Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday Morning Forecast

Here is your forecast for today (it will be quick since I am running behind a bit this morning...)

Today: Increasing clouds with snow moving in this evening. Highs near 30
Tonight: Light snow. Lows in the mid 20's. Breezy.
Saturday: Light snow. Highs near 35.
Sat. Night: Clearing. Lows in the low 20's.
Sunday. Partly cloudy. Highs in the low to mid 30's.

Snow Forecast: Through Saturday


Status update: I believe the transfer is complete. Now I just have to upload all the files and get everything working again! I should be up by tomorrow!

As for the other site,, we will be up later tonight! Check back this evening!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Service Announcement, Forecast update 3:30PM

Hello everyone. If you were not aware, I am changing hosting providers currently. As a result, the normal homepage is not available at this time. Barring any set back or bugs (because we all know things rarely work as they are supposed to and SOMETHING always seems to comes up...), I will hopefully have the normal site back tomorrow afternoon. In the mean time, I will be forecasting and giving updates here!

Your Forecast:

Today: Sun and clouds with a few flurries possible. Highs in the mid teens.
Tonight: Flurries diminishing. Lows in the mid single digits before rising.
Friday: Increasing clouds with some flurries in the afternoon. Highs near 30.
Friday Night: Light snow moving in. Lows in the mid 20's.
Saturday: Light snow, especially in the morning. Highs near 30.

Forecast Discussion:

Some lake effect snow flurries continue across the region this afternoon. Those should diminish overnight as the winds shift. This will also bring in some warmer air overnight ahead of a clipper system. This system will bring a general 2-5" of snow Friday night into Saturday. A new series of storm systems comes in for the early part of next week. This storm will likely be warm enough for more rain than anything else, but it is still too early to tell.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Hey everyone....the website may be not be available for some time beginning tomorrow night! I am changing web hosting services and in the process of changing everything over, I will be off line for a while. I should be back up by Saturday. In the mean time, I will forecast and give updates on here, so if the other site isn't working, check here! Thanks!


What happened...or rather, why it didn't

I've done some thinking and analyzing this morning, and I think I know where I went wrong with my forecasts last night. Lets start by looking at the last radar image I posted.

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As you can see by the radar loop from last night, the snow developed mostly over Western Pennsylvania, West Virgina, and Eastern Kentucky, with lake snows further northwest over Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Now we did and are still getting the lake enhanced snow, but the other area of snow never formed. Why? The answer lies in the two images I made below:

The area where the snow broke out was just west of and along the spine of the Appalachian mountains. These mountains acted as a lifting mechanism. As the winds hit the mountains, they had no where to go but up. Rising air cools, and with all the moisture left over from the storm, condensed into clouds and moderate to heavy snow. This is called upslope snow. Since there is not nearly the elevation gradient over our area as there is to the south, there was not enough lift to cause a secondary outbreak outside of the light lake effect. This just goes to show that there are so many factors that go into forecasting, which is why it is such a tough job.

And just in case you were wondering how much snow fell as a result of the upslope effect last night in the mountains, meteorologist Jesse Ferrell put together a small list of some totals on his blog, which you can see here.

One other note about this storm. I have had over 800 hits on my website since Monday, including 571 yesterday! I just wanted to thank all of you for using my site and making it well worth my time. I really enjoy this and I am so happy that you are finding it useful! Thank you again!

Now, one final thing for now. For the past month or so, I have been working on a new website with a group of meteorology students here at SUNY Oswego. This site will give weather forecasts in a similar format to for clusters of 2-5 counties. This will be a great source for specific weather information outside of our area. I am both the chief meteorologist of this new site, along with the forecaster for the Finger Lakes region. I have set this site up so that Tompkins, Cortland and Southern Cayuga are in a cluster. What does this mean for the future of No changes! I simply using for that region, keeping everything the same for you. This new site will be launching this weekend and will have the URL, so check it out come Saturday!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Midnight Storm Update

Well...the backlash snow just doesn't want to develop. The snows over Ohio and other areas to our southwest are rapidly weakening as well. I'm left no choice than to think that the whole second part of this storm that I was counting on simply isn't going to develop. As a result, snow totals will end up about where they are now or maybe a bit higher. Snowday? I now have to reverse my predictions and say that there will be school tomorrow.

I guess there isn't really much else to say about this storm....

9:30 PM Storm Update

The heaviest of the precipitation is racing very rapidly into northern New England and the worst part of the storm has ended over our area. However, all that wrap around moisture I was talking about in my last post is sticking around and will continue to keep the light to at times moderate snows around overnight and tomorrow morning. The winds will continue to increase as well and the temperatures will drop overnight as well. This will allow for considerable blowing and drifting tomorrow, so even when it is not snowing or doing so lightly, travel will be difficult.

I am not quite as confident about a snowday now, but I am going to stick with my original forecast and say it will happen. Just because the heavy snow is over doesn't mean the effects of this storm won't continue well into the day tomorrow.

