First Major Snowstorm of Season!!!

By: Zachary Labe , 7:23 PM GMT on October 26, 2008

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"Afternoon Thoughts" (Updated 10/25)
So yes here it is… my format for the winter each week. Now when significant winter storms or lake effect snows head our way, then there will be a special format for those storms. While some may consider it a bit premature to have my blogs in a winter format, some areas have already seen their first snowflakes as far south as State College and other areas may see their first accumulations during the coming week. Also some areas will see highs in the 30s and other areas in the 40s. In any case we are entering November very shortly and typically in November most areas see their first measurable snow. So all in all I thought it was prudent to issue this format awhile. If anyone has any suggestions on other sections that could be necessary for the winter, just drop a comment below.

Anyways I want to quickly recap Saturday’s rainfall. A dying cold front was moving across the state along with several disturbances along the front. A weak low pressure was also found in the Southeast helping to pump up moisture ahead of the front. Strong southeasterly winds developed ahead of the front in eastern Pennsylvania with gusts to near 40mph in extreme eastern areas. Rain moved into western Pennsylvania overnight Friday dumping up to nearly 2.5inches in some locations. This batch of rain reorganized itself after much of it moved into New York State. Meanwhile the southeasterly flow brought in warmer temperatures at the surface and aloft for slightly more unstable air. PWATs several deviations above normal moved into east central and eastern Pennsylvania where rainfall organized into very heavy stratiform rain over the Susquehanna Valley. Rainfall amounts in this region were 1.5inches-2inches. Then some unstable air 3k ft aloft developed in eastern Pennsylvania creating an embedded squall line of thunderstorms that developed in the Delaware Valley and Southeast Piedmont region. Then the squall developed into areas farther north in the Lehigh Valley. In this squall line were rain rates to up to 2.5inches per hour and gusty winds upwards of 45mph. This squall line continued to strengthen and turned severe as it moved into New Jersey. There were several reports of wind damage in far eastern Pennsylvania. Rainfall amounts in this region were from .75inches-1inch. Overall the entire region saw a nice significant rain greatly boosting monthly totals closer to normal, but still below normal. I am very pleased with my forecast for this event. Enjoy the recent rains, because any significant signs of precipitation do not appear to be on the horizon anytime soon. Have a great day!!!

"Current Surface Plot"

(Courtesy of HPC)

"Regional Radar"

(Courtesy of Wunderground)

"Regional Advisories"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Forecast Discussion" (Updated 10/25)
So who is ready for our favorite computer model games? Lol. Yes they are up to their normal antics, but in any case here is my forecast discussion for this coming week. A strong cold front primarily dry with QPF less than .1inch will cross over Pennsylvania by early afternoon Monday. Temperatures will slowly drop after the frontal passage along with drier air. Winds will shift to the 300degree trajectory. Lake effect rain showers will develop occasional mixing with graupel. H85 will only be in the (-3C)-(-4C) range, which is not that unusual for October. Clouds will be over the region with a thick cumulus deck. But then a second pocket of cold air moves in for Monday night with heights lowering to near –6C with lake effect snow bands developing off the Great Lakes. With steep lapse rates and CAPE values in the 50-100 j/kg range I would not rule out some thundersnows. Accumulations will only be in the nuisance range for the most part, but I am starting to think there could be a decent accumulation of snow in the southern portions of Erie County in the higher elevations. A band looks to want to setup in that region. 2m temperatures from the GFS show them near 32degrees for most areas north and west of the Gettysburg-Harrisburg-Reading-Easton line. South of that temperatures should stay in the mid to upper 30s as winds will be pretty gusty during Monday night along with varying cloud cover. The third and final cold pocket of air kicks in during the day Tuesday turning the flow more west northwesterly. H85 lower to near –9C across extreme northern Pennsylvania. 2m temperatures indicate temperatures in the 30s for much of western and northern Pennsylvania during the days Tuesday and Wednesday. Even the latest 12z GFS shows temperatures below 40degrees during the day Wednesday for KMDT. Best Omega growth looks to be Tuesday night with the third pocket of cold air. Snow accumulations will occur in favored snow belts up to several inches. Some flurries may even make it just east of the mountains. Latest computer models also complicate forecasts for Wednesday with developing a coastal low. As the trough moves into the region it becomes negatively tilted along with a negative NAO. The PNA also becomes positive making for a pretty amplified flow. 0z EURO really developed a monster coastal low with light snows in northeastern Pennsylvania but near record breaking snows up in New England. GFS up until the 12z run had not really developed anything. NAM has recently swayed towards latest 0z EURO. But just recently the 12z EURO came out and is similar to the GFS with keeping the low out to sea. Last 12z JMA and 12z UKMET though do develop a coastal low with heavy wet snow in New England. At this point placement of the low is questionable. Even if the scenario sways back to the 0z EURO the only affects Pennsylvania would have would be some very light synoptic snows across eastern Pennsylvania mainly from the Lehigh Valley on north, but it would not amount to anything. But the low could draw down some cooler air and inhibit the drier air eventually causing more lake effect snows across northwest Pennsylvania. So we will see. Trough eventually moves out towards the end of the week with 1028mb high pressure over the Southern Middle Atlantic keeping clear skies and temperatures near normal values.

"Regional Satellite"

(Courtesy of Penn State Meteo.)

"Current Water Vapor Loop"

(Courtesy of Penn State Meteo.)

"Weekly Forecasts" (Updated 10/25)
Monday- A strong cold front will be moving across Pennsylvania during the morning hours. Ahead of the front temperatures will be near seasonal values along with a gusty southwest wind. Winds may gust to near 35mph. As the front approaches a weak band of rain showers will move across Pennsylvania, but dry up in central Pennsylvania over the Appalachians. No precipitation will be expected for eastern or east central Pennsylvania. Some areas across the Laurel Highlands may see some morning snow showers after the frontal passage before changing to rain showers by later in the day. By early afternoon the front will be across the state with falling temperatures for the most part statewide. Winds will be out of the northwest gusting upwards of 40mph at times, especially on the ridge tops. A widespread cumulus deck will develop across western and northern areas with occasional rain showers. Areas in the east will see downsloping winds. Highs will be mainly during the morning hours for western areas and during the early afternoon for eastern areas. Highs will range from the upper 40s in the west to low 50s in the east. Monday night cooler air continues to funnel in. The lake effect machine kicks in with a northwest trajectory. A strong band looks to develop in Erie and Crawford County up through Warren and McKean Counties also. At first it will be rain, but then dynamic cooling should set in for changing over to snow. A dusting to one inch of snow is possible in snow belts. Elsewhere across the state flurries will be widespread for western and northern Pennsylvania.

Tuesday- Colder air continues to funnel in over the region Tuesday with lake effect precipitation dominating the radars. The lake effect flow will shift more towards the west-northwest, which is a favorable flow for widespread lake effect activity for western and even sometimes central areas. Snow showers should be widespread during the morning hours, but change to a mix in the afternoon hours. Snow showers should stay confined to areas west of the Altoona-State College-Lock Haven line, but some areas in the northeastern mountains will also see snow showers. Highs will be well below normal with highs not getting out of the 30s for elevations above 1700ft in western areas. Cloud cover will be pretty widespread statewide. For eastern areas and valley locations highs will be in the mid 40s. For the Philadelphia metro region highs will be in the low 50s. Tuesday night looks to be the most widespread for lake effect activity as the coldest air settles in over the region. Some models want to develop a coastal low enhancing lake effect and orographic snows, but this scenario remains to be seen. Under a continued west-northwest flow snow showers may make it east of the mountains, but only to areas in the Lower Susquehanna Valley up through the Lehigh Valley. Snow accumulations for northwestern areas in the higher elevations may be several inches with dusting to one inch in the valleys even out near Pittsburgh. Some areas in the northwest ridge and valley region may also see a dusting. Out in the northeastern mountains of Tioga, Bradford, Susquehanna, and Wayne Counties may also see a dusting to an inch or two of snow. Lows will be in the 30s for most areas and in the 20s for northern areas.

Wednesday- Lake effect machine should still be kicking during the morning hours with an additional dusting to one inch of snow for the favored snow belts. Again there remains more uncertainty with the prospects of a coastal low. Some morning flurries will occur for the ridge and valley region also. Clouds will be widespread though for most of the day making Wednesday the coldest day of the week. Lake effect snow will be ending by the end of the day as high pressure moves in. Still though some models want to develop some strong lake effect bands during the day with a northwest trajectory. But those bands will only develop with the enhancing of the coastal low. Downsloping winds east of the mountains will keep their conditions partly cloudy most of the day with temperatures in the mid 40s even low 40s at elevations above 1000ft. In the mountains highs will only be in the 30s. By Wednesday night only flurries remain confined to far northwestern areas and lows drop below freezing in all locales. Winds could be a bit gusty if the coastal low develops.

Thursday- Thursday looks to generally be a nice weather day across the state as high pressure kicks the coldest core of the air out of the Northeast. Skies will generally be clear with a light westerly breeze. Any snow accumulations in the northwest will melt during Thursday. Highs will make it up into the low 50s for many areas, but still in the 40s for elevations above 1700ft. Thursday night will generally be clear with light winds making for a very cold night. Lows may be in the mid 20s for many areas and I cannot rule out teens for the northwest if winds decouple. Dry air will be prevalent over much of the region.

Friday- To finish out the workweek a ridge of high pressure develops ahead of a potential weekend frontal system with more cold air. Highs will get back to near seasonal values with highs in the 50s for most areas, but in the low 60s for metro locations. Skies will be clear with widespread sunshine. Friday night looks to be another radiational cooling night with dry dewpoints and clear skies with light winds. Lows will be below freezing most likely statewide including most metro locations. Some ground fog may form late.

