Winter storm to spread heavy snow from North Dakota to Virginia

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:44 PM GMT on March 04, 2013

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The flakes are flying in Minnesota and North Dakota, where up to 10" of snow has fallen from an "Alberta Clipper" that is barreling southeastwards across the U.S. These type of storms, so-named because they originate in Alberta and clip along at a fast forward speed, typically bring the Midwest moderate amounts of fluffy snow that is relatively easy to shovel. The storm, dubbed Winter Storm Saturn by The Weather Channel and "Snowquester" by The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang, is expected to bring a swath of 6 - 10" of snow from Minnesota to Virginia Monday through Wednesday, with Chicago expected to get 6 - 9", their biggest snow of the season. Once the storm moves off the coast on Wednesday, its strong winds will make coastal flooding a major concern for the Mid-Atlantic coast, particularly Delaware, on Wednesday and Thursday. The computer models are still showing quite a bit of disagreement on what the storm might do on Wednesday. The European model has been the most consistent model, and maintains that the storm will not bring heavy snow to New England. I would lean towards this solution at present. However, keep in mind that the latest run of the GFS model shows a more northerly track, with heavy snow falling along a swath of coast from Long Island, NY, to Boston, MA, Wednesday through Thursday. The exact position of the rain/snow boundary along the Mid-Atlantic coast is also quite uncertain. Washington D.C. could end up with mostly rain, and just 1 - 2" of snow, or get a 6+ inch dumping, picking up more snow from one storm than from the all the snowstorms from the past two winters, combined:

Reagan Nat'l Airport (DCA):
- Snowfall this season-to-date:  1.5"
- Snowfall all last season:  2"
- Last 5"+ snow event:  Jan. 26, 2011 (5")
- Last 10"+ snow event:  Feb. 9-10, 2010 (10.8")

Dulles Airport, Virginia (IAD)
- Snowfall this season-to-date:  5.3"
- Snowfall all last season:  3.7"
- Last 5"+ snow event:  Jan. 26, 2011 (7.3")
- Last 10"+ snow event:  Feb. 9-10, 2010 (9.3")

(Thanks go to Jonathan Erdman of TWC for these stats.) The Capital Weather Gang has an interesting article on historical March snowstorms in Washington D.C. In order for Winter Storm Saturn to crack the top-ten, it would have to dump at least 6.6" of snow on the nation's capital.



Coastal flooding a concern in the Mid-Atlantic
As the storm moves off the coast on Wednesday night, winds gusting to 50 mph will build waves of up to 15' and a 3 - 4' storm surge along the coast to the north of the center. Heavy rains will bring runoff down rivers that will act to increase water levels along the coast. The latest Forecast Discussion from the Mount Holly, NJ NWS office highlights the likelihood of at least moderate coastal flooding in Delaware during the high tide cycles on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, with the possibility of major flooding. The latest storm surge forecast from the GFS model calls for a storm surge of around 3' at Lewes, Delaware on Thursday morning, which would bring the 8th highest water level on record to the coast. This is of concern due to the damage Hurricane Sandy brought in October, which weakened the dunes and left the coast more vulnerable to erosion. Sandy brought the 3rd highest water level on record to Lewes.

We'll have ongoing coverage this week of Winter Storm Saturn in our Winter Storm Section.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting JNCali:
waiting for the 80% T-storms scheduled for mid TN area tonite.. I'm researching online in preparation for a photo shoot for a new steakhouse website I'm building this week... last time I did a restaurant shoot I wound up bringing 9 to go containers home filled with BBQ goodies.. here's hoping!


