Archive for December, 2010

MILDER WEATHER MOVES INTO THE MID-ATLANTIC STATES… SOME RAIN IS EXPECTED ON SUNDAY AS A COLD FRONT MOVES INTO THE REGION

The weather pattern has changed across North America and that will make our weather a little more tolerable over the next week or so. No bitter cold air is expected in Hampton Roads for the next several days. The overall upper-level wind pattern has the jet stream diving southeastward into the western part of the nation and then turning back to the northeast over the Mid-West and East. This pattern normally means milder weather for us. The weather will not interfere with New Year’s Eve travelers. As high pressure slowly moves off the coast, a southwesterly wind flow will bring in milder air into the region on Saturday. However, cloud cover will prevent temperatures to reach their full potential. Showers or light rain may dampen your Sunday, but at this time, heavy rain is not expected. Then, seasonal weather seems likely early next week as the pattern will be quite benign for early January. I expect that a lot of the snow and ice will melt by the time we get to next week. Keep in mind that the sun is at it’s lowest point in the sky now so it is not as effective at melting snow as it would be in let’s say February. I wish everyone a very happy New Year! I’ll have an update on Saturday. Thanks for reading.

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A WARM UP IS ON THE WAY WHICH WILL MELT A LOT OF THE SNOW… THE NEXT CHANCE OF PRECIPITATION WILL BE ON SUNDAY, AND IT WILL BE IN THE LIQUID FORM

First of all, if you haven’t already done so, please read my previous post on the incredible blizzard that hit the NYC area on Sunday. I was in Bayonne, NJ during the Christmas holiday. Some roads are still impassible up there which has caused huge problems for them. The good news is that warmer weather is on the way for them as well as our area which will help to melt a lot of the snow. High pressure will slowly move offshore. As it does, the clockwise flow around high pressures in the northern hemisphere will cause our winds to become south and southwest bringing in the warmer air. That will be a welcome relief considering how cold it has been of late. Folks traveling on New Year’s Eve shouldn’t have any weather related issues to contend with. However, travelers should be mindful when driving at night and in the morning of icy patches left over from Sunday’s snowfall. Eventually, a cold front will be approaching later in the weekend bringing a chance of showers. I’ll have an update on Friday.

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SPECIAL POST: THE “HOLIDAY BLIZZARD” OF 2010 RECAP

Well, I’m back in Virginia Beach but I wanted to post my first hand experience of the incredible blizzard that hit the New York City area. I realize that this was a very significant snowstorm for Hampton Roads. However, the severity of this storm up north was much worse and its impacts are long lasting. The snow started falling mid-day on Sunday and slowly but surely increased in its intensity throughout the afternoon reaching near blizzard conditions by evening. The snow was falling at a rate of 3 inches per hour during the height of the storm reducing visibilities drastically. Winds increased causing blowing and drifting of the snow. Thunder and lightning were also reported in some areas. The snow ended early Monday morning. The heaviest snow fell in a band that extended from the Hudson Valley of NY state down to the Jersey shore.

I was in the city of Bayonne, NJ. Bayonne is located just west of NYC along the Upper-New York Bay. This area was basically ground zero for the heaviest accumulation of snow. Approximately 30 inches fell in Bayonne with much higher amounts found in the snow drifts which buried cars making them disappear into the snowy abyss. Note that Central Park in NYC reported less snow, so you can’t go by that when measuring the magnitude of this storm in Northern NJ. Manhattan was on the eastern edge of the heavy band that set up during the storm. We had trouble opening the front door of my in-laws home due to a snow drift. It took my wife and I many hours to dig out our car. Two way streets that were normally two lanes were reduced to one lane making driving very challenging. Also, there was no place to put the snow as Bayonne is a very densely populated city. My in-laws don’t have a driveway so we had to park on the street. What is frustrating about that is the fact that once you dig out your car and pull out, someone else can park there in your spot. Then, when you return, you may not be able to find a parking spot anywhere. We didn’t have that problem since after we pulled out, we were going to Philadelphia.

On Tuesday, just over 24 hours after the last flakes fell, the NJ Turnpike was very clear considering the severity of this storm. Philly only received around a foot of snow so conditions weren’t that bad there. In my opinion, this storm rivaled the 1996 blizzard which was the worst storm in my 40 years living in NJ. The low pressure system that caused the blizzard was a very intense system. The pressure was similar to pressures found in major hurricanes. Coastal flooding was an issue in parts of New England. Everything had to come together just right to create this monster storm. Warm most air coming up from the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic, an upper-level disturbance diving southeast in a fast moving jet stream and a low pressure along a frontal boundary are three of the major ingredients that caused this storm to be so severe. I returned home to Va Beach today (Wednesday) and I was relieved that we were able to get back unlike so many air travelers that are still stuck up there. Well, that’s it for now. I’ll have a post on the weather to come on Thursday morning. Be careful driving on the secondary roads especially at night and in the morning. Thanks for reading.

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SNOWSTORM SLAMS THE MID-ATLANTIC AND NORTHEASTERN STATES… BLIZZARD CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED IN PARTS OF THE NORTHEAST… STORM MOVES AWAY ON MONDAY

Note that I’m posting from Northern N.J….  A rapidly intensifying low pressure system will bring a major snowstorm to many areas from the Carolinas to New England. Blizzard conditions are expected from the Mid Atlantic states northeast into New England later Sunday into Monday. Snowfall amounts upwards of two feet are possible in areas where banding occurs. Even thunder is possible. In Hampton roads, snowfall amounts are expected to be around 6 to 8 inches. Snow will be falling at rates of around 1 to 2 inches per hour in many areas. Winds will be very strong and in the hardest hit areas of the Northern Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern States possibly gusting to 60 MPH. One issue will be where an rain or sleet mix in. That could hold accumulations down in the southern and eastern regions closer to the water and the storm. The storm will wind down from SW to NE on Monday. The barometric pressure of this storm is expected to be similar to a hurricane. Monitor you local media and be safe. Stay off the roads during the height of the storm to allow the snow removal crews to do their job.

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THE WEEK AHEAD WILL BE CHILLY BUT IT WILL NOT BE AS BRUTAL AS LAST WEEK… THE NEXT CHANCE OF SIGNIFICANT PRECIPITATION PROBABLY WON’T BE UNTIL CHRISTMAS DAY… WILL IT BE IN THE FORM OF RAIN OR SNOW?

The weak low pressure system that moved offshore overnight Saturday night brought just a little light rain with some snowflakes mixed in. About a quarter of an inch of rain fell in my backyard. Note that the snow and rain event last Thursday brought nearly of inch of liquid equivalent to my neighborhood. As I stated in my Saturday post, this weekend’s system did not have all the necessary ingredients to produce a major winter storm event here in Hampton Roads. It was also a timing issue of other systems just not coming together in a timely fashion that would have allowed a major storm to develop. However, this system will intensify as it moves out to sea. This will cause breezy and cold conditions on Sunday and Monday. A weak clipper-like system is expected to move through the northern Mid-Atlantic states during the mid-week period. As it stands right now, forecasters are not expecting anything significant here from that system. Maybe our far northern spots may get some precipitation. Temperatures this upcoming week will be on the chilly side, but it shouldn’t be as cold as it was last week, especially during the mid-week period. Then, all attention will turn to a stronger system expected to affect us on Christmas Day. It is too soon to discuss any of the details with this potential system. If you have travel plans on Christmas Day, I recommend that you monitor the forecast very closely as we progress through the week. I suspect based on current trends that we here in Hampton Roads will only see rain from this system, but stay tuned on this one.  Happy holidays and thanks for reading.

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