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Tuesday, January 20

IDEAL SETUP UP FOR A COLD NIGHT


Written By:  Scott Hetsko

This will be a fun night to watch temperatures vary from hills to valleys.  Virtually no wind under a clear sky and dry air will all work together to optimize radiational cooling overnight.  Maximum heat loss occurs near the ground so when air doesn't mix much, the temperature can vary several degrees in just a few blocks!

We saw this last week when temperatures plummeted to -9 in Rochester and -20 or more in some protected higher elevation valleys in Ontario county.  While I don't expect that kind of chill, many will start Tuesday in the single digits!

78 comments:

  1. I think Rochester is a bit more than a few blocks from Ontario County :P

    Definitely going to be interesting to follow the temperature trends tonight. Not the most exciting thing ever but it's all we have in the near term.

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  2. At 530 on tv KW was talking about two storm potentials next week and said the pattern looks to et snowier/ stormier. And frigid at start of February. I know Scott has also agreed with the cold, but is KW going too far out on a limb here or is there really evidence to point toward more storm potentials? I guess the high pressure is not our best friend right now as it suppresses even any possibility of lake effect

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    1. I see one storm potential, I don't see the second one. At least I haven't seen anyone talk about a second storm for next week, just the northern stream critter early on. And I definitely don't see anything concrete in any model guidance. I could've easily written off KW's long range prognosis as just typical KW ballyhoo, if not for Scott leaving this teaser on Twitter/FB earlier today:

      "February will probably feature more snowstorm threats so enjoy this drought while you can!"

      I'm not sure if that has anything to do with the recent SOI dip or if Scott sees something else developing in the pattern. All I know is that he wouldn't just toss that out there without some legitimate reason, and also that those two aren't the only professionals keeping an eye on that time period.

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  3. Huge SOI dip over the past few days = subtropical jet resurgence for early February. That could be fun if it coincides with the right pattern, which at this point remains an unsettled factor. The PNA might go positive by then while the negative EPO relaxes (but doesn't flip to positive). Ensemble means seem to want to maintain a region of low heights just north of Hudson Bay, so there's currently no reason to believe that a flip to mild is imminent as such a height arrangement would encourage a trough. But then there's the AO, which the ensembles seemingly have no idea how to handle. And the NAO currently looks to remain slightly positive going forward, which should surprise absolutely no one at this point. I'm not ready to commit to any concrete idea right now, what I'm typing out is simply today's snapshot.

    Another run cycle, another tick west for the Euro and its ensembles for this weekend. The biggest concern: compact precipitation shield. The system a few days later still looks like the better shot at something, but I can't see more than a moderate snowfall out of it right now given its arctic origins.

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    1. By the way, that first paragraph applies primarily to the time period after the first few days of February.

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    2. As long as the cold air stays near us we at least will have some chances. Did the snow advance index die this year do you think?

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    3. Judah Cohen keeps citing the obnoxiously persistent Barents-Kara Sea low as the culprit for why the SAI-induced wave driving hasn't broken the PV down yet, and is also hypothesizing that the low is being sustained by a feedback mechanism created by above average ice cover in that region. I don't think the SAI is dead at all, we're simply learning what its limitations are.

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  4. Okay so now we are in February where it could get fun. A few weeks ago it was the end of January where things could get interesting. Before long it will be pushed back to April and then we can all have April showers which bring May flowers. Same old same old whether from CCCC or the professionals.

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    1. So then go away until April. Problem solved. Don't keep coming here to whine every time we don't cash in on a decent pattern. By the way, the people who said the end of January could be active will not be incorrect, and they weren't wrong about earlier this month either, so unless you were expecting a conga line of major storms then you don't get to claim that expectations haven't been met.

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  5. "A conga of major storms?" One every 2 months would be nice. Much easier to just say that the pattern is changing to more favorable storm development and then just keep pushing it back monthly.

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    1. More favorable =/= guaranteed storm. Also I do recall stating that early January would be an active pattern, but not conducive to big storms. Guess what, it was active...but there were no big storms. Go figure. Nothing was ever pushed back at any point, especially not by a month. Maybe one week, MAYBE. But not a whole month. You're the one who apparently expected a major storm every time the word "favorable" showed up, it's the expectation you set for yourself that keeps getting pushed back. Reading comprehension is a valuable tool, please learn how to utilize it.

