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, 3:01 PM GMT on January 29, 2011
final update Tuesday Feb 1 Midnight
As I write this the radar shows my area receiving mixed precip (freezing rain), but as I look outside it is only rain. It does appear that with the delay in the precip reaching the area the cold air was given more time to erode prior to the precip. To be honest, since this means less or no ice at all, I am not complaining that my forecast was not 100%. I do not at all like ice. Had the precip come in earlier as originally thought, we would have had a layer of ice. BUT ... for those North of Baltimore, especially in Northern Harford Co and along the PA/MD line, you still could see some ice, so be careful.
The concern with this rain is minor flooding. For many, the storm drains are covered by the snow pack, and the rain on top of the snow, with rising temps, will only produce more liquid in need of a run off which is more then likely blocked.
Onward .... As I have been mentioning for some time now I am tracking the potential storm this weekend and mid next week. It is still too far off for much certainty, but, at this early date here is how I see the weekend storm (I am not at all going to talk about the other storm which is over a week away):
1. The potential for snow exists, but currently the model data moves the Low up the coast in such away as it brings the warm Southern air into our area, meaning another rain event for us.
2. But, I do see the chance for snow later Saturday as the Low pushes to our North and the wrap around cold air enters the precip, turning it to snow or mixed precip.
More to come in the following days. I will keep the Weather Phone updated as necessary.
update Tuesday Feb 1 afternoon
We are under a Freezing Rain advisory for this evening.
We are in the lull I had talked about with the bulk of the moisture moving in after dinner. That is when the precip will fall as freezing rain through Midnight, and for those North, through Wednesday morning before turning to all rain Wednesday.
I am still watching the possibility of snow this weekend, and I noticed the NWS has just now upped their snow percentage to 60% (a big jump from the previous forecast). Maybe they read my posts (just kidding).
I will keep the Weather Phone updated and will have another update later tonight.
update Monday Jan 31 Midnight
So far so good according to my last post and forecast. The precip primarily held off until later in the evening as I mentioned yesterday. Over night we can expect light precip in the form of sleet and ice pellets to linger through the morning rush hour. There will be a lull in the action Tuesday afternoon before the "main" portion of the storm comes through around dinner time or later. This precip will be sleet and later freezing rain as the warm air over runs the cold air in place. We could see up to 0.5 inches of ice, mainly around Harford Co and along the MD/PA line. By Wednesday morning we should be experiencing all rain.
As I have mentioned, we need to be cautious as any shift in the Low or delay in eroding the cold air will mean a greater build up of ice. I am leaning toward a more cold solution for two reasons: the models typically erode cold air too fast; and the layer of snow over the area should keep us colder longer then the models are saying as they are not taking this layer into account. So I do agree with the 0.5 estimate for ice.
To make matters worse, come Wednesday we could experience winds in the 30+ mph, not good for those trees and power lines still with ice on them. I am concerned about the Tuesday rush hours (plural) as well as widespread power outages.
As I have been mentioning these past days, I am still following the potential for another storm this weekend and then again mid next week. It is too far out for much detail at this time, so this is all I will say at the moment.
I will keep the Weather Phone updated.
update Sunday Jan 30 Midnight
I have been reviewing the data, etc and I really don't have much to add from my last post. The timing may be delayed a bit, so we may not see precip until later Monday evening, but I would still keep in mind that the weather will be turning anytime after dinner Monday.
Snow accumulations should be light, maybe an inch or so, more toward PA. Ice accumulations could be around 0.3 or more inches. The ice accumulation will depend on how long the precip lasts before the change to rain, and as I mentioned earlier, it is not easy to move cold air out of the region, especially with a snow cover on the ground. On Tuesday afternoon there could be a lull in the precip, but know it will start up again later in the afternoon Tues.
I am expecting at least an advisory to be issued later Monday. I will keep the Weather Phone updated.
update Sunday Jan 30 Noon
As much as can be it appears the storm this week is taking shape. From all indications we will have a mixed precip mess, with the upside being not a lot of snow accumulation, while the downside is ice accumulation.
