Friday, February 28, 2014

Last worthless evening...

42 comments:
"(Is) this is the last worthless evening 
that you'll have to spend...?"
- Don Henley, 1989 single Last Worthless Evening


8:48 PM 2/28 (Winter Stormcast Team) In light of the never-ending story that this current winter storm pattern, we're trying fulfill as many customer back-orders for an early Spring as we can! However, Old Man Winter and his minions apparently placed lots of "pre-orders" for a late season rout! 


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THE SITUATION While it was a brutally cold Friday across the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, coastal California is being pounded by over 6" of heavy rain with heavy snow across the intermountain west. This "wet west - cold east" setup will feature prominently in the Long Range forecast going forward to the first week of March. For those YEARNING to see the end of winter, at least you can say it was the last worthless evening (of February)! 




SLIPPERY SATURDAY As indicated by the swath of Winter Storm Watches and Warnings stretching from the Northern Cascades of Washington state to the Allegheny Plateau of western Pennsylvania, the potential exists for significant accumulations of snow, freezing rain and sleet in these areas. For unsuspecting areas of the Mid-Atlantic and 95 corridor, what looks like a calm day early will give way to clouds, then light freezing drizzle by Noon, making for slippery travel in the area. Highs barely cracking 30 F.



SUNDAY SNOW SETUP - While snow and sleet will be pummeling the central plains and Kentucky/Ohio Valleys on Sunday, in the Washington-Baltimore-Philadelphia region temperatures will strangely not be as cold as Friday. Highs ahead of the approaching warm front may edging near 40 F at the PA line and even aiming for 50 or higher in Washington! The relative calm is likely to lull some into the feeling winter's grasp is finally lessening. But no! Old Man Winter's next trap is just behind the tree. 

  • All that heavy precip in Cali? It's going to ride over the Rockies, roll into the central and southern Plains and tap Gulf AND Atlantic moisture along the way. 
  • By Sunday night, snow should be overspreading the southern Blue Ridge and then to the I-95 corridor.
  • By daybreak Monday a wide variety of winter precipitation is possible across much of the heavily populated areas east of I-81 to the coastline. To break down the possibilities, we have outlined 3 scenarios below. On Saturday we will narrow these down to 2 for the Mid-Atlantic. Let us know for which one you are rooting!

 OUR CURRENT STORM "OPTIONS" 
  • SCENARIO A (The Tennessee Trenchcoat) - We project a 20% probability of the eventual Southern Plains system to take a more northerly route, bringing more rain than snow to the major cities and inland areas along the I-40 to I-81 corridor. The I-95 corridor would start as snow overnight Sunday and then change to rain by morning. 
  • SCENARIO B (The Messy Mid-Atlantic) - Due to a more southward pressing Arctic High pressure building in from the Northwest territories (of Canada!), we project a 50% probability that cold air will remain in place across much of the storm track. A northeast fetch of wind ahead of low pressure waves along a front will convert moisture to snow overnight Sunday, but also lead to an expansive area of freezing rain for a large portion of the central and eastern U.S. 
  • SCENARIO C (The Coastal Curmudgeon) - Were the southern low pressure waves to travel ever further south and east toward the coast, the area of heavy snow could easily spread over the major cities and coastal communities of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. With liquid equivalents of 1.00"+ and ratios of 15:1 inland and 10:1 near the coast, snowfall could rival what was observed in the Feb 13-14 event. We have assigned a 30% chance of this scenario given the most current information available.
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Forecaster Evan relishing an epic blue sky in the Spring-a-ling Rainbow Tie-Dye Hoody!




Thursday, February 27, 2014

Marching Back To Winter?

41 comments:
Marching Back To Winter?


4:00 AM 2/27 - As first noted in our post from 2/19/2014, "There Is Another" we can see more clearly through trees of Snowstradamus's mystical forest, and detect early clues of what is building in the long range. What lurks out there looks quite wet, may bring a lot of ice, and would represent a most unwelcome march back to Winter. Grrreaat. Just when Spring sports is set to begin next Monday. 


