Saturday, January 31, 2015

ON SCHEDULE --GETTING READY?

The winter storm watch was issued this morning from 6-12 throughout all of the LV is right on schedule. Winter storm warnings coming next by tomorrow morning, maybe earlier this evening since its Superbowl weekend.

My concern now is that the weather service is saying the possibility of sleet or freezing rain mixed in. In reality what does that tell me?

1. The low pressures are carrying a lot of warm air aloft. This means that there could be a convective nature to this storm. I say goody goody- why ---because there could be thundersnow when sleet is involved. The typical scenario is that the snow band is so heavy that it can meet its own demise with sleet mixed in. What are you talking about?  Imagine its summertime and you have a thunderstorm overhead . The rain comes down in huge rain drops with lots of thunder and lighting initially and even some hail but the big rain drops suddenly stop and it turns back to just a heavy rain. This somewhat explains this scenario that you can relate to. The sleet comes down very briefly, taking away the heavy accumulating snow flakes that were falling. I have seen this many times in my visual observations when a coastal storm is trying to get its act together in the Delmarva area. When I say heavy snow flakes- I mean the dollar size snow flakes too. So less snow accumulates and the sleet weighs down the snow to show less of a snow accumulation on the ground.

2. Heavy snow bands usually occur near the mixing line of the rain and snow, usually within 20-50 miles of the actual line. Really huge (bigger than dollar size) snow flakes fall cutting visibility down to less that a 1/4 mile-(you cannot see across the street scenario). This is called the "Lollipop zone or Jackpot zone"  I see this zone setting up somewhere near or in the LV.

3. Everyone who is forecasting  is concerned where the rain/snow line sets up and that's why the snow accumulations will vary greatly in the weather forecasts over the next 24 hours. Its what I call a "Nowcasting snow storm event" because where these heavy snow bands set up is really up in the air --literally speaking. Watching the weather radar will become the actual forecast as this storm evolves.

I want to briefly talk about whom I call the "Philly snow model huggers" They live and die with each computer model run, especially the weather models that show them with the most snow. The TV media tends to hype as they do this as well. These TV media forecasters and "youngsters" who have no  idea what true meteorology really is and by thinking they know all the weather models out there and usually never use analogs or historical meteorology in their determination of what real really could or should  happen in each snow event. Have I ever heard WFMZ say "well in 1983 for example  this same type of snow event unfolded and this is WHY we are saying this snow amount?  Hell no, which tells me they have NOT done their research on the storm and just followed  computer models given to them by Accu-Wrong

I am talking why historical homework must be done for  these type of snow events as they unfold. I want to say that I am not predicting 21 inches of snow for the upcoming event but how past storm events evolved can lead to better forecasting.

Lastly, which is the most important thing that I have seen in the past four or five years with this upcoming storm event. It appears this storm event is  returning us back to normalcy when it comes to forecasting typical snow storms, where confluence is a dominate feature in determining the outcomeof the storm event in the LV. In other words the LV and Poconos gets heavy snow and Philly gets zippo in most cases. Even Harrisburg is getting on the action this time to end their snow drought.

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_NESIS_storms

Friday, January 30, 2015

GOT YOUR SUPERBOWL DIPS AND SHOVELS READY?

As I said yesterday, we got our 2 inches of snow but it came in waves. The snow melted with sun coming out this morning but there is more snow showers this afternoon with the passage of the the arctic cold front. Will become breezy and extremely cold with wind chill advisories being issued with lows near zero again tonight.

All eyes turn toward the superbowl sunday  weather feature . I still believe we will receive between 8-12 inches of snow but some models have indicated more than that, especially if we are close to the rain snow line - the lollipop zone where we could experience banding of snow and even thundersnow. I have attached models for your review. The double barrel low pressure in the Euro model will slow down and will run into a  high pressure and basically stalls like an airplane. The low on the coast takes over and gets stronger until the high pressure moves away. This scenario is being played out like the 1983 storm event in which the LV received 23 inches of snow. Do I believe this is possible- maybe but  realistically I feel safer with my 8-12 inches at this time but this situation does need to be monitored. Models are agreement for some warning criteria snow event and for  issuance of snow emergencies.

