Super Bowl Sunday/Monday Winter Storm (Feb 4-5)
Above: GOES-16 infrared view. Circled is our energy for the late weekend storm.
The groundhog hasn't even emerged yet as we are writing this and for what its worth, we don't think he will being seeing his shadow when he wakes up in the morning from Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney. Funny, as he will most likely predict an "early spring" we are writing about a snow storm threat coming for us late Sunday into Monday.
Above: 500mb Vorticity
This article isn't going to have any predictions of snowfall right now. Why? Its a bit too early, tomorrow morning is when we will begin to follow guidance and match the observations to begin seeing the picture as to total snowfall. What this is intended to do however is to go into depth on the dynamics of this storm and how it will affect us.
Looking at the above image we are looking at Sunday afternoon. We have our pieces coming together. The square is the shortwave that will steer the developing storm (marked with an X). We do like the setup, and pretty much all of the models are honed into this setup right now. The only thing that could be better is if the shortwave could dig more south, you'll see why shortly.
Above: 500mb Vorticity (East Coast) Sunday night
If you listen and follow winter storms, you've probably heard the words "negatively tilted trough, positively tilted, or neutral). We will use football as an analogy to explain this. This of the storm (circle) as a football, and the line (trough tilt) is a kickers leg. When you have a negatively tilted trough or kickers leg like above, where is the football going? In the air and away right? So this scenario means the storm (football) is moving north and east. Now when we reach this point and the trough is positively tilted it means the kickers leg is winding up. He will kick the ball, eventually, but for us in NEPA its too late. The football (storm) is heading out to sea. Hope that kind of explains it. Back to weather, so we have our negatively tilted trough lifting our storm north northeast.
Above: Surface precipitation snowfall type
Remember we said the upper air patterns could be better if only the trough dug further south on Sunday afternoon? Yeah, here's why... If we had a deeper dig initially we could forget any of the rain shown and more cold air would be injected into the entire northeast. Bad for east of I-95, but we here in NEPA will make out.
So what are our thoughts? We are in the jackpot zone for snow. Seeing a potential of 6"+ right now is on absolutely possible. It could even be more, but we don't think its less. We still have trends and observations to follow before we can take it to the bank with putting out an actual forecast amount and exact timing. Ballpark wise, we are looking at Sunday late afternoon into Monday morning where the heaviest snow would fall late Sunday night. Due to it being Super Bowl Sunday, with a state team in the the big game, its imperative we get as much information out as possible. With all of the parties and what not and driving afterwards we are concerned with the timing. We want you to know that our entire team is working extra hard with this one to make sure you're safe and informed. We thank you for trusting us and we will continue to update you all as soon as we get information.
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