Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Blizzard To Rock Northeast Coast

Blizzard To Rock Northeast Coast
Pressure projected to drop 40 mb in <24 hours






"All we want is life beyond the Thunderdome..."

12:25 PM 3/24 - RETURN TO JANUARY-LIKE COLD UNDERSCORES CONCERN FOR POSSIBLE ACCUMULATING SNOW IN NORTHEAST CORRIDOR TUESDAY INTO WEDNESDAY. An overview of expected conditions for the inland Mid-Atlantic:

TUESDAY – The major coastal storm will spare most metro areas from Philadelphia south from worst impacts, which will be felt in coastal communities from Ocean City, MD to Delaware, southern & central New Jersey to southern New England. 




  • TIMING & EFFECTS: For much of the Northeast Corridor, snow is expected on Tuesday, starting in the daybreak hours south of the PA/MD line, and by mid-day for PA and NJ. However, with the strong March sun, this snow will have difficulty accumulating, especially considering that available liquid is generally 0.30" or less except along the immediate coast. We may also have temperatures near or slightly above freezing, which means that not all snow that falls will stick. Winds will pick up in intensity throughout the day, and some NWS offices have indicated the need for Wind Advisories as gusts may exceed 35 mph over large areas.
  • ACCUMULATIONS: 4" or more are possible for the interior northeast into southern New England. For the I-95 metro areas of the central mid-Atlantic,  perhaps a coating to an inch in most of Baltimore/Washington/Philadelphia but confined to grassy/colder surfaces, with roads mainly wet by 8 AM Tuesday. Coldest rural areas may see up to 2" where roads are untreated and snow falls uninterrupted for several hours.
  • TUESDAY NIGHT – Some snow showers may be possible, but otherwise we expect clearing skies with lows falling back to the low to mid 20s. Winds will stay gusty from the NW at 25 mph or greater into the overnight hours and decreasing by morning.
  • WEDNESDAY – Windy conditions are expected across the region in the morning, gradually improving later in the day. Highs are still only expected in the upper 40s.
(previous reports below from this past weekend)


11:15 AM 3/23 - For those hoping there has "got to something better out there" in terms of the long range pattern, we DO have good news! Look below the storm report for a glance at the Long Range temperature outlook.

  • REGIONAL STORM, LOCAL IMPACTS: The next "castle built in the air" (to quote Ms. Turner's lyrics) will be by next Wednesday a raucous time of strong winds, coastal erosion and potentially heavy snow for the coasts of Mid-Atlantic & Northeast. 
  • WORK THE STORM WITH OUR TEAM! We have forecaster stationed in several states that will be most affected by this storm, including our Bayshore zone of the MD Eastern shore and Central New Jersey to our Metro NYC and Massachusetts zones. If you live in these areas or know of someone who does, please send them along to our forecasters there for authentic local reports from the FF team!


For additional analysis on the storm, please continue reading below



FROM THE WINTER STORMCAST TEAM - As posted in our Central Maryland zone page earlier today regarding our analysis of NOAA data and projections:
1) PRECIP PROJECTIONS. These are a meteorologist-prepared map based on an assembly of latest model input. The latest map shows "the blue line" of potential liquid uncomfortably covering a good portion of MD already, and edging near the I-95 corridor. Coastal areas are right against the 0.75-1.00" line.  
This is the 0.50-0.75" line and being near that is something to watch. You can look at this map and read between the lines of the NWS in their current Hazardous Weather Outlooks to see why they are concerned
2) PREDICT THE HIGH, PREDICT THE STORM? This time the High looks to be drifting off the New England coast as lows will be crawling along or off the eastern seaboard. The concern is a double barrel easterly flow that will be countered by the arrival of chillier air from SE Canada at the same time. Not the classic nor'easter setup, we agree, but the winds will be fierce enough to warrant Gale or even Storm Warnings if they range above 39 MPH.
The problem is too much easterly flow CAN have the effect of driving a surface low just a few miles closer to the coast, and voila! What was going to be a miss to the east adds another snow day to the winter-abused calendar.
3) IS IT ALL OR NOTHING? The real issue is OVERNIGHT TIMING. No matter your location in the Mid-Atlantic or Northeast, if bulk of the precip arrives overnight Tuesday into Wednesday when cooler air is filtering south, there is only 1 time question that matters: What is the weather at 5:00 AM Wednesday morning? Thankfully we have a long time to watch this.

