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25 mi. NNW of Portland, ME, elev. ~400ft.
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18 Mar 2015
This threat has been discussed in the other thread. I figured it would get opened, I just wanted to ensure it was maintained. We don't need any lectures about climatology, we all know the adversity that snowflakes must go through this time of year just to fall, let alone accumulate. So we are talking about potentials, good and bad. Solutions will change.
This is to cover UTS return travel.
Looks like the overnight guidance wants to keep this off shore. With 6+ days of lead time, I'm happy to talk about possibilities. One thing I won't forget, propensity for the northern stream to be stronger than modeled, and for models to rush "pattern change".
EXTENDED FORECAST DISCUSSION
NWS WEATHER PREDICTION CENTER COLLEGE PARK MD
222 AM EDT WED MAR 18 2015
VALID 12Z SAT MAR 21 2015 - 12Z WED MAR 25 2015
COLD UPPER-LEVEL ANCHORED OVER EASTERN NORTH AMERICA---BEGINS TO
LIFT AWAY FROM THE THE GREAT LAKES AND NORTHEAST AROUND
MID-PERIOD---AND A PACIFIC-INFLUENCED AIRSTREAM---WITH 2 MIGRATORY
SYSTEMS---BEGINNING TO ALTER THE PATTERN ACROSS THE LOWER 48 AND
DOWNSTREAM OF THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE.
THE 17/12Z ECENS AND NAEFS ENSEMBLES CONTINUE TO PROVIDE A
STABLE---MEDIUM FORECAST ACROSS THE LOWER 48---AND A PACIFIC
SYSTEM MIGRATING THROUGH THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST ON MONDAY---STARTS
THE CHANGE DOWNSTREAM---WITH THE FLOW PATTERN GRADUALLY
TRANSITIONING AWAY FROM THE DEEP TROUGH THAT HAS KEPT THE GREAT
LAKES AND NORTHEAST LOCKED IN THE COLD CANADIAN AIRMASS. THIS
SPLIT-FLOW EAST OF THE DIVIDE AND THE DOWNSTREAM CONFLUENCE SHOULD
KEEP BOTH STREAMS AND THEIR EMBEDDED SHORTWAVE ENERGY SEPARATED
FROM EACH OTHER FOR DAY 3-4---EAST OF THE APPALACHIANS.
OF THE 17/12Z DETERMINISTIC GUIDANCE---THE ECMWF APPEARED TO ME TO
BE THE BETTER PIECE OF FORECAST GUIDANCE---IN RECENT CYCLES ACROSS
THE SOUTHERN PLAINS...AND IN THE EAST PACIFIC. AND MORE
IMPORTANTLY---THE ZONE OF CONFLUENT FLOW OVER THE DELMARVA---A KEY
PIECE OF THE CURRENT SPLIT-FLOW PUZZLE. FOR THE MOST PART---ITS
(THE ECMWF) DEPICTION OF THE SHORTER-WAVELENGTH MIGRATORY DETAILS
IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST/NORTHERN ROCKIES EAST AND WITH THE CLOSED
LOW MIGRATION FROM SOUTHWEST TEXAS TO THE SOUTHEAST COAST SHOULD
NOT OFFER MANY SURPRISES THROUGH THE UPCOMING WEEKEND.
LIKE YESTERDAY...THE GFS OFFERS A MORE COMPACT SOLUTION ALONG THE
CONTINENTAL DIVIDE ON DAY 5 (22/18Z) VERSUS THE CANADIAN AND ECMWF
ACROSS THE DAKOTAS---AND LESS SPLIT-FLOW INFLUENCE (THE GFS THIS
IS) OVER THE CENTRAL ROCKIES BY 23/12Z. THE GFS ALSO MIGHT BE TOO
AMPLIFIED ACROSS THE NORTH CENTRAL GULF COAST---BUT SO IS ITS
17/12Z GEFS MEAN ALONG 90W LONGITUDE BY 24/00Z. THAT LOOKS TO BE A
PHASED SHORTWAVE SOLUTION.
