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3/10 and beyond... all the waves threats


mappy
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53 minutes ago, Blizzard of 93 said:

2021 was an Above normal snow season just a little bit to your north in Harrisburg, PA.

We got around 36 & our average is near 30.

I’m not trying to start anything by posting about southern PA in here, but I’m just pointing out that a decent Winter in 2021 was just barely to your north.

It was a very acceptable winter here

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2 hours ago, WinterWxLuvr said:

It wasn’t much below for many of us though.

Depends if you mean geographically or population. It was much below for about 60% of the geographic territory of this forum. But I would guess 90% of the pop since the Richmond DC and Balt metro areas were all much below and that’s by far the greatest pop of this forum. 
 

But it’s a fair point. I tend to tailor my posts to the DC/Balt metro areas. I lived there for a long time. Even though I moved up here I consider this a “fringe” micro climate not the norm for this forum. The handful of posters we have in the western highlands are closer to my climo also though.  
 

But my DC centric focus isn’t unrelated to my fortunes. My snowfall is hugely correlated to DC and Baltimore. For example, many have the take that I got 50” in 2021 so what do I care that DC had an awful season. But it did matter to me. If you look at past seasons with a similar pattern to 2021 my area can get 75”+ easy in those type seasons. Even up here several of those storms I was above freezing and got like 8” of slop from 1.2” qpf.  Yea DC got almost all rain…but had it been 3-4 degrees colder DC would have had the 8” if slop and I would have had 15”. The warmer temps that winter did affect me also. It just meant I got 50” instead of 80” while DC got single digits in a season they should have had like 20”.  It’s very rare that DC gets a big snow and my area misses out. So focusing on their snow isn’t unrelated to my own and it makes my posts more relevant to the majority of the people reading them.  

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3 minutes ago, psuhoffman said:

Depends if you mean geographically or population. It was much below for about 60% of the geographic territory of this forum. But I would guess 90% of the pop since the Richmond DC and Balt metro areas were all much below and that’s by far the greatest pop of this forum. 
 

But it’s a fair point. I tend to tailor my posts to the DC/Balt metro areas. I lived there for a long time. Even though I moved up here I consider this a “fringe” micro climate not the norm for this forum. The handful of posters we have in the western highlands are closer to my climo also though.  
 

But my DC centric focus isn’t unrelated to my fortunes. My snowfall is hugely correlated to DC and Baltimore. For example, many have the take that I got 50” in 2021 so what do I care that DC had an awful season. But it did matter to me. If you look at past seasons with a similar pattern to 2021 my area can get 75”+ easy in those type seasons. Even up here several of those storms I was above freezing and got like 8” of slop from 1.2” qpf.  Yea DC got almost all rain…but had it been 3-4 degrees colder DC would have had the 8” if slop and I would have had 15”. The warmer temps that winter did affect me also. It just meant I got 50” instead of 80” while DC got single digits in a season they should have had like 20”.  It’s very rare that DC gets a big snow and my area misses out. So focusing on their snow isn’t unrelated to my own and it makes my posts more relevant to the majority of the people reading them.  

Depending on your definition of western highlands, your snow climo isn’t even close to what those areas average. Also, no one….no one……in MD on the this side of the Allegheny front achieves 75” of snowfall easily regardless of how good the winter is. Those types of seasons are by far the minority scenarios. 

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@Blizzard of 93 @WinterWxLuvr it’s legit to bring to the fact that 2021 was “close” to good. And yes that could mean luck played a part. A couple of those storms could have easily gone better. 
 

But I think it’s also fair to point out that they all didn’t for the same reason. We had like 5 perfect track storms where if you just looked at the MSLP you would think DC got crushed and it was just too warm.  The miller b in early Feb is the one exception where had things gone better with the phase location the temps would have been ok.  
 

It’s also important to note it’s normal for DC to be “close but no cigar” on snowfall. They are geographically close to where the snow/no boundary sets up in a typical winter. Snowfall averages skyrocket not far north of DC. I am only a little over an hour drive away yet I average almost 3 times as much snow as DC. I average double Baltimore 35 miles away!   1993, 1994, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2018, 2021 are all examples of years where snowfall increased exponentially not far north of DC. I’m not overly comforted by “it was snowing close by” as that is pretty normal. 
 

