Central MD Weather Conditions

First weekend of Feb

By: cws6196, 10:59 PM GMT on January 31, 2010

update Saturday 3:45pm

It appears this storm has ended for us. I have 31 inches of very heavy wet snow. I lost power early this morning and still am waiting for it to come back. I know of several trees that have fallen and I saw reports of a building collapse in Southern MD. It was quite the storm to be sure. I am pleased this one was called right (all week actually). Now to the cleanup and to the Tuesday snow fall.

I appreciate everyone's comments and calls to the weather phone.

quick update Friday 8:00 pm

So far I have about 3 inches of very wet snow. As the temps drop the snow will "fluff" up a bit, but overall this event will be heavy snow event. I expect that close to Midnight we will see an increase in the snow rate where we could see up to 2 inches per hour.

As the low forms off of the coast and begins to deepen (bottom out) we could experience "thundersnow" (a Winter thunderstorm). This is a rare occurrence, so if you experience it please let me know.

The Weather Phone is being updated and I appreciate the comments left by people thus far.

The NWS has increased their total's forecast

Do not fear, the snow is still coming (for those who haven't yet seen it). The air is dry and it takes some time for it to moisten enough for the snow to reach the ground.

The NWS has increased their accumulation predictions, now coming in line with what I have been saying these past couple days - they are now reporting up to 30 inches! To quote a favorite cartoon character of mine: "That's what I said."

DCZ001-MDZ003>007-009>011-013-
014-016>018-501-502-VAZ021-025>031-
036>040-042-050>057-501-502-WVZ050>055-501>504-060100-
/O.CON.KLWX.WS.W.0006.000000T0000Z-100207T0300Z/

WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 PM EST
SATURDAY.

A WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 PM EST
SATURDAY.

* PRECIPITATION TYPE.HEAVY SNOW.

* ACCUMULATIONS.WIDESPREAD STORM TOTAL ACCUMULATIONS OF 20 TO 30
INCHES.WITH SOME LOCATIONS IN EXCESS OF 30 INCHES.

* TIMING.SNOW WILL CONTINUE THROUGH SAT EVENING. CONDITIONS
WILL DETERIORATE RAPIDLY THIS AFTERNOON.WITH HEAVIEST SNOWFALL
OCCURRING FROM SUNSET THROUGH SAT MORNING. THE MOST
HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS WILL OCCUR TONIGHT.

* VISIBILITIES.WIDESPREAD VISIBILITIES AROUND ONE-QUARTER MILE
ARE EXPECTED TONIGHT IN HEAVY SNOW. STRONG WINDS WILL COMBINE
WITH THE SNOW ALONG THE MD CHESAPEAKE BAY & TIDAL
POTOMAC RIVER TO REDUCE VISIBILITIES TO WELL BELOW ONE-QUARTER
MILE.PRODUCING NEAR-BLIZZARD CONDITIONS TONIGHT THROUGH
SAT MORNING.

* TEMPS.HIGHS IN THE LWR 30S TODAY. TEMPS WILL
BE IN THE MID TO UPPER 20S TONIGHT & SATURDAY.

* WINDS.BECOMING NE 10 TO 20 MPH LATE TODAY. GUSTS OF 20
TO 30 MPH TONIGHT & SATURDAY.HIGHER NEAR THE COAST.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS.

THIS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS STORM IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE RECORD
SNOWFALL FOR THE BALTIMORE & WA DC METROPOLITAN AREAS.
TRAVEL CONDITIONS TONIGHT ACROSS THE REGION WILL BE EXTREMELY
HAZARDOUS & LIFE-THREATENING. HELP YOUR LOCAL & STATE
GOVERNMENT FIRST RESPONDERS & TRANSPORTATION AGENCIES BY STAYING
OFF THE ROADS.

A WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE
EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. STRONG WINDS ARE ALSO POSSIBLE.ESPECIALLY
NEAR THE COASTLINE.


update Friday Midnight

Are we all ready for this? It's game day everyone! I have been talking about this storm since last weekend, and here we are. As I see it, for those in Central MD the precip should begin mid-morning and become heavier later in the afternoon (3:00 - 4:00). At this time it looks to be that the heaviest of the snowfall will happen after Midnight into Saturday morning where we could see 10 or so inches on the ground when we wake (might be more actually, will have to see how heavy the precip gets). The snow should end early evening Saturday with most in Central MD seeing 20 - 25 inches or more. Some locales could see close to 30 inches. For those in Southern MD the precip will begin sooner with the possibility of mixed precip turning to all snow for the remainder of the storm. Accumulations may be a bit less then those for Central MD.

This is how I see it now. Any tweaks will be done to accommodate radar echoes, speed and location of the Low which would effect accumulations. I would not be surprised to see my stated accumulations to be on the low side.

Let's get through this event first, but please keep in mind our next snow event is this Tuesday into Wednesday as I have mentioned the last day or so. Once the shock of this is over I will talk accumulations for Tuesday.

Please check the Weather Phone for updates and accumulations. Feel free to leave messages, comments, questions. Check out the interactive website: Baltimore Groundhog for custom accumulation maps and our take on the storm. Keep me posted on your totals as well.


update Thursday Noon

I am sending this update to basically say there is no update. All is on track as to my previous message. Two areas I may think about tweaking is the timing and the accumulation. As to the timing, the snow may begin earlier then the afternoon, possibly late morning. The accumulation may actually exceed my 20+" forecast and end up closer to 30".

I intend on putting out an extensive update tonight, but I don't foresee much change to what I have been saying.

Stay tuned to the Weather Phone and the website: Baltimore Groundhog


update Thursday midnight

The data is still showing quite the storm for us this weekend. As consistency exists I will now start getting a bit more specific. The only concern right now is with the position of the system and how much warm air from the South is drawn into the area. There is substantial cold air in place, so this shouldn't be too much of an issue. Mixed precip will most likely occur in Southern MD, and with it so close to Central MD, any shift in the system could bring more mixing into Central MD. But, to be honest, I don't see that happening.

Here is how I see it thus far: the precip for most will begin Friday afternoon (sooner the further South you are) and will be heavy at times, especially in the evening. By Saturday morning we should be waking to about 7 inches on the ground. The system should leave us late Saturday afternoon or early evening. Total accumulation about 20 inches or more.

The Weather Phone will be continually updated (unless I am shoveling) and don't forget to visit Randy and I at the website: Baltimore Groundhog


update Wednesday afternoon

I hope everyone enjoyed the beauty of the snow this morning. No matter your thoughts on thew white stuff, it did look great! Keep that sentiment in mind as you read the rest of this.

The latest data as well as the discussion from the local NWS appear to verify what I stated in my last post, namely, snow beginning Friday afternoon into Saturday late afternoon / early evening. I remain conservative in stating about 15 inches of accumulation, but to be honest, 20 or so is not out of the picture at all, with some local areas seeing more. The position and timing of the Low is the question still unanswered, although I still believe it will be positioned to allow Central MD to see the large accumulation. A change to what I said last time is that Southern MD could see mixed precip on Friday, again, depending on the position of the Low.

For those interested, here is an excerpt from this morning's NCEP discussion: "...MAJOR WINTER STORM OVER A PORTION OF THE MID ATLANTIC REGION LATE FRI/SAT... A VERY HEAVY EVEN CRIPPLING SNOW IS LOOKING LIKELY..."

As I mentioned in my post last night, I am also watching the potential for another system bringing us snow next Tuesday into Wednesday (remember, you heard it here first folks). Until we get through some of this weekend storm I wont say too much on the next storm, just to keep it on everyone's radar.

During this coming storm the Weather Phone will be updated regularly with accumulation figures as well as forecast detail and all warnings which will be issued. You can even leave a question or a comment.

