Sunday, December 16, 2007

Part 1 Done, Part 2 Beginning

Part 1 of this storm didn't behave anything like I expected it to. There are a variety of reasons why things didn't turn out. The influence of Olga striking Florida...the coastal storm not blowing up...all in all this storm has been a complex, disorganized mess...a forecasting nightmare to say the least.

We have changed back to snow now and should stay there as the coastal storm, now off the coast of New Jersey, continues to develop. The precipitation shield remains disorganized and broken, so some breaks in the precipitation are likely. I still think we should be able to squeeze 3-6" more out of this storm before it is done later tonight. However, the prospects for a snow-day tomorrow are no longer very high.

I will be updating the development in a few hours...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

10PM Update: A "Perfect Storm?"

The snow continues to pick up in intensity across the area and I don't think it will stop becoming heavy anytime soon. The snow/sleet line is still way south in central PA and not advancing north. I remain steadfast in thinking we will be all snow.

Even more interesting is what is happening in the southeast. The remains of Tropical Storm Olga are starting to show signs of getting caught up in the developing coastal low. If that happens, this low will have more moisture and will likely be strong than anticipated. Since the National Weather Service doesn't have the coastal low developing until late tomorrow off the New England coast, I am concerned that they are really blowing this forecast bad. We will have to watch and see how this thing continues to play out, but if anything, in the end, this could be a very memorable, historic storm across the entire eastern third of the country.

As Henry Margusity, Accuweather.com's Senior Meteorologist says in his blog...."It's like the perfect storm happening in front of our faces and we are just starting see it happening."

STAY TUNED!

So it begins!

The snow has started to fall here ever so lightly, but it is just the start of things to come. Despite most other people still insisting on sleet mixing in, I am sticking to my guns and saying this will not happen. So far, it looks like conditions are starting to favor the all snow forecast.

Temperatures at the surface are in the 30's all the way into North Carolina. Another interesting thing going on in the Carolinas is the winds and pressures are starting to indicate the development of the coastal storm. This is happening way faster than the models projected. As a result, the low to the west of the Appalachian Mountains will not be as strong or make it as far north as the models show. This will in turn mean the warm air won't get in here...not that it would have an easy time doing so since the cold air is so entrenched anyways.

Another thing about the models and cold air is showing up over Ohio. The models had temperatures there in the upper 30's and low 40's...but instead, temperatures have stuck near or just above freezing. So the models are too warm as well, which also translates to a lower chance of sleet here.

All in all the models have not been handling this well so I have pretty much thrown out the recent runs and my thinking from the previous days has not changed. The only thing I would change on my snowmap from last night would be to extend the 12-18" line to include more of Western New York and maybe up the 18" to 20" or even 24". Other than that, everything looks good locally.

Now, as you wake up tomorrow, there will likely already be at least 3-6" of new snow. As the day goes on, the snow will become very heavy and the winds will pick up as well. This will make travel very, very dangerous, so if you don't have to go out tomorrow, stay home. This will continue into tomorrow night before tapering off sometime after midnight.

Final Snow Map

Here is my final predictions for the entire storm, not just limited to Groton. (click to zoom)



A couple of things to point out. First off, Groton falls in the pink, 12-18" range. Now for a while Sunday, warm air will try to move in. I don't think it will get here though, instead staying to the southeast where I have "sleet" written in. It is because of that sleet that snow totals are lower there. I am thinking the snow should start by 7 or 8PM Saturday. It probably won't get very heavy until after midnight, but we should already have 2-4" by Sunday morning. Through the morning hours, the snow will intensify and the winds will pick up. The temperatures will start to drop as well. By the afternoon, travel will become very dangerous. The snow will continue into Sunday night and not taper off until early Monday morning. It certainly looks like Monday will be a snow day.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wasting no time!

Well, the first storm has pulled off and accelerated, meaning even the far eastern reaches of New England are mostly precipitation free. I recorded 6.4" here at my house...if you have any measurements, feel free to send them in!

Now, its already time to focus on the next storm. The National Weather Service didn't give us much of a break and has already issued a Winter Storm Watch. Piecing together what this says and what Henry Margusity of accuweather.com has been saying, I think our chances for a foot or more are pretty decent. I will issue a map for the entire East Coast sometime tomorrow and will likely go into "storm mode" Saturday afternoon. The snow should start sometime Saturday evening or Saturday night and last into Sunday night. Keep checking back for updates as things come together!

3 PM Storm Update

As of 2:30, I had a bit over 5" of snow at my house, though the snow has picked up considerably in the last 30 minutes. However, this storm is in its final stages now, and within the next 30 to 60 minutes, the snow should stop for a time. The snow will start up again later, but shouldn't be as heavy. Here is the latest radar:

As you can see, there is a dry slot just to our west. This has been becoming more pronounced all afternoon, which is why I am pretty certain the snow will stop completely for a while, just in time for the commute home. I would think another 1-3" will fall before all is said and done.

As for this weekend's storm, it is looking like we could be in for a big one. Not only will the snow be heavy, but the winds should be strong as well, making for near blizzard conditions. More on this later tonight and tomorrow.

Thursday Storm Update: 11AM

I am glad to see that some schools around the area, including Groton, closed today. The roads already are bad and they will only get worse as the storm progresses. The storm itself should wrap up and move out by later this evening. Total accumulations will reach 5-9".

Now, for the Senior Trip. Mr. Levick told me the plans are to leave around 4AM Friday morning. This storm should be long gone by then, only effecting Northern New England. The weather looks to remain quiet right through Friday and Friday night for the entire region, with just some light lake effect flurries. Looks like good timing!

I will update more on the nor' easter later this afternoon.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Duel Storms Update: 11PM Wednesday

Two significant winter storms will effect the area over the next 5 days, the first one being tomorrow and the second one on Sunday. Here are my latest thoughts:

For tomorrow's storm, it appears we are in for a 4-8 hour period of some very heavy snow. This will likely fall tomorrow afternoon, making the trip back from school hazardous. I would not be surprised if school around the region let out early tomorrow and can almost assure you that after school and evening activities will be canceled. We are looking at a good 5"-9", maybe 10" or 11" snowfall tomorrow. The snow should be tapering off towards evening. I understand the Class of 2008 is heading to New York City tomorrow night...if someone would let me know what time they are planning on leaving, I could try to piece together a forecast for the trip down. But unless I know what time departure is, I can't really say if this trip will get snowed out or not...but Friday should see an improvement in the weather that will last into Saturday until....

...the bigger of the two storms on Sunday! This storm looks to be a classical nor' easter, with plenty of cold, wind and snow in store for much of the Northeast. Here in Central New York, it looks like the worst may come Sunday afternoon and evening, with heavy, blowing snow making travel very dangerous. This storm will have more moisture to work with than Thursday's, so snow totals should be higher. In fact, this system may be able to pick up some extra moisture from ex-Tropical Storm Olga. I haven't mentioned Olga before partially because I have been busy, but also because hurricane season ended November 30th. However, Olga formed near Hispaniola earlier this week and may have its moisture sucked into this storm. Back here, it looks like we could be in store for a foot or more of snow from this one. Stay tuned over the next couple of days as this storm gets ironed out.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

storm after storm...then maybe a BIG one!

Storm system after storm system will continue to parade across the country. One is moving though right now with rain; another is forecast to move through Thursday. However, my focus is already on the weekend in what is already being dubbed "The Superstorm of 2007"!

A storm system will sweep out of the South Central US into the Southeast, reform off the coast of North Carolina and zip up the coast Sunday. This storm does look to be a fast mover, meaning snow totals will likely be lower than they would otherwise. You have heard me say it a million times before, but it is worth saying again: Its too early to give totals yet, but if I had to go out on a limb and hint at an amount, I would say a double-digit snow fall is possible.

I am now done with my first semester of college, which means I now have plenty of time to watch and forecast for this storm...that can't be said about the past week! So, keep checking back! I will most likely be doing updates at least twice a day from now on....one in the morning on the normal website, then a blog at night. Of course, that is just the minimum!

STAY TUNED!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Sunday-Monday Precipitation Map

Most of this precipitation will fall this evening and overnight, tapering off Monday morning.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Lake Effect Maps

Here are a couple of maps illustrating my thoughts on the lake effect snow. The map on the left shows an approximation of the band set up. This doesn't mean the heaviest snow will form right in these areas. Instead, it is just to show that there will likely be multiple bands of heavy snow embedded in a general spray of lake effect. Likewise, with the snow fall amounts, not everyone in the 6-12" or even the 3-7" range will get that much. That all depends on the set up of the bands.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The snow (ice) day question...

A large area of freezing rain and rain has moved into the area. This should stay as freezing rain until 11 or midnight, but then the warm air will win out and change it over to rain. The precipitation should taper off to just showers by 3 AM anyways. So, I get the job of brining bad news to all you hoping for a day off tomorrow:

I don't think its going to happen. Sorry!

See-saw Forecast

I have gone back and forth on this forecast so much all weekend, but now that things are actually happening, I think that a combination of forecasts are coming together to be the most likely scenario. We picked up nearly 4" of snow last night and I think it is a safe bet to say we can squeeze another 1-4" out of this, putting us right in the 5-8" range I predicted. However, I underestimated the warm air aloft, which means the sleet and freezing rain that has started to occur will continue.

Right now, there is a bit of a lull in the storm as the first wave of energy passes. The low itself is still back to our west and is enhancing the precipitation downstream of us. This will move in later this evening and last through tomorrow morning.

As for a day off from school, I am less confident now than yesterday, but I still think there is a decent chance. I would think at the very least a delay would be in store. I will try to update with a more certain answer tonight, but I may not be able to before 9:30 or 10.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Saturday Evening Analysis

Ok guys, here we go. The National Weather Service has the area under a Winter Weather Advisory, a choice I disagree with. They are still insisting the snow will mix with sleet, then change to freezing rain and even some rain. They are currently projecting 2-5" of snow, with up to 0.25" of ice. However, it is so cold (in the teens and single digits) that I do not see enough warm air intruding to change that over to freezing rain, and certainly not plain rain. There may be some sleet tomorrow evening and overnight, but I think that majority of this will be snow.

Because of this, I am going to keep my snow map the same. I am going to stick with my gut and still say 5-7" of snow and sleet. The snow will start overnight tonight, closer to morning and continue right through Monday morning. There will likely be a lull tomorrow during the afternoon as the low transfer's its energy off the coast. It should pick up overnight again though. The winds will be strong as well, blowing the snow around.

As for a snow-day Monday, I am not totally sold one way or the other yet, but if I had to say something, I would say no school Monday in Groton. We'll see how this develops tomorrow, so make sure to check back!

On a side note, if you are ever need a forecast for areas from Syracuse north to Watertown and east to Old Forge, I have launched yet another website with a few of my fellow weather nerds, so be sure to check it out! www.geocities.com/east_lowx

Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday's Snow Map


Here is my latest snowfall map. I probably won't be changing this much from here out unless something drastic happens. Groton is in the 5-8" range, though sort of on the edge...so expect probably 5 or 6 inches. Keep checking back tomorrow for updates!

Friday Afternoon Storm Thoughts

I actually do not have much new information on the upcoming storm. Winter Storm Watches have been posted for most of New York, except the counties under the jurisdiction of the NWS in Binghamton, which includes the entire region. I would bet they have not issued them yet because they still tend to think it will rain.

This will not happen...it may sleet for a while, but it will not rain. The models may say it will rain, but from the start, the models have not handled this set up well. For example, the models predicted temperatures in the teens and 20's across the Dakotas this morning....instead, they were 10-20 colder in the single digits! This error is caused by a couple of things that are carried over into what the models say for us this weekend. So while the NWS says snow, then rain, then snow again, I assure you it will not rain.

Other than that little rant, there isn't much new to say right now. I don't think the higher amounts on my map last night will occur, so I will be lowering them on my next map. However, the minimum amount for Groton should stay at 5"...I just think 10" is way too much to expect.

Look for another map later tonight between 5 and 7PM!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Storm Snow Map: 5PM

I have compiled what I think is a pretty good snow map for this far out. Keep in mind this is subject to change, in the coming days...but I think we are close enough to the storm now that this seems to be a decent prediction. The red pointer is Groton, which, as you can see, is in the 5-10" range. I don't think I will have to lower that at all, but I feel I might have to boost that up some before the storm comes.

Weekend Snowstorm: Thursday Afternoon Update

The models are starting to make more sense with this storm and it looks as if everything is starting to shape up for at least a moderate snowfall across most of Central New York Sunday and Monday. Of course the major question is: Snow day Monday? It is still too early to tell and there is a lot of questions that remain to be answered, but I will admit there is at least a chance!

Now, onto the meteorology of this. A storm is forming south of California over the Pacific Ocean. This storm will move into the Souther Plains and then up into the Great Lakes. This is the first part of the storm. A cold front will have brought in very cold air on Saturday. This cold air will be trapped, meaning everything that falls should be some form of frozen precipitation (snow, sleet or freezing rain.) A good 3-6" of snow and sleet is looking like a good bet from this part of the storm.

The storm center will then reform off the East Coast. There is some uncertainty as to where, with the models pointing to a reformation further north than perhaps makes sense. They are, however, tending to come further south recently. This means more cold air will be brought in, making a change over to rain unlikely. This will also likely get rid of any sleet and freezing rain, making it all snow. How much more snow we pick up from this part of the storm is still up in the air depending on where the storm reforms, its track, and how fast it moves.

I am experimenting with a snow map, so look for that later this evening or tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Storm Potential Heads-Up

This storm is still 4 or 5 days out, but its time to at least start talking about the potential. A large storm system is forecast to develop in the Southern Planes and head northeast this weekend. With very cold air in place across the entire northern tier of the nation, someone is going to get a lot of snow out of this. There are two scenarios that seem possible with this weekend's storm:

The first has the storm plowing into the Great Lakes, bringing possible blizzard conditions to the Western Great Lakes, well away from us. This scenario would spare us heavy snow, though we would still likely get snow and maybe sleet and freezing rain.

The second scenario has the storm coming towards the Great Lakes like scenario 1, but then transferring energy to a second, coastal storm. This would place the heavy snow somewhere much closer by, if not right over Central New York Sunday and Monday.

My gut likes scenario 2...some of the more common models favor scenario 1. As a result, there is tons of uncertainty, so stay tuned as things iron out!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Awesome Satellite!

Before I get to the point of this post, I would like to recap Friday's Severe weather..and why we didn't get any. If you recall, I was quite excited before hand about the potential for some major severe weather. However, there were too many clouds and too much rain to allow for things to fire up. By early afternoon, I had narrowed my prediction to roughly 15-20 storm reports across the whole Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Here is the storm report map from Friday so you can't say I totally messed up the forecast! *laughs*



Now, onto the point of this post. I was looking at some satellites imagery today and I zoomed in on Southern California, which has been in the news with winds over 100mph and massive forest fires. You can clearly pick out the smoke from the fires blowing out over the Pacific Ocean. I haven't figured out how to get it to loop on here yet...if I don't figure it out and you want to see it, let me know and I can send the loop to you!


Now, it seems we hear about high winds and fires in southern California every year around this time. Often times, the media blames the "Santa Ana" Winds, and rightly so. But what are they and why are they so destructive? Accuweather does an excellent job explaining this phenomena. I would simply link to the story, but since it is one of their headline stories, the article will likely no longer be available in the next day or two. So, here is a screen shot of the article, courtesy of Accuweather (click to enlarge!):

Friday, October 19, 2007

2PM Update

The Severe Weather Expert at Accuweather.com (Henry Margusity) has updated his analysis of the threat for today. He generally reflects what the Storm Prediction Center implied and my main concern going through today.

