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Berks Winter Cast

Blog Archive 2/4-2/13

Updated 2/12 12am
Quick Update on how nasty its gonna get tonight as seen above Heavy precip is building to the south with our now bombing coastal low... So as I zom in here you can see we've been in a bit of a lull in the storm for quite sometime, but that juicy explosioin is coming north...
And its coming north into temps in Eastern PA that are still dropping, the models preformed horribly on forecasting the cold that was going to press in at the surface... this is going to lead toa  very icy problem in a few hours and during the rush tomorrow...
Now the storm is bombing out and that leads me to the fact and I know I just won't let up about it, the snow threat... The danger is that the storm getting so cold will suck in the cold air at all levels leading o a possible significant burst of snow for a few hours near the end of the storm... The most recent model runs are beginning to show this possibility this could lead to our 2-4" snows at the end that I still think we get... May be I'm just delusional and miss snow thought... Goodnight everyone
2/13 10pm
The weakening Ohio Valley storm is now transfering its energry to the coastal storm which is quickly getting its act together now after what was a rough birth earlier today... For a time it looked like cyclogensis was occuring much earlier than planned... That combined with a few otehr possible "if"s could have led to the massive snowstorm idea... But it looks like that will not come to pass... Instead get ready for ice and a good amount of it...  But first look at our storm... I've highlighted whats's going on, dying primary transfrering to coastal storm down in SC...
the coastal storm is a perfect track for a snowstorm here but the primary held together too long and has caused warming aloft, meanwhile surface temps have dropped like a rock...
This has led to a situation where snow melts in the sky but re-freezes before hitting the ground this would be ice pelets (sleet) if the warming continues above this could go over to a situation where it rains and freezes at the surface, cause I can say with 99% certainty that the surface temps will not go above freezing... for Berks.  Just NW and it could be another ball game entriely as the column of air should be cold enough to support all snow... and they will gets lots of it... It will be close for snow but I think the cooling aloftf is too late, excaetp for a possible inense but breif wrap around period tomorrow... Thats ok we have our own problems... Look at this still radar image below that is some intense precip and its making a bee line in our direction right into the cold it will get here around 2-3 am and for a time we may have a serious icing situation on our hands...
 Attached Image
That will be a helatious ice storm for a period of time late tonight into tomorrow and then we're going to have to see how fast the air cools above to see what kind of back end snow we get... but this is making for a dangerous situation and one with ice that I haven't seen since teh ice storms of 94'... SE PA is gonna have issues...
2/13 9am
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Never have I been this close to a storm and saw models starting to trend colder lile this... If this thing were to stay all snow 20-30" could e possible according to these models... but at this point it still look like we do go over t heavy ice for a time... This needs to be watched so carefully I can't explain eitehr way we never go above freezing so this is  bad storm, but is it a moderate snow storm of 8" with heavy, crippling ice or 2 feet of snow... that is hard to tell... PAY ATTENETION TO WEATHER FORECSTS... Weather here will be much worse than in Philly and they my not show how serious it could be cause its alot less snow for them...
 and click on this for our wintwr storm warning... weather service now has us in 6-10"...


2/13 1am
Quick Update on 00z runs tonight... This storm is like watching soaps on tv, after all is said and done with this thing, I swear I'm going to be nuts... NEVER and I do mean NEVER... has a storm been this messed up... I know I've compared it too March 01' losing that one was depressing but at least it was consistant in how it screwed us out of snow... It was too far north then just before zero hour it looked perfect and then we saw it was too far north and too far north it continued... This storm on the otherhand has been waffling back and forth, as indicated in earlier posts I never believed the warming that the models were showing earlier... having us go to rain... Quite frankly I think thats an upsurd option, it just doesn't fit, there is way too much cold air thats going to be sucked into this thing and that is the big time danger... tonight the runs have shifted to my idea that this would be a colder storm... and so returns, a pretty hefty snow threat... here is the 00z GFS snowfall map for the storm...
You can see how close everything is in terms of snowfall Reading gets 11" per this run, meanwhile Philly is at 2"... Shows you how hard this is right ???
This storm really scares the heck out of me remember the other day when we were talking about all that potential for one of the great storms.... well on this run look above Berks County NW you only have to go one county up thats only about 30-40 miles and your hitting the 20" band of snowfall so yes there is tons of potential... other 00z runs have gone colder as well... stay on top of this one, and make sure you check up often for forecasts from whatever source you use... I can't update constantly I wish I could... This could be a very dangerous storm we're either gonna get a fair amount of snow and ice, a crippling ice storm, or a crippling snowstorm... I wish I could tell you which but I have never seen a situation like this in forecasting... I have "Northeast Snowstorm" books by Paul Kocin out and reading them I can see how close this is to being up there... So please be carefull and pay attention... if the 6z runs are colder I hope the NWS ups their totals... I will update in the morning to let you know where we're at... and unless you're at my work you're on your own til 7pm and of course that would be right in the middle of storm time... Good night... and Good Luck
Updated 2/12 10pm
So there it is, I really thisnk the models are too warm and to slow transfering energy from the inland storm to the coastal but... every run recently its seems a trend has started to have that coastal intensify just a bit quicker each time, the result may be a colder solution and thats why I went with the above amounts.. Major Ice storm is possible over our entire area... we never get above 32 so everything will be frozen, it looks like we get a dump of snow then go to sleet and back to snow...
Philly Delaware County: 2 or 3" with severe ice storm knocking on the door will go to rain for a time very early wed morning
Chester, Montogomery, Bucks Couties: 3-6" of snow... major ice storm possible here with alot of freezing rain... most places don't go ver to rain
Lancaster, Berks Counties: 5-8" going over to heavy sleet, maybe too cold for freezing rain which might make storm more manageable, any colder and 10" is possible
Allentown, Lehigh North and west: Just about all snow... 10"+
South central PA (York Adams Co): 4-6", ice storm proabable
Harrisburg, mostly snow going to sleet 6-10"
Light snow is possible tomorrow real deal comes after 1pm, things deteriorate rapidly in the evening into the overnight
Still just a winter storm watch up here... Watches were changed to warnings further west this evening including Lancaster County...

