Monday, February 28, 2011

Big Boom - Severe Thunderstorms Sweep Through

Earliest storm reports from the severe thunderstorm(s) that swept through in a squall line: 

02/28/2011 0525 PM
Salisbury, Rowan County.
Thunderstorm wind damage, reported by trained spotter.
Power lines down at satesville Blvd and Enon chruch Rd

02/28/2011 0525 PM
Salisbury, Rowan County.
Thunderstorm wind damage, reported by trained spotter.
Large roof blocking Statesville Blvd near Hurley school

02/28/2011 0518 PM
5 miles NW of Salisbury, Rowan County.
Hail e1.00 inch, reported by trained spotter.
Spotter reported up to 1 inch hail NW of Salisbury.

Warm = Storm (Potentially Severe)

I've come to terms with the fact that it is not going to snow anytime soon...

Today is a bit warm for this time of year and very humid also, which means, wait for it...


Which also means, wait for it again...


OK. Stop waiting. That's the major news.


I expect we will see a squall line with the passage of the cold front this evening with pre-frontal showers/t-storms. (We are in the warm and unstable pre-frontal air mass; AKA warm front passed yesterday.)

Here is a link to the SPC homepage, which I added to favorite links on the upper right. Keep an eye on the latest severe thunderstorm watches and outlooks throughout today and this evening because I supposedly have a job and can't update all day.

Also, here is a good page to learn more about thunderstorms: SPC Thunderstorm FAQ

Monday, February 14, 2011

Winter - Is it Over?

Unfortunately it looks like it fellow winter fans. *This does not mean it may never drop below freezing or never snow again this winter* But, the odds are stacked against a cold pattern developing again as the northern jet stream (and attendant trough) has pulled north and will then back into the western U.S. in the next week. So what we will experience for the next 2 weeks at least is called "zonal flow", a fancy term that means our sensible weather will predominately come from the West or SW, not source regions for cold air masses by a long shot.

Moral of the story:

1. It is going to be warm for the foreseeable future - unfortunately my magic 8 ball says try again later when I ask how long that means - so we'll call it the next 14 days...

2. I'm going to be blogging less because the weather is not interesting sans cold or storms.

3. In other exciting news (perhaps you noticed) I am now broadcasting current conditions from my super secret weather nerd hideout located somewhere (maybe) in the Fulton Heights neighborhood of Salisbury. Basically I stepped up my weather game...

Until I See Cold. Penn. Out.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Models Go Dry But I'm Going High - Snow Forecast

Misleading title amount-wise, but if you look at weather models (doesn't everybody?) you would not expect to see a flake fall tonight...I'm betting they're wrong. So is our CYA NWS forecast office, who issued a winter wx advisory for Rowan tonight, while **Davidson County (different office) is not under one. Only the government...

My forecast for Rowan and surrounding counties tonight/early AM:

Quick shot of snow occurring around/after 10pm and only lasting a few hours. Temps should quickly drop, especially when snow starts, so the obvious question is how much precipitation actually falls...which doesn't look to be much in the scheme of things.

Expect 1/2" area wide with amounts increasing the further south you are from Salisbury. Depending on any heavier showers/bands, would not be surprised if some areas picked up a quick 2", again, best chance of that occurring would be south and east of the Salisbury megalopolis. 

Chilly tomorrow but temps will get above freezing, road issues should be minor, and then a cold night again before we see the aforeblogged (copyright on that word) warm-up.

Penn. Out.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Initial Snow Forecast: Big Swing Minus The Big Bang

I'll cut to the chase here due to time restraints, but the title sums up the general weather pattern shift that will occur following a snow event on Thursday.

Typically weather pattern shifts are precipitated (I can't help myself) by a major weather event/storm that signals the change. Last post I thought we had a fairly impressive looking setup for a snow-storm here on Thursday followed by very cold air - and then a major warm up to follow.

Instead, the system I still expect to bring snowfall to our area on Thursday is looking more subdued and weaker - yet the warm up is still on track. While I am not ready to write off the potential for a more robust system to develop by Thursday, the odds are against it - and therefore you will see the NWS, Weather Channel, AccuWeather, and whoever else guesses at the weather toning down their respective forecasts for snow on Thursday with corresponding increases in the overall temperature.

Here is my take: while not (by any stretch of the imagination) a major winter storm, by nightfall Thursday I expect to have approx 3" (or call it 2-4) of snow on the ground here in Salisbury, with areas south and east of us on the higher end of that. Huge deal, no, but it does look to be an all snow event which is always welcome compared to the proverbial "mixed-bag" we often receive. Temperatures on Thursday will struggle to get above freezing, fall below 32 when precip starts (early AM) and moderate slightly on Friday. It is possible (according to my 8 ball forecasting machine - yes, you can find them at Wal-Mart too).n Friday night could be the coldest night we see until next year if snow is on the ground.

