Friday, March 29, 2013

Easter Weekend Forecast

How does a return to the Mid 50's sound? The next three days should climb into the mid to upper 50's across all of Southern New England (except some of the higher elevations).  There will be an outside shot of 60 before some rain moves in Sunday afternoon/evening.

A sprinkle or a light shower is possible this afternoon.  Otherwise skies will be partly to mostly cloudy with a few breaks of sun.  Temperatures will look like this
09z RAP 2 m temperatures 3 PM (image weatherbell)
Lows drop to the mid 30's tonight. Colder in higher elevations.

Highs will be in the lower to mid 50's on Saturday.  It should also be a mostly sunny day with light winds.  Pick of the weekend.
00z EURO 2 m temps Saturday afternoon (image weatherbell)
Overnight lows drop into the low 30's/upper 20's in the cold regions.

Easter Sunday
Some rain will be working in from the west.  The models are timed different.  I would expect the clouds to be building around noon after a great start.  Any Easter egg hunts would be best in the morning/early afternoon.  Temperatures will be in the 50's again with a stronger west wind.  Here is Sunday at 8 PM
00z EURO 2 m temp, precip (image weatherbell)
That is right on the doorstep.  Here is the total rainfall I and the Weather Prediction Center are expecting
through Wednesday (another burst of rain Monday evening is likely)
WPC 5 day precip totals
Enjoy the holiday weekend.  I'll post some more this weekend on the upcoming Hurricane Season and another long range discussion.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Mostly Sunny Today, Rain/Snow Showers Possible Tomorrow

Yesterday turned out to a pleasant day in the Blackstone Valley.  Some snow flurries were reported early in the day and I received reports of a heavy snow squall in the Bolton area.   For today you can hit the repeat button.  It will be mostly sunny but there will be a chance of a light shower or flurry.  Tomorrow morning a snow squall may develop during the morning commute.  That could make travel slow on the way to school/work.

Current Weather
The radar is quiet in Southern New England this morning
NWS Northeast regional radar 508 am
The surface map is also quiet
WPC Surface Analysis 330 am
Low pressure is offshore, high pressure to the southwest and the northwest.  The flow leaves the Northeast vulnerable to some pop up rain/snow showers.  The current temperatures look like this
4 am Regional 2 m temps (image weatherbell)
Short Term Forecast
The Jet Stream is still forecast to stay well south of the Northeast
06z NAM 250 mb winds, 2 PM Wed (NCEP)
The reason for this has been the weakening of the polar vortex at the north pole.  This has allowed for the jet stream to drop very far south.  Its a good thing we are getting this in March and not late January
Arctic Oscillation observed and forecast (GFS) (image weatherbell)
Last March the AO was strongly positive so this is a natural correction.  That leaves temperatures today in the upper 40's.  It started colder today than yesterday
00z EURO 2 m max temps Wednesday Afternoon (image weatherbell)
Look how far into the south the cold is.  Record lows will be possible over the next few days all the way to Florida.  Tonight lows drop into the upper 20's
00z EURO 2 m min temps 2-8am Thur (image weatherbell)
Back tracking just a bit here is the 500 mb chart for right now
06z NAM 500 mb heights, vort (NCEP)
Notice Maine where there are a couple of "X's"? Scroll back up and look at Eastern Maine on the radar image.  Now lets look at the 500 mb pattern for tomorrow morning
06z NAM 30 hour 500 mb heights, vort (NCEP)
The trough slides down the coast and will bring with it some snow squalls.  I don't expect much accumulation but a quick inch or two may fall in the higher elevations.  Here is the Weather Prediction Center's two day precipitation forecast
WPC 2 day precipitation totals (WPC)
Expect temps in the upper 40's tomorrow.  The weekend still looks good, although I now see the possibility of rain moving into New England Sunday afternoon.  Unfortunately when we get "mild" temps this time of year rain usually follows.  More on the weekend tomorrow.  Have a good day.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Temps stay in 40's during the week, 50's this weekend

This weather pattern has been stubborn. Over the next 7-10 days our weather will feel more winter like than spring like.  The trade off is this Sunday (Easter for many) will be nice.  Here is a quick outlook for the next few days.

Current Conditions/Observations
The snowstorm that brought a record 18.5 inches to Springfield. IL managed to stay south of New England. 
03/26/13 445 am Water Vapor Sat
Indianapolis recorded one of its biggest March snowfall's on record
NWS Indianapolis snowfall reports 
Now cities in the Midwest are creeping up the "all-time" snowfall list just as some here in New England.  Speaking of New England, temperatures are ok this morning.
5 am 2 m temperatures (image weatherbell)
Temperatures will moderate into the upper 40's and even the low 50's in a few areas.  Boston should see 50 or be very close today
08z RAP 2 m temps 5 pm (image weatherbell)
Here is the surface chart.  One can see how close the storm really is, yet it is just far enough away.
WPC surface analysis 330 am
Winds will be blustery and out of the north today.  Here are the current winds as of 5 am
NCEP RTMA 10 m winds 5 am
Tonight lows drop to the upper 20's/low 30's.  They rebound to around 50 again tomorrow.  The winds will also relax a little bit.  On Thursday I am still expecting some isolated rain showers.  I do not expect them to amount to much.
5 day precip totals (WPC)
Our next rain threat is next Monday New England.  A warm up this weekend followed by rain- fairly typical for early spring.  That's all for now, more later.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday Morning Update

Skies will be mostly cloudy today with a chance of snow/rain showers as a systems passes well to the south of New England.  Temperatures will slowly creep toward 50 this week and Easter is still looking pretty nice. I'm cautiously optimistic that there will be no more snow.  My forecast for April, May, and Hurricane Season can be found here.  

Current Conditions/Observations
Here is the current surface chart
WPC surface analysis 330 am EST
The Northeast Regional Radar is active this morning
NWS NE regional radar 430 am
On the water vapor satellite this is what it looks like this morning
GOES_East Water Vapor Satellite 345 am
The general movement with this system is west to east.  It will not gain much latitude.  The reason is the Jet Stream.  Here it is at 250 mb
06z NAM 250 mb Jet
A ridge remains in the southwest while below normal cold continues east of the Rockies.  Here is a snapshot of temperatures across the United States
CONUS 2 m temps 4 am (image weatherbell)
Short Term Forecast
Today will not be a great day.  It will often be gray and pockets of drizzle may develop, especially south of the Pike.  Later this afternoon/this evening the South Coast of New England will pick up some rain.  I do think this stays south of Providence.  Total rainfall expected today
WPC 1 day precip totals
A batch of heavier precipitation lurks just offshore, but for once Southern New England dodges a bullet.  Temperatures will be in the lower to mid 40's.
06z NAM hires 2 m temps valid 3 PM (image weatherbell)
I think this is the last precipitation threat for awhile.  Overnight lows drop to the upper 20's tonight.  Tuesday will be a pleasant day.  It will be like Sunday with light winds, mostly sunny skies, and temps in the upper 40's.  Winds increase a bit on Wednesday and skies will be partly cloudy.  Temps in the mid 40's in Eastern Mass, low 40's elsewhere.  There may be some isolated showers on Thursday
00z EURO Thursday 2 PM
It looks light so NBD.  The Mountains of Northern New England should pick up some snow this week.   Here is the 10 day EURO snow totals
00z EURO total snowfall 240 hours (image weatherbell)
And that's a good place for it.  I see some warmer temperatures in the mid 50's this weekend.  Here is Easter
00z EURO 168 hr 2 m temps (image weatherbell)
This is the max for Easter afternoon.  That looks mid 50's for a lot of SNE.  That's all for this morning, have a good day.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Looking Ahead to Easter, April, May, and Hurricane Season

The last two months have been cold and snowy and many of us are all set with winter.  A storm will slide south of New England (very rare for late March) and plaster much of the I-70 to I-80 corridor with heavy wet snow.  The Jet Stream is still well to our south so the below March temperatures continue until the end of the week.  I do think Easter is going to be very nice; 57-60 and mostly sunny is my first guess.  

Note- this is a very long post covering several topics.  

Short Term Forecast
Here is how North America looks in temperature anomalies this March (departure from average)
NCEP temperature anomlies March 2013 (image weatherbell)
Warmth is building in the southwest which is good to see.  Its going to take awhile for it to get to New England and it won't stay long.  Here is the jet stream for tomorrow afternoon
06z NAM 250 mb wind speeds 2 pm Monday
Here are the forecast temperature anomalies from the EURO for tomorrow afternoon
00z EURO 48 hour temp anomaly deg F (image weatherbell)
Tomorrow New England stays dry.  There may be a dusting to an inch on the South Coast of New England. But that's about it! In fact there will not be much precipitation in the next week.
WPC 7 day precipitation totals
Much of the precipitation in New England will be associated with an upper level low that cuts off near Maine.  The blocking that has led to this pattern is still in place so the North Atlantic is still jamed with storms.  Temperatures for the week will be at average or slightly below average.  The sun is stronger each and every day so expect highs in the mid 40's.

Easter Weekend
I like what I see.  Its brief, but if there's going to be a shot of spring I'm glad it will be in time for Easter.  

Holy Thursday- High temperature of 45, dropping into 30's by evening
Good Friday- Slightly warmer, high 47 dropping to 40 by evening
Saturday- Low 50's, partly cloudy.  Bring a warm jacket to Easter vigil 
Easter- Upper 50's, partly cloudy.  Chilly start but a nice rebound.