TIMING & PRECIP
1. Monday around dinner time (for Central MD. NOTE: Southern MD will see precip sooner and a turn over to rain sooner. Not a major issue there. Northern Balt Co and Harford Co will see precip a bit later and stay frozen longer. This holds true for all I say in this post) we will start to see snow falling. This should be light snow with minimal accumulation.
2. Tuesday around rush hour (7:00 or so) the snow will begin to turn over to sleet and ice pellets. This will last through the midday before any turn over to rain. Those along the PA / MD border may never see rain.
3. Wednesday should be rain with a chance for a turn over to snow late Wednesday night (no major accumulation)
I will most likely be tweaking this later today and Monday as to timing and accumulation rates, but let this serve as an outline.
1. Cold air is not easy to move out of the area, so precip type and timing will be a challenge to pin point
2. Any shift in the Low or timing will change what happens
3. Bottom line: Monday night into Wednesday be prepared for periods of mixed precip
4. With icing I am concerned about power outages and the Tuesday morning commute
Winter is not yet over for us. As I mentioned earlier I am tracking the possibility of a coastal storm this weekend (maybe Friday night into Saturday) and then another strong storm potential the following week (8 - 12). Fun times!!
I will be updating again late tonight. I would not be surprised to see at least an advisory issued by the NWS by tomorrow morning. I will keep the Weather Phone (443-470-9804) updated.
update Saturday Jan 29 evening
Just a quick update, keeping in mind that this far out things tend to change. But right now it is looking more and more like this may move to the North and West. The positive is less snow (for those snow haters), yet the negative is a longer period of icing possible. There is also a chance for this to end in rain later Wednesday. So a complicated forecast only getting more complicated. And to be honest, a slight - and I mean slight - shift of the Low will change things dramatically. The other factor is the cold air and it's propensity to stay longer than the models tend to show. So, definitely tricky.
Now, for the next part of this - are you ready - stay seated - there is the potential for another coastal storm next weekend!! Yup, Winter is not yet done with us. So I will now be keeping you all posted on both storms ....
original post Sat. Jan 29 morning
I hope most if not all of you now have power restored so you can focus on the beauty around us! It is not often that snow lingers here in Central MD.
Ok, on to the next system (as I have been following since the 15th). This is just a quick update as we are still too far out to know with any certainty what will happen, and even though we just had a decent snowfall, this Winter is still one where most (not all) storms will miss us to the North and West, giving us mainly mixed precip storms (as we have seen). So I am still leery on long-range forecasting for this Winter.
Looks like most of us will see light snowfall on Tuesday (Southern MD to see a mix) with little accumulation. The bulk of the storm will hit us Tuesday night into Wednesday.
We are dealing with a couple dynamics which will influence what happens here. The track of the Low on Wednesday will determine if we get snow (6 or more inches) or if we get mixed precip or an actual ice storm. Currently the model data shows the Low just to the West of us, giving us mixed precip. The NAO is trending positive, which typically means a Westerly track for the Low, but, there could be a High system to our North which should block (damming) the cold air over our area. So timing is an issue as to the placement of the High and the Low.
Keep in mind that a High spins clockwise while the Low counterclockwise. This is important, for the position of each system will effect the air temps and position of the Low. If you can visualize a High to our North spinning clockwise and a Low moving toward it, the position and spin of the High will push the Low. Depending on the locations, the Low could be pushed further to the West as it gets caught in the spin. So the position and timing of the High will effect the position of the Low. As the Low moves near us and spins counterclockwise, depending on it's position it will either spin up warm Southern air (into the dammed cold air) or spin up moisture from the Atlantic (into the dammed cold air). The first scenario gives us mixed precip, while the latter brings us snow. I say all this to help demonstrate not only some of the dynamics of the weather, but also to show how forecasting this far out can be tricky (but fun!).
I will update again throughout the weekend, maybe later today, but definitely Sunday morning.
Updated: 5:28 AM GMT on February 02, 2011
By: cws6196, 12:14 AM GMT on January 28, 2011
Well, the power and internet have returned so now I can actually review maps and data regarding the clippers coming through. My apologies for not talking about this sooner, but with the forecasting of this storm and then the power outage, I was pre-occupied.
