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Tuesday, December 2

Ho-hum early December pattern

Written by:  Scott Hetsko

Well it looks like the beginning of meteorlogical Winter will be pretty quiet around here.  After some light iced precipitation this evening, our weather will be seasonable with no major storms in sight.  

Meanwhile out on the west coast, California is going from drought to flooding rain today and tomorrow.  Don't worry though I expect our weather to turn much more wintry as we get toward the second half of the month.  

77 comments:

  1. Any opinion on the potential critter for early next week? I know there's a lot of spread in the models but it's the only thing we have to keep our inner weenies satisfied right now.

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    1. Chris now in PenfieldDecember 2, 2014 at 8:20 PM

      Inner weenie? Better get that looked at.

      I am fine with our weather in the doldrums for a bit. Lots of activities going on right now anyway in people's lives. Get the snow thrower ready, finish winterizing mowers and lawn equipment, get the snow tires on, etc, etc.

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  2. Eyes should be kept towards early next week that is all I am saying.

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  3. That is the second time you said that :-)

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    1. It might have a slightly overzealous vibe, but it's way better than the usual "It will be way to far East to affect us at all" comment that I was expecting to see. Complete with the incorrect form of "too" and the capitalized "East." It has really become that much of a staple of storm potentials around here.

      That said, this one MAY very well end up "to" far "East" of here. It could also move too far west like the GEM depicts. Or it could track favorably and wrap in enough cold air for a nice snowfall. This looks to be a cutoff system so it will likely prove quite tricky to nail down.

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  4. This system may not be favorable for us but keep an eye that it could be a bomb of a system that stalls. It has potential and does need to have an eye on it IMO.

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    1. Chris now in PenfieldDecember 2, 2014 at 8:22 PM

      Can a closed low bomb out? Doesn't it need a feed of moisture to keep it going? Teach me something!!

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    2. The primary factor involved would be the sharpness of the baroclinic zone, but there are many other factors to be considered as well. Moisture feed isn't one of them as far as I know. Also:

      http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=weather%20weenie

      We get a few of the "bittercasting" type around here, and they always post anonymously. None in this thread so far.

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    3. Chris now in PenfieldDecember 2, 2014 at 9:48 PM

      I fit about 60% of that definition.

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    4. The only important part is that you avoid living up to the remaining 40%

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    5. Chris now in PenfieldDecember 3, 2014 at 5:15 PM

      No promises ;-)

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  5. Apparently my meteorologist name is Arctic Breezy...sounds more like a 90s rapper name than anything.

    Or if I used my blog name it would be Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy Cloudy...which sounds like the lead-in to a song by a 90s rapper.

    I will henceforth be known as Arctic Breezy. Expect me to link a youtube video of me doing an extremely terrible rap called Cloudy, and expect it by the end of March.

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  6. The Great CCCC nailed it again because this is no big deal and everything will be TOO far East.

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  7. Eyes should be kept towards early next week that is all I am going to say.

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  8. CCCC does pay a little too much attention to negative posts. But I pay minimal attention to negative posts without a name or factual basis.

    I personally appreciate the actual knowledge he shares and the time and inclination his youth seems to afford him to do so. I don't understand some, ok a lot of what he says. But I usually get the gist and enjoy the insights. His quirky humor is a bonus.

    I'

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  9. Please break the clouds. LOL. We need some sun. The EURO shows a storm but too far East for us Monday- Tuesday. No cold air so most would be rain anyway I would think.

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  10. http://www.wsi.com/blog/energy/sub-seasonal-u-s-temperature-outlook-through-the-start-of-the-new-year/

    If you're looking for an eventual source region for renewed cold, it would seem Western Canada is NOT the place you'd want to search...

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    1. My eye is being kept toward next week and I see nothing like Schultz!

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    2. Schultz was known for denying the reality of things ;o

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  11. See on their forecast news 8 has light snow for Tuesday.

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  12. The latest EURO has NE getting blasted of course we are on the outside looking in? As someone posted way back this will be the winter where the storms are TOO far East all the time.

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    1. Are you willing to believe them? Or would you rather wait and see what happens? I personally can't recall a winter where every storm missed east, not even 09-10.

