Skip to comments.Major East Coast Storm Gets Underway
Posted on 02/27/2005 11:13:44 AM PST by nwctwx
A major to possibly historic snowstorm is now forming in the Gulf of Mexico. This storm will track northeast along the East Coast Monday and Tuesday bringing very heavy snow and near blizzard conditions to many. The exact track is still uncertain at this time, but the big cities along the megalopolis could be in for a very large event. I put together a few maps to track the system, and will add more shortly.
National Warning Map
Current East Coast NEXRAD Radar Composite
National Radar Summary
U.S. Surface Pressure Map and Radar Overlay
NWS HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER CAMP SPRINGS MD
WILL KEEP THIS SHORT AND SWEET. FOR THE MOST PART THE MANUAL
For more information, including thoughts from nationally known meteorologists visit:
THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A
TORNADO WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF
EFFECTIVE THIS SUNDAY MORNING AND EVENING FROM 1040 AM UNTIL 600
TORNADOES...HAIL TO 1 INCH IN DIAMETER...THUNDERSTORM WIND GUSTS
TO 70 MPH...AND DANGEROUS LIGHTNING ARE POSSIBLE IN THESE AREAS.
THE TORNADO WATCH AREA IS APPROXIMATELY ALONG AND 85 STATUTE MILES
NORTH AND SOUTH OF A LINE FROM 15 MILES WEST NORTHWEST OF SARASOTA
FLORIDA TO 15 MILES NORTH NORTHEAST OF MELBOURNE FLORIDA. FOR A
COMPLETE DEPICTION OF THE WATCH SEE THE ASSOCIATED WATCH OUTLINE
UPDATE (WOUS64 KWNS WOU1).
REMEMBER...A TORNADO WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR
TORNADOES AND SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH AREA.
PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THREATENING
WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS AND POSSIBLE
DISCUSSION...STORMS ARE EXPECTED TO GRADUALLY INCREASE IN INTENSITY
ACROSS CNTRL FL THIS AFTERNOON. BREAKS IN CLOUDS SHOULD ALLOW FOR
SOME SURFACE HEATING OVER S CNTRL FL AND CONTRIBUTE TO MARGINAL
INSTABILITY. ATMOSPHERE IS EXPECTED TO GRADUALLY DESTABILIZE NWD
WITH TIME AS BOUNDARY LIFTS SLOWLY NORTH THROUGH CNTRL FL. STRONG
SHEAR PROFILES WILL SUPPORT SUPERCELLS WITH ISOLATED TORNADOES
Lots of snow this year back east, and in Europe, and in Asia.......must be that darn global warming.
Thanks for the post, and keep us updated!
I have an important group meeting in Philly scheduled for Tuesday evening, and im wondering if I should be thinking of canceling it now. Problem is...I may not know if this storm will be bad until it is too late.
Meteorologist Larry Cosgrove's thoughts...
WEATHER SUMMARY THROUGH NEXT 72 HOURS
With the American forecast schemes now clearly trending toward earlier predictions on ECMWF, GGEM, and UKMET runs, it is time to deal with the growing storm threat shaping up over TX. The faster rate of development make this matter imperative, since much of what transpires in the U.S. will occur within the next 72 hours. In a nutshell, we have a rare event called triple phasing taking place. A disturbance in the southern branch strengthens, and incorporates energy from the polar jet stream (in this case a shortwave entering ND). This combinant feature, fed by a huge moisture fetch and widespread intense convection, grows to the point where cA values in Canada are pulled into the circulation, and an existing Grand Banks vortex (50/50 Low) is forced to retrogress into the St. Lawrence Valley, in effect being captured by the explosive impulse. This last leg of phasing all three of the existing high level windstreams looks to occur Monday night, after which time the resultant monster gyre will slow down as it approaches LBR, its final destination.
Because the circulation and dynamics with the TX/Gulf States feature will be so strong, low level cold air from a moderately strong cell of high pressure in QC will be drawn as far south as lower Appalachia and the Piedmont. So while the relatively mild temperatures of Saturday may give residents of N GA, W SC, W, C NC and SW VA a false sense of security, the track of the cyclone and the rapid rise in UVVs on Sunday will produce frozen precipitation, with potential for heavy wet snow in the higher elevations. This in-situ type of wedge from cold air damming could give winter-starved Southerners one last shot at snow and ice before the Winter of 2004-2005 slides into history. Further south, FL looks to be hammered by a combination severe weather + excessive rainfall event, with the low and frontal structure passing in very close proximity to the Sunshine State.
Of course the usual question marks are in place concerning the track and rain/snow line of this cyclone. I like to place the surface reflection of a storm along the leading edge of 500MB height falls. The existing blizzard over eastern Canada (with formative cAk vortex) has shifted the mean trough axis to about 75 W Longitude, so any new cyclogenesis will have to proceed to the right of that demarcation. Since the ultimate destination of the phased storm is the QC Eastern Townships, the low moving up the coastline should bend back somewhat to collocate with the new motherlode. This is why I am insisting on a path of deepest pressure falls through RI, MA, and NH into E QC. So while much of the Interstate 95 corridor gets blasted by what appears to be (and should turn out to be!) a blizzard, anyone living to the right of a Guilford CT....Barre VT....Quebec City QC line is going to experience a change to rain.
