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Berks Winter Cast

Blog Archive 2/14- 2/25

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Updated 2/25 11:20pm
 
Today was a hectic day and unfortunetly due to prior plans I could not update what was occuring as I wasn't near or with my computer... I did try and portray in this mornings very quick update that I felt ice would be a bigger player than thought yesterday and I posted an image showing that... sure enough that has come to pass... There are some issues wih this storm that reall will screw the area our of the best snowfall but we have a serious ice problem for most of the area underway... and if you cut Berks county in half (one side east, other west)... the eastern side still has to deal with a ligitimate ice threat with some snow on top still as the storm wraps up tomorrow in the morning... In SE PA Montgomery, Bucks, Chester down to Philly a very significant freezing rain event is underway... and things will be very icy tomorrow morning... snowfall really done in these areas... Also to my south central PA freinds, you guys got screwed as the frist batch of snow didn't deliver, the lull allowed the warmth and change over and now the coastals storm, well most of the QPF will be east of your area...  Allentown and northeast, you still have soem snow to come probably 2-4" worth, once the precip gets cranking again...
 
There were big problems with the way this came together but for those that said I was too high well they are right and they are wrong... its just that places further south did better than expected and north will be ok, but our area is getting screwed by the lull which allowed warming and ice... Ice storm are one heck of a beast to forecast and this is two within two weeks than have been very difficult, the VD storm I nailed, this one I will struggle to meet my snowfall numbers... its just the nature of east coast winter storms...  I do appologize for those wishing for the 6" we'll now get 3" with ice... Goodnight and Good luck WIll post tomorrow morning. 
 
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Updated 2/25 11:00am
 
Significant Ice Threat Nears Reading Berks Area... Snow Totals Mayb Be At Bottom Of Scale In Forecast Ranges...
 
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Updated 2/25 1:00am
 
 
Storm start time about 12 hours away... Final call can be seen above...
 
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The breakdown...
 
Start time... arurnd 1-2pm for the area... Things will get heavy fast first 12 hours of the storm will be the worst... This is mostly snow for Sun into the evening for the area... Heaviest precip will be around 7-8pm, after 1am the storm will calm down a bit and mixing of sleet and freezing rain may make it into our area but not much further north... By 7am the storm is pretty much wrapped up although we will have to deal with light snows for a number of hours on Monday... but again it should be mostly light...
 
Areas...
 
Philly delaware counties- 2 or 3" significant icing (frz rain)
 
SE PA/Lancaster (Montgomery, Southern Bucks and Chester and Lancaster counties)- 4 or 5" with ice (sleet/frz rain)
 
Reading/Berks, Northern Bucks Lebanon, out to Harrisburg- 5-7" with some sleet
 
Allentown and points north to I-80 west to Central PA 7-9" all snow..
 
North of the precip is ligher
 
 
 
 
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Updated 2/23 1 am
 
Longer update coming later tonight (late fri night)... but all eyes do need to turn the potenntial that exsists for a moderate sized winter storm on Sunday into Monday morning... 00z run of the GFS incresese precip dramtically from earlier runs...
 
 
With a good thumping of snow on the front end over 6" actually taken literally... but this model has benn flopping around a bit... but the threat is real...
 
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And some of that rain there 2 days later would most likely really be snow... thats how we'd get the totals seen in the image on the front page of the web site... keep up to date here, with posts all weekend, on the wintry threat
 
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Updated 2/22 1am
 
As you can see I've been playing with new weather toys and yeah they pretty darn cool if you ask me... any who the northern clipper system  will stay to the north just as shown in teh animation on the home page... above you can see the 36 hour precipitation that will be associated with the event, and its obvious that the precip by and large stays north of the area as well.
 
The sunday-monday event is much drier than shown by the 18z run earlier today and is probably more in touch with reality... here is a loop of the surface pressue... on can easily see the primary storm cutting up to the Great Lakes and refomring into a seconday low in the Chesepeake Bay...
 
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The way show here tho does rob the system of potential precipitation north of the PA/MD border, it does get going again once into southern new england...
 
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Temps do look to be below freezing for almost the entire event... here is as close as the freezing line gets to Reading while the precip is still falling...
 
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So even tho its only .4" precip it looks to be snow or ice... we'll see what happens with the runs today... I think the precip might be a bit unerdone here... Goodnight all
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Updated 2/21 7:30pm
 
Sorry I had some issues with the website where things were locking up and I could not update in a timely manner I think that had to do with the fact that I was putting to many images and loops up here in the blog... I still have them in here but I'm hosting them a bit differently than I did before this has allowed me to start updating again... I thought it would take till this weekend to see what to do, but I got is sorted out a bit quicker... As fro what's going on with weather... is winter over ??? I'm getting that email alot especially with the way temps have rebounded recently... I can assume you winter is not over and by this Friday it will be cold again... now getting from here to there obviously some type of system is coming through... at this time I think it will be more wet than white although we may see a snow shower at the end... the "good" stuff will be north in southern new England...
 
 
And like I said so much for "winter being over" as a new cold blast will come in as the storm departs... and that will lead to a very tricky situation for Sunday-Monday...
 
 
Now this new system is different than what we were looking at with the big storm a week ago... as we'll have to look for a storm track much further north and west than seen last week.
 
 
But still we'll see the primary die with a secondary forming along the coast... this could lead to another icy mix just like last week only not as strong... As temps will look to be below freezing in most modeling (gfs shows this in blue colors below), it is possible this cold is being underdone on the computer models at this point as well... Precip will not be heavy but it doesn't take alot in the way of ice to create problems...
 
