Forecasters: Another major winter storm to pound US East coast -ETA Saturday

System likely to produce a layer cake from hell frozen over.

Dr. Ryan Maue of weather.us has been watching the development of forecasts for a new major winter storm that is likely to pound the U.S. East Coast and Northeast/New England States Friday and Saturday. He writes:

Tropical moisture feed ahead of developing major winter storm will provide huge rainfall atop any frozen ground in the Middle Atlantic and Northeast into Saturday. Bad!

“Bad” in this case may equate to blizzard like conditions with heavy rain over frozen ground and snow, making for a real mess. Just look at the amount of precipitable water ahead of the system:

Here is the precipitation amounts from 6Z to 12Z on Saturday. That translates to East Coast times from Friday night to Saturday morning:

As you can see, snow will follow behind the liquid precip as cold air advects in behind the front and low, this means a layered mess is likely, with frozen ground, then rain on that , which will refreeze, then snow on top of that. It’s like a layer cake from hell frozen over.

At least the timing avoids the Friday evening rush hour in major east coast cities. Let’s hope the system does not speed up.

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88 thoughts on “Forecasters: Another major winter storm to pound US East coast -ETA Saturday

  1. Get all your snow sculptures finished by Friday evening. The rain will saturate your work, then when it freezes, you will have a durable and enduring work.
    I have a big pile snow out front with a sign on it.
    FREE SNOW
    Sometimes you can not even give the stuff away.

  2. Click the heels of your ruby slippers together and repeat :
    Warmer is better
    Warmer is better
    Warmer is better

    When you are done you can go out and start shoveling.

    • Tom, since you’re from Florida we will cut you a break on this one, but you can’t go out and shovel frozen layered snow, it’s just to heavy. If your lucky you have a Honda HSS1332AT, or maybe a small Kubota diesel with the front mounted shaft-drive blower. I prefer the Honda, it gets into all those spots that might be hard to, otherwise, deal with. And don’t forget your Yaktrax, a pair of googles and a good old Helly-Hansen SOGN.

      • I didn’t think they had anyone left in those areas that actually get outside and work like that.

      • Mark, I grew up in New England and am all too familiar with the layers of frozen precipitation. In my older age I do enjoy rubbing a little rock salt in their frozen wounds though.

      • In Iowa they call it winter lasagna snow<ice<snow<ice. Nasty stuff to drive on. After they plow you get a nice shiny layer just waiting to break through to the wonderful slickness below. That is if your tire doesn't get caught and spin you out of control first.

      • Mark my 1960 Gravely with a MA210 snow cannon makes short work of those nasty snow piles and yes you need goggles. :-) Don’t aim the output at anything you like.

      • For those of you too young to remember, in the winter of 1977-1978, there were three blizzards in a row in February. The first was mostly powder in Boston, and the second clobbered Ohio and gave Boston rain, which turned the snow banks on the sides of Boston’s roads to wet stuff that froze to iron, and made them obstacles when the really big blizzard hit Boston later in February. That third one stalled by Cape Cod and just dumped snow for a couple days, as Boston got high tide after high tide with storm surges. The city was shut down around a week. I lived up in Maine, which wasn’t hit so bad and where people were more used to heavy snow, but I did notice the grocery stores gradually got emptier and emptier, because trucks couldn’t make it north from the south. (Eventually the smarter truckers found a way around to the north, but crossing the Canadian border was easier back then).

        A lot of men from New Hampshire made money driving their heavy equipment south to clear roads around Boston. They tell tales of plowing cars to the side when they blocked roads. (I heard one tale of a man who reported his small, white car stolen from a mall parking lot, and the vehicle was found in early April in the same parking lot, as a huge pile of plowed snow melted away.) The thing I heard over and over was what a pain the iron-hard snowbanks from the earlier blizzard were, especially when the winds were howling. Roads drifted in, between the old banks, and rather than snow being plowed aside the fresh snow was plowed up the old banks, and tumbled back down into roads behind the plows.

        I speak this old history like a typical old geezer just in case history repeats itself, and you young whippersnappers are told it is “Unprecedented”.

