#Santabomb winter storm predicted for Northeastern U.S. at Christmas

A “superbomb” storm is being predicted for Christmas Day in the Northeast United states according to WeatherBell Meteorologist Dr. Ryan Maue who has pointed out it looks to be reminiscent of the Cleveland Superbomb of 1978 aka the “Great New England Blizzard of 1978”.

This GFS forecast model for Christmas Day shows the depth of the low, poised to gather moisture from the Great Lakes and dump it into the Northeastern U.S. over the next 24-48 hours, potentially making Christmas and post-Christmas travel a nightmare, but … there is a twist.

958mb_low-xmas-dayDr. Maue adds on his Twitter feed:

Exciting to see extreme weather forecasts with an item that requires dusting off the record books. 958 mb low

For reference, a 958 millibar low pressure system is as low as the central pressure for some tropical storms and nearly that of some hurricanes. For example Hurricane Sandy had a central pressure of 940 mbar or 27.76 inHg.

According to the Time article on the Cleveland Superbomb of 1978:

Meteorologists have a name for a storm that occurs when air pressure drops very rapidly as a jet stream brings in moisture: a weather bomb. In late January 1978, a low-pressure system moving from the Gulf Coast met with two other low-pressure systems, one from the Southwest and one from Canada, to create one of the worst snowstorms the Midwest has ever seen. With barometric pressure so low, it was more like a hurricane than a snowstorm, the so-called Cleveland Superbomb dumped 1-3 ft. (30-90 cm) of snow on several Midwestern states, including Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. Wind gusts approached 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h), causing snowdrifts to reach heights of 25 ft. (8 m) in some areas. Such snowdrifts made roadways impassable, forcing doctors and emergency personnel to ski and snowmobile their way to those in need. Indiana’s governor sent tanks down I-65 to remove stranded trucks, while in Ohio, National Guard helicopters flew some 2,700 missions to help stranded drivers. About 70 deaths are attributed to the storm.

While the Cleveland Superbomb has an intriguing name, the most well-known snowstorm of that year was known simply as the Great New England Blizzard of 1978. On Feb. 6, about two weeks after the Superbomb, a blizzard dealt Boston and other parts of the Northeast as many as 27 in. (69 cm) of snow with winds of 80-110 m.p.h. (130-180 km/h). Thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed and approximately 100 people died.

Maue adds:

I’ll add, it also has nothing to do with that other favorite catchphrase of the media, the “polar vortex”.

Advertisements

107 thoughts on “#Santabomb winter storm predicted for Northeastern U.S. at Christmas

  1. 1978 – wasn’t that during the time when climate scientists thought that we were perhaps entering into a new glaciation state? Naw, I have been told by climate change extremists that climate scientists all knew better, and that warming was going to be our major problem. For some reason, the mainstream media received the impression from some maverick climate scientists that glaciation was really the cause for concern. Right?

    • It is my understanding that it was all due to one article in time magazine…..however:

