Winter grips North America

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 17. joulukuuta 2007 klo 15:23 (GMT)

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We've got a real winter on our hands in North America this December. The latest in series of storms that has pounded the continent left nearly a foot of snow over portions of Michigan, New York, Massachusetts, Maine, and Canada Sunday. Heavy snow collapsed the roof of a pharmacy in Boston, injuring one person yesterday. Heavy ice accumulations were a problem in Pennsylvania, where ice and high winds brought down the 800-foot high TV tower of WNEP-TV. A possible tornado associated with the storm's trailing cold front swept through Land 'O Lakes, Florida early Sunday morning, destroying a jail and flipping cars. No one was injured, and the inmates were moved to safety before the storm hit.


Figure 1. Departure of surface temperature from average for the period December 1-15, 2007. Note that the northern U.S. has seen below average temperatures, but the southern U.S. has seen above average temperatures. Temperatures across most of Europe and Asia have been much above average. Temperatures over ocean areas are not reliable in this data set, and should be ignored. Image credit: NOAA ESRL.

This winter's jet stream pattern
When this year's record sea ice melt in the Arctic occurred, I predicted another late arrival to winter over the Northern Hemisphere, because of all the extra heat and moisture the loss of sea ice would provide to the polar atmosphere. Well, winter arrived pretty much on time over North America. We've seen temperatures near average during the first half of December (Figure 1). However, almost all of Europe and Asia have seen a delayed start to winter. First half of December temperatures have been 3-6°C (5-10°F) above average across most of Europe, and even warmer over much of Asia. While the ski areas of the Alps have gotten much more bountiful snow than last winter, the lack of cold temperatures and snow is hurting the tourist industry in many regions, such as Finland. In Eastern Siberia, the lack of usual sea ice has led to temperatures up to 15°C (27°F) above average during the first half of December. The missing sea ice between Russia and Alaska has also brought unusual storminess and low pressure to the region during November and December. This may have deflected the position of the jet stream, bringing colder conditions to North America than the rest of the Northern Hemisphere. The current La Nina event and natural variability are also involved, and it is difficult to say which effect is mostly responsible for the current jet stream pattern.

What does the rest of December hold in store? Well, the latest 16-day forecast from the GFS model shows no major changes to the jet stream pattern. Expect a continuation of normal winter weather over North America, and much warmer than average conditions over Europe and Asia.

Jeff Masters

Ice Storm (farmerjen)
Six days after the storm, the ice has not melted yet. We spent five days without electricity. The sun finally popped out in the afternoon and the ice began to melt.
Ice Storm
After 14 inches of snow and 50MPH wind... (BRASSDRAGON)
Near 36 inches of snow in December... And winter isn't started yet...
After 14 inches of snow and 50MPH wind...

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253. Bonedog
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 17:02 (GMT)
!!!!!NEW BLOG!!!!!
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
252. Bonedog
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 17:02 (GMT)
yea NE. Guess that early season forcast Noaa made abotu a mild winter here went out the door about the same time 3.4 went -1.5 LOL
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
251. NEwxguy
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 17:01 (GMT)
Alberta loves la nina,sounds like a romance that means trouble for the northeast
Member Since: 6.09.2007 Posts: 862 Comments: 15056
250. Bonedog
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 16:53 (GMT)
anytime Lake. Glad to help. Feel free to ask questions thats how we all learn
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
249. LakeShadow
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 16:50 (GMT)
yeah, bone, I've looked at most the philosophy pages so far... This is great stuff, really!
thanks again!
Member Since: 10.08.2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
247. Bonedog
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 16:32 (GMT)
no problem Hondaguy. I misread the post :)

Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
246. Bonedog
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 16:31 (GMT)
ooo looky here. Man i love that site...

