Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Is this the artic???

Ok, we had a lot of rain the other day, 1.69" inches to be exact. That much rain could have melted 4 feet of snow but it couldn't melt 5.5 inches of icepack that was here in northwest Jersey with a high temperature 0f 56 degrees. That goes to show how strong our snowpack was and why sleet isn't all that bad.

Now, we want to know when it can snow again? Well here in Vermont it will be snowing like everyday but you guys down there in Jersey are not so lucky. The models are trying to bring a coastal storm some more intense than others. The GFS shows some lights snow going off the coast and the NAM is showing a massive rain storm on the 30th. I would have the light snow but we will have to wait and see about that one.

Snowmaking will not return this month to Mountain Creek but January is quite different. The GFS model is showing 490 thickness values coming right into Jersey. I don't know if you realize this but that will send temperatures well below 0, well below -10 too. I don't know if it's going to get quite that cold but check it out for yourself. The map is clickable to make it bigger. It was even showing some florida snow, you can only laugh at that....
The models are hinting at another storm around the 7th so keep an eye on that. And if you want to do some investigative work into any future snow events go to some of my old blogs and check the NAO. If the red line goes negative watch out, its gunna be active!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Last blog post till the new year... its interesting

You can read about the winter so far in my last blog as well as my January outlook, but whats going on with the models? Well the rest of December looks pretty upsetting and snowfall and snowmaking will be rare if at all. What really interests me is that the last day of December looks really warm and with the NAO going negative that should lead to really cold the next day later, so snowmaking could possibly resume in the new year.

So Darren, your getting excited for some more cold air? No, I am not. Im am excited because extreme warmth going to extreme in a days time means one thing. A low pressure system to balance things out. On the 1st-2nd of January the GFS is showing a major northeast storm and its one to watch but knowing our luck and the la nina it might just be all sleet again. I sure hope not. I looked at this morning on the model and thought "Gee that won't happen" but then I chekced the NAO and it is going to negative and everytime it goes negative we get a storm. The fact is the storm WILL happen. But where, who, how, why, what, and when are all just spectulation right now. (You can click on the map for a larger view)
All this looks to perfect for me. Way too perfect, and that is why I am bringing my computer to Vermont with me and hopefully I will get a chance to get on and write some updates. Until then you have every right to envy me while I'm boarding at Stowe!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

What is going to happen next?

One thing about me is I am very optimistic and when someone tells me something negative I don't believe it! Back in October Accuweather.com chief meteorologist Joe Bastardi put out his winter forecast. It called for a warm December, January, and into the first half of February and all could do was deny it. When October went into the books as the warmest on record (and it was) it was then followed by a November that was largely below average except for 2 days. In November southern Sussex picked up 6 inches of snow while northern Sussex picked up 8 inches during that month. And odd site for sure. December came by and brought 11 days of which we did not get about the freezing mark (32) and the average for the whole winter is 30, so we had a good head start. It also brought 9.75" inches of snow to southern Sussex making a season total of 15.75". In northern Sussex the season total of snow so far 21.75" and over two feet in the higher elevations. Not to mention winter didn't actually start yet.

Being the end of December the winter has been one of the coldest in recent memory and we are currently beating the past 10 years for season to date snowfall so far, very impressive. And not to mention 2007 will go down as the coldest year of the decade so far. Now that it is the first day of winter and we are all waiting for more snow and cold I have bad news, but maybe its not so bad?

Accuweather just put out their January forecast and it shows a warm month with very little chance of snow. Me being subborn won't go with that at all. The NAO is expect to tank again in early January and I have a feeling we will see a colder month than normal with these 2 or days of warmer temperature trends. These trends will be extreme and everyone knows on extreme leads to another of the opposite. If you want to get a good snowstorm you need to mix warm and cold air together because when the two airmasses collide with one another they create low pressure to balance them back out and bring things back to normal. Personally I see this last week of December to be a normal week temperature wise and some snow and rain will be around but nothing major, not that I see yet anyway.