Winter Storm Watch

                                                      NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOUNT HOLLY NJ
                                                      409 PM EST MON FEB 12 2007
                                                      INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...WASHINGTON...READING...ALLENTOWN...
                                                      409 PM EST MON FEB 12 2007
                                                      ...WINTER STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY AFTERNOON
                                                      THROUGH WEDNESDAY EVENING...
                                                      LOW PRESSURE DEVELOPING OVER THE SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS ON MONDAY
                                                      AFTERNOON IS FORECAST TO TRACK INTO THE TENNESSEE RIVER VALLEY BY
                                                      LATE TUESDAY. THAT LOW IS EXPECTED TO WEAKEN ON TUESDAY NIGHT AS
                                                      ANOTHER AREA OF LOW PRESSURE DEVELOPS NEAR THE EASTERN SEABOARD AND
                                                      ULTIMATELY PASSES TO THE EAST OF DELAWARE AND NEW JERSEY ON
                                                      THE COMPLEX SYSTEM WILL BRING SNOW, THEN SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN TO
                                                      THE LEHIGH VALLEY AND BERKS COUNTY IN EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA AND
                                                      WARREN COUNTY IN NORTHWEST NEW JERSEY BEGINNING LATE ON TUESDAY AND
                                                      CONTINUING INTO WEDNESDAY. TOTAL SNOW AND SLEET ACCUMULATION
                                                      PRESENTLY IS FORECAST TO BE FROM TWO TO FOUR INCHES, AND A
                                                      SIGNIFICANT ICING ALSO IS POSSIBLE. THEREFORE, THE NATIONAL WEATHER
                                                      SERVICE MAINTAINS THE WINTER STORM WATCH THAT IS IN EFFECT FROM
                                                      TUESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH WEDNESDAY EVENING.
                                                      IF YOU LIVE IN THE AREA AFFECTED BY THE WINTER STORM WATCH, PAY
                                                      SPECIAL ATTENTION TO UPDATED WEATHER FORECASTS AND STATEMENTS OVER
                                                      THE COMING DAYS FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION.
                                                      AS THE STORM MOVES UP OVER CANADA'S MARITIME PROVINCES ON
                                                      WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND THURSDAY, IT IS EXPECTED TO PULL MORE ARCTIC
                                                      AIR DOWN INTO OUR REGION FOR THE END OF THE WEEK.
Updated 2.12 8 am
I have gotten about no sleep for the past several days I swear, but there is just so much info and so many ways this thing can go... AS a snow lover I've had my emotions played with too first it was too far south, then prefect. then it kept edging up and realizing it might come too far and be too warm for all snow, the it backed off and went perfect again, then yesterday the walls cam tumbling down as indeed the warm track took hold, and for the most part has held... this is according to the amereican opperated computer models, meanwhile the foreign models which have been superior from the get go have started to trend colder a touch since late last night... Now I told you my side as a snow lover but there is also the side that is forecaster and above all wants to be right... that lil forecaster along with all the others out there right now are pulling out their hair cause they realized that there are 2 options with this storm, or even 3... and there is about 1000 things that can make it go one way or another... I'm stressed cause the calls I have been making since yesterday morning I've had very low confidence in... I've stayed conservative due to ho complicated this is... BY tonight I think we still won't have all the answers... this situation needs to be monitored very carefully because a 50 mile change in track east and all of a sudden its a raging snowstorm again with amounts well over a foot up to close to 20", meanwhile if it stays on its current track its 5 or 6" with extended period of ice perhaps even a significant ice storm... But what if it tracks 50 miles further NW well now its about an inch of snow... icy slop that goes to rain...  I follow trends in the models when I forecast but t he trends have stopped and a model war has begun... Another complicated factor is the storm strength it self, if a storm becomes strong enough it such in cold air and manufactures its own cold... I think you can see now the agony of the situation I'm in... I will have another map drawn up tonight but I wanted to give each area an idea of what the can expect here is southern and eastern PA...
Philly/Delawar county: 2 or 3" of snow... a period of sleet and freezing rain, going over to rain about a 50/50 split of freezing (snow brief tho) and non freezing precip
NW Suburbs (Chester Montgomer, Bucks Counties).... 3-5" an extended period of sleet and freezing rain, still a possible change to rain near end of storm. 35% snow, 50% mixed precip, 15% rain
Far NW suburbs (Berks, Lehigh)... 5"+ of snow (no max number can be given at this time) extended period of ice, should never go to rain.
60 snow 40% mixed again no rain)
For south central PA south of I78: 3-8" of snow to mixed icy mess, southern portions of counties could see rain, less lilley west into york county...
Harrisburg area: 7"+ likely mostly snow but could go to period of mixed percip as well change to rain VERY unlikely this far west...
One very important thing here... for those that do not go over to sleet THIS WILL BE A BLIZZARD OVER 10" !!!!  More updates later tonight.... 

