Tuesday, January 27, 2004

TUE 1/27 10:15 AM


Updates to the current forecast for storm # 3...TUE NOON through WED NOON.

BAL area... on track with just slightly less than .25" ice starting later today, continuing for most of the day. The big issue is when it all changes to snow. It is a sure bet that with a thick layer of ice that has 2-3 inches of snow on top of it makes for another sleep in day Wednesday to all you out there in school land. There could be a big burst of snow later Tues evening as another front passes. All the TV forecasters have this business going on about "how this is gonna swing down, and that's gonna develop this, and this low will move here, and that moisture will do this..." Time and time again, complex forecasts like that go wrong. Unfortunately for all you powderhounds out there, the likelihood of a huge surprise snowstorm late tonight is limited. We just don't get big snow out of Cape Henlopen Lows. The low will form too late, not energize fast enough, or worse yet, the front swinging through from the west could push the coastal low out to sea too far. That's why the accumulation amounts will stay well below 4", and more like 2"

And I think the snow showers will linger longer on Weds, again another reason for no school Weds.

Did you notice that Norm Lewis of ABC2 News quickly backed off his monstrous 4-8 inch forecast? Even an hour later, I couldn't find any evidence of that forecast anywhere on their website.

PHILLY... lots more snow for you. The NWS (National Weather Service) has good snow amounts but I think you will get less than they are calling. More like 4-6" instead of their 5-10." Why? Because again the coastal low will be forming too far north and too slowly to dump a huge amount on you. We've seen this kind of call fail time and time again... too high expectations for a coastal low to get all this done in such a short time. If you want a 5-10" storm, the low has to form at least as far south as Hatteras or in So. Carolina. The NWS knows this, they just keep forgetting. Wed School for Philly? Fugggettaboutit.

CENTRAL PA.... you have potential for 6" or more as well since this storm will be a 'Cold Cut Combo' (an old menu item at Subway years ago). The remnants of the midwest low right now will feed into the coastal low, so you'll get carryover snow from both events.


Computer models are slowing down the whole thing... so it looks like the only risk to school is maybe an early dismissal Friday. The BAL NWS is calling for rain, and yet the model they use to forecast with is calling for snow. The upper level 0 degree Celsius line is way far south of us Friday, so don't know why NWS has rain for Friday. The most likely scenario is light snow starts Friday afternoon and continues for a couple hours before tapering off early Saturday morning. Accumulations maybe 1-2" or less.


The ideas I posted Mon PM about the late Sunday into Monday storm hold true, but just move them up a day or two, to next Tuesday-Wednesday.

Once this Friday's low moves off the coast, the counterclockwise flow (called return flow) around the backside will drive in much colder air for Saturday and Sunday. The low will leave a cold front trailing behind it into the Gulf, which becomes the genesis of the next storm, now projected to develop sometime Sunday into Monday and start rolling up the coast Tuesday. So again it is always in the timing. If the high moving into the midwest is too strong, it may block the storm from moving north and all we get are flurries. If the high allows the storm to slowly intrude... then it could be a situation like last February.. a long duration storm with "significant accumulation." For all you weather nerds out there... "significant" is the National Weather Service's technical term for when they expect 4 or more inches of snow in a 12-hour period.

The cold stormy pattern we (The I-95 crowd) are in is expected to hang tough for at least another 10 days, then a calmer, warmer pattern is projected to set in after about Feb 10. But remember... what goes up, must come down hee hee hee. So the fun and games and days off are not over, in fact they may just be getting started. Oh the times, they are a changin. -- Paul Simon, right?

I will keep a close watch on the potential storm for next week, and once this ice monster moves away and the sun returns, the focus of the blog will be on that storm for the next several days.

As for today, it is another "Day with Jay"... so we are going to curl up and watch a movie and play with Jayla!

Mr. Foot

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