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17 minutes ago, JB Fins said:

I believe it, judging by the amount I had to dump out of my uncovered firepit (doh).  

Great crisp weather this morning.  Down to 45 at my house.

I was in the screw zone in Currituck NC. Got just under .50. Most of it from the frontal squall line at 4pm. The peninsula up thru Richmond was BROWN last week when I was up there, so it was much needed for you guys. I wonder if the Sunday Coastal is going to get far enough West for the Richmond area. I hope so.

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1 hour ago, JB Fins said:

Love that area @Stormpc 

Sorry you missed out but living down there, I guess I would never consider it the screw zone :lol:

Sorry to hear about the Cotton Gin fire, hope they rebuild.

Fingers crossed for the coastal on Sunday.

Yeah. I'm right on the sound. Beautiful spot. 

Cotton Gin fire is a bummer.  Really liked that place. Total loss. The main structure was 90 years old and several additions were completed through the years. There's no way they can ever duplicate the layout. And I believe that was part of the charm, walking from room to room not knowing where you were going. I'd wager they don't rebuild. 

Ironically,  I was in Nags Head and watched the Christmas Mouse burn to the ground earlier this year. 2 iconic places. Gone. 

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October 19, 2019

this Saturday afternoon


* * *  Extra-Tropical Storm "Nestor" will carry its effects in to Eastern Virginia starting LATE tonight, Saturday night/Pre-Dawn Sunday morning, 10/20, and last throughout much of the day Sunday  * * * 

* * *  A goodly amount of rainfall over a 15-hour period, and strong winds will both be present in Eastern VA  * * * 


The way I see this playing out for Richmond, VA is:  I see the rain starting up first, a short distance after Midnight tonight, going on during all the pre-dawn hours Sunday morning, 10/20, and continuing well in to Sunday morning, past sunrise.  It will rain all of Sunday morning in Richmond, and carry in to the late Sunday afternoon hours before ending around 4 PM to 5 PM.  This should be a continuous moderate rain, to occasionally heavy, for a few hours.  Then, a good 12 hours after the rain starts, THEN, secondly the WIND should amp-up during Sunday afternoon hours.

-- Timing of Rain, in Richmond --

Here's how I think the rain timing will go for Richmond, VA:

Rain Start time:  1 AM to 2 AM, for Richmond

Rain Ending time:  3 PM to 5 PM, for Richmond

-- Rainfall Amounts, in Richmond --

I believe we'll see between 1" to 3" of rainfall, storm total from the remains of "Nestor" in the Richmond area.

A few of the model projections are: 

00Z WRF:  0.95" 

12Z WRF: 2.00"  

12Z HR-Rap:  2.64" 

12Z NAM:  2.29"  

12Z GFS:  0.98"


It's looking to me the HEAVIEST, GREATEST rainfall in Richmond will occur, predominantly in the SUNDAY MORNING hours,  with some carry-over in to the early afternoon, between 5 AM to 2 PM for Richmond, with greatest starting out West soonest (around 5 AM), and greatest out East, starting 1-2 hours thereafter and ending 1-2 hours later out East, around 3 PM, East.

--  Highest WINDS --

For this, I've examined 2 iterations of 1 model and 1 iteration of another model.  The consensus between the 3 models indicates that the PEAK WIND GUSTS in the Richmond area should reach in the bracket of 35 mph to 45 mph.  This HIGH wind will be NOTICEABLE, and walking in to the wind will be difficult.  Some small twigs may be blown in to roads from these winds, and high profile vehicles, as in tractor-trailers and RV's will have especially noticeable difficulty driving on East to West / West to East oriented roads & highways, particularly starting from mid-morning and carrying ESPECIALLY in to Sunday afternoon hours between 1 PM and 8 PM, where I think WINDS will be their greatest, with gusts of 35 mph to 45 mph.  

--  Timing of PEAK WIND GUSTS  --  

I think the peak wind gusts from "Nestor" will come as the heaviest rain is pushing out.  So, the timing on greatest peak wind gusts, I think will come bounded between 1 PM and 8 PM Sunday afternoon, where peak wind gusts should climb up to 35 to 45 mph, from the NORTH.  Earlier in the mid-to-late morning where winds may peak between 30-40 mph, winds will be Northeast to North.  Then, by afternoon, winds should back to a North-Northwest direction and accelerate upwards to 35 to 45 mph in gusts. 