Early indications of a wintry and stormy pattern to resume this weekend include a resurgent series of Arctic Highs pressing down from western Canada, a more amplified bend in the southern jet stream, and Atlantic moisture input  from the burgeoning Bermuda High. Combine these factors with widespread snow cover in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast with copious moisture "overrunning" a cold surface over many states...  and what do you have as one possible outcome?



ICE. This chart above is the projected liquid from today, Thursday 2/27 to next Thursday 3/6. Most of that would fall from late Saturday to Tuesday, and a glimpse at this early precip chart from the Global Forecast System for BWI airport may make you cringe if it actually plays out as shown 5 days from now. We remind that outside 5 days, these are indications, not forecasts. Our intent is to make you aware of general storm ideas, and as the event nears begin to unpack the data one aspect at a time.

(Forecaster Foot and the Long Range Team)






Monday, February 24, 2014

"I keep workin' my way back to you, babe..."

46 comments:


"I keep workin' my way back to you, babe..."
- Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, 1969 & The Spinners, 1979

4:00 AM 2/24 - Here's a question we cringe to ask first thing on Monday... (cringing...) 

WHO'S READY FOR MORE COLD?? Answer: NO ONE! 

One look at this upper level chart for Friday 2/28 may not give you a burning love inside for long range projections, but it is a strong indication that a version of the deep, intense cold seen in January is working it's way back to the Eastern United States. 


For a quick hit of info on this, here's what our Long Range Coordinator Nic Roberson from High Point, NC  had to say about this pattern development in a report from February 20:




"Our current weather pattern reminds me of mid December 2013. My area (central NC) was very warm during this time frame with temps in the 70s. The last few days have also been very mild with temps yet again in the low to upper 70s across a lot of the Southeast. 
If we recall that last weeks winter storm was also in the pattern that produced winter storms in early/mid December across portions of the eastern US. If we continue along with this setup, I would expect a good bit of March will be quite chilly from the Upper Mid-west and Great Lakes into the eastern US (above the deep south).
Only time will tell, but models thus far support more winter cold in the future."
SNOW & COLD CONCERNS - Today, the cold has invaded the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes already, with highs in the teens for some areas. In the Mid-Atlantic, by Wednesday, highs will barely break 25-30 F with lows in the teens until Friday for most of the region. As for snow potential, no worries, we're still on it! Our Forecasters are glued to model runs today, deciphering the clues from latest data (while keeping an eye out the window for what's really happening 

For the Tuesday-Wednesday period, models are split right now, showing the possible transition of the next storm system to a more onshore track. This would bring more of a rain/snow mix for the I-95 corridor, and mainly snow farther inland. We'll have more on this after the late AM model runs.

(Forecasters Julian B., Nic R. and Advisor Foot)




Wednesday, February 19, 2014

"There is another..."

43 comments:
"There is another..."
- Obi-Wan Kenobi, in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

7:30 AM 2/22 - After a multi-month rout of winter weather across much of the U.S., we know some storm-worm readers are "SOOO DONE" with this season. Even though temperatures in the Eastern U.S. made a brief run to above normal levels recently, a rapid return to traditional late winter wishywashy-ness is on deck. 


A view from Baltimore County, MD that Snowstradamus
would love. Thanks to reader Joan Garrity for the pic! 
We also know other readers still get an unbridled thrill at any hint of snow in the long range, but have disdain for a damp, rain-washed and messy March. For them, the ideal Spring is rain overnight to water the garden, with pleasant sunshine to fuel budding of trees, and the flowers to come. These are "Spring-A-Lings."

THEN, there are those special types who are most happy when TWO FEET of snow blanket the region, snow is STILL FALLING, and the temperature is, oh, 20 degrees. That would be a "Powderhound."  
THERE IS ANOTHER. Our long range team is pointing to a new, and perhaps final round of significant winter weather in the East. The target time period is between Tue 2/25 and Monday 3/3, and is likely to feature elements of severe weather as well. If you like big coastal storms, this is your time, and yes Obi-Wan... there is another. 

