Thursday, March 26, 2015

NICE THUNDERSTORMS THIS EVENING- TIME FOR MORE WHITE STUFF

Did not quite get to 60 degrees- too many clouds today. The t-storms moved in right on cue. Whats next?  Between 2-4 inches of snow over the next two days is a real good possibility. I stated this in my previous posts. The snow will cover the grass and sprouting bulbs but will be gone by Monday. Then we return back to normal temps. Still think we get one more accumulating snow before Easter. After Easter, the 70's return. Be patient , the grass will turn green after Easter- no more brown. Todays heavy downpour helped bring up the soil temps, thus greening everything in the next five days or so..

Stay warm  through the weekend.

Monday, March 23, 2015

CAN YOU SAY 60 DEGREES THIS WEEK WITH T- STORMS?

Before we have t-storms this week, we still may see some white stuff on the ground. We will endure real cold temps tonight--lows in the upper teens.

Wednesday may produce some snow before turning to rain. Snow may coat the grass for a time before melting away.  It will then warm up on Thursday with highs in the middle to upper 60's with a chance of t-storms producing some locally heavy rain in areas. Then back to cool but sunny but highs only in the 40's.

Another and most likely the last potential winter storm for the season is still a possibility for late next week Will track this son of a gun.

Friday, March 20, 2015

WILL WE SEE MORE SNOW BEFORE EASTER?

Well, I was pretty good on this puppy of a snow storm. 6.5 " inches at the house- generally 5-8 inches around the LV today. Many are of you are asking are we done yet. My answer is only --maybe-- right now.

How many of you put away your snow blowers and got burned today?  The snow was heavy and wet. I saw many people using them today.  You were warned in my previous posts. At least this was a pretty snow and it sure the hell covered up any bulbs trying to bloom.

To note- one of my blog readers said I was more accurate than EPAWA this winter. Thank you for the comment. I try to be as accurate as possible but much of what I predict is mostly from past snow storms that strike our area and reviewing the information provided by the computer models to help "guide" my prediction and I emphasize the word "guide".  Computer models are a great tool for gathering and guiding atmospheric information but are not 100% factual in all cases. A sign of a good weatherman is one who stands by his weather forecast through thick and thin of the weather and analyzes what went wrong or right with his forecast. To simply state that it is going to six inches of snow 3-4 weeks on around a certain date is not just a lucky guess- it takes years to understand how weather patterns affect our area and when that particular storm will likely hit and how hard.

Speaking of storms, I said the last few days of the month looked favorable for another winter storm event a few weeks ago. This is still the case and I will be watching it closely, particularly around March 29-April2 time period.  I earlier said the 25th -27th but whats a few days. Another wet snow/rain event with temps like the last few days are possible. I am still hoping the daffodils will be up by Easter.  By the way, watch out for the potholes/water line situation. Still getting worse by the day.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

I REALLY MISS THE ABE WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE-TIME FOR MY READERS TO SPEAK UP

Back in the 1990's, the ABE weather service office was closed - see link below. With that closing,  the residents of the LV and the Poconos  lost the ability for accurate forecasting in the Lehigh Valley and Pocono region, especially when it comes to severe weather and winter storm events. Tomorrows winter storm will be no exception.

Many of weather friends say that I should not bash Mt. Holly NJ weather office forecasts on other weather forums but many of those friends were in elementary school or in diapers, including the meteorologists at Mt. Holly and simply do not remember how accurate the ABE weather office forecasts were when it came to these type of storm events. I do and this is sorely missed. How do I know this to be true?

In 2013, EPAWA weather organization was formed. I initially helped the  founder Bobby Martrich, set up his website. He too believed that that there was a niche to be made  because of the inaccuracies of weather forecasting made by the Mt. Holly NJ weather office for our area. Lo and behold, the EPAWA grew by leaps and bounds and now has over 200,000 followers on facebook and for his website within a few years-- that is huge. And guess what- they are pretty accurate when it comes to their forecasting ability.

Another change significant change was made in the late 1990s as well. Mt. Holly changed its criteria from issuing winter storm warnings from 4" to 6" inches in our area. Many of the younger people say so what- no big deal. Well this change was far worse than anyone expected- why do you say this Mikey?

Many municipalities rely on a winter storm warning for the basis of declaring snow emergencies. Four inches was a good figure because most municipalities will not start plowing until they have at least three inches on the pavement. This has been this way for over fifty years. Why change something that is not broken? So now what happens?

