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, 5:33 AM GMT on November 23, 2010
update morning Dec 4
Well, for most of us we will not see snow this evening into Sunday. Those in Southern MD could see some flakes falling tonight, but the clipper is moving too far South to truly impact most of MD. Some model runs have the system moving a bit more to the North, but I just don't see us seeing anything from it.
As to the snow storm this coming week, I am still watching it, but again, in Central MD it is not looking as likely that we will see anything. Who will see something? Western MD and PA will have a fair amount of snow from Sunday through at least Tuesday. The storm I have been forecasting since before Thanksgiving WILL happen, but to our West and North.
Let me again repeat my mantra for us for this Winter: we will see many storms coming near us, but Central MD will be on the edge of most of them. We will either watch others get the snow or we will have mixed precip. Tonight's snow and early this week's snow is proving that point.
So, will we not see snow? I didn't say that. Through mid-December the cold Canadian air will stay with us, and the NAO remains negative. From today's clipper through mid-December there are multiple storms moving West to East. Given the cold air and negative NAO, at least one of these storms will impact us before Christmas. The questions are: when and how much accumulation?
Bottom line: for those in Central MD you will not have snow through this week. Next weekend and the following week are possible.
update late Wednesday Dec 1
As you may have noticed, I have not been overly committal to the timing of any snow event, rather, I keep talking about snow "next week". That is due mainly as a result of long-range forecasting, but also due to the fluctuations in the model data. To be honest, as I have mentioned before, this will be the trend for us this Winter. Namely, models will bring snow near us, but rarely bring it to us. We will most likely either just (and I mean just) miss it, or we will have mixed precip or ice. I have said this before and I stand by it. My posts since before Thanksgiving regarding the snow next week demonstrates this trend.
But ... I am actually not writing this to update you on next week as I have nothing more to say that I haven't already said. Rather, I am hear to talk about Saturday night into Sunday. I ended my last post by talking about the "small" chance for us to see snow this weekend. That chance is still small, but getting a bit larger. A clipper is moving down late Saturday, and the cold air will definitely be in place this weekend. The challenge is, will the clipper make it over to us or stay to the West (the dilemma I mentioned above). Guidance right now has it staying to the West, but I'm not sure that will be the case. I am a bit more comfortable in saying we could see some flakes. But, as I mentioned yesterday, any snow we see this weekend will be light. Nothing to worry ourselves, but at least it will be snow!
The local NWS has actually even begun to talk snow. In their most recent meteorologist discussion they wrote: "LONG TERM /SATURDAY NIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY/... THE MAIN PLAYER IN THE EXTENDED IS THE POTENT CLIPPER SYSTEM PROGGED FOR SATURDAY NIGHT. THERE IS ACTUALLY SOME MODEL CONSISTENCY AND CONSENSUS STARTING TO DEVELOP... COLUMN DEFINITELY COLD ENOUGH FOR SNOW IN MOST AREAS WHERE POPS WERE INCLUDED...BUT IF IT DOES COME TO PASS IT APPEARS TO BE QUITE LIGHT."
I will keep you all posted, and either late Thursday or into the early weekend I will post an update about mid to end next week. As I know more about the snow this weekend I will let you know as well.
update late Tuesday Nov 30
Before I talk snow, just a reminder of the potential severe weather Wednesday morning and afternoon. Flood and Wind Advisories are in place and there is the potential for a thunderstorm with gusty winds. I will keep you posted as watches/warnings are issued.
Now back to the snow discussion. A look at the data continues to show flip flopping between the models and the data. This is precisely why I don't like long-range forecasting, and the cause of my questioning why I even went down this path so soon. But, alas I did, and I do feel it was the correct path. If you look at official NWS long range forecasts there is no mention of snow next week, but that is because they don't want to "panic" people until they know for sure.
The latest guidance shows the possibility of a low pressure system setting up over New England mid to end next week. Given the counter-clockwise rotation and the cold air in place, the potential for snow accumulation continues to exist. There are a couple factors which could hamper this, but the potential is there. Factors which could hamper this is the trend toward a neutral NAO and fluctuations in position and timing of systems moving across the country toward the mid-Atlantic region. Without getting too technical, there are factors out there which could stop us from experiencing snow, but if everything comes together, we are looking at our first snowfall mid or so next week. Some have termed this our first Nor'easter of the season - we shall see.
There is a small (emphasis on small) chance for us seeing some snow this Sunday. I have low confidence, but am mentioning it as I have seen it in some of the data and from other forecast sites. If we do see snow Sunday it will be light with minimal accumulation. I am more concerned with the days following Sunday.
update Saturday Nov 27
As we awake from our food comas, I am looking at the latest data regarding our possible snow event. As is typical, the models are fluctuating with only limited agreement between data runs. All this means is what I have always said; long-range forecasting is not a good idea. Does this mean I don't think it will snow soon? I didn't say that. What I am saying is I am still not sure. Here is what I am sure of: cold air will definitely be in place, the NAO looks to be negative, and there are multiple storms off the coast throughout the period.