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    2. Chris now in PenfieldDecember 3, 2014 at 5:24 PM

      09-10 came close. We got the one in February that I remember Scott accurately predicting the "pinwheel" effect - spinning too fast, and losing some "storm efficiency" (<-- did I just create this term? If so, hat's off to me), bringing into too much warm ocean air and eliminating lake enhancement. I think we ended up with 10 inches or so of heavy wet snow that ended disappointing many. Luckily 09-10 is an outlier - with nearly all storms deflecting to the east and burying to I-95 cities time and time again. I think they had 7 major storms that winter.

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    3. That storm pissed me off so bad, I left for Buffalo after finals the day the storm began expecting the impacts there to be similar to here. Instead I wound up with about 2 inches while Rochester got a foot. The retrograding precip shield basically hit a wall the moment it reached Erie County. This isn't a gripe so much as it is an objective truth: that place is the synoptic donut hole of the Northeast.

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  13. The Euro puts us right on the edge of the system, but that detail is irrelevant from this range. Still no idea what sort of trend to expect in the coming days. All of the foreign guidance has a phased/amplified system while the GFS plays its usual GFS fail games. Another system follows closely behind on the Euro, if that happened then it would put us in the freezer for the balance of next week. Funny how this was supposed to be a boring mild pattern with no storms, instead we get an amplified stormy pattern with a decent amount of cold. No doubt that the PNA spike and the cold high in Quebec are the culprits. Sadly what follows is not something that most winter lovers want to see in December...a massive ridge building across a huge chunk of the continent. I have strong doubts that it will spread all the way to the east coast, but in all likelihood it will contribute to a delay in any substantial pattern flip, perhaps until around Christmas. In effect the entire pattern progression has been delayed by about 10 days for some odd reason or another, as we've seen both torch outlooks fail while the expected pattern flip is instead dominated by the torch that was originally supposed to start this week. Oy...

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    1. I want to add that as scary as all of this sounds, it's still fairly typical for El Nino in December. Nerves of steel will be required while the atmosphere attempts to reconfigure.

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  14. This winter will be a boring bust with apologists like CCCC who keep bumping back the cold and snow. Then they say not sure why because the truth is no one can predict the weather past 3 days out.

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    1. http://imgur.com/Qxvt54t

      Seriously the most overblown weenie-ism I've seen so far.

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  15. I just read something pretty eye-catching from one of AmericanWx's best and brightest, Typhoon Tip:

    "I am also gaining interest in the timing of a relatively potent MJO wave scheduled to arrive in the 6-7-8 wave spaces; particularly when a major typhoon in the west Pacific is modeled to pull up and out and join the westerlies right out there in that time, WHEN ... duh duh dunnn, the PNA is rising like a desperate inmate at a nudie convention...

    Could be something really special for mid month that may not be anywhere near a modeled complexion right at the moment. Let's watch for emergent changes..."

    I don't think he's talking about a record-breaking torch either. Also loled at "rising like a desperate inmate at a nudie convention."

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  16. More intrigue from Larry Cosgrove's FB page:

    "Greg Dixon: So if the typhoon does indeed go west and not recurve..then when can expect the cold air to come into the lower 48, since the typhoon won't do it?
    23 hrs · Like

    Larry Cosgrove: last 9 days of December...analogs very favorable for a major southern storm to re-align upper low with new -AO/-NAO blocking couplet after December 22..."

    But then there's the big fat elephant in the room: will our friendly neighborhood typhoon recurve or not? Guidance is still conflicted on that matter.

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  17. I can already see what's coming down the pipeline so I'll just get it out of the way early: yes the Euro shifted east with the storm, it's by no means set in stone, there are still several scenarios on the table and the guidance will continue to struggle with this very odd setup for another few days.

    The gentle whispers of weenie exasperation came wafting into my apartment this morning and woke me up with enough time to make a post, so here it goes: there are subtle hints of the pattern trying to change for the better towards the tail end of the ensemble runs. I did say it would be like pulling teeth to get a winter pattern, but this tooth is proving to have a few extra roots and the extraction is probably going to hurt.

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  18. Scott who is Rochester's most accurate said nothing next week and possible 50s the following week. So CCCC the pattern change may be slower than a snail. I believe as I have been saying this will be a winter with above average temps and 90 percent of the storms TOO far East.

