High expectations

2010-10-14 21:39:42.000 – Brian Clark,  Observer and Meteorologist


There are quite a few sayings that are often used to express how excited someone is. These comparisons often involve children, which should come as no surprise considering how much more easily children become excited than adults, especially when it comes to ‘little things’. Like a kid in a candy store. Like a kid on Christmas morning. It doesn’t matter which one you prefer to use, take your pick; that’s how I feel this evening.

Why the excitement? Well, tonight is the eve before a storm that will likely turn out to be the first significant snowfall of the new winter season.

As I write this, low pressure is moving up the Atlantic Coast, quickly deepening and strengthening as it does so. A classic Nor’Easter. When there is enough cold air available, a coastal storm track is always conducive for snow. This is because the center of the low remains to our east, keeping us on the side of the storm where the cold air is being transported in from the north.

Precipitation will be heaviest tomorrow, while temperatures remain in the upper 20’s, perhaps creeping to around 30. Model soundings (predictions of meteorological variables in the vertical plane of the atmosphere) are not showing any warm air coming in above the summits, meaning that the majority of precipitation will likely fall as snow. If those temperatures rise just a few degrees, or if a layer of warm air moves in above us, then we can expect more mixing with rain, freezing, rain, or sleet. Wraparound moisture, even colder air, and moderate to high winds (by summit standards) on the back end of the storm could continue snowfall in the form of upslope snow showers into Saturday.

This should prove to be an exciting couple of days for weather on the summit no matter what happens. Stay tuned here and also our page on Facebook for updates as the storm progresses. In the mean time, I need to try to get some sleep, with visions of snowflakes flying by horizontally, dancing in my head.


Brian Clark,  Observer and Meteorologist

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