JOE HOOKER … looks good on paper.

Posted by wxrisk | GENERAL | Wednesday 31 October 2012 11:25 pm

1745 1 NOV    2012…   STARDATE   201211.01


I am not as comfortable in forecasting a big East Coast storm as other  for NOV 6-7-8 .    Most of the forecasters yesterday who were talking about potential for East Coast storm were focused on the event happening November 6 -7.  That struck me as being too soon because the pattern over both Western Canada and southeastern Canada was NOT very favorable for the East Coast storm to develop … though  there is  better chance  for an  east coast   storm  for NOV 7-8

Basically there are two pieces of energy which we have to watch for next week. These two pieces of energy in the jet stream– which in the weather business is refer to as SHORT WAVE — could met and if they do …. IF…. then the potential increases for significant East Coast autumn storm.
The southern piece of energy or the southern shortwave is going to move drop south from Nebraska and Kansas into Arkansas and Louisiana on November 6. The northern piece of energy is coming in from Western Canada and will be located over Manitoba. In order to get the big East Coast storm this northern piece of energy over Manitoba has to drop south eastward through the Ohio Valley and merge or phase with the southern piece of energy coming up from Louisiana and the gulf coast.


YESTERDAY … model most of the model data was clearly showing that the Ridge in the jet stream would NOT be amplified rnough … which meant that be Manitoba Energy would NOT drop southeast in phase or merge with the system coming out of Louisiana . Instead the Northern Energy over Manitoba Canada would track due east across the northern Great Lakes. The result? No big east coast storm yes
Today most of the model data is depicting Western North America significantly different. The models which are showing the big East Coast storm all have a stronger Ridge in the jet stream over the West Coast. This causes the energy in the northern portion of the jet stream over Manitoba Canada… To dive southeast word and phase/ merge with the system coming out of the Gulf of Mexico. This results in a much more significant East Coast storm.




My concern however before I go all in here is that the west coast of North America is being depicted this afternoon a extremely differently than what we are seeing yesterday… And for that matter significantly different from what the model data was showing earlier this Thursday Morning.

The ONLY way to get this big East Coast storm to occur…. and develop as the models on Wednesday afternoon are depicting it… is for the energy over Manitoba Canada to phase or merge with the energy coming out of the southern jet stream and the Gulf coast.

And the ONLY way for that to happen ….is for the Ridge on the West coast to stay strong. It is this particular aspect of forecast  I am worried about.   There is an awful lot of energy coming into the Gulf of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest…. and I am worried that this energy may come and faster or differently than the models this afternoon are depicting .
IF…. that happens … THEN there will NOT be a MAJOR East Coast storm on November 7 or 8. There will be something along the coast but it would slide mostly to the east. Perhaps later in the week ….I will feel more confident about what’s going on over western North America the right now I have some skepticism which has to be “solved” before I go all in on a potential significant East Coast storm November 7 – 8



2300  31 OCT 2012


One of my favorite all times sayings is this one... bad forecasters are like bad generals. They always fight the last war.    When I give weather talks and presentations I often use that quote.

Another one which I use even more in fact it’s my e-mail signature is this one… When everyone is thinking the same someone isn’t thinking... George S Patton.That is a really big thing for me.

As  we move past the remains of sandy …we see strong signals coming from SOME  sources that these lessons are not really being taken to heart and learned. There are several sources which are talking about potential for significant coastal storm for the Middle Atlantic and New England coasts on election day November 6.

At this point in time I strongly disagree that forecast with about every single fiber in my being that I can muster.     I think it’s also somewhat ironic that some of the forecast services — accu weather for example– which it downplayed the threat of sandy for several days…. are now the ones which are banging the drum for the next upcoming threat.

This sort of phenomenon happens a lot in the mass communication feel whether it’s politics …or war …or economics or …weather forecasting.     That after being caught by a unforeseen event of immense impact — what is called a black swan event— the next several events which come along get over hyped or overplayed.

For example if you recall the massive Derecho that moved through the Ohio Valley and into the Middle Atlantic states on June 29. A lot of forecasts were very late in detecting the severity of this system and some will only given a few hours notice      (that was not the case here at WXRISK).     However the point is that after that event pass through the next several thunderstorm or thunderstorm clusters which formed were immediately compare to the June 29 Derecho.    It took about a week before a lot of TV forecasters and the weather channel finally realize that not every single thunderstorm cluster is going to become a historic record shattering Derecho.

