Hi all, as stated in my last ODDs update on Friday – I would provide another update NLT today.
Quick general comment: respect each other’s opinions, posture, and feelings. Whether you’re a “winter's over” or “awesome potential” – doesn't matter. All are ok. State your blogs and comments with your perspective and whatever logic you deem reasonable. Try to use logic, facts, and data – but even a gut feeling based on past experience can be reasonable, unless it’s based on your dog peeing on the north side of the tree that has moss on it. (south side is when to get excited…) I respect everyone’s perspective and welcome agreements, disagreements, debates, and discussion. I've learned a lot since when I first began looking at models at hr384 and saying “OMG!!! A BLIZZARD WILL HIT!!!!”
Cool. Enough said.
I am a chaser. That’s just my disposition. I try to keep it realistic, but admittedly do tend sometimes to overlook the depth of some of the challenges – but hey – it’s all part of the learning process. Sure – I get disappointed when it doesn't pan out – but I've found it much more rewarding when you chase and it does pan out. That one storm is worth more than 100 chases and misses IMO.
And with that – I continue the chase as at least for now I believe it’s worth the ride.
And now….Back to the weather…..
Storm #1 went through pretty much as thought, BUT!!! It was more south and east as it passed us. (i.e. the blocking is a good thing IMO as it is part of the building pattern and pulling down some additional cold air.) In case anyone missed it, it was also SLOWER once it hit the coast in riding to the NNE.
Storm #2 – this is where the fun begins. The models have been all over the place with this one. Is anyone surprised??? The signals were getting established and the models are still picking up on their full effect, so while it’s been consistent with the starting path to the GLs (which makes sense with Storm #1 so close in timing), the next steps have seen ULL stall, ULL moving out, ULL going left, then right, then south, then north, then left, then right – yeesh!
The “heading out to the east” is the current scenario, and one that makes more sense to me when I look at the 500s and the invite for a 50/50 low to get set up - and also one that supports the chase for the potential after that. Yup – I could be wrong on those points, but it’s what I currently interpret based on my limited skills. So all-in-all, Storm #2 is another loser storm for us, but it was expected – still it’s ticks me off so bad, I haven’t changed the odds, but have changed the picture of the odds.
Storm #2 current odds:
You didn't really think I would have a post without some attempt at humor, did you?? (Talia Shire really played a great role in the series, even the last one! I mean, the makeup to make her look like a gravestone was awesome!)
Maybe N&W get a bit in on the game – we’ll see – it will be a powerful system as seen already in places that are TAKING OUR SNOW!!!
Let’s begin with the “3/1” date. That was a date that the models very early in the signal change saw some potential and perhaps b/c we've been so starved, we locked into it for a bit. Towards the end of last week it became clear to me that 3/1 was nothing more than the second part of storm #2 and an important part of the potential to follow.
The key is for it to move northeast (generally) to head towards a potential 50/50 low, enhance the blocking, and to allow for high pressure and colder air to move in. The models are having a real tough time adjusting, but are starting to come around regarding the path to the enchanted 50/50 land.
If you read/viewed my last update (Friday) you saw a combined signals chart. A work of art – I know. The time-frame highlighted for potential #3 may need a day or two of adjustment on the back side, but pretty much holds in general as the first time period to focus. The time-frame when the signals start to relax becomes the real time-frame of potential IMO. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the window of opportunity increased up to mid-March. If this signal change can really shake things up, you never know.
If anyone has been following the models, particularly at the levels of 500 and 300s, you’ve seen a ton of changes in the ridge/trough that follows storm #2. Each model has different changes, but all are towards a deeper and potentially more amped ridge/trough, handling the energy better overall. Right now everything shifts too fast to the east – but again, I think that could be the models still catching up with the blocking, and have seen some of the slowing down in the last couple of runs. The picture below shows the changes just from the 0Z GFS to 12Z GFS today. I highlighted the major differences in that are important. They are good changes IMO.
OK – so here we are, still days away from realizing any potential and yes it seems like “here we go again, potential is 8-10 days away!!” But understand this – IMO patterns don’t set up over night. Big changes take time to get things right and ripe. So I’m not really surprised, and probably should have realized that earlier on.
Next point – MARCH. Snowstorms are REALLY hard to get in March – I get it. So for now I’m focusing on placement and potential for a coastal. Why? I’m glad you asked. Climatology. (pause, I’m not used to big words – whew!)
Nor’easters are a freak of nature IMO. From the best I’ve been able to read up on them - January, February and March are the three big months. BUT, October and March lead the way with the most Class IV and V nor’easters – i.e., the most destructive ones. So March has both a history of one of the months with the most, and one of the months with the most intense. (again - not snowstorms, but nor'easters - sometimes the nor'easter was a snowstorm) Why? Warming temps, active STJ, sun angle, etc..
So getting a nor’easter in March is NOT far-fetched, and the current set up is favorable for a nor’easter in the end. Will it be a snowstorm?, a mixed bag? Or just a good ol’ nor’easter with rain and wind? One step at a time – step 1 is getting the nor'easter to form. From there with the right amount of cold air to start, the storm will take over. (And I favor a Miller A versus Miller B or A/B in this timeframe)
Next - the other option is the clipper option. I think this is possible, especially if a block is in place to slow things down, but clippers are always problematic in general , so it’s a reasonable option to look for, but for now I keep it on the radar, but even lower probability.
After reviewing the models runs from the past several days including the 12Zs today, I’m keeping the odds at low, but alive. The trends have been good and the models are catching on. I do still have concerns on the progressiveness of the pattern in general as W-E movement is still too fast, so getting the ridge/trough in a decent position and getting the jet streaks to be more favorable will be challenging – that’s been the theme of the last couple of winters, though we do have some differences here - but I’m trying to be realistic. (believe it or not. I went to the jet stream archives and reviewed 2011 and 2012 from Nov-Feb/current respectively – in desperate need of therapy!!) All depends on how well the blocking and PNA work together.
Potential #3 current ODDS:
The next system needs to make its way through. So I won’t worry about anything until the end of this week to see if Rocky is down for the count or makes the comeback. For now - I like the current trends on the models.
Next update – NLT Friday. Until then - chill out and let it play out. As I said - this is my take on everything right now.
March 1980 did get up in our back door with a cold couple days and a touch of snow........That winter was a lot like this year with storms missing by every angle on the compass..but we had a few events that produced, and it was a winter that was cold.
The Winter Olympics in Lake Placid prodiced a Hockey Miracle which was the start of a Great American Revival in Spirit and Pride.
MARCH 21, 1958...Spring was here in WC and a BOMB of a storm crippled the area for a week...look it up on microfiche @ the ChesCo Library in the Daily Local News...before my time, but a truly AMAZING weather event...my Dad has used that for years to try to perk my spirits up when I would start complaining about yet another lame winter in West Chester...never give up hope for that one magical, astromic long shot until the calendar turns to April..the writing is on the wall....but maybe, just maybe...the kid in me still has hope thanks to my Dad. :>)
And the tricky thing about forecasting snow for ANYWHERE is the fact that elevations and terrain are different for everybody. I know this has nothing to do with this article, I'm just throwing it out there. :P
Phillywhiteout: with respect to your comment about some not backing up with scientific data their winters over rants and with due respect to you personally,what good was all the scientific backed up forecasts from knowledgeable mets who have completely blown the winter forecast( not even close) and raised expectations for this winter?
There were non mets on here who could see the way this winter was going that didn't have to have scientific knowledge to know those forecasts were going south.
March snowstorms are not unheard of and occur frequently in NE. Although, the Mid-Atlantic usually has problems with warm air, sun angle and such, there have been at least 3 storms that I can remember that have brought heavy snow; the most recent March 2nd, 2009, another is March 13th, 1993 (Superstorm), and a classic Miller-A in 1980? perhaps that brought light snows and near 0 temps to SJ and DE but a full blown Blizzard with 2' of snow in North Carolina! If North Carolina can get a 2' "cold" blizzard in March, so can we. We all know that Nor'Easters make their own air, but with the right blocking and pattern it can get extremely cold in March, regradless of the sun angle and warm ground and all else that are against it!
Anyway, The Nam is trying to keep the main low south of the lakes, which is good. If we keep the low south of our latitude the secondary low may be kept south and east which would result in the cold air holding North and west and the cold air crashing towards the coast quicker as the secondary low passes off shore.
The Nam is trending during its early hours of each run to keep this low more south of the lakes. I am watching this and never giving up until its raining and 50* and I will probably still be watching it. LOL