WeatherNation Blog

Weather for Winter Sports


For some, the first snowfall marks the beginning of ski season. From The Ski Channel

Snowshoe Mountain Predicts FIRST SNOW this Weekend!

SNOWSHOE, WVA - Just as the fall foliage begins its climax, Mother Nature looks like she’s officially over her trysts with Summer and Fall, and is ready to move on to Old Man Winter — what a flirt! Temperatures are predicted to plummet to below freezing with Saturday night with precipitation expected to fall in the form of the season’s first snowflakes atop Snowshoe Mountain Resort.

Temperatures will cool steadily over the next few days, with Friday’s high predicted in the 40s and overnight lows dropping below the freezing mark for the second time this fall. Saturday’s daytime high may not reach the 40 degree mark at the mountain’s top elevation of 4848′ and overnight lows are expected to dip well into the 20s. With precipitation expected both Friday and Saturday night, the first flakes of the season may fall before the calendar even turns to October.

Some models are even predicting exceeding the 1″ mark!

Snowshoe Mountain is situated in the Allegheny Mountain range and with a base elevation above 3000′. Their season stretches from mid-November until early April and being the largest winter resort in the region, more than 200,000 skiers come each season to enjoy Snowshoe’s nearly 200″ of annual natural snowfall. This season’s long range models are calling for a colder than normal winter season, which is good news for the region’s skiers and snowboarders. Snowshoe Mountain has one of the country’s most powerful snowmaking operations, covering all of the resort’s 244 acres of skiable terrain.

The NAM model shows the potential snowfall in West Virginia:

On the opposite side of the country, warm weather will be dominating the west as highs continue to climb into the 80s and even 90 in portions of Montana and Idaho.  For the hunters, these conditions are not ideal.  Water fowl hunter season in Montana begins tomorrow and hunting will be more difficult under these conditions. explains why hunters prefer the stormier weather:

A low-pressure system in the weather forecast indicates rain is on the way–bad news for most, but not for the duck hunter. Along with a stiffening wind, storm fronts increase cloud cover. Ducks stop feeding at night and move more early and late in the day. There’s no glare off gun barrels and upturned faces, and no distinguishing shadows to reveal the silhouette of a waiting hunter. The hunting picture begins to improve.

As winds intensify, ducks move to protected areas–river backwaters, lake coves, green-timber openings, the lee side of islands. Rain and/or sleet intensifies their scramble for shelter, limiting and defining the places they are likely to be. More and more birds move into fewer and fewer areas. The savvy hunter is a step ahead of them, setting out decoys and preparing to shortstop their weather-driven migration.

Changing winds also work in the hunter’s favor. In our part of the world, they usually begin in the south, then blow round the compass–southeast, east, northeast, north, then finally northwest–as the low is replaced by a high-pressure, fair-weather system. Sanctuaries at the onset of the storm lose their protection as it progresses. Ducks settle into one lee then are forced to find another. They fly throughout the day and lose much of their cussed wariness. Most fly low as they work the slower air near ground. In the right place at such a time, a hunter with a few decoys is sure to find a bit of duck-hunting heaven.

Hunters in Montana will get their shot at some stormier weather by the end of next week when the weather pattern becomes more unsettled and the high temperatures drop from the mid 80s to the upper 50s. Accumulating snow in the higher elevations is even a possibility.



Strong Winds Usher In Colder Air, But Usher Out Peksy Storm

hello and happy Thursday everyone, hope all is well on this 2nd to last day of September. We’re finally looking at some change as a small and robust system drops out of Canada. The good news is that this will kick the stubborn and slow moving storm out of the Great Lakes Region and the Ohio River Valley, but it will also usher in very chilly air for the weekend… cold enough for frost and possibly even some snow!

Rain Rain Go Away

This is a look at the 7 day rainfall based on radar estimates. Note the deeper reds show up over locations that don’t need anymore rain. In fact, some of these locations that had heavy rain, saw more flash flooding this week.

These are some of the numbers from NY in a 24 hour period:

   WEST SHOKAN           7.25   645 AM  9/29  WEATHERNET6
   PHOENICIA             6.13   608 AM  9/29  WEATHERNET6
   SAUGERTIES            2.99   650 AM  9/29  WEATHERNET6
   KINGSTON              1.24   437 AM  9/29  WEATHERNET6

Flooding Video From Bonneauville, PA

Training thunderstorms led to several inches of rain in a short amount of time, which then led to flash flooding.

Here is video of flooding from Bonneauville, PA:

Big Temperature Swing

Look at the 24 hour temperature drop across the region. Temperatures over the weekend will be nearly 10° to 20° cooler than average over the Great Lakes and in the Northeast as the colder air settles in.

High Temperatures on Saturday

Take a look at the chilly high temperatures on Saturday… temps may be stuck in the 40s in some spots – That’s Octoburrrrrrrrrrr for ya’!

High Temps From Average on Saturday

Cold Enough For Snow?

The extended forecast for the weekend suggests some light snow accumulations across the higher elevations near the Appalachian Mountains in eastern West Virginia.