"Current River Ice Reports and Ski Conditions" (Updated 10/25)
Well obviously there are no river ice concerns nor ski reports. But during the winter this section will contain valuable information on local river ice reports. Also there will be local lake ice report levels found here. Many times people find themselves in dangerous situations because the ice is not as thick as it may look. So this section will be an outlook for ice levels for the coming week. Also here will be local ski resort reports across Pennsylvania for the week in terms of snow conditions. Many people really do enjoy the winter sports season here in Pennsylvania and are looking for local ski conditions. Below are a few links you may also find valuable during the height of ski season and ice levels.

-Link to official reports page from NWS...Link.
-Link to local ski resort snow conditions...Link.

"Current Northeast Snow Depth and Northeast Windchills"

(Courtesy of Wunderground)

"Lake Effect Snow Conditions" (Updated 10/25)
During a majority of the cold season, lake effect snows occur with almost every post frontal passage. These frontal passages are typically once or twice a week during the winter. Many people have concerns with the Great Lakes to prepare sometimes for unanticipated squall lines. I am hoping this section will provide some education on lake effect snows, and forecasts for lake effect snows each week. Below are some interesting maps I found concerning Lake Erie wind speeds/direction and sea surface temperature. I also will provide in this section information about how much ice can be found throughout the lake. On severe winters Lake Erie sometimes does freeze over completely due to its smaller size and shallower waters than the other great lakes.

Alright the first lake effect snow outbreak is heading our way with quite a winter-like pattern setting up for the next couple of days. Cold front will be marching eastward throughout Sunday and into Monday morning across Pennsylvania. This will provide a wind shift to the northwest and a temperature drop. Heights aloft will be dropping down to near –3C for Monday. Surface temperatures will be in the low 40s for snow belt regions, so it does not appear that any accumulations will occur Monday. It appears that the majority of the precipitation Monday will be of the graupel variety. Flow looks to setup near the 300degree trajectory keeping much of the lake effect snows in the northern part of the state. By nightfall another cold pocket of air will drop down with heights dropping to near –6C. With water temperatures of Lake Erie nearly in the 60s, strong instability will develop. Surface and 1-3k ft CAPE near 50-100 j/kg looks to develop along with surface temperatures overnight Monday in the low 30s for northern areas. Best banding looks to be setting up just south of Erie in Erie County and Crawford County. The 12z NAM from Sunday has a great hold on forecasting this band. Occasional this band may waffle south into Mercer, McKean, and Warren Counties. With some dynamic and evaporational cooling rain will change to snow for many areas with elevations above 1000ft. Snow accumulations may occur several inches if the band does in fact become strong like it is progged to. This band looks to stretch all the way up to the city of Buffalo. The winds then seem to shift more west-northwesterly near the 280degree trajectory keeping lake effect snows widespread during the day for all of western Pennsylvania. Temperatures will be marginal, which is common during early season outbreaks and ground temperatures are warm. No daytime accumulations are anticipated at this time. Snow flurries may stretch all the way into the Ridge and Valley Region of central Pennsylvania into State College and Huntingdon/Franklin Counties. Tuesday night the flow stays west-northwest putting the Laurel Highlands at risk for some snow accumulations. The third cold pocket aloft moves in over night with heights lowering to nearly –9C. Surface temperatures should drop below freezing for many areas. Snow accumulations of several inches may occur Tuesday night over typical snow belts and especially with elevations above 1700ft. With ground temperatures still very warm, it will be a bit before the initial development of accumulations. There also has been some indication of a slight more northerly component that night developing a band over the northeastern mountains in Susquehanna and Wayne Counties. If this develops an inch or two of snow cannot be ruled out. Also with the very unstable lakes I would not be surprised for some flurries east of the mountains towards Wednesday morning. Keep an eye out for that. The last time I believe many areas saw snowflakes in October was in 2002. That also was our last very severe winter, so I guess we will see. Look for a snow map to be issued by me tomorrow afternoon. Lake effect snow situation sort of reminds of the 2007 November 7 event. Here is a link from the Buffalo NWS for more information... Link.

"Lake Effect Snow Map"


***Update as of 4:15pm Monday...
Well I do not really have any different thoughts for the lake effect snow situation. Warm ground temperatures should keep a hold on heavy accumulations, but I do feel worried about a few stronger bands setting up. I am even thinking there could be a enlongated Erie-Huron Streamer that brings some heavier snow to Cambria County. Areas in typically lake effect snow areas will definitely see flurries and some dustings to perhaps one inch, such as Pittsburgh and maybe State College if they are lucky. Anyways looks like my discussion above should suit for the most part.

