Showing posts from 2011

Extended Forecast

First off I hope everyone is enjoying there Thanksgiving weekend.  A very nice Saturday is shaping up across Southern New England.  High pressure is just off of the North Carolina coast and is responsible for the unseasonably warm November weather.  The run of above average weather will continue until the North Atlantic Oscillation reverts to its negative phase.  The University of Columbia has made some nice graphics illustrating the effects of the NAO.
When the NAO is positive, the pressure gradient between Greenland and the Azores Islands is greater so storms are stronger; the Pressure Gradient Force is on of the most important forces in Atmospheric Science.
In the Negative Phase Greenland warms up while the East Coast is prone to more snowy outbreaks.  These graphics are slightly outdated and slightly incorrect, but it captures the general idea of the NAO.
Check out Columbia's webpage here.
For virtually all of November the NAO has been positive and it looks like it will contin…

Thanksgiving Week Forecast & Discussion

A nice weekend is shaping up for everyone.  High pressure will keep conditions calm and dry into Tuesday.  Tuesday night is when things get interesting as a storm system will lift out of the Midwest and develop a surface low pressure system off the coast.  There are two different model camps right now.  The American GFS, SREF, and GEFS favor a west to east track and the system would be gone by Wednesday evening, albeit dropping heavy rain for the majority of the overnight and morning hours.  The EURO and the NAM are both slower and they result in a phasing of the north and south Jet Streams, giving the storm a north Southwest-Northeast track.  This would be later and I feel a greater chance of snow on the backside with this scenario. Its too early to make a call but there is a near certainty for heavy rain.  A track closer to the coast is expect because the North Atlantic Oscillation is in its positive phase, meaning low pressure is semi-stationary between Greenland and Iceland.  As a…

Snow Showers this afternoon

Yesterday's rains are departing as the cold front and low pressure system that brought it exits the coast.  However a secondary area of low pressure will develop this afternoon and coat the ground with a few hours of snow, just in time for the evening commute.  Most models are in agreement that between 0.20-0.30 of liquid will fall so some areas may see an inch.  Most places the roads will be fine, but be aware that the snow will be falling.

Friday will be chilly, highs only in the mid 40's with a blustery west wind.  The weekend is sunny with highs in the 50's.  More detailed post on weekend and next week later today.

National Grid Blames Weather forecast for Power Delays

National Grid has been publicly criticized for its slow response in returning power to the nearly 500,000 people who lost it during the Nor'Easter two weeks ago.  I was defending the company; October storms like that are rarely seen.  I think the state is wasting money, time, and resources investigating what happened.  They will probably find that the crews worked as hard and as fast as they could to restore power but the damage was too extensive for everyone to have their power back right away.  That's okay, we are an impatient society that wants everything done for us RIGHT NOW!  What's not okay is blaming the weather forecast for the slow response.  Here is the story from WBZ.

Some highlights...
National Grid executives now say the forecast was “fundamentally missed by meteorologists”, who “really underestimated the moisture” and “missed on the weight of the snow.”

Now I'm not trying to toot my own horn, but here is my forecast from the Thursday before the storm.  He…

Sunshine tomorrow, Rain Thursday

I hope you all enjoyed our Indian Summer afternoon.  Indian Summer is defined as a day with temperatures above 70 degrees after the first freeze.  How about 70 degrees after our first snowstorm?  We have received zero precipitation since the Snow-tober Nor'Easter.  That run will continue into tomorrow before breaking on Thursday.  A warm front moved northward and helped steer high pressure offshore, bringing a southwesterly flow to Southern New England.  This is the easy part of the forecast because a combination of Tropical Storm Sean and an approaching cold front will spawn a low pressure system that will track through Southern New England.  Model Guidance is not in agreement in regards to Sean as the system is forecast to stall.  The official National Hurricane Center track curves the storm around Bermuda.  The short range North American Model (NAM) sends the storm into Nova Scotia, spawning a heavy Predecessor Rain Event (PRE) Thursday afternoon.   A PRE occurs because of the…

Great Weather Ahead

In the short term, the good weather will continue and even warm up next week.  Although some big changes are coming down the line (more on this later), we will have to enjoy the short sleeve weather when we get it.  So what we have is an area of high pressure dominating the weather across the eastern half of the United States. The weather will be great for the Game of the Century tonight (LSU 24 Alabama 20).  Here is the surface map...
Because air flows in a clockwise manner around a high pressure system, our "air" is currently coming from Canada, therefore it is cool and dry.  However that high pressure area, currently centered near Toronto, will slide southeast, flipping the north wind to a southwesterly wind.  That will allow for temperatures to moderate.  As long as the sky cover is mainly clear, I see most places getting into the upper 60's and MAYBE low 70's on Tuesday and Wednesday.   We are currently experiencing a positive phase of the North Atlantic Oscilla…

