1845 HOURS EST 12 DECEMBER 2012… STARDATE 201212.12
I think now is a good time to review where things stand with regard to the overall pattern … and specifically with regard to the December 17 LOW… and the December 18-19 Low (which clearly is going to be the bigger of the two events).
First let me make a clear statement about where the forecast is headed and about my thought process. My ORIGINAL thought process from earlier in the week was that the MAIN Low was going to track up through the Ohio Valley then “jump” across the Middle Atlantic states and reform off the New England coast (called coastal redevelopment in the weather biz). And while I was forecasting or a least anticipating the possibility of heavy snow for central and northern New England ( 12″+) … I also asserted that the Main Low … which in the weather business is refer to as the “PRIMARY LOW” … would bring heavy snow to portions of the Midwest and the Great Lakes. That is no longer going to be the case and in that respect my preliminary forecast/ speculation is going to turn out to be WRONG. I don’t have to wait to December 18 to figure this out. Wrong is wrong and and with respect to that part of my preliminary forecast .. I am going to be WRONG.
There are two specific reasons why my initial assessment have turned out to be wrong. FIRST … I was skeptical about the models are building the block pattern ( West based -NAO) into Eastern Canada and Hudson’s bay before December 20. Given the fact that the models and over forecasted this event price before I think by skepticism was well warranted. SECOND… this image shows the Pacific jet. It’s very strong and very powerful and shows no signs of rapid weakening. What this means is that systems coming in from the West Coast are being driven across the country and are being forced consistently eastward. So originally when it looked like the main Low pressure area was going to track into the Midwest … the strong Pacific jet has kept pushing the DEC 18-19 Low further east …and …east and …east and now in ends up on the East Coast
On the other hand with respect to the the argument / forecast that most of the precipitation over the big cities of I – 95 is going to fall as rain …. is looking more more likely. My analysis a least so far according to most of the model data has been correct . The Upper air features which are needed to support a East Coast snowstorm are not there. There is not nearly enough low level cold air over the coastal Plain and there is no col air source.
In addition I have also seen a lot of speculation from some weather hobbyists and a few meteorologist –who should know better –that this event for DEC 18-19 has a lot of of similarity to the great Middle Atlantic s snowstorm of December 19 – 20, 2009. That analysis is delusional. It’s like saying …..”World War 1 had tanks and planes so in that regard it was just like WWII…”
Let me explain why the two events not similar. This image shows a comparison of the upper air mapS between the two events. The map of the LEFT HAND side is the Jet stream ( 500 mb) map from 18 DEC 2009… and the map on the RIGHT side is the pper air map from this Wednesday morning European model Valid for December 18, 2012. As you can see there a number of key features which are not even close to being the same.
*The blocking pattern is vastly different.
*There is no West Coast Ridge to speak of with this upcoming event but back in Mid DEC 2009 there was a major ridge on the West Coast.
***And finally the air mass over the Eastern US on the two days BEFORE on the 19th of December 2009 snowstorm was much much colder than what we are going to see next week.
DEC 16-17. This event is being somewhat overlooked –as it should be since it is the weaker of the two events — but for folks in interior New England and central and Northern New York State this Low could drop several inches of snow. The map on the left hand side is the operational or regular European model hand the image on the right hand side is the European ensemble. If there was enough time between this week are low and the bigger event on December 18…. Then we get more cold air into the northeast U.S. and stand a better chance for saying snow. But that is not going to be the case.
DEC 18-19 LOW
This image is the midday Wednesday run of the GFS and you can see how the model has moved to track a below inland . If we assume that the GFS is correct then everybody over the coastal plain even into Boston would see primarily rain…. And although snow would be over the mountains of eastern and Northern West Virginia Western Maryland western and Central Pennsylvania western central and Northern New York State and central and Northern New England.
This next image is from the European model from the 12 Z or midday Wednesday run. The image on the right hand side is the 12z operational or regular European … The image on the LEFT side is the European ENSEMBLE. Clearly the operational regular European is a driving rainstorm as the actual deepening Low pressure area is located over southeastern Virginia. Winds are very strong along the coast probably gusting up over 50 mph. What is interesting here is that the European ENSEMBLE is a little further to the east and it is colder and implies a lot more snow for the Piedmont areas of the middle Atlantic states that is to say the area between the coast and the mountains… This would include areas such as northwest Virginia …Central Maryland …eastern and southeastern Pennsylvania (such areas as reading Lancaster and Allentown) just north of New York City in places like White Plains ….Central Connecticut and even into Boston.
