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Nor’Easter Lashes Weary Northeast; Major Winter Storm Brewing in the High Plains

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: November 7, 2012 - 7:30 PM

Cold Start to November

By Todd Nelson

Thanks to a high amplitude weather pattern, the United States weather has been a little stuck. A large ridge of high pressure in the west has allowed several high temperature records to pop up like San Francisco, CA. On Monday they climbed to 79F and 78F on Tuesday. Downtown Los Angeles tipped the scales at 94F Tuesday; mercury at the LAX Airport soared to 91F. On the other side of the coin, temperatures in the eastern half of the country have been below average for several days. Thanks to a large trough of low pressure, November temps close to home are running nearly 2F below average through the first 7 days of the month.

According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, the 6 to 10 day outlook keeps us below average as a large storm over the Pacific Northwest blows through. This in one of those classic Fall storms that would be considered in the "Gales of November" realm if its track would be closer to the Great Lakes region. In stead, this massive storm will blow up just west of us with generous snow amounts; 12" or more from Montana to North Dakota. We'll be on its warmer flank meaning rain and thunder?

Big jackets will return after the cold front -Todd Nelson

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Todd's Star Tribune Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota (and western Wisconsin too):

 

THURSDAY: Sunshine! Mild south breeze. High 52.

THURSDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear and cool. Low: 34

FRIDAY: Turning breezy. Clouds thicken, drizzle/light rain possible late? High 50. Low 42.

SATURDAY: Wintry mix lifts north. growing thunder potential across far southern MN late. High 61. Low 37.

SUNDAY: Breezy and much cooler. A few AM flurries? High 38. Low 23.

MONDAY: Jacket worthy, more afternoon sun. High: 33. Low: 21.

TUESDAY: Felling like late November. High: 38. Low: 26

WEDNESDAY: Chilly breeze:. High: 40. Low: 32.

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After the events of last weeks Superstorm, folks in the Northeast most certainly don’t want anymore wild weather. Unfortunately, another Nor’Easter will tear up the coast through the end of the week. The worst of the weather conditions will be Wednesday and Thursday. Thanks to Barnegat Bay Island, NJ for the picture below… this is still some of the aftermath from last weeks Superstorm Sandy!

Our Next Storm… ‘Typical’ Nor’Easter

Folks in the Northeast don’t want weather maps to look like this… A large low pressure system tearing up the East Coast! Can’t we get a break? The image below was the radar and surface pressure around midday Wednesday. Note the moisture along the Eastern Seaboard and the low pressure center to the southeast (central pressure 994mb). This is certainly a strong storm, but compared to the Superstorm Sandy last week, the central pressure is nearly 50mb higher!


Nor’Easter Compared to Superstorm Sandy

The image below is surface pressure from last weeks Superstorm Sandy. The surface pressure in the graphic below was down to 950mb (landfall with southern New Jersey at 944mb). Also note the lines of equal air pressure and how tightly packed it was across such a wide area. That’s why last weeks storm was so much more devastating across a much larger area.

Current Nor’Easter Impacts

Significant winds will impact those along the coastal communities through Thursday. Sustained winds of 20-40mph will occasionally gust up to 60mph or more. This again, is not as significant as last week, but localized areas of wind damage can’t be ruled out.

Coastal Flooding

With the strong easterly winds impacting folks along the coast, a minor storm surge and flooding can’t be ruled out. In fact, it should be expected, but not to the degree of last week. There have been a few evacuations in some of the lowland areas and for good reason. The graphic below showed the storm surge forecast Wednesday afternoon. Note the blobs of ‘warmer’ colors along the Eastern Seaboard. The more intense the colors, the more significant the storm surge is expected to be.

SLOSH Model – Specific Point Forecast

Here are a few of the specific point forecasts as the storm blows through. The highest surge is expected PM Wednesday-AM Thursday. Unfortunately, some of the same areas that were beat up last week, will still get some coastal flooding this time around.

Atlantic City, NJ

Atlantic City is forecast to peak around 7ft. to 8ft. late Wednesday night, early Thursday morning.

The Battery, NY

The Battery is expected to peak around 7ft. to 8ft. late Wednesday, early Thursday morning.

Bridgeport, CT

This may be a little more significant… Bridgeport is expected to peak near 11ft to 12ft Wednesday afternoon, but due to high tide, may peak again early Thursday morning at 9ft.

Nor’Easter From Satellite

This was the view from a NOAA satellite on Wednesday as the Nor’Easter intensified along the Eastern Seaboard.