There are a couple clippers coming through, and generally clippers do not bring us much snow as they tend to be moisture starved. As I see it, that will be the case here. Those along the MD/PA border will most likely see snow, while the rest of us may not.
ACCUMULATIONS & TIMING
Beginning after the morning commute, those who will have snow will have about 1 - 2 inches or so, with the snow ending mid-afternoon. Another shot for snow is Friday night and then again Saturday morning, each time only 1 - 2 inches, and again mainly for those in Northern Balt. Co.
THE BIG ISSUE
As I first mentioned on January 15, I was then watching the potential for a strong storm for us the end of the month. Well, here we are and what do I still see .... a strong storm potential for us mid next week. It is too early to tell what will happen and the models are all over the place, but if the Low forms and moves South it will mean another hit for us, and some people are already calling for a foot or more of snow for us. At this time I don't want to say too much, but I do see this potential as well. We shall see ....
During the weekend I will be speaking more about next week's storm potential.
By: cws6196, 4:56 PM GMT on January 22, 2011
final update Wednesday Jan 26 Midnight
The Warning has been canceled and the snow is now over. I received 10 inches of snow from 5:00 pm until about 9:30 or so. Power went out many hours ago, so this update won't be as robust since I am typing in the dark on limited internet and battery.
There is a chance for light snow early Friday morning as a clipper comes out of Canada. Typically these systems do not have much moisture so accumulations will be low. As I don't have a strong enough internet signal to look at all my data and maps, I will leave it at that for now. Hopefully by tomorrow afternoon I will be able to give more details.
As I first mentioned a number of days ago I am still watching another potential snow event for next Tuesday. I will have more detail later in the week on that system.
I appreciate your following my posts and personally am pleased to see at least one snow storm for us for this season. But do not fear, this is not like last Winter.
I will update the Weather Phone accordingly. I hope to post again Thursday afternoon about the Friday snowfall. Stay safe.
update Wednesday Jan 26 dinner time
Well, so far so good. We are now experiencing rain mixed with some sleet. A look at the radar shows Balt. Co on the edge of the snow and rain. Assuming the Low travels as forecast, all this rain will turn to snow. The period of rainfall will determine over all accumulations, but I do believe we are still on track to see a total of more then 6 inches.
Assuming I still have power I will send another update later this evening. I am still watching other snow possibilities (as I mentioned a couple days ago). The Weather Phone is updated. Feel free to send me voice mails about your conditions and accumulation rates.
update Tues Jan 25 early evening
We are currently under a Winter Storm Watch through late Wednesday. To be honest, not much for me to update from my last post as it seems what I stated yesterday remains valid, with the exception that this will be more of a snow event rather then a mix. The Low looks to be positioning itself in a favorable spot for us to see some good snow.
1. after Midnight the precip will start as light snowfall into the morning of Wednesday
2. Wednesday morning will be light snowfall with less then an inch accumulation
3. Wed afternoon is when the fun starts with heavy snowfall later in the afternoon
4. minimal rain may mix in early in the afternoon
As I stated yesterday, if this were to be a snow event we would see more then 6 inches, and well, this is a snow event so I see us in Central MD as seeing more then 6 inches, with locally higher amounts. I would not be surprised if some people see 10 or so inches.
As I mentioned yesterday, the afternoon commute is when the heaviest snowfall is likely to occur. And that holds true. We could see a snowfall rate of 1 - 3 inches per hour, which is a lot of snow falling rather quickly. This will also be wet heavy snow, reducing visibilities.
Not concerns about my forecast, but safety concerns. As this snow will be wet and heavy, visibilities will be reduced for those on the road, and we could see widespread power outages due to the heavy snow on lines and trees as well as strong wind later Wednesday evening.
All of this (beside the wind) should be over around Midnight or shortly there after. I would not be surprised to see the NWS issue a warning later tonight or tomorrow morning. I will keep the Weather Phone (443-470-9804) updated. Feel free to leave me voice messages regarding your conditions and accumulations.
update Monday Jan 24 Midnight
This storm is one of the toughest I have had to forecast. Tough in the sense that there are no easy answers as to a forecast; there are too many variables and unknowns right now. And I am not alone in this thinking as I have read many entries and reports from various forecasters. But I can't leave you all hanging.