NEW!!! Check out this website put together by another blogger on here where he and I are writing the content: Baltimore Groundhog Check it out. If you wish to post comments you will need to register (free).


update Wednesday midnight

It is nicely snowing here with over 3 inches on the ground thus far. The snow should be ending around 4:00 or 5:00 am.

The weekend continues to shape up to be a good storm for us. Still too early for anything definite, but as it looks now we are talking about snowfall from the afternoon of Friday into the afternoon of Saturday (or early evening). I do not want to nail down any totals at this time, but I am seeing data to support 15 inches or more. As with the last storm, this is all dependent on the track of the Low.

Just to mention, but again, too far out for any details, there is the "hint" of yet another snow storm for us next Tuesday into Wednesday .... Just thought I would prepare you. But, for now my focus is on shoveling my driveway and preparing an accurate forecast for this Friday - Saturday.


update Tuesday early afternoon

As you know the NWS has upped their accumulation amounts to 6 inches possible. Not too sure I agree with that, but I will say, as I have reviewed some of the latest data, that a shift in the system appears to be occurring which will bring us a bit more precip. I am confident in saying that those in Central MD can see 2 - 4 inches by the morning, with some locally heavy amounts.

I have updated the Weather Phone and will continue to do so as necessary.

update Tuesday midnight

Lots to look at and consider. Regarding Tuesday night, the precip moves in the from the South, so those in Southern MD could have precip midday, while those North of Baltimore won't see anything until the later afternoon or early evening. This wont be a major issue as I see only an inch or two of accumulation.

The weekend is still progressing and resembles a mixture of the December storm and last weekend's storm. At this time I see the precip happening Friday evening through most of Saturday. Snow accumulations exceeding 5" is not out of the question, and some data is showing much more then that (25 - 30"). But I don't want to get ahead of ourselves just yet.

Don't be surprised if later in the day Tuesday the NWS issues Winter Weather Advisories for the overnight. I will keep the weather phone up to date.


update Monday midnight

Gotta love the snow! Looks like Tuesday evening, after 6:00 or 7:00 pm, there is the possibility for us to see some snow. I am not as yet overly convinced, but I do see the possibility of an inch or two for Central and Southern MD. There is divergence in the data, but given the trends, I would say the inch or so is doable. I should have a more definitive statement for you Monday evening.

On to the weekend. It looks like the models are shaping up the weekend in a similar fashion to this past weekend. Although, in the recent model data run (0Z) it appears the low is moving off the Carolina coast; sound familiar? Again, given the trends of this Winter (December snow, this past weekend), I am more apt to pay attention to this even though the current data would say otherwise. The local NWS is giving us a 50% chance for snow this weekend. For them, that is significant this far away from the event.

Here is what the extended forecast discussion has to say about this weekend: "VERY HVY {heavy} PCPN {precipitation} EVENT SEEMS LIKELY FOR THE MID ATLC REGION SAT VERY POSSIBLY INTO SUN SPREADING NORTH AND NORTHEASTWARD. A SIGNIFICANT WINTER WEATHER THREAT IS POSSIBLE. HIGHER CONFIDENCE IN THE STRONG ONSHORE WIND CONSENSUS FOR A PROLONGED PERIOD OF TIME ALONG THE SOUTHEAST AND MID ATLC SEABOARD WITH BEACH EROSION/COASTAL FLOODING FRIDAY INTO SUNDAY." {brackets mine}

original: Sunday evening 31st

Well, preliminary data looks like Winter is far from over. As of now we should see some snow Tuesday night and most of this coming weekend.

I will say more after I review some updates, but suffice it to say, looks like another interesting weekend on tap.

As a reminder, the Weather Phone always up to date and you may leave questions or comments after the beep. The number is to the right of the screen in my bio.

Updated: 8:52 PM GMT on February 06, 2010

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end of January

By: cws6196, 5:55 AM GMT on January 25, 2010

big tweak ... oops

"mea culpa, mea culpa" ....... I did mess this one up. I should have stuck to my guns as my original thinking was about 10" for Central MD. But no, I did what I complain others do; I followed the models and not what I thought best. I do hope I have learned from this.