      • I was a graduate student in Boston during the blizzard of 78. The snow was above the tops of the parking meters in many places and cars were completely buried, such that plowed snow banks often had cars in them. The national guard was out keeping people off the roads. People were cross-country skiing across the city. Only one burger place was open down by the harbor for a couple of days; it was a fun but serious slog to get there, have a burger and coffee, and slog home. When the city started back up and people were digging out their cars, people fought over the dug out spaces, blows were exchanged in some cases. I had a parking space inside the block at Kenmore Square. I would put chains on the car, back up onto the snow, 2 feet up, drive to the street and down onto the road, take off the chains, drive to work. I had to reverse the entire process at the end of the day. It was fun the way the car would just fall down into the parking space when I got home.

      • I was only five at the time, but I remember the blizzard of 78. Mostly I remember my dad climbing out the window so he could shovel the snow piled up in front of the door…

        The UPSTAIRS window. ○¿●

        Course, we lived at the time in a cottage on the east side (downwind) of a mile long lake. Got buried deeper then many. It was still a hell of a thing.

      • I shovel a little a lot, frequently. I have only an electric leafblower, but four well worn carefully selected snow shovels, and a 2500 square foot sloped driveway. I try to shovel at each two inch increment, but six inches will take three hours. It’s either that or an hour on my indoor trainer mousewheel, and shoveling is much more exciting.

        I avoid – HATE – tire tracks in snow for the tight pressure ice they make.

    • Caleb: I was 12 then, for the storm of 78. That was the day I quit my paper route. The office told me I should have gone out and delivered my 80 papers. Screw that, I worked tirelessly every day getting up at 4:30 in the morning and walked the 4 mile paper route. I used a borrow carriage that I hid in the field behind our section 8 housing apartment.

      It was awesome… I remember climbing up on the roof of the nearby stores and falling 20 feet down under the snow and had to dig my way out. It was fun, and scary…

  3. Well OBVIOUSLY because the majority of this system’s precipitation is rain and not snow, it’s a clear indication of climate change . . . . . right?

  4. Let me guess … this will move 2018 from the 2ND HOTTEST YEAR ON RECORD!!! … to the 3RD HOTTEST YEAR ON RECORD!!!! ?????

    • Actually not even that, because -10°C lower in mid-high latitudes means +20°C over the North Pole, so according to calculations we are above average right now, despite decadal record snowstorms over the US and Europe.

      With the way Arctic temperatures are calculated, the rest of the world can freeze that anomaly temperature won’t go down.

    • I don’t think 2018 will finish in the top 5. 80+ latitude is currently about -15 C and trending downward towards the coldest time of year around the end of February.

      • Alert, Nunavut (Canada) – the most northerly permanent settlement in the world @ 82.5°N (pop. 62) is currently -31°C. Resolute, Nunavut @ 74.7°N (pop. 162) is -27°C.

      • Lat, I know your comment was “sarc factor 7”, but people need to be aware that the polar winter atmospheric surface temp warm anomalies are still below freezing. It is the warm arctic SSTs which currently cause increased lower tropospheric moisture and the resultant longwave backscattering which raises air temps at night.
        It should also be brought to the public attention that temperatures during NH summers near the pole have not been above normal, even though an apparent lack of sufficient winter cryo-conditions fostering sea ice formation has occurred over recent decades.
        Folks need to know that the Arctic won’t melt as long as the warm anomalies are still below freezing.

      • Waterloo (Lat 43 N) was -24.3 on Saturday morning, wind chill -41C. Beijing is a clear, brisk -10 with 50km winds.

  5. This should not be a problem for the New Englanders who want to get out with their EVs or bikes. Go for it. Al Gore and HuffPo said so. It should not be a problem for their grid either with all that diversified green energy and regional climate agreement. sarc.

  6. Looks like the AGW fanatics on the US east coast will be shoveling snow again, instead of their usual BS. Cool! Couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch! As for the reason-minded east coast residents, it’s just winter weather and you are prepared to deal with it, naturally.

    • The hypothesis is that more CO2 leads to catastrophic heat. That’s it. All the nonsense about “global weirding”, “more extreme weather events”, even “colder winters” like they’re claiming for this one are as far from the AGW hypothesis as the AGW claims are from real science.

      • It’s a pagan religion when one believes their “scientific” theory explains any and all outcomes, i.e. non-falsifiable.

