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About jwilson

  • Birthday 01/31/1986

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    South Hills, PA

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  1. This two-month winter definitely overperformed, maybe somewhat location dependent (as is every winter, really), but I didn't expect to even approach normal in this La Nina. Really, though, it was a half-and-half winter. December and February behaved as is tradition. Then March went nuts as it tends to do from time to time.
  2. Respectfully disagree somewhat, although I understand your point. it all depends on the orientation of the baroclinic zone and the development of the low itself. We smelled the rain yesterday and got to see some of the biggest snowflakes ever, which also led to the overperformance. When storms are pushing in from our southwest or south and running due north or NNE it's one thing, but in a progressive flow, we'll only be borderline for a brief period with the cold pushing in quickly. Thus there's no threat to changeover. This isn't a case where the system continues to deepen as it gets too close to us. In this case, the low deepens only as it gets further away. You need to be close to that rain-snow line in such a fast moving system or you miss the best snowfall rates. Granted, you'd be right if the low intensifies too quickly in the south and is then pulled too far west along the boundary, but for now that doesn't look like the issue we're facing.
  3. GFS has been pretty stable in placement, but right now that's the high end event and it's "only" 3-6" for most of the area. CMC is similar. The NAM came back a bit west from its highly progressive 6Z run, but the changes at 500H are quite subtle. Really we just need that s/w to dig further west/south earlier. The timing of that intensification is the only thing that's really going to matter in this fast flow. I think the NWS went a little too high with their initial estimations, we've seen that before. If I was the NWS, I probably wouldn't have issued a total yet at all. The NAM is too jumpy right now to be reliable and a 5-7" call doesn't have much support at mid-day. The issue is the best frontogenesis stays east of Pittsburgh from the beginning on current model runs. If the best rates manage to slide east of us at the onset, that's when you know it's going to be a low-end event. We gotta smell the rain. It's such a progressive storm there's no room for error if you want to see a higher total. But right now pretty much everything is on the table. After yesterday, as well, we can't discount a surprise in either direction.
  4. I haven't been tracking tightly lately but today's event came as a bit of a surprise. Where's all that mix and rain? Since today overperformed, I have to imagine we're looking at a similar occurrence this weekend. Either that or we get plain rain instead. The flakes this morning, especially, were massive. Dinner plates.
  5. I might be drunk but I'm looking forward to that first thunderstorm.
  6. If winter and cold is what you're still after, you can sort of hold out hope for now. There's no more 50 degree days in the long-term until around March 5th. It barely touches 40 over the next two weeks. That warm-up is also like the others: two days and then back into the freezer, with ample cold dumped into the U.S. (likely due to that strengthening -EPO). That could change, of course, but for now, as long as cold is around, it leaves an opportunity for snow. I'm personally ready for an early spring, but it looks like we're going to hold onto winter for a while longer. If we can't eek out more snow in the pattern, that would have to be considered a disappointment.
  7. I don't love the trough alignment for the system next Friday. The longwave pattern screams cutter to me. Ridge too far west off the pacific coast. Not that it can't change, but for now that would be the concern if you're still looking for snow. The Euro and Canadian take a slightly different tact in not intensifying the central LP as deeply and it basically skirts a boundary nearby. Seems much less likely than a cutter. That said, the pattern looks a bit more conducive coming into March. Pretty similar look to January. The only issue is that's basically fantasy land. Long-term, who knows. OP GFS wants to sink the PNA and flood us with warmth, but a fairly strong -EPO may assist in continuing to push cold air down into the CONUS.
  8. As soon as the groundhog saw his shadow, we knew it had to be over, right? I'm fine with an early spring. January exceeded my expectations to some degree, and I never really expected some blockbuster, wall-to-wall winter. March is always a wildcard, too. You never know what might happen.
  9. I'm good with some down time from tracking after January. It was almost constant since New Year's. At this point I'm chasing the big one and that's about it. It's been at least six years since we've even sniffed the two-footer, same for places further east of us which seems like a semi-drought given recent climatology. I don't have high confidence of one occurring this year. We don't have the right kind of blocking setup. I would say next year looks slightly more promising with a Nino prediction.
  10. I have a friend that's a meteorologist in a southern market and did his thesis on public communication related to weather broadcasting and forecasting, etc. It's pretty interesting how he approaches his forecasts, and I think it's something a lot of on-air mets (among others) miss. There's not enough discussion about the nuance of storms, really. And I realize the "general public" is overall kind of dumb so you can't wade too far into the minutiae, but I think a lot of mets skip over the grey-area talking points and focus too much on black-and-white numbers. This does vary by forecaster, however. We even see the local NWS has good discussions and bad ones. I'm guessing there are not enough college-level courses on communication in this context, and some people are better communicators than others, naturally. Regardless of how you felt about the last couple storms, there were obvious issues that some mets didn't really touch on or discuss enough. I see some of the same things here on the board. I wish we would ban Kuchera snowfall maps because those things fail to verify 99% of the time. It only serves to create unrealistic expectations. Actual precip forecasting requires multi-level and layer analysis. Same with attempting to discern ratios. (I'm being mostly facetious here with that Kuchera point, but I do think those maps should be largely ignored.)
  11. At this point, I'm just hoping the models are under-developing surface warmth. Looking at the NAM, for example, we'd be talking about significant icing. The kind of ice that threatens power outages and tree damage, among other things. 12-18" of frozen precipitation and almost none of it is snow. A fairly thick warm layer from 700-850 for most of the duration. Maybe that dryslotting could help cut back precip totals, as well, but pretty much all the models have us approaching 2" of total precip. With snow mostly off the table, I'd rather have plain rain. The lower-res models show more of a sleet bomb. Pretty rare to get measurably accumulating sleet.
  12. I agree. The cold air is moving in too late. If we had that high about 12 hours earlier, we might be in the game, but there's a rather large sleet signature for anything that isn't rain. The 12Z GFS, for example, shows 10" of sleet or ice. That's the period where the 850 temps are still above freezing. The GFS might be 3-6" of snow on the backend. Big IF, though, and the GFS is the absolute best show for us right now. Every other model is less generous. The look at 500H isn't one of a "big snowstorm," either. The trough alignment is awful. I think our best hope is this system resets the trough for energy behind it giving us a better shot at snow. The GFS tries to show this with a ball of energy on Monday, but even right now I'd say it's not quite right. Goes negative too soon. Won't analyze it further, though, because we have to wait for this FROPA to go through.
  13. The GFS at the end of the run is pure "Goofus" territory. A 36-hour ice storm for VA, NC, and SC. That glorified frontal passage on Friday looks "meh" to me right now. The setup doesn't typically result in deep snow drifts. We'll see if anything changes.
  14. It looked like the heavier bands really struggled to make it across the Delaware, for the most part. My mom's place in Hatboro has like 4-6" but evidently it's quite windy and the light, powdery snow has been blown around easily. With all these NS coastals and La Ninas, it might be time to get a shore place as a snow cabin.
  15. Anyone down in Dover? They must have a nice pile already, right under all that confluence.
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