Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cold and Stormy

I'll analyze this weekends forecast when I get time. Overall, not that good.

This week at least brings 2 chances of wintry wx to west-central VA. First one is tomorrow, winter storm watch out for sleet/freezing rain. My thinking is it's a non-event for Charlottesville. WAA will scour out lower level cold, limiting any frz rain potential. Main impact might be some sleet initially, but that's it. Second system looks to be around Saturday. At this point, unsure the QPF amounts or levels of cold air. First guess is mainly snow for the mtns, mix here around cville, and rain east. If that's the case, and the southern stream does in fact make it this far north, likely to be much like this past weekend with highly variable snow amounts based on cold air available and precip onset.
The main story is the COLD. It will really feel like winter for the next week, with our max temps this week on Wednesday (50s) as the low pressure system moves past. Then back to 30s/40s with lows in the 20s. A very wild start to December to say the least.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Snow Is Coming

No major changes to my thinking right now. General area of 2-4" in West/Central VA. NC looks too warm for any significant accumulations, but flakes will definitely fly. Too much precip falling in warmer lower level air. I'll update with a final map tomorrow if need be.

Preliminary Snow Forecast for Saturday

Basic Thoughts:
NC- Rain changing to snow, not enough precip for any significant accumulations. Timing of cold air will be key.
VA- Central VA is the key spot with enough precip and cold air to accumulate. If banding develops as depicted on latest model runs, most likely to be between Charlottesville and Richmond, where some places could see 7" in a perfect world. Generally 2-4" to the east of the mountains into the Piedmont.

And I'm not forecasting for the mountains, FYI

Will update as we get closer.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


A lot of model disagreement, but the GFS continues to hint at the possibility of snow in the south and mid-atlantic late Friday into Saturday. Nothing firm yet, but the possibility is there. All depends on the track of the system moving up the East Coast at the same time arctic air invades. Can only wait and see. It would surely be one for the books, although the QPF at this point would only deliver 1 to 2 inches at most. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Change Is Good

After a few weeks of odd weather, from 80 degree days, to a nasty tropical nor'easter, it looks like the shift to a more typical winter pattern is on tap just in time for Thanksgiving. A look ahead at the Saturday after Thanksgiving: 0 line at 850mb is deep into the south and the GFS continues to show some sort of coastal low. Don't believe the map, it's 11 days out, but it does hint at what is coming...troughs return to the Eastern US.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

IDA Part Deux

Well, it might not still be named IDA, but the remnants have taken on a new life over the water east of the NC/VA coast. Waves of 23 feet! Check out the NDBC web page here: http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov This shows all the offshore buoy reports. Winds up to 65mph and major coastal flooding and beach erosion. Not to mention plenty of rain all over the southeast (see above). Should be nicer for the weekend!

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Not a whole lot to say, other than a surprising end to a rather benign N Atlantic hurricane season. I do think, and some of the models back me up, that the remnants are going to go much farther north than the NHC/TPC forecast. So instead of meandering in GA/FL, the low will be in NC/VA on its way up the eastern seaboard in the Tuesday to Wed time-frame as it gets quasi-embedded in the front moving our way. So instead of sunny and 80 like this weekend, it will be 60, windy and rainy late Tuesday into Wed here in Cville. Like so...from the 00Z GFS

If I'm wrong,I guess you'll just have to deal with better weather. Hopefully the coast down south doesn't take too much of a beating...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Canterbury is Burning!!!

Interesting article on a major change in Anglo-Catholic relations. Click on the title for the story. Is Rome seizing an opportunity to bring conservative Anglicans into the Catholic Church, or is this a good-will gesture to give disaffected Anglicans a shelter from the cold and ease dissension amongst the ranks? Or, is there really "one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church?" I provide the link...you decide.

NOAA's Winter Outlook

NOAA: El Niño to Help Steer U.S. Winter Weather

Winter Outlook - Precipitation

High Resolution (Credit: NOAA)

El Niño in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean is expected to be a dominant climate factor that will influence the December through February winter weather in the United States, according to the 2009 Winter Outlook released today by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. Such seasonal outlooks are part of NOAA’s suite of climate services.

“We expect El Niño to strengthen and persist through the winter months, providing clues as to what the weather will be like during the period,” says Mike Halpert, deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center – a division of the National Weather Service. “Warmer ocean water in the equatorial Pacific shifts the patterns of tropical rainfall that in turn change the strength and position of the jetstream and storms over the Pacific Ocean and the U.S.”

