Thursday, March 18, 2004

3/18 MORNING UPDATE: "We all live in a yellow submarine."
- The Beatles

That's the song this morning for our friends in PA... where NWS has issued a Winter Storm Watch (which is traditionally a yellow color coding) for all of eastern and southeastern PA.

PHL NWS is calling for up to 6 inches in SE PA, I don't think you will get that high.

BAL NWS thinks the heavy snow will stay to the northern areas of Harford, Balto and Carroll County. A mix farther south, with rain below Baltimore.

The major issue this time is that roadways have had a couple days to cool down, and with temperatures hovering at or below 40 for today, it will not take much for precip that falls to begin creating widespread icy conditions by Friday morning.

And yes, I had to up the ante for this storm because the Canadian High near the Great Lakes is hanging tough and delivering more cold air into the system than the computer models originally anticipated.

HERE'S THE OVERALL CALL FOR THE AREA:

Central PA: Unfortunately the southern mountains from Blair County will see an enhanced effect known as "lifting" which will create heavy snow fall rates of over an inch an hour around midnight. So again, you'll go to bed with scattered snow showers, and wake up to another winter wonderland. Total accumulations of 4-8" are likely from Blair County east.

Eastern/Southeastern PA: Oh the powderhounds are stomping their feet this morning, as a rain/snow mix will arrive later this evening, and change to all snow overnight. You will see 1" and hour or greater in the early morning hours, leaving at least 3-4" throughout the area. And the snow will continue into the morning rush hours. Total accumulations of 4-6" from Chester County on west.

Baltimore Metro:
From Bel Air-Towson-Owings Mills-Ellicott City on north and west:

You have the best shot of accumulating snow, 2" or more (a few spots with 3") in the Zone and along the PA border. 1-2" closer to the beltway, and less than 1" inside the beltway on south to Annapolis.

WHAT ABOUT SCHOOL ON FRIDAY?


Central PA: Heh, easy call there. No school for Blair County Schools on east. Areas in the NWS Winter Weather Advisory will have a 2-hour delay.

Eastern PA: Heh, