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jwilson

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About jwilson

  • Birthday 01/31/1986

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  • Four Letter Airport Code For Weather Obs (Such as KDCA)
    KPIT
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    Male
  • Location:
    South Hills, PA

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  1. The FV3 has given us about 10 feet of snow over the course of this winter. It owes us big time. Add in this beast and it means the FV3 will be paying on the principal until it dies. (Sort of like me and my student loans)
  2. Sadly, yes. This was the biggest snow we've had all winter and it came and went in about four hours. Precip ending much sooner than expected, honestly. At least it appears we won't get much plain rain to wash things away.
  3. All sleet now in Bethel Park/Mt. Lebanon. I was out for about an hour or so and couldn't even keep my car clean, so I gave up. Even an hour ago with some intense rates, it was not a pure snow. Lots of ice pellets/graupel mixing in. I have some pictures I'll post later. We're approaching 4" but I think accumulation is over in terms of snow.
  4. I think a lot of the clown maps are deceiving due to their failure to differentiate snow and sleet. Heavy wet snow would probably fall as a 7:1 to 12:1 ratio, while sleet is in the 2:1 or 3:1 range. As an example, averaging out 10:1 snow ratio and 2:1 sleet ratio, the NAM gives Allegheny county between 1 and 1.25 inches of total precip. Ferrier correction calls for 2.5" of snow, or so, which would be about 25% of the total precip. Under that calculation, I'd estimate there's about an inch of just sleet, then some plain rain plus ZR towards the end. That half inch of precip that falls as sleet shows up as another ~3-6" of snow on some models. Looks like the 850s warm somewhere between three and six hours after onsent of precip. Given our history and the way things have gone this winter, I'm inclined to sway towards a conservative snowfall estimate and thus a warmer overall solution. The high being off to the East instead of our North gives me even more pause. Using another example: the HRRR simulated radar still shows snow at 15Z, but the surface temps have already warmed above freezing. That's four or five hours of snow, maybe even less. This system could manage heavy rates (say >1" per hour), for sure, but I believe a system with that sort of convection is also more likely to flood in warm air at a quicker rate (someone correct me if I'm wrong on the science). This is a long-winded way of me saying I'm still not buying into a significant snowfall along the warm "plain." Places in the mountains and further north will probably see upwards of 10"; a shame we can't get in on that game. It will be interesting, though, seeing how this storm verifies relative to the GFS vs. the Euro.
  5. I'm not finding much reason to be impressed. Given history, I'm sure 1-3" is a safe bet. The 850s are screaming from the south, so the flip is always imminent with the position of the retreating high. We aren't in a strong CAD location. Might it be our last snow until March?
  6. Agreed with you and then Mike (about the screaming southern jet). I don't really trust the guidance beyond Day 4 this year, so I guess it would be unfair of me to say with certainty what will happen. All we have is how the preceding days of winter have gone. The tropical forcing might be changing a tad, though we're still dealing with Phase 7 MJO effects, so that's where the hesitance comes in. If we can get the MJO to actually move towards Phase 1 at a decent amplitude and stop meandering, there's our chance. The western trough will hurt us in the meantime. Hopefully, as you've shown, it does flatten and limit that SE ridge influence in the coming days. I don't know enough to say which is cause vs. effect, as we've also been dealing with a pretty strong high over the Azores most of the winter. Maybe we luck into something eventually.
  7. The only thing that might save this storm is the timing of it with a transient -NAO. If we can close a block in at the right time, we may be able to keep the confluence locked in rather than escaping and the low tracks underneath us. Right now, though, I agree that this storm is heavily favored to cut like the rest of them. The Euro keeps the low in Tennessee, which is about as far north as we can let it go. There is another wave behind it (Friday/Saturday) which could be a better shot, or perhaps more likely suppressed. I give us about a 2% chance to get the timing right.
  8. Thank you! I thought that storm back in November was our biggest of the season, but I guess it wasn't as big as I thought (most area measurements for it I see are <2").
  9. We technically had an advisory for the storm that missed to the north back in January. Of course the advisory was cancelled, so you probably can't count that because it didn't verify. Officially, I'm finding the biggest snowfall at the NWS location is 3.4" on January 20th. Locally, we've had a number of 2" storms this year, but 3" is probably the absolute max. Annoying I can't measure at my place so I don't have specifics.
  10. jwilson

