AM 1/30 (Winter Stormcast Team) The short- and long-range indications for this week and into the next 10 days are a timely fit for our team's 10th Anniversary Week! 

As we turn the corner toward Groundhog Day (and Superbowl Sunday), this is a heads up that there are "interesting" trends a foot. 

PRECIPITATION - This image from the NOAA NWS Climate Prediction Center latest 6-10 day outlook shows quite the geographic swath of "above normal probability" for precipitation. Honestly, to our Long Range Team this was the most widespread coverage of a high precip probability we have seen all winter. Why is that a concern? See below.


TEMPERATURE - Although the corresponding temperature probabilities are (thankfully) expected to return to normal for the Mid-Atlantic, the concern is clear. Normal overnight lows this time of year, and daytime highs, are generally at the lowest values of the entire winter for most locations. 

PUT IT ALL TOGETHER - Considering:
* Extensive US and Canadian snowcover as compared to this time last year;
* A frozen ground across much of the Eastern US;
* Increasing moisture transport across the U.S. along a frontal boundary;
* This frontal boundary separating two opposing strong high pressure systems (Arctic to the northwest, Atlantic ridge to the southeast);
* Favorable long range climate mechanisms such as a drop in the North Atlantic Oscillation, and influence from the Pacific-oriented Madden Julian Oscillation...

.. leads us to identify the period from Feb 1-8 (and perhaps longer) as the next target time frame for significant winter weather from the Tennessee Valley to the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic.

While not a specific snowfall or ice forecast, our approach is based  on analytical techniques we have utilized over the past 10 years and longer, to identify and report when trends are moving back towards "storm mode." 

We'll keep you posted, and thank you for your readership in this winter weather adventure!

For more on our Anniversary Week and how the team started, visit this story on our main site (http://www.footsforecast.org/2014/01/ten-years-of-authentic-local-weather.html

(The Winter Stormcast Team of Foot's Forecast)

58 comments:

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/32639942@N03/sets/72157640194800213/show

Blowing and drifting continues to be a problem on some back roads up here. These pictures were taken yesterday in the rural rolling hills and cliffs of York County.

As we approach February the wave lengths continue to shorten creating a more southern storm track. This year the PV has been on this side of the globe providing ample cold air. When you have systems tracking south tapping southern stream moisture and ample cold air something is going to pop.

On the 30th models show a system tapping gulf moisture and developing a large snow for the OBX of NC. With each model run the trend has been a gradual push northwest.

There is no negative NAO and nothing to suppress this storm except the model skills of handling the strength and placement of various features such as the PV. If the storm comes in more amped up it will shift northwest bringing us snow.

After this system things get very interesting. I have the Kevlar polished and out. Have not done that since 2010! Plenty of southern stream moisture and cold around. We will be in the battle ground. Something is going to pop soon and we may not know the details until within 72 hours. I'm pretty excited about the next few days and weeks for serious snow. This is the year we cash in on the record cold and active southern stream.

kyle farmer said...

Andy the 18z ensembles any thoughts

kyle farmer said...

Gfs

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Kyle,

That is why the Kevlar has been polished since last week for the 20th threat and beyond. Typical model behavior at this range. Nothing to suppress this storm., if new data samples show the low more amped gas up the blower. I have been accused of eating bad Manwhich for honking the 20th, but I NEVER hype just warn fellow powderhounds of snow threats. The storm is better sampled and models are responding as I always suspected they would. Synoptics over verbatim is best at long leads and the 18 gefs suggest my Manwhich is fresh and mooing! MOO!!!!

Kathi said...

Great pics Andy!

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

NWS BALT WASH:

"It is Worth noting that a significant coastal storm
will likely impact Georgia...the Carolinas and southeast Virginia on Tuesday night/Wednesday and any alteration of its track farther
north/west will greatly change the forecast."