It does appear Central MD will see close to 8" if not more, and Southern MD 10" if not more.

slight tweak

Southern MD should see 6 or more inches and snowfall most of Saturday into the evening. Everything else I previously stated I stand by.

forecast for the weekend

I waited to send this so I could analyze the latest data and to look for trends and consistency. As you all know, I don't want to sensationalize or jump to conclusions. Given the uncertainty of this storm I waited to provide specifics so I could be confident that what I am providing is what will happen, not what I want to happen.

That said, it does appear that this storm will stay to the South of us. For those in Central MD I see precip happening early Saturday morning (4:00 or 5:00 am) with total accumulation of an inch or so. For those in Southern MD the precip will begin earlier and will be a bit heavier, accumulations around 3 inches or so.

This is my story and I am sticking to it; but keep in mind my previous post and how a slight shift in the low can change things. A slight shift northward could give Central MD more snow. But, even if that happens, no more then 3 - 5 inches.

Next week Tues and Wed we could experience mixed precip or snow, but with little accumulation.


update Wednesday Noon

The model data is going through it's usual ups and downs with the storm system. I am still confident in a snow event, but don't yet have enough consistent data to say more. It does appear though that this will be a late Friday into Saturday event.

But, allow me a moment to explain why a coastal low is so difficult to forecast. A low pressure system spins counterclockwise. So imagine this spinning motion coming up the coast and going out to sea South of MD. The spin on the right side would bring up sea moisture while the return spin on the left side would dump it over the Eastern shore or off the coast. Now picture that same low moving inland up the coast. When it nears MD the right side of the rotation is bringing up sea moisture and warm Southern air, dumping it as rain over Baltimore while the left side of the rotation draws down the cold air from the North and it snows in Western MD. Again, imagine the low moving up the coast where the right side spins up the sea moisture and the left side spins down the cold air, dumping snow on Baltimore.

This is exactly why it is difficult to forecast a coastal low. As the low tracks up the coast, a shift to the left or the right (West or East) changes our precip from either rain to snow. We need the track to be just right for the heavy snowfall to occur here. Model data tries to analyze and plot the course, but as I stated, a slight shift in either direction changes the precip type.

I hope to have details for you either late tonight or tomorrow as well as my "official" forecast. I hope this explanation helped.


update Tuesday early morning

Just a quick update on the snow this weekend. I am making this quick as it is still early in the week so I don't want to say too much at this time. But, that said, there is consistency in the data, similar to the snow the weekend in December when we saw 20 inches. This does appear to be a coastal low coming up from TX which is both good and bad; good in that these systems bring us the most snow fall, bad in that the track is key to how much snow we actually see. I don't want to talk amounts just yet, but suffice it to say, it should be measurable. At this time I see this as a Friday into Saturday event, but the timing could change as it is a ways off.

original

As the week progresses the temps will come back down to normal for this time of the year. As I mentioned in my last post (my mea culpa for last Friday) there is talk of snow storms the end of this week into mid-February. Well, doesn't look like it is merely talk or speculation. I don't want to say much at this time as it is too early, but know I have concerns for the end of this week, and I am not alone with those concerns.

Updated: 8:31 PM GMT on January 30, 2010

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hopeful but doubtful

By: cws6196, 4:30 PM GMT on January 17, 2010

reflection on lack of storm

Hmmmm....... nothing happened yesterday. All I can say is I can't always get it right. hehe But seriously, I take solace in knowing that every other weather forecaster had the same forecast as I. See what happens when there is agreement? There were factors, such as intensity of the low and timing, etc that messed up the forecast. But then again, don't mess with Mother Nature. The bottom line: I got it wrong and take responsibility for that. Hopefully this is not the norm.