…A STRENGTHENING COASTAL STORM WILL IMPACT THE NORTHEAST WITH RAIN…WIND AND SNOW TODAY/TONIGHT… …BIG CHANGES COMING TO THE WEST WITH A PATTERN CHANGE ALOFT… ONE OF THE BIG STORIES DURING THE SHORT RANGE WILL BE ACROSS THE NORTHEAST AS AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE STRENGTHENS AND MOVES UP THE COAST DURING THE DAY TODAY. A COLD RAIN WILL CONTINUE TO TRANSLATE NORTH ALONG THE NORTHERN MID-ATLANTIC COAST AND SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND THIS MORNING AS THE LOW DEEPENS. ENOUGH COLD AIR IS ALREADY PRESENT ACROSS INLAND SECTIONS OF THE NORTHERN MID-ATLANTIC AND NORTHEAST TO SUPPORT SNOW AND/OR A MIXTURE OF PRECIPITATION TYPES WHICH WILL BEGIN LATE THIS MORNING AND EARLY AFTERNOON. WINDS WILL ALSO PICK UP LATER TODAY WITH THE GREATEST IMPACTS NEAR THE LOW CENTER FROM NEW JERSEY TO CAPE COD WHERE HIGH WIND WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT ALONG WITH COASTAL FLOOD WARNINGS…WITH THE GREATEST IMPACTS DURING DURING HIGH TIDE. A LIGHT TO MODERATE SNOWFALL IS ANTICIPATED FROM EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA INTO WESTERN NEW JERSEY WITH LIGHT SNOW…SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN EXTENDING NORTH INTO MUCH OF NEW ENGLAND THIS EVENING THROUGH EARLY THURSDAY. PRECIPITATION SHOULD BE CLEAR OF THE NEW ENGLAND COAST BY FRIDAY MORNING WITH CLEARING SKIES AND REBOUNDING TEMPERATURES AS THE LOW MOVES INTO THE CANADIAN MARITIMES. UPPER LEVEL RIDGING OUT WEST…WHICH HAS KEPT TEMPERATURES ACROSS MUCH OF THE REGION WELL ABOVE AVERAGE IN RECENT DAYS…WILL BREAK DOWN AND BE REPLACED BY A LARGE UPPER LEVEL TROUGH STARTING THURSDAY. THERE IS A LACK OF A WELL DEFINED MOISTURE AXIS ALIGNED WITH THE ASSOCIATED COLD FRONT CURRENTLY MOVING THROUGH WASHINGTON AND OREGON…WHICH WILL PREVENT EXCESSIVE PRECIPITATION TOTALS ALONG THE COASTAL RANGES FROM WASHINGTON TO NORTHERN CALIFORNIA…THOUGH MODERATE RAINFALL AMOUNTS CAN STILL BE EXPECTED THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING IN CONNECTION TO THE POWERFUL UPPER LEVEL STORM SYSTEM AND ITS ASSOCIATED JET STREAM. BY THURSDAY AFTERNOON…MUCH OF THE NORTHWESTERN CORNER OF THE COUNTRY WILL EXPERIENCE UNSETTLED…SHOWERY AND COOL CONDITIONS. FARTHER EAST…AS A STRONG COLD FRONT SETTLES SOUTHWARD TO THE EAST OF THE NORTHERN AND CENTRAL ROCKIES…AN UPSLOPE FLOW REGIME WILL DEVELOP WITH AID FROM THE UPPER LEVEL TROUGH DIGGING INTO THE WESTERN U.S. WHICH WILL ALLOW FOR MODERATE TO LOCALLY HEAVY SNOW FOR THE HIGHER TERRAIN OF IDAHO AND CENTRAL MONTANA. TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED TO FALL WELL BELOW AVERAGE BY FRIDAY…EASILY 20 TO 30 DEGREES BELOW CLIMATOLOGY IN MONTANA. TEMPERATURE DEPARTURES SHOULD BE 10 TO 20 DEGREES BELOW CLIMATOLOGY FOR THE REST OF THE WEST…WEST OF THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE.

12:38PM EST November 7. 2012 – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Wednesday that emergency teams were building up badly eroded beach dunes before the full brunt of of a nor’easter hits the state’s Sandy-battered coastline, bringing high winds, snow and another round of storm surges. In addition, state environmental officials urged local towns to move sand pushed inland by Superstorm Sandy back onto ocean beaches in an effort to provide shore protection from the storm, he said. “We’re doing what we need to do to prepare for this, just like we did for Hurricane Sandy,” Christie told reporters. “We’re prepared.” The National Weather Service predicted the storm would last into Thursday, bringing wind and wet snow to New Jersey, up to three inches of snow to Philadelphia and from six to 12 inches of snow to southeastern New York and New England.”

