Atmospheric Waiting Game

By Meteorologist Joe Joyce, WBZ-TV

At this point there are still more questions than answers in regards to the upcoming storm. We are still playing a game of  “Wait and See”. Not just what the models are going to say..but also how the actual weather is going to behave. I have been eyeing this Global Enhanced Water Vapor Imagery. Isn’t it beautiful?

There are several things we have to watch that will have a major impact in determining how much if any snow we will receive. First, is our departing storm SSE of Newfoundland. This low continues to loop around. It needs to pull out soon…or this could help to force the storm further south…like the NAM has been advertising.

Secondly, the main piece of energy which we are tracking is up near Hudson Bay in Canada. This is a vortmax which will be directed south by and upper level ridge in the west which is being forced east by another digging trough along the west coast. Got it? Once the snow in the midwest shifts south and weakens…I expect this shortwave to coming slamming down into the trough and help to merge the polar and subtropical jetstreams and help this storm get going.

gfs 500 054m Atmospheric Waiting Game

But if this piece of energy does not link up with the southern stream at just the right time…then all the moisture from the Gulf just may be steered out to sea like some of our models have been showing. What an atmospheric dance! It is amazing how everything has to be exactly perfect for a storm to happen.

But let’s be honest here. We are not thinking a miss quite yet! In fact the Euro and the GFS  look similar this morning with a moderate thump of snow for eastern MA. My concern is looking at the GFS ensembles  which many STILL do not show a hit, with some just clipping East MA.. The offshore track  is certainly must remain in play until we see this atmospheric waiting game start to play out.

This morning I am mostly leaning on the 00Z Euro and 06Z GFS which have similar looks. These models have shown a fair amount of consistency…but the Euro has tracked a bit farther east…so we will have to see if that east trend continues at 12 Z. The models seem to be a good compromise to the offshore/miss scenario.

This storm will come out of the Gulf of Mexico and bomb out south of New England. Today it appears that the heaviest snow  and wind will be confined to the coast with the track just far enough off shore to spare inland areas outside of 495 the heaviest snow. A track or trend to the west would have more serious reprecusssions with heavier snow totals for most areas and stronger winds for the coast.  I have been saying on television the best chance of heavy snow 6-12+”  is Southeast MA with a good chance of plowable snow extending back to Worcester county to the Merrimack Valley into NH. Obviously, Plowable snowfall can mean a lot of things…a few inches to something much more. Early estimate…heaviest amounts closer to the coast. 

It’s BAAAACK. 12 Z GFS is a beast! A shift back to the East? Nah.

gfs op apcp f66 us Atmospheric Waiting Game

Check out the latest run of the Japanese. It’s a monster too!

conus jma 1000 500 slpthkprp 72hr1 Atmospheric Waiting Game

I could give out numbers and snow totals but what is the point? It is just going to change by tomorrow.  The thump of snow is starting to look more and more like a blizzard. These latest runs are nuts! A shift back to the west is back in play. The stakes are extremely high. Look out! If this is the track verifies…we will be snowfall measuring in feet.

That is thinking for now in another episode of As the models turn….

Oh by the way…Here is my holiday gripe:  Where are all the Nativity scenes? Are we not allowed to have these in public anymore? You never see the manger, the three kings, and baby Jesus anymore. I loved this as a kid. It is such a wonderful charming story and the true spirit of Christmas. Silent night is an amzing song to play tonight. Instead we are bombarded with advertisements of couples buying diamonds and cars for each other. Kids are getting laptops, Ipads, Game systems. What a spoiled entitled generation this is becoming and it makes me sick. Consumerism and Secularism running wild. It must be Santa! Give me a break. It’s a very sad really.

I ask you to make sure you take the time this Christmas to step away from the madness and insanity. Put down the Iphones for once and just enjoy what Christmas is all about. Peace, Love,  and Family.  Have a very Merry Christmas. And don’t ever be ashamed to say it!  More updates tomorrow. Guess how I will be celebrating?? Watching the next model run come in…Yippee! Care to join me?

  • crashralph

    Great post Joe honest & to the point what more can a fellow weather watcher expect!!!! Thanks again and merry Christmas to you as well.

  • RMB

    I would like to thank everyone for the great year we had chatting on here, and agree with JJ on the Christmas season, Family friends, food and gifts, remember what it we are celebrating.. With that said please keep in mind our brother’s and sister’s over seas in great danger fighting for freedom (I FOR ONE CAME CLOSE TO LEAVING) lets remember them and pray for them as we enjoy, i have missed holidays being overseas and it is not fun, so enjoy and always remember them!!! THANK YOU!!! WE HAVE THE BEST MILITARY AND THE BRAVEST………..