"Current Lake Erie Wind Direction and Speed"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Current Lake Erie Water Temperature"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Long Term Outlook"
The long term period is highly questionable at this point in time. But by the end of this week after returning to near normal temperatures, another cold front approaches, which actually has a deeper core of cold air with even temperatures aloft in Southern Canada near –20C. This trough does not become nearly as amplified and only really affects areas north of the Mason-Dixon Line. But it does look quite chilly for this weekend with 850s below –10C as far south as New York State. But high pressure remains parked over region so lake effect snows do not look likely. With high pressure parked in southern Ontario and Quebec it appears that very dry air will be over the region making for some very cold nights with ideal radiational cooling. 2m dewpoints showed them as far south as Harrisburg in the teens, which would probably translate to low temperature in the low 20s. That seems a bit extreme though. Pattern though remains highly progressive and trough lifts out by Monday for a zonal flow keeping temperatures near normal with no signs of significant precipitation. It appears dips in the trough will occur every now and then before a major trough develops late in the month. Many long term meteorologists indicate a very amplified trough moving in by mid November. And in fact the latest 12z GFS shows a very large trough moving in with heights as low as –10C as far south as the Pennsylvania/Maryland border. That could be the unofficial start to winter. AO is showing signs of heading negative during that period, which translates to a shift in the arctic air to areas farther south. Latest ice analysis shows that very cold air has been building up in that region. This cold air will eventually poor into the northern US. So all in all a very winter like pattern looking to setup by mid November. Until then enjoy a nice zonal flow during the early part of November. My first guess at widespread accumulating snows would be sometimes in mid to late November. I do not think we will have to wait till December like some years.

"Current NAO and PNA Predictions"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

"Monthly Outlook" (October)
So September has now just about come to a close. Precipitation was above normal for most of the state of Pennsylvania, except for parts of western and extreme northwestern Pennsylvania. Temperature wise it was about 1-2degrees above normal for much of the state. My forecast called for normal temperatures along with above normal precipitation, so overall I am pleased with my forecast for September. The first half of the month was much warmer than normal followed by a cooler than normal second half of the month. So now we are in October, the height of the fall season, and many are wondering if we will have another scorcher like last year. Temperatures were into the 80s for much of the month along with an extremely late fall foliage season. As many bloggers have mentioned, they were swimming in pools during the first half of the month. By the end of the month finally many areas received a very late frost and freeze followed by a relatively cold November with an early snow around mid month. So for October here is what I am thinking...

Temperature- There does not seem to be quite an evident trend for temperatures for October. There does not seem to be one distinctive pattern setting up other than a consistent eastern United States trough. The NAO seems to be staying negative for next two weeks along with PNA mostly positive. AO index is also staying the majority of the time in the negative range. Also EURO long-range model supports Greenland blocking with a slight eastern trough. GFS has shows a similar pattern with cold and mild periods throughout much of the month. So overall I expect temperature values to be near normal with slightly below normal temperatures in some areas. I do not think we will be seeing any extreme warmth this month like last year.

Precipitation- Precipitation wise again there does not quite seem to be an evident storm track. I am thinking a typical October like setup occurs with a few dry cold fronts along with some wetter low-pressure systems. Around midmonth the long range GFS has consistently showed a large coastal storm so we will have to see what happens with that. Tropics are beginning to calm down, so I do not feel too confident on the east coast experiences another tropical system. So my forecast for precipitation is normal to slightly below normal. Overall I think October should be pretty consistent with 30-year historical means.

"Temperature and Precipitation Outlooks from Climate Prediction Center for next 30 days"

(Courtesy of NOAA)

-Winter 2008-2009 forecast... Link.
-Winter 2008-2009 forecast update... Link.

"Here northeast of Harrisburg 2008-2009 winter statistics"
(Snow Stats)
Current Snow Cover- 0.00inches
Monthly Total- Trace
Seasonal Total- Trace
Winter Storm Warnings- 0
Heavy Snow Warnings- 0
Blizzard Warnings- 0

(Temperature Stats)
Lowest Temperature- 26
Wind Chill Advisories- 0
Wind Chill Warnings- 0

