Central MD Weather Conditions

Yup, a tropical system heading our way ....

By: cws6196, 1:47 PM GMT on September 28, 2010

update Thursday Noon

So far this event has gone forward as forecast. I have seen rain totals over 5 inches in local areas, and there are numerous flood reports. But, here's where my forecast did not pan out; the remnants of Nicole, which I said would be here overnight into this morning and bring us heavy rain is not here yet. "What?!" you ask? That's right, the remnant Low of Nicole is still down around GA. What we have been experiencing all day is another low that came to us from the West.

So what does this mean? Round two later tonight is what it means. If you look at the water vapor satellite image you will see the large amount of rain along the East Coast. But look down toward GA and you will see a dark red color signifying a large quantity of rain. This is what is heading our way later today.

But, let's take the good with the bad. Round two, the remnants of Nicole, should move more to the East of us which means less wind and less chance for tornadoes. It still means more rain, and we could see another 3 or more inches of rain, possibly up to a foot of rain total in some areas.

To summarize, it will continue to rain this afternoon; become heavier in the evening, but less chance for thunderstorms and wind. To keep this in perspective: if this were February we would be looking at roughly 100 inches of snow right ....

Feel free to call the Weather Phone (443-470-9804)for updates and to leave any storm damage or flooding you are experiencing so I can report it to the NWS.

update Wednesday Noon

Slight tweaks to my original forecast: it is currently raining in Southern MD and heading Northward. Therefore it appears the rains will begin a bit sooner then I had thought, although the bulk of the rain and wind will still happen after Midnight into Thursday morning. We are still anticipating at least 4 inches of rain, with some places seeing locally higher amounts.

The model data still is not yet in agreement as to where the center will go, either along the coast or inland. But to be honest, that doesn't matter too much, as either scenario will dump copious amounts of rain on us. If the center does move more inland, that will place the NE quadrant over Eastern Baltimore and the Eastern Shore. The NE quadrant is typically where most of the stormy weather happens. For all of us though, as we move closer to Thursday morning we could experience local thunderstorms and isolated tornadoes.

For those along the water, the Potomac River does not appear to be effected by this given the tides and the wind direction, but those along the Western shore of the Chesapeake Bay could see flooding tides.

update Wednesday Midnight

Not much to report as an update: all still in line with my previous report. At the time of this writing the system is still only a tropical depression, yet should strengthen into a tropical storm. By the time we feel it's impacts it will be what is termed "extratropical" or "post tropical", meaning the system lacks the characteristics found in a hurricane or tropical storm. But, as I mentioned earlier, we could see 3 inches or more of rainfall and wind gusts into the 60 mph or more at times. Thus far my timing remains accurate, although we may continue to have rain from the backside of the system into Friday morning.

I will keep you posted. Please leave me messages on the Weather Phone (443-470-9804) of any recorded wind gusts and/or storm damage so I may report it to the NWS.

original posted Tuesday morning

First, I must say I was disappointed in the lack of storms last night. But Mother nature will always prevail over even the best of forecasts.

If you recall, early last week I posted here a long range forecast stating my concern that we would be impacted by a tropical disturbance around the first weekend of October ... well, looks like I was on track, albeit a few days off. The remnants of Matthew are interacting with another Low in the Caribbean. Given the conditions in the area, this system should develop into a tropical storm later today or so. The model data for the yet-to-be-formed storm has the system moving up the East Coast and impacting the mid-Atlantic area later this week. It is way too early for many details, but I will give it a shot.

As I see it, the track will hug the coast, but given the size of tropical systems, all of MD will be impacted. I am NOT saying we will be hit by a hurricane, but we will feel strong winds and receive much rain. Obviously those in Southern MD will experience the effects first, but most of us will begin this experience after Midnight or so Wednesday into Thursday morning, with the bulk of the rain during the morning commute on Thursday. We could see 3 or more inches of rain. Depending upon the exact track and strength of the storm, those along the Bay and in Southern MD could see storm surges of over 3 feet since high tide occurs around 7:00 am Thursday.

All of this is preliminary and dependent upon the exact path, strength of the system, and timing. I will keep you updated with these posts and the Weather Phone (443-470-9804).

Updated: 4:54 PM GMT on September 30, 2010


Storms Monday

By: cws6196, 4:44 PM GMT on September 26, 2010

update Monday afternoon

Yes, more rain is on the way and making it's trek up Maryland. Currently the forecast is the same as I mentioned last night. Some of the storm cells we have seen on the radar already today do have some rotation in them, and the Storm Prediction Center has placed our area in a 5% chance for tornadoes. Most of the storm cells will be scattered, but those which do form could be strong. I see the bulk of the storms and rain happening after dinner.


First, I am still keeping an eye on the tropics (refer to my previous posts), but am not too sure now that Matthew will do anything for us.

More immediate though is the potential for severe weather tomorrow evening. A Low pressure system will be moving Northward, just to the West of us, and with the counter-clockwise spin will draw into the area copious amounts of moisture from the Gulf and Atlantic. We could see up to 3 inches of rain!! We need the rain though. As Monday evening progresses, the warm front associated with the Low will begin to interact with a cold front headed for the area. We know what that means ... the potential for some nice thunderstorms. Timing is key here, but the potential for strong storms does exist. The main threat from the storms would be strong winds. There is also a chance for an isolated tornado.

