Much Needed Rain To A Blizzard For The NE

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Wow is there a lot to talk about today. First things first though and it does appear that we’ll get more beneficial rainfall later tonight into the first part of the day on Thursday. With all that said, I also have eyes on the NE part of the country and in a word…Wowie! (not even sure if that’s a word though). Just for giggles and the model (NAM) is wrong, but for Boston, MA it’s cranking out over 52″(!!!!!) of snow. with the equivalent of close to 5″ of precipitation. More on that aspect later on.

Let’s talk about the set-up for tonight. The latest visible satellite image is showing a nice surge of gulf moisture moving up through the Southern Plains states and into KS.

ScreenHunter_01 Feb. 06 14.07

The moisture is clearly evident from TX to Central KS…this is a GOOD thing for those who want more rainfall. Hopefully the soil is thawing a bit more these last couple of days and also there is potential a some decent runoff should the rain come down fast enough and we gt some convection as well. The key will be the convection part of this in terms of giving us some extra rainfall.

The latest surface contour map shows the dewpoints (which help us measure the moisture on the surface) in the 50s in the Southern Plains and that “juicy” air is moving northwards. On the following map, the dewpoints are dashed lines with the contour being dewpoints of 56°+. BTW the solid lines are the temperatures. As of 2PM we’re @ 60° @ KCI.

That moisture will feed northwards into a cold front that will be moving through our area tomorrow AM. Aloft the flow will be over the front from south to north, this should slow the front and allow rain with some embedded thunder to “overrun” the surface front and give us some decent rainfall. In some ways similar to last week (perhaps NOT as generous though). here is the forecast NAM map for tomorrow morning, showing the front on the door step and we should have some good rain/storms in the area by then.

THU

The latest model data is suggestive of 1/2″ totals and again there is upside since we’re talking some convection. Here is the NAM model showing the potential.

ScreenHunter_02 Feb. 06 14.25

Here is the HI-RES totals (different map projections)

ScreenHunter_03 Feb. 06 14.28

So this may work out rather nicely for us…the key as mentioned will be the convective aspect of this, without that, it will be tough to get more than 1/2″ of rainfall…with it though and somebody out there should do nicely.

It’s also important to note that some areas will not do as well as others, and that is what the model is trying to depict. Notice on the MO side where the totals in the above graphic really drop off and the latest RAP shows this idea as well. That exact depiction won’t happen but it’s a signal to me that NOT everyone gets the beneficial rainfall and some will be missed.

It will be this storm that turns into potentially something incredible back east. The models are converging on a blizzard of near historic proportions across at the very least the interior parts of New England and at worst from Philly through NYC towards Boston. This thing will turn into a raging Nor’easter. Here is the EURO model showing a snowfall forecast and yes this will change dramatically!

ScreenHunter_04 Feb. 06 14.38

This storm would be accompanied by 50-65 MPH winds along the coastline, the potential for coastal flooding and everything else you can think of. Blizzard Watches have been issued for providence and Boston late this afternoon.

 

 

Interestingly I believe the storm would be occurring on the anniversary of the historic 1978 Blizzard, which I remember well growing up in the NE part of the country. More on that storm tomorrow and Friday

We’re NOT done yet with our weather because another strong storm that is now off the NW coastline will be heading into the Plains early next week.

While a much stronger storm system, what is fascinating about the weather is that this storm may actually give us less rainfall than the weaker system moving our way overnight tonight. That’s because, unless something really changes this storm will be passing NW of here and allowing a rather large dry slot to develop within the storms’ circulation. This dry slot would overspread our area and shut off the rain, and perhaps even allow some sunshine over the weekend. There is also the very real potential of a lot of thunderstorms across the southeastern Plains region into the deep south also cutting off a solid moisture return to our area…so there are players on the field that may conspire to cut down our rain totals from this second storm.

Sunday will be an interesting day it appears to be watching the temperatures as highs may occur before noon and then fall rather sharply during the PM hours. Granted this is 5 days away and a timing change of 6-12 hours will alter that thinking (I’d be surprised if the timing didn’t change actually) but the potential is for highs near 60° and then drop into the 30s later in the day with wind chills in the 20s.

It appears as if some colder air will be a bit more of a “thing” towards the end of next week, after a shot for a couple of chillier but still seasonable days later Sunday into Monday…I’m also wondering IF, and this is a big IF (actually gigantic) maybe we’re trying to set up for something a bit on the wintery side towards the 19th-21st of the month. There will be cold air aplenty and IF we can just get a storm something could happen in that time frame.

That’s it for today, a lot going on nationwide over the next 5 days so the blogs will be a bit easier to write!

Joe

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