Sunday, October 16, 2016

October 17, 2016 Mo Mo: Mild Temps Followed by Possible Nor'easter

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The weather was pleasant and tranquil last week. Temps some mornings were in the 30's, the Fall Foliage began to peak, and we did not see any measurable rain. The week went as expected. Quiet.

WEEK OF 10/17 - 10/23 FORECAST:

I am giving the greenlight for summer-like weather to return this week. I know it's Fall, but I kind of miss the summer and look forward to feeling the warmth. It will not last. A strong frontal system will come through later this week. The possibility exists a strong low pressure system develops off our coast. I'll discuss more. Keep reading!

Monday - Wednesday: Expect abundant sunshine with high temperatures reaching the low to mid 80's. Figure 1 is the GFS 500mb height anomaly which depicts a strong High Pressure system to our south and east allowing winds to flow from the southwest. The southerly flow will pump Gulf air into our region and keep us well above normal for a few days. No rain is expected during this time.

Figure 1 - Southeast ridge turns winds out of the southwest and keeps our area under much an above normal temperature regime

Thursday: I think Thursday morning will start off sunny, but clouds and even some light showers could develop by the afternoon. I am leaning against rain for Thursday at the moment but be wary there could be some showers in the afternoon. High temps will still be mild - likely in the mid to upper 70s.

Friday - Saturday: The potential is there for a strong coastal storm to develop. I am not feeling as confident about this threat as I was over the weekend, but it's still worth talking about. Figure 2 is the 500mb heights pattern from the EURO. The deep shades of blue in the southwest Atlantic an area of low heights that contains upper level vorticity, or energy. If this area of "energy" organizes itself better, it could be classified as a weak tropical disturbance. The EURO shows a sweeping trough coming across the Great Lakes which tries to capture the Atlantic energy and turn it into a strong coastal low off our coast.

Figure 2 - EURO tries to phase Atlantic energy with a frontal boundary elongated along a trough

There are 3 reasons why I feel this set-up may not evolve in time for our area to be effected by a Nor'easter:

1. The separation between the Atlantic energy and the Great Lakes trough may be too distant.
2. The Pacific Northwest still shows a zonal look (fast flow from northern jet) despite the western ridge centered over Arizona.
3. The energy embedded within the Atlantic trough may fizzle out or escape east.

Figure 3 does a good job of showing the first 2 concerns.

Figure 3 - The pieces for a strong coastal storm are there, but the timing between them looks off and the upper pattern does not look conducive

That said, we may not need the Atlantic energy to get a strong storm to pop near our area. The GFS, as shown in Figure 4, shows the trough digging into the southeast and closing off. The H5 upper level low occludes and begins tracking east-northeast, cut-off from the jet stream.

Figure 4 - Very strong upper energy associated with a digging trough cuts off from the main flow

If this upper low phases with a separate piece of northern energy that may try to come down from Canada, a coastal storm will form and likely track up the coast. Models are not really showing this at the moment, and it could be because the upper level pattern just does not look ready with a +NAO/-PNA. At this time, I would expect either Friday or Saturday to be cloudy with light to moderate rain. BOTH days have the potential to be crappy if the pattern comes together for a coastal storm to come up the coast. But most likely it will just be one of these days.

Sunday: Temps return back to normal in the 60's. It should be dry and sunny too. At least we have 1 day next weekend we know looks good unless the timing of the possible coastal storm delays itself.


Once we get through the weekend ordeal, temperatures are expected to return to normal. Models are very consistent in showing a -NAO developing and a trough settling in over the northeast. It remains to be seen whether this is a short-lived trough or one that sticks around for a bit. Given the state of the Pacific, I am willing to bet it will be short-lived. But we should still see below normal temps Monday - Tuesday the week of the 23rd.


It is WAY too soon to begin speculating what Halloween could be like, but I'll give my educated guess and update everyone in next week's blog. At this time, I think Halloween will be sunny with temps in the 60's. Could be windy too. More to come next week :)

Thanks for reading.


