I have a number of topics to get to as the week comes to an end from Sandy, to lake temperatures to a possible Nor’easter for next week.There is certainly a lot of attention focused on the impacts of Hurricane Sandy along the East Coast, and rightly so. Here is a good summary of the impacts in terms of wind, rain and snow from the National Weather Service. However, I think to gather a true sense of the scope of the storm you need to look what happened on the fringe of the storm.On Lake Michigan, strong northerly winds created waves of 20 feet plus early this week. That’s more than 800 miles from where Sandy made landfall!
Scott Olson/Getty Images North AmericaVery quietly over the last 2 months we’ve eaten away at the moderate drought over central New York and the Northeast. In fact, for the first time since mid July we are not in moderate drought:
Something else happened this week. The Lake Ontario’s temperature is back above normal.
It is not so much that the lake has warmed much in the last week it is just the normal lake temperature is usually dropping off rather steadily this time of year. I think a lot of this spike, however, can be tied to two things that happened last week: sunshine and warm temperatures. Remember , we were in the 70s for a couple of days at the end of last week. Before you get too excited about the increased lake effect threat because of that warmer water, I would think the clouds that have been so prevalent this week and the cooler than normal air temperatures are going to conspire to bring the lake temperature closer to normal by early next week.Finally, I do have to mention the possibility another storm lurking on the East Coast during the middle of next week. Before we go any farther, let me be clear: this is not another Sandy. It would be more of a conventional Nor’easter without any help from a tropical system. What has attracted our attention this far out in time (about 5 days out from the event) is the European computer model which has been the most bullish with the storm the last couple of days. It takes a strengthening area of low pressure parallel to the coast on Wednesday bringing rain and wet snow to central New York. It even suggests an accumulating wet snow for us while most of our other computer models take this storm farther east giving us a minimal impact on Wednesday. Even though we don’t think this will be a repeat performance of Sandy, we are taking some lessons from the models and how they forecasted Sandy. 5 or 6 days in advance of Sandy, it was the European model that had the storm making landfall in the Delmarva Peninsula (close to what ultimately happened) while the other models were taking the storm into southern New England or even coastal Maine. You may notice we have rain or wet snow in the forecast for Wednesday/Thursday next week which means we are leaning toward the European solution given its track record over the past week or so. Before you ask, we don’t know how much snow will fall. It’s just too early in the game. Stay tuned.I will, however, leave you with a bit of good news as this blog comes to an end. Starting late next week or next weekend we are in store for a moderation in our temperature. The confidence level is fairly high of this happening, in part, because of agreement from both the GFS and European means in the 8 to 10 day range.
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