As much as it pains me to write that (and secretly hope I am wrong) - the weather pattern will switch rather quickly after the storm passes. Expect a more zonal flow (West to East not North to South) in the following weeks - the persistent trough we have been experiencing in the Eastern US will make reappearances but not stay, and this means warmer weather and less storminess overall. Not to say Winter is completely done for, but climatology and the developing upper air pattern both point towards it.

So much for brevity. Plan to post at least once more before Thursday. Stay tuned.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Winter Storm Alert - Frigid Cold Alert - Warmth Alert?

The week ahead: 

Rain Monday Night/Tuesday AM followed by a colder air mass.

Potential MAJOR Winter Storm on Thursday - details will of course be
up in the air until we get closer. And yes, that was a weather pun.

COLD is coming behind the storm. End of the week we might see a day
when we do not get above freezing with lows in the low teens. If we have
snow on the ground we could have one night (Friday) with lows in the single digits.

All signs point to a pattern shift starting week after - once the cold high moves out
we say goodbye to trough in the East - i.e. warmer weather and less storminess
This is how one global model (literally the raw output so take it with a grain
of salt) sees the upcoming week in terms of temps and precip.
FORECAST FOR: RUQ <--- Smallisbury Airport   LAT=  35.65 LON=  -80.52 ELE=   774

                                            12Z FEB05
                 2 M     850     SFC     SFC     700    6 HR     500    1000 
                 TMP     TMP     PRS     RHU     RHU     QPF     HGT     500 
                 (C)     (C)    (MB)    (PCT)   (PCT)   (IN)    (DM)     THK 
SAT 12Z 05-FEB   2.0     8.7    1013      99      90    0.00     566     556    
SAT 18Z 05-FEB   7.0     6.5    1007      96      12    0.07     561     555    
SUN 00Z 06-FEB   5.1     3.0    1008      80      11    0.01     556     550    
SUN 06Z 06-FEB   0.0     2.8    1013      81      11    0.00     558     547    
SUN 12Z 06-FEB  -1.7     3.1    1015      82       7    0.00     559     546    
SUN 18Z 06-FEB   9.2     1.6    1016      50       4    0.00     560     547    
MON 00Z 07-FEB   3.4     1.8    1016      83      38    0.00     561     548    
MON 06Z 07-FEB   0.3     3.1    1016      91      32    0.00     560     546    
MON 12Z 07-FEB  -1.5     3.2    1016      93      47    0.00     558     545    
MON 18Z 07-FEB  12.3     3.1    1012      49      39    0.00     557     547    
TUE 00Z 08-FEB   7.7     2.0    1007      72      74    0.00     550     545    
TUE 06Z 08-FEB   5.4    -1.2    1008      86      62    0.03     540     534    
TUE 12Z 08-FEB   0.4    -4.0    1016      61       7    0.00     551     539    
TUE 18Z 08-FEB   5.9    -6.3    1019      39      16    0.00     553     538    
WED 00Z 09-FEB   1.6    -6.0    1022      54      46    0.00     553     535    
WED 06Z 09-FEB  -2.7    -6.5    1026      62      25    0.00     557     536    
WED 12Z 09-FEB  -4.3    -5.4    1029      62      45    0.00     558     535    
WED 18Z 09-FEB   4.7    -3.7    1026      41      45    0.00     560     539    
THU 00Z 10-FEB   0.1    -2.7    1024      75      43    0.00     560     541    
THU 06Z 10-FEB   1.7    -2.7    1022      69      81    0.01     558     541    
THU 12Z 10-FEB  -1.2    -1.8    1016      94      99    0.60     555     542    
THU 18Z 10-FEB  -2.0    -4.0    1011      88      86    0.61     549     541    
FRI 00Z 11-FEB  -6.5    -3.8    1013      89      35    0.07     552     542    
FRI 06Z 11-FEB  -8.8    -4.4    1016      89      30    0.00     553     541    
FRI 12Z 11-FEB -11.7    -5.3    1017      88      48    0.00     551     538    
FRI 18Z 11-FEB   1.0    -6.2    1017      72      39    0.00     548     535    
SAT 00Z 12-FEB  -2.9    -5.5    1016      90      25    0.00     546     533    
SAT 06Z 12-FEB  -7.1    -4.7    1017      91       6    0.00     543     529    
SAT 12Z 12-FEB -10.0    -5.4    1020      78      11    0.00     544     528  

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Bit of Winter - Winter Wx Advisory Likely

Don't push the panic button yet. The storm beginning late tonight/early tomorrow will bring a light mix of sleet, maybe a few snow flakes early on, then quickly change to freezing rain and then plain (albeit cold) rain. Nothing significant however.

I had held out hope we would see something more significant winter weather-wise, but we are lacking any good source of cold air; both near the surface, and especially aloft where temps are going to be too warm in the typical snow-flake (dendritic) growth zone. I'll try to post more details later.

Expect the NWS to issue a Winter Weather Advisory covering the overnight until around 10AM/Noon tomorrow.

Stay Tuned....