The clouds and rain have helped stabilize the atmosphere. However, there is a wave of energy lifting northward from West Virginia. It is this enhanced energy, combined with all the moisture and strong winds in the atmosphere, that will get things going in a few hours. Henry said to expect about a dozen storm reports total...I still think there might be a bit more, maybe 15-20 across the whole northeast and mid-Atlantic.

Expect the next update later this afternoon as storms begin to form!

12:30PM Update

The storm prediction center has lessened the chance of damaging wind in their 12:30PM outlook. While the coverage are of the tornado threat has shrunk, it remains the same across all of Central New York and Pennsylvania. There is still a lot of rain out there from last nights weather and it is tough to say how much this will prevent other storms from developing. Even with the rain, there still should be at least some severe thunderstorms developing later on.

Next update: 2 or 3PM or sooner

Friday Morning Thoughts

Clouds and rain showers that are left over from yesterday's storms are keeping us from getting the sun out this morning. This will probably prevent a massive, widespread severe weather outbreak from occurring. However, I still think there is a good chance of some really nasty weather late this afternoon. Normally, a great deal of instability is needed to get lots of severe weather going. One of the easiest ways to get this is to get the sun out. However, this storm's power is in the winds aloft blowing strongly one way and the winds lower in the atmosphere blowing strong in a different direction. This is called "shear" and is important for tornadoes and damaging winds.

Now, lets take a look at yesterday's latest storm report map:


I want to point out the smattering of red (tornadoes) in Michigan. I checked back to see what their weather conditions were like at this time yesterday. Surprisingly, I found very similar conditions to what we have now: Temperatures in the upper 60's and low 70's, dew points in the mid to upper 60's...and most importantly, clouds. Temperatures didn't rise much above the low to mid 70's as well....yet they still got hammered.

Now...we are not Michigan and there are many other factors that will prevent us from having the extent of severe weather that they had. However, the potential is most certainly there for lots of damaging winds and a couple of tornadoes. Check back for another update probably around 12:30-1PM.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tomorrow's Threat

Tornado watches now stretch from Wisconsin, east to Michigan and south to almost the Gulf of Mexico as Day 2 of the severe weather outbreak starts to get going. Yesterday, there were over 200 reports of severe weather, including 15 tornadoes, as shown below:

And here are the current tornado watches (shown as red boxes):


Now, for tomorrow. Accuweather's severe weather expert, Henry Margusity, keyed in on our area this morning in his blog when he said "That area could see a squall line with wind damage and perhaps tornadoes, especially from State College to Altoona to Williamsport to Syracuse to Watertown..." So basically what he is saying is the best chance for very damaging winds and tornadoes is Central New York and Pennsylvania.

A lot of the things I have seen indicate that morning cloud cover could prevent thigns from really getting out of hand. I actually emailed Henry Margusity, asking him how bad he thought it would get if there was little to no sun tomorrow morning. If he responds (he is very busy needless to say) I will let you know what he thinks.

Regardless, tomorrow needs to be watched very closely. I have no classes tomorrow (yay!) so you can be assured updates will be posted very often. The best chance for severe storms will likely be from mid afternoon on.

STAY TUNED!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Second Severe Thunderstorm Season

Often times the autumn season brings a renewed threat for severe thunderstorms across the nation as the seasons change from warm to cold. While widespread outbreaks are not as common as they are in the spring and early summer, they do happen from time to time and can be very, very destructive. Today is day 1 of 3 of one of these outbreaks. This severe weather outbreak will eventually spread all the way into our area on Friday. Here are the Storm Prediction Center maps for the threat the next 3 days:

THERE ARE TECH. PROBLEMS AT THE MOMENT THAT ARE PREVENTING ME FROM UPLOADING PICTURES...CHECK BACK SOON!
Today:

Tomorrow:

Friday:

Now, the thing with this outbreak will be the ability for the storms to continue well into and overnight. This is especially worrisome since the tornado threat will be high. The highest risk for tornadoes looks to be from roughly Arkansas up into southern Michigan. However, this does not mean other areas will not have to watch out. Strong, damaging winds, hail and more isolated tornadoes are possible pretty much everywhere else shown above.

Focusing on Friday since that is when we will get the worst, it is still a little early to get into specifics regarding where and when the worst will be. However, the entire New York and Pennsylvania area are under the gun for damaging winds, hail and a couple of tornadoes.
Grotonweather.com could go into storm mode on Friday, which just goes to show the serious potential there is. Check back tomorrow for more updates.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Severe Thunderstorm Potential: Misleading Watches!

The Storm Prediction Center has issued two severe thunderstorm watches this afternoon. One is over eastern New York and comes as close to Tompkins County as neighboring Cortland and Tioga Counties. The second stretches along the NY/Pennsylvania boarder and south, reaching almost as far west Lake Erie.

The fact that Tompkins County is not in a watch by no means indicates a lack of severe storms threat. This is a very misleading situation. For starters, Groton is just 10 miles from Cortland County. The conditions in Cortland and the conditions in Groton and most of Tompkins county do not vary that greatly. If severe storms are possible there, they are possible here as well. But there must be a boundary, so one was drawn. Severe storms occur outside of watches all the time, so do not let your guard down!

Secondly, the Pennsylvania watch extends well to our west. Following the motion the storms are taking and extending that watch northeast, the direction the storms are moving, we are well within the severe possibilities. Once again, do not let your guard down and make sure to keep checking for updates!

Ok..now onto what is happening right now. Storms have fired across the region. They are scattered for now, with the strongest storms being near Auburn and just west of Binghamton. There are more showers that may form into storms to the southwest that will need watching. Further back, over Western Pennsylvania, a large complex of rain and thunderstorms has been developing all day. These storms will move into the area later this evening. Whether or not the y will be severe remains to be seen, but at least a period of moderate to heavy rain later tonight looks to be in the works.

Keep checking back for updates! I will update at the top and bottom (:00 and :30) of the hour if I am going to update that hour!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Severe Thunderstorms Overnight?

A line of severe thunderstorms has developed over Western New York. These storms have had winds upwards of 65mph in Buffalo and are barreling to the east. It appears the strongest of the storms are heading north of Groton and Tompkins county. However, the line of storms extends well south, so the severe threat is there across all of Central New York and Pennsylvania. Expect these storms to move in probably between 11 and midnight tonight. I will not be updating again tonight....I have class at 8AM tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

East Coast Beware

This post is what is called "hype." That means its something that needs to be watched, but there is no promise it will or won't happen because its just too early.

However, the models have been handling this one consistently and has started to get Accuweather.com into an uproar...and in my experience, when Accuweather starts acting like they are now, there is a decent chance it will happen. What we are looking at is right now just a blob of clouds off the east coast of Florida. As the high pressure that has been over us for the past week or so slides off to the east, it will act as a big plug, preventing this blob from going anywhere. So, it will sit over warm waters and could spin up into a hurricane by later this week. It is too early to tell how strong, but a category 2 or 3 is possible. Its also impossible to tell where it will go. So, everywhere on the east coast, but especially the Carolinas and Virginia, needs to keep an eye on this one.

As for how it could impact us here in Central New York...we will have to wait and see. Keep checking back in the coming days for more on this potential storm!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Greetings from SUNY Oswego!

Hello Groton and surrounding areas! Last week, I left for SUNY Oswego to begin my "formal" education in meteorology. I just wanted to give you guys some idea as to the times to look for updates, based on my schedule...you may have noticed this week updates at seemingly random times, as well a lack of an update today.

I will do my best for daily updates. If I feel I won't get to update in the morning, I will make a forecast the night before. That being said, I don't see not being able to update as a major problem. Most days I hope to be updated by 8 or 9AM...but if I don't get to it then, it will probably be after noon before I get to update. On weekends, look for forecasts to come out between 9AM and noon, or earlier on Sundays.

Also, now that I am no longer with you, I need reports from you more than ever. Let me know what is going on!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Here we go again!

