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Central PA - Winter 2020/2021 Part 2


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The lows going to ride the boundary. Unless that low is tracking across southern pa with a high to our north and our vulnerability to CAD, I can’t for the life of me see a low tracking south of DC, a weak one at that, is going to send a driving rainstorm through Harrisburg. This has ice written all over it


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Thursday's storm on the 18Z GFS is pretty depressing.  No snow, a little sleet, a few tenths of freezing rain, then a lot of plain rain with temps shooting up to 50.  Then what's left of the arctic air finally passes through here later Friday into next weekend, but by that time all our snow has washed away (especially LSV), and maybe even further north.  I'd love to say that it's still 5 days away and there's plenty of time for it to change.  But with the eastern side of the trough to our west I can see how the storm would come up west of PA.  I'm not giving up just yet.

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18 minutes ago, Jns2183 said:

The lows going to ride the boundary. Unless that low is tracking across southern pa with a high to our north and our vulnerability to CAD, I can’t for the life of me see a low tracking south of DC, a weak one at that, is going to send a driving rainstorm through Harrisburg. This has ice written all over it


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CAD always last longer than modeled. Ice is all but guaranteed- just hope the rates are heavier.

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Been busy and mostly away from the computer good part of the day. Was a nice freezing drizzly 21-23ºF here today.

I'm still not really sure what to make of the precip type situation with this. It seems like models have weakened the portion of the high pressure stretching north of us over to Quebec to a degree. Really been making this more of a straight-up gradient vs much of a traditional CAD wedge with Western/NW PA in a much better situation than the LSV or even the central counties below I-80 currently. Track of the surface low continuing to be mostly under us would figure to support more frozen. Kind of suspect about GFS and NAM pretty much routing sub-freezing surface temps out of all the Sus Valley. Euro is simultaneously the coldest column and iciest outcome freezing rain wise. I don't understand why it's still printing out such a big stripe of ZR, especially in the central counties. KAOO at -4ºC surface, -5ºC 925mb, and -1ºC 850mb at Hr 66 after 0.3" of ZR from 60-66 is not a ZR profile, no way. At least the thermals on the warmer models make a bit more sense vs the p-type. 

C-PA is right smack in the middle of the baroclinic zone and potential transition zones and determining where everything's going to setup is very difficult at this point. I still lean to the colder end of the spectrum and it definitely appears that CTP does too. Just something about that low tracking SE of the region with plenty of surface to try to press and bleed in. However, the aforementioned high pressure appearing a bit weaker on the end of the "banana" that stretches over to Quebec would seemingly limit driving down a CAD wedge east of the mountains to hold in the LSV SE of I-81 later in the event. On the other hand, models like to underestimate the CAD.  Going to have to monitor how temps go tomorrow and how that front running wave of precip tracks Sun night into Monday ahead of the main wave to get a better lock on the positioning of the temp gradient.

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4 minutes ago, CarlislePaWx said:

Thursday's storm on the 18Z GFS is pretty depressing.  No snow, a little sleet, a few tenths of freezing rain, then a lot of plain rain with temps shooting up to 50.  Then what's left of the arctic air finally passes through here later Friday into next weekend, but by that time all our snow has washed away (especially LSV), and maybe even further north.  I'd love to say that it's still 5 days away and there's plenty of time for it to change.  But with the eastern side of the trough to our west I can see how the storm would come up west of PA.  I'm not giving up just yet.

Thursday was actually the one I was more worried about cutting/p-type issues vs the current upcoming Mon/Tues event . The current system is occurring in the middle of a seismic shift of the NAO and AO neutralizing and possibly going somewhat positive from being like -4 and -6 respectively. With the EPO/WPO tending positive, PNA trending positive, and no intense NAO blocking to counter...our luck is probably going to run out soon with our nice run with a lack of major cutters. 

