All Weather News

Major Snowstorm Northeast (blizzard potential Long Island to Cape Cod by Friday)

2 Jan 2014, 6:04 am

Arctic Mother Lode

Resolutions for 2014? I have a few and they have nothing to do with my business. This year I’m going to worry less about tomorrow and fixate on today. Spontaneity? What a concept. I’m asking God to make me more patient & tolerant, looking for the good in people – and not judging others, lest I be judged.

Grant me the serenity to put down my smartphone and take in more sunsets.

To need less, want less, waste less and live more simply and sustainably. More time with family & friends – less time agitating about things I can’t change. The future will take care of itself. Oh, and less complaining about the weather, no matter what the temperature. I’m just happy I’m still around to take it in.

Remind me about that last resolution again?

This too shall pass.

* 7 am Monday temperatures (January 6) courtesy of Weather Bell.


The Depths of Winter. I have a semi-educated hunch that the next 7-8 days will bring the coldest temperatures of winter, at least for the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes. The leading edge of the latest cold blast will spin up a major Nor’easter tonight into Friday, with major impacts from New York City to Boston (details below). Much of New England will experience lows near zero by Saturday morning. 2-meter NAM forecast temperatures courtesy of NOAA and Ham Weather.




Lowest Wind Chills Wednesday Morning. It helps to know that much of America is shivering, wind chills dipping to zero from Denver to Oklahoma City and Little Rock, Indianapolis and Cleveland. Map: NOAA.


Counterintuitive, But True. The Iowa Department of Transportation reminds us that spreading more salt on roads when it’s this cold can actually trigger more black ice. Salt works best when air temperatures are between 20 and 32 F. When it’s this cold salt melts ice very slowly, and may actually cause highways to refreeze faster than they would with no salt.


1 In 10 Chance Of Major Snowstorm For 2014 Super Bowl? Apparently there’s some controversy over recent statements made by the New Jersey State Climatologist when asked about a “forecast” for February 2 at The Meadowlands. Some sports writers confused climatology with an actual weather prediction for the day in question. Here’s an excerpt of a story at “…Based on an analysis of 80 years of data gathered at Newark’s weather station, which is the closest long-term station to MetLife Stadium, we found there’s a one out of 10 chance based on past records that it snows during the evening hours of Feb. 2. The record suggests that the largest snow event in the last 80 years on Feb. 2 at Newark is 3.2 inches…”


Alerts Broadcaster Briefing: Issued Wednesday night, January 1, 2014.

Here is what has changed since the late morning briefing:

* Winter Storm Watch upgraded to a Winter Storm Warnings for much of New England; includes New York City, Providence, Hartford & Boston.
* Blizzard Warnings posted for Long Island, where visibilities will fall to near zero in falling/blowing snow Thursday night into Friday morning.
* 4-8″ expected for New York City Tri-State Area – up to 10″ Long Island, as much as 12-14″ from near Providence to Boston (heaviest amounts over Cape Cod).
* Travel conditions gradually worsen during the PM hours Thursday. The heaviest snow and strongest winds come Thursday night into Friday morning. Conditions slowly improve late Friday, but some coastal communities won’t be dug out with traffic flowing (very slowly) until later in the day Saturday.


Overview. Here is the latest snowfall prediction, showing a heavy 4-8″ band from near Peoria to Gary, South Bend, Terre Haute, Ann Arbor and Detroit, with some 10″+ amounts for upstate New York and northern New Jersey. This storm will approach “crippling” criteria from Long Island and New Haven to Providence, Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod and Boston, with 8-14″ snows whipped into 2-3 foot drifts by midday Friday. This will be a cold storm, making it difficult (probably impossible) to prevent even interstates from becoming snow-covered Thursday night and Friday. Friday will be the roughest day from New York to Boston. NAM model guidance: NOAA and Ham Weather.


High-Resolution Solution. The Delaware Valley will pick up 3-4″ of snow, with heavier amounts closer to New York City – heaviest amounts over eastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod to near Providence, where some 10-14″ amounts are expected. Keep in mind this will be a cold, dry, powdery snow – prone to blowing and drifting Thursday night and Friday as wind gusts top 30 mph. Travel can be characterized as somewhere between treacherous and tortured from Thursday night into midday Friday from New York City to Boston. RPM model guidance above: WSI Corporation.


