Tuesday, January 19, 2016

You knew this day would come, again.

You knew this day would come, again.

  • "HIGH CONFIDENCE IN A MAJOR WINTER STORM INCLUDING HEAVY SNOWS FOR THE URBAN CORRIDOR EXTENDING FROM WASHINGTON DC TO NEW YORK AND BOSTON FRIDAY INTO SUNDAY...
  • THE LOW'S ANTICIPATED TRACK AND SWATH OF HIGH LIQUID EQUIVALENTS SUPPORTING 1 TO 2 FEET NEAR AND NORTHWEST OF I-95. 
  • FROM THE MID-ATLANTIC INTO THE NORTHEAST ARE ALSO LIKELY. COASTAL FLOODING AND OTHER SIGNIFICANT IMPACTS TO MARINE INTERESTS."
5:00 PM EST 1/19 - Our revised Storm Impact Scenarios & Map will be posted with the next update around 8:00 PM this evening. 


9:35 AM EST 1/19 (Forecaster Connor & the Winter Stormcast Team) There's no easy way to break the news. A potentially major storm may affect the entire region starting Friday into Sunday. Below we have prepared our most current scenarios based on the best available information at present. Our analysis is presented in three categories: Track, Liquid, Wind. 


TRACK & SCENARIOS - As you can see in the attached image, we have outlined 3 general scenarios of what might take place this coming weekend. We are fairly confident of a strong storm system getting its act together in the Southeast before making a run at the East coast on Friday.As is the case with most of our winter storms, the strength, track, and the proximity to the coast play crucial roles in what type of weather occurs in the Mid-Atlantic.

  • In scenario A (left), the system in the southeast rapidly intensifies and takes a sharp turn to stay very close to the coast. In scenario B (middle), the system takes a bit wider of a turn and stays a bit further offshore. In Scenario C (left), the system is suppressed and takes a very wide turn which results in less snow for the northern mid-Atlantic and a focus on southern areas.

One thing guidance has been consistent with is that once the storm reaches the middle latitudes near 40 degrees North (the PA-MD line) it has the potential to meander off the coast for quite some time before weakening and moving away. Sound familiar?
LIQUID & TEMPS - Regardless of where this storm ends up, it will bring with it an enormous amount of moisture.
  • In Scenarios A & B, the lows proximity to the coast combined with the very slow movement of the system results in the unleashing a massive amount of moisture. Just how close the low stays to the coast will have a lot to do with what form this liquid will fall in across the area.
  • Scenario A would likely present some mixing issues east of 95 while scenario B would allow for more cold air to filter in and mostly snow to fall. Scenario C would also be a very cold solution, but the bulk of the moisture would slide to the south of the area.

WIND IMPACTS - If either Scenario A or B play out (which seems most likely at this point), we could be dealing with a very powerful winter storm that would bring strong winds of 40 mph or more to the surface along the coast, and gusts at least that high inland.
  • It has been a while since we have mentioned the potential for a storm type that starts with the letter "B" but given the current projections, it’s surely possible. These gale force winds could last for over 12 hours as the powerful low takes its easy time to continue east,

We urge people to always be prepared for power outages whether an event is looming or not, but this week would be a good time to make sure you are well-prepared.
The FF Winter Stormcast Team





11:00 PM EST 1/18 - For storm fans and powder people, it has been a long time since this situation has been on the table. For Emergency managers, school district officials and those charged with making big decisions for lots of people, this day is one you may want to add to your "un-bucket list."

But, before we get any farther ahead, let's make one fact clear: The storm that everyone is starting to talk about is actually still off the California coast. Once that energy is onshore, ground-based observation stations can obtain more precise data about it's characteristics. Here's a shot of it from NOAA satellite:


WHAT WE (THINK) WE KNOW SO FAR

Energy in the northern jet stream is slated to meet up with this Pacific system once it moves into the southern U.S. Thursday is where the real action starts in upper levels. Once the upper level and surface lows interact and start marshaling the cold air in their favor, computer models show what we call a "bowling ball" type cut off Low steamrolling over the eastern U.S. 
  • Long range forecasts have been showing for some time that above-normal precipitation was anticipated for this time period by NOAA in 6-10 day outlooks;
  • Widespread cold air for 5-7 days ahead of the future storm means that ground surfaces from the Tennessee Valley on north and east will have been adequately chilled to support accumulation.
  • Influence of El Nino on East Pacific waters has been transporting additional deep tropical moisture into developing systems in the southern U.S. The Mississippi floods of last fall are a prime example of what's possible.