As I have been reading my weather "sources" it appears there is a growing trend of opinion that Winter will return to the area by the end of next week and through February. One source is calling for us to see another 20 inches before Spring appears. I will do my best to keep you all posted. For the near future, no significant weather is in the forecast.


update Wednesday late evening

As I mentioned in my previous post, this is not an easy storm to forecast for many reasons. But basically what I have been saying remains to be true with a couple minor tweaks. For those in Southern MD this will be a rain event for you until Friday afternoon when you could see some snow, but nothing major. Precip for you should start Thursday afternoon. For those along the MD/PA line you could see more of the freezing mix and snow then those in Central MD where the precip begins Thursday evening and will be a mixed bag of rain, snow, and sleet. Come Friday late afternoon into the evening the precip should turn to all snow with accumulations around an inch to two.

Expect winter weather statements and advisories to be posted by the NWS. I will keep the weather phone updated: 443-470-9804


update Tuesday late evening

To sum it up: a mess. So far I am sticking to my "mainly rain" forecast of my last post, but given the temps we could see a slushy wintry mixture. Those in Southern MD will see this as rain with only minor (if any) slush mess.

Here's the issue: this is a coastal low, difficult to forecast in it's own right. The complicating factor is the temps. It has been warm these past few days and there will be a bit more warm air moving into the area ahead of the low. The data shows an atmosphere near the surface which is below zero, but a surface with temps in the mid 30s. So, will the surface temps really stay above freezing or not? That is the complication. At this time I see that it will, thus the rain and slushy mess forecast. But if those surface temps do drop below zero .... hmmmm ..... Currently I would say those along the MD/PA line could see white precip as well as those to the farther West of Baltimore.

I see the precip beginning late Thursday night (afternoon or so for Southern MD) and lasting until late Friday. I will know more late Wednesday when I can compare the data trend with the reality of what is forming. I will keep you posted.


original post

Had today been snow as I wanted we could have been looking at a foot or so. Oh well. The next system I am watching is this Wednesday evening into Thursday. To be honest, I see it mainly as a rain event. So why am I mentioning it? With the temps at night it could begin as snow Wednesday night changing over to rain Thursday. Because of the chance for it to start as snow, and as this is a coastal low, any shift in speed or direction could change things. So, I figure I will keep an eye on it and just wanted all of you to know of this possibility. But again, at this point I see it as a rain event.

Updated: 5:17 PM GMT on January 23, 2010

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January snow storm coming?

By: cws6196, 4:58 AM GMT on January 11, 2010

update Thursday morning

In my last post I promised a more definite forecast by Thursday. As much as I hate to say this, I do believe we will experience a rain event for most of the day Sunday. The data does indicate a low off the coast, and had it not been for this warmer air, we would be looking toward quite the strong snow storm, especially this time of the year. But with all the warm air in place, I just don't see where this system can find the cold air to draw from. That said, don't be surprised if some of you see some snow flakes mixed with the rain, or short periods of snowfall on Sunday, but the primary precip will be rain with no winter accumulation to be found.

At this time I don't see any storms on the horizon.

update Wednesday Midnight

Allow me to again stress how I am reluctant to forecast too far in advance. The model data has been all over the place, and for those forecasters who simply follow the models, they are already changing the forecast for Sunday to rain. Even though they may be correct, it is too early to say that an adjustment in the models absolutely means it will stay that way.

The complication is how the models are handling the low and it's position. Some of them place the low closer to us and the coast, while others place it further South and more out to sea. Right now what I am waiting to see is how warm the week will actually become. The forecast is for a warming trend, but I am not convinced it will be as warm as forecast. If that is true, there will be more cold air Sunday then the models are taking into account. Another scenario I can see is the event beginning as rain and later turning to snow as the low pushes into New England and the counter-clockwise rotation brings down the cold air into our area.

All that said, I still feel we will see snow on Sunday, just not yet sure as to when and amounts. It is still early in the week. I will keep you posted and hope to have something more definite by Thursday or so.

original post

Just remember, it is only the beginning of January, time is still available for snow storms. The next system I am keeping an eye on is the end of this weekend. But first, just to mention about the snow Monday night. "What snow" you say? Actually that is what I said when I heard it on the local forecast. No worries as I see it. There is a small clipper moving in and that is why there is mention of snow. But, as we saw Friday, even a good clipper brings only a couple inches, so out of this, for those that do see snow, it will be a dusting or so. Nothing to be excited about.

