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Jan 25th Wintry Mix Obs and Nowcasting

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Just now, NorthArlington101 said:

NWS first take:

StormTotalSnowWeb1.png

Most Likely Ice Accumulation

If the current model trends continue, I am gonna guess this will be modified some.

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1 minute ago, CAPE said:

If the current model trends continue, I am gonna guess this will be modified some.

Yeah personally I see the snow totals going down and maybe a tick up in the ice for the usual spots 

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Just now, BTRWx's Thanks Giving said:

I think the snow totals could shift south if the euro scenario plays out.

I don’t see much snow happening with this one period. Looks more like a sleet/freezing rain scenario with the WAA precip to me...

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GFS keeps the theme of this being mostly an ice situation. My bar with this is a couple sleet pellets and a glaze of ice on tree branches over here by the bay lol

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39 minutes ago, CAPE said:

I get it. Its odd. But I have accepted that it's just not very cold despite the favorable HL pattern. The reasons can be debated elsewhere I guess.

Yea but specific to this threat even....I’m BARELY cold enough here to snow. But the significant precip is all to my south.  So what am I rooting for?  Do I want a north trend?  But since the precip is WAA driven if that shifts north the thermals shift north and I literally don’t have any room to give. So short of getting a pity inch on the fringes what’s even the path here? 

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5 minutes ago, Baltimorewx said:

Definitely measly on the precip north of DC though. Drying trend continues 

GFS still pretty gung ho keeping the primary low dominant and intact, and has a decent event in southern NY state lol. Pretty much on its own.

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4 minutes ago, psuhoffman said:

Yea but specific to this threat even....I’m BARELY cold enough here to snow. But the significant precip is all to my south.  So what am I rooting for?  Do I want a north trend?  But since the precip is WAA driven of that shifts north the thermals shift north and I literally don’t have any room to give. So short of getting a pity inch on the fringes what’s even the path here? 

Failure. I think this one was always destined for failure, no matter what. That is, if one was hoping for any significant snow. Me? If I can get an inch of frozen, its a mutherfuucking win.

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1 minute ago, CAPE said:

Failure. I think this one was always destined for failure, no matter what. That is, if one was hoping for any significant snow. Me? If I can get an inch of frozen, its a mutherfuucking win.

My bar is 2 for Monday/Tuesday and 4 for Thursday.

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Scratching my head trying to understand this. 40 plus years here. And here we go again with the average of 50 degrees after this week as we roll into February. Frustrating. Holding on for a few inches this week. 

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41 minutes ago, CAPE said:

Failure. I think this one was always destined for failure, no matter what. That is, if one was hoping for any significant snow. Me? If I can get an inch of frozen, its a mutherfuucking win.

Yea...that’s sinking in...but what was missing from a pattern setup POV?  We got a west to east weak wave.  Baffin Rex Block.   Polar airmass in the way (and yea it’s not cold enough but it’s an Arctic in origin airmass so we’re not getting any better unless the PV swings back to this side and that ain’t happening).  This was a classic setup for a regular old DC snow event. Maybe not a big storm but some snow.   I’m keenly aware of the limitations of the current N Hemisphere base state. But I’m running out of ideas how to “tinker” with the pattern to overcome it. We’ve tried everything.  It’s like everytime we get a factor to compensate for one problem another pops up. Look at the next storm. We need more ridging and a strong primary to get an amplified storm given the block but because we have no cold anywhere to work with that risks turning it into a rainstorm.  It’s starting to feel like a no win scenario.  

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1 hour ago, CAPE said:

If the current model trends continue, I am gonna guess this will be modified some.

This was this morning and has since been updated. 

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3 minutes ago, psuhoffman said:

Yea...that’s sinking in...but what was missing from a pattern setup POV?  We got a west to east weak wave.  Baffin Rex Block.   Polar airmass in the way (and yea it’s not cold enough but it’s an Arctic in origin airmass so we’re not getting any better unless the PV swings back to this side and that ain’t happening).  This was a classic setup for a regular old DC snow event. Maybe not a big storm but some snow.   I’m keenly aware of the limitations of the current N Hemisphere base state. But I’m running out of ideas how to “tinker” with the pattern to overcome it. We’ve tried everything.  It’s like everytime we get a factor to compensate for one problem another pops up. Look at the next storm. We need more ridging and a strong primary to get an amplified storm given the block but because we have no cold anywhere to work with that risks turning it into a rainstorm.  It’s starting to feel like a no win scenario.  

