Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A little bit of everything!

Edit: 3-1 7AM:
Two lows will merge over the Kansas/Missouri area tomorrow morning and give birth to a very large, powerful storm system that could bring a wide range of weather to the area. Here is the best forecast I can make at this time....the complexity of this storm makes it very difficult...especially since I have no models of my own to use...just what others tell me and my gut feeling!

The precipitation should start out as snow this morning, then again in the afternoon. The snow will probably come down hard sometime between 3 and 6, maybe as late as 7. Then, warmer air will infiltrate and change the precipitation. There is a very fine line between where snow, freezing rain and rain will fall, so this is really any body's guess. My feeling is that we will start warm and warm quickly tomorrow evening, meaning the snow may start mixing with some freezing rain as early as dinner time. From there, I think it will quickly change to all rain by 10 or 11PM at the latest. It will stay as rain overnight and into the day tomorrow, before it tapers off to showers late-morning. There could even be some thunder in with the rain!

Because I am taking the mostly rain path with this storm, that means flooding will be a concern. The ground is frozen, the rain will be heavy (maybe as much as an inch!), and at least some moderate snow melt should occur. This could cause problems at least on some of the smaller streams.

Days off from school? I do not think we will get a day off from school. The wintry precipitation will be over way too soon, and, unless we get 3" of rain, I don't foresee flooding problems large enough to close school. However, that doesn't mean its not possible!

Here is my outline to the storm as I see it now. Expect another blog entry tomorrow afternoon if things change!

Mostly afternoon into the evening (through 6PM)
Amounts: 1-3"

Freezing Rain/Sleet:
Evening (5-9 PM)
Amounts: Enough to make it careful!

Times: Evening-Friday (8PM Thursday-2PM Friday)
Amounts: 0.5-1"
Flooding Chance: Slight to moderate
Thunderstorms: Minimal, but possible

Saturday, February 17, 2007

V-day Storm, Alberta Clippers and the Wind Storm of '06

Busy blog post today! There are three things I would like to discuss today: Last week's snow storm, Alberta Clippers and what exactly they are, and last year's wind storm, which hit our region a year ago today!

Valentine's Day Storm:
I don't have to tell you that this was one of the bigger storms Groton has seen in past years, but I will anyways! I measured 15" from the storm, which was actually a 2-part storm. The first storm came at us from the Tennessee Valley, spreading some heavy snow over the area starting the night before Valentine's Day. Then, overnight, that storm transferred its energy and formed a second, stronger storm just off the coast of the Carolinas. As this storm moved up the Atlantic Coast, moisture was pumped in and it snowed...a lot. As much as we got, the map above shows that we were actually one of the least hardest hit areas in our region! (The dark blue, pink, purple and white areas all received over 20")

Alberta Clippers:
You may have heard of Alberta Clippers on the news or in my forecasts. But what exactly is an Alberta Clipper? Basically, they are a winter storm that forms over the mountains of Albert, in Western Canada. These storms usually don't have much moisture to work with, so they don't usually bring massive amounts of snow. As they drop out of Canada, into the midwest and eventually the north east, cold, arctic air often spills in behind the storm. Usually these storms end up tracking to our south and we get an inch or two, if anything. One of these storms will move to our south tonight and into tomorrow morning, bringing some light snow to our area.

Feb. 17, 2006 Wind Storm
Friday, February 17th, 2006 started warm, with temperatures in the 50-55 degree range riding on strong south-westerly winds which we gusting in the 20-30 mph range. Then, at 8AM sharp, it all changed. Accompanied by a band of heavy rain, very strong winds and a rapid drop in temperature, a cold front barreled through Groton. By 8:10 AM, the heaviest of the rain was over and the temperature has begun its nose dive. By 9:30 AM, the temperature had leveled off around 36 and the precipitation had stopped. The wind, however, was now stronger than ever. Even though my anemometer is shielded by the trees around our house, it still peaked out at 33.8 MPH, the highest reading I have ever recorded (breaking the old record of 33.3 MPH set on November 13, 2003.) At this time, there was already one tree down in my backyard and another clump partially uprooted. While no more excitement occurred in Groton, the rest of Central New York had some other events. In Rochester, a lady was killed when a tree fell on her car. Just outside of Union Springs, road signs were blown over. At the Waterloo Premium Outlets, a stop light was blown right off its wires. And all across the area, trees, mostly pine trees, toppled to the ground.

(This picture, taken by me, was used
on News
Channel 9 that night!)

In other weather news, there is potential in the Wednesday/Thursday time frame for another winter storm. This one will not have as much cold air to work with, so most areas will see rain. However, we would likely be far enough north and west to get at least some snow, if not a lot. As I have said many times before, it is still very early and very hard to tell. If I had to make a prediction based on my gut, I say we get very little. But stay tuned anyways!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Valentine's Day Blizzard

3PM: First off, Groton Schools have been closed for Wednesday! Here are the latest, more in depth thoughts I am having on the blizzard. First off, I am going to try to keep updating my webpage every few hours through tonight. My last update will either be 9PM or 12AM. Then tomorrow I will start updating again by 9 or 10 at the latest...assuming there is power that is. Here is the scoop:

A large area of snow stretching for Pennsylvania to Iowa, Southern New York to Tennesee (where it is rain) is slowly working its way towards us. This is all in association with a low over Arkansas and Mississippi that is pumping tons of moisture in from the Gulf of Mexico. Blizzard conditions, meaning high winds and snow that are causing near zero visabilities, are widespread in Indiana and moving into Ohio. As the low trecks east, it will reform over the Atlantic Ocean and become even stronger, spreading the blizzard conditions over us. If you don't have to, PLEASE don't travle tomorrow. Blizzards are not something to mess around with! The snow will continue through tomorrow and should taper off by sunset tomorrow. Here are the nit-picky details:

Storm Totals: 18"-24", with 3 feet possible. Drifts 4 feet or more.
Start time: Between 5PM and 7PM tonight.
Blizzard conditions: Late tonight and into tomorrow
End time: by sunset tomorrow
Travel conditions:
-Through about 9PM: Slowly deteriorating
-Late tonight (9PM-3AM): Becoming nearly impossible
-Tomorrow morning (3AM-12PM): Nearly, if not impossible
-Tomorrow afternoon (12PM-5PM): Still nearly impossible
-Tomorrow evening (after 5PM): Very bad, but slowly improving

Will we get two days off from this storm? There is a possibility. Winds will continue even after the storm stops, causing plenty of blowing and drifting. This will keep the plows very busy and school could be closed Thursday as well. Check back by 9 or 10 PM Tomorrow for a definate yes or no on Thursday!


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Snowstorm midweek?

Over the past few days, I have been watching the potential for a nor' easter to develop. At first, it looked like most of the snow would stay to the south. However, the projected area of snow has gradually creeped closer and closer and it now looks as if we may get hit. Here is what is happeneing:

A major storm is currently effecting much of the northwest. This potent system will move into the southern planes and hook up with the southern branch of the jet stream. A wide swath of 6-12" should fall from Nebraska almost due east into the Virginias by Tuesday morning. Then, the low moves just off the coast and heads north, developing into a classic nor' easter. It will not be terribly fast moving either, so the places that get the heavy snow will get quite a bit.

Right now, it is too early to tell how much we will get or if there will be any snowdays from this. Our best chance for a snow day at this point would probably be Wednesday. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Amazing Snow Totals

This is why I am going into this profession...for events like this. A lake effect band has been unrelelnting across Oswego county. It has now moved north, into Jefferson County, but the snow totals are amazing. Keep in mind this band just moved into Oswego County Monday morning...

OSWEGO                62.0   826 PM   2/6
MEXICO 57.0 1215 PM 2/6
PARISH 54.0 1250 PM 2/6

Mexico and Parrish each have old reports, so I would be their totals are
much higher since around noon Oswego was reporting 43".

So just how much snow is that? Here is a picture of a SUNY Oswego
(which is whe
re I am going to college next year) parking lot: