Sunday 1/6 Forecast: A Little Light Snow, Then a Warmup!

While our Bengals may have lost (which did not make yours truly a happy weathergeek), I do have a bit of good news on the weather front with a warmup still coming! Here’s your forecast update for Sunday, January 6, 2013…

TODAY: Highs will be in the lower to middle 30’s today with a low in the lower 20’s tonight. A chance of light snow will be around today. Do not expect significant accumulations with this — maybe a quick dusting at most.

MONDAY: Skies will clear out for Monday and I expect highs around 40 with lows Monday night down to 23.

TUESDAY: Second verse, same as the first. Partly cloudy skies and a high around 42.

WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY: We continue to warm up with highs in the middle 40’s and lows in the 20’s. Another chance of rain looks to occur getting into Thursday, and the latest guidance still suggests some pretty soaking rains. Looks pretty much like a January Thaw to me!

FRIDAY INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK: It looks like we’re drying out on Friday with highs STILL in the 40’s, and we may even crack 50 on Saturday! The longer range models have been fairly consistent the last couple days with showing a sharp change back to colder weather into the second half of the month, and if it’s going to happen, next weekend or early the week of the 14th looks to be when the big flip would occur.

A LONG RANGE CAVEAT/DISCLAIMER: I will caution that the occurrences in the above paragraph, save Friday and Saturday, are AT LEAST 8 or 9 days away — as such, the thinking can and most likely will change. You simply can’t rely on the models that far out and those of us in the meteorology community call this “fantasy range” for a reason. It’s like throwing darts at a dartboard because you can’t reasonably call something definitive. I just mentioned it to let you know I’ve got an eye on something happening out there in the longer range.

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NEXT UPDATE: Your next update will be tomorrow morning by 8:00. Until then, take care!

Jeremy Moses

10/26 Sandy PM Update: As Preparations Continue, We Wait…

Here’s the latest update on the coming storm for the Eastern US…

CURRENTLY: The surface cold front is east of Cincinnati, while Sandy is in the northwest Bahamas. Sandy has sustained winds to 75 miles per hour and a pressure of 971 millibars.

THE MODELS: These things are coming to a consensus, albeit a slow one…and most of the tracks are between NYC and Norfolk, VA.

GFS: This has a 950 millibar low near NYC. It’s finally become consistent in its forecasting, thanks in no small part to the balloons going up every six hours to bring new data to this thing.

EURO: Euro goes into south NJ, AGAIN, as a 955 millibar storm.

GGEM: This one, the Canadian, is sub 950, possibly 940 millibars near Norfolk. That’s bad.

NOGAPS: Cannot ascertain pressure, but appears to be sub 960(?)

The NAM will be in range tomorrow, so we should have a better idea at that point in time.

CINCINNATI IMPACTS: It all depends on the track, folks. I cannot state that clearly enough. I do not know where it will landfall for sure, but somewhere in that zone of model consensus is a good guess. So between NYC and Hampton Roads. If it’s nearer to Hampton Roads, the impacts here could end up being significant, whereas a hit to NYC leaves us not only dry, but freezing cold. We’re still going with the idea that this is somewhere in between the two. Gusty winds could cause some issues Tuesday or Wednesday, and also we should have some precipitation around both days now. The question of rain or snow is simply too early to answer definitively, and I continue to hedge my bets on a mixture of the two at points on Wednesday.

ELSEWHERE: No matter where Sandy makes its final landfall, there will be many impacts that reach far from that point. Storm surges will cause coastal flooding, which in turn will do significant erosion damage; heavy rains could lead to inland freshwater flooding and also combine with winds upwards of 40 mph to knock down trees once the ground is sufficiently soaked; those same winds could do significant property damage; and on the west side of this storm will be a paralyzing snowstorm. And all of this will cause a major travel headache both on the ground and in the skies!