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My parents’ grid forecast in northeast Texas  is NUTS. Please pray for Texas. They can’t handle these temps ask the infrastructure and houses can’t handle it either, or the snow/ice. 
 

Tonight
A chance of snow and sleet, mainly after 4am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 19. Wind chill values between 9 and 14. North wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Total nighttime snow and sleet accumulation of less than a half inch possible. 
Sunday
A chance of snow and sleet before 10am, then snow likely. Cloudy and cold, with a high near 23. Wind chill values between 5 and 10. North wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow and sleet accumulation of less than one inch possible. 
Sunday Night
Snow. Areas of blowing snow after midnight. Low around 6. Wind chill values between -1 and -11. North wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible. 
Washington's Birthday
A 20 percent chance of snow before noon. Mostly cloudy and cold, with a high near 15. Wind chill values between -2 and -12. North northwest wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. 
Monday Night
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 0. North northwest wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. 
Tuesday
Partly sunny and cold, with a high near 23. North northwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming southeast in the afternoon. 
Tuesday Night
A 40 percent chance of snow, mainly after midnight. Cloudy, with a low around 18. East wind 5 to 10 mph. 
Wednesday
Snow, possibly mixed with sleet. High near 28. East wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.
Wednesday Night
A 40 percent chance of snow. Cloudy, with a low around 21. North wind 10 to 15 mph. 
Thursday
A 20 percent chance of snow before noon. Partly sunny and cold, with a high near 30.
Thursday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 12.
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2 hours ago, pasnownut said:

Jns said it well earlier.  With a stout HP to the north and no bombing LP w/ easterly fetch screwin our thermals, I think this on has a chance to go trainers way.....south and progressive with boundary somewhere in SEPA.  EVERY model has tuesdays LP below MD line and far enough that the HP Cad feature (which we often know is late to show on models) ends up trending better for us.  Just another hunch I'm goin w/.

BTW, great convo in here while I was gone.  Were starting to chat it up like the MA thread.  Well done.

Yes, This!!!

The second wave that was supposed to hit us with another round of snow on Friday actually ended up SOUTH of DC! Even today, this minor event a few days ago had several models bringing 1 to 3 inches of snow from I-81 on to the northwest. As of now, no significant precip made it north of Baltimore and it looks to remain very weak & be almost a non factor outside of freezing mist.

To your point, we have 2 days to go to watch this relatively weak low that is forecast to stay to our south weaken even further. Perhaps it will pass a little further to the southeast to get more of us, especially near I-81, into more snow/sleet vs. freezing rain. We are not too much of a shift away from improving the outcome of this storm.

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Here is the 18z EPS low track clusters. Beautiful track with the low staying to our south & east with High pressure to the north & west...

I think this should be at the least a front end thump of snow followed by a prolonged period of sleet/freezing rain for my backyard just outside of Harrisburg.

We are in prime climo now... this should work.

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1 hour ago, canderson said:

My parents’ grid forecast in northeast Texas  is NUTS. Please pray for Texas. They can’t handle these temps ask the infrastructure and houses can’t handle it either, or the snow/ice. 
 

Tonight
A chance of snow and sleet, mainly after 4am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 19. Wind chill values between 9 and 14. North wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Total nighttime snow and sleet accumulation of less than a half inch possible. 
Sunday
A chance of snow and sleet before 10am, then snow likely. Cloudy and cold, with a high near 23. Wind chill values between 5 and 10. North wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow and sleet accumulation of less than one inch possible. 
Sunday Night
Snow. Areas of blowing snow after midnight. Low around 6. Wind chill values between -1 and -11. North wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible. 
Washington's Birthday
A 20 percent chance of snow before noon. Mostly cloudy and cold, with a high near 15. Wind chill values between -2 and -12. North northwest wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. 
Monday Night
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 0. North northwest wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. 
Tuesday
Partly sunny and cold, with a high near 23. North northwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming southeast in the afternoon. 
Tuesday Night
A 40 percent chance of snow, mainly after midnight. Cloudy, with a low around 18. East wind 5 to 10 mph. 
Wednesday
Snow, possibly mixed with sleet. High near 28. East wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.
Wednesday Night
A 40 percent chance of snow. Cloudy, with a low around 21. North wind 10 to 15 mph. 
Thursday
A 20 percent chance of snow before noon. Partly sunny and cold, with a high near 30.
Thursday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 12.

