Thundersnow! Thundersnow! Hoooo…

Many of you thought it was an explosion this morning in western PA, but it was actually thundersnow. Enough dynamic lifting (i.e. front) and elevated convection can cause this. Is it rare? Yes, it is not a a common thing, but it does happen more than you think. Is it because of global warming? No. Anyways, here is your forecast.

Current (~7am) Temperatures:

  • Erie, PA:  24
  • Franklin, PA:  27
  • New Castle, PA: 27
  • Butler, PA:  30
  • Pittsburgh (KAGC): 36
  • Uniontown, PA: 37
  • State College, PA: 27
  • Frederick, MD:  25
  • BWI Airport, MD:  29
  • DC (KDCA):  31

Forecast:

Western PA:

Main threat: Untreated roads, blowing snow

 

  • Today: Risk of snow continues. Should lighten up in intensity during the day. Windy. Highs: 30s Overnight Lows:20s/30s
  • Wednesday: Chance of rain and snow (slop).  Highs: 30s/40s Overnight Lows: 20s/30s
  • Thursday: Chance of rain. Warmer. Highs: 40s/50s  Overnight Lows: 30s/low 40s

DC Region:

Main threat: Untreated roads

  • Today: Gradual clearing. Breezy  Highs:  Upper 40s/Low 50s Overnight Lows: 30s
  • Wednesday: Risk of rain.  Highs: 50s Overnight Lows: 30s
  • Thursday: Clouds increase during the day.  Highs: 50s Overnight Lows: 40s

Good News: Temperatures stay above normal through the week

Bad News: Cold returns next week.

Snow First. Warmth Later.

Another system will track through the region tonight through tomorrow bringing snow to much of western PA with a threat of a wintry mix across southern PA and into DC. After that, temperatures will start to climb to above normal for several days for the first time in a long time.Highs in the upper 40s and 50s will settle into western PA while 50s and 60s move into the DC Region during the middle of the week.

Snow Totals: 2-4″ in western PA with locally amounts higher. DC could see around an inch of snow with a bigger threat of sleet/freezing rain.

Forecast:

Western PA:

Main Threats: Slick roads during morning commute. Sand is starting to be mixed in with salt with salt shortage in Pittsburgh area. Be safe.

  • Today: Highs: Mostly sunny. Snow moves in late. Highs: 20s/Low 30s Overnight Lows:20s
  • Tuesday: Chance of snow, especially early. Highs: 30s Overnight Lows: 20s/30s
  • Wednesday Chance of snow in the north. Mainly dry. Highs: 30s/40s  Overnight Lows: 20s

DC Region:

Main Threats: Freezing rain/sleet/snow could make slick roads for morning commute.

  • Today: Wintry mix moves in late tonight. Highs: 30s Overnight Lows: Upper 20s/low 30s
  • Tuesday: Wintry mix early will clear out later in the day  Highs: Mid to upper 40s.  Overnight Lows: Low to mid 30s.
  • Wednesday: Mostly sunny.  Highs: Low to mid 50s. Overnight Lows: Low 30s

Good News: Temperatures stay warm through the second half of the week.

Bad News: Snow tonight into Tuesday will cause for some slick conditions. Winter’s not over yet as colder temperatures to return next week.

Weekend Weather and Winter Storm Golden Corral Overeats

Many of us have dug or will dig our way out of the snow to get to where we’re going today. Here’s what to expect:

Current (~7am) Temperatures:

  • Erie, PA:  26
  • Franklin, PA:  23
  • New Castle, PA: 25
  • Butler, PA:  27
  • Pittsburgh (KAGC): 30
  • Uniontown, PA: 28
  • State College, PA: 28
  • Frederick, MD:  34
  • BWI Airport, MD:  33
  • DC (KDCA):  37

Forecast:

Western PA:

  • Today: Risk of snow, especially in the south. Highs: Upper 20s/Low 30s Overnight Lows:Teens
  • Saturday: Chance of snow mainly early. Highs: 20s Overnight Lows: Upper single digits/teens
  • Sunday: Chance of snow. Highs: 20s  Overnight Lows: Upper single digits/teens

DC Region:

Main threat to continue: Refreezing water from melting snow, slushy/slick roads

  • Today: Chance of snow moves in late tonight  Highs:  Upper 30s/Low 40s Overnight Lows: Upper 20s/low 30s
  • Saturday: Snow early. Clearing out later in the day  Highs: Mid to upper 30s.  Overnight Lows: Upper teens to mid 20s.
  • Sunday: Dry and partly sunny.  Highs: Low to mid 30s. Overnight Lows: Teens/low 20s

 

Why did my forecast bust with Winter Storm Golden Corral?

