Thursday, November 27, 2008

The storm....

Tuesday the weather models were showing a nice storm coming up the coast and bringing us our 2nd major snowstorm of the year, but Thanksgiving brings a new solution. The GFS model originally showed rain coming up the coast with some snow west of the mountains and the Euro was showing a nice snowstorm for our area. The Euro has been 99% accurate this season so far but it looks like the GFS was right, which seems odd to me.

Here is what the NCEP models are saying: (Click for bigger image)

And the Euro model: (Click for bigger image)
While most the models are showing rain, and a lot of it, things can always change but the prospects look dull. I will be staying up late tonight to see what the 00Z model runs show, so if anything changes I will post again!

In the longer range, we remain below average temperature wise and VERY stormy. Some models aren't showing the extreme cold that the Euro is showing but I believe snow making will continue during the night time hours next week and with shots of arctic air coming down every now and then allowing for some daytime snowmaking as well.

I have been asked this so much and personally, I thought they would have been able to open this weekend. I had 156 straight hours of "good" snowmaking conditions at my house last week where the wet bulb temperature didn't get above 25 degrees. I don't have very much expierence with snowmakers (Yes I do have some) so I really am not one to say. If this storm comes in Monday with the rain that only gives Creek a few days of cold to work with and then they need to groom the slopes. I don't think they are going to do it. The 12th or 13th seems to be when they will be able to open and that's a good 80% chance, but the chance of them opening the 6th is only around 10%. Maybe they can do it, but I doubt it, they have a too limited time frame.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Now that's what I'm talking about :)

Well this morning is an all out war between the models for Monday. One one side we have the Canadian, Euro, and Ukmet while the other side has the nortorious GFS, DGEX, and NOAGAPS. The CMC, Euro, and Ukmet all show a massive snow storm followed by EXTREME cold while the other side shows a smaller storm bringing a mix and moderate cold following. As of lately the Euro has been accurate and when ever I go against it I lose, but the GFS always burns me. Here is a look at some of the models that are showing the big storm (click for bigger image):




Here is my forecast for Union NJ (Tasha this is for you! also check keancast):

For everyone else not in Union NJ, it seems that the Monday storm, if it comes, could be an all snow event for northwest Jersey followed by extreme cold. Now hopefully the Euro is right and the GFS isn't, I would like to see all the models come into agreement before I make anything offical. Because of this I give a 55% chance of this storm bringing some serious snows into the area! I will update all weekend long, this is me in storm mode...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Update on early week

Before I get started with talking about Monday-Tuesday weather event let me just tell everyone that if you plan on doing anything outside tomorrow you might want to reconsider. Tomorrows atmosphereic thickness value will get down to 503 and that's only rare in January but UNHEARD of in November. Ofcourse it is November so expect temperature to struggle into the upper 20's, if this was January it would be one of those days with a high of around 8 degrees. Let's move on to the storm...

It seems that everyone else, and most TV meteorologists are calling for mostly a rain event for our area but for some reason and I wasn't seeing that. I was seeing mostly snow, but I may have been wrong. Let's check out some issues.

1. The first is something called cold air damning. This happens when the east is under a cold air mass then a warmer air mass moves in from the west, because cold air sinks into the lower elevations it gets trapped, this actually happened a lot last year with sleet and ice events. You might ask how the cold air get's trapped? Well we have a chain of mountains going from Alabama into Maine and the cold air usually get's stuck on those east slopes from an extended period of time (that's us).

2. The GFS (our governments model) is showing some nice snows for our area: (Click for bigger image)

3. And the atmosphereic sounding form K12N (Andover airport) shows mixed precip, but the elevation there is only 583 feet so this means areas above 1,000 would get all snow.

4. Now here is the bad thing. I have been saying that European is the best out there and whatever it says is extremely accurate. It shows the system cutting into the lakes and bring us some mixed precip on the front end with the cold air damning, then some rain showers, and finally ending as a little snow. We still have more model runs and the short range models have not picked this up yet because it's too many hours out. Here is the Euro, because of this one model the precentaged on nice snows in my opinion is down to 23%, things can always change.
I will update later today after the 6:00 models come in. Cross your fingers.
P.S. If this storm doesn't work more cold air will follow with low pressure systems! Get excited :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Early week snow?

Oh, yeah. My favorite model, the European that is, is showing a nice little system coming in for the Monday-Tuesday time frame. All other models including the GFS has now come to agree with the Euro. I check the atmosphereic soundings for K12N (Andover airport) and right now it looks as if the storm will remain mostly snow, if the soundings are correct. If indeed the models are all correct I would say 2-4 inches for Warren, Sussex, and Morris counties with 3-6+ over 1,000 feet in elevation. Check out the Euro: (As always click for bigger image)

Now I give a 55% chance of happening right now cause I would like to see the short range models catching onto this as well. Check back for more everyday!