      1970s: Every major climate organization endorsed the ice age scare, including NCAR, CRU, NAS, NASA, as did the CIA.
      1970s: ‘Fears of a coming ice age showed up in peer-reviewed literature, at scientific conferences, by prominent scientists and throughout the media’
      February, 1973: Science Digest: “the world’s climatologists are agreed” that we must “prepare for the next ice age.”
      1971: NASA warned of human caused coming ‘ice age’.
      Flashback 1971: Hansen’s climate model says ice age to occur by 2021
      July 9, 1971: The Washington Post, Times Herald: The world could be as little as 50 or 60 years away from a disastrous new ice age, a leading atmospheric scientist predicts. Dr. S. I. Rasool of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Columbia University.
      Flashback 1972: CRU Chief Hubert Lamb of U. of East Anglia said in an Associated Press article that Earth Would Definitely Cool Over The Next Two Centuries
      1975: National Academy of Sciences Issued Report Warning of Coming Ice Age.
      May 21, 1975, New York Times: Scientists Ask Why World Climate Is Changing; Major Cooling May Be Ahead; Scientists Ponder Why World’s Climate Is Changing; a Major Cooling Widely Considered to Be Inevitable
      Flashback 1975 New York Times: Climate Experts Said That Jumbo Jets Would Cool The Planet And Produce Global Famine
      1964: CRU Director Hubert Lamb Predicted Little Ice Age for Britain.
      1972: CRU Director Hubert Lamb of U. of East Anglia Predicted A New Ice Age: ‘We are in a definite downhill course for the next two centuries.’
      1974: Office of Research and Development of the Central Intelligence Agency produced a report entitled “A Study of Climatological Research as it Pertains to Intelligence Problems”: “The western world’s leading climatologists have confirmed recent reports of a detrimental global climate change. The stability of most nations is based upon a dependable source of food, but this stability will not be possible under the new (colder) climatic era. A forecast by the University of Wisconsin projects that the earth’s climate is returning to that of the neo-boreal era (little ice age) (1600- 1850) – an era of drought, famine and political unrest in the western world.
      November 22, 1974 (AAP-Reuters, London) Science Documentary: “New ice age could be in our lifetime” “The threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind.” “Present international cooperation in meteorology was a hopeful sign that man might be able to alter the weather pattern in some way and meet the challenge of the ice.”
      1974: Global Cooling To Kill One Billion People. ‘Dr. Reid Bryson, a U. of Wisconsin climatologist, fears that climatic changes (cooling) now in progress will eventually affect the whole human population – ‘like a billion people dying,’ he says
      1975: World Meteorological Organization: Global Cooling Causes More Extreme Weather
      1977 book “The Weather Conspiracy: The Coming of the New Ice Age” – CIA Feared Global Cooling – Excerpt: In the early 1970s, top CIA thinkers concluded that changing (cooling) weather was “perhaps the greatest single challenge that America will face in coming years”. As a result they ordered several studies of the world’s climate, the likely changes to come and their probably effect on America and the rest of the world. The studies conclude that the world is entering a difficult period…
      August 8, 1974: New York Times: “Climate Changes Endanger World’s Food Output,” Excerpt: A recent meeting of climate experts in Bonn, West Germany, produced the UNANIMOUS conclusion that the (cooling) change in global weather patterns pose a severe threat to agriculture that could lead to major crop failures and mass starvation.
      January 25, 1975: Science News National Academy of Sciences Report on Global Climate Change: “We may be approaching the end of a major interglacial cycle, with the approach of a full-blown 10,000-year ice age.”
      1975: Walter Orr Roberts of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR): The Earth may have entered a new “little ice age”. There are strong signs that these recent climate disasters were not random deviations from the usual weather, but instead signals of the emergence of a new normal for world climates.
      August 14, 1975: New York Times: “many signs that the Earth may be heading for another ice age.”
      December 10, 1976: Science Magazine: heading “toward extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation.”
      1976 Book: “The Cooling: Has the Next Ice Age Already Begun” By Lowell Ponte – Excerpt: “This cooling has already killed hundreds of thousands of people. If it continues and no strong action is taken, it will cause world famine, world chaos and world war, and this could all come about before the year 2000.”

      • Leon,
        It seems you’ve developed a psychosis over weather, climate change, change of climate, ice ages especially, hot ages, fudgicles, icicles blah, blah, blah. Like who really gives a spit? Weather is weather; all of us must roll with the punches and since we can’t do a damned thing about it, sit back and relax. If an ice age is approaching, those in the blanket business will do very well.

      • For once I agree with Nick. The 1971 Washington Post article referenced clearly says that the prognostication on cooling came from a scientist who used Hansen’s program/model for Venus cloud studies to try to model the earth cloud cover impact. One presumes that Hansen was ok with that application of his tool, but it doesn’t make him the author of the prediction. Hansen has plenty of issues without flogging him with this.
        Taylor

      • Nick that patently not true, his model was used in a paper published in 1971, that people who wrote the paper used his model to predicted and ice age by 2021, he now claim that model was not meant to be used for that, funny he had no complaint back in 1971 about the misuse. The paper was on cooling due to particulate in the air, causing light scattering, the model, modeled the light scattering, the rest of the team used the model result for the prediction. Funny over thirty years later Hanson claims the teamed misuse his model. Take it were you want but you statement is false, his name was on the paper as a contributor.

        Now if you want to debate the meaning of words the claim Hanson predicted a ice age buy 2021 would be incorrect but the claim “Hansen’s climate model says ice age to occur by 2021″ is mostly correct you could argue it was not a climate model I will give you that point, it still makes you statement incorrect. A more precise statement would be Hansen’s particulate light scattering model says ice age to occur by 2021.

        Live by model die by models, in the mean time the earth does what it does in spite of the models.

      • ” A more precise statement would be Hansen’s particulate light scattering model says ice age to occur by 2021.”
        R&S used Hansen’s radiative scattering model that he developed for Venus. But that was only part of their model for temperature outcome. They did their own model for CO2 etc. You need a lot more than just a scattering model to make a prediction.

