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, 2:04 PM GMT on December 27, 2010
as of 10:00 am WWA Canceled This means accumulations will be less then 3" ...
update Saturday Jan 8 morning
The Winter Weather Advisory is still in effect and the NWS is saying 4 inches of snow for the area. Why do I mention this? I'm still not convinced we will see the 4 inches the NWS thinks we will see.
A look at the radar shows a band of snow to our West moving into the area. The band is moving quickly, hence why I feel we will only see an inch to 2 as I stated yesterday. The NWS feels the band will slow considerably when it reaches here, thus dumping more snow. I guess we will see who gets the prize, but for me, I am sticking with my 2 inches (some locally heavy snow showers may give some scattered neighborhoods a bit more).
Later today I will put out an update on the Tuesday storm, which has the "potential" to be big.
The Weather Phone (443-470-9804) is updated and feel free to leave questions and snow amounts on the Phone.
update Friday Jan 7 afternoon
I hope you all enjoyed the nice dusting this morning. As I look over the reports it appears most people experienced a trace to an inch or so of accumulation.
I am writing to update my previous statement regarding snow tomorrow. I had stated that snow may occur through Saturday but only sporadically. Well, here is the update - looks like it will be a bit more then sporadic. Those in Southern MD and East of I-95 could see accumulations of over an inch, possibly 2 or so, while everyone else could see up to an inch. Snow may start later tonight and last through Saturday morning, ending around Noon.
Over the weekend I will have an update on Tuesday's possible storm.
update Thursday Jan 6 Midnight
So far we are on track for Friday's snow. As I write this there is radar indicated snow West of Baltimore Co, although there are some reports in Balt Co of light snowfall. This is expected as I did mention the possibility for snow Thursday night, probably after Midnight (11:00 or so is close enough for Mother Nature). I still see us only having an inch or so when all is said and done. Some locally higher accumulations, but nothing above 3 inches. All should be out of here about Noon or so, but stray showers possible through Saturday.
Still watching the next storm which could hit us Tuesday. Still not sure exactly it's impact, but a Low will move through the South and exit into the Atlantic, forming a Low off the coast. The question still remains if it will go out to sea or up the coast. There are many variables at this time, so, since we will have snow Friday, let's just enjoy the moment and worry about Tuesday later. I'm also still looking at more snow the 18th or so.
update Wednesday Jan 5 Midnight
Just wanted to give a quick update to the snow on Friday. Looks like light snowfall will begin late Thursday into Friday morning, affecting the morning commute. Snow should taper off by Noon'ish or so. Accumulation: under 3 inches with most people seeing a dusting to an inch. Those closer to the PA line and in Northern Harford Co could see an inch or so more then the rest of us.
I would not be surprised to see the NWS issue Winter weather statements later Thursday. I am still tracking the next two systems I have been talking about, namely early to mid next week and the following weekend.
I will keep the Weather Phone updated.
update Tuesday Jan 4 Midnight
"The times, they are a changing..." Great song and great line. I quote the song not so much for this Friday's snow as much as I quote it for next week. But first ...
The snow for this Friday is still on track with what I have been saying. Timing looks to be Friday morning continuing throughout the day. As previously mentioned accumulation will be less then 3 inches with most people seeing only a dusting or so. My concern with this system, and it is far fetched, but I feel I need to mention it: the "clipper" system will be forming a Low off the coast, but just about around the PA/MD/DE line area off the coast. This position is not at all favorable to bring us a large storm, hence what I have been saying about only a dusting of snow. But, if that Low were to form further South, and only further South by about 30 - 50 miles or so, the story could be different. That is all that is needed; a shift of only 50 miles could bring us a good accumulation of snow. BUT, I don't see this happening (for many reasons). But the long shot possibility does exist. Of course I will be watching this.
Ok, onto the reason for the song quote - I have been predicating a stronger storm for us next weekend, the 14. Well, as we get closer to the event it appears the time-line is a changing. We are now looking at the chance for a Winter storm next Tuesday to Thursday. I don't want to say too much this far out, but I have been talking about this for a while now, and I do see it as a chance for multiple inches of snow.