Residents become lax to the importance of removing parked cars off the roads, so municipalities have to resort to towing more vehicles off the road, which in turn infuriates the residents. Since snow emergencies are issued at six inches, if the municipality gets two or three back to back four to six inch snowstorms, the parked cars are not removed and the township cannot plow to curb to curb. As the snow piles up, streets widths because smaller and more difficult to drive down. Snow piles are located closer to the travel lanes start the  freeze and thaw cycle causing the township to expend more salt on the road to eliminate this mess, which in turn costs the residents more tax payer money. An endless cycle begins all winter long. This year was a perfect example of this where many municipalities ran out of salt because the amount of  four to six inch snowfalls that occurred in our area.  And guess what?-  these are normal snow fall events for our area.

Is there anything we can do about this?- write or petition NOAA and your state senator to change the criteria for winter storms  back to four inches for everyone in our area. Changing this criteria was stupid and continues to be stupid. There is no basis for it and all it does is cause headaches for local municipalities and dumps more salt into our streams and lakes. Hopefully after two back to back snowy winters, you would think the municipal officials would be complaining about the inaccurate forecasting that leads to expending large sums of money for their public works departments for salt applications.

Thanks for reading my rant because tomorrows storm will be the same. For the third or fourth time this year, Mt Holly office will issue a winter weather advisory when winter storm criteria will be met by the latest computer models and they again will end up issuing a winter storm warning in the middle of the storm--too late to get the parked vehicles off the road or the roads properly plowed curb to curb.

  http://articles.mcall.com/1993-08-20/news/2932141_1_weather-service-s-area-manager-weather-monitoring-equipment-closing

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

MARCH SNOW = APRIL FLOWERS

Well, the first snow forecast by NOAA this evening indicates between 2-6 inches on Friday for the LV. I still think some areas of the northern LV where a higher elevation is evident, may receive more-but we will see. I suggest you read my previous post on Monday though for what could make this a bigger snow event.

My crocuses bloomed yesterday in the warmer weather. The daffodils are making their way out of the ground. The temps today sure felt like January than March with the wind. Hopefully after next week our snow chances are gone but I do expect a cool rainy next few weeks.

You should start here about the tornado outbreaks by mid April. I see this season being pretty bad for the Midwest and Southeast states this spring for severe weather with the progressive weather pattern we are in. If the Pacific moisture hits California in early April, more severe weather outbreaks can be anticipated.

Monday, March 16, 2015

SPRING HAS SPRUNG WITH ALL WHITE FLOWERS- ENOUGH SAID

As my posts stated on March 6 and March 10th,  the potential existed for  at least one more snow event for March.  I stated that the media would be referencing the infamous 1958 snow storm event and hyping it up. The first award for hype comes from Channel 10 Philly tonight in their TV and twitter forecasts referencing this---

"What? Snow you say? More on the timing + temps starting @4 #NBC10. But remember this.....on March 20, 1958 we had about 10" in Philly

As I have stated before in previous posts, the possible snowstorm date was the 18-21st and I said do not put away the snow blower. All the models today pointed to an accumulating snow event that could be over 6 inches on by Saturday morning. The key is on how much snow depend on these factors:

1. When the precipitation starts, it falls as rain and sleet which turns to big heavy wet snow flakes-- dollar size. If this occurs in the early afternoon and with the current sun angle, little will accumulate on the roads but will accumulate on the grass where it is colder. After the sun goes down around 7:00 pm, the snow will start to accumulate on the paved surfaces if not treated. If they are treated, maybe later in the evening, depending on the intensity of the snowfall.

2. The later the snow starts, the more snow will accumulate on the roads. If it snows real hard with  1/4 mile visibility and we have snow banding, we can get six inches or more real quick. This situation and potential snow accumulations will be ironed in the upcoming days.

3. It is still possible we will get only rain, but doubtful. I see some snow Saturday morning on the ground. Elevation will play a big part as the higher you are located, the snow will start earlier and add up more. Its conceivable that areas around South Mountain could get a lot more snow than down in the valley.

Lets see how much the media hypes this storm up in the next few days like I predicted they would. Wednesday will also feel like winter again with highs barely above freezing. This helps set the stage for this next event

It will get warmer quickly after the snow event. Lets hope to get those daffodils blooming by the middle of April. At this rate, tree leafing out period will be delayed until the last week of  April or even later. The ground is still frozen in many areas, so the yards will not start to really green up until overnight lows stop ending up in the 30's.

Lastly, are the potholes the size of quarry pits like I said they would?  The real problem begins when the entire soil profile is thawed out which won't happen for another week or two. The sinkholes and water main breaks will really start to become a problem for our area. Watch the news and watch your driving in those water puddles- they are quarry lakes. When you see asphalt pebbles in the road, drive around them- they are a deep pothole.






