Saturday, January 28, 2017

13 comments:
"And That's The Way It Is...?"

FORECASTER CELINE MAY THINK SNOW THIS WINTER IS DONE. 
WE BELIEVE FANTASTIC SNOW IS STILL LURKING IN THE LONG RANGE. 
(Joining the Insiders will help you know where to find it.)



10:00 AM 1/28 - Long time Powderhounds can tell when we're reading their mind, and we know what you're going through in winters like this. Then again, Spring-a-lings and Coastals are probably candy happy with the way it is so far. For the rest of us...
  • When you want it to snow...there's no easy way out. When you're ready for Pow, but the forecast's in doubt,
  • Don't give up on your sky, because we have a solution if you're willing to try.
  • It's plain to see if we stick together, weather will find a way. 
  • Just don't surrender, because you can win in this thing called snow.

The simple answer? Join the Insiders and receive exclusive access to our inside reports via app email and text updates. Please see our previous report on 1/21 regarding La Nina and it's influence on this winter, and let Forecaster Celine know you aren't willing to accept this season as the way it is.

Short version of what we see? 
  • Temperatures: Surface and upper level conditions over North America are cooling at the right time as we head into February. The ground is becoming refrozen over night to the point that once precipitation occurs, it can easily stick.
  • Precipitation: The southern jet stream is slowly being reactivated as increased moisture transport will begin occuring from the east Pacific into the U.S. in the next 2 weeks. 
  • Snow cover: As clippers cross the Great Lakes, more and more snow squalls are helping rebuild lost snow cover in the Northeast. 
What it all means: Allow this process to continue another 5-10 days, and it's easy to predict much of the Mid-Atlantic will be primed to go powder. Even better, it would be right on schedule during a period in the February calendar already well-known for memorable snow events. 


And THAT'S the way we think it is...


The FF Winter Stormcast Team

Saturday, January 21, 2017

No comments:
Marching through January

WHY COOLER PACIFIC WATERS BRING LESS SNOWY WINTERS, AND WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF A "SNOW DAY" THIS SEASON?


6:00 AM 1/21 - In stark contrast to last year at this time, skiers, students and snow lovers alike face another week to 10 days of non-winter conditions, as a March-like pattern has temporarily replaced traditional January weather. The NOAA 6-10 day temperature outlook below shows no help in sight for those yearning to see just one little snow day. But alas Powderhounds, all is not lost. Looking ahead, there is hope in the red letters.

WHERE DID THE SNOW GO? One year ago, the region was buried under the largest snowstorm in decades, courtesy of an equally powerful El Nino-fueled transport of Pacific moisture. Now, it's the hazy, sullen, fog-filled days that result from the wishy-washy influence of cooler-than-normal east Pacific waters. (Relive the storm in our posts leading up the storm: Tue 1/19, Wed 1/20. Thu 1/21, Fri 1/22. The comments also a fun look back.)

For the normal snow addict, It's a very strange and frustrating pattern indeed but one we have come to expect would happen. We are all dealing with the consequences of the old rule that "what goes up" (the 2016 El Nino of +2.3 C) has turned into the "must come down" Nina of -0.5 C). 

THE SHORT ANSWER is simply that when sea surface temperatures of the East Pacific start the winter at a level slightly cooler than normal, this influences the overall pattern in adjacent land surfaces. The climate cannot support the west AND east BOTH being cold at the same time, so if they get it first, we get the scraps. If you want snow, you're on the wrong side of the coast right now!


SO, THE NEXT SNOW DAY IS...? The most efficient way to access our specific projections is to join the Insiders for 2017. You get straight-on reports without fluff or social media distraction, specialized alerts and early AM update via the Insider App, plus text notifications before / during major events. It's a lot of valuable info for a very nominal fee and it's one way of supporting our operations. Image left: Results of all those calories we all burned last winter, captured in this reader photo from College Park, MD


Friday, January 13, 2017

5 comments:
Wintry Weekend Ahead
  • NWS FORECASTS AND COMPUTER MODELS INDICATE A PROLONGED PERIOD OF FROZEN PRECIPITATION IS EXPECTED FOR MUCH OF THE CENTRAL MID-ATLANTIC FROM EARLY SATURDAY INTO SUNDAY.
  • SIGNIFICANT TO MAJOR ICE STORM IS LIKELY ACROSS A LARGE PORTION OF THE CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN U.S. THROUGH SUNDAY.

Light freezing rain in the daybreak hours of Sunday, January 18, 2015 led to this 20-car pileup in New York City and hundreds of other precipitation-related accidents throughout the region. Image credit: New York Post.

Widespread ice storm expected from Midwest to southern Plains



Projected U.S. surface map for 7 AM EST Saturday by the NOAA Weather Prediction Center shows a large area of potential ice accretion is possible to likely from northern Texas through the southern Great Lakes states to the Mid-Atlantic. 