A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH is in effect for all of Central and Eastern New York until 9 tonight! The probabilities of damaging winds and hail are very high and it looks like everything is coming together in the atmosphere for a big severe weather outbreak. As of 2PM, there are only a couple of cells around. These cells will continue to form through the afternoon. They will then probably form into squall lines. Damaging winds are the largest threat, but hail and torrential rains are likely as well. There could also be a tornado or two around the region. More updates as things develop! Stay tuned!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Yet another Severe Thunderstorm Warning

We are currently under our THIRD severe thunderstorm warning of the day. A large cell has fired over Schuyler County and is moving towards the area. Hail and wind are threats with this storm, and it has taken trees down in Watkins Glen. However, I think the main threat may be flash flooding. The areas that were hardest hit earlier will once again get hit. As for a direct hit, it looks like West Groton stands a better chance than Groton, but, due to both Binghamton's and Buffalo's radars down right now, it is somewhat hard to tell. This storm will likely move into the Groton area between 10:30 and 11.

Flash Flooding, Severe thunderstorms: 5:15 Update

A very busy evening has unfolded. Tompkins County is currently under its second Severe Thunderstorm Warning. The first storm did some major damage in Freeville. PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU HAVE DAMAGE!

Also, we have a FLASH FLOOD WARNING in effect until 9PM. This is because storm after storm keeps moving over the area. If you come across a flooded roadway, DO NOT DRIVE THROUGH IT. CALL 911 AND REPORT IT.

I will continue to update as needed.

Potentially Severe Cell: 4PM update

A thunderstorm with a hail potential is headed directly for Groton, probably striking within the next 30 minutes. Here is the latest radar:


The yellow square indicates a hail possibility. There could also be strong winds and torrential rain with this storm. Keep checking Grotonweather.com for any warnings that get issued, as well as for updates on additional storms throughout the evening and day tomorrow!

Monday, August 20, 2007

New Format

I have once again reformatted grotonweather.com! Let me know what you think, and certainly if you find any bugs. If you don't see any changes, reload your page.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Dean Explodes

HURRICANE DEAN HAS EXPLODED AND IS NOW A STRONG CATEGORY 4 STORM WITH WINDS OF 145 MPH. HERE IS AN EXCERPT FROM THE 11PM ADVISORY:

DATA FROM AN AIR FORCE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT INDICATE THAT
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 145 MPH...230 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. DEAN IS A CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON
HURRICANE SCALE. SOME ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING
THE NEXT 24 HOURS.
Here is the latest radar from San Juan....it shows a very well defined eye, indicating a strong hurricane!

Major Hurricane Dean

Hurricane Dean became a Major Hurricane today (See post titled "TD-4 Forms, Saffir-Simpson Scale" 8/13) as it achieved category 3 status. It has winds of 125mph, which means its already half way to category 4 status. Dean is expected to continue to strengthen. Right now, Dean is in the eastern Caribbean Sea, south of Puerto Rico.

Here is the current radar out of San Juan, Puerto Rico, on which I pointed out the Eye of Dean, its movement, and Puerto Rico.


Dean is expected to head west before turning a bit more northwest. As you can see in the image below, this would take Dean over the Yucatan Peninsula, then towards Southern Texas.

This is a particularly bad situation for a number of reasons. First off, the Gulf of Mexico is a breeding grounds for hurricanes. With water temperatures often in the upper 80's, storms can rapidly intensify. Katrina is a perfect example. Katrina was a weak hurricane as it moved over Florida. Within 24-36 hours, it blew up into a category 5 storm. Interacting with the Yucatan Peninsula will probably weaken Dean some to counteract this, but Dean could still explode, especially if it misses the Yucatan.

Texas also just got hit with torrential rains from Erin and many places have had a record breaking summer for rain anyways. A powerful hurricane would only intensify these problems. Stay tuned for more as the days go on!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

6:30PM Severe Storm

I was out storm chasing during the storm that just blasted Groton. In West Groton, I experienced quarter sized hail. Here are some quick pictures:


There is another storm to the northwest that looks like it will be following the same track as the last one. I will be out storm chasing again, so don't expect an update!

Where will Dean go?

Dean has become the first hurricane of the season. As of 7AM today, it has peak winds of 80mph and is expected to continue strengthening. In fact, according to the National Hurricane Center, by this time Sunday, Dean has a 40% of being a major hurricane, with winds any where over 111mph. So, where is this potential monster headed? And how will Puerto Rico, where a couple of Groton Residents will be this weekend, fare?

As you can see below, the projected track takes Dean through the Caribbean Sea and towards the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.



However, keep in mind that the projected path is of the center of the storm, where as the storm is much bigger. Taking a look at the chances for Tropical Storm and Hurricane force winds will give a better idea of who will be effected by this storm:



The hurricane force winds map isn't showing much since these maps were issued before Dean became a hurricane. In general, Puerto Rico is going to have a period of heavy rain and high winds. However, it shouldn't last too long, and it looks like it might come at night, so our fellow Grotonites shouldn't have their vacation ruined!

Monday, August 13, 2007

TD 4 Forms, Saffir-Simpson Scale

The system that was the subject of the last blog post has taken its first step to becoming a major player in the weather during the next 7-14 days. The system has become a tropical depression, the weakest classified tropical system. Winds are currently sustained at 35 mph. As you can see below, the system is still a very long ways from land. Based on historical data of storms that form in that area, the projected path looks fairly consistent. However, those projections can change in a hurry, so don't put too much stock in them until the system evolves more.


So of course, the next questions are: How strong will this become and where will it head? Neither of those questions can be answered for sure yet; its still a very young system, being upgraded just today. However, I do think there is a good bet it will become a hurricane, possibly a "major" one. Some of the "experts" from Accuweather.com have been saying Florida looks like a prime target. But in reality, its impossible to tell with any degree of certainty.

Wait a second...a "major" hurricane? What does that mean? Since hurricane season is heating up, its a good time to review the "Saffir-Simpson Scale," which is used to measure hurricanes based on wind speeds. There are 5 categories of hurricanes, 1 being the weakest, 5 the most powerful and rarest. Anything with a category 3 or higher is considered a "major" hurricane. Here is the complete scale, just focusing on categories and wind speeds:

  • Category 1: Winds between 74-95 mph
  • Category 2: Winds between 96-100 mph
  • Category 3*: Winds between 111-130 mph
  • Category 4*: Winds between 131-155
  • Category 5*: Winds over 156 mph
*Denotes a major hurricane

Now, these winds are sustained winds. Sustained winds are a 1-minute average. Individual gusts within the hurricane can far exceed the sustained wind speeds.

Keep checking back for updates on TD-4, which will like be named either "Dean" or "Erin" depending on another area of disturbed weather in the Western Gulf of Mexico.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Vigorous Tropical Wave Needs Watching

For days now, models have been saying a tropical wave would develop into a hurricane and churn across the Atlantic. Friday, the system in question came off the coast of Africa as a vigorous tropical wave. This wave has stayed healthy in its first 36 hours over water and could become a tropical depression as soon as this afternoon or evening. Conditions look favorable and the models still agree that this should become a hurricane. The thing the models haven't been agreeing on is where this will go, ranging from Mexico to Maine. Most times with storms that form where this one is, it is somewhere between Florida and Virginia that gets hit. Of course, it is way way way too soon to tell where it will go. The storm is still 10-14 days away from the United States coast. I will be posting updates through the week, so stay tuned!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The week ahead, plus a bit of history!

This blog post will have two parts. The first part will focus on this week's weather pattern across most of North America. It is an interesting set-up and I will explain what it means for us, especially come later next week into the weekend. Then, I will take you back to this weekend last year. If you thought this past week was rainy, wait until you hear the rain amounts we got last year!


This image tells some, but not all of the story. High pressure to our west will bring us seasonable temperatures for the first half of the week. Meanwhile, on the back side of the high, heat will be building big time, with triple digits all the way to the Canadian border! What this map doesn't show is an upper-level low that will be hanging around the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. This will not only bring scattered thunderstorms, possibly severe with hail, but it will also clog up the flow of weather systems. Usually, systems travel west to east. However, this low will dig in an be very stubborn, forcing the high pressure, and the heat, north into Canada. This will allow the hot airmass to become very strong. Eventually, the low will lose out and be broken down and the heat will come spilling east. This will probably happen later this week, and when it does, we will bake!


