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OHweather last won the day on September 30 2019

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  1. My mood on this has become slightly more optimistic over the last few days...it seems that social distancing is working in Europe and on the East Coast...it's still a bad situation, but seems to be falling well short of what would've happened with no action taken. Evidence of "curve flattening" in Italy, Spain, NY/NJ and updated model projections reflecting that are all good. This doesn't mean back to normal next week, but it seems to be a more manageable situation than it otherwise would have. We will now see how states that closed down much later fair. There's still room for frustration, as an earlier, more coordinated shutdown would have limited deaths further and likely resulted an earlier return to normal, but it is what it is and what we did, even if late and unorganized, made a big difference. I don't know how one can root for anything less than fewer deaths (haven't read the last couple of pages, just basing it off of the posts on this page). Without preventative actions, several hundred thousand (and quite possibly 1-2 million) would have died in the U.S. in the span of a few months. That's unacceptable. The amount of death is still tragic and more than it would've been without COVID...if anyone tries saying it was hyped they're wrong, it's simply a sign that the sacrifices so many people have made in their lives over the last few weeks are making a difference.
  2. I guess my one thought about this quite possibly spreading communally here months before we really thought it was is, why did it take so long to get bad? The symptoms fit and there have been more than a couple of similar anecdotes, both here and in Europe going back to the holidays, and given how many people travel to and from China, if it was spreading there in the fall, it fits that it was spreading here much of the winter. I guess my questions, if we assume it was spreading here for that long are: 1. Why did it take so long for cases to explode to the point where we saw exponential growth and a notable surge in hospitalizations/deaths? Is it somewhat less contagious than first thought if it took a few months for it to become so prevalent? 2. We clearly can't open things up right now, as it would overwhelm our healthcare system and result in a lot of deaths...but if we assume community spread starting in December, or at the latest January, how did we get away with having it spread like that with everything "business as usual" for so long? Does this change the outlook with regards to opening things back up over the coming months at all? I guess what I'm trying to get are; if the idea of it spreading months earlier than commonly thought is true, why didn't it crash things and get bad sooner, and does it change the outlook / understanding of the virus at all moving forward?
  3. That's scary stuff (on top of the virus)...the loss of life is horrible, but hopefully you, your roommate and apartment are OK.
  4. The gorgeous weather brought way too many people out today. Took a walk this afternoon around my neighborhood...saw some basketball, a game of Frisbee (it doesn't count as social distancing if you're standing 6+ feet apart and throwing and item back and forth!), the Dairy Queen had a line around the building and into the street. Our Wawa in town had an employee who was pumping gas last week test positive. The environment at the grocery store was different...a lot of people wearing masks and gloves, not that busy. My nose started itching due to allergies while I was shopping and I'm pretty sure I eventually gave in and scratched it without thinking...blegh. I have enough supplies to not go out for another 10 days or so, so hopefully I didn't pick it up. Went to the bathroom to wash my hands before I touched my face again. I'm sure the states that put strict social distancing guidelines in place 1-2 weeks ago will flatten the curve somewhat (though not enough in many cases), and we'll see some of those results in the next couple of weeks. But other states lagging behind in shutting this down and people here all going outside together on a nice day will make this last longer than it otherwise would.
  5. As if NJ police departments needed an excuse to be even more heavy handed. Hmm what could this car driving around with a Dominos car topper on top of it could be doing? Wonder if they magically smell pot during those pullovers too? People should absolutely stay home if they can. But I’d have approximately 0 patience if these small town cops pull me over the one time a week I go to the store during this.
  6. Do you have any grocery stores near you that sell liquor? I believe they're still allowed to sell it if it's in a supermarket that's remaining open. Here in NJ with rumblings of tightening things up further soon, I'm going to make a run today after work to the liquor store, Gamestop, and the grocery store (for a few things they didn't have the other day) and see what happens from there.