We are experiencing the same sort of thing with potential for this next event.     Let me be clear about what I things going to happen on November 6. There may be a brief interval of moderate or light rain across portions of the East Coast on the morning of the NOV 6. But light to er moderate rain that lasts a few hours is not in any way a coastal storm. Those are two entirely different animals and it  may   be y hype to gain the attention of more viewers and subscribers to assert that the November 6 event is going to be a serious coastal storm.

Essentially the uncertainty has to do with the development of Low pressure on a stalled cold front over Tennessee and North Carolina this coming weekend. All of the various weather models are developing this wave of low pressure on the front but some of the models are developing the Low fairly close to the coast into a coastal storm .  Other weather models are developing a system much further off the coast …. So the only thing the East Coast would see would be a period of rain .

This first image shows the last four runs of the operational or regular GFS model. The top left map refers to the 0z wed GFS … the top right 6z GFS … the Bottom Left map the 12z GFS and the bottom right map the 18z GFS. But I think is significant is that the two model runs of the GFS which have a full set of model soundings– the 0z and 12z GFS have the weakest overall threat and development from the low pressure area on the southeast

Clearly the GFS model is the most bullish on this potential event for November 6. The key here is that the GFS model develops Upper Low over Ohio which helps keep the surface Low fairly close to the coast and allows it to develop into a more significant system.

However the other models do not agree with this scenario. Remember that the atmosphere a pattern is what determines how the coastal event is going to develop not the weather models. The fact that the GFS may show a coastal storm developing does not mean is going to develop.

This next image shows the 0z runs of the European model from early Wednesday morning. The key here is that the model shows a pretty strong piece of energy — called a short wave– moving through Central Canada on the Middle Map and into Eastern Ontario north of the Great Lakes on the Right side map. This feature I have highlighted with a red line .  It should be noted that the GFS model has is feature much weaker if at all.    This is important because the arrival of this feature over central and Eastern Canada means that the system trying to develop over Tennessee North Carolina will be kicked off the coast. The European model develops this weak Low over Tennessee and North Carolina but it does so well out to sea.

The 12z European model shows very much the same sort of thing.    In fact the model is even more emphatic that any sort of Low pressure area which develops off the Carolina Coast will not develop into a little way out to sea.   On this image the map of the left hand side which is valid for the morning of November 5 shows a disturbance over the Canadian Rockies which reaches Manitoba and Western Ontario Canada November 6. It is the arrival of this feature which does not allow the weak Low over TN / NC to develop at all and instead slides off the coast.

The early Wednesday morning Canadian model case a compromise between the GFS and the European…. but still is way think is way too aggressive with a coastal development.

The Wednesday afternoon British model is pretty bullish with a velvet this feature with a stronger low over North Carolina and southeastern Virginia on November 5 and a correspondingly more developed coastal low on November 6 up by Cape Cod and Boston. Notice here also however that the British model has a much weaker system upstream— recall that feature which I refer two before as a kicker?     On the British model it is not there so the system over the southeastern states gets a much better chance to develop.

And finally if you look at the overall important hemispheric patterns such as the NAO and the AO … That they are weakly negative NOV 1-4 but by the time we reach November 6 they have reached neutral conditions. The reason why these two features are important –for those of you who are not weather knowledgeable– is that it is very difficult to get a significant coastal Low to form if BOTH the AO and the NAO are running neutral.

SUMMARY…. The pattern is all wrong for significant East Coastal Low foreman close enough to become significant or major event on November 5-6-7. In addition there is probably a lot of energy coming in from Western Canada which will prevent any development of the weak Low over North Carolina from developing rapidly . At this Point I am strongly against the idea of a significant coastal Low during the NOV 5-6-7.   SOME rain yes. But that’s not the same thing as a coastal storm or nor’easter.


Posted by wxrisk | GENERAL,HURRICANE SEASON 2012 | Thursday 25 October 2012 2:43 am

2200  EDT  OCT   24 ,2012…  STRADATE    201210.24

The latest recon as of 10:00 PM this evening showed that hurricanes sandy was becoming a category 3  hurricane with the Los pressure now reaching 955MB.  From the satellite pictures you can see that she is bombing out very nicely and continuing to intensify into a massive hurricane as the European and other models have been depicting for the past several model runs.  This is an impressive looking hurricane for late October and it’s very large.

The announcement that NWS offices up and down the East Coast will launch additional weather sounding balloons to obtain more information about the atmosphere in the hope that the weather models can use this new information to get a better handle on what is happening with the atmosphere is an indication of how important in serious the potential is with this hurricane/ monster coastal storm.
Most of the time when something like this is done it  is usually because there is a lot of model uncertainty.  And that is usually  caused by the GFS model  screwing up again.  Over the years I seen this many times where the GFS model has a solution which no other model seems to be showing so in order to get a better handle on the situation  they launched these intermediate weather balloons for additional atmospheric soundings and this information gets put into the  the various  weather computer models.