I don't anticipate flooding problems, as this rain will be fanned out over a 15-hour period, at a steady moderate rate.  I also don't anticipate winds causing any significant damage either.  Just many leaves and some small twigs broken off from tree branches, with difficulty walking in the wind and driving in the wind with high-profile, (tall), vehicles, from late Sunday morning through Sunday afternoon & evening.


--  cyclogenesis

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  • 2 weeks later...

October 31, 2019

this pre-dawn Thursday morning

340 AM EDT


* * *  Western Richmond to get its clocks cleaned good with a rough squall line coming tonight, on Halloween night, Thurs., Oct. 31  * * * 

* * *  Expect a Tornado Watch & Severe Thunderstorm Warnings to get hoisted starting 8 PM to 11 PM starting for Richmond West first, then to East.  A Watch will precede these warnings by some 2 - 3 hours earlier in the early evening hours of Thursday, 10/31.  * * *  

* * *  High GUSTY winds and occasional damaging wind gusts will be your greatest fear factor * * *


I.  Introduction.

An Upper level low centered at the Iowa-Missouri border at 8 AM Thursday morning, 10/31.  A strong trough of low pressure at the mid levels will extend Southwest of this low in to Oklahoma at that time.  

12 hours later, at 8 PM, Thursday night, 10/31, the upper trough tightens & becomes slightly negatively-tilted (strengthening), and extends from Southern Great Lakes region Southward to Northeast Tennessee.  A swath of strong cyclonic vorticity advection, previously known as PVA, will be in position and a player in to strong dynamic forcing that will ignite & strengthen a band of forced showers in broken squall lines sweeping from Central Virginia through Eastern Virginia.  Upper divergence values looks strongest NORTH of Richmond across Northern Virginia, by GFS; whereas NAM reserves a pocket of strong UVV from upper divergence down SOUTH of Richmond around 10-11 PM.  

There's enough belief from simulated predictive radar sequences  that lead to the promotion of severe weather occurrences, in spite of a rapidly decreasing amount of Surface CAPE, as the night grows from 8 PM to 11 PM, the timing of receiving some stout, intense squall lines of showers in the Greater Richmond & surrounding outlying suburb areas on Halloween night.  By 11 PM, the upper low and associated trough lift Northeastward in to the Southeast Great Lakes to the West Virginia region, with the convective forcing for heavy squall lines of showers already having passed through Richmond by 11 PM Thursday night, 10/31.

At the surface the strong cold front reaches Richmond between 12 AM Midnight to 1 AM on Friday morning, 11/1.  Low temperatures for Friday morning, in Richmond get knocked back to the upper 40s. 

II  Severe Weather Indicators.

While I'm seeing only a scant supply of SB Cape, to run a forecast of about 500 J/kg, the dynamics from the upper trough positioning, height falls, and pressure falls, together with the very beefy kinematics should compensate to turn over a few instances of severe weather, particularly damaging HIGH WIND GUSTS on Halloween NIGHT, accompanying squall line bands of heavy showers.  

The way I see it, 300 - 500 m2/s2 of helicity is forecast over a wide area of Eastern Virginia at the onset time of 8 PM Thursday night, 10/31, so I believe this necessitates a Tornado Watch area.  

A look at projected forecast wind gusts, the WRF indicates areas of PEAK WIND GUSTS of 40 to 50 kts eligible to occur between 8 PM and 12 AM Midnight over Eastern Virginia, with 9 PM the peak time, as that's the closest timing of severe squall line winds around that time in the Richmond area.

In another rendition a 2nd model forecasts a 45 mph peak wind gust, (52 mph), in Richmond at 10 PM, with the squall line of showers.

GFS calculates a possible peak wind gust up to 59 mph

Nam calculates a possible peak wind gust up to 60-67 mph, Thursday night, 10/31, around 8 PM to 9 PM at night.  

III.  The Wind Shift.

The wind shift for Richmond looks to come between 12 AM Midnight and 1 AM, Friday morning, 11/1.  This will markedly drop temperatures to the upper 40s on Friday morning.  

It'll become Strong South winds of 15-25 mph & gusty will be prevalent during Halloween afternoon.  By early Halloween night, Thursday night, 10/31 from 8 PM to 12 AM, winds get strongest, and will run at speeds of 20 to 30 mph, with gusts to 40-45 mph in heavy rain squalls Thursday night.

Surface low pressure over Central Ohio at 8 AM Thursday morning will glide Northeastward in to Upstate New York by 11 PM Thursday night, 10/31, with the trailing cold front slicing through Eastern Virginia at that time, 11 PM Thursday night, Halloween night, 10/31.  

IV.  Rain Amounts, centered on Richmond, VA

Because I expect this squall line to be a fast-racer, and not puttering around nor stalling either, I suspect rain should occur in a relatively short time span of about 1 hour to 2 hours.  

Selected forecast models indicate between 1/2" to 1" of rainfall for the Richmond area as follows:

Nam -->>  0.58"

Gfs -->>  0.62"

Wrf -->>  0.15" to 1.15", (lowest EASTERN counties; highest WESTERN counties)

6Z iteration of HR-Rap -->>  0.46" at RIC.

00Z iteration of HR-Rap -->> 0.97"

It'll be a goodly amount of rain, but it'll come in a shortly amount of time, roughly a 2 hour period, and not one of these extended range events.  

V.  Call to Action Statement.

Impacts on the Halloween outdoor activities need to be readied and prepared for a period of HEAVY, DOUSING rain, especially between the HOURS of 8 PM to 12 Midnight for the greater surrounding metro area of Richmond.  8 PM for WESTERN counties, as Powhatan/ Goochland and up to 12 AM Midnight for EASTERN counties such as New Khent.  The central CORE of the Richmond area should be affected by heavy squall line showers between 9 PM to 11 PM.

IN ADDITION to heavy dousing of rainfall, during outside Halloween activities, the outside revelers must also prepare their costuming for STRONG WINDS that can take speeds of 20 to 30 mph, with gusts upwards to 40-45 mph, especially between the hours of 8 PM and 12 Midnight.

If trick or treating can be arranged EARLIER in the evening, closer to supper time hours of between 4 PM to 7 PM, then this will be a more optimum timing to avoid the squall lines of heavy showers and higher gusty winds which I expect to occur during the hours of 8 PM to 12 AM Midnight, later Thursday night, 10/31.   Temperatures start around 77° at 5 PM, Thurs aftn., 10/31, and tank down to 68°, by 11 PM Halloween night; but the strong winds will create a "chilling" effect in the air so warmer clothes will be needed later at night.  


--  cyclogenesis 

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  • 2 weeks later...
2 hours ago, RVASnowLover said:

Both the 3K NAM and Euro has us getting about a half inch. Would take that and run. See if it happens. 

Def gonna be close.. down to 38 in my part of Glen Allen.. maybe sum snow mixing in now....  Will be interesting to see if anything freezes up over night with all the leaves that could be an issue on back roads /neighborhoods..

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With RIC recording 0.9" today, it makes November 2019 the first November since 1991 with measurable snowfall and the snowiest November since 1989.

Richmond's Top 10 Snowiest Novembers

1. 7.3" 1953
2. 4.5" 1987
3. 4.4" 1938
4. 3.8" 1929
5. 2.0" 1912
6. 1.9" 1906
7. 1.8" 1904
8. 1.2" 1968
9. 1.1" 1989
10. 1.0" 1976, 1952

Since 1897-98, there have now been been 22 occurrences of measurable snows (0.1"+) during the month of November.

0.9" November 12, 2019

0.1" November 8, 1991

1.1" November 23, 1989

4.5" November 11, 1987

0.1" November 25, 1983

1.0" November 12, 1976

0.6" November 22, 1972

1.2" November 12, 1968

0.2" November 30, 1966

0.4" November 30, 1964

0.9" November 5, 1962

7.3" November 6-7, 1953

1.0" November 30, 1952

0.5" November 30, 1943

4.4" November 24-26, 1938

3.8" November 22-23, 1929

0.3" November 18, 1924

2.0" November 28, 1912

1.9" November 15, 1906

1.8" November 13, 1904

0.4" November 29, 1903

0.8" November 26, 1898

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November 14, 2019


I've been wanting to write a HIND-CAST summary on this Tuesday, November 12, 2019, snow event in Richmond, VA, but just now getting around to it.

I took note & wrote down on paper, a 42-48-hour forecast from the 7 PM, Sunday evening, (00Z Mon), suite of forecast products on the projections of the snowfall for Richmond, for that Tuesday, Nov. 12 snowfall event.




In a 42-48 hr. forecast -- from back then -- here's how 4 forecast models were projecting it:

00Z Wrf 1/10" to 1/2" between 11 AM to 2 PM.

12Z Wrf Trace.


00Z Nam 1.6" of snowfall 10 AM to 1 PM Tuesday

06Z Nam 2.6" of snowfall 10 AM to 4 PM Tuesday


00Z ECMWF --  1" of snowfall -consistent later with its 12Z iteration.


00Z Gfs 3.6" of snowfall 10 AM to 4 PM Tuesday.

06Z Gfs 0.1" to 1" snow 10 AM to 1 PM Tuesday.


So, let's look at timing.  Those which indicated a TIMING, were all about 2 hours too soon with the snowfall starting, as it started closer to 12 Noon -- but NOT bad, by only being off by 2 hours.  And TIMING for shut-off of snow, also not bad being anywhere between +/- 1 to 2 hours.


Nam averaged out to be 2.1" blending its 00Z and 6Z iterations together.

Gfs averaged out to also be 2.1" blending its 00z & 6Z iterations together.

ECMWF was showing a consistent nearly 1" snowfall projection in its 00Z, and later 12Z projection.

Wrf averaged out to be 0.15" with its 00Z and 12Z iterations.


So the most disappointing models that I saw performing the worst, was the new-age higher resolution models of WRF and HRRR.  The last 2 iterations of the WRF showed ONLY a TRACE at best.  The HRRR 00Z and 12Z iterations showed NO snow, but its intervening hourly updates were FLIPPING back and forth with YES, SNOW; NO, SNOW; YES, SNOW; NO SNOW.    So this is really disappointing to see that these newer-age higher resolution models suffer in performance.


Now I also performed a check inspection of a 7-point checklist determination for / against snow.


3 indicators answered NO to snow, which included:  #1.) the 1000-500 mb thickness being forecasted around 545 Dm at 1 PM on Tuesday, Nov. 14th; #2, the forecasted surface temperature to be above 35°; #3.) The 700 mb temp. to be greater than -4°C.


I don't care about that 3rd determinant of 700 mb temp being warmer than -4° C, but I do focus on the 1st 2 factors.


Probably the GREATEST SHOCK in this forecast was the MOS SURFACE temperature forecast guidance -- the last iterations of the 6Z GFS Mos and the 00Z Nam MOS, on THEIR SURFACE TEMPERATURE forecasts, for Richmond.


What did they INDICATE???   The GFS Mos projected a surface temperature of 44° at 1 PM Tuesday.  The NAM Mos projected a surface temperature of 47° F  What was the ACTUAL, VERIFIED surface temperature at 1 PM Tuesday??   33°  WOWSIE!!!  This is a HUGE, HUGE BUST!!!  This is OFF by 11° to 14° TOO WARM....


The raw model guidance I reviewed from Nam alpha-numeric text, and its Skew-T sounding, though, in its 18 hour forecast from 00Z the evening before WAS SPOT-ON, in its surface projection of 33°.   In fact, the inspection of its Skew-T sounding fully supported a SNOW sounding with all temperatures BELOW freezing from 400 ft on UPWARD.  

My snow notes I recorded years ago read:  Wet snow CAN occur with temperatures well above freezing, for instance 38° to 42° as long as the above-freezing temperatures are confined to the LOWEST 500 ft from ground level.   This was the case by 1 PM Tuesday afternoon.  The snow occurred over an approximately 3 hour period roughly from 1150 AM to 244 PM on Tuesday.  In the 1st snowing hour, the snowfall RATE was coming at 1/2" per hour.

