Sunday, December 7, 2014

Heat Miser or Snow Miser?


8:00 AM EST 12/7 (Forecaster Kyle Jackson and Mr. Foot) If you've ever seen those old-time Christmas holiday specials from the 70s, you know of all the characters they spawned (such as Winter Warlock, The Misfit Toys, etc), the two that became most popular over the years are none other than HEAT MISER and SNOW MISER!

Looking at the weather plan for the week ahead, it would seem Heat Miser is having his way with the pattern. But lurking just offshore are new diabolical plans from Snow Miser (who we know always seemed to be Mother Natures favorite anyway;-)  

Truth be told, we're not sure who's really in charge right now up there. After such a cold November, even normalized temperatures seem mild, right? How long will this last, you ask? Let's take a look at what ahead: 

SYNOPSIS: While we know the Snow Misers out there would love to see the mild temperatures go…. Mother Nature has other ideas. 
  • As the week progresses we will see those temperatures drop back to the normal ‘December’ feel;
  • Snow chances for the Northeast will ramp up, with a possible Nor’easter late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. 

MONDAY: The calm before the storm? Areas from the Ohio Valley to New England will see a nice amount of sunshine thanks to some high pressure moving across the Great Lakes. Temperatures will range from around the mid-40s and 50s in the Ohio Valley to mid-20s and 30s in New England.

MONDAY NIGHT-TUESDAY: Mostly clear skies across most of the Eastern U.S. will give way to temperatures falling around the mid-30s and 20s for overnight lows. 
  • Tuesday is where things will get interesting. A nice amount of low pressure spinning off the coast will bring a mix of rain, sleet and snow to areas from Maryland to Maine.
  • Snowfall accumulations right now are looking heavier closer to the coast and less the farther you go inland. Temperatures will stay around the mid-30s for highs.
  • Sadly, it seems no snow for SouthTown in this go around

MID-WEEK TO WEEKEND: Beyond the big storm on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, some leftover scattered flurries may hang around for Wednesday in New England. For the rest of the week, we should stay dry thanks to more high pressure pushing through. Temperatures will hangout around the mid-30s and low 40s all week.


  • Monday will be a calm day before the storm to take care of any items outdoors you may not want affected by snow and wind.
  • The BIG item this week will be the Nor’easter’ on Tuesday night into Wednesday morning that could put down a good amount of snowfall for areas from eastern Maryland to Maine.
  • Rest of the week will return to seasonable temperatures for most of the east, in the mid-30s and 40s while we stay dry thanks to High pressure.

Monday, December 1, 2014

"The sun doesn't shine, the world doesn't turn."
NASA's Pic of the Day from December 22, 2007

6:30 PM EST 12/1 (By Kentucky Team Lead Forecaster Chris Reece & the Lead Story Team)
For those who frequent this website and our team's regional or metro Facebook pages, we know there are times when a gap between updates causes "uneasiness." Especially in winter, we are told by people in various parts of the Mid-Atlantic that "you guys really need to update more, and do more long range stuff." 
Some of these readers even report that others come to THEM seeking an inside scoop: "Got any inside info from Foots?" they are asked. So to help our long-time readers get your sun  shining righter and world turning better, we are launching a special weekly basic Long Range feature, starting today! 

SYNOPSIS: This time last week we were watching closely for a major winter storm to roll up the east coast in the coming days. That led us into a cold Thanksgiving time period that had some festive flakes to go along with it. Now we find ourselves facing the full blown holiday shopping season right upon us. The question now is, “Where will the pattern take us next... into Winter or back to Fall?"
Well my friends, it appears the winter pattern will eventually reload, and should be active over the next 10 days. Let’s start with now and work forward. 

  • MONDAY: The week started  much warmer than it will end. Areas from Kentucky all the way over to Maryland experience temperatures in the 50s to upper 60s, as the area of high pressure that brought the colder temperatures last week now sits just off the southeastern coast, which  produced southwest wind, and thus, warmer temperatures.
  • MONDAY NIGHT-TUESDAY: Temperatures crashed Monday afternoon much of the eastern half of the country bringing highs from the 60s to lows in the 20s. This will set the stage for a wintry mix of rain sleet and snow for select locations in the Mid-Atlantic, especially Maryland into Pennsylvania and the Virginia/West Virginia mountains.
  • MID-WEEK TO THE WEEKEND: Beyond that, subtle rain chances will continue as our front stalls out and slowly retreats back to the north over the course of the week, but things shouldn’t be a washout by any means for most of us. We then continue to warm up to seasonable temperatures. 
Long range forecast data then begins to send more shots of cold air in the 9 to 10 day period. That’s likely a hint of the back and forth period of cold and warm air that will take place before the cold begins to take over for the middle and end of this month.


  • The next 10 days will feature a day or two of cold with a small chance of wintry weather that shouldn’t be too disruptive, at least not for Maryland just yet. 
  • Areas west towards Kentucky will want to stay on close look for wintry weather potential. 
  • Conditions gradually warm towards seasonable temperatures by next week with off and on rain chances. Beyond that, cold weather looks likely to return toward end of next week. 
  • The southern jet stream has been active lately, and if it continues into the middle and end of December, which it certainly looks possible, then the Thanksgiving storm was only the beginning of what could be an active winter period.

Yes, but you’ll want to be very vigilant for scattered showers here and there. Otherwise the next 5-10 days will at least hold Arctic air at a distance in Canada. But those opportunities to get it done won't last much longer that that.

For those who want MORE and would enjoy exclusive Insider access to our briefings, reports and insights, this winter consider joining the "Powderhound Club." Just send us a simple message to and we'll provide the latest Powderhound Insider newsletter with details on what's coming in December, special discounts on hoodies and reports from the Winter Stormcast Team.
If you have suggestions on features we can include in the weekly long range report, let us know in the comments below. 
"Surely, you can't be serious?
Yes, I'm serious, and don't call me Shirley." 
-Leslie Neilsen, in a famous line from a 1980s comedy (Youtube clip)

Screen capture of Frederick MD NWS forecast as of 3:30 AM 12/1

9:00 AM 12/1 - Another Fall tease, followed by another wintry surprise. Then again, it is December now, so time to get our game face on. Even though long range temperatures are set to go above normal in the 6-10 day period ahead, surprises lurk in the short range:

  • If you haven't checked your National Weather Service point-and-click local forecast, better do that soon. By this evening, following passage of a cold front, resurgent High pressure system nudges in dry, much cooler air tonight from the north. 
  • As the flow switches to north overnight, temperatures across the region drop to near 30 as shown on our snippet from the Frederick, MD forecast graphic

It's a classic "Cold Air Damming" setup, as alluded to on the NOAA surface map. It is a process where surface cold air wedges down the east side of the Appalachians, evidenced by the "bowed" isobar lines you see over the Mid-Atlantic states. Running over  the top of the denser air below will be moisture and southerly winds aloft streaming in from the Gulf of Mexico. The result at surface is temperatures hold right around 32 F as the moisture works itself out as either sleet or freezing rain. 

Regardless of the meteorological technicalities, Tuesday looks to be a challenging day for schools and travelers in the Blue Ridge region and along the PA/MD line.

Or as they said in the Airplane movie, "Yes I'm serious, and don't call me Shirley."

Forecaster Foot and the Maryland Team