Wednesday, March 11, 2015

15 YEARS AND STILL A PROBLEM FOR THE LITTLE LEHIGH AND SPRING CREEK RD

It has now been 15 years since the JDN - Walmart EQ Board decision to allow JDN to create a concrete channel to funnel runoff  into a natural swale that is clearly incapable of handling the volume of water being accepted at Spring Creek Rd. The results are Spring Creek Rd being flooded even during the normal snow melt like the last couple of days. Here are statements of facts from this EQ Board decision:

1.The volume of storm water runoff from the Site will be somewhat larger during development than prior to development, but not enough to have a significant impact.--(WRONG)

2 PADEP did not specifically consider the quality of water discharged from the Site except for its sediment content.

3.Administrative Law Judge Labuskes conducted a site view with all parties in attendance on December 21, 2000.

4.As long as there is rain, storm water must be managed. In contrast, the NPDES program is only concerned with the period of time between the start of earthmoving and when the site is permanently stabilized.

5. It is unlikely that the runoff would pick up much sediment on the heavily vegetated golf course property, the manmade swale on school district property, or the grassy area adjacent to the creek. (WRONG)

6.The Department does not deny that it is appropriate to consider the effects of a permitted storm water discharge after it leaves a site. The Department, however, limits its review to 150 feet downstream of a site. In this case, the water reenters a manmade swale on school district property after traveling about 110 feet, so the Department looked no further than that. (WRONG)

As you can see, the Judge dropped the ball and was clearly wrong in this decision. He made a site visit on one of the driest periods of time as well to craft his decision. We all must suffer the consequences of this fateful and poorly written decision.

PADEP regulations states now in 2015 the NPDES applicant for a PADEP construction activity  must have a post construction stormwater plan in place to prevent these type of problems. The Judge could not foresee this happpening even though he was told in the hearing of this issue.I warned the EQ board in my EQ testimony about will happen if they did not consider this issue but to little avail. This situation has now been a nightmare for travelers who utilize this section of Spring Creek Rd.

What can we do now to fix this?  Two things come to mind.  First, have LMT purchase the farmland property adjacent to the Assisted Living property and Mill Creek Rd. Create recreation fields near Lower Macungie Rd and the area below the fields in the 500 year floodplain create a naturalized wetland detention facility that can control the amount of water flowing under Spring Creek Rd. Seek DCNR grants to make this a reality and use the Wildlands Conservancy to help preserve the property.

Secondly, if this does not work, place a flood gate warning system like they did near Pittsburgh PA.

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2011/10/25/Washington-Boulevard-to-get-flood-gates/stories/201110250262

PennDot and LMT  have both blame each other on who is responsible to do this floodgate approach. Someone other than me  needs to step up to the plate and just get it done. I have been trying but I have met with much resistance from both governmental entities thus far. Simply going to committee meetings is just lip service at this point in time.

Why do I bring this up now_-- because Spring Creek Rd will continue to flood this week and to make matters worse could freeze over. We really need to wake up the commissioners on this situation before someone drowns. Just like I warned that someone was going to be killed at Schoeneck Rd and Rt 100 intersection at commissioner meetings, this too will happen. I just hope it is not children trapped in a vehicle like what happened in Pittsburgh. Thanks

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

SNOW PILES SLOWLY GOING AWAY BUT WILL THEY RETURN?

In my my last post, I said it was going to be sunny most of this week. Tonight, we have a major snow eater coming. What do I mean?  A snow eater is a light to moderate rain event tonight with dense fog forming over the snowpack.. Fog eats snow and also creates a denser fog. So drive carefully later tonight and tomorrow morning. Fog advisories maybe issued for our area

The sun comes back out late in the morning and tomorrow afternoon will again be a beautiful sunny day with highs in the 50's. Enjoy it because by this time next week, we could be looking at potential heavy rain and or snow events. 1958 will be mentioned throughout next week in the media as the weather pattern finally sets up for one last last whopper of a snowstorm potential. Please refer to my last post about this

Friday through Saturday will be primarily a moderate to heavy rainfall event that will melt the last of the remaining snow pack in our area. Flooding of the Little Lehigh Creek is expected as the ground is still mostly frozen and saturated. - 100% runoff  to the creek so Spring Creek Rd maybe flooded and or closed and flash flood/urban small stream flood advisories maybe issued depending on how much rainfall we receive. Its not out of the question we can get 1-2" of rain and the storm may start off as snow and sleet changing to all rain. Any accumulated snow will melt quickly by Saturday morning.