Since I last posted, the model data is shifting and strengthening the Low such that the potential for some good accumulation has returned. This is in line with what I have been saying since the 15th. Yesterday's post I hinted at a backing off of the system, but I also did write "Most of us in Central MD will experience mixed precip Wednesday, turning to snow later in the day." This is valid and even stronger now.
The two biggest concerns at the moment are the position of the Low and the temps. As to the Low, it still appears that Baltimore Co is the dividing line in regard to precip type, but that may be shifting to more snow. As to the temps, yes it is more then cold now, but the Low, as it spins counter clockwise and is coming from the South, will bring in warm air. This warm air could get trapped below the cloud deck on Tuesday and thus keep the temps above freezing. BUT, the system itself could bring in enough cold air as it wraps around and moves past us that we could have more cold air then expected.
Here is how I see it at this moment - very similar to what I have been saying, but with timing differences:
1. after 11:00 pm Tuesday we should start to see precip (could be a couple hours later) in the form of light snow
2. sometime Wed afternoon there will be changeover to rain
3. around dinner time Wed the precip will again change to snow. We will have the heaviest precip late afternoon into the evening hours
4. those in Southern MD will have more rain then snow while those along the MD/PA border will see more snow then rain
This is not easy as it depends on how much rain we see. If this stays an all snow event we could see totals well above 6 inches. If this is a rain and snow event we could be looking at 3 - 4 or so in Central MD.
There is still much not known, and to be honest I will need Tuesday to get a better handle on this as I still have almost 30 hours worth of model data to look at before we see any precip. BUT, what I have stated above and have been saying since the 15th is valid at this time.
I am still watching the potential for another system to effect us later in the weekend, but it is way too far out for any certainty right now. I will post again early Tuesday evening. I will keep the Weather Phone updated
update Sunday Jan 23 late evening
As the models did their thing Sunday it appears what I typed this morning remains valid. But I will know better later Monday. Here is the problem (one of them); the way it looks the line delineating the snow from the mixed precip just about cuts through Baltimore Co. Those in the snow area could see multiple inches of accumulation, while the others will see limited accumulation as a result of mixed precip.
WHERE'D THE BIG STORM GO?
The quick answer - to the North and West of us (of course). Timing is everything, but as it stands the Low off the coast will usher in warm Southern air prior to it's arrival. There may not be a High to our North which is necessary to bring down cold air and to keep the Low on a Westerly track along the coast. Without this High there is less cold air for us and allows the Low to drift.
Most of us in Central MD will experience mixed precip Wednesday, turning to snow later in the day. But please keep in mind that this storm has yet to develop, but Monday I will know more.
I will post again Monday evening. The Weather Phone will be updated as necessary.
update Sunday Jan 23 morning
Well, you aren't going to like this update as I really don't have any answers for what will happen this week. The model data is doing it's usual back and forth while it analyzes the data. To be honest, I won't have a specific understanding until the Monday data comes out. Since model data is run multiple times a day, we have many model runs to go until this event.
Here is what I know so far:
1. the precip probably wont happen until late Tuesday
2. those in Southern MD could see a rain event
3. Central MD could see a mixed precip event leading into a snow event. If this is true, that will keep the accumulation rate down
True to this Winter, there is a chance (as I mentioned in my last post), that we will have a mixed precip or a non-event. If I were a bettin' man, I wouldn't put a penny on it right now! Just know this, we will have precip late Tues into Wed which will most likely disrupt things in this area.
I will post again later today, but am really waiting for the data from Monday to see what will truly happen.
original post Saturday Jan 22 morning
If you recall, back in November I posted my prediction that this Winter would be one with many systems coming toward the area, but most would effect those to the N and W of us, and those storms we would experience would be light and/or mixed with sleet. So far so good! Until now .... It is only Saturday so I do not yet want to sound off any alarms, but the next system has potential. It is a coastal storm, the type that brings us the "good storms". But, haven't most of the storms this Winter been coastal storms? Yes, they have, but this one is different.
WHY MIGHT THIS HAPPEN? WHAT IS DIFFERENT THIS TIME?
1. cold air is in place as we enter the coldest week of the season.