If the European ensemble turns out to be correct…IF… IF…. the it is quite possible that the rain will END as snow the big cities the Northeast and areas just inland from the big cities of Washington Baltimore Philadelphia New York could see several hours of moderate or heavy snow with some accumulations. The site may also occur over the northwest third of Virginia.
Once we get beyond the system the overwhelming amount of data clearly shows that the big coastal storm will move up into southeastern Canada and become connected with the blocking feature over Hudson’s bay and Quebec Canada. The interaction of these two features will allow for true arctic air and strong north wins to cover all of the U.S. east the Mississippi River DEC 20-25.
Finally beyond this event there is the potential event for something in around Christmas day. Whether not the weather models pick up on this event is questionable. Essentially what I am thinking about is that all the energy coming in from the eastern Pacific into the West Coast is going to Eject a small piece of energy across the southern Rockies and into the lower Plains sometime before Christmas. If this energy is strong enough … IF… THEN given the the overall pattern with the massive Block over central and Eastern Canada…. should drive this feature East … NOT northeast… and it could be a band of snow across places such as TN NC VA maybe soihern KY and MD/ DE.
This is the jet stream map at 240 hrs from the operational GFS and it shows some sort of weak piece of energy busting through the southern Rockies into the lower Plains on DEC 23.
The GFS ESNEMBLE mean shows this energy over the sw states coming out later… DEC 24 which is whatbthe euro ensemble at 312 – 336 hours shows. This would delay any event until DEC 26.
1815 EST 3 DEC 2012… STARDATE 201212.03
One other problems in the PRIVATE weather business s that causes me another private sector meteorologists a great deal of concern is that even though I can reach a decent number of people with my forecasts… there are others who have a much larger and bigger reach. And as a result when they go off on a tangent or all off the deep end and start forecasting extreme weather events and patterns … day after day week after week tie me after time … In ends up causing a lot of problems for those of us who are striving to get the forecast write as opposed to engaging in Bullshit.
I am not sure exactly why this is the case. If you are watching Jim Kramer on CNBC and then you listen to some other Wall Street analysis or stock guy you don’t go around accusing every stock or bond trader of either being Jim Kramer or just like Jim Kramer or having the same analysis is Jim Kramer. This also holds true for say car mechanics or accountants or doctors.
But for reasons that I have yet to be able to figure out that doesn’t seem to be the case for meteorologists. It’s really quite a puzzle. And the problem is further compound in that if you point out or try and criticize some really bad forecasting out there …. SOME will end up thinking … that you are envious .
In fact the opposite is the case. The perpetual harping about massive severe arctic outbreaks coming up any day or next week or two weeks and now… Actually ends of doing the far harm to the science of meteorology and weather forecasting that it does good. So it is not about ENVY at all.. it is about protecting the science.
A case in point has to do with some information I was sent over from one the private weather companies in the Northeast. Yeah they have some really good weather graphics and I have used them but some of the analysis that I am reading is just… well not only bizarre it is goofy. One of these forecasters made a comment on their midday discussion that …“the same MJO warm pattern in the spring/ summer over North America produces a cold pattern during the winter months” . Not only is that 100% crap but it is almost irrational . And what is what this stupid phrase the ” winter will remember what happens in December ?”
Are their actual meteorologists out there that think the phrase “old man winter” ACTUALLY refers to a human being who lives in the north pole and controls winter patterns? Lets give the meteorologist who made that idiotic comment the benefit of the doubt. But there is absolutely no evidence of any kind the atmosphere “remembers December weather pattern for the entire winter”. It’s gobbledygook / BULLSHIT of the highest order .
It is no wonder that the comments from folks in the feedback is featuring more increasingly disgruntled winter weather lovers wondering where all the cold IS and WHY it keeps getting pushed back. It is NOT getting “pushed back”… it is that this same forecaster has IGNORED the near record warmth.