The bottom really drops out with overnight lows below zero for Monday and Tuesday nights. Keep warm everyone




Thursday, January 29, 2015

SUPERBOWL BRINGING (SNOW) WEEENIES OUT

Well this evening we should have the Alberta Clipper dump between 2-4 inches of snow on us. No biggie- just enough to cover the bare spots in the yard if you have any. The snow will start in about an hour and last through early morning. Expect two hour delays for school in the morning.

This Alberta Clipper is paving the way to a significant storm on Sunday night into Monday night. My first good guess right now- 8-14 inches of snow for us in LMT based on my past experiences of how this storm is currently evolving. My first guesses have been spot on all year- so this guess probably should be my final call too. The storm could still miss us but the latest models (for what they are worth as far as snow accumulations go) says we will get some snow-- how much is the big question? The grocery stores will be jammed on Friday evening through Saturday night for those last minute snack shoppers. The winter storm watch should go up by Saturday morning and the warning go up by Sunday morning to make shopping even more hectic on Saturday through Sunday afternoon if the storm evolves as predicted. The saving grace with this next storm- light fluffy snow but it may blow and drift in flat places- especially on flat roof tops. The temps will only be in the teens to low twenties during the entire snow event- so the roads will be covered quickly and salt may not help. Drive home safely Sunday night after the game.

Was it cold enough for you  last night?  It was down to zero at my house and in several flatter colder valleys near the Little Lehigh Creek, the lows were below zero. Tuesday morning after this next snowstorm will bring overnight lows from -5 to -10 below zero with windchill advisories and more icicles on your houses. Winter is truly here.

But I am not finished yet, possible yet another snow storm on next Thursday evening. I will keep you up to speed.

For the snow weenies, have fun with your snow but you may the price with flooding. More to come later.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

MIKEY YOU WERE WRONG--- WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?

I want you to please remember what I first said in the last few posts before the great fail of  the 2015 blizzard (what I am  first calling before the media takes over SNOWGATE 15) This storm was prone to fail before it even started- I mention the bust potential was still high in several posts. AGAIN MY FIRST FORECAST IS THE BEST FORECAST STRUCK AGAIN. Sure I said that we would get some snow- but honestly that was the snow weenie inside of me hoping for the whiteout. What we received in reality was just the a little bit more than I originally expected 3.2" to 4" for us in previous posts. What happened to make this storm poop out over us?

First in simple terms most can understand, Miller B type storm events are two low pressure  systems competing for the same moisture, ground and energy over our area and when one loses, it robs the other of all of its energy. Usually in this robbing of energy, the area in the middle gets shafted as the storm on the coast gets all of the energy from the low over the Ohio Valley plus all of the moisture from the Atlantic Ocean leaving no snow for someone in the middle. That is some what happened last night as the low in the Ohio Valley into western PA did not want to die so easily -- living on its dying breath so to speak. It kept the energy longer and robbed the energy to send back bands of heavy snow over us from the coastal low in the Atlantic Ocean. The low in the Ohio Valley formed what we called a deformation band. Look at the radar image below from 2014- notice all the snow fall in western PA- thats exactly what happened last night . Notice in this picture where the dry slot was-  over us.


Now what? Well another Alberta clipper is coming for Thursday night into Friday with maybe a couple more inches of snow for us. I am watching for next Monday nights storm which could drop more significant snow on us since it is coming from the south instead of from the north( Miller A type of storm). Still too far to estimate at this time

Expect the temps to drop tonight  through Sunday. Lows in the single digits  and maybe below zero on Friday and Saturday night - wind chills below zero.

Sorry was not as accurate as usual but one thing that has been learned by all snow weenies- DO NOT TRUST MILLER B STORMS NO MATTER WHAT THE MODELS SAY AND DO NOT RELY ON ONE SINGLE WEATHER MODEL EVEN IT IS THE EURO MODEL.

Milwaukee -- Albera clipper snow and sleet 2-4 inches Wednesday then back to the freezer

Memphis -- a couple of showers on Wednesday other wise normal  50 highs  low 30's lows

Sunday, January 25, 2015

THIS IS WHY ALL THE BLOGS TODAY

As seen below is the European weather model of potential snow accumulations over the next 72 hours- not counting what is on the ground already and what will come on on Thursday.  Nearly two feet of snow is possible for our area. LMT and other municipalities- let your drivers rest up today they will need it. One big thing to note:

THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE DRIFTING SNOW!

