Like my five-year-old, you might still feel like you owe #BlameJudson for the lack of snow. He put the spoon under his pillow, flushed ice cubes in the toilet, ran around the table singing “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow” AND wore his pajamas inside out the night before . Even though we saw white flakes, there was still not enough snow on the ground to use the sled I bought him when he was two.
I’m as disappointed as anyone that our snowless streak in Atlanta will continue. But there’s a chance – if we get measurable snow later this week – we’ll avoid breaking the record of 1,477 days without snow. (We’re currently sitting at 1,460 days on Monday.)
Some forecast computer models suggest another winter system will hit parts of the south and move up the coast this weekend. This storm system, if you believe any model, will bring real snow to Atlanta, but also freezing mayhem to coastal cities like Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina.
Not to mention that it could actually bring a good accumulation of snow to cities in the Northeast, like New York.
The problem is that there is less uncertainty in this storm system than last weekend.
Last week, the two global weather models showed the same overall weather pattern, but disagreed on the details.
This week, we can’t even say that we’re sure anything is going to happen.
“Large forecast spread and continuity issues limit the predictability of particular system threats from Days 4 through 7,” the Weather Prediction Center said Monday morning in its forecast discussion.
What is certain is that a cold front will cross the central United States on Wednesday and cross the East through Thursday, leaving behind a blast of frigid air in the Arctic.
Temperatures from the plains to the east coast could drop 20 to 30 degrees below normal.
In Texas, for example, many areas will drop from the 70s and 80s on Tuesday to the mid-30s and below 40s on Thursday.
As freezing temperatures settle in the East Thursday through Friday, a low pressure system is expected to form along the cold front and just off the Georgia coast. If it forms near the coast, it could filter moisture from the Atlantic into the cold air, allowing that winter precipitation to form in areas you might not associate with ice or snow. . Take Charleston, South Carolina, for example.
It also adds a similar disclaimer: “There was a drastic run-to-run inconsistency between the global models resulting in a low confidence forecast.”
Here is the “maybe”. Sound familiar? Here’s why.
The only model that shows the system near the coast moves it up along the coastline, bringing more winter precipitation for a longer period for Georgia, the Carolinas, and then into the mid-Atlantic and coastal Nova Scotia. England.
The US weather model still shows some precipitation in the South but not the widespread European model. It forms a depression, but the storm system is rapidly moving away from the coast to the east. This means that there will probably still be winter precipitation in some areas, but less. So my son’s dreams of sledding may be dashed again. But this result will probably be better for those of you who are snacking on ice today or digging in snow.
Another complex wrinkle is that the latest US model shows another blow of snow in the South on Sunday.
But it’s worth watching this week.
An unexpected cloud that the meteorological community did not expect to see on Saturday
Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, Mother Nature likes to throw a curve ball. Of course, as millions of people in the Southeast braced for a massive winter storm – deciding if it was worth buying a sled – a volcanic eruption was the last thing we saw coming.
We were all so focused with one mind on the winter weekend ahead of us. Then suddenly — BOOM! It was an explosion that was felt and heard around the world, and that we never saw coming. A volcano has erupted off the South Pacific island of Tonga, and it’s created veritable shockwaves – and tsunami waves – around the world.
Saturday morning’s eruption was probably the largest volcanic eruption the planet has seen in over 30 years. Gas, ash and steam soared into the sky nearly 19 miles high, and a tsunami was triggered by the incredible displacement of water from the explosion. The waves began crossing the Pacific in all directions, even touching the west coast of the United States and Hawaii.
If you want to chat with me a bit about what keeps driving me crazy when it comes to meteorology, let’s continue. First of all, the fact that the eruption was heard as far away as Alaska – nearly 6,000 miles away – is absolutely amazing!
There was a drop in pressure that was also felt around the world. Meteorologists took to Twitter to show the slow rise and then rapid fall in pressure at stations around the world, including the United States.
As for the impact on our weather around the world, experts say it’s a bit too early to tell. Erik Klemetti, an associate professor of geosciences at Denison University in Ohio, told CNN the Tonga eruption could have a regional impact on temperature, though scientists are still unsure of its significance. Klemetti noted that it ultimately depends on how much sulfur dioxide has entered the atmosphere.
Interesting note: most people think it is the ash that affects global temperatures and weather patterns after a volcanic eruption. It’s actually sulfur dioxide, which reacts with water to form aerosols that reflect sunlight back into space to absorb heat in the upper atmosphere.