Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tuesday Evening Blizzard Update

From last night: Nightime satellite view
of the nor'easter. Click on the image to make it bigger
and easier to see.  
There's been such  hue and cry today about how many of the forecasts for New York City incorrectly called for a record or near record deep snowstorm. 

What's being ignored, it seems, is the forecast for New England was almost flawless.

But the media center of the world is New York, not Boston. If it didn't happen in New York, it didn't happen anywhere, despite what you might see out your Havahd Yahd window.

However, the forecast for the eastern half of Massachusetts was for 24 to 36 inches with locally higher amounts. and they GOT 24 to 36 inches. Westford, Mass. has so far reported the most - 35.8 inches.

With snow continuing to fall this evening, there might be a few spots that get more than 36 inches.

The National Weather Service office in Taunton, Mass., near Boston, also said peak wind gusts on Cape Cod and the Islands would be between 70 and 80 mph. The peak gust in this storm was 78 mph in Nantucket.

The NWS also said there would be significant storm surge and coastal flooding today, and indeed there was.

I'm sure other forecasting offices will refine how they make forecasts. The National Weather Service office in the New York City area knew there would be a sharp cutoff of snow amounts as you head west from the Hudson Valley.

They misjudged by only about 30 miles where that cutoff would be, which is actually a good forecast. I just don't think they conveyed to the public ahead of the storm how much uncertainty there was in the forecast

Nor'easter always confound. Up here in Vermont, the forecast was basically right in southern and eastern Vermont was basically right, although snow totals were a little lighter than expected.

Then this afternoon, one of the intense snow bands from the nor'easter broke away, and traveled westward across Vermont, and held together remarkably well, despite having to cross the Green Mountains.  
An unexpectedly heavy snow band on the outer edges
of the big nor'easter passes through St. Albans, in
northwestern Vermont this afternoon.  

The snow band slowed down to a near stall in the Champlain Valley, dumping an unexpected three to five inches of fluffy, windblown snow in just three hours or so.

What are ya going to do, right?

Anticipate more snow. It likes the northeastern United States has an active weather pattern coming up.

A weaker storm coming in from the west could drop another two to five inches of snow, mostly in northern New England.

There's the chance of another nor'easter Monday, but I'm going to hold off on more details with that because things are really, REALLY uncertain as to how that's going to develop, if at all.

And it's going to be wicked cold. Especially early next week, where 30 below zero readings in cold mountain valleys of northern New England is a possibility.

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