Read more from USAToday.com HERE:


Say It Ain’t Snow…

This is another side to the storm that will impact a fairly large number of people. Snow accumulations of 3″ to 6″ with isolated 6″+ will move from New Jersey to the New England states. Cold air is located perfectly for that Atlantic moisture to turn quickly over to snow, which will be enough to shovel and plow in a number of locations.

Snow Accumulations

According to the latest NAM solution, some folks could wind up with a decent amount of shovelable/plowable snow from New Jersey to Maine through the end of the week. One of those spots will be Philadelphia, PA… Here are some interesting snow stats for that local area:

 **Philadelphia has not had 2″ of snow in November since 1995.

**The first average measurable snowfall for Philly is Dec 18. The first average snowfall equal to or greater than 1″ is Dec 31.

**First measurable snowfall in Philly in 2011 was Oct 29 (Snowtober) when they was 0.3″ (which was a record for the day).

**Philly averages 0.3″ of snow in November, with an average seasonal total of 22.8″.

**Most snow Philly has seen in a November day was back on Nov. 27, 1938 when 6.9″ fell.

**Today’s snow record for KPHL is 3.4″ set in 1953. Tomorrow’s snow record is 0.8″ in 1892.

Snow in Connecticut

This was the scene from East Haven, Connecticut around midday Wednesday as the snow starting falling. It didn’t take long for the snow to start accumulating either!

More Snow?

Another large storm is going to be making headlines out west over the next few days. Heavy snow is expected to start falling through the end of the week and last through the early weekend across the High Plains. The National Weather Service has already issued a number of winter weather headlines from California to North Dakota! The information below is from the National Weather Service out of Great Falls, MT about their local snow potential:

…WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 5 AM THURSDAY TO 11 AM MST SATURDAY… THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GREAT FALLS HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 5 AM THURSDAY TO 11 AM MST SATURDAY. THE WINTER STORM WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.

* TIMING: SNOW WILL DEVELOP OVER THE MOUNTAINS ACROSS CENTRAL MONTANA WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND EXPAND INTO THE PLAINS ON THURSDAY. SNOW WILL BE HEAVY AT TIMES ON THURSDAY AND FRIDAY AND CONTINUE THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS: TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING OF ONE TO TWO FEET ARE LIKELY IN THE MOUNTAINS WITH 8 TO 14 INCHES OVER THE PLAINS.

* WINDS: NORTH WINDS 15 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 30 MPH COULD RESULT IN AREAS OF BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW…ESPECIALLY OVER OPEN AREAS.

* VISIBILITY: VISIBILITIES WILL BE REDUCED TO LESS THAN ONE HALF MILE AT TIMES IN HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW.

* IMPACTS: DANGEROUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED. MOUNTAIN PASSES WILL BECOME SNOW-COVERED AND ICY AT THE ONSET OF SNOWFALL. LOWER ELEVATION ROADWAYS WILL RAPIDLY BECOME ICY AND SNOW-COVERED BY SUNSET THURSDAY. THOSE SPENDING TIME OUTDOORS NEED TO BE PREPARED FOR RAPIDLY CHANGING AND WINTER CONDITIONS. COLD TEMPERATURES AND WIND CHILL VALUES AROUND 0 CAN CAUSE FROSTBITE IN LITTLE TIME.

Heavy Snow Accumulations

This is a look at the 12km RPM snowfall solution through AM Saturday. Note the large swath of heavy snow from Montana to North Dakota. There could be several spots that get 8″ to 12″ at least!

Williston, ND Snowfall

This is a meteogram of numerous different models and their snow solutions from this storm at the Williston, ND location. Note how several of them are clustered around 12″ to 14″ or more number… YIKES! Get your shovels ready!

Much Needed Moisture

This storm will also bring much needed moisture to parts of the middle part of the country. According to NOAA’s HPC 5 day precipitation forecast, there could be a large swath of 1″ to 2″ or more of heavy rain over the weekend.

Severe Threat?

As the cold front blasts through the mid-section of the nation, showers and thunderstorm will pop up. Saturday and Sunday could be active days across the Plains and Mississippi River Valley. For now, the Storm Prediction Center has issued a highlighted risk from more vigorous thunderstorm potential across parts of the Plains on Saturday. I could see Sunday as being a potential risk now too closer to the Mississippi River… Stay tuned for further updates!

Thanks for checking in, have a great rest of your week!

Don’t forget to check me out on Twitter @TNelsonWNTV

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