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    1. A warm winter with most of the storms going east makes zero sense. In a warm winter they would primarily track north and west. And Scott's forecast doesn't scare me, not in the slightest. The torch has been talked about for days, and if we're going to finish with a positive DJF temp departure then December will likely have to finish extremely warm (think +4 or warmer). You can't argue with the near record SAI, which by itself is a strong signal that changes will come. If we don't see changes then feel free to laugh in the face of decades worth of seasonal forecasting research, as well as nearly every expert forecaster who released a winter outlook including our very own News 8 weather team.

      Otherwise your update to "90 percent" is definitely more reasonable than your previous "all" :P

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    2. And when I say +4, that's degrees Celsius.

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  19. I WONDER IF THAT EYE IS BEING KEPT TOWARDS NEXT WEEK? IF SO FOR NOTHING.

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    1. WHY ARE YOU YELLING

      AND IF THERE WAS NOTHING NEXT WEEK I WOULDN'T HAVE MY EYE ON IT

      LOUD NOISES

      LOUD
      NOISES

      LOUD
      O
      U
      D

      NOISES
      O
      I
      S
      E
      S

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  20. If the GFS proves correct we will get pretty warm next week through the middle of the month at least. It keeps the cold air locked in Canada.

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    1. Locked in Canada? Try locked in the Arctic Circle. And it's not just the GFS, it's basically every other piece of guidance as well. My eyes are turned towards Christmas for any meaningful changes, and even then it probably won't be a vodka cold pattern. As long as it gets below freezing and snows near Christmas then its alright in my mind.

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  21. GGEM and UKMET say wagons west with our coastal critter. I won't be able to post about the Euro until later this afternoon.

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  22. KW on 10 was jumping up and down and talking about "meteorological mayhem" in the models next week. Stay tuned, says he. Translation: I gotta keep the ratings up, so stay tuned, folks. I know this one will be another bust, but have to keep people INTERESTED in the weather.

    GJ on 13 didn't say a word about next week. At. All.

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    1. Stop for a minute and use some logic: if KW did his hype dance for the sole purpose of ratings, don't you think Ch 10's viewers would eventually catch on and pick a different station, thereby LOWERING the ratings for Ch 10? I keep seeing that conspiracy theory all over the place and it's the dumbest thing ever. This of course says nothing about the eventual accuracy of his forecast.

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  23. Anon above is correct. As someone who's business relies on forecasting I've watched all the locals at one time or another. Scott is the best. KW is absolutely a ratings mongering met. He wants to be the 1st to talk about the "potential" of something even when it's clear that there isnt a reason to stir the pot with the casual viewer.

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    1. He's mostly just a tad irresponsible with long lead stuff because he's a big time winter nut with a well known cold bias. He definitely isn't stirring the pot this time.

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  24. BTW, UKMET model also on board for NE storm next Tue/Wed...targeting eastern NY/western New England with big snows. Still way early... (KW)

    SPECTATORS AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. Thou art rectally flotsamed.

      In all seriousness, the big snows targeting somewhere else does not take us completely out of the game. Also pay special attention to that last sentence in the tweet:

      "Still way early..."

      Dot dot dot indeed.

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  25. Wow.....CCCC we may need to talk some bloggers off the ledge! I want snow too but to keep complaining and acting like its a conspiracy or someone's fault we are missing storms is getting old. I know its free speech and all. I'm just saying. We will be in NC 12/22-12/29 so I actually don't care if we miss anything then so I guess I am biased.

    This winter reminds me of the one a few years back where I was ready to go with snow tires in Nov and then took them off in January. Eventually needing them a few times but that was then and this is now.

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    1. The complaining is what has really gotten old. It changes nothing about any situation, is frequently unwarranted and above all contributes nothing to the blog. Sometimes we need to vent about things but dear lord, PLEASE do it somewhere else. I've wanted to come here and spin rants about bad patterns and missed storms more times than I care to remember, but I always hold back because that sort of thing makes the blog unpleasant to read. This doesn't include my occasional recollections of near misses while living in Buffalo, definitely been guilty of ranting about those a few times and I hope it was never unpleasant to read :P

      Maybe we should just ignore the complainers from now on, responding to them is clearly a losing effort.

