Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Accumulating Snow Targets Ohio Valley, Northeast Tonight/Tomorrow

Accumulating snow appears to be in the forecast for parts of the Ohio Valley and Northeast tonight into tomorrow morning.

The image displayed here shows the short range Rapid Refresh (RAP) weather forecast model's projected accumulated snowfall over the next 18 hours, ending at 12:00 PM EST. By this time, a stripe of snowfall has hit southern Indiana, southern Ohio and northern Kentucky as a result of a storm system sliding along the Southern US. Maximum snowfall appears to be as high as 3.1 inches, and this would most likely occur in Ohio or far west Pennsylvania.

Further into the Northeast, heavier snowfall appears prone to occur as strengthening takes place along the Atlantic. As a result of the proximity and strength of this storm to the Northeast, accumulating snow is likely along these areas. The highest totals appear aimed at State College PA and possibly extreme northern New Jersey, where just over 4 inches could accumulate. Lighter totals between 1 and 3 inches could hit much of the New England area, including New York and Massachusetts, among several states.


Arctic Being Overwhelmed By Immense Stratospheric Warming

All layers of the stratosphere are being impacted by an incredibly large and immense sudden stratospheric warming at this time. The above animation shows 10 millibar temperatures from mid December to january 11th. You can see the current warming event originating from the Himalayas and has now propagated to the Arctic. The thing that makes this warming so incredible is just how much land it is covering, and just how intense this warming really is. According to observed temperatures like the one shown below, this event was indeed historic, breaking the daily stratosphere record temperature for a few days:

Unusually intense warming is also going on in the lower, more significant layers of the stratosphere, including the 30mb and 50mb layers respectively shown below:

If history of sudden stratospheric warmings are any testament to what could happen from these warmings, Siberia could be right in predicting a very cold February for much of the nation from above normal snow cover in the last half of the month of October 2012.


Coronal Mass Ejection May Hit Earth

A coronal mass ejection, or CME, appears to be likely to hit Earth in the next several days.

The image displayed here shows the solar wind forecast for the late hours of January 16th. If we look at the top left set of images, we see a small but intense band of colors just beginning to hit a small green circle. That green circle is Earth, and that small band of colors is a coronal mass ejection (CME). When the sun gets 'agitated', it puts out a burst of energy that can fly in any direction. Some happen to put Earth in the line of fire, and this is one of those times.

If this happens, radio transmissions may be disrupted, some airplanes may see slight communication difficulties, but unless this event becomes major in the next model forecast, this will not be a significant event.