THE MEDIUM RANGE PHILOSOPHY HAS TRIED TO MAINTAIN A CONTINUED
SPLIT-FLOW PATTERN EAST OF 100W LONGITUDE---AT LEAST UNTIL THE
EASTERN CANADA TROUGH IS DISPLACED FROM ITS CURRENT LOCATION. THIS
CONCLUSION (AND MEDIUM RANGE FORECAST)---CONTENDS AND MAINTAINS A
CONFLUENT DOWNSTREAM FLOW PATTERN ALONG 40N 80W NOT AN AMPLIFIED
ONE. THE 17/12Z DETERMINISTIC GFS WILL NOT SUPPORT THE IDEA...AND
THEREFORE GENERATES A PHASED CYCLONE OFF THE CAROLINA COAST AT DAY
7. IT DOES NOT SEEM REALISTIC AT THIS POINT IN TIME.
BY DAY 6...THE GFS (AS MENTIONED) LOOKS OUT OF PLACE WITH SEVERAL
FEATURES---BUT IS NOT ALONE. THE CANADIAN HAS A UNIQUE SOLUTION IN
THE GULF OF ALASKA BY DAY 5-6...AND IF USED EXCLUSIVELY...IS A
VERY SLOW AND AMPLIFIED DETERMINISTIC SOLUTION ALONG THE WEST
COAST OF NORTH AMERICA---AND IS NOT SUPPORTED BY ITS OWN MEAN.
WITH THE SYNOPTIC-SCALE COMPONENTS IN PLACE AND NOT SHOWING MUCH
CHANGE OVER THE PAST 4-5-6 DAYS...STILL THINK THE 17/12Z NAEFS AND
ECENS ENSEMBLE MEAN BLEND WILL PROVIDE THE BETTER RESULTS FROM
WEST TO EAST ACROSS THE LOWER 48.
...SENSIBLE WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS...
THE VERY SLOW-MOVING CUTOFF 500MB LOW IN THE SOUTHERN PLAINS WILL
GENERATE A WET SCENARIO AS ITS ENERGY MIGRATES EAST-NORTHEASTWARD
IN THE SOUTHERN STREAM FROM THE WESTERN GULF COAST TO THE
MID-ATLANTIC COASTAL PLAINS---DAY 3.
AN ACTIVE EASTERN PACIFIC LOOKS TO DELIVER TWO WET SYSTEMS TO THE
CASCADES AND SISKIYOUS---WITH TWO MID-LEVEL WARM ADVECTION EVENTS
SPREADING INLAND TO THE NORTHERN ROCKIES...BETWEEN DAYS 3-6.
BY DAY 6...LEE-SIDE CYCLOGENESIS ACROSS SOUTHEAST ALBERTA AND
NORTHEAST NEW MEXICO WILL BE THE MAIN FEATURES OF THE CENTRAL
STATES---AND THE CULMINATION OF THE PATTERN CHANGE ORIGINATING IN
THE WESTERN US.
Euro ensembles 18/0z
NCEP spaghetti Hr 144 18/0z
Euro OP, despite being well off shore, looks like it could be an inverted trough up my way, with a little energetic closed low in New England. Perhaps another thread for the 28th potential shows up at hr 240 will be needed.
17 Feb 2015
This is to cover the potent upper level trough being carved out and any potential western Atlantic development and associated inverted trough. Let the fun begin. Hopefully I get some posts in here.
I really wanted to start this thread yesterday evening, but I had a long day, and my hands needed a rest. I apologize for not having much time this morning either, I haven't had much spare time, so my thoughts are limited. Just really going off of the GYX discussions.
For those who take issue with using Nor-Lun, here's the criteria, again.
SHORT TERM /6 PM THIS EVENING THROUGH 6 PM WEDNESDAY/...