Frank Paparatto

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Sunday, October 9, 2016

October 10, 2016 Mo Mo: A Quiet Week

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Last week was all about Hurricane Matthew. On Tuesday October 4th, I put out a write up on the forum expressing my thought's where I ultimately said Matthew will avoid tracking up the east coast. He did end up tracking a little more north than I originally thought - bringing nearly an inch of rain to southern and coastal sections on Sunday - but he took a sharp right turn once he got caught in the jet stream. A sigh of relief for most!

Week of 10/10 - 10/16 Forecast:

Normally I like to go day by day but that will not be necessary this week. This is going to end up being the nicest Fall week of the season. Expect abundant sunshine every day with temps in the mid 60's to low 70's. The first couple of days winds will be from the north, so there will be a slight chill in the air. It would not surprise me if temps stayed in the mid to upper 60's all week but there is a chance later in the week we could crack 70 degrees. Figure 1 gives a look of the current state of the Fall foliage.

Figure 1 - Fall foliage underway in most of the area. Most prominent in New England at this time

Long Range Forecast:

If you're looking for a period of below normal weather that could possibly bring our first snow flurries to the area, I am sad to report I do not see this happening yet. Figure 2 is an image of the EPS valid Monday October 17th. What we see is a large trough over the Pacific Northwest bringing below normal and unsettled conditions to that part of the country. Over Alaska you see the "Alaskan Vortex" - a socket of below normal heights from a strong low pressure system - which is stationary causing the ridge in the SW CONUS to expand into central U.S. The positive heights do not extend fully into the Northeast. For the most part, we look to remain in a normal temperature regime.

Figure 2 - 500mb height anomalies from the EPS show cooler weather in PAC NW, warm in the south, around normal in the east

The amplification of the NPAC trough is driven by a strong 200mb northern jet. As long as the jet streak in that part of the country remains strong, that Low could be there for awhile. This means the eastern U.S. is likely to stay relatively dry with average or even slightly above average temps. This is what I am seeing heading into the week of the 17th.

Not a whole lot to report! Have a great week.


Frank Paparatto

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Sunday, October 2, 2016

October 3, 2016 Mo Mo: All Eyes on Hurricane Matthew

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It was a pretty crummy weekend, wouldn't you agree? Overcast with on and off showers Friday to Sunday. An upper level low is slowly moving east as it spins unsettled weather over our area. Oddly enough, this upper level low plays a key role in Hurricane Matthew's projected track. More to come! 

10/03 - 10/08 Forecast:

The chance for light showers continues into Monday. I think they will be pretty isolated as the ULL exits off the coast and High Pressure tries to take over. This will also be the warmest day of the week. High temperatures should reach the mid-70's. By Tuesday, the threat for showers exists primarily in the morning. The tail end of the ULL will still be attached to the coast, so overcast skies will remain, but slowly we're drying out. High temperatures will be near normal around 68 degrees. High Pressure fully takes over Wednesday through Friday. Mainly sunny skies with temps ranging from the upper 60's to low 70's. Winds should be calm. Saturday is when the forecast could get a little hairy depending on what happens with Hurricane Matthew. A frontal boundary along a trough is approaching from the west. If this trough feels the tropical energy Matthew is exerting, then rainfall will be enhanced along the front. However, the timing of this trough is unclear. Right now, I am thinking Saturday will be mainly dry and later in the day clouds could increase with showers moving in very late. High temps in the lower 70's. 

Long Range:

In last week's Mo Mo I made mention of Hurricane Matthew in the long range section. Believe it or not, we're as unclear with Matthew this morning as we were this time last week. His steering pattern is very complex and guidance is unable to latch onto agreement of his timing. 


The American model has Matthew off the coast of South Carolina Saturday morning. This model has waffled between a path up the coast or out to sea. As Matthew comes up the coast from Florida, an oncoming trough from the west is also working itself toward the east coast. If the trough and Matthew follow the blue arrow paths, then this trough will work to "reel" Matthew into the coast for landfall somewhere between VA and New England. If the trough and Matthew follow the purple arrow paths, then Matthew will remain offshore. It's possible one can follow a blue arrow path while the other follows purple. In other words, it's possible Matthew can follow the blue arrow while the trough retreats to the north (purple arrow). That means Matthew would come straight up the coast being steered by the WAR (West Atlantic Ridge). 