And even more telling is that even though the weather models are showing a lot of warm conditions now thru DEC 12 over the Ohio valley …Deep Soouth.. and East Coast… the warmth is getting almost no coverage at all from this particular meteorologist.
UPDATE ON THE THE MIDDAY MODELS… 12/3
Let me emphasize again that I don’t see any changes in the midday models which alter my forecast in any substantial way how I see the pattern evolving over the next two weeks. I have consistently maintained that any significant winter weather pattern that might develop is not going to happen on the East Coast until the middle the month… at the earliest. And I have NOT at any point over the last seven days forecasted anything like the “MOTHERLODE OF THE ARCTIC AIR MASS”. Not one time.
I have said many times and I said it again last night in the video.. that the key to getting serious cold air into the northeast/ East Coast is going to be the development of a poll vortex in North America AND …. AND the PV has to move down to Hudson’s bay Canada . This movement will finally smacked down or crushed the southeast Ridge. Until that happens the most we are looking at after the DEC 12 over the East Coast will be seasonal cold.
The heart of this first shot of cold air next week will be over the Rockies and the central and upper plains and the western Great Lakes. I said that back over the weekend and I am saying it again now — nothing has changed. The midday models have not change the development of a significant LOW pressure forming on the arctic cold front DEC 9-10 … while the first true large arctic high in the season drops south towards the U.S. Canada border. This first image is the European ENSEMBLE map for DEC 9... And we can see the cold air pouring southward over the Upper Plains and western Great Lakes and the LOW forming on the front.
This next image shows the DEC 10 map.... The map on the left hand side is the 12z European ensemble mean for DEC 10 … The map on the right hand side is the regular or operational European. As you can see these models are in very close agreement that this LOW pressure area will intensify as the tracks through the central Mississippi Valley into the Great Lakes. This map shows blizzard conditions may be POSSIBLE over MN WI western IA the eastern Dakotas and Eastern Nebraska. Ahead of the front very warm air surges into the Ohio Valley and the entire East Coast from Georgia to Maine.
With regard to whether not the pattern is action going to change or not… The answer is obvious and quite certain. Of course if you are going to be a weenie then the only definition of change is whether not it affects your house or your back porch where your underwear (by definition a weather weenie is only concerned about weather around his or her location).
This image is a comparison between the hemispheric shot of the European model from right now — LEFT SIDE — and the Day 10 240 European model ensemble. If you don’t think that the significant change over the next 10 days in the overall pattern… Maybe should find another hobby
Here we have the 12z GFS Ensemble mean pattern at day 10 / 240 hours and we can see some changes developing in the model. For one thing the GFS ensemble does NOT have a-NAO at all. Instead we see a ridge over Great Britain and Scandinavia which supports a ridge over the southeastern U.S. (SEE RED CIRCLE ). Second the model has a stronger ridge over the southeastern U.S. to reflect this change with the NAO NOT developing as fast as the GFS was showing a few days ago.
Here we can look at this in a little closer view — a North America projection 240 hr 12z EURO ENSEMBLE. And again we see that there’ is NOT a true +PNA pattern… But instead we see a developing eastern Pacific ridge over 140-150 west longitude. This means or teleconnects that the mean trough position is going to be centered over the Rockies and the Plains states for MID DECEMBER and not over the East Coast. So if we combine that with the LACK of a clear -NAO … there is no mechanism or reason for the PV over North Central Canada to come southward. As a result the PV stays to the north and we only see a slow pattern change over the East Coast with temperatures moving back to seasonal levels.
Finally by December 16 the GFS ensemble ... Along with the European ensemble which I’ve seen but I cannot post… A pretty strong looking -NAO … And a slow southward expansion of the PV. The main push of cold air drops into the Rockies and the plain states but it is sufficient to knock were flattened the southeast ridge allowing for more cold air to slowly move into the East Coast in the 11 to 15 day.
Assuming that the European and the GFS esembles are reasonably close in their depiction of the overall pattern in the 11-16 day ( DEC 14-19) it is possible that there may be a system developing over the southwestern states that it could move through the Deep south and pose a threat to portions of the Midwest and the Middle Atlantic states at some point.