Let me start out by saying Gloria Balding asked me a great question last night during the Fox 10pm news, and it got me thinking about writing a blog on the topic.
As of Tuesday night we were looking at a coastal low (or coastal storm system) to start developing this weekend, and bring our area some rain Sunday night and Monday. This storm could have potentially moved up the east coast once again. Sound familiar? Well that was Gloria's question. "It seems like we are seeing a coastal system just about every seven days now, is this a pattern?"
Let's talk about the first one, Hurricane Sandy. She formed towards the end of Hurricane season, just as weather components like the jet stream and the Greenland low are getting ready to setup for the winter.
Sandy was only a Category one, but the intensity of the storm was incredible, extremely low pressure. The jet stream is one thing that helped guide Sandy inland, in fact it was a kink in the jet stream that caused Sandy to move into the Northeast.
A few days later, many Meteorologists were putting together their forecasts when the models did something that made our jaws drop, another coastal storm was being hinted at. The Nor' Easter happened 9 days after Sandy, taking nearly the same track, and impacting the same areas.
Now, there is another storm that is being hinted at for the end of the weekend. So is it coincidence? Not really.
Now the jet stream helps guide storms as they move from west to east, or as we've seen more recently up the east coast.
And it seems we're now stuck in the same pattern, sometimes called "Atmospheric Memory", where some storms can take the same track until that pattern is altered.
Do you ever feel like, "It seems to be raining every Monday lately"?
Last year during hurricane season the same pattern evolved. Every time a tropical wave would develop and looked like it was tracking towards the east coast, a cold front would move towards the east and help guide the storm our into the Atlantic. The only storm that was able to break that pattern was Irene.
It's an interesting feature and while weather events are typically very different from each other, there are patterns. Keep an eye out the next few weeks and even into January. We could see similar storm tracks up the east coast. Which is not good news for those hit not only by Sandy, but by the Nor' Easter.