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Here is the latest radar. I didn't bother to color-code it because it is a bite easier to see the different intensities of precipitation on the unmodified version. As you can see, all that snow to our southwest is still sitting there despite the storm being well into New England. As the main precipitation shield continues to lift away from our area, I am expecting a similar set up to form over our area; you can already see it happening in Western New York. Generally, only another 1-4" can be expected tonight with a few locally higher amounts. But again, the wind is going to be the more significant feature of this storm here on out.

PS: I am going to try to do one more update tonight before I go to bed, so if you are still up, check back around or just after midnight!

5PM Storm Update

The storm center is tracking across southern Pennsylvania right now and slowly turning northeast. Moderate to heavy snow is continuing over all of Central New York. Below is the latest radar image from weathertap, and there are a few things noteworthy about it.
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1: The darkest blues can be seen over Southeast New York. This is a result of the storm tracking even farther south than the models were indicating yesterday. As the storm turns northeast and rides up the coast, the heaviest snows will likely stay to our east as well. Does this mean we won't get anything? By no means because....

2a. Even though the storm center is now in eastern Pennsylvania, there is a large amount of snow on the back side of this storm. The snow over Ohio is mostly a result of moisture that has wrapped around the back side while

2b. The snow further west is tapping into this moisture and added moisture from the Great Lakes. This tells me that there is plenty of moisture well behind the storm and that the lakes are contributing to the snow.

3. The storm itself is starting to take its turn to the north. While the snow has been moving west to east most of the day, its axis is shifting to a more southwest to northeast orientation. Overnight, it will become increasingly north-south, and the little pockets of lighter snow should fill in a bit.

What does this all mean? There is still plenty of storm to go. As the low moves to our east, the snow shield will still be over us. The wrap around moisture will ensure that even when the storm center is well to the northeast, at least light snow should continue for the area through tomorrow. Winds are gradually shifting towards the north, and this will allow Lake Ontario to enhance the snow fall, especially tomorrow. A little over 3" has fallen so far at my house, and while I am still confident of the lower end of my predictions last night, I think it will be hard for anyone to get up to a foot, except down towards the Catskills. As a result, totals look just a tad scaled back now, with a general 7-11" expected by tomorrow at noon.

Chances still look good for a snow day, especially since the winds will continue to pick up overnight and into tomorrow, keeping the snow blowing around right into Thursday.

STORM MODE: Morning Updates

Our storm is just starting to get going as light snow has broken out across New York. However, all this snow is well ahead of the storm center, which is back over Southern Indiana. It is to the north of this storm center that the heaviest snow is now. This will move over us later this evening and overnight with very heavy snow. As the storm tracks to our east and continues to strengthens, the winds will increase and the temperatures will drop like a rock, only adding to the heavy snow to make this a very dangerous storm. Here is a detailed forecast and radar loop:

Now-3PM: Generally light to moderate snow. Only a couple inches of accumulation since temperatures at the surface will be near or just above freezing.
3PM-9PM: Snow becomes heavy. Winds start to pick up, temperatures begin to fall into the mid and upper 20's.
9PM-9AM: Very heavy snow. Strong winds will blow the snow and cause near 0 visibilities. Temperatures will continue to drop through the 20's and into the teens.
9AM-3PM: Snow tapers off some, but lake effect will keep flurries and squalls around. Temperatures continue falling.
3PM-Thursday: Flurries, squalls and blowing snow. Dangerous wind chills well below 0.

Weathertap Radar: 9AM
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Monday, February 25, 2008

STORM MODE: Blizzard conditions tomorrow night!

The models have continued their trend towards becoming colder and colder, so while I have been trying not to hype up this storm, its time to go with the worst case scenario with this system. It now appears very likely that rain will NOT mix in. Not only that, but the most intense part of the storm appears to track right over Central New York.

The snow will start tomorrow morning and continue through Wednesday. The heaviest of the snow looks to be later tomorrow and overnight. The winds with this storm will also really kick up, blowing the snow around. This will only make travel all the worse. Travel should be limited to emergencies only as roads will be nearly impassable. A snow-day Wednesday is all but a guarantee. Here is my updated snow map. As you can see, this is going to be a very big storm with many places getting over a foot, and some locally getting 18" or more!

Tuesday-Wednesday Snow Map: 3PM Update

A large storm system is currently moving across the Midwest and will bring some nasty weather for Central New York tomorrow and early Wednesday. While there is still a bit of uncertainty with this storm, here is my best shot at a forecast:

Now-1AM: Increasing clouds
1AM-9AM: Light snow moving in
9AM-6PM: Snow possibly changing to rain
6PM-9AM: Heavy snow

Now, the big question is whether or not we will change to rain or not. It will be a very close call with this storm, but it looks like there will be at least a short period of rain tomorrow afternoon. Areas just to the north should stay snow. This is why on the map below, there is a region for locally higher amounts to our north. A good 6-12" is likely with this storm, unless, of course, the track is a lot farther north and we get more rain. But the trends have been making this storm colder, so if anything, I think we would go all snow before we went with more rain.