It's super frustrating. How can we FINALLY get a -AO and -NAO for almost two months, one of which is prime climo, and basically get absolutely nothing?

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Just now, psuhoffman said:

Yea...that’s sinking in...but what was missing from a pattern setup POV?  We got a west to east weak wave.  Baffin Rex Block.   Polar airmass in the way (and yea it’s not cold enough but it’s an Arctic in origin airmass so we’re not getting any better unless the PV swings back to this side and that ain’t happening).  I’m keenly aware of the limitations of the current N Hemisphere base state. But I’m running out of ideas how to “tinker” with the pattern to overcome it. We’ve tried everything.  It’s like everytime we get a factor to compensate for one problem another pops up. Look at the next storm. We need more ridging and a strong primary to get an amplified storm given the block but because we have no cold anywhere to work with that risks turning it into a rainstorm.  It’s starting to feel like a no win scenario.  

I will just say this- if this were a moderate Nino and the AO/NAO were the same, I bet we would have a better outcome. Ninas just find a way to suck here more times than not. There is no substitute for a suppressed, active STJ for us. Now this argument might not work up in NE as they normally do well in a Nina, but then they are always playing with fire more than we are when there is a HL blocking pattern.

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4 minutes ago, osfan24 said:

It's super frustrating. How can we FINALLY get a -AO and -NAO for almost two months, one of which is prime climo, and basically get absolutely nothing?

There seems to be a dominant color here....

3AD5D44A-3166-4472-AC70-CC0F7F36CA4D.png.1c663c3e2fbbb6351f8bbb50ee710701.png

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7 minutes ago, CAPE said:

I will just say this- if this were a moderate Nino and the AO/NAO were the same, I bet we would have a better outcome. Ninas just find a way to suck here more times than not. There is no substitute for a suppressed, active STJ for us. Now this argument might not work up in NE as they normally do well in a Nina, but then they are always playing with fire more than we are when there is a HL blocking pattern.

This...and it also doesn’t work as an excuse if we end up with another single digit snowfall year in the DC/Balt area.  Granted we have a long way to go yet and Thursday hopefully puts this thought to bed!!!   But there are 2 types of Nina’s, one with a flat pac ridge and a vary +AO and ones with a more poleward heat flux and a less hostile AO. If we split the latter subset we average close to avg snowfall in those Nina’s. Yes a Nina mutes our potential during a -AO but historically that means we get something close to average snowfall instead of a huge year if it were a nino.  And as you point out there are troubling signs elsewhere that “Nina” isn’t a valid excuse.  Even in a Nina it shouldn’t be this warm or this hard to get snow in a -AO/NAO!  

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20 minutes ago, jewell2188 said:

This was this morning and has since been updated. 

On my end those are the most recent maps, but I feel like this has happened before where some people see older images.

Could you share the updated maps?

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20 minutes ago, psuhoffman said:

There seems to be a dominant color here....

3AD5D44A-3166-4472-AC70-CC0F7F36CA4D.png.1c663c3e2fbbb6351f8bbb50ee710701.png

Actually surprised there is that much blue.  What's hilarious though is the fact that in all that red a good bit of our source region is slightly cool, while Siberia is roasting.  The opposite of what has killed us this winter.

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4 minutes ago, NorthArlington101 said:

On my end those are the most recent maps, but I feel like this has happened before where some people see older images.

Could you share the updated maps?

 

B7133579-61F9-4185-8E12-E747047F4105.jpeg

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3 minutes ago, cbmclean said:

Actually surprised there is that much blue.  What's hilarious though is the fact that in all that red a good bit of our source region is slightly cool, while Siberia is roasting.  The opposite of what has killed us this winter.

It's not like the temperatures are crazy warm, but my guess is what kills us is the fact that the air is so modified by the time it reaches us. I'd also guess that snowcover is down as well to our northwest, which again, doesn't help fight the modifying air as it heads our way.