This has been the Bad Manwhich Storm Threat that I referred to last week. For the last 7 days there has been a storm on the coast, the details have not been set in stone, all the data has not been sampled, and the fast flow, PV, secondary lows, not PERFECTLY modeled. No one could say as of last week or today that this is a southern coast low and nothing else. There is no block. We have a plus 1 NAO trending toward neutral allowing for a storm to come up the coast. Unless the PV or kicker other low that could kick this storm are PERFECTLY modeled, all you have at this range is a coastal southern stream storm. We all know models have little to no skill at this range, so it is clear that the NWS reflects that if new data shows a more amped solution then there will be a DRASTIC change in forecast within 72 hours.

All of a sudden there has been a shift to the NW. IF and IF this continues it will no longer be a storm threat for us but a REAL STORM!



Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Kathi,

Thanks. I wanted to share with some of our more urban friends the landscape up here. Penn Dot has done a great job keeping our roads open! There was about 1/2 inch of snow yesterday and as you can see from a couple pictures the roads began to drift over with only a 1/2 inch. I have had 4 inch snows create 2 foot drifts on roads that have made them impassable by car.

Now you have to have dry fluffy snow, wind, and extreme cold for that to happen. We have all 3. If a 1/2 inch of snow can continually recover our roads imagine what 10 inches of powder can do.

Now that e have a REAL winter with serious cold, and southern energy February promises to be cold and wet. I think we might set some records and time will tell which ones!

BioPat said...

Andy, JB seeing a northwest trend as well on Wednesday evening. Still a few too many hours out, but if the trend continues to move north central MD may get involved with this storm which leads us into the next series of storms.

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

BP,

It does not even look like a typical trend per say. I mean we call it that and for simple practical reasons it is, but the new data implies a completely different more NW solution.

The models are just not that good. There is a dart board and a dart. They are good at telling you that much. Where the dart will land depends on the wind, how much beer the dart guy had, how many attractive women in the bar when the dart guy is supposed to focus on the board, and how greasy the bar food when he grips the dart. Until you know the precise detail of each variable, then you cannot have a reasonable final solution to the equation.

Right now we are seeing some of the variables come into play with some clarity, and that is why there is a shift.

Suffice it to say, there was never a 600lb bearded woman in a thong blocking the board (NEG NAO), therefor without that block that dart was always in play to hit a bulls eye into our region.

ravensbbr said...

...and I will now never be able to think of the NAO in any other terms...

#scarred #effectiveanalogybutataveryhighcost #goingtogopukenow

:-P

Tina said...

The thong part is what made me almost snort diet coke all over my keyboard.

Jeremy S. said...

The NAM came in maybe a tick northwest, but not 'SOUND THE ALARM' northwest...I'll give this storm more time, but I'm going to go on record as saying that this storm doesn't have my support. But if Andy's right, I'll owe him one VIRTUAL, THEORETICAL,
GENU-INE DOLLAR.

Rufus said...

Andy as always I enjoy reading your posts regarding these storms. Should be an interesting couple of days.

Morpheus said...

Andy - I never really doubled your Manwhich, in fact if there is southern bias in the models at the moment and we catch this one, I will dispatch a Saint Bernard to your great northern region of PA with a can strapped to it neck! I only hope it will get there in time with only 72 hours notice.

BioPat said...

Well Morpheus and Andy, this should be interesting!! I'd say the plot may begin to thicken over the next 36 hours! I know the folks down south will be tremendously relieved if this system moves more northwest saving them from the frenzy of buying snow shovels in the land where they do not exist except in novelty stores!

BioPat said...

BTW Andy the image of a 600 lb bearded woman in a thong blocking the dart board is mind boggling in itself. I would have loved to have read some of the papers you submitted in school!! I really don't know how I'll remove that image from my brain today, God help my students as we get back to the splitting of the cell.

BioPat said...

Latest from JB is the storm will be record breaking in the south and just clip Delmarva. So I guess that means that 600 lb bearded showgirl is moving too slowly out of the way for this storm to impact central MD.

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Thanks! It is all fun just tracking weather, so I never take any of this business too seriously except to try and get the general idea right, and try to sniff out the nature and extent of storm threats.