Mid-Day Nor'Easter Update

The storm is beginning to come together off the North Carolina coast.  Snowfall amounts are verifying above 6 inches for many places in the Mid-Atlantic.  Over 44,000 customers have already lost power in these regions.  This is what is heading our way.  The current temperature in Worcester is 35 degrees.  It may not even begin as rain in many areas.  Timing has sped up so precipitation will begin to fall between 1-3 PM.  The latest guidance has trended every slightly to the east, which will lock in a mainly snow event west I-95.  However inside 95 there will be heavy rain and damaging winds, especially across the Cape and Islands.  These winds may be in excess of Hurricane force (74 mph +).

This storm is unprecedented.  I'm starting to think that over a foot of snow is possible in Worcester County.  A nice temperature gradient exists just to our east; cold air is already in place.  The intensity of the system will also supply cold air.  Therefore, a changeover is expect by dusk,…

A Major Nor'Easter is on the Way

Energy moving across the southeast, ample tropical moisture, and cold air draining into New England are setting the stage for a major October Nor'Easter.  Heavy snow and high winds will create near whiteout conditions tomorrow night.  We are experience and well seasoned in snowstorms around here, but this is an obvious but critical difference; its October.  That means that the leaves are still on the trees which will lead to widespread tree and power line damage across Southern New England.  The combination of the leaves, the saturated ground from recent wet weather, high winds, and weakened trees from Irene will cause numerous power outages tomorrow night.  We can deal with snow; its going to be difficult dealing with snow with downed trees and power lines.

The timing of the storm is terrible.  Tomorrow night is a big party night and many people planned to be on the roads.  If you must travel (and I would advise against travel) you must take precaution.  Bring gloves, a shovel, …

Blog is Back, So is Snow!

Welcome back to the weather blog!  I'm bringing winter with me.  Sorry to all of you who dislike the S word, but SNOW is on the way.  There are two parts to this story so lets dig in with the current set up.
A series of low pressure systems is riding along a stalled boundary just south of New England.  The first system brought the clouds and light rain yesterday.  Today's system is stronger and is ushering in cold air from Canada.  This is setting the stage for tonight's snowfall  (from another shortwave) and Saturday night's snowfall.  Here is the North American Model (short range) from 8 am this morning for 2 PM.  Notice the 0 degree line is north of Worcester.  This is a decent indicator of the rain/snow line and Northern Worcester County has begun to change over.
Here is the 5 PM forecast
The 0 degree line has fallen to the MA/CT/RI border.  So the changeover will be occurring.  The storm is out of here by about 2 or 3 am so the morning commute shouldn't be to…

The Weekly Weather Take

Rather than a washout, its been a sticky weekend.  Dewpoints have been in the mid to upper 60's.   The last two Sunday's have been fall like but today will be a summer like day.  Temperatures will climb into the upper 70's and dewpoints will remain in the mid 60's.  The question most people want to know is when will the humidity break?  Unfortunately the uncomfortable conditions will remain in the region until Friday.  By the weekend temperatures will be in the lower 60's so relief is on the way.  So what is causing this summer like pattern?
A upper level low pressure area has dropped out of the pattern.  In a low pressure area winds blow counter clockwise.  That means that our wind direction is from the south and with a southerly wind comes moist tropical air.   A stalled frontal boundary remains just offshore.  Originally it looked like that boundary would be onshore and that's why the forecasts for this weekend turned out to be incorrect.  Its going to take …

Rain on the way for a few days

An upper level low pressure area has fallen out of the pattern and has become "cut-off" from the overall flow.  That means fetches of tropical moisture will be streaming into New England for the next 5 days.  Here is a look at the surface
The system will slowly creep towards the Atlantic coast.  The humidity is rough with this because of the tropical moisture it contains.  So for details...a constant threat of showers and thunderstorms for the next 72-96 hours.  Weather tomorrow will be the worst as over 2 inches of rain could fall.  Temperatures will creep into the mid 70's, but you will still need an umbrella or a rain coat.  Here is the rainfall forecast for the next 5 days.
Unfortunately this fits the climatology of years like this and it appears we will be in for a wet fall. 