But there is a case “that was normal”. I concede that. But when you take the whole larger period of time, and the trends hidden within the shorter variances going back much further, I think there is also evidence of a common thread. It’s impossible to say exactly when it’s bad luck, or random variance, or part of the downward trend in snowfall in the mid Atlantic urban centers. No one event can be conclusively attributable to one factor. But when we look at the larger sample the numbers show the trend. 

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The same pattern all year, the ridge bridge of death. Anyone have a time machine I can use to thanksgiving?

72ee4610011d7566b8ca44522c26f9cc.jpg


.

Also, what is it going to take to get a +PNA? That’s our culprit. Wave after wave for essentially 2 winters have just crashed into the west coast.


.check out the 6z GFS, the entire is just -PNA death
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18 minutes ago, snowfan said:

Depending on your definition of western highlands, your snow climo isn’t even close to what those areas average. Also, no one….no one……in MD on the this side of the Allegheny front achieves 75” of snowfall easily regardless of how good the winter is. Those types of seasons are by far the minority scenarios. 

My reference to western highlands was anyone along or west of the blue ridge in VA or Catoctin in MD.  My average is near 40” (or it was beside this year lol) the only places in this forum that are significantly above that are the narrow region along the eastern divide from Snowshoe up through Deep Creek. But they have a whole other climo from even the western highlands as they get most of their snow from upslope lake enhanced events.
 

75” here is rare when taken as part of the whole data set of all winters. But getting the extreme blocking of 2021 centered on the heart of snow climo is rare. We even had a decent blocking even in Dec then it reloaded and peaked in late Jan early Feb. we get very few winters with that combo of extreme HL blocking centered perfectly on the peak snow period. In years like that…my area getting 75” isn’t rare it’s actually common.  It’s happened 8 times up here since 1958 and yes that’s a huge minority of all years but it makes up a pretty big % of years with that kind of blocking!  

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21 minutes ago, Heisy said:


Also, what is it going to take to get a +PNA? That’s our culprit. Wave after wave for essentially 2 winters have just crashed into the west coast.


.check out the 6z GFS, the entire is just -PNA death

Pre Text:  Some of this is a discussion with you and some is an in general response to stuff I've read over the last several years.  I trust you as a knowledgeable poster to be able to tell which is which lol  

 

Yes the pac has been bad most of the last 7 years and yea that accounts for a lot of our snow troubles.  I really think many are focusing on the wrong thing at times.  But I am not always good at articulating it.  Way too often people see a trough west ridge east and say "the pac is bad" but that is way too simplistic.  Is that configuration a result of hostile pacific forcing or something else?  Yes we have had hostile pacific tropical forcing much of the last 7 years.  We have been in a bad cycle in that regards.  So it's very easy to get lazy and just attribute all of our problems to that.  But at the same time we have done worse the last 7 years than in previous similar comparable periods of hostile pac forcing.  As a matter of fact we have had the least snowy 7 year period in recorded history.  (please save me the argument that at some point 900 years ago it might have been less snowy I don't care)  

The fact is the reason this period has been even worse than other hostile -PDO periods is that we have underperformed even when the pacific forcing wasn't extremely hostile.  One of the hallmarks of those fails have been 2 problems...the SER/WAR combo and warm temps in general.  Often those 2 are directly related...at times the warmer boundary temps was unrelated.  The warmer boundary temps are what they are and most of us know why so lets leave that alone for now.  But what about the prevalence of the SER/WAR even during periods where the pac forcing wasn't awful?  We just had a very high amplitude MJO phase 8/1 and all it could do was mute the issue not resolve it.  Yes the pac was handing off energy a little further south but it wasn't nearly enough to help us at our latitude.  It wasn't able to quite the non stop pac firehose of waves, all it could do was slightly alter its trajectory but not in a way good enough to impact our snow fate. 

 

One of the bigger issues I see, and some others have brought this up too, is that these pac waves amplify way too much to soon.  This is happening regardless of the pacific tropical forcing.  Waves have to enter the west.  Almost all of our snowstorms start out as some wave crashing the west coast.  We rarely get big snowstorms south of NYC from waves that dive in from Canada out of the NS.  The problem is we need those waves to eject from the mountain west and slide east...NOT amplify and sit there or cut.  Almost every pac wave, regardless of the longwave pattern in the pacific, is amplifying out west.  I think there is a feedback loop with the SER.  I think the SER is being fed by more than just the PAC.  The fact the pac is hostile most of the time isn't helping for sure.  But even when the pac is ok waves hit the plains and go nuts because of the heat source in front of them.  I think we are stuck in a feedback loop that involves a lot more than simply "the pac is bad".  

