A storm is bringing snow, changing to ice, to the metro DC area today.
It’s a foretaste of things to come for the NYC area.
The storm will sprinkle us with light snow, but the dry air at the surface will evaporate the snow before it gets to the ground, until after 5pm. Steadier snow over night, becoming rain in NYC and along the coast.
The question is how long snow, and more worrisome, ice will last inland.
The further inland, the longer the time when ice falls, as less dense warm air rides over the colder air near the ground, resulting in rain above freezing to ice pellets on the way down.
Stay tuned for updates!
10am update – the Weather Service notes that winds are coming from the northeast sooner than predicted and may help moisten the atmosphere sooner. No snow before 3pm, but perhaps soon after that. By 5pm sunset, steady light snow may be falling. 1 inch in the city and coast before changing to rain; 2 -3 interior areas, with some ice fall from Poughkeepise northward.
NWS is looking to see if snow is breaking out faster or not.
Look for an update on snow amounts early this afternoon.
Here’s the 11am statement…
SNOW IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP THIS AFTERNOON FROM SOUTHWEST TO
NORTHEAST ACROSS THE REGION. WHILE SNOW MAY BE INITIALLY
LIGHT…IT CAN EASILY REDUCE VISIBILITIES DOWN TO A MILE…AND
WITH ANY BRIEF MODERATE OR HEAVY SNOW…VISIBILITIES WILL REDUCE
TO BELOW A HALF MILE. SOME SLEET WILL MIX IN THIS EVENING.
TEMPERATURES WILL BE COLD ENOUGH FOR SNOW TO ACCUMULATE UP TO A
FEW INCHES ESPECIALLY ON ELEVATED AND UNTREATED SURFACES.
THIS WILL MAKE FOR SLIPPERY CONDITIONS ON UNTREATED SURFACES AS
WELL AS BRIDGES AND OVERPASSES. THIS ALONG WITH REDUCED
VISIBILITIES WILL MAKE TRAVEL HAZARDOUS. IF TRAVELING THIS
AFTERNOON OR EVENING AND ENCOUNTERING THESE CONDITIONS…DRIVE
EXTRA SLOWLY AND PROCEED WITH EXTRA CAUTION.
Most of the time, there’s not too much attention to storms so many days in advance, except for those of us who love looking at long-range weather forecast models, even though we know it’s likely not to come to fruition.
But because this storm is near the peak travel days for Thanksgiving, there is more attention than usual.
There will be a storm; the question is what track it will take and when it will get its act together. Why such a problem this time? The energy in the upper atmosphere needed to complete this storm is tied up in an upper air storm over southern California. It’s harder to tell when the energy spinning around upper air storms is going to spin off from the storm or if the whole upper air system will move. So it’s more of a guessing game than usual as to when the pulse of energy will swing eastward and if it will combine with an other pulse of energy now south of Alaska. And like trapeze artists, the storm will be successful if the timing of the pulses is just right.
Consider when you have plans to travel in the eastern United States for Thanksgiving and check with your favorite weather provider for updates on the latest variations in the outcomes predicted by the forecast models.
The best place right now, in addition to the National Weather Service forecasts and forecast discussions, is the Capital Weather Gang on the Washington Post blog. CWG is talking about what the models are predicting, what it means for the mid-Atlantic and northeast states and – most importantly – what the variations in the forecast models mean and what level of certainty we should expect.
At this point, the general forecast is a storm off the eastern coast, with most areas getting a cold rain, but with lots of cold air before and after the storm. More like mid-January than late November!
… and a clear eastern horizon.
Here’s a photo of the eastern horizon with my Canon XS with the 50mm F 1.2 lens at 5:35 am this Wednesday morning.
Can you find the comet?
Neither could I, until I looked closely at the photo and a map of ISON’s location in the sky.
ISON is getting lower each day as it plunges toward its close approach to the Sun on Thanksgiving Day.
TEMPO 1810/1811 20025G40KT 1SM SHRA BR
FM181100 23010G18KT P6SM SCT025 BKN080
FM181500 26016G24KT P6SM SKC
FM182300 27013KT P6SM SKC
AMD NOT SKED=
What does this mean?
It’s the aviation forecast* for Westchester County Airport, north of White Plains, NY, forecasting winds of 25 knots (about 30 miles per hour) with gusts to 40 knots (about 45 mph) between 1000 and 1100 GMT (5 to 6am) with moderate rain showers.
This will be much worse in upstate NY (Rochester is predicting winds to 30 to 50 mph from midnight through noon Monday!).
After skies clear around NYC on Monday, winds around midday will be 16knots gusting to 24 kt, so hold on to your hats!
*Called a TAF or Terminal Area Forecast.
A massive cold air mass will overtake some rain showers falling over the northeast coast of the United States overnight, making snow showers from about 5am to noon on Tuesday morning.
The showers may look very impressive, whitening the ground at times Tuesday morning.
Check the forecast in the morning before you go out!
Here’s this evening’s forecast of snow accumulations for the NYC area…..
Most snow forecast anywhere along the coast is about an inch in southeastern Massachusetts.
Brighter Comet Lovejoy was easier to find than Comet ISON in the cloud-streaked sky this morning November 11, 2013. Clouds blocked the part of sky where ISON is located for most of the early morning. ISON was not visible in the photos I took when the clouds moved away.
Here’s the photo – Canon XS 50mm lens – 30 second exposure.
Can you find the comet?
You could enlarge it and try to find it, but here – I’ve cropped the top of the photo to narrow down the search:
The stars and the comet are streaks because the stars appeared to move due to the Earth’s rotation during the 30 second long exposure.
That’s the planet Venus – assuming what you see doesn’t have a blinking light next to it and moves away (that’s an airplane).
Venus is brighter than all the other stars and planets now. Only the Moon and Sun are brighter. Occasionally the International Space Station is almost as bright, moving slowly through our sky.
Here’s a chart showing Venus about 10 degrees above the horizon – see the Sun well below the horizon. The horizon line is across the middle of the chart – marked 00.00 degrees.