A Cornucopia of Precipitation!

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We will have an abundance of precipitation for Thanksgiving, most of it will be rain. Depending on your view, you may be thankful .

Deck the highways with backed up traffic falalalala lala la la! The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year, and what better way to make it more complicated than an east coast storm! If you are traveling by plane, you can expect some weather related delays on Wednesday. If you are driving long distance, you’ll be better off leaving very early Wednesday morning, especially if you are driving north!

A typical Northeast snow storm seems to be setting up, but for most of us in the tri state area, and the Baltimore + DC corridor, it’s going to be a lot of rain, and then some snow will fly as the storm exits. Typically, for these Northeast snow storms to deliver a lot of snow for the I-95 corridor, we’d already have cold air in place, and then the cold air is enforced with high pressure that stays parked over Quebec. If you haven’t noticed, it’s close to 70 degrees, so there isn’t any cold air in place, and the “coast hugger” track of this storm means maritime air will be brought on shore, keeping the colder temperatures that support snow to our north and west. Thus, people who dwell north and west of NYC, DC, and Baltimore you will see more snow than your city dwelling counterparts.

Regardless of where you call home, unless your are at a ski resort, amounts of 6″ or more aren’t likely. So when you are traveling over the river and through the woods to grandmothers house, just be prepared for a little weather along the way!

Initial Thoughts:
Immediate NYC including western and southern NJ suburbs: Rain then 1-3″ of wet snow (areas east of Nassau probably won’t see any snow)
Northwest NJ suburbs: rain then 2-3″ of snow
North of Westchester/Putnam County line: rain, then 3-5″ of snow
Catskills Ski Resorts: 8-12″
Vermont Ski Resorts: 10-15″

Immediate Baltimore area, including south east suburbs: 1-3″
Northern Baltimore, Western Howard County: 3-5″

Immediate DC area, including south east suburbs: 1-3″
Montgomery County: 3-5″

A Blissful Week of Weather!

About this time 12 years ago I happened to be getting on a bus to go over to the Pentagon to do some go-fer related intern task, when out of the corner of my eye I saw an incredibly beautiful girl get of the bus. My brain immediately thought, please god let her be an intern that I get to work for the summer! As fate would have it ,I got on the bus and noticed a stylish pair of sun glasses were left behind. Of course, I thought to myself, these glasses are hers–despite the bus being full of a number of other women– and I am destined to return them to her, make her smile, then coolly ask her out on the date. I did return the glasses and made her smile, but the asking her out on a date took 4 more weeks and was excruciatingly awkward. 12 years later I am lucky enough to be marrying that same beautiful girl, and doing it in Hawaii!!

The weather geek in me couldn’t help but give a forecast! There isn’t really any science to this forecast! All week it’s going to be in the low to mid 80’s during the day, mid 60’s at night. No rain, and few clouds! So while a Hawaiian wedding and weather, might have been a great reprieve from the amazing–well brutal for most sane human beings–winter, its still paradise!

So if you are coming to our wedding the only real thing you need to be thinking about is, how much sun screen is enough and how many t-shirts does one person really need?

Goldilocks Thought NYC Was Too Cold

Well NYC missed out out a snow storm that would have put us on the brink of missing our all time snow record. We should still see around 3″ of snow, taking us over 60″ of snow. Those in the more southern parts of NJ will see upwards of 8″.

My friends and family in the entire Baltimore/DC area should see 8-14 inches of snow. 8″ north of the most northern part of 695, 8-12″ between the northernmost point end and the southernmost point of 695, and 10-14″ for the areas south of 695.

Lastly, I wanted to geek out on the polar air mass. The air mass that is pushing all this moisture south is incredibly strong. If this type of air mass was moving through our area the first part of February, instead of March, we’d be talking about the potential for single digit high temperatures and below zero lows.

Despite the higher sun angles, those who live in western Montgomery please be advised that low temperature Monday night will be around 0 degrees!

