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12/21/2012

WINTER ARRIVES ON THE CALENDAR AND WEATHER MAP

TODAYS STORM PRODUCED THE KINDS OF WILD WEATHER THAT WE OUTLINED THE PAST FEW DAYS...HEAVY RAIN, STRONG, GUSTY, AND IN SOME CASES DAMAGING WINDS, TEMP RISES FOLLOWED BY TEMP DROPS, ETC. THE ONE THING THAT REALLY DID NOT MATERIALIZE WAS THE THUNDER. A FEW REPORTS OF LIGHTNING SHOWED UP IN OH, NORTHWESTERN PA, AND UPSTATE NY. ON THE LATEST WEATHER MAP, WE SEE THE STORM CENTERED OVER NORTHERN NY STATE. THE CENTRAL PRESSURE ON THAT LOW IS NOW DOWN TO 980 MB. THE OLD PRIMARY LOW HAS SINCE FILLED, AND THE TRIPLE POINT LOW THAT SHOWED UP REALLY WELL LATE LAST NIGHT INTO EARLIER TODAY HAS TAKEN OVER AS THE MAIN LOW. WE ARE IN A FAIRLY TIGHT WESTERLY PRESSURE GRADIENT NOW, AND THAT WILL TURN TO MORE NORTHWEST BY TOMORROW AS THE LOW CONTINUES TO SLOWLY BUT SURELY PULL AWAY TO THE NORTHEAST. WHILE TONIGHT WILL CERTAINLY BE BLUSTERY, WE STILL EXPECT THE STRONGEST WINDS TO OCCUR DURING THE DAY TOMORROW AS THE FLOW BECOMES WELL ALIGNED AND THE DEEP INSTABILITY BRINGS DOWN SOME VERY STRONG WINDS FROM ALOFT. GUSTS IN EXCESS OF 40 MPH SEEM TO BE A SURE BET, AND WE CAN'T RULE OUT A FEW GUSTS TO OR PAST 50 MPH. AS WE HAVE BEEN SAYING ALL ALONG, CLOUDS SEEM TO BE PRETTY DOMINANT TOMORROW, WITH THE LOW HEIGHTS AND CYCLONIC CURVATURE. IN ADDITION, WE DO EXPECT A FEW FLURRIES TOSURVIVE OUT OF THE MOUNTAINS OVER THE NEXT 24 HOURS, DESPITE THE STRONG DOWNSLOPING FLOW. WHILE TONIGHT REALLY WON'T BE ALL THAT COLD FOR DECEMBER 21/22 STANDARDS, TEMPS TOMORROW WILL DEFINITELY STRUGGLE. MOST OF THE DAY, READINGS WILL BE IN THE 30S. OF COURSE, THE WIND WILL MAKE IT FEEL MUCH COLDER.

BY TOMORROW NIGHT, WE DO EXPECT SKIES TO TURN MOSTLY CLEAR AS HEIGHTS CONTINUE TO RISE, AND A WEAK SURFACE RIDGE BUILDS IN. THAT WILL SET THE STAGE FOR A NICER DAY ON SUNDAY. OVERALL, WE EXPECT MORE SUNSHINE AND MUCH LESS WIND ON SUNDAY WITH AFTERNOON READINGS AT LEAST A BIT HIGHER THAN TOMORROW.

OUR WEATHER WILL STAY QUIET INTO MONDAY. THEN, WE'VE GOT SOME POTENTIAL PROBLEMS CHRISTMAS EVE AND INTO THE EARLY PART OF CHRISTMAS DAY. A FRONT-RUNNING WAVE WILL HEAD NORTHEASTWARD IN THE FLOW, SPREADING CLOUDS IN HERE ON MONDAY, FOLLOWED BY A PERIOD OF PRECIP. THE MODELS ARE STILL HAVING A TOUGH TIME HANDLING THIS FEATURE. THE GFS IS WEAKER WITH THE WAVE BUT ALSO COLDER LOOKING OVERALL, AND THE EURO IS STRONGER, FARTHER NORTH, AND ALSO WARMER LOOKING FROM THE LOW ON SOUTHWARD. THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT THE FARTHER NORTH YOU GO, THE MORE LIKELY IT IS THAT THERE WILL BE AT LEAST SOME SNOW FROM THE SYSTEM, WHILE ODDS FAVOR MORE RAIN ONCE YOU GET SOUTH OF THE MASON-DIXON LINE. EITHER WAY, THIS EVENT LOOKS FAIRLY SHORTLIVED, AND DRY WEATHER IS LIKELY TO RETURN DURING THE DAY ON CHRISTMAS. SKY CONDITIONS THAT DAY ARE QUESTIONABLE, AND WILL HAVE A BEARING ON HOW HIGH TEMPS GO.

LOOKING AHEAD, WE MAY HAVE A PRETTY MAJOR STORM ON OUR HANDS BY WEDNESDAY AND WEDNESDAY NIGHT. OUR EARLIER THINKING WAS THAT THE STORM WOULD BE ANOTHER "CUTTER", HEADING INTO THE GREAT LAKES REGION. NOW, THE PATTERN LOOKS MORE BLOCKY, FORCING THE SURFACE LOW TO TRACK FARTHER SOUTH. IF THAT IS INDEED THE CASE, THEN WE WILL CERTAINLY HAVE MORE WINTRY PRECIP ON OUR HANDS THAN WE HAD BARGAINED FOR.

FOLLOWING THAT STORM, A HEALTHY SHOT OF COLD AIR IS ON THE WAY FOR LATE NEXT WEEK. IN A NUTSHELL, WE ARE IN AN ACTIVE PATTERN, AND IT IS FINALLY LOOKING MORE LIKE WINTER.

Posted by Lee Goldberg on December 21, 2012 | Permalink

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