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12/21/2009

WHITE CHRISTMAS...ICY AND WET TOO

HAPPY WINTER! AT 12:47 P.M. TODAY, IT BECAME OFFICIAL, WITH THE OCCURRENCE OF THE WINTER SOLSTICE. OF COURSE, IF YOU TOLD SOMEONE THIS WEEKEND, ESPECIALLY DURING THE HEIGHT OF THE SNOWSTORM ON SATURDAY NIGHT, THAT IT WASN'T WINTER YET, THEY PROBABLY WOULD HAVE LAUGHED AT YOU! THAT WAS QUITE THE STORM. AS WE EXPECTED, THERE WAS A PRETTY SHARP GRADIENT IN SNOWFALL TOTALS WITH IT FROM NORTH TO SOUTH. FOR THE CORE OF THE HEAVIEST SNOW ZONE, THIS STORM WAS DEFINITELY AN OVER-ACHIEVER.

WITH THE DEEP SNOW COVER IN PLACE NOW, THIS PRETTY MUCH INSURES US OF A WHITECHRISTMAS...ALL BE IT A STALE ONE. AS WE GO FORWARD DURING THIS WEEK AND HEAD TOWARD CHRISTMAS DAY, IT APPEARS THAT WE WILL BE DEALING WITH FAIRLY QUIET WEATHER THROUGH THURSDAY. IT WILL REMAIN DRY, AND SKIES WILL BE NO WORSE THAN PARTLY CLOUDY. TEMPS THROUGH THURSDAY WILL FLUCTUATE SOMEWHAT, BUT WILL REMAIN ON THE COLD SIDE OF NORMAL. IT ACTUALLY LOOKS A FAIRLY IMPRESSIVE, LOW LEVEL PUSH OF COLD AIR IS ON THE WAY FOR WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY AS HIGHPRESSURE BUILDS OVER EASTERN CANADA. THAT WILL SET THE STAGE FOR POTENTIAL PROBLEMS HERE ON CHRISTMAS DAY.

A FAIR AMOUNT OF WARMING WILL TAKE PLACE ALOFT LATE THIS WEEK, WHICH WILL DIMINISH AND POSSIBLY TOTALLY NEGATE ANY CHANCES OF GETTING NEW SNOW. HOWEVER, WITH THE LOW LEVELS BE PRETTY CHILLY INITIALLY, WE ALMOST CERTAINLY WILL HAVE SOME FRONT-END ICE PROBLEMS, ESPECIALLY FROM THE CITY ON NORTH AND WEST. THIS LOOKS LIKE A CLASSIC SETUP ON FRIDAY AND FRIDAY NIGHT WHERE MILDER AIR WILL BE ABLE TO EASILY SURGE UP THE COASTAL PLAIN, AND ALSO UP WEST OFTHE MOUNTAINS, THROUGH THE OHIO VALLEY AND INTO THE EASTERN GREAT LAKES REGION. HOWEVER, FROM THE APPALACHIANS EASTWARD TO THE FALL LINE, THE LOW LEVEL COLD AIR WILL BE VERY STUBBORN, PARTICULARLY IN THE DEEPER MOUNTAIN VALLEYS, AND ALSO IN PLACES SUCH AS HARRISBURG AND ALLENTOWN, PA, POUGHKEEPSIE, NY, AND DANBURY, CT.

WE WILL OBVIOUSLY FINE TUNE THIS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT FEW DAYS. HOWEVER, AT THIS POINT, BE PREPARED FOR AT LEAST SOME SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN BEFORE ANY CHANGEOVER TO PLAIN RAIN. WITH ALL OF THE SNOW ON THE GROUND, TEMPS GOING ABOVE FREEZING, AND A DECENT AMOUNT OF RAIN ON THE WAY, THE CONCERN DEFINITELY SHIFTS TO THE POTENTIAL FOR FLOODING. OUR THINKING RIGHT NOW IS THAT THE FARTHER INLAND YOU GO, THE CHILLIER THE TEMPS WILL BE, AND THE LESS MELTING THAT WILL OCCUR. WHEN THE PRECIP DOES EVENTUALLY CHANGE OVER TO RAIN IN THOSE AREAS, MUCH OF IT MAY JUST GET ABSORBED INTO THE SNOW PACK, AS OPPOSED TO EXTENSIVE MELTING. HOWEVER, THE CLOSER TO THE COAST YOU GO, THE HIGHER THE TEMPS WILL EVENTUALLY SPIKE, THUS LEADING TO GREATER SNOW MELT AND THE HIGHER POTENTIAL FOR FLOODING...WHEN YOU COMBINE THAT WITH THE RAIN FALLING. EITHER WAY YOU SLICE IT, CHRISTMAS DAY INTO FRIDAY NIGHT LOOKS AT LEAST SOMEWHAT STORMY.

Posted by Lee Goldberg on December 21, 2009 | Permalink

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