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  26. There's a rule of thumb I've learned while perusing the weather enthusiast universe, and it goes like this: "One run is an anomaly, two is a coincidence, three is a trend." We've now seen a single run cycle push our coastal critter westward, so if the next two cycles do the same then a little more excitement may be warranted. In any event I have a few reasons to believe we won't be completely left out:

    -These deep coastal systems frequently trend NW on the models in the days leading up to the event. They also frequently trend towards larger precip shields. Both of these trends occurred with last winter's V-Day storm as well as the Thanksgiving storm that just occurred. Both of those systems were depicted further from the coast at this time range than our current one. Both of them were completely written off in regards to having any impact here, before they ultimately left us with a few inches of snow. I've also seen these trends with systems that ultimately didn't affect us, such as the infamous Boxing Day Blizzard as well as the mid December blizzard of 2009. I've also seen it with Great Lakes systems such as last winter's January bomb.
    -The air behind the system is going to be moist and cold. The NWS mentions the possibility of lake effect on a NW flow with an upper lakes connection, so even if we miss the main system there's still the possibility of lake effect. How much anyone gets remains to be seen SHOULD that scenario play out, but my guess would be modest amounts.
    -The Chinese model nails us (not a strong reason at all but I'll take what I can get :P )

    Above all there's one important thing to remember that knowledgeable people keep stressing time and time again: it's still very early. Models don't latch onto a track until about 3 days before the storm hits, and since this will be a closed low I'd wager that it won't be fully figured out until maybe 1 or 2 days before it hits, probably closer to 2. We probably aren't going to get sweet-spotted with huge amounts of snow, but this isn't an all or nothing deal and we're still very much in the game for something worthwhile.

    Of course if we start seeing a marked eastward trend then this whole post will have been for naught...that also remains a distinct possibility. But we won't think about that around here, will we ;)

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  27. Long range time: the latest Euro weekly shows nice improvements to the pattern for the second half of December starting Christmas week. Additionally the medium range guidance is slowly expanding the tiny light at the end of the torchy tunnel of terror, with more ensemble members starting to sniff the improvements. Speaking of our torch...I'm now pretty certain that any drastic warm departures will only last 2-3 days at most, with most days averaging near to slightly above average. The amplitude of the initial warm departures appears to be dampening, pushing the start of any major warmth closer to the beginning of larger scale reshuffling. I've also read that the surface temps will likely reflect a good deal colder than the 850s would have us believe, although I never got any reasoning for it. Put simply: hold tight for now, there is hope in paradise after all.

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    1. Chris now in PenfieldDecember 4, 2014 at 8:23 PM

      It's early, but this has been the trend so far. We were supposed to take a trip into the blast furnace THIS week, and it never materialized. The T-Day Storm, as you mentioned, was supposed to miss us but drifted west. If we had colder air (normal high for that time of year is 42 F, by the way), that 3 inches would have been double that. Also, I remember two winters ago when we had basically 0" of snow recorded for the entire month of November and first three weeks in December, then BAM. Then, on 12/22, the winds switched, knocked a bunch of tree limbs down and took out some power lines, and we were in the moderately deep freeze for the remainder of the winter with some decent snows (though much more in the form of lake effect than anything else).

      Similar situation in December 2006.

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    2. Good thing the pattern we're in isn't nearly as stable as December 2006, so we won't take until January 20th for the pattern to flip. I recall December 2012 setting the local record for the latest inch of snow in a season...amazing that we still finished near average on snow for the month. All of it came from 3 events in the final 10 days. Then we warmed up again in January but it was followed by two months of cold thanks to one of the largest SSW events on record. That monster nor'easter from February that year remains one of my favorite storms of all time, not because it brought anything special to Rochester but because of how massive the circulation was and all of the hype it generated, plus the meager 4 days of lead time it yielded because only one piece of guidance had any storm at all until early that week. Also I publicly swore that I would eat my left foot if we got the 12 inches of snow that the Euro painted for us because it seemed highly implausible at the time...and we got 13 inches. Needless to say I chickened out of that little wager.

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  28. We will get 8-12 weeks of solid winter at some point..just like ALMOST every other year..mark it down!!!

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  29. Good thoughts CCCC. I was thinking to myself that at this range we would want it east so it can trend west, not the other way around. Being in sweet spot right now would most certainly have some jumping by the start of the week as we would watch the storm move away from us. I thoroughly enjoy your posts and am glad you are here since news 8 kind of posts then ditches. I know they have better things to do though.