The idea here is to hope that the crappie GFS model  finally gets a clue about the basic laws of the universe and physics with all this new additional information in the model.  The problem is that you can only shine up   a pile of SHIT  so much.   So all the high expectations were hope that this new data is somehow going to affect the GFS model over the next few runs usually ends up being a total bust and let down.

Let us take a look about why the GFS model is screwing this up so badly.  And this is really important because so many TV meteorologists both within the weather channel and on your local media and even on many private web pages rely extremely heavily on the GFS weather model.

And because the GFS model even this afternoon continues to show a hurricane staying well off the coast until it gets up into southeastern New England…  Many of the TV & Media outlets up and down the East Coast are downplaying the threat or talking about the very complicated situation or expressing some other boilerplate expression of uncertainty.

For those  that are not weather geeks    and  don’t know…   it has been documented many times that the  GFS model has a cold bias.  What that means is that if the temperature is going to reach 80° for example…  The GFS model will show the temperature reaching 75.   But in the atmosphere at the high levels it has other more serious implications.  The cold bias of the GFS in the jet stream levels means that it Mishandles things like  TROUGHS   and   RIDGES very badly.  In other words if the numerical value of a particular weather feature the jet stream is to say   100…  The GFS will show this feature to be   90.  And by weakening the feature and underplaying it it ends up distorting the entire pattern as you go further out in time .
Let’s take a look.
This next image shows you the European model from this afternoon valid for 96 hours or October 28.  We can see a mighty hurricane SANDY  just  off SC   GA   coast moving  due North.  But we can also see a massive system sitting out there in the Central North Atlantic Ocean.

It is a basic law of physics and weather that you CANNOT  have two large enormous  Low pressure areas located in close proximity to each other.  For some reason that we cannot quite figure out the GFS seems to have problems understanding that basic laws of the weather physics.
This next image is the 72 hr Wednesday afternoon European model and it so shows the Jetstream pattern.  I have highlighted the key features but what is important   to  understand is that there  is a bulge or mountain of the air which exists between the huge ocean Low and the central north Atlantic and SANDY off the Georgia Coast.

This  feature…called a  RIDGE …has a certain intensity or to value which we can measure…  That number IS  576DM.
However when we compare this to the upper air map from the GFS model we see something different.
In this next image I present the GFS jet stream map valid for the exact same time — 72 hours some now or October 27.  I again I have  highlighted the key features on we can clearly see that same  RIDGE   existing between sandy and the huge ocean low in the North Central Atlantic Ocean.  But the numerical value of this feature is significantly lower or weaker on the GFS model  ( that cold bias I referred to above)… 570DM.

And because  this   RIDGE  is  weaker the GFS model … the  GFS Model allows SANDY to move further out into the Atlantic Ocean and closer to the ocean Low in the north central Atlantic.  This is a meteorological impossibility and it is why the model needs to be rejected as a viable solution with this particular situation.


By 120 hours or five days some now (October 29) the European model has captured hurricane SANDY  which is now a super large and very powerful coastal storm and pulled it towards the Virginia Maryland New Jersey Coast.

The GFS model is sitting there without a clue has SANDY  hundreds of miles offshore not affecting anybody except for some fish.  Its solution is absurd and ludicrous and should be totally disregarded.

Even the   NOGAPS  sees the pattern correctly

That being said we can point out that the GFS  Hurricane ensembles appear to be getting a clue  as they finally show a more dramatic shift to the west with each new passing model run.
This image shows the GFS hurricane  ensembles  plots or tracks  from early Wednesday morning.  Notice how all of them or turning sandy towards the coast with a sharp turn to the northwest.  Of course the problem here is that the GFS   Hurricane ensemble  STILL   swing  SANDY way too far to the   out to the east before the hurricane / huge coastal storm begins to get captured.

However 12 hours later  we see that the GFS hurricane  ensemble shows a much closer track to the coast and in much sharper turn  to the WEST with numerous LANDFALLS between New York City and wallops island Virginia …  Including the lower Maryland Eastern shore and New Jersey .
Note that these tracks are significantly further south or down the coast then what the previous image showed .   This is more proof that the European and navy or Nogaps model will likely be correct.

Finally one of the key points in figuring out where sandy is going to turn to the west and strike the coast …  Will be her position relative to Florida and the Bahamas on Friday .  The closer to Florida that  SANDY is located then be close issue will be to the coast and the more likely we are to see a turn into  North Carolina Virginia or Maryland .