BP, no papers in remedial reading! Teachers were spared, gross analogies and sophomoric metaphors! :)

You can never dismiss a coastal threat unless there is something there to squash it completely. Model trends have been weaker with the NW trend and slowed the progression toward us.

NWS BALT WAHS
Short term /Tuesday night through Wednesday night/...
models are in decent agreement with keeping a southern stream low
far enough south to keep the bulk of the quantitative precipitation forecast south of the County Warning Area Tuesday night into Wednesday. 00z GFS still brings the .10" line in
lower southern Maryland...with 00z NAM/European model (ecmwf) further southeast. Forecast reflects a chance of snow in southern Maryland late Tuesday night into Wednesday...with dry conditions further northwest. Always have to keep a close eye on these systems and their northwest
extent."

BioPat said...

Thanks for the update Andy. I am sure this storm will cause outright chaos down south. I guess we should be thankful for the break. Besides I just spent $13.00 to have the salt cleaned from my car yesterday the break of looking through clean windows and at a clean car will be nice.
The cold coming in today will be enough of a problem. Guess we'll have to look at the weekend and next week for the next storm system. The northwest trend on this one is just not sufficient to bring it into Baltimore.

NeedaSnowday said...

Figures when we are in bulls eye things trend North and we bust.... OBX in bulls eye, but no Northern trend....

Booooooo!

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Latest srefs bring about an inch of snow to Baltimore. Still trending.

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Remember, without our 600lb, bearded frriend in a thong the road is not blocked and there is no reason it can not come north synoptically.

notsofreestate said...

Keep trending, keep trending, keep trending....

My sister in NC is praying the storm will go north.

So am I. :-D

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

NWS BALT WASH LATES DISCO:

Short term /Tuesday night through Wednesday night/...
low pressure off the southeast coast Tuesday night will move
northeast away from the coast late Tuesday night and Wednesday.
Guidance has kept the precipitation off to our south and east
recently. However...the latest trend in the deterministic model
runs bring some precipitation from the low farther north and west
into our County Warning Area. There is also uncertainty in the ensemble fields which indicate a possibility of snow reaching well into our County Warning Area.
Our latest snow probability maps which take into account the
ensemble fields show the high degree of uncertainty. Updated the
latest forecast to include possible snow for locations near and
east of I-95. As of now...it looks like the best chance for
accumulating snow will be across southern Maryland...but again
uncertainty is high and this needs to be monitored.

Jeremy S. said...

I'd love to see this come northwest to Baltimore and see how things play out among the meteorologist community. I want to see those "ALERT. ALERT."'s chime.

Sandy said...

My friend who is a TA at Auburn said they closed school for tomorrow. The NWS is calling for 2+ inches for Birmingham. The south is not prepared for this at all.

BioPat said...

Well there's still 24 - 30 hours for this thing to move further north and west. let's give it a go and see what happens!

NeedaSnowday said...

I'll go with ya BP, but I just know how bummed we will be when a Kahuna hits well south of us.... :(

siddaleephotography said...

FITF!!!

Morpheus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Morpheus said...

BP -- I am always ready to give a chance of snow a go, so I am on board as well for what ever that is worth.

I called my parents in NC (foot hills area) to see if they were getting ready for some snow - 2 inches and everything comes to a halt. My Mom said she looked at NWS site and all the warning were for SC...I told her to buy milk and any other perishables needed tomorrow morning just in case.

BioPat said...

Today is a good day to be thankful one does not live in the Carolina's and facing their "blizzard" I did hear they are required to keep snow removal equipment at the airports but other than that it sounds like waiting for warmer weather.

Our turn will come and at least we can prepare and treat the situation when it does occur.

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

NWS has an inch of snow in Baltimore tonight in their forecast. North trend continues. If it continues maybe 2-3 inches? Time will tell.

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

NO 600 LB BEARDED LADY IN A THONG FOR THE WIN!