2. the NAO is going negative
3. there should be a High in place North of us (favorable for keeping this storm closer to the coast)
4. most models are in agreement and have been for some time now (I started talking about this storm back on the 15th)
WHY MIGHT THIS NOT HAPPEN?
1. keep in mind the history of this Winter with coastal storms
2. we are still too far out for anything too definitive
3. the models are now doing their adjustments
4. if the Low shifts we will actually see more of a mixed precip event - common for this Winter
Bottom line for me is we are looking at the potential for a good size storm this week. Timing is uncertain, but right now it looks to be Tues into Wed. The NWS is downplaying things right now as they don't want to commit given the fluctuating model data. But for me, this is looking good.
But, as it is only Saturday I don't yet want to start talking about accumulation rates, but it could be high, coupled with strong gusty winds. Some people (not me yet) are using the "B" word (blizzard).
I am also watching the potential for active weather the last weekend of January and the beginning of February.
I will post again on Sunday and will keep the Weather Phone (443-470-9804) updated.
Updated: 4:47 AM GMT on January 27, 2011
By: cws6196, 5:05 AM GMT on January 19, 2011
update Thursday Jan 20 late evening
The NWS still has us under a Winter Weather Advisory. But where's the snow?! Well, according to the radar, it has been snowing here since about 8:00 pm, but, due to the lack of moisture in the column of air to the surface, the snow is drying up before it hits the ground. It is falling, just not making it to the surface, yet. What happened? Well, as I have been saying about this Winter, most storms will miss us and go to the North and West of us. The other issue tonight is that the air just wont cool. As I write this (11:20 pm) we are still above freezing at the surface. Minus the moisture and the cooling, we just don't have snow.
BOTTOM LINE: As the column of air moistens and cools we will see snow. Nowhere near 4 inches, probably 1 - 2 inches with more near the MD/PA border.
I am still watching the snow chance for Monday night into Tuesday, but given how far out that is and the way this Winter has been, I don't want to yet say too much about it other then I have been watching it since the 15th. More to come from me over the weekend.
For those who want snow, keep the faith, it is only mid-January. I will keep the Weather Phone updated.
update Wednesday Jan 19 Midnight
This Winter is truly keeping me busy. This storm system is acting as the others have acted, and as the saying goes "snow breeds snow". Those to our North and West will see more accumulation then we will - not any different from the rest of our storms.
TIMING: those in Central MD will see snow sometime after 8:00 pm Thursday ending before Noon on Friday. Southern MD will have precip sooner and will end sooner.
ACCUMULATION: this is the hard part. There isn't too much agreement from the data, and if the track shifts and/or phases differently we will have different results. But, not only am I looking at the models, but am acknowledging our history and trending of storms. Thus, I do not feel this storm will phase in our favor for lots of snow. I see Central MD as seeing about 4 inches of snow, more along the MD/PA border and less in Southern MD (there may be mixed precip in S. MD at the onset). I do hesitate to mention a chance for higher accumulation rates if the storm tracks further West, slows, and the temp drops more. It is just too unknown at the moment.
BOTTOM LINE: snow for all Thursday into Friday with accumulations about 4 inches.
I am still tracking the potential for another snow event the beginning of next week.
I will keep the Weather Phone updated as I am sure there will be watches/warnings issued later Thursday.
original post Tuesday Jan 18
Well, except for some timing differences, the snow/ice storm did as I forecast. To be honest, as much as I love snow is as much as I hate ice. So I am glad that is over for now. On to the next system ...
As I first mentioned on the 15th there are two systems I am watching; the end of this week and the end of the month. The end of this week we are looking at accumulating snow Thursday evening into Friday. It is a similar set up we have seen this Winter, namely a system moves off the coast and forms a Low while another system from the Great Lakes moves into the area at about the same time. If these two systems meet it is called phasing. So, here we are again for the end of this week.
What will happen? Unfortunately I don't know at this point as the data is all over the place. If we look at this historically then we will have a couple inches of snow and North of us will have a foot or more of snow. Actually, this is what I have been saying since the 15th. But, depending on the timing of the phasing and deviations with the track of the Low, we could be looking anywhere from mixed precip to 6 - 8 inches of snow.