Winter Storm Watch

                                                      NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOUNT HOLLY NJ
                                                      440 AM EST MON FEB 12 2007
                                                      INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...NEWTON...WASHINGTON...JIM THORPE...
                                                      440 AM EST MON FEB 12 2007
                                                      ...WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH
                                                      WEDNESDAY EVENING...
                                                      LOW PRESSURE WILL DEVELOP OVER THE SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS TODAY
                                                      AND IT IS FORECAST TO TRACK TO THE EAST, REACHING THE TENNESSEE
                                                      RIVER VALLEY BY LATE TUESDAY. THE LOW IS EXPECTED TO WEAKEN ON
                                                      TUESDAY NIGHT AS ANOTHER AREA OF LOW PRESSURE DEVELOPS ALONG THE
                                                      NORTH CAROLINA COAST. THE SECOND LOW IS FORECAST TO INTENSIFY AS
                                                      IT MOVES TO THE NORTHEAST, PASSING TO THE EAST OF DELAWARE AND NEW
                                                      JERSEY ON WEDNESDAY.
                                                      THE TWO SYSTEMS WILL BRING SNOW TO BERKS COUNTY, THE LEHIGH
                                                      VALLEY, THE POCONOS AND NORTHWESTERN NEW JERSEY BEGINNING LATE ON
                                                      TUESDAY AND CONTINUING INTO WEDNESDAY. THE SNOW IS EXPECTED TO MIX
                                                      WITH OR CHANGE TO SLEET FOR A TIME FROM LATE TUESDAY NIGHT INTO
                                                      WEDNESDAY. TOTAL SNOW AND SLEET ACCUMULATIONS MAY EXCEED SIX
                                                      INCHES. AS A RESULT, THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS ISSUED A
                                                      WINTER STORM WATCH THAT IS IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY AFTERNOON
                                                      THROUGH WEDNESDAY EVENING.
                                                      IF YOU LIVE IN THE AREA AFFECTED BY THE WINTER STORM WATCH, PAY
                                                      SPECIAL ATTENTION TO UPDATED WEATHER FORECASTS AND STATEMENTS OVER
                                                      THE COMING DAYS FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION.
                                                      AS THE STORM MOVES UP OVER CANADA'S MARITIME PROVINCES ON
                                                      WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND THURSDAY, IT IS EXPECTED TO PULL MORE ARCTIC
                                                      AIR DOWN INTO OUR REGION FOR THE END OF THE WEEK.
Updated 2/11 10pm
Will be updating later, but for snow lovers today is an absolute disaster as the models have definetly trended north and west more so than I really thought was possible if things don't change with the over night runs our Blizzard may just be some snow with ice storm, maybe a lil rain back to snow... this situation is changing constantly and things are moving fast, make sure you pay attention to your local forecasts or check back in here to see if things change back... part of me remebers the trend this winter to bring things back south and east as the storm approaches but I can't write off this trend I also have no business trying to make a call of accumulations at this point but I can say its obvious there will be snow and mixing I just don't know yet if its 90% snow 10% ice, or 30% snow 50% ice 20% rain... Things are looking like the latter at this time with the models but I don't like to live and die by each run I look for the trend and I don't want to be playing catch up tomorrow if this thing really is going that warm... This is March 2001 all over again, dream blizzard set up just too far north when days earlier it may have missed to the south... look for update later tonight late 2-3 am after the 00z runs come in.  If things don't trend southeast and colder this one may not be that big a deal in terms of snow... ice threat could be there tho... It will be a long night and day tomorrow.
Updated 2/11 2:30pm
Things are starting to get a little nuts, there will be no images in the post today I'm trying to stay up to date on info regaurding this storm... the north and west ward trend has returned... The 12z runs today were not very good for snow lovers the 12z Ukmet showed a nice blizzard but the GFS, Candaian, and Euro have now made it too warm for all snow, but the line is close and some of the ensemble runs do stay all snow, particulary the 12z GFS which  is a hammering blow to our area with very heavy snow, altho again the I-95 corridor is dealing with mixing issues...
This is a very complicated storm, and there are alot of factors that these models may not be dealing with correctly.. for instance everyone of the ensemble members of the GFS is further east with that tarck and colder... The 12z Euro is very warm, we even go over to rain for a period of time but if you look at where the seconday low is forming in the ocean it looks like a perfect spot for an I-95 blizzard and us...
The north trend tho is a huge problem and its one that I cannot igonre, my plan was to put out a snowfall map now, but with these changes I cannot, I'm not yet ready to jump off and say we get only 5" with sleet storm from you know where, some forecasters are doing that... the trend is disturbing for snow lovers but there are somethings that lead me to a colder solution still...
 1) The GFS may be over compensating for being the outlier, its been slow with all trends with this storm... 2) The Euro as I said with the secondary development location, it should not be that warm, also we're past the time when this model is at its best. 3) The NAM is trending colder (this model has done well this year) 4) the TREND of the winter is more imortant than the trending in the models now... and that trend has been to take things too far NW and then begin a south and east trend once close enough to the event (we need to see this happen tonight) 5) Its still pretty far away, Usually at t his point in forecasting before a storm the models go a lil bonkers 6) Climatology and just the features on the map argue for a colder storm, tracking further east...
So for snow lovers I hope that was uplifting... in regaurds to those that want a "CALL" on the storm... I'll give you best and worst case scenerio...
Coldest Solution: 2 foot type storm Blizzard conditions
Warmest: 2-4" on he front side of the storm then going to heavy sleet storm and freezing rain... Back to snow at end 1-3"
That is strictly for the Reading, Berks area I hope to have a real first call out late tonight.
From our NWS Service office...
305 PM EST SAT FEB 10 2007