NWS BALT WASH:

"A potent shortwave rotating through the Tennessee Valley today
will cause surface low pressure to develop off the southeast
coast. The surface low will move out to sea tonight. However...the
shortwave will pass through our area during this time. Latest
guidance continues to trend farther north and west with
precipitation associated from the shortwave. A period of
accumulating snow is more likely across central Virginia into
the Washington and Baltimore metropolitan areas. Higher
accumulations are expected across southern Maryland where a Winter
Weather Advisory is in effect. Uncertainty remains high with this
system and the guidance continues to trend north and west with the
higher quantitative precipitation forecast totals. Stay tuned to the latest forecasts for updates
regarding the storm."

notsofreestate said...

Keep trending, keep trending, keep trending....

BioPat said...

Great, Andy you're on the mark! So let's see where this thing takes us by point of impact.

Rufus said...

Now can we get the 600lb thong wearing bearded lady to operate a snowblower? Classes were canceled at Edinboro University today because of the wind chill factors. Jacob said that almost never happens.

BioPat said...

So, looking forward to February or not?? Andy has the kevlar ready and I'm sure cases on manwich for what many are already forcasting. Personally, I think it's too far out to consider the storm threats seriously, but given another 50 ours or so that may change. No question we are due for some serious stuff but it's just hard to buy into models over 100 hours out.
Now about that 600 lb. bearded lady in the thong. If she stays busy and doesn't block these storm systems we will have plenty to talk about over the first part of February. In the meantime enjoy the warmth moving in over the next few days, our heating supplies need a break.

Tina said...

I know I'm sick of getting up every three hours during the night to load up the fireplace insert! Yeesh.

While I'm such a novice weather-interested person, it's clear the pattern's changing and I really do think it's just a matter of time (days/weeks) until we get a monster storm. Not a pesky 6" to a foot one either. I will NOT be unprepared. I'm not into survivalist living, but we will be in a position to spend a week holed up without power (but, with a generator). Like my husband and I did in 1996 with the one-two punch snow storms.

Agreed BioPat, the far-off models are fun to watch, but not gospel and shouldn't be taken as such. Jeez, you'd think any regular follower of this site and Justin's would know that by now!!

Better to be organized and ready.

A bit off-topic, I REALLY hope the Sierra Nevada continue to pick up snow!!

Julee said...

Soooo a friend sent this to me ( copied directly from the page):

Mobile Uploads
Folks, we don't usually talk about the weather on here, in fact, we never have. But this needed to be shown (thank you to our friends at Mid Atlantic Weather). Early models are predicting a major blizzard for February 8-10. And we mean major. 24-34 inches of snow or more is currently being predicted for parts of Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and the NYC region. A lot can change between now and then, these are early models, but that's what the weather folks are seeing.
By: Delmarva Firefighter Forums

Delmarva Firefighter Forums -- who even Knew that existed?

I'm just passing this on ... feel free to dissect.

Amy said...

I'm hoping that all the talk is not going to jinx the models. I'd love a grand finale to winter, so I'm hoping this is just the warm up to a very exciting weather period. Enjoy the warm weekend, use it as a chance to wash the salt off your car and consider laying in supplies.

BioPat said...

Julee, I've seen this posted multiple places yet I've never heard of this organization. So why almost two weeks out do they believe this is gospel?? Those who follow these models or those who interpret them know reliability is really only achieved within 36 hours and even that is not a certainty. Perhaps these are the same folks who predicted the Rapture would occur Oct 21, 2012.
I think we can all agree the east coast is having a difficult winter. No question there are storms on the horizon but there's no point in giving credence to some unknown group dead set on creating some kind of quasi-panic.However, it's good to bring that to the blog t hash out among the group.

Jeremy S. said...

East coast having a difficult winter? This is the best winter we've seen in years?

kyle farmer said...

Agreed best winter in years

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Sitting watching and waiting. Waiting for my love to return. The love of my life. No she may not be much to look at but she is a great gal, and sure as hell can cook! She will likely return just in time for St Valentine's Day, and she is the 600 lb bearded lady in the tong.

Many cringe at the mere thought, but in true Shallow Hal format I welcome her with open arms. When she appears nothing goes through her and she will squeeze every last drop out of a storm.

