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, 7:58 PM GMT on February 26, 2010
update Tuesday Noon
I am writing this update to say there really is no update to my previous post. Although there is always the chance for a shift in the Low, I just don't see it happening. I am keeping to my original forecast of 1 - 2 inches accumulation, but honestly believe it will be closer to 1 inch or less.
The Low is moving up the coast and will intensify before moving away from us. Tomorrow we have a feature from the Great Lakes moving Southward into the region which could produce light snow, but again, my total of 1 - 2 inches accounts for this event as well. As to timing, expect the moisture to begin to fall late this evening or after Midnight. Many of you will wake up to an inch or less on the ground with another inch or less until it ends late Wednesday.
So far I don't foresee any other major storms on the horizon, but March is a tricky month and could still surprise us. The Weather Phone (443-470-9804) remains updated as is Baltimore Groundhog.
update Monday Noon
Well, this storm remains a tricky one as the seasons begin to change and the wind currents shift and the angle of sun changes such that we have longer durations of warmer sunlight. That said, I do see us being missed by the bulk of this system. I am forecasting for most of us to see a couple inches of accumulation by the end of Wednesday. The precip should start late evening Tuesday and end later Wednesday, with a stray snow shower into Thursday. My concern with this forecast is the path of the Low and the strength of the Northern blocking is what is controlling what happens. Any variation of one or more of these variables and we could see ourselves with more snow.
I will update again this evening and should have a better idea by then. At this time I am sticking with my first solution. The Weather Phone and Baltimore Groundhog are updated.
Sunday Noon update
Again, we have the potential for a good snow storm, but again it is a very difficult storm to forecast. To be honest, I am skeptical of this system greatly impacting us. The Low will move up the coast, but I am concerned with the temp gradient as well as the Low in New England. That Low is the one that skirted us last week, and in it's forecast position could keep this Low away from us as well.
So for now I am staying ambivalent. I will have another update tonight as I look for trends. The HPC forecast map of projected paths of significant Lows shows three Lows stacked up nicely. What does this mean? Winter for us has the potential to linger for a couple weeks. I will keep you posted.
Well, it looks like this storm is winding down for us. As I review storm reports it appears most of us saw a couple of inches of snow, yet did experience the wind. The rest of today will be windy, but the snow, for the most part, is over.
So, onward we go into next week. If you recall my post of last Tuesday I stated I was watching for the potential of another storm early in the week, and I continue to do so. The latest GFS model run data map for Wednesday morning shows a Low off the coast of MD. I share this only for information, as I do not base my forecasts on only one data set, and this far out that map could change. I do share this with you though as I would rather have you all aware of the potential of a storm and have it bust in my face, then not say anything and we all wake up to a foot of snow.
So we shall see. I will continue to watch this and keep you posted as conditions warrant. Even in calm weather, don't forget about the Weather Phone and Baltimore Groundhog.
By: cws6196, 8:36 PM GMT on February 16, 2010
update Friday Midnight
We really did luck out in missing this storm, as I had forecast would happen. As I write this portions of PA, NY and into New England are getting battered with strong winds and heavy wet snowfall. I have seen reports of fatalities, accidents and power outages. To put this into prospective, as I write this the pressure of the Low is officially 973 mb (with unofficial readings of 971 mb). That equates to the pressure found in a category 2 hurricane!
For us, we still have the potential for snow overnight accumulating to about 3 inches. The snow will taper off Friday morning, yet throughout the day Friday portions of the State could see a brief snow flurry. The winds will be with us all day Friday, gusting to 40 mph (tropical storm force winds begin at 39 mph).
The Weather Phone (443-470-9804) is updated and feel free to leave damage reports, wind speed and snow totals on the phone. Baltimore Groundhog is also updated.
update Thursday morning
Where's my inch on the ground? Give it time. There have been some reports of snow fall in MD this morning, but quite scattered. We are still on track with my forecast, it is only a timing difference as to why it is so calm for us. A look at the maps shows snow to the North of us and the Lows are lining up, waiting to merge. Later tonight is when we will see most of our snowfall. I am still leaning toward 3 inches, although please note that if the Low retrogrades (moves South), we could be closer to 8. That I wont know until I see the placement of the Low and begin to see how it is traveling.
