Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Blizzard of 2008

Ok, well it wasn't really a blizzard, but considering it's October I'll let it slide. I don't mean to sound stuck up but I think I nailed the forecast very well. Here are some of the snow totals:

Sussex NJ (450 ft) -Trace
Sussex NJ (1,803 ft) - 14' inches
Netcong NJ (950 ft) -5.5 inches
Netcong NJ (1,100 ft) -10 inches
Roxbury NJ(650 ft) -2 inches
Dover NJ (450 ft) -Trace
Atlantic city (10 ft) -Trace

As you can see some town snow totals range from 0 to 14 inches because of elevation. Most of Sussex didn't get much accumulation unless you were near that 1,000 foot mark. Now I have no idea how Atlantic City got a trace but I consider that more impressive than high point with 14 inches. It's not unheard for October snow at high point, but Atlantic city? Needless to say the past four days have been breaking records and Netcong NJ broke 13 records in the past 4 days!




Ah Yes, 10 inches of snow in Netcong NJ!

Monday, October 27, 2008

First snow storm of the year!

Yes that's right. We will get our first accumulating snow of the 08-09 season! We are going to do a different approach by using model soundings. These soundings determine if the atmosphere can support snow to reach the surface or not and are very easy to read. This first sounding is for Andover NJ and bascically tells us that at 8:00a.m. tomorrow morning snow be falling at elevations of

By 2:00 p.m Tuesday the snow levels will drop down to 1,000 feet and keep falling eventually bringing some wet flakes to the suburbs of New York City by late night. Here is the sounding:

The NAM shows very heavy precip at this time falling as snow for Sussex county, western Morris, and Northern Warren county. I am not going to bother to make a snow map because there two possible solutions. We get 1-2 inches across the higher terrain only or 3-6 across most of Sussex, Wester Morris, and Northern Warren. I hate to say it, but we are border line between them and it can go either way. It may just be a surprise...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Could it be our first snow?

Well depending on where you live in North Jersey this week could bring the first snowfall of the season. There are two possible events which could give us snow but I highly doubt that it will be enough to accumulate or even stick to the ground. Let's check it out...

The first and most likely chance is that Sussex, North Warren, and Western Morris counties have the greatest chance here. Lake effect snow will be going on to our west and there are some very good chances that some lake effect snow flurries and snow squalls will hit our area, they could be very scattered and random so don't be surprised to see the flakes! The counties east of the main area don't have much of chance since the lake effect rarely ever makes it over the mountains.

Now on to more interesting weather. The second chance is actually a coastal storm for Tuesday which some models like the NAM and EURO are hinting at but the GFS just won't. This is what the NAM and EURO look like as of now: (Click for bigger images)

The NAM is showing the storm forming off the east coast but not really getting into our area.

The Euro is showing a more aggressive approach with a negative tilt trough and some nice snow coming into the area.

And the GFS isn't showing much of anything other than cold air and lake effect:

Now remember this is speculation based off of what the models are saying. I am not saying it's going to "snow", I am simply saying there is a chance based off of model output. It's model hype and not always accurate.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

NWA conference 2008 in Louisville!

This isn't done just yet, give me some feedback, suggestions?

Friday, October 10, 2008

GFS snow!?

As we all know the GFS or better known as the global fantasy simulator has been consistently showing cold and snowy conditions for around the 25th of October. The only thing that leads me to believe that this could actually be possible is the NAO will be going negative at that time and the AO will be in a negative phase to supply the cold air. If you don't know about the NAO or AO look at my last blog post, it has it all. I'm not getting to excited but there is a small chance. I will keep doing updates to see if the models stick with it, although I highly doubt it...

Also fall has also neared peak in northwest Jeresy and will be in prime peak in the next 4-7 days:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

North Atlantic Oscillation

Living in the northeast and being a meteorologist, you MUST know about the North Atlantic Oscillation since it is the main drive in our weather! We also need to go over the PDO, AMO, ENSO, PNA, AO, and Solar output. When we take this atmosphereic, ocean current, and solar trend, by putting them together we get a good picture of what this winter will be like. This is my winter forecast!