SNIPPETS FROM NOAA - This morning's statements from several source we follow closely to unpack their investigations for repurposing to the public:
  • MODEL DIAGNOSTIC DISCUSSION - WPC (FOR MON-TUE) "THE UPPER PATTERN BEGINS TO STRONGLY AMPLIFY ENTERING THE BEGINNING OF NEXT WEEK WITH A LARGE POSITIVE HEIGHT ANOMALY SETTING UP ACROSS THE WESTERN U.S. ALONG THE WESTERN EXTENT OF THE BROAD CYCLONIC FLOW ACROSS THE NORTHEASTERN PORTION THE CONTINENT WILL BE A RATHER WELL-DEFINED SHORTWAVE WHICH WILL RACE FROM THE DAKOTAS INTO THE LOWER MO/OH VALLEYS BY EARLY TUESDAY. THIS FEATURE IS OF SIGNIFICANT IMPORTANCE AS IT IS THE PRE-CURSOR TO THE COASTAL SYSTEM EXPECTED INTO THE EARLY MEDIUM RANGE PERIOD."
  • EXTENDED FORECAST DISCUSSION - WPC: (FOR WED) " BY EARLY WEDNESDAY MORNING, A SUB-970MB SURFACE CYCLONE IS LIKELY NEAR THE BENCHMARK AFTER THE BOMBING PHASE. HOW FAR SOUTHWEST THE BOMBING OCCURS IS CRITICAL FOR THE SENSIBLE WEATHER FROM THE CAROLINAS TO NEW ENGLAND. THE EARLIER/FARTHER SOUTHWEST, THE GREATER THE CHANCES FOR SIGNIFICANT WINTER WEATHER FROM THE CAROLINAS AND SOUTHERN MID ATLANTIC ALL THE WAY THROUGH MAINE. IF THE BOMBING IS LATER / FARTHER NORTHEAST, EASTERN NEW ENGLAND WOULD SUFFER THE WORST EFFECTS. EITHER WAY, WINDS LOOK REMARKABLY STRONG ON THE WEST AND SOUTH SIDE OF THE TIGHT CIRCULATION TUESDAY NIGHT INTO EARLY WEDNESDAY--A MAJOR CONCERN FOR COASTAL AND OFFSHORE INTERESTS FROM EASTERN LONG ISLAND TO DOWN EAST MAINE."
  • AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION - NWS BOSTON/TAUNTON (FOR TUE-WED) "CONFIDENCE IS INCREASING IN A SIGNIFICANT WINTER STORM FOR AT LEAST SE NEW ENG LATE TUE INTO EARLY WED. WE EXPECT ACCUMULATING SNOW FOR MOST OF THE REGION...BUT GREATEST IMPACT FROM THIS STORM TRACK OUTSIDE THE BENCHMARK WILL LIKELY BE FELT ACROSS SE MA AND ESPECIALLY THE CAPE/ISLANDS TUE NIGHT INTO EARLY WED WHERE HIGHEST PROBABILITY OF HEAVY SNOW AND STRONG WINDS ARE EXPECTED. WE INCREASED POPS TO LIKELY SE MA AND CAPE/ISLANDS. HOWEVER...WE ARE STILL 4 DAYS OUT AND ANY CHANGE IN THE CURRENT STORM TRACK WILL IMPACT WHERE AXIS OF HEAVIEST SNOW OCCURS."
IN SUMMARY, with the strong potential of a major coastal storm still in play, we advise not dismissing early indications "the low will track east" because in reality, not even the top mathematicians and meteorologists know where the precise track of this storm will be four days out. All we can do is sift through the data and find as many indications as we can of where the storm will go, and report what we learn hear when we learn it.

AND FINALLY, if you just want "Life beyond the Thunderdome" here's a soundtrack video for the Tina Turner fans from the 1985 classic: 




31 comments:

Unknown said...

Soooo.....What are you saying?

MAW said...

Ditto

Mr. Foot said...

We are saying that areas west of I-95 will likely have the least precip impacts from this storm,though all of us will feel the strong wind effects of 35 mph or greater. Areas east of I-95 are still in the danger zone for a wide range of impacts, including heavy snow, strong winds and coastal erosion from SE Virginia to Maine.

ravensbbr said...

Dangit. Oh well. Next year. :-)

Westsidehideaway said...

So, from all of the weather chatter from multiple sources, we should not assume any probability of snow (or no snow) is closest to accuracy until Monday night or Tuesday morning. I
am new the this stuff, I'll admit, but this storm feels pretty hard to predict. What do all of you good people think?

Ps. Greetings from Ocean City. We came for the day and evening and it was really nice here today.

Westsidehideaway said...

And we wait.....

ravensbbr said...

Not much to say, westside. Looks like a miss. That, and I think March storms are so rare and random that no one feels comfortable hazarding a guess. I sure don't. :-)

Amy said...

I threatened my students with failure if they wore their pajamas inside out, put a spoon under their pillow or flushed an ice cube. I'm dying for days this last week of the quarter.

Westsidehideaway said...

Agreed Raven. Just got back from OC. On the way home WTOP out of DC was calling for a wintery mix or snow on Tuesday. Hmmm. Maybe still some variables to throw folks off with this one. Amy, I'll turn my PJ's inside out tonight just for you!!