The Weather Phone is updated as is Baltimore Groundhog.
update Thursday Midnight
Not at all an easy storm to forecast as it all hinges on the location of the Low, and that location is all over the place for the next couple days. This is quite the system developing as we have three different Lows converging into one, then moving inland! If this were the Summer what a hurricane this would make.
So, what about us? I continue to stick with what I have said, that for most of us the accumulation will be around 5 or so inches, but in reality, I am skeptical of those amounts. Given the current forecast position of the Low and the surface and ground temps, 3 inches or so appears more likely (as I have been saying for a week now). BUT, if the Low decides to shift ever so slightly, or slows in it's progress, we could see higher amounts, although I do not see this solution as happening, but know it is possible.
The problem for us will be the winds which could be gusting in the 30 mph range over a long period of time, coupled with a moist ground and new wet snow, there is the potential for trees to be downed and power lines to go with them.
As to timing, which is dependent on the actual track of the Low: as you read this you should only have an inch or so on the ground. Snow will continue into the early hours of the afternoon, then stopping for a few hours. Later in the afternoon the snow will resume and continue into Friday morning. The strongest winds will be Thursday evening, with strong gusts continuing into Friday.
I will keep you posted as I track the Low and so gain a better understanding as to what it is doing and so better predict where it will go. I will not be surprised to see the NWS issue wind advisories as Thursday progresses. The Weather Phone is updated and feel free to leave me messages as to winds gusts, damage, and snow amounts so I may report them to the NWS.
update Wednesday afternoon
Well, the game of "chase the models" is on. I have heard local weather people talking about only a couple inches, I have seen websites jump all over the place with accumulation totals, and even the local NWS is beginning to backtrack a bit in their discussions. Why? For two reasons: some people love to follow models exclusively; this system is tough to track as the slightest position change of the Low will throw everything off.
Here is my game plan based on data and historical evaluation: I will not "chase the models", in other words, I am not changing my previous forecast and accumulation amounts every time a new data set comes out. That said, please keep in mind that the position of the Low is key to what happens, and currently the data is all over the place as to what will happen. It is my belief that we will miss the majority of this storm, although we will feel the wind gusts tomorrow. Since we really don't know for sure where the Low will go, I am sticking to my 5 - 8 inches forecast, although allowing for us to only receive 3 inches when all is said and done.
In comments I have made to this blog I have stated my skepticism to us seeing a major blizzard. But, as I do this weather service to help people be prepared, please know there is the chance for us to see 8 inches or so from this. Personally, I would not be surprised to see the NWS downgrade the Watch to an Advisory as the day progresses.
Ok, in summary: officially my forecast calls for 5 - 8 inches, but do not be surprised to see less. I am still tracking the possibility of a storm the beginning of next week.
The Weather Phone is up to date as is Baltimore Groundhog.
update Wednesday Midnight
This is a tricky time of the year for forecasts as the atmosphere and dynamics are slowly shifting over to Spring patterns. As a result, a coastal Low at this time of the year is not as exact as the same coastal Low the beginning of February. So here we are.
In my last post I talked about only flurries for us as the Low was trending more off the coast. Although I did mention the caveat that if the Low shifted to the West we could see more snow accumulation. Well, that is what appears to be happening, but to be honest, most of the snow we will see is a result of the wrap around flow from the Low. The Low looks to stay off the coast, coming inland over NYC. It is the counter clockwise wrap around from the Low that will give us most of the snow.
We should start to see precip falling around 10:00 pm or so Wednesday, waking up Thursday to an inch or two on the ground. As Thursday progresses the snow will continue to fall, heavy at times. Much of the snow accumulation will happen late Thursday afternoon into the evening with the snow ending Friday morning. All in all I would say most of Central MD could see 5 inches plus, Northern Harford into Cecil Co could see 8 inches plus, while Southern MD may only see a few inches.
The snow is not the only issue we will be dealing with; wind will be a factor. This Low will become quite strong with some locales North of us experiencing hurricane force winds. Those winds, in the wrap around on Thursday, will affect us, although not reaching hurricane strength, they could be gusting into the tropical storm force winds.
I would not be surprised to see the NWS issue Winter Storm Warnings and Wind Advisories as we move into Thursday.
If this isn't enough for you, I am watching the potential for another coastal storm early next week. Sorry ....
