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north pgh

Western Pa / Pittsburgh area Winter Discussion ❄️☃️

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7 minutes ago, RitualOfTheTrout said:

In theory a stronger more NW storm could serve to suppress heights in the east and boost confluence allowing the Thursday storm to track under us.

It does show some blocking and a decent (6”+) hit of snow. Also shows it retrograding through Ohio, and then creating a mess. I’m going to really try not to model watch again until Wednesday 

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Just want to point out that in the 13 years I've been on weather forums that this is by far the most active our sub forum has been :thumbsup:

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2 minutes ago, SteelCity87 said:

Just want to point out that in the 13 years I've been on weather forums that this is by far the most active our sub forum has been :thumbsup:

It’s been a fun year overall, despite this recent mess. Still think this winter has something more in store 

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6 hours ago, Burghblizz said:

It does show some blocking and a decent (6”+) hit of snow. Also shows it retrograding through Ohio, and then creating a mess. I’m going to really try not to model watch again until Wednesday 

In short, the Euro gives us the temperature profile we need for the Thursday storm. Other models give us the same garbage as today’s storm, albeit with a little more snow. 

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Could be one of the better busts from the models and NWS.

Anyway, already freezing mist/drizzle here.  So, I see how this is going to go.  Very little snow, and much more ice.

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5 hours ago, MikeB_01 said:

ce19cd953154c593b890cf0fc51872d5.jpg
No bueno... lots of Mets going to get a lot of scrutiny from this one.

Looks like Youngstown might even sleet for a while now.


.

I just don’t know about mets getting any scrutiny*, it was the models that didn’t get a handle on what was happening with this storm and how much warm air it would pull into our area like storms always do, until it was way too late and everyone already had their hopes up for a good snow event. Do we need to maybe start partially privately funding the GFS and using Russian and Chinese satellite data like the Euro does, and ditch the strictly American idea that anything Russian or Chinese is bad and shouldn’t be used by an American agency like the NWS? Probably, but the Euro and pretty much every model on the planet also had issues with this storm and is showing a far different solution for the Thursday storm from what any of the other models are.

*Except for the NWS’s tendency to hold the line on their forecasts for a lot longer than they should, and not backing down on snow totals until well after the models paint a clear picture of what’s going to happen. But as I theorized before, even that may not be the mets’ fault. I still think it’s not that far-fetched, maybe even likely, that in a government agency like the NWS, there’s some sort of bureaucratic nonsense involved, like possibly audits of individual NWS offices by the higher ups, where they are evaluated on some sort of performance rubric that might include things like “how many times did you issue a warning only to later downgrade it to an advisory?” And the higher ups/people doing the evaluating may not know or care that this area is harder than average to forecast. Presumably most of us have had performance evaluations at work and know how arbitrary they can be. If NWS offices get reprimanded by the higher ups for such trivial things as bruising someone’s ego by pointing out an inaccurate comment on what areas will be affected by a hurricane, it’s not far-fetched at all to think they can get reprimanded for issuing too many warnings that turned into advisories.

Tl;dr: I’m defending mets here, the models blew it this time. 

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8 minutes ago, Ahoff said:

Could be one of the better busts from the models and NWS.

Anyway, already freezing mist/drizzle here.  So, I see how this is going to go.  Very little snow, and much more ice.

TWC has me at plain rain as early as 10pm.

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17 minutes ago, TimB84 said:

I just don’t know about mets getting any scrutiny*, it was the models that didn’t get a handle on what was happening with this storm and how much warm air it would pull into our area like storms always do, until it was way too late and everyone already had their hopes up for a good snow event. Do we need to maybe start partially privately funding the GFS and using Russian and Chinese satellite data like the Euro does, and ditch the strictly American idea that anything Russian or Chinese is bad and shouldn’t be used by an American agency like the NWS? Probably, but the Euro and pretty much every model on the planet also had issues with this storm and is showing a far different solution for the Thursday storm from what any of the other models are.

*Except for the NWS’s tendency to hold the line on their forecasts for a lot longer than they should, and not backing down on snow totals until well after the models paint a clear picture of what’s going to happen. But as I theorized before, even that may not be the mets’ fault. I still think it’s not that far-fetched, maybe even likely, that in a government agency like the NWS, there’s some sort of bureaucratic nonsense involved, like possibly audits of individual NWS offices by the higher ups, where they are evaluated on some sort of performance rubric that might include things like “how many times did you issue a warning only to later downgrade it to an advisory?” And the higher ups/people doing the evaluating may not know or care that this area is harder than average to forecast. Presumably most of us have had performance evaluations at work and know how arbitrary they can be. If NWS offices get reprimanded by the higher ups for such trivial things as bruising someone’s ego by pointing out an inaccurate comment on what areas will be affected by a hurricane, it’s not far-fetched at all to think they can get reprimanded for issuing too many warnings that turned into advisories.

Tl;dr: I’m defending mets here, the models blew it this time. 

It’s not the storm being in warm air it seems as much as the low going to our west, to naturally put us in the warm sector where warm is is basically the only solution.

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9 minutes ago, Ahoff said:

It’s not the storm being in warm air it seems as much as the low going to our west, to naturally put us in the warm sector where warm is is basically the only solution.

And let be honest. Less than 48 hours ago. This low was looking like it would be on the NC/SC line. Now it’s going west and north of us!!  

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8 minutes ago, Ahoff said:

It’s not the storm being in warm air it seems as much as the low going to our west, to naturally put us in the warm sector where warm is is basically the only solution.

True. It’s too early in the morning. The models made a massive error in the track of the storm just 48 hours out. Still not something I feel mets should face one bit of “scrutiny” for.

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4 minutes ago, Burghblizz said:

Icy as hell out again. Not sure if there was more freezing drizzle overnight, or this first batch of snow started as some

ZL was observed at Pgh International at 6am.

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Forget Youngstown special, this is like a Cincinnati surprise. What a huge shift in the band of snow just since going to bed! The models, even my go-to Euro, really did a piss poor job with this one. I know we're all snow weenies here and are more sensitive than most, but I think there's certainly a case to be made for being really irked this time around. To see such a 180 within 24-36 hours of the event is disconcerting. In short, bah humbug with the whole dang thing! 

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4 minutes ago, OutnOakmont said:

Forget Youngstown special, this is like a Cincinnati surprise. What a huge shift in the band of snow just since going to bed! The models, even my go-to Euro, really did a piss poor job with this one. I know we're all snow weenies here and are more sensitive than most, but I think there's certainly a case to be made for being really irked this time around. To see such a 180 within 24-36 hours of the event is disconcerting. In short, bah humbug with the whole dang thing! 

Exactly. It’s not at all unusual to see snowstorms turn to crap in these parts, but it’s upsetting when it happens this fast and this close to the event.

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1 minute ago, north pgh said:

A batch of heavier snow about to move in. 

Hoping this front end over performs if just for a brief bit of joy. 

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1 hour ago, TimB84 said:

I just don’t know about mets getting any scrutiny*, it was the models that didn’t get a handle on what was happening with this storm and how much warm air it would pull into our area like storms always do, until it was way too late and everyone already had their hopes up for a good snow event. Do we need to maybe start partially privately funding the GFS and using Russian and Chinese satellite data like the Euro does, and ditch the strictly American idea that anything Russian or Chinese is bad and shouldn’t be used by an American agency like the NWS? Probably, but the Euro and pretty much every model on the planet also had issues with this storm and is showing a far different solution for the Thursday storm from what any of the other models are.

*Except for the NWS’s tendency to hold the line on their forecasts for a lot longer than they should, and not backing down on snow totals until well after the models paint a clear picture of what’s going to happen. But as I theorized before, even that may not be the mets’ fault. I still think it’s not that far-fetched, maybe even likely, that in a government agency like the NWS, there’s some sort of bureaucratic nonsense involved, like possibly audits of individual NWS offices by the higher ups, where they are evaluated on some sort of performance rubric that might include things like “how many times did you issue a warning only to later downgrade it to an advisory?” And the higher ups/people doing the evaluating may not know or care that this area is harder than average to forecast. Presumably most of us have had performance evaluations at work and know how arbitrary they can be. If NWS offices get reprimanded by the higher ups for such trivial things as bruising someone’s ego by pointing out an inaccurate comment on what areas will be affected by a hurricane, it’s not far-fetched at all to think they can get reprimanded for issuing too many warnings that turned into advisories.

Tl;dr: I’m defending mets here, the models blew it this time. 

I think a lot of what you are saying is in the works. Look into the UFS (Unified Forecast System) Its goal is to use same simplified code across all agencies and allow Private and Academia development too.

https://ufscommunity.org/

The other goal is to improve ensemble forecasts as they are superior to a single model.

https://www.hpcwire.com/2020/09/23/noaa-announces-major-upgrade-to-ensemble-forecast-model-extends-range-to-35-days/

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9 minutes ago, RitualOfTheTrout said:

I think a lot of what you are saying is in the works. Look into the UFS (Unified Forecast System) Its goal is to use same simplified code across all agencies and allow Private and Academia development too.

https://ufscommunity.org/

The other goal is to improve ensemble forecasts as they are superior to a single model.

https://www.hpcwire.com/2020/09/23/noaa-announces-major-upgrade-to-ensemble-forecast-model-extends-range-to-35-days/

Very useful information, I was not aware. Thank you for this. I’m glad to see our somewhat archaic system is being improved. Not sure I’m all in on the 35 day range thing, but to each his own.

