Little Bit or Lotta Bit?

The non-winter last year, and the virtually snowless winter so far this year, has lead to a lot of hype, but no white. So, of course the media went bonkers over the storm yesterday, and grabbed your attention by saying it could be 6″, or it could be 30″.  Combine that, with The Weather Channel’s ridiculousness of naming winter storms, and you have hypogeddon! So is it going to be a little bit or a lotta bit?

Forecasting this storm  for New York City has been difficult and the 6-30 ranges forecasters have been throwing out are viable, but reasoning would tell most forecasters to go with 6″, with higher totals more north and west of the New York City area. Further north, particularly upstate New York/Western New England you can take 12+” to the bank, and in coastal New England the storm will be produce multiple feet of snow. Why is this the case? Storm phasing.

Storm phasing is essentially when 2 energy systems merge into one power packed storm. During this phasing process, cold air gets pulled down, combines with warm, moisture laden air, and creates an intense low pressure system, i.e. “Nor’easter”. During this transition, if enough cold air is already in place, certain areas can get walloped with snow.  This scenario will absolutely be true in New England. In New York, not so much. The storm would have to intensify really, really, ridiculously quickly for us to get over a foot of snow. Possible, yes, likely no.

Normally for these huge blockbuster storms to happen, a huge “block” of cold air needs to be in place. In the case of this storm it’s not, but there enough blocking– a high pressure (cold air) system–to hold the storm  close to the coast, and allowing it intensify. Unfortunately, for snow lovers in New York city it’s not strong enough to allow the storm to phase in a manner where we would get the 18-24 inch type snowfall up and down the entire northeast seaboard.

It will still be a nice snow, and I won’t be jealous of Boston’s 2 feet of snow because I’ll be up in the Catskills putting the snow to good use! POW-POW-POWDER DAY!

New York City Forecast:
Snow starts tomorrow, continues through early Saturday AM.
Around 6″ of snow: 90% confident
9″-12″ of snow: 50% confident
12″-18″ of snow: 15% confident

Catskills:
You won’t look ridiculous will super phat full rocker skis! At least a foot of snow!

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