REALLY, I MEAN REALLY?? Well the Chicago NWS Office summed it up nicely with these gently written words of comfort that should put you at ease heading into the final weeks of what has been a lovely winter for many (note: heavy sarcasm laced with innuendo, caution to elementary teachers showing this in class)
"FOR ANYONE WHO MAY CATCH A TOUCH OF SPRING FEVER WITH THE RELATIVE WARMTH OF THURSDAY...FORGETABOUTIT! ECMWF/GFS BOTH PAINT SUCH A BLEAK...DISMAL...COLD...AND POTENTIALLY SNOWY PICTURE NEXT WEEK THAT ITS LIKELY TO LEAVE MANY WINTER WEARY SOULS READY TO CURL UP INTO THE FETAL POSITION AND BEG FOR MERCY FROM OLD MAN WINTER!"
We have a more detailed report on this potential, including the traditional breakdown of teleconnection indicators which are starting to line up once again. For now it is safe to say that for the remainder of winter in the East, many along the big cities are going to see snow softly falling one more time while children are sleeping (just hopefully not in class!)

Forecaster Foot and the Winter Stormcast Team


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Help Is On The Way!

88 comments:
Help Is On The Way!
(by the end of next week...)

9:14 PM SAT 2/15 - On this Valentine's Weekend, let's have some good news for  change, shall we? For the storm weary East, we have two words for ya: "BERMUDA HIGH." 

The Climate Prediction Center shows that the current pattern is expected to reverse by late next week, with a strong Eastern ridge replacing the current cold, trough regime. This will allow your summertime friend the Bermuda High to begin establishing offshore. 

The red color swaths indicate an 80% probability of temperatures above normal for the period starting Thursday Feb 19 and extending until at least Feb 25. While will rapid snowmelt and some flooding may occur, at least the temperatures will be a welcome change from the recent weather whiplash! Now, THAT's a forecast to LOVE! 







STILL GOT YOUR POWDERHOUND SPIRIT?  Don't just watch the snow, now you can fully immerse yourself in it with our LIMITED EDITION 10th ANNIVERSARY ZIP-UP OR PULLOVER HOODIES! Our online store is live and ready for you at http://store.footsforecast.org


  • ORDERS PLACED THIS WEEKEND are shipped next Wednesday for delivery on Thu or Fri.
  • LAST WEEK WE SHIPPED over 10 orders via UPS that were delivered NEXT DAY! Thanks to all those who ordered! 
  • SHIPPING for February 2014 is only $7 for 1 item and $12 for 2 or more items. NO handling or processing fees. ;-)
  • Spring seasonal designs are coming! (for those who are DONE with this winter!)  Get ready to style your way from WINTER into SPRING!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Working The Storm With You

230 comments:
Working The Storm With You 

5:20 PM EST 2/13 - LET'S GET READY TO RUUUMMMBBLEE!


Felt cheated out of an early end to that nice fluffy snow? Get ready for the finale!
  • The Capital Weather Gang at the Washington Post reported that Roanoke received 6 INCHES IN 3 HOURS from this SnowRumbleFest! 
  • THUNDERSLEET in Baltimore will be changing back over to snow and then come down in BUCKETS!
  • 6-12 MORE INCHES?!?! YES, FOR NORTHEAST MD, DELAWARE, PHILADELPHIA AND NEW JERSEY. We are not making this up. See the latest NOAA High Resolution Rapid Refresh. Better sit down first, these are projected NEW TOTALS!

WHAT'S GOING ON HERE ??? Earlier today we noted a report from the NOAA Storm Prediction Center (SPC) about potentially strong bursts of "convective snow" coming late this afternoon to early this evening. Some areas along and east of the Chesapeake Bay are about to get WHOMPED in the next 3-5 hours! 


SEE FOR YOURSELF! If you look at this radar, you can see the system is fully rotating almost like a tropical cyclone embedded in the satellite imagery!