For the coldest and snowiest winter we want:
-A negative NAO
-neutral ENSO
-Cool PDO
-Warm AMO
-Low Solar output
-Positive PNA
-Negative AO

Lets start off with the ENSO, better know as the El Nino Southern Oscillation. During the past two we had a El Nino in 06-07 and a STRONG La Nina in 08-08. Neither of these winters were all that cold or snowy for our region. The El Nino is 06-07 brought warmer than normal temperatures and most of the winter precipitation was in the form of rain which in my book is not a very good winter. The colder and snowier the better, right? The la nina of 07-08 brought slighty warmer than normal temperatures but that wasn't why we lacked snow. We didn't recieve a lot of snow because the upper levels of the atmosphere were well above normal because of the ENSO. This made it much more difficult to support snow and ice and sleet was a more common type of precip. Now as we look toward the ENSO this year it is neutral, this means there is no el nino or la nina. Under the right conditions this type of winter could produce a lot of snow and cold. To learn in depth about the ENSO see the following:

Well now that the ENSO is in a perfect trend what about the PDO, know as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. The PDO shifted into a cool phase this year after being in a warm phase for 30 years, and in fact it's the strongest cool PDO since 1955. The cool phase of PDO does have a global temperature affect and since the PDO turned cool world temperatures in 2008 dropped 0.56 degrees celcius. If you want to learn more about PDO check it out here: http://

in with the PDO is the AMO (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation). The AMO and PDO need to be looked at together since different combinations of the two can influence our weather. The best possible conditions for a cold and snowy winter is having a cool PDO and a warm AMO. The warm AMO can produce stronger coastal storms and hurricanes while the PDO brings cooler weather. Well thats the trend we are currently in and depending on a few more things this can lead to a winter that is snowy and cold! For more on the AMO:

This is the precip associated with AMO and PDO. We have a -PDO and +AMO which typically leads to more precip:

This just shows the general trend of the AMO and PDO over the past 100 years:

Next on the list is the PNA (Pacific North American Pattern). The PNA positive phase is a reinforcement for low pressure over our region and colder weather while the west is under high pressure and warmer weather. We are actualy in this positive phase now! check out more:

The Arctic Oscillation (AO) is another interesting topic of our climate. In fact many believe that since it has shifted phases 30 years ago it accounts for almost all of the ice loss in the Arctic region. Here is that link: Ironically when the stratosphere is colder less cold air can move into the North American continent and for the past 30 years it's been in this trend, what we want is a negative or warm AO which leads to cooler weather. As of October 2008 we are in a mostly positive phase which means harsh long term cold is not expected. To read more on the AO see here:

Another factor when it comes to climate is the sun. Since the sun has been very inactive, solar output is at extreme lows, solar magnetivity is at near record lows, and solar wind is at record lows. This means less energy is reaching earths surface and therefore cooling, also with a weaker solar wind more cosmic rays can enter our atmosphere. More cosmic rays create nucleation sites which leads to more clouds. These clouds will most likely mean the winter day time highs will be lower than normal but the night time lows will be higher than normal.

The North Atlantic Oscillation which happens to be one of my favorite meteo topics! The NAO has a strong influence over the coastal North Atlantic and when it is negative expect low pressure and cold. Check the latest NAO here: This link provides information on both PDO and NAO We are currently in a long-term positive trend which generally means warmer air and high pressure. But the NAO does go negative often in the winter but remains mostly positive. Hopefully things will change this year because the 30 shift should be happening fairly soon.

All these leads me to believe that winter temperatures will be near normal, day time highs will be below normal but the over night lows will be warmer than normal. With the AMO/PDO in their current phase it suggests that in working with the NAO winter will bring above average precipitation and season snow totals will finally get back to normal to above normal. Whenever the NAO goes negative in the winter I can almost say that a coastal storm will form! Thats a good thing for snow lovers. We will have some extreme cold days but because of the AO trend it doesn't seem likely that harsh long-term cold will be the case this year, which is good because really cold weather lowers seasonal snowfall. Remember check the NAO often! Here is the forecasted seasonal snowfall.

For the coldest and snowiest winter we want: we don't have our negative NAO or AO but they can trend negative for a brief time over the winter and this is when the action can get underway!
-A negative NAO

-neutral ENSO
-Cool PDO
-Warm AMO
-Low Solar output
-Positive PNA
-Negative AO

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fall is near peak!

That's right it's only the 3rd day of October and about 35% of the leaves have changed colors already and each day this increases 5%-10%. By around October 15th-17th Sussex county NJ will be in peak color and just a week after the trees should lose most of their leaves making it a very early fall. Temperature across Sussex are now in the 50's for average highs and upper 30's to low 40's for lows which is the average for the first week of November let alone October! This cold is sure to make those leaves change fast but the color may not be as bright and spectacular as previous years due to the cooler weather.