I like the pattern with the active southern jet, but without a block (negative NAO) it will be hard to get a blockbuster all snow storm. Saturday 2/8-2/9 has a chance but it is not a lock and everything needs to stay as modeled or it can fall apart very fast by mid range in the modeling.

My Kevlar is polished and I'm watching and waiting, because something will pop and maybe within 72 hours of the event, but in a fragile set-up as modeled for 2/9 too much can go wrong at this lead.

I LOVE the SIGNAL for a storm, but it is only a SIGNAL. I am excited for the 2/14-17 period. If 2/9 pops, there is a chance synoptically that 2/14-17 will follow. That will have more stable players on the field.

Right now for 2/9 we have a team full of Gary Busey's on the field coached by Charlie Sheen. They are hyped up, move fast, but are not very consistent or dependable. Can they get the job done? YOU BET! I would not mortgage my case of vintage Steele Reserve on them just yet, but watching and waiting is the best plan.

There will be surprises along the way and this Monday 2/3 could bring anywhere from nothing to a foot of snow. It is a tough pattern and the devil is in the details. details won't be clear until we are well within 72 hours.

TIME WILL TELL

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

GFS at 0z for what it is worth which is not much (as it will flip flop) has ALREADY LOST the KAHUNA for 2/9. Massive storm that cuts to the great lakes and produces zero snow for the east coast. POOF! That is possible so as BP said don't get too excited about EURO runs or maps in social media this far out because they can flip on a dime, and often do flip! GFS went from SNOW to NO tonight.

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Overnight runs are trending the 2/9 event to a rain/ non event. Just as easily as they gave us a HUGE FANTASY storm they took it away. This is a fast flow with no negative NAO so models will struggle. When something pops we will have short lead time notice. Right now tons of snow chances in the extended but no one storm is modeled to be a large snow maker. I like the 2/14-2/17 period better than the 2/8-2/9.

Tina said...

What a sweet way to start Friday morning: sit down with my tea and a funny-as-he!! story by Andy. Gary Busey and Charlie Sheen indeed. Now THAT is a an explanation a lotta folks can understand!!

As for the Delmarva Firefighters' Forum, I do think it's real, but I think they bit the we-might-die-of-snow-on-the-9th hook. Ah well.

Onward and TGIF!!!

kyle farmer said...

Monday looks interesting

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Monday looks very bad for heavy snow. Trend is to push heavy precip to VA where it will rain. A lot can change and it is not set in stone, but the HEAVY snow idea is on life support and fading fast.

kyle farmer said...

Andy thoughts on 18z euro

Morpheus said...

Andy - I have the defibrillator charged and waiting, I just need you to clear the patient upon flat line.

Tom Flanagan said...

so monday accumulation predictions?

Tom Flanagan said...

so monday accumulation predictions?

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Tom,

No predictions yet. Monday system is very potent and still could be from zero to 10 inches. That is no joke. There will be a very narrow strip of heavy precip and where it falls no one can say. If it falls in central VA they will have heavy rain. If it falls here it will likely be moderate to heavy snow.

Any prediction at this stage is a wild guess and not based on any sound data. Prudent approach is wait and see. Someone will get .50-1.00 inch of liquid. If it is us that is 5-10 inches of snow. If it is VA it is rain.

Baltimore North looks all snow but we don't know how much precip will make it up here. South of Baltimore could mix or even stay snow. It is that close.

We just need to see better agreement in the data, and this will come down to the finish line.

It's a great winter and we are not bored! Enjoy the ride!

Morpheus said...

Hmmm so Bowie/DC metro is likely rain if the pecip. heads our way. The winter story of my geography! Total for this year ~7.5 inches (4-2-1.5) Only the 4 inch event was big enough for my son to use his tub... want a big one for him!

Morpheus said...

Tube - not tub, I would be a terrible father if he could only use the tub after a big snow!!!

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

DC area is close. Appears mostly snow and heavy at that. Tonights models paint a picture of a major snowstorm from DC to Philadelphia.