Evening Report – Ye Greate Panic of 2018

While the Weather Circus continues to distribute fantasy fiction… as of 7 PM, there’s a bit over 4 inches of snow total on the ground.

four inches of snow

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Status Update – Ye Greate Panic of 2018

Just in from the Weather Circus:

WWUS81 KPHI 211548
SPSPHI

Special Weather Statement
National Weather Service Mount Holly NJ
1148 AM EDT Wed Mar 21 2018

NJZ007>010-012-013-015-PAZ060>062-101>106-211800-
Warren-Morris-Hunterdon-Somerset-Middlesex-Western Monmouth-
Mercer-Berks-Lehigh-Northampton-Western Chester-Eastern Chester-
Western Montgomery-Eastern Montgomery-Upper Bucks-Lower Bucks-
Including the cities of Washington, Morristown, Flemington,
Somerville, New Brunswick, Freehold, Trenton, Reading, Allentown,
Bethlehem, Easton, Honey Brook, Oxford, West Chester,
Kennett Square, Collegeville, Pottstown, Norristown, Lansdale,
Chalfont, Perkasie, Morrisville, and Doylestown
1148 AM EDT Wed Mar 21 2018

...Major winter storm in progress...

A band of heavy snow continues across the area this morning, with
snowfall rates between a half inch to two inches per hour being
reported, especially in portions of eastern Pennsylvania. Snow
totals of four to seven inches have been reported this morning in
portions of the Lehigh Valley. Snow rates are expected to
increase in northern/central New Jersey in the next few hours and
will continue to be moderate to heavy in eastern Pennsylvania,
with travel becoming very difficult to impossible. Travel is
strongly discouraged!

Uh huh.

parking lot with dusting of snow

The Greate Nor’Easter of March 21, 2018

Yes, I’m writing this a day ahead.

I think this is going to be a colossal fizzle, a seriously missed forecast.

Place your bets. My feel – the Weather Circus is placing way too much faith in computer models on this one… we’ll get snow, but it’s not going to be the crushing disaster (at least in Somerset/Hunterdon/Morris/Warren area) they’re hyping. I expect six inches… maybe ten tops. But more likely six inches of very wet snow, along with some freezing rain and rain.

IF there was still significant snow cover on the ground (there isn’t at least around me) then it might be a bit different, but it’s mostly mud out there.

As usual, my big concern is for the runoff afterwards, what with the streams already running unusually high for the time of year.

In case I’m wrong, I prefer my crow medium-well with salt and a touch of hot mustard.

Additional Storm-related stuff…

Well now it’s snowing/raining/wind howling… and shortly I have to venture out. Wonder if the lights will be on when I return?

Jersey Central Power and Light outage map for New Jersey.

HART Traffic Alert (Hunterdon area)... when it works, it works well – when it works. Today (March 2) it’s working.

NJ 511 table of events: weather-related, “incidents,” detours. The map on this site is useless… don’t bother.

 

Too much water.

For this week, the flood watches are posted everywhere, as once again we face a deluge… this time with water levels running high, and the ground waterlogged. An inch or two of rain in a short time can cause a serious issue in the local area.

Of course this will happen on a Friday, with both high winds and rain extending into the evening… and on Friday evenings, I’m in a classroom with no windows to see what’s happening outside.┬áLuckily, the classroom building is on fairly high ground. In fact, the college is on comparatively high ground for the area. But it’s surrounded by rivers and creeks.

Over the years, the weather circus has become somewhat more adept at figuring out when we’re likely to have an excess of water. The area is permeated with stream level indicators, which generally update every 30 to 60 minutes (to several websites).

For this reference post, I’m linking to the National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service.

Take the link and you’ll get to a map, with lots of little points marked. Circular points have more data than the others, and the color of the points will tell you if everything is fine (green), with yellow being the warning, red being serious danger and purple… you don’t want to be anywhere near a purple indicator. (In September 1999 the whole page was purple from the effects of Floyd).

For my purposes, I’m interested in a handful of points, starting with the Burnt Mills location. If this gets above 10 feet, I’m going to have to go home a different way. So the next one of interest is North Branch Village. If this goes over 10 feet, the next step is to head east on Rt 22, then up 202/206. Bleh.

For students headed home to the west, if the Whitehouse gauge gets over 6 feet, Rt 22 begins to flood west of CR 523 (near the old Merck hq).

Heading south to Hillsborough, southeast to Bound Brook, or via Manville and River Road (bad idea in a flood watch!), the gauges linked in this paragraph are the ones to monitor.

Note that several of these sites attempt to forecast how high the water will get – take this with a very large cup of salt (a grain is nowhere near enough!). Be sure to check the time of update – sometimes these gizmos fail, right when they’re most needed.

Wonder where I put the rain hat?

 

End of an era…

The base of operations in North Carolina has been sold. I’ll still get down there, but it won’t be on the semi-regular basis that has been the rule for the past fifteen years.

In 2004, all the buildings were gray.
In 2004, all the buildings were gray.
But by 2015 new colors abounded, and the A building got a green cast with white trim.
But by 2015 new colors abounded, and the A building got a green cast with white trim.
I'll miss seeing Pedro on the move in the early morning...
I’ll miss seeing Pedro on the move in the early morning…
And I may never again see the Coast Guard running exercises with a C-130 and a fishing boat.
And I may never again see the Coast Guard running exercises with a C-130 and a fishing boat.
But in 2005 the Captain Phillips was busy most evenings catching shrimp...
But in 2005 the Captain Phillips was busy most evenings catching shrimp…
...and years later, the scene is still much the same.
…and years later, the scene is still much the same.

I’ll miss the place, sort of… but it will give me more flexibility to travel in the Old North State (and others).

All in all, it’s the end of an era.