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 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Come Fly With Me Through The World Of Model Mayhem

There are significant differences between the EURO and GFS models in regards to the Sunday into Monday storm. The EURO has a strong surface low tucked near the coast bringing over 12" of snow to the area, while the GFS scrapes the area with just a few snow showers. The caveat is the GFS Ensembles are closer to the coast and the EURO Ensembles are even more impressive and further west than the EURO OP. It would not be a big snowstorm without model disagreement! 

Here is a look at today's 12z EURO 500mb height anomalies valid late Saturday. This is a good look of how the pattern will set up. As explained yesterday, we will have a -NAO/+PNA to work with. The higher heights over and east of Greenland is a nice -NAO. Not classic but it's our best block all winter. The ridging in the west into the Arctic is a very impressive +PNA/-EPO. This is what will help drive the northern energy and arctic air into the northeast. The goal is to get a phase to occur between the northern and southern phases. As shown yesterday, we do not need a phase to get a big snowstorm since the southern energy is strong on its own, but I would feel comfortable knowing a phase will happen because it lessens the odds this storm goes out to sea like the GFS OP is trying to show. 

Today's EURO at 500mb is almost a replica of yesterday. There is no phase but the southern energy is stronger today, so the surface low is pulled closer to the coast and those west into PA get into the action. Notice how the northern energy is still over the Great Lakes but it's trying to dig quickly into the coast for a phase. 

Recall yesterday the EURO was showing a surface low around 991mb. Now it's closer to the coast and around 988mb. The EURO Ensembles are even more impressive. Some members are around or sub 980mb with the low so close to the coast that the Jersey Shore and Long Island see rain or mixing. 

The 200mb jet streaks and wind vectors suggest this storm has a clear path up the coast toward the Benchmark. It will be interesting to see how dynamical this system could get. If there is no phase, the storm may struggle trying to wrap colder air into its core so dynamic cooling would be difficult to achieve. This may bring mixing concerns to parts of the immediate coast, including NYC. Even though the EURO is not showing this, it's still worth noting soundings may be showing a warm layer somewhere. This is why it's critical we at least see a partial phase with the northern energy. 

The GFS is off the coast because it rushes the southern stream ahead of the northern stream and the vorticity never wraps itself into the trough. Everything looks a little fast and pretty strung out. It does not have support from its own ensembles nor other guidance such as the SREFS and GGEM. The only reason I am not completely discounting the GFS is because of the northern branch remaining disjointed from the southern one. However, the southern branch should be able to manage a storm at least near the coast given the -NAO/+PNA/-EPO. 

Tomorrow will be a critical day of model runs if you're a winter weather enthusiast. Either the EURO holds serve and regains its reputation as "king," or the GFS will out perform it once again like it did a few times this winter. At this moment, I am leaning in favor of the EURO and its Ensembles because I feel it handles -NAO type storms very well. and it has support from other guidance. Therefore, I am currently forecasting a 6 to 12" snowfall for the area beginning midday Sunday into the 1st half of Monday. The potential still exists for a Godzilla (12" or more). We'll see!

Enjoy the rest of your night. 


Francesco Paparatto

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Tracking A Spring Godzilla Between March 20th-21st

El Nino has dominated our winter pattern. Above normal temperatures with very few snow chances. Jonas was our big Roidzilla - a historic storm - but this season leaves winter weather lovers wanting more. After experiencing temperatures in the 80's last week I think it's safe to say most put this lackluster season to rest. Looking at the latest weather guidance I think it's fair to say Mother Nature has other plans. March may go out like a lion. 

Earlier in the month I noted the 2nd half of March may be on the cooler side. There were signs of the NAO going negative and the ridging returning to the western half of the U.S. According to latest guidance we are heading in that direction. These combinations in an El Nino flow are a recipe for big east coast storms to form. 

The NAO is definitely heading into a negative state. This is also shown on the 500mb height anomaly graphics which I will get to soon. This is important because not only is it just the 2nd time this season the NAO will go negative, but it's key to getting an east coast snowstorm happening. It will try to slow down the fast Pacific flow and give upper energies in the atmosphere a greater chance to phase. 

The EURO on Saturday morning shows a large Upper Level Low over the center of the country. Notice how the other ULL over New England is trying to exit stage right by moving north and east. This is critical. The greater the separation between these two ULL's, the higher the odds are of this possible Godzilla on Sunday coming to fruition. The reason being the eastern trough has room to amplify and the upper level vorticity gets wrapped in instead of stringing / shearing out like the GFS shows. As this ULL digs south, heights along the East Coast rise (Atlantic Ridge) which paves a path for this storm to track up the coast. 