(Snow Storms Stats)
First Snow - October 29 - Trace


***Update as of 8:30pm Monday on Nor'easter...
Wow, it is hard for me to believe we are looking at the situation that is unfolding. It is a bit early, and if this were 40 days later we would be talking about a blockbuster snowstorm. And when I start looking at some of the outlandish prospects of the bufkit data from the models, I have to stop myself and say it is only October. The crazy 18z NAM showed beautiful banding effects on the southwest side of the center of the low delivering an unbelievable 1.7inches of liquid equivalent snowfall. Yep that is 17inches of snow. But never going to happen. Interestingly enough some times all winter we never see bufkit data look that great. GFS also delivers impressive snowfall totals to nearly a foot of snow in the northeastern mountains near Scranton. Again that looks overdone. The deep and amplified trough is moving across the northeast with the second batch of cold polar air. The trough is already beginning its transition to a negative orientation as visible on the water vapor loop and infrared satellite images. Radar loops indicate a strengthening band of mostly rain across the upper Middle Atlantic. Much of that rain had been virga as dewpoints were in the upper 20s, but now the rain is reaching the ground and should cause some nice evaporational cooling conditions across much of the eastern part of the state. Recent pressure drops indicate a 1006mb low forming off of Hatteris and heading north-northeast along the perifual of the trough. As the low moves near the Gulf Stream a rapid intensification should form putting a 988mb low south of Long Island. Precipitation bands may get as far west as State College and recent models put nearly 1inch or more of QPF over much of eastern Pennsylvania. But surface temperatures are key, and they will be a struggle between an excellent forecast or a bust. I also think a lot of people will be taken surprise by the snows. Wet snows can cause plenty of damage especially in some of the valleys where leaves remain on trees. Then the GFS predicts winds aloft to nearly the surface being near 60knots with some of that reaching the surface. Winds will gust to nearly 55mph during parts of the storm plastering the wet snow all over the mountains. Elevations above 1600ft in the northeastern mountains will see the worst of the conditions with snowfall possibly over 6inches. I would not rule out even a 10inch snow report. This is quite a storm. The low will then head up through the CT Valley and up through the Berkshires continuing to further strengthen and cause high winds and heavy snow in some areas. The Adirondacks are going to get slammed possibly over a foot of heavy, wet snow. Some problems this early in the season arise for accumulations and that is mainly surface temperatures and ground temperatures. Temperatures aloft are no worry and have dropped below freezing in the H85 range for most of Pennsylvania. Surface temperatures may get pretty close to current dewpoint levels. If the precipitation becomes heavy enough dynamic cooling may take place, especially as the low rapidly intensifies. Highs will be in the 30s on Tuesday with heavy snow across the northeast. I would not be surprised for some reports of snow across the northern Lehigh Valley and coal regions. Ridge tops especially could get in on the action. I do not have much time to write about a fully detailed report tonight, so I hope this covers the basics.

Snow map for Coastal Storm...

I feel pretty good about my snow map. Most of the snow accumulations higher than 6inches will be confined to elevations above 2000ft. The shading does some a bit odd at first glance, but this storm is highly elevation specific so I looked at a topographic map while creating the snow amounts.

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81. Stanb999
11:38 AM GMT on October 29, 2008
Well, Blizzard

Let me tell ya how it is going.

We lost power at 11:00AM
By 3PM we had 13"
By 5PM we had 16"
Last measure was at 8PM 17"

It continued to snow lightly over night. This morning when I left for work it was still snowing pretty good. Still no power.

One heck of a storm. I have a few pictures from later in the day yesterday that I will post when the power comes back at home :-)
Member Since: September 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 444
80. Zachary Labe
10:20 AM GMT on October 29, 2008
hurigo- Yesterday was a bit chilly with my first sub-50 high temperature yesterday and probably today. Some pretty interesting weather for sure this time of year. Strong winds also have been a major story with even a good bit of power outages in my area.

wxgeek723- I enjoy forecasting winter storms, but also severe weather.

Snowlover2010- Most likely, a few flurries are currently in Lancaster County according to some weak radar echos.

jthal57- At times heavy bandings can set up for dynamic cooling for a short period of time, unexpantingly changing over rain to heavy snow for a short period. This happened in State College last year during a rain storm. Pretty interesting to say the least.

weathergeek5- Thanks for posting those stats, I had not seen them. Wow, 16inches of snow, pretty amazing this time of year.

WeatherBobNut- It was a highly elevation specific storm for the southern part of the northeastern Pennsylvania region. I am liking the prospects for winter storms after this one. As we get into November the storm track from winter should get even more evident.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
79. WeatherBobNut
1:47 AM GMT on October 29, 2008
Good evening Blizzard92, quite a storm...mostly a rain/wet snow mix here all day in Old Forge, but just 10 miles to my north where i work was like a different world. Heavy wet snow all day and picked up a few slushy inches. I heard from my local news that in some parts of the state picked up 17 inches! WOW! There were power outages north of my area and the lights are flickering here as the winds are really getting strong out there now. Had 1.46 in the rain guage when i got home from work....ttysoon...

-Weather Bob
78. weathergeek5
12:31 AM GMT on October 29, 2008
Bliz here is some statements on the early snowfall. Here in Delaware it was just a wind driven I MEAN driven rain.

SNOWFALL IS UNUSUAL, ALTHOUGH NOT UNPRECEDENTED, IN OCTOBER FOR
THE PHILADELPHIA REGION. IN LIGHT OF TODAYS WEATHER, EVEN THOUGH
NO SNOW WAS RECORDED AT PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL TODAY, WE HAVE
GATHERED SOME INFORMATION ON OCTOBER SNOW.


THE EARLIEST SNOWFALL RECORDED DURING THE COLD SEASON AT
PHILADELPHIA WAS...OCTOBER 9, 1895.

THE EARLIEST MEASURABLE SNOW AT PHILADELPHIA DURING THE COLD
SEASON WAS...OCTOBER 10, 1979...2.1 INCHES WAS RECORDED.

THE LAST TIME SNOW FELL IN OCTOBER IN PHILADELPHIA
WAS...OCTOBER 30, 2002.

THE LAST TIME MEASURABLE SNOW FELL IN OCTOBER IN PHILADELPHIA
WAS...OCTOBER 10, 1979...2.1 INCHES WAS RECORDED.

ACCORDING TO OUR STATE CLIMATOLOGIST THE 14 INCHES OF SNOW AT HIGH
POINT WAS THE HEAVIEST SNOW FOR SO EARLY IN THE SEASON IN NJ. THE 16
INCHES REPORTED IN TOBYHANNA WAS NOT AN EARLY RECORD FOR THE POCONO
REGION. IN THE POCONO WEATHER BOOK FREELAND PENNSYLVANIA IN LUZERNE
COUNTY RECEIVED 17 INCHES OF SNOW ON OCTOBER 16-17, 1977.
-- End Changed Discussion --


Member Since: December 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1744
77. jthal57
11:11 PM GMT on October 28, 2008
Blizzard-I was not that surprised to see snowfall in the Poconos area (north of me), but the accumulating snow totals in Bucks County (south of me) really shocked me. Nothing more than snowflakes mixed with rain here, and highs around 38-39F all day.
76. Snowlover2010
10:44 PM GMT on October 28, 2008
i am guessing there may be some flurries left over tom morning?
Member Since: January 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 1003
75. wxgeek723
10:31 PM GMT on October 28, 2008
Just out of curiosity, if you do become a meteorologist one day, would you specialize in winter weather?
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3637
74. hurigo
10:09 PM GMT on October 28, 2008
Hello Blizz,
You have really had some exciting weather.
I know that makes you happy.
We've had wind and a lot of rain last night. I even heard someone say that there were a few snowflakes over night. It has been a pretty day here today with bright blue skies and very interesting white and purple clouds, but cold--in the 50s I guess. It is still very windy, with notices posted about gusts 30-40 mph. Looking to the south I see a gorgeous line of purple and lavender clouds at the horizon. I bet just before the sun goes down in a bit there will be fantastic reds and oranges and colours for which there are no names.
Member Since: October 9, 2005 Posts: 100 Comments: 6731
73. Zachary Labe
10:00 PM GMT on October 28, 2008
Snowlover2010- Northwest flow already becoming more aligned with some nice mesoscale bands near Johnstown. But I would say after 11pm is fair game for widespread flurries.

JDinWPA- Absolutely bitter day here. Coldest October day I can remember with highs in the 40s with thick clouds and winds gusting over 50mph at times. More lake effect tonight. I would not rule out a dusting to an inch for your area tonight.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
72. JDinWPA
9:28 PM GMT on October 28, 2008
Hi Bliz. We received some lake effect snow this afternoon as a stream went overhead, shifting to a more NW/SE direction. Actually got a bit slushy on the deck. The wind has died down considerably also. There were some wickedly strong gusts this afternoon that had me watching for the witch of the west. lol.

Other than that, the day has been better than I expected. We've gotten a semi-decent amount of sun so the early afternoon temp soared to 42 before dropping the the current 34.
71. Snowlover2010
8:57 PM GMT on October 28, 2008
when do u think the lake effect flurries will make it here?
Member Since: January 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 1003
70. Zachary Labe
8:22 PM GMT on October 28, 2008
Snowlover2010- Synoptic precipitation from the coastal storm is about over for our area, even not completely over. Later tonight a favorable northwest wind should create some decent lake effect snow showers across the state, so most likely there will be flurries for some parts of the Lower Susquehanna Valley.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
69. Zachary Labe
8:20 PM GMT on October 28, 2008
lawntonlookers- Thankyou! For now it is a great hobby, but I hope to advance in the future in the field. I heard some reports of snow near Tower City this morning. Schuykill County got some 4inch snow amounts on ridges. No snow on top of Blue Mountain here, but most likely some coatings on the ridges in northern Dauphin County near Wisconisco.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
68. Snowlover2010
8:19 PM GMT on October 28, 2008
it has stopped raining in lancaster. U think it will start again, and could we see any snow?
Member Since: January 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 1003
67. lawntonlookers
7:45 PM GMT on October 28, 2008
Blizz, you are becoming quite a good forecaster. What are you plans in the future?
Member Since: March 22, 2006 Posts: 9 Comments: 1570
66. Zachary Labe
7:43 PM GMT on October 28, 2008
lawntonlookers- As the low continues to deepen, temperatures should fall aloft and in the boundary level. During some early lake effect snow events 43degrees is just cold enough to see some flurries, but only if the dewpoint is below freezing.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
65. lawntonlookers
7:35 PM GMT on October 28, 2008
Starting to look like snow outside now. 43 F is a little to warm though. Winds are gusting. I guess we will not see the Philles win tonight.
Member Since: March 22, 2006 Posts: 9 Comments: 1570
64. Zachary Labe
7:31 PM GMT on October 28, 2008
wxgeek723- Yep tonight some residual moisture along with a great northwest fetch should provide lake effect snow showers across almost all of Pennsylvania tonight and first half of tomorrow. Interestly enough I heard snow was reported right north of Philadelphia in Bucks County of 2inches. Some nice dynamic cooling happened there last night.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
63. Zachary Labe
7:30 PM GMT on October 28, 2008
Getting some interesting snow totals in some of which are surprising...