I had a lot of initial skepticism, if the snow would accumulate, given the relatively WARM ground temperatures this autumn season, and the fact there was plenty of sunshine the day before with a high temperature of 70°.  This, on top of the expectation that the surface temperatures would be well-above freezing -- probably in the low 40's AT BEST; perhaps as high as both MOS projections of 44-47.  So both these assertions I figured to argue against accumulation with warm ground temperatures **AND** surface temperatures in the 40's.   Well, the warm GROUND temperatures was sure enough fitting, but the AIR TEMPERATURES came in at 33° by 1 PM.  

In fact, here's a little tidbit to take note of.  The AIR temperature was 51° at 945 AM on Tuesday morning.  

Now...at SNOW START TIME, the temperature had PLUMMETED down to 35°, by SNOW START TIME, about 1150 AM.  So that's a WHOPPING 16° temperature DROP in just 2 hours' time!!  

In fact, there was a 4° DROP in temperature in just a short 26 minutes from 38° at 1130 AM DOWN TO 34° by 1156 AM.  Why so quick?  Latent heat exchange, going from snowflakes and hitting the rainy surface from earlier morning rain, taking heat from the ambient air temperature to go from a solid to a liquid.  That's my explanation. 

The end result out of all this was 9/10" (0.9") of snowfall that fell in Richmond.  It looks BEST when trying to figure out snowfall projections to take several iterations of several different models and blend them together to average out the amounts over at least 2 to 3 cycle periods, for instance 00Z, 06Z, and 12Z.   The erroneous displays from WRF and HRRR cannot be ignored, and I'll be watching in future snow events to see if this was a one-time event hiccup. 

One last tidbit I wanted to memorialize about this event, was even IN SPITE of all the rain covered grass, the warm ground temperatures, and the fact the air temperature was as warm as 51° just 2 hours' prior to the onset of the snow falling in Richmond,  I started to SEE & note accumulation on the GRASSY surfaces and on vehicles in as little as 30-40 minutes time, and at a time when visibilities were reducing to 1/4 mile in heavy snow rates.   


-- cyclogenesis

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47 minutes ago, RIC Airport said:

We need you to post more leading up to winter events for the area. This is great analysis!

Hello, RIC Airport  ~   I was a bit unsure of what would transpire myself,  in terms of accumulation, on the Tues. Nov. 12 event.  I felt pretty good about there being snow; but the question of accumulation on the ground had me wondering, on account of the warm ground temperatures, and the Mos output projections of surface air temps in the mid 40's at the time of the event, which proved otherwise, instead to be 33°.  I've been a long time resident of South Louisiana, before moving up here to Richmond, VA recently just 1 year ago.  As such, being in South Louisiana for 1/2 my life and the other half my life residing in South Florida prior to that hasn't given me sufficient exposure to hardly any wintery precipitation events.  I've had plenty a work out with severe weather events in New Orleans, as well as hurricane & tropical storm events, but only a rare, small handful of wintery precipitation events.  They are the most time-consuming when analyzing the start time & end time, & proportionate amounts in how much is rain; how much is snow, also the wintery type of precipitation, (sleet, freezing rain, vs. snow), and the QPF associated with it, and when & where the cut-off line will be with precip. vs. no chance at all.   What I discovered with this particular event, was that using the Skew-T sounding forecasts & the raw model data from it, was far more impressive in deciding the snow determination, and for this one particular case the 540 Dm thickness line determinant really was quite amiss and had no relevant impact bearing on deciding snow for this event. 


--  cyclogenesis  

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  • 1 month later...

Anyone ells in the area .. Here/See the real big thunder/ lightning strike last night at 4:04 am>?.. Was the loudest one I heard in awhile.. Im near Staples/295 and I know people that heard it just as loud in Chesterfield

Curious to know where the lightning strike exactly was.


Don't expect much but ice/sleet on Sat Morning but looks like a snow should be coming soon in the next few weeks.

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