We will see drifting snow with rural roads impassable for a few days with cold wind chills - zero or below after the storm passage.

I warn my readers that we could still bust severely if we are dry slotted on the snow amounts and only get six inches here in the LV, but the drifting will still go on.  I say this only for the fact that this has happened in the past where NYC gets 20 inches and we get only six inches and that possibility remains high at this time. So please do not get upset if you are a snow weenie. Even though the chances  are still high that this could happen it appears unlikely at this time. Weather is a a fluid science and it can change on a dime. Thanks


I MUST BE PROACTIVE - TIME TO DECLARE A SNOW EMERGENCY THIS EVENING FOR LMT

I live in a Townhouse community with limited parking. With the projected heavy snowfall, many municipalities will be declaring a snow emergency this evening and rightfully so. Getting vehicles off the streets will make plowing much easier for the snow plow drivers.

Towing these vehicles will be no excuse for illegal parkers this time. You know its coming- get the vehicle off the street or it will be towed. No crying and whining in LMT.  THEY WILL BE TOWED.  This storm has the potential to be the biggest widespread storm event since Sandy and the media is advertising the living hell out of it.

I see the responsibility of LMT to strictly enforce this weather emergency. I also envision LMT to do their part and bring out the snow blower for snow removal in the townhouse complexes after Thursdays storm, again with the same emphasis they place on illegally parked vehicles. The snow piles could be 3 feet or higher in the middle of the roads with one lane available. All of this should be advertised on facebook and in the media on when they will be removing the snow.

Some caution expressed here for driving. Drivers must become accustomed to snow piled up at the intersections. Please take it easy pulling out into the intersections. Please keep the storm inlets and fire hydrants cleared. When the snow melts, it must drain off the road to prevent black ice

Lastly, many  so called weather amateurs believe when all this snow melts, it will do so over a long period of time. WRONG ANSWER. Historically, we can and should expect quick thaws and rain events between the snowstorm events. If we would get 1-2 inches of rain on a 30 + inch snow pack, basements will be flooded ----no if and or buts. Be prepared and check your sump pumps to make sure they still work. I would suggest if you have time, try to keep your downspouts cleared out and pile the snow away from your basement  into the middle of your yard if possible. Also make sure you watch the house gutters-  we will have icicles big time in the next few weeks. Any loose gutters will becoming down. Flat rooms need to be shoveled and if you have a snow rake, be prepared to use it. Lastly, for those who travel Spring Creek Rd. If we have a thaw after all of this snow, it will flood for a long duration and will be closed. Do not blame LMT for this- mother nature fault.




HOLY CRAP- THIRTY INCHES OF SNOW ON THE GROUND BY THURSDAY

I guess the remote possibility that I mention yesterday morning is coming to fruition. Blizzard watches for Long Island and NYC up to Boston. So what does this mean to us?

As usual, we are on the edge of  some heavy snow. As the Alberta Clipper comes by tomorrow morning into the afternoon, it will drop up to six more inches of snow on us. As this storm goes off the coast, instead of going out to sea, it stalls and forms another low and intensifies. This is called a Miller B storm. The storm hands off its energy like a baton in a track meet and increases its energy.

What you will see is rare for us here in the LV. Instead of heavy snow bands coming from the south or west, they come from the the north and east and to make even rarer, it will be all snow instead of the usual sleet and mixed crap. These heavy bands of snow can set up over one area like they did Friday night and dump( or one some pros like me say- vomit heavy snow). You may also see thundersnow in the heavier snow bands.

On the downside, when you have storm like this, there is always a dry air pocket that forms and some locations get much less snow. Where this dry air forms(we call slotting or shaft zone) could set up between the LV and the coast. Thats the uncertainty of the forecast.

What could happen for us? 4-6 inches of snow by Monday night, with another 6-12 inches on Monday night into Tuesday for a grand total of  26 inches of snow on the ground by Tuesday afternoon. That is why I told you in previous posts to move the snow into yards.

But I am not finished, Thursday, another Alberta clipper could do the same thing and drop another 6+ inches of snow on us giving us close to 3 feet of snow on the ground

My concerns with this storm- drifting of snow but lighter snow will make rural roads impassable for more than 12 hours. Cold temps near zero on Wednesday night with wind chills. Stranded cars on interstates in whiteout conditions, airports closed and the transportation system in the NE virtually shut down.

