Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Snow map

Sorry for lack of quality with the map. I'm just testing out how to update from my phone when I'm not around. It came out okay, I guess? 

The point is that this rain will change to snow around mid night and it's going to come down hard. Latest model data suggests these numbers are to low but I don't know if I believe it. It just a snow event. We are so use to this by now and life will go on as usual. Have a good night and be safe.

Monday, March 2, 2015

What A Mess..

We have a very complicated storm system(s) coming our way this week. This forecast is going to try and pin point the timeline of events, but there is so much going on that I will have to update again by tomorrow or Wednesday.

Let's start with Tuesday. A storm system will be coming up from the southwest and run into the cold air mass that's been stuck over the region. The precipitation will start as all snow in the afternoon and depending how much QPF can fall in the first few hours will dictate how much snow falls. At this point I see a varying amount of 1" to as much as 3" in steadier bands before a change over to sleet by Tuesday night. Sleet could even accumulate up to 1" before another change over begins.

On the models this storm looks to be primarily rain. However when you look at the soundings you notice a cold wedge near the surface which keeps the frozen precipitation around A LOT longer than the TV News channels are telling you. (See Image Below)

The image above shows a scene that somewhat disturbing. Nearly 0.25" of liquid falls in the 6 hour time frame of this sounding with below freezing temperatures at the surface. This sets NW Jersey up for MAJOR icing of sleet to freezing rain. Snow melts pretty easy on contact with roads but sleet pellets tend to cover roadways fast and are not easy to plow away and melt with salt. Wednesday morning is going to be rough...

Eventually we do rise above freezing during the afternoon on Wednesday, but at that point the main bulk of the precipitation shield has moved to our northeast. During this time temperatures get into the upper 30's ( I do not agree with temperature forecasts into the middle 40's) and some patchy drizzle moves through the area. This is good because with so much snow on the ground and frozen lakes and rivers a major rain event could be catastrophic for low lying areas. Not only flooding but ice jam risk right now is very high and we need a slow melt process through March to safely get rid of the danger. (Image below of the "warm sector" of the storm)

The next step in this system is the cold front, which moves through WITHOUT any pre-frontal moisture. Instead the precipitation trails the cold air. The image below shows when the front is moving through. The sounding shows the dew point temperature becoming increasing dry and the temperature just above freezing through the column. All it will take is some precipitation to fall and bring the temperatures below 32 F to support ALL SNOW again to the surface.

This is when it gets interesting. Now that the profile of the atmosphere supports all snow we still have to deal with the FRONTAL moisture, which will be snow. How much is still up for question, but the latest NAM say A LOT... 

Now there is a lot of weather between now and Thursday but just know that significant snowfall is a strong possibility but for now my main focus is the ice for Tuesday night into Wednesday. Be safe everyone and check back for updates. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Sorry for the lack of posts. I'm doing this from my phone at jay peak Vermont. I'll be back blogging next week. I'm heading out into the glades :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Winter just keeps on coming...

I'm so sorry. I wrote this on Sunday and realized I never hit the "Publish" button :(

We did manage to get about 2 to 3 inches of snow this weekend. Not exactly the biggest event but still it was something to add to our deep snow pack. Now the extreme cold is here and it's going to stay, and it's going to stay awhile. I don't see much relief in the next week honestly besides some days approaching the 20's for highs. That should feel like spring to us!

First snow event this week is for Monday night into Tuesday afternoon. Honestly this isn't going to have a huge effect on us in northern NJ, but still it's going to require us to break out the shovels again. The latest NAM is showing the total QPF for the event which is around 0.15" to 0.25". With temperatures in the teens for highs this means high ratio ratio snowfall on the order of 15:1 to 20:1. In my mind it's about a 2 to 5 inch event with more the further south you go.

Here is my first snow map for the event:

Beyond this system there are multiple other snow chances this week, some look like passing snow showers while others could bring some accumulation. Right now it's not clear whats going to come out of these systems and for now focus is on the storm for Monday night into Tuesday.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Winter Just Keeps On Coming...

All that hype with this Sun-Tues storm on TV had people frightened. I never jumped on board with this storm and even more forecast of a couple inches was to high! Most places just got a light coating of sleet and some snow flakes mixed in. It really wasn't all that bad today in NJ because all the precipitation went north of us, but there are more storms on the horizon...

First off a clipper system will be heading our way for Thursday and a secondary low will form off the coast. Right now it seems like the storm will intensify too late for NJ to see substantial snowfall, however New England could get another foot.