I will fine tune this during the week.

April & May (techincal)
The climate prediction center has put out its forecast for April and April through June.  Here is the April forecast
CPC April Temps
CPC April Precipitation
I have blended a group of years together that have shown similarities to 2013 so far.  Those years are 1957, 1960, 1969, 1993, 2003, 2005.  In general these years are neutral ENSO conditions following a weak El Nino.  Here is what April precip and temperature look like using this blend
April temp anomalies 
In general April should be a 1-2 degrees F warmer than average in the Northern part of the country.  Here is the precipitation
April precip anomalies
I do think the temps in Texas and the Southern Plains will be warmer than what my analogs indicate.  There is only one year from the 1950's in my blend; that was a drought filled decade much like the 2010's are going to be.  Lets look at May
May 2013 temperature analogs
This is 1-2 degrees below average for most east of the Rockies.  This wants to develop a ridge out west and a trough in the east.  This also indicates frontal activity along the east coast and Northern Gulf of Mexico. It would not surprise me to see an early tropical cyclone (more on that later).  Here is precipitation
May 2013 precipitation analogs
Dry and below normal precipitation for the northeast?  I'm not sure about that.  2005 is matching up very well to 2013 so far.  Here is March and May 05
March 2005 temperature
This looks similar to what we've seen in 2013.  Now lets look at May 05 precipitation
May 05 precipitation
Its still dry, but along the east coast in New England and the Carolina's is enhanced rainfall.  Why do I think 2005 is a good year? Atlantic Ocean Sea Surface temperature anomalies.
March 21, 2013 sea surface temp anomaly (OSPO)
A classic signal in the Atlantic Ocean is in place for Hurricane Season.  Here is 2005, the Hurricane Season which all are judged by
March 22, 2005 sea surface temperature anomaly (OSPO)
Here is the sea surface temperature chart from May 05.  Its going to be tough to see but try and enlarge the image to look at the waters off New England
May 10, 2005 sea surface temperature anomaly (OSPO)
With the strength of the March cold, I believe colder than normal ocean temperatures will exist into May.  Winter 2004-05 was very snowy in Southern New England and also featured an all time Blizzard.  Now the March's are lining up nicely. This leads me to my final, most important point.

Initial 2013 North Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook
For Hurricane Season I'm tossing 1993 out.  There is no point blending a cold AMO/warm PDO season with Warm AMO/cold PDO.  The big daddy that sticks out is 2005
2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season named storms
2005 had a record 28 named storms, a record 15 hurricanes, a record 4 Category 5 Hurricanes, a record tying 5 Category 4 storms, and the second most major hurricanes (7).  2005 was the year of Katrina.  This isn't to scare anyone, but there has not been a category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic Basin since Felix in 2007.  Here is 2003
2003 Atlantic Hurricane Season named storms
There was also a Cat 5 in 2003, Isabel which ended up smashing into the NC coast.  A Hurricane named Juan furiously lashed Nova Scotia.  16 named storms developed.  Lets go back to 1969
1969 Atlantic Hurricane Season
Another extremely busy season, with 18 named storms, 12 hurricanes, and 5 major hurricanes.  The most notable storm of the year was Category 5 Hurricane Camille which devastated LA, MS, and AL.  Camille is one of only 3 Category 5 hurricanes to strike the United States in the last 100 years.  Here is 1960
1960 Atlantic Hurricane Season
Hurricane Donna ran the entire east coast.  It peaked as a Category 5 hurricane.  Hurricane Ethel also peaked near Category 5 strength in the Gulf of Mexico before impacting LA/MS.  Finally 1957
1957 Atlantic Hurricane Season
Hurricane Audrey smashed the Southeastern Texas coast as a Category 4 Hurricane in June.  I image some of the global warming people's heads would explode if that happened this year.  If it does I warned you; its happened before and it will not be "unprecedented".

So what we have seen is that in these analogs the United States is subject to major Hurricane activity. I expect a significant Hurricane season along the lines of 2004, 2005.  It has been 8 years since a major hurricane hit the United States (allegedly*).  I think that breaks in 2013.  

*If Ike or Sandy hit in previous decades it would have been considered a major hurricane.  Wind energy was a bit less but the power of the surge in those hurricanes rate it as a major in terms of impact*

Will New England see a Hurricane?  Maybe.  We have seen a storm pass very close to New England 5 straight years.  We have taken a good blow from Irene and Sandy the last two years.  I sense a direct hit in the near future (this year or next year).  So in terms of numbers...

Named Storms- 20-25
Hurricanes- 8-12
Major Hurricanes- 4-6 with at least 1 Cat 5

The entire coast from Brownsville, TX to Bar Harbor, ME should keep a weary eye on the tropics this year.

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