Welcome to Jason Godwin's weather website. I am a recent master's graduate from the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. On this website, I post blogs on tropical meteorology and other interesting weather phenomena, as well as some information on some of my research (which lies in tropical cyclone predictability).
For the latest information on the winter storm impacting the northeast, see the blog post below.
A major winter storm will impact the northeast and New England today and Tuesday (for more information see the blog post below. Elsewhere, a weak shortwave trough moving through the Upper Midwest will bring a light dusting of snow (generally less than 4 inches) to parts of the Michigan Upper Peninsula, Wisconsin, and northern Illinois. A few isolated areas could receive up to six inches of snow.
The 12Z GFS forecast snowfall accumulation has gone back up a little compared to last night, and now shows about a foot of
snow falling in New York City, with about two feet falling in Boston. These values however could be on the lower side since
the heaviest snow will fall where strong convective bands set up, something difficult to forecast at this time. In their
morning forecast discussion, the NWS office in New York City stated, "the mid level low centers and intense mid level frontogenesis
will promote heavy snow bands...but it is impossible to predict their location this far out." This mid level frontogenesis (the
strengthening of a temperature gradient with time) will be key
to watch. Currently, light to moderate snow showers are affecting northern New Jersey, New York City, Long Island, and
coastal parts of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and the southern coast of Massachusetts. Expect conditions to continue to deteriorate
throughout the day as the surface low off the coast of North Carolina intensifies and approaches the northeastern United States.
The was one slight concern in the forecast this morning at the 12Z sounding out of Long Island showed a dry pocket in the lower levels of the atmosphere, but given that the dewpoint temperature at the surface at LaGuardia Airport has increased by about seven degrees since that sounding was taken, the low levels appear to be moistening up.
700 mb temperature (blue dashed lines), heights (black solid lines), and frontogenesis (purple lines).
The latest GFS forecast has backed off a little on the snowfall forecast for New York City, though it has increased
for Boston and eastern Massachusetts. This event is starting to look like it will be more of a Boston event than a NYC
event. Here are the 1800Z/1 PM EST and
0000Z/7 PM EST forecasts. The main reason for this shift in the forecast appears to be that the 00Z run of the GFS
takes the surface low on a more eastward track.
GFS forecast sea-level pressure (black contours), 1000-500 mb thickness (red/blue contours), and 6-hour precipitation accumulation (shading) valid 1 AM Tuesday. Forecast initialized at (left) 1800Z Sunday and (right) 0000Z Monday. The surface low off the coast of New York has shifted south and east in the latest forecast, resulting in less snow for New York City, but potentially more snow for Boston and eastern Massachusetts.
At this point however, it is important to stress that where the heaviest snow will fall will be largely dependent on where the heaviest snow bands set up, something that is very difficult to forecast until the event is occuring in realtime and we have radar imagery of the snow bands.
The consensus of model and official forecasts is beginning to suggest that the winter storm forecast to impact
parts of the northeast and New England over the next 48 hours could be potentially historic. The National
Weather Service has issued Blizzard Warnings for coastal New Jersey, the New York City Metropolitan Area, Long
Island, Connecticut, Rhode Island, eastern Massachusetts, coastal New Hampshire, and coastal Maine (Fig. 1). The cities
of New York, Hartford, Providence, and Boston are included in the warning area.
Fig 1.: blizzard warnings issued by the National Weather Service.
In winter weather forecasting, there are a few ingredients we look for: