I provide a weather email service for people in MD. I am a storm chaser & Skywarn spotter. For daily weather tidbits follow me on Twitter: @wxmanMD.
By: cws6196, 2:28 PM GMT on July 31, 2009
It looks like Friday is shaping up to repeat Wednesday storms. On Wednesday those along and East of I-95 saw the worst, with a tornado confirmed in Western MD. Today's storms look to be the same, although more widespread and less contained. The main features to be aware of are strong gusty winds and a slight potential for an isolated tornado.
By: cws6196, 4:26 PM GMT on July 29, 2009
Very interesting as the NWS has placed us under a 100% chance for rain today. I do not believe I have ever seen that before. The data does support rain today, but more importantly, severe weather later this afternoon into the evening. It is calm at the moment, and precip is isolated to Southern PA, but do not be fooled; given the moisture in the atmosphere and the shear winds aloft, we are in for some action. I do believe that most, if not all, of Central MD and Southern PA will see these storms.
The main threat in these storms is rain and wind. Estimated water amounts of around 2 inches are indicated in the data as the Bermuda High feeds us moisture. As the cold front moves in from the NW, expect the storms to begin, somewhere after 4:00pm. Gusty winds and even the threat of a tornado are not out of the question. The Storm Prediction Center has placed our area in a 5% risk for tornadoes and a 30% chance for damaging winds.
By: cws6196, 6:55 PM GMT on July 27, 2009
Given the current setup, Low pressure over the Great Lakes and High pressure over the Atlantic, Central MD is primed for storms all week. The atmosphere will remain moist and unstable each day, with only a small amount of heating in the day needed to produce storms. Tuesday looks to be the only day with a low probability for storms, while Wednesday and Friday have the greatest probability for severe storms.
For this Afternoon, shear in the atmosphere is not overly impressive, one of the factors inhibiting severe storms from forming today. Most areas will experience pop up storms versus a line of storms. Those with the greatest chance for severe pop up storms are those along I-95 and in Southern MD.
Current radar shows pop up storms in SE Maryland and Southern PA.
By: cws6196, 2:10 PM GMT on July 26, 2009
Another cold front is moving into the area this afternoon, interacting with the convective heating of the day to produce some impressive thunderstorms this afternoon. Model data and atmospheric soundings (SKEW-T) are all in agreement as to this scenario. After 1:00 today start keeping your eyes to the sky. The Storm Prediction Center has labeled us with a 2% chance for tornadoes, 15% hail and 15% wind. For those who do experience these storms, strong gusty wind will be the most dangerous feature.
I would not be surprised to have watches and warnings issued later in the day.
By: cws6196, 12:35 PM GMT on July 24, 2009
Yesterday's scattered storms did not become severe, although those who experienced them did receive a good amount of rainfall. My rain gauge reported 1.76 inches while other areas reported over 2 inches. Today, expect the same as yesterday, although, any storms that do form today will be stronger then yesterday's with a good chance for gusty winds. Areas with the greatest chance for storms will be those West of I-95 and along the MD/PA line.
By: cws6196, 2:02 PM GMT on July 23, 2009
There is a good chance for thunderstorms later this afternoon (after 1:00) as a cold front approaches the area from OH. The current rain and later storms are not a result of the coastal low, as I previously mentioned. Those along the MD/PA line have a greater chance for experiencing storms. I do not see these storms as being severe. Tomorrow, though, storms that form in the afternoon will have the potential for hail and damaging winds. But we will deal with all that tomorrow.
Do not be surprised for a thunderstorm watch to be issued later today.
By: cws6196, 2:13 PM GMT on July 19, 2009
Tuesday Afternoon update
In my previous post I mentioned the possibility of a tropical system effecting the area this weekend. As you can see below, I stated there were two possibilities, with a third option that the Low doesn't even form. Well, leave it to Mother Nature to work outside of the box; we have a combo of the options.
The model data remains inconsistent as to timing and intensity of the Low, but do seem consistent in the formation of the Low off the SE coast. But, the track of the Low (between Thursday and Friday) places it so far off the coast not to be an issue for us in Central MD. There is a strong chance for showers Thursday and Friday, but they have nothing to do with this Low. Those along coastal areas of MD will most likely experience higher then normal tides.
As most of you should know by now, I am not at all a fan of long-range forecasts or predictions. Too many things can change, and often do. But ... for the sake of argument and information, some of the model data (especially the GFS) is showing a Low developing off the SE coast moving North up the coast this Thursday and Friday. Given the current water temps and the conditions forecast by the model data, this could turn into something for us to watch.
As I see it now there are two main scenarios (the third scenario is nothing happens): 1. a tropical depression forms and brings us a good deal of rain and strong winds (we would be in the NW quadrant); 2. it stays only a Low and moves up the coast effecting Ocean City with wind and surf with minimal impact to us in Central MD.
