First Nor’Easter?

By:  Lionel Hutz
October 13, 2009 3:41 pm | Category: Weather

With the most recent early season snowfall wrapping up, we turn our eyes to see what’s next.
As discussed at length the northeast is currently in an active weather pattern more typical of early winter than early fall. A deep pool of cold air is getting ready to bed down over the NE in the wake of this latest system. It’s arrival will issue in some honestly chilly temps.

Along southern edge of this cold air a low pressure system will start to slide north east. By thursday morning a low pressure center will be weakeing just off the Carolinas with rain up into maryland. From this point the forecast starts to get a bit tricky.

A few days agot the models showed a more powerful low developeing off the coast and riding north, past the jersey coast and getting picked up by upper level features and shooting off into the Gulf of Maine. Based on this track, and the cold air in place, locations in the Catskills, and even the Poconos above 1500 ft/2000ft would see some snow. With the Catskills even having the potential to see a few inches of snow.
However, as was the case many times last year, these big below average cold air blocks have a tendency to send storms along their southern edge and too far out to sea to affect ski country. As the the week has progressed models have continually trended towards a “suppressed” solution.

My two cents: This bears watching for the simple reason that there are going to be features induced by this coastal storm which the models aren’t picking up on right now. If the storm even comes close to the coast, with the cold temps in place, any moisture thrown back will for sure fall as snow across the higher terrain and at this time of year- even a few measly tenths of an inch of QPF can get the winter feeling we’re all looking for if it falls as white flakes.
I’ll keep you updated!


  1. Greg
    wrote on October 13th, 2009 at 6:48 pm  

    Sweet, thanks for the update AJ. Thunderbolt potential?

  2. Lionel Hutz
    wrote on October 14th, 2009 at 7:13 am  

    Looking at this again this morning a few things stand out:
    1) Catskills and higher elevations of Mass. could def. see some light accumulations of wet snow. However, with all the leaves still on the trees this could be troublesome.
    2) New Hampshire higher terrain starting to look snowy Friday into sat. Might be some good early season turns up high in the pres. range by sat morning.

  3. Lionel Hutz
    wrote on October 14th, 2009 at 9:20 am  

    I’m also going to add that the threat will not die with Storm 1. His brother is going to follow on sat into monday. Whether this is his bigger brother or little brother is still undecided. All that is clear is that a winter like trough is setting up over the eastern coast and with a baroclinic zone between warmer ocean and colder land these storms have the right food to intesify. How much snow we get and where that falls is unclear.

  4. Doremite
    wrote on October 15th, 2009 at 1:33 pm  

    This is going to be my go to weather lurking (a/k/a obsessing) source this winter, Lionel. I’ll be watching.

  5. Lionel Hutz
    wrote on October 15th, 2009 at 2:03 pm  

    No problem- Lurk away. Ask questions too.
    Update:It’s nasty outside my door. It’s going to be nasty up and down the coast.
    Storm 2 – Sat/Sun/Mon system is starting to look like it will come a little North and West of this storms track- that would mean snow for catskills, sourthern ADK and maybe VT. I’ll keep you alls updated.

  6. laseranimal
    wrote on October 15th, 2009 at 2:28 pm  

    you rock LH

    this is the best one stop shop for EC weather

  7. Greg
    wrote on October 15th, 2009 at 3:31 pm  

    Testing image inclusion into comments:

    looks like it’s now available! just use html code. I put a quick reference above the comment box in case you forgot… will work on getting a button up soon. enjoi!

  8. Lionel Hutz
    wrote on October 15th, 2009 at 6:31 pm  

    Cool. So Here’s what we are going to try to do…Post up about a storm and then maybe use the comments to “update” on the storm progress. Until I have something more to say…then I’ll make a new post. Tell me what you think.

    So 6:15 I’m still at work and the Phillies game hasn’t started yet update:
    It’s cold, nasty and raw…just the way Sam likes his men- and we have a pretty gnarly early season Nor’easter underway with a second one locked into the chamber.
    Currently we have rapidly deepening low spinning of the mouth of the Ches. Bay. It is forecast to move N/NE over the next 18 hours. As it does a strong baroclinic zone along the coast will continue to intesify the storm. Combined with a strong coupled jet and upward motion, coastal areas will get soaked. Deeper inland, the air column supports wet snow with temps at 5000 ft hovering between -4(centigrade- you do the damn math) for the entire event. While this is marginally supportive of snow dynamic cooling (process where snow falling cools the air as heat evaporates off- think ice cubes in your glass- eventually they stop melting) should allow the snow that breaks out to continue to fall from the western side of the App. Trail in PA up through New York. See the next 18 hours or so of forecast temps here:

    Over the next 24 hours a fair amount of precip will have fallen in areas that should remain generally all snow. See here:

    Based on the current temperature profiles I’d suspect places like Belleayre and the southern catskills (is there such a thing) could pick up at higher elevations- somewhere around 6 inches by they time this wraps up.
    But be aware- this is a very heavy wet snow and it will bring down powerlines, branches and kids in balloons (too so? Ehh fudge it- those parents were weirdo’s anyway)

  9. ml242
    wrote on October 15th, 2009 at 7:04 pm  

    fall has some teeth this year. sweet.

  10. Greg
    wrote on October 15th, 2009 at 7:11 pm  

    yeah and Sam likes it when it has teeth!

  11. rdennhs
    wrote on October 15th, 2009 at 7:30 pm  

    not too soon, and stoked….you southerners get at ‘er

  12. Lionel Hutz
    wrote on October 17th, 2009 at 1:29 pm  

    I can only throw a quick update here-
    A second low pressure system is currently brewing along the S/E coast. It will move NE today thu sunday. It’s going to be real close w/r/t snow for the Catskills. Northern PA- like ricketts glen state park area- will see snow but the Catskills will be right on the edge. The problem is that the precip shield will not extend very far over top of the cold air being pulled south so there will only be a narrow strip where the air supports snow and there is sufficient moisture for snow to reach the ground. At this time it’s a little unclear how far N/W that band will stretch. At best upper elevations will see 2-4 inches of snow by noon on Sunday.

  13. Jake L.
    wrote on October 28th, 2009 at 7:18 pm  
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