Friday, March 18, 2011

Hooray! La Niña is going away, therefore less hurricanes this Summer... Not so fast!

The 2011 Hurricane Season is quickly approaching, and forecasters are predicting a weakening La Niña turning into a more neutral stage by the Summer. Many people are saying how great this is, and that this basically means a very tame season awaits us in the Atlantic this year. Surely this is great news for the Gulf Coast residents and all of the Southeastern U.S. residents who could be affected by the potential storms this Summer. But I say take it with a grain of salt. This is not the time to start celebrating because La Niña may or may not be weakening by the Summer. This is the time to start preparing for the upcoming Hurricane Season regardless of anyone's early forecast of less activity.

The quote that you will hear a lot as we approach this upcoming season is "La Niña, which causes more hurricanes, will be turning to a more neutral phase for this Summer. This means less hurricanes." I don't agree with people who say this, because it gives the average person a false sense of security for the upcoming season. There are a few things to consider as we approach this June. Firstly, take a look at the image below. It is a chart of storm activity measured from 1995-2005. The bars represent the number of major hurricanes formed during each phase. During a La Niña phase there was an average of about 4 major storms formed during those seasons. Now here comes the shocker, there were actually more storms formed during a Neutral phase (which we are heading into this Summer), then were formed during the dreaded La Niña years. About 4.5 on average. There was a slight drop off for a Weak to Moderate El Niño phase. The biggest and most noticeable drop came during a Strong El Niño phase, which we are certainly not going to experience for this upcoming season.

The second thing we we need to understand is each season has a mind of its own. Each storm has a respective life journey. No one could have predicted the ridiculous activity during the 2005 season, or the incredible luck that the U.S. experienced during last season. There were tropical systems all over the Atlantic in 2010, 21 to be exact. 12 of those were hurricanes, and yet the U.S. was not affected by any of them. So 2010 was predicted to be one of the worst seasons in history. That prediction came true to an extent because of the number of storms, but as far as people affected by the systems it was over hyped. Let's go back to 1992 for a second. There were only 7 storms which formed that year, and only one land falling hurricane. That hurricane was Andrew. So although the numbers were down that year, it was one of the most devastating years in history as far as South Florida is concerned. Now back to 2005 one last time, it was quite a year as far as storms go. 28 storms made their journey across the Atlantic that year, a staggering record that probably won't be touched anytime soon. But 2005 was not a La Niña year.

So although it is fun to read the preseason predictions when it comes to each Hurricane Season. Always remember that it is not an exact science. Every season has a different story. Every storm has a unique lifespan. And these story lines cannot be written before June arrives. We must all just take our seat, and watch how each season plays out.

--- Jesse Vinturella (TheJesFactor)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Hurricane Season 2011 Inception Style Trailer

Check out this absolutely BREATHTAKING and CHILLING look at the upcoming 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

This video was made by Jesse Vinturella, who did an incredibly awesome job! It is just AMAZING! I can't wait!

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Monday, January 31, 2011

The Weathervein - Episode 19

A monster winter storm is taking shape in the center of the nation and will barrel its way eastward over the next two days. The storm, which is already being called historic, will feature severe blizzard conditions from Oklahoma to Missouri through Illinois and Michigan, all the way into southern Canada. Hefty snowfall amounts throughout the Plains, Midwest and interior Northeast could exceed 1 to 2 feet, meanwhile a severe ice storm is set to cripple the Ohio Valley to New York City. In this episode of The Weathervein, get the latest on this developing storm and find out what you could expect in your neighborhood! Stay safe!

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

More Record Snow in The Big Apple!

Another historic snowstorm shatters NYC snowfall records!

Exactly one month after the major NYC blizzard that dumped 20" of snow on the city on December 26, another insane nor'easter moved through the the area yesterday, dumping more record snow in the metro region.

After sever hours of snowfall rates of 2-3"/hour, accompanied by thunder, lightning and wind gusts approaching 40 mph, 19" of snow fell yesterday and last night in Central Park, making this January the 'snowiest January' EVER with 36"! Further, this January is now the 'second snowiest month' EVER, by only a few tenths of an inch.

So far this season NYC has received the following snows: 1" , 20", 2", 3", 6", 1", 4", 1", 19". This brings the season total thus far to 57". On average, the city receives just under 24" of snow each winter. More snow is in the forecast this weekend and next week! If that forecast verifies, January 2011 could be not just the 'snowiest January,' but the 'snowiest month' EVER!
The seasonal record is 75" during the 1995-1996 winter season. I think we could beat that this year!

