Wild Weather Wednesday

2012-01-18 01:06:54.000 – Mike Carmon,  Weather Observer/Meteorologist

Some more wild weather is on the way!

Sitting here staring at the computer models, we are currently anticipating a complicated shift change day tomorrow.

A strong arctic cold front is going to blast its way through early tomorrow morning, and ramp up winds in excess of 100 mph sustained at times. Couple this with blowing snow and thick freezing fog, and things could get mighty tricky for the Snow Cat Operator.Generally speaking, poor visibility is what will force an operator to turn around. The Cat is mighty resilient, and can withstand these winds fairly well. However, the ability to see where one is going far outweighs any other issue, especially when one is traversing the treacherous Mt. Washington Auto Road. We do not want to risk something going wrong with the Cat and having to hike in these conditions, with temperatures free-falling into the negative numbers from where they are now at 30 degrees F.

At this point, it is a wait-and-see game. Although models are fairly reliable, once winds start inching towards these strong levels, computer models have a more difficult time handling them. In addition, computer models notoriously underestimate wind speeds with a passing frontal boundary. Forecasting for tomorrow has been quite a game, as forecasted wind numbers have oscillated up and down over the past day. However, with experience in my proverbial forecasting arsenal, I believe that the models are calling this one well. The cold front is exceptionally dynamic for January, as it produced severe thunderstorms over northwest Pennsylvania and western New York State earlier today. In January, in these locations, this is quite rare.

So we’ll have to wait and see. We might be here an extra day, or our resilient Operator Slim may just make it to the top.

Either way, tomorrow will be an adrenaline-inducing day for all!


Mike Carmon,  Weather Observer/Meteorologist

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