2:00pm Tuesday, December 10, 2013:
This morning's storm turned out pretty much as expected with 2 to 5
inches of snow falling across much of the county (2 inches near E-town
and around 5 inches in many spots south of Route 30). This brief storm
was a classic jet stream driven event with a narrow band of briefly
heavy snow--if you were under this band it was impressive! Skies are
now clearing and temps will thud tonight. Most locations will see lows
of 10 - 15 degrees, and a few cold spots might dip into the single
digits. Imagine this: Even colder air is on the way in the form of an
Arctic front that will pass through Wednesday evening. A snow shower
is possible with the front (and on Thursday), as gusty northwest winds
usher in the coldest air of the young season. High temps Thursday will
struggle into the low 20s and overnight lows will be in the singles
and teens Thursday night.
Milder air is going to return to the region this weekend. Good
news, right? Actually, the warm air will come with a southern branch
storm that, like last Sunday's storm, will have split low
pressures...one tracking to our west and one tracking up the coast.
With snow cover and Arctic high pressure in place, it's a good bet
that low-level cold air will hold throughout this storm (just as it
did this past Sunday and Monday). Consequently, the outcome could be
much the same with a period of accumulating snow on Saturday followed
by an extended period of ice Saturday night into Sunday morning. It
will be a couple more days until I can nail down details, but it could
be a mess for weekend travelers. A final thought: With such widespread
snow pack and cold air in place heading into the weekend there's a
chance the coastal low dominates while the west-tracking low
fizzles--if so, the weekend storm could end up being mostly snow...in
which case 6+ inches is possible. That said, this is NOT my official
forecast right now! My official forecast is for "snow Saturday
changing to ice Saturday night."
With such a wintry week, surely next week will bring improvement,
right? Perhaps...or perhaps not. There are some signs that an even
colder Arctic air mass could arrive following the weekend
storm...which might mean the first sub-zero readings in a decade! Ho,
ho, ho....a present from the North Pole!
Submit your snowfall reports to the MUWIC. Click here >> (Friendly reminder: Do NOT measure
snowfall on the grass--measure on an air-cooled deck, picnic table,
View snowfall reports from today, here.
Noon Monday, December 9, 2013:
I could focus this entire discussion on yesterday's fascinating storm
which produced a bull's eye of heavy snow just outside of Philly. A
foot of snow was measure in a small area near Newark, and the Eagles
game was an instant classic with 8 inches falling during the game!
Locally, 3 inches was the average in Lancaster with 2 inches in
northern areas and 4 inches in SoLanCo.
Rather than breakdown Sunday's storm any further, let's take a
close look at Tuesday's quick-hitting event...which is equally
fascinating. While Sunday's snow was triggered by strong frontal
lifting, Tuesday's storm will be focused by a potent jet stream
disturbance that will race over the region in about 6 hours. Moisture
and duration are limited, but temperatures, cloud moisture, and lift
will coincide almost perfectly aloft (12,000 - 18,000 feet) between
6:00am and 10:00am for a brief period of excellent dendrite growth.
I'm not exactly sure exactly where this small bull's eye of snow
generation will end up, but this small spot could get 6 to 8 inches in
just a few hours time. More widespread/common will be a 2 to 5 inches
of snow with a drop off to 1 - 3 over northcentral PA.
Canadian high pressure builds in Tuesday night and Wednesday ahead
of an Arctic front coming for Wednesday evening. A snow shower is
possible with the front, and then Thursday will be windy and cold with
highs in the 20s and wind chills in the teens. Lake effect snows will
fly in the usual places, and a few flurries may make it down into our
area. Summing: the period Sunday (yesterday) through Thursday is about
as wintry as things get in our area in early December. Who says "it
doesn't get cold and snowy like it used to?" (Whomever says that is
"First Call" Storm
Outlook map for Tuesday AM (Issued: 12:00pm Monday)