By Sunday morning notice how the ULL that was over New England is out of the picture. In response, the Atlantic Ridge is able to amplify which gives the upper energy associated with the ULL in the center of the country a clear path to track northeast instead of due east. Additionally, the NAO is negative at this juncture so this usually keeps surface low pressure systems closer to the coast instead of well off the coast. The +PNA gives us hope the northern energy coming down from Canada will try to phase into the southern energy. If successful, you can expect a Roidzilla-esque storm to impact the area Sunday into Monday. Right now, the EURO shows a Godzilla storm and that is WITHOUT a phase. So, imagine if it begins showing a phase. 

This is what I mean. The storm the EURO shows hitting the area on Sunday is all southern stream driven. From the map above there is no clear phase between the northern and southern branches. That goes to show the potential this system has.

EURO verbatim has this at 989mb. If a phase were to happen, not only would the surface low be tucked in closer to the coast but the pressure or strength would be sub 970mb. Right now NYC Metro is absolutely hammered on the EURO. With a phase - which is entirely possible due to the -NAO/+PNA duo - areas further west would also get into the action while much of the region sees a crippling blizzard. 

Here is the EURO again Sunday morning looking at 500mb height anomalies. The block in the northern Atlantic into Greenland is key in this setup. It really does help slow the flow down and allow the upper energies to convene along the coast. Also, the separation between the ULL's is also very important and the EURO does a nice job in showing this. This is why it is the most bullish model with the Godzilla on Sunday. 

Both of these images are from the GFS model. The biggest difference between the American and European model is the lack of separation with both ULL's, and the inability of the ULL in the center of the country to dig deeper into the eastern CONUS. The GFS looks very progressive with sheared out upper energy. This is a typical bias of the GFS. Also, I feel the GFS struggles with storms involving a -NAO. I do not think it does a good job of recognizing the block which in turn effects how it handles the pattern downstream. 


I actually feel very good about this storm coming to fruition for the area. This is the first storm all winter I have felt good about. It took me awhile to get around to Jonas, but for some reason my gut is telling me this one will happen. I really like the set-up with a -NAO/+PNA. I like how even with no phasing on the EURO it still manages to get a surface low close to the coast with enough cold air in place to support snow. I think over the next 2 days we will continue to see waffling. By the time we get to Friday I think models will begin to hone in on a Godzilla-type storm affecting the area mid day Sunday into Monday late morning. 

We will see what happens! Have a great night. 


Francesco Paparatto 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Warmer Times Ahead

Is it safe to say the January Roidzilla was the highlight of the winter? I mean, I don't even think it is close. And the sad part is the Roidzilla, aka Jonas, did not bring the 2+ feet snowfall amounts to a widespread area. It was fairly concentrated from central and eastern NJ through NYC / LI. Central Park got below zero and we even had a severe weather outbreak. I think those may be the top 3. I think it is fair to say winter has ended. We will see record warm temperatures this week and even more mild weather on the way for the following week. 

The EURO (top) and GFS (bottom) suggest temps on Thursday afternoon will reach the mid 70's. That is about 15 to 25 degrees above normal for this time of year. May weather in March, who would have thunk it?! 

Be on the look out for rain late Thursday into early Friday. The bulk of the rain will stay to our north. Both the GFS and EURO models are in agreement of that. Do not rule out a spotty shower though. High Pressure if off to the south and east which keeps our temps fairly mild. More rain is possible Sunday into Monday next week. At this time it does not look like a high amount. 

One reason we are seeing these mild temps is because the Pacific Jet is crashing into the west coast of the U.S. This keeps the PNA negative with frequent rain storms affecting the PAC NW. Notice how the ridge builds over the east with a strong High off the east coast. 

This pattern looks to last through the week of 03/14 as well. The PNA stays negative and the eastern U.S. stays under the influence of a southeast ridge. When the Pacific Jet is strong and in control it does not bode well for cold weather lovers in the northeast. 

By later in the month - say by the 19th - the pattern tried to flip to a split-flow. This shifts the Pacific Jet south into the SW CONUS and brings the northern jet driving across the northern tier of the country. The southeast ridge moves east and a trough tries to settle into the eastern U.S. At this time I do not think it will lead to any wintry weather, but it should get cooler or at least get to average later in the month. Honestly, the weather moving forward looks very boring. Personally I appreciate the weather turning a bit milder, but storm-wise I do not see anything significant. 

El Nino should be weakening drastically as we head into April and May. By the summer we should begin talking about La Nina and how strong it may get by winter 2016-2017. We still have a long way to go before we reach that point. For now, our pattern should continue resembling one of El Nino for the most part. 

Have a good night!


Francesco Paparatto