Historic Blizzard of 2009...

By: Zachary Labe , 9:14 PM GMT on December 17, 2009

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Thoughts on December 19-21th Snowstorm...
COMING FRIDAY NIGHT!!!

Timeline...
COMING FRIDAY NIGHT!!!

Radar...
Radar...

Warnings...
Warnings...

NAO...
NAO...

This is my current snow/no snow line...
Due to all snow as far south as southern North Carolina, I will post the snow/no snow line across northern areas...

Youngstown, OH - Oil City, PA - Du Bois, PA - Philipsburg, PA - Lewisburg, Pa - Bloomsburg, PA - Scranton, PA - New Milford, PA

*Areas north of line receive less than a dusting of snow, and areas to south see over .1inch of snow. This line may shift southward depending on dry air to north and eastern trends on mesoscale high resolution models.

Storm Reports...
Snow reports already over southern Middle Atlantic...
...SELECTED STORM TOTAL SNOWFALL IN INCHES FROM 700 AM EST FRI DEC
18 THROUGH 900 PM EST FRI DEC 18...

...KENTUCKY...
PINEVILLE 6.0
DORTON 3.0

...NORTH CAROLINA ...
BOONE 16.0
WEST ASHEVILLE 15.0
FLEETWOOD 14.0
WAYNESVILLE 13.8
WOODLAWN 13.0
GLENDALE SPRINGS 12.5
FLETCHER 12.0
MORGANTON 11.0
WEST JEFFERSON 10.0
ASHEVILLE 7.0

...VIRGINIA...
BLUEFIELD 13.0
BANDY 10.0
LAKE MONTICELLO 9.0
COVESVILLE 2SSE 8.5
COLUMBIA 7.0
ELK CREEK 7.0
ROANOKE 7.0
GREENVILLE 3E 6.5
BANDY 6.0
RICHMOND 3.0
CHARLOTTESVILLE 2.2

...WEST VIRGINIA...
SPANISHBURG 8.5
RAINELLE 8.0
LEWISBURG 7.8
ATHENS 7.0

Storm Impacts...
1. Historic amounts likely towards northern Virginia and all of Maryland up to two feet above 1000ft towards western Virginia.
2. Widespread travel impacts on busy holiday travel up and down east coast including I-95.
3. Blowing and drifting snow likely with potentially high drifts and whiteout conditions.
4. Mesoscale banding over northern Virginia, southeastern Pennsylvania, and Maryland may account for 2in/hr snow rates.
5. Widespread impacts with sharp cutoff on a very defined, but uncertain northern location in central Pennsylvania.

Snow Map...

*Note I am accounting for elevation, orographic lift, and mesoscale banding. The 12in+ zone is for those location courtesy of a slightly higher elevation than surrounding areas near 600' and for the optimum location in mesoscale banding. The northward extent in western Pennsylvania is courtesy of orographic lift for southern facing ridges. I do add a sharp cut-off between heavy snow and little to no snow, which will be difficult to pin down. It is already evident the effects the dry air is having on the north side of the system. This line may shift south depending on storm track, especially if HIRES NMM is correct. Keep in mind though despite the northwest trend in guidance on storm day this year, I did go pretty conservative for northern areas accounting for lack of lift and dry air.

Selected City Accumulations for the Northeast...
Hagerstown, MD- Heavy snow; 6-12in of snow.
Baltimore, MD- Heavy snow; 10-19in of snow.
Washington, DC- Blizzard conditions; 10-18in of snow.
Wilmington, DE- Heavy snow; 8-16in of snow.
Dover, DE- Blizzard conditions; 8-15in of snow.
Trenton, NJ- Blizzard conditions; 7-14in of snow.
New York City, NY- Blizzard conditions; 7-14in of snow.
Poughkeepsie, NY- Moderate snow; 3-6in of snow.
Binghamton, NY- Flurries and snow showers; C-1in of snow.
Albany, NY- Flurries and snow showers; C-1in of snow.
Hartford, CT- Heavy snow; 5-10in of snow.
Concord, NH- Mostly cloudy skies.
Providence, RI- Blizzard conditions; 5-10in of snow.
Worcester, MA- Moderate snow; 2-4in of snow.
Boston, MA- Moderate snow; 2-4in of snow.
Nantucket, MA- Blizzard conditions; 5-12in of snow.
Hyannis, MA- Blizzard conditions; 6-12in of snow.
Portland, ME- Flurries and clouds; Trace of snow.
Bangor, ME- Cloudy skies and breezy.
"Subject to Change"

Model Analysis
COMING FRIDAY NIGHT!!!