  • READERS MAY RECALL IN 2015, ON THE SUNDAY BEFORE MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY, A RELATIVELY MINOR GLAZING OF ICE (LESS THAN 0.01") CAUSED SIGNIFICANT TRAVEL IMPACTS ACROSS THE ENTIRE NORTHEAST CORRIDOR FROM WASHINGTON TO NEW YORK. (Example: 1/18/15 articles by WTOP and New York Post.)
  • HOURLY FORECAST CHART FOR BEL AIR, MD IS A REPRESENTATIVE LOCATION FOR PROJECTED PRECIPITATION HAZARDS EXPECTED THIS WEEKEND ACROSS THE REGION. PAST EVENT SHOW THAT EVEN LOW PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS IN SUBFREEZING TEMPERATURES MAY CREATE HAZARDOUS DRIVING CONDITIONS WHERE ROADS ARE UNTREATED. 



Projected surface map for 7 AM ET Saturday 1/14



Saturday, January 7, 2017

Southern Storms & Northern Air

6 comments:
Southern Storms & Northern Air
  • HEAVY SNOW FROM NORTH CAROLINA TO EASTERN VIRGINIA,  THE VA/MD EASTERN SHORE AND SOUTHERN MD WILL CONTINUE THROUGH TODAY, 6" OR MORE IN MANY AREAS SOUTH OF DOVER, DE TO ST. MARY'S MD TO RICHMOND AND NORFOLK. See Wakefield VA NWS 1/7 Snow Briefing
  • FROM DC METRO NORTH TO BALTIMORE AND PHILADELPHIA, DRY AIR ON A NORTH WIND HAS BEEN IMPEDING SATURATION OF AIR, DELAYING ONSET OF SNOW UNTIL MID-MORNING SATURDAY. 
  • AREAS WHERE SNOWFALL HAS BEEN DELAYED BY DRY AIR CAN EXPECT UP TO 1 INCH BEFORE SYSTEM BEGINS PULLING NORTHEAST THIS AFTERNOON.
  • ROGUE BANDS OF SNOW MOVING THROUGH SOUTHERN & EASTERN PA MAY PRODUCE AN UNEXPECTED 1 INCH OR MORE ON SATURDAY .




NWS WINTER WEATHER MAP SUITE
To locate these resources, click on your local NWS office site and scroll down to the icon titled "Winter Weather" that looks like this image.



CENTRAL & SOUTHERN PENNSYLVANIA

BALTIMORE-WASHINGTON REGION

SOUTHEAST PA & DELMARVA PENINSULA

EASTERN VIRGINIA TO NORTH CAROLINA






Monday, January 2, 2017

Help is almost here.

20 comments:
Help is almost here.
  • WHITE IN THE WINTER NIGHT ACROSS THE MID-ATLANTIC REGION STARTING LATE THIS AFTERNOON FOR WV AND WA, REACHING I-95 CORRIDOR BY 8 PM. SNOW OVERNIGHT OF 1" OR MORE BETWEEN PA/MD LINE & DC METRO
  • CRITICAL END-POINT TIMING OF SNOWFALL ON FRIDAY MORNING WILL INFLUENCE HOW FRIDAY AM COMMUTE PLAYS OUT. PREPARE FOR DELAYS AS EVEN LIGHT AMOUNTS WILL PRODUCE SLIPPERY CONDITIONS OVERNIGHT.
  • A WEEK OF MOISTURE TRANSPORT LIKE THIS ACROSS THE U.S., FOLLOWED BY ARCTIC AIR MAY LEAD TO A PROLONGED PERIOD OF WINTRY PRECIPITATION IN THE EASTERN STATES  STARTING AFTER JANUARY 15.

4:00 AM ET 1/5 - It's time to move your snow plans into action. Although tonight's event for the Mid-Atlantic is not slated to produce major impact, for portions of our region the actual timing of the snowfall will be problematic for the Friday AM commute. This will include most of the MD Eastern shore and the I-66 to I-70 corridors & I-95 corridors. Main issues next 24 hours:

  • Two moisture sources = better snow chances. Two disturbances moving quickly toward the region will interact for a 12 hour period from 4 PM tonight to 4 AM Friday. The first is an upper level disturbance streaking east from the central plains. The second will be a developing coastal Low near the Carolinas.
  • How much snow? Not much, but very fine grained. The intensity of upper level cold was reported by NWS office in the west to allow this system a snow-to-liquid ratio of nearly 40 to 1! If you are a snow science enthusiast, that is like John Madden's Ultra Winter Fantasy Football. You try the math! Even just 0.05" of snow with a 30:1 ratio aloft could easily produce 1.5" at the surface. 
  • Fine flakes mean road war. This type of snow gets in every crack, nook and cranny of road surfaces because the extremely fine grained nature of the snow allows it to adhere instantly and quickly create a slick, thin sheen upon contact. With temperatures not slated to rise about 32 F for  most of the region west of the I-95 corridor until at least 12 PM, improvement in road conditions may not occur until late morning.   
  • What about timing? An NWS Hourly Weather Chart for Eldersburg, MD below is a representative location for the overall impact we believe will be observed from DC metro and the 270 corridor to eastern WV -- to central MD and southern PA.

HOW MUCH, WHERE AND WHEN? Snow maps from the Winter Weather sections at the Sterling VA NWS (Baltimore/Washington) and the Philadelphia/Mt. Holly NWS below:


Sunday, January 1, 2017