BOTTOM LINE: For this moment, the bottom line is we will have accumulating snowfall on Friday morning. The exact amount I will wait to see until later Wednesday. But it's coming.
As to the second storm the end of the month, I am still watching this, but it looks like the timing is pushed up to the beginning of next week (happens with Mother Nature). Too early to know much now, but the models are already showing something impressive. More to come on that later. Let's get through Friday first.
I will keep the Weather Phone updated (443-470-9804).
Updated: 4:27 AM GMT on January 21, 2011
By: cws6196, 5:15 AM GMT on January 14, 2011
update Monday Jan 17 Midnight
The Warning remains in place until Noon Tuesday. Snow will be tapering off after Midnight as it transitions to sleet and then to freezing rain by the morning commute. My forecast appears to be on track with some minor timing differences. At this moment my precip is primarily sleet with some snow mixed in.
The morning commute will be a dangerous one so please be careful walking and driving. We could see power outages as there will be ice build up. I would say somewhere around 9 or so we should be transitioning to all rain. But be cautious at the beginning of the transition as water on top of ice only makes it more slippery. Once the ice melts and it is all rain and water then it will be safer. That will most likely occur after Noon.
I am still watching the end of the week system, and while I have previously stated it appears to be small, and the NWS is agreeing with me, my caution is that there is the potential for this to be bigger then we currently think. But I do not want to hype anything so I am waiting until later Tuesday evening to say much more.
I will keep the Weather Phone updated and feel free to leave me voice mails or emails as to snow accumulation and ice rates.
update Sunday Jan 16 Evening
After a look at the data I am not drastically changing anything from my previous post. Of course I will look again in the morning, and if there are any changes I will let you know. Here is how I see it:
1. Monday around dinner time (6:00-8:00) the precip will begin (sooner for S. MD), most likely as light snow.
2. At some point late in the evening, definitely after Midnight, the precip will change to sleet then to freezing rain - in S. MD it will change to all rain for the rest of the event. In N. Balt. Co and Harford Co. it will stay snow longer before the change over. ACCUMULATION of about an inch of snow. There will be ice accumulation of less then half an inch.
3. Tuesday's morning commute could be icy as the change to rain may not happen until about 9:00 am.
4. Slight chance for light snow late Tuesday for those in N. Balt. Co and to the West.
OUTLOOK: as I mentioned yesterday, I am following the possibility of snow the end of the week. Right now it looks to be a small system, but there is a "chance" for this to now happen Friday into Saturday and with accumulating snow. I am not confident right now in this, so for now I am sticking with what I said yesterday. Beside that the other chance for snow is the end of the month.
The Weather Phone is updated and I assume there will be watches/warnings issued later Monday.
update Saturday Jan 15 Noon
Not too much to update from my previous post. This system is a combination of a Low from the NW coming through the area coupled with a coastal Low. What makes this different from last week is the temp. I want to wait until later Sunday to talk specifics about timing, but here is how I see things:
1. Monday around dinner time (6:00-8:00) the precip will begin (sooner for S. MD), most likely as light snow.
2. At some point after Midnight the precip will change to sleet or freezing rain - in S. MD it will change to all rain for the rest of the event. In N. Balt. Co and Harford Co. it will stay snow longer before the change over
3. Tuesday during the morning commute those in Southern and Central MD will have all rain, while those to the N, W, and E will still have mixed precip until about midday.
4. All accumulation rates will be low.
OUTLOOK: the next small system I am watching is this Thursday evening into Friday and a system the end of the month. Other then that the Winter weather looks to be quiet (boring) for the rest of the month.
I expect to see advisories, etc to be issued Monday. I will keep you posted and will keep the Weather Phone (443-470-9804) updated.
original post Jan 13 Midnight
Well, way back on Dec. 30 I had mentioned the possibility of a strong snow storm effecting the area around MLK Day. That's not going to happen, but what will happen is the formation of a coastal Low. Seeing a coastal Low on the 30th looking toward mid-January makes one believe there will be a nice coastal storm. What the models did not tell me back then is that the temps would be too high for a strong snow storm. Yup, the snow curse of this Winter strikes me again.