THE BOWLING SNOWBALL. Current radar loops, you can see the pronounced rotation of the upper level low rolling towards the Chesapeake Bay region. It's almost developing a "snowballing" effect as the radar has begun to fill in as the energy approaches. 

GOT THUNDERSLEET? The terms "convective snow" indicates very rapid vertical motion of moisture, but instead of a thunderstorm, this may be more like a "snow monsoon." Once this energy crosses the Chesapeake, we believe it will produce snowfall rates of 1/2" to 2" an hour for perhaps 3 HOURS! If you're in Southern, Central or Eastern MD you may hear THUNDER and have LIGHTNING as well.

AREAS TO BE MOST IMPACTED (With heaviest snowfall rates)
* Central VA, Southern Maryland, and MD counties EAST of the Bay, as well as Delaware and New Jersey

AREAS TO HAVE LESSER IMPACTS (bursts of heavy snow and sleet)
* Central Maryland, Metro Baltimore/DC, Northern MD counties

WHEN? 
Now to 8 PM - Eastern areas of DC Metro, Southern MD, Central MD
8 PM - 9 PM - Crossing the Bay and reaching Delmarva
9 PM - 11 PM - Moving across New Jersey to NYC

IF YOU GET Rumbled by this bowling snowball, try to SAFELY take and post a pic of you in the snow downpour!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

"Y'all Ready For This?"

34 comments:


"Y'all Ready For This?"
By 2 Unlimited, 1991 single and Space Jam Soundtrack




11:20 AM EST 2/11 (UPDATE from 5:25 AM - Winter Stormcast Team) If this next storm unfolds as currently projected, we might end up in a real life "SPACE JAM" like we were in February 2010. Details below and a storm timeline map posted later today. 


SYNOPSIS
With 48 hours remaining before a potentially classic "Nor’easter" winter storm is set to impact the region Wednesday night into Thursday, we will begin narrowing our scenarios from the previous post. A storm system from the west will become enhanced by moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. Then the low pressure will track northeastward along the coast. This track is not set in stone, and there is still uncertainty regarding the precise path, the amount of precipitation and to what extent liquid-to-snow ratios will be.

LEFT: Latest precipitation projections show 1.0-2.5 inches of liquid stretch from Louisiana to Maine for the period Tue 2/11 to Sun 2/16, suggesting a possible subtropical moisture feed (known as an "atmospheric river") may be a factor this storm's outcome.

Monday, February 10, 2014

"When Will I See You Again?"

29 comments:
"When Will I See You Again?"
- Lyrics from the theme song of Wreck It Ralph

12:15 PM EST 2/10 (Winter Stormcast Team) If the question above refers to when SNOW will be seen again in your location, our answer is: Perhaps sooner than you might think! Medium range projections show a potentially significant winter weather event could develop in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic during from Wednesday to Friday of this week. See below for our preliminary scenario MAP and the rationale.


SYNOPSISStorm energy currently pushing into California today will move to near Texas by Tuesday. Rain will break out across the Gulf Coast as the system taps into more moisture. Then low pressure strengthens as the system moves out of the Gulf and along the coast. As is always the case with complex storms, the precise track up the coast will determine the extent of impacts in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. 

Left image: Day 1-3 liquid projections from NOAA Weather Prediction Center.


Saturday, February 8, 2014

"Do You Want To Build A Snowman?"

37 comments:
"Do You Want To Build A Snowman?"
- from the FROZEN soundtrack (2013) by Disney (Youtube video of the scene)

Snowman photo by Central MD reader Amilynn Addison
8:08 AM 2/8 (Winter Stormcast Team) As the Mid-Atlantic carves its way out of a major ice storm this past week, Powderhounds and Spring-a-lings from coast to coast are wondering: "Are we done yet or is there more?"

Since you asked, we might as well break the news: The period February 13 to 22 and beyond looks to continue the wet, stormy blender of weather whiplash across a sizable portion of the nation. That would mean if you haven't had the chance to build a snow sculpture yet, say in a major Eastern U.S. city, you might have one more shot at it this winter. 