The EURO also has Matthew off the coast of South Carolina Saturday morning (slightly south of GFS), but this model stalls him there for a day or two. Notice how the trough is completely different on the EURO. It's already retreating into Canada, while the GFS has it fairly steep near the TN valley. Because the EURO stalls Matthew and the trough is in Canada, he just stalls off the southeastern coast because he's trapped between a ridge over Texas and the WAR. 

Fast forward a couple of days on the EURO, and Matthew is now north making his move up but pretty off the coast. In the mid-section of the country, there is a weak trough, or piece of upper energy, working its way east. If this energy reaches the coast with Matthew in reach, then it has a chance to reel him into landfall. IF that piece of energy catches Matthew, he's likely to take the blue track closer to the coast instead of the one pointing out to sea. This also means that impacts for our area would not be until October 10th - 12th (likely the 11th-12th). Essentially, Matthew is still in "fantasy" land on the EURO and taking solutions too seriously now are not warranted. We're better off waiting a couple of days to see if models can begin to agree on timing of the storm.

At this juncture, I do not feel comfortable trusting the GFS American model. Each run it has progressed slower and slower leading me to believe the EURO may have the right idea with timing of the storm. If this is the case, then the trough working its way east and the ULL do not play much of a factor in determining Matthew's forecast since they should be out of the picture by the week of the 9th. If somehow the GFS is right with bringing Matthew up the coast late this week into the weekend, then the ULL and trough become critical in where they're positioned. 

At this time, I want to see another day or two of model runs to see if we can get the timing down. Once we have that, we'll be able to draw better conclusions on Matthew and where he may possibly go. One thing is for certain: he will track between Haiti and Jamaica, hit or clip eastern Cuba, then bring a whole lot of trouble to the Bahamas. He may enter the Bahamas as a major Hurricane and sit over those islands for 1-2 days. How close to the coast of Florida he gets will also be interesting to see. The further west he gets, the higher the odds he could come up the coast.

Interesting times ahead! Stay tuned to the forum.

Have a great week.


Francesco Paparatto 

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

September 26, 2016 Mo Mo: Rain Relief on the Way

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Man, what a fabulous weather weekend. Saturday started off cloudy but the sun came out by the afternoon. Temperatures felt fall-like in the lower 70s and 60s with not much humidity. The area is in desperate need of rain. All summer long its been relatively dry and lawns across the tri-state look as dry as the Sahara right now. Luckily, rain relief is on the way this week. 

09/26 - 09/30 FORECAST:

A pleasant start to the week. High pressure in control on Monday will keep us under sunshine with high temps in the low to mid 70's. Winds will turn from the north to the south as a front approaches the area by the evening. 

Early Tuesday morning, after Midnight, rain will move into the area and last until mid to late morning. The further northwest you live, the faster you will dry out on Tuesday. Rain could be over for northwest sections as early as 8am on Tuesday. (Figure 1)

Figure 1 - rain overspreading the area along a frontal boundary 

Wednesday will be much like Monday. Sunshine to start the day with high temps in the low to mid 70's with increasing clouds by the evening. By late evening, rain will move into southern sections of NJ and gradually spread north overnight. 

Thursday - Friday will feature a coastal storm, a Nor'easter in fact, that is expected to bring moderate rainfall to the area. The upper level pattern is conducive for a coastal storm to impact the area (Figure 2 & 3)

Figure 2 - An Upper Level Low over the Ohio Valley is caught under a couple of ridges to its north, which slows the jet stream down and allows a surface low to develop along the coast. 

Figure 3 - a zoomed in look of the 500 mb ULL. The "L'" represents the surface low and the track it's expected to take. 

This will not be a potent Nor'easter. The surface low pressure is expected to stay above 1000 mb and winds will not exceed 20 mph. The large Upper Level Low coming from the west is not working with impressive jet dynamics that would be able to enhance this system. That is not to mean there will not be a good amount of rain. Models are showing moderate to heavy rainfall overspreading the area Thursday afternoon and lasting into the evening (Figure 4). Rain will continue into Friday though it is expected to be more on and off by then. There could be a break from the rain Friday morning then another round of light showers later in the afternoon. High temperatures may not get out of the 60's THU-FRI due to the rain. Going to be pretty raw outside...ew. 