If all this isn't enough, another system shows itself around the 18th of January, but could very well move closer and hit the weekend of the 14th. So, I may possibly have had it correct, and with a "bonus" storm mid-week.
I will keep you posted and will keep the Weather Phone updated.
update Monday Jan 3 evening
Well, here we are, the first update of the new year! I am pleased to see that as of today the local NWS and local newscasters finally picked up on the snow chance the end of this week as I have been mentioning since before Christmas. But, before I or anyone else gets all excited, remember this is the Winter for snows to mainly miss us and dump to the West and North of us (as we have been seeing).
In my last post on Dec 30th I mentioned the chance for snow between Thursday and the weekend, but the precip of snow would be light. Well, no change there. It does appear we will experience a clipper of sorts with a Low around the Great Lakes spinning to the NE. This flow will bring opportunities for snow, but again keeping in mind the nature of this Winter, plus the trending to a neutral NAO, any snows we do receive will be light with accumulations well under 3 inches. Timing: I'm still not completely sure, but most would see snow on Friday possibly lasting into Saturday.
It is the other system that I am liking better: this is the system I also mentioned on the 30th; the nicely developing storm (by the data) for the weekend of the 14th. I know this is too far off for much certainty, but there has been enough consistency in the model runs for me to at least keep an eye on it. There is a good chance it will slightly miss us to the North, but this is an impressive system if it does hit us. I will keep checking it for consistency in the data.
So that is that for now. As I have been saying, this will not be a Winter like last year, but it is not yet over and we will see some snow. So start getting excited!! (the holidays are over, nothing else to get excited about)
I will be keeping the Weather Phone updated (443-470-9804)
update Thurs Dec 30 morning
As I first mentioned prior to Christmas, there is a good chance for us to see snow the first week of January. When I wrote that I was looking at the 3rd to the 5th, but now the timing is pushed back. Our next snow chance is the end of next week, Thursday into the weekend of the 8th. That system would more then likely not bring us too much in the form of accumulation, but there is another shot for snow the following weekend (14-15), and at this time it looks quite impressive.
Since both of these storms are quite some distance from us, I will not be providing daily updates until it does get closer. This weekend we could see rain Saturday into Sunday with temps well above freezing. See you all in the New Year with more updates on the snow!
update Tues Dec 28
Will post a more complete update tomorrow, but am looking at the chance for rain this weekend and then snow mid next week. This would be a system coming from the NW. More to come tomorrow.
original post Dec. 27 morning
As I mentioned back on Dec. 23, there is the potential for snow the first week of the new year. The local NWS has now begun to talk about it as well. More to come in a couple days.
Here is the latest NWS discussion. This could be interesting: ".LONG TERM /WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY/...
MED-LONG RANGE GUIDANCE INDICATING THAT THOUGH THE CNTRL/SRN PLAINS STORM SYSTEM WILL BE STRONG AND BEGIN A TREK TOWARD THE EAST THU/FRI...AT LEAST A COUPLE OF UPPER LEVEL TRANSITIONS COULD TAKE PLACE BEFORE THE SYSTEM MAKES A MOVE EAST OF THE MS RVR. A DEEP UPPER TROUGH THAT DIGS DOWN INTO THE DESERT SW WILL KEEP WAVE AFTER WAVE OF VORTICIES READY TO SPIN-UP A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM EAST OF THE ROCKIES. WHICH ONE WILL EVENTUALLY PULL THE SYSTEM EWD WILL MONITORED OVER THE COMING DAYS."
Updated: 3:13 PM GMT on January 08, 2011
By: cws6196, 6:49 PM GMT on December 13, 2010
update Sunday night - Final
This has been quite the ride since mid-December when I first started talking about this. All in all we did not receive the blizzard conditions I thought would happen, but the storm did develop and is a blizzard to our North. I received a dusting, maybe 0.25" but with the wind blowing it around it is hard to tell. I appreciate everyone's comments and look forward to the next storm.
As I mentioned back on Dec. 23, there is the potential for snow the beginning of the new year. The local NWS has now begun to talk about it as well. See you on my next blog posting.
update Sunday afternoon
Here is the latest from the NWS. I must say that this forecast has been an up and down one for me. From the emotional high of yesterday to looking at the dusting of now, when I figured there would be 5 inches by now. But, I will not complain as I do love snow. From the reports I have seen, it appears St. Mary's County thus far wins the award with 3+ inches. I hear Eastern Baltimore Co is receiving a fair amount of snow. I have a dusting with light snow falling.
I am not saying this storm is over, but we will not see the 8 inches I forecast. We should still see 2 or so inches by the time this is over. I will not be surprised if later this evening the NWS doesn't issue wind and wind chill advisories. If they do I will keep you posted.
As I mentioned before Christmas, the next system I am watching is the first week of January with snow potential coming from the West.
WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 AM EST
A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 AM EST
* PRECIPITATION TYPE.SNOW.
* ACCUMULATIONS.1 TO 2 INCHES.
* TIMING.LIGHT SNOW WILL FALL OVER THE AREA THIS EVENING AND
THEN TAPER OFF BETWEEN 11 PM & 3 AM.
* TEMPS.FALLING INTO THE LWR TO MID 20S TONIGHT.
* WINDS.NORTH 15 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 35 MPH THIS AFTERNOON
& EVENING. NW 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 40 MPH
A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE
TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SLIPPERY ROADS & LIMITED
VISIBILITIES.& USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.
update Sunday morning
Don't worry, the snow is coming ... another hour or so it should start. The rest of my forecast remains as previously mentioned. I will watch the track and let you know if there are any major variations to the check which would effect accumulations.
Feel free to comment here or leave me a voice message on the Weather Phone with your current conditions and accumulations.
update Christmas afternoon
What a wonderful Christmas gift - lightly falling snow, family, music and tree lights - gotta love it!
Ok, so where do we now stand since everyone is back on board with this storm. Where you are located on Sunday will determine what you experience. But, here is what everyone will see Sunday - lots of snow with very strong gusty winds, therefore blowing and drifting snow! Not quite blizzard conditions, but close. Those on the Eastern shore and in Southern MD will experience the snow first and will have higher accumulations. Those in Harford Co will also have more then those in Baltimore Co, although it appears there is a fine line, almost cutting Baltimore Co in half with the Eastern half seeing more then the Western half. But the weather is never that defined.
Accumulations: I am looking at Southern MD, Harford Co and Eastern Balt Co as over 10 inches (and that could change in subsequent updates). The rest of the area could see 8 - 10 inches (conservatively speaking).
Timing: Southern MD will see snowfall later tonight with the rest of us seeing snow after Midnight. By Noon or so Sunday this will be cranking up, but the heaviest snowfall and strongest winds will be closer to dinner time and early Sunday evening.
I will keep the Weather Phone updated, and feel free to leave me voice messages on the Weather phone as to accumulations and conditions.
I hope to have another update later tonight, but definitely tomorrow morning. The updates will be sporadic Sunday afternoon as I keep up with cleaning the driveway. Enjoy and stay safe!!
By the way - I am still tracking our next snow the first week of January (as I first mentioned a couple days ago). ...
update Christmas morning
Well, I have snow flakes falling!!!! We are under a Winter Storm Watch for tomorrow wit the NWS saying 5 inches plus .. sound familiar? As I have family commitments this morning, I will give an update later today. But suffice it to say, we could be seeing 5 inches tomorrow or more. I will keep you posted. Today, as I previously mentioned, we could see snow showers with little accumulation, but nonetheless it should look nice!
More to come later. I will keep the Weather Phone (443-470-9804)updated.
update Christmas Eve Noon
This is one of the toughest forecasts I have ever had to do. The difficulty lies in the model data, La Nina, and my gut. For those new to this list, what I have been saying about this Winter is that due to La Nina we will miss most of the strong storms, with the snows landing to the West and North of us most of the time. And that has proven true thus far this Winter. So, one would think that I would go along with that and say "forget it" for this storm. But I just can't. Most forecasters and even, to a degree, the NWS has given up on this. Here is my take ...