(And to "stay warm in the storms" with a Zip-up or Pullover team HOODY, place an order THIS WEEKEND at our SITE STORE) or pre-order at store@footsforecast.org)


READY (or afraid ;-) TO LOOK AHEAD? 
A PATTERN YOU SAY? Our Long Range Team has anticipated the pattern we saw in December 2013 might eventually repeat for February 2014: Cold to start, snowy and stormy toward the middle, calmer toward the end. 

If that outcome unfolds, it could be another set of data for evaluation of a hypothesized 60-day repeating weather pattern phenomenon known some in meteorological circles as the "Lezak Recurring Cycle" or LRCThough not an officially identified or measured "teleconnection" such as the North Atlantic Oscillation, some forecasters religiously track and follow this technique. 


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

No Weekend Storm, But Wait... There's More.

25 comments:
No Weekend Storm, But Wait... There's More.

4:00 AM 2/7 - As many already know, earlier fears of a potential weekend coastal event have diminished with each passing run of the computer "ensemble" averages. However, the pattern remains fully primed to deliver additional wintry weather events through the next 10 days or more. 

(Earlier post) 10:10 AM 2/5 - We have been tracking developments for a potentially significant to high impact storm which could affect the Mid-Atlantic coast this weekend..or could not.

Despite widespread claims elsewhere, we believe it is still too early to state with certainty if this storm will wallop the region, or miss us entirely. We would like to point that in the past 14 years, notably March 3-5, 2001 and December 25-26, 2010 computer models and forecasters alike were calling for 12"+ of snow in the major East coast cities. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Here comes the sun, here comes the rain

23 comments:
"Here comes the sun, here comes the rain..."
- Bridgit Mendler, Hurricane (VEVO video on Youtube)


7:00 PM 2/4 (Winter Stormcast Team) One look at the NWS watch/warning map, and you'll feel like "boarding up the windows and locking up (your) heart" like Bridgit Mendler says in her popular 2013 single. 

Though it may not be a hurricane, the number of people affected will be similar as Winter Storm Warnings plaster the country nearly 2,000 miles from end to end. 

NOTE: For preliminary details on the potential weekend event, please scroll to end of this post.

For the latest official statements on warnings in Maryland, visit the Baltimore/Washington NWS for the Western shore, and the Philadelphia/Mount Holly NJ NWS for the Eastern shore and southeastern PA. For central PA, visit the State College PA NWS office.

TONIGHT - Clouds increase toward sundown, and wet snow/sleet is expected before the overnight hours across most of the region. 
  • Ice amounts of 0.25" or greater are expected across a large area as indicated in the Winter Storm Warnings as denoted in DARK PINK on NWS maps.
  • Counties that border the PA/MD line should see freezing rain develop after midnight, continuing into Wednesday early to mid-morning. Areas in Pennsylvania under Winter Storm Warnings are likely to receive several inches of snow AND ice from freezing rain.
  • Southern counties of MD in a Freezing Rain Advisory (LIGHT PURPLE) may also see some snow linger into the early AM, before ice develops toward daybreak. 
WEDNESDAY - We know the trickiest situation of all, for everyone, is simply "When will temps rise above 32 F?"
  • Earlier computer models WERE showing that could begin between 7-8 AM, but later runs now depict much of the Maryland west of the Chesapeake Bay and northern Virginia may remain near 30 F until 10 AM. 
  • If precip is delayed or freezing rain starts later, the eventual warming Wed AM might also be delayed. The best plan is to be well-prepared and allow lots of extra time for your commute. 

THURSDAY - Cold conditions returns as High pressure builds in following this storm, refreezing and black ice are possible again tomorrow morning.




WEEKEND STORM? 
We have been tracking developments for a potentially significant to high impact storm this weekend.

It is too early to say with certainty if this storm will wallop Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic or miss the region entirely. We would like to point out the last time we saw a situation similar to this type of storm, it ended up swinging out to sea and missed the major cities entirely!