BOTTOM LINE: States of emergency have been declared in Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. Voluntary evacuations have been started for parts of the NJ coast. This storm is serious business. Please heed all warnings from local NWS offices in the areas affected, and share this information with anyone you know there. If you’re here in Cincinnati and have a travel itinerary to the northeastern states early next week…think twice about going. Seriously, just don’t go if you can help it. If you can’t get out of it, call ahead in the 12-24 hours before your flight. Above all else, be prepared. You need an emergency preparedness kit, to include enough non-perishable food and water to last three days or more; flashlights; batteries; first aid equipment; warm, dry clothing; a battery operated radio; and enough medical supplies to last a few days. Have a full tank of gas in the car if you live in evacuation zones. And having cash on hand may also not be a bad idea, because once power goes out, so too do many ATM’s.

We cannot stress it enough. PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE be prepared for a major storm. Whether this comes in as a Category 2 hurricane or an extratropical entity doesn’t matter. It’s big, it’s going to be nasty and it could be life-threatening if you’re not careful.

The next update will be tomorrow morning.

Jeremy Moses

10/26 Sandy Update: Oh My…

We’re going to jump right into the meat of this discussion once again. I don’t wish to waste any time…

NOW: According to the latest National Hurricane Center advisory at 2 AM, Sandy was about 55 miles southeast of Grand Abaco Island in the Bahamas, with maximum sustained winds of 85 MPH and a minimum central pressure of 968 millibars. Meanwhile, the cold front is crossing the Indiana and Ohio border right now, and will be coming through Metro Cincinnati shortly.

WHERE NEXT?: Now, here’s where the rubber meets the road. All of the models think that Sandy will continue to move up through the Bahamas, then start a northeasterly turn. From here, they diverge, but are starting to come to agreement. A discussion of each model follows. We’ll establish off the bat that ALL of these have a pretty serious pressure gradient, so winds may be a problem, if not for us then somewhere across the northeast.

GFS: The GFS or Global Forecast System model has this thing doing something odd. It gets south of Cape Cod, and then does a VERY hard left and slams it into NYC. Pressure on this one down to 951 millibars.

EURO: The European model has it going into Chesapeake Bay at 952 millibars in 96 hours, or four days. Then, just to make things interesting for Cincinnati, it comes west and is in Ohio at 120 hours, or five days. Interesting.

NOGAPS: This is a US Navy produced model. It’s got this thing around 960 millibars into southern NJ.

CANADIAN: The GGEM model sends it into Maine at around 950 millibars. That’s way north of the consensus and I don’t think that happens.

OTHERS: There are two hurricane specific models that only get used for hurricanes. The HWRF (or Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting) model wants to put this thing into New Jersey at a sub 940 pressure. And the GFDL, or Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory model, which is another hurricane specific model, tries to send it into the DelMarVa peninsula at around 930 millibars. To both of these I say: Are you kidding me? If either of these were to verify, it’d be the strongest northeastern storm I have ever seen. I’m not sure I buy either of them though as far as how deep they are. The locations are well within the consensus, however.

WHAT’S IT MEAN FOR CINCY?: Here’s what I’m doing: I’m leaving Tuesday dry at this time, but this could change in future discussions. However…owing to the cold air and the presence of moisture on at least one or two models, we’ll continue to have the chance of either rain or snow on Wednesday. Any exact details on that are too far out to call until probably Monday. Temperatures through this period…ouch. We’re looking at a hard crash landing into the 40’s with lows possibly down into the upper 20’s. If landfall is anywhere south of Ocean City, MD, it’s trouble here.

ELSEWHERE: There will DEFINITIVELY be MAJOR impacts on the east coast from FL northward. If you live on the seaboard, start thinking about necessary preparations. Those along the beaches might want to plan for evacuations in case of coastal flooding…yes it could be necessary to evacuate. If you live inland, prepare for strong winds that may cause extensive power outages and damage as well as the potential for inland freshwater flooding. And if you’re near or west of the mountains, especially from WV northward? You’ll possibly have a major snowstorm to deal with, so start thinking about preparing for that, too.

I cannot overemphasize this situation. I know it sounds like overblown hype, but trust me…a storm like this has the potential to be, is NOT your everyday occurrence. Please, share this post with any and all friends and family that live on the eastern seaboard. If this pans out, it is disaster in the making for a good portion of the US population.

The next update to this particular discussion will be after the 12Z models come out, probably around 3 PM.

Jeremy Moses

10/25 PM Long Range Discussion: Hard Left or Slow Turn?