Overall: Fail

  • Final Total Snowfall
  • Actual Total Snowfall

Map courtesy of NWS Eastern Regional Headquarters

  • I should have went wetter with my forecast.  00z models went wetter as another westward shift by NAM and GFS occurred. Euro stayed on course from a week out of the storm. Leaned towards Euro, but GFS model scared me. America sucked with this storm. Made forecast before then, but no excuses.
  • Temperatures were colder than the forecast in the Southeast during their bout with the winter storm. Coworkers said that Raleigh was only in the mid 20s at one point in the afternoon which was colder than the forecast. Colder temperatures down south should have been a precursor to colder temperatures in the DC region, allowing for less mixing to fall north and west of downtown DC.
  • Storm just overperformed. Moisture was plentiful. Cold air was plentiful. Heavy snow was really heavy and moved slowly. Some of the radar images of heavy snow were intense. Near 50 dbz reflectiviites up in Frederick, MD at one point on the radar, which is not common with snow.
  • One can’t help remember last year’s bust in DC. Lots of warm air last year helped keep the mass amounts of snow in the forecast away from much of downtown DC. That storm was in March though, this was at the right time. Snowquester or Saturn or “stupid busted forecast.” Whatever name you want to call it.
  • Too conservative with forecast. Thought more warm air or dry air would mix in. Try to be realistic with my forecasts, but in the case of the overperforming storm, conservative is not good.

Have a wonderful weekend folks!

Holy Snow Batman!

It appears my final forecast will bust. I should’ve waited for the 0Z NAM and GFS models to come out before finalizing it. More cold and wetter will help the storm perform well.

New Updates:

  • DC: 10-15″. 12-18″ northwest of the city.
  • Philly: 8-12″ downtown. Burbs in NW 10-15″. Localized 15+”
  • NYC: 5-10″. Suburbs in Jersey 10-15″ Localized amounts higher.
  • State College: 4-8″

Western PA

  • Today: Chance of snow. Snowing now in Pittsburgh. Around an inch or 2 expected. Higher accumulations east of city. Highs in the 30s. Lows in the teens/20s
  • Tomorrow: Chance of snow, mainly later. Highs in the 30s. Lows in the teens.
  • Saturday: Dries out. Highs in the 20s. Lows in the teens.

Winter Storm Golden Corral: “3rd Plate of Shame” (Final Forecast)

 

  • Moderate to severe impacts expected from the Richmond region up to NYC
  • Start times: DC: 7pm – 10pm Wednesday; Philly: 12am – 3am Thursday; NYC: 2am – 5am
  • End Time: Thursday Night Into early Friday morning
  • Biggest Threats: Heavy snowfall, low visibility, untreated roads, freezing rain (mainly southern VA)

Tips/Info:

  • DO NOT DRIVE if you don’t have to later tonight into most of tomorrow
  • Schools/Government most likely going to be closed
  • Use your noggin. If it doesn’t sound like a good idea it probably isn’t.
  • Be safe and build a snowman (my extended family member)
  • Biggest Changes from 2nd Guess: Slight westward shift. More mixing along coast. More snow in central PA

City Forecast:

  • DC: 5-10″ (8-12″ in NW suburbs)
  • Philly: 5-10″ (8-12″ in NW suburbs)
  • NYC: 3-6″ (Decreases to 2-4″ then Trace-2″ toward Long Island)
  • Richmond, VA: 4-8″
  • Scranton: 4-8″
  • State College: 3-6″
  • Breezewood: 3-6″
  • Frederick, MD: 8-12″
  • Germantown, MD: 8-12″
  • Easton, MD: 3-6″
  • Reedville, VA: 1-3″
  • Wintergreen Ski Resort: 10-15″

Winter Storm Golden Corral: Second Helping

  • Moderate to severe impacts expected from the DC region up to NYC
  • Start times: DC: 7pm – 10pm Wednesday; Philly: 12am – 3am Thursday; NYC: 2am – 5am
  • End Time: Thursday Night
  • Biggest Threats: Heavy snowfall, low visibility, untreated roads