The models are trending toward temps that are way to warm for any snowmaking but January could come in with a new weather pattern, one that trends with a few days of extreme warmth, then a massive system going from rain to snow, and then cold for a about week and that will repeat itself. It should be an interesting month and this is my personal opinion. And when the La Nina weakens at the end of the month winter will be in full force as the polar vortex over the artic comes down into Canada, the most of our cold and snow is still yet to come in February and March while January will not be so impressive.

Tomorrow will be my last post on potential snow until the end of the year because I will be heading up to Stowe Vermont! I can't wait :)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

It's not so bad!

After looking outside my front door at 6:00 a.m and seeing heavy sleet covering everything I realized something. This stuff is a great base builder for ski resorts like Mountain Creek! If it was powder than they couldn't blow snow on the bare trails because the base wouldn't hold, but this stuff is an excellent start! So far this year Netcong where I live has recieved 14.50 inches of the white stuff and its only mid December. We still have 3 1/2 months of snow left to go and April can always surprise us! I think we are doing great in the snow department for northwest Jersey. As for Mountain Creek, I have been keeping tabs on the snowfall there with some good friends and so far their season total is 17.75 inches + todays storm, so they are doing just fine for so early in the season. Just to give you a heads up, this time last year Mountain Creek had a season total of 0.00 inches (06-07) , 14 inches the year before (05-06), and 0.25 the year before(04-05). Yeah, we are off to a terrific start.

As the warmer air, it is coming but not all that bad. Snowmaking won't be very extensive but we will make due. As for snow the models are going with a Christmas day storm but I think it will end up being on Christmas eve. That fact is we are in a trend that could last months, perhaps it will be an all sleet event or snow or the 4 letter R word. But one thing is certain, there will be a storm around the Christmas time period.

Check out some of these cool images when the storm finally blow up off the coast:

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The January Thaw

Something I have been warning about for awhile was that mid December straight through most of January will be very warm. That is still going to happen, sorry. The models bring back warm air into our region next week and keep it here. This means that snowmaking may be limited to night time, if we are lucky anyway. Mountain Creek seems to have a nice solid base at South anyway and should withstand the warm spell that can last most of the winter. There will be cold air masses coming through once and awhile but nothing to get exited for.

As I look at the once great snowstorm for today I become upset. It shows all ice and then just plain old rain, and lots of it. Some people are mad at me for telling them that feet could fall in the matter of days, well I didn't. I look at the models and tell you what they are saying as of real time, nothing more, nothing less. The models are innaccurate and these are the same models used to forecast global warming 50 years into the future and they can't even forecast 2 days out. Funny, isn't it?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Light at the end of the tunnel?

Ok, so we got ripped off on Thursday, no big deal. Right? The upper regions of the atmosphere were just to warm to support snow over most of Sussex county and almost all the precip fell as sleet. With the NAO nearing -2 there will certainly be a Nor' Easter developing off the coast of Virgina and moving to the northeast. I hate to say this guys but once again I think the upper atmosphere will not be able to support snow and it will fall as sleet, freezing rain, and maybe a little snow to begin and end with. Sorry guys, I feel the pain too.

The fact of the matter is the storm has now tracked way out to the great lakes and then the seconday will form off the coast but by that time to much warm air will be around for accumulating snow. I have a feeling this is an indication of what will happen the rest of the season and that really upsets me. The cold air will now stay off to our west but will still provide Mountain Creek a few days to blow some of the white stuff, no single digits though, this storm meant everything...

As I look at the NAO it shows it staying negative for weeks on end and I know that is complete bull, don't fall for it. It has never stayed below -1 for more than a day or two, unlikely it will be there for weeks. Intersting thing is that if it does stay negative cold air will dominate the east for a long period of time and I know that just won't happen, cause nothing works out for me...
So what about accumulations for the storm? Don't get excited the least bit. I am staying a nice blanket of white, hard, gross, sloppy, ugly, smelly sleet and ice. Not the best thing in the world by any means. Unless by some divine miracle the snow gods decide to move this storm system some 50 miles east we don't have a change at Jersey powder. If by any strange event it did happen I would call for 8-12 inches of snow.
Whats next? The model is showing a Christmas storm! Don't get excited, knowing this trend we are in it will be sleet and freezing rain with a little snow to start and end like usual. I will keep you updated.
Check back here tonight for the snow map, you never know what could happen with the 18UTC model runs.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

We get ripped off yet again...