I think we all have been looking at the wrong Low. A coastal Low will form, and it is this Low we have all been watching as to it's location to the coast. I have also mentioned the phasing notion, the combination of the coastal Low to the trough. But, what if the the "real" storm were the upper level Low associated with the trough. As phasing occurs, and as the upper Low gets closer, could it not bring the coastal Low closer to the coast (since a Low spins counter clockwise)? I think the models are focusing on the development and movement of the coastal Low that it is not as yet getting a handle on the phasing, thus moving the Low closer to the coast.
Ok, so what am I saying? I am sticking with my previous forecast of 5" (probably not much more then that). I will tweak the timing back toward Christmas afternoon into Sunday, as I had originally been saying last week.
HONESTLY I am going out on a limb here and typically don't do this nor like this "limb" territory, but maybe it is my Christmas spirit, but I just can't say this won' bring us snow. I do think that what I have been saying for the past week or so is what will happen. Not a blizzard, but a white Christmas.
I will update as I can today, but with church and family time I cannot guarantee it.
update Friday midnight
I really hate to say this but ... there is still too much uncertainty for me to say much for sure about the storm this weekend. What I will say is that I am not as yet backing off of the storm as are most forecasters. The model data still has the storm to the East of the coast, and probably not phasing (joining) with the trough. But, I am not yet giving it up because of what I said earlier when I talked about the models. It does appear the models are trying to account for the presence of the Low as well as the trough and so trying to get a handle on the "real world" data. I would like to see the Friday morning model runs, looking for any movement to the West.
So, what does all this mean? I am sticking with what I have been saying for some time now - Sunday afternoon into Monday we could have measurable snowfall of about 5 inches or more, dependent upon the track of the Low. But, as I have also been saying, the Low could move too far off the coast and we get nothing. But for now I am sticking with the former scenario.
I should be giving an update late morning Friday or early afternoon.
update Thursday afternoon
I am going to let the model data do some fluctuations then look more closely later tonight. As many others have already given up on the storm, I am not as yet ready to do so, although I have always stated in my posts that there was the possibility for this to be a bust. So, that may still happen, I am just not yet ready to say that based on one day's worth of data contrary to a week's worth of data.
Here is what the NWS stated in their most recent discussion: "WE CANT COMPLETELY LET THE GUARD DOWN JUST YET AS THERE REMAINS A DEGREE OF UNCERTAINTY WITH THE EXACT TRACK OF THIS STORM. THEREFORE ALL INTERESTED PARTIES SHOULD CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS."
update Thursday Midnight
These are fun times, that's for sure. The timing of the storm is now making it a post Christmas storm, so probably not a white Christmas for the area. It appears the snow could start Sunday afternoon and last into Monday. If the Low tracks as the data predicts, and the timing is such that it interacts (phases) with the flow from the North (trough), then we are looking at a good size storm. There is still the chance that the timing will be off or it will track more into the Atlantic, but I actually do not see that happening.
I really don't want to put down accumulations right now, maybe Friday, but I will say that on the conservative end we could be looking at 5 inches, while on the far end it could be way much more then that. But let me see more definite data before making any solid forecasts as to amount. Now that the Low is on land, it can be tracked by radar and satellite so I will have a better idea of how it is actually tracking across the country. But, not that I would normally say this so far out, but as it is a big travel weekend, we could be in for very strong winds and a hefty accumulation. I just want people to be prepared.
Not to completely freak people out, but I am beginning to follow our next potential snow maker Jan 3-5 or so. Just want to keep you all on your toes.
update Wednesday Midnight
"...I'm dreaming of a white Christmas ..." This is the closest I come to actually singing. I have been looking at the models and conferring with others, and it still looks good for snow for us this weekend. Timing and intensity are still an issue and an unknown. If the system slows down or speeds up, or is close to the coast or far from the coast all make a difference. For us to see high accumulations we need the timing and the distance to be just right. And this far out, computer models and data will not give us any answers with certainty.
Here is what I know for sure though: we will see snow this weekend, more then likely beginning early Christmas afternoon into Sunday. I don't see it starting any time Friday, but there is a chance for it to snow Sunday into Monday. I see the first scenario as more likely though. I still don't want to talk accumulations, but it will most likely be more then an inch and less then 3 feet - hehe - how's that for a spread. More will be revealed as the week progresses. What is nice now though is that the Low is on land in CA and so now I can watch it on radar and satellite to gauge timing and direction without completely relying on computer models and data. This will help greatly.
