Weather Poetry

Open this post by sharing a new model run from NOAA of the system moving though the area.

Colors represent intensity, Light Blue (lightest) to Dark Green (heaviest) NCEP Model from NOAA, Animation by myself

Forecast Discussions are sent out by NOAA forecasters every 12 hours or so. One is sent 4am and one at 4pm. These times are almost as important as Breakfast and Dinner to me. One discussion is sent out per NOAA office and detail Short Term and Long Term forecasting. The one shown below is the long term from this morning (Feb 8th 2010 at 4:34am) from the NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DETROIT/PONTIAC MI. In bold are some key things to help guide your way though, as most of it is some advanced stuff. The way it was written it almost sounded like a winter storm poem from heaven, but that’s just me. :)

LONG TERM…TUESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY

A STRONG WINTER STORM IS EXPECTED TO IMPACT THE REGION FROM TUESDAYINTO WEDNESDAY MORNING AND A WINTER STORM WATCH HAS BEEN ISSUED FORALL OF SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN. THE FEATURES THAT WILL COME TOGETHER TOFORM THIS SYSTEM CAN BE EASILY IDENTIFIED ON WATER VAPOR IMAGERY ANDMODELS DO NOT SEEM TO SUFFER FROM ANY SIGNIFICANT INITIALIZATIONERRORS. A STRONG UPPER LOW IS DROPPING SOUTH ACROSS THE DAKOTAS WITHA 500MB COLD POOL OF -38C. ANOTHER UPPER LEVEL LOW CURRENTLY LOCATEDNEAR THE 4 CORNERS REGION WILL OPEN AS IT TRACKS INTO THE PLAINS ANDWILL PHASE WITH THE ENERGY DROPPING SOUTH OVER THE NEXT 24 HOURS.THIS COMBINED SYSTEM WILL PIVOT TOWARDS THE UPPER OHIO VALLEY ONTUESDAY WITH CYCLOGENESIS OCCURRING OVER NORTHWEST OHIO. SNOW WILLDEVELOP OVER SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN DURING THE DAY ON TUESDAY AS THISSYSTEMS SETS UP IN A FAVORABLE LOCATION FOR A HEAVY SNOW EVENT.
SOUTHEASTERLY FLOW IN THE 925-700MB LAYER ON THE NORTHERN FLANK OFTHE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM WILL SUPPORT STRONG ISENTROPIC ASCENT OVERSOUTHEAST MICHIGAN THROUGHOUT THE DAY ON TUESDAY. THE ATMOSPHEREWILL MOISTEN FROM SOUTHWEST TO NORTHEAST ALTHOUGH AN EASTERLY WINDCOMPONENT ACROSS THE THUMB WILL CONTINUE TO SUPPLY DRY AIR AND WILLDELAY SNOW UNTIL MID OR LATE AFTERNOON. SNOW ON TUESDAY WILL STARTTO ACCUMULATE BUT WILL BE OF LIGHT TO MODERATE INTENSITY UNTIL LATEIN THE DAY WHEN INTENSITIES WILL INCREASE QUICKLY AS THE STORMUNDERGOES RAPID STRENGTHENING. A VERY STRONG 200 KNOT UPPER JETMOVING OUT OF THE SOUTHERN PLAINS MOVES THROUGH THE SOUTHERN FLANKOF THE TROUGH WITH 500MB HEIGHTS FALLING BY ABOUT 40DM IN 6 HOURS.AT THE SAME TIME THE SURFACE LOW DEEPENS BY AT LEAST 5MB WITH THESYSTEM RAPIDLY OCCLUDING AND ANOTHER LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM UNDERGOINGCYCLOGENESIS ALONG THE EAST COAST. VERY STRONG Q-VECTOR CONVERGENCEIS FOCUSED OVER SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN DURING THIS TIME FRAME. THECOMBINATION OF THE TROWAL FEATURE IN PLACE AS THE 500MB COLD POOLAPPROACHES LEADS TO INCREASING INSTABILITY AND LAPSE RATES IN THE700-500MB LAYER. IN FACT THERE REMAINS A THREAT OF SEEING A FEWLIGHTING STRIKES/THUNDERSNOW IN THE SOUTHERN COUNTIES LATE TUESDAYNIGHT. MODELS CONTINUE TO ADVERTISE A SIZABLE DRYSLOT LIFTING NORTHTO ABOUT THE I-69 CORRIDOR OVERNIGHT BUT THIS REMAINS ABOVE THEDENDRITIC GROWTH ZONE AND DO NOT ANTICIPATE THIS POSING ASIGNIFICANT THREAT TO SNOWFALL ACCUMULATIONS. MESOSCALE BANDING ALSOREMAINS A CONCERN AND COULD CONTRIBUTE TO A NARROW SWATH OF 2-3COUNTIES RECEIVING AN ADDITIONAL 3+ INCHES OF SNOW. AT THIS TIME THEMOST FAVORABLE POSITIONING OF THIS FEATURE MAY BE SOMEWHERE IN THEVICINITY OF LANSING TO FLINT ALTHOUGH CONFIDENCE IS NOT HIGH IN THISPLACEMENT.
IN GENERAL MODEL QPF THROUGH WEDNESDAY RANGES FROM ABOUT A HALF INCHTOWARDS THE SAGINAW VALLEY TO EIGHT TENTHS OF AN INCH NEAR DETROIT.SNOW RATIOS SHOULD STILL LIKELY FALL IN THE 12 TO 16 TO 1 RANGEWHICH MAKES TOTAL ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 TO 12 INCHES LIKELY. GENERALLY1 TO 4 INCHES CAN BE EXPECTED BY TUESDAY EVENING WITH THE BULK OFTHE SNOW FALLING ON TUESDAY NIGHT. ALTHOUGH MODELS LARGELY AGREE ONQPF TOTALS…THE GFS/UKMET/GEM ARE FASTER IN PULLING THE SYSTEM AWAYTO THE EAST COAST ON WEDNESDAY. ACTUAL TIMING WILL LIKELY BESOMEWHERE BETWEEN THE FASTER GFS AND SLOWER NAM ALTHOUGH NEITHERSOLUTION WOULD LEAD TO DRASTIC ADJUSTMENTS TO THE FORECAST. LAKEENHANCEMENT WITH A NORTH TO NORTHEASTERLY FLOW OFF OF LAKE HURONWILL CONTRIBUTE TO ADDITIONAL ACCUMULATIONS IN THE THUMB REGION.THIS AREA WILL BE SLOWER TO SATURATE SO THE INITIAL FORECAST CALLSFOR SIMILAR ACCUMULATIONS ALTHOUGH THE TIME OF THE WATCH IS DELAYEDBY ABOUT 6 HOURS AND CONTINUES THROUGH THE AFTERNOON ON WEDNESDAY.IF A WELL ORGANIZED BAND SETS UP THEN WE COULD BE LOOKING AT HIGHERACCUMULATIONS AND ADJUSTMENTS MAY BE NEEDED. BLOWING AND DRIFTING OFSNOW WILL INCREASE AS THE SYSTEM PULLS AWAY ON WEDNESDAY WITHWINDS INCREASING TO 15 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 30 MPH.
THE WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR MOST OF SOUTHEAST MICHIGAN FROM 10 AMTUESDAY TO 10 AM WEDNESDAY WHILE THE WATCH FOR THE THUMB COUNTIES ISIN EFFECT FROM 4 PM TUESDAY TO 4 PM WEDNESDAY. PLEASE STAY TUNED TOUPDATED FORECASTS AS ADJUSTMENTS TO TIMING AND ACCUMULATIONS AREMADE LEADING UP TO THE STORM.

