Clipper Snowfall

Still looking at a volatile and challenging system for the Northeast tomorrow and Saturday. My first and final accumulation map is below:

Snowfall Forecast: Thursday Night-Saturday Evening (Click to enlarge)

There could still be some significant variability in the snow totals, especially in the area bounded by Syracuse-Albany-Worcester-Hartford-Newburgh, NY. Snow will move in tomorrow morning. From about Trenton, NJ south this looks to be a very low impact event. There may be a brief period of heavier snow to cause some havoc on roadways, but accumulation will be limited. The main area of impact for this storm should be the Catskills, Mohawk Valley, Adirondacks, Berkshires, Litchfield Hills, and perhaps parts of SW Connecticut and Long Island. The main event will wind down Friday evening, but lake enhancement will begin to deliver heavier snow to parts of Upstate NY through Saturday night, leading to the chance of higher amounts there. The Norlun trough effect could take over in Maine and southern New Hampshire Saturday night, leading to higher totals than advertised above (remember this map ends Saturday 7 PM). Max amounts could top off around 12″, with a few higher amounts, primarily in the mountains/upslope of Upstate NY courtesy of lake enhancement or pure lake effect.

Models continue to show a favorable pattern for a large storm for midweek next week. More on that after this system passes.

Select snow amounts through Saturday evening:

DC/Baltimore, MD: Trace
Philadelphia, PA: Coating-1″
Trenton, NJ: Coating-2″
New York City: 1-2″ average
Morristown, NJ: 1-3″
Bridgeport, CT: 2-5″
Syracuse, NY: 3-6″
Utica, NY: 4-8″
Albany, NY: 3-7″
Hartford, CT: 2-5″
Boston, MA: 1-3″

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Don’t forget, State of Occlusion is on Facebook! I’ll post some additional cool links and snow maps before they’re published here on that page. “Like” the blog by clicking here!

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Quick Weekend Snow Risk Assessment

Not much to say beyond what was said yesterday. Just looking at the models today and going off past experience, I feel this first system Friday-Saturday is not going to be a backbreaker on a large scale. I think we’re dealing with a more localized storm in areas more suited to handle heavy/surprise snow…an Alberta Clipper system that starts to explosively develop off the New England coast, which may for some point carry one of my favorite descriptions: A ballistic clipper. These types of storms can really hammer areas north of I-80 if the situation is right.

Snowfall Risk Assessment for the Northeast Friday-Saturday (Click to enlarge)

So anywhere from about Rochester or Syracuse eastward is fair game for this possibly overachieving. Right now, I think the odds of the “clipper” overachieving are highest in the Catskills, but this could easily be extended north toward the Mohawk Valley or even the southern Adirondacks and Berkshires. The secondary area is where the intense coastal development will take place, which is off the Massachusetts coast, possibly putting Portsmouth, Boston, Providence, and Cape Cod under the gun for a period of heavy snow. I’m non-commital on that area though, and more enthused with the idea of parts of the interior being “surprised” by this. For now, you can see my highest risk areas. These may be expanded or contracted later. Additionally, the area of 3″ accumulating snow could end up pushing a little further south, but if I lived south of I-195 in Jersey, I wouldn’t be too concerned or enthused for snow at this point. I think this first event will be primarily a north of I-80/east of I-81 storm. I’ll keep you posted.

We still have this other system showing up on the models for midweek next week, and that one I’m still not writing off or committing to at this point…but I will say, given recent model trends and the overall pattern, it would make sense that someone will see a significant winter storm for the middle of next week. Stay tuned.

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Don’t forget, State of Occlusion is on Facebook! I’ll post some additional cool links and snow maps before they’re published here on that page. “Like” the blog by clicking here!

Wrapping Up the Nor’Easter, Some Other Things

At the left is a satellite image from NOAA depicting the massive nor’easter hitting New England yesterday. This was a very impressive storm, and it continues to impact with strong winds (as evidenced by watching the Rutgers/Army game at the Meadowlands Stadium). Gusts have generally been in the 35-55 mph range. Though I did see a 69 mph gust in Bennington County, VT (Woodford), that I assume was at a high elevation. Mount Washington in New Hampshire looks to have done just over 72 mph in the last 24 hours.

In terms of snowfall, it appears that an average of 6-12″ fell at some of the higher peaks of the Adirondacks and Green Mountains. I’ve seen 8″ reported at Little Whiteface Mountain, 7″ as of yesterday at Mt. Mansfield, VT, and 14″ at Killington. All in all a fairly impressive event!

Typhoon Megi

As the tropics in the Atlantic slowly wind down, the incredibly quiet Western Pacific is finally seeing some interesting activity. Typhoon Megi is a 120 mph storm, which will likely become a supertyphoon and appears headed for the northern part of Luzon (main island of the Philippines). The current forecast has it making landfall early morning (US Time) on Monday

Typhoon Megi East of the Philippines

. You can track Megi here. Also, Crownweather.com has a nice website with images and information on Megi. After the Philippines, it looks to head toward Hainan Island in southern China.

 

 

Arizona Tornado Outbreak

The National Weather Service in Flagstaff has put up a tremendous website with lots of images, graphics, pictures, and information on the tornado outbreak that struck parts of Arizona earlier this month. This event will go down as the largest single day tornado outbreak in Arizona history. Of course, we can assume that, but Arizona has become more densely populated in recent years, so there are probably a number of weather events that have gone unnoticed in that state in years past. That said, this was an incredible outbreak for anywhere west of the Continental Divide. I happened to be at work that morning monitoring some rain here in SoCal, but fixed on the radar in Central and Northern Arizona. Some of those radar signatures were as good as you’d see anywhere in the country. Some good stuff on that website from above.

Scientists and Programming

An interesting final topic for today. I found a link to an article from the Journal Nature’s website. The article discusses how in the wake of Climategate, there was a somewhat undiscussed issue that involved scientists and their ability to write code. One of the emails had a comment from a CRU scientists claiming his programming skills were “awful.” This is somewhat disturbing in the sense that a lot of what is being done in the climate arena (and other areas too) is being programmed and written now by scientists. The bottom line is that the skills of a lot of people has not caught up to the pace of technological development. It’s a good read, and it brings up some interesting points that you wouldn’t normally think about that I think illustrates a larger problem in our field, as well as other science fields. But I think with the discussion and the realization that what some of these scientist programmers do is so important to the field and research, this should help bring some additional awareness to the topic at hand. Hopefully at least in our field of meteorology, some of the graduate programs that exist more rigorously emphasize programming in their curriculum going forward.

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.