July 21st and July 22nd, 2006: A frontal boundary was stalled across the region, with cool air to the north and hot, humid air to the south. We were stuck in the middle of these air masses, right in the battle zone. As low pressure systems moved along this boundary, thunderstorms broke out and "trained" across the region. "Training" is when repeated thunderstorms move over the same area, over and over again. This usually results in excessive rainfall, as was the case last year. On the 21st, thunderstorms rumbled through Groton for most of the pre-dawn hours. These storms dumped 1.14" of rain. Then, the next morning, the same thing happened, but with more numerous and stronger storms. As a result, the 24-hour rain record for Groton (according to my rain stats, which I have been keeping since 2004) was crushed by noon. Those storms dumped 3.31", with another 0.04" coming later in the day. As a result, our two-day rainfall was a whopping 4.49"! By comparison, our four-day rain total this week (Tuesday-Friday) was 1.38".

Have a nice weekend everyone!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Severe threat not gone

Today's threat for severe storms isn't gone...in fact, it is just getting going. Thunderstorms are ongoing across western New York and eastern Canada, and the Storm Prediction Center is watching these storms closely and may issue a severe thunderstorm watch. Regardless of a watch being issued or not, these storms have the potential to pack a punch. The sun is also out across the region now, just adding fuel for these storms. Wind damage and hail are the main threats, though I am concerned with flash flooding. Most places have already picked up 0.5-1.5" of rain during the past 48 hours, and more heavy rain could cause some problems. Be safe: Never drive through a flooded roadway!

Storms will continue to rumble through the first part of the night before the cold front responsible for all this moves in with drier air. Stay tuned for any watches and a heads-up to any severe storms!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Long Range Outlook: Late July Heat Wave

Besides a day here and there this month, we have escaped the real brutal heat that can roast our area in July. However, there are indications for quite a large and long heat wave coming towards the end of the month. There isn't much doubt that it will happen as opposed to when. Take a look:

As with almost all our hot periods, this heat will start well to our west, baking the Rockies and Planes. The heat can only expand so far north, and once it reaches that threshold, it heads east.

The article that accompanies the diagram to the left from accuweather.com says this "could become the heat wave of the summer for the Midwest and East."

Taking a look at their 15-day forecast, it looks like starting next week, we could be in for a lengthy period of near to above 90 degree heat. More on this as it evolves!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Blog, Website Upgrades

As you can tell, I have done some upgrading to my blog. New colors, new features, even a co-author! One of my friends has agreed to help me out with this blog so that it will be updated more often. She will probably be posting about past events as opposed to giving forecasts. Feedback on these changes is appreciated...just leave a comment by clicking the "leave comment" link at the bottom of the post.

Though it has been done for over a month, I have not yet advertised the newest section of grotonweather.com: the Global Warming Center. Global warming seems to be a very hot topic and has many, many people worried about our future. Being obsessed with the weather, I have been and will continue to research this subject. I have put together a website with an accompanying blog to show the other side of the story, the side Al Gore doesn't want you to know about. Head to www.globalwarming.grotonweather.com and www.grotonwarming.blogspot.com to find out the truth about the Global Warming Hoax.

Monday, July 09, 2007

SUNY Oswego 3AM t-storm

Last night, I was spending the night at SUNY Oswego, the college I will be attending starting next month, for Freshman Orientation. We had a thunderstorm around 2 in the afternoon, but it was the one 13 hours later that has the campus talking today!

Thunderstorms moved into the Oswego area around 2:30AM and lasted for about an hour. During this time, lightning was literally flashing at least once every second! The winds were very strong as well, knocking down wires in the city (according to the National Weather Service.) Perhaps most exciting, however, is what one of my fellow meteorology freshmen saw. He went up to the 8th floor of the dorm and watched the storm come in off the lake. He reported this morning that he and others saw a waterspout out over Lake Ontario. Sadly, I was not with them.

This pattern of scattered severe thunderstorms will continue for the next few days. A very hot and humid air mass is centered towards our south. We are feeling the affects of this with temperatures in the 90's. However, we are on the edge of this air mass, meaning cooler air isn't too far away. This leads to the development of thunderstorms, often becoming severe. Keep an eye to the sky the next few days!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Narrow Miss; 4:40PM Update

That was a close call. The storm continued its rotation until just east of Ithaca. The actual core of the storm was between Lansing and Groton, with the tornado most likely in Lansing. This is because tornadoes usually form on the southwest side of the storm.

The warning at 4PM read:
"AND SOME SPOTTERS HAVE INDICATED A POSSIBLE TORNADO ON THE
GROUND."

For those of you in West Groton, Lansing and Ithaca, if you have pictures, PLEASE send them to me along with any stories of the storm you may have! I would appreciate it greatly!

email is: alerts@grotonweather.com

There are still a few more storms out there, but they should probably head west of here as well. After that, our watch will probably be cancelled.


TORNADIC CELL HEADED TOWARDS GROTON!

There is a VERY nasty storm heading our way. This one has it all, wind, hail and yes, rotation. It has been rotating for nearly half an hour now and it is getting ready to cross Seneca County. Here is the image I am getting on my storm software:


The yellow circle overtop of the storm indicates that there is rotation with this storm. If it holds together, we could be in for large hail and damaging winds. When storms rotate, they can produce tornadoes at ANY time, so be ready when this storm hits! I will update on this storm around 4:10 or 4:15.

UPDATE: THIS CELL HAS A TORNADO WARNING WITH IT FOR SENECA AND CAYGUA COUNTY!!!!!!!!!!!!! TAKE COVER IN THOSE AREAS. NORTHERN TOMPKINS NEEDS TO TAKE PRECAUTIONS AND TAKE COVER AS WELL! THIS IS THE LAST UPDATE FOR THIS STORM...I NEED TO PREAPRE!

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM APPROACHING GROTON

Whoa...things are happening too quick for me to keep up with! A severe thunderstorm WATCH is in effect for the area until 10 PM.

A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING is in effect FOR GROTON and points north and west! This storm likely has hail and gusty winds with it. Here is the warning link:

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING

even though the text says Seneca and Cayuga County, we are included in the warning box. However, it looks like the nasty stuff will stay north


For those of you south of Groton, I have had a report of hail just east of Lansing about 10 minutes ago. This storm is headed towards Dryden and on south of Marathon. There are more storms behind the one with the warning that also have warnings. More on them as the approach!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Storm Update: 9PM

Well, the line of thunderstorms has held together and moved a bit quicker than I expected. While there are no warnings and have been no severe reports, the line still has potential to have some gusty winds and very small hail. There is also quite a bit of rain and embedded thunderstorms behind the line, so once it starts, it will likely be raining off and on for quite some time. Some rain ahead of the main line has just started to fall, with the heavier stuff coming between 9:30 and 10. The best chance for an isolated severe storm appears to be to our north, over Cayuga County and points east.

Severe Update: 6:15PM

Our severe thunderstorm watch continues this evening until 9PM. There is a cluster of thunderstorms in Rochester, which are moving out over Lake Ontario and will pose no threat to our area. Then, there is an organized line of storms entering New York and Pennsylvania. The only warnings with this line right now are well to the south. Based on the lack of severity now and the fact that this line won't come through after 10 or 11 tonight, I think our severe threat has greatly diminished. Even though Groton got missed...somehow....it was still a pretty large outbreak locally, with 4 wind/hail reports within 20 miles of Groton, and many more further out. Even the tornado threat panned out, with a tornado less than 100 miles away in Central Pennsylvania. If there is a reason to update, I will do so, but not until after 9PM.