Ok, so what will happen? It is too early for details, but as I see it now a coastal Low will form around Monday in the SE and move up the coast. It will bring with it warm air that we will not be able to get out of. There could be some snow on Monday, but rain on Tuesday.
CONCERN: No, we will not have a chance for lots of snow, but what I am concerned about is the precip type. It will be too warm for snow, but may not be warm enough for pure rain either. So my concern is widespread mixed precip and or sleet/freezing rain. Unfortunately it is way too soon to know with any certainty.
So for now just know there is a chance for light snow Monday with possible mixed precip on Tuesday. I will keep you updated and will keep the Weather Phone updated as well.
Updated: 5:22 AM GMT on January 18, 2011
By: cws6196, 2:51 AM GMT on January 09, 2011
FINAL post on this storm
Well, it appears the storm has ended for most (those in Eastern Balt Co and Harford Co are still receiving some snow). But, before I get into the storm let me mention an update to my previous statement that 48 of the 50 States had snow on the ground yesterday. Actually, 49 of the 50 States had snow on the ground, with FL being the only State without the white stuff. In HI there was 7 inches of snow atop Mauna Kea yesterday.
Early Monday evening I posted: "Here is a quick update with a more complete update late tonight: 1. system timing has changed, and those in Central MD should not see snow until late in the afternoon. 2. with the system slowing, the circulation of the Low could bring more warm air into the area, thus suppressing snow amounts. 3. most of Central MD will see 1-3 inches BUT southern MD will see less and NE Harford Co could see a bit more." That is when I should have stopped typing and posting about the storm. The Low off the coast had very little effect on us, while the Low to the West of us was slow in coming, thus allowing for the warmer air as evidenced by the mixed precip as far North as Baltimore Co. Preliminary reports I have seen show people receiving a trace to just under 3 inches.
Allow me to reiterate what I have said about this Winter since the beginning: storms will look good on the models, but when they get close they will go to the West or to the North. This has been proven time and again this Winter.That is our pattern. I have not yet looked this up, but I do believe this snowfall is the largest accumulation for the season thus far. Please correct me if I am wrong.
Onward ... I am still watching the potential for our next system around MLK (as I have been mentioning since Dec 30). I won't say much more about it for another couple days, but keep in mind how this Winter has thus far produced.
Enjoy the Winter wonderland out there!
update Tues Jan 11 9:00pm
The NWS re-issued the Advisory lowering the total accumulation. I have about an inch at the moment with light snow. I will stick with my 4 - 6 amount although my original 3 or less may be more realistic. Later tonight I will have another update.
update Tues Jan 11 early evening
The snow has obviously begun, although it started with a thin layer of ice; I didn't see that happening for Central MD, but then again, with this Winter anything is possible. So here is how I see it at the moment:
1. there are a couple of bands of moderate snow on the radar swinging toward the area. Should be here soon
2. the coastal low is growing strong and there is a chance for phasing closer to our area
3. I am forecasting accumulation amounts of 3 - 6 for the area, but then again, any shift in the track could change this
I will have a more thorough update later, but wanted to get something out.
update Tues Jan 11 morning
As the storm approaches we can now shift away from model data and look at real world formation through satellite and radar. The system is progressing and may be moving a tad faster then first thought. If this is true we could see snow closer to 4 or so in Central MD. Also, keep in mind what I have been saying about this storm - any slight shift in the coastal Low or phasing just a number of miles closer to us could increase our snow totals. I don't necessarily want to jump totals around every hour today so for now I am sticking with what I said last night, but in my original talks about this storm on Jan. 8 I was predicting 6 - 10.
update Monday Jan 10 Midnight
First, I want to mention that the current snow cover map as of Jan. 10 shows that 48 of the 50 states have snow (I am including AK and assuming HI does not have snow but I could be wrong. FL does not have snow)!
Ok, on to the fun stuff. I really don't have much to add from my previous brief update. The data still supports the notion that any phasing will occur North of us, meaning those areas which saw a blizzard this past Christmas will again receive a large amount of snow. Here are the details as I see it for us:
Timing: for Central MD I am looking around 6:00 pm or so for steady snowfall with heaviest precip after 7:00pm or so.
