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    Elliot Abrams

    Northeast: Wet Tomorrow but Dry for the Weekend

    By Elliot Abrams, AccuWeather chief meteorologist
    4/03/2014, 5:53:12 AM

    Thursday morning

    The morning video forecast takes a look at weather today through early next week. You'll see why we are optimistic about this weekend in the I-95 corridor.

    Overnight, a massive area of thunderstorms, some with violent winds, hit the area from Kansas east to Ohio and Iowa south to Tennessee. This map shows the lightning detected from midnight through 5 a.m. ET


    Violent thunderstorms with damaging winds, cloudbursts of rain, hail and even some tornadoes will break out from northeastern Texas to the Ohio Valley. Keep in mind the important differences between outlooks, watches and warnings. Outlooks are issued to define relatively large areas where there is an elevated risk of severe weather. The first rung of the ladder is called the "slight risk" area, which sounds benign. However, it is the first level of threat above forecasts that do not contain explicit mention severe weather.

    A watch means there is a relatively high chance for some kind of severe weather to occur somewhere within the watch area. This sounds bad, but a watch can cover many thousands of square miles and is non specific about exactly if, where or when severe weather may occur. So, when a watch is issued it is a good idea for you to think about what you would do if a warning is issued, but you don't necessarily need to act immediately.

    A warning is the most serious forecast of severe weather, and you need to consider it as an action statement. A warning is issued when a severe thunderstorm or tornado (depending on what the warning actually says) is aimed right at your location. You need to move to the safest place you can find and stay there until the warning is lifted or it expires. Sure, it an inconvenience, but nowhere the "inconvenience" of dying or getting injured by a dangerous storm. If you've seen videos of tornadoes, you know their courses can change or wobble and their size and strength can change dramatically and repeatedly.


    Below, I have reprinted the first two reports. The beginning sentence suggests other stories came before the archive that is now online. The second one includes a greeting to my late father for his 89th birthday

    1. MONDAY, JAN. 23, 2006 10:15 a.m.

    Several times in recent months I have mentioned a hypothesis asserting that changes high in the stratosphere can be used to forecast changes down here at the ground. In particular, a change from a strong polar vortex at the 10 mb level (where the pressure is only 1/100 of that at sea level) to a weak vortex or even a high pressure center has been associated with the kind of high latitude blocking patterns that force the jet stream (and hence the cold air and storm track) farther south. Furthermore, when these changes up there occur, the subsequent new pattern in the troposphere lasts about two months. The paper in Science magazine was published October 19, 2001. Not all (but most) of the major changes at 10 mb were associated with these big weather shifts.

    There are some sophisticated calculations mentioned in the original report. However, I am using the visual inspection - pattern recognition approach, which raises two risks: (1) that I am seeing something different than what the authors implied, and (2) my results are quite subjective. I am going to show you two of the 10mb analyses as displayed on the University of Wyoming site. The university has some interesting programs in meteorology that you can check out elsewhere on their website (

    The first map is from about 10 days ago. The vortex is centered near, but not over the Pole.


    This map from last night shows that the vortex has weakened and shifted toward Europe as the high pressure from Alaska expanded and moved toward the Pole. I read this as a reversal from a strong vortex to a high pressure center. Now we'll see if the weather pattern really does change. If it does, we have another helpful tool to use. If not, it's back to the drawing board to see what I missed.


    2. Jan. 24, 2006 7 a.m.

    On this date in 1917, an organic chemist was born in Pittsburgh. He went on to supervise a chemical research department and earned several patents for products that helped the paper industry. Who is that person? Happy 89th birthday, Ellis Abrams...or as I call him, dad.

    Thinking of chemistry, in the weather department, of course you need to know how to face the elements whether you're traveling or staying around the family compound. For today in the Northeast, enough sunshine to light offices and homes if you leave curtains and valences open. And, since it'll be fairly mild for January, it is great weather for going oxide. Warmth in winter really gives many people a positive charge, although it has some toxicity for snow lovers.

    The formula for this kind of weather recently has been west to east flow in the upper atmosphere and occasional H20 from the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic. Amines there's no real permanent cold air. Sodium temperatures average above normal. Some people keep asking when cold winter weather will really take over. When will the temperature take a fluoride? After all, the the temperature been more than 7 degrees above the long term average so far this month in Boston, and more than 8 degrees above "normal" in New York City and Philadelphia. The warmth has caused quite a reaction, (and for meteorologists, has raised a real fussphorus). The changeable weather is the kind people associate with colds or ammonia. As for today's temperatures, we expect it to be near 40 in Boston and 50 in New York City and Philadelphia this afternoon. From those who like mild winter weather, we got approval when we asked how that hydrate.

    Now you may wonder how things will change. How does cold air get into the mix? The solution is a change to northwesterly flow... and a cold front arriving tonight is the catalyst to cause that change. As the front comes through, a white powdery, crystalline substance can accumulate a covering to an inch in central and northern Pennsylvania; a bit more from central New York into New England. Rain and snow showers can make it all the way to New York City and Philadelphia. It will be colder tomorrow and Thursday, with temperatures tomorrow night dropping to the teens in New England 20s as far south as Philadelphia, Washington and Polymer.

    However, the pattern remains volatile, and we'll have a warmup back toward the 50s this weekend. One fellow asked our opinion of that. I said we stand on that max planck until the warm air boltzman. To people worried about storms later in the week, the prediction of no storms Thursday through Saturday should be acetlyene influence. That means if you had worries about travel they argon.
    The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or


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