Part of the reason I enjoy forecasting weather so much is because it isn’t done in a vacuum. When meteorologists get together weather is what we talk about. There’s also a huge volume of discussions from general and specialized forecasters available online and around-the-clock.
Want to read up on the chances for flooding or snow or severe weather? There are regularly scheduled narratives to cover those subjects and a bunch more. The Weather Service is part of the government and the government is masterful at producing paper!
I went to the discussions today when my cell lit up with text messages announcing Freezing Rain Advisories for the region overnight. I wasn’t expecting rain until Monday daytime, but freezing rain is scary enough to consider other voices.
Here’s what Peter Wichrowski, lead forecaster at the Weather Service office on Long Island (with warning responsibility for the Connecticut shoreline counties) wrote in the latest Area Forecast Discussion.
MODELS HAVE NOT HANDLED STRATUS DEVELOPMENT WELL EARLY TODAY…AND RADAR CONTINUES TO SHOW WEAK RETURNS OVER THE OCEAN JUST TO THE SOUTH. MODELS DO SHOW LOW LEVEL SATURATION OCCURRING TONIGHT.
NAM/GFS DO OUTPUT POCKETS OF LIGHT QPF OVERNIGHT…ALONG WITH MESOSCALE MODELS/SIMULATED REFLECTIVITY. LOOKING AT TIME HEIGHT CROSS SECTIONS…PLENTY OF LOW LEVEL MOISTURE UNDERNEATH 5 KFT TONIGHT. DO NOT FEEL THAT DEPTH OF MOIST LAYER WILL BE ENOUGH TO RESULT IN SNOW/SLEET. I COULD BE WRONG…BUT MAIN PTYPE THAT CONCERNS ME IS DRIZZLE TONIGHT.
BASED ON SFC TEMP FORECASTS…MOST OF THE AREA SHOULD REMAIN AT OR BELOW FREEZING THROUGH A GOOD PORTION OF THE NIGHT. WILL ISSUE
WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR FREEZING RAIN TONIGHT ALL ZONES…WITH ENDING TIMES LAYERED ACCORDINGLY.
THIS SITUATION WILL NEED TO BE MONITORED. IF DRIZZLE IS NOT WIDESPREAD…LATER SHIFTS MAY DROP THE ADVISORY AND HIGHLIGHT THE
THREAT IN A SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT.
The GFS calls for .01″ liquid at Hartford and .02″ at New Haven. This is one of those situations where less is more! A tiny amount of drizzle will cause problems more quickly than a downpour because it will more easily freeze on contact.
Though I’m still in pajamas I called our nightside producer to see if I could get pushed to our newscast’s lead.
I probably would have come to this conclusion later this evening. By taking advantage of the collegial nature of weather I was tipped off early.