        But R&S did not predict an ice age by 2021. They said:
        “An increase by only a factor of 4 in global aerosol background concentration may be sufficient to reduce the surface temperature by as much as 3.5 ° K. If sustained over a period of several years, such a temperature decrease over the whole globe is believed to be sufficient to trigger an ice age.”
        And that’s likely true, then and now. But it was conditional. Aerosols didn’t increase by a factor of 4; in fact they would have been near their peak, just about the time of the Clean Air Act.

      • True, the statement “Flashback 1971: Hansen’s climate model says ice age to occur by 2021” is a bit loose with the connection. I wrote a note about the actual paper in question, by Rasool and Schneider. Schneider went on to become a big-time warmer and later made some unfortunate comments on deciding “what the right balance is between being effective and being honest”
        http://judithcurry.com/2011/07/21/stephen-schneider-and-the-%e2%80%9cdouble-ethical-bind%e2%80%9d-of-climate-change-communication/
        Meanwhile, in 1971 Hansen was publishing papers on radiative transfer in clouds and aerosols with NASA/GISS, the same outfit that Rasool was with at the time. http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/year/1971.html
        Hansen himself in quoted by Joe Romm in Climate Progress (yechhhh) http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2007/09/27/201916/james-hansen-ice-age-myth/
        that he wrote his first climate paper in 1976. Since that’s a verifiable remark, my first guess is that it’s true.
        Deviation: the title of Romm’s article, Swift-Boating James Hansen, doesn’t do anything to enhance its credibility, I know some “Swifties” Boat fellows who served with Kerry and truly despised him and his actions, and that the Swift Boat stories and ads back in ’04 were all true. Romm’s attempt to turn their service into a perjorative is not appreciated. But back to the ice age…
        So it appears Hansen did not predict an ice age, but Schneider and Rasool, while perhaps not “predicting”, but “projecting” (as in the quasi-medical term, “projectile modeling”), did. They did conclude with the statement “believed to be sufficient to trigger an ice age.” I thought it was pretty good paper at the time, and still do, since their smallish assessment of climate sensitivity (0.8K for a CO2 doubling) is so much better than the more recent numbers. It also had all the basic physics spelled out, unlike more recent “black box” models.

    • This is more or less correct. The only speculation of entering a new glacial period was on the order of 10k years and review of the literature will show this was a minority opinion. The scientifically illiterate media spun this to mean we should expect cold weather now.

    • The fears about glaciation were from the early 1970’s. By the late 1970’s, the propaganda had begun to swing. I DO recall my public schooling (pre 1975) when we were encouraged to conserve energy to avoid helping the onset of a new ice age. Plus ca change.

    • If you look at the papers that were published on climatolgy through the late 60s through the early 80s you’d see that the idea of a coming glaciation period was never a majority position. It was floated by a couple of researchers right around 1970 based on their concerns regarding increased solar reflection due to suspended aerosols. After review and analysis the theory failed to gain the endorsement of the majority of researchers working in the field. After significant problems were discovered in the underlying thesis the community essentially rejected the theory by the late 70s. That’s how science is supposed to work. A scientist has an idea, they work to support that idea, the idea is reviewed by the community as a whole and is either rejected, incorporated into the existing body of knowledge, or forms the foundation for a new paradigm.

  2. Since when did a severe storm become a “weather bomb” ? Is a cloudburst a “precipitation grenade”? Or a hailstorm “glacial shrapnel”? Hyperbole before objectiity.
    In the mean time I hope those affected keep warm and safe.

  3. That was a bad week, but I made my appointments in Boston, Newark, DC and St Louis, but had to come home to Vancouver, as DFW was closed due to an ice storm. Had a delightful ride in the last seat in the club car from Boston to Newark, eating sandwiches, drinking Gin and Tonic, and playing bridge, while the “regular” passenger cars were SRO like cattle. I think that train trip took 8 hours….

  4. Thank you, Ryan, for retiring the term “superstorm”. With every little hiccup being called a super-something, they’ve desensitized anyone listening.

    Cheers.

    PS: I would prefer a warm and sunny forecast as opposed to cold and snowy.

    • Superstorm, supersized, supermodels (both climate and fashion?), supermarket, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, supercilious – yep, overused to the point of becoming superfluous. And now hyper is becoming the new super.
      I’m with you Bob, and long for the good old days (1967) when the greatest snow storm in Chicago’s history was called, simply, the “Big Snow”.
      And the mayor of the Toddlin’ Town, Dick Daley the First, was simply called Big…, well, never mind.

  5. I remember back in either ’68 or ’69, it snowed like all hell on Easter Sunday. I went out to shovel and my neighbor, not knowing anything about me, blamed it on the Jews. This one I would expect is pinned on ISIS.