After the storm...
COMING FRIDAY NIGHT!!!

Please post storm reports in this blog from across the Northeast during the winter storm and please post location of observation in each report...

This blog is in progress. Check back soon...

"Here northeast of Harrisburg 2009-2010 winter statistics"
(Snow Stats)
Current Snow Cover- 9.00in with higher drifts
Monthly Total- 13.0in
Seasonal Total- 13.0in
Winter Weather Advisories- 2
Winter Storm Warnings- 1
Ice Storm Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0
Freezing Rain Advisories- 1
Winter Storm Watches- 1

(Temperature Stats)
Lowest High Temperature- 28.0F
Lowest Low Temperature- 17.1F
Wind Chill Advisories- 0
Wind Chill Warnings- 0

(Winter Storms Stats)
Dec 5 - 1.5in - First accumulating snow of season
Dec 8-9 - 2.5in - Snow changed to plain rain
Dec 13 - .1in - Freezing rain
Dec 19 - 9.0in - Heavy snow, higher amounts to south

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Quoting PalmyraPunishment:
Hmm... apparently Joe Rider (who?) from WGAL thinks that dry air could be a huge factor for us?


Oh him? He's a dead man!
Member Since: July 7, 2004 Posts: 18 Comments: 2989
Hmm... apparently Joe Rider (who?) from WGAL thinks that dry air could be a huge factor for us?
Member Since: January 31, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 2250
Yes, there will be sledding in the streets!
Member Since: July 7, 2004 Posts: 18 Comments: 2989
It's 18.8F here on Cape Cod, MA. 00z UKMET is further east, however it is not that far east. Well at least for Cape Cod, MA it's not that bad. Blizzard have you seen the 00z UKMET yet?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
it's 21 F here in Kutztown......the cold air is here, and the ground will be nice and frozen!
Member Since: December 15, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 987
according to accucrapper this is going to take the whole bakery.

From my observations: 770 pages on one thread, multiple site shutdowns, yelling, model over analysis, and predictions out of thin air I've come to a conclusions.


SNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Member Since: December 15, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 987
HEY! Isn't it time for the old Breadometer? BAHAHHAHAAHAHAHAH
Member Since: January 31, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 2250
I must sleep tonight because tomorrow night will involve only passing out for a few minutes at a time as the snow piles up and the NWS continually ups their snow totals. My most conservative local met, and most famous, Bob Ryan, says 60% chance of more than 10 inches, 30% chance of Historic storm. That's saying a lot for him.
Member Since: July 7, 2004 Posts: 18 Comments: 2989
Bliz... What does this mean for long island on sat and sun?
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Quoting shipweather:
I'm staying up all night, so Blizz feel free to analyze every model that comes in!


Hahaha . . . it may be amateur night tonight, because I'll be up too.
Member Since: December 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 600
Quoting SilverShipsofAndilar:


PHIL! . . . Phil Connors? . . . I sure as heckfire remember you! . . . NED! . . . RYERSON! . . . Needlenose Ned? Ned the Head? I did the whistling belly button trick at the high school talent show!



CLASSIC!!!
Member Since: December 15, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 987
I'm staying up all night, so Blizz feel free to analyze every model that comes in!
Member Since: December 15, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 987
Quoting Blizzard92:
Until I see the 0z ECMWF in the morning, I am not giving too much credit to GFS although totals may in the end be more realistic, we shall see I guess. I like the NWS forecast of 6-10in for the Lower Susquehanna Valley right now.


And 36-48 inches for Annandale, VA!
Member Since: July 7, 2004 Posts: 18 Comments: 2989
Quoting PalmyraPunishment:
Words from the wise from my local mets "It could be a doozy." Boy I am telling you they are just worthless.

WATCH FOR THAT FIRST STEP!!!! IT'S A DOOZY!!!!!


PHIL! . . . Phil Connors? . . . I sure as heckfire remember you! . . . NED! . . . RYERSON! . . . Needlenose Ned? Ned the Head? I did the whistling belly button trick at the high school talent show!
Member Since: December 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 600
I might have to consider sticking around for the State College - LaSalle Game on Saturday. That could be an epic slopfest.
Member Since: January 31, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 2250
Until I see the 0z ECMWF in the morning, I am not giving too much credit to GFS although totals may in the end be more realistic, we shall see I guess. I like the NWS forecast of 6-10in for the Lower Susquehanna Valley right now.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 278 Comments: 15045
Quoting shipweather:
wonder what will become of the PIAA Football AAAA Championship game on Saturday...


You mean the PIAAFAAAACG? That's been postponed indefinitely. Once the snow melts in april they'll sort it out. Who do you like in that game?
Member Since: July 7, 2004 Posts: 18 Comments: 2989
Does Central PA have a bigger chance for bust with the GFS? I mean, QPF is 0.00-0.10 for 9 frames. So do we have a chance for a 0.00-0.90 QPF total? Because we do have quite the track record for busted snow forecasts.
Member Since: December 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 600
Quoting RkTec:
Bliz,

Do you think the initial low placement on the GFS in the south-central GOM could be contributing factor in keeping the system swinging east of the other model guidance?

Current surface maps depict the low further north, than shown on the GFS initialization.



I am not Blizz, but in my opinion the GFS is underdoing the current strength of both disturbances and is perhaps too progressive. The northern jet disturbance is digging southward while the Gulf low is moving northward. Water Vapor is showing a potential phase soon. It is quite cold and windy here on Cape Cod, MA. Blizzard, do you think the Cape will changeover like I do?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Not quite sure about this inch the NWS expects by daybreak. Also Bliz what are your thoughts on virga for this storm?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Words from the wise from my local mets "It could be a doozy." Boy I am telling you they are just worthless.

WATCH FOR THAT FIRST STEP!!!! IT'S A DOOZY!!!!!
Member Since: January 31, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 2250
wonder what will become of the PIAA Football AAAA Championship game on Saturday...
Member Since: December 15, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 987
Quoting HeavySnow:
I'm writing a book too! It's called, "If we don't get a major dump of snow, 15 inches minimum, I'm going to "Go Postal"". It's just a working title. How about, "Heavy Snow or everyone gets it!"


I like!!
Member Since: December 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1743
CTP forecast for Harrisburg...

Friday Night
Cloudy. Snow likely after midnight. Snow accumulation around an inch possible by daybreak. Lows in the mid 20s. Northeast winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 70 percent.
Saturday
Snow...may be heavy at times. Additional moderate snow accumulation. Highs in the upper 20s. North winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 90 percent.
ยป ZIP Code Detail
Saturday Night
Snow likely. Additional light snow accumulation possible. Near steady temperature in the mid 20s. Northwest winds 15 to 20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph. Chance of snow 70 percent.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 278 Comments: 15045
195. RkTec
Bliz,

Do you think the initial low placement on the GFS in the south-central GOM could be contributing factor in keeping the system swinging east of the other model guidance?

Current surface maps depict the low further north, than shown on the GFS initialization.

Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 384
I'm writing a book too! It's called, "If we don't get a major dump of snow, 15 inches minimum, I'm going to "Go Postal"". It's just a working title. How about, "Heavy Snow or everyone gets it!"
Member Since: July 7, 2004 Posts: 18 Comments: 2989
Quoting RkTec:
GFS continues to be the eastern outlier. Next up the Euro.

Thing this is less than 48hrs away and we go from historic event in some areas in Maryland to just a moderate to heavy event. NOAA needs to invest more attention to the American models. In any case GFS stands alone with no other support, and really it still though shows moderate accumulations for many areas south of I-80.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 278 Comments: 15045
192. RkTec
GFS continues to be the eastern outlier. Next up the Euro.
Member Since: January 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 384
Oh, okay cool. Phasing - I dig it. Let it phase, let it phase, let it phase. Thanks for the info.
Member Since: December 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 600
Finky- Hehe I know. He just makes me laugh.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 278 Comments: 15045
OK I am pumped up now!!!! LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Member Since: December 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1743
Isn't that how they fried Zool and the giant Marshmellow man? Either way, a big explosion occurs which is similar to the jets phasing and hooking us UP! BIG TIME!

Who ya gonna' call?
Member Since: July 7, 2004 Posts: 18 Comments: 2989
Quoting Blizzard92:
Words from the wise from my local mets "It could be a doozy." Boy I am telling you they are just worthless.


Our local met Karl Bohnak is probably one of the best local mets in the Great Lakes. He is always conservative with snowfall....and seems to be always right about it.lol

He even wrote a good history/weather book titled "So Cold a Sky".
Member Since: October 14, 2007 Posts: 173 Comments: 1371
186. Finky
Quoting Blizzard92:
Words from the wise from my local mets "It could be a doozy." Boy I am telling you they are just worthless.


He did go on to say 6-12
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Just signed up to help push you guys over 1000.
Just a novice geek at the beach....milk and bread loaded up...
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Bliz what you expecting from GFS?
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SilverShipsofAndilar- The combination of the phasing and negatively tilted troughs allows for the amplified low to climb the coast with cold air funneling in to the north side of the system (polar jet) and moisture funneling in from the south (subtropical jet).
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 278 Comments: 15045
Quoting Blizzard92:
Words from the wise from my local mets "It could be a doozy." Boy I am telling you they are just worthless.


No, I looked it up. A doozy is when the Nation's Capital gets 40 or more inches of snow. Check Wikepedia. Your locals are great.
Member Since: July 7, 2004 Posts: 18 Comments: 2989
let it phase let it phase let it phase
Member Since: December 15, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 987
But what is the result of phasing? And HeavySnow, given Blizz's definition, isn't phasing more like the Ghostbusters' crossing the streams? And we ALL know what the result of THAT was!
Member Since: December 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 600
Words from the wise from my local mets "It could be a doozy." Boy I am telling you they are just worthless.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 278 Comments: 15045
Quoting SilverShipsofAndilar:
What is phasing?


It's what Captain Kirk and crew do to the klingons and Romulans when attacked. Don't you know Star Trek? Now back to our storm for all history.
Member Since: July 7, 2004 Posts: 18 Comments: 2989
Quoting SilverShipsofAndilar:
What is phasing?

Generally when the subtropical and polar jet in winter subcross over an amplified low. It is a lot more complex, but that is the basics.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 278 Comments: 15045
What is phasing?
Member Since: December 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 600
TheDawnAwakening2- Thanks! This week could be an utter disaster for travelers with threats of snow this weekend, a clipper Monday night, and a another possible snowstorm Christmas eve.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 278 Comments: 15045
I hope you and everyone else are right unclemush. My kids deserve it. I'm going crazy for it! I want the full 40 inches! Nothing less will be accepted.
I saw that comment a while back hurigo! Watch out!
Member Since: July 7, 2004 Posts: 18 Comments: 2989


Look at that pinching going on right to the west of the comma head on water vapor imagery. Phasing could commence in the next 3-6 hours.
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Quoting HeavySnow:
My first local met says good things for us snow lovers. Gooooooooooood things.
Hi It's your turn. :)
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Great Call Blizzard.

WeatherBobNut, glad your wife is feeling better and glad to have you back in time for a potential historic storm. Blizzard, it appears right now that the storm could start off as snow then turn to rain a little and then back to a blizzard. That would be for Cape Cod, MA.
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WU is slow on my computer though.
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From my long term discussion December 12...

With favorable upstream blocking conditions and deep troughing over the east coast under a trough axis over the east coast, I think it is suffice to say the potential for a KU storm over the region is significantly higher than normal. Originally it appeared this current week would behold the time frame of a significant storm, but guidance suggests that the pattern finally is favorable towards next week. Interesting to note, but December typically has the least amount of coastal storms during the month with significant storms sometimes difficult to come by. In fact here in Harrisburg, the largest snowstorm this month was only 13.9in back in 1960. But anything is possible especially in this February-like coastal pattern. If we can get a S/W in the southwest to buckle the jet and allow for gulf moisture to stream up the coast, this all becomes possible. The scenario would seem to be an Alberta clipper dropping out of the Midwest allowing for a miller B low to form near southern North Carolina south of Hatteras. The chances of a winter storm in this period while are high, I think the odds of a bombogenesis low are higher for an offshore low considering the anomaly of the upstream blocking. Also wavelengths favor another significant storm between Christmas and New Years.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 278 Comments: 15045

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About Blizzard92

Cornell University- Atmospheric Sciences Student; Central PA SKYWARN Storm Spotter; American Meteorological Society Member; PA CoCoRaHS Branch Member

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy
65 °F
Partly Cloudy

Personal Weather Stations

Linglestown, PA
Elevation: 520 ft
Temperature: 24.2 °F
Dew Point: 15.2 °F
Humidity: 68%
Wind: Calm
Wind Gust: 9.0 mph
Updated: 10:37 AM EST on January 18, 2014

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