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, 10:02 PM GMT on March 24, 2014
Our snow chances for tomorrow still exist, and I'm confident we will see snow, but as I have been saying, it won't be a major issue for us. The snow will start around 7:00am or so and last into the evening. Snow that falls during the day will not stick, but any snow after sunset will stick to grassy areas. I don't see a major impact to roadways. The roads will remain wet, but not snow covered. I do worry about icing on the roads as the temps drop overnight Tuesday.
I am not creating a map for this event as the entire area could see a dusting to 2" or so.
Later in the day wind will become an issue due to the pressure gradient of the passing Low. Wind gusts in the 30s mph are likely, producing very cold wind chills.
This should be our last mention of snow until next Winter. Even though the temps will remain below average, we are approaching that time of the year when it's almost impossible for it to snow. I will have another update as conditions warrant.
By: cws6196, 5:10 PM GMT on March 23, 2014
Model indications continue to move the Low off the coast, with it strengthening just to our north. I do feel we will see snow, but for snow lovers, we won't see much in the way of accumulation. As I have been saying, the timing and position of the Low are key for us to see accumulating snow. Well, the position seems to be too far east, and the timing gives us snow during the afternoon Tues. This late in March, snow will not stick if it falls during the day, sticking only if it falls after sunset. If the Low moves slow enough that the snow continues past 7:00pm then we will see some accumulation, but honestly, I don't see more than an inch.
All this said, if the Low does slow it's forward progress or shift more to the west, we could see higher accumulations, and that is possible since we are a couple days away from the event, but I am not seeing that happen. This is why I wait with my snow accumulation amounts, and why I don't hype storms.
Since the potential does exist for a shift in the Low I will continue to monitor this event. I will have another update as conditions change. Follow me on Twitter (@wxmanmd) for frequent weather tidbits and updates.
By: cws6196, 12:14 PM GMT on March 22, 2014
I'm still watching the snow potential for Tuesday-Wednesday. Please don't follow the hype on many of the media outlets. Snow this late in the season, while possible, is hard to come by. The models are going back and forth with the position of the Low; sending it too far out to sea to affect us, then bringing it back closer to the coast, etc. This is normal this far out from the event, and normal for this time of the year. As the seasons transition the atmosphere is is in flux, and the models have a hard time accounting for that. As I've been saying, timing and position of the Low will make all the difference. For snow to accumulate it must fall at night, or else the radiational heating of the higher sun angle will melt it as it hits the ground. So, for now, I am still waiting with my final forecast on the possible snow event. I want to provide you with the most accurate, non-hyped information as possible. I will have more specifics later Sunday as I continue to look for model trends and evaluate all possible data. For now just know the possibility for snow exists, although this is not a major event for us.
By: cws6196, 2:04 PM GMT on March 16, 2014
Looking at the latest data I see that the highest snow impact continues to be to our south below DC and into the eastern shore of MD. The NWS revised their map and it now looks similar to the map I posted yesterday. Those along the MD/PA line could see about 1-2" while central MD with 2-4" and S MD 4-6". I went low with my totals yesterday due to this being March, the warm ground, rain prior to the event, and lack of stickage tomorrow after sunrise.
The precip will start later this afternoon as rain, transitioning to all snow as we approach midnight, lasting into the late morning Monday. The NWS has downgraded central MD and N MD to a Winter Weather Advisory, consistent with the lower amounts expected, and they upgraded S MD to a Winter Weather WARNING.
I will have another update late today as needed. Follow me on Twitter (@wxmanmd) for storm updates.
By: cws6196, 10:58 PM GMT on March 15, 2014
Its about time I talk details. For now I am leaning on the low end of accumulation based on the concerns I have previously mentioned. I do feel much of the snow that falls will not stick, plus we have to take into account the period of rain. Those along the MD/PA line could see about 1-2" while central MD with 2-4" and S MD 4-6".
The precip should start in the late afternoon Sunday, lasting into the afternoon Monday. The precip will start as rain, slowly transitioning to mixed precip and then snow. The temps over night will support accumulating snow, once the snow can overcome the wet ground. Most of the snowfall on Monday after sunrise will melt due to the sun angle. By the end of the morning commute period we should have, on the gound, snow close to my numbers.
Tomorrow, later in the morning I will post an update and revise my numbers if ncessary. Follow me on Twitter (@wxmanmd) for weather tidbits and updates.
