Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Another Nor'easter Threatens East Coast

In the wake of Sandy, another Nor'easter is projected to develop in the next 5-10 days. The above map shows 500mb winds for the time period that we are watching. The presence of such strong winds indicates that a strong low pressure system is in the area. What makes this situation even more interesting is how the system appears to be tilting to the southeast, or being negatively tilted. A negatively tilted storm typically includes more gusto in that it provides more severe weather potential in the summer, and thus heavier precipitation potential in the winter. But, will this actually put down some of the whit stuff? Let's take a look.

The precipitation forecast for the same time period as above shows pretty low amounts of precipitation across the Northeast as the system slides to the east. This isn't too interesting to me, and I can't really say I believe it. We are dealing with a strengthening storm system, this should have more precipitation than this model is showing.

This is a thickness forecast at the 1000-500mb level. This map is best used to identify the rain/snow line. Snow would be expected north of the dark blue line labelled 540 (or 5400), and rain would be located to the south of the line. If we compare the precipitation chart to this thickness chart, we see that the air mass behind the Nor'easter would appear to be favorable for some snow. However, models have been known to take a cold bias in the fall, and thus my confidence in such a favorable environment for snow deteriorates.

This will be interesting to watch, but I don't have enough confidence to make a call just yet.


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