Here is a short video I filmed last night from my fire escape. Check out the snow and wind! Below the video are a few photos I snapped this morning of heavy, wet snow downing trees on top of cars. This was the typical scene in New York today.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Weathervein - Episode 18

It's been a busy winter season, but we're back! In this long-awaited episode of The Weathervein we cover the latest in a series of intense winter storms that have been plaguing the east coast. For the past 30 days storms have dumped significant amounts of snow from Philadelphia to New York to Boston, but alas, the trend is broken and now the mid-Atlantic cities of Washington, DC and Baltimore will get in on the action. Watch this episode to find out how the storm will take shape, where it will track, how fast it will move, what type of precipitation amounts can be expected and most importantly, hear our snowfall forecast!

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Monday, January 24, 2011

100° Colder!

Perhaps one of the coldest mornings I have ever experienced, especially in the city, the temperature this morning in New York was 100° colder than it was just six months ago during that oppressive heat wave on July 6, 2010.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"1-11-11" Northeast Snowstorm Final Totals

In the previous blog post you will find my predictions for the snowstorm that just concluded in the New York City area. While at this time a blizzard still rages in New England, especially for the cities of Providence, Rhode Island and Boston, Massachusetts, I felt confident creating this final snowfall total map, which reflects general accumulations reported throughout the northeast, thus far.

In my opinion, I did pretty darn well with my forecast. Compare this final map to those below!

Green: 18"+
Red: 12"-18"
Purple: 6-12"
Blue: 4-8"
Yellow: 2-4"
Orange: 1-3"...

One important thing to note..

This storm deposited a total of 10.2" of fresh snow here in Gramercy Park, New York City. With the snow pack that was already on the ground, that brings the current total snow pack to about 16". The season to date snowfall is now at about 33", and it is only the second week of January! The seasonal average snowfall for New York City is around 25" so we are already in another well-above average winter season!

Finally, check out this radar image during the height of the storm last night! Just incredible!

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"1-11-11" Northeast Snowstorm Forecast

For those of you that have been following The Northeast Quadrant on Facebook, you will notice tons of coverage on the last two winter storms.

I've taken pride in really getting a handle on the computer models that forecast these storms, as well as air patterns and historical happenings associated with big northeast snowfalls. That said, I pretty much nailed the last blizzard forecast, so I thought hey, let me try again!

As another major snowstorm is on tap for the northeast, especially from Philadelphia to Boston, here is my thinking, which I am actually quite confident on...

4:30 pm UPDATE:


*Color legend is below.

By location:
Eastern Long Island through Providence and Boston: 12-18"+
New York City metro north and east: 8-12"+
New York City metro south: 5-8"+
Philly metro to central NJ coast: 3-6"+
North of Baltimore to south Philly metro: 2-4"+
Baltimore metro: 1-3"+
DC metro: generally less than 1"

While this update points to somewhat specific locations receiving somewhat specific amounts, each amount is followed by a "+" -- indicating the fate is in the development of the storm and the convective banding it produces.

As of 1:30 pm:


Working from the green area that includes Boston as the having the highest snowfall totals, to the yellow area in Pennsylvania and New York state having the lowest, you can see where 'I think' the greatest accumulations will 'range,' and within that 'range' the totals 'could' vary greatly.

By location:
Hartford to Boston: 18"+
New York City metro: 12"+
Philly to NYC metro and the south central NJ coast: 6-12"
North of Baltimore to southwest of the Philly metro: 4-8"
Baltimore metro: 2-4"
DC metro: generally less than 2"

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Monday, January 3, 2011

2010 Was Fifth Warmest for NYC

In terms of weather extremes 2010 was record setting for many global regions, and New York City's Central Park was no exception. The Park recorded it's fifth warmest year on record with an average temperature of 56.7°F. The warmest year(s) on record for Central Park were ironically recorded during the years of 1990 and 1991, where the average temperature tied at 57.3°F.

So, when in 2010 was it warm? Every month except the first and last. Between February and November Central Park recorded average temperatures well above normal, while January and December stood as the only months where temperatures were below normal.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Blizzapolis Satellite Imagery!

This image, courtesy of, shows current snow cover left behind in the wake of the big blizzard. Notice how this was a truly an I-95 eastward storm. Few areas west of the major interstate saw significant snowfall accumulations, while areas east saw up to 35 inches.

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