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A few massive snowstorms have gained the respectability that every storm wants to gain.  The last few blizzards to strike the SNE region have not lived up to their predecessors.  The Blizzard of 2005 and 2015 are two storms that come to mind that blow everyone away when it comes to wind gusts and snowfall amounts in Harwich, MA.  When it comes to intensity of snowfall the Blizzard of 2005 is second to none, while the duration of the storm the blizzard of 2015 wins out.  Also wind gusts 2005 wins out over 2015 as Nantucket lost power as an 86mph wind gust hit the island, while Nantucket didn't lose power to the island in the 2015 storm where a 78mph gust ended up hitting the island.  As for snowfall amounts as I said earlier, the Blizzard of 2005 beat out the Blizzard of 2015 by two inches, 35" to 33" respectively. 

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Models are not crazy about the tropics right now but we have two areas of interest growing in the Tropical Atlantic as I write this blog.  First area of concern is close to home, in what we call a homegrown threat, an area of thunderstorms grew into an area of low pressure earlier this afternoon and is growing with thunderstorm activity.  It developed from a leftover frontal boundary currently racing off to the Northeast over the western Atlantic Ocean.  TS Emily grew from the same front yesterday and is now quickly diminishing in a midst of a shear and dry air.  Just as I thought from yesterday this area needed to be monitored as the area of frontal shear caused by a front in the GOM appears to be lessening now and is near 10-20 knots instead of 30-40 knots yesterday.  This shear should continue to drop according to the 18z GFS run yesterday afternoon.  This small area of low pressure is already well defined on satellite imagery this evening and appears to be gaining convection.  Depending upon if the convection is consistent and persistent will determine the tropical outlook on this system.  Next system of interest is a tropical wave currently in the MDR battling dry air to the north of it and the ITCZ influence to the south of it.  Shear is light to moderate, not enough to stop development, should become an invest tomorrow morning.  Stay tuned this system could become a threat to the lesser Antilles islands in the mid term.


A major nor'easter/blizzard is imminent.  Blizzard of 2017 is on its way.  The northern piece of energy has made a US landfall over NW US at 18z yesterday afternoon or evening and this is the energy that we have been waiting for a sampling of and now that we got models adjusted stronger with the southern vort max  and northern vort max.  Now there are three jet streams involved.  The northern jet stream (AKA Arctic jet stream), southern stream (Pacific Jet) and the sub-tropical jet which situates over the gulf of Mexico, providing the system with a GOM low pressure center and moisture.  Ok lets get down to the gist of the models.  Models are somewhat different still in their handling of QPF, and storm track as well as intensity and they differ on degree of phasing between all three jet streams.  The models have trended stronger with the pacific jet stream energy disturbance over the northern Plains now.  this swings southeastward, and depending upon how far south it gets will help determine which model is correct as well as which storm track is correct.  On water vapor imagery, one can see a distinct area of vorticity spinning in the atmosphere, this is our southern stream (Pacific jet ) disturbance.  With its own moisture source from the Pacific and the Rocky Mountains not doing much to stop the moisture from entraining into the Northern PLains is dumping a good to decent amount of snowfall over the northern Plains towards Detroit, MI.  this energy is being forced to the southeast by a large arctic jet gyre or upper level low pressure system diving southward into the Great Lakes tomorrow morning.  This trough carries our southern stream disturbance up the east Coast combining with the GULF OF MEXICO energy and low pressure center combined to bring a singular coastal low pressure center that will be rapidly deepening as it head north-northeastward up the East Coast.  This earlier phase now expected to happen by most guidance models, is actually allowing the system to track more offshore rather than up the NYC harbor.  Benchmark track or Cape Cod track is the final question that needs to be answered.  I am going with a forecast mix of the GFS/EURO/NAM models.  Using the NAM for QPF output based upon the GFS progressiveness bias in these circumstances in which the storm is allowed to slow down due to the phasing of jets in which the large upper level low phases into the southern stream disturbance and slows it down before departing.  I think the low will move from the benchmark to about just east of ACK and CHH producing a mix of rain/snow for coastal Cape Cod and Islands therefore I have Nantucket in the 0-4" range and Harwich to Bourne in the 8-12" range, Chatham will likely see less with 4-8" of snow.  the GFS produces a ton of moisture but it falls over the ocean, this is bound to move over land, but where will help determine who gets how much, for now I will leave the 18-24" isolated 30" amounts in banding in the position it is in now.  Temperatures tonight will be in the low teens once again.  Tomorrow afternoon highs will be near 30F and lows will be near 20F, I don't see how a low 40s ocean warms an arctic air mass with a northerly component to the wind field over Cape Cod, but regardless my forecast carries a mix over Cape Cod therefore only about 8-12" will fall before the changeover.  Thunder snows and intense snowfall rates will be likely before the changeover occurs if it does at all.  the GFS is all snow except for about a changeover briefly of about .2" of QPF as rain.  That shouldn't matter much.  the other aspect to this storm is the wind damage and blizzard conditions.  I think blizzard conditions are likely even for Cape Cod and the NWS will likely issue a blizzard warning for us instead of a winter storm warning.  Hurricane force winds are likely for Cape Cod, Cape Ann and Nantucket and all along the NH and Maine immediate coastline.  Also Downeast ME sees only a few inches given that the low tracks west of them bringing in warm air off the ocean from the southeast.  Thank you

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Oceanic temperatures East Coast of the US 11 MAR 2017.gif


March 11th 2017 605pm entry:

Very cold air mass overhead the Northeastern US tonight.  temperatures for Sunday morning lows are around 10-12F over the Cape.  Forecasted temperatures won't break 25 the next two days Sunday and Monday.  This arctic air mass will be the reason we can expect a snowstorm to occur some time Monday night through Wednesday morning depending upon if the storm slows down at all, right now the 12z and 18z runs today show a progressive but easterly track with less phasing, although I don't think this is about a less of a phase.  While common knowledge dictates that the stronger the phase the further west the storm tracks is correct most of the time, the 18z GFS and NAM are both east of the 12z runs positions, and therefore show a faster transfer of energy between the clipper (primary) low and the coastal storm that takes over earlier on the latest guidance.  Given nature of the H5 trough, this should allow the coastal storm to intensify rapidly and be in the lower 970mb range, rather than the higher 988mb range the GFS has.  Therefore winds should gust between 70-90mph, 70mph if the GFS is right or 90mph if the stronger solutions are correct.  Remember the faster the transfer of energy between the primary OH Valley low and the coastal low off the coast of SC occurs, then the further eastward it will travel, I don't expect a far east track, but one down the middle of today's guidance, over the benchmark, east of ACK and CHH of around 970-980mb low pressure center producing a few feet of snow from DC to BOS with NYC to BOS receiving the mega amount of snowfall of around 24-30" of snow.  Coastal New England including Cape Cod should remain all snow and receive up to 34" of snow.  Those are my thoughts right now, subject to change.

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