Accumulation: for Central MD I am saying 3 inches with locally heavier amounts. Those in Southern MD could see less due to some mixed precip early on, and those in Harford Co could see a bit more as you will be closer to the phasing and will get some of the wrap around snow.
I must say that looking historically at this season it is progressing as I "feared", namely, storms will look impressive on the models, but as they near us they will verge to the West or the North, and this we have seen happen. If we do get 3 inches Tuesday it will actually be the highest accumulation for us for this season. In contrast to last Winter, this is a Summer day!
I am still watching the potential for a storm next week, but again, historically speaking, I've been down this road before. ... But maybe we will get lucky and I will get my heavy snowfall.
I will keep the Weather Phone (443-470-9804)updated; feel free to leave me voice messages of accumulation.
quick update Mon Jan 10 early evening
Here is a quick update with a more complete update late tonight:
1. system timing has changed, and those in Central MD should not see snow until late in the afternoon.
2. with the system slowing, the circulation of the Low could bring more warm air into the area, thus suppressing snow amounts.
3. most of Central MD will see 1-3 inches BUT southern MD will see less and NE Harford Co could see a bit more
4. I'm still watching our next possible system around MLK Day
The Weather Phone (443-470-9804) is updated and I will give a more complete update around Midnight.
update Mon Jan 10 early morning
The NWS has issued a Winter Storm Watch and have indicated the potential for 5 or more inches. This would be consistent with my original posting of accumulation rates. I am not as yet changing anything from my most recent post though given the unpredictable nature of this Winter. As you recall, over this past weekend the NWS went high on it's accumulation rates and my lower amount is what prevailed. ALL I AM SAYING right now is let's see what the data and real world radar and satellites show us today and I will have my update later this evening.
But, know there will be snow tomorrow and it could be from 3 inches to over 6 inches depending on the track of the Low and if it phases with the clipper system to the West.
update Sunday Jan 9 late late evening
I remember Christmas, but I am not talking about the joyous spiritual time with family, rather, I am remembering the emotional roller coaster in dealing with the potential snow storm. Well, I feel like it is Christmas all over again (and not in a good sense). I have no doubt we will have snow Tuesday, but I am doubting it will be big. Here's the scoop.
The two systems do not look to merge (phase) until North of us. If that is the case, the data shows that we will be stuck in between the two systems, with each system kinda sucking the moisture from each other. Therefore we get less snow. I am beginning to see this as the plausible scenario. If that is true, here is how it could play out. TIMING: early Tuesday morning snow begins to fall (Southern MD could see a period of mixed precip in the morning) with the heaviest snowfall Tuesday afternoon into the evening. ACCUMULATION: reasonably around 3 inches with locally heavier amounts. Unfortunately (for me) I just don't see us getting more then that.
CAUTION: please note that a slight shift in the track of the coastal Low, or a phasing of the two systems closer to our area will drastically change these amounts. At this time I don't see it happening, but in the Christmas storm the heavy snow fall was only 30-50 miles away from us, way close in terms of weather systems. So it wont take much to mess up my predictions.
I will have another update later Monday and by then should have a much better idea as to what is happening. But for now, I am sticking with my forecast (whether I like it or not).
original post Jan 8 evening
Gotta love this Winter. As I first mentioned on December 30, there is a good shot for a nice snow storm this Tuesday.
Here are the dynamics: we have a Low coming from the Gulf and heading off to the Atlantic as a coastal Low which moves up the coast. We also have a system moving in from OH and will move through the area. This is where the forecast gets tricky. How close does the Low stay to coast, and do these two systems join? If they join close to MD we will have a huge storm! If they don't we will have snow from both systems. As of this writing, the model data tends to have the two systems merge North of MD, but we are still too far out for anything definite.
Bottom line: for now as I see things we will have snow from late Monday night through Tuesday night. Depending on if the systems merge or not, I do see us having anywhere from 6 - 10 inches or so.
Again, as I first mentioned on Dec 30 I am also looking at another potential storm between the 15 - 18. I will keep the Weather Phone updated (443-470-9804). Let the fun begin!
Updated: 5:38 AM GMT on January 12, 2011