Just a quick note to those of you who informed me I dropped the ball on this one. I do take responsibility for my statement in my last post wherein I was skeptical we would see anything from this, but, a re-read of my posts will show I have been tracking this potentiality since Feb 12 and in more earnest since last Thursday evening. In all my posts I have been skeptical of this forming into a problem for us, but I have always cautioned you to the potential of something major happening. Just wanted to go on the record.
I will keep you posted best I can and the Weather Phone (443-470-9804) will remain updated. Feel free to leave me accumulation amounts on the Phone as well as wind status.
update Tuesday afternoon
The NWS has issued a Winter Storm Watch for the area. If you look at the details they are estimating 5 or more inches of accumulation. Please recall that in my last post I did talk about the possibility of a shift in the Low. Well, the data this afternoon shows the shift as well as a tremendous deepening of the Low (strength) which will bring us extremely strong winds on Thursday with the potential for tropical force winds and then some.
Before people panic, allow me to look over the data that comes in tonight for some consistency and verification. But, even if we are talking 5 or so inches, in comparison to 30 inches, this is nothing.
The Weather Phone is updated.
update Tuesday very early morning
Is everyone enjoying the precip that isn't white and fluffy? This is the perfect rain fall to have at this time as it is not heavy and so allowing the snow to melt at a slow pace. But, just because we have rain now does not mean we will not see snow again. There is this Wednesday and Thursday.
The dynamics contain a Low of the coast of SC and moving Northward up the coast. But, it appears the Canadian Low that kept the snow away from us Monday will do so again this time as it moves NE allowing the Low off the coast to move further Northward, effecting New England and not us. We should see some snow falling and maybe some light accumulation Wednesday through Thursday. The temps will be low enough to support all snow for any precip.
The only caution I have: if the Low moves ever so slightly to the West or the Canadian Low does not shift to the NE, then we could see a fair amount of accumulation. At this time I do not see that happening, but just know it is possible. I will know more later Tuesday as I observe the movement of the Low toward SC and the movement of the Canadian Low.
As always the Weather Phone is up to date as is Baltimore Groundhog.
update Sunday morning
My previous post as to the rain for Monday and Tuesday still stands. No change there. In previous posts I have mentioned the possibility of a storm the end of this week. That seems to have disappeared, replaced by the possibility for snow Wednesday into Thursday. At this time I am not overly impressed with that prospect.
Dynamically speaking, with the rain event these next couple days and the circulation of the Low, we will find ourselves on the cooler side of things. Any precip coming our way after Tuesday would be in the form of snow, but right now I am not confident in us having a strong storm. The Low is not positioned where I would like it, and thus far the Canadian Low is blocking much movement of a coastal Low for us.
But, with that said, there remains the potential for some accumulation of snow mid-week. If the position of the Low changes and the Canadian Low gives up a bit, then we could be seeing a different forecast. Of course I will keep you posted.
The Weather Phone is updated as is Baltimore Groundhog.
update Saturday morning
Well, it looks like those who don't want snow won out this time. The Low looks to position itself off the NC coast and move Northward from there. Given the circulation it will draw in warmer air and moisture giving us an all / mostly rain event. The surface and lower atmosphere temps will remain above freezing. The only possible exception to this is Northern Baltimore Co and Northern Harford Co where the event could begin as freezing rain. As to timing, most areas of Central MD will see rain / freezing rain, early Monday morning with heavier bands in the Afternoon.
At this time is does not appear we will reach criteria for official flood statements to be issued, but be aware of possible localized flooding due to the snow melt and rainfall.
Wednesday evening into Thursday we could see some snowflakes, but nothing to be concerned about just yet. I am still looking to the events the end of the week.
The Weather Phone will be updated as well as Baltimore Groundhog.
update Friday afternoon
The data today is showing a trend to the North for the path of the Low. This path would bring us a wintry mess of rain, sleet, snow. It is assumed that with this track there would be little accumulation as the rain/sleet would reduce or eliminate the accumulation.