According to the NWS, Cortland County was hit pretty hard. The report, however, for some reason that escapes me, got listed as a "non-thunderstorm" wind report, meaning it won't be listed with all the other ones. Regaurdless, if you have any pictures, please send them to me and I will post them!
non-thunderstorm wind? What are they thinking?

I can't believe it

I swear, these storms hate me and refuse to hit Groton! The severe storms to our west decided to randomly collapse and reform not 5 miles to the east of Groton. I wouldn't be surprised if places like Lick Street and Salt Street got very heavy rain and high winds, maybe some small hail as the storms "jumped" across the county. See for yourself: here is the current radar, which shows the weakening storms to our west, and monsters to the east.

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM APPROACHING GROTON

From the National Weather Service:

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NYC109-191900-
/O.NEW.KBGM.SV.W.0080.070619T1821Z-070619T1900Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BINGHAMTON NY
221 PM EDT TUE JUN 19 2007

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BINGHAMTON HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
TOMPKINS COUNTY IN CENTRAL NEW YORK

* UNTIL 300 PM EDT

* AT 220 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING NICKEL SIZE HAIL...AND
DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR
PERRY CITY...AND MOVING EAST AT 20 MPH.

* THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WILL BE NEAR...
TAUGHANNOCK FALLS AT 235 PM EDT...
7 MILES NORTH OF LANSING AT 250 PM EDT...
GROTON AND 8 MILES NORTHWEST OF FREEVILLE AT 300 PM EDT...

A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING MEANS THAT SEVERE WEATHER IS
OCCURRING OR IS IMMINENT. WIND GUSTS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH...
HAIL THREE-QUARTERS OF AN INCH IN DIAMETER OR LARGER...VERY
HEAVY RAIN...AND DEADLY LIGHTNING ARE ALL LIKELY. IF YOU
ARE IN THE PATH OF THIS SEVERE STORM MOVE TO SAFE SHELTER NOW.

PLEASE REPORT HAIL...OR DAMAGING WINDS TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE BY CALLING TOLL FREE AT 1-877-633-6772...OR BY EMAIL AT
BGM.STORMREPORT@NOAA.GOV.

2:45PM UPDATE: This storm seems to becoming more of a small
line. The hail sizes my software is recording are deecreasing
as well. What that means is the wind threat is probably
increasing as opposed to the hail threat. Also, the 3PM the
NWS has listed for an arrival time in Groton is way off.
3:30-4PM is still a better estiamte.

Severe Weather Update: 2PM

Things have really fired up in the past few hours. As I stated earlier, multiple lines have formed, all to our west, meaning our chances for severe thunderstorms are pretty good. A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in effect until 9PM. There are multiple areas to watch, so here is the breakdown:

Closest to the Groton area now are a few individual cells. There is one just south of Auburn, and another west of Trumansburg. They are moving towards the east northeast and probably contain some hail. The storm west of Trumansburg will be a close call for Groton. According to my storm tracking software, this storm has hail up to 2" and would probably reach here between 3 and 4 PM. Anytime you get individual cells out ahead of the line on a day like today, it needs to be watched for rotation. I will update on this storm again towards 3PM. Here is the screenshot of my storm tracking software. Groton is marked by the diamond that says "Grotonweather" towards the right. Click the image for a larger view.














Not far behind these cells is the first line of thunderstorms. Wind damage reports are already wide spread through Western New York. This line will move through not long after the cells clear the area, probably between 3:30 and 4:30. The main threat with these storms will be wind damage.

Further to the southwest, over Pennsylvania, there are more scattered cells. These need to be watched in case they form another line. More on those storms as they develop.

Lastly, there is another line of storms over eastern Ohio and Ontario. This line is along the cold front and probably won't move through until after sunset. Because it will have lost the day time heating, its severe threat will have greatly diminished.

Keep checking back as the storms continue to approach and develop!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Severe Storms, New Features coming

Another round of severe thunderstorms will be coming to the area later, probably during the late afternoon and early evening hours. There is also some non-weather news, as I have once again been working on improving grotonweather.com. Read on for more!

Another powerful cold front will come through the region later this afternoon and evening. Temperatures ahead of this front will be in the low 90's and humid, providing fuel for the storms. It looks like multiple lines of storms will form during the day. While one of these lines is already forming well to our west along the cold front, it is any one's guess where the other ones will form. If they get going to our west, our chances for severe weather are much higher. If the lines form to our east, I don't think the line along the cold front will retain its severe levels by the time it reaches here, probably after the sun sets. The main severe threat will be wind and hail, though the conditions appear favorable for a brief tornado or two, especially to areas east of I-81. Even though the largest severe threats appear to be west and east of Groton, the situation should be watched and I will updating as needed throughout the day.

School is out! Congratulations to my fellow classmates as we graduate Saturday (which should be an absolutely perfect weather day!) Since school is out, I have time on my hands. I have been using some of this time to once again upgrade and improve grotonweather.com! I have been conducting a survey (which I would still love for you to take by clicking here) and it quickly became evident that a more regional forecast would be helpful. So, I have been working on how best to include a broader look at the weather. I have it pretty much figured out and just have a few kinks left to work out. While its not ready to be viewed and updated, I did take a screenshot of what it looks like so far. Take a look (click for larger view):

Friday, June 08, 2007

Severe Update: 4:30PM

Here is the latest on the severe situation...there is good news, and there is bad news.

The good news is, storms aren't forming ahead of the main line of thunderstorms that stretches from Ontario down into the Deep South. This line is a it broken in Ohio, and it is there that there are a few super cell thunderstorms, which have produced funnel clouds, 4.25" hail, lots of wind damage and, probably a tornado or two. However, it looks like our chances for tornadic storms are slightly less than earlier.

Now the bad news. According to Henry Margusity, the severe weather expert at Accuweather, the reason storms are not firing ahead of the main line is because the main line is so strong. Basically, the line is using up the energy in the atmosphere to fuel its self. According to the software I am using to track these storms, the should begin to enter the area sometime after 8. With the intensity of this line, I am not sure it will weaken as it loses its day time heating. It may, so that is something to watch as the evening progresses.

Overall, our chances for storms to fire ahead of this line are decreased, but not gone. An isolated tornado or two is still possible in the general area. Later tonight, expect a line of storms to come through with strong, damaging winds, especially for areas west of us.

Severe Weather: noon update

Here is the latest on today's severe weather threat:




Severe thunderstorm watches are out from Ohio and Michigan through Arkansas. We need to focus on Ohio and Michigan since that is what will head our way later this afternoon. As of now, just a few isolated cells have started to fire up. These storms will continue to fire up both in this area, and further to the east.


The Storm Prediction Center still has us in "slight" as opposed to the "moderate" that the experts at Accuweather were expecting. Henry Margusity still believes they will upgrade to a moderate risk zone, which is 3rd on a 4 level risk system. The image to the right shows where he would issue the Moderate risk. As you can see, he is keying in on areas just to our west for the worst weather to occur. This is probably because the timing of these storms may be more towards dinner time and later as opposed to 2-4PM. Even if we don't get in the moderate risk, if one gets issued, conditions are still ripe for severe weather and this is still a serious set up. The tornado threat is still here, though it is higher further west. Overall, I am still saying 3-10 tornadoes in New York and Pennsylvania. The next outlook from the Storm Prediction Center is scheduled for sometime near or after 12:30 (which is in just 10 minutes, so we will see if they upgrade us.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

MAJOR SEVERE WEATHER TOMORROW

OK...here is the more in depth forecast for tomorrow, when some major severe weather will come across the region. We have not seen a set-up like this in quite some time and we could be dealing with a bit of a tornado outbreak!