    • If you were in the midwest back then it would be 1970. Was in boot camp in north Chicago and had to shovel it.

  6. “1978 – wasn’t that during the time when climate scientists thought that we were perhaps entering into a new glaciation state? Naw, I have been told by climate change extremists that climate scientists all knew better, and that warming was going to be our major problem. For some reason, the mainstream media received the impression from some maverick climate scientists that glaciation was really the cause for concern. Right?”

    And Just think Jim S., this time (if it happens) they’ll blame it on warming and maybe, just maybe, 40 years from now they’ll say that they really didn’t believe all that warming jazz anyways.

  7. I’ll believe it when I see it … On this subject though, it has been interesting to watch the models shift the weather pattern during Christmas week, to one that should bring more winter-like weather to much of the eastern 2/3rds of the U.S.

  8. I was attending Virginia Tech (Blacksburg VA) in 1978. I remember the storm very well. They closed the campus. And it was much worse farther north/west.

    • Eustace, a fellow Hokie! I was there too. IIRC, it was the first time classes had ever been cancelled (the off-campus student population was much greater than previous times, so that’s a partial explanation). The next day opened but only half the students were present.

      • Not a Hokie, but my Fiance’ was at the time. I drove up to Blacksburg every weekend, ice storm or snow! If you saw some clown trying to jump start a green VW Beetle around the commons, that was me.

    • The map is for normalized anomalies of temperature. Mean sea-level pressure is depicted by the isobars (lines of equal pressure).
      Red means temperature higher than normal (6°C warmer than normal), white is normal and it goes down to blue, green and purple (6°C colder than normal).

  9. I live in New England and I like these sorts of longer range forecasts. Even if we don’t get a large amount of snow, I can prepared nonetheless. Snow/ice removal is a major issue and is very time consuming when we get a big dump. The last storm we had was particularly annoying as it was mostly heavy, wet snow (temps around 32 – 34 deg), which is difficult for most snow blowers (including mine) to handle.

  10. Don’t know if anyone besides me notices, but there is frequently a powerful winter storm right about the winter solstice, give or take a few days. It happens most years out here in the Great Plains.

    • Yes, winter storms are associated with…winter. The Solstice comes a bit before the “dead of winter,” so the worst storms might be expected about Feb 1st, more than a few days after mid-December. Have you any data? You may be onto something, depending on the timing/pattern of winter humidities vs temperatures. I wouldn’t expect a strong correlation, though.

      • 75 years worth of personal observations. Doesn’t happen every year, but most years. What does your data say?

    • And then there’s the well-known “January Thaw” around the end of Jan and/or first few days of Feb. Then there’s usually cold/snow shortly afterwards.

  11. The Cleveland Superbomb and the New England Blizzard of 78 were 2 separate storms about 10 days apart. The former on January 26, the latter on February 6.

  12. So the “twist” is that high winds but little cold and snow for Christmas in E and upper Midwest?

    Wasn’t very clear what the “twist” was supposed to be.

    Then it gets brutally cold in 4-7 days?

    • My guess is the twist is the expected lack of cold air, making for a mostly rain event. The cold air will be late to the party.

  13. I was forecasting in Ft Wayne IN at WANE-TV. My opening line the day before was, “So you think you are going to work tomorrow?!” I went to work in a snowmobile! LFM and NGM were models of choice, if you could see them. It was not like today’s suite of models! My wife’s VW was a bump in the parking lot!

  14. The White House science team is already running test market explanations on lab subjects and donor groups.

  15. The last sentence says it has nothing to do with polar vortex. How are they different from a meteorological standpoint?

    • There can be a cold air mass that forms in the polar region and circulates in a counter clockwise pattern. Then it is forced out of that location by movement of other air masses (think high pressure moving from the northern Pacific O. ). When that cold polar circulation travels south it can be called a polar vortex.**
      The storm now of interest is forming in the east-center of North America (forming in-place; in situ) – so not polar. As this low moves eastward the air will be replaced by cold air from north of its location. This is a typical pattern or sequence except that the pressure is quite low and the winds will be strong.
      _______
      **http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/what-is-a-polar-vortex/21793077

  16. Personal observation with no climate content. The Blizzard of ’78 left Boston totally frozen. Friends built a giant Bhudda in the reflecting pool outside of the World Headquarters of the Christian Scientists when the Boston snow removal teams left a huge mound begging for sculpting. Idle hands and all that.

    • A friend of mine was lving in Cambridge during the Blizzard of ’78. The snow on the street was piled so high that her VW Beetle didn’t reappear for almost two months.