305 PM EST SAT FEB 10 2007





Updated 2/11 3:20am
Wow what a night, well I'll level with you things have changed quitte a bit in regaurds to the storm we are still in that area that should see the heaviest snow but the whole storm set up and what it will bring to the table has changed dramatically, first of all you only have to look at my threat map below to see everything is going north, the worry tho going into tonight was with everything going north could it go too far north, for teh big cities maybe but here we're still all snow, in fact I can't find a model that would give us less than 15" of snow... still, and that is all day every reliable model, thats just insane... Now this storm will be a bomb it will intensify fast and will be a long duration event for this area... some of the models I've been looking at were printing out 12" in 12 hours thats pretty intense, the storm could last for 24-36 hours too... Start and end times have been bouncing around I really don't want to get into those until monday... Wind is now a factor and yes there will be blizzard or near blizzard conditions around this area during the height of the storm... Mixing of sleet and rain will be a problem but this looks to be DC-PHL-NY and south and east...
Map below is not my forecast just threats that I'm feeling good about from this far out... we're coming into a solution where the models have come together and the north trend has stopped, but tomorrow is the day we will really find out what's going to happen...
Thats a big change from what we've been looking at all week as the southern slider is off the table, this will be a major Noreaster...
Lets take a look at some models from tonight...
the GFS was much further north, and shows the precip area where it is mixing rain or sleet custs back on totals, we're still in the heavy snow zone...
The Euro, now this is the model that snow lovers are scared of as it was first to bring the storm north a few days ago, but last night it started to go too far north had people worrying about rain mixing, tonight it held to where it was at, may even be a bit colder than it was...
The UKMET model this was not one heavily discussed but its showing a nice blend between the GFS and the Euro and we're getting to the period where its better in terms of accuracy... this shows the blizzard solution as well...
Candadian stopped showing the mamouth 24" plus snowfall but its still above 15" for our area...
Now I am massively tired I'm going to get some sleep but I will be on here most of the day tomorrow, look for my actual first call with somewhat detailed snow amounts...
Zones May Need To Be Pushed North Still...
Updated 2/10 7pm
After thinking about this situation a little more that map above is probably a lil bit off move the zones so that we in Southeast PA are directly in the bullseye at this point and what a bullseye it is with nearly every model dropping over 15" of snow in our necj of the woods, some as high as 24"... And with that said the storm missing to the south is no longer a concern in my oppinion the GFS stil is the most south out of everyone but it too has come north to put us in the northen edge of their sweet spot...
But that image even tho far north than what the GFS has shown thus far is wrong it looks to me like the GFS is making up for lost time and I wish it would have held off on this jump til tomorrow, meanwhile the Candian and teh Euro models have also continued northward to the point that in thd case of the Euro run today... the I-95 cities (PHL and DC) are going over to sleet...  It is true we're in the bullseye but so were the cities of Richmond, VA and DC, Then Philly... There is a risk that this northward trend keeps going and most people remember March of 01' we actually went to mixed precip and the big storm was further north, while that is in my mind here... I think we're ok... But we've at least rulled out the southern solution of the storm missing us... now its a question of does it get too warm...
Here are teh differnt  track shown by the computer model runs today and I will explain what each one mean for our area below the image..
We're gonna start at the bottom...