There still is some time to see how this storm evolves on the models but to me this looks like a minor event for NW Jersey for the time being. By the weekend we could be looking at another potential storm. More updates in coming days...

Friday, February 6, 2015


First off let's talk about this Sunday-Tuesday storm that people keep telling me about today. I keep getting forecasts from people about the big storm for next week. Yes, I explained to them that NJ was not in the main path of this system(s). Below is an image of the QPF of the whole system, and this is a storm for the Adirondacks, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine. Looks like 10"-20" for them with possibly more in the higher terrain. NJ however looks to be on the southern edge of the precipitation, and therefore on the warm side. This leaves us with some rain, sleet, freezing, rain, and some snow. Right now it does not look like a significant event for NJ. I'm actually heading to Vermont shortly for some snowboarding so I'll be up in all this and won't be able to post until Sunday night. If anything does change I'll try to do a quick update from my phone. Worst case scenario we get 3"-6", but most likely just a few inches. 

In the wake of this system an Alberta Clipper comes down out of Canada into the northeast. Right now it appears to affect the same areas up north again but there is some error this many hours out and if the cold air pushes further south so would the precipitation. This system below is likely a minor event but the big story is what happens after this system moves off the coast.

You can see that clipper system from above of the right side of the image below over Nova Scotia. The winds once again from the NORTH. If you read all my previous posts you know that's our coldest flow in NJ. And this is some COLD stuff, in fact we could be looking at the coldest air of the winter and even some record breakers. Valentines Day is going to have highs in the single digits with lows well below 0. 

The longer range shows consistent arctic air with plenty of storm chances to come. Winter made a come back and it's here to stay. 

Check back Sunday night for updates...

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

More Storms Coming...

First off, it's apparent now that the systems for tomorrow never do phase at the right time for major snowfall over the northeast, instead it happens way out to sea. We see could see a coating of snow from the clipper system.

Now, the models are showing a very snowy pattern ahead next week. This part of the GFS and shows snow from Sunday through Tuesday. A long duration event with these impulses of energy with moderate snow. The thing we need to watch out for is one of these impulses trying to intensify into a much larger storm system. 

At this point the models are still all over the places with how much snow (or rain) falls. Right now we need to keep an eye on this interesting pattern for next week. Check back for more updates in the coming days. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

What's Next?

Well, the forecast for the last storm went very well. I had high confidence when I issued it and it verified perfectly. Couldn't have done better. So, what's next?

In the wake of this storm winds will get cranking from the north and northeast. The black lines show the direction and like I've said before, a north wind is our coldest. Temperatures will be in the single digits and around 0 tomorrow with the aid of a deep snow pack.

Cold air will be in abundant supply this week, so can we expect any more snow? The models are already catching onto something.

Most models like the GEM below show a system for Wednesday into Thursday. Well actually it's two different systems. One is a clipper coming out of the mid west and the other is a storm coming out of the gulf and trying to ride up the coast. This model misses the phase between the two systems and they do their own thing and we end up with a light snowfall of a couple inches from the clipper. Had these systems hooked up with each other we could be talking about significant snowfall.

Below are two separate panels of the EURO. It too has both systems in the first panel, but if you scroll down to the second panel it phases these two systems together. The EURO suggests a monster low forms off the northeast coast and dumps 6"+ over a wide area. This type of set up can really provide a nice snow event, IF the timing is right on the phasing of the systems. We just need to give the models a few runs to see what happens with this. 

Beyond this system another potential storm threat for next Sunday into Monday, but let's not get to far ahead yet. Take this one at a time.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Snow Map

Well, my forecast over the last week has come out pretty good. Now let's see how my forecast for this storm turns out. I have pretty high confidence for this one unlike last week.

First off lets check the soundings:

These soundings are for the I-80 corridor from various models. Now most show it being all snow except for the NAM in the middle which has a weak inversion for about 3 or 4 hours during the height of the event. This would result in more ice, but the general consensus is it stays just cold enough in NW Jersey.

This snow is going to fall fast and most of it falls in the first half of the event. There is going to be an area with a lot of ice somewhere between interstate 80 and 78 which could take down branches and power lines. Let's hope for the best. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Oh, Yes. I Busted To.

I have to admit, I was forecasting more snow than the area received. I was forecasting 8"- 18" across NW Jersey. And it ended up more like 3"-6". Very poor verification and the biggest bust in my forecasting career. I have a system of forecasting, and with this system I did it just like I would do any other. The models were clearly showing significant snowfall, and the ones that weren't were inconsistent which usually is a sign that it can't handle the data. In the end, those models, were actually catching on to the eastward shift. A shift of 75 miles that totally changed the forecast. It just goes to show that meteorology is a science that we still don't fully understand. I mean it's forecasting future events. Considering we knew days out that a big storm would form off the coast is amazing when you think about it. Thirty or forty years ago a three day forecast was a joke and you usually didn't know a storm was coming till the day before. We have come a long way, and we have a long way to go.

Now I want to discuss more future events. First off Thursday night into early Friday morning. Here are the simulated radar images from the NMM. Shows moderate snow showers lasting a good portion of the night. This could drop minor accumulations of about 1" or 2" inches in Northern New Jersey. It's not snow map worthy, but still enough to clean of the cars and clear the sidewalk.

In the wake of this clipper system cold air will arrive for the weekend. And I mean cold. In the image below you see can the dark black lines I drew showing the wind direction directly from the north. That's how our coldest temperatures here in the Northeast happen. Without a chance to modify the air comes right out of Canada over the region, instead of taking days to reach us crossing half the country. Saturday will be in the teens for high temperatures. 

Now, what about Monday. Well the models are still trying to resolve what will happen. Just take a look at this. Both models ran today and show COMPLETELY different scenarios.



Yes those are for the same hours out. As you can tell we need more time before making any kind of call on this system....

Monday, January 26, 2015

Snow Map Is Out!

Sorry it's late. I didn't want to issue a map when the models were in a major disagreement. However the 12z NAM has just come out and bringing it further west than previous runs. And the 00z EURO still holds firm but slightly east.



The heaviest snow will be east of NW Jersey but that doesn't mean we won't see significant totals from this system (today's snow and tomorrow's combine).

Sunday, January 25, 2015

We Need To Talk

Back in November I issued my winter forecast. You can refer to that here (

This is a quote directly from my winter forecast blog entry:

 "All indices I've looked at suggests increased precipitation amounts for the eastern US. More precipitation could mean more intense storm systems than last year and increases the likelihood for a block bluster snow event measured in feet rather than inches. Also could mean heavier rain events as well on the warm side of a low pressure system. Unfortunately for the south west I don't see much in the way of relief for the record breaking drought.  "

I spent a month, few couple hours each day to produce my winter forecast, and up until now I thought I did something wrong. I've gone over, over, and over again to find if I made a mistake somewhere. I even did some quick research on the strong -QBO phase, which can be found here:

and the second entry with results here: (

My conclusion after looking into this because some meteorologists were bringing this up and I wasn't going to take their word for it:

"My conclusion, the strong -QBO has minor influence on our winters and is only a percentages of the larger picture in a winter forecast. It alone cannot be used to determine how winter will behave. I made this decision after seeing very little in the way of linkage between this winter and the other winters with similar QBO indices. A strong -QBO can produce both snowy/snow less winters as seen in the data. I would love to use the majority of the 1970's winters as evidence but there are a few multi-decadal oscillations that are in totally opposite regimes today than 30+ years ago. Going off the data from this last decade it looks like we still have a strong possibility for a snowy winter though not at cold as last, which is still in line with my winter forecast. "


I've spent years learning long range forecasting and trying to improve with every mistake I've made. However, this winter forecast, is not going to bust. The product I put out was 100% from me, and I didn't let any other winter forecast or meteorologists get into my head. I ran the data, did the math, and produced it from scratch. I even did audits in December and still came up with the same results, despite the "canceled winter" worries from the Weather Weenie community.

Up until this point my forecast hasn't been to bad, except for the lack of snow. I did note that we could see a lot of precipitation this winter and that we could end up on the warm of a lot of systems. That seemed to be what happened most of the time. Things are changing...

With 31.8" so far last year and 22.1" this year we are about 10" behind last year, but in a week from today we could surpass that number from last, with multiple storm chances and ample amounts of cold air.

First system: Monday - Tuesday

Okay, this one is a big deal. The Euro has been consistent with it's track and total snowfall while the other models are all over the place and messy. Yes, I like the Euro solution because I consider it the most reliable model in the world.

And yes, that's two to three feet of snow over the area. To make matters worse temperatures will be in the low 20's so the liquid to snow ratio will be more like 15:1 instead of the 10:1. These numbers on the Euro (if the liquid equivalent is correct) are off by a third cause they are based on 10:1 ratios. 

I do need to point out the other models are still showing a major snowstorm but along the lines of 10"-15". 




These models are showing about half the snowfall as the EURO. All I can say is that there is a lot of data to be processed here and perhaps the EURO is the only one with enough computer power, or maybe it's wrong. Right now I'm not sure. Either way a major snow storm is on the way. I'll post my snow map late tonight or tomorrow morning. 

On top of this it looks like another storm is possible by the end of the week. 

Beyond this system it looks cold with more storms on the horizon. Let's take it one system at a time though. Check back for more later. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Update on storm...

This storm is heading into NJ several hours earlier than expected. The overnight hours are going to be the worst of it with most of the snow accumulating by lunch tomorrow. I really like my map I issued yesterday and I don't want to make any changes. The snow could mix at times but NW Jersey is mostly snow for the whole event.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Preliminary Map For Saturday

Will do update tomorrow. This system doesn't look to impressive for us, but another possible storm for Monday could bring us even more. That is still up in the air though. Check back tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I Heard Snow?

The pattern finally looks to be changing, at least enough to provide us with some storm chances. To start off we will have some snow moving in tomorrow evening into the early morning. Generally 1"-3" across the state. Nothing very exciting, just more of the same type of storm we have seen several times this month.

Now, there is something that has caught the attention of meteorologists. A storm system will ride up the eastern seaboard this weekend and somebody is going to see a nice snow fall out of it. Right now the question is will the precipitation come far enough inland, and will there be enough cold air. As of right now I'm not worried about the supply of cold air for NW Jersey, however the heaviest precip could stay just to our east. The models need a few more runs to finally grasp the situation a little better. 

Beyond this system will be a nice shot of cold arctic air, and the chance of another storm. Right now it's to far to narrow down the specs but this pattern could easily produce a nice storm or two. 

I'm not going to post a snow map for the clipper system for tomorrow. A 1"-3" inch really isn't easy to predict who will see the 1, 2, or 3. It's really not a major event just more a nuisance on the roads. How ever if the storm for this weekend keeps showing promise, you better believe I'll have a preliminary map out ASAP.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Some quick statz

Last winter as of this date:
Total snowfall= 23.6"
Coldest day= January 7th 2.1 degree high temperature / low= - 4.7

This winter so far:
Total snowfall= 14.6"
Coldest day= January 8th 14.8 degree high temperature/ low= 2.2

Oddly enough one year ago today there was NO snow on the ground and it was 56 degrees! I bet nobody remembers that? If you don't believe me I have pictures below to show you the difference!

Kurtenbach Brook (tributary of the Musky), Mount Olive NJ, January 11th 2014:

Musconetcong River, Mount Olive NJ, January 12th 2015:

The Musky has nearly frozen over across it's entire width. If this cold weather persists we could have ice jams worries later this winter... 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year!

Long Range Forecast:

Happy New Year! Hopefully, it means a new weather pattern because as a snowboarder this isn't working for me. I finally see some signs that the winter (which is only 2 weeks old by the way) is starting to get cranking. I've noted in past posts that the strong -QBO could be the reason behind the mild and snow less December and typically results in better second half of winter, if you like snow that is.

First clue that things are starting to change:

Above is animation of stratospheric temperatures over the last month. If you watch over Siberia a warming event occurs just after Christmas and continues to strengthen. This is a signal that pressure values are changing, and in my opinion any change is welcome. Typically it tells us arctic air is on the move and more than likely the AO and NAO indices are about to tank.

The AO looks like it will finally go negative but the NAO may take till mid-month which tells me it's unlikely to see any major east coast snowstorms at least until then. For the next week or two clipper systems will be our primary source of snow which may provide a couple inches here and there.

The MJO also looks to be headed in a good phase. One that means more cold and snow in our future.


Short Range Weather:

To start things off we will get a small snow event tomorrow. A fast moving clipper system will bring some light snow showers on the order of 1"-2". This snow is going to be very dry and will immediately stick to all surfaces. Really not a major event but enough to remind us that it's winter.

Thursday could end up being one of the top three coldest days of this winter. Just look at the image below. I thickened the black lines which represent the wind direction and they come right out of the north, which is how we get our coldest of days because the air is coming right out of Canada without a chance to modify over the plains states or coming over the Appalachians. Temperatures could go as low as -5 across the coldest spots and daytime highs will stay in the single digits. A true arctic outbreak.

After the coldest air moves through another clipper system could move through the area on Friday bringing another minor accumulation. Behind this system is a re-enforcing shot of arctic air for the weekend. I don't see NW Jersey getting above freezing for at least the next 10 days.

That's all for now. Check back in coming days for updates!