    • Topkatt88

      My father was a soldier in WW II. I will always deeply appreciate the service so many do for me, my son, and and all of us. Without them, I wouldn’t want to think what it would be like here…

  • Andre Dursin

    Amen to your post about the nativity Joe! Amazing how in wanting to steer clear of “offending” a few people the rest of us have to suffer now through the jewelry commercials, car commercials, Santa Claus and “Holiday Music” on the radio that seems to be comprised of 4-5 songs (usually non-secular, i.e. Frosty the Snowman).

    Well guess what — MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and everyone else here. And if you don’t celebrate it, I will wish you a happy Hannukah or Kwanzaa or Festivus.

    And if you’re offended by that, I could care less. Ho ho ho everyone!

    • Italo

      Well-put, Andre. Politically correct shouldn’t mean the banning or subtraction of one of the Season’s many celebrated holidays and its expressions, even one that has been traditionally more outwardly celebrated and visible like Christmas. Christmas shouldn’t be removed — if the other of the season’s holidays want to be recognized, too, then they can choose to make themselves more visibly expressed in public if they opt to, too. Merry, Merry! :)

  • Longshot

    Joe, a nice post!

  • Topkatt88

    Thanks Joe! And I echo your gripe. I have no problem with the diversity that makes up today’s world, but I do have a problem when people are told they can’t display what’s important to them…

    To Andre… There are a few stations in Boston that have been playing Holiday, or Christmas, music (I say holiday only because some of the songs are more winter songs than specifically Christmas, and have been traditional songs of the season for many years). But most of these stations don’t seem to be holding back playing songs that are rooted right in the religious base of Christmas. They have had a great mix. I love hearing all of it.

    Off to do some fun errands with my son on this bright, chilly Chrstmas Eve morning. I will post off & on about weather today when I take my tea breaks at the desk here in my den. Have a great day all!

    • Italo

      I’ve been hearing the best Christmas Season music on my Digital Comcast’s Sounds of the Season TV station. Personally, I really like the more solemn and traditional Christmas carols usually reserved on radio for Xmas Eve and Day. But I also like the “ol’ timers” like Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme, Percy Faith, The Ray Coniff Singers…the ones whose season sounds really brought out the spirit. I can’t figure out why today’s mostly automated radio programmers can’t be a little bit ahead of the ball and all not try to play the same few artists’ only same songs always at the same times of day or evening over different stations at the same moment — geez, be a little creative, media guyz! ;)

  • joe

    Good blog. I have try to set up alerts to my phone by texting to 84816 using WBZ Weather and keep getting rejected. Any help is appreciated. Joe S. Hampstead NH

  • Paul52

    Excellent column Joe! I couldn’t agree more. Although we have to take the much of the blame for allowing ourselves to get caught up in the blatant consumerism; myself included. I am 58 and I have been observing it for better than 50 years! But, at least back then we didn’t have to be ashamed to utter the word “CHRISTMAS” and nobody ever took offense at any public displays of mangers, etc. I have been curbing my own buying impulses and learning to just relax and enjoy the Christmas season, decorations and the family. Anyway, here in Pepperell I have a bare inch of snow on the ground this morning so it may be just a partial white Christmas here. If we get a minimally plowable snow out here from the next event I will be happy; what with the way this winter has been going! No matter what happens…

  • crashralph

    I have a quick question for you guys. If this storm does indeed phase and become vertically stacked shouldn’t this become a cut off low and once it reaches lets the the Benchmark area won’t this storm slow it progression dramaticaly? Am I wrong in what Im seeing could happen? Just food for thought, thanks!!!!

  • Dave

    Joe Joyce that was an awesome blog !!! it ended with everything i believe could not have said it better and its good to hear somebody not afraid to say lexington we lost our nativity scene because of local liberal beauocrats.thanks joe that made my day and MERRY CHRISTMAS to you!

  • TIM7865

    Thanks joe for all you do to keep us informed and the last thread was nice to hear,MERRY CHRISTMAS AND DONT EVER BE AFRAID TO SAY IT!

  • Mel Webster

    I and many others I know no longer pay attention to any forecasts that are more than 24 hours out. Time after time after time we are “scared” to death by doomsday forecasts and then the news and promotion departments make it worse hyping things well in advance, giving storms names, etc. before they even materialize. This is just one more of the reasons that TV is dying.

