Monday, February 20, 2012

Where do we go from here?

7:50 AM EST 2/20/12 In the wake of our departing weekend storm, much of the country is welcoming a much calmer Washington's Birthday than in previous years. In 2011, the same regions that were affected by this storm were under threat of a major ice event which snarled plans for many returning home from their mid-winter vacations. 

Looking to next weekend While still early in model projections, the next notable event to impact the country may be a swiftly moving Arctic front trailing behind a relatively strong Low pressure system progged to move northeast from the Great Lakes. 
  • Cold and more cold: Were this outcome to verify, near-freezing air would surge straight the Gulf coast, making for a very cold weekend for much of the eastern U.S. on Saturday and Sunday.  
  • Just one view: The image shown above is for 1:00 AM EST Saturday morning 2/25 as of the 1 AM model runs from today, and the 5,000-foot level map was selected for simplicity. As with every medium range forecast outside 5 days, it is not a specific call for one outcome, but an overview of what is on the horizon given the current pattern.
Thanks for the collaboration! Our entire team would like to express thanks to  our many readers across the U.S. for your loyalty and involvement with us in the recent storm. The forecasters were very encouraged to read of so many  supportive  comments, or to see readers posting pictures of the event from their area in their forecast zones. We appreciate you sharing your weather with us!

(Forecasters Foot, Isaacs; Advisors Berk, Palmer, Lear, Winstead and Krichinsky) 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

"Do you see what I see?"

PSU E-WALL LOOPS (Left) Water Vapor | (Right) Infrared Radar

7:35 PM EST 2/19/12 
The question that our Winter Stormcast Team has been wondering for our readers is: "Do you see what I see?" While heavy snow has been reported in Kentucky, North Carolina, western and central Virginia, readers in the Mid-Atlantic are nervously (or excitedly) watching as the low develops off the South Carolina coast. The precipitation shield continues to march ever northward, making us all wonder if this storm has a few more tricks up the sleeve. What are you seeing in your area? Tell us in the comments.

We offer these intriguing observations from our local teams:
  • Heavy snowfall rates of 2 inches per hour have been reported to the Blacksburg VA National Weather Service. The Sterling NWS has just raised snow totals in Central Virginia. Details on our page there
  • Lightning being reported in southwest Virginia, with one observer noting there was also "distant lightning" in other locations.
  • An upper air sounding at 1:00 PM today in the vicinity of the lightning, showed steep lapse rates of 7.1 c/km. This is indicative of strong upward motion, leading to higher snowfall rates and possible thundersnow. 
Screen capture as of 4:35 PM
  • Snow in the south is observed near Charlotte, North Carolina where you can see pictures posted by our team in that region.
  • Sleet was reported in by readers in Ocean City, MD and Salisbury, MD with heavy snow in lower southern Maryland in the past 2 hours.
  • Rain and snow are moving north into the Baltimore metro area. For Annapolis, MD we expect light snow to reach the city by 7:00 PM. This area is likely to be where the gradient of snowfall accumulations will set up. Up to with the southern portions of 695 being a northward boundary of accumulation in that area.
We welcome your observations in our Mid-Atlantic Winter Stormcast page on Facebook, or in the comments on this page. Enjoy the snow and stay safe!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sunday snowfall in the Mid-Atlantic 

9:00 PM EST 2/18/12 Good evening! Our team still expects a significant winter storm to impact much of the Mid Atlantic during the day Sunday, with the highest impact late Sunday afternoon and evening for most areas. Our snowfall forecasts are preliminary, and may be adjusted as we get closer to this event. For details on the projected amounts and impacts for your area, please visit our Winter Stormcast Page on the Foot's Forecast Website.

                "This storm means business."
-Meteorologist Shundra Stewart, Central Mississippi

1:00 PM EST 2/18/12 
Meteorologist Shundra Stewart of our Foot's Forecast | Central Mississippi zone said this morning what many on our team have been thinking since last night. 

A 3000-mile plume of tropical moisture from the East Pacific is hard to ignore. Forecaster Connor of our Central Maryland team noted that several computer models have begun the interesting shift back north in the eventual storm path Sunday into Monday. 

(Meteorologist Shundra Stewart) Rain, rain and more rain. That's one part of the story for today. We also have tornado watches along the gulf coast states. Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf coast counties are currently under a Tornado Watch until 3:00pm ahead of that warm front. A new Tornado Watch was just issued for southern gulf coast counties of Alabama and western part of the Panhandle of Florida until 5:00pm. A low pressure system on the border of TX and Mexico that's going to push north northeastern bring rain to Texas and Louisiana while a warm front is pushing northern bringing severe weather to parts of Louisiana and Mississippi coast counties. Please visit our Southeast Team Forecast page in Facebook for local and regional updates from our seven-state team.

Please visit the Winter Stormcast Page for the latest analyses on why we believe the current storm in the Southeast is already trending farther north, as evidenced by the radar below among other indicators. 

Need another tidbit? Take a look this fun quote from the Winter Storm Watch statement from the Blacksburg VA National Weather Service. This should give pause to astute readers, meteorologists and scientists out there ... "