I will keep you posted and keep the Weather Phone updated.
update Monday afternoon
Well, doesn't look like we will see any measurable snow tomorrow from the clipper. It is not very strong and will be further South then originally thought. There is a slight chance that some may see local snowfall (West of Baltimore Co), but even so it will be light.
The Christmas storm is still in the works as I feel a Low will form off the coast. The location of the formation and it's proximity to the coast are what I am still researching. Unfortunately those variables wont be known until later in the week. I continue to stand by my forecast that we will have snow on Christmas. I am still uncertain as to the amount. But, without locking myself into anything, we could be looking at 6 inches to a foot (or more depending on the position of the Low).
update Sunday morning
Those who follow this blog know I don't like long-range forecasts, but since Christmas is a big travel day and people need to make plans, I will stay on this. If nothing else, it gives you something to keep in mind.
Cautions: I do have cautions about this; 1. this is a La Nina Winter, 2. the GFS (has not been overly reliable this season, 3. the NAO will be neutral / positive, 4. this is a storm from the West, traditionally not a large snow maker for us (coastal storms are).
BUT - all that said, there are conditions in place which could make this a snow maker for us. There is the "potential" for us to see a foot or more of snow from Friday into Saturday (kinda reminds of the Christmas Day in the movie "Christmas Story"). So, even though I have concerns does not mean I do not feel we will see snow. I just want to give all sides of this. As this is still a week away I am not yet committing to snow fall totals. What I am committing to is that most of us should see the white stuff Christmas.
This morning's HPC Preliminary Extended Forecast Discussion stated: "...INCREASING CHANCES FOR A MAJOR WINTER STORM FROM THE MIDWEST TO THE EAST COAST TOWARD CHRISTMAS... THE FORECAST MODELS AND ENSEMBLES AGREE QUITE WELL. THIS SETS THE STAGE FOR POTENTIAL FOR A SIGNIFICANT SWATH OF WINTER PCPN ACROSS THE NATION AND LEADING TO WELL ORGANIZED HOLIDAY WEEKEND EAST COAST WINTER STORM CYCLOGENESIS. THE FLOW REGIME CERTAINTY SUPPORTS A BUSY/STORMY HOLIDAY PERIOD."
Regarding Tuesday, I am looking more at an inch or so for the area. The clipper does not look as strong as before, and a Low off the coast will keep it starved for moisture and weaken it. More detail on that Monday.
update Saturday evening - 1 week to Christmas
Interesting times we have before us. First, regarding this weekend, I am sticking with my last post of the possibility of an inch in Central MD, although I do feel that is even high. The low is off the coast of the Carolinas and is generally moving to the NNE. Southern MD and the Eastern Shore of MD could see a couple inches from now through Sunday early afternoon.
The other two systems I am watching is a clipper on Tuesday and a storm on Christmas. In an uncharacteristic move by the local NWS, they already have us with a 50% chance for snow on Christmas. Regarding Tuesday, if the clipper does come over us it would be a repeat of the clipper last week. If the storm hits us on Christmas we could be talking a foot or more! But wait, there's more ... not really but I wanted to say that. My caution to us all with Christmas is that it is a week away and the models will do their typical dance. But, it does look like we will have a white Christmas!!! It may be an inch or it may be a foot or more, but it will be white!
I will post at least daily updates for both Tuesday and Christmas. The Weather Phone (443-470-9804) will be updated daily, just not sure what time each day.
update Friday evening
Well, as much as I hate to say it, but I don't see us getting a snow storm this weekend. The coastal Low will form, but will be too far out to sea for us to have effects. There is a slight chance it will drift to the West, and any drift brings us more chance for snow. But, I don't see this as happening. To be safe (and hopeful), I will say there is a chance for Central MD to see an inch of accumulation. Right now it appears Southern MD could see a couple inches and the Eastern Shore could see half a foot. Any snowfall will begin in the early hours of Sunday.
For those who do wish for a white Christmas I am following a clipper on Tuesday and another possible coastal storm Christmas morning.