LOW PRESSURE MOVES AWAY FROM THE REGION TONIGHT WITH WEAK HIGH
PRESSURE BUILDING IN. THE MAIN STORY AND FORECAST CHALLENGE WILL
BE THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN OFFSHORE INVERTED TROUGH THAT WILL LIKELY
SHARPEN UP ON WEDNESDAY AND MOVE INLAND AS A SHORT WAVE TROUGH
APPROACHES FROM THE WEST. THIS TROUGH MAY BRING A NARROW BUT
PERHAPS MOD/HVY BAND OF SNOW TO A PORTION OF THE AREA DURING THE
LATE AFTERNOON HOURS ON WEDNESDAY. THE ISSUE IS THAT THIS IS A
MESOSCALE FEATURE AND IT IS NEAR-IMPOSSIBLE TO PREDICT WELL IN
ADVANCE WHERE EXACTLY IT WILL SET UP. AT THIS TIME...WE HAVE
LIKELY POPS FOR SNOW BY LATE WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON...ESPECIALLY
TOWARD THE SOUTHERN MAINE COAST NEAR PWM...AFFECTING THE EVENING
COMMUTE. HOWEVER...THIS MAY VERY WELL CHANGE AS WE DRAW NEARER TO
.LONG TERM /WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH MONDAY/...
LITTLE CHANGE NOTED TO NWP OVER THE LAST 24 HOURS...AND OVERALL
PICTURE FOR THE FIRST PART OF THE EXTENDED REMAINS THE SAME. A
NEARLY NEGATIVE 4 SIGMA H5 TROF WILL MOVE ACROSS THE REGION THE
SECOND HALF OF THE WORK WEEK. THIS ANOMALOUSLY DEEP FEATURE WILL
SUPPORT THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN INVERTED TROF BRANCHING NWWD OFF THE
NW ATLANTIC LOW PRES. MODEL GUIDANCE CONTINUES TO WAFFLE A BIT ON
EXACT PLACEMENT OF THIS FEATURE...NOT UNCOMMON...BUT FOCUS IS
NARROWING SOMEWHERE ON THE ME COAST LINE.
FEEL THAT SOME LIGHT SN OR SHSN ARE LIKELY EVEN WITH THE PASSAGE
OF THE UPPER TROF...BUT OF NOTE ARE THE INGREDIENTS FORECAST TO
COME INTO PLAY NEAR THE INVERTED TROF. WITH SOME CURRENT DAY
APPROXIMATIONS FOR MODEL LEVELS...ALL OF THE CRITERIA NECESSARY
FOR A NORLUN INSTABILITY TROF ARE PRESENT ON THE 17.00Z GFS AND
NAM. MODEL VERTICAL RESOLUTION IN AWIPS IS LACKING FOR THE ECMWF
AND CMC-GLOBAL...BUT TEMP GRADIENT CAN BE INFERRED. IN
ESSENCE...DEEP H5 TROF WILL SUPPORT STEEP LAPSE RATES AND
INSTABILITY WITHIN THE INVERTED TROF REGION WED NIGHT INTO THU.
THE BOUNDARY LAYER IS FORECAST TO BE NEAR SATURATION DURING THIS
TIME PERIOD AS WELL...WITH AT LEAST MODEST ELY INFLOW ON THE
POLEWARD SIDE OF THE TROF. POSITIVE VORTICITY ADVECTION WILL
SUPPORT LIFT THRU H7. WHILE SOME EWD PROGRESSION IS FORECAST OF
THE INVERTED TROF...IT IS SLOW AND IS FORECAST TO SLOW EVEN
FURTHER WITH TIME. FINALLY H8 FLOW ISN/T NEGLIGIBLE...BUT IT IS
PARALLEL TO THE INVERTED TROF FURTHER HELPING TO FOCUS PCPN
POTENTIAL. GIVEN THIS SET UP...A SIGNIFICANT SNWFL LOOKS LIKELY
FOR THE ME COAST. QUITE POSSIBLY THIS COULD MIMIC THE MESOLOW
FEATURE THAT DEVELOPED OVER THE WEEKEND AND LEFT FOOT PLUS SN
AMOUNTS ALONG THE SEACOAST...AS THIS TYPE OF INSTABILITY CAN
SUPPORT EXTREME SNWFL RATES AT TIMES. THE 64 THOUSAND DOLLAR
QUESTION IS WHERE WILL THE TROF SET UP. THESE ARE NOTORIOUSLY
FICKLE MESOSCALE FEATURES...AND CAN EASILY SHIFT SEVERAL MILES
LEAVING SOME HIGH AND DRY WHILE OTHERS SEE SIGNIFICANT SNWFL. THE
FORECAST REMAINS SOMEWHAT CONSERVATIVE...WITH NO LOCALIZED HIGHER
AMOUNTS FORECAST YET...DESPITE THE POTENTIAL. PER COLLABORATION
WITH NWS BOX AND CAR...INITIAL DEVELOPMENT SHOULD BE OFF THE ERN
MA COAST. TROF THEN MOVES NWD TO NEAR KPWM...LIFTING SLOWLY INTO
THE MIDCOAST. WHETHER IT STALLS THERE OR CONTINUES TO DOWN EAST
REMAINS THE BIGGEST QUESTION AT THIS TIME. FOR NOW WE/LL MAINTAIN
LIKELY TO CATEGORICAL POP FROM KIWI TO KBHB WITH NWS CAR.