WRF track (green)- not in this models range yet, but it is between gfs and euro solution
GFS track (red)- that jog to the southeast still looks over done, i get east but not southeast... anyway this track has come far enough north to give us the good snows as seen earlier in the post... I did some numbers on it and the model would give us all snow about 15" worth possible more, better in south central PA (new 18z run a touch further north with 18" amounts)
UKMET (blue)- great classic snowstorm for the northeast I-95 corridor gets slammed amounts over 10" all over the place (resembles 18z GFS)
GGEM/Canadian (pink)- getting into a warmer solution, mixing issues occur on the coast but stops short of i-95 cities, amounts of snow accross Southern central and eastern PA from 15-25"
Euro (Maroon)- warm solution big classic looking storm but rain gets into DC, and Sleet into Philly mabe even NY... Amounts still near or just over 12" in I-95 cities better north... North and west of the cities (i.e. HERE) this is a huge hit and all snow still but the sleet is down toward Philly this would be a crippling snowstorm with 20" amounts possible higher...  
So thats is what we are looking at the northward trend as expected has continued but if it keeps going we'll be taken out of teh best snows... and will have sleet issues, BUT all winter the models have taken storms too far NW and then within 72 hours of the storm they correct themselves south and east, tonights runs will be exciting and I will be staying up all night for the Euro so I will post probably at midnight and again around 2:30-3am... First Call with accumulations or at least zones may be availabe at that time... dependng on if the models do what I expect them too, by the end of the day tomorrow we'll see where this thing is going...  
Updated 2/8:30am
The model are all over the place, but still a northward, phased (either partial or full) trend is there... Last night I shoed the GFS which lost its mind and went southeast for a period of time befor going north and this storm would miss us completely... Let me make this clear, given the players on the field that possibility is as likely as me winning  a million dollars tomorrow and again next week... Its not gonna happen, whats amazing is how consistant it had been before that, sure enough todays 6z is out and its back where it was still the heavy stuff further south of our neck of the woods but the model is now shoing the storm phase and come north once out in the ocean, much sooner than it has ever shown... I thinnk thats interesting.
Last nights EURO was even stronger and further north with another huge hit for out area... altho its now strating to bring warm air and make for a mixing situation in the big cities...
BAM... that is a bomb of a storm...
Now truth be told I do think this is too far north...  And the ensembles are further south as well but nothing like the GFS...
Meanwhile other models that were south are jumping on board the north train, with huge hits showing up on UKMET (which was way south with earlier runs)... another bomb and huge hit here...
We're not yet in range for the NAM model but we have the DGEX (normally a joke model) which is basically an extended NAM model... another north solution, another big hit for Southeast PA...
Last nights Canadian... basically the same as yesterdays 12z run wich is over a foot for us but a very sharp drop off just north of Berks County...
So I'll break this down by model...
00z GFS- nothing clouds maybe some flurries once  into Maryland
00z Gemm (Canadian)-  Heavy snow for south central PA especially at Marayland Border 12"+ even up to Berks County, once north of Allentown sharp drop off in snow totals
00z Euro- Further north, Heavy snow NW of I-95 cities well over a foot, warmer storm with sleet and rain mixing into the Big Cities... All snow here and a big hit 10-20"
UKEMT- North, was south before, big hit for Big Cities and significant snow back here too.. heaviest would be through DC BAL and PHL...
Japanesse- VERY STRONG and NORTH... Mixing issues with sleet in  alot f places, ridiuclous snow amounts in our area (Not realistic)
DGEX (ext NAM)-  Also north, big hit again, hevies snow in between Reading, and Philly on up to Boston... Still here looks like about 10-15" 
MORE Updates later I have to work til 4, updates all night tonight and  tomorrow...