Lastly, this week has the potential of seeing the most snow on the ground since 1996. Flooding maybe a problem in a quick thaw.

I will have more updates later this evening.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

WEATHER SERVICE BEING TOO CONSERVATIVE AND SNOW COVERED ROADS

Last nights snow is an example of the weather service being too conservative. When conditions and models pointed to a winter storm event yesterday afternoon, they failed to issue a winter storm warning appropriately. They issued this warning at 3:30 am this morning-- so why am I griping?

In the past 40 years of following weather forecasts, there is one thing I have learned. When there is a 50% chance of six inches of snow regardless if the projected amounts are even close to six inches, a winter storm warning should be issued, preferably at the evening update so people can get home safely. The public now takes weather advisories with a grain of salt. There are no longer travelers advisories issued which had taken the place of winter storm warnings back in the 70's and 80's. They were issued when four inches of snow fell because most vehicles were rear wheel driven vehicles (front wheel drive vehicles were virtually non-existent as well as four wheel drive vehicles back then) and drove poorly in snow covered roads  Drivers now think they can safely drive in six inches of packed snow with these new type of vehicles. This driving philosophy must change. Safety is my overall concern.

But the biggest issue is that NOAA is playing Russian roulette with statistical  forecasting and basing them on "confidence levels" . IMHO, who gives a sh*& about confidence levels, if their is a remote chance, then issue the warning before the storm event, not during the storm event. Like who cares if NOAA was one or two inches off on their predicted amounts? The basic question is that did my family arrive at their destinations safely with adequate notification of the poor driving conditions? Sometimes being TOO precise with snow amounts is more dangerous than being overly cautious. NOAA needs to get back in the game of providing adequate winter storm warnings and making them a serious issue again. Too many drivers take it for granted that they can drive anywhere and faster to their destination in snow covered roads because they have a four wheel drive vehicle. Tell that to the family members who recently buried their loved ones in Michigan two weeks ago in the horrendous 200 car pileup.Enough is enough.

I have taken steps to contact my state senators about the FCC banning automobile commercials which distinctly show vehicles driving extremely fast on snow covered highways. This gives drivers the false impression that their four wheel drive vehicles can drive in any winter conditions. This is just like gun and cigarette commercials, instead using the vehicle as the weapon of bodily harm. This has to stop otherwise, you will continue to see multicar pileups on our interstates like what happened this past week down in Philly. I urge you to contact your state representative on this issue, otherwise it will only get worse.


THIS SNOW WAS WET BUT NICE LOOKING- MORE ON THE WAY?

Last nights now came right on cue with my first prediction from last Tuesday 9.3 inches at my house. We had 8 inches by 4:00 this morning. I was out blowing the snow at 3:00 am, huge dollar size flakes with low visibility- result of the meso-banding that occurred right over western Lehigh and eastern Berks Counties. It was so wet of a snow.  Bear Creek resort  is smiling today.

Whats next? Another Alberta clipper capable of producing a 3-6 inch snowfall over us on Sunday night through Monday. After this back breaking snowfall, you are probably will appreciate this snow- with higher snow ratios, the snow will be considerably lighter and fluffier. Easy to shovel and snow blow.

I warn all of my readers- get this white crap off the driveway on Monday afternoon because it will become an iceberg after Monday night. Expect below zero wind chills Tuesday night.

Rest of the week looks sunny and cold in the upper 20's for highs, single digits for low.

I want to throw this out even though it may happen but there is a remote possibility of a blizzard if the Alberta clipper forms a low on Monday evening to areas closer to the coast areas especially northeast of the LV  could see upwards of 12-16 inches of snow, like Long Island or Boston. This could bring more snow to us but I want to throw it out there now in case it does really happen.  Stay warm

Thursday, January 22, 2015

SOMETIMES ITS BEST TO STICK WITH YOUR FIRST GUESS

Today's models runs produced a higher potential for snow amounts over the 6 inches as I stated in my last post. The problem is that that I still feel that my first guess of 6-12 inches earlier in the week was the right call.  More moisture is being generated in the models specifically over our area so heavier snow bands should be expected. I am still going to go with my original call as being my final call of 6-12 inches of snow and it would not surprise me if someone in the LV gets more than 12 inches in these heavier bands.