We’re going to jump right into the meat of this discussion once again. I don’t wish to waste any time…

NOW: According to the latest National Hurricane Center advisory at 2 PM, Sandy was 25 miles east of Grand Exuma Island in the Bahamas, with maximum sustained winds of 105 MPH and a minimum central pressure of 960 millibars. Meanwhile, the cold front is crossing the Midwest.

WHERE NEXT?: Now, here’s where the rubber meets the road. All of the models think that Sandy will continue to move up through the Bahamas, then start a northeasterly turn. From here, they diverge but not as much as this morning. A discussion of each model follows. We’ll establish off the bat that ALL of these have a pretty serious pressure gradient, so winds may be a problem, if not for us then somewhere across the northeast.

GFS: The GFS or Global Forecast System model lost it last night. It now is back with the consensus, with around 940 millibars of pressure prior to landfall somewhere around Long Island. If that happens, it’s disaster for NYC.

EURO: The European model has this beast at 932 millibars off North Carolina. And then… Yikes. HARD left turn into Northern VA! It also has below freezing temperatures at 5,000 feet.

NOGAPS: This model has the low into NJ at about 963 millibars.

CANADIAN: The GGEM model slams this into NJ at hour 120 or so as a 947 millibar low. Are you kidding me? On this one, the 5,000 foot freezing line comes south enough that, if there were any precipitation, it might be snow, and indeed it’s now bringing light precipitation to our area at hours 114-126.

WHAT’S IT MEAN FOR CINCY?: Right now, it’s still something that I can’t totally call. Here’s what I’m doing: I’m leaving Tuesday dry at this time, but this could change in future discussions. That said…many of the models also indicate that we could be dealing with a lot of wind! Stay tuned on this. However…owing to the cold air and the presence of moisture on both the GFS and Canadian, we’ll continue to have the chance of either rain or snow on Wednesday. Temperatures through this period…ouch. We’re looking at a hard crash landing into the 40’s with lows possibly down into the upper 20’s. For us to get a significant storm out of this, something is going to have to give in order for this to be more west. A bit more of a shift closer to us from the Euro/NOGAPS/Canadian combo gets it pretty darn close.

ELSEWHERE: There will be MAJOR impacts on the east coast from FL northward. If you live ANYWHERE on the seaboard, start thinking about necessary preparations. Those along the beaches might want to plan for evacuations in case of coastal flooding…yes it could be necessary to evacuate. If you live inland, prepare for strong winds that may cause extensive power outages and damage as well as the potential for inland freshwater flooding. And if you’re near or west of the mountains, especially from WV northward? You’ll possibly have a major snowstorm to deal with, so start thinking about preparing for that, too.

I cannot overemphasize this situation. I know it sounds like overblown hype, but trust me…a storm like this has the potential to be, is NOT your everyday occurrence. Please, share this post with any and all friends and family that live on the eastern seaboard. If this pans out, and it’s more and more likely with each run of the forecast models, this storm would be EXTREMELY dangerous and life-threatening.

The next update to this particular discussion will be tomorrow morning when I wake up and digest the 0Z models.

Jeremy Moses

10/25 Morning Long Range Discussion: What Will Sandy Do?

As promised, we’ll jump straight in with a look at what the models are doing with what is currently Category 2 Hurricane Sandy.

NOW: According to the latest National Hurricane Center advisory at 5:00 AM, Sandy is currently 40 miles or so east of Holguin, Cuba, with maximum sustained winds of 105 MPH and a minimum central pressure of 960 millibars. Meanwhile, the cold front is back in the Midwest and moving east. How’s this for a temperature contrast: 73 degrees in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, but 36 degrees in York, Nebraska! Are you kidding me?

WHERE NEXT?: Now, here’s where the rubber meets the road. All of the models think that Sandy will move up through the Bahamas, then start a northeasterly turn. After that is when the picture becomes as clear as mud.

GFS: The GFS or Global Forecast System model wants to take this thing out to sea again and has it at 966 millibars way off the US coast. It had the same idea as the Euro yesterday, but now it’s lost it again. Because of its inconsistency, I can’t support this model run. I will note that it has the 540 line diving well south of Cincinnati.

EURO: The European model has it slamming the Delmarva peninsula hard as a 953 millibar storm! Yikes. However, it has the 540 line well north of us.