  • JimmyJames

    Merry Christmas to everyone and especially to those figthing to defend our freedom overseas. Joe I have not seen one manager set this year and to me Christmas has become so commercialized that we forget what the true meaning of this holiday is.

  • Andre Dursin

    Topkatt — we’ve got a glut of stations in Providence likewise playing holiday music. Sadly hearing “Silent Night” seems to be secondary to the endless playings of:

    a) Let it Snow
    b) Winter Wonderland
    c) White Christmas
    d) Frosty
    e) Rudolph
    f) Silver Bells

    The proportion of secular to non-secular songs is not roughly equal on the stations down here…glad it’s better in Boston :)

  • Andre Dursin

    Oh and BTW I very much enjoy reading your posts on the blog as well. Thanks for contributing.

    Merry Christmas to one and all!

    • Topkatt88

      Thanks Andre!

      And just to follow up on the music. I realize there are alot more non-secular tunes that have reached the ears of the public than secular ones. I’m used to it. I grew up with it that way. But there are alot of beautiful and amazing songs out there that nobody has really ever gotten to hear. It would be nice to hear some of them over the airwaves. I’m glad I own the collection I do, at least. :-)

  • hcarool

    Henry Margusity is saying he is “pretty” sure Boston is going to get a blizzard.

  • Metroweather

    Thanks Joe for the great post. That made my XMAS Eve. Merry Christmas to all this holiday season. I’m hoping for a good storm so we’ll wait and see!

  • crashralph

    On a side note and it is off topic but I am sick of the attack on christianity it seems everday there something new on the news about taking Merry Christmas out of the lime light. If our politicians agree with the grievances people who do not like or are offended by it then maybe the polititions who allow law changes should not be given vacation time or days off during the holiday season as it should be treated as any oother day. Want to see things change back to what it used to be suggest that & you will see change faster then anything you ever seen before. Now this country is great has all faith and practices are allowed. But our foundation is what makes america, america. It is time to put the U back is USA. If people dont like or want to celibrate something then don’t it ur right. OK rant over!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Clever

      Actually, this country was founded by people that believed in religious freedom. They were not trying to establish a Christian government. Can we stop the talking about the politics of Christmas and get back to the weather. Go to the Fox News blog if you want to complain about the amount of Christmas songs about Jesus on the radio

  • rainshine

    Joe, thanks for the great information in your blog. It is a wait and see situation.

    RMB, my father fought in WWII and I always feel for the soldiers that are oversea – especially at holiday time. I wish them all a Merry Christmas.

    In Sudbury there is a small but nice manger scene at one of the churches.

    Merry Christmas to all!

  • FlippityFloppity

    Very intelligent Joe! Stir the pot with some Christmas/religion thoughts so we can bicker about religion, as opposed to the weather!

    I kid i kid. I feel that this will be a “nowcasting” storm that starts around noon on Christmas. I imagine the 11 AM or 2 PM runs on Christmas will “lock down” the track and we’ll know what to expect then.

  • tim5

    BUZZ LOPEZ says what joe did in that the prior beast is still retrograding and will push low pressure out to sea south of the area.

  • JimmyJames

    CrashRalph my pastor a few weeks ago was saying the same thing how fewer people are saying Merry Christmas and are saying Happy Holidays instead. He brought up an interesting point that whether someone celebrates Christmas or not they won’t be offended if you say Merry Christmas.

  • Jan

    Henry Margusity on Accuweather is specifically saying that Boston will be “hammered with a blizzard”.

  • NortonDave

    Thanks for the great blog, Joe. I agree with you that it is time to put family, friends, love and peace back into Christmas. When the snow started a few nights ago in Norton, my partner and I silently stood in our doorway and watched the flakes silently drifting down and covering the landscape. Take time out to enjoy Mother Nature this season as well. It is one of nature’s gifts. Merry Christmas to you and keep up the good work.

  • crashralph

    Im in the public alot JimmyJames as my job requires it. I meet several types of people and ethnicities. Now the last couple of days I’ve heard everything from Happy Holidays to Merrt Christmans from people of all walk of light. Now I found myself just replying to everyone with the words Happy Holiday and then kicked myself yesterday afternoon and started repling Merry Christmas to all. I receved all smiles. I think people generally as a whole are not affended. But there is a selected few. Like I say it everybodies has the right to to celibrate any holiday any way they see fit. Its what makes this country great. But enough is enough our country is our country and it time for our foundations to be brought back to were they once were.

  • crashralph

    I cant type today its Merry and walks of Life sorry!!!!

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