Foolishly though, Mt. Holly (NOAA) has not issued winter storm warnings as of 5:00 pm today. The latest models more than enough meet all the criteria for issuing a winter storm warning. I guess they are being to conservative but when it comes to public safety, I am never too conservative.

As stated in my earlier post this week, move the snow into the yards because it maybe snowing again on Sunday night into Monday night. I say 3-6 inches for that storm but it is going to be real nasty if it does snow. Low 20's during the day, the snow is going to stick quickly and roads will stay snow packed. Driving on Monday maybe difficult,

Finally after This storm on Monday, the bottom is going to fall out with lows at or below zero and highs in the teens. Stay warm everyone

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WINTER HAS RETURNED WITH A VENGENCE?

 I want to apologize to all my readers in the LV- the upcoming winter storm is moving quicker than I originally thought for this weekend. The storm should start Friday night into Saturday. The key to the storm is the placement of the low pressure system off the coast. I am still calling for 6-12 inches or more depending if banding sets up. Winter storm watch should go up Thursday evening with warnings to follow by Friday afternoon. Get you shovels and blowers ready.

I urge all of you to make sure you move the snow as far away as possible from your driveway to make room for the possibility of upcoming snow storms throughout next week. It may pile up pretty high. Visibility at intersections maybe blocked again and the LMT snoweating machine maybe coming out of hibernation by the end of next weekend if the parade of storms comes to fruition. Take care

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

TIME TO BRING OUT THE BLOWERS?

Thus far, I have been spot on. We have snow showers now, and starting tomorrow afternoon, the clipper really comes in. Tomorrow evenings rush hour could be real nasty- so drivers beware. The snow ends around midnight unless an Norlun inverted trough sets up which is still up in the air at this time. Could see thundersnow in the heavier bands of snow if the Norlun trough sets up

Saturday into Sunday- could our first big snow if the cards come  together just right. Model disparity has been the rule but as I said in previous posts, it looks like the parade of storms chances will begin this weekend. If the storm does come together this weekend, expect 6-12 inches of snow at least to fall and maybe more. Thats why I said get the snow blowers ready. Watch the media play up the possible storm event from tonight through Friday. If the storm does form and I say does form with prayers for the snow weenies like myself,  expect winter storm watchs to be issued by Friday evening and warnings issued by Saturday afternoon. Have fun snow weenies and I really hope the storm forms. Given this winter it is a 50/50 chance at this time. I will keep everyone up to speed

Sunday, January 18, 2015

ANOTHER CLIPPER COMING OUR WAY

Well todays freezing rain in the morning was nasty because areas near Philly received some of it and it was not expected there. This was due to the raditional cooling on Saturday night be colder than expected in Philly.  This was expected here though in the LV but still caused accidents everywhere. Why people ignore the icy conditions is beyond me. Four wheel drives and trucks cannot drive on ice. This thinking has to stop.

Tuesday night into Wednesday looks like a good Alberta clipper is coming our way. Brining of the roads should be done during the day on Tuesday in preparation. I expect between 2-4 inches of snow at this time but this is  two days away, so the amounts can vary depending on the track of the storm. The neat thing is that this storm could possibly produce a Miller B- type of storm event or even an NorLun trough ----described as when inverted trough of pressure (extending northwest from a surface low) and beneath a middle and upper level atmospheric cold pool, which could result in very strong, localized bands of precipitation. You heard this first here if it discussed later by other forecasters as a possibility.

There are more chances of significant storms like I said in my last post for next week- so be please aware and prepare.

Milwaukee- cold in the upper 20's light snow chances all week
Memphis- cool - upper 40's and low 50's and dry

Thursday, January 15, 2015

MIKEY SAYS MORE WHITE STUFF COMING NEXT WEEK

If you read my last post, I urge you to read it- the most accurate post yet- is coming to fruition.  Between the 19th-21st, more precip is on the way. Maybe snow, maybe rain but this storm is initiating a major pattern change. By the last week of the month, we could have a parade of snowstorms going into February. DO NOT PUT AWAY THE SNOW SHOVEL OR SNOW BLOWER.

