BRACE YOURSELVES! EYE CATCHING HEADLINES ABOUT COLD & SNOW ARE COMING!Last Edited:
Happy Monday! Back to work and school today on a bright note… that’s good, right? I’m excited about that. We had clouds yesterday. Yup. Oops. Dropped the ball on that one. I’m sorry. It happens! I’ve been SO caught up in producing this upcoming Atlantic City parade that I haven’t had AS much time to really look into things the way I normally do – plus it was the weekend. Every now and then you want to take it a bit easy, right? I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Anyway, I hope you had a great weekend regardless of the clouds.
Let’s get to the task at hand. Cold Is coming. Woohoo. I’m honestly shocked at how many people forgot that Winter is supposed to be cold. Can you believe it’s becoming breaking news?? Interesting. Funny how this field is sensationalized to the max. In other news? Water is wet. I’m just waiting for someone to ride through the streets on horseback yelling “The cold is coming, the cold is coming!”. Well… it’s December 4th, the cold BETTER be on its way.
OK clearly the past few Decembers were nowhere near where they should have been. I GET it. I mean we had Christmas eves well into the SIXTIES. That’s NOT OK in my books. I’m sure there are some of you who are very weary about cold this year and I understand why. But it’s important to look at all the factors and outline how we KNEW this was coming by looking at sea surface temperatures and analogs from other years with similar setups. THAT is how I forecast. You can’t go by Climate Models! They blew November’s forecast and will end up blowing December’s. Garbage in, garbage out. Take a look at this… The first image is one of the “major climate models” that is looked at to forecast long range. See how WARM December was painted?
Now Look at the second image. That is the forecast NOW for the rest of the month. Yikes, quite the difference, huh? Look, I’m not saying this to be pompous. Honestly. I’m not like that. I AM doing it to point out there are serious flaws in the models that most hang on every word of! Nonsense. Where did the human factor go?
So yes, temperatures are going to change drastically. We’ve got a cold from that will slam through by Wednesday. We will have temps go from the low to mid 60s in to the 40s and then even eventually into the 30s for highs. A true arctic outbreak that is going to stick around for awhile. Here’s a look at the rain associated with the front. It should arrive by mid to late tomorrow afternoon. We could pick up a little over ½” of rain before it’s out of here early Wednesday. We need the rain.
Something I want to draw your attention to? See the dashed blue and red lines? They are called isotherms. They give you an idea of just how warm or cold and air mass is. As a point of reference, for SNOW, you want the 540 dashed line SOUTH of our region. It doesn’t have to be crazy far south, but south nonetheless. That is our “rain/snow” line. A major PAIN in the you know what to forecast when we have winter storm events. Well, that line will be significantly south of our region after the cold front passes through.
The coldest of the air arrives NEXT week. LOOK at this. Just wow. There will likely be several days that don’t get out of the 30s for highs for some. MUCH different than last year.
What’s that look like on a larger scale? This map shows what temperatures will look like next week at the 850mb layer of the atmosphere. That’s about 5k feet straight up. We don’t live at 5k feet but you can pretty much get the idea that we are going to see this cold mix down to the surface and impact us all. Look at the west coast! That was US last year, in the frying pan!
Now of course when you get outbreaks of cold, you AUTOMATICALLY start thinking about snow. Whether you love it or hate it, it’s on your mind. I have to be completely honest with you because that’s how I am. I LOVE snow, but I don’t let that overshadow how I forecast, however I haven’t been this excited for a pattern in quite awhile. All the ingredients are starting to come together and in theory we could talk about our first snow event of the season as soon as the end of this week. What? Yup!
Now, before we put all of our eggs in one basket – bad to do… we need to understand that the maps being shared all over the internet aren’t absolute fact and a representation of what WILL happen. That’s just false. We use these models for TOOLS and can pick up on a general trend. Props to the GFS which has been quite consistent with the idea of snow in the Friday/Saturday time frame for a little over a week now. Shocking. Will it happen? I said yesterday we have a 45% chance. I’m sticking with that number now until new info becomes available and the models are updated with the upper air data as the arctic intrusion arrives.
No doubt we’ve got the cold air in place. No doubt the trough is in a good location. No doubt there will be some sort of subtropical moisture from the Gulf. How SHARP is the jet though? Can it tug an area of low pressure back to the west a little bit? If so we would be looking at several inches of snow for some. If it remains a weak wave out to sea, perhaps a few snow showers. Those are the solutions on the table right now.
Here’s a look at the GFS representation of Friday/Saturday. It puts the low in a good spot for snow east of Philly. Now, this has jumped around a bit and we have to wait for more data before jumping to conclusions in our forecasts. Right now I say POTENTIAL – which look, I totally understand how frustrating it is to read that word, but this is Mother Nature we are talking about. Things change. I’m not going to start hype about a hypothetical situation. Until it looks certain, we will just analyze and go from there.
Here's the overall pattern we're looking at... very active. Friday's snow will absolutely depends on just how close to the coast the low can be tugged, again we are looking at a situation that would deliver 2-4"+ or flakes. There's really no in between.
Whether Friday's event comes to fruition or not, I am still thinking very seriously that there will be snow on the ground before Christmas this year. There are more snow chances AFTER this weekend. Trust in the process!! I’m sure the phrase POLAR VORTEX is coming soon. Just wait for it. It will be everywhere in a few days. When I was growing up, it was called Winter. Enjoy everyone!