Greg Shoup

Sunday snowfall latest

January 30th, 2015 at 12:20 pm by under Weather
This is an estimated storm track of the system that will move across the region early Sunday

This is an estimated storm track of the system that will move across the region early Sunday

Most likely you will be shoveling some snow by Sunday evening and Monday morning. Just how much is the issue which meteorologists are grappling with right now. The forecast track from model data completed late last night and early this morning has northern Indiana with some of the heaviest snowfall from this system. Above is an estimated storm track from that same model data this morning.

This is an estimated contour following the current storm track

This is an estimated  snowfall contour following the current storm track

If the storm stays on the current forecast track then here is a wide range estimated snowfall graphic.

This is an early snowfall estimate from our high resolution Futurecast model

This is an early snowfall estimate from our high resolution Futurecast model

This is our high resolution model that we run here at the station. This particular run of the Microcast/Futurecast data was initiated from another model called the NAM. NAM is an acronym for North American Mesoscale Forecast System which is a mesoscale model used for forecasting in smaller and more detailed areas.

So here’s what forecast models are putting out for moisture with this storm. ECMWF .97″, GFS .65″ and NAM .77″. This will all be falling in temperatures of 20 to 22 degrees so it will be a lighter more powdery snowfall and reflect up to a 15:1 snowfall ratio. Bottom line this means more snowfall than if temperatures were warmer and we would have a lower snowfall to water equivalent ratio.

Why did we get freezing rain and not snow

January 29th, 2015 at 11:42 am by under Weather
To get freezing rain you must have an inversion to begin with. (NWS, NOAA)

To get freezing rain you must have an inversion to begin with. (NWS, NOAA)

If you follow the physical laws of the atmosphere then you know that generally as a parcel of air moves up in the atmosphere it will move into colder temperatures. I say general here because many times that law is broken and we see a temperature inversion. I have blogged about temperature inversions that cause the surface temperature to stay at an almost constant temperature. Warm air aloft traps colder surface air at the surface.

Well put that theory into another variable here. Because we had a weather system moving toward the area we saw warmer air ahead of it. Instead of falling to the surface that warmer first goes above the heavier, colder air and we have an inversion. When we have precipitation falling in this situation we have another problem. The precipitation may be frozen but when collides with the warmer layer of the atmosphere caused by the inversion, it turns to liquid. When this liquid hits the ground and falls onto a freezing surface we have what we call freezing rain.

After several hours the warmer air was allowed to mix in with the colder air at the surface and we are back to seeing a profile of warmer air at the surface and colder air aloft.


Next storm brings mix of precipitation

January 28th, 2015 at 9:22 am by under Weather

I wanted to show you what I see on a surface map. Here is how I would label a surface map and just some notes I had for the radar map. This is the system headed toward our area Thursday and there are some key aspects that I pointed out on the surface map. 1. Notice that we have high pressure across the area for Wednesday and that means sunshine but cold temperatures. 2. There is an area where isobars are packed tightly. This is what is known as a ‘tight gradient’. In simple terms that means that I see gusty winds in this area. These winds will be headed this direction. 3. Notice the radar and I plotted morning temperatures which are in the 40s in the northern Rockies. Yes, that is quite unusual for this time of year.

Here is Futurecast at 9am Thursday 1/29

Here is Futurecast at 9am Thursday 1/29

Futurecast shows the progression of this system which is expected to only bring a short period of freezing rain to our area. This most likely will not mean ice accumulation. This depiction on Futurecast shows that the freezing precipitation is already changing to rain by mid morning.


Update on NE blizzard of 2015

January 27th, 2015 at 9:54 am by under Weather
Radar/Satellite taken mid morning as heavy snow is focused on northeast

Radar/Satellite taken mid morning as heavy snow is focused on northeast

Even though the brunt of the blizzard missed New York City it took a vengeance out on along the northeast. Heavy snowfall began at 4am and as much as 30″ of snow has already fallen across that area.

Snowfall across the northeastern U.S. as of 7 am 1/27

Snowfall across the northeastern U.S. as of 7 am 1/27

Heavy snowfall combined with near hurricane force winds will leave this area snow covered for the next several days.


Here is a YouTube time lapse of what happened in Boston since early morning.

