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

Buffalo buried

Via Time Magazine/The Buffalo News

Via Time Magazine/The Buffalo News

Trying to figure out why the Buffalo area has seen as much snow as they have, we need to remember the root causes of lake effect snow. Essentially, you need three factors to come together to foster the development of heavy snow off the lakes.
1) Above freezing lake temperatures.
2) Below freezing temperatures aloft
3) A deep fetch.

The cold weather came strong and fast to the eastern two thirds of the country, so fast that the eastern Lakes are still seeing water temperatures all the way up in the 50s. The cold air is unseasonable, in some cases up to 30 degrees below normal. This provides a nearly perfect environment for moisture to be lifted from the Lakes and into the atmosphere. Now, all we needed was the perfect flow pattern to transport the rapidly cooling moist air inland, for it to fall out as mountains of snow.
This is the current wind stream analysis, provided by windmapper.com. Even now, most of the flow into Buffalo is coming off of Lake Erie, though even now, it’s significantly lighter than it was earlier this week. A strong area of low pressure sitting off the Labrador Coast encouraged a strong flow almost along the entire length of the Lake, completely unwavering for a couple of days, even after the associated cold front (the same one that brought thunderstorms to the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida) was well off shore.

It was a perfect storm, really, in Buffalo. There is supposed to be a warm up this weekend, but it will be tough with all that snow on the ground. In stead, they may just have to settle for some southerly flow to cut off the lake effect machine for a while.

Naples, Florida

They are receiving several feet of snow around Buffalo this week. We know that much. Just to be a tease to them, let’s see what’s going on in South Florida.

At 1253pm, ET, Naples was reporting a temperature of 60 degrees with overcast skies. A strong area of low pressure that sits off the coast of Labrador is generating a vigorous northwesterly flow through the Great Lakes, producing the aforementioned snows. Additionally, the low is producing a cold front that swings around the Atlantic Coast, down the Gulf Stream and is clipping south Florida, generating the clouds Naples is seeing right now, and allowing temperatures to dip well below normal in the Sunshine state.
There are a few showers embedded within the thick clouds, thought they predominantly lie south and east of line from Fort Lauderdale to Everglades City, and it appears as though Naples will stay dry today. The energy and instability that the boundary has brought to south Florida will linger in the Florida Straights, leaving a remnant trough to feast on Tropical moisture. Weak upper level troughing in Alabama and Georgia will draw some of the instability back north, leading to a more summer like pattern over south Florida. Expect afternoon thunderstorms to be fairly widespread on Friday, with increasing clouds leading up to them on Thursday.
Tomorrow – Clearing early, with increasing clouds late, High 76, Low 52
Friday – Scattered showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon, High 79, Low 65

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly Cloudy High 76, Low 50
Friday – Showers High 78, Low 59

AW: Tomorrow – Partly sunny and warmer High 75, Low 53
Friday – Periods of clouds and sunshine with a passing shower High 79, Low 62

NWS: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny High 74, Low 55
Friday – Mostly Cloudy, High 76, Low 62

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny High 75, Low 55
Friday – Mostly Cloudy, High 78, Low 62

WN: Tomorrow – Partly Cloudy High 75, Low 55
Friday – Mostly cloudy, High 77, Low 63

Looks like I am going a big warmer than everyone else. I’ve learned to trust models in south Florida, so that’s which way I’m going. Here is the radar, showing a few showers.

Monday Monsoon

A potent low-pressure system lifted through the Vineland, NJ area on Monday, bringing heavy rain during the day and giving a thorough soaking to the Northeast. Widespread areas reported 1-2 inches, and let’s be thankful that it fell as rain and not snow, since it would have been 1-2 feet if it was cold enough. Whew! The NWS took home the top spot.

Sunday: Trace in 20min evening shower. High 45, Low 23.
Monday: 1.38″ of rain. High 57, Low 41.
Forecast Grade: B

Bridgeport, Connecticut

The lake effect machine is in full force over NY. Luckily, Bridgeport is nowhere near these snow bands, so hopefully they have some nice weather as we head into the latter half of the week!

At 852pm EST, the temperature at Bridgeport, CT was 27 degrees under fair skies. A ridge of high pressure is pushing into Southern New England, and combined with the heart of the arctic cold shifting through the Great Lakes, temperatures are going to drop nearly into the teens tonight. Chilly! Conditions should be pretty pleasant for tomorrow, albeit still on the chilly side with temps only rebounding into the mid 30s. A weak frontal boundary looks to move through the region during the overnight hours into Thursday. Dry weather is expected with the front’s passage, but with the increased clouds, temps wont be nearly as low Thursday morning. Temps in the mid 40s are expected on Thursday, so the worst of the chill looks to be on the way out!

Wednesday: Sunny, some clouds in afternoon. High 34, Low 20.
Thursday: Partly cloudy. High 44, Low 30.

TWC: Wednesday: Sunny. High 33, Low 20.
Thursday: Sunny. High 41, Low 29.

AW: Wednesday: Mostly sunny and cold. High 34, Low 22.
Thursday: Mostly sunny and not as cold. High 45, Low 33.

NWS: Wednesday: Increasing clouds. High 34, Low 20.
Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 43, Low 29.

WB: Wednesday: Mostly sunny. High 32, Low 19.
Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 42, Low 28.

WN: Wednesday: Mostly sunny. High 34, Low 19.
Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 43, Low 28.

Here we see the relatively quiet weather of CT, and the current lake effect machine roaring over Lake Ontario and Erie. Some places have already clocked in at 40-60″ with still more on the way. Yee-haw!


Strong upper trough signifies winter’s arrival

Anthony and I have spent the last couple of days talking about the unusual cold snap that has turned November into something that more closely resembles January. It’s brought sub-freezing temperatures all the way to the Gulf Coast and snow from the Upper Midwest to the Ohio Valley, and the cold weather is going to only get colder this week as the pattern struggles to change. One place that is seeing weather that isn’t quite winter like is the southeastern US, where tornado watches fun from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to central Florida.
The part of the pattern we haven’t spent any time on is the upper level pattern, which looks incredibly winter like. Remember, jet flow is strongest typically in the winter, when Arctic air descends south and overcomes the summer time temperance of the continental United States and comes face to face with the tropical air of the Caribbean. The clash of air masses is strongest this time of year, and in response, the atmosphere generates the strongest flow aloft, the thermal winds, which are reflected as a strong jet stream. This isn’t quite as vigorous as we will see with the bigger snow storms this year, but this is still pretty good. Check out the jet analysis for this evening:
Late trough
Fortunately, a nice thing about these deep troughs is that they are more likely to be progressive. The strong weather along the coast will be pushed off shore by the end of the day, and the tornado threat will be over by tonight, however the cold air over the eastern half of the nation? That’s not going anywhere for a while.

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