This has repeated a few times over the last 7 years.  Most of our snow over that time has actually come from a very unusual way (when compared to how the majority of our snow SHOULD come) which is to get lucky from these progressive pac waves during a period where we got a shot of arctic cold in front of them.  And that is why our results have been so bad...because historically that is a very rare way for us to get snow...and just because all the other ways are failing lately doesn't mean that is suddenly going to become more prevalent.  It just means if that is the only path working...snow is going to be very rare compared to historical norms because we aren't getting several of the other more typical ways we get snow.  

 

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1 hour ago, Heisy said:

The same pattern all year, the ridge bridge of death. Anyone have a time machine I can use to thanksgiving?

What is the goal now?

It is Spring. We have a very brief window of relatively nice weather before we're beat with the Hazy Hot and Humid hammer. If the goal is snow in this region 1) It's Spring 2) It's just not our year this year. Plain and simple. Let this winter die. Anything that hastens and extends that brief period of great weather, bring it on.

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3 minutes ago, Its a Breeze said:

What is the goal now?

It is Spring. We have a very brief window of relatively nice weather before we're beat with the Hazy Hot and Humid hammer. If the goal is snow in this region 1) It's Spring 2) It's just not our year this year. Plain and simple. Let this winter die. Anything that hastens and extends that brief period of great weather, bring it on.

I think he has a valid point though because this relates to our prospects in the future...we are in the middle of an extremely favorable period of pacific forcing and its having almost no effect on the problem out west.  I think his "what's it gonna take" wasnt focused on just right now.  

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2 hours ago, WinterWxLuvr said:

This is the consistent mistake the models have made all year. It has one solution in the day 8-10 range that quickly reverses around day 7-6. A consistent error could be programmed out I would think.

In theory it could if you were only concerned about modeling for a very specific location. I'd assume that any modification to the logic in a model to specifically target one bias in one area of the world would have knock-on effects that may have greater negative results in other areas, so making that update just isn't worth it in the grand scheme of things.

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10 minutes ago, psuhoffman said:

I think he has a valid point though because this relates to our prospects in the future...we are in the middle of an extremely favorable period of pacific forcing and its having almost no effect on the problem out west.  I think his "what's it gonna take" wasnt focused on just right now.  

Middle?

Hopefully end, as we're finally breaking free from a perpetual unfavorable ENSO...

 

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1 hour ago, Heisy said:


Also, what is it going to take to get a +PNA? That’s our culprit. Wave after wave for essentially 2 winters have just crashed into the west coast.


.check out the 6z GFS, the entire is just -PNA death

Ninas generally suck and we've had 5 in the last 7 years. they overwhelmingly force a -PNA. that's like 90% of it for me

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57 minutes ago, psuhoffman said:

My reference to western highlands was anyone along or west of the blue ridge in VA or Catoctin in MD.  My average is near 40” (or it was beside this year lol) the only places in this forum that are significantly above that are the narrow region along the eastern divide from Snowshoe up through Deep Creek. But they have a whole other climo from even the western highlands as they get most of their snow from upslope lake enhanced events.
 

75” here is rare when taken as part of the whole data set of all winters. But getting the extreme blocking of 2021 centered on the heart of snow climo is rare. We even had a decent blocking even in Dec then it reloaded and peaked in late Jan early Feb. we get very few winters with that combo of extreme HL blocking centered perfectly on the peak snow period. In years like that…my area getting 75” isn’t rare it’s actually common.  It’s happened 8 times up here since 1958 and yes that’s a huge minority of all years but it makes up a pretty big % of years with that kind of blocking!  

Are you higher up in Manchester?  online says between 27-33 inches. 

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9 minutes ago, BristowWx said:

Are you higher up in Manchester?  online says between 27-33 inches. 

