Massive Nor’easter hangs tough

The coastal storm system that morphed from what was once Ida is now an old-fashioned nor’easter, the kind we often see during the winter months, but this one is magnified to levels that make it a storm of rare ferocity.

A huge part of this atmospheric equation is an equally massive ridge of cold high pressure to the north.  The pressure gradient, or squeeze, between it and the coastal low is responsible for the sustained, strong winds (especially along the coast) and heavy rain.

The storm will be stubborn in its departure, with the northern high blocking its progress, and the resultant long duration through Friday will produce impressive rain totals, particularly over the eastern half of Virginia.

Another interesting note on this is that snow has been falling at the highest elevations of Highland County, well to our west.  And… to answer the burning question of the day; if this were snow here, we’d be digging out from several feet!

posted by Jim Duncan


14 Responses to Massive Nor’easter hangs tough

  1. chuyên bán chè thái nguyên tại hà nội…

    […]Massive Nor’easter hangs tough « NBC12 Weather Blog[…]…

  2. Sirius...The Star Dog says:

    “Slam Duncan…”

    Now _that’s_ funny.

  3. Mighty Dyckerson says:

    Slam Duncan laid down the smack, Jack! PWN of the century!

  4. PC says:

    Ha. It must really be humiliating to come across totally arrogant and then get totally schooled.

  5. Jeff B says:

    …of course I meant jet stream and not Gulf stream.

  6. Jeff B. says:

    Wow, Doc Pinks couldn’t have been more wrong. What a ridiculous definition he provided of a Nor’Easter. Jim, you were very patient with your response. Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t most Nor’Easters find their root in lows that form off of the Carolinas or VA and then move their way up the coast, ultimately pounding the Mid Atlantic and New England states? I remember as a kid, watching the storms come on shore on the west coast, take a dip with the gulf stream towards the Gulf of Mexico, and then make their run towards the Carolinas. Everything then depended on how close the storm tracked the East Coast.

    Hey Doc, I would think someone who comes off so arrogant would actually no what they were talking about.

    • Jeff B says:

      …of course I meant Jet Stream, not Gulf stream.

    • nbc12weather says:

      Yes, the fulcrum point for many nor’easters’ developing is near Hatteras, where there is a convergence of the Atlanic Gulf Stream and the colder Atlantic shelf current from the north (the warm Gulf Stream deflects to the northeast, away from the U.S., north of Hatteras.)
      The key to explosive storm growth is big temperature differentials between land and sea, and this happens along any coastal areas from the Gulf northward during the cool season.
      Jim D.

  7. JPal says:

    Just love it when opinionated, educated beyond their intellagence people get proven WRONG when they try to be an expert on things they know nothing about. Way to go Jim, glad you posted the proper meaning.

  8. Mike says:

    Maybe the good Dr. should stick with what he is educated in. Apparently the “Dr.” label has inflated his ego a bit. Mr. Duncan just schooled him in some weather terminology.

  9. Phil Riggan says:

    I think Jim just let the good Doctor know he is now known as “Mr. Pink” (Reservoir Dogs).

  10. Dr Scott Pinks says:

    Mr Duncan:
    Do you actually know what the definition of a “Nor’Easter” is? Anyone who has been through a late fall-winter in northern New England or the Maritime (Canadian) Provinces will tell you, a Nor’ Easter certain does NOT form “off the coast of North Carolina.” Perhaps you’d care to check Wikipedia or such, if your “meteorological” studies never covered it.

    A “Nor’ Easter” is a large NORTH Atlantic storm characterized by centralized low-pressure, which comes ashore FROM the Northeast, featuring driving hail, sleet, freezing rain and (generally) brutally COLD temperatures. In short, it’s a form of an Arctic hurricane; and indeed, gale-force and hurricane-force winds are a standard characterisic of such a storm. It does not come from the tropical regions, such as Gulf of Mexico low pressure, and move TO the Northeast. The storm you’re describing “off the coast of North Carolina” would more properly be termed a Sou’ Wester, if you want to use some cutsie-cute term.

    I really would expect a professional “meteorologist” and weathercaster would know the difference between North East and South West.

    Dr S Pinks

    • nbc12weather says:

      You are confused. The name nor’easter derives from the wind direction that blows around them, i.e. winds blowing from the northeast along affected coastal areas, not the part of the country where they form. They can form anywhere along the East Coast, frequently developing along the Southeast coastal Atlantic or even the Gulf.
      This is the definition from NOAA:
      The definition of a Nor’easter is: “A cyclonic storm occurring off the east coast of North America. These winter weather events are notorious for producing heavy snow, rain, and tremendous waves that crash onto Atlantic beaches, often causing beach erosion and structural damage.Wind gusts associated with these storms can exceed hurricane force in intensity. A nor’easter gets its name from the continuously strong northeasterly winds blowing in from the ocean ahead of the storm and over the coastal areas.”

      There are many detailed explanations that can be found, a great one at Wikipedia.
      Jim D.

  11. Mighty Dyckerson says:

    BREAKING NEWS! Virginia is under a STATE OF EMERGENCY as the fury of Hurricane Ida SLAMS THE COMMONWEALTH. I just got back from Ukrop’s, and it was ABSOLUTE PANDEMONIUM. I was pushed, shoved, groped, kicked, and otherwise violated. Hell, I’m going back tomorrow!

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