So, what I am saying is that come December 5 through the following weeks, we will see snow. What we need are for the storms predicted to be off the coast to move more to the West. What are the odds of that? Fairly good actually. What it says to me is we could see multiple snow events in December. Not all of them will be heavy, but I am not ruling out a snowfall of up to 10 inches early in December.
As I previously mentioned about our Winter in general appears to be already starting, namely that we will be in the middle of multiple storms with us maybe seeing some snowfall, but mostly mixed precip and / or ice. So far that is what I see the models doing, shifting the storms just around us, making it hard to figure out what they will do. But, as I said above, I do see us getting snow in a few weeks.
update Wed Nov 24
The current model data is fluctuating a bit as to be expected. But, what is consistent is the presence of a storm system between Dec 5 - 9. How this plays out has a lot to do with the placement of a Low pressure system around Nova Scotia, the position of our Low and it's proximity to the coast, and the cold air in place. As to the latter, the cold air, that is not a question for me. There should be enough cold air at the surface to sustain snowfall and have it stick to the ground. The other factors are still questions which need to be answered, and the answers will determine how much snow we see. I don't want to begin to predict accumulation, but it could be as light as a few inches or as much as 10 inches. Time will tell.
original post Nov 23
As I first reported in a previous blog back on Nov. 20, the beginning of December looks primed for snow for us. Of course I hate to think this far out (look what happened with Thanksgiving, although I was right on the precip, but not the type), but the models have been showing this system for some time now and many of the conditions needed for snow appear to be coming together. This is a coastal storm, and those are the ones which tend to bring us the most snow. But, a few cautions: this is early in the season; this is far out time-wise; the system could move more to the East and out to sea.
So, this does bear watching, but keep in mind that things can change. There are some out there calling this a major storm and already predicting close to 10 inches of snow for us. I am not saying they are wrong, but keep in mind my cautions above. This is way too early for me to be talking accumulation amounts, but yes, high amounts are possible.
By: cws6196, 5:09 AM GMT on November 16, 2010
update evening Nov 22
No snow for Thanksgiving for us, just rain off and on throughout the day.
As first mentioned on Nov 20, it looks like snow is probable for us the beginning of Dec. I will create a new blog entry for this event.
update afternoon Nov 20
Well, it appears there will be snow this Thanksgiving as I have been mentioning. The only problem is, it won't be us seeing that snow. Sorry folks. As the model data begins to come together the cold air moving down and across the country will stop short of us. Those to the West and North of MD will see snow from Thanksgiving into the weekend while we will see rain on Thursday. At least I was correct that we would have precip on Thursday, it just wont be cold enough for snow. BUT, if the rain continues into Friday night and early Saturday morning, those in Northern Baltimore Co and Harford Co could see some flakes falling, but nothing to be concerned with.
As I have mentioned before, I do see our Winter as one where we will be on the edge of a snow/rain mix much of the time, like this coming weekend. I am still monitoring this as any shift in the cold air could change the rain into at least mixed precip.
For those who want snow, I am looking at the possibility of early December for another shot of the white stuff.
On another note, here is a link to more data, images and photos of the Baltimore tornado: http://www.accuweather.com/blogs/weathermatrix/story/41903/3d-radar-and-photos-from-baltimore-tornad o.asp
update late Nov 16
The model data is more consistent with bringing us some cold weather the end of next week. Again, the snowfall issue is yet to be resolved, but it is still early. At this time it appears we could have a dusting Wednesday into Thursday, with the potential for a stronger system Friday into Saturday. This latter system though may only effect those in VA into the DC area. Could Southern MD be in this; we shall see.
To add some perspective though; the day temps will be quite cold, but still above freezing while the night temps will be below freezing. What this means is the ground will not be frozen next week, thus most of the snow will melt as it hits the ground. What doesn't melt on the ground will melt with the day temps, although cold, but above freezing. So I am not talking a blizzard here. Actually, the way I see this Winter season is one where we will primarily experience mixed precip.
I will keep you posted on this event. Right now though I am more concerned about the Southern weekend storm rather then Thanksgiving.
original post Nov. 15
Yes, you read that right: snow for Thanksgiving? As you all know, I am not a fan of long-term forecasts, but then again, when it comes to snow for this area I figure it is best to give everyone as much advanced warning as possible. But keep this point in mind - much can happen from now until next Thursday to mess up my prediction.
The model data is not yet consistent, hence my hesitancy, but it appears the end of next week we will experience the coldest weather of this season, and if coupled with precipitation will mean snow. I am quite confident in saying it will be very cold next week, but not as confident about the moisture part of the forecast. But there is some indication for it. I wont get too technical right now as things can change, but suffice it to say, some of the dynamics which brought us snow last year are again forming the end of next week. No blizzard!!! I am talking a dusting or a bit more, that's all folks.
I will keep you posted, but remember, you heard it hear first. As the Winter season progresses my posts will increase. You can also call my Weather Phone for updates or to leave me comments/questions ( 443-470-9804). Thank you for your continued support!
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.