I had dinner, and I still froth at the mouth staring at that...looks SOOO delicious.
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Quoting AussieStorm:
Photographer whips out his camera for rare snaps of huge frothy seas at Pearl Beach








Link
Nice one Aussie.. Thanks for posting with the link..
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SantaMonica(SMO) is ~115miles(184kilometres) northwest of SanDiego(SAN)

And the stench from the SaltonSea was a separate incident noticed last September.
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The next two players in the Australian tropics

92P which models show becoming TC Sandra


and 99P which the models show eating Sandra.


these are both much watch invests.
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Photographer whips out his camera for rare snaps of huge frothy seas at Pearl Beach








Link
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311. DrewE
I believe your map is correct at this point in time, probably spot on, but I believe that in the next few runs, the totals are going to shift further north and west.

It really doesn't even have an effect on me regardless where it ends up as I'm in Norfolk at the moment.
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waiting for the 80% T-storms scheduled for mid TN area tonite.. I'm researching online in preparation for a photo shoot for a new steakhouse website I'm building this week... last time I did a restaurant shoot I wound up bringing 9 to go containers home filled with BBQ goodies.. here's hoping!
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Quoting DrewE:
Ah, once again, Richmond is directly on the rain/snow line that keeps us from receiving any significant amounts of frozen precip.


actually they could get moderate level snowfall...that is around 5". Just like I displayed it in the map...
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14875
308. DrewE
Ah, once again, Richmond is directly on the rain/snow line that keeps us from receiving any significant amounts of frozen precip.
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Here ya go... upping and expanding some totals

There could be some rain/snow mix at the coastal areas north of where I drew it at.
Not including it at this point..

NOTE... All New England snow is based on GFS/NAM..could be a big bust.

Offshore shade represent storm watches



Area of detail...



click on any picture for larger size.

see post 249 for comparison
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14875
306. wxmod
Quoting Skyepony:
Authorities say a foul odor that spurred calls to fire departments throughout the city on Sunday is possibly the result of the large release of methane in the Santa Monica Bay. Santa Monica Fire said in a department statement that they believe the strong odor was caused by a naturally occurring methane leak below the ocean floor. "This morning there was a large release of natural ocean floor methane released in the Santa Monica Bay," the statement said. "This methane is not toxic and dissipates quickly." Sam Atwood, a spokesman for the Air Quality Management District (AQMD), said his agency has not confirmed that theory. Brian Humphrey, a spokesman for the Los Angeles City Fire Department, said the odor was noted inland from the Santa Monica Bay. Last September, a widespread sulfurous stench that blanketed parts of the Southland was apparently traced back to a biological occurrence on the landlocked Salton Sea.


I found this on the CA-Mexico boarder on MODIS satellite from this morning. It's a thick cloud of pollution that appears to originate off shore. This is very possibly what they smelled in Santa Monica. It should really bother everyone that so called authorities would announce that the smell was "methane from salton sea" without even looking at satellite data. Happens all the time!

http://lance2.modaps.eosdis.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/maps erv.cgi?map=usecase_all_download_20130304.map&LAYE RS=Terra250+Admin_Bound&mode=map&imgext=-118.3427+ 32.1220+-116.5519+33.1519&mapext=-118.3427+32.1220 +-116.5519+33.1519&map_size=815.1115157032272+468. 7756030951287&imgx=815.1115157032272&imgy=468.7756 030951287&imgxy=815.1115157032272+468.775603095128 7&map_imagetype=JPEG
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SREFS give me 15" as a mean, and the highest is actually 29"!
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3482
Quoting PedleyCA:
This is a Nut and this is an Uncola nut.

large uncola nuts
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Interesting, social media seems to do this far too often...


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is there anybody out there
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This is a Nut and this is an Uncola nut.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
0z NAM was kind of disappointing for my area. Weaker and warmer than previous runs, not by a lot but enough to keep snow totals down at the coast and a good ways inland, though still some real high totals where it stays all snow. Boston hardly gets anything on that run though.

Hasn't Boston had enough tho? Let me have some :/ its not fair! haha jk im not 2.... i'll just move to Boston... and then it'll snow here
Member Since: February 13, 2012 Posts: 11 Comments: 3906
People living in the DC area...