Select City Snowfall Predictions. I think the models have the right idea, plus or minus 2-3″. The big unknown is how long a fetch of moisture will blow off the Atlantic, and whether blizzard conditions will remain offshore, or creep inland for a few hours Friday morning. Also keep in mind that salt and other chemicals lose their effectiveness at temperatures colder than 15F, which means even interstates, including I-95, may be snow-covered after midnight Thursday night.


BPI: Blizzard Potential Index. Here is an overview of where conditions may approach or exceed blizzard criteria over the next 84 hours (35 mph winds and visibility under 1/4 mile in falling/blowing snow). The greatest potential for white-out conditions Thursday night into Friday includes Long Island to coastal Connecticut, Cape Cod and Boston. Map: Ham Weather.


Timing The Storm. Our internal BPI index shows near-blizzard conditions over Long Island and coastal Connecticut by midnight Thursday night, lingering into the late morning hours Friday for coastal New England. The storm finally pushes out to sea during the PM hours Friday. Snow will taper to flurries, but 15-25+ mph winds will continue to spark moderate drifting as wind chills dip to zero or below. The risk of frostbite and hypothermia peaks Friday morning and midday. Map sequence: Ham Weather.


Blizzard Warning. The L.I.E. will be an even bigger basket case by Thursday night, and I expect a rash of cancellations (schools and businesses) on Friday as the storm peaks during the morning hours. The heaviest snow and strongest winds set up over the Atlantic, putting Long Island in the crosshairs for some of the most extreme conditions. Travel will get progressively worse as you head east on the Long Island Expressway by Thursday night, and near-blizzard conditions may extend farther north, from New Haven to Groton, Newport and Providence, as well as Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. The most extreme blizzard conditions may stay just south of Boston, but Cape Cod will see extreme winter conditions Friday morning.

Summary: The major winter storm we’ve been tracking this week is still on the way, and impacts will be widespread, especially Thursday night into the early afternoon hours. Coastal New England and Long Island will bear the brunt of the storm, but with rapidly falling temperatures and low visibility I could see very significant impacts for New York City’s 3 airports by Thursday evening, with delays and cancellations extending into at least midday Friday. The dry/fluffy nature of the snow from this system favors blowing and drifting, but very cold temperatures should insure all-snow; no ice – which lowers the risk of widespread power outages. We’ll keep an eye on the maps and the models and fine-tune expectations further Thursday morning.

Paul Douglas – Senior Meteorologist – Alerts Broadcaster


2013’s Wild, Unforgettable Weather: A Roundup. LiveScience has the highlights and lowlights of a fairly quiet year, overall, for the USA, with a few notable exceptions: “Floods, fires and typhoons — weather fueled by heat led the news in 2013. In Colorado and central Europe, tropical moisture fed heavy rains and floods. Australia was ravaged by heat waves and wildfires for much of the year. Warm Pacific Ocean temperatures fueled major tropical storms that devastated the Philippines and Asia. The unusually warm temperatures are on pace to set a heat record, making 2013 one of the warmest years in more than a century, according to a report released in December by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). The first 11 months of 2013 are the fourth warmest (averaged around the globe) since record-keeping started 134 years ago…”

Image credit above: “Super Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest storm seen during the satellite era, was spotted by the Japan Meteorological Agency’s MTSAT on Nov. 7, 2013, as it headed toward landfall over the Philippines.” Credit: Japan Meteorological Agency/NOAA.


Compared To 2 Previous Years, 2013 Was A Paper Tiger. Meteorologist Andrew Freedman has a good summary of what was a relatively quiet year for the USA, at least compared to the insanity of 2011 and 2012; here’s an excerpt from Climate Central: “The U.S. suffered its share of extreme weather and climate events in 2013, from a monster tornado that flattened large parts of Moore, Okla., to the driest year on record in California. But compared to the blockbuster calamities of the previous 2 years, 2013 stands out more for its relative tameness. Mother Nature’s most powerful storms — hurricanes — were unusually absent from the North Atlantic. Not a single hurricane made landfall in the U.S., and no major hurricanes of Category 3 or above intensity even formed. In addition, the longstanding drought that had gripped much of the nation abated. And for the first time in 20 years, daily record low temperatures outnumbered daily record highs…”

Climate Central Infographic featured above is here.

2013 In Review: Extreme Weather – In Pictures. Here’s an excerpt of a 20 slide recap of some of the more unusual and extreme weather events of 2013, courtesy of The Guardian: “2013 was the seventh warmest year on record and saw one of the strongest cyclones, some of the longest heatwaves and the most topsy-turvy weather experienced in decades.”

Image credit above: “On 7 November typhoon Haiyan made landfall in Guiuan, Eastern Samar, in the Philippines, with sustained winds of 145-195mph, by some measures the most powerful storm on record to strike land. This composite of satellite images shows the fearsome size of Haiyan as it headed towards the Philippines.” Photograph: Japan Meteorological Agency and EUMETSAT/Barcroft Media.


Heatwave Declared As Queensland Interior Swelters Through Record-Breaking Temperatures. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has details and a video clip; here’s a clip: “A heatwave has officially been declared in parts of inland Queensland, where scorching weather is smashing records and prompting health warnings. The mercury has soared above 40 degrees Celsius in a number of areas over recent days, and the sweltering weather is set to continue…”


Weather Forecasting Is About To Improve With Satellite Launch. The launch of a new low-orbiting satellite may help the initialization of global weather models, the quality of data we put into the simulations that drive weather forecasts. Here’s an excerpt from Global Post: “NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency announced the launch of a precipitation satellite that will enhance how we understand the climate. The Global Precipitation Measurement Core Observatory satellite will be launched on February 27 from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center and will measure precipitation and energy cycles. Researchers say that it will improve weather forecasting worldwide. “Launching this core observatory and establishing the Global Precipitation Measurement mission is vitally important for environmental research and weather forecasting,” said Michael Freilich, director of NASA’s Earth Science Division in Washington…”

Image credit above: “Artist concept of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory satellite.” (NASA/Courtesy)




Five Ways Television Can Save Itself In 2014. Quartz has the story – here’s an excerpt: “This was a game-changing year for the television industry, as Netflix—and the rise of other streaming video carriers—forever altered the way that we consume TV. So how are the networks supposed to thrive in this strange new world of streaming, stacking and binge-viewing? By making, and following, these five resolutions for 2014:


1. Cultivate more event programming

While fewer viewers are watching “live” programming each year (see below), the monster ratings for NBC’s The Sound of Music Live! (18.6 million viewers, its highest non-sports Thursday night ratings since 2004) prove that audiences will still flock to live TV for event shows. In June, 13 million Discovery viewers held their breath while Nik Wallenda successfully wire-walked across the Grand Canyon (live, of course)...”


This Amazing Dog With A Mustache Deserves Your Complete Attention. Yes, “before we go” let’s admire this little pooch with a perfectly natural mustache. I wish I could grow one that good. Details in this amazing pictorical from Buzzfeed.





My Photo

Welcome to the WeatherNation blog. Every day I sift through hundreds of stories, maps, graphics and meteorological web sites, trying to capture some of the most interesting weather nuggets, the stories behind the forecast. I’ll link to stories and share some of the web sites I use. I’m still passionate about the weather, have been ever since Tropical Storm Agnes flooded my home in Lancaster, PA in 1972. I’ve started 5 weather-related companies. “EarthWatch” created the world’s first 3-D weather graphics for TV stations – Steven Spielberg used our software in “Jurassic Park” and “Twister”. My last company, “Digital Cyclone”, personalized weather for cell phones. “My-Cast” was launched in 2001 and is still going strong on iPhone, Android and Blackberry. I sold DCI to Garmin in 2007 so I could focus on my latest venture: WeatherNation. I also write a daily weather column for The Star Tribune And if you’re on Twitter, you’ll find me @pdouglasweather.

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