I am higher up and 2 miles north from town but I don't think the snowfall difference is that significant.  Not sure where you got that from.  I know my average going into this season for the years I have lived here is 41".  If you add in coop data from a station a few miles down the road and 200 feet lower (that does tend to get slightly less snow than I do) the 30 year running average was 39".   Westminster MD has reliable records that go back about 100 years and their avg is about 36" with a 30 year avg of 34" and I get quite a bit more snow than Westminster.  

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SnowfallAvg.png.587f10d8ca3c3dbab76afd6dbf4ad693.png

This is one of the best snowfall avg maps I've ever seen produced.  If you look close you can see the snow max in northern MD that is my area.   It's a little dated now...I think about 15 years old...but they used satellite data and computer simulations along with records to create a more detailed geographically accurate map than almost any others I've seen.  The site that produced it and the key is long gone but I have the maps saved.  You can still find them floating around random sites online too.  Shame, they used to have a bunch of maps like first and last snow, days of snowcover, 10" snows...but most of them are gone.  I had them all saved years ago but lost them.  

 

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2 hours ago, Heisy said:


Also, what is it going to take to get a +PNA? That’s our culprit. Wave after wave for essentially 2 winters have just crashed into the west coast.


.check out the 6z GFS, the entire is just -PNA death

my most hated term now outside of quarterback room, running back room,etc is atmospheric river. The Jet seems like its a problem every year...too strong/fast for a ridge to hold

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1 hour ago, brooklynwx99 said:

Ninas generally suck and we've had 5 in the last 7 years. they overwhelmingly force a -PNA. that's like 90% of it for me

This right here. I know PSU put up some stats about Nina's being not as bad. But in my 50+ years of life they suck. They always have sucked. At least with Nino's we get an active STJ. IMO that gives us a better chance of having vorts forced under us with any blocking at all. There is a reason the Midwest loves Nina's. Dominate northern stream helps them. 

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23 minutes ago, clskinsfan said:

This right here. I know PSU put up some stats about Nina's being not as bad. But in my 50+ years of life they suck. They always have sucked. At least with Nino's we get an active STJ. IMO that gives us a better chance of having vorts forced under us with any blocking at all. There is a reason the Midwest loves Nina's. Dominate northern stream helps them. 

Just to clarify I never said Nina’s are ok compared to ninos. I said they have been better than neutrals over the last 30 years and that’s true based on the data. I also said Ninas are rarely total dreg years like this. And that’s also true. While Nina’s are often frustrating because often that are chilly but their NS dominance means the big snows are often just put it our reach…they are rarely like this year.
 

1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2018, 2021, 2022, 2023.  Only 2012 and 2023 were total wall to wall crap out of that large sample size.  And for me none were close, I got about 20” in 2012.  
 

My point wasnt Nina’s are good…but they are better than neutrals and not usually awful like this. Ninos are by far the best 

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The front-end event on the 24th is back on the CMC.  That event could happen if that northern stream does setup the confluence behind it and the pacific wave is able to run into it quick enough.  Plus the timing is ideal (as-is) for snow to fall at night.  Obvious caveats apply; biggest being the winter of 2022-2023.  

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1 hour ago, WxUSAF said:

This recent storm had a 43” report in Beacon, NY, that was surrounded by a bunch of like 8-14” reports lol

How snow is measured has a tremendous impact on totals.  I notice this often in my area when looking at totals and one person is 3 inches above others a mile away. This is the guy who walks out in the middle of an unmanicured lawn with 6 inches snowboard snow and pushes a yardstick down until he reaches hard ground and is thrilled with his 9 inches of snow!

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20 minutes ago, psuhoffman said:

Just to clarify I never said Nina’s are ok compared to ninos. I said they have been better than neutrals over the last 30 years and that’s true based on the data. I also said Ninas are rarely total dreg years like this. And that’s also true. While Nina’s are often frustrating because often that are chilly but their NS dominance means the big snows are often just put it our reach…they are rarely like this year.
 

1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2018, 2021, 2022, 2023.  Only 2012 and 2023 were total wall to wall crap out of that large sample size.  And for me none were close, I got about 20” in 2012.  
 

My point was Nina’s are good…but they are better than neutrals and not usually awful like this. Ninos are by far the best 

Not sure what 08/09, 11/12, 19/20 were but those were the really bad 3 here in the past 15.

Truthfully 2016 was awful here outside of three days.

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