P.S. The long range looks AMAZING!!! December is going to be the peak of the ski season! :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Snowmaking round the clock!

Well it's 6:38 and I just got home from school. As I checked my weather station today's high in Netcong NJ at 1,000 feet reached 31.8 which marks the first day of the season with a below freezing high! At that same time the humidity was very low under 20%. When we look at the wet bulb temperature chart we need 27 degrees to blow snow and today's wet bulb didn't get above 22 degrees which means Mountain Creek most likely blew snow all day long, and tomorrow is going to be similar!

Now I live at 1,000 feet in elevation here in Netcong and the highest point at Mountain Creek is around 1,500 feet with the lowest being 440 feet, both at Vernon peak. For those of us who ski and board MC it has one of the lowest base elevations in the east, and actually in the entire continent! It's more like a valley that was carved out by glaciers 10,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age and doesn't have enough elevation to get some serious snowfall during the winter months. Elevation means everything and thats something that MC just doesn't have, but what they do have is one of the most powerful snowmaking systems in the region to make up for the natural snow deficit. The average snowfall here is around 65 inches per season which is not the lowest but one of the lowest averages for an east coast resort as well. But with all the disadvantages the resort has it still manages to provide 1,000 feet of skiing and riding every winter as well as the biggest terrain park in the east. That's one thing nobody will take from us, it's ALL JERSEY :)

Now I'm sure your all sick of me ranting so let's talk cold and SNOW!? Well this week will struggle with highs trying to near freezing or slightly above but a another cold shot comes in for Saturday with 510 thickness values! For those of you, which is most you, who don't know what the means basically it means a high temperature of around 25 degrees which may in fact be a record low for November I'll check on that one. We won't go above average for the rest of the month and even December will remain that way for the foreseeable future. The cold is here to stay and it's not going anywhere. Atleast not till the first week of January :(

Well, furries are possible all week long so don't be surprised to even get a dusting on some mountain tops, like Mountain Creek, Highland Lakes, Hopatcong, Netcong, Mount Olive, West Milford, Montague, Sparta, Sunrise Mountain, and other places over 1,000 feet up. You are the "snow" zones of New Jersey averaging more than anyone else, so never be surprised if you get unexpected snow. I'm not very concerned with little storms though, what I want is one that let's me take out the snow blower (if I owned one). I'm very surprised about what the models are saying for the start of next week Monday and Tuesday. (Click for bigger images on any of them)

The Candian is showing a nice band of snow over area!

The JMA is also hinting at a little snow too!

And so is the NOGAPS but nothing much at all...

And the GFS once again goes against all the other models showing something totally different.

But as of lately the Euro model has been worth it's weight in gold bars. And it is showing a nice storm system off the coast with a band of snow on the northeast side.

Now it's still far out and the models have not be very consistent yet on the storm. The one problem is going to be the exact path. The snow band will be a narrow one and it could either happen over the shore, our area (Mountain Creek), or just north of our area. The Euro here most likely favors the shore but things can change. If the snow band does occur over our area then expect 2-4 inches of nice fluffy snow but I'm only giving a 30% chance right now until more data and model runs come out. KEEP CHECKING BACK FOR MORE EVERYDAY!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Another year older

Well today is November 18th, and it's 8:35 p.m. I was born just little under an hour ago on this date at 7:46, for those of you who don't get it yet, today is my birthday!

The current temperature in my town is 24.4 with 20% humidity and that makes for some fantastic snowmaking conditions at Mountain Creek and I can almost make a bet that those guns are on right now covering the trails in a coat of white. For tomorrow the national weather service is forecasting a high temperature of 36 degrees, but I don't buy it. There is no way we are going to get above freezing, and I find it hard that we are going to even get out of the 20's which means the snowmaking should be able to stay on straight through the day Wednesday!

A reinforcing shot of cold air will come down for the weekend most likely making Saturday the coldest day of the season thus far with temperatures having a hard time breaking the mid 20's for HIGHS! A brief warm up will begin to move in for Thanksgiving, but that won't last long as another shot of cold arctic air will pour into the region during that weekend. While there may be brief warm ups here and there, we are in fact in the middle of cold weather pattern which according to analogs years, suggest a cold snowy December. The analog year that long range forecaster Joe Bastardi with accuweather is looking at is none other than the 95-96 winter, and we all known what that year was like.

So far there are no impressive snowstorm on the maps although there is a hint of storm during the Thanksgiving weekend with the return of cold air, check back for more updates everyday!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mountain Creek Updates!