On the other hand the further off the Florida  coast  SANDY is…  The more likely she used to swing    “WIDE”  are out into the Atlantic off the southeast coast then turn north     THEN  nw    back  into  the East Coast probably making landfall somewhere up by New Jersey New York City Long Island were Connecticut.



Posted by wxrisk | GENERAL | Monday 22 October 2012 12:56 am

 click on this link to play  AUDIO

ROW   1


ROW  2


ROW  3

ROW  4    the  European Model from  EARLY SUNDAY MORNING


ROW  5    12z CMC






ROW  8     EURO   focus  on   mid Atlantic




Posted by wxrisk | GENERAL,SEASONAL FORECASTS | Saturday 20 October 2012 7:13 pm









Posted by wxrisk | GENERAL | Thursday 4 October 2012 7:07 pm

 1500 EDT    4 OCTOBER    2012

  Before you read the  forecast   BELOW  Please    click on     THIS   LINK .   There are some  points  I need to make   before you read the forecast below   


   If   you are running a  weather   sensitive Business…   such as a   Propane or Energy…  Mountains resorts… Marinas …. landscaping….  or  construction  and    you need    DETAILED    two and three   week forecasts  you  really should   try  VA   BUSINESS  Weather  Newsletter    ( The   VA Business  Weather Newsletter   is a paid  subscription    service.   If you are interested    send me an   Email at  [email protected]  or   at wxrisk  )




In case  you  did not know there   has been a significant snowstorm over the far northeast portions of North Dakota ….Northwest Minnesota into southern Manitoba Canada over the  last 18 hours.  Having snow this early in that part of the country in early October is not unheard of but it’s not   common  either.  It is indicative of the cold air coming in behind this front which will finally  end the heat   that has been common   up and down the East Coast.     Friday and Saturday morning many locations in the Dakotas Nebraska Minnesota and Northwest Iowa will drop down between 19 and 25°!

That being said the warm air really does  not  wanto to give up the ghost.  Friday  is not  going  be a problem for anybody  over the lower Middle Atlantic states.  It  WILL  be warm   over most locations and the humidity will make a comeback as winds term or out of the South once again.  Many locations in central and Eastern Virginia and Maryland will reach the middle  80s  which is pretty darn warm for early October.
On Saturday the first surge in the cold front will approach the Appalachian Mts.   There will  be SOME  decent rains / showers over West Virginia into Western Maryland and Western Pennsylvania   Saturday morning through midday.  But  the cold front is going to stall as it crosses the Appalachians and tries to move into the heat and against the  RIdge in the jet stream over the southeastern U.S.  This means that the showers …once they cross the Appalachian Mts Saturday afternoon… will  weaken    as they move into southwestern and Central Virginia and Maryland will fall apart.  These areas may see a few scattered showers on Saturday afternoon for the most part  but it should not be a big deal and some areas may see no rain at all.  And to the south all of North Carolina and southeastern Virginia should stay generally sunny and quite warm.

Sunday is when the cold front comes in as a strong wave of low pressure develops on the front over the western Carolinas.  The Low will track northeast over Western Virginia   imnto central   Maryland  then into eastern or southeastern Pennsylvania.  This track will provide for significant showers or steady rain and possibly even some thunder over much of eastern WVA…  all of Virginia except for the southwest portions…  and much of central and Eastern Maryland and   all of DE.   That being said   Sunday does not look like an all day rain event.:
Sunday morning will see the rains over southeastern Ohio …western West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky  END by midday.   The rains  will spread  eastward into   EASTERN   WVA the western half of VA into Central Maryland…  ending by  sunset.    And over southeastern and East Central Virginia  — including the Hampton roads and Richmond metro areas as well as over DC Baltimore and Eastern Maryland and all of Delaware…  Sunday morning looks pretty dry with the showers and thunderstorms coming in during the afternoon and early evening hours.



Behind the front temperatures will turn dramatically cooler.  OCT 8-12  will feature several mornings with temperatures in the  Upper 30s and Low 40s over  the   mountains of West Virginia and Western Maryland… and 40s over most of Northern North Carolina all of Virginia except for the coastal and a areas and Maryland.  Max temperatures   will be mostly in the  60s . SPRET
WEEKEND  #2     OCT   12-13-14 

For next weekend the pattern repeats itself.  There will be a another fairly strong cold front that moves through the East Coast Friday October 12…  which will be followed  by another strong early season COLD  High pressure area comes in across the Midwest into the heart of the middle Atlantic  states.   The morning of October 13 across WVA      VA  MD  DE   and PA will easily be the coldest air of the season and some frost as possible in these areas a specially over Maryland and Pennsylvania but perhaps even over the Shenandoah Valley.