When rain changes over to snow over for the area...it will fall as thick/fat snowballs, which will accumulate. That is the only way to get accumulations there, if light snow falls instead, it would have a hard time trying to stick in the wet grounds from the earlier rain...temperatures play a big role.

pray for big snow..
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14875
Quoting wxchaser97:
Here is my latest snowfall map regarding winter storm Saturn. All amounts seen are storm totals. The amounts in the Northeast will likely have to be revised tomorrow morning. I am writing a blog that will break down the impacts of this storm state by state.


yay...more snow for me.

I think I have to update mine too..
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14875


56.0/71.5 here today. Looks like one more day then Slippin' Into Darkness
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
0z NAM was kind of disappointing for my area. Weaker and warmer than previous runs, not by a lot but enough to keep snow totals down at the coast and a good ways inland, though still some real high totals where it stays all snow. Boston hardly gets anything on that run though.


why do you worry about it...?
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14875
0z NAM was kind of disappointing for my area. Weaker and warmer than previous runs, not by a lot but enough to keep snow totals down at the coast and a good ways inland, though still some real high totals where it stays all snow. Boston hardly gets anything on that run though.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 88 Comments: 8434
HPC changes name to Weather Prediction Center
Matt Daniel's WeatherGlobe EARTH 1 day ago

The Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC) has decided to change its name to the Weather Prediction Center starting March 5. The HPC is a great weather resource that provides accurate updates on precipitation totals all across the United States. They release rainfall totals for up to seven days across the U.S. and also issue snow, sleet, and freezing rain totals when larger storms develop across the country. HPC decided to change their name to provide a clearer and easier-to-understand name for the center.

http://earthsky.org/earth/hpc-changes-name-to-wea ther-prediction-center
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Quoting wxchaser97:

My dad has a business meeting in Columbus, Ohio tomorrow and gets to drive through all the wintry weather. That would be talking I-75 from Detroit to Columbus and the Columbus to Detroit.


Hope he makes it ok..
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Another layer of Winter Storm Watches was added in Southern PA

.. Winter Storm Watch in effect from Tuesday evening through
Wednesday afternoon...

The National Weather Service in State College has issued a Winter
Storm Watch... which is in effect from Tuesday evening through
Wednesday afternoon.

* Locations... south central Pennsylvania.

* Hazard types... heavy snow.

* Accumulations... 6 inches or more possible.

* Timing... snow will begin Tuesday evening and continue through
Wednesday afternoon.

* Impacts... hazardous travel is possible. Strong east winds could
also create blowing snow and limited visibilities.

* Winds... east at 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 35 mph.
Member Since: February 13, 2012 Posts: 11 Comments: 3906
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Mean of 14" for the city of Boston:


Probably a little too cold, but if this thing really gets cranking it could bring down enough cold air to make it happen as this model suggests.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 88 Comments: 8434
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
21z SREF... up to 2.5" of liquid for my area, with probably a decent chunk as snow!


Mean of 14" for the city of Boston:

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 34456
Here is my latest snowfall map regarding winter storm Saturn. All amounts seen are storm totals. The amounts in the Northeast will likely have to be revised tomorrow morning. I am writing a blog that will break down the impacts of this storm state by state.
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21z SREF... up to 2.5" of liquid for my area, with probably a decent chunk as snow!

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 88 Comments: 8434
Quoting BahaHurican:
This was on our local news last night.


...I doubt that it is a seventy-five foot Haitian sloop. We don't see them that large these days.

It got down to 62 degrees here last night.... brrrrrr.
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If the models keep trending north I see a blizzard for Boston down to Plymouth Ma. That High that was suppose to keep the storm south is it weakening or just not as strong as the early models predicted? I like the storms but I don't like the aftermath. Kind of want one last big storm here in South shore of Mass.
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Quoting pcola57:
Looks like a nasty weather night..





I bet driving is no fun here tonight..