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    1. If you have a FB account I recommend spamming all of the News 8 weather team with photos of lewd snow sculptures for every 3-day period that they don't post here.

      Our storm probably won't have much room to trend too far west since the ensemble spread is pretty tight. A track over NYC would still make things interesting IMO.

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  30. Teleconnections are not our friend for the next 2 weeks and the MJO is scaring me... It may take a while for them to begin to go our way, but when they do, we'll get our fair share of snow.

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    1. Every MJO phase is bad during El Nino Decembers. I wouldn't worry about it, especially since the new Euro weekly drops a fresh supply of porn-tier godliness on us beginning December 20th or so. The light at the end of the tunnel grew substantially today.

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  31. UKMET says wagons west one more time, tracks very close to the coast and has a very broad surface reflection. GGEM is just doing whatever the hell it wants but it's still close enough to care, much more compact than the UKMET though. GFS is still embarrassingly clueless and has no storm whatsoever, even its crackhead cohort the NAM is much closer to siding with the rest of the guidance. Not staying up for the Euro but my guess is that it ticks ever so slightly west.

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  32. Just keep an eye to early next week that is all I am saying and maybe the EURO run last night. That would be to good to be true. Did any one say there will a blizzard in the Flower City within the next 5 days mark it down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  33. JN stated last night that after this NE storm it warms up substantially through Christmas week. That sucks if it is true.

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  34. THE FORCING THAT WILL CHANGE THE PATTERN IS NOT APPARENT THROUGH THE NEXT 2 TO 3 WEEKS...SO IT APPEARS WINTER WILL BE ON HOLD FOR AT
    LEAST MOST OF DECEMBER.

    This sucks.

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    1. They also mentioned the MJO dying down, but from what I've seen that's the best possible outcome. MJO in El Nino in December never helps. There is also now substantial model support for changes starting Christmas week, I'm guessing those are initiated by the ridge building near the Caspian Sea, which should eventually move east and shift the EPO closer to negative, so whoever typed up that climate discussion wasn't looking hard enough.

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  35. Snowdog please stop! At least track the possibility next week. It is okay if it warms up and winter gets going in January.

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  36. JN is behind the times. Winter will get going near or before Christmas. Relax.

    Another tick west on the Euro. Inner weenie is slightly raised.

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  37. Though I want a white Christmas, can we keep in mind those who will be traveling or have family traveling for Christmas. And come up with a new phrase other that "Once again we are on the outside looking in"; but now that I think about it, how many truly complained about not getting the storm that hit Buffalo and dropped 7 feet of snow. Interesting to say the least.

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    1. amen, anon. at 8:39

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    2. No one wants travel headaches for the holidays, but whatever nature wants to happen will happen. We are ALWAYS on the outside looking in...in a sense ;)

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    3. And KW is on his snow for Christmas kick... every year, the same thing about 3 weeks before Christmas... without fail. The pattern will change... snow is coming...

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  38. KW is starting to get a little more excited about next week's storm potential. I can't say I blame him, last night's Euro run was a lot more compelling than my earlier post might've let on. The system actually retrogrades back over southeastern NY state for a time, tossing significant snowfall back into WNY. It's impossible to see on any free site due to the 24 hours in between frames, but various forum-goers with access to paid services are saying that it retrogrades. Several Euro ensemble members are also picking up on such an idea. One idea that has become a trend as of late is that of a later arrival time. Originally this was going to be a Sunday night into Monday deal, now we're talking more towards midweek. This helps us out as it allows the Canadian high to progress eastward and shunt the storm more to the west. One of the silver linings to having no Atlantic blocking, since the high would just sit in place and lead to an I-95 special if we had blocking.

    As I type this, the GGEM heads westbound yet again. Heaviest snow remains east but we still receive a solid hit, precip shield is a lot less compact than previous runs. UKMET is also a touch further west. The trends are now our friends.

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  39. Lake enhancement could help as well.

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    1. Temps might be a tad marginal for that. If the lake gets involved at all then it would be in the form of some wraparound lake effect IMO.

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  40. KW definitely did not sound excited last night on 10.2. He used words like "near miss."

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    1. He changed his tune this morning on Twitter. The "near miss" scenario became less of a likelihood.

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  41. KW is stating we are more likely in play now than he said yesterday. Models are trending Westerward and it could be a lsow mover whihc could nail someone.

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