As I mentioned in my last post the track is uncertain, and this new data takes away my large accumulation prediction. Given we are still 3 days out, many things can happen. This scenario may possibly be the one, but to be honest, at this point I am not modifying my forecast. Why? I don't want to change a forecast for every change in the data as that is not forecasting, that is chasing data around. What I want to see is consistency in the data, therefore, tomorrow morning I will have another forecast out, this one based off of not only new data but consistency in the data. As I said, I may have to concede to a rain event; we shall see in the morning.
I am still tracking the data on the end of the week storm potential.
update Friday Midnight
This really is a challenging forecast even as we close the timing gap. The model data still has the Low in different positions in relation to us, thus affecting our precip type and amount. If the Low travels further North then we see much more rain then if the low tracks over us or to our South. So the track, which is still uncertain, will determine the amount and type of precip. So, to be honest, any forecast at this time is merely an educated guess as we do not as yet know the position or tracking of the Low. Once we can begin to observe the Low move across the country will we have a better idea as to what will happen here.
But, let me go out on a limb and speak to some specifics. Allow me to preface this by saying that this is a work in progress (as it has been since the 12th when I first mentioned it). I am inclined to say this system will move just to our South, almost overhead as it moves offshore. This position gives a mixture of precip with those South of Baltimore and East of I-95 receiving rain and those North of Baltimore and West of I-95 seeing primarily snow with only some mixing of rain. What could effect this is the Canadian vortex and it's strength and position. But this is how I feel it will track given the preliminary data and history of the paths of these storms thus far this Winter.
Bottom line: if I venture a forecast I would say the precip begins late Monday morning into the afternoon, ending overnight into Tuesday. We could see accumulations of 5 - 10 inches, although the amount of rain mix could drastically reduce that amount.
Ok, want to hear the other news now? I am also beginning to track the potential for another winter storm the end of the week. You heard it here first!
The Weather Phone is updated and you can track this system on Baltimore Groundhog.
update Wednesday just before Midnight
For those who do not wish to see more snow, keep your fingers crossed as there is always hope. I still do not feel confident in citing any specifics as to the next storm, but suffice it to say, something will happen the beginning of the week. At this point it looks like we could see mixed precip before a turnover to all snow, but timing and track of the low are still in flux. I hate to put it so broad, but we are looking at a system which could start Sunday through Tuesday, or start Monday, etc. There are just too many variables. But then again, it is only Wednesday.
The next few days you can expect to see scattered snow flurries, but nothing to worry about. There is a possibility of some snow Sunday morning, but that will most likely either melt in the heat of the day, or the precip may turn to rain and wash it all away.
Of course I am keeping the Weather Phone updated.
original post Feb 16 afternoon
Well, we missed out on this one. When I first told you about this potential over a week ago, the models looked good for a nice dumping of snow, but as the clipper became better organized and we saw what was happening, I appropriately modified the forecast. Why do I bring this up? Because since last Friday I have been talking about the potential for a storm the weekend after Valentine's Day / last week of February, and here we are continuing to watch this potential. What is interesting is that even the local NWS has decided today to mention this possibility, so maybe there is something to this. Here is what they wrote: "ECMWF INDICATES A POTENT COASTAL STORM WHICH IS NOT REFLECTED IN THE GFS. WILL HAVE TO KEEP AN EYE ON THINGS IN THE DAYS TO COME." The ECMWF and the GFS are computer models.
Also to note, there is a chance for some snow Wednesday morning and Wednesday evening, but nothing to be too excited about. I am also watching a disturbance this Saturday night into Sunday, but again, I don't believe it will have a major impact, but definitely bears watching.
As always I will keep you posted best I can. The Weather Phone is always up to date as is Baltimore Groundhog.
By: cws6196, 4:16 AM GMT on February 11, 2010
update Monday morning
No real changes to what I have previously mentioned. I stand by the 2 inches as an average for the area. The onset of the snow should be later this afternoon / early evening, ending overnight into Tuesday.
Still watching for the potential of another storm early next week, late weekend. Will keep you posted. The Weather Phone is updated as is Baltimore Groundhog.
update Sunday afternoon
Well, for those of you sick of the snow, not that I would understand why .... it looks like you win on this one. The Low associated with the clipper appears to be on a more Northward track, bringing us less snow and more rain. Here's how I see it: Monday morning we could see some snow flakes falling, but nothing to get the snow blower out for. In the afternoon those in Central and Southern MD will see rain until the evening when the temps drop enough for snow. Most of the snow will be out of the area by Tuesday morning, leaving about 2 inches in Central MD, less in Southern MD, and for those in Northern Harford Co maybe 4 inches or so. After what we have been through, all of this is more then doable.
