Massive system moving through the east coast, disrupting holiday travel

An area of low pressure is moving up the east coast, bringing a great deal of precipitation to the coast. We know that Appalachians east into the Berkshires of Massachusetts are going to get up to, and perhaps more than a foot of snow. That in itself makes the forecast particularly challenging and extremely important. Here is another fun factor, though. Take a look at the probability maps of 8 or more inches of snow from this point forward:
Look at that gradient! New York City, Boston and Philadelphia all showing less than 10% chance of 8 inches of snow. The official forecast for that trio is 1-3″ of accumulation. About 50 miles north and west of those towns? 6-10, in some cases more than that. That is a crazy sharp gradient. A slight alteration in temepratures as compared to what is in the forecast could mean a 5-6″ sway in snowfall total, particularly along that gradient, so places like Newburgh and Yonkers in New York, or Worcester in Massachusetts.
Travel today is going to be pretty rough. Regardless of how much accumulation we get in the eastern Corridor, the level of precipitation will keep things slow and airports stalled. How much snow is received, though, will be important to the recovery so get people back home after the holiday on Friday.

Pascagoula, Mississippi

There is going to be a fairly significant east coast snow storm, just in time for the busiest travel day of the year. We’ll discuss it further in the morning, but for now, let’s go to the Gulf Coast and relax for a bit.

At 353PM, Central Time, Pascagoula was reporting a temperature of 56 degrees with overcast skies. Rain was widespread to the southeast, generally off shore, associated with a stalled boundary that runs from off the coast of New England to Florida. Along the boundary, a surface wave will develop from off shore of South Carolina to east of the Mississippi Delta, and rotation associated with the low will cause it to back into Pascagoula overnight before the Low hooks up with a very strong jet stream and rockets northeast towards New England.
There is no threat of the upper level trough pressing south towards Pascagoula and thereby generating overcast conditions or instilling an immovable cold air pool. Instead, while temperatures will be off a bit compared to normal, the pattern starting before sunrise will be one that trends towards a return towards normal with sunny skies during the day both tomorrow afternoon and on Thanksgiving. Expect a bit of a breeze tomorrow morning.
Tomorrow – Rain shortly after midnight, then clearing and pleasant, High 65, Low 38
Thanksgiving – Sunny, High 64, Low 41

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunny High 62, Low 37
Thursday – Sunny, High 61, Low 43

AW: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny High 63, Low 32
Thursday – Plenty of sunshine High 61, Low 39

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 62, Low 41
Thursday – Sunny, High 60, Low 46

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 62, Low 38
Thursday – Sunny, High 62, Low 42

WN: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 63, Low 39
Thursday – Sunny, High 61, Low 45

So everyone has everything clearing out, the only difference is that I have rain lingering a bit longer than other outlets. Here is the current radar, showing the action off shore.

Huntington, West Virginia

Well, it looks like a winter storm is going to affect the East Coast just in time for one of the busiest travel days of the year. Will Huntington be spared its wrath, or will residents need to get out of town early?

At 1151pm EST, the temperature at Huntington, WV was 41 degrees under fair skies. An area of high pressure has nosed its way from the Mid-MS River Valley eastward over the Ohio Valley. This is helping keep the developing storm along the East Coast not make much westward headway during the day Tuesday and fairly quiet as well. The intensifying low finally overcomes the high pressure early Wednesday morning as it lifts up past the Carolinas and eventually towards Southern New England. The far western edge looks to push its way over Huntington, bringing periods of a rain/snow mix during the morning changing to rain during the day, then back to rain/snow during the evening. Only minimal accumulations are expected, if any, from this system on Wednesday.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny. High 49, Low 35.
Wednesday: Cloudy, periodic rain/snow showers through much of day. High 43, Low 30.

TWC: Tuesday: Mostly sunny. High 50, Low 35.
Wednesday: Partly cloudy, some evening showers. High 47, Low 35.

AW: Tuesday: Partly sunny; breezy, colder. High 49, Low 36.
Wednesday: Mostly cloudy and chilly. Some evening rain/snow showers. High 44, Low 33.

NWS: Tuesday: Mostly sunny. High 52, Low 38.
Wednesday: Chance of rain/snow through the day. High 44, Low 33.

WB: Tuesday: Mostly sunny. High 52, Low 38.
Wednesday: Mostly cloudy, chance of evening frozen mix. High 45, Low 32.

WN: Tuesday: Partly cloudy. High 52, Low 34.
Wednesday: Mostly cloudy with slight chance of light wintry mix. High 45, Low 32.

Here we see the stream of clouds rising up the East Coast ahead of the impending Thanksgiving Eve nor’easter. This will give us a wet Wednesday, but at least it shouldn’t hamper travel plans too much, like along the East Coast.


Craziness in Kalamazoo

The forecasts figured it was going to be a crazy couple of days in western Michigan, with freezing rain and light snow giving way to heavy rains as a strong area of low pressure shifted through Kalamazoo. However, they didn’t figure on temperatures warming up nearly as much as they did as the rain moved in, causing forecasts to lie in ruins temperature-wise at the end. Weatherbug “won”, if you want to call it that.