      • Dittos. I was there too. Garden Street wasn’t cleared for over a week, and in that time all we heard were snowmobiles and helicopters.

  17. I have no idea what maud is saying.

    What is the difference between a super Bomb and the retired term superstore?

    What does it mean: it is just like the super bomb of 1978 except no cold and no snow. Is that like saying spring is just like winter except for the cold and ice?

    Does Maue drink?

    If so, then cheers.

    Meanwhile I have a more accurate forecast: we will definitely have snow on Christmas…or not.

    • Alx,
      “What is the difference between a super Bomb and the retired term superstore?”
      I think your spell checker may have got the better of you . 😄
      “Weather bomb”=”sometimes the weather is bad”
      “Super bomb” = “sometimes the weather is super bad”
      Martin

    • Right. For New England there were actually three storms:

      1) In January a storm brought a record 24 hour snowfall to Boston and the east coast. I parked my VW Rabbit in a snow bank while I cleared the driveway and got snow on the external timing belt making it slip and the engine have zero compression. I figured out how to fix it the next day. This storm was poorly forecast by models.

      2) At the end of January, the midwest storm brought a record low air pressure to Cleveland, and quite a bit of rain to New York, Boston, etc. This is called the Blizzard of ’78 or the “Great White Hurricane” in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio and well deserves both titles.

      3) Feb 6th brought another record 24 hour snowfall, winds that nearly blew my VW Rabbit off I 495, massive storm surges that destroyed hundreds of homes and killed dozens of people. It is known as the Blizzard of ’78 in New England states and well deserves that title. This storm was extremely well forecasted by the models, but between the poor job for the first storm and big problem of snow starting around 1100, everyone was at school and work, leading to massive mayhem trying to get home. While several of its records have been broken, it remains the benchmark that all other storms are compared against.

      I had the most awesome, impossible to duplicate drive home that night. See http://wermenh.com/blizz78.html and its companion.

      Storm started Monday, this was Wednesday: http://wermenh.com/images/bliz78_int.jpg

      • I was in Hoboken, NJ at college. They shut down for the first time in their 100+ year history due to weather.

      • I remember that winter down here. I had not been in Virginia very long, but it seemed that every weekend, we were getting an ice storm. I thought that was normal for the area. However since that winter, we have had a couple of MONSTER ice storms, but they have been very few and far between. That winter, they were as regular as the weekend.

  18. Anyone who lived in the Midwest during the winters of ’76-’77, ’77-’78, and ’78-’79 will remember the exceptional cold and snow of the late ’70s in that part of the world.

    1-17-1977 is the coldest night I’ve ever experienced: -25°F, and about -60°F wind chill, struggling home on shank’s ponies after our van froze up at 2 am on the way back from a b-ball game. If not for a Good Samaritan in a Corvette, we’d all have had frostbite, if not a trip to the undertaker. Yeah, it took two trips – ladies first, ‘n’ all.

    By contrast, this past summer out in the desert, I didn’t get my 120°F bike ride; had to settle for 119°.

    ‘Didn’t need to be rescued, either.

  19. when reading this one has to ask ,where is St Gore spending Christmas ?
    Perhaps once his bleed AGW dry of funds he can rent himself out to ski resorts as a type of ‘human ‘ snow blower .

  20. Slightly OT — I was watching The Weather Channel at about 3 PM MST today, and could have sworn they had the graphics of a low-pressure area on the east coast of the US, with the winds rotating CW instead of CCW. When this caught my attention (I was running on the treadmill), they switched to a different map before I could verify this.

  21. So North America is going to steal all the snow this year as well.
    you got it all last year, leave some for us this year you greedy barstewards!
    I don’t need or want that much, just a nice white blanket for christmas.

  22. Leon says:
    “It is my understanding that it was all due to one article in time magazine…..however…:”
    and provides a long list of references to the Ice Age scare – thanks, and I’ll keep it on file.
    But you left out what I think is the most significant article, that of Rasool and Schneider in the esteemed journal Science in 1971, “Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Aerosols: Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate”. It was written with “many contributions” from James Hansen, so you know it’s got to be good.
    The abstract is at http://www.sciencemag.org/content/173/3992/138 but the full text is paywalled after 43 years. The concluding words of the abstract say it all: “such a temperature decrease over the whole globe is believed to be sufficient to trigger an ice age.”
    Schneider later distanced himself from the paper, citing numerous errors, but that’s curious, since his published climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 is 0.8K (more like 0.5K if you look at his figure 1), much closer to reality than more recent values from Hansen, IPCC, et al.
    Perhaps when the glaciers grind across Manhattan to engulf the NASA/GISS Seinfeld Lab, Schneider’s early work will be vindicated.