Just keep abreast of the changing conditions by the end of the weekend Sunday  through Monday. We may just have some more snow again on the ground. To early to call for amounts because the temps are borderline for snow.

Normal for milwaukee - cold and minor snows
Memphis normal - cool with showers  50's



Monday, January 12, 2015

SNOW LOVERS - DOES NOT LOOK GOOD UNTIL THE LAST WEEK OF JANUARYBRUARY

Many weather pro's are "canceling winter" this because we have not received any significant snow in January which could not be further from the truth. The heart of snowfall season does not even start until after Martin Luther Kings Birthday which usually runs to ides of March, with Presidents Day being the bulls eye.  They also base this finding on what I call  "modelogy BS. "  Too many amateur  meteorologists base their long range forecasting on computer models that lack any factual information and they "play the roulette wheel" when it comes to producing an  inaccurate long-range forecast.  IMHO too many amateur and fresh out of school meteorologists  have made long range forecasting into a lottery, hoping to strike it rich with one accurate long range forecast-- which is clearly impossible. This has led to many businesses  leaving the reliability of the National Weather Service for what I call "greener pastures."  It also gives the professional who works at the National Weather Service a black eye when it comes to long range forecasting.

The basis of the aforementioned paragraph is that HISTORICAL METEOROLOGY has taken a back seat vs computer models. The best pro meteorologists use analogs to make their predictions rather than a physics model generated by a computer on weather patterns based in the Indian Ocean. That is what I attempt to do when predicting the weather for our area. I try not to go past the 3-5 day period because the atmosphere is composed of many variables which can change everyday. It seems that students fresh from college have forgotten the importance of fluid dynamics and it role in atmospheric weather patterns over the United States, The atmosphere is a fluid realm of water droplets being transported by wind and pressure making  the study of meteorology a study of physical science and not a method of prophecy.

The upcoming weeks in our area are going to be dull and normally cold. I believe the weather patterns over our area about to change again around the 23rd, which is somewhat supported by long range computer models but mostly by historical  analogies of the winter of  2007-08.  Lets hope the cold and moisture finally meet up that week to gives us a winter storm warning type of snowfall event for those in the snow plowing business.


Milwaukee- getting above freezing for highs this week sunny
Memphis- warming back up to the 50's-  sunny


Friday, January 9, 2015

CAD - COLD AIR DAMMING - WHY SHOULD A GIVE A DAM?

This phenomena is known as cold air damming (CAD), aka “the wedge” and most often occurs on the east side of the Appalachian Mountain chain. When CAD establishes itself in these areas, a weather forecaster can be faced with quite a challenge, one that can wreak havoc on forecasting high temperatures and precipitation types. 

Cold Air Damming occurs when a low-level cold air mass is topographically trapped on the east side of a mountain range, specifically in the Lehigh Valley-- the along the Blue Mountains. An area of high pressure at the surface will be positioned to the north of the region and the clockwise flow around the high means the low-level winds coming into the region will have an easterly component. These easterly winds will push up against the east side of the mountain range. Air moving up the mountain range ends up cooling at a greater rate and this causes the upslope flow to slow down allowing the cold air to build up on the eastern slopes. The mountains end up damming this cold air pocket for extended periods of time, causing severe freezing rain and sleet events. This is most likely what is going to happen on Monday.


In this scenario, it takes a long time for the warm air to scour out this trapped cold air. It could be raining in Philly and freezing rain in the Lehigh Valley all day. What makes matters worse is that the surface temperature of everything outside has been extremely cold for a long period of time, so if it rains, it will accumulate ice quickly. The storm initially starts as a quick burst of snow then changes to sleet then freezing rain. Depending on the amount of freezing rain will depend on the type of advisory/warning issued.  It is still to early to issue an ice storm warning but be prepared as the forecast could change by Sunday.

Milwaukee - cold  below zero for the next couple of days little snow accumulation- tundra conditions

Memphis- DO NOT DRIVE ON SUNDAY- FREEZING RAIN  Wednesday  and Wednesday night - maybe some snow


Thursday, January 8, 2015

SMALL AMOUNTS CAN ADD UP TO BIG DRIVING PROBLEMS

The next few days will bring small amounts of snow and at inconvenient driving times. Morning rush hour tommorrow can be a nightmare with even one inch of snow. Drivers please be aware and schools maybe delayed again

Next Mondays/ Tuesday's storm could bring an additional snowfall or even ice at this time. I will be watching carefully. I said the potential was there a couple of posts ago and it is still showing up on the models. I will keep an eye on it.

