Jan 272011
 

Thursday, January 27, 2011: 8:00 p.m.

Snowstorm photos from Shelton, CT. Some of this really does seem redundant, being the third time I’ve taken photos of my area receiving a foot or more of snowfall. But, I wanted to post these because the snow has been piling up each time, and my little town is really starting to look more like a ski resort than just some random town in CT. Enjoy!

 

My front walkway

My front walkway


 
My neighborhood

My neighborhood

 

My neighborhood

My neighborhood

 

Snow piled high in the parking lot

Snow piled high in the parking lot

 

More snow piled high

More snow piled high

 

Another view of my front walkway

Another view of my front walkway

 

My snowman.  BTW, the snow was NOT cooperating, and it took an inordinate amount of time and effort to make this!

My snowman. BTW, the snow was NOT cooperating, and it took an inordinate amount of time and effort to make this!

 

My driveway and front walkway

My driveway and front walkway

 

More snow piled high

More snow piled high

 

Icicles

Icicles

 

- Jim

Jan 272011
 

Thursday, January 27 2011: Update

I officially received 13 inches of snow from this storm in Shelton, CT. For the winter, that brings Shelton up to around 53 inches since mid December. That’s just nuts!

But there is more. This is now the snowiest January on record for parts of the tri-state region. See below. Apparently my general area (Bridgeport) has shattered the old January snow record of 26 inches set back in 1965 by picking up 42 inches this month. What’s funnier is we’ll probably pick up another couple inches from these two clipper systems coming across this weekend before the month is over. This is turning out to be a winter for the ages…

I also have to bring up the poor performance of the computer models for this storm. None indicated a widespread coastal foot to 18 inches from New Jersey up the CT coast. The model consensus was 4-8″ for the coast and more inland. Furthermore, none indicated the prolonged freezing rain that persisted well into the overnight hours many miles away from the coast. This was an enormous model bust and continues to feed the public’s skepticism about not only the accuracy of local weather forecasts, but their cynical view on meteorology as a science, if they even call it a science at this stage in the game. Any credibility a local meteorologist (in the Northeast) had in the public’s eye this winter is now gone.

On that note I will say the NYC NWS office did significantly increase their snowfall forecast for the tri-state region last night as the event was unfolding. But it hardly matters to the general public, because the forecasts had already been communicated and in the end, the event is seen as a huge bust.

I think we (meteorologists) are just ready for this winter to be over! But I’ll bite my tongue and say as a weather enthusiast, I’m ready for the next big one!!!

- Jim

 
SNOWIEST JANUARY ON RECORD…

CLIMATE SITE… …OLD RECORD… …JANUARY 2011 TOTAL*…
CENTRAL PARK 27.4 INCHES (1925) 36.0 INCHES
NEWARK 31.6 INCHES (1996) 37.3 INCHES
LAGUARDIA 27.6 INCHES (1996) 32.4 INCHES
BRIDGEPORT 26.2 INCHES (1965) 41.8 INCHES
ISLIP 21.5 INCHES (2005) 34.2 INCHES

*MONTHLY SNOWFALL TOTALS AS OF 7 AM JANUARY 27 2011

 
 

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Thursday, January 27 2011 very early a.m.

Shelton, CT snow 1-26-11

Shelton, CT snow 1-26-11


 

The picture above doesn’t give justice to the severity of the snow coming down outside. But we have had complete whiteout snow conditions at times tonight. What’s interesting is it began tonight as a heavy freezing rain/snow mixture. The freezing rain was coming down so hard for well over an hour that I was getting worried about losing power. The longer than expected period of freezing rain was due to overwhelming warm air advection in the mid levels (850 mb), much stronger and more prolonged that computer models had indicated. Either way, freezing rain was the result.

But since then the surface low has lifted further north and east, bringing the strongest warm air advection further east, and consequently changing my area in CT to all snow. And wow, like I said, it’s been very heavy at times. I shot some video from my front door (don’t want to venture out in the cold, high winds and snow and risk getting sick again). Unfortunately, the video gives little justice to what’s really going on. Maybe I’ll post it later, but it’s not very impressive.

- Jim

Jan 242011
 

Monday, 24 January 2011

Another Snowstorm for the Northeast…

12z GFS valid 06z Thursday January 27, 2011

12z GFS valid 06z Thursday January 27, 2011


 

Winter weather enthusiasts should be rejoicing over the incredibly large amount of snow that has fallen across the Northeast this winter. Though, many residents from New Jersey up the east coast to Boston and much of New England aren’t so thrilled. Most areas have already exceeded their normal winter snowfall for the entire season. We are still a week away from February, but another big winter storm is expected to bring more snow to these same areas — again.