My 2nd Guess Forecast:

  • A bit more bold of a forecast. Extended 8 to 12 to northwest of Philly and into northern New Jersey. Added 12-16″ contour in western VA. May tweak one more time depending on details
  • Still some risk to the forecast: Uncertainty with track still. Euro model well west, GFS keeps it further east, and NAM is somewhere in between. Hopefully more consensus through early tomorrow. Coastal regions could be too high with mixing involved.
  • What could change on my forecast map? Minor details depending on models into tomorrow. I’ll also look at  what the mess is doing in the Southeast.

Big City Forecast:

  • DC: 5-10″ (Northwest suburbs 8-12″)
  • Philly: 5-10″ (Northwest suburbs 8-12″)
  • NYC: 4-8″ in Manhattan. Less out heading east towards Long Island.

Winter Storm Golden Corral To Bring Buffet of Winter Weather (1st Guess)

In all seriousness, this will be a significant winter storm. First it will bring significant ice and snow to the Southeast the next couple of days before riding up the coast and dumping snow on the Mid-Atlantic. What you need to know when it hits the Mid-Atlantic:

  • Moderate to severe impacts expected from the DC region up to Boston.
  • Start times: DC: 7pm – 10pm Wednesday; Philly: 12am – 2am Thursday; NYC: 3-5am
  • End Time: Thursday Night
  • Biggest Threats: Heavy snowfall, low visibility, untreated roads

My 1st Guess Forecast:

  • Conservative forecast. Gives a general idea of where heaviest snow will fall. With current model trends, I expect some higher amounts with some areas seeing more than a foot of snow.
  • Still some risk to the forecast: With some models still keeping the system further to the east, there could be less snow in the far western areas of my forecast. Mixing could also lower amounts right along the East Coast.
  • What could change on my forecast map? Widen the 8-12″ contour and extend it into Philly. Could add a 12-18″ contour somewhere within that 8-12″ contour. 12+” could be more localized though. Details will come later today.

Big City Forecast (Downtown):

  • DC: 5-10″ (Northwest of city could see 10″ or more)
  • Philly: 5-10″ (Suburbs to the west could see over 10″)
  • NYC: Manhattan: 3-6.” Suburbs to the west should see 4-8″. Long Island more mixing and less snow.

Winter Storm Rumors, But This Time They Could Very Well Happen

So a potential coastal storm could occur in the Mid-Atlantic during the middle of the week. Note the word potential as some uncertainty remains in the models. If (and I say if) the most extreme situation happens, moderate to severe impacts could be along the I-95 corridor (DC, Philly, Boston). Western PA should stay out of the woods for the most part with this storm, but potential is there for impacts across southern western PA. I’ll keep you updated. I should have a “first guess” forecast map out by either tonight or tomorrow.

Current (~7am) temperatures/wind chills in the region this morning:

  • Erie: 16 ; Wind Chill: 6
  • Franklin: 12 ; Wind Chill: -1
  • New Castle: 9; Wind Chill: 9
  • Butler:12 ; Wind Chill: 12
  • Pittsburgh (KAGC): 14 ; Wind Chill: 4
  • Uniontown: 15 ; Wind Chill: 5
  • State College: 14; Wind Chill: 5
  • Frederick, MD: 23 ; Wind Chill: 16
  • BWI Airport: 23 ; Wind Chill: 11
  • DC (KDCA): 28 ; Wind Chill: 16

Forecast:

Western PA:

  • Today: A chance of snow near Lake Erie. Otherwise, partly sunny skies. Highs: Mid to upper teens; Overnight Lows: Low single digits. Wind chills below zero possible
  • Tuesday: Partly cloudy skies. Highs: Mid to upper teens; Overnight Lows: Near 0. Wind chills below zero possible.
  • Wednesday: Mostly sunny skies. Highs: Mid to upper 20s. Overnight Lows: Teens

DC Region:

  • Today: Partly sunny skies. Highs: Low to mid 30s; Overnight Lows:: Mid teens to low 20s.
  • Tuesday: Mostly sunny skies. Highs: Low 30s; Overnight Lows:: Mid to upper teens.
  • Wednesday: Clouds increase during the day, winter weather moves in late. Highs: Upper 20s to low 30s; Overnight Lows: Upper 20s to low 30s.

Good News: Western PA takes a little break from the snow for the most part.

Bad News: Potential winter storm could allow for moderate to severe impacts in the DC region up to the Boston region. Rain and ice are possible along with this system as well. I’ll keep you updated!

Have a great Monday Monday!

Everybody’s Working For The Weekend…Well Some of Us Are.

Another cold one for many of us in the Mid-Atlantic, but western PA wins. A chilly weekend ahead with some snow in the mix, but we’ve experienced worse this winter. Current temperatures (~7am) in western PA and the DC Region:

  • Erie: 2 ; Wind Chill: -16
  • Franklin: 1 ; Wind Chill: 1
  • New Castle: -1; Wind Chill: -1
  • Butler: 7 ; Wind Chill: 7
  • Pittsburgh (KAGC): 13 ; Wind Chill: 2
  • Uniontown: 17 ; Wind Chill: 7
  • State College: 18 (Walker Building, PSU) ; Wind Chill: 7
  • Frederick, MD: 27 ; Wind Chill: 19
  • BWI Airport: 23 ; Wind Chill: 23
  • DC (KDCA): 30 ; Wind Chill: 23

Forecast:

Western PA:

  • Today: Partly cloudy to mostly skies across the region. Chance of light snow up near Lake Erie. Highs: Teens. Overnight Lows: Single digits/low teens. Wind chills could drop into the negative teens.
  • Saturday: Chance of snow moves in. Light accumulations possible. Highs: Teens/20s. Overnight Lows: Hold steady in the teens/low 20s. Wind chills could drop to below zero.
  • Sunday: A few inches of snow possible. Highs: 20s Overnight Lows: Upper single digits/teens

DC Region:

  • Today: Mostly sunny.  Highs: Upper 30s/Low 40s Overnight Lows:Mid to upper 20s
  • Saturday: Chance of light snow/rain  Highs: Mid 30s.  Overnight Lows: Mid to upper 20s.
  • Sunday: Chance of light snow/rain.  Highs: Upper 30s/Low 40s Overnight Lows: Low to mid 20s.

Good News: Snow won’t be too bad this weekend. Just light accumulations expected.

Bad News: Potential for unsettled weather is possible into next week. Some models have potential coastal storm during the middle of the week, but confidence is low right now with this system as too many risks are possible with the time line being about a week out. I’ll keep you updated with this system though!

Have a wonderful weekend folks!

Winter Storm Snowmagedocalypsicane (Feb. 4 – Feb. 5 Winter Storm) Verifications

Forecast Grade: Fair

What went wrong?

  • Thought more heavy snow would shift northward up into NW PA. Stayed south near Butler.
  •  Thought back edge of system would stay further south in NW PA. Enough heavy snow with this batch gave Oil City 6 inches though, which was  in my 5-10″ forecast
  • -Ice was the worst in northern MD and southern PA which I expected. Ice accumulations more than expected. More ice in NW PA than I expected, though.

 

Ice Totals and Snowfall Totals maps courtesy of http://www.erh.noaa.gov/hydromet/

Location forecast:

Snow/Ice Forecast:

  • Erie: 8-12″
  • Oil City: 5-10″
  • Franklin: 4-8″
  • Butler: 3-6″
  • New Castle: 3-6″
  • Pittsburgh: 1-3″ dahntahn; 2-4″ in the Burbs. (Up to .2″ of ice)
  • Uniontown: Maybe an inch or 2. Sleet/rain mainly.
  • Bradford: 6-12″
  • State College: 3-6″. (<0.1″ of ice)
  • Breezewood: 1-3″ of snow. (Up to 0.5″ of ice)
  • Scranton: 5-10″
  • Reading: 1-3″ of snow. (Up to 0.3″ of ice)
  • Philly: 1-2″ of snow. (Up to 0.3″ of ice). Burbs north could see 2-4″ of snow (Up to 0.5″ of ice)
  • NYC: 2-4″. (Up to 0.4″ of ice)
  • Frederick, MD: (Up to 0.4 inches of ice)
  • DC: Mainly rain with some crap potentially mixed in. Ice should stay north of city.

Location Snowfall/Ice Totals (Courtesy of National Weather Service):