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@CAPE you are 100% that a nino would have a better outcome. But what if that better outcome was still muted?  If you add a few degrees to the whole pattern in February 2010 I’m not sure that even happens. Some of those storms were barely cold enough really. Or with less baroclinicity maybe they don’t amp up into those monsters. What if instead of 75” that produces only 40” in this current base state?  I am in no way saying were done with snow. We will get snow again. But it’s a matter of degrees. I’m seeing troubling signs patterns/winters that should have produced like 10-15” produce 5”. 
@Maestrobjwa you asked about those signs. Yes I saw them before the last few years.  These are times off the top of my head I remember scratching my head and saying hmmm.  There was a storm in 2007 that had a picture perfect track mid winter and a beautiful h5 pass and we got 40 degree rain. Even up here all I could manage was some slush bombs. NYC was under a warning for 4-8” but even there it ended up cold rain and some mix. Not an inch.  2013 might be the best example before this winter where I am convinced AGW caused a worse result then the pattern suggested. We wasted a -NAO  a big part of that winter too!  But there was a wave following a cutter that was timed perfect and track was perfect and somehow the cities got all rain. I got about 3-4” but even here it started as rain and was 32/33 at the end.  That wouldn’t have been huge but it should have been a 3-5” snowstorm. Those add up when your avg is only 14/19” in dc/Balt.  But what happened in early March 2013 was the biggest red flag. That freaking storm should have been a 6-10” snowstorm. The first week of March is not too late. The airmass wasn’t that bad. The storm track was perfect. Upper low over VA. And DC got rain. Yea we pick at small details like DC only got .9 qpf instead of .14 because of some convection robbing moisture transport but that’s an excuse. We shouldn’t have needed dynamic cooling that much there.  Those 2 storms hit and DC has 15” instead of like 3” that year. 2016 there was a perfect track coastal rainstorm in early January and again one in Feb.  add in countless minor events that could have been 1-2” and instead were nothing. I could go on and on and on but yet I see signs it’s getting progressively harder to snow going back longer then a few years.  That doesn’t mean we won’t get above normal snowfall winters. But maybe 20% vs 40% of the time.  And worse some of the years that were bad but we at least fought our way to some snow are close to shutouts now. Now what I don’t know is how much of the recent acceleration of that trend is a temporary pattern v perhaps a tipping point being reached. I have no idea. But it is getting harder to snow and has been incrementally for a while.  The one silver lining I’ll leave is we do seem to have elevated risks of a hecs whenever it does get cold due to an increased potential energy due to warming (when we actually do get a good thermal gradient in rare cold periods).  So I’m sure eventually we get a cold spell and some 20” storm and everyone forgets this for a while. Hell maybe this week if were lucky. It will snow. But it’s snowing less. 

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44 minutes ago, psuhoffman said:

There seems to be a dominant color here....

3AD5D44A-3166-4472-AC70-CC0F7F36CA4D.png.1c663c3e2fbbb6351f8bbb50ee710701.png

Oh dear...we're skirting close to breaking the rules here...lol However if this is affecting our snow chances, it's gonna be a bit more difficult to avoid the discussion because of the way things have been (unless we keep mentioning it as generallyrics as possible, keeping it solely to observation related to snow)

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@psuhoffman Man I hope you're wrong (except about the part where this part of this is due to more transient factors, lol). But if you're right...gonna be more a bit more hurt around here. Imagining a future reality of less snow saddens me...that's gonna be tough to take...but what can ya do? I guess you just enjoy the heck out of the snow you get and don't complain, lol 

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16 minutes ago, Maestrobjwa said:

Oh dear...we're skirting close to breaking the rules here...lol However if this is affecting our snow chances, it's gonna be a bit more difficult to avoid the discussion because of the way things have been (unless we keep mentioning it as generallyrics as possible, keeping it solely to observation related to snow)

I’ve said my peace.  It’s getting warmer that part isn’t debatable. In the past that started ugly fights over the cause and the politics behind that.  I’m not getting into that. 

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Just now, NorthArlington101 said:

EURO holding steady with the front-end thump. 2-4” Alexandria north.

Wow, it actually even trended a touch better than 12z with the thump in MBY.  Also, noticeably thumpier in the western part of NOVA.

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