The Weather Phone is updated as is Baltimore Groundhog. I continue to watch the possibility of another storm the 22nd or so (as I have previously mentioned).
update Friday morning
What a pleasant weather day, and perfect for catching up on the digging out efforts. We can enjoy the next few days as there is no snow in sight for us. Regarding the Monday snow event (or should I just call it the "event" so as not cause any PTSD reactions?) I don't have too much to add since it is still a number of days away and model guidance can and will fluctuate. But, as of now, this appears to be a Monday night into Tuesday morning event, with the potential for 4 - 8 inches. But, it is dependent on timing and position, hence my hesitancy for a fixed amount this early. This is not a Gulf Low riding up the coast, rather, a clipper coming from the West. Historically, clippers in our area are moisture starved, but there have been exceptions. I will keep an eye on it.
Also, not to worry any of you, rather to inform, I am looking at the potential for another snow storm (event) the weekend after Valentine's weekend.
I am keeping the Weather Phone active and don't forget to check out Baltimore Groundhog for updates and interactive content.
What a storm this was! In comparison to the weekend storm, it may have been less snow, but it was snow on top of snow, and the winds made the difference. I have about 20" of new snow, and at my office the drifts were large, one of them up to the roof of my car. The good news; no snow for 4 days!
But, come day 5 we may again see the white stuff drifting downward from the sky. President's Day is the target of this potential storm, a storm first mentioned by myself Monday night here and on Baltimore Groundhog. It is still too far out for any reliable details, but at this time there is the potential for multiple inches of the white stuff.
I will keep you posted and the Weather Phone updated. You can also follow the details of this system on Baltimore Groundhog.
By: cws6196, 8:36 PM GMT on February 07, 2010
there is hope
There is hope ... see the attached radar image. The precip is moving southward and eastward on the map (counterclockwise). So it appears my last post was on target. Now to get the winds to diminish.
Wednesday afternoon update
A quick look at the radar shows about another 2 hours of light to moderate snowfall is left. The Low is in such a position as we are encountering the return bands from the NW. Most the snow should be light, but there are some radar echoes with heavier bands.
Stay up to date with the Weather Phone ( 443-470-9804 )and follow the storm on Baltimore Groundhog
Wednesday late morning update
We are in the intense period at the moment. The Low is riding North along the coast, parallel to the Baltimore region. The heavy precip will continue for another couple hours, tapering off in the later afternoon with only an inch or so accumulation. The big issue for this afternoon (and now) is the wind. The Blizzard Warning is in effect due to the winds and the blowing and drifting snow it will produce. So even though the snow will taper off in the afternoon, the winds will not, causing roads that are plowed to now have drifts.
This morning I had around 10 inches of snow and it was still snowing at the time. Accurate measurements from this time forward will be difficult because of the blowing and drifting of snow. I will do my best. Please let me know your accumulation amounts. My previous accumulation amounts still stand, although may trend a bit less for those, like me, who had a couple hours of sleet in the early morning.
The Weather Phone is up to date and will be kept that way. I am still watching for the potential of another storm on Monday, more to come as we get closer to the event.
update Tuesday evening
It has been snowing for me since about 6:00 pm and I have around 5 inches accumulation at this time. No real update to mention as everything seems on track as I have previously posted. I would not be surprised to see Blizzard Warnings issued Wednesday. Let me know your accumulation rates, and the Weather Phone is updated with the ability for you to leave messages and make comments.
As I first mentioned yesterday, looks like this Monday we will see another winter storm effecting our area. Too early for details, but wanted to give you all a heads up.
update Tuesday afternoon
"So, where is it?" This is the general question I am being asked. Hold strong. As I look at the recent surface map and the position of the Low pressure systems, I see the setup for what I previously posted. If you recall I stated that a couple Lows will merge, move along the MS valley and merge again along the coast. Please note that the line of Lows are on the surface map as well as the Low along the coast. Believe me, as much as I love snow and love being right with my forecasts, I will be the first person to say "I hope I am wrong." But not this time. It is coming. Keep in mind last Friday; I heard the same question as I left the office. Yes, my timing prediction on Friday was off, but the 31" of snow I have in my yard is a reality, as will this storm be.
update to discuss timing / accumulation
Well, the wait begins. As this storm comes on a work day I have put together preliminary timing and accumulations. Please note that the accumulations are averages and the timing is simply for discussion. In other words, any of this could change at any time, but this should give some indication of what we shall see.