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  6. Okay go on record now CCCC for what you are exactly expecting for this week and the last week of January? In terms of cold and major storms?

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    1. I already said what I think in some earlier posts. It's nothing deterministic because there's no reason to go beyond chances and probabilities.

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  7. Bottom line. The storm track is South and East of us and that is the way it will be this winter. We cannot even get a clipper to hit us. We will be spectators to the East coast storm this week. Not even lake effect has been normal this year for Rochester. We have only had a wimpy 39" of snow so far. I storm over 5 weeks ago. We might not hit 80" this year. It has been a cold winter and that will prove out next week but who cars about cold without snow. This winter will be a BIG disappointment for snow lovers.

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    1. http://i3.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/587/229/8e7.png

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  8. For all the complainers, it could be worse. Rochester high temperatures January 21-23 1906: 71, 68, 64. The low on January 21 was 55.

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    1. Actually that sounds great right about now

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    2. I would totally take that!

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  9. It could also be January 20th, 2012, the midst of one of the worst winters of all time for winter lovers. We spent all of that winter looking weeks into the future for any hint of a lasting cold pattern let alone snow chances, and by the end of January we knew for sure that the whole thing would be a dead ratter. The airport had recorded 16.2 inches of snow for the entire season by this point in that winter as well. This season has been so much easier to take compared to that one, we've had some decent wintry stretches and the future outlook is ten thousand times brighter.

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    1. With all due respect CCC we have been hearing that the future looks brighter for snow since the beginning of December and it has not happened yet. We are now at the end of January with only 39" of snow. Next week looks dismal for snow so that means that February needs to be a prolific snow producer just to get us to our average snowfall for the year of 100". I really do not count March too much because it can go either way. We have seen no snow in March in past years to BIG storms.

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    2. First of all..."Sowdog." lol

      Second, the only time it really didn't happen was December. The snowier outlook for early January verified and so will the snowy one for late month (but not for everyone, which we've already gone over).

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  10. Not sure what KW and Scott see for next week but I hope they are right as far as snow goes. I see nothing but clippers going by to our south and east and coastal storms way to far south east through next week. They are the professionals. The NWS has us in a minor droughtt right now.

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  11. From KW:

    New GFS run keeps weekend system's snow safely S/E of ROC...but pretty big strike closer to coast. Still early.

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  12. Anybody but myself notice it seems to cloud up during the day and be clear and bitter cold at night?Did any one catch Glen Johnson's forecast last night that called for sunny skies with clouding late in the day?I guess his idea of late day is 7:30 in the morning because right on time we have clouds moving in.My question to Mr.Johnson would have to be,do you ever stop looking at the computer models and look out the window to see what it's really doing?

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  13. 12z GFS continuing to verify that Rochester can forget a snow storm at least for the next 10 days. I do not care to hear about a pattern change unless someone thinks that pattern change gives us a great shot at a big storm. Last week CCCC mentioned the wind chills values would approach warning criteria next week. Now the real cold is basically an after thought. This will be like the winter we had 2 years ago very weak on snow.

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    1. "12z GFS continuing to verify that Rochester can forget a snow storm at least for the next 10 days."

      Because the I-95 corridor knew they were going to have a storm this weekend from 10 days out when the GFS began its consistent run of showing such a thing...except for the fact that it showed a fish storm until yesterday. Turns out that the GFS is complete garbage beyond day 5, just like every other model in this pattern, which has been brought up over 8000 times. Also I'm pretty sure the 12z GFS wasn't even out to Day 10 at 11:14...

      "I do not care to hear about a pattern change unless someone thinks that pattern change gives us a great shot at a big storm."

      There is no such thing as a high-chance big storm pattern. You're chasing a ghost.

      "Last week CCCC mentioned the wind chills values would approach warning criteria next week. Now the real cold is basically an after thought."

      The cold is still on but it doesn't look as intense as it did before, I'll give you that much. Still not an afterthought though.

      "This will be like the winter we had 2 years ago very weak on snow."

      Because there is zero chance that the next seven weeks of winter will produce anything...

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    2. What's a fish storm?

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  14. Now you are catching on CCCC. I sense the frustration with you in regards to this being a disappointing winter this far. You know, as do I, that there is not much time left for any big storms to develop. So you can pretend that the nickel and dime stuff excites you but I will not.