If there are any indications of a shift to the West for this weekend I will post an update. Otherwise, if you don't hear from me assume no snow for us this time.
update Friday very early
Well, the next 2 areas I am watching is this weekend and Tuesday. For the latter, Tuesday, there is a chance for another clipper system like Thursday's to dump another inch or so. But that is too far out. Let's talk the real threat - this weekend.
Still not sure what will happen this weekend, and I don't like that. But here is what I do know: a coastal Low will develop late Saturday off the Caroline or Georgia coast and move Northward. If we have snow, it will start after midnight Saturday into Sunday, ending Sunday evening. Options include: this system moves out to sea and we don't have anything (what the models have been saying); or it is a storm to only effect the Eastern Shore (more of what the guidance now tells us); or we get hit with a coastal storm (possibility). As the models have been doing their thing they have slowly moved the low closer to the West, to the coast. As it does so that means more snow for more of MD, including Central MD.
If I were a betting man, I wouldn't lay money on this, at least not yet. What concerns me is that the models are trending this more to the West, and the cold air is definitely in place. I should know more Friday evening. I wold though, prepare that we could get more snow. I don't really want to talk accumulations, but depending on the position of the Low we could be looking at a dusting to 5+ inches. If the Low hugs the coast we could see 12+ inches of accumulation. There are just too many variables right now.
I will have another update Friday evening and will then be more definitive in my forecast.
update Thursday very early
This is a challenging Winter to forecast and it isn't even yet Winter, go figure. I have been reviewing the data and thinking about historical trends this season thus far and thinking of the La Nina factor; but my thoughts go back to simpler times, like last Winter when a blizzard on the models was a blizzard on the ground. Not this season.
Ok, enough commentary. In my last post I mentioned that I did not see much happening Thursday for Central MD, and as far as accumulation goes I said an inch or less. Let me expound further. Now that the event is near I don't have to only rely on computer models but can look at current radar and satellite images. I am sticking with my 1 inch forecast for Central MD, but putting in the possibility of locally heavier amounts for some. Now those in Southern MD could see 2-3 inches with locally heavier amounts. They are currently under an advisory. As to timing: Southern MD will see some snow early in the morning around 7 or so, while the rest of us should start to see snow around 11 or so.
Concern: I will say that the current radar images show more moisture in the current system then the models predicted, and a shift of the Low further North will increase the accumulations for Central MD. But, given this is a clipper and not a coastal storm, I will stay put (but there is a part of me that screams 3+ is gonna happen ....).
Onward to the weekend: again, I am sticking with my previous forecast of either nothing happening or an inch or so. If this does happen, those in Southern MD and the Eastern Shore of MD would see higher accumulations then the Baltimore area. But, the Low which will move across the US has only just begun to enter CA, so let me wait and see what it does in trends to get a better idea of a forecast. I just really am not trusting the model data.
I would not be surprised have advisories or watches issued for the Baltimore area later today. I will keep you posted and will have the Weather Phone (443-470-9804)updated. As always, feel free to leave me voice messages or comments here as to your local conditions.
update Tuesday late night
Not too sure if we will see a white Christmas, although some seem to think we will.
Ok, so what's happening: there are two potential systems out there. The first one is for this Thursday as a clipper moves down to the South. Given certain dynamics, I do feel this clipper will move too far to our South for us to feel anything. Southern MD may see some snow, but probably not Central MD and North. Although, a slight shift of the low to the North could bring us snow. Although I don't see that happening. IF it does snow Thursday it would begin around Noon with accumulations only 1 inch or so; if it happens.
The next system is a coastal Low Saturday night into Sunday. If you recall, it is these set ups which bring us the big snows. But, again, there is the potential, but I am not confident in it happening this time (as much as I want to be confident). Here are my concerns: the La Nina factor, model agreement to bring the low too far out to sea, the blocking high pressure over Canada will be too far to the West and too far South to draw this up the coast. If anything, we could see an inch or so on Sunday. But, if I am wrong, there is the potential for high snow accumulation, and we do have the cold air and the frozen ground ....
