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Bob Chill

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About Bob Chill

  • Birthday July 15

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  • Four Letter Airport Code For Weather Obs (Such as KDCA)
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  • Location:
    Rockville, MD
  • Interests
    Weather & Beer

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  1. Hey peeps, down south in VA right now. Wife and I ran out last night for blizzards at DQ and ran into this scene at our favorite overlook around 10pm. Lights in the gap is smith mtn dam. . Holy crap. Best shroom trip without shrooms ever! ETA: wife took all the awesome pics while I stuffed my fat face
  2. I was 9 and it changed my life forever. Other than intense cold, the 70s weren't good for winter wx here. I remember when it started. It was different than all the others. Really cold and just came in and never stopped. I opened the garage door shortly after sunrise and walked up to the wall of snow and thought it was the most incredible thing I had seen. No lookin back after that day.
  3. Wife and I went up and down for years about where to settle. We thought thru just about everywhere. We kept getting hung up on tradeoffs without really understanding what the top 3-5 things both us really wanted were. Once we figured that out it got much easier. My top 5 were affordability/low taxes, minimal property restrictions, mountain view+close to big lake, private road access, and no sounds of industry or traffic. With snow I decided as long as we live in the northeaster zone I'll experience some biggies while still happily making my living and living my life outdoors. We're both snow weenies but my affliction is more more serious and hers much more playful lol. But at the end of day, moving somewhere (anywhere) that averages 50"+ of snow a year came with way too many tradeoffs for us. Terrible spring weather and ground conditions being my biggest reason. We both decided that if we were going to move for snow it has to be go big or go home because in between is a net negative for our lifestyle. I'm sure plenty of people kinda wondered why we went south lol. It wasn't for warmer weather as it's actually cooler there with summer temps which is amazing. We never have to run the AC in our RV after 10pm. Always in the 60s at night in the forest. We ended up south because of affordability, super lax zoning (building permits only required for liveable space), and being smack dab next to a mountain and a lake. We never looked near sm mtn lake until we did the top 5 lists. Looking back we couldn't have found a better spot for us and our goals in life. We're different people so my way is just that. But consider doing the top 5 lists and using that to objectively guide the search. It took us 2 years to find the spot and half of that time was spent looking when neither of us really knew what we wanted beyond pretty pictures of country land lol
  4. Long range is always volatile and unreliable. Models nailed most of Dec/Jan in general from way out in time. What really stung this year was a combination of holy grail expectations and applying that to all long range guidance. When we thought the upper level mean pattern out in time looked "classic nino" there were still plenty of problems lurking. Models were never cold and snowy under the hood. The only period that lit up 10+ days out with both snowfall and analogs was Jan. Other than that it's looked pretty bad to me. I keep saying this but if we want snowfall, there is only one reliable feature that's a well placed/stable -AO. It can and will snow in any enso state when the AO is below -1. Conversely, an AO in excess of +1 can eliminate snow in any enso. This speaks for itself imho. Not hard to see the correlation this year lol Something that really stands out is how bad models missed the abruptness and magnitude of the + moves from 10 days out. That's a big reason we spent so much time in a near shutout pattern. When the AO skyrockets, it's at least a 2 week reset before things can get cold and line up again and that includes going negative first. I'm thinking this winter's underperformance isn't as complicated as first thought. The entire big winter thesis beyond enso was blocking. Dec was a big warning shot that wasn't happening as expected. Then things just kept repeating. If the AO stayed negative in Dec like big winters, those wet southern waves may have felt a lot different imo.
  5. I always collect repeating patterns in my head. The pendulum still always swings imo. This is what I've observed in repetition over the last 7 years or so: The most common place for legit polar/arctic air south of the polar regions has been Russia and China. The wrong side. This has been costly in the snowfall dept because of the pac jet influence and the fact that avg continental air that takes its time is not what gets it done down here. Troughs have consistently not progressed east as fast as they have in the past. I personally do not think this is permanent. It's a cycle that will break. Probably soon. With a warm Atlantic it may be more common for troughs to move slow and pull north easier but imho, we will have periods of legit continental cold carving and parking again. When I don't know. We will also have cold bottled up on our side and Siberia will have some warm winters. It's coming either next year or eventually lol. Classic blocking has been absent since 2011. We've had some good blocks but nothing like some of the cycles during the 2000-2011 period. We really haven't had a good cycle in a long time. That's actually normal. There is no doubt some sort of decadal or multi decadal bias with the AO and NAO. Go back thru monthly DJFM data and it's easy to see. 60s great, early/mid 70s bad, late 70s thru mid 80s good, 90s? Lol 1 legit blocky winter with mountains of snow surrounded by epic failure and messy stuff. If 2012 was the end of the blocking cycle, we're prob getting close to another. We'll know in the rear view. Monkey wrenches... lol. I don't bother analyzing winter in any detail anymore until November. Our snowfall setups are fragile AF. Weird things make or break us. And they can do it repetitively. I've read a lot of winter forecasts here and many are incredibly well thought out but they rarely if ever verify the way they are presented except for easy mod/strong enso years. I don't like thoughts getting put in my head anymore because it messes up my observations and expectations. I much prefer to keep an open mind and adjust throughout met winter. I dont die on hills and I cannot make an accurate met winter prediction other than