WHAT DATA AND AGENCIES ARE UP TO
  • The National Weather Service has assigned a moderate probability of a winter storm impacting the Mid-Atlantic region Friday into Sunday;
  • Projected liquid equivalents range from 1.5" to 3.5" depending on the computer model, covering much of the northeast U.S. from the Carolinas to New York State;
  • If the surface low intensifies as projected over open waters Friday night into Saturday, winds are expected to reach gale to storm force (39-55 mph) along the Delmarva and into the Chesapeake Bay. 
  • Add in heavy wet snow, or rain and sleet and this would become untenable for travel. In fact, there's a technical term used to describe weather of that kind. We surmise the NWS is debating on eligibility for usage of that word in the current situation.  


WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOU NOW TO FRIDAY

  • A long duration high precipitation event seems probable at this time. Whether it is all snow, a mix of snow/sleet or rain will depend on your location. If computer model trends continue in the manner they have shown since Friday 1/15, there is potential to see impacts that could equal that of events in January 1996 and February 2010.  
  • Significant uncertainty remains regarding track, due to the future storms still being several thousand miles away from the east coast at present. A one hundred mile shift in track five days out is miniscule to a global model, although it would affect millions of real people. 
  • Once a good 12 hours of data from ground stations in the west has been ingested by the models, if this results in any big changes in the setup -- starting late Tuesday into Wednesday you will begin to see weather agencies and emergency management ramp up language & preparations. If there is one item we suggest having on hand, it's road salt.  
  • We know you'll need on-going access to weather intelligence, but don't have a lot of time to hunt for it. One resource to stay more directly informed without having to check this site or Facebook is to join our Insider's service. This way we can deliver reports, snowfall maps and storm timing directly to you by text, email and (shhh! An app, on Tuesday.
So if that day truly comes again, 
you're in the know before the snow.



34 comments:

Westsidehideaway said...

I am on my work Crisis Mgmt team. Despite needing another 24 hours to really know what is happening with this, a little planning today makes sense. See y'all later. West side!!

Pat Abrahms said...

Agreed, even though this storm has yet to reach the west coast advanced planning is a necessity. Instead of packing stores Thursday and Friday some common sense tactics would be check supplies today and get what you need for the weekend tomorrow or no later than Wednesday. IF this does become a significant event for our area using a good common sense approach is essential for a happy weekend at home. By tomorrow we should be able to discern fact from fiction.

Pat Abrahms said...

BTW on this pc, I cannot get back to my BioPat ID, I'll keep working on it.

Amy said...

Lots of supplies at HD out and easy to get. Can't say the same will be true by Thursday, even Wednesday depending on mainstream weather outlets.

kristia35 said...

The pandemonium in the grocery stores for the rest of this week will be at a fever pitch. Glad I went yesterday!

ravensbbr said...

In DC for briefings...general attitude of the folks down here re: this weekend is between poo-poo and "oh that's nice".

Us Northern Highlanders know better... #wishIhadwornmykilt #noactuallynotreally #itsfriggincoldouthere

weed said...

is this one of those scenarios where the storm hasn't formed yet???

i'm in hampstead.....we usually get nailed:)

-weed

Amy said...

Lots of supplies at HD out and easy to get. Can't say the same will be true by Thursday, even Wednesday depending on mainstream weather outlets.

Prospero said...

What about the latest run of the Euro? Moves the storm south of central MD.

Snowplease said...

Means higher ratios for us so totals will be fluffed up but the storm is further south hopefully it trends further north would be depressing to see the south get more snow than us.

kristia35 said...
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kristia35 said...

I would rather have a south shift that can come back north.

Snowplease said...

So we go from worrying about mixing too a foot of less of snow and the potential it shifts even further south what is going might as well wait till Friday I'm tired of this speculation just led her rip.

ravensbbr said...

Enough of the model hand wringing..on to brass tacks...the nitty gritty...the real deal...the nuts...

What's everyone's go-to snow day snack?

I will confess to bacon wrapped little smokies in brown sugar.

The way 2010 was going, I thought I was going to die that year of arteriosclerosis ... :-P

kristia35 said...

