1705 JAN 3 2011 ….. CLICK ON IMAGES FOR FULL SIZE
The winter of 2009-10 which was supposed to be a fairly mild and easy going winter especially after the holidays… is turning out to be a real pain in the ass. There are an awful lot of energy forecasters out there whose JAN 2011 forecasts are already in the crapper. Moreover if you look at the La Nina Winters that featured colder than normal Januarys over the central and eastern U.S. almost all of them featured cold and stormy Februarys as well.
There are two major things I want to discuss. The first event is the potential for significant winter storm over Eastern New England January 7-8.
As I stated in the last update this is not really a CLIPPER LOW per se. This Low develops on the arctic front which is why it really should be called an “Arctic Low”. The 0z MONDAY JAN 3 run of the ECMWF was very bullish with the system by developing the Low way to the south and west… off the NJ coast.
This sort of explosive development of the arctic Low near the New Jersey Coast would not only bring New England a major snowstorm but you also hammered NYC with over a foot of snow easily— as well as New Jersey and Philadelphia. And as a system pulls away from the coast the 0z Jan 3 European model “bombs the Low out” and develops strong N winds over 30 or 35 mph. While 0z European model solution is possible strongly unlikely to verify the cause in order to get the Low to develop that close to the NJ coast there has to be a southern Low coming uo from VA. The problem is… that is not going to be a southern Low.
The 6z GFS has a much more realistic solution by developing a powerful low pressure area off the southeast coast of New England. We can see this solution here.
This solution is supported in some ways by the 12z Jan 3 run of the GFS. However the 12z run shows an exceptionally strong and intensifying Low pressure area that would be easily bring blizzard conditions to much of Eastern New England including Cape Code and Boston. The Model bombs it out to 966 mb off the southeast coast of Massachusetts … then if that was not extreme enough…. the GFS stalls the Low east of Boston for 24 hrs.
Not surprisingly the model produces a huge area of precipitation– all of it snow with over 36 inches of an all of Cape Code and 12-24″ over eastern Mass far eastern CT and eastern Long Island. And as a result of the 12z GFS has NO significant snow in western CT or NYC.
The 12z Jan 3 European model has finally come to its senses and develops a strong surface Low over eastern OH/ western PA the morning of JAN 8. This Low will bring moderate snow to Northern WVA western MD PA NJ NYC NY. The the Low will ” bomb out” well off the SE Massachusetts and coastline at 974 mb on JAN 9. Not surprisingly the 12z JAN 3 European model does not bring 2″+ of liquid to far eastern Massachusetts .
THE FIRST ARCTIC BLAST.
Of course as I have been saying for last couple of days this is NOT and ordinary “CLIPPER LOW” . This system is actually associated with the PV — polar vortex– that is being forced out of Central Canada into the Great Lakes and New England. Once the storm begins to bomb out east of the New England coast the arctic air mass associated with the polar vortex will come pouring southward on strong north winds. Many places in VA MD DE will not see max temps past 30 degrees on the JAN 8 or 9 with n or NW winds of 20+ MPH. This by the way is the weather channel’s ten Day forecast issued January 2 for Richmond VA. This is just embarrassing.
JAN 12-13 MAJOR EAST COAST SNOWSTORM THREAT.
This next event for start appearing on many of the ensemble data around December 28 – 29 and the cause of the overall pattern I have been somewhat optimistic or excited about the potential for this event. I have always held true to rule that the big East coast snowstorm events you can see coming days and days out. Of this was certainly the case with the January 1996 blizzard as well as the president’s day II snowstorm in 2003 and the Major northeast US snowstorms in 2005 and 2006 as well as the major snowstoms over the northeast which were so common last winter .
The key to this storm THREAT is going to be three particular features. First we are going to have to get the large polar vortex over southeastern Canada to move out. If it does NOT then this system is not going to bring any snow north of Philadelphia. The other features has to do with two piece of energy in the jet stream which on JAN 8-9 will be located over eastern TX and the Other over ID and southwest MT. Some of the weather models are crushing work showing off the lead piece of energy over Eastern Texas but some of the models and ensembles are merging –or “phasing” the 2 over the Lower Plains and Delta.
Here is the 0z JAN 3 European model from last night and as you can see it as a major winter storm over the entire mid Atlantic states up into Southern New England. The map bears striking similarities to January 1996 and the model produces over 1.25 to 1.75″ liquid to much of NC except for far western portions … VA and MD again except for the far western portions … the eastern 25% of PA… all of NJ NYC Long island and much of Southern Eastern New England.
Here is the 12z JAN 3 GFS… And it shows the two pieces of energy quite nicely in the jet stream which we are going to have to watch and see how they interact and develop . By day 7.5 the GFS has a major pieces energy moving into the Mississippi Valley and developing a significant coastal storm shortly afterwards.
This Link shows the 12z GFS precipitation forecast for the period of JAN 11-12. The dark Blue band is 0.50 to 0.75″ which given the high snows ratios would be significant snowfall .
BY Day 9 the Model has a decent Low– not nearly as strong as the European models but impressive nonetheless– and it shows a massive arctic High over northwestern Canada Poised to come plunging southward.
The 12z JAN 3 European models out and it is pretty close to what the earlier model was showing but the Model develops the coastal Low a little further to the north and a little later. As a result of this run of the European model does not have nearly as much heavy precipitation over Maryland North Carolina and Virginia although it still has significant about. However it this point in time we’re just quibbling says it still nine days out and the important thing is that the model still has the system as does the Canadian and the GFS.
SEVERE COLD BLAST
these maps are stunningly and severely cold. This Map shows the JET stream map… please note the BLUE Lines coming from the top of the map– the ARCTIC circle. These Lines actually reach from SIBERIA … then move across the North Pole and plunge south bringing severe cold into Northern TX by JAN 12-13 and as far eastern eastern TN WVA and PA.
1130 AM JAN 1