Saturday, October 29, 2011

Mid-Day Nor'Easter Update

Surface Map Notice the Low Pressure off the EC
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 +).

IR rainbow imagery for GOES

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, but it may occur much sooner.  New York City has also turned over to snow much sooner than expected.  This storm is occurring during a "transition"  season (Fall).  The last major storm to occur during a transition season was the April Fools Blizzard of 1997.  Do I expect 3 ft? No I do not but in that storm amounts started off at 4-8 inches, then went up to 8-12, then 12-18 etc.  Given the real time data from the storm, I think my totals are underdone.  Lets call for 8-14 in Worcester County, 14-20 in the Berkshires, 4-8 for areas north of Bridgewater except for the immediate coast.  A low level wind will pick up the warmth of the Atlantic Ocean and keep the immediate coast mainly rain.  However inland our wind has much more of a northerly component, so I expect very little rain.
2 m temperatures
10 m winds
Tree damage is expected to be widespread and so will power outages.  You might need a battery operated radio to hear the Bruins game tonight.  

As always click to enlarge images and leave a comment if you have any questions or want a specific forecast for a given location.  Or leave a message on facebook.  Be safe in the storm

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Major Nor'Easter is on the Way

NAM forecast for 00z/8 PM tomorrow (18z/2 PM model run)
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.
NWS Taunton snowfall forecast

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, blankets, and food and water.  Snowfall will be coming down at nearly 1-2 inches per hour at the height of the storm.  These may last for several hours.  Thus, I am forecasting 6-10 inches of snow for the Blackstone Valley, 8-12 as you head further north and west.   Folks down in the Providence to Boston corridor can expect 3-6 inches.

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect
The whole event starts as rain.  Clouds increase from South to North throughout the day and rain begins to fall between 2-4 PM.  The changeover to snow occurs as the sun sets or whenever the precip begins to become heavy, whichever occurs first.  Conditions will deteriorate quickly once the changeover occurs.  I advise for people to be off the roads by 6 PM.  The storms clears out by mid morning Sunday.  High winds will rush in behind the storm, so if power is out crews will not get to work until Sunday evening at the earliest.

Finally, I leave you with the National Weather Service in Tauton's final words about the storm...



Any questions, contact me on Facebook or leave a comment.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

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.
Surface Weather Map
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 too bad.  Watch out for some slick spots due to left over slush on the roadways.  So now the question is how much snow will fall?  North of Worcester I expect a good slug of 2-5 inches of snow.  South of Worcester anywhere from 1 to 3 inches.  The snow will be heavy at times.  The ground is still warm, so its going to take a heavy burst for the snow to accumulate.  This same model is indicating that will happen.  

Tomorrow will feature lots of sunshine, but its only a tease.  Temperatures will peak in the mid 40's just like today.  This cold air mass will still be in place for Saturday.  In fact overnight Friday into Saturday morning will feature low temperatures in the upper 20's for most areas.  Saturday morning and early afternoon will be dry, but clouds will increase as an ocean storm approaches.  The energy from this storm is current moving through Texas.  This energy is partially responsible for the early season Colorado snow as well.  The energy will move across the Southeast and a new center will form off the coast of North Carolina.  The developing Nor'Easter will increase in strength as it approaches Southern New England.  The exact track and ultimate intensity are still to be determined.  However, a plowable snow for Southern New England appears to be on its way.  The event will begin as rain and then transition to snow.  Here is the "Dominant Precipitation type" forecast for Sunday Morning at 8 am..
 The final threat from this weekend's system will be the winds.  Strong North Easterly winds, aided by the heavy wet snow, will bring down trees and power lines.  It was no fun being without power after Hurricane Irene and next week looks to be unseasonably cool.  Therefore, get some supplies just in case your power goes out.  Batteries, water, blankets, food, and flashlights are a good start.  If you don't lose power don't worry about it, its only October 27.  We've had blizzards on April 1st.  We're in it for the long haul....

Biggest Snow Storm Of The Season Heads To Impact Region Tonight

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Norton, MA has issued a * Winter Storm Warning * from 7 PM tonight until 10 AM Wednesday.  A widesprea...