  7. I've been reading this thread periodically the last week. I've appreciated the various viewpoints, including from those much more educated than me on certain topics relevant to this discussion. It's given me something to thumb through as I work from home, away from management's watchful eye (heh who am I kidding, I scroll at work when there's actually weather to talk about, so not since mid-January). I don't have much to add to the discussion, but my mental state and overall worry about this has really gone up the last couple of days to the point where it's uncomfortable and I need to vent a bit. Like many I loosely began following this as it became a news story in Asia in January, and I became a bit more concerned last month as it got into Europe and as there were stories of people coming in from Europe (in particular, Italy) where there were a growing number of confirmed cases and not being screened at all when they land in the states...this was further compounded by the administration pretending nothing was wrong and taking few, if any measures to prepare for what's happening now. The first few days of March it seemed inevitable this would be a problem for the U.S. (and some definitely called that earlier)...I visited home (Ohio) the first weekend of March...it even snowed when I was there! Driving back last Sunday I had a sinking feeling the next week would be interesting...was it ever. I quickly accepted that we'd be "social distancing" for a while and have understood and agreed with the increasing mandates from state and local governments to enforce/encourage that...you don't have to spend a long time seeing what's happening overseas or listening to experts to realize that it'd be worse than we can imagine if we let this spread unchecked. I accepted that for a few weeks life would be much different. However, there seems to be a growing consensus, echoed by the research linked in the quoted post, that a few weeks isn't enough. Two months may not be enough. Could we lose the rest of the year to this? I guess that's what's causing me angst. I'm not particularly concerned about getting it. If I'm unlucky enough, hopefully it isn't severe. I'm fortunate to have a salaried job that for now, is stable. But losing another 8 or 12 months to this kills the economy with ripple effects that last for years. In a deep recession in which so many sectors are hurting, everyone feels it. Being worried about my future, given my current position within a company that will withstand this is selfish. But I know a lot of people who are a lot less fortunate and I'm deeply worried about what this does to them, and it's a helpless feeling for many involved. Hopefully, something positive happens so we aren't enforcing some level of social distancing into the first half of 2021 to combat this.
  8. I took a look at past Februaries with a strong stratospheric polar vortex and +AO and how they rolled into March...this year is close to unprecedented in terms of strength of the stratospheric PV and how strong the +AO is in February... Here is the full set: Here are years with some similarities in the hemispheric pattern to this February: Both sets feature generally cooler conditions in the west and warmer in the east, with the smaller set isolated years with similar patterns to this February only amplifying that. Years that had a strong phase 7-8-1 MJO propagation in the second half of February or first half of March sometimes ended up colder...as did years in which the stratospheric PV weakened quicker in March. Neither seems likely this year. Mid-long range models seem to be hinting at a cold west, mild east pattern heading into March with perhaps some brief cool downs into New England. It doesn't look good for any hope of a late rally, sadly. This winter sucks.
  9. Judging by the end of the 0z EPS, which the weeklies are run off of, I'd expect the weeklies to be ugly for at least week 3 and quite possibly 4. If they aren't, I'd be very curious to see what they have that would change the very mild at the end of the run. I think the best chance to mute what may be a torch in mid-Feb would be the Kelvin Wave amplifying closer to the dateline than farther west.