The 1/15-1/17 is still the time period to watch for a bigger snowfall.. Some models have indicated a potential of six inches or more. Still too far away. Again I said this in my last few posts. Temps should remain below freezing  for highs almost through entire next week. With snow on the ground - radiational cooling is an issue and we will down near zero for a few nights again.

Memphis weather-- Freezing rain and sleet on Sunday through Sunday night , then rain. Temps will warm up to a balmy mid 40's early next week with rain most days.  Stay at home Sunday- DO NOT DRIVE

Milwaukee-- well not much to say- 3-5 inches of snow over the next two days with drifting and blowing snow making driving difficult.  Freeze you but off Friday night lows at -7. Perfect Milwaukee weather. A tropical heat wave comes in for early next week when your highs reach a balmy 28 degrees




Tuesday, January 6, 2015

WHAT IS A LAKE EFFECT "STREAMER"?

A streamer is composed of a line of moderate to heavy snow from the Great Lakes snow bands. They usually blow in from the west and northwest toward the Lehigh Valley. They are simliar to snow squalls.

Why do we care?  These streamers can dump a couple of inches of snow in a short period of time-- 30 minutes or less. They cause whiteout conditions for drivers and usually melt away once the sun comes back out. If we have streamers this time of the year, the snow will stick around if the temps are cold enough.

Streamers are very unpredictable- it can snow on one side of LV and the sun be out on the other side. Streamers usually dry up as they go over the Blue Mts but sometimes they can make it all the way to Philly.

Tomorrow will be a day of streamers. Lets watch the radar and see what happens. Streamers usually form when the Great Lakes are not frozen and winds are over 30 mph throughout PA.

Snow weenies-- no big storms yet but the 17th -18th still looks promising.




Monday, January 5, 2015

IS THE WEATHER SERVICE RESPONSIBLE FOR PREDICTING TRAVELING CONDITIONS?

When I was a child, my parents listened to the weather service forecast to determine whether to drive to relatives or friends house. Back in those days winter weather advisories and winter storm warnings were called travelers advisories. But why the big deal in the name of the advisory? This is why.

Travelers advisory were used whenever poor weather conditions were expected, regardless of the amount of snow and ice on the road. When these advisories were issued , you paid attention and tried not to drive unless it was a true emergency.  What has changed?

Now, the the simple travelers advisory has been broken down into a mirage of advisories in the what I believe is the attempt to excuse people to drive in poor weather conditions(see below) in the attempt to distinguish advisories with the amount and type of precipitation. With municipalities and state agencies placing  a gambit of chemicals on the road surface, your road conditions magically go away. This could not be further from the truth.

Tomorrow will be a prime example of what I am talking about. For NOAA to issue a simple short term forecast or hazardous outlook dummies down the importance of not attempting to drive tomorrow. Even a winter weather advisory issued will IMHO not be enough. Why you say?  Its been well over a year, maybe two years or more where drivers will be driving in snow covered roads. So what is the big deal? Tomorrows one inch of snow will seem like an inch of ice. Even though municipalities maybe brining roads, the temperatures tomorrow will not be high enough for chemicals to sufficiently melt the snow on the road or not enough to plow off the roads- giving drivers a false sense of security when driving. Tomorrows driving conditions will get worse as vehicles pack down the the snow on the road and the salt does not melt it right away.

So who is responsible for this mess?  YOU ARE. Every driver needs to look at all driving conditions and learn about them. For the new 16 year old driver- boy are they in a surprise. For the other drivers, you need to know about what happens to road conditions when it snows,when the temps for the day with no sunshine are below 25 degrees and when the roads become snow packed even for an inch of snow. Please be safe and say to yourself  " Do I really need to go out a get that burger or can I stay at home and eat soup?" Common sense dictates.