What we can be excited about is the next possibility. As you know, I don't like long range forecasts, but I mention this for two reasons: to let you know there "could" be an issue, and because the quite conservative local NWS has already mentioned it (I like to trump them, not the other way around, hehe). Here is what they said in their latest discussion: "THE UPPER LOW WILL PUSH OVER THE TX GULF COAST...BECOME A BIT BETTER ORGANIZED BUT THEN MAKE A FAIRLY QUICK MOVE TOWARD THE ATLC COAST INTO NEXT WEEKEND /AFTER POSSIBLY PHASING WITH A WEAK UPPER WAVE OVER THE WRN GREAT LAKES/." In other words, a Gulf low up the coast (snow producers for us) which may combine with a system from the Great Lakes.

More to be revealed ...

Updated: 3:54 PM GMT on January 14, 2010

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end of week snow

By: cws6196, 2:28 PM GMT on January 02, 2010

update after storm

Well, all I received was an inch of snow. It appears the low moved further North bringing in the dry slot quicker and further East. But this is typically true for us with clippers; they are fast and moisture starved. This is why I had kept my forecast to 3", but even that was high. It did look nice! And for those snow lovers, keep in mond it is still only the beginning January; more time for more snow!

update Wednesday Midnight

I have completed a fairly comprehensive review of the data and model info and feel that my previous post is on track with what will happen the end of this week. We are talking about a clipper and not a gulf formed low off the coast, a big difference. My confidence in this forecast is quite high considering we are still a few days out from the event. This forecast is true for all of MD. Those to the far West and into PA could see a bit more snow while those in Southern MD a bit less.

As I see it: the snowfall will begin after Midnight (1:00 am) Thursday into Friday with the precip moving from the West to the East (so determine your start time according to your geographic location). Given the liquid in the air and the temps, I am forecasting an average of 3 inches with a range of 3 - 5 inches. The snow will end, again, West to East, late morning Friday, sometime after 10:00 am.

The local NWS is typically very conservative in their long range forecasting, but here is their recent AFD: "NEXT MAJOR WX MAKER WL BE AN ALBERTA CLIPPER THU EVE/FRI MRNG. ATMOSPHERE CERTAINLY LOOK COLD...SO P-TYPE NOT A QUSTN...SHOULD BE SNOW. SVRL INCHES WL BE PSBL...ALTHO IT IS TOO ERLY TO BE DISCUSSING AMTS."

Expect Winter advisories, warnings, etc to be issued sometime Thursday. I will keep you posted here and on my weather phone ( 443-470-9804 ). Mid next week still looks interesting ....


update Tuesday early morning

We are still too far out for definitely, but I am more convinced that what we will see is nothing compared to those in NJ and North. This system is primary a clipper coming from the NW with the possibility of a low forming off the coast, but given the current tracking of the systems, a low forming off the coast will not be in a position to effect us to any great degree. I hesitantly and cautiously say we are looking at accumulation of around 3 inches or so, more for those West of Baltimore.

I will keep you posted on this and the next potential problem on the 13th.


original post
On to the next storm. This has been quite the hectic late Fall into Winter thus far. For those who have been following my posts will know I am not reactionary, rather conservative so as to provide forecasts based on data. Nor do I typically forecast too far in advance. But, this is different. The data has been somewhat consistent over the past days to say there is something brewing the end of the week. It will be a snow event; to what magnitude I will wait to say until another couple days.

Updated: 12:19 AM GMT on January 10, 2010

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Happy New Year

By: cws6196, 9:52 PM GMT on January 01, 2010

Wishing everyone a very Happy and Peace-filled New Year! I appreciate your support in 2009 and look forward to forecasting in 2010.

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About cws6196

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.

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