  10. The winter of continued failure continues as promising signals constantly get muted as we try to pull them inside of day 10. At the moment we're going with below average snow and above average temps overall for February and March from most of NJ/PA points south and in much of the Ohio Valley, with cold confined to the Upper Midwest/possibly Great Lakes and perhaps Upstate NY/central and northern New England for the two months overall. Snow wise we're going above-average for much of the Midwest/Great Lakes, Upstate NY and central/northern New England. February opens very mild. I am not opposed to 7-10 days where the cold actually presses far enough south to drop Upstate NY and New England to somewhat colder than average, and the northern Mid-Atlantic and Ohio Valley to near average somewhere around the second week of February, but am worried about a prolonged and significant warm-up after the middle of the month along the East Coast, with what may be winter's last attempt at much of anything then possibly arriving late-February or early March. I agree with many on February likely coming in warmer than normal overall across the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic, closer to normal in New England (but leaning warm in southern New England), and perhaps on the cold side over the central U.S. into the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes. The second week of February interests me a bit as there will be a prolonged +East Asian Mountain Torque through the first week or so of the month, extending the Pacific jet through about mid-month. This will coincide with when the stratospheric PV is temporarily disrupted, which may increase the odds of a +EAMT actually dropping the EPO substantially. The EPS has trended towards a more -EPO over the last couple of days. The issues is tropical forcing; does it cooperate, or does it support a continued -PNA? Where the Kelvin Wave interacts with the low frequency forcing and amplifies in the Pacific may be key. Amplifying near the Dateline as the CFS has may support a brief rise in the PNA near or just before mid-February; amplifying much farther west as the EPS has would likely maintain and even intensify the -PNA. At the moment I'd lean towards the EPS, but not with 100% certainty. The prospect of a fairly significant -EPO does increase the risk of cold into the U.S. with a legitimate tap of Arctic air, though it will likely dive into the western and eventually central U.S. If the PV gets displaced towards Hudson Bay it may depress heights enough over New England to allow cold to seep south, but we'd need a rise in the PNA to really dislodge bigger cold into the Mid-Atlantic, which seems less than likely. I am worried that a lot of warm signals occur at the same time just after mid-February after some confluence of colder signals (but not unanimous with tropical forcing question-marks) around the second week of the month. How quickly warmth returns may be influenced by the PV's location, if the PNA does rise and push the PV to eastern Canada, it may be sneakily slow to warm across the northern tier (though the southern Mid-Atlantic and Southeast are different). It's currently well-agreed-upon that the stratospheric PV quickly rebounds after the first week of February and is again quite strong around mid-month. This while the EAMT is projected to go negative by the EPS and CFS, while any Pacific tropical forcing from the Kelvin Wave likely dies down. This all suggests a retracted Pacific jet and very negative PNA developing after mid-February along with a +AO and +NAO. Yuck. How the MJO plays out may modulate the duration and intensity of this warm-up. As Mike Ventrice pointed out on Twitter, there is signal for a strong MJO starting in mid-February. While the mean VP anomaly plots quickly wash out to the lower-frequency forcing in the Indian Ocean and central Pacific on the EPS weeklies from Monday, many individual members have a very strong MJO developing over the Indian Ocean somewhere between February 10th and the end of the month and propagating east. This is initially a very warm signal if it passes through the Maritimes at a high amplitude, which many members show. If this occurs around or just past the middle of February when other signals argue for warmth, it could get very ugly. Could we get 80 degrees into PA or NJ in February for the second time in three years? Maybe that's too aggressive, but man a lot is pointing to that warm-up. As much as I hate to seem like I'm wishcasting, a strong MJO would eventually significantly weaken the strat PV in later February or early March and as it worked east into the Pacific would eventually teleconnect to cold. That exact evolution is uncertain but would bring what would likely be the last chance of legitimate wintry weather either at the end of February or beginning of March, perhaps lasting up to a few weeks if stuff breaks right. Maybe the end of the season as we start shifting towards spring brings the best chance of a shake-up to actually happen. At the end of the day this winter has been a train wreck both as a snow weenie and as someone attempting to forecast weeks out in advance, and I wish I had caught certain trends earlier. A borderline record strong +IOD followed by a stratospheric PV that's been flirting with daily records at time this month are delivering strong and tough to stop results. As a snow weenie I hope it snows more, and I'm not ready for winter to be over...but a large part of me wants to launch this winter into the sun. Certainly some lessens to be learned.
  11. There's definitely a signal for a deep storm next weekend...is it rain, is it snow...on the coast or inland? Who knows. But that's a lot of energy running around trying to phase, and I'd expect models to be all over until we're much closer in. Even if it's mostly rain for the coast, an intense storm like that would be way more interesting than anything else we've seen lately.