PENNSYLVANIA

...BUCKS COUNTY...
DOYLESTOWN 1.0 130 PM 10/28
LANGHORNE T 1045 AM 10/28
LEVITTOWN T 1040 AM 10/28
SPRINGTOWN T 720 AM 10/28

...CARBON COUNTY...
ALBRIGHTSVILLE 6.0 1115 AM 10/28 ELEV. AROUND 1700 FEET
JIM THORPE T 700 AM 10/28
PALMERTON T 700 AM 10/28

...MONROE COUNTY...
TOBYHANNA 13.0 130 PM 10/28 ELEVATION 2010 FEET
POCONO SUMMIT 4.5 1100 AM 10/28

...MONTGOMERY COUNTY...
SOUDERTON 1.5 1140 AM 10/28
WILLOW GROVE T 700 AM 10/28

...PHILADELPHIA COUNTY...
PHILADELPHIA T 1124 AM 10/28 NE
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
62. wxgeek723
7:28 PM GMT on October 28, 2008
So I am back to learn that the last time it snowed in my area was October 2002. Fitting, seeing as that was a very cold and snowy winter in the East. A trace of snow fell on October 29-30, 2002. Snow is forecast to mix with rain tonight, which gets me very excited.
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3637
61. Zachary Labe
7:09 PM GMT on October 28, 2008
shoreacres- Good afternoon!!! Yes this is quite a bit of unusual fun here in late October. It happens every now and then but those dates are far between. Many proposals have come up for naming nor'easters, but they never follow through. Actually one of the latest additions is a rating that rates snowstorms on categories, similar to like hurricanes. That started a few years ago I believe.

wxgeek723- About 3/4inches of rain here total. NWS predicted less than .1inch, lol.

jthal57- How exciting! Hoping this is a good sign.

Stanb999- Wow, wow. That is an unbelievable picture of quite a winter wonderland. I imagine there are plenty of power outages, as here winds are gusting over 50mph let alone with all of the heavy wet snow you guys have up there. Thanks for keeping me updated. I believe that the NWS was a little anxious about posting a warning, because it is so early so they took a conservative route. But see I look in the opposite way, I think early snows should be given higher ratings because people have not yet adapted to winter driving after a hot summer.

lawntonlookers- Look out for some snow showers possibly tonight in our area. Winds are wild. Gusting here to 37mph right now.

Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
60. lawntonlookers
3:19 PM GMT on October 28, 2008
Good morning to all. Winter storm at the end of October. No snow in Harrisburg, but the winds are picking up.
Member Since: March 22, 2006 Posts: 9 Comments: 1570
59. shoreacres
1:09 PM GMT on October 28, 2008
Oh. My. Goodness.

Stanb ~ Thanks for making 47 and sunshine feel like the tropics!
Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15288
58. Stanb999
12:22 PM GMT on October 28, 2008
Ok Blizzard here you go this is a pic from a few minutes ago. You can see the visabilty is less than a couple hundred yards. The trees in the back ground are approx. 120 Yards from where I'm standing.

Hosted on Fotki
Member Since: September 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 444
57. jthal57
12:17 PM GMT on October 28, 2008
wet snowflakes mixing in with the rain here Blizzard; can't remember ever seeing snow this early around these parts!
56. wxgeek723
11:54 AM GMT on October 28, 2008
Alright, it's five of 8 in the morning, and I don't leave for school for another twenty minutes. It's been raining all night and the wind was making the "hooo!" sound again. And of course, just like Saturday, I was home alone. And snow mixed with rain was briefly in the forecast, but they took it out. I can't remember the last time it's snowed in October here, I'll have to look up some records.
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3637
55. Stanb999
11:06 AM GMT on October 28, 2008
TV reported 9" in NewFoundland, PA.

NOAA still has not issued a winter storm warning. They are behind the curve on this.

We should be under a Heavy Snow advisory, High Wind warning, and A winter storm watch.

Noaa from Binghamton,NY often drops the ball for NEPA.
Member Since: September 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 444
54. shoreacres
11:03 AM GMT on October 28, 2008
Hi, Blizzard,

My goodness - it's some early fun for you snow geeks! When I lived with snow I paid no attention to anything other than the "will it or won't it?" kind of questions. Interesting to track the storms.

Has there ever been a proposal to give really, really big winter storms names, like hurricanes? Or will they just stay "the winter of '52", etc?
Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15288
53. Zachary Labe
10:07 AM GMT on October 28, 2008
JDinWPA- Looking at latest guidance it appears that trends support widespread lake effect snow tonight with accumulations in some areas.

TheDawnAwakening- They develop close to the center of circulation pretty near your area. It should be a wild time of the Cape during Tuesday.