    • Mike,
      I was raised in western Pennsylvania. It is a great place to be from.
      I went to college there, then left in 1965 — haven’t spent over 10 days there since seeing the place in the rearview mirror. My mother’s family moved in when Ohio was considered part of the Northwest Territory, so she knew about the region, and made sure we kids knew.
      The sort of nasty extreme weather events are one of the reasons I never looked back.
      While growing up, we would often drive north into Warren and McKean Counties. The trips took us through a section of the Allegheny National Forest. An ice storm had wacked a section of the forest we drove through and as a young kid I was fascinated by the broken limbs and busted trees — best seen with no leaves and a bit of snow.

  7. If this storm happens to cause power outages which could have been avoided by providing adequate fuel supply to the grid generators, then there will be avoidable human deaths, as a result.

    At what point do the Greens who have blockaded the needed upgrades to the power grid, place their own lives in forfeit?
    When pressed about the consequences of their choices, they inevitably state their realization that implementation of their policies can and will cause people to die, but their fall back rationalization then becomes some variant of, “too many human beings exist”.

  8. This is the normal weather pattern you should expect during a La Nina winter. Wake me up when we notice some of that change in climate.

  9. Interesting to me are the temperature changes inland.
    Consider the Cleveland Airport location (although it was widespread).
    Last week (1st week of the year) was bitter cold. Now the NE Ohio forecast is for a jump up, then a rapid and serious cold spell.
    58° F Thursday, then Sat., a high of 23° F .
    Next few nights: Sat = 9° F ;
    Sun. night = 5° F ;
    Mon. night = 10° F .

    Farther east the weather is expected to be double-nasty.
    Not so seriously cold, however.

  10. So far it is looking like a standard winter. Cold, quick January thaw, followed by more cold. Fun for all winter sports this year.

  11. Interesting that local DC weathercasters are missing the “extreme” aspect of this new front – predicting mild rains and temps Friday and Saturday.

  12. Looks bad. Was on business in Rochester a week after such a storm. Streets almost impassible from ice downed tree limbs. Distribution grid took a real beating. The transition from rain to snow means sleet. If it is slow, watch out.

  13. Most model guidance continues to develop a major winter storm
    which may impact our region. Some locations are likely to get
    well over a foot of snow from this system, however there still
    are significant differences among individual models and
    ensembles which leaves uncertainty in the placement of the
    heaviest snow. There also will be an area of mixed
    precipitation. Stay tuned, and keep in mind that model runs are
    likely to fluctuate concerning the track of the low and the
    location of the heaviest snowfall

    I’m across the lake from BUF in Canada and I don’t like “mixed” precipitation.

    http://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=NWS&issuedby=buf&product=AFD&format=CI&version=1&glossary=1&highlight=off

  14. I guess we’ll miss that frozen slap where i live, although the temperature is supposed to drop to 20F during the day on Friday, AFTER the 52F high on Thursday.

    So that means, hit the grocery store and the hardware store on Thursday, get everything not already in pantry, including hand mixer and new toaster, popcorn, carrots, cheesecake, ice cream, English muffins, apples, lots of bacon, sausages, onion soup, croutons, chocolate, bird food, Boursin cheese, mushrooms, some good crusty bread, butter, eggs, milk, OJ, V-8, kielbasas, sweet Italian sausage, chicken, and a partridge in a pear tree.

    Got it. Which movies do you guys want to watch?

  15. If we’re lucky, Washington, DC will get a repeat of the 1996 snowstorm that dumped a measly 13 to 17 inches on the city and shut it down so hard the echo reached me in Chicago. The WDC office of the company that i worked for had to shut down and everyone stayed home. They should have asked Chicago how to handle a little snow like that. Piece of cake.

  16. Most models project the worst will go east of us Hoosiers but Joe Bastardi at , https://www.weatherbell.com/ who’s correct most of the time, is saying he believes the worst will be in IL and IN. And it’s not just going to be a snow storm. A blast of very cold, very likely colder than any we’ve seen here in Indiana for quite some time, will come behind the storm. I quote Joe: “I would not be surprised if some the outlying areas of Illinois and Indiana that get hammered by this snow storm hit 20 or 25 deg, below zero one of those nights behind it. Because this is a real classic setup for that type of situation” At this time the storm is forecast to start Friday night and go on well into Saturday. Thus early next week we’re in for a very hard freeze again. The good news is a big warm up will follow this storm and the following extreme cold. We may even see 60 deg. F a few days after the cold gets pushed out!