  12. A few quick-ish comments, since I don't have the time to put together a more complete write-up this week. Some of these thoughts on tropical forcing and the GLAAM echo those of @Armando S and @Snowy Hibbo over the last few days. What are the main problems in this pattern? A very strong and coupled stratospheric PV and lingering influence of what was a dominant +IOD event. Several members here successfully predicted those concerns in the fall (I became too optimistic about those issues improving too quickly, admittedly). The strong and coupled stratospheric PV supports a +AO, +NAO, +EPO and western North American troughing, much as we've seen, and much as many model runs have unsuccessfully tried to get rid of. I don't think we permanently shake either of those 3 features until we weaken the stratospheric PV. This shows how strong and coupled the PV has been since early January, with a persistent and strong +NAM (AO) throughout the troposphere and stratosphere...it's impressive: The recent strong MJO propagation and sharp AAM increase are the most significant attempts yet to disrupt the strong PV, though the effects are not as swift and significant as hoped yet. The AAM situation is improving...as has been pointed out here and on Twitter, an initial sink in momentum in the subtropics did not allow the added momentum in the tropics to get deposited into the higher latitudes...with a belt of higher momentum persisting in the sub-polar latitudes, likely a result of the coupled PV (and indicative of a +AO): January 16th AAM by latitude: We have seen some improvement of that, though it's still not optimal: A positive East Asian Mountain Torque will add momentum in the mid-latitudes for the foreseeable future, with a particularly strong push in the short term and potentially again in the day 10-15: Assuming momentum increases in the mid-latitudes as the +EAMT extends the Pacific jet over the next 2-4 weeks, there would be better potential to disperse that into the higher latitudes, create tropospheric blocking, and disrupt the stratospheric PV at least some. As the +IOD's influence continues to slowly diminish, the low frequency forcing in the central Pacific should have a slightly greater influence. There may be a decent uptick in Pacific forcing in early-mid February when the Kelvin Wave that briefly gives us a weak phase 5-6 RMM next week interacts with the low frequency forcing over the Pacific, and both the CFS and EPS have at least modest low-frequency uplift over the central/western Pacific through much of February (EPS shown): Plus, as Armando pointed out the other day, as wavelengths shorten the Indian Ocean forcing itself does become a colder signal. So, tropical forcing doesn't look to favor prolonged warmth over the next few weeks. Basically, in terms of the PV: It's strong and resilient now, but climo says it should start weakening soon, and an increase in momentum in the mid-latitudes due to a generally +EAMT for the next few weeks may help start that process. Any significant upticks in Pacific convection would also help weaken the PV. Is this enough to weaken the PV in time to salvage most of February? In terms of tropical forcing: It doesn't look to favor prolonged warmth in February, though we will need the strat PV to weaken some for the generally neutral to favorable tropical forcing to have a more desirable impact. As the +EAMT extends the Pacific jet starting next week, the PNA should rise. However, until the stratospheric PV weakens more substantially, the EPO, AO, and NAO will all be favored to stay positive. This may change as early as 10-15 days from now, though I suspect we really need to wait until about a week into February for these changes to become more likely, as this is when the op GFS and EPS, which have done well with not trying to weaken this strong PV this winter, attempt to show some warming in the stratosphere. We still average slightly more than half of our snow from here on out, and in the Mid-Atlantic February is the snowiest month on average, edging out January. The road gets narrower as we head through February for deep cold and prolonged snow cover, though there is plenty of time for snow. I'll believe sustained cold when I see it, but if we can weaken the PV quickly enough most of the sub-seasonal forcings lean cold in my view for the eastern U.S., and the CFS and EPS weeklies develop a seasonable to chilly pattern by the second week of February and largely continue it through the month. There's still reason for hope, but I'd be cautious until we see more legitimate signs that the stratospheric PV is in fact going to weaken notably.
  13. The EPS has some warming, especially 10mb and above, starting around day 10. I'm not sure if it would be enough to make a big difference, but it's the most warming the EPS has shown in the stratosphere in at least a few weeks.
  14. We’ll have several delectable STJ shortwaves to work with between the 25th and the first few days of February...will we get enough cold air for one of them to work? Regardless of the exact details at this range, can’t disagree that an active STJ running under a Hudson Bay block is intriguing!
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