PRODUCT Description
BLOWING/DRIFTING SNOW ADVISORY Used when wind-driven snow intermittently reduces visibility to 1/4 mile or less. Travel may be hampered. Strong winds create blowing snow by picking up old or new snow.
FREEZING RAIN or FREEZING DRIZZLE ADVISORY Generally used only during times when the intensity of freezing rain or drizzle is light and ice accumulations are less than 1/4 inch.
SLEET ADVISORY Issued for expected sleet accumulations of less than 1/2 inch.
SNOW ADVISORY Used when snowfall amounts are below warning criteria, but nonetheless pose a hazard to the public. Issued for average snowfall amounts of less than 4" in a 12 hour period. Forecast amounts would be 1-2", 1-3", 2-4", or around 3".
WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY Used when a mixture of precipitation is expected such as snow, sleet, and freezing rain or freezing drizzle, but will not reach warning criteria.
SHORT TERM FORECAST (NOWCAST) A short term forecast designed to give specific, detailed forecast information for the next 1 to 6 hours on a county-by-county basis. Non-severe and advisory information are contained in these forecasts which are routinely issued several times per day, and more often during busy weather periods.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

UGLY TODAY---BEAUTIFUL WINTER SCENES ON WEDNESDAY

The ugly slop came in as predicted, now just to rain this afternoon. Now, winter is finally here on Monday afternoon with snow on Tuesday.

Tommorrow is going to feel weird to many. Highs near or even above 60  degrees with rain ending by the early afternoon. The first true arctic front comes through Sunday night and early Monday morning and the highs on Monday will be Monday at 12:01 am. The temps crash through the roof and by Monday at dinner time, the temps will below freezing. You will see Penn Dot and local municipalities brining roads Monday afternoon or early Tuesday morning for the Alberta Clipper on Tuesday afternoon

Tuesday afternoon- evening,  the Alberta Clipper comes through with 1-3 inches of snow with reinforcing cold air in its wake on Wednesday ------real blue skies during the day and real clear skies like I said in my previous post with a very cold breeze that will knock wind chills below zero. The snow cover will stick around for probably a week or more on the ground. Driving Tuesday evening and into Wednesday morning will be "shitty"  because the snow will stick.  Thursday morning the temps will be near or below zero here. The highs on Thursday in the teens with a slow moderation in temps from that point

Again for the snow weenie- no big storms seen until around the 12th and 17th. Sorry


Friday, January 2, 2015

HOLY MOLEY- IT WILL FINALLY FEEL LIKE WINTER NEXT WEEK

As I stated in my previous blogs the past two weeks, the cold was coming in slow but surely.  Next week you are going to feel it good and it will slap you in the face good.  Highs by next Thursday will be in the teens  and lows near or below zero.  Its about frickin time.

Next week we will not only get the cold but it  a white surface. After tomorrows wintry crap that I spoke of last week and the rain to follow, an Alberta Clipper comes on by- the first for the new year. Alberta Clippers are a low pressure that originates in Alberta Canada that brings with it arctic air cold front. Its famous for dumping small amounts of light fluffy snow on us in the LV (1-3 inches usually) and then brings reinforcing very cold arctic air after the snow leaves. I really like about Alberta Clippers and is rarely discussed is the day following the snow event the air is not only butt cold but the skies are unusually composed of a deep blue color with plenty of sunshine and the next evening is so clear it appears that you can see every star in the sky- but the temps usually are near zero or colder by the next morning.

I also promised to talk about coastal storms- the Miller A and Miller B storms type of coastal storms. They are described below:

Miller A type snowstorm

This type of snowstorm has a low which originates in the Gulf of Mexico; it intensifies and races up the east coast. EX: Superstorm 1993, Blizzard of 1996. These tend to be more widespread in area BUT can be less favorable for historic snows in New England. However, they can clobber portions of the Mid-Atlantic.

Miller B type snowstorm

This type snowstorm has a primary low over the Appalachians while a new, secondary, and more powerful low spins up along the Gulf Stream waters off the coast of NC. It intensifies and depending on its track can clobber areas of inland or coastal New England. These are less widespread in terms of area and usually miss the Mid-Atlantic. EX: Blizzard of 2005.


I am waiting for this type of snow storms to happen but right now I see nothing to indicate one forming on the models until the 12th or 17th so snow weenies will have to wait till then

Memphis weather- rain and more rain. 65 degrees on Saurday to below freezing on Thursday for highs- no snow

Milwaukee- cold some snow finally 3-6 inches and then into the icebox with below zero lows and low teens for highs next week