Snow-day chances: I think after-school activities will likely be canceled tomorrow and a snow day Wednesday is possible, but not an absolute slam-dunk forecast. We will have to see how things evolve tonight and into tomorrow! Stay tuned!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Eclipse Photo, Snow Map

Before I get onto the storm that will basically miss us tomorrow, I wanted to share a picture of last night's lunar eclipse that my dad took! Up here in Oswego, the lake effect band shifted just far enough south for me to see the eclipse, but I couldn't get any good pictures. So, in case you missed it last night, here is my dads picture! Thanks dad!

Alright, now onto the storm tomorrow. The models have finally started to come into some sort of agreement on the path of this storm. There is still some uncertainty, but it looks like this storm will stay well south of the area.

The uncertainty left with the storm has mostly to do with the southern part of the map, in the 3-7" range. Within that area, especially in the southeast part of that range, there could be some localized higher amounts. But for Groton and surrounding areas, it only looks like a couple inches will fall at the most.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Why Friday's Storm FINALLY Won't Have Ice!

There is a chance for a decent snowfall Friday. Now, all winter storms have looked like they were going to come, only to get too warm at the last moment and have sleet keep snow totals way down. I have been looking into Friday's system and am confident that will NOT be the case this time! The reason for this is a change in the storm track, as shown in the maps below:

The models vary greatly with this saying we get about 9" of snow, the other 0.5" of snow. But the low model has the storm tracking south of us, so its not a sleet issue. Stay tuned for more infomration as the exact track becomes clear!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

10:30 PM Storm Update

Here is the latest radar image from weathertap focused on Pennsylvania. No, that is not all rain. I didn't put the precipitation types because the radar is doing a horrible job with them.
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As of 10PM, there was freezing rain in Buffalo and Rochester, with a "dry slot" lifting through Pennsylvania and the Southern Tier. It was having some trouble making progress north, but at the very least it it has significantly decreased the precipitation intensity over the area. The precipitation to the west of this dry slot is making progress east and will move in after midnight, probably as sleet and/or rain. Behind that, there is some more snow, but I do not see it being a big enough issue to close schools tomorrow. Delays are possible because of the ice and snow totals will end up in the 2-5" range.

6PM Storm Update

I have decided to not make any more changes to my last snow map. I like the amounts on the low end of the ranges of we get more sleet, and the upper end looks good for a mostly snow event. I think it will probably be on the lower end, but that isn't certain. It is such a close call with this storm; every source I have checked seems to say something different! That being said, its time to watch what happens and how the storm unfolds and make short-term forecasts as opposed to trying to figure out what could happen...because at this point, that is pretty much impossible.

So, here is the latest radar from covering the entire Northeast.

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As you can see, snow (blue) has overspread the region and there is quite a bit out there. Also interesting to note is the very slow progress of the pink line northward. That pink line is where the precipitation is sleet and freezing rain. Expect that to be a lot closer tonight when I post another radar near 11PM.

So for the rest of this evening, expect snow, heavy at times and quickly accumulating since it is so cold. This will make travel difficult. By 11PM tonight, most areas will have already seen a good 2-5", with some localized amounts upwards of 6" or 7". Feel free to send me your measurements! Just leave a comment right here on the blog!

Morning Map: 9AM Update

Here is my latest snow map. I brought the totals down to account for sleet mixing in overnight.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Impossible Forecast: 11PM Update

Like every other winter storm this winter, the question once again is whether or not sleet will mix with the snow, and if so, how much. Looking at the latest models, the air directly above Groton is forecast to reach about 32 degrees aloft. Since the models are rarely right on, will we end up above freezing, or below freezing aloft?

I am going to say that, even if it does mix with sleet, it will not do it for long, meaning our snow totals shouldn't be effected. Just to our south though, you will see I have cut back on the totals quite a bit. Stay tuned as I try to do the impossible tomorrow and forecast this thing.

Surprise Storm Tomorrow Night!

The weather has been so active over the past week, including the rapid temperature drop and heavy snow squalls yesterday and the lake effect blizzard up here in Oswego, this storm has kind of snuck up on us. However, it now looks like this storm may be one of the biggest for the area so far this winter. I've run the morning models, which are agreeing with each other and last night's models, so here is my snow map.

Most of this snow will fall overnight Tuesday and early Wednesday. Since the majority of the storm will be during the overnight and early morning hours, I do think a snow day is a pretty decent bet Wednesday. I will keep updating and tweaking the map as I see fit, so stay tuned!

Friday, February 01, 2008

11 AM Ice Storm Update

Precipitation continues to fall across the entire region and will continue to do so through the day. Below I have a radar loop from WeatherTap ending at about 11AM so you can see how much still has to come. I have also put it in winter mode, for a rough estimate of snow (blue), ice (pink) and rain (green). It is important to note that these "winter" radars are not always accurate with what type of precip is falling where...but it is still useful to get a general idea.

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As you can see, there is still a long ways to go with this storm. It is only 30 degrees at my house, so at least a couple more hours of ice is likely.