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13 minutes ago, Ecanem said:

Hoping this front end over performs if just for a brief bit of joy. 

Seconded. If the over/under for the second wave were set at 0.1” or even trace, I’d take the under. Whatever we get from this small spot of yellow on the NWS radar is basically our snow total for this storm.

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I don’t quite get why anyone is surprised by this, other than this winter hasn’t had one of these...but it is a consistent theme. We’ve seen plenty of times that 2-3 days out all models are showing a foot but the progressive nature of the primary is under modeled and it ends up being a Cleveland storm. 
 

Heck, here have been times where I’ve seen us be worried about being fringed to the south and we end up mixing. 
 

this is par for the course, and anytime you have a primary riding up the valley I expect it to be modeled 100-200 miles south.

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34 minutes ago, north pgh said:

A batch of heavier snow about to move in. 

Yeah I have a moderate snow shower right now.  Hoping this lasts a little while to at least get an inch or 2 before the changeover

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Jesus NAM looks pretty icy for the next wave. Very weird how it jumps the low west once it gets to around W PA. 

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9 minutes ago, KPITSnow said:

I don’t quite get why anyone is surprised by this, other than this winter hasn’t had one of these...but it is a consistent theme. We’ve seen plenty of times that 2-3 days out all models are showing a foot but the progressive nature of the primary is under modeled and it ends up being a Cleveland storm. 
 

Heck, here have been times where I’ve seen us be worried about being fringed to the south and we end up mixing. 
 

this is par for the course, and anytime you have a primary riding up the valley I expect it to be modeled 100-200 miles south.

Unfortunately, that is just how it goes around here. I remembered back when, before we knew about this storm, the Euro thought we’d be at -19 this morning and realized that even if we did start at -19 and then this storm rolled through, it would still end up as rain.

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1 hour ago, TimB84 said:

True. It’s too early in the morning. The models made a massive error in the track of the storm just 48 hours out. Still not something I feel mets should face one bit of “scrutiny” for.

At the end of the day all the meteorologists can do is use the tools they have at their disposal. Sure you can apply local / regional climatology and outcomes of past similar storm evolutions but if all that’s based on incorrect variables from guidance used as your initial base state you don’t stand a chance.

Thats why you see more seasoned folks reluctant to jump head first into forecasts depicting big events. As we have just witnessed even with a solid consensus it’s still possible to be wrong enough to dramatically effect the outcome. Then your left with trying to explain what happened to a general public that has little to no understanding of how anything in the process works let alone even a scrap of atmospheric science. It’s all a bunch of H and L graphics on a map with pretty colors to most.

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gfs_z500a_namer_29.png

gfs_z500a_namer_2.png

JWilson had a good post from yesterday several pages back showing the trend on the GFS to weaken confluence up north and pump the SE ridge. The -NAO forecast from last week (top image) basically evaporated if you look at the image from this morning. I don't think we have seen really much of the north shifts that we are used to on the models this year up until this event. Probably a testament to how strong the blocking has been for much of the winter. Even with this storm it isn't our classic WTOD fail scenario where the mid atlantic has a cad wedge and snowing while we get slop. Anyway, as I type this it is pouring snow outside and I will gladly take any snow that comes our way :snowman:. Frustrating that we had the rug pulled out from under us so close in, but at least we still have another chance to track on Thursday.

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1 minute ago, RitualOfTheTrout said:

At the end of the day all the meteorologists can do is use the tools they have at their disposal. Sure you can apply local / regional climatology and outcomes of past similar storm evolutions but if all that’s based on incorrect variables from guidance used as your initial base state you don’t stand a chance.

Thats why you see more seasoned folks reluctant to jump head first into forecasts depicting big events. As we have just witnessed even with a solid consensus it’s still possible to be wrong enough to dramatically effect the outcome. Then your left with trying to explain what happened to a general public that has little to no understanding of how anything in the process works let alone even a scrap of atmospheric science. It’s all a bunch of H and L graphics on a map with pretty colors to most.

The old Joe DeNardo rule. Never post accumulation amounts until 24-48 hours before the storm. It is the smart thing to do.

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