Figure 4 - Heavy rain forming over the Tri-State Thursday afternoon

All together, the rain we see this week should exceed 2-3 inches for most locations (Figure 5). I do not know about you, but I am quite glad we're getting some. Fall foliage is still going to look pretty crappy this year since its been a dry summer. However, there are places in the elevated sections of NJ and NY that look nice regardless of the wet season.

Figure 5 - Total rainfall for the week with most of it falling Thursday-Friday from the Nor'easter. Some spots could see isolated 4" of rain. Localized flooding possible. 

Some leftover clouds on Saturday but for the most part it should be dry and sunny with temps back into the 70's. 


While the upcoming week will remain seasonable, guidance is in fair agreement of warming temperatures returning to the area. Possibly hitting the 80's once again. The GFS and EURO Ensembles suggest a trough will enter the Pacific Northwest and a ridge builds over the Northeast (Figures 6 & 7). 

Figures 6 (GEFS) & 7 (EPS) show a ridge, pointing to above normal temperatures, building over the Northeast between October 2nd - October 7th. 

The above normal temps, possibly in the low 80's (in October!), is not the ambiguous part to the forecast that week. It will be the possibility of a tropical entity affecting our area. Models are showing a large Hurricane, likely to be named Matthew, over the Atlantic at that time. However, some models also show this system heading into the Gulf of Mexico. There is a large spread of guidance on where he will track. Here are the likely storm tracks:

A) Into the Gulf of Mexico with landfall between TX and FL

B) A direct hit somewhere along the east coast, most likely between FL and NC then up the coast 

C) A re-curve out to sea 

As details become more certain and models come into better agreement, I will release another blog outlining the weather impacts, whether direct or indirect, this system will have for our area. Look at the size the GFS blows this storm up to (Figure 8). Pretty scary. Hopefully it stays far far away. 

Figure 8 - Soon to be Hurricane Matthew on the 18z GFS. A category 4 Hurricane for sure west of Bermuda and east of the U.S. East Coast. Too close for comfort indeed...

I hope every has a fantastic week! Thanks for reading.


Francesco Paparatto

Be sure to stay tuned to the forum for latest development and breaking weather news.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Hermine Not Backing Down

Remember 99L? Oh yea, that was Hermine. Many have been tracking Hermine for nearly 2 weeks. Models struggled to agree on a track and how strong she will get. Tonight's 00z and tomorrow's 12z model runs hope to give us answers to some glaring unknowns just 36 hours before rain starts to fall.

Hermine is currently over North Carolina bringing flooding rains. She is moving quickly to the north-northeast. Early in the frame you can clearly make out the core and where the "eye" was. In the last 2 frames it's clear the eye has become exposed and Hermine has weakened from a Hurricane to a Tropical Storm as she spins over land. She is expected to move back over water and regain strength as an extratropical storm. 

TPC's track nicely shows how Hermine's resurgence over the Atlantic. She is likely to become a Hurricane again late Sunday or early Monday. Tropical Storm warnings and watches are in effect for the Tri-State area. 

As Hermine tracks north, she is going to run into High Pressure which acts as a block. This block will force Hermine to retrograde back west toward the coast instead of meandering out to sea. This is a big blow for residents on the NJ shore and south shore of LI because a full moon is in the forecast this weekend. The strength of a category 1 Hurricane moving due west + overlapping tide cycles due to the slow movement will result in disastrous and horrific storm surge. These areas could be looking at a surge of 7 to 8 feet if latest model guidance comes to fruition. 

Here is a look at 500mb height anomalies from the 12z EPS. This gives you a better look of the block to the north. The ridge prevents Hermine from escaping out to sea. As she departs North Carolina, she is expected to track NNE and get fairly far east before turning back west. This is the main reason why the storm surge forecast looks nightmarish for folks along the coast. 