Were they there in 2010? Think that’s when Dallas scored a foot. That likely will never be matched there.  

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0zs not lookin good for Tuesday so far so I went and looked at tellies as I had some time to dig a bit. AO spike and NAO to +1 ish and IMO look to be the likely reason for storm track heading west for this week as a result. That said they look like they may head twds neutral starting later this week so I’m hoping prime climo can help us as we get beyond this spike. I now fear this week may trend worse instead of better and not sure things can stay under us. Sure hope I’m wrong but we know how hard it been without the NAO and we’re losing it.  Hope he comes back soon. 

Boo

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14 minutes ago, pasnownut said:

0zs not lookin good for Tuesday so far so I went and looked at tellies as I had some time to dig a bit. AO spike and NAO to +1 ish and IMO look to be the likely reason for storm track heading west for this week as a result. That said they look like they may head twds neutral starting later this week so I’m hoping prime climo can help us as we get beyond this spike. I now fear this week may trend worse instead of better and not sure things can stay under us. Sure hope I’m wrong but we know how hard it been without the NAO and we’re losing it.  Hope he comes back soon. 

Boo

If we get more than 4” snow by Friday it’ll be a miracle imo. Half of Texas gets a better winter week than us!

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7 minutes ago, canderson said:

If we get more than 4” snow by Friday it’ll be a miracle imo. Half of Texas gets a better winter week than us!

I've been perusing the NWS sites in the upcoming harder hit areas of OK and TX, and by mid-week, Oklahoma City may have between 18 and 24 inches of snow on the ground. Astonishing...

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I think its kind of pathetic that we go from artic air to just below normal. The to a weeks worth of snow storms off and on to mix of ice and snow now to rain for mon and tues. with a Low in mexico instead of riding the gulf coast like it does 9 out of 10 times and goes up the east coast now its a apps runner?

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Yea the 0z guidance generally did not help the cause for more frozen precip further southeast in PA tonight. Models trended tighter to the apps tonight with the NAM actually taking the low right through western PA and the Euro getting underneath but showing reflection up into WV on the west side of the apps. GFS is mostly SE of PA but def edged tighter. Having the surface low really close isn't going to cut it here and obviously we're cooked if the NAM was actually right. My argument for a more frozen outcome than being modeled is heavily dependent on the low pressure actually staying SE of PA with some room to spare. That would allow a fighting chance for the surface cold air to bleed into PA more and also a SE track would imply the thermal boundaries aloft are shifted SE as well to where it favors more frozen. Already mentioned about the high earlier with how the portion that stretches north of us across Ontario/Quebec seems weaker and also a bit further north than a couple days ago. This was one of the keys for holding the cold air east of the mountains and helping keep the low SE. Should note that Euro looks the strongest of the models with that particular feature. 

I would consider the runs at least thru 12z (and probably thru 0z) to see where we're at today and also to have a good look at where this initial wave of precip running up Sunday night is going to be placed before making any rash decisions. But in light of how things look tonight this is shifting towards these main things as it stands. 1- How much ice does the LSV (SE of I-81) see before a potential change to rain. 2 - What the dominant mix type (freezing rain vs sleet) is going to be in the portion of central PA NW of I-81 including places like IPT, UNV, AOO, JST, Carlisle, Bedford, etc. and if some snow can still occur (more possible the further NW one goes).  And 3 - How much potential mixing cuts into the more predominant snow potential for the rest of the north-central and NW portion of C-PA (NW of IPT over to Clearfield, St Mary's, Bradford, etc). 