That’s it, until The Next Big Storm!

Too Strong!

Well the data is in, and for the NYC area I am reducing my snowfall amounts and greatly increasing them for the Baltimore/DC area.

Essentially the Arctic air mass that is place will simply become Too Strong. Because of its strength, the bulk of the storms moisture will stay well south of the metro area. This also means it’s going to be very cold Sunday night into Monday. Any snow that does fall will be very fluffy due to higher snow ratios. The colder the air the less water there is in a snow flake, which helps produce “powder” or “blower” snow. 

The cold could become weaker, and NYC gets back in the Juuuust Right zone, but I’d say there is a greater chance for us to receive almost no snow than receiving a foot of snow.

Baltimore/DC……you are now in the Juuust Right zone, and my confidence is growing that almost everyone will see close to a foot of snow. Some areas could see closer to 16″.

For now NYC, the all time snow record looks safe.

Snow Totals:

Northern Suburbs: 1-4″, the closer you are to the city the more you will receive.

NYC: 5-8″

Southern Suburbs: 6-10″, the closer you are the less snow you will see

NJ: From exit 9 to Exit 1: 8-12″

Baltimore/DC: 8-14″

March Madness and Fairy Tales!

The first 15 days of March can be crazy, and not just because men’s basketball starts to get crazy, but because it’s a transition period between winter and spring. Meteorologically speaking, winter is from December 1st – March 1st, however, winter officially ends on the 21st of March, and just like a pesky 15 seed in the NCAA tourney the cold air of winter will try and stick around. The peskiness of the 15 seed (i.e. winter’s cold air) will push around the 2 seed (spring’s warmth) but usually, the 2 seed wakes up and crushes the 15 seed with it superior talent. In this case the 2 seed’s superior talent is the tendency for warm air to be stronger and more persistent, making snow more difficult to develop. Even if the 15 seed keeps it close down to the end (let’s say a spring snow), clutch free throws by the 2 seed (higher spring sun angles that melt snow) almost always ice the game.

Every once in awhile though, a 15 seed has enough talent, and an irrational level of confidence to bust a bracket. Everything clicks, threes fall, monster dunks are thrown down, and by the end of the game the arena goes crazy because a 2 seed went down.

On Monday I think a 2 seed is going down, and going down hard. In this case the #2 (warm air) never wakes up and gets bounced out by the #15.

Our cold air is Florida Gulf Coast last year against Georgetown. You probably noticed that’s it’s painfully cold outside today due to another strong shot of arctic air.  That arctic air is strong enough that it’s going to stay entrenched over the weekend. Meanwhile a massive storm heading into California, which is much needed, and will track east. That storm engulf the Rockies and bring the Vail area well over 16″ of snow (wish I was there) through Sunday morning. As the system exits the Rockies it will pick up a lot of warm and moisture laden air from the Gulf of Mexico. What happens next is like a fairy tale!

In  situations like this the cold air is a lot like Goldilocks. Too Strong, and it pushes in to much cold air and the big moisture stays south. Too Weak, and we get a bunch of ice/rain. Juuuust Right, and you get a lot of moisture mixed with cold air, which equals major snowstorm!

At this point, I think NYC and all of NJ, except AC, is in the Juuuust Right zone, and have a good chance at seeing 12″ of snow! Areas in NY and CT north of 84 will see all snow, but less of it than areas south of 84. The further north of 84 you go the more you are in the Too Strong zone.

Extreme northern MD/VA should see all snow but are close to the Too weak zone! Most other areas in and around DC are in the Too Weak zone and will see ice, rain, and a change to snow at the tail end of the storm.

I will continue to watch the strength of the cold air, and make adjustments as necessary. However, I will be skiing tomorrow so don’t expect too much! Oh, and after we get  the snow, it’s sticking around becuase it will remain unseasonable cold for a few days.