NOGAPS: It’s doing the same thing as the Euro…unfortunately, the NOGAPS map is so cluttered, I can’t read it to tell you what it says the minimum pressure would be.

CANADIAN: The GGEM model eventually slams this into the NYC area as a 950 millibar low. Are you kidding me? On this one, the 540 line comes south enough that, if there were any precipitation, it’d be snow. However, it looks as if it’s keeping much of the precipitation south of us, and it’d likely be rain.

WHAT’S IT MEAN FOR CINCY?: Right now, it’s still something that I can’t totally call. Here’s what I’m doing: I’m leaving Tuesday dry at this time. However…owing to the cold air, and the fact that at least some moisture might be present, I have to allow for a possible rain/snow mix on Halloween. Temperatures through this period…ouch. We’re looking at a hard crash landing into the 40’s with lows possibly down into the upper 20’s. For us to get a significant storm out of this, something is going to have to give in order for this to be more west. A 100 mile shift closer to us from the Euro/NOGAPS/Canadian combo gets it pretty darn close.

ELSEWHERE: There will be MAJOR impacts on the east coast from South Carolina northward. If you live ANYWHERE on the seaboard, start thinking about necessary preparations. Those along the beaches might want to plan for evacuations in case of coastal flooding…yes it could be necessary to evacuate. If you live inland, prepare for strong winds that may cause extensive power outages and damage as well as the potential for inland freshwater flooding. And if you’re near or west of the mountains, especially from WV northward? You’ll possibly have a major snowstorm to deal with, so start thinking about preparing for that, too.

I cannot overemphasize this situation. I know it sounds like overblown hype, but trust me…a storm like this has the potential to be, is NOT your everyday occurrence. Please, share this post with any and all friends and family that live on the eastern seaboard. If this pans out, and it’s more and more likely with each run of the forecast models, this storm would be EXTREMELY dangerous and life-threatening.

The next update to this particular discussion will be this afternoon after the 12Z models come in.

Jeremy Moses

Long Range Discussion 10/24: Strong Northeastern Storm Probable, Cincinnati Impact Uncertain

Good afternoon everyone! This discussion will deal with the long range impacts of what is currently Hurricane Sandy and a cold front that will pass through the area this weekend.

RIGHT NOW: At 2:00 PM EDT, Sandy is located near Jamaica with winds of 80 MPH and central pressure of 973 millibars.

SANDY TRACK: At this point, the NHC still has Sandy moving from Jamaica, across Cuba, then up through the Bahamas and parallel to the east coast of the US.

MEANWHILE: An incoming cold front will cross the Cincinnati area Friday night and Saturday before pushing east and coming to a position near the Appalachian Mountains.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: The models have now come into pretty good agreement. The GFS has joined what was already a decent consensus of the European, Canadian, and NOGAPS. For the purposes of this, I will go ahead and tell you that the positioning of the cold air is much the same on all models.

GFS: That GFS model now has the low moving onshore pretty close to Portland, ME with a sub-960 mb pressure.

CANADIAN: The Canadian GGEM model has a 946 low near Boston or Providence.

EUROPEAN: The Euro is still showing a significant low off the coast, in fact it was the strongest of all at 0Z with a 933 mb low off New Jersey, then slamming into the NJ coast on Tuesday morning. The 12Z is coming out as I write this, and WOW. That thing has a sub-935 millibar low off Virginia Monday morning, and is much closer to the coastline! Are you kidding me?

WHAT DOES IT MEAN HERE?: For Cincinnati, this one is still too early to call. As the BAM Chase Team noted on twitter earlier this afternoon, a 100 mile shift or so to the west of the GFS solution puts them, and by extension Cincinnati, in the game for snow! By the same token, a 100 mile shift east takes a good bit of the Ohio Valley out of the running. There is one thing I can safely say with confidence: Wherever this storm hits, it will be NASTY with damaging winds, coastal flooding, and, west of this system, it will hammer some areas with snowfall that may be measured in FEET.

MORE UPDATES: As this system continues to form, I will be updating with long term discussions until this gets into a range within which I can make a more confident forecast. Stay tuned!

Jeremy Moses