  23. November 1950 sticks in my mind. The snow buried the house on the east and west sides where the doors were. Dad climbed out a south window to shovel out the doors and was throwing the snow well above his 6’2″ head. The Nat’l Guard came to fetch him in a tank with plow front.. Joe D’Aleo has an article on Weatherbell about that storm. http://www.weatherbell.com/newsletter-9-20-2011-d

  24. My solar based long range forecast had it cooling again close to Xmas, and turning sharply colder from around the 27th Dec. The cold should begin to ease from around 20th Jan, and with the next major cold shot starting from just after mid March.

  25. A “superbomb” storm is being predicted for Christmas Day in the Northeast United states according to WeatherBell Meteorologist Dr. Ryan Maue who has pointed out it looks to be reminiscent of the Cleveland Superbomb of 1978 aka the “Great New England Blizzard of 1978″.

    As the article that you linked to points out, the Cleveland Superbomb and the Great New England Blizzard were two separate events that winter, separated by about 2 weeks. This is apparent from the track of the storm, a bombing low well to the west of New England means that New England is on the warm side of the storm, i.e., the counterclockwise circulation would bring up warm air from the south.

    Indeed, the extended forecast for Rochester, NY is predicting rain Christmas Eve with highs in the upper 40s. A changeover to snow might occur once the low passes to our east. Or, to quote from the current NWS forecast discussion out of Buffalo (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/view/prodsByState.php?state=NY&prodtype=discussion): “TEMPERATURES SHOULD COOL CHRISTMAS DAY AND BEYOND. THIS WILL PROBABLY CHANGE OVER PRECIPITATION TO SNOW BUT SIGNIFICANT…OR ANY…ACCUMULATION IS STILL HIGHLY UNCERTAIN.”

  26. nearly 60 years ago (March 1956) there were 3 blizzards within a week in New England, the 3rd with some unusual properties (see article)…. if this were to happen today then ofc the shrieks about “climate change” and CO2 would be unending….. not sure what can be said about climate change and 1956…..

    http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/mwr/084/mwr-084-03-0116.pdf

    This storm/storms gets neglected in discussions of worst east coast winter storms because there were 3 different storms, and ofc it’s mild compared to what Buffalo can get…. but for the Boston area this was severe weather, or so I’ve heard (it was all before my time).

    • That reminds me of a similar sequence of whopper storms two years later, in March 1958. More than 50 inches fell in the NW suburbs of Philadelphia. Closer in, where I was a kid, two feet of slop stripped all the branches off a pine in our front yard, something that happened all over the place and knocked out the power for 3-4 days. My dad cooked hot dogs in the fireplace, an experience awesome enough that I repeated it for my kids years later in Colorado, where these storms are a bit more common.
      I love the Monthly Weather Review reference, back when the MWR was written by Weather Bureau people and was, we.ll, a review of the weather (not climate). So here’s the 1958 equivalent: http://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/mwr/086/mwr-086-03-0109.pdf and another link with more numbers http://www.glenallenweather.com/historylinks/1958/3-19-1958snow.pdf
      1957-58 was an El Nino winter, but nobody knew it back then. There was also a monster solar flare that lit up the northern lights over Cuba. Between the two, I’d say the Nino had more effect

      • Dr. Keen, thanks for your comments.

        My recollection of your article of several years ago, suggests that the current nearly El Nino conditions increases the chance of a big snow dump in the foothills above Boulder in the spring. How is my memory?

      • Don, youf memory serves you well. The article you’re thinking of is probably this:
        Thirty years in the Bull’s-eye: a climatology of meter-class snow storms in the Front Range foothills
        CU Hydrologic Sciences Symposium 2010
        http://hydrosciences.colorado.edu/symposium/abstract_details_archive.php?abstract_id=155
        which concluded that a big snow dump (40 inches or more) is 15 times more likely during el Nino than otherwise. The storms are those recorded at my home/weather station (I’m a 30-year co-op observer) at 9000 feet, but most of the storms in question were big snows in Boulder, too (a few were rain down there).
        As for this year, my opinion is that there is not and has not been an el Nino, but that all depends on what criteria one takes. There’s been some warm equatorial water in the Pacific, and one westerly wind burst and Kelvin wave back in January. But the atmosphere has never kicked into el Nino mode, so there’s been no westerly wind busts, cyclone pairs (which are my pet symptoms of el Nino), and above all, no big Front Range snow dumps!