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    1. Give her a day or two and she will be hyping up some "favorable" chance to get a good amount of snow about a week out. It's happened all winter.

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    2. Nickel and dime stuff doesn't excite me, it just provides something to track. Much better alternative to complaining about a lack of big storms. Also who's "catching on" to what now? We have seven solid weeks left to get a major storm, no frustration on my part there.

      "Give her a day or two and she will be hyping up some "favorable" chance to get a good amount of snow about a week out."

      >her

      I've said several times that I'm a guy and my username is a reference to a TV show. If you're going to try to bait me then at least get my gender correct. I'm certain that you know the difference between "favorable" and "bah gawd king we're getting a big storm."

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    3. A little testy are we? Not everyone pays attention to your every word to know what your screen name means.

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    4. Well now you know, so your future trolling efforts will at least be accurate in that respect.

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    5. Who's trolling? Disagreeing with you doesn't equal trolling.

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    6. You were antagonizing. Not the same as disagreeing.

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    7. It's not my fault you are offended easily. Stating the truth isn't antagonizing in the least.

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    8. Looks like you proved anon 11:55's point.

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    9. Anon had no point. At all. He came here to antagonize, the end.

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  15. Are the tropics starting to awaken? If we can get the southern stream to wake up and start lobbing grenades, people with gut feelings for February may be on to something.

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    1. That's where the SOI dip comes into play...negative SOI indicates a warmer equatorial Pacific, which juices the subtropical jet stream. If (read: IF) we manage to get a favorable pattern going for long enough then the naysayers will be eating major crow before long. Again, big time IF.

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  16. If we end up with anything out of the weekend system it would be nothing short of a miracle at this point. That cold sector precip shield won't extend far enough inland to reach us even if the low center hugs the coast. The next one is still up in the air and we aren't out of contention to get something from it, but the major concern is still a miss to the south. I'm sure none of the weenies would be too devastated if that happened, it's not a big storm so it's not worth our time anyway... /s

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  17. Just wondering what people think a BIG storm is to them, I feel that anything over 1 ft is a BIG storm. Anything under a ft is just a storm to me.

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    1. I've actually thought about this question somewhat in-depth before, and I've broken my answer down into categories:

      1-3: minor snowfall
      3-6: moderate snowfall
      6-12: significant storm
      12-18: major storm
      18-24: big storm
      24+ monster storm

      All of these are generally for a 36 hour time period or less. The amount of wind as well as snowfall rates also add a few big nuances, since a 6-12 inch storm with 2-3 inch per hour rates and a lot of wind is objectively worse (or better if you're a storm-obsessed nutjob like most of us) than a 12-18 inch storm with moderate rates and no wind. I don't really look for "big" storms as much as I look for "exciting" storms...I like being able to look outside and see whiteouts all over the place, the difference between getting 8 inches vs 14 inches in that scenario isn't terribly important to me. The final snow amount just so happens to be the simplest way to categorize the "magnitude" of a storm.

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  18. All I see for next week is a very weak clipper by Wednesday. Other than that it looks boring again. January will end up colder than nomral but well below nomral in snowfall.

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  19. Bold prediction: we get a surprise massive lakes cutter on the 31st that drives the temperature up to 70 and skews the monthly temperature back towards average :P

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  20. http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gfs-ens/2015012112/gfs-ens_z500a_namer_41.png
    http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/gem-ens/2015012112/gem-ens_z500a_namer_41.png
    http://www.tropicaltidbits.com/analysis/models/ecmwf-ens/2015012112/ecmwf-ens_z500a_namer_11.png

    Now just what in the hell are those supposed to be? Well dearest blogger, those are ensemble means for the 500 mb level of our atmosphere 10 days from now. But that's not the point of interest here. Notice the little ripple in the southwest on all three of those graphics. That's a shortwave in the process of digging down into the southern tier of states, and it has a positive tilt no less. But that's still not very interesting right? Here are reanalysis maps for several notable storms in our region's history:

    http://meteocentre.com/reanalyses/cartes/ncep/amer/1966012812.gif
    http://meteocentre.com/reanalyses/cartes/ncep/amer/1966012106.gif
    http://meteocentre.com/reanalyses/cartes/ncep/amer/1960021112.gif
    http://meteocentre.com/reanalyses/cartes/ncep/amer/2010022306.gif