Other Precipitation Factors:

Alberta Clippers love La Nina years. La Nina means the Jet Stream dives south across the Great Lakes. That can often mean areas surrounding the lakes are the only ones in the U.S. to see a white Christmas. The Great Lakes southern and eastern shores often receive enhanced snowfall from Clippers during the winter months from lake enhancement. Lake effect snow substantially increases snowfall totals. Also, if conditions are favorable, an Alberta Clipper can rapidly intensify off the East Coast. Once the storm taps the relatively warm moist air over the Atlantic Ocean, the storm sometimes spreads heavy snow over New England and Southeastern Canada.
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
245. hondaguy
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 16:30 (GMT)
230. Bonedog 3:47 PM GMT on December 18, 2007
honda the images I posted in post 219 doesnt show actual precipitation. It shows if there was precip what form it would be.



Hey bone. I know they dont show actual precepitation. That's why I said I like what they "suggest" meaning future tense.

Again though I dont foresee a chance of snow that far south. Also, again, I really hope that it makes it that far!
244. Bonedog
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 16:24 (GMT)
LOL I found this under the field trips link...

4. Nor'easter

A. Preparation:

*Winter survival kit and extra gas

*Battery operated radio/TV

*Snow chains

B. Trip not complete until:

*Witnessed winds with sustained speeds over 50 miles per hour

*Witnessed at least one foot of snowfall and 10 foot snowdrifts

C. Advantages:

*Any snow fans dream

*Incredible snowfall rates, visibility near zero

D. Disadvantages:

*Travel becomes very difficult once storm begins

*Could be stranded for days

Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
243. Bonedog
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 16:21 (GMT)
Yea Lake. If you go to the main page start with
(1)Philosophy then move onto (2)Basic Topics and so one and so forth until you get to (5)WX Analysis you should be able to understand most weather forcasting.

I have been using that site for a year or two now, and its really where I began learning forcasting not just interpratation.

Also for everyone, top right of the main page has a very good bookmarks link, very detailed and very well organized.
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
242. LakeShadow
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 16:17 (GMT)
wow, thanks, bone! That is a great page.
Its like model forecasting 101.
loooove it!!!
Member Since: 10.08.2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
241. NEwxguy
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 16:13 (GMT)
WOW, heatwave coming this weekend,I might hit 40
Member Since: 6.09.2007 Posts: 862 Comments: 15056
240. HIEXPRESS
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 16:13 (GMT)
RE: 129.
More on the Central Fl NOAA weather radio alert glitch from 12/16
Member Since: 13.10.2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2155
239. Bonedog
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 16:09 (GMT)
NE besides the models that site has all things weather related. just go to the main page and have a blast. I think its the most comprehensive free site to learn eather forcasting. It even has tests for you to take!!

THE SITE PURPOSE


METEOROLOGIST JEFF HABY

The main focus of this web site is weather prediction education. While there are many websites for retrieving weather data, there remains somewhat of a lack of weather data interpretation and forecasting methods. This site will benefit the beginner as well as the advanced forecaster. Feel free to link to this site and use it for educational purposes. I hope each of you can learn a great deal about forecasting and meteorology through this site.

Please send me ideas for new content, notify me of broken links, and notify me of suggested improvements or corrections. If you have any questions or comments, e-mail them to:

webmaster@theweatherprediction.com
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
238. NEwxguy
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 16:08 (GMT)
nice link Bone,I'll have to find some time to read,might clear up some confusion I have with models.
Member Since: 6.09.2007 Posts: 862 Comments: 15056
237. LakeShadow
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 16:07 (GMT)
Thanks guys... You're awesome!

Thats the best display of NAM products that I have come across yet,thanks, Storm!

I'll chime in with questions right now I'm checking it all out. Its like a giant puzzle...
Member Since: 10.08.2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
236. cchsweatherman
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 16:07 (GMT)
213. hondaguy 3:13 PM GMT on December 18, 2007
Hey cchsweatherman. According to one source it'll be 76°F (last check)tomorrow and according to wunderground it'll be 70°F. So yea it will be warming pretty quickly.

Cold weather this time of year is best. It's hard to be Christmasy without it!


True that man.
Member Since: 14.04.2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5030
235. Bonedog
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 16:04 (GMT)
Lake and everyone else here is a great link to help you understand the diffrent things inside each of the models. Also has pros and cons and Q&A about why models do certain things.

