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!