So, right now as I see it, 1 inch or less on Thursday and nothing to an inch or so on Sunday. BUT, things can change, and if I see a consistent pattern in the data and shift in current systems, I will let you know.
original post Dec 13
Here I go again: even though I do not like long-range forecasting, I will mention that I am watching the "potential" storm development later this coming weekend and again on Christmas Eve. The ONLY reason I bring this up so far in advance is because, surprisingly, the local NWS has already mentioned it (and I hate to be scooped by the pros ... hehe). This is very rare for them to even hint at a system this far in advance, so if they are mentioning it, then I feel I need to mention it as well. At this time I will not make any judgment about it.
Updated: 4:26 AM GMT on December 27, 2010
By: cws6196, 2:11 PM GMT on December 05, 2010
update Monday afternoon
This will be my final update on this event. Due to weather being weather, snow accumulation was localized. This past system reinforced my mantra for this Winter - many systems will come by, but most will miss us to the North and West. As we saw this time. This system also, again, re-confirmed for me the "dangers" of forecasting to far out. Most of you know my preference to not do so, and this is why. But, all that said, I am very glad there was little icing issues for the rush hour this morning.
As the winds from the NW are strong, and there are minor systems impacting our area this week, each day this week we could see scattered to locally heavy snow, primarily lake effect snow from the Great Lakes being blown into our area. So keep an outlook for some flakes.
update Evening of Sunday
The rain continues and the temps have been holding in the 40s. The coastal Low, that could have brought us more snow, moved inland early, bringing a longer period of warm weather and more rain. That Low also took away some of the punch from the other Low to the West. Hey, it happens.
But, the cold air is still open the way, as well as snow. Look for the cold air to infiltrate after Midnight (as I previously stated) with snow on and off in the early morning hours. Heavier bands of snow could occur around 6 - 8 am Monday. Also, all of this rain will freeze, bringing icy conditions. I will still hold to my accumulation numbers. Depending on the location of the Low, there could be scattered snow showers later Monday afternoon and evening. Just a dusting from these.
I still assume there will be advisories and watches issued later tonight.
update Sunday morning
So far so good regarding my previous forecast. The coastal Low though is already inland which is not good for those who want lots of snow. The Low to the West is strong and moving as forecast. The associated cold front will be here later in the day. Rain for the rest of today with a change over to mixed precip then snow late tonight. Most of the snowfall will happen after Midnight.
Accumulation: I have learned from the past that when I change my snow accumulation lower then previously forecast I end up with my previous forecast! Realistically I see most of us having a dusting to an inch, but officially I will stick with my previous forecast of 1 - 3. As true to this Winter, Western MD and North of us will see the "real" snow. Southern MD will likely not see any accumulating snow.
Concern: My real concern with this storm is Monday's morning commute. Forget any snow accumulation; all of this rain and other precip will add a thin layer of water to the roads, and when the cold front plunges us into some of the coldest temps yet for the season, we will have a nice layer of ice on all surfaces. Please be careful.
So far there are no advisories, watches or warnings for Central / Southern MD. There are advisories for Western MD all the way to Carroll Co. I do expect at least an advisory to be issued for our area later tonight.
update Saturday early afternoon
After reviewing the data and looking at current observations, I am, sticking to my previous forecast: rain to start after dinner on Saturday with most people seeing rain closer to midnight or so. At some point over night there could be freezing rain/sleet. Sunday will see rain into the afternoon with a change over to snow Sunday evening into possibly Monday morning.
Accumulations: regarding icing, most of us should not see any appreciable icing, but please be careful out there. There will be localized heavy rain on Sunday with anywhere from 1 - 3 inches of snow accumulation later.
The secondary Low I had been talking about has formed off the Carolina coast and is moving up the coast now. As the Low from the West, with it's cold front, gets closer, it will cause the Low along the coast to accelerate in it's Northward path.
Concerns: my forecast is dependent upon timing and intensity. I am also making the assumption that the warm air will not be as warm as the data shows. So, if the air is warmer then I think, or the two Lows don't interact at just the right time, then we could see all rain or not much of anything at all. I do not see that as happening, hence my forecast above, but I did want to share my concerns.
Currently there are no watches or warnings issued. I will keep updating the Weather Phone (443-470-9804). Feel free to leave me voice messages with current conditions.