Weather Forcast Models
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
234. Cavin Rawlins
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 15:55 (GMT)
Tropical Cyclone 07S

1430 UTC 18 DEC 2007

Pattern: Curved band 0.60 arc

Current Intensity: CI 3.0

Adjustments: MET agrees with CI 2.5 but if organization continues the CI will be raised permantely to CI 3.0.

Final Intensity: CI 2.5/3.0

Dvorak Trends:



Member Since: 24.07.2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
232. Bonedog
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 15:52 (GMT)
Storm I didnt know that NWS is rarely using the NGM. LOL its one I do reley on to help me.
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
231. Bonedog
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 15:49 (GMT)
glad to help Lake. You know if you have questions feel free to ask.
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
230. Bonedog
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 15:47 (GMT)
honda the images I posted in post 219 doesnt show actual precipitation. It shows if there was precip what form it would be.
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
229. Bonedog
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 15:45 (GMT)
dean the three hi-res models I know of are the RUC, WRF, and MM5. They are models that go out 24 to 36hrs and are zoomed into certain regions thus giving better solutions to you.

the MM5 goes as small as 4km.

here is an example of the MM5 for today


its run from the OKX forcast office in that image
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
228. LakeShadow
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 15:45 (GMT)
thanks bone, Its MUCH easier to look at!
ok. Its bookmarked, now I'm gonna spend some time looking at this.
Member Since: 10.08.2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
227. LakeShadow
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 15:41 (GMT)
Thanks storm.
So I cant find the NAM of this page, but I can look at the WRF? I cant find the ETA here, either. These seem to rely heavily on the GFS here on this e-wall page.
Member Since: 10.08.2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
226. hondaguy
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 15:42 (GMT)
Bonedog, I like what the models suggest however I'm highly doubting that snowfall will reach that far into the south/southeast.

I'd scale that line up by about 100 - 150 miles. Possibly on a line from and north of Oklahoma City, Little Rock, Memphis, and Nashville.

Good to be hopeful though!
225. Bonedog
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 15:40 (GMT)
I'll help you Lake ask away :)

BTW NAM and NGM are two diffrent models

NGM- Nested Grid Model. A synoptic forecast model for short term forecasting.


NAM
- North American Mesoscale Model . usually known as the North American Model.

here is a good link for model runs thats a little easier on the eyes to figure out Lake.

Dept. Of Earth Sciences
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
224. NEwxguy
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 15:35 (GMT)
LOL,if it makes you feel any better Lake I get really confused with all the models,ensemble models,and groups of models,I try to stay focused on just a handful of the more common models you see mentioned. You do walk away with a migraine sometimes.
Member Since: 6.09.2007 Posts: 862 Comments: 15056
223. Ivansrvivr
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 15:35 (GMT)
I recall a few in Va that were predicted like that(3 quick changeovers) snow-rain-snow in 6 hrs. We got all snow.
222. dean2007
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 15:34 (GMT)
The AVN shows the GFS and NAM solutions as well with the low developing to our south and quickly. The atmosphere is moist and the low pumps more into the coast. While Wednesday might be a little warm, the HPC said dynamic cooling will take place and turn the rain over to snow for Thursday where they highlighted a 10% of snow accumulations of at least 4". Bonedog is the AVN one of the high resolution models?
220. Ivansrvivr
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 15:30 (GMT)
yea ivan doing a little more research and finding out interesting things..

I know a little bit about a little bit. A bit more every day.
219. Bonedog
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 15:28 (GMT)
Sunday 00Z


Sunday 12Z


Monday 00Z


Monday 12Z


Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
218. LakeShadow
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 15:25 (GMT)
Ok, I'm really trying to understand these models, and since I'm more visual that mathematical, its all very pretty but what am I looking at?

Is the NAM the same as NGM? How can I look at beyond 36z?
Here's the e-wall of models...if someone could help me to navigate this page, that would be peachy!
Link
Member Since: 10.08.2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
217. Bonedog
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 15:24 (GMT)
yea NE its going to be sloppy sunday and monday.

the latest MOS runs show start as snow then quickly snow/rain line moves in, then all rain after that before a quick change over back to snow. In quick I mean the little time for change overs to occur not how long they last.

Im waiting till the hi-res solutions come out on friday before locking in to exact trends. But right now the long range shows just a mess.
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
216. Bonedog
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 15:22 (GMT)
I would lean twords the NGM dean. The GFS has been over playing the systems in the northeast.

Look back a few posts and I found that the GFS appears to use to wide of a resolution grid 35km and 80km respectively. Plus doesnt take into account snowpack.

NGM take sinto account terrain, snow pack and ice pack also. The NGM also looks lower in the atmosphere in better resolution, albeit doesnt resolve as much of the atmosphere as the GFS.

To see which way trends will lean check the ECM. As I found (check previous post) it is the most advanced model in the NWS arsonal.
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
215. NEwxguy
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 15:19 (GMT)
Yep,Bone,thats the way I see it at this time.Don't want anymore right now.looks to be a rain event on sunday.
Member Since: 6.09.2007 Posts: 862 Comments: 15056
214. dean2007
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 15:17 (GMT)
I don't know but the GFS and NAM are seeing things we are not seeing and the HPC says a 10% chance for accumulations of 4" at least for Thursday. Not a lot of confidence, but something like that wasn't there yesterday. I posted the 12z NAM and the 6z GFS as the 12z didn't come out yet. I will post a link when it does. The models have shifted southward with the heaviest QPF.
213. hondaguy
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 15:13 (GMT)
Hey cchsweatherman. According to one source it'll be 76°F (last check)tomorrow and according to wunderground it'll be 70°F. So yea it will be warming pretty quickly.

Cold weather this time of year is best. It's hard to be Christmasy without it!
212. Bonedog
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 15:12 (GMT)
yea NE thats one hiccup right now with the clipper. very little upper air support. The 500 vort is lagging behind by a few hours.

If things came together a little better then I would give credence to an event. But right now appears, to me anyways, maybe a cloudy day with possible snow showers. dusting to an inch maybe.

Maine looks to take some sort of hit. 4 to 6 inches downeast and rapidly tapers off as you move inland. Coastal NH should see 2 to 4 depending on exact track.

The 1" qpf the GFS shows is way over estimated. Doesn't have that much moisture to it also doesnt have any support to lift that much from the Atlantic.
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
211. NEwxguy
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 15:05 (GMT)
Morning,Lake
Member Since: 6.09.2007 Posts: 862 Comments: 15056
210. NEwxguy
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 15:05 (GMT)
I don't worry about the GFS right now until I start to see more models agreeing,but that said,I always watch the clipper systems closely to see if they get any upper support.
Member Since: 6.09.2007 Posts: 862 Comments: 15056
209. Bonedog
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 15:03 (GMT)
morning LakeShadow
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
208. Bonedog
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 15:02 (GMT)
have a good day surfmom
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
207. LakeShadow
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 15:02 (GMT)
morning... freezing cold here.

Surfmom...I'd be wearing shorts and t-shirt in 53 degree weather about now.

I'm learning a lot with your models discussion. so thanks!
Member Since: 10.08.2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
206. surfmom
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 15:01 (GMT)
Ok Dudes - I am off East. Drought conditions are still prevailing out there - this last storm did NOTHING as far as being a rainmaker. Serious drought conditions in the making. Even so they are still hell bent on building 19,5000 homes Charlotte County, northport 18,000 homes, and roughly 18,000 homes for Lakewood Ranch florida(surrounding the polo club where I work) We are starting to experience some of the strictest water restrictions ever mandated, but there is enough water to build all these homes in the next two decades?? Along with a housing slump --Guess i am missing something.

Well that my political dissertation for the day. Have a good day - enjoy watching Celina & the other TC :)
Member Since: 18.07.2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
205. Bonedog
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 14:56 (GMT)
yea ivan doing a little more research and finding out interesting things..

surfmom. yea the tug was nice. warmed me right up :)

Still glad to see the bar held up and made some rideable barrels.
Member Since: 14.07.2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
204. NEwxguy
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 14:56 (GMT)
Seems strange talking about surfing with my temp at 6 deg.
Member Since: 6.09.2007 Posts: 862 Comments: 15056
203. Ivansrvivr
18. joulukuuta 2007 klo 14:52 (GMT)
Bone, youre right about snow cover. Especially in interior N.E.

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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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