A very powerful storm system is plowing through the Midwest right now, and has already spawned over half a dozen tornadoes, with many more to come. Yesterday, the storm system didn't have as much severe weather because it was actually too strong! The high winds aloft shredded thunderstorms and major severe weather never occurred. However, today and tomorrow, that has changed. After lots of tornadoes, wind and hail tonight, this storm system will have its eyes on the Northeast, specifically Western and Central New York and Pennsylvania. Henry Margusity, the severe weather expert at Accuweather.com, says he is "very concerned" about our area for tomorrow on his blog. He seems particularly concerned with the tornado threat, which is something we don't see much. On his blog, he specifically mentions a number of cities that are under the largest threat, among which he includes Binghamton, Syracuse and Rochester. Here is the link to his blog on Accuweather.com if you care to read/watch what a real expert has to say as opposed to someone who has yet to graduate high-school.

Here is how tomorrow should shape up. The morning will be windy and sunny. After lows in the mid 60's, this sun and wind will only help boost our temperatures. Tomorrow could also end up being the hottest day so far this year, getting well into the 90's. Along with the heat, there will be plenty of humidity in place, so tomorrow will be a very nasty, muggy, hot day. In fact, heavy exercise outside probably isn't a good idea any time after noon. All this hot, moist air will be doing battle with cold air aloft, creating a lot of lift and instability. This will lead to the formation of towering thunderclouds. With strong winds aloft from the northwest and gusty winds from the south and southwest in the low and mid levels, everything is prime for these storms to rotate and produce tornadoes. Large hail and damaging winds are also possible. These storms will fire up in the afternoon and continue through the day. A more solidified line should move through later, with the main threat being wind damage with that. Overall, this has potential to be a tornado outbreak like we haven't seen in nearly a decade. Back in the late 90's, I remember a situation in Late May where there were over 30 tornadoes in New York. This will probably be the largest New York/Pennsylvania tornado outbreak since then.

Ok...so here is some quick review that will be helpful tomorrow. I would imagine we will have a tornado watch issued for us, probably by 1 or 2 PM. A tornado watch means conditions will be favorable for tornadoes, but doesn't mean there are any yet. Now, a means a tornado is either detected or spotted. IF A TORNADO WARNING IS ISSUED, YOU MUST TAKE ACTION RIGHT AWAY! What do you do? Head to the lowest level of the building you are in. Go to an interior room that has no windows. If you are in school or some other such building, head to the hallways and sit against the wall. If you get caught outside and can't get inside, find a ditch and lay in it. In all of these situations, if the tornado hits you, COVER YOUR HEAD to protect it from injury. If you are in a car, get inside a building or find a ditch. DO NOT HIDE UNDER AN OVERPASS. Overpasses actually act as a wind tunnel and strengthen the winds.

Tomorrow during the day, I will post updates as much as I can to keep you ahead of the storm. Keep checking the grotonweather homepage and pay attention to the watches and warnings that are issued. And most of all, stay safe!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Severe threat: Friday, Sunday

A busy couple of days are coming up in the weather that may bring some severe thunderstorms to the area. Two separate systems will move through, one tomorrow and another Sunday, that could cause some problems around the region ranging from floods to hail to damaging winds.

Friday: Friday will be a lot like today was: hot and humid. The only differences will be it will be more humid and there will be a 'trigger' in the atmosphere to get some storms going. A weakening cold front that has been spawning severe weather across the central part of the country will work its way through here tomorrow afternoon. This will provide the spark, the heat and humidity the fuel. Thunderstorms tomorrow are not expected to be widespread. In fact, the majority of Central New York will probably stay dry. However, the storms that do pop up have the potential for some hail and gusty winds, not to mention torrential down pours. Winds in the atmosphere aloft will be weak tomorrow. This means that the storms that do form will be slow movers, if they move at all. As a result, flash flooding is a large concern for areas hit tomorrow. It is more than possible for someplace in the region to get 3-6" of rain tomorrow, while a few miles away gets nothing! Remember, flooding is the #1 weather killer in the nation. NEVER drive through a flooded roadway! There is no telling how deep the water may be, and just a foot of fast moving water can take a car away!

Sunday: Remember those weak winds aloft? The lack of these winds will cause Friday's front to stall to our south. While Saturday will be nice, Sunday that front will lift back north as a warm front. A second, more powerful cold front will make its way into the area. For a few days now, the Storm Prediction Center has been watching our area for a severe weather outbreak Sunday. The amount of severe weather depends on the timing of the front, which is still uncertain. The main concern Sunday is damaging, straight-line winds associated with a powerful line of thunderstorms. If the timing is right, this could be a very damaging event, so you will want to stay tuned as the weekend progresses!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Seems like summer!

A busy blog post for sure, all of it having to do with things more typical of the summer than early May! From fires to heat, severe storms to hurricanes, its being talked about:

Fires:
If you have noticed, about a week or so ago I added a "Fire Threat" section to the thunderstorm forecast (for lack of a better place for it). I have been using this as a guide to how likely accidental brush fires are to occur based on a combination of recent rainfall, winds, humidity, and temperature. Lately, all things have been aligned for a "moderate" to "high" risk of fires. This threat became reality yesterday in Syracuse, when sparks from a welder's torch started a small brush fire. When the threat is high, extra caution must be used. One of the bigger risks is actually from people throwing cigarette butts without thinking. As is evident by yesterday's brush fire in Syracuse, when the threat is elevated, it doesn't take much to get a fire going!

Heat:
After hitting 86 yesterday, I thought about maybe putting "near 90" for today's forecast, but thought I might be jumping the gun a bit too much. Since 2003 (when I started recording weather data), it has hit 90 in May only twice. Both times were last year, on the 30th and 31st. However, that record has now been broken. Just after 3PM, I got to 90 degrees at my house, topping out at 90.3! You can see my weather software above (click for a larger image). The high temperature is displayed about half way down on the left panel!


Severe Storm Threat:
There is a bit of a threat for severe storms Thursday afternoon as a disturbance aloft moves through. While widespread severe weather isn't anticipated....nor did it occur today over the Midwest....I do think a few of tomorrow's storms may become severe, with hail and gusty winds being the threat. I would anticipate between 2 and 10 severe weather reports, mostly wind, stretching from Western New York, into Central New York and Northern Pennsylvania and over to about Albany. East of that, there may be some additional severe weather.

Subtropical Storm Andrea:
The 2007 Atlantic Hurricane season got an early start today...or did it? The season officially starts June 1st. Today, a low pressure system was classified "subtropical" and was given the name "Andrea." First off, a subtropical low is basically a hybrid: its got some tropical characteristics, and some non-tropical characteristics. (If you want more details, that would make a great "Ask Drew" question for that section of my website (which isn't built yet...)). In years past, these systems did not receive names. However, during the past few years, they have been given names. So, in a way, the Hurricane Season is off to a running start....but in ways, nothing has yet happened.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Where is the Warm Weather?

I think we all got spoiled by the 80 degree weather last weekend. It seems I have been getting asked "When is it going to get warm again?" a lot! First off, keep in mind just over a week ago, we got 17" of snow and my records do show snow in previous years during this time of April. Secondly, the weather we are getting is only a few degrees below normal, which is a bout 60.

However, that being said, it does look like we may get into above average range again soon! Heat is just starting to build across the dessert South West. By the weekend, it will spread into the rest of the west, then start to spill east. It will eventually make it here, probably in a couple of stages. One stage should warm us up early next week. Then, we might cool down a bit, but I think it may come back at us. Its still a long ways off and there aren't too many details out there on it, but I do think we should see 70 again within the next week or so!

Monday, April 16, 2007

tree damage

Our storm is pretty much over now, with just some light snow tonight. During the 7 o'clock hour, I was out helping knock snow off the trees in my yard. During that time outside, I heard a lot of creaking and cracking of tree branches, and a couple of bigger crashes where I think whole trees fell. I ask that you please let me know of any tree damage you have/see. Even tomorrow, when it gets light out again, I would appreciate any reports you have for me. I am also going to be giving this storm an entire page on my website, so pictures would be great as well!

Not Done Yet

While the snow has let up and may actually stop soon, do not be deceived because we are not done yet. The regional radar, once again taken from NewsChannel9's website, shows why:
If you look at the "ac" in "Syracuse" on the radar, you see a stripe of brown, indicating no precipitation. However, travel east and there is an area of dark greens and yellows, indicating heavy rain. This slug of precipitation is heading towards us, meaning we still have another round of heavy snow to go. This batch should push our totals into the 14-18" range I predicted earlier.