  27. For reference, a 958 millibar low pressure system is as low as the central pressure for some tropical storms and nearly that of some hurricanes.

    I mentioned before that Cleveland set a record low pressure.

    In https://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/10/35-years-ago-the-witch-of-november-come-stealin/ I look at other Great Lakes storms and noted:

    1978 Jan 26 “Great Blizzard of ’78” Cleveland: 958 mb = 28.28″, Canada: 950 mb = 28.05″

    By some accounts, the entire winter of 77-78 was the worse since records began in the early 1800s, but this storm was by far the most severe of the 18 major storms. This affected an area further east than most of the storms mentioned here. Cleveland set its all time low air pressure, and most reports come from Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio.

    Similar pressure, less cold, no problem!

    I have a couple links that still work, Gunga Din found one of them, http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dtx/stories/blizzard1978.php . One paragraph of note:

    The incredible Blizzard of January 26-27th, 1978 evolved out of a winter that was infamous for cold and storms. The Winter of 1977-78 thus far had been one the coldest, since records began, in many areas from the Rockies eastward to the Appalachians. Mammoth blizzards occurred late in January and early February from the Midwest to the East Coast as strong Arctic plunges dove south into the country and met up with the warmer winds from the deep south. The winter of 1977-78 was similar to its predecessor (1976-77) in terms of cold. The main difference between the two winters, however, came in February. In 1977, temperatures moderated rapidly during February, while in 1978, the cold actually worsened – with several locations reporting their coldest recorded February to date. The Winter of 1977-78 is written down in the record books as Detroit’s seventh coldest winter, Flint’s fifth coldest and Saginaw’s sixth. West of the Rockies, it was a different story as a dominant upper ridge of high pressure provided a relatively mild winter, with some stations even reporting one of their warmest winters on record.

    Weatherbell Analytics is using 1976-77 as one of their analog years. Maybe we’ll have two good winters.

    Finally, the lowest pressure was recorded recently in a non-blizzard:

    2010 Oct 26 “Chiclone” 954.9 mb = 28.20″

    Strongest non-tropical storm on record in the non-coastal continental United States (whew!)

  28. In the 1970’s I was living in Calumet Michigan. I don’t remember most of the storms as a normal winter breeze seemed like about 30 knots. . For me It was put more wood inside, cardboard around the car, make sure of the beer supply and stoke the sauna. I do remember the Nov 11,1975 storm as I lost some possessions.
    After one storm, I do remember joining a crew poling for cars on snow shoes in town. Poling for cars was basically carrying a sack of colored bamboo poles and poking them down in the snow. When you hit the familiar sound of a car you poked around to mark the corners so the huge truck mounted snow blowers could get close without actually hitting the car. Very tiring work.

  29. Anthony; how could a practising meteorologist allow such a blog post? There’s no nice way to put it. At 168 hours out the GFS (Goofy For Snow) model is a joke. Even the ECMWF has large uncertainties at that range, but I do trust it a bit more than the GFS. Apparently the ECMWF says “not so much snow and cold”. The blog post is overhyping things.

  30. As Vic Werme states, the Cleaveland 1978 Superbomb was a warm storm in New England, between two far worse New England blizzards. It had the effect of turning the street-side snowbanks, leftover from the first blizzard, to slush, which then froze as hard as rock, and became a problem when the second blizzard arrived, as the snowbanks wouldn’t budge and the snow plowed by plows went up the rock-like banks and then tumbled back down into the streets behind the plows.

    Another effect of the warm storm was surprise flooding on the coast of Maine. The bays and inlets and harbors opened to the southeast, and the warm southeast wind was so strong it sort of dented your eyeballs. The tide kept right on rising after high tide.

    I was living on a shack on a dock on the Harraseeket River in South Freeport, and my idyllic little home was washed off the dock onto the mudflats. It is an amazing thing to watch your house go blub-blub-blub. I had a extensive collection of Jimi Hendrix albums which was ruined, for it turned out it was impossible to remove mudflat mud from the grooves of those old fashioned records. It seemed tragic at the time, however it was probably healthy to stop listening to that stuff all day. Every storm has a silver lining.

    • Instead of using the power of computers to model CO2 and hockey sticks, is anyone working on digitizing past conditions that led to notable events? If not, they should. Then present conditions could be compared and warnings issued to actually save lives now instead of hypothetically 100 years from now.
      To accomplish that would be a grant that wouldn’t be throwing good money after bad.

  31. That stupendous storm hit NYC hard. Not only did we get a lot of snow, the neap tide arrived with the storm and many coastal homes were either damaged or destroyed.