DAYS 1 TO 3...
...NORTHERN ROCKIES/MIDDLE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY/GREAT
LAKES/TENNESSEE VALLEY/APPALACHIANS/EAST COAST...
AS VERY COLD AIR CONTINUES ITS MARCH SOUTH AND EASTWARD FROM THE
TOP OF A PERSISTENT HIGH AMPLITUDE RIDGE ACROSS CANADA INTO THE
EASTERN HALF OF THE US...A COMPLEX SYSTEM OF MOSTLY MOISTURE
STARVED WEATHER SYSTEMS WILL STILL PRODUCE POSSIBLE HIGH IMPACT
WINTER WEATHER OVER MANY PORTIONS OF THE NATION. A DEEPENING
UPPER TROUGH OVER CENTRAL CANADA AND THE US WILL CONTINUE TO
AMPLIFY INTO A LONGWAVE FULL LATITUDE TROUGH OVER THE ENTIRE
EASTERN HALF OF THE NATION. SOME OF THE LOWEST 1000/500 MB
THICKNESS VALUES TO DESCEND OVER THE EASTERN US WILL CONTINUE THE
ONSLAUGHT OF ANOMALOUSLY LOW TEMPERATURES AND SMALL IMPULSES WILL
HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO PRODUCE MOSTLY LIGHT BUT STILL HIGH IMPACT
EVENTS DUE TO ITS AREAL EXTENT INTO SOME PLACES WHICH GET SNOW
INFREQUENTLY AS WELL AS POSSIBLE SHORT DURATION EVENTS COMBINED
WITH VERY LOW TEMPERATURES THAT IMPACT TRAVEL.
WITH THE AMPLIFICATION OF THE UPPER TROUGH...THE LEADING EDGE OF
THE COLDEST AIR WILL TAKE THE FORM OF A FRONT/TROUGH THAT DOES NOT
APPEAR TO BE HIGHLY ORGANIZED BUT COULD STILL PRODUCE UPSLOPE
FLOW/LAKE EFFECT SNOW/CONVECTIVE SNOW SHOWERS THAT COULD BE
RELATIVELY WIDESPREAD ALTHOUGH NOT PARTICULARLY HEAVY FROM THE
GREAT LAKES ACROSS THE OHIO/TENNESSEE VALLEYS/APPALACHIANS TO THE
EAST COAST ON LATE TUESDAY INTO WEDNESDAY THAT WILL USHER IN THE
VERY COLD AIR TO MUCH OF THE EAST ON DAYS 2 INTO DAY 3.
ULTIMATELY...THIS SYSTEM COULD BECOME AN INTENSIFYING CYCLONE OVER
THE WESTERN ATLANTIC ON DAY 3 BUT THERE PRESENTLY IS TOO MUCH
SPREAD TO MAKE A CONFIDENT FORECAST OF WHEN AND WHERE THIS SYSTEM
WILL INTENSIFY AND HOW MUCH SNOW IT WILL PRODUCE. MOST
LIKELY...PARTS OF NEW ENGLAND HAVE THE BEST CHANCE OF SNOW AND
MAINE MAY SEE THE BRUNT OF IT ON DAY 3. THE OOZ VERSIONS OF THE
NAM/GFS/ECMWF/CANADIAN AND UKMET ALL HAVE SOME SYSTEM DEVELOPING
ON DAY 3.