This still has time to shift back the other way to some degree and the position of the cold air boundary is going to be extremely important, especially with how well the models represent it. This low is basically going to ride this baroclinic zone and it's not going to be something that easily yanks the cold air east towards a rapidly deepening surface low in time. 

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3 hours ago, Itstrainingtime said:

Looks like Thursday trended somewhat better- nice front end thump of snow even down here.

Do we need to sacrifice Tuesday to get a better outcome Thursday?

Its just beyond frustrating how the new default pattern is one that cuts west.  You'd think the warm waters off the east coast would be a magnet for storms, but instead they prefer Chicago.  Personally I'm really struggling w/ this "new norm" and am trying to look for why this seems to be the case.  When I saw the runs over the past few days I was rather certain that even w/ the loss of the NAO the antecedent cold coupled w/ the pretty well placed HP, that this would look better on screen and CAD would win the day.  Another learning lesson for me.

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51 minutes ago, pasnownut said:

Its just beyond frustrating how the new default pattern is one that cuts west.  You'd think the warm waters off the east coast would be a magnet for storms, but instead they prefer Chicago.  Personally I'm really struggling w/ this "new norm" and am trying to look for why this seems to be the case.  When I saw the runs over the past few days I was rather certain that even w/ the loss of the NAO the antecedent cold coupled w/ the pretty well placed HP, that this would look better on screen and CAD would win the day.  Another learning lesson for me.

I’m frustrated too, especially with how good things looked on most models just a few days ago!
It’s not over yet, there is a ton of Arctic air not too far to our west. It’s all about where the boundary sets up tomorrow into Tuesday.

If this fails on Tuesday, then we have another chance on Thursday, & maybe early next week according to last night’s Euro.

All of CTP is WELL ABOVE normal snow for the season through today’s date. MDT is less than 3 inches away from exceeding climo average snow for the season. We still have a realistic 6 more weeks to score more snow.

 

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Its just beyond frustrating how the new default pattern is one that cuts west.  You'd think the warm waters off the east coast would be a magnet for storms, but instead they prefer Chicago.  Personally I'm really struggling w/ this "new norm" and am trying to look for why this seems to be the case.  When I saw the runs over the past few days I was rather certain that even w/ the loss of the NAO the antecedent cold coupled w/ the pretty well placed HP, that this would look better on screen and CAD would win the day.  Another learning lesson for me.

I’m not certain “looking better on screen” means what it used to given the models tendency to be more flakey then a valley girl on a speed binge.

Give me a low track below DC, a high in the right position, and cold nearby and I’ll take my chances regardless of what each of the valley girls say.


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18 minutes ago, Jns2183 said:


I’m not certain “looking better on screen” means what it used to given the models tendency to be more flakey then a valley girl on a speed binge.

Give me a low track below DC, a high in the right position, and cold nearby and I’ll take my chances regardless of what each of the valley girls say.


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Yeah reality is that we win some we lose some and your bolded statement is very true.  I'm not giving up, but just not getting why what normally looks like a perfect setup, still ends up so far north like 80+ % of the time (I said 75 the other day being conservative).  Has to be the NAO heading pos. that is lifting the boundary north.  

Hey CMC looked like 5% better for Thursday....lol

 

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5 minutes ago, pasnownut said:

Yeah reality is that we win some we lose some and your bolded statement is very true.  I'm not giving up, but just not getting why what normally looks like a perfect setup, still ends up so far north like 80+ % of the time (I said 75 the other day being conservative).  Has to be the NAO heading pos. that is lifting the boundary north.  

Hey CMC looked like 5% better for Thursday....lol

 

Things have worked just fine to get us to well above normal snow through today’s date....

Things are working out well for Texas & Oklahoma, etc...so there is a historic amount of cold available, but just not for us this time due to the current set up.

The Euro looks good for Thursday as well...

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