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01/22/2013

LATEST ON THE COLD & POSSIBLE FRIDAY STORM

THE TEMPERATURE IN THE PARK DROPPED TO 18 THIS MORNING. THAT IS THE COLDEST READING HERE SINCE ONE YEAR AGO TODAY WHEN THE LOW WAS ALSO 18. WE WILL STAY IN THE DEEP FREEZE FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS AS THE ARCTIC AIR GETS REINFORCED BY A SHORT WAVE TROF AND SURFACE FRONT THAT WILL PASS THROUGH THE REGION TOMORROW NIGHT.

THERE WILL BE AN ATTEMPT AT SLIGHT MODERATION AT THE END OF THE WEEK. HOWEVER, IT STILL LOOKS COLD. ONCE AGAIN, THE COLD WILL GET REINFORCED BEHIND THE FRIDAY AND FRIDAY NIGHT SYSTEM THAT WILL LIKELY BRING US SOME SNOW...DETAILS ON THAT COMING UP IN A BIT.

THE AIR MASS OVER US DURING THE FIRST HALF OF THE WEEKEND DOES NOT LOOK QUITE AS COLD AS THE CURRENT AIR MASS...AT LEAST AT FIRST GLANCE. THAT'S BECAUSE THE 850 MB TEMPS AND THICKNESSES ARE FORECAST TO BE A BIT HIGHER. THAT BEING SAID, WE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE SOURCE REGION OF THAT AIR MASS - A DIRECT SHOT RIGHT OUT OF EASTERN CANADA. SO, WE MAY EVENTUALLY BE DEALING WITH A "SNEAKY" COLD SITUATION ON SATURDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT, WITH ACTUAL TEMPS RUNNING BELOW NUMBER GUIDANCE. THE COLDER IT IS ON SATURDAY, THE MORE LIKELY IT IS TO STILL BE AT LEAST MODERATELY COLD ON SUNDAY, DESPITE THE MODERATING TREND THAT WILL BEGIN THAT DAY.

THE COLD IN THE SHORT TERM WILL BE ENHANCED BY A BRISK BREEZE TONIGHT INTO TOMORROW. WE WILL EXPERIENCE THE LOWEST WIND CHILL VALUES THAT WE HAVE HAD IN QUITE SOME TIME.

THURSDAY ALSO LOOKS BRISK. IN FACT, IT MAY END UP BEING WINDIER THAN TOMORROW BEHIND THE DEPARTING TROF. THE RESULTING DOWNSLOPING WIND AND STRONG SUBSIDENCE ON THURSDAY DUE TO RISING HEIGHTS WILL LEAD TO SKIES TURNING OUT MOSTLY SUNNY HERE.

WINDS ON FRIDAY WILL BE MUCH LIGHTER, BUT THEN BLUSTERY CONDITIONS WILL RETURN BEHIND THE DEPARTING STORM ON SATURDAY. HIGH PRESSURE BUILDING INTO THE MID-ATLANTIC STATES ON SUNDAY WILL LEAD TO LIGHTER WINDS.

BEFORE WE TALK ABOUT THE STORM POTENTIAL FOR FRIDAY, WE DO HAVE TO ADDRESS THIS FEATURE COMING THROUGH LATE TOMORROW AND TOMORROW NIGHT. RIGHT NOW, IT APPEARS THAT AREAS NEAR AND SOUTH OF THE MASON-DIXON LINE ARE MOST LIKELY TO PICK UP AT LEAST SOME FLURRIES. IN A WORST CASE SCENARIO, THERE MAY BE ENOUGH SNOW TO BRING A FRESH COATING, RESULTING IN SLIPPERY ROADS. THE FARTHER NORTH YOU GO, ODDS FAVOR LITTLE OR NOTHING IN THE WAY OF PRECIP...MAYBE JUST A COUPLE OF FLURRIES AT WORST.

NOW, ONTO THE FRIDAY SETUP...KEEP IN MIND THAT IT IS ONLY TUESDAY, AND WE HAVE PLENTY OF TIME TO FINE TUNE OUR THINKING AS WE GET CLOSER TO FRIDAY. DUE TO THE BIG MODEL DIFFERENCES, AT LEAST BETWEEN THE OLD EURO AND THE GFS, WE SHOULD NOT BE PUTTING ACCUMULATIONS IN THE FORECAST JUST YET. OF COURSE, THE TREND FROM THE 00Z TO THE 12Z RUN OF THE EURO IS PRETTY OBVIOUS, I.E., IT IS LESS IMPRESSIVE LOOKING WITH LOWER PRECIP TOTALS.

THE ARGUMENTS IN FAVOR OF A BIG STORM ARE AS FOLLOWS: THE AIR MASS WILL BE COLD, AND SO SNOW SEEMS TO BE THE MOST LIKELY PRECIP TYPE. WITH THE COLD TEMPS, IT IS POSSIBLE THAT RATIOS WILL BE GREATER THAN THE STANDARD 10:1. SOMETIMES RIGHT BEFORE WE GO INTO A PATTERN CHANGE...ALL BE IT TEMPORARY...THE LAST SYSTEM, OR CABOOSE, TENDS TO BE BEEFIER THAN PROGGED.

ON THE FLIP SIDE, HERE ARE THE THINGS WORKING AGAINST A BIG STORM HERE...(1) GULF MOISTURE IS LACKING. (2) THE NAO IS AVERAGING NEUTRAL THE REST OF THIS WEEK...SLIGHTLY NEGATIVE NOW, AND FORECAST TO GO SLIGHTLY POSITIVE BY THE WEEKEND. SO, BLOCKING IS NON-EXISTENT. (3) THERE ARE A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT PIECES TO THIS SYSTEM, AND NOT ONE, CONSOLIDATED STORM. ALL OF THESE PIECES HAVE TO COME TOGETHER IN JUST THE RIGHT WAY FOR A BIG STORM TO DEVELOP. (4) THE UPPER TROF AND REINFORCING SURFACE FRONT COMING THROUGH THE EAST TOMORROW NIGHT AND EARLY THURSDAY WILL PUSH THE BAROCLINIC ZONE EVEN FARTHER TO THE SOUTH AND EAST THAN IT WILL BE DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO. WITH THE NEXT SYSTEM COMING RIGHT AWAY ON FRIDAY, THAT ARGUES FOR THAT LOW TO BE FARTHER SOUTH AND EAST, AS IT TRIES TO FIND THAT BAROCLINIC ZONE. IF THAT IS INDEED THE CASE, THEN ANY PHASING THAT DOES OCCUR IS MORE LIKELY TO BE OFFSHORE, PERHAPS ONLY AFFECTING EASTERN LONG ISLAND AND SOUTHEASTERN NEW ENGLAND.

THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT WE STILL HAVE TO KEEP ALL OPTIONS OPEN AT THIS JUNCTURE. WE WANT TO EMPHASIZE THAT THERE WILL BE ENOUGH SNOW TO CAUSE SOMETRAVEL HEADACHES. WHETHER WE GET ENOUGH TO SHOVEL AND PLOW REMAINS TO BE SEEN. HOPEFULLY, AT THIS POINT TOMORROW, WE CAN BE MORE DEFINITIVE FOR FRIDAY.

Posted by Lee Goldberg on January 22, 2013 | Permalink

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