At my school near the city, New York that is, it was around 49 degrees when I left on my hour drive home to northwest Jersey. And just like any winter day when I arrive home and take the first step out of my car the temperature change from my previous location is shocking. It's the usual ten degree drop from the mountains to the city and a good sign that winter is on it's way.

I'm sure we all noticed the drop in temperatures with the start of this new week with today's high temperature in Sussex ranging from 43 in the valleys and 39 at the highest mountain tops. Most of us were some where in between. Tonight we will dip down into the mid 20's and the rest of the week will struggle just to get into the 30's for high temperatures. With all this cold air that's going to be around let's talk about some snowmaking. First we have to see if it's cold enough to make snow and we do this by checking both the outdoor temperature and also the outdoor humidity. For example with 10% humidity snowmaking is possible at 39 degrees, although it's poor quality and most resorts wouldn't bother with that. At near 100% humidity snowmaking isn't possible until 27 degrees. Take a look at the chart for more information, we need a "wet bulb" temperature of 27 in order to make snow! (Currently at 5:37pm wet bulb is 28 degrees!)
(Click for bigger image)
With low humidity this week and temperatures at night reaching some upper teens and lower 20's it seems almost likely to me that Mountain Creek will turn on those guns and start painting the slopes white! Perhaps an early opening? We will have to wait and see about that one.
Ok, well it's going to be cold and it's going to last awhile, there is no doubt about that, but what about snowstorms!? Well we do have some snow in our forecast but nothing to exciting at this point in time. Monday night into Tuesday some showers will be possible in the area but the bulk out of them will be passing to our south and east giving us nothing more than a dusting if we are lucky anyway. Some lake effect snow squalls are possible at almost any time during the week and could put down a quick coating to an inch of snow across isolated areas, but those are extremely unpredictable. As long as we are in this pattern, clipper systems and squalls will be the main concern, but as of now, no major snowstorms are showing up in the computer models.
Check back everyday for more updates on snowmaking status and possible snowstorms! It's so close, I can hear the sound of a board carving in the snow...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Snowstorm looking more likely

Well after more models have come out things are lookings interesting. Let's take a look.

This is the GFS model, it's most recent run still has the storm but pushes more out over the ocean. (Click for bigger image)

The Candian model has now came into agreement with the GFS on a major snowstorm. (Click for bigger image)

And, ofcourse, the extented NAM, otherwise known as the DGEX has a monster! (Click for bigger image)

This is how much snow the DGEX is forecasting to be on the ground after this snowstorm:
Now that model after model is going with the idea of this storm I can say that there is a 75% chance of it happening. Now we need to find out where, when, who, and how it all comes together in the end. The chances of our area getting snow at this point is a 50/50 shot right now. If the European model begins to show the storm then that will tip the scale because the Euro has been doing awesome as of lately. Expect more updates with the new runs in the morning.

Northeast snowstorm coming?

In some previous post I have been talking about possible coastal developement around the 23rd but since then the models lost it completely. Now the GFS has brought it back 156 hours out: (click for bigger image)

Now remember this model is on it's own right now. It's the only one showing a storm but more model runs come out at 18z and if anything comes up expect a post. Chances of this event are still very low around 5%

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Keancast Forecast for Mountain Creek Resort!

As I have been talking about for the better part of two weeks now cold air is on the way and snowmaking at Mountain Creek will most likely beging this week! Posted below is the Keancast 7 day for Vernon NJ: (Courtesy of KU)

Sun: Sunday will be a transition day as it will be turning windy and the temperature during the day will be comfortable in the 40's.

Mon: As the cold front comes through the highest elevations in Northwest Jersey will be seeing the rain changing to snow and some areas may pick up a nice coating at the highest mountain tops.

Tue: As of the 00UTC run of the models we should go below freezing Monday night late and won't rise above that 32 mark with some lake effect snow flurries and squalls in the area. High point ridge and the mountains in eastern Sussex and western Morris may pick up light accumlations.

Wed: The cold will begin to moderate Wedneday but just as it starts to pull out a re-inforcing shot comes down out of Canada dropping temperatures even more.

Thu: With the colder air coming down a clipper system may also come through the area very quickly and once again the highest elevations above 1,000 feet may get light accumulations, which is a frequent occurance this time of the year and expected.

Fri: I may have gone a little colder with the temperatures than most people but based on the lastest models and some personal instinct this forecast is generally for the higher areas in Sussex. Snowmaking at the resorts would now have had 4 solid days of snowmaking.

Sat: Yet another cold shot of air comes into the area and the expect low may be a record breaker for that date but this would be day 5 of none stop snowmaking and would most likely allow for the earliest opening of Mountain Creek ever.

Longer Range: After Saturday the forecast get's harder as some serious systems are on the maps but it seems likely that the cold weather will stick around for the rest of the month and will make November yet another month will above average snow and below average temperatures.

-Student meteorologist Darren Milliron (Kean University Department of Meteorology)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

2nd Major snowstorm of the season?

Well as I have been saying for the past week its going to get cold next week and if any system comes into our area its most likely going to be snow. In October we already had our first major storm in Northwest Jeresy when areas above 1000 feet picked up 6-14 inches of snow. The 18z run has a major storm on the maps for the 24th of November which would bring similar totals to the area. It's only one run of the GFS and considered extremely unreliable but because it also showed this storm a couple days ago it makes me think. The actual chance of this major storm in my mind is around 10% but if it stays on the 0z, 6z, and so on then I would have more faith in it. It's still very far out and only time will tell.

Besides that major nor'easter it seems likely that northwest Jersey next week will get some lake effect snow squalls and areas over 1,000 feet could pick up between a dusting-2 inches of snow which is really nothing major. With cold air in the area clipper systems will be coming down out of Canada which will also bring snow mostly to the higher elevations and away from the coastal areas. One thing for sure is that we are being tossed into winter and the rest of November starting Monday will be 8-15 degrees cooler than average.

Here is the snowstorm for the 24th. It's only eye candy so don't take it to serious.(Click for bigger image)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Update on cold air!

Ok, now that the European, GFS, and DGEX weather models are all in agreement with cold air coming into the United States on the 18th of November I must say it lifts my confidence to around an 80% chance of occuring. One might ask themselves why I care about cold air and thats easy. First off I am a snowboarder and Mountain Creek in Vernon NJ needs a wet bulb temperature of 27 degrees in order to make snow and the cold air coming into our area is going to be FRIGID!!! It's not polar air, but it is actually true arctic air moving into the region and I wouldn't be surprised if record lows are set all throughout the central and eastern portion of the country. The current trend shows the temperature falling below freezing late on the 18th and may not recover above freezing for a week or better, it really looks to me like a deep freeze we would normally see in January. This cold air not only comes into our area the NAO will negative creating blocking and locking that cold air into place and that might go straight into December. Next week Mountain Creek in Vernon NJ will turn on the snow guns (if they are smart) and have a record opening date of all time. (Below are the GFS, EURO, and DGEX, click for bigger image) Note how the thickness values over us are equal to those in the arctic.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Mountain Creek Snowmaking!

Well, day after day, model after model is showing a cold arctic airmass coming out of Canada on the 18th of November providing a good week of below freezing temperatures and ofcourse SNOWMAKING!!! In the past couple blogs I was only 20% sure it would happen but now I'm giving it a good 60%! It seems as if this will be New Jersey first snowmaking opportunity which will allow the resorts to have an early opening. November skiiing is a real possibility...

Check out this run of the GFS, it looks more like mid January than mid November. (Click for bigger image)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Brief update...

The European model is just starting to catch onto the cold air moving in for mid November, if this air is as cold as other models are indicating than it means the start of a very early ski season.

Click here to see the Euro, to zoom in just click the mouse over the area you want

Friday, November 7, 2008

Early Ski Season Ahead!

Well being from New Jersey the closer ski resort to me is Mountain Creek in Vernon NJ. It's a decent size mountain for Jersey and this blog is for those who want to know when it will open! And it may surprise you.

Ok first of all we need to look at the NAO and AO, we want the AO to be negative to allow for cold air to pour down out of the arctic and a negative NAO to keep the cold trapped in the eastern part of the country and allow for a snowy pattern. These update daily but the trend seems to be looking good and the GFS seems to agree...

So now that the oscillations look to be in agreement what are the models showing? Well the cold air seen below pulls into our area around the 18th of November and yes, Mountain Creeks snow makers will turn on by the 19th of the month. (Click all images for bigger verison)

Well that didn't really impress me, but the cold air really starts to pull down out of the arctic and highs only in the 20's and maybe even TEENS pull into the region. This is most certainly record breaking cold air and will stick around for atleast 7 days of none stop snowmaking!
Considering these models are correct I can see how Mountain Creek opens November 28th with the most terrain ever for an opening. Now remember this is based off ONE model which has been consistent in showing this arctic outbreak of cold air. The DGEX, EURO, and Canadian models are still a day or two away from catching onto this and then I will know for sure. I am not saying this will happen for sure yet, but, if it does, then it will be the earliest Mountain Creek has ever opened in it's entire history. I will update when the other models start to forecast for the event, but if this is showing the general trend for the rest of the winter than I would say it's gunna rock!