Snow Totals:
NYC and all of NJ (minus AC): 6-12″
NY/CT suburbs south of 84: 6-12″
NY/CT suburbs north of 84: 5-10″

Extreme Northern VA (i.e. North and West of Dulles):  6-10″
Extreme Northern MD (Counties that Border PA): 6-10″
DC/Baltimore Metro: Ice/rain  then 1-3″ of snow.

Record Tracker:
Currently NYC sits at 57.3 inches of snow. With just 6″ of snow it will be the second snowiest season ever. 12.7″ will give New York its second season over 70″ of snow, and put us within striking distance of the 75.6″ total of 1995-96 winter.

Good For Everyone!

This was no doubt the hardest forecast I have ever experienced in my life for a lot of different scientific reasons I won’t bore you with. Either way, the entire NYC metro area has received 10-15 inches of snow, with more on the way. The approaching phase should be all snow, but it may briefly start as sleet.

What’s impressive is that this last wallop of snow could drop between “4-8” on top of everything that has already fallen. These “wrap” around snows are always tricky because how much snow can depend on where the band(s) set up and how stable they are. Less stable, less snow; more stable more snow. Regardless, this storm was love at first sight!

Oh if I haven’t mentioned it, there is another quick system coming through Friday night into Saturday! After that we will start to warm up.

Snow Totals Tonight:
NYC Metro: 4″-8″
DC-Balt Corridor:2″-4″
Total Snow: 14″-24″ from DC to NYC

Friday to Saturday Snow:
Probably 2″-5″in the NYC area
DC/Baltimore: Undecided

Season Total
Not Including the amount that fall tonight
NYC Central Park: 51″
We are 9.4″ away from a top 5 winter!  LETS GO!

Good, Bad, Good OR Bad, Good, Bad

Depending on where you live, and your perspective on snow, this storm has  three different phases. West of 95 from Fairfield Connecticut down to DC, its Good, Good, Good. East of I-95, its Good, Bad, Good.  I’ll be writing it from the perspective of a snow junkie–if you are tired of the snow, then replace the word good with bad, and vice versa. Got it? Good….that was a test.

Phase 1 of the storm is coming, in fact its heading up the coast a little earlier than anticipated which is a good thing, because we could end up with slightly higher snowfall amounts before noon tomorrow.

Starting around noon is when we dance with the devil–the rain/snow line. It’s areas south and east of this line that go through the bad second phase of this storm. I have a pretty high degree of confidence it will set up along I-95 and run along I-95 down through DC. However, in the DC/Baltimore corridor east of I-95, and the Central Jersey corridor, east of I-95, west of 440/9, north of NJ 72 there will be a larger zone of mix compared to the immediate NYC area. West of this area……..well I don’t like talking about it because, like a 5 year old, I wanna scream BUT THATS NOT FAIR!!!!!!

Then from 1 am till dawn we could see a good phase 3 of the storm–one last gasp of heavy snow across the entire area.

Snow Totals!
Good, Bad, Good Areas (some of the snow gets washed away)
NYC and Coastal Connecticut: 5″-9″
East of JFK, west of Hempstead: 4″-6″;
Jersey City/Hoboken/Elizabeth (Sorry won’t lump you in with NYC): 5-9″;
Central Jersey, east of 95, west of 440/9: 6″-10″; 6″
Coastal NJ: East of 440/9, south of Toms River: 2″-4″
DC/Baltimore Corridor, East of I-95, West of 97: 6″-12″
DC/Baltimore Corridor, East of I-95, East of 97: 5″-9″

Good, Good, Good (builds on top of what is already on the ground)
Westchester/Areas of CT North of 95 and East of Stamford: 10-16″
North Jersey (North of Exit 10, west of I-95): 10″-16″
DC/Baltimore Corridor, West of 95: 10″-16″

Quick Note: If, and it’s a more wish on my part at this point, all the areas in Good, Bad, Good don’t go through the bad Phase, we are talking broad 12-18″ snowfall everywhere, since that means the storm generated a healthy dose of cold air.