I am a chips and dip girl. I don't much go for sweets as much as salty.

Ducktape22 said...

Let it snow.....,please

Ducktape22 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy said...

Mine is homemade cinnamon rolls. Dough in the bread maker helps the task become a little easier. As for models, we are pretty far out, so I'm not stressing other than making sure if it does hit in not scrambling. If it doesn't... Just not ready to go there.

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Storm looks great. A combination of the Euro members (EPS) and the GFS members (GEFS) show a crushing blow. If you like 20 to 30 inches of wind whipped snow then you will like what the models show this afternoon. Historic storm at our doorstep.

Butch Dynomite said...

Don't worry about DC Ravens .Afoot of snow would only moderately slow traffic from where it is.The offices and institutions even less! Gonna put together cheese and olive plate for snack.

Mrs. A said...

Good information and maps for classes today. This is definitely a storm worth watching.

Mrs. A said...

Oh no, another new identity for me Mrs A aka BioPat!

Rufus said...

I prefer salt to sweet as well so salsa and chips. Have a meeting this evening for the 4th of July oddly enough and then hitting Matthew's in Catonsville, they serve up a tasty mashed potato quesadilla. Cheese, bacon, green onions and mashed taters then add sour cream and salsa not much to go wrong in my mind there ;)

Amy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Just a fyi.. picked up salt and shovels for my restaurants today at Lowe's in Columbia. Every basket had salt and shovels.....it has begun.

weed said...

Pizza and Football are my go to snow favorites and beer of course....I see the weather channel has my area now as only getting 3-5 inches on Sat with less than inch on Friday:(

and now that I have time to read I see that the storm is one that is still forming.....I love nor'easter storms..at least we have plenty of warning that they are coming.....I'm old....I also remember the 66 storm...what a surprise that was....we had snow tunnels for weeks...many people died though as I recall.

-weed

Chflee said...

I'm with you weed. I've got some Boulder Shake, Stone Double Chocolate Stout, Founders Breakfast Stout a just stacked cord of seasoned oak, smoked brisket chilli will simmering. I'm ready!

Rufus said...

Had a founders IPA in Edinboro Sunday night. stay warm and safe will check in later on

Mike Cheuvront said...

We had better be cautious about this whole thing. I said on the other blog it was way too early to get sucked in. Here is a FaceBook post from Justin Berk a few hours ago. I'm not down on the storm, it's just early folks. People are already getting angry at Justin for being realistic.

Justin Berk, Meteorologist


2 hrs ·
.
"Winter Storm Update from Tuesday afternoon: Models have spread a little leaving questions on track, timing, and totals. This is why I wait until 48 hours to make my first call for snowfall."

"Justin Berk, Meteorologist Before you get angry as you want more info: I have not changed anything... I NEVER give snow amounts before 48 hrs. Only shared two models this morning with a disclaimer. The best timing I posted in this article below the maps. Bullet points* Also.. There will be a truly impressive storm. Just a matter of timing and how much. If you end up with a foot after some other site posted a lot more... that might disappoint you, but that is why waiting like I do limits that anger"

VeeDubTDI said...

We are preparing for a historic event, taking some tips we learned from 2010. I'll second the recommendations to shop early. This ensures that you won't be left out in the cold with no way to restock for a couple of days. Also remember that larger snowfall amounts can cause power outages, particularly when combined with high wind.

I'll go grocery shopping tonight. Tomorrow, I'll clean up the carport, take down my driveway tent, and make sure my fuel cans are full and my generator is ready to go.

Thanks to the FF guys for keeping us informed while remaining realistic! I joined the Insiders last night and I'm looking forward to tonight's app launch.

Kathi said...

For me it's a big pot of steaming homemade vegetable beef soup with some crusty bread! Oh, and chocolate!

Adam Herb said...

Homemade sweet-heat, chicory stout chili. And sticky toffee pudding with caramel sauce for dessert! But I am waiting until Thursday evening to get TOO excited...

Westsidehideaway said...

Westside Reporting For Duty. I just came from a nonprofit Board meeting full of snow storm antagonists. I have to say that 20 plus inches would be a bear to deal with. Can't wait for the 8pm FF news updates.

Westsidehideaway said...

I think I'm gonna roast a chicken and clean out the freezer of frozen leftovers on this storm.