luck and good climo memory lol. Volatility... yep, wx is more volatile now. Pretty certain there. Swings are wild and storms in general have a propensity to boom with qpf instead of bust. Other thread can talk whys. I just accept that it's an influence that must be accounted for. This is probably going to save us with a future Nina or northern stream dominant winter. Nina's get some good cold snow but almost always on the lighter side as organized storms like to go west in Nina's. There sure seems to be more juice/enhancment nowadays with northern stream waves. For these reasons I don't fear a Nina at all. If anything I'm super curious about having a classic Nina right now. Especially if we are moving into a blocking cycle.... Booms... when things line up right we can still go on epic heaters and we certainly will again. We'll probably break the all time single storm snow record here before long. Baroclinicty is often more potent now with Atl SSTs. Things have been out of sync with I95 coastals for a while. Not many nesis storms recently. I have a strong gut hunch some of the storms that make the nesis list in the next 10 years will jaw dropping. Us included. These are just some my thoughts based on everything I've seen. I could be embarrassingly wrong. Maybe what has been repetitive recently is the new normal and it gets worse. Idk. I'll keep watching and waiting. Recency bias kills objective thinking. I don't like some of the things I've seen recently with winter wx but I can say the same thing about every decade I've been alive. I don't know what the future holds but the end of big winters and big storms isn't something I'm remotely considering. If anything, the odds of a record breaking blizzard are probably higher now than they were. Just spitballin.
  6. Instead of wrangling over digital ratios, just use your memory. Imo, because of the start temps in the closer burbs, I don't see how my yard clocks over 10:1 in total without instability or fronto luck (impossible to predict). Euro has been steady with qpf for a while. It doesn't blow that too often this close with a fairly simple wave. So .40qpf seems like a good # there. 10:1 max avg would lay down an honest 3.5-4". Seems like a fair take but we all have our own way
  7. Fits the teles and winter personality. Another event as we lose the -AO fits the mold. Odd year. Events have minimal lead time and pop up in avg setups at best. Jan repeat with warmer temps in between maybe
  8. Just got a text from the HoCoMoCo deathband telling you and me to get our places ready to rumble. TSSN is trying to make an appearance but busy elsewhere. Maybe a cameo
  9. Can't remember what year it was but @WinterWxLuvr was just getting lambasted compared to the metros. At first it was funny but then it got to me so I had a crazy idea. I was going to rent a big dump trailer and run up there in the middle of the night haul all his snow off while he was asleep. It was an awesome idea but the crazy factor was a bit much... I had a change of heart and ripped a u-turn in Front Royal at midnight and returned the trailer the next day
  10. Certainly has a clipper vibe from amounts, speed, northern stream but the origin is Seattle. Lol. Alberta Clipper, Manitoba Mauler, and now.... hold on to your seats... the Seattle Slammer!
  11. I've liked this period for a quick hitter for a while but I was silent because it was a little normal opportunity during a time when everyone wanted something 10x the size lol. I am suprised how much it juiced up. Definitely another potential max performer even if in the modest category.
  12. Technically this one isn't a clipper. It a northern stream shortwave from the Pac. We had some of these in 2014 and 2015 when the tpv acted as a block. They can carry much more juice than a clipper diving from the polar regions. Stripes are narrow but pretty juicy. Should be a fun storm
  13. I 100% agree we wasted a historically good/great winter setup. It just never got going anywhere in the conus. Except for plenty of rain in the south (and us). Winter has been mostly absent in the entire country outside of big mountains in the west. The whole country wasted this Nino if you think about it. It will most certainly happen again just like some form of 96 will happen again. Or 2013-14. This winter didn't pick on us like some others. This one never showed up imho. It never once looked like a normal Nino even back in Dec. Wolf Creek violently agrees lol. One thing I generally bank on every single year is some part of our winter that's well thought out in advance will basically throw eggs and laugh at us. We generally do a post mortem and figure it out in the rear view. Thing is, it's usually not something repeatable. Just a prominent out of place feature throwing things off. It works both ways like what the epo did for us recently. But (imo only) these features have no predictability in advance. Cycles in cycles in cycles. The layers of complexity get pretty thick pretty quick. I'll leave that for others to wrangle with. Lol Eta: for all the great long range looks we had all year, analogs never picked up any of those good Nino years. They flashed at best but week in week out they were full of duds. Especially the top 5. I got so sick of seeing 1980 I wanted to punch people. Dec had lots of early 70s awful analogs. Even our 10 day winter in Jan was weak in the analog dept. 2004 was most common iirc and it was similar with a quick hitting cold window with a couple chances. If we're being honest, the only thing that ever looked good this year was h5 mean plots. No analogs or even ensembles under the hood showed a snowy winter in the 15 day range or less start to finish. I personally hated that part. I knew something was pretty wrong but had no thoughts as to what
  14. I like spring here. Yea, it can get dreary with easterlies at time but on the balance I find the weather near perfect most of the time. We get a lot of low humidity 60s-70s mixed in with foggy 50s. Warm humidity doesn't hit too hard until May. My only complaint with my CO years was spring/mud season. Lasted 6-8 weeks. Spring in the rockies was so bad I used to leave the state during May.
  15. Yea, staying out of mean lr pattern chasing is making the little setups on the horizon fun for me. I like the op gfs showing a wobbling tpv with ns energy zipping around it. Proximity to the tpv means plenty cold with any kind of organized circulation and south passing wave. Nothing to slow them down or juice them up unless a southern piece phases but it's a good way to get snow here even if quick hitting. Nickles dimes and quarters but no one dolla hollas lol
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