    For once I hope the models are right. Besides, massive snow followed by extreme cold along the I-95 corridor makes for much better copy than when it happens in “fly over country”. Storms out east or in California are always worse don’t you know.

    • Joe Bastardi reportedly said:
      “I would not be surprised if some the outlying areas of Illinois and Indiana that get hammered by this snow storm hit 20 or 25 deg, below zero one of those nights behind it.”
      Joe B, Joe d’Aleo and their colleagues at WeatherBell usually get it right. That is in part because they routinely use analogues of past weather in their forecasting process, in addition to weather computer models.

      It dropped to about minus 27C in Calgary last night but is rapidly warming up today and Saturday. Not that bad – I forgot my winter jacket yesterday but always keep a spare in the truck – never had to put it on – not much wind.

      Joe B’s forecast minus 25F is about minus 32C which is starting to get dangerously cold – even for Canadians and Minnesotans.

      So here is what you need to know about extreme cold, from someone who has worked outdoors at 40 below and colder (“mercury only”, not counting the wind chill, which can make it effectively much colder). Minus 40C and minus 40F are the same temperature, but you are so cold you don’t really care – you are just trying to survive..

      First, stay on main roads – this is not the time to go exploring. Nevertheless, assume you may get stranded off-road. Keep extra winter parkas and snow pants and boots in your vehicle for all passengers, as well as large blankets. Include candles and matches to warm the vehicle interior.

      Be sure your cell phone is charged. Fill up your gas tank. Make sure your vehicle exhaust system is in good shape – you don’t want to die from carbon monoxide poisoning. Take some water. Don’t eat the yellow snow.

      Stay with your vehicle and try to keep warm – once you get hypothermic you become really stupid (kind of like the average warmist on a warm day). All you want to do is lie down on the ground and sleep – not your best move.

      I recently retired after 16 years on the Board of Directors of the largest homeless shelter in North America – we sleep about 1300 people per night and serve about 1.5 free meals per year. Every year in Canadian cities, despite our efforts, some homeless guys freeze to death.

      Contrary to warmist hype, cool and cold weather kills 20 times more people worldwide than warm and hot weather – that is the reality. Earth is colder-than-optimum for human survival, and moderate global warming (IF it occurs) would be beneficial for both humanity and the environment.

      Regards to all – let’s be careful out there.

      – Allan in Calgary.

      Reference:
      COLD WEATHER KILLS 20 TIMES AS MANY PEOPLE AS HOT WEATHER, September 4, 2015
      by Joseph D’Aleo and Allan MacRae
      https://friendsofsciencecalgary.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/cold-weather-kills-macrae-daleo-4sept2015-final.pdf

  17. Most of the articles on storminess appear , by my haphazard browsing , to be about tropical cyclones.
    North Atlantic storms have however been investigated by P Mayewski and colleagues at the Climate Change Institute at the U of Maine. Their papers are referred to by researchers looking for detailed climate change reasons for the demise of the Norse settlements in Greenland at the beginning of the 15th Cent . This is a period when salt residues in GISP2 ice cores suddenly increase, suggesting a sudden increase in sub polar and NA storms , just at the start of the cooling period aka Little Ice Age.
    Unfortunately the papers are paywalled , but from the abstracts the storminess appears after short periods of rapid changes in both warming and cooling of the Arctic . Any further or more enlightened information would be appreciated.

  18. Stay warm folks…

    …and reflect it is still climate change dumping the cold on the US.

    Up in the arctic it is warmer than average and the sea ice extent is again in record low territory (as is thickness)

    • “Up in the arctic it is warmer than average ”

      A sizzling 247K. I can hear the ice in its death struggle as it desperately tries not to melt in those ‘warm’ -15F temps.

      “sea ice extent is again in record low territory”

      What exactly is ‘record low territory’?

    • Apologised yet, Griff[snip]?

      [Please just use the usernames as chosen by our commenters. No need to modify them into an insult. -mod]

    • “…and reflect it is still climate change dumping the cold on the US…”

      No. It isn’t. That is a relatively-recent claim made to match the inconvenient observations.

      “…Up in the arctic it is warmer than average and the sea ice extent is again in record low territory (as is thickness)…”

      Aside from some specific periods in time, the same can be said for the past what…22,000+ years?

      And not all of the man-made losses are due to greenhouse gases. You should know this by now.