By: cws6196, 1:01 PM GMT on March 15, 2014
I'm sure most of you are anxious to know about our snow chances, and actually, so am I! Tomorrow is when the fun begins. Our temps tomorrow will stay in the 30's, maybe edge toward 40 or so, but will drop as the day progresses. The details for this entire event are still a bit sketchy as the models are doing last minute adjustments, and right now are not agreeing with each other. To be expected. I have no doubt we will see snow, the question is how much. Timing and track of the Low are key. As the Low moves up the coast and spins counter clockwise, we will have periods of warmer air and rain later turning to all snow. But, as I previously posted, there are concerns with how much will accumulate. The first flakes will not stick, and the flakes that fall during the day on Monday will most likely not stick, leaving us with the flakes falling in the overnight hours as our accumulating snow. The forecast difficulty for me is to figure out how much that will be since the models don't account for all of this. Since the models don't take these realties into account, you can't simply look at the raw data and translate that into our snowfall accumulation. If the model shows 8 or more inches, that means the potential for that amount to fall exists, but does not take into account that not all that falls will stick and accumulate.
I say all this to help you understand why I am still not posting my accumulation numbers, even though other outlets are. I want to see what the data shows later today, and take into account the current weather and observations. I do have an idea of what I think will happen, but I want to have a bit more data to verify my instinct. I will post my accumulation thoughts later today.
By: cws6196, 12:50 PM GMT on March 14, 2014
Even though the temps are cold this morning we will see a rise in the temps today and through the weekend, making it quite pleasant. Get out and enjoy today and tomorrow!
I'm sure most of you are more interested in the Sunday-Monday weather instead of our temps right now. I do want to caution you on listening to accumulation amounts right now, and I will not post any until at least tomorrow. Why? Because its late March. The time of the year and proximity to the change in seasons makes a big difference in our area when it comes to snow accumulation. I'm not saying it can't happen, it has, its just more difficult and rare. Here are some of my thoughts:
1. This is a rain turning into snow event, so the longer it rains the less snow accumulation we will see.
2. The ground is warm, so we need a heavy burst of snow to create an initial layer for the rest of the snow to stick to. The first flakes will be wasted as they will melt, again, lessening our accumulation numbers.
3. The snow will be wet and heavy, meaning as layers of snow fall they will compact, thus measuring the snow on the ground will be a lower number than what it would be if it were light and fluffy.
I say all this because many people are reading the model data verbatum and giving accumulation numbers without taking the above into account. I do believe we will see accumulating snow, I am just not sure how much. The potential exists for it to be significant, and if this were February I would be way excited; but we shall see.
By: cws6196, 9:56 PM GMT on March 13, 2014
Well, the weather has now gotten interesting! I'm not referring to the wind and cold today, but to the snow chance Monday. Yes, the wind continues through the evening, and the temps will drop when the sun sets, but, the weekend should be pleasant before we again see the drop in temps below normal, and the snow.
Why am I more excited now than I was this morning? Because with the recent update of the model data, now all the major models are indicating snow for us Monday. This could change, but a couple of the models have been holding firm on snow for a few runs, and now the model (GFS) which was the holdout is is indicating snow. So the chances and probability have increased. I'm not yet 100% sold on this and do not want to hype anything, but I am looking at accumulating snow. I know it is difficult for snow to stick in March, but this storm will have plenty of moisture (its a coastal) and cold air; but most importantly, the timing for the precip appears to be overnight, so the sun angle will not be a factor.
I will have more details in another day or so as I want to cautiously become optimistic.
By: cws6196, 12:38 PM GMT on March 12, 2014
The NWS has issued a wind advisory for this evening. As I mentioned previously, the greatest threat from the storms today is the wind. The Storm Prediction Center has placed our area under a 5% risk for tornado formation. I am also concerned about localized flooding and icing Thursday morning. Also, since the ground is already saturated, and more rain will fall throughout the day, as the winds come in the trees will be easier to push down. Be aware of possible power outages and damage. The clouds today are our friend. The longer the clouds stay around the less severe the storms will be. The converse is true with the sun. Also helping us in keeping the storms less severe is that they are forming behind the cold front instead of ahead of the front. This will lessen the impact, although the potential for strong storms remains.
TIMING: Rain should start around noon or so with the severe weather closer to 6:00pm and later. Overnight our temps drop into the 20s.
The models are hinting at snow chances again next week, but for now I am skeptical. I will keep an eye on it though. Follow me daily on Twitter (@wxmanmd) for weather tidbits and updates.
.WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 11 AM EDT
THE NATL WEATHER SVC IN BALTIMORE MD/WA HAS
ISSUED A WIND ADVISORY.WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS
EVENING TO 11 AM EDT THURSDAY.
* TIMING.WEDNESDAY EVENING THROUGH THUR MORNING.
* WINDS.NORTHWEST 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 50 MPH.
* IMPACTS.SCATTERED TREE & POWER LINE DAMAGE. DIFFICULTY
DRIVING HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES.
A WIND ADVISORY MEANS THAT WIND GUSTS OF 45 TO 55 MPH ARE
EXPECTED. SECURE OUTDOOR FURNITURE & TAKE CARE DRIVING HIGH
By: cws6196, 2:18 PM GMT on March 11, 2014
Good afternoon! I hope everyone is enjoying the warm up! Today will be the nicest day of the week so get out and enjoy! Stormy weather moves in tomorrow followed by a cool down once again; somewhat typical for the change in seasons.
On Wednesday we will see rain, heavy at times, move into the area around the noon time hour and stay with us through the evening. There is a good chance for thunderstorms as the cold front slams into the warm moist air, and some of the storms could be severe. The Storm Prediction Center places us in a 5% chance for strong storms, most likely in the afternoon. The threat from the storms will be lightning and strong gusty winds. Overnight, as the cold front moves through the temps will drop into the 20s, so water on roads and sidewalks may freeze. Be careful during the morning commute Thursday. What a temp swing we will have, from the 60s+ today to the 20s on Thursday!
I expect there to be thunderstorm watches posted later tomorrow.
By: cws6196, 12:07 PM GMT on March 10, 2014
Good morning! Well, the weather this March continues to be a rollercoaster ride. Out temps through Wednesday will be about average for this time of the year, but, we will end the week with cold temps well below normal, lasting into next week. We also are looking at the potential for two more snow events, but before you get excited or annoyed, read further.
The storm Wednesday into Thursday that I have been mentioning for some time now is still a reality, and still looking powerful. But, it appears we will see a mostly rain event out of the storm. I am concerned with localized flooding since the ground is already saturated, and another almost inch of water has the potential to create flooding conditions. Please check all your drains and gutters in the streets to ensure the water will wash away. Will we see snow? Quite possibly, if the timing is right, but I doubt any accumulation. For snow to happen in March, especially now with the longer days, the snow has to fall during the evening hours, and for it to stick it would need to fall at a heavy rate to overcome the warming, wet ground. So, in this event, if the cold air does come at night Wednesday we could see snow, but after a day of rain I doubt much of anything will stick.
The models are showing another snow potential next week. Don't get excited; it's way too far out for any certainty, and keep in mind what I just wrote above. The further into March we get the harder it is for snow. Not impossible, but the conditions need to be 100% in line for it to happen. I will keep an eye on it though.
By: cws6196, 9:44 PM GMT on March 03, 2014
Well, over all my forecast busted as my numbers were on the high end, although, if you like snow, then the average of 4-8"+ we saw, in March, is bonus, especially for S MD! As I previously mentioned, the rain lasted longer than expected and the cold air was dry, evaporating some of the falling snow. We lost about 4" to those circumstances.
Icing and cold is our next concern. Tonight's temps will drop into the single digits and the wind chill will drop what it feels like to minus zero temps lasting into the morning commute Tuesday. The high temps Tues and Wed will be below freezing so any new snow will not melt for a few days. This means any liquid and slush on the roads will be ice. Driving and walking will be treacherous. Given the wind chill temps stay bundled up as exposed skin can become frostbitten quicker than you may think.
As I have been mentioning for some time now, I am still watching Thursday into Friday as another opportunity for snow. I will have more details later tomorrow as the system is still too far out for any accuracy. What I am watching is a coastal storm, but the variable is the position of the Low, and for now the models disagree.
Follow me daily on Twitter (@wxmanmd) for weather tidbits and updates.