ONLY A FEW AREAS ARE INDICATED BY THE POTENTIAL FOR 4 INCHES OF
SNOW OR GREATER WITH THIS SYSTEM. ON DAY 2...THE BEST CHANCES ARE
FOUND AROUND THE GREAT LAKES/OVER THE CENTRAL APPALACHIANS AND
OVER WESTERN MAINE. ON DAY 3...THE ONLY AREA WITH A LOW
PROBABILITY OF GREATER THAN 4 INCHES OF SNOW IS CENTRAL AND
NORTHERN MAINE. PROBABILITIES ARE LOW SINCE DUE TO THE LARGE
SPREAD OF SOLUTIONS.
WPC QPF days 1-3
16 Dec 2014
Looks like a decent comet to view, hopefully this gives me a reason to get out there.
The latest Comet Lovejoy should reach at least 5th magnitude in late December and January, when it will be nicely placed high in the dark for your binoculars or telescope. And it may be detectable with the naked eye.
Update Dec. 15: Comet Lovejoy is brightening faster than expected. Last night it was visual magnitude 6.1, estimated veteran comet observer Alan Hale using 10×50 binoculars in a post to the Yahoo Groups Comet Mailing List. The comey was very low in his sky.
From Australia, where the comet currently passes overhead, David Seargent says that on December 13th he "just managed to glimpse 2014 Q2 naked eye in a very clear sky. I estimated it at mag. 6.1 and at 6.2 with 2×25 opera glasses." Then on the 14th: "Much easier to see naked eye than 24 hours earlier, and estimated as bright as 5.5! I don't think that I have ever seen a comet brighten so fast!" That same night Michael Mattiazzo in Australia estimated it at 6.0, and Paul Camilleri said 5.7.
A Comet of the High Dark
"Comet Q2," as some are calling it, will skim through Columba south of Orion and Lepus from the nights of December 16th through the 26th, brightening all the while, as shown on the finder charts for December and January below and on the print-friendly versions here: December, January. The dates on the charts are in Universal Time, and the ticks are for 0:00 UT.
The comet spends the last few days of December in Lepus at perhaps 6th magnitude, though by then the light of the waxing Moon (at first quarter on the 28th) will start to be an annoyance. On New Year's Eve, a little after January 1st Universal Time, look for the comet just off Lepus's forehead as shown on the charts.
The Moon brightens to become full on January 4th. Most of us won't get a dark moonless view again until early in the evening of January 7th, with the comet now crossing northernmost Eridanus. That's the same day it passes closest by Earth: at a distance of 0.47 a.u (44 million miles; 70 million km). That's also about when it should start glowing brightest for its best two weeks, as it crosses Taurus and Aries high in early evening.
By then the comet is starting to recede into the distance, but its intrinsic brightness should still be increasing a bit; it doesn't reach perihelion until January 30th, at a rather distant 1.29 a.u. from the Sun. By that date the comet should be starting to fade slightly from Earth's point of view. In February it will continue north between Andromeda and Perseus as it fades further, on its way to passing very close to Polaris late next May when it should again be very faint.
Originally Comet Q2 wasn't expected to become this bright. We're basing these predictions on an analysis by J. P. Navarro Pina in late November using the comet's visual behavior for the previous several weeks. Whether it will continue to brighten on schedule is anybody's guess, but the odds are good; comets that don't come near the Sun are more predictable in their brightnesses than those that do.
Q2 is a very long-period comet, but this is not its first time coming through the inner solar system. On the way in, its path showed an orbital period of roughly 11,500 years. Slight perturbations by the planets during this apparition will alter the orbit a bit, so that it will next return in about 8,000 years.
30 Nov 2014
Trying to give folks a bit more lead time till the Geminid shower, could be good this year. Perhaps even coupled with some auroras. I'd love to get a photo of that!! I'm optimistic
GEMINID METEOR SHOWER: Mark your calendar: The annual Geminid meteor shower peaks this year on Dec. 14th when dark-sky observers around the world could see as many as 120 meteors per hour. The source of the display is "rock comet" 3200 Phaethon. As November comes to a close, Earth is entering the outskirts of 3200 Phaethon's debris stream, and this is causing some Geminids to appear weeks ahead of peak night. The first Geminid fireball of the season was detected on Nov. 26th by NASA's network of all-sky meteor cameras
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