The snow should start late this afternoon for Central MD, and by Midnight expect about 5 or so inches. When waking for work, there could be 6 - 9 inches. From the morning through Noon another 4 - 6 inches is possible. After Noon until it is over in the late afternoon or early evening we could see another 2 inches.
In my previous posts I have mentioned that there will be a burst of heavy snow after Midnight and another burst after 8:00 am. These accumulations reflect those "bursts".
I am keeping the Weather Phone updated and will send updates as are needed. Keep me posted as to your accumulations and experiences. We can do this ...
update Tuesday midnight
Not too much different to say since my last post. The biggest change is in the totals. If you recall my original post on Sunday I stated we could see 18 inches or more; so you heard it here first! I toned down my numbers in my last post due to fluctuations in the position and timing of the Low. I am now confident in saying that my numbers need to come up to where they were originally. So what does that mean for me?
Those in Central MD could see 14 - 20 inches of snow moving West to East. Those East of Baltimore Co and into Harford Co Northward will be closer to the 20 or more inches. those in Southern MD will see less of an accumulation due to the mixed precip at onset.
Not only am I concerned that we could be adding 20 inches to the already 30 inches, but my other concern for folks is the wind on Wednesday. Given the pressure gradient as the Low moves North of the area, the winds will strengthen as Wednesday progresses. The snowfall Wednesday should be a lighter snow, thus blowing and drifting snow will most likely occur. Do not be surprised if Blizzard Warnings are issued for Central MD and North.
Timing is the same as I previously mentioned as well as snow intensity is the same as I previously mentioned. Come Wednesday morning and we wake for work there should be about 4 - 6 inches on the ground. The rest of the snow will accumulate throughout Wednesday.
Not to scare people, but I already see the hints of more winter weather mid-next week. More to come on that (but you heard it here first).
I will keep the Weather Phone updated, feel free to leave messages. Also, follow the storm on Baltimore Groundhog
update Monday afternoon
Please remember, I am but the messenger and not the controller of the message. Not much has changed in the data and snow amounts. We have a set up wherein the Low from TX and the Low moving across the mid-West combine forces as they move just South of the area, while a coastal Low moves North along the coast. The timing of these joining forces will impact the precip type and amounts. The position of the Low will also have an impact; therefore, as I have previously mentioned, the rest that I say is based on current projected timing and path of the Low. Any shift will make a change. But, let me also say, confidence is high that this system will not shift much.
As I see it, precip in Central MD will begin late afternoon or early evening as snow. The strongest of the snowfall will be a period after Midnight and another period around 8:00 am Wednesday or so. Total accumulations from 8 - 14 inches with locally heavier amounts. The snow should end later Wednesday afternoon.
For those in Southern MD, the precip will begin sooner and possibly start as sleet or mixed wintry precip. Total amounts of 4 - 6 inches with locally heavier amounts. Please note, at the time of this writing Southern MD counties are under a Winter Storm Watch with the exception of St. Mary's County which has no watches or advisories issued at this time.
I will keep the Weather Phone updated, feel free to leave your comments / questions. Also, stay updated with Baltimore Groundhog
original Sunday 3:30 pm
Here we go again ... If you recall, last Tuesday night's post I stated there would be snow the following Tuesday. Well, here we are and here is the snow on Tuesday. A Low is moving into the area from the Midwest, and when it hits the coast will form a second Low off the Carolinas which will ride up the coast. Obviously our temps are cold enough for snow, and with the current snow pack the surface will support all snow.
So, what does this mean? As I see it, the snow should begin the afternoon of Tuesday and end around the same time on Wednesday. We are looking at snowfall totals of over a foot, maybe as high as 18" or so. I will know more come Monday.
Sorry for the delay in reporting, but I have not had power (nor do I yet) for over 33 hours.
The Weather Phone will stay updated as well as Baltimore Groundhog
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.