Westsidehideaway said...

Go West Young Storm, Go West!!

BioPat said...

Still time for that storm to move west but it has been tending to go east so we'll live with that. Amy, I know your due date is getting close so for you, lets all pull together and do whatever is necessary to pull a 2 hour late opening.

Amy said...

BioPat- I'm working through until spring break and I have a scheduled delivery the 12th. I can't control weather so if it happens it happens.. But if it doesn't have to happen then I'll not be sad this one time. I am a powder hound like the rest of you. Worried about timing. Seems like its due to hit overnight/ morning. Is this a hit or miss with precip or is it just the type that will show up!

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

BOTTOM LINE IS A COATING TO 2 INCHES ON GRASSY SURFACES. EXPECT WITNER WEATHER ADVISORIES.

Been too busy to follow this closely.
NWS SUMS IT UP BEST!

"Mesoscale banding is expected...but transient. Therefore a
high pop with lower quantitative precipitation forecast approach is still relevant. The column will
be subfreezing with the surface layer temperature determining snow or rain. The probability of rain mixing in increases east from I-95 with
essentially all snow west. Precipitation onset looks to be around sunrise Tuesday for areas east of the Blue Ridge with the bulk of precipitation
during the day. Snow accumulation should be limited to grassy
surfaces with slush on roadways during the heaviest snow due to the
bulk of precipitation occurring during daylight hours and southerly flow. Winter
weather advisories for snow are likely for most of the area due to
snow during the morning (and some of the evening) commute which only
requires likely probabilities for one inch in the opm commuting area
(two inches elsewhere)."

Anonymous said...

So, pretty much, whatever Andy says expect the opposite to happen.

Cool, got it.

mayawild said...

No, we are not going down this road again. Please, no nastiness. Just weather, humor and kindness. Please keep it civil or just keep it to yourself.

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Tony,

Weather will do what it wants to do, all we can do is point all the most likely scenario utilizing the best data. Forecasts can have upside or downsides, considering climatological limitations the bottom line is "YOU AIN'T GETT'IN more than 2 inches!" That is the upside!

This one is straight forward and there is no room for an opposite. With that said the worst case scenario is freezing of wet roads after 6:00pm Tuesday and some slush on roads during the more intense bands should they develop in spots DRIVE SAFE or take the school bus safe, the first step is the wettest!

Westsidehideaway said...

Thanks Andy.

Tony. We are nice to each other here.

kristia35 said...

At this point I am content with a lovely day of early spring "Snow TV". Cheers to a pretty decent winter and I'm already looking forward to waiting for the Blizzard of 2015!

ravensbbr said...

Tony had the right to his opinion, the same as any of us.

That being said, he's wrong, and I don't mind telling him so... :-P

#donotbetagainstandy #unlessyouliketolosethatis

Anonymous said...

I love when Andy posts, really. Like I said I just plan for the opposite and it works out. It's a win-win for all involved :)

NeedaSnowday said...

Tony, which seasonal meet up did you sign up to attend?...just curious... I want to make sure I avoid that one!

BioPat said...

Tomorrow will prove to be interesting trying to maintain students attention with heavy snow falling and them bemoaning the need to go home. I was hoping for an early start to the snow for a delayed opening but it appears that will not happen. Therefore off we go and the closer we get to Easter Break the happier we all will be. For now, Andy's call is pretty much in agreement with Foot's cal and JB so we can use tomorrow to bid farewell to an awesome winter and hello to a sneezy spring filled with pollen!

Unknown said...

Many of the latest models have been enhancing a western low as it approaches Maryland, and then rapidly drawing it back to a futher-offshore eastern system as it moves northward, leaving the Northeast with almost no precipiation! Both the GFS and Canadian leave the Northeast with almost nothing, while giving us 3-5 inches! It still might take a little more than that to cause any significant problems but I think this is an interesing last-minute trend. Possibly wrong, but interesting.

ravensbbr said...

Does start to look thataway, Noah. Should be interesting...

ravensbbr said...

Pretty dramatic dry slot coming up the Bay. Still looks to me that we could get some more snow though...

Unknown said...

Yeah there is a dry spot but right now a heavy snow band is just passing over me! The flakes are pretty big, hard to believe it's not sticking.

ravensbbr said...

Sticking up here in NE Carroll in the shady spots...close to 2", grass is covered in those spots.

Westsidehideaway said...

Snow is basically done here in West Bmore. Pretty to look at but no sticking.

NeedaSnowday said...

Trees and bushes look so pretty! Cartopper starting now...

Butch Dynomite said...

Snow Nice to look at. Storm was pretty fun to watch on radar.Reggae on sterio,burning creosote log . Let spring begin.

BioPat said...

Black ice is no fun. Got out of my car this morning not realizing I was on ice and promptly went down. This evening I am sore! Hope others had a better go of it than I did today!