“Other climate factors are also likely to play a role in the winter weather at times across the country,” added Halpert. “Some of these factors, such as the North Atlantic Oscillation are difficult to predict more than one to two weeks in advance. The NAO adds uncertainty to the forecast in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic portions of the country.”

Highlights of the U.S. Winter Outlook (December through February) include:

  • Winter Outlook - Temperature

    High Resolution (Credit: NOAA)

    Warmer-than-average temperatures are favored across much of the western and central U.S., especially in the north-central states from Montana to Wisconsin. Though temperatures may average warmer than usual, periodic outbreaks of cold air are still possible.
  • Below-average temperatures are expected across the Southeast and mid-Atlantic from southern and eastern Texas to southern Pennsylvania and south through Florida.
  • Above-average precipitation is expected in the southern border states, especially Texas and Florida. Recent rainfall and the prospects of more should improve current drought conditions in central and southern Texas. However, tornado records suggest that there will also be an increased chance of organized tornado activity for the Gulf Coast region this winter.
  • Drier-than-average conditions are expected in the Pacific Northwest and the Ohio and Tennessee River Valleys.
  • Northeast: Equal chances for above-, near-, or below-normal temperatures and precipitation. Winter weather in this region is often driven not by El Niño but by weather patterns over the northern Atlantic Ocean and Arctic, such as the North Atlantic Oscillation. These patterns are often more short-term, and are generally predictable only a week or so in advance.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Early Season Snow

Reports of 7" already near State College PA. Possibly could see some wet flakes here in Cville this weekend...Oh and that 1 on the picture is 1 foot. I'll have to check the models before I commit to anything here.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Storm On...

It's snowing in the Northeast, now the HPC (Hydrometeorological Prediction Center) has painted probabilities ranging from high confidence of 4" to possibly (10%) of 12" in the PA/NY mtns. I am still holding on at least 8+' somewhere, but 12" wouldn't suprise me. Of course this won't all be today or tomorrow, but a multi-day event as this first system moves out (see low pressure prog above) and the next system moves down/develops with a deepening tough and more cold air over the weekend. Thought I'd throw in a picture to verify; I grabbed this one from Haneyville, PA, which is actually near where the heaviest snow axis should be, but I'm not sure
of their elevation...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Winter Weather from the Pros

This partially prompted my decision to blog...

Click below to see it full size (and to make me feel better about uploading their picture)


As you can see, something to get a mid-atlantic, OK, southerner's attention, especially since I live in the practical bulls-eye of the "cold and snowy" area. I also re-subscribed to accuweather pro today ($25 a month), which is a must if you are serious about following weather models as their models and variations are second to none, and the thoughts of Joe Bastardi as well. I'll post some of my other favorite site w/links later. And you will notice that I am a shameless accuweather promoter, they're really the best in the business. I also like the fact that they employ absolute weather nuts like Bastardi and Henry Margusity.

Anyhow, I know it's only October and the leaves are still on the trees here, but I hope their forcast lives up to its billing. Their main gist, if I can dumb it down enough, is that the trough axis this winter is going to be much further south than usual, and in combination with an el nino pattern and oscillation indeces that point to cold air blocking...we're in for some good times. In other words, cold+wet= snow.

It will also be interesting to see if the two systems coming through this weekend really prove to be close to the current model trends. People from NC to Maine, and possible peaks in VA could see the first flakes fly. That would be mid-October snow, not quite often you see that. Some in the mountains of PA and NY could see accumulations of 4-6". I'd place a bet that someone gets lucky and sees 8+" in the highest elevations, which will wreak havoc with leaves still on the trees. Back in 2001??, that was the cause for an interesting and damaging scenario in central NC during an early November ice storm. Never a good thing to have winter before the leaves fall. But I'm not complaining...


I've decided I have a few things to say. Most of it concerns weather. The other concerns politics. That's what I mean by temperature differential, probably most evident in what I might post relating to politics.
I'd be happy to hear from those interested in weather here in West Central VA. Nothing gets the adrenaline flowing like an impending snowstorm. Some people (family especially) say I'm obsessive and weird about my weather fascination. They're right...
Not sure if I would call this an amateur forecast page, just a way to express my thoughts and ideas on current events in both atmospheres.