In the old days we use to get snowstorms with brief periods of sleet. Now why is it that entire storms can be sleet? The storm today started as sleet and quickly went over snow and extremely heavy at that, in fact I picked up two inches of snow in just 30 minutes! The temperatures will remained below freezing during the duration of both storms but the problem is high up in the atmosphere where there is warmer air aloft. Accumulations will be greatly affected by the sleet and ony your position north can save you from that.

As for this weekend, I am on edge right now. The track of the storm is the most important part and 20 miles either way will mean the difference between rain and heavy snow. I will post my final forecast for this weekend tomorrow night and I have a feeling we will all be let down, I have this strange vibe about it... Don't get bumbed out just yet, things can always change. I hope...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Update on both storms...

For those of you wondering I have not overlooked the storm coming on Thursday of this week, I just didn't see it as big of a deal as I do right now. It looks like 6-10 inches will accumulate during the storm and that snow is not going to go anywhere any time soon. This storm will lack the winds of course which is a good thing but snow will be VERY heavy and 1-2 inch an hour rates will occur. Some schools may even let out early depending on the time of arrival. If you start seeing snow around 10:00 that is a good sign, because it will become heavy very fast and depending on the school an early dismissal is possible. Friday also looks good for delayes and school closures for Sussex, Western Morris, Warren, and Passaic counties.

Now onto storm number two. This one will bring with it extremely heavy snow with possible sleet mixing the farther south and east you go. Wind will be a serious issue as well as blowing and drifting of the snow. This is a Nor'easter folks and if you don't know what that is, it is one of mother natures most powerful storms. It is too early to tell but if I was a guessing man I would 8-12 inches in areas that get sleet mixing in and 12-18 inches where it stays all snow. This means that by the end of the two storms the north Jersey snowpack could reach 18-28 inches and that is Vermont like boarding and skiing. I will let you know for CERTAIN by Friday night, keep checking back for updates!

I don't have time for any colorful maps but I will try to get some on later. Think snow! And head Mountain Creek tomorrow, I sure am....

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The blizzard of 2007?

Ok, right away you saw the word Blizzard which defined means: "A moderate to heavy snowfall with winds over 35mph for 3 hours or more with visibility reduced to 0-1/4 of a mile." Well we haven't had anything like that since January 8th 1996, but now 11 years later (in conjunction with the 11 year solar cycle) it could happen again. Let's talk about it a little more.

Between the time frame of Dec 15th-17th a major east coast snow storm is likely to happen but who, when, where, and how much snow is still unknown at this point. I am going to explain what will happen based off of the computer models that came out at 18UTC, Tuesday night. What I am going to show you is still just a possibility and not certain, not yet so don't get your hopes up.

First thing you want to look at living the northeast is the NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) which is basically just a type of weather pattern with a negative, neutral, and positive phase. Negative phase is what we look for when we expect to get cold and snowy weather. The NAO below is forecasted to get down to -1 to -2 and that is not all that common as you can see from the past couple months. According to Kocins book when the NAO hits -1 is when most the major northeast blizzards have happened, I.E. 1996, 1978, etc.

Now let's take a look at the DGEX model which is just a down graded form the GFS mixed with the ETA. I see lots of snow...

The Euro really blows up a massive storm off the coast too!

The NAM model is a shorter range model but is begining to get into the action with the big boys!

Now for the GFS model, the only word able to describe this is "waist deep snow?". Lol, get it? That's three words! Ok, that's bad humor on my part, sorry. Well, perhaps not. It is showing some warmer air coming into the air which will allow for a period sleet but still a lot of snow, things can and will change...

Uncle Nor'easter is coming for you!