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February 2020 General Discussions & Observations Thread

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as I posted in the mid and long range forum a few minutes ago - models all over the place for next weekends potential coastal -  each run of each model is different.Typical of a pattern change approaching.

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Good Sunday evening everyone,  I think Feb 1 has been targeted by the ensembles since ~00z/18.  That's why i posted directly to this thread since it's a Feb event thread. The usual questions related to this winter are... does it end up stronger, further north and warmer-rainier, or does the predominantly grazing grouping of both the EPS, GEFS, NAEFS prevail?  I'd love to see some blocking in ne Canada or a 50/50 low w blocking in Greenland but that is not likely.  I'll post these 18z/26 GEFS plumes here for a possible look back when 18z/Feb 2 rolls around and whatever has occurred.   I also added the NAEFS which is the GEFS and GGEM ensemble members combined.  It too seems to show a grazer, albeit 12 hours slower (late Feb1-Feb 2).  There's also variability in SNE (mm) as you can see from the legend. 759P/Jan 26

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Good Monday morning (Jan 27),  I'm dropping these graphics in for possible future look back. Ensembles (EPS, GEFS, GGEM) continue to suggest an event for our area, tho I think the option for a very close warmer-rainier track exists, unless we lose the potential for a closed low in the northeast. MOS is not that cold but cold enough for snow if the needle is threaded favorably. ??  The first two graphics are GEFS plumes for LGA and POU.  The bold line is the mean which is biased higher by several 6+" members.  Still it's a start. The 3rd graphic is the 00z/27 NAEFS which now show shows a northward spread of the 5MM (0.2") isohyet and not much variability in the northeast. Finally, one of my favorite charts...the MRF ensemble mean 500 flow, and its members.  The white lines on the right are the 00z/GFS(=MRF) member and you can see the many individual blue members at 12z/2 even sharper down here into the northeast.  Promising, but quite far in advance. What concerns me is the potential for a second sfc low to our north (NYS) in all that strong vorticity advection.   That would potentially warm us up ~850MB, above zero?  I wont be posting again til tomorrow morning ~7A, provided ensembles continue with an event.  559A/27

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Loved Feb  2015...Station mean temp of 21.8° ,  2nd only to Jan 1977 for cold...Snowfall was a little above normal at 14" but with the cold, it was plenty.

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Everything continues to look good the first week of February. We probably will get a cutter/cold front around the 3-4 before the cold spreads East. That timeframe between the 5th-8th continues to look conducive for something. 

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Latest Mjo roundy plots have this going p1-p2-p3 (all cold for February) Then 4-5-6 for mid month. Depending on the amplitude in the warm phases will determine strength of southeast ridge and storm track. 

C1CAF470-88A0-4B64-A2DC-66A2D639141C.png

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Feb 1: Flip-flopping ensemble QPFs. Uncertainty with the 00z/28 NAEFS a diminished qpf for our area, the 00/28z EPS continues with an event, albeit boundary layer accumulation problems for NYC while the 00z/28 GEFS was very conservative on QPF.  Proceeding with uncertainty but I expect an event of some sort for Feb 1. Best chance for snow accumulation seems high terrain N and W of NYC. No graphics today due to lack of ensemble consensus. 00z/28 GEFS plumes still have snow acc for NYC and POU but am a little concerned about boundary layer warmth for NYC (melting). Also, phasing if any, seems delayed-further east in the GEFS while the EPS sharpens the trough further west than it did yesterday. Sometimes we have to wait til about 72 hours in advance of the date before the models grasp the sharpness of a short wave and/or any phasing option. I would think the 00z/29 cycle should have a little more consensus. In any case... whatever occurs does not seem to be blockbuster... too fast...only a 12 hour event?

Hopeful only notes: am thinking a storm track from the lower Miss Valley into the northeast Feb 7-17 but whether we have enough cold air available and timed correctly?  This is based on NAEFS overall changes in N American temp distribution and both EPS/GEFS showing an active southern stream in the 500MB pattern, along with QPF production.  Then Don's note on stratwarm potential from late yesterday, tho any stratwarm implications around here might be delayed a month? 608A/28

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Good Wednesday morning (Jan 29) everyone,  Opportunity continues for a little wet snow Saturday-February 1 on the northern fringe of a rapidly developing coastal. Plenty of uncertainty including boundary layer temps for any accumulation (even rain) along I95 (NYC), and qpf.  Looks to be a minimal event but the plumes from the GEFS offer a little bit of snow to NYC and the entire I84 corridor.  The NAEFS which shifted southeastward yesterday remains static there, but EPS is a little more robust, and certainly more robust than the GEFS-but still minor at this point. No graphics at this time - conservative approach due to uncertainties 72 hours in advance and at worst minimal impact to travel. 1127z/29.

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Good Thursday morning (Jan 30) everyone,  Feb 1 event ensembles for many many days apparently has faded, at least the coastal fringe portion. Not much to talk about for NYC metro = Feb 1.

The 7th-17th models an active southern stream but whether any of these northeastward moving qpf events have enough cold air for wintry precip here is debatable. These are opportunities but the way winter has occurred since ~ Dec 22... we might not be able to spruce up the landscape with much snow?

Make this a good day, no matter what. 521A/30

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The Alaskan ridge makes a comeback on the models.  Good news but the Pacific is still horrible in the models. 

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Good bye warm January, and from what I can tell, it's a warm February, though hopefully not as anomalously warm as January 2020. My guess is that some of us will be excited to see a few flakes of snow in the air by Monday morning Feb 3, at least in the northwest suburbs where a slightest covering might occur in a few locations.  Make this, another good day. 606A/31

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This might be the winter where the pattern change was just 10 days away multiple times and never verified.

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The first week of February is averaging 45degs., or 12degs. AN.

The first 16 days of February are averaging 39degs., or 5/6degs. AN.

The 'cold/snow' that always shows up at the tail end of each run, never gets any closer.

AccuWeather getting ready to raise projected  T by several degrees for the month, as they did successfully for January.      Meanwhile,  JB remains in a self imposed Full Nelson hold.

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38 minutes ago, bluewave said:

Euro is +10 or warmer around the region for the 1st week of February.

 

No question its warm around this warm, possibly similar Feb week two as well...  there is frequently a BUT.  From a forecaster perspective, 12F above normal down here is still a low of 27 in Sussex County NJ... and IF with precip, that would be ice.  Timing timing?  We'll see if the predominant warm modeling down to the I84 corridor survives between Feb 5-7.  Worthy of monitoring for a while, til this too is not possible. That's my concern...ice down to I84 from time to time Feb 5-7 in this still anomalously warm pattern.  Gotta run,  Walt 850A/31

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Morning thoughts...

1. The Arctic Oscillation is now rebounding. Today's preliminary value was +1.489. The ensembles are in strong agreement that the AO will rise above +3.000 by the end of the first week of February.

2. No significant snowfalls (6" or greater) appear likely through at least the first week of February and possibly the first half of the month. Despite model mirages of digital snow that may pop up from time to time in the extended range, the forecast pattern (and patterns associated with strong AO+/PNA- setups) is inconsistent with those associated with significant or major snowstorms in the northern Middle Atlantic region.

3. February is poised to be warmer to possibly much warmer than normal. On the table is the possibility that New York City's 9th warmest January will be followed by a February that also rank among the 10 warmest on record.  Prior cases with such an outcome were 1990, 1998, and 2002.

4. February snowfall amounts for those three cases were 1.8", 0.0", and Trace respectively. That would represent a reasonable worst-case idea. Nevertheless, it is likely that the month will feature below to perhaps much below normal snowfall for the snow-starved Middle Atlantic region.

5. Things could be worse. In Europe, where winter has been largely absent, January was concluding with another round of record warmth. Daily records included: Bonn: 59° (old record: 55°); Dresden: 54° (old record: 48°); Lyon: 63° (old record: 57°); Tenerife, Spain: 79° (old record: 71°); and, Zurich: 57° (old record: 55°).  February will very likely be much warmer than normal in Europe, particularly in eastern Europe and western Russia.

 

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Its hilarious how the MJO keeps avoiding the cold phases. It's now modeled to go into the COD and then out into 4.

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Our best shot for snow this month is if we can get the boundary south of us for a day. Just thinking back to typical Niña/nada February’s it worked in 2008/2012. Just a typical overrunning event that dumps 2-4/3-5 and by the next day it’s back to 40’s rain.

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Just now, Snow88 said:

Its hilarious how the MJO keeps avoiding the cold phases. It's now modeled to go into the COD and then out into 4.

My storm is on life support. Sorry bud. 

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Just now, Allsnow said:

My storm is on life support. Sorry bud. 

Yes it is.Need the front to come in quicker with the low rides it.

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1 minute ago, Snow88 said:

Yes it is.Need the front to come in quicker with the low rides it.

Yep. H5 set up has completely changed from what it was a few days ago. The trough is further west and the transient blocking is gone. Perhaps we can get something along the boundary closer to the middle of the month. 

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4 minutes ago, Allsnow said:

Yep. H5 set up has completely changed from what it was a few days ago. The trough is further west and the transient blocking is gone. Perhaps we can get something along the boundary closer to the middle of the month. 

H5 also changed with this weekends storm.  This is why we shouldnt be happy about anything over 200 hours out.

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Just wanted to point out that the models today are setting a new record positive AO when I comb through my dataset.   I think this winter has done a phenomenal job of disproving a lot of analysis on the 'solar minimum' and it's perceived correlation to blocking.  I had my suspicions before this, but this winter is the final straw for me.

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