Monday, February 16, 2004


2/16 AFTERNOON UPDATE:
"SOME THINGS ARE TRUE WHETHER YOU BELIEVE THEM OR NOT."

- a quote from the City of Angels, not from mw wife, according to her.

4:00 PM - REVISIONS TO THE FORECAST BELOW are noted in bold.

For you powderhounds out there who are clamoring for a storm, I know it can get distressing and time-consuming to go flipping back and forth between the Weather Channel, the local news and the internet to see what everyone is saying about this storm. So that is the reason for the headline today. I realize I had to flip flop around earlier in the week, and at one point called the whole thing off, but looking back, I should have held my ground because the expected weather pattern finally did come around.

Just a historical footnote being that it is President's Day... I'm sure you all remember waking up a year ago today to 18-24 inches of snow along the East Coast depending on when you live. My back still remembers.. that's why we have a snowblower now. If you want to relive the fun, check out the online photo gallery for the Blizzard of 2003 at the link to the left. Go to the second or third page and you will see the gallery link.

Now back to the discussion. Instead of trying to play "catch me if you can" games with the computer models, I have decided to err on the side of my previous experience with storms like this and simply stick with my forecast, which is outlined below. I caution you that I might refine it slightly later today. But if I were to go solely based on the models, it would drive us all nuts because every 6 hours there would be a different forecast.


ALRIGHT ALREADY, WHAT'S THE FORECAST FOR TUE NIGHT INTO WED?


Overall, if you live along the I-95 corridor, you have already seen the weather service and the TV stations inch the snowfall potential farther west with time. Because that's what the models have been doing. Eventually the TV weather people will have to throw up their hands and say, yes, the big cities will see snow.

All the pieces are falling into place to develop this storm along the Carolina coast Tuesday morning, then move it north to a position off Hatteras by Tuesday night. Then it slows down and move north-northeast along New Jersey and south of Nantucket before exiting east of Cape Cod.

Central PA: Nut 'n' Honey. A few high clouds, otherwise sunny to party cloudy.

DC to southern Baltimore: This region is from DC north along 95 to where it intersects 695, and then northeastward through the city to Route 1 on the other side. Draw a line from Middle River straight west to Route 1, and that is the northern extent of this region. The farther south or east you are of this line, the more likely you'll see heavier snow.

My overall accumulation forecast for this region is 3-4 inches with a few localized areas in Anne Arundel County and southeast Baltimore County closing in on 5" before it is all over.

In this region, the snow should start breaking out in the late afternoon to around sunset Tuesday, and be light and intermittent. The storm redevelops somewhat overnight, so a heavier burst of snow should be seen in the early morning hours, then a gradual taper to flurries by mid-morning. By noon, all snow will have stopped, skies are clearing and a stiff north wind brings in chilly air for rest of the day.

Baltimore to Philadelphia: This is the region starting at Middle River on west to Route 1, and then everywhere north and west of that line, including Overlea, Towson, Cockeysville and western Baltimore County. Use Route 1 as the eastern perimeter, and then travel along 1 to the Blue Route (476) exit in Philly. The farther north or west of you are of this line, the less likely you will see heavy or even moderate snow.

My accumulation forecast for this region is 2-3" with a few localized areas in eastern Baltimore county from Middle River to Joppatowne closing in on 4" There is always a chance this storm slows enough that the clockwise flow of the high shoves the storm more toward the coast. In this region, the snow should start breaking out from south to north, after sunset in eastern Baltimore county, later in the evening in Harford and Cecil, and around midnight in the Philadelphia area. If you live west of 95, you will not see much at all, maybe an inch or so. Snow will be light and intermittment at first, get a little heavier, and then taper off towards morning.

WHAT ABOUT SCHOOL WEDNESDAY?

Central PA: Uhh, you're going to school. Yeah, okay.

Anne Arundel County on south: These areas have the greatest chance of a full snowday. As amounts will be at or above the 4" criteria which is usually what's needed for a day off.

Howard County and Baltimore County: No early dismissal Tuesday. Due to the intermittent nature of the snow overnight, I think you will see a 2-hour delay Wednesday. But since the snow may still be falling when they make the call at 5:00 AM, there will be a re-evaluation at 7:00 AM. If snow is still falling and the radar shows it is going to continue past 9:00 AM, then both counties will be forced to close. Baltimore City is going to follow whatever the county will do.

Frederick, Carroll: All y'all are not going to see much, probably not even a delay.

Harford, Cecil: A 2-hour delay seems prudent as you will be on the western fringe of the accumulating snow.

Philadelphia City Schools: A 2-hour delay is likely, but they will probably not close unless the snow moves farther inland than expected.

Philadelphia suburbs: May not even see a delay, perhaps in Delaware County but unlikely in Chester County.

AND TO CONCLUDE... here is your latest tip for beating winter-related stress:

# 4. When weather forecasters say there is a 40 percent chance of snow, it means there is a 60 percent chance it won't snow.

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