    Obviously none of those are exact matches, but they all have one common feature: that positive tilted shortwave in the southwest. I think by now you've figured out where I'm going with this. No it's not off of a cliff or into the loony bin, it's directly into another long range time period of interest for potential storminess. That's right, once again CCCC is spouting off about yet another imaginary storm way out there in time. However, dearest blogger, I've presented to you a set of concrete reasons to have at least a minor interest in that general time period for *something* to *possibly* deliver for *someone* in the eastern states. Those reasons go far beyond a cursory glimpse at the latest GFS run, or some internal bitterness from having been emotionally assaulted by mother nature one too many times. I'm hardly alone on this fledgling bandwagon either.

    By the way, none of this means that next week's clipper is a done deal. It's still something to monitor for a possible modest snowfall.

    And also, by the way, these little blurbs about future storm potentials are never going away. You will never get off Mr. Weenie's Wild Ride. Complain all you want, throw as many tantrums as you want, I'm never ever going to stop >:)

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  21. Well I am outta here until something is going to happen for sure. I am tired of hearing week after week that something is going to change and it never does. Until there is something to talk about I am outta here. Maybe by February we will have something we can blog about. This winter is BORING!!!!!!!

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    1. The slow and steady meltdown has finally reached its apex...

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  22. Bye Snowdog. You can't stay away for long. I've tried it before and curiosity will get you every time. Maybe you need a break. We all do once in a while.

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    1. Yeah, poor guy finally collapsed under the weight of unmet expectations. But like you I doubt he'll be away for very long. I've tried taking breaks several times myself, and the only time I ever succeeded was last winter after the lake effect blizzard. And that was only because I was burnt out from tracking so many storms.

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  23. Chris now in PenfieldJanuary 21, 2015 at 8:06 PM

    Searching my memory for an analog year for 2014-15…two years come to mind…2000-01 and 2006-07. '00-'01 featured a cold snowy start with a T-day storm…then not much for December and January…but finished strong in Feb. and March, including one of the bigger busts I have seen, the mid-March "blizzard" that closed schools for two days in advance and we got 6".

    2006-07 was more snowy in January, after a pathetic start with basically no snow at ROC in December. I believe that was the year of Valentine's Day storm, and Redfield (Oswego Co) got bombed with 100" of snow in 3 or 4 days.

    Thoughts?

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    1. I had no idea that the infamous Bust of 2001 had ramifications for this region. I knew it was slated to be some legendary monster for the history books, but I only ever saw coastal folks reminisce about how huge of a disappointment it was. Apparently one of the analogs for that storm was the blizzard of '66, which I just learned a few minutes ago while doing some Google-fu. The biggest "bust" I can remember was the Groundhog Day Superstorm-That-Wasn't back in 2009. With only four days to go before the zero hour it began a marked trend towards weaker and more eastward in the models, and when it actually arrived it only managed to produce a few inches of fluff right along the coast. Not a true bust by any means, but it's the closest thing to one that I can recall personally. Anyway back on topic...I'm not so sure that either of those seasons would make good analogs to this point. It requires more than just comparing sensible surface conditions, you have to look at the mean 500mb configuration to get a good idea. I haven't done anything in-depth myself, but I've seen vague references to 2004-05 being tossed around as a potential analog. Otherwise I don't really see any major flags one way or the other...maybe the next few months are super exciting and snowy or maybe they completely crap the bed. No way of knowing for sure.

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    2. Chris now in PenfieldJanuary 21, 2015 at 8:31 PM

      Yeah, as I mentioned, I am going strictly on memory…nothing scientific. I remember 2004-05 having plenty of January snow…but not so much here…more south and east. Syracuse, Binghamton, Scranton and east had plenty of snow that winter.

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  24. If you think Joe Bastardi or KW are fear-mongering hypesters then check this out:

    http://thevane.gawker.com/weather-hoaxer-threatens-the-nws-records-himself-yelli-1680725935

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  25. There is also a possibility the next two months fall near normal and this winter will be forgotten about shortly after it is over, and never brought up again.

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    1. That too. Which would actually be an okay outcome.

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  26. Only time will tell. Until it is over, I will be looking at models, at the blog pages, at various forecasts and tweets. I will look at the radar and out the window, hoping all along for the snowiest outcome possible. That is all we can do discuss the current weather and the future predictions. No need in getting all worked up about what humans have ZERO control over. Just have to hope for the best.