WeatherBobNut- Yea this storm is looking pretty strong, and wet snows are almost like ice storms in terms of destruction, especially in the early part of the season. I see snow is being reported now in Scranton, so I imagine your area is getting in on the action this morning.

weathergeek5- Lol, yep. Winds are already getting gusty here. My NWS is calling for a changeover to snow after 11am, so I guess we will see.

Stanb999- Wow, already. This storm is just getting underway up there. Looks like my snow map should hold up nicely up there for your region. Hope you do not lose power as the wet snow starts to cause problems. Thanks for your report.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
52. Stanb999
10:02 AM GMT on October 28, 2008
4" of heavy snow on the ground. Temps. 31f Winds are still out of the North/west and Gusty.
The storm is really still just getting started. It looks to be getting further organized. The local weather guy was almost giddy saying that it looks to be exploding in cyclogenisis just to or east over the Catskills.

This means BIG SNOW!!!!
Member Since: September 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 444
51. weathergeek5
9:44 AM GMT on October 28, 2008
I think the NWS listened to us because you are in the wind advisory now.
Member Since: December 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1744
Good evening Blizz! Well, the models really did well with this storm. Rain mixing with sleet here at the 11:00pm hour. World Series just suspended 15 minutes ago due to horrible playing conditions. I think widespread power outages will be likely with a lot of trees still having lots of leaves on them. This may turn out to be a historic storm. Quite impressive radars! I can see the negative tilt the storm is taking. A lot going on all at once. This thing is just getting started.

I will give you my totals at storms end. Enjoy the early storm and i'll ttysoon.

-Weather Bob-In Storm Mode
Where do those 120knot winds at 6K develop Blizzard? Also the NWS in Taunton, MA issued a high wind watch.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hey Bliz. It's 37 degrees at the moment and the precip falling looks like a mix. It's very light, a little hard to tell but the way some it dances about... it's a snow/rain mix.
47. VaWx
Just received word from family in Chesapeake, VA that it is SNOWING! I think it's a sign you guys are gonna get it big lol!
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weathergeek5- Lol, no, crazy CTP seems to think its eastern counties are not that important like usual.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
Are you under any kind of wind watch at the moment?
Member Since: December 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1744
weathergeek5- Looking at guidance they probably should. Also wind advisory should be expected north and westward.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
I wonder if they should issue a high wind watch.
Member Since: December 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1744
weathergeek5- Very tight and should make for some extremely gusty winds. I am not sure why the NWSs are playing the wind forecast so conservatively.

1k ft level- 50knots
6k ft level- 120knots
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
How tight is the pressure gradient going to be tomorrow? I am seeing forecasts of VERY high winds tomorrow.
Member Since: December 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1744
edhanna- Did you see the higher echo returns in the tidewater of Virginia? Looks like some sleet down there.

Snowlover2010- O gosh, I hope they are not starting their outlandish forecasts already, lol. Just another wishcast by the accuweather forums.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
i saw some guys on accuweather forums saying that lancaster, yorkm and harrisburg getting 1-3 inches of snow, one saying 1-possibly 5 in harrisburg, i just can't believe that right now, esp with no weather services forecasting this
Member Since: January 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 1003
Indeed. It's only October. Were not supposed to be getting snow!
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Snowlover2010- Good evening!!! Glad to see your return for another winter. There will most likely be some flakes mixed in during this storm for parts of eastern Pennsylvania. In fact a few spotters in York County have reported sleet. In Lancaster County best chance for flakes would be near the hills of Mt. Gretna.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
i see the regional map is changing over to mix on back side, could this be a winter scnario for places like york and lancaster, because i don't believe it
Member Since: January 7, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 1003
sullivanweather- Sleet actually being reported just south of me. Temperature here is 42degrees with dewpoint of exactly 32degrees.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
Check out the dewpoints across PA.

Wet blub temps are right around freezing. Evaporational cooling is likely creating the frozen precip types.
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
Stanb999- Your area is going to get slammed. Look for my discussion and map soon for more details. I will definitely be looking foward to your observations.


***Report of sleet coming into southern Pennsylvania in York County, which is quite interesting.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112
Well it's started.

We have a temp. of 39F. A mix of sleet and snow. The wind is still calm.

If it changes and gets to snowing hard tonight I will chime in. :)
Member Since: September 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 444
edhanna- Good evening!!! Seems a bit early to be doing all of this winter storm stuff doesn't it, lol. I hope to have it out before 9pm along with snow map.
Member Since: December 14, 2007 Posts: 284 Comments: 15112

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Cornell University- Atmospheric Sciences Undergrad; Research Assist.- Onset of Spring Indices Toolbox; Interests- Small spatial scale climatolology

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Linglestown, PA
Elevation: 520 ft
Temperature: 24.2 °F
Dew Point: 15.2 °F
Humidity: 68%
Wind: Calm
Wind Gust: 9.0 mph
Updated: 10:37 AM EST on January 18, 2014

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