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01/08/2013

COLD IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER

ON THIS DATE BACK IN 1996, WE WERE DIGGING OUT FROM THE FAMOUS "BLIZZARD OF '96". A POWERFUL STORM MOVED UP THE EASTERN SEABOARD, INTERACTING WITH SOME VERY FRIGID ARCTIC AIR. THE RESULT WAS A TRAFFIC STOPPING, LIFE DISRUPTING SNOWSTORM FOR MILLIONS OF PEOPLE. THE ENTIRE MEGALOPOLIS FROM BOSTON TO WASHINGTON, DC WAS PARALYZED. PHILLY RECEIVED A RECORD BREAKING 31" OF SNOW FROM THAT STORM. PARTS OF SOUTHERN PA RECORDED SNOW DRIFTS AS HIGH AS 10 FEET! THE SAME STRONG WINDS THAT WHIPPED THE SNOW INTO MASSIVE DRIFTS GUSTED TO 80 MPH ON PARTS OF THE JERSEY SHORE. SOME LOCATIONS HAD A TOTAL BAN ON TRAVEL FOR A TIME DURING AND JUST AFTER THE STORM. ONE OF THE AMAZING THINGS ABOUT THIS STORM WAS THE SHARP NORTHWEST CUTOFF TO THE SNOW. AS CLOSE BY AS BINGHAMTON, NY, AS LITTLE AS 1" OF SNOW FELL!

OBVIOUSLY,WE DON'T FORESEE ANYTHING LIKE THAT HAPPENING ANYTIME IN THE NEAR FUTURE. HOWEVER, WE MAY BE SEEING THE SEEDS PLANTED DURING THE SECOND HALF OF THIS MONTH FOR A ROUGH PERIOD OF WINTRY WEATHER FROM LATE JANUARY INTO FEBRUARY. IT IS BECOMING MORE AND MORE LIKELY THAT THE COLD AIR WILL FINALLY MAKE IT HERE. THE NEW EURO MONTHLY FORECAST JUST CAME OUT TODAY AND IT IS PREDICTING A LARGE AREA OF BELOW NORMAL TEMPS FROM THE NORTHERN PLAINS AND THE MIDWEST ALL THE WAY TO THE EAST COAST.

THEN, IN MARCH, IT TRENDS TEMPS BACK TO NORMAL. WE'LL HAVE TO SEE HOW THINGS UNFOLD IN THE WEEKS AHEAD, BUT WE CERTAINLY HAVE LOTS OF POTENTIAL WINTER WEATHER LEFT.

IN THE SHORT TERM, THERE REALLY ISN'T MUCH TO ARGUE ABOUT IN THE FORECAST THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. TEMPS TONIGHT WILL NOT BE QUITE AS CHILLY AS THEY WERE LAST NIGHT, THEN TOMORROW WILL END UP BEING OUR MILDEST DAY FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE WORK WEEK. IT DOES APPEAR THAT THERE WILL BE SOME CLOUDS AROUND FOR A TIME TOMORROW, AND THAT MAY TEND TO HOLD TEMPS DOWN JUST A TAD. IT ALSO APPEARS THAT OUR MIXING LAYER WILL BE QUITE SHALLOW TOMORROW WITH A LOW LEVEL INVERSION PREDICTED. IF THAT WERE NOT THE CASE, THEN WE WOULD HAVE TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT SOME PRETTY STRONG WINDS GETTING MIXED DOWN FROM 850 OR EVEN 900 MB.

THERE WILL BE SLIGHT COOLING ON THURSDAY BEHIND A WEAK COOL FRONT THAT COMES THROUGH HERE LATE TOMORROW OR TOMORROW EVENING. EVEN SO, TEMPS ON THURSDAY WILL STILL BE ABOVE NORMAL WITH AT LEAST PARTIAL SUNSHINE.

OUR NEXT PRECIP EVENT IS ON THE WAY FOR FRIDAY AS THIS FIRST SYSTEM LIFTS NORTHEASTWARD AND WEAKENS. RAINFALL TOTALS FROM THAT SYSTEM WILL GENERALLY BE ON THE LIGHT SIDE. THERE IS STILL SOMEWHAT OF A DISCREPANCY IN THE MODELS AS TO THE TIMING OF THE MOISTURE. OF COURSE, IF RAIN WERE TO STREAK IN HERE VERY QUICKLY, THEN THERE WOULD BE THE ISSUE OF SOME FRONT-END ICE OVER THE INTERIOR AREAS OF THE NORTHEAST, PERHAPS FROM CENTRAL PA ON NORTHEASTWARD. HOWEVER, IF THE RAIN IS DELAYED, THEN ODDS ARE AGAINST THAT HAPPENING. WE DID TWEAK OUR NUMBERS DOWN FOR FRIDAY, GIVEN THE CHILLY START AND THE STABLE LOOK TO THE AIR MASS THAT DAY WITH THE CLOUDY SKIES AND POSSIBLE WET WEATHER.

HEADING INTO THE WEEKEND, WE HAVE A VERY CHALLENGING FORECAST WITH TEMPS. THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT THERE WILL BE SOME VERY WARM AIR WEST OF THE MOUNTAINS, AND PROBABLY UP THE COASTAL PLAIN TO A POINT. THERE WILL ALSO BE PLENTY OF WARM AIR ALOFT...AND MAYBE RIGHT OFF THE DECK. THE QUESTION IS...WILL WE BE ABLE TO MIX DOWN ANY OF THAT WARM AIR TO THE SURFACE? THIS TIME OF YEAR, THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS THAT CAN HAPPEN TO PREVENT IT FROM GETTING WARM, TWO OF WHICH ARE LOW LEVEL MOISTURE AND A LACK OF WIND FLOW. WE'LL EXAMINE THIS SITUATION CAREFULLY IN THE DAYS AHEAD TO SEE IF ANY FURTHER TEMP ADJUSTMENTS ARE NECESSARY FOR SATURDAY AND SUNDAY. EITHER WAY, WE ARE PRETTY CONFIDENT THAT AT LEAST A FEW LOCATIONS WILL END UP GETTING RIPPED OFF BIG TIME WITH THIS POTENTIAL WARMUP.

Posted by Lee Goldberg on January 8, 2013 | Permalink

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