A snow day literally and figuratively falls from the sky, unbidden, and seems like a thing of wonder. -- Susan Orlean

Friday, December 25, 2015

Significant Snowstorm for Tuesday?

Encouraging news continues to come in from our various weather news outlets about our storm on Tuesday. Even though there is no snow day possibility for this one, we're nonetheless very excited about it in GSD land.

Our significant snow storms are usually one variety or another. The first kind comes up out of the Gulf of Mexico/Southeast and gains intensity on the coast. These storms are our nor'easters. The second kind of storm comes from central Canada and the Great Lakes region, slides across the Northeast, then re-forms--usually picking up lots of moisture--on the Atlantic coast. Our storm on Tuesday will be the second type of storm.

This second type of storm is often less predictable because of A) the place where the secondary low reforms and B) how long it takes for the low to move out of our region after it reforms. Sometimes the re-formed low can get blocked in and more or less pump snow into New England. Also, the counterclockwise motion of the low pressure system typically drags cold air in from the north. The longer the low stays on the coast, the colder it stays and the more snow we'll get.

So...what's a likely scenario for Tuesday? Some meteorologists' analyses of the computer models indicate that the low will re-form on the coast late Monday night and take its time moving out. We could see snow totals in the 6-9 inch range. But it won't be that cold--high twenties--so the threat of sleet is ever present and that could keep snow totals down.

Here are a few maps to consider:

Thanks, Accuweather!

And then there's this one:

Thanks, NOAA!
This large map shows that we could get around an inch of liquid precipitation with this storm. If we offer up a modest 10 to 1 snow to liquid ratio (a rational thing to do because of the relatively warm temperatures), you can do the math and realize that we'll have to get friendly with our snow shovels for this first time this season.

Life is good. It's Christmas. We're on vacation. Family and friends are around. And GSD is back in business, baby. How sweet it is.

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