Saturday: 0.10″ in freezing rain, rain, and snow. High 49, Low 24.
Sunday: 1.20″ of rain. High 53, Low 47.
Forecast Grade: C

Buffalo Can’t Catch A Break

As everybody knows, Buffalo, particularly the southern part of the city and areas just a bit further south, was pummeled with 50-90 inches of snow a few days ago. Over a dozen people died, numerous roofs collapsed under the weight of it, and even an NFL game was relocated to Detroit because of it. The last couple of days were spent trying to dig their way out of the historic snowfall, but luckily, Mother Nature is helping out a bit! Ummm… but perhaps it’s helping WAY too much. Temperatures yesterday lifted into the low 40s, which surely helped melt the snowpack a bit. Today, temperatures continued their upward trend, pushing through the 40s and into the low 50s well into the evening. Not only that, but a huge swath of rain is lifting through the area right now. That combination of heavy rains and warm temperatures is going to melt that snowpack in rapid fashion, with anywhere from 3 to 6 inches of liquid tied up in all of that snow. This is definitely going to lead to flooding issues across the area, as streams and rivers most likely won’t be able to handle the sudden influx of water into their banks. Can’t Buffalo go just a few days without some kind of weather disaster hitting the area?!

A warm front will do wonders

Todays highs
The map above is a depiction, approximately, of the forecast highs for the day. An area of low pressure moving through the northern Plains has brough warmer temperatures to the southern Great Lakes, which is nice, but the vast system over the Northern Plains won’t reach it’s true potential until it hooks up with a sharper trough moving through the Mississippi Delta area. At that point, the warm front will be super charged, both in terms of the associated moisture, now coming from the Gulf, and the warm air. Sure, much of the northeast and mid Atlantic will be awash tomorrow, but look at what the temperatures will do on Monday!
Mondays highs
Is it worth it? I say yes, especially with how swiftly temperatures will plummet back down to earth by mid week.

Smothered from the sun

Naples is supposed to be a warm sunny getaway this time of year, and compared to the Great Lakes, I suppose it is. For Naples though, it wasn’t the sunny life of luxury they might be used to. Temperatures yesterday were held in check by a thick layer of clouds, and it only reached a high of 71. Those heavy clouds also produced a few drops of rain, which is typical in the summer, but somewhat more rare when it gets closer to winter. Nobody did great on this forecast because it was so much more depressing than we were expecting, but Accuweather did the best.
Actuals: Thursday – High 77, Low 54
Friday – Trace of rain, High 71, Low 61

Grade: C

The Week Ahead 11/23/14 – 11/29/14

Thanksgiving week, and I am PUMPED. It’s by far my favorite holiday. What kind of forecasting will it involve?
Monday – Huntington, West Virginia
Tuesday – Pascagoula, Mississippi
Thursday – Road Trip from Grand Junction, Colorado to Columbus, Indiana
Friday – Richmond, Virginia; Road Trip from Columbus to Richmond.

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Another part of the world that has seen copious amounts of snow lately is western Michigan. IS Kalamazoo ready for a recovery?

At 1253PM, ET, Kalamazoo was reporting a temperature of 25 degrees. Winds were from the south, effectively cutting off the lake effect machine, while also allowing for some melt through the afternoon today. Flow aloft through the region is mostly zonal, however a weak wave around Hudson Bay will work to draw energy northward and an upper level trough moving into the southern High Plains will play a role in the weather this weekend in Kalamazoo.
The snowpack will slow the warm up, even as warmer moist air will override the region tomorrow morning. Though precipitation will be fairly light, it will likely prove to be significantly impactful, falling as freezing rain through about noon. After the region is freshly glazed, expect light rain to continue through the afternoon, hopefully leading to a little bit of melt. Meanwhile, in the Lower Mississippi Valley, heavy rain will be developing as the sharper upper level trough folds into a developing, broader upper level trough. The activity will begin to move swiftly north into what by Sunday afternoon should be a warm armosphere over western Michigan. By evening, expect very heavy rain, featuring a few thunderstorms as well. The biggest threat out of this storm will be wind as the parent low will track directly over western Michigan. The SPC doesn’t have a risk for thunderstorms in the region quite yet, however it appears as though Kalamazoo may see some significant weather Sunday night.
Tomorrow – Freezing drizzle in the morning, turning to light rain, High 39, Low 22
Sunday – Significantly warmer, with rain in the morning, becoming heavy late, with some thunderstorms and gusty winds. High 49, Low 36

TWC: Tomorrow – Showers (freezing drizzle early) High 42, Low 19
Sunday – Rain, High 47, Low 40

AW: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with a little rain (freezing Rain early) High 44, Low 19
Sunday – Intermittent rain, becoming steadier; areas of fog in the morning High 49, Low 41

NWS: Tomorrow – Rain or freezing rain, becoming all rain after 7am. High 43, Low 20
Sunday – Rain. High 50, Low 42

WB: Tomorrow – Rain…possibly mixed with freezing rain until midday… Then light rain showers likely in the afternoon. High 45, Low 20
Sunday – Rain, High 52, Low 42

WN: Tomorrow – Cloudy with Rain High 43, Low 27
Sunday – Cloudy with Rain High 50, Low 41

WeatherNation’s impossible to figure out hourly/36 hour forecast information will screw them over. Here is the satellite, which shows clear skies for now. Enjoy it, Kalamazoo!

Close than expected

Precipitation in the northeastern US has been confined to the enormous snow totals seen in the Buffalo area this past week, but one look at Bridgeport‘s temperatures tells you that something else was going on in the area. A warm front lifted through the region overnight into Thursday morning, as highs jumped by 10 degrees. That boundary carried with it the scantest trace of a flurry shortly after midnight. Nobody mentioned it, and nobody really appreciated how warm Bridgeport would be later in the afternoon.
Actuals: Wednesday – High 36, Low 23
Thursday – Trace of precip, High 47, Low 32

Grade: C

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