Updated 2/10 12:30am
The 00z GFS run tonight was an absolute disaster in terms of if you would like to see snow come further north in to our area... and its actually a complete miss for our area but the run looks very very suspect... as the low track jumps SE for 12 hours and goes from NE Mississppi to Savanah, GA... then turns northeast, this just looks odd and isn't likely to happen... you can see that below on the map I made...
This is massivly different than anyting this model has shown and shows exactly why the GFS can't be trusted... 
This model has a reputation for being southeast and this is exactly why it did what it did take out that that the SE track there fro 12 hours and its back in line where we were...
More updates tomorrow folks, goodnight...
Updated 2/9 5:00pm
This event has been an absolute nightmare to cover, but I think the basic ideas of where I laid out threats in maps in earlier posts are still very much true... Now the GFS has begun to make some changes, I know the 18z is currently on the way and I may comment on it at the end of this update but 1st is the more accurate 12z run from earlier today... and here is the snowfall out put for the storm, its coming north and the SW-NW trajectory now, maybe the model beginning to sniff out a more north solution if that angle really does happen then we're in for some good snows in southern and eastern PA
I've thought about it and the GFS is notorius for being too far south this far out, but even with the off hour shuns to the south a northward trend has emerged, as you can see there is heavier snow in extreme SE PA than was on the 00z run last night... I think the GFS will keep etching its way north slowly and will eventually take it in to our area... depending on how tonights runs go it may be time to put southern PA in the high risk zone for major winter weather...
If the Euro has anything to say about it we would be in the extreme zone... as the 00 z run last night was obviously a fluke... the 12z run today is the perfect track... PERIOD and even tho the ensembles that are coming out are a bit further south than what is shown below they are further north than what the model had been showing previously... This would be a major storm...
The Canadian is also another model that I look at and last night we began to see this model start to pring heavier precip into southern PA and to not just keep it a Virgina storm... Todays run was even better, here is the precip amounts from the storm... 35-50mm (25mm is an inch so 50 would be 2 inches of liquid equivilent... with snow ratios around 15:1 this would be a huge hit... of 18-30" (at 1.2-2")... I've never seen models print stuff like that out for our area... If this option happens this would just be a completely crippling event... the Euro as said above was on this bus today as well...
As for other models the Japaness has come north as well... but the nogaps and the ukmet are so far south it doesn't even snow here at all... so there are still a ton of options on the table I know the GFS has been consistant but I've seen this in the past and then bam its starts moving nort once we're 48 hours away... We're also getting close to the time we start ooking at the NAM as well, first guess will not be avail til Sat night at the earliest for those have asked... This could be an extreme storm, but still can be an extreme bust... anyone remember March 2001, 2-3 ft and we got 2-3"... There will be an update late tonight probably after the 00z GFS around midnight or so... 
Updated 2/9 9am... 
First wanted to mention that there will be updates today during the day not just the morning and late ones... look for another update after the 12z EURO around 2-3pm...
I'm not going to beat around the bush lasts nights run of all models was bad for our area... The GFS continued with its southern solution, the Euro (which had been steadfast in giving us a great storm here in PA defected to a really south solution (maybe the model really has fallen from grace)...
So lets take a look at it 1st the GFS (last nights run on top and this mornings run on bottom) this far out I don't trust the 6z run but as you can see its even more south that last nights run... This is snowfall accumulation by the way...
Now as noted on the maps about that sharp northern cut off it is very likely that we will have that on teh northern edge of the precip sheild (wherever that may be)... Its plenty cold for snow but with that arctic air pouring in it will make it very dry and because of that reason you will see a sharp cut off, now that cold/dry air could be a blessing and I'll explain that below with a map aftr going over the rest of the models...
Next up is the Euro and man did this baby let me down late last night, the past few runs of this model were great for our area with yesterday's 12z run giving eastern PA close to 20" but my has it changed hoping its just a hicup run and it probably is... 1st up is yesterdays smash hit for us below image you can how far south that low pressure center is compared to the top image, this would be a horrible run even as far south as DC as its takes them out of the "good" snow area...
IPB Image
IPB Image
The Candaian gave the most north option and would give areas of southern PA up to 8 or 9" (image not posted)