    E PA/NJ/DE Winter 2018-19 OBS Thread

    We just had the wettest year on record and we're already starting out this year wetter than last. Despite that, we're below normal on snowfall. I guess the question becomes whether the pattern changes before next winter, and if it does, do we end up in a dry pattern. Seems like a waste of all this moisture to not get a decent snowfall out of it.
  11. 48 hours later and I'm a lot less optimistic about the next week. The -PNA is killing us, and the MJO appears to be dying in Phase 8 as it did last time. It honestly wouldn't surprise me if it looped around the COD and re-emerged into the warm phases again. Maybe that's unlikely to happen given other conditions, but this winter has been a real test of patience. We're back to tracking cutter solutions in the mid-range. Maybe March has a freak out of sorts, which is still possible, though unlikely. The only way I could see us salvaging something is with a -NAO block. The problem is we haven't been able to establish one, or anything close to it this year. The big +AO is just another negative factor. Not quite ready to cancel the rest of winter, but I'm pretty darn close. "I want to get off Mr. Bones' Wild Ride."
  12. Good news is we have a lot of threats to track for the time being and what looks to be improving pacific / tropical trends. Models are locking onto multiple events of southern rather than western origination. Near-team: we have what looks to be one or two more cutters to deal with before changes. Friday is the certain one before a southern slider drives by on Saturday. GFS tries to connect some of this energy to the stuff crashing into the pacific NW as it crosses the country. The Sunday system is the other possible cutter, but is more intriguing for us locally. The evolution is unusual, and I would think the position of the low would mean rain or mixing for those of us susceptible to that WAA. At least until the low gets east of us. GFS seems to hint at redevelopment off the coast, but it's a quick mover. Long-term: the main event I am looking at is focused on next Wednesday. The GFS has had a pretty strong signal for something significant for five runs in a row now. There have been minor changes over those runs, but it a classic Miller A look, and despite the time from onset, the model's consistency is what has me intrigued. I won't get too mired in the details yet. It has slowly shifted north the last three runs, even getting us into mixing territory as it dropped the confluence. The antecedent storm seems to pump heights ahead of this one, which helps it dig and explode. Keep an eye out. In fantasy land, there are a couple more southern solutions after that primary one, but that's too far out to focus on other than - at least it isn't showing cutters. I think what's driving these changes for the GFS is the expectation of a strong-amplitude MJO Phase 8. Obviously, that expectation is a difficult one to rely on, and if the evolution is any different, we may not maintain the current favorable looks. The remaining teleconnections show possible improvement, as well, including a crashing AO and a possible blocking element from the NAO regions. Still not an ideal western ridge, though.
  13. Accumulating pretty quick. Was out during the first hour of snowfall and even the roads were getting covered. Didn't see much in the way of salt trucks for preparation. Based on early returns, probably 1/2" or so already, this looks like it might overperform. Sadly it all gets washed away tomorrow through Wednesday, just in time for another cutter and rainstorm. The GFS is showing backend snows, probably overdoing lake effect or something, but maybe we get something there. Next week might have potential, but at this point I'm not wasting my breath on it, because a couple models hold the energy until the high passes then cut the system. Until the pattern actually changes, I'm not getting excited.
  14. This just about sums it up for us. Welcome to the Screw Zone™ for all time.
  15. As expected. I don't know about you guys, but I am totally fatigued watching these cutters over and over. And for whatever reason the GFS models these things almost perfectly. Anything else and it just shrugs its shoulders. I'd be curious to know if places in the midwest are setting snowfall records this year.
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