Thursday, January 4, 2018

A (Likely) Final Entry on the Big Nor'easter This Week and 2018 Preview: Many More Dispatches from Fiery, Furious, Fubared TrumpWorld

Keating Hall and surrounding grounds on a snowy evening, Fordham University, New York City.

I found this undated picture online.


Late night -- or rather, the 2AM wee hours -- as I post this entry, which is a follow-up to my previous weather-related posting.

It's snowing here in D.C. and there is a coating on the ground. The much-discussed storm is winding up and intensifying, but the well offshore track is such that the relatively forecasted amounts of 1 to 3 inches here in the D.C. area and even into the Baltimore area are likely to verify.

The 0Z Jan. 4, 2018 NAM 3-km resolution model showing total forecasted snowfall amounts for the NECONUS through hour 36 / 12Z Jan. 5, 2018 as prettied up by

This uses a general 10:1 snowfall-to-liquid ratio that might not be valid in a cold storm like this.


The coastal Delmarva, the New Jersey shore area, New York City and Long Island, and into New England and eastern Canada will get more -- anywhere from 6 to 12 to 18+ inches in the highest total areas of the Canadian Maritime provinces.

The 0Z Jan. 4, 2018 run of the 3-km resolution NAM showing precipitation rate (in mm/hr.), mean sea level pressure (in hPa), and 1000-500mb thicknesses for the northeastern quadrant of the U.S. valid at hour 14 / 14Z (9AM EST) January 4, 2018, as prettied up by the site.


As for the developing low, here is a portion of the Philadelphia / Mount Holly (PHI) area forecast discussion from earlier tonight under the header "mesoscale analysis" (broken up by some other weather-related imagery):

A high impact winter storm is still expected to track up the east coast tonight and Thursday. The first issue is the actual formation of this low. Model data has struggled for the past several days regarding how the storm forms with competing low centers. Modeling has shifted to a more western center closer to the main temperature gradient. A look at SPC mesoanalysis currently shows the western low being more dominant. With this being said, the location of convection will still be an issue as we draw closer to the event.

NWS composite radar mosaic for the NECONUS looped 0348-0458UTC January 4, 2018.


The further offshore convection fires the less moisture moves into our region. As a result, the trend has been more precipitation showing up with the afternoon model data given tendencies to the western low. On the flip side, a concern still remains that dry air on the backside of the storm could still lower QPF totals from the current forecast.

Sterling (LWX) NWS radar in standard mode base reflectivity looped 11:42PM Jan. 3, 2018 - 12:36AM EST Jan. 4, 2018


The low pressure system will organize overnight and spread snow northwest into our region. The 12Z 1/3 NAM soundings are near freezing a few thousand feet up near the coast so some sleet could mix in at times tonight.

Dover (DOX) NWS radar in standard base mode reflectivity looped 2:06AM - 2:47AM EST Jan. 4, 2018.


Snow within the bands does have the potential to be moderate or heavy at times with mesoscale models keying on this. Thus, large differences in totals over short ranges could occur. Winds will increase as well with bufkit soundings yielding gusts from 30-50 mph in spots. Blowing and drifting of snow are major concerns.

The above discussion jibes well with what Twitter user "Cranky Weather Guy" wrote here:

Tweet with hybrid satellite image and explanation by Twitter user crankyweatherguy; source here.


I was going to post the earlier Sterling (LWX) area forecast discussion, but the forecaster there just wrote the obvious while adding his opinion about how lucky we are that the storm will stay offshore -- there was no dynamically or thermodynamically-relevant discussion ("This will turn out to be an extremely impressive storm by the time it reaches Nova Scotia in about 24 hours, with a central pressure on par with some Category 3 hurricanes. Fortunately for our region, it will only be a glancing blow ...")

NWS high-resolution surface weather map for a portion of the eastern U.S. valid 0Z January 4, 2018.

The low still has a ways to go before it bombs out to about 953mb.


OK, that's all for now.

Unless something significant changes and we get more snow here than forecasted, I'm not going to mention this storm again. I'm tired of talking about it. However, I'll probably mention again the bitterly cold temps that are forecasted for the remainder of the week before a warmup by Sunday/Monday. 

Instead, I would like to return to discussing all things Donald Trump and his profound mental unfitness for office (and the shameful enabling of him by the GOP).

In the meantime, the new book Fury and Fire: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff made a suitably explosive arrival today.

Here is a New York magazine set of excerpts with one of the accompanying illustrations by Jeffrey Smith posted above (link embedded):
Donald Trump Didn't Want to Be President.


As the briefest of updates, I made it to the gym tonight -- second night running -- but for tomorrow, I'll stop at Trade or No. 9. Of course, I'm practically broke until Friday pay day. The Christmas / New Year's holiday season was pricey for all the going out I did.

My next planned entry will be on Friday.

Left: Bullmastiff puppy pictures never get old.


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