Now I personaly think the models are going to be crazy and all over the place for a bit yet truth be told I don't think we start to get a real handle on this til tomorrow night at the earliest... this is a complex situation... I still believe very much so the northward option is there (time and time again in history these storms have come north), I just hope the extreme southern solutions on the models start to dissapear soon...
AS for my ranting in and raving that the cold and dry air may help us, the reason why would be snow ratios.. the colder it is the more snow expands in size, it will be colder up here so snow ratios will be higher probaly 15:1 or so maybe even 18:1 what that means is one inch of liquid would be 15 " or 18" of snow...
So think of it like this DC may get 1.5" liquid but they will be warmer snow ratio around 12:1... so they would get... 18" of now... Now up here we may only get .5" of liquid in a normal storm that would be about 5" but (and we'll go high just to show the example) the snow ratio is 18:1... we would get 9" ... 
Now think about that in reality we're getting 1/3 the precip they would be getting but are getting half the snowfal they due to the ratios...
This set up will happen somewhere on the very north end of the precip sheild and just north of that will be the sharp drop off to nothing...
Will update after 12 z runs today around 3pm or so 
Updated 2/9 12:00am
00z run of the GFS tonight was a horrible run for our area, no if and or but's about it... but here is what it showed this is snowfall output per the model and its well south of PA to find the good snows... But the model is wrong... and will not verify, this is the furthest south possibility but I think it will come further north and the Candaian run thats coming out is showing that, and I really want to see what the EURO is showing... So snow lovers don't panic the GFS sucks...
Updated 2/8 9pm... (Real Update Coming Later)
12z run of the EURO was a thing of beauty today with a perfect track for this area and precip amounts 1-2" (liquid) that would be 10-20"...
Now one thing that does concern me is that the ensembles of all runs are showing more southern solutions than their operational counterparts... But again it is far away still and the northward trend has begun regarudless...  (remember the best storms are forecasted to be south of here this far out) 
Here is my updated potential map...
MORE LATER TONIGHT... Around midnight or so...
Updated 2/8 9am
6 run of the GFS has come further north as well, a lil nervous about seieng it this early before the storm but things still look good fro asignificant winter storm here, but to be fair the ensembles are further south on the 6z GFS at least further than the operational run... I hope to see  the 12z Euro at the same spot or maybe a wobble south and east, I don't want to see too much northward movment, its not Mar 01' again... More updates later tonight
Updated 2/8 2:20am
The new 00z runs are in and it shows what I am thinking will happen with this storm it brought some phasing with the polar jet into play and brings the system further north almost to the perfect spot...
The second image shows the 850 temps which shows where a rain snow line could be at the 0 degree line I know its early for that but it shows a PDII like storm as places like DC, BAL, and PHl did go over to sleet for a bit at the very end... this scenerio would do that well but remmeber you need to be close to those lines to get the great snows...  I wish we weren't in the bullseye this early out tho to tell you the truth, but if a model is going to show it you want it to be the EURO since 96' it has nailed the big storms as other models flop around... 
Updated 2/8 12:30am
So here we go with the depressing 00z GFS run... Its surpressed and is actually further south than its 12z counterpart (I'm igoring the 18z GFS this far out in case you're wondering)
00z tonight...
This is much further south than the 12z GFS and barley gives us any precip at all...
12z was much better...
But even tho this is a no hit for SE PA per this run, I still think we're in a good spot, I might be proven wrong on this but really I think I will be right... 00z Euro comes out in about 2 hrs, my guess is it shows what it showwed on its 12z run maybe a wobble south or north but not by much... The models will begin to get a better hold on this as the weekend nears... But I think we'll find a northward trend in the end... Now I know there are alot of people complaining about the fact that all year all we have seen is a southward trend when it came to storms... on thing to keep in mind is we're in a different pattern the Sub Tropical Jet is more involved and we're dealing with storms coming out of the SW and the southern plains not developing in the SE... and if we look back to way early in the winter storms out of this source region actually went further NW that originally thought... As I said tho I think its to early for that rend to begin, so I'm not paniced yet, I know some are... This is going to be a big storm for someone the questin of course is where... Below I made a threat assment, in my mind I think it should be even further north than I have drawn, but I'm not going to blow off the models completely as they have been consistant... But over-running events trend more north than this, Blizzard of 03 was supposed to stay south too... Time will tell...
You will see I did not mention the 2nd possible event a few days later, thats because I'm not bullish on it yet...
Updated 2/7 8:20pm

I will be posting again later tonight but first I really wanted to get it out there that next week is a VERY serious threat for our area, just because teh models have not shown a direct hit on our region deons't mean anything... Remeber Feb 03' Jan 96' ??? All the great ones are supposed to stay to the south and the potential is very much there that we could have a "Great One" on our hands...

I did want to make a comment about the models the fact that they even show this thing and have for over a day already and are holding to it speaks volumes about how big it can be... Now I know eveyone out there is living and dying by each GFS run, you're really in for a long week if you do that cause I think it will be all over the place... The EURO has been king since the 96' storm with the big ones so...  I recomend following what it says and what it said was today was "NOT SO FAST" on it just being a southern storm...

Last nights run


Would give our area maybe 2-4" at best...

This afternoon's run... is further north


Gets us pretty close to foot + area...


The similarity to the Presidents Day Blizzard is striking, it will be a crazy couple of days and teh let down factor for this could be huge if something goes wrong.. more later tonight.


Updated 2/7 12:10am
00z GFS runs... what could be on the table, southern storm storm 1 could be further north...
Above would be the POSSIBLE "Valentines Day Storm"
Now as said in earlier posts storm 1 may also miss but severe to set the stage for the weekend storm aka PDIII  (Presidents Day 3 Storm) [79', 03']
Thats a big hit !!!
Possible to get both ??? possibly, stormy periods in a short period of time like that are rare and usually do not effect the same places... This did happen in 78'... Yes there is a 3rd disturbance seen coming across the south land at the end of the loop 2, we might see a 3rd system eventually... Winter is coming my friends...  
Just something to chew over goodnight everyone...
Updated 2/6 11:30pm
Brief update tonight as I'm tired, but cold is finally starting to east up a bit finally I will take down the self updating map above tomorrow night, cold shots will come to reinforce and keep it cold here but the extreme of Sun night-tonight is over... Clipper has missed to the south but a stray flurry can't be discounted...
Now I know all eyes are on next week and it does look pretty wild with snowstorm possibilites but there are many questions and it is way to early to say if anything will happen, but the pattern sure does look exciting, just follow the trends of the models not the deatils... Bad runs are possible, so if something doesn't go with the flow, throw it out... If indeed there is a storm, warm vs cold and south vs north will be an issue but its too early to discuss such issues now...
Updated 2/6 12:10am
2/14-16... Is This The Real Deal...???  El Nino Winters event some of the stronger ones have always had at least on big storm and of course one big storm this year was always advertised and I have to say I am cautiously optimistic that this may just happen, where very far out and its hard to say who will get what but the pattern and overall climatology is very favorable for a storm once into next week and the stormy pattern may pursist... There is a question as to whether surpression which has been the theme for the past severeal weeks hold... and by the looks of the 00z GFS it would be the case once south of PA... But I've seen these games before  and played these tricks... maybe I said that backwards... but I think backwards is right and I think the GFS is wrong...
Here is the 00z from tonight
The 18z run split the storms again but was a touch further north...
IPB Image
I think the GFS is going to have a hard time until we get passed this weekend... So take it in stride and remmeber this is threat, the best looking treat of the year bur its still just a threat at this point.
Then after that PD III ???  (Presidents Day Storm 3) [79, 03]
Time will tell have a good night and stay warm...
Updated 2/5 9:50pm
Damn its cold I'm betting this will be coldest day of the year and man it does not get much colder than this around here without snow cover I really do think we have a shot at going down to zero tonight, if the winds do die down....
So here are the high and lows for the day Reading came in at 16/5
Now that is cold... but here we go back to something I had talked about before where its "too cold to snow" if you remmeber it has to do with trough position and alignment and we definetly have to deal with that this week... first we will see a clipper system that will indeed be too far south...
Now what we need is a pattern change... lol... Actually what we need is just a tweaking and next week thats exactly what we may get... with the sub tropical jet starting to break though you will finally get an active storm track coming from the south with cold air already in place... Will it continue to be surpression city or has the fuse already been set on a "Bomb" that could lead to one of the classic type snowstorms coming up the east coast ????
Could this be the one ???
Another post tonight after tehj 00z runs come in, gotta go watch CSI Miami now....
Updated 2/4 5:55pm
Quick update about the clipper, future radar shows that it will have a hard time as thought making it over the Mts, and the tradjectory is too far south at this time anyways... The system will be watched but the threat of any snow is minimal at this time..
Updated: 2/4 11:15am
Damn its cold today and it will be getting colder... The Map above will show you current temps whenever you look at this blog by the way it will be self updating, I will take it down on tuesday or wed.. But as said cold is king for the beginninng of this week as it will be the coldest air seen in many years... event without snowcover it is possible we get to zero monday night... the record for that night is -4 by the way... so that needs to be watched...
Now for those wanting snow and I am one them (as my snowfall forecast is now really in jeperordy) it looks to be dry this week, there is a snow threat from a clipper coming across on Wednesday but these things rarely make it over the Mts, there are possibilities but to me it looks doubtful for anything over an inch so more of the same...
Stay bundled up... Update coming later tonight after the Super Bowl... Go Peyton !!! GO Colts!!!!