That’s all for today, thanks for checking in. Have a great weekend and I’ll be back in October!

Meteorologist Todd Nelson

Slow Low Gets Drop Kicked

Hello and happy Wednesday everyone, hope all is well on this 3rd to last day of September… It appears that after nearly a week of dealing with the same old same old, pesky upper level low is going to get a good drop kick at the end of the week. This kick in the shorts will finally blow this system out of the Ohio Valley and the Great Lakes Region as we head into our first week of October (next week). The image/video below shows the storm system nearly stationary over the course of several days. See the full video HERE

Rainfall Yesterday

This is neat, the rainfall yesterday is in the shape of the low spinning around the Ohio Valley/Great Lakes Region.

High Wind Watch

As the front drops out of Canada, strong winds will kick up behind it. High Wind Watches have been issued for the U.P. of Michigan for winds that could gust up to 60mph

I’ll have more on the front tomorrow. Thanks for checking in on this Wednesday, have a good rest of the week.

Meteorologist Todd Nelson

Rain, Rain Go Away

Hello and happy Monday, hope all is well on this last Monday of September 2011.  It’s still a messy go of things around the Great Lakes Region and parts of the Ohio Valley as that slow and stubborn low continues to pinwheel overhead. Heavy rain, flooding and temperatures nearly 10° to 20° below average.

Heavy Rainfall Last 7 Day

Take a look at the radar estimates of rainfall over the last 7 days. Note, the deeper red colors indicate estimates close to 8″.

Heavy Rain Sunday Night Prompted Class Delays at the University of Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The heavy overnight rain meant flooding problems early Monday morning. Barricades were set up all over Louisville due to high water.

The University of Louisville’s Belknap Campus had several streets flooded, causing classes to be delayed to allow water to recede.

Several cars were reported submerged in floodwaters in the early hours of Monday.

Read more of the story from WLKY HERE

Image Credit Below: NWS Louisville

High Temps Today

Highs From Normal

Underneath that low, clouds and showers are keeping temperatures nearly 10° to 20° below average

That’s all for today, thanks for checking in!

Meteorologist Todd Nelson

Soggy, Stormy Sunday for Some(10x FAST!)

A pesky area of low pressure continues churning over the southern Great Lakes today, cut off from the main flow of our jet stream. As mini lows ride up and around the main lobe, locally heavy rain and thunderstorms have been spreading over parts of the mid-Mississippi and Ohio Valley. Some of these storms are producing wind and hail, and rain gauges are overflowing with a few inches of rain. More of the unwanted moisture is likely tonight & tomorrow, with 3-day rainfall forecasts showing the area most prone to locally heavy rain running from western Kentucky up through northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Funnel clouds may occasionally pop out of the clouds around Madison and Rockford, with funnels and waterspouts near Milwaukee and Chicago as well, all thanks to a rapid change in temperature from the surface of Lake Michigan up to about 5,000-feet in the atmosphere. Combined with our strong, upper-level low, and the ingredients are in place to see something similar to the photos below.Another system moved into the Pacific Northwest overnight, spreading rain from the central valleys of California up along the Cascades and coastal areas of Washington and Oregon. Winds with this storm could approach 50 mph just off the west coast, pushing wave heights above 20-feet in the north Pacific. The wind will stay up tonight and tomorrow, with more moderate rain spreading across the Olympic Peninsula down across the Mt. Baker and Snoqualmie National Forecasts Monday and Tuesday. This is a photo of Seattle I snapped a week and a half ago, while visiting the Pacific Northwest and western Canada.

The tropics remain rather active, with major Hurricane Hilary still packing winds sustained at 125 mph and churning of the waters of the Pacific well off the west coast of Mexico. She should make a sharp northward turn by Wednesday, then quickly start weakening over the colder waters along the Baja of California. Tropical storms Ophelia and Philippe are weak and disorganized, and no threat to the U.S. mainland. A new storm has pushed off the west coast of Africa, and may be something to watch down the line.You may have heard us mention the Woolly Bear caterpillar in previous blogs, but after a walk yesterday, I thought it might be worth mentioning again. We saw 10 different Woolly Bears along the trail in my town, and only 1 had black stripes! If you follow weather folklore, here is how the Woolly Bear came to be a famous weather predictor(from The Old Farmer’s Almanac):

  • In the fall of 1948, Dr. C. H. Curran, curator of insects at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, took his wife 40 miles north of the city to Bear Mountain State Park to look at woolly bear caterpillars.
  • Dr. Curran collected as many caterpillars as he could in a day, determined the average number of reddish-brown segments, and forecast the coming winter weather through a reporter friend at The New York Herald Tribune.
  • Dr. Curran’s experiment, which he continued over the next eight years, attempted to prove scientifically a weather rule of thumb that was as old as the hills around Bear Mountain. The resulting publicity made the woolly bear the most recognizable caterpillar in North America.

If this holds true(my photo above can be evidence,) residents in Minnesota can expect a mild winter, completely opposite of what long range forecasters are saying with La Nina back in place. We’ll have to wait and see!

Until next time-

Meteorologist Bryan Karrick

September 2011
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