 
Today's 12z run of the Euro than tried to make things real interesting with a decent sized storm going from SW VA E/NE up off the NE coast with temps cold enough for a snow solution for areas NW of I-95 cities, this could end up being a  similar situation to the one seen last week on Valentines Day...
 
 
 
One thing is for sure things look to be pretty interesting as it appears even after these events that cold will want to hold on in our area in a very stormy pattern... One has too look out for the March Monsters of years gone by... That would break the pattern and head us into spring then...
 
***Updated for 18z GFS run.. very messy situation as there was a precip explosion when compared to the 12z run...
 
(Allentown to left, Reading top right, Harrisburg bottom left, Philly bottom right)
 
snowfall everywhere over 4" jackpot is Reading with close to 6" icing around .25" excpept Harrisburg where its a half inch... this will be watched... Could be too moist on the model though...
 
 
 
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Updated 2/10 8pm
 
Longer post later tonight... Snow will not hit area this Tue night will be rain moslty til end no accumulation...
 
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Longer range pattern stays stormy mild push will have to fight to make it to the northeast,... Big winter storm for the plains... Pattern reloads on cold for next week and we may have a real storm threat.
 
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Updated 2.19 1am
 
Sorry for the non posts the past two days, It was break time after what was a very crazy and frustrating build up to the last storm and besides the pattern for this weekend was very bland so I took a little break... lovers of winter may want to close their eyes but I really think we might have seen all that winter has to offer us... we do have a rain snow threat this tue-tue night but even at maximun potential its a 1-3" type event I'm doubting it gets cold enough for that... we'll see how it looks tomorrow before commitig to anything on it... I've been out of the game for the past two days...
 
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Now I know there is some talk of blocking pattern setting up near the end of the week or early next week that will lead to a big time storm.  From the data I've looked I see this but I do think we might be on the warm side of any big time storm that might come about.  Now obviously this isn't se in stone and one most always be on the look out for a big storm to close out the winter... Temps do not need to be that warm in fact we've had our march mosters in the past...
 
 
More Monday Afternoon/evening...
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Updated 2/15 7:30pm
 
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Our first significant winter storm was a complicated one for sure and even up until the last minute it had all forecasters including myself guessing... Overall in terms of verification I think I did fairly well with amounts and timing with the storm... although it did go a little longer than I thought.  I did miss forecasting a lull in the action Tuesday night as the primary low in the Midwest was dying and transferring energy to the coastal center (but trying to forecast such lulls, and dry slots are guess work at best)
 
verification...
 
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vs. forecast...
 
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My area of extreme snowfall was forecasted a little too large up north... but the extreme did occur with 30" amounts (2 dozen of them actually and 2, 40" amounts)... But here it was all about the ice, luckily we were saved in our area as we had to deal with the sleet pellets as apposed to dealing with freezing rain glazing over everything into a skating rink.  All in all I'd give myself a B+ in forecasting on this one, as even on Saturday when the models had us progged to get 20"+ I knew the trend north would continue and it did once we got into Sunday.
 
Ok that's enough patting myself on the back... time for the future... On my website and on initial emails I sent out last week I made a brief comment about the possibility of another winter storm threat for Presidents Day Weekend... After taking a look at things it looks like the atmosphere is not going to line up for big storm development... we do have a system coming out of the north but it will come through poorly organized and moving much too fast.  It will get its act together but looks to be a fish storm, it will be watched though...
 
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One thing that is not in a hurry to leave is the cold, both the storm yesterday and the non-event of this weekend have and will usher in more cold air to the region and with the stormy pattern in place, we might have to go through a very similar situation to the Valentines Day storm again next week as the models have again honed in on a very strong storm in the Wed-Thur time
 
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The indication here for another strong system to come out of the Plains, and redevelop on the coast... And the fact that both major models are showing this leads me to think that it will happen just as both showed the last storm... In both instances here it shows a heavy rain solution with cold air just not around... But I'm sure things will evolve and change as the week marches on, they always do... Its interesting to note that the overall set up isn't horrible for a snowstorm just a lack of a cold high so a close eye must be kept here...
 
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Even if it is a heavy rain situation that could lead to problems with flooding if we still have snow on the ground... regardless of all this pattern will remain stormy and quite wet.. Also there are indication that a change to milder conditions in the Northeast are possible...
 
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Updated 2/14 5:50pm
 
So our first real winter storm of the season has come and gone, I can't help but be dissapointed at the fact that there was so much potential for a big time snowstorm and how much sleet really did rob the snow totals...
 
We will start with yesterday the storm can be seen coming out of the lower plains and giving our region over-running snow... however as forecasted the primary low did hold together too long allowing for too much warming above this led to a change to sleet which can be seen in the final frames of yesterdays loop altho we were in a bit of a dry slot at the time with the energy trensfering to the coastal...
 
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That energy tranfer can be seen very clearly on this wather vapor loop from last night from teh Ohio Valley Low to our soon to be Coastal Bomb...
 
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But the damage had been done in terms of the warmth aloft this led to a pretty helatious sleet storm for the area early this morning...
 
 
It did however change to snow jusr before ending...
 
 
Early indications are that my call on the storm was pretty good region wide, I'll have a bigger upadate on that later as well as what the future holds... Happy V Day...
 
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