Just to put things into perspective, my backyard in Shelton, CT has received a little over 42 inches of snow since December. I don’t actually know what the official count is or anything, but that’s the ballpark number I came up with after adding up all the snow events we’ve had. Needless to say, we’ve had more than our fair share! (I’m not complaining, but many people are, and for good reasons)

So onto the next big event coming Wednesday through early Thursday. I really like the consistency of the European model, and the GFS is finally coming around to that solution (see image). This looks like a 4-8 inch snow event for most coastal areas from northern New Jersey, up the Connecticut coast, but a bigger event further inland. If you live near or north of I-84, you stand a good shot of seeing another foot of snow from this storm, maybe even more in isolated areas. The in-between areas (I’m right on that line, btw) will probably see in the 8-12 inch neighborhood. But before this turns to all snow across the Northeast Wednesday night, there will be an extended period of sleet or a rain/sleet mixture Wednesday afternoon into the early evening, especially along the coast. What a mess!

So basically, the lower Hudson Valley into interior Connecticut, Massachusetts and southern NH/ME are going to get hammered with snow. Awesome. I’ll admit though, I’m getting sick of talking about snow forecasts. But I’m not sick of watching them unfold from my apartment window. In fact I need to do more of that. The last couple snowstorms I spent way too much time outside in the snow, like a little kid (what can I say, I’m a true weather enthusiast). And what happened? I became quite ill for over a week! I think maybe I’ll take it easy for this storm and watch the snow from the comfort of my home and NOT catch another wicked cold. :)

Snow, snow, snow…what else? Eventually this blog will talk about severe weather and tornadoes again (I’ve forgotten what that’s like, and I’m sure many of you have too). But for now we are stuck in the heart of a super cold winter. Speaking of super cold, it was -8F in my backyard this morning! That’s just painful.

Here’s to spring being just around the corner, whatever corner that might be…

- Jim

Jan 122011
 

Wednesday, 12 January 2011: 10:00 a.m. Update

Shelton, CT snow

Shelton, CT snow


 

I received 16 inches of snow in my backyard in Shelton, CT as of around 8:30 a.m. Some spots of course had much more in grassy areas etc. But the most consistent measurement on flat surfaces was indeed 16 inches. Quite a storm! Below are several photos to give you an idea of what this looked like. It’s amazing to see cars covered like the are, and for a whole city to be seemingly shut down from this. Having been raised in the South, this kind of snow isn’t what I’m use to. So I’m fortunate to have the opportunity living here in Connecticut to experience it first hand.

Anyways, I walked all around my neighborhood, through some really deep snow. In some grassy areas the snow was piled up to past my knees! Needless to say, it was a decent little workout getting some of the photos. But fun and well worth it.

- Jim

 

View from my front walkway

View from my front walkway

 

My driveway and garage.

My driveway and garage.

 

My neighborhood

My neighborhood

 

My neighborhood

My neighborhood

 

A ruler wasn't long enough to measure the snow depth

A ruler wasn't long enough to measure the snow depth

 

Service.

Service.

 

Snow covered cars

Snow covered cars

 

Snow covered cars

Snow covered cars

 

Front walkway to my front door.  It's under there somewhere..

Front walkway to my front door. It's under there somewhere..

 

Front walkway (left) with cars on the right, in the parking lot

Front walkway (left) with cars on the right, in the parking lot

————————————————————————————————

Wednesday, 12 January 2011: 4:30 a.m. EST

Shelton, CT snow January 12, 2011  a.m. EST

Shelton, CT snow January 12, 2011 a.m. EST


 

MaryLeigh and I went outside shortly after 3:00 a.m. EST to wonder around in the snow. There was about a foot of snow already on the ground, and as of this post it’s still coming down hard. The wind was gusty, but absolutely nothing like the previous storm. So, there wasn’t any point in shooting video. I’ve included two photos. I have more, but some are blurry and some are not. I said the winds weren’t as bad as the last storm, but they were still gusting to 30-40 mph, making photography with my sub-par still camera diffcult! Plus, I accidentally dropped by camera in the snow and it sunk several inches deep. Well, I guess that’s what happens when you are sick, take a few hour nap to wake up and immediately go outside during a major Nor’easter!

The picture below shows my driveway and garage! I’ll post more pictures and a final snow total later. But as of 3:00 a.m. EST I measured about foot of snow on the ground. Over the past 90 minutes it’s been snowing quite heavily. So, it will be interesting to see what the final accumulation ends up being later this morning.

- Jim

 

Shelton CT snow 3:00 a.m. EST January 12, 2011

Shelton CT snow 3:00 a.m. EST January 12, 2011

Jan 102011
 

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Snowfall forecast from the National Weather Service

Snowfall forecast from the National Weather Service

 
The National Weather Service office in NYC is forecasting anywhere from 8 to 20 inches of snow across the tri-state region. Specifically, Connecticut is favored to receive at least a foot of snow, with some areas approaching the 20-22 inch mark! I’m pretty excited. But at the same time, I’m exhausted. I’ve been feeling under the weather (moreso than usually for anyone that knows me) for a few days now, and sleep hasn’t been happening much for me lately. So, this post is a bit of a struggle to muster.

The NWS is leaning towards the WRF model. That is why they are forecasting 15-20 inches of snow from near Westport/Bridgeport eastward across Connecticut. But the GFS model continues to keep the heaviest snow a bit further east, and today the European model shifted the storm track slightly further east as well. So, I’m not sure I completely agree with the NWS forecast. I would begin the heavy snow band over New Haven and expand it north and east from there. Areas to the west will be in the 12-15 inch range, while areas east of New Haven will be in the 15-20 inch range.

Either way, another big snowfall for Connecticut.

- Jim

————————————————————————————————–
Monday, 10 January 2011

12z Jan 10 WRF model valid 12z Jan 12

12z Jan 10 WRF model valid 12z Jan 12

 
This winter has been rough as far as heavy snow is concerned from the tri-state region surrounding NYC up to much of New England. Last year it was the Mid Atlantic states, namely D.C., that seemed to get hit again and again with heavy snowfall. But every winter is different, and it seems mother nature has targeted the repeat snow events further north this year. So even though only a couple weeks have passed since the blizzard paralyzed the Northeast the day after Christmas, another Nor’Easter is poised to hammer some of the same areas once again Tuesday night into Wednesday (Jan 11/12).

The image shown is the WRF model, initialized 12z January 10, and is valid Wednesday morning, January 12. It show an intense low pressure system a few miles southeast of Long Island, lifting towards the north-northeast. This track will bring 12-15 inches of snow to areas closest to the coast anywhere from northern New Jersey through NYC, southern and western Connecticut, stretching up the I-95 corridor into southern Maine. The further west and northwest you go, the lesser the snowfall accumulations will be. But still, a large portion of New England will receive 6-10 inches of snow from this Nor’Easter.

An interesting thing to point out is the incredible amount of lift and dynamics associated with this system. With regard to that, the WRF model has been showing a period of convective snow, or thunder snow, along the CT coast and near Long Island early Wednesday morning. These are the areas I would expected to likely see 15 inches of snow, with isolated pockets closer to 20 inches!

One thing to watch is if the next couple GFS runs shift the low pressure track slightly further west (closer to the WRF/Euro type solution), or if it stays on course. Because if the WRF/Euro are a bit too far west, then the 12-15 inch snow band will be confined quite close to the coast. But right now it appears that snow band will extend many miles inland indeed.

- Jim

Jan 072011
 

Friday, 7 January, 2011: 8:00 p.m. EST

Shelton, CT

 

A heavy band of snow moved through parts of Connecticut this evening. In the course of just a little over an hour, my backyard in Shelton, CT went from 3-4 inches of accumulation to 6.5-7.0 inches! The snow flakes were enormous and very, very wet. They were coming down at a rate I haven’t seen in some time — if at all. (Other areas about thirty minutes to my north have received has high as a foot of snow.)

This heavy band of snow was brought on by what is a called a NORLUN instability trough. I won’t get into all the technical stuff, but it’s basically a rather narrow band of very, very heavy snow produced by instability. Normally, you only get instability from thunderstorms. But in this case the right dynamics came together near a surface boundary produced partially from ocean interactions, cold air aloft and a ton of lift from upper air dynamics. The result is what the pictures show below. Oh, and I could have sworn I heard a faint rumble of thunder when I was out there!!!!

When I was wondering around like a little kid, I decided to make a snowman (see picture below). I was amazed at how easy it was to make snowballs. The snow was so incredibly wet, I’m not sure it even took ten minutes to complete my masterpiece :) Good times.

 

Shelton, CT

Shelton, CT

 

Stormgasm Snowman

Stormgasm Snowman

 

6.5-7.0 inches of snow

6.5-7.0 inches of snow

 

Huntington Road

Huntington Road

 

Heavy snow illuminated by a street light

Heavy snow illuminated by a street light

 

Shelton, CT

Shelton, CT

 

Shelton, CT

Shelton, CT

- Jim

Jan 072011
 

Friday, 7 January 2011

Snow in CT


 

After receiving over a foot of snow just a few days ago up here in Fairfield County, Connecticut, you would think the standard 2-4 inches of snow wouldn’t be that exciting to someone like me. You know, since I’m a weather enthusiast, and this isn’t anything extreme…right? So I should probably be disappointed. Well, that just isn’t the case at all.

The snow has been coming down pretty heavily at times this afternoon. The flakes have been large and quite wet (yes, I’m talking about the snow). These are two huge differences from the last event (the blizzard), when the flakes were tiny and completely dry. With the 50 mph winds the snow stung when it hit your face!

Today is different. You can actually see the snow falling and you can make out different types and sizes of snow flakes. All I saw during the blizzard was a constant haze. All I felt was pain and wind. Don’t get me wrong, that was an amazing experience. But, I never actually saw snowflakes falling though the sky! Today I did, so that’s good. (I grew up in Nashville, TN, so I have the right to get excited over the small winter events)

Now for the bad news. The snow became heaviest during the afternoon, which made the commute home on I-95 a nightmare. I even left a bit early, but it didn’t seem to matter. Well, at least I’m home now. Maybe I’ll make a snowman later on or tomorrow…

(BTW, all these picture were taken with my cell phone at random. So, these aren’t exactly my best shots….)

 

Snow

Snow in CT

 

Traffic on I-95 north in CT.  Good times....

Traffic on I-95 north in CT. Good times....

 

More snow

More snow

- Jim