Tropical update, storms across the US

Tropical Storm Blas has formed off of the west coast of Mexico. It is expected to stay offshore, becoming a hurricane later today before it encounters adverse conditions Friday and begins to decay. Other that some higher than normal waves shouldn’t be a problem. Elsewhere, two “invest” areas are being tracked by NHC, both near Central America. The GFS model shows the one off of Nicaragua (AL932022) moving across Belize/Yucatan perhaps reaching tropical storm strength. The outlook for one off of Costa Rica isn’t so clear, it will probably bring rains to the region but how organized it gets isn’t obvious yet. Here’s the map …

Tropical Outlook, 15 June 2022

Some strong thunderstorms wandered through coastal Georgia yesterday, caused some scattered damage. The NWS Local Storms Report database shows quite a few trees down and power outages across the region …

Red icons are thunderstorm damage

Wild contrasts in weather across the country. While there are record droughts in some areas (link to UNL Drought Monitor), in Montana and Wyoming Yellowstone National Park is closed (link to NPS) and the Yellowstone River is overflowing, causing significant damage. The North Entrance road that many visitors use to get into the park from the Montana side via Mammoth Hot Springs looks like this right now …

Big nor’easter to hit the Northeast this weekend; insanity in Eastern Europe

Not much to add to yesterday’s post. The current summary from the National Weather Service is the best, least drama free summary. The key message:

Moderate to heavy snow and gusty winds are forecast to materialize along the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast coasts this evening as the low arrives off the coast of North Carolina. Some moderate to heavy amounts are also likely to spread into parts of the Central and Southern Appalachians. Heavy snow and intense winds are then expected to develop over New England on Saturday as the Nor’easter continues to intensify off the Northeast coast. Blizzard conditions are forecast from eastern Long Island through much of coastal New England, particularly from southeast Maine to Cape Cod. This will make travel nearly impossible. Significant beach erosion and coastal flooding will also be a concern.

WPC Short term forecast (available at this link)

For those in Coastal GA/SC, the chances of rain are not as high as forecast yesterday. Temperatures will be right at or just below freezing tonight, but in the mid 20’s in Savannah, and lower 20’s in Beaufort County (warmer on the islands; Hilton Head and Tybee will barely go below freezing this weekend). So nothing dramatic, but protect delicate plants, etc. However if you do need drama, it’s almost February 2nd …

Lots going on in the world, especially Ukraine. Will have some words on that this weekend. The rhetoric and posturing is insane. Watching Russian TV, reading Ukrainian sources, European news, not to mention the fantasy world of the US media bubble, is an extreme Rashōmon experience. Trying to unravel it and provide some perspective is hard, but I’ll give it a shot …

Winter produces another Winter Storm!

TLDR: A cold front moving through the east coast will cause a low in Florida to spin up and zoom northward, a classic nor’easter situation, so the Southeast will get cold, and the Northeast US and Canadian Maritime Provinces will get a snowstorm.

First, let’s see what a real meteorologist has to say:

Who needs that oversized rat to do a forecast?

Well, except that last part: I think it’s a safe bet Winter will only last until Spring. OK, now that we’ve got the required doom out of the way, let’s see what the actual data looks like. As usual, the exact track will determine how much snow the northeast will get. The various models all show a significant winter storm developing, but wobbles make a lot of difference as to which areas get the most snow. Here is what the GFS predicts for Saturday afternoon, model run as of this morning (Thursday 27 Jan). Dark blue is heaviest snow.

Classic Nor’easter for the Northeast. (sorry the boundaries are hard to see). Click to embiggen.

A couple of feet of snow is possible, which will create the usual mess. This storm will also, as usual, create flight delays. Winds are one potentially real concern with this storm – they could reach strong tropical storm force in places along the coast north from New York and northwards, especially the Massachusetts coast. Such strong onshore winds will produce coastal flooding, with surges to 2-3 feet above normal high tides (which are already above average since we’re almost at new moon).

For the Coastal GA/SC area, the storm itself won’t develop until the system is far to our north. Inland will of course be colder, east of I-95 will see a couple of nights at or below freezing, especially Saturday which will likely reach the mid 20’s Saturday night. So protecting delicate plants and making sure outside/exposed hoses are drained is a good idea. Generally pipes should be ok unless really exposed and not insulated. Soil temperatures here in Savannah are still in the mid 40’s, and you’ve got to get on the other side of Macon before you see freezing ground temperatures. But there’s nothing wrong with a slow drip if you’re worried. Just don’t forget to turn it off, and watch for the mud under the faucet 🙂 …

Icy doom descends on GA/SC Coast

As the huddled denizens of the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry awaken to the dark and gloomy dawn, frantic weathercasters engage in verbal warmups and syntactical gymnastics as they stretch and bend to keep viewers and readers engaged and clicks coming despite the diminishing threat of actual winter weather … 😛 In all seriousness, doesn’t look bad, but still some precautions are smart, even if you don’t need to hoard food like this guy:

Scrat, clearly the hero of the Ice Age movies.

Probably just rain in Savannah, east of I 95 and south of the Broad River in SC (eg Hilton Head, Bluffton). Any icy precip isn’t likely to be significant. Temperatures are dropping all day, and will be around freezing overnight. As you go north or east from there, the chances of seeing some ice increase, and inland like Claxton, Allendale, Charleston, etc. ice may accumulate some overnight. The main risk is for slick patches on sidewalks, and on the roads for a few hours late tonight and in the morning. The main risks for any problems are north of I-26 (Moncks Corner, SC). Still, be alert even down to the Savannah area just in case. The forecast looks pretty good at this point, but it’s going to be close to freezing along the coast, and if temps are a degree or so colder, or rain persists longer than expected, in theory could get more than expected. But it’s not likely. And, of course, it doesn’t take ice for people to drive stupid around here, a little rain works just fine … already hearing about accidents.

It will be cold (well, for us, anyway). While it won’t likely go below freezing overnight in Savannah, tomorrow night will be in the 20’s, and Sunday at or slightly below freezing as well. Either way, obviously animals need to be inside both nights, and not a bad idea to protect delicate plants for the next couple of days.

#Ice Age coming to #CoastalGA, #Lowcountry of SC

TLDR: maybe some freezing rain late Friday Night into Early Saturday morning, probably not any significant accumulation in Beaufort and points south, as you get closer to Charleston the potential for significant ice increases. See the NWS Charleston Forecast office (which is responsible for both Georgia north of Darien and the SC Coast) for updates. Further south is under the Jacksonville office (their forecast is boring today). Here’s the current forecast (Thu Morning for Friday/Saturday):

As with most weather systems, once we get into the 48 hour range confidence grows quickly until, 2-4 weeks later, we have a good picture as to what happened 😛 ! But in all seriousness, what this looks like for Coastal GA and the Lowcountry is not a big deal. Sorry, no snow this time, maybe next week (but that’s too far out to get excited about). Most of the areas in light yellow (< 0.1 inch) it won’t be a problem. That band north of Charleston gets closer to the warning criteria of 0.25 inches, when you start to worry about power outages, tree limbs breaking, that sort of thing. Either way, south of that (including coastal Georgia) if you have to go out Saturday morning be careful on bridges and watch for slick spots. By noon it will all be gone. Otherwise, a couple of cold days are coming up. Hopefully it kills off some bugs since spring is coming …

Coastal GA/SC #Snowmageddon this week?

As the last normal winter storm is moving north today (Monday 17 Jan), leaving normal if inconvenient amounts of snow and ice, the forecast models are starting to indicate another storm brewing for later this week, but this time, some of them are showing freezing precipitation into the SC Lowcountry and perhaps even the Coastal Georgia/Savannah area itself …

Left is snow depth forecast, right is precipitation type, 06Z GFS model forecast for Friday afternoon.
Click to embiggen.

Now, at this point, there’s not a lot of confidence in any of this. Run-to-run and model-to-model consistency has been terrible, so nothing to get excited about, but I expect the local weather folks will start to mention it, and schools and workplaces would be smart to at least think about it quietly to themselves. The most likely event will be a rain/snow mix on Friday, which is what the current NWS Forecast is showing for downtown Savannah. Towards Charleston there is a greater chance of icy conditions sticking and being a bigger problem, but inland Georgia will possibly see some icy roads as well Friday night.

Southeast #Snow Update

First, a reminder: WINTER STORMS DON”T HAVE NAMES! There is a note on this below; please click to experience the full ranty goodness. TLDR: a normal winter storm is moving through the south, it’s not a terrible one, but could produce snow (nice) and ice hazards (not nice) in a few places. Here is how things look about 7:12am this morning … on the left is the radar intensity, on the right is the surface precipitation type:

Click to embiggen.

Notice the “warm nose” poking into North Georgia, and the dry slot (the area in the middle where it isn’t raining much). As the storm moves east today these will wrap around. Some areas in SC that are getting snow now will have it change back over to freezing rain/sleet or just rain. Atlanta is still in the rain band, will likely switch over to freezing mix today. This is setting up for a mess in the morning, and you will start to see advisories and warnings about black ice in a band running along and north of I-20 for in the morning that will include Atlanta, Columbia, etc. Fortunately it’s a work holiday for many people, but if you are traveling check the advisories and be careful. People in the South don’t know how to drive. In winter either. 😛

I also need to rant, as I do every year, that WINTER STORMS DO NOT HAVE OFFICIAL NAMES!  There is a certain “weather channel”, who shall go unnamed as well, which started to give winter storms names as a marketing ploy to engage (eg scare) people and try to keep the hurricane hype going into the off season.  A note to journalists: The AP Stylebook guidelines say don’t do it.:

  Major storm names provided by government weather agencies, the European Union or the World Meteorological Organization are acceptable. Do not use names created by private weather agencies or other organizations.

It’s a gimmick. Research shows it doesn’t help preparedness (and may actually harm it). Please don’t contribute to hyping normal weather; save it for the truly dangerous stuff.

Update on #Southern #Snowmageddon 2022

Yes, icy dooom stalks the land. OK, we’ve got that out of the way, while there will be icy precip and snow across north Georiga (and Atlanta needs to worry about black ice for the daily Mad Max reenactment at rush hour Monday morning) it looks like the risk for a real ice storm is more to the east, in South Carolina and into North Carolina. Here’s the NWS watches for north Georgia …

Visit https://www.weather.gov/ffc/ for more

and ice accumulation for South Carolina …

Visit https://www.weather.gov/cae/ for more

On the coast it will just be rain, may get pretty windy with gusts upwards of 40mph. The uplands and southern Appalachian Mountains may get up to a foot of snow above 2000′ elevation.

Southeastern #Snowmageddon this weekend?

A strong winter storm system is shaping up for the Southeast this weekend. Those of you in Atlanta might see a wintery mix and a possible ice storm, so go ahead and smash your car since that’s what you guys do if a snowflake falls south of Dalton 😛 . But seriously, could be messy day Sunday. Here’s the forecast radar/precip type mix from the GFS model:

Sunday Morning 11am Forecast

The big worry is for an ice storm. You can see the band of freezing rain in reds and pink that will be sweeping along the edge of the system. Also note the bands of rain (green) and snow (shades of gray/blue). It’s likely to be a very messy day, and gusty winds means if any freezing rain does fall and stick to trees and power lines, scattered power outages are likely. Travel will be messy in places with ice on bridges, that sort of thing. I’m not expecting a major, widespread ice storm in Georgia, but northern South Carolina and North Carolina west of I-95 will likely fall below freezing long enough to create a big icy mess, especially for Monday Morning.

If you’re looking for snow, here is the GFS snow depth forecast. Probably just a trace in the Atlanta area, but in the foothills of GA/SC over an inch, and over a foot in places in the Mountains.

Snow Depth forecast (GFS), 11am Sunday

TLDR: more than likely a messy late weekend and start to the week, the coast will just get rain, north of I-20 will be messy. Will post an update if things look to shape up differently!

#Colorado Fires

The fires in Colorado are clearly visible from satellite. This overlay shows fires detected from the NOAA-20 satellite as flame icons:

click to enlarge.

The fires have jumped into several subdivisions. The early (very preliminary) economic impact estimates are over $500 Million, and the fires are still partly out of control. This is pretty unusual for this time of year, normally there would be snow covering the ground but it has been an unusually warm and dry winter so far, after a very dry summer and fall. Fortunately it looks like snow is already falling this morning, and 3 to 5 inches of accumulation is predicted over the next day or so.