A Fall Preview

I started a new job this week so I took some time off from the blog to get adjusted and settled on a schedule.  After some early week humidity fall came rushing in yesterday.  At Worcester Airport (elevation roughly 1000 ft) high temperatures did not make it out of the 50's yesterday, stalling at 59.  Here in the Blackstone Valley temperatures were able to climb to the mid 60's.  Today will be more of the same, lots of sun but the north wind will only allow temperatures to creep into the mid 60's.  Tonight mainly clear skies will allow temperatures to again drop into the mid 40's.  Some high clouds may develop to keep temperatures a little higher than last night.  This morning's low at Worcester airport was 44.  By comparison Smithfield, RI dropped to 41 this morning.  This is unseasonably cold weather this early in the season.  Technically, we are still in summer.  In the world of meteorology however, fall begins September 1st.  In our little world winter begins o…


Nothing to say today.  Enjoy football and never forget all of those we lost.

Heavy Rain ends, Rivers rise and recede

The Blackstone River will come out of its banks in Northbridge this afternoon.  It will be nothing like the flooding going on in PA and NY thankfully.  Godspeed to those folks who are facing evacuations by foot.  Southern New England was protected by an area of high pressure that did not allow the axis of heavy tropical moisture to feed into New England.  Our good fortune is someone else's nightmare so all we can be is thankful. The combination of this weeks rain on top of Irene's rain is causing this flooding.  Here is the Blackstone River forecast
The forecast calls for the river to rise almost to flood stage; I think it comes over its banks and crests around 10 feet, just like during Irene.  This is something to watch throughout the fall.  I wouldn't be surprised to see a top 5 flooding event in Northbridge during the fall.  Home and business owners along the Blackstone should be ready to evacuate; a flooding event like 2005 is not out of the question.

The good news is …

Rainy Days, more Tropical trouble brewing

I want to apologize to those expecting updates over the last few days.  My internet has been going on and off ever since Hurricane Irene so it has been difficult to post.  Hopefully that is all squared away; I missed a fantasy football draft last night because of it.  Anyway on to the weather...which has been dreary.  The remains of Tropical Storm Lee have combined with a frontal boundary and together the systems have been dropping heavy rain over areas that do not need it.  The heaviest rain has appeared to shut off for Southern New England.  That will not put us out of the woods; showers are still likely from now until Friday night.  The remnant circulation of Tropical Storm Lee will continue to push northeast and there will be another chance of heavy steady rain Friday night into Saturday morning from the interaction of Lee and Hurricane Katia passing well offshore of Nantucket.

Until Friday night there is a good chance the lulls in between rain will produce manageable weather.  I…

Katia will miss, Lee

Katia, Lee, and Labor Day

After 106 hours, power was restored to my neighborhood last night.  That is the longest I've ever been without power and it brought up an interesting question.  Would you rather face a Hurricane like Irene or a winter nor'easter?  Most people answered a Hurricane because there was nothing to shovel and the weather was warm so no one had to leave their home.  I actually cringe when I hear that response because Irene was nowhere near the strongest winds we could face in a hurricane.  Structural damage was limited to trees falling on homes.  In a category 1 or 2 hurricane there would be more damage to homes and businesses and people would be without power for longer.  
I see government officials are complaining about the long process of getting power restored.  Its a natural disaster that hit nearly the entire east coast.  Crews have been brought in from Michigan and Canada.  There were just too many trees down for a rapid response.  It does get old and frustrating sitting witho…

Katia and Lee

Hurricane Katia is moving west north west towards the Leeward Islands.  The storm will likely move north of the islands and head northwest somewhere between Bermuda and the east coast.  Its looking like Katia will be pushed away from the east coast with the greatest threat for Atlantic Canada.  This could change, but the forecast is calling for a midwest trough to kick Katia away.  This would allow for the system that will become Lee to move northward into the Tennessee Valley.  This could potentially be bad news for the northeast as areas hit hard by Irene's flooding may see more heavy rain.  Lee will likely be a Hurricane before moving into Louisiana. 

Rain will return by Saturday night with a chance of showers.  Hopefully everyone's power will be back by then.  Utility crews are finally working on the trees and power lines in my neighborhood so I hope to be back online with pictures of the storm and updates on Katia and Lee.

Irene Wrap Up

Sorry for the lack updates during the height of the storm.  I've been without power since 9 am on Sunday.  I am over my brothers place now.  Many have said Irene was no big deal.  If you still have power, no tree damage on your property, and no serious flooding then yes I agree, Irene was no big deal to you.  However hundreds of thousands are still without power and floodwater's are only slowly starting to recede in VT.  It may a week before power returns in communities like Marlboro, Northboro, Southboro, Mendon, Upton, Uxbridge, Blackstone, Millville, and Northbridge.   Was Irene as bad as it could have been? No it wasn't because there was very little in the terms of structural damage.  Irene spread it effects out over a large area.  It will go down as a memorable storm, probably worse than Bob in Central and Western New England.  In all 35 people are dead.

The national media coverage has been criticized about how they handled the storm.  Many people who are criticizing …