Jesse Ferrell

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Friday Morning Snow Briefs - Weird Stuff!

November 21, 2008; 10:03 AM ET

No, it's not underwear with snow flakes on it. It's me attempting to get out a couple quick points on the snow in the Northeast while I'm under (my normal) heavy workload here at AccuWeather.

1. There was an incredible snow band last night that set up over northern Pennsylvania, starting after noon and lasting until nearly midnight, training over the same places. I'll have amounts momentarily. Here's a radar loop (7 MB SWF):

2. A MCV [JessePedia] -- or Mesoscale Convective Vortex -- came off of Lake Erie last night and has miraculously survived to the Chesapeake. (You can see this on the radar animation too starting around 2 PM). This dragged the aforementioned band southward over us here in Centre County, but dissipated it before we could get much accumulation. As you can see from my webcams, I have only a dusting.

3. There are weird things going on in the atmosphere, and snow ratios are going to be hard to predict this weekend. The air aloft seems to be colder than people think, based on the strange lights they saw in Philly Wednesday Night. (Snow ratios are hard to predict anyway, because the line of ratio-vs.temperature jumps around a lot, and so does the temp in the atmosphere as snow is forming and falls.)

4. Considering all that and the normal behavior of lake-effect bands snaking around randomly, I think there will be some surprises still to come. Some people (like those who got caught in that band yesterday) could see 6-12" of snow, almost anywhere in Pennsylvania & New York. Most (like me so far) will get totally shafted with just a dusting.

The point of all of that was to try to help explain why forecasting the weather is chaotic at best, and more so than usual today.

5. It snowed again in eastern North Carolina last night and this morning - there is Raw Video in the player at right out of Durham, NC.

Here's the High-Res 4KM WRF model prediction of snowfall amounts through Saturday night. It's probably got the chaotic look correct, but it may not have all the lake-effect bands in the correct places.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or


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About This Blog

Jesse Ferrell
Jesse Ferrell's WeatherMatrix blog covers extreme weather worldwide with a concentration on weather photos and Social Media.