The teal line is the track I expect Hermine to take. It is not much different from the one I showed yesterday. I think the retrograde will occur east of the Delmarva before heading NNE, where she is likely to stall for 2 full days. How far west in her retrograde does she go is the main question left to be answered. 

Check out these 925mb winds from the GFS and their time stamps. Sustained Tropical force winds over much of the area is possible for 2-3 days. The yellow shading translates to 35-50mph winds at the surface, while the red could mean gusts at Hurricane force for the immediate coast and 60-70mph for those just inland. The issue is these winds will remain with us for longer than 2 days since Hermine is expected to stall off the coast. The combination of high winds and rain could lead to prolonged power outages, especially since for safety reasons many powerline crews do not begin repairs until the winds die down. 

Figuring out how much rain falls is the trickiest part of the forecast since we're uncertain with Hermine's exact track still. Look how close the purple, blue, and grey shadings are to the coast. A shift of just 50 miles west puts much of NJ in flooding rain. The NJ shore and east end of Long Island is a good bet to see at least 3 to 6 inches of rain. Add the 5-7 foot storm surge and near Hurricane force winds, the NJ shores are in line for a very dangerous storm and they should start making preparations NOW.

One thing that caught my attention is dry air tries to get entrenched into this storm by early Monday. That could hinder rainfall totals a bit, especially for those away from the coast. Something to watch...

Take note that I am forecasting winds for the brunt of the storm. There will be times on Tuesday and Wednesday where these winds will verify too (see graphic with time stamps). Overall, I expected Tropical Storm force winds for those in red over a 2-day period with Hurricane Force (74+ mph) very likely for a period of time Sunday night into Monday early afternoon. 850mb winds are shown to be over 75mph in some locations. Those in blue will see Tropical Storm force winds too, but probably not over 2 days worth. Again, this is a tricky forecast because if Hermine tracks closer to the coast then the Hurricane Force winds could extend further inland. It will not take much for that red to overspread much of the area. Regardless, TS force is still bad and could cause many issues. 

I have low confidence with my rain forecast. I expect to have an update out tomorrow afternoon with updated maps. I am confident the NJ shore will see at least 3" of rain, but it could also go as high as 10" depending on the track. 

Another historic storm for the east coast. What a time to be alive if you're a weather junky like me. The dynamics at play and unprecedented track make Hermine one of the most unique tropical systems I've ever tracked. I noticed some of the news outlets may be underplaying Hermine a bit. While I do not think this will be Sandy-level, she will kind of be Sandy-like with the due west movement toward the coast and that in itself could be disastrous for the shores. 

More to come tomorrow. I will have more in the way of timing and impacts. 

Have a good night.

-Francesco Paparatto 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Tropical Storm Hermine Taking Aim on Tri-State

My expectation was the upcoming holiday weekend would be mainly dry. Maybe some clouds and rough seas at worst, but as of tonight models suggest it is going to be much more than that. Latest models are pointing to a significant rain and wind event as Tropical Storm Hermine tracks up the east coast. Here is the latest probable path from the National Hurricane Center:

Before I talk about the potential impacts this storm may bring, I figured I will detail why the models made a dramatic shift west with the track. Ultimately, it comes down to the strength of Hermine which dictates its speed. A weaker storm typically moves faster while a stronger storm moves slower. 

Let's compare 500mb height anomalies between Monday's GFS against today's. The timestamp is valid for Friday evening. 

Monday 12z GFS (top) Vs. Wednesday 18z GFS (bottom) 

The glaring difference is Hermine is much stronger. In Monday's run, she was barely a depression over North Carolina whereas in today's run she is a Tropical Storm over South Carolina. The Atlantic Ridge is further west on the latest GFS, and the trough over the northwest Atlantic is weaker / faster. These realities are part of the reason why Hermine will track along or just off the coast rather than drift out to sea. 

The other reason - most important - why Hermine could track close to the coast is because the trough at the 250mb level captures Hermine and retrogrades her back west. The strong jet streak will bring about a dynamical aspect of the system that would allow strong winds to mix down to the lower levels, or surface, of the atmosphere. 