  19. Opps! Looks like I did it again. The following post is from Winter 2015-16.

    You know us Canadians – always apologizing. Sorry, sorry, sorry.

    I’m not!

    Call this “a learning experience” – and I’m going to keep teaching it until you Eastern dopes finally get it.

    BTW, “manmade global warming” does NOT cause major cooling, except in the minds of scoundrels and imbeciles.

    Watch out for slips and falls. Let’s be careful out there.

    [Must I really say “sarc/off”?]

    *************************************************

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/02/12/record-cold-single-digit-to-subzero-valentines-day-expected-for-much-of-usa/comment-page-1/#comment-2144217

    Sorry – I was having a really bad day when I wrote this last month.

    I was tired of all the “”warmest year evah!!!” alarmist nonsense during an El Nino. So I called down the cold on you Eastern warmists…

    Now I feel really, like, totally, I mean, y’know, bad.

    I won’t do this again. Promise.

    Apologies, Allan

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/01/22/friday-funny-probable-cause/comment-page-1/#comment-2126823

    OK – enough!

    I’ve had it with you Eastern warmists.

    So in February, I’m calling down some brutally frigid winter weather on you.

    Mark you calendars and get out your long woollies…

      • Hi ptolomy.
        Years ago I spent an afternoon drinking beer at Ceilidh’s in Calgary with two UK army guys who were Manchester City fans. Man U was the big team then, and I had not even heard of Man City – but we drank a toast (or many) to their good fortune – and they have done quite well of late… 🙂
        Seriously, I wish you and Bristol City well in the upcoming Championship, but I have little skill when it comes to influencing sports outcomes – otherwise our two Calgary football teams (Professional and University) would not have lost both the Grey Cup and the Mitchell Bowl in 2017… “and the pain was tremendous”.
        My very best wishes to Bristol and that pub-for-short-men down by the docks – the Llandoger Trow. We met my wife’s uncle there in 1990, me at 6’3 and my son at 6’8, and he told us of his glider flight into Holland in 1944, part of Operation Market Garden, immortalized in the book and movie “A Bridge Too Far”. He told us how his unit crept past nearby German troops during a heavy rainstorm so they could take their positions as ordered, and showed us aerial photos of his landed glider – I recall the curved line made by the “keel” of the glider as it skidded to a halt in a field.
        So, win or lose, I ask you to drop by the Llandoger Trow after the game, and hoist a pint to those courageous men from Bristol and area who made that perilous flight in wooden gliders, landing in the dark in occupied enemy territory.
        Best, Allan
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Llandoger_Trow
        The Llandoger Trow is a historic public house in Bristol, south-west England. Dating from 1664, it is on King Street, between Welsh Back and Queen Charlotte Street, near the old city centre docks. … The pub is said to have inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to write of the Admiral Benbow Inn in Treasure Island and Daniel Defoe supposedly met Alexander Selkirk there, his inspiration for Robinson Crusoe.
        Post Script:
        Canada sheltered future Queen Juliana and her family from 1940 to 1945 during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. On January 19, 1943, Princess Margriet was born at the Ottawa Civic Hospital. A suite in the hospital was temporarily declared to be extraterritorial by the government of Canada, so that Princess Margriet’s citizenship would be solely influenced by her parents’ Dutch citizenship.
        The First Canadian Army liberated Holland in 1944-45. More than 7,600 Canadian soldiers, sailors and airmen died fighting in the Netherlands.
        In 1945, the Dutch royal family sent 100,000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa. Now, every spring, Ottawa hosts the Canadian Tulip festival – with several million bulbs, it claims to be the largest in the world.
        .

    • OK – One week from today I’m going to hit North American with another really cold day.

      This is another “learning experience” for all you scoundrels and imbeciles who still subscribe to “the myth of runaway global warming”.

      BTW the myth is false. You will begin to gain an understanding – about the time your twins freeze off.

      Soon you will undergo a remarkable transformation from “someone who THINKS global warming is true” to “someone who WISHES global warming were true”.

  20. Interesting.. the local forecasts I’m seeing for MetroBoston have the temperature in the 50s and rain Friday/Saturday then back to around freezing Sunday, but no further precipitation.

    The biggest hazards from that will be street flooding — rainfall and snow melt with no place to go. and then ice when it all freezes again on Sunday.

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