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01/27/2011

WINTER OF WORST CASE SCENARIO

THIS WEEK CERTAINLY HAS BEEN VERY CHALLENGING FROM A FORECASTING STANDPOINT. ONCE AGAIN, WE DEALT WITH A STORM THAT HAD ITS UNIQUE QUIRKS AND IDIOCYNCRASIS...AND, WHEN IT WAS ALL SAID AND DONE, ENDED UP OVER-ACHIEVING.

IT IS NOT UNUSUAL TO GET THUNDER AND LIGHTNING IN A RAPIDLY DEEPENING STORM WITH INCREDIBLY STRONG UPWARD MOTION. HOWEVER, THE SHEAR VOLUME OF LIGHTNING STRIKES WAS VERY NOTEWORTHY. IN LOOKING AT A MAP THAT TALLIES UP THE LIGHTNING STRIKES, INCLUDING THE ONES THAT OCCURRED OFFSHORE, THERE WAS A TOTAL OF ALMOST 2300 LIGHTNING STRIKES BETWEEN 11 AM YESTERDAY ABOUT 5 AM THIS MORNING!

ALTHOUGH THE UPPER LEVEL LOW DID NOT PHASE, IT WAS A VERY POTENT FEATURE ALL BY ITSELF. PLUS, THIS SYSTEM HAD ACCESS TO PLENTY OF "JUICE"...MUCH MORE THAN WE HAVE SEEN IN RECENT STORMS. YOU HAVE TO GO BACK TO THE POST CHRISTMAS STORM TO FIND AS MUCH MOISTURE AS WE HAD WITH THIS PAST EVENT. WHILE WE DID HAVE THE RIGHT IDEA ABOUT THE THUMP SNOW OCCURRING LAST NIGHT, WE UNDERESTIMATED THE INTENSITY OF THE SNOWFALL. IN ADDITION, THE ENDING TIME WAS SLIGHTLY DELAYED...NOT BY MUCH, BUT WHEN YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT SNOWFALL RATES OF 1, 2, OR EVEN 3 INCHES PER HOUR, JUST ONE OR TWO MORE HOURS OF THAT CAN REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE. JUST DO THE MATH!

IN ANY CASE, ASIDE FROM THE FINAL RECAP AND SUMMARY OF THIS PAST STORM, IT IS NOW TIME TO MOVE ON. WE WILL REMAIN LOCKED IN A COLD WEATHER PATTERN FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE...CERTAINLY THROUGH THE END OF THIS MONTH, AND PROBABLY INTO AT LEAST THE EARLY PART OF FEBRUARY. THE COLD WILL RELATIVELY MODERATE THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS, BUT THEN TEMPS WILL TREND DOWNWARD LATE IN THE WEEKEND AND STAY PRETTY COLD INTO NEXT WEEK. THERE WILL BE SOME TRUE ARCTIC AIR AVAILABLE TO BE TAPPED NEXT WEEK. IT IS JUST A MATTER OF WHETHER OR NOT THAT WILL HAPPEN. AT THE VERY LEAST, WE WILL BE DEALING WITH AN ARCTIC-POLAR MIX AIR MASS FROM LATER IN THE WEEKEND INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK. OUR BEST SHOT AT GETTING ANOTHER BATCH OF VERY FRIGID AIR WILL BE AT THE END OF NEXT WEEK.

AS WE SAID YESTERDAY, A COUPLE OF CLIPPER SYSTEMS, ABOUT 24-30 HOURS APART FROM EACH OTHER, WILL AFFECT US TOMORROW AND SATURDAY. THE FIRST FEATURE WILL PROBABLY BRING A FRESH COATING TO AT MOST AN INCH. THE SECOND SYSTEM SEEMS A BIT STRONGER, AND HAS THE POTENTIAL TO CAUSE A COUPLE OR A FEW INCHES OF SNOW NEAR AND NORTH OF THE TRACK OF THE VORT MAX. THAT MAX TRACK WILL BE CRITICAL IN DETERMINING WHERE THE HEAVIEST BAND SETS UP. FOR NOW, WE ARE FORECASTING ANOTHER COATING TO AN INCH, BUT WE SHOULD MENTION HIGHER AMOUNTS AS WELL, ESPECIALLY IN THE POCONOS AND CATSKILLS.

BEHIND THAT SECOND CLIPPER, SUNDAY LOOKS MAINLY DRY. AS FOR NEXT WEEK, THE DETAILS ARE STILL VERY SKETCHY. HOWEVER, THE MODELS ARE ALL HINTING AT A MORE SIGNIFICANT EVENT COMING UP DURING THE MID-WEEK PERIOD. DETAILS WILL FOLLOW IN LATER DISCUSSIONS.

Posted by Lee Goldberg on January 27, 2011 | Permalink

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Comments

Hello Lee I had a question, not sure of this is the right place to ask but ill ask anyway. I was wondering what exactly is causing us to fall into this persistent weather pattern where we have significant snow storms every week. Is it due to the North Atlantic Oscillation along with the La Nina in the pacific that is resulting and favoring these storm tracks to target our area? I'm 22 years old and honestly this is the worst winter I've lived through snowfall wise and cold wise and this is extremely unusual for New York City and Long Island.

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