Charlie's Forecasts for Laurel Ridge

Charlie's photo
PACCSA member Charlie Becker does weather forecasting as a hobby and will share some of his predictions with us throughout the winter season. If severe weather is anticipated, please refer to your local weather and/or the National Weather Service for any advisories that may have been issued.

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Thu 20 Dec 2012

12-18-12 @ 11:00AM
Here is the latest on the coming storm(s).  A cold front is expected to arrive sometime late Thursday night.  On the heels of that cold front developing lake-effect snows have the potential to drop significant accumulations on The Ridge from Friday and Friday night through Saturday am.  This is the type of storm where orographic enhancement can drop locally heavy amounts (i.e. 4” in Donegal - 12” on The Ridge).  Throw in 40-45mph wind gusts and you have the ingredients for a potential blizzard.  The next significant snow popping up on the radar suggests the arrival of a potentially significant storm around the day after Christmas.   The long range models are indicating a period of colder/wetter weather through the end of December but with the ups and downs we have been experiencing, cautious optimism shall be the rule.
12-20-12 @ 9:00AM

The Ridge and surrounding areas are under a Winter Storm Warning which is scheduled to go into effect from 1am Friday to 7pm Saturday (please refer to your local weather for the details).
Below are the guidelines:
Winter Storm Warning
A winter storm warning is issued when a significant combination of hazardous winter weather is occurring or imminent (within 24hrs.):
Significant and hazardous winter weather is defined as a combination of:
1)  Over 5 inches of snow/sleet
2)  Glaze accumulation (freezing rain) of 1/4 inch or more
3)  Enough ice accumulation to cause damage to trees or power lines.


The Ridge is in the “Over 5 inches of snow” category; however, the cold front will come through like the Polar Express with the worst conditions Friday afternoon
but icy roads are possible throughout the storm.  There is not a Blizzard Warning at this time but expected conditions are ripe:
Blizzard Warning
A Blizzard Warning means that the following conditions are occurring or expected within the next 12 to 18 hours.
1) Snow and/or blowing snow reducing visibility to 1/4 mile or less for 3 hours or longer;

2) Sustained winds of 35 mph or greater or frequent gusts to 35 mph or greater.
There is no temperature requirement that must be met to achieve blizzard.

(Expect such a warning once we get into the 12 to 18 hr. timeframe.)
Predicting accumulations is always tricky business but the forecasts might be a tad “undercooked” at this point.  A foot of snow, or more, by Saturday afternoon is possible.
Again, please check your local weather, particularly those of you who may be travelling during this storm. 
So, could it be, “Christmas on The Ridge”?  Yes indeed.
Merry Christmas and see you on The Ridge,