Here are wind gusts around the Northeast up to 58 mph (NOAA, NWS)

Here are wind gusts around the Northeast up to 58 mph (NOAA, NWS)

More snowfall totals

January 26th, 2015 at 11:21 am by under Weather
24 hour snowfall totals reported Monday AM

24 hour snowfall totals reported Monday AM

Here are updated and in most cases final snowfall totals for the last snowfall that moved through our area. WANE TV has 1.99″ and the Airport totals as of 7am on Monday 1/26 has 2″. These are totals which have been reported Monday morning for snowfall across NE Indiana and NW Ohio.

Updated snowfall forecast

January 23rd, 2015 at 9:38 am by under Weather

New forecast model runs are in and are suggesting a little more moisture as this clipper type system gets closer.  There are some issues that we need to cover about this system which make it a bit more complicated though.

The onset of snowfall according to Futurecast will be early to late morning on Sunday. This will make for some quick snow accumulation. However, the complicated part of the forecast comes later in the afternoon when we get temperatures above 35 degrees. Forecast solutions suggest that temperatures at the mid levels of the atmosphere stay below freezing and at the surface are only a degree or two above freezing. Around Fort Wayne I believe as of right now we can assume that all of the precipitation will fall as snow.

However, south of Fort Wayne around Bluffton and Decatur and down to Portland that may be a different story. Mid level temperatures may just be a degree warmer so we may see rain drops re freezing and becoming ice pellets or sleet and even some plain old rain for a brief period of time.  Both of these scenarios would take the snowfall amount down south of Fort Wayne greatly.

So take a look at our snowfall accumulation forecast and you will see that I have drawn the 2″ to 4″ contour through Fort Wayne and south of Allen county I have the 1″ to 2″ snowfall contour.

This could change depending on the track of this low but for right now it looks like a pretty good bet.

Complicated weekend forecast

January 22nd, 2015 at 11:33 am by under Weather

To understand the weekend forecast we need to look at two different scenarios. #1. The huge east coast storm which strikes first. This storm will carry abundant moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. It is the type of system we look at for a lot of snowfall. This system will NOT be directly affecting our area.

However scenario #2 will bring a clipper type system from the northwest. These systems are generally starved for moisture. They do not feed into air from the Gulf of Mexico, so we usually do not see heavy snowfall amounts with these systems. This system has up to .32″ of moisture available on the latest European forecast solution run.

The other component coming in with this system will be some arctic cold air. Right now we have temperatures forecast to be in the 20s with single digit lows next week.

Of course this scenario can and will change. I have a little concern that this is a secondary system which is only really carried on one forecast solution. The ‘bomb’ that hits the east coast will be the major concern for forecasters and may overshadow this secondary system in a number of ways.

As they say in the TV business STAY TUNED!

Freezing rain or snow

January 21st, 2015 at 11:22 am by under Weather
What is an inversion (NWS, NOAA)

What is an inversion (NWS, NOAA)

Just over a month ago I posted about a day that was much colder than forecast. We showed this same diagram because the change in forecast was due to a temperature inversion. Just to refresh your mind a temperature inversion is the reverse of what we typically see. Instead of air temperatures getting colder as we go up in altitude they get warmer.

The same is true for what happened today. The mid levels of the atmosphere were warmer and had not cooled as fast as the surface. Because we had warmer air at the mid layers we had liquid moisture which was created and it stayed in the that form and when the liquid reached the surface it froze on impact.

That is the simple definition of freezing rain.

The good news is that the mid layers of the atmosphere are getting colder so instead of liquid we have snow development.

More snow on the way

January 20th, 2015 at 11:31 am by under Weather

Another ‘clipper’ type system heads our way. Now you’ve probably heard me say or read it here that these systems are moisture starved. This system is no different. However, we could see about an inch of quick accumulation through mid to late morning Wednesday as this system comes screaming through the area. The worst case scenario is that it comes through during our morning drive time Wednesday. Right now that’s what Futurecast has for the heaviest snowfall of this short event.

Warmest year on record (Global temperatures)

January 16th, 2015 at 11:25 am by under Weather
Global temperatures are the warmest on record (NOAA< NASA)

Global temperatures are the warmest on record (NOAA< NASA)

It’s official NASA and NOAA have concluded that this last year was the warmest it as ever been across the globe. Red the latest on this breaking study.