Two things stand out about this particular system: the phasing aspect AND the convective appearance, with intense UVV and Omega fields showing upon all of the forecast schemes compacted around the low and its inverted trough (linking the circulation with a the vestigial low in the Great Lakes). Sharp vertical transfer will channel cold air to the surface and keep the rain/snow line along the immediate coast, while at the same time produce staggering snowfall rates that will leave heavy accumulations across the Appalachian Mountains and coastal plain. During Monday night, the sudden drop in 500MB heights and added vorticity should make for an excellent display of thundersnow across N MD....N DE....PA....NJ....NY....W CT....W MA....VT. Then as the low takes on vortex characteristics, winds will increase dramatically by Tuesday morning. Lake-effect snow squall generation should maximize under the vast motherlode, which on Day 4 should effectively cover much of the Midwest and Northeast, driving colder air into the Deep South.
Where would I rank the potential of this system? At least in the same category as the January 22 2005 storm, but more likely comparable to such memorable events as March 1962, December 1992, and January 1996. Keep in mind that much of the snow produced will be wet-ratio type, which can greatly affect power transmission and roof integrity.
settle down NEWBIE. ;)
"Well, let's all get together on Monday afternoon about 5:00pm and discuss this."
I expect it to be a whiteout by then.
A near historic snowstorm in the northeast is a BIG storm. When we lived in New York and Connecticut, we saw lots of big storms, but I don't remember many of them being called historic.
Larry Cosgrove is an EXCELLENT meteorologist, especially in winter situations. He posted a map and thoughts yesterday that appear as if they may be right on. He was one of the first to pick up on the historic possibilities of this storm.
Smile when you say that partner ;0)
If you're running the meeting, cancel it. Everyone will be stressing anyway. It's easier to just reschedule now, especially if people will be flying in from other locations.
URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
218 PM EST SUN FEB 27 2005
ALBEMARLE VA-ALLEGANY MD-ANNE ARUNDEL MD-
ARLINGTON/FALLS CHURCH/ALEXANDRIA VA-AUGUSTA VA-BERKELEY WV-
CALVERT MD-CARROLL MD-CHARLES MD-CLARKE VA-CULPEPER VA-
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA DC-FAIRFAX VA-FAUQUIER VA-FREDERICK VA-
FREDERICK MD-GRANT WV-GREENE VA-HAMPSHIRE WV-HARDY WV-HARFORD MD-
HIGHLAND VA-HOWARD MD-JEFFERSON WV-KING GEORGE VA-LOUDOUN VA-
MADISON VA-MINERAL WV-MONTGOMERY MD-MORGAN WV-NELSON VA-
NORTHERN BALTIMORE MD-ORANGE VA-PAGE VA-PENDLETON WV-
PRINCE GEORGES MD-PRINCE WILLIAM/MANASSAS/MANASSAS PARK VA-
RAPPAHANNOCK VA-ROCKINGHAM VA-SHENANDOAH VA-SOUTHERN BALTIMORE MD-
SPOTSYLVANIA VA-ST. MARYS MD-STAFFORD VA-WARREN VA-WASHINGTON MD-
218 PM EST SUN FEB 27 2005
...HEAVY SNOW WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 1 AM MONDAY TO 1 AM EST
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A HEAVY
SNOW WARNING FOR NORTHERN VIRGINIA...CENTRAL AND WESTERN MARYLAND
THE EASTERN WEST VIRGINIA PANHANDLE AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
FROM 100 AM MONDAY THROUGH 100 AM TUESDAY.
LOW PRESSURE OVER THE NORTHEASTERN GULF OF MEXICO WILL MOVE
NORTHEAST TO THE SOUTH CAROLINA COAST OVERNIGHT TONIGHT. THE STORM
SYSTEM WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE TO THE NORTHEAST NEAR THE DELMARVA
PENINSULA BY MONDAY EVENING.
SNOW IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP LATE TONIGHT IN THE CENTRAL SHENANDOAH
VALLEY AND FOOTHILLS...EVENTUALLY REACHING AREAS NEAR THE
PENNSYLVANIA BORDER BY SUNRISE.
THE SNOW IS EXPECTED TO BECOME HEAVY AT TIMES BY MID MORNING. AT
THIS TIME...THE HEAVIEST SNOW IS EXPECTED TO FALL BETWEEN 1000 AM
AND 600 PM MONDAY.
THE SNOW MAY MIX BRIEFLY WITH RAIN OVER FAR SOUTHERN MARYLAND DURING
THE DAY MONDAY.
BY LATE TOMORROW EVENING...AREAS WEST OF THE BLUE RIDGE ARE EXPECTED
TO SEE 5 TO 10 INCHES OF SNOWFALL. EAST OF THE BLUE RIDGE INCLUDING
THE BALTIMORE AND WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREAS...6 TO 10 INCHES OF
SNOWFALL IS EXPECTED.
THERE IS STILL SOME UNCERTAINTY AS TO THE EXACT TRACK OF THIS STORM
SYSTEM. A SMALL SHIFT IN THE TRACK OF THIS STORM CAN YIELD LARGE
DIFFERENCES IN SNOWFALL ACCUMULATIONS.
STAY TUNED TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO OR YOUR LOCAL MEDIA FOR THE LATEST
INFORMATION ON THIS WINTER WEATHER EVENT. THE NEXT STATEMENT WILL BE
ISSUED AROUND 1100 PM.
"settle down NEWBIE. ;)"
Better watch your back, Gary Aldrich is looking for you.
Well, it may not end up being historic in the end, but all the ingredients are there. Most of the big name storms of the past originated in the Gulf of Mexico and repidly deepened as they headed up the coastline. It now appears as if this one will do just that. The main question here is how long it snows, but when it does... it will be 3-4"/hour at times.
Is it cold enough to snow in southern GA?
Yes, I saw that map and discussion. I love the passion he brings to briefing the weather.
Has our friend Walter Drag weighed in?
I worked in weather for over eight years and enjoyed it but you won't be buying anything in Brentwood if you pursue it as a career but gasoline so stick with your major, we're going to need a lot of people with those skills for some time, I'm afraid.
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