Updated: 6:45 PM GMT on July 21, 2009
By: cws6196, 12:53 PM GMT on July 17, 2009
Well, today looks primed for storms. A look at the model and skew-t data all indicate potential for thunderstorms later today. The Storm Prediction Center has us listed for a chance of storms and a 2% chance for tornadoes. I do not see a threat of tornadoes for us today, but I do see a threat of strong wind gusts in storm cells that do develop. Also, a slight chance for hail, depending on the lift and heights of the clouds.
Timing is the question as the model data is not consistent. What I say is most of us will not see any action until after 2:00, probably much later then that. I predict the Central MD region not to see widespread storms until 5:00 or later. The storms will develop from the SW and move NNE. Those in Southern PA and Southern MD are likely to see more numerous and stronger storms. But ... the weekend is shaping up to be quite nice, rain free and cooler then average temps.
Do not be surprised for a Thunderstorm Watch to be issued later today.
By: cws6196, 5:56 PM GMT on July 16, 2009
I know there has been talk of storms today, but a read of the current data and radar images does not impress me. As I stated in my last post, I really don't see us receiving rain or storms. Those in Southern PA and Southern MD have a better chance for storms and rain. Going into the weekend I see the same scenario with the same locations effected.
By: cws6196, 5:07 PM GMT on July 14, 2009
Is this July? Are we in Maryland? See below a copy of a write up about the overnight low tying a record. Look for tomorrow and Thursday to warm up, followed by another cool down into the low 80s and night temps in the 60s. We also need rain, but I don't see too much of it in the picture. There is a slight chance late Wednesday and again on Thursday, but honestly, if it does rain Thursday, at this time I do not see it as a soaker. Maybe the end of the weekend into next week we can begin to see rain again.
Overnight low at BWI ties record
via Maryland Weather by Frank Roylance on 7/14/09
The thermometer out at BWI-Marshall Airport touched 58 degrees this morning. That tied the record low for a July 14 in Baltimore. The last time we sank to 58 degrees on this date was in 2001, but there were other, prior years when we touched the same mark.
The lowest reading on record for Baltimore in July is 50 degrees, set on July 1, 1988 and again on July 3, 2001.
It was even colder than 58 elsewhere across the region. It was 53 degrees this morning at Dulles International Airport in northern Virginia. Hagerstown reached 57 degrees. It was 53 degrees on the WeatherDeck in Cockeysville.
Martinsburg, WV reported 49 degrees this morning. It was 47 degrees at York (Pa.) Airport.
Looks like 42 degrees was the lowest, out near Garrett County. We're headed for the mid-80s this afternoon, with very low humidities. The relative humidity here at The Sun at noon stands at 35 percent. The high temperature will crowd 90 by Thursday.
By: cws6196, 7:58 PM GMT on July 06, 2009
Around 1:00 am this morning I witnessed a bright flash, almost like an explosion, that lit the sky as if it were day. A few seconds later I heard a loud boom as if a thunder clap. I actually tuned the TV to check the weather radar for an errant thunderstorm, yet the skies were clear. Please see the article below that describes what I witnessed. Did any of you witness this as well?
A Mason-Dixon meteor?
via Maryland Weather by Frank Roylance on 7/6/09
We have been receiving reports today of a likely meteor over north-central Maryland and southern Pennsylvania early Monday morning.
Below are the first reports we have received.
The York Dispatch: In York County, Pa., police officers from Penn Township, Southwestern Regional and Newberry Township reported seeing a flash and hearing a boom around 1:15 a.m. Monday, July 6, according to local 911 centers. Officials in Harford County, Md. also reported seeing a flash and hearing a boom near the Mason-Dixon Line.
Capital Gazette: An Annapolis city police officer reported that she and her partner both saw what she described as a "bright blue light in the sky" just after midnight. It was followed by "a light with a tail, falling from the sky," according to our informant. Annapolis police reported hearing a similar report on Baltimore County police radio.
Gary Moon, reporting to The Sun's News Tips: "I heard and felt a deep earth blast similar to an earthquake, which shook my home in Glen Rock, Pa., early Monday morning. I thought I would hear MUCH more about this one ... nothing."
Deborah Markow, Havre de Grace: "Last night, couldn't sleep, went out on back deck, laid on lounge, eyes closed and then it was like someone pointed a flash light in my eyes it was so bright. I saw another one streak through the sky ... It was one of the most thrilling sights to behold a ball of fire flying through the sky."
I have not yet seen any meteor reports of this event on the American Meteor Society's Fireball Sightings Log, but it's early yet, and this fireball, coming in the wee hours after a long holiday, probably did not catch many people out and about.
Which makes reports like these, and yours, all the more important. If you saw this object, be sure to leave a report with the AMS, too.
But judging from the descriptions, it almost certainly was a fireball, which is simply an especially bright meteor, vaporizing with an impressive flash.
They are sometimes followed by a sonic boom, which would explain the booming noises in the reports. Some fireball observers - though none yet for this event - also report a crackling or hissing sound that is concurrent with the meteor's flash and which has never been fully explained scientifically.
Although meteor rates begin to pick up in July, this is not the peak time for any particular meteor shower. It seems likely this was a "sporadic," or isolated meteor that just happened to be especially big and bright. Big ones like this are always unexpected, always startling to witness, and always a thrill.