ABOUT THE LIQUID: It should also be noted that current liquid projections as developed by the spot-on meteorologists at the NOAA Weather Prediction Center are not as "robust" as one might think for the all the hype this hypothesized storm has received.

In the section below, we are outlining three possible scenarios for this event. The enclosed NOAA map shows the current NWS projection for 8 AM Sunday morning, based on information available at present. A scenario map will be posted tonight to accompany the text.

At this point, we believe all three of these scenarios have an equal chance of occurring, and we will assign confidence intervals and probability to the list on Wednesday.



  • SCENARIO A (WET THEN WHITE) Low pressure moving north out of the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday travels west of the Appalachians, producing a widespread wintry mix ahead of it. Some of this energy is transferred into a coastal storm which in Maryland would promote a "rain changing to snow" scenario from the major cities to the coastal communities. Lower liquid-to-snow ratios would yield lesser snow amounts by end of the storm, perhaps 6" or so due to the high water content of the storm.
  • SCENARIO B (SNOWBOOM) Low pressure developing on the heels of a residual frontal boundary in the Gulf of Mexico deepens rapidly as it moves from the Southeast to a position just off the VA/MD coast by Sunday afternoon. Some computer models, including the often touted European, suggest this outcome would produce 12 or more inches of snow for the I-95 corridor, if more liquid is incorporated into the storm with higher snow ratios in a colder environment.
  • SCENARIO C (CHRISTMAS 2010) In a setup similar to the Dec 25-26 near miss for the Mid-Atlantic, the upper level trough swings across the region faster than expected. While the storm develops in the southeast as expected, once it reaches the Virginia capes, the momentum of the trough pulls much of the energy out to sea. Heavy snow brushes the coastal communities from Virginia Beach, VA to Ocean City MD and Atlantic City, NJ but the remainder of the region experiences only flurries. 

We would prefer not to get your hopes up for any ONE of these scenarios regarding a storm that does not  yet exist, and is still 4-5 days away. By Wednesday afternoon we may have a more solid grasp on narrowing these scenarios down to two outcomes.

Best regards,
The Mid-Atlantic Winter Stormcast Team
(Collaborators: M/A Coordinator & Meteorologist Justin Barker, Forecasters Connor M., Jason M., Mike N., J. Baron, Mintong N., Dr. Pete W., Advisors R. Foot and B. Lear)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Kickoff storm of a Fabulous February?

95 comments:
Kickoff storm of a Fabulous February? 

Our current precipitation projections as of 7:40 AM today (2/2) for Tuesday 2/3

1:40 PM 2/2/14 (Winter Stormcast Team) Whatever the Groundhog predicts today, we have at least one more day of winter! 



A moderate snow event is expected for Monday across part of the region. This in an interesting storm in many regards and presents a difficult forecast. We expect a sharp gradient in snow accumulations somewhere likely in between Baltimore and DC, and the precise location will greatly impact general accumulations. 


You can monitor the latest official NWS statements, watches and warnings for the region at: http://www.erh.noaa.gov/. We will continue to evaluat the situation and expect to post an update later this afternoon prior to the Superbowl.

SYNOPSIS – Out ahead of the cold front, we will make a run for temperatures in the upper 40s to near 50ยบ which feels like summer after January’s Arctic grip! The front will pass this afternoon with little fanfare, but the concern comes after. Temperatures will drop back down to the low to mid 30s tonight, and then another wave of moisture is expected to ride along the trailing front. 

TIMING - Temperatures will be close to freezing, and ground temperatures are above freezing in many areas without snow cover.
  • Precipitation is expected to arrive in the form of light rain prior to sunrise for much of the I-95 corridor and SE as well as south of Baltimore. 
  • Then the rain/snow line will slowly progress SSE over the course of the morning. Snow may have trouble sticking in some areas, especially south of Baltimore, although most of central MD is expected to see some snowfall. 
  • By the early afternoon, precipitation should start to clear out.