Wintry Weather and Warming (And the ISS!)

 

Early Season Snow in Killington, VT

 

Winter Arrives!

First off, just a mention about the storm underway in the Northeast. Check out Killington, VT on webcam! Pretty awesome, huh? Thus far, both Killington and Lake Placid are reporting 4″ of the white stuff above 2,000 feet. So far so good to say the least. Certainly not bad for October. I’ll try and wrap this one up once the storm ends.

Heat Records

I wanted to touch on something rather interesting. Mfuwe, Zambia recorded that nation’s hottest temperature of all-time yesterday, reaching a sizzling 108.3°F. According to Jeff Masters at the Weather Underground, this makes Zambia the 18th country (joining Russia, Finland, Iraq, Colombia, Kuwait, and others) to set a new all-time hottest temperature in 2010. Most of you that know me, know I am quite conservative when it comes to climate change, and my prevailing opinion is that too much is being claimed as fact and certainty and our data records are just not extensive enough to draw any true conclusions without some element of error being likely. I advocate caution rather than panic and hype. That being said, this is a fairly impressive statistic, and it’s one that even has someone like me taking notice. You can certainly pass this off as being a situation where with more observations being taken, a more connected planet, etc., it simply increases the odds that more records will be set. One could also argue that the carryover effect of the El Nino from earlier this year would also help increase those odds further. The bottom line is that I’m not going to draw any conclusions from this (because I do truly think the El Nino and increased amounts of observations are the primary driver), but it’s certainly interesting.

Space Station Over Mid-Atlantic

Those of you in the DC/Baltimore areas, you’ll be able to check out the International Space Station very early on Saturday! It should pass overhead just before 7 AM, if you feel so inclined. Read more here.

That’s all for now!

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First Winter Storm of 2010-2011 in the East

I’ve always been a fan of out of season snow events. That’s not to say that mid-October is out of season in the mountains of New York and New England, but it still feels awfully early, especially when it was 102 degrees inland here in SoCal yesterday. Still it looks favorable that somewhere in the Southern Greens, Berkshires, or eastern Adirondacks above 2,000′ or so is going to end up with a pretty decent amount of early season snow. This is always an issue because with the nor’easter, you’re also going to have wind and with the water content of the snow high, this is a perfect recipe for power outages, downed tree limbs, etc.  Fortunately these are fairly sparsely populated areas being impacted. Additionally, this storm looks to dump a lot of rain. It looks like 1-3″ of rain on average from Eastern NY into New England. Should be a pretty dynamic storm to say the least.

There might be another brief  dose of wintry type weather, possibly some early season lake effect precipitation, as we go into next week. Either way, it looks cooler than it has been in the East.

What will be interesting is whether this is just another nor’easter or hinting at what could be a favored storm track heading into the cool season. Very often, these early storms prelude what ends up happening…not to say that this is, but it is at least worth noting. One major difference between this nor’easter and what was seen much of last year is that the heavy precip from this will fall in New England (last autumn and winter, this was displaced much further south). This is something we’ll have to keep an eye on going forward.

Winter Storm Watch for the mountains of NY, MA and VT (NWS Burlington has a policy to not issue watches just for their mountains, but the spine of the Greens could get spanked in this storm).

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ALBANY NY
412 PM EDT THU OCT 14 2010

MAZ001-NYZ032-033-042-047-051-058-063-082-VTZ013-014-151000-
/O.NEW.KALY.WS.A.0008.101015T1200Z-101016T2200Z/
NORTHERN BERKSHIRE-NORTHERN HERKIMER-HAMILTON-NORTHERN WARREN-
SCHOHARIE-WESTERN ALBANY-WESTERN GREENE-WESTERN ULSTER-
NORTHERN FULTON-BENNINGTON-WESTERN WINDHAM-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...PITTSFIELD...NORTH ADAMS...ATWELL...
BIG MOOSE...EAGLE BAY...MCKEEVER...NOBLEBORO...NORTHWOOD...
OLD FORGE...SPECULATOR...WARRENSBURG...COBLESKILL...MIDDLEBURGH...
ALTAMONT...HUNTER...TANNERSVILLE...WINDHAM...SUNDOWN...
ELLENVILLE...WOODSTOCK...WEST HURLEY...KERHONKSON...NAPANOCH...
PHOENICIA...NORTHVILLE...MAYFIELD...BENNINGTON...JACKSONVILLE...
NEWFANE
412 PM EDT THU OCT 14 2010

...WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM FRIDAY MORNING THROUGH
SATURDAY AFTERNOON...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN ALBANY HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM
WATCH FOR ELEVATIONS ABOVE 2000 FEET...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM
FRIDAY MORNING THROUGH SATURDAY AFTERNOON ACROSS THE SOUTHERN
ADIRONDACKS...NORTHEAST CATSKILLS...AND HELDERBERGS...THE
SOUTHERN GREEN MOUNTAINS...AND NORTHERN BERKSHIRES.

RAIN IS EXPECTED TO MIX WITH...AND EVENTUALLY CHANGE TO WET SNOW
ACROSS HIGHER ELEVATIONS WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...BEGINNING FRIDAY
MORNING ACROSS THE SOUTHERN ADIRONDACKS AND NORTHEAST
CATSKILLS...AND ACROSS THE SOUTHERN GREEN MOUNTAINS AND NORTHERN
BERKSHIRES FRIDAY AFTERNOON. PERIODS OF SNOW...POSSIBLY HEAVY AT
TIMES...WILL CONTINUE INTO FRIDAY NIGHT...BEFORE GRADUALLY
TAPERING OFF SATURDAY.

THE POTENTIAL EXISTS FOR SNOWFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 7 INCHES OR
GREATER WITHIN THE WATCH AREA. THE WEIGHT OF WET SNOW MAY BRING
DOWN TREE LIMBS...ESPECIALLY IN AREAS WHERE LEAVES REMAIN. THIS
MAY RESULT IN SOME POWER OUTAGES.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT
SNOW...SLEET...OR ICE ACCUMULATIONS THAT MAY IMPACT TRAVEL.
CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS.