What the...??? (Weather-related)

I knew the weather here in New Jersey was fickle. The blizzard, followed by the two inches of rain, followed by the snow flurries, followed by more rain, kind of tipped me off to that fact.

But today takes the cake. When I woke up this morning, it was raining. When I walked to campus it was about half rain, half sleet. When I went to the cafeteria to get some lunch, it had become freezing rain. Now, about half an hour after I got back from lunch, it’s snowing. Heavily.

[shouts at the sky:] Make up your mind!!!

(I know: so very mundane, so very pointless. What can I say, I’m bored and easily amused today.)

I know how you feel. Yesterday all the snow was melting so badly that I lost my shoe in the mud. Today, we have at least 6 inches of snow.

I just heard a report that there was a 20 car crash on I95 north–not too far from my destination once I leave work in an hour or so. I’m not looking forward to the long haul home in this mess!

Same story here. First rain, then sleet, then incredible hail, not this freaking white stuff. Just like Xmas day. Isn’t it March? Where is spring?

Here’s a link to the skew-t from New York. (closest I could find to New Jersey). A skew-t is a diagram of the temperature and dewpoint at different heights in the atmosphere. It comes from good old-fashioned weather balloons.

This skew-t shows that the surface temp was below freezing, but that there was a warmer layer aloft, from approx. 800 feet to 2,500 feet. So falling snow would melt in the warm layer, then have just enough time to re-freeze as it falls through the lowest layer (800 ft and down). If it was a little colder at the surface, and a little warmer aloft, you would have gotten freezing rain. If the warm layer was a little lower and shallower, you would have gotten a mix of rain and snow.

Of course the skew-t just represents one moment in time. As a front moves through, the temps at different layers can change rapidly and you get grab bag weather. As a forecaster, I’m fond of using the term “wintry mix.” Yah, it’s waffling, but now maybe you can see why I need to waffle sometimes. :slight_smile:

By the way, the link above probably links to the most current skew-t, so people coming to the thread after this afternoon might be seeing a different picture.

That’s probably more than most people want to know about skew-t’s, but in case anyone wants more info, here’s a link to Penn State Weather Dept.

How’s this for mixed up weather? Yesterday, the high was about 64 degrees and sunny. Today, it was about 35 degrees, overcast and rainy. Crazy weather.

If you want consistancy, come live on the continental divide.

Summer - August 3rd.