Some say when Hermine gets here she may not be a Tropical Storm. Maybe a sub-tropical or extratropical system. Honestly, who cares. Call it a Nor'easter if you want. But if the afternoon model runs come to fruition then expect lots of rain, high winds, and surge at the beaches. In my eyes this will be a Tropical Storm when it gets here due to the dynamics that will be at play. 

Check out this animation:

This loop shows atmospheric moisture, or precipitable water. In the Gulf of Mexico we have Hermine and off the coast of North Carolina there is Tropical Depression 8 (look for the circular motions). The orange and red colors indicate a moist atmosphere. As Hermine tracks north, there is a good chance it is going to take this moist atmosphere and move it into our area. This would enhance rainfall amounts and cause added headache to those along the coast. This too will play part of the systems dynamics. 

A closer look at the 500mb level shows Hermine getting 'stuck' under a strong block to its north. The ridge you see in central Canada on the 500mb maps I posted above tracks east-southeast and traps Hermine under it. So between the 250mb trough and 500mb ridge, Hermine's effects will be felt for almost 24 hours. More in some places. 

The EURO is especially impressive with the wind and rain. 850mb winds on the EURO are near 80kts!! 

The GFS has 925mb winds (closer to the surface) near 70kts. Just further proof that the system will be fairly potent when it gets here. 

The Canadian models suggests rainfall could be anywhere from 3 to 6 inches all within a 24-hour period. That would cause extensive flooding, especially in flood prone zones. 


1. There is still 3 important model suites to run before Hermine gets here. There is a chance models intensify Hermine more in the event they are downplaying the dynamics. I am impressed with the jet stream at the 250mb level. I think the GFS is too weak with the storm at the moment, and a blend between it and the EURO is not a bad forecast at this time. 

2. Rainfall is likely to be in the 3" range. The difference between 2-3" and 5-6" will depend on the exact track of the storm. Since we've been mainly dry the last 10 days getting a heavy dose of rain in a short period of time could bring flooding concerns to much of the state. 

3. Since there will be a retrograde back west, this is likely to enhance storm surge along the immediate coast. The NJ shore and southern shores of LI could ill-afford their beaches being destroyed or homes receiving property damage. Once the exact path of Hermine is nailed down, we'll have a better idea of the surge and how bad it may be. 

4. Wind is expected to be at least Tropical Storm strength for pretty much everyone in the Tri-State. Gusts could be as high as 65-70mph with sustained winds in the 50mph range. The combination of high winds and heavy rain could lead to power outages across the area. 

I'll have another update on Friday! 

Have a good night.


Francesco Paparatto 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

March 28, 2016 Mo Mo

I hope everyone had a nice Easter with their family and friends. We're starting Monday off on a dreary note. Rain should come to an end around Noon today. The rest of the week looks fairly mild with temps in the upper 50's to low 60's. By Thursday afternoon into early Friday, another round of rain is expected from a cold front. Less then 1 inch of rain is expected. 

Rain Thursday afternoon

Once the cold front passes through a rush of cold air will storm into the Northeast. Do not rule out a snow squall Saturday afternoon into the evening. This could possibly be our last cold blast of the season. Temperatures are expected to get down into the 20's (teens N&W) with high's only in the upper 30's to low 40's. 

The American and European Ensemble suites are in agreement the Polar Vortex will track southeast of the Hudson Bay and force a trough over our area. 

Notice how the ridge pops in the west and there are some higher heights over Greenland. This remains a transient pattern so the cold will not be long-lasting. I think by the time we get to Tuesday the 5th the cold will begin to moderate and temps will gradually warm up again. 

Temps Sunday morning (April 3rd) are only in the 20's and 30's across the region. 

Temps 2pm Monday (April 4th - Yankees Opening Day) will only be in the 40's. Bundle up if you're going to the game!! 

That is all I really have to report in today's Mo Mo. A couple rain shots this week, maybe a snow squall Saturday with an arctic blast, and back to warm temperatures by the middle of next week with more rain chances on the horizon. MY 2016 SUMMER OUTLOOK WILL BE OUT SOMETIME IN APRIL. Be on the lookout! 

Have a great day. 


Francesco Paparatto