The winds will continue to be gusty, and, with the weight of the snow, could cause tree limbs and wires to come down, creating some power outages. If you have any tree damage, I would appreciate knowing about it so I can forward the information on.

I have been reporting to accuweather.com senior meteorologist Henry Margusity. He has been kind enough to put two videos up that I sent him, along with a few others from around the Northeast. Click Here to view his blog. My videos are in the posts titled "Another Cool Video" and "Snow Video from Madness Reader". Check them out!

The storm will begin to taper off after this next batch of snow. Flurries will continue into tomorrow before they change to rain showers. The rain showers won't leave until Wednesday night or early Thursday. After that, it looks like spring will finally arrive!

Superstorm Update: 10AM

Here is the latest on what is happening with this super storm, not just across our area, but elsewhere as well:




This radar image, taken from the NewsChannel9 Website, really tells the whole story. I have painted the low pressure center (red L) and the winds around the low (black arrows) on the map. The low pressure is sitting over Long Island, where it will stay for at least a few more hours. The minimum pressure is about that of a category 2 hurricane, so you know this is a monster storm! As you can see, winds around the low blow counter clockwise. That means all that precipitation to our east (we are about under the "r" in Syracuse) still has to come through.

What is this storm doing elsewhere? Here is a general overview. In Binghamton, there are reports of power outages. Parts of New Jersey have gotten over 6" of rain, and it is still raining. The winds at the coast are gusting to over hurricane force. That, coupled with an already high tide due to the new moon tomorrow, is creating coastal flooding. All in all, by the time this storm is done, it should cost over a billion dollars.

For us, the heavy snow should continue for most of the day. There may be a couple times it lets up a bit, but it will come down hard again after a while. This evening, as the low weakens and starts to move, our heavy snow will end, leaving us with just snow showers. Storm totals should end up in the 14-18" range, but there will be spots around here that get 2 feet, and I wouldn't be surprised to see someone go over 30".

Keep checking back for updates through the day! Send me pictures and data too!

10:20 AM Update: I am on a NATIONAL WEBSITE! I took a movie clip and sent it to Accuweather's Henry Margusity, who writes an excellent blog column...and he put my video up! Click Here to view Henry' Accuweather Blog Post!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Historic Storm coming

Everything has remained constant and it looks like we are in for a historic storm starting Sunday going into Monday. This storm is a true monster, not just for us, but for all of the Northeast and a good portion of the South. Tornadoes and severe weather will rock the south tonight and tomorrow. Flooding rains and tropical storm force winds in New England. And for us here in Central New York, a crippling snow storm:

The snow should start here sometime overnight Saturday or during the morning Sunday as low pressure begins its trek up the east coast. Low pressure will stall out near Long Island, keeping us in the heavy snow through the days Sunday right into Monday. Snow rates of at least an inch an hour are possible. Its still a little early to tell exactly how much snow we will get, but it looks like a foot minimum is a very good bet. As if that was not enough, it will be a very heavy, wet snow. This could possibly bring down tree limbs and power lines, knocking out power. If we get enough, there could even be problems with roofs. You will definitely want to check back later tonight or tomorrow as total amounts become clearer.

Overall, this storm will probably go down in the record books as the worst April storm yet and one of the most destructive ones in a long time.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Trouble Brewing

All I ask is you don't shoot the messenger. After a bit of snow tonight, we could be in for some real trouble early next week. This is still a ways out, but it could be pretty major, which is why I am alerting you of the possibility so far ahead of time.

First off, tonight:

A pretty decently sized storm is heading our way, spreading precipitation towards us. It will start as rain for everyone as it moves in during the next few hours. As the night goes on, colder air will work in and change a lot of the rain over to snow. I think there will only be a few valleys that won't see a change over, Groton not being one of them. I don't think we will get much snow though...maybe 2 or 3 inches max. The precipitation will change back to rain tomorrow, before ending as snow showers Friday.

While all this is happening, a storm system will move through the Southern Rockies and out into the Texas, before moving into the Southeast. As it stands now, this storm will then move up the coast, spreading precipitation over us Sunday or Monday. We should also be cold enough for snow. If a nor' easter wasn't enough, the storm is then expected to stall out somewhere between the New Jersey and Massachusetts coast. This means it will keep snowing here, possibly heavily for a couple of days.

Needless to say, this storm bears a lot of watching over the next few days. It has the potential to be very destructive, not just from snow, but wind and flooding as well across the entire northeast. You will defiantly want to stay tuned. Feel free to leave comments on the blog, or email me if you have questions/comments!

Saturday, March 31, 2007

April Snow

Yes, winter is coming back for a brief stay next week. Our spring like warmth will come to an end Wednesday as a powerful cold front moves through. It looks like snow showers are a good possibility Thursday right into the weekend. In fact, it is possible we will have a more Christmas like Easter than Christmas this past year (It was 40.5 with 0.47" of rain on Christmas, just for the record.)

But....is this so uncommon? My records are going on 5 years now, so I have 4 other Aprils to look at. Here is what I found in regards to April snow:

2003: We got 1" on the 1st and another 2" on the 7th, and 1.25" on the 23rd
2004: We got 4" on the 4th, and a dusting on the 28th
2005: We got 0.75" on the 4th, and a trace on the 24th and 25th
2006: We got a dusting on the 4th and 5th, with a trace on the 6th. No more snow in April, but in May last year, some of the hills in Cortland and Onondaga county got a couple inches of snow!

So....the first week in April seems to be historically snowy, making snow later this week not so odd.

However, I also looked at the temperatures following these snowy episodes: High 60's at least, with temperatures in 2003 getting all the way into the mid 80's! But even after that, as you see, one final cold shot. Then, on to summer!

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Latest Updates

Here are the latest updates on the winter storm. Some developments have occurred that has caused me to change my forecast a tiny bit. Here is what I am seeing:















These are regional radars from WSYR News Channel 9 that are 3 hours apart. The one on the top, image 1, is from just before 5PM, while the one on the bottom, image 2, is just before 8PM.

As you can see in image 1, the arrows point to the snow to our south, which is painted with solid, darker greys. This indicates a pretty solid area of heavy snow. Then look at 3 hours later. The darker, solid greys have broken up and there is a lot more white, indicating lighter snow. I think what is happening is the storm is a bit farther east than anticipated, which is breaking up the precipitation one the west side of the storm. As a result, I think our snow totals will be a bit less than I originally thought. By tomorrow morning, expect 5-9" with another 2-5" by Sunday as another low from the mid-west helps intensify our snow tomorrow afternoon and evening.

Storm Update!

Here is the latest on the snowstorm:



Groton High School has moved the Cottilion dance from tonight to tomorrow night from 8-11PM



The snow is almost here and once it starts, it will snow steadily for a long time. the heaviest is still excpeted to fall later this afternoon and evening, probably between 2 and 9PM. Storm totals also are unchanged, with a good 7-12" expected by the time the steady snow ends tomorrow late morning.



Here is a radar loop from accuweather.com from 8:45AM through 10AM: (click to animate)


Thursday, March 15, 2007

A bit premature

When making my blog entry earlier, I did have a moment or two when I thought to myself: "Am I jumping the gun on this too much? Is it too early?" It turns out, I was. Instead of 3-6" for most of CNY, 6-12" looks to be a good bet, with many of the totals in our area on the high end of that! It will arrive sooner than expected as well. Here are the details, as of now....

Snow:
Totals: 6-12" over all of Central and Western New York. More specifically for this area, 8-12" with some localized pockets of 14". The Catskills will see over a foot.

Timing:
Arrival:
Late Morning/Early afternoon. (10AM-1PM)
Heaviest: Afternoon and evening. (3PM-9PM)
End: Tomorrow late morning. (9AM-12PM)

PLEASE EMAIL ME WITH ANY ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS!