Monday, February 27, 2012

Snow? Really?

Can you believe it? I'm actually doing a blog, on a snow event?! It's not a major event for New Jersey by any means but some lucky folks will have to get out the snow shovels, though not very many people...

Anyhow let's start off with the basic trend the models are all going with:

Now I know what your thinking. It looks like a horrible setup, and it is. But when systems like this run into the cold air in place we have something called "warm air advection snow". I'm not going to put to sleep by explaining what that is, that's why we have google. Most places will start off as snow but the further south you are the less you get. Let's look at a sounding for Andover Airport in Sussex county.

The line with the blue squares is the freezing line. With the temperature and dew point below freezing with a saturated atmosphere this sounding says it's snowing, and very hard. We have about a 3-5 hour window of snow before a quick change out to sleet and rain occurs. In that time frame the total QPF is between 0.25"-0.50". One issue that will plague the lower elevations is that the surface temperature will be too warm for the snow to accumulate. Areas below 500 feet (south of I-80) will get minimal accumulations. For this reason the total snowfall around High Point, West Milford, and into western Morris will have the highest amounts (simply because surface temperatures will be below freezing).

It's still several days out so this is just a "preliminary" snowfall map. I will be updating when the situation becomes more clear.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Snowstorm or nostorm?

The weather community has been a chatter with prospects for Sunday's storm. Well let's not waste time, here are the 00z runs compared the previous 18z runs.


GFS: 00z/18z

While the NAM did trend northward (GFS slightly east) it looks as if this storm will have little to no impact on north Jersey. There is a small chance that it tracks slightly closer to the area but the chances don't look very good. If any changes do occur you can bet I'll be blogging my fingers off!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Winter Is Trying...


My extreme lack of blogging is a testament to how this winter has been going as a whole. Last year at this time I had hundreds of blog hits everyday, and this year it's way down to just a few dozen. Partially my fault and partially old man winters fault, where ever he is. Today the highest elevations of NW Jersey picked up around 2.2" of snow around the Netcong area and some areas saw nothing more than a dusting.

Pictures from Netcong, where a nice band of snow squalls dumped 1.25" of snow in just 30 minutes! Total snowfall is nearly 2.2" for the entire event.

OBX WRF accurately forecasted these squalls within a few miles! Though total QPF (precip) was a tad over done. Very impressive!

This was one storm I didn't blog on, and that's because I had very little confidence that it would bring the region as a whole any significant snowfall accumulations. Looks as if that was a good decision on my part but I should have posted a blog of why I thought this storm would be a bust. It was a tricky forecast and it could have gone either way, but that's how this winter seems to be going...

Starting tonight the local ski resorts like Mountain Creek, Hidden Valley, and the Poconos should turn on those snowmaking systems and get a good 40 hours of non-stop production. This likely will not open any new terrain but rather rebuild and freshen up the surface conditions. Sunday will be windy and highs will struggle to break 25 in the NW corner and breaking 22 will be a struggle for those areas that have snow cover from tonight's snow squalls.


Of course we are all asking if we will see snow again in the near or distant future. It does look as if some rain and snow showers could move through for Valentines day but the impact seems minimal and accumulations don't look to be in the cards right now.

There is one system that I have been watching for days now, and since it came up on the models I've liked the general set up. The models have shown a lot of storms this year, most of which never materialized, and I know by looking at the dynamics and the forces at play that they didn't seem like major players for us. This one however catches my eye.

First off it has the cold air, gulf moisture, trough axis in the mid-west, and yet it lacks the blocking that seems so crucial for northeast snowstorms. Right? Well, not always. Late season troughs are typically smaller in wavelength and prone to buckling. I'm going to leave you with the control run of the EURO. It makes you think, can it happen?

This storm is on my radar, let's see how the runs progress through the week. It could end up being another bust that gets our hopes up, but I can't ignore that the fact that all long range models right now have some sort of snow event by weeks end...