So, I hope that help a little, if you are confused with the other stuff don’t worry. It basically means we are going to get a fair share of snow. The underlined portion I believe they are talking about liquid amounts. One inch of rain usually yields 10 inches of snow, that is 10:1. As stated ratios of 12-16:1 are possible. With ratios greater than 10 we end up with a ‘dry snow’. Dry snow contains less water (matches with the ratios again) and has a smaller flake. The banding they mention at the end of the forecast I believe will set up really well. Models show a really strong concentration of precip over our area that may represent banding. These bands can be seen on radar as heavy snow.

Checking the latest Forecast discussion from the Detroit/Pontiac center, they seemed to downgrade accumulations, but a quick check of surrounding areas still stood with 6-12 inch ranges. Based on confidence I would go with the others sticking in the 6-12 range. Forecasters from Western Michigan in Battle Creek; and in Northern Indiana, both say this. Checking the current Watches/Warning Chart on Weather.gov , all areas around us are already in a Winter Storm Warning, does that say something?

My timeline:

  1. Current Winter Storm Watch should turn to a Winter Storm Warning by Tuesday morning/daybreak
  2. Light snows should start during the day and increase in intensity through the evening maybe 2 inches by 4pm.
  3. Tuesday Night we get the heavy stuff as the Low rotates and flings precip our way. We should get 5-6 inches overnight by Wednesday morn.
  4. Winds pick up Wednesday creating wind blown snow hazards. Drifting possible with gusts up to 30mph
  5. Main effect of the storm should be out of the way by 4pm Wednesday with some lingering flurries and wind. Temps should hold steady in the lower 20s.

Thanks for baring with me, hope everyone enjoys the snow! If you dislike snow, well you’ve had a good run so far this winter, but give us snow lovers a chance!

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About gweatherc
Live in Michigan and enjoy observing the weather. Want to pursue it as a career! Currently taking classes at Central Michigan University.

2 Responses to Weather Poetry

  1. Christine says:

    wow greg, you sure put some time into this :)

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