Surprise update Friday Noon
You all like the "bonus" snow shower? Who knew? (I guess I should have). This is like a rouge wave, only snow. It will be over soon with little to no accumulation. Could be a dusting in parts given the frozen ground. This has nothing to do with the weekend forecast, hence why I called it "bonus".
update late Dec 9
This is definitely a challenging forecast, but one which appears to be coming into place. The long and short of it; we may not have a true Nor'easter, but it looks like we will see some snow. In my last post I talked about the Low forming off the coast, and it now appears that will happen. Since I have been talking about snow, the official forecast has always stated rain and temps in the 50s. Look at the latest forecast - yes they still say rain, but look at the temps - mid or so 40s now. The NWS forecast has been slowly inching down the high temp for Sunday.
Ok, so what is happening here. Originally my thought was a Low coming across the US, diving South and exploding off the coast, giving us a blizzard. Well, that won't happen. What does appear to be happening is that Low will move to the NE along the Great Lakes, but further South then first thought by the NWS. The Low over the Great Lakes will bring us warmer weather and rain. I then forecasted a 2nd Low forming off the coast, and that now appears to be happening Sunday. The placement of that Low will influence what we receive this weekend. Now, the Low to the West could drive up the temps and bring us rain, while the Low over the coast could bring us colder temps and snow. The combination of the two though could do a couple things: 1. cancel each other out and we have dry conditions all weekend, or 2. the coastal Low over powers the other Low and we have more snow then rain. Also, the NAO is quite negative and there is a blocking mechanism to our North which should keep the Low further South and in the area longer.
What about the temps? The counterclockwise spin of the Low to our West would bring in warm Southern air. But let's keep in mind that right now the Southern air is not all that warm. Also, given our current freeze, the ground is hard and so radiating some colder surface temps. The Bay waters are in the upper 30s to low 40s, so that should keep the air temps down. Also, given the presence of these systems, there will be a good deal of cloud cover, hence not allowing the warmth to make it to the surface.
BOTTOM LINE: The models continue to fluctuate, but here is how I see it - I am sticking to my snow forecast, but not a true Nor'easter. i figure that late Saturday evening any precip will be frozen rain/snow. Sunday morning precip will be the same, or more rain. By Sunday afternoon we have returned to snow which could fall through the early hours of Monday. I don't yet want to talk accumulations, but I am not talking about a blizzard here.
It is all dependent upon the location of the low, the formation of a coastal Low, cloud cover, and the interaction between the two Lows. Simple, right? I will keep you posted. As we get closer to the event I will update the Weather Phone (443-470-9804).
update late Dec 7
Hmmm......what to say .... Allow me to begin by reiterating my general theme of this Winter's forecasting - most of our storms will end up going to the West or the North, leaving us with either rain or mixed precip. Just keep that in mind.
The model data continues to show a good sized storm the end of this weekend into the beginning of the week. The difficulty at this point is that each of the different models continue to shift the storm around. This is normal for this far out, so I am looking for consistencies and other data to round out my forecast. I do believe that by late Thursday into Friday I will have a clearer idea of what will happen. The type of precip we receive from this storm will depend on the track of the Low, even the development of a second Low.
So, what do I think? At this time I am still looking for the formation of a secondary Low off the coast later Sunday which will bring us mixed precip to start, then turning into snow as it moves up the coast, and as the first Low moves further North, placing us in the Northerly flow of air.
If this storm doesn't give us snow, many long-range forecasters insist we will see snow by Christmas as they predict many more storms coming from the West, and a couple of them moving further South.
Ok, I know I have been saying since before Thanksgiving that it will snow, but it appears I keep saying it and nothing happens. For some of you that is a good thing, but I don't want to be like chicken little ... As I have previously mentioned, this Winter will not be an easy one to forecast. So, why do I say this ...
If you recall from my last post I stated I like mid-December for some snow ... all I will say for the moment is ... from the 12th on keep an eye out for multiple (lots of) snow flakes. You can either tell people you heard it here first, or once again the storm will stay to our West and North.
Updated: 6:48 PM GMT on December 13, 2010