My dad has a business meeting in Columbus, Ohio tomorrow and gets to drive through all the wintry weather. That would be talking I-75 from Detroit to Columbus and the Columbus to Detroit.
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Quoting Skyepony:
Foul weather sinks a Haitian drug boat in Inagua, Bahamas..spilling 220 gallons of a mixture of oil and diesel fuel..Morton Salt helped with the clean up. Article is here.
This was on our local news last night.
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Looks like a nasty weather night..





I bet driving is no fun here tonight..

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Nino 3.4 is a little bit warmer. See the CPC 3/4/13 update at my ENSO Blog
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280. Skyepony (Mod)
Foul weather sinks a Haitian drug boat in Inagua, Bahamas..spilling 220 gallons of a mixture of oil and diesel fuel..Morton Salt helped with the clean up. Article is here.
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We have had three 'cold' (40-50 degree) days in East Central Florida and I have had enough. Sorry for you folks further north who have to put up with this stuff for quite a bit longer! Also concerned now for DC and New England with the Stormquester arriving tomorrow and Wednesday!
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Well its good to see snowfall completely out of my forecast. I had a gut feeling this would be a dud for me last week. Better to not forecast it at all then to indicate a mix, which gets people's hopes up around here and then they are let down.

Spring fever has caught me now, cant ya tell? :D
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Nice week coming up for West Palm Beach and south Florida...

>Miami NWS Disco

DISCUSSION...
SURFACE HIGH PRESSURE CONTINUES TO BE THE CONTROLLING FEATURE ACROSS
THE SOUTH FLORIDA AREA WITH CLEAR AND MILD CONDITIONS PREVAILING
THROUGH THE AFTERNOON. DURING THE LATE EVENING AND OVERNIGHT HOURS
THIS HIGH WILL PUSH OFFSHORE THE EAST COAST ALLOWING WINDS TO TURN
AROUND TO THE SOUTHEAST. THIS WILL KEEP TEMPERATURES FROM DROPPING
AS FAR AS THEY DID LAST NIGHT. TEMPERATURES SHOULD THEN MODERATE TO
NEAR NORMAL VALUES TUESDAY AFTERNOON.

A COLD FRONT IS STILL EXPECTED TO PUSH ACROSS THE SOUTH FLORIDA
PENINSULA WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON WITH MINIMAL CHANCES FOR SHOWERS. THIS
FRONT WILL USHER IN ANOTHER BRIEF SHOT OF COLD AIR FOR THURSDAY. A
MORE NORTHEASTERLY FLOW PATTERN WILL THEN RETURN FRIDAY AND PREVAIL
THROUGH THE WEEKEND WHILE REMAINING DRY.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 12022
276. Skyepony (Mod)
Authorities say a foul odor that spurred calls to fire departments throughout the city on Sunday is possibly the result of the large release of methane in the Santa Monica Bay. Santa Monica Fire said in a department statement that they believe the strong odor was caused by a naturally occurring methane leak below the ocean floor. "This morning there was a large release of natural ocean floor methane released in the Santa Monica Bay," the statement said. "This methane is not toxic and dissipates quickly." Sam Atwood, a spokesman for the Air Quality Management District (AQMD), said his agency has not confirmed that theory. Brian Humphrey, a spokesman for the Los Angeles City Fire Department, said the odor was noted inland from the Santa Monica Bay. Last September, a widespread sulfurous stench that blanketed parts of the Southland was apparently traced back to a biological occurrence on the landlocked Salton Sea.
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Off the topic of winter weather...this weekend actually looks great for a tornado event, if not an outbreak, across western Kansas. But this isn't the typical spring-like outbreak. An outbreak of this kind would be cold-core in nature, meaning north of the warm front and near the mid- to upper-level low. This event is particularly interesting because conditions actually look very favorable, with ample wind shear and instability. We had a similar situation to this on October 26, 2006, when there were at least 20 reports of tornadoes; at least one of these was large and caused major damage.