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  27. I second that. Cooler heads will prevail. I've kid of gotten use to this blah pattern. Been too busy to sit around and mope about it much. Maybe we will get surprised after a long break and get crushed. That would be awesome.

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    1. Chris now in PenfieldJanuary 22, 2015 at 6:57 AM

      It be boring from a snowfall perspective…however, at least it has been partly sunny or better most days. A dominant polar jet with little or no influence from the tropical jet, an occasional clipper…this is what winter in Minnesota is like.

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  28. Do u guys see something brewing for Monday, Tuesday now. Several models show a storm moving through central PA.

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  29. That's two pretty good GFS runs in a row for that clipper. It manages to dip into some southern moisture and produce a more prolific snowfall across the region, to go along with a more northerly track than previous runs had. No doubt there would be a nice boost from the lake with very cold 850 temps and a cyclonic NE flow as the system moves off the coast. I would still like to see future runs depict something similar, especially from other model suites. The 06z ensembles have come into better agreement but there is still enough spread to not commit to anything just yet. Meanwhile the Euro is less than enthused about the potential, but appears to me to be a southern outlier.

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  30. I think it is funny that Amarillo Tx just received 15" of snow and we have not had a storm close to that this year.

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    1. I would say that the 11.3" we got from the December storm is close enough. A lot of places got more than that too.

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    2. You know what's way funnier though? The fact that Amarillo got more snow from this one storm than DC, Philly, NYC and Boston have gotten all winter...combined.

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    3. Yeah, that is pretty ridiculous.

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  31. The NWS just released there updated drought map and we are in a DO drought. Abnormally dry.

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  32. After Sunday, it looks as though it's game on for snow to make a comeback.

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  33. Is this legit? Are things looking better for next week / beyond? A few days ago it was damage control for those ready to jump. Like I said in an earlier post be patient and sometimes we get surprised and it's so much better when it wasn't supposed to be that way.

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  34. The ECMWF also has a fairly potent clipper for Monday with a slightly further south track than the GFS. I hope it continues a slightly more northerly trend, I fear some people wont be able to handle a miss south.

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  35. Hp. We are used to misses in Rochester. Will not be a surprise if it does.

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    1. This winter though? With the weenie collective seemingly more on edge than they've ever been? You can bet there will be tantrums galore. Odds seem to favor at least a minor accumulating snowfall right now though.

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  36. The groundhog day time frame might be the best look we've seen so far if you're searching for more than little clippers and arctic fronts. We've had windows for activity for awhile so far, but none of them have been particularly ideal given the fast flow. However, for the first time this season, there is a consensus amongst all three major ensemble means for a north Atlantic block to establish itself towards the end of the month. It's not a true negative NAO, but for our purposes it will do. The southwest shortwave I brought up yesterday is still there, and the signal for it looks rather strong given the amount of lead time. We're also going to have a pronounced ridge out west, which will further assist any amplification that occurs. Then at the surface we have the GFS, GGEM and Euro all trying to piece together a rather juicy looking surface low towards Day 10 of their runs. But then there's a potential caveat: if the cold push for that period comes in too strong then it could shove everything SE or even stamp it out completely. There is absolutely zero reason to expect a storm to happen for us at this point, but as far as general patterns go this one provides the best chance by far this winter.

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    1. Now the pattern will change around groundhog day and when that does not happen it will be March. Too funny. We have been hearing this all winter. Pretty soon it will be next winter.

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    2. Hindsight is 20/20. I'm just saying. It's easy for you to judge and say it didn't happen. CCCC is using his own time to make meaningful posts about things that may or may not happen. If you don't like this winter don't take it out on anyone in here please. We r all frustrated with the lack of storms, I've just been busy enough with kids and work to not get all worked up about it.

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  37. Though it look to be rather cold next week and some snow; happy to see no major activity is projected at this time. We have a major accreditation visit schedule for next week with folks flying in from across the Country. For all the work that has been done over the past 6-9 months would hate to have it be delayed because of a major storm or blizzard, but again those who are looking for 13+ inches of snow at a time, will probably have something to say about this post. Okay, I've braced myself...

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  38. The NWS has us well below normal in precipitation for the next 8-14 days. Not good.

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