So, for Monday, I would not be surprised to see the NWS issue flood statements as well as thunderstorm watches/warnings with a possible tornado watch.

Of course I will keep you posted here and on the Weather Phone (443-470-9804). Feel free to leave a message on the Weather Phone of any storm damage you experience so I may officially report it to the NWS.

Updated: 4:43 PM GMT on September 27, 2010


Hurricane season is not over yet ...

By: cws6196, 4:24 PM GMT on September 22, 2010

update Friday 24 afternoon

In my previous post I spoke of my concern of the then tropical disturbance eventually making it's way up the coast. Well, that disturbance now has a name, Matthew, and is poised to effect Central America. It is still a long shot, but the model data and current track of Matthew still has me watching this system.

A look at the accumulated rain fall models for Oct 3 for the East Coast as well as the ensemble map for Matthew continues to show the possibility of at least the remnants of Matthew effecting the mid-Atlantic. Keep in mind that these maps are computer generated data, so analysis and other factors need to be weighed as well. Hence why I say I am concerned, but it is a long shot.

So for now I will stick with a wait and see attitude, not expecting much, but keeping an eye on things.

original post

Even though Fall is on the doorstep, hurricane season continues through the end of November. In the Atlantic Lisa is out there but should not pose any threat to us. What I am following though is a disturbance in the Caribbean. This has not as yet formed into anything, although the potential is there, and so the National Hurricane Center is keeping an eye on it.

I mention this because I am somewhat concerned (maybe too strong of a word) about this area of disturbance and the mid-Atlantic region. At this time most of the data has the disturbance heading toward the Gulf, but other data has it re-curving and running along the Eastern seaboard. Prior to this disturbance forming, I was watching model data which developed a low off the Carolina coast; could this disturbance be that low which was predicted? Not sure yet.

I am not a fan of long-range forecasting, so all I will say right now is, I am watching this disturbance. Of course I will keep you posted.

Updated: 7:01 PM GMT on September 24, 2010


Let's think snow this winter

By: cws6196, 4:39 PM GMT on September 13, 2010

Don't shoot the messenger ..... Those who know me know I don't put much stock in long range predictions about the weather, but I thought I would pass this along anyway. I will not make further comment it, but rather let it speak for itself. See below.


Old Farmer's Almanac sees sn...y winter ahead
via Maryland Weather by Frank Roylance on 9/13/10

How can I break this to you? Someone dropped a copy of the 2011 Old Farmer's Almanac on my desk over the weekend. So, naturally, when I got in this morning, I immediately opened it to the 2011 weather forecast.

Well, first let me say there is good news on the page. The almanac's seers believe next summer Baltimore blizzard 2009will be relatively cool and dry. The cool part, we like. Of course, after the warmest summer on record for Baltimore, anything would seem cool by comparison. The dry part we may need to appeal, since we have been dealing with scarce rainfall and - in some parts of the state - drought throughout the summer of 2010.

Then there's the winter forecast. The Old Farmer believes the November-through-March period coming up will be "cold and snowy" across most of the South and into the mid-Atlantic states as far north as New York City.

The almanac's forecasters use a variety of indicators for their prognostications. They include sunspot cycles, and El Nino/La Nina patterns. La Nina is expected to be a factor this winter:

"We expect that a weak to moderate La Nina will develop for the winter of 2010-11. Most of the eastern portion of the nation will have below-normal winter temperatures, on average (the weaker the La Nina, the colder it will be) ... Snowfall will be above normal in most of the area from the mid-Atlantic states through the southeast part of the country and below normal in most other areas."Baltimore blizzard February 2010

Here, I need to insert a caution. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center shows nothing of the kind. Their seasonal forecast for the December through February period shows equal chances for above- or below normal temperatures and precipitation in the mid-Atlantic states. In the Southeast, they expect below-normal temperatures, but also below-normal precipitation.

NOAA also says La Nina cooling in the equatorial Pacific began in late spring and has strengthened in recent weeks. And indications are it will continue to strengthen and persist through the winter. And the pattern seen most frequently during La Nina winters in the mid-Atlantic includes relatively warm temperatures - not cold. It also brings the jet stream (which generally also means the prevailing storm track) right over us, which would seem to suggest above-normal precipitation.

I leave it to you to sort out all this seemingly contradictory information. But if you hate snow, (and the Old Farmer is correct about weak La Ninas bringing colder winter weather) it seems like you should be rooting for a strong La Nina.

Or, maybe you should find a cheap condo in Florida.

(SUN PHOTOS: Top: Dec. 18-19, 2009 blizzard. Bottom: Feb. 5-6, 2010 blizzard. Both by Karl Merton Ferron)


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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About cws6196

I provide a weather email service for people in MD. I am a storm chaser & Skywarn spotter. For daily weather tidbits follow me on Twitter: @wxmanMD.

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