Instability:



Lifted Indices:



Moisture (Note dewpoints in the 40s and 50s):



...and a hodograph:

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 34456
Is snow reaching the ground in Kansas? Topeka NWS discussion:

EXPECT THE MAIN SHORTWAVE CLIPPER TO PASS TO OUR NORTH AS THE UPPER VORT MAX OVER COLORADO IMPACTS THE CWA AFTER 00Z PROVIDING DEEPENING SATURATION IN THE MID LEVELS AND MODEST LIFT TO WARRANT A CHANCE OF RAIN MIXING WITH PERHAPS SNOW OVERNIGHT. THE GFS AND ECMWF MODEL RUNS HAVE SEEMED OVERDONE ON MOISTURE AND QPF VALUES THROUGHOUT THE AFTERNOON AND HAVE THEREFORE LEANED MORE TOWARDS THE LATEST NAM...UKMET AND HRRR GUIDANCE. A FEW HUNDREDTHS OF RAINFALL IS POSSIBLE WITH LITTLE TO NO SNOWFALL ACCUMULATION.

Surface temps are above freezing across Kansas at this time.
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Two shortwaves are currently in the process of phasing over the central part of the country. By tomorrow's 12Z runs, the phase should be complete and forecast consensus should become much tighter.

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Here is a good example of 'snow leads to snow'. Even though temperatures are the same throughout Kansas and Nebraska for the most part, all the snow in the latter state has primarily melted, leading to liquid precipitation in the region. Farther south in central Kansas, where 2-4" of snow still lies on the ground, frozen precipitation is falling.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 34456
For those who keep emergency caches, an article on eating canned foods past their expiration dates and a similar argument from NPR.

Plus a flow chart on the ClimateChange debate so pollyanna that it's more comedic than helpful.
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Interesting that the HPC surface analysis map currently shows the low whereas the 18z GFS map doesnt have in that location until tomorrow? Is the Low moving faster than thought

Current Surface Analysis Map


18z GFS
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 17338
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Here's my forecast regarding snowfall accumulations across a select number of cities in the path of Saturn.

Chicago, IL: 8-10"
Indianapolis, IN: 3-5"
Wilmington, OH: 3-5"
Roanoke, Virginia: 1-3"
Washington, D.C.: 8-10" (potentially higher)
Philadelphia, PA: 7-10"
New York, NY: 6-8"
Boston, MA: 12-14"
Portland, ME: 4-6"

I'll say...

Chicago: 9-12"
Indy: 4-6"
Wilmington: 2-4"
Roanoke: 2-4" (could end up much higher with a slight shift south)
DC: 5-7" (could end up higher, and areas not far inland will likely be way higher)
Philly: 5-8"
NYC: 5-8" (areas not far inland from here could be considerably higher)
Boston: 3-5" (same deal as NYC)
Portland: 5-8"
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 88 Comments: 8434
Quoting interstatelover7166:
What about Hartford, CT? I'm forecasting 10-13.

Probably 5-7".
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 34456
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Here's my forecast regarding snowfall accumulations across a select number of cities in the path of Saturn.

Chicago, IL: 8-10"
Indianapolis, IN: 3-5"
Wilmington, OH: 3-5"
Roanoke, Virginia: 1-3"
Washington, D.C.: 12-14" (likely higher)
Philadelphia, PA: 7-10"
New York, NY: 6-8"
Boston, MA: 12-14"
Portland, ME: 4-6"
What about Hartford, CT? I'm forecasting 10-13.
Member Since: October 15, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 434
Here's my forecast regarding snowfall accumulations across a select number of cities in the path of Saturn.

Chicago, IL: 8-10"
Indianapolis, IN: 3-5"
Wilmington, OH: 3-5"
Roanoke, Virginia: 1-3"
Washington, D.C.: 8-10" (potentially higher)
Philadelphia, PA: 7-10"
New York, NY: 6-8"
Boston, MA: 12-14"
Portland, ME: 4-6"
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 34456

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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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