After this rain event the weather pattern changes slowly back to a below average weather pattern with potentials for a snow storm  around  the 18-21st and again near the 25th. Keep an eye on the media playing this up-- I like when they play this crap up and see if they mention 1958 snow storm as they hype it up. Any way drive safely tonight in the fog and watch your sump pumps on Saturday



Friday, March 6, 2015

HOLY SHITE- CAN YOU SAY MORE BIG SNOW EVENTS IN TWO WEEKS?

I posted today about the warm and melting of the snow in the upcoming week. Well after looking at long range computer models this evening, this appears to be short lived if the models come to fruition as they are doing right now. Model consensus is unusually high at this time  for several significant snow storms. Historically, these type of snow storms in March are very fruitful for large snow accumulations. For example in 1958, the year I was born, southern PA had over 42  inches of heavy wet snow in a three snow events in the middle of March. A video from this storm event is seen below. So anything is possible.

I am just saying now that I believe the media will start to pick up on this situation by next weekend and playing it up. Just be on guard that winter is not over by a long shot and that those huge snow piles in the shopping centers maybe there until the middle of April or longer and planting of your garden maybe held for  a couple of weeks. DO NOT PUT AWAY YOUR SNOW PLOWS YET.

The weather patterns will start to change again starting by next Sunday( March 15th) and will produce three chances for major snow events. I say at least one of them stands a good chance of becoming another significant snowfall for our area if not all three.  Enjoy the 40-50 degree weather this week because we swing back to winter after the 15th for least another week or so. Sorry for the bad news spring lovers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyz4st_MlbU

http://www.wgal.com/1958-Blizzard-Take-a-drive-through-the-snow/7591710

Thursday, March 5, 2015

ZIPPITY DO DA- ITS GOING TO BE SUNNY AND WARM AGAIN

OK, my first guess on today's storm I kept and never changed my forecast of  6-12" from my last post. Received 10" at the house today. Going to be butt cold for the next couple of days and it will below zero tonight.

The sun comes out to start the snow melting process with highs near 50 degrees by this time next week and sunshine to boot. We should start seeing grass again , especially on the south facing sides by this time next week. Time to wash your car after this weekend.


With the 6+ inches of snow cover on top of the 6+ inches of glacier, we should tie or exceed the snow cover duration for last year- really incredible this winter has been.

Now for some bad news. With this slow melt, the damages of the severity of this winter start to rear their ugly head. I am forecasting severe water main breaks throughout eastern PA and the NE US. Sinkholes will start to pop up in the LV as the ground begins to thaw out through the soil profile. And of course the potholes in the road and the lifted sidewalks and driveways . Its coming- like a thief in the night. Also , all we are going to hear about is the high utility bills in February. Many PPL customers are going to be shocked and in disbelief  by the amount of their utility bill.

Ice jam problems along the Delaware and Lehigh Rivers  will start to to be discussed and maybe a problem if we get heavy rain by next weekend.

Lastly, thanks to all of you you read my blog. I hope I have been accurate enough for you so you can prepare for any upcoming snow event.

Memphis- heading back to the 70's by next week- Wisconsin- starting to see the 40's again with periods of light snow.



Monday, March 2, 2015

OMG-CAN YOU SAY MORE SNOW?

Last week I said we had another good snowstorm brewing after Wednesday's rain--- Yes I said rain. Tomorrow evening we get another 1-3 inches of snow and sleet which eventually turns into rain. We also may have several hours of freezing rain as well so it will be slick out there until Wednesday morning-- a real slush fest out there on the roads. It stops raining in the morning though. Then the fun begins with highs on Wednesday just barely breaking into the 40's.  A real heat wave I say. Then its starts to rain again in the evening and eventually changing back to snow.  How much you say? Preliminary amounts indicate between 6-12 inches of snow for the LV or even more- depending on the timing of the changeover of rain to snow. Stay tuned as these amounts get finalized. Again this is just my first call but most of this year my first call has been the best guess.

This is rare pattern for the LV where rain changes to snow after a warm front come through with snow changing to rain. But nothing surprises me this year. What do expect from the weather service. A winter weather advisory for 1-3 inches crap for Tuesday night into Wednesday. Then, I believe a winter storm warning for 6-12+ of snow for Wednesday night into Thursday will be issued Wednesday morning. Somewhere in between the weather service will try to squeeze in a winter storm watch but because the storms are back to back so soon (really unusual), they will just issue a winter storm warning.

The bottom drops out again Thursday into Saturday morning with highs in the mid 20's lows in the single digits.  We finally moderate later in the weekend to normal highs in the 40's to start the melting process of the glaciers in our yards and driveways. More to follow including the ice jams that will be in the news as well as the broken water mains/sinkholes as the ground starts to defrost.