By: cws6196, 11:18 PM GMT on March 02, 2014
The first part of the storm has moved through, now we have a lull until the main storm arrives in a couple hours. Since the temps continue to drop, the next wave will most likely be frozen precip. Based on latest data and observations, I am reluctantly dropping my accumulation amounts. I say reluctantly as I still believe this storm will over perform and that the southern track will turn a bit more to the north. But, in fairness, I have changed the amounts. But, this is still a big winter storm for us since we will begin with ice on top of which will be heavy snow. The rest of the week will be cold so this snow isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Actually, we may add to it Thursday (more on that later).
TIMING: Frozen precip to begin around 10:00pm or so, turning to snow a few hours after (unless the air cools faster). Snow should end Monday afternoon.
PRECIP TYPE: A period of freezing rain followed by a longer period of all snow. The snow will be wet and heavy.
ACCUMULATION: N MD could see 6-10"+ while those S of Baltimore City and into S MD could see 8-12". I am concerned that these numbers could increase. It all depends on how quickly we change to snow and how cold it gets Monday.
I am concerned about power outages later Monday, and the morning commute will be unsafe due to the ice and heavy snow. Follow me on Twitter (@wxmanmd) for weather tidbits and updates.
By: cws6196, 4:38 PM GMT on March 02, 2014
Well, this is an interesting time ... The forecast is complex and a challenge, just as I like it. Don't let the warm temps today lull you; this storm is coming and the temps will drop quickly as the precip begins and the front moves closer. We will have mixed precip so that will mess a bit with the final snow accumulations, but I am confident in my numbers. You will see many different accumulation numbers thrown around today by the NWS and the media, and thats due to them having a bias toward a particular model over another. I am taking the consensus of the data as well as knowledge of the area and historic trends to compile my numbers. Also, for those who remember last March and that forecast bust; this is not the same setup as that one. In a hard way I learned much from that storm! So, on to my forecast:
TIMING: Rain to begin for central MD around 6:00pm or so, turning to freezing rain a few hours later and snow a few hours after (unless the air cools faster). For S MD your start time is a few hours later, around midnight or 1:00am or so. Snow should end Monday afternoon.
PRECIP TYPE: Brief period of rain followed by a longer period of freezing rain ending with all snow. The snow will be wet and heavy.
ACCUMULATION: N MD could see 8-12"+++ while central MD could see 10-14"+ and S MD 8-10". I am concerned that these numbers, especially central and S MD could increase. It all depends on how quickly we change to snow and how cold it gets Monday.
I am concerned about power outages later Monday, and the morning commute will be unsafe due to the ice and heavy snow. Follow me on Twitter (@wxmanmd) for weather tidbits and updates.
By: cws6196, 4:29 PM GMT on March 01, 2014
Finally I am able to track the storm system itself! The model data, and what I am seeing, brings the Low further S from what they were saying a few days ago. This winter we have seen that happen with all of our storms; models show a N track but in reality they track further S. For this reason I have been saying for a few days now that I saw this as a major impact for us. My policy though is not to talk specifics too far out from a storm as that is considered as hype and, I feel, irresponsible. That said, now that we are close to the event I feel comfortable sharing my thoughts with confidence.
Let me re-emphasize what I have been saying here and on twitter; the actual snow amount is not as important as is the icing. We all have ice accumulation while some of us will have more and some less, snow. But a layer of ice is more dangerous and damaging. I am concerned with potential power outages early Monday morning.
In later updates I will talk timing, but for now I will talk precip type and accumulation. Timing is key to this forecast; the timing of the arrival of the cold air with the Low is crucial. It will be the difference of how much ice versus snow we will see. But we will see ice. As of now I see the precip starting as rain later Sunday, changing to freezing rain, then to all snow at the end Tuesday morning. Given that this is March and accounting for the sun angle, precip that falls overnight will accumulate more than precip falling during the day, unless we get precip rates of over 1"/hour (I don't think that will happen). Also, the amount of rain and ice will cut down on the snow accumulation. You can't just look at the model data and convert the liquid amount to snow since much of that liquid amount will be as rain and ice.
That said, I see us having a range of snow from 6-8"++. N MD could see the "++" as well as those near and S of Baltimore City, while S MD could see 3-6"+. Again, timing is everything. A quicker changeover to frozen precip will up the amounts, and actually, that is what I am seeing happen.
I will have another either later today or tomorrow morning, depending on if there are any major revisions needed in this forecast. My next update will include timing.
Follow me on Twitter (@wxmanmd) for weather tidbits and updates.