Thursday, January 27, 2011

Re-Cap and Outlook


This winter has been absolutely insane. Newark is already at 62" for the season and will most likely beat the record set in the notorious 1995-1996 season. Snow records are being broken all over the state, and more will tumble with each snow event coming. The good (or bad) news is that there is no end in sight and snowpack will continue to build through February before it even starts to melt in March.

Snowpack is something that builds over the winter season, which we typically don't get a lot of. I call it "snow cover" if the snow on the ground is from one or two storms, but what we have now is snowpack. The snow depths are measured in feet across the region which is impressive, but more impressive is the liquid equivalent (Liquid equivalent - taking the outside snow and melting it down). Below is the snow depth image from today, and this consists of 3"-5" inches of liquid!

Usually this much snow would be 1"-2" inches of liquid, but our snow has compacted and built into a strong thaw resistant consistency. Meaning that this snow is going to last a lot longer than your average 1 to 2 feet. Now let's add more snow on top, sound okay?

Some snow totals:
Central Park- 19.0"
Frenchtown- 17.9"
Hopewell- 17.1"
Morristown- 14.0
Netcong- 10.5"
Sparta- 8.9"
Wantage- 4.0"

The cold:

One of the things I record when I keep track of winter is the number of days with below freezing high temperatures. I've been keeping track since 2000 and the record season was 08-09 with 48 days. This season so far is up to 40 days and it's only January 27th!


We have two quick shots of snow from a pair of clipper systems coming from the north and west. The snow totals won't be much of a big deal but 1"-3" out of both of them combine will be a common trend, but some areas could end up with 4". These clippers are extremely hard to forecast, sometimes they could through as flurries and other times they can look like a blizzard. I wouldn't get too excited for this weekend. Here is a map of total QPF between both systems:

Beyond this more arctic cold is on it's way and other storm is possible for the middle of the week. Right now we can only speculate where the storm will track and how much precipitation will fall, one thing is for sure.... it's coming.

Stay tuned, and keep doing those snow dances.

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