    I was watching the news during the storm and was stunned to see one of my friends be rescued by the fire department from her home which was surrounded by raging seas and then her lovely Victorian house with a huge porch was chewed to bits and utterly sucked into the raging seas and vanished forever.

    She told me later that she heard someone using a battering ram on her back door, ran downstairs and plunged into water, ran back up and opened the window and began screaming and a neighbor got the fire department for her which was only a few blocks away.

    She nearly died! And people did die.

  32. An unfortunate (as in really bad weather) start for this forecast….

    “Average global atmospheric and oceanic temperatures will drop significantly beginning between 2015”

    “The Space and Science Research Corporation (SSRC) announces today an important set of climate change predictions dealing with the coming cold climate epoch that will dominate global temperatures for the next thirty years.

    According to analysis of the most reliable solar activity trends and climate models based on the Relational Cycle Theory (RC Theory), the SSRC concludes the following: http://spaceandscience.net/id16.html

  33. Regarding whether Sandy was a hurricane as it reached NJ, the data show surface temperatures actually rose a bit as the eye moved onshore, a few miles south of my location. So, it was still warm core. One could speculate that NWS wonks, who decided a couple of days beforehand that it would transition to extratropical before landfall, were self-serving and trying to save face in not issuing hurricane warnings, and then also in subsequently classifying it as extratropical prior to the eye’s evening landfall. Certainly there were tropical storm force winds in the afternoon; why at least no TS warning? Can you say “verification?” Can you say “desire to not issue overly-complicated and onerous Hurricane Local Statements and associated grids?” The odds favor Sandy being reclassified as a hurricane after further review in a few years. Of course, that’s way too late to follow the “course of least regret” (the tenet which the NWS always used to follow) and truly warn the populace of approaching hurricane conditions. I believe more people would have evacuated and not been in harm’s way had a hurricane warning been issued, and administrative geeks not been in charge.

  34. Scotland was hit by a “weather bomb” last week, much hyped by Met Office forecasters, the BBC and other gullible alarmists. It was windy for about 6 hours and some trees were blown over. There were some big waves on western shores, and some rain also fell, snow on the mountains. I don’t think anybody died. In the 1970s, 80s and even 90s, this kind of weather was called “a wet and windy day”.

  35. Well here’s the current forecast from the Albany NY guys, still looks like a coin toss…

    Tuesday night into Christmas… the long-wave trough revs up and
    turns negatively tilted Tuesday night. Short-wave energy digging around
    the base of the trough helps another surface cyclone form over the
    Carolinas Tuesday night. There maybe a brief lull in the precipitation before
    this next wave races towards the northeast. An area of upper level
    diffluence sets up over the northeast by Wednesday morning. The
    coastal wave looks to take an inland track allowing milder air to
    flood into most of eastern New York and western New England. Strong qg Omega
    occurs due to strong convergence ahead of the intensifying and
    deepening wave…as it moves towards NYC by Wednesday afternoon. The h850
    winds increase to 35-50+ kts from the east/southeast during the afternoon. It
    could be quite windy…as the surface low deepens potentially to 975 hpa
    or by early Wednesday evening…especially from then Hudson River valley
    eastward. A narrow cold frontal rainband could even form…if the
    wave tracks along or just east of the Hudson River valley…though
    the gefs mean has the wave as far west at the kbuf-kroc corridor.
    Periods of rain… possibly heavy could be possible…but if the
    track is further east it could be snow and rain for a larger potion
    of the area. Highs on Christmas evening looks to be above normal in the
    m40s to l50s south and east of capital region…and u30s to l40s.
    Christmas evening into Christmas the storm deepens potentially to below
    970 hpa over S-central Quebec. Much colder air moves back into the
    region for a period of snow or snow showers for a large portion of
    the region. Any accums looks to be on the light side…except for
    perhaps the southern dacks and southern greens…but it is too far out to get
    into exact snow accums. Lows will be in the u20s to m30s Christmas
    evening…and 30s to l40s on Christmas.

  36. It’s winter, there is going to be colder weather and likely more rain, snow, etc. Last year in the western US we had very cold temperatures, but not much precipitation. This year the precipitation seems a little above average for this time of year. My bet is that the rest of the winter/spring will come in about average. Lets just hope the early storms have set the ground for a good snow pack up high. This is my PHD thesis.

    Those looking to hand out a $100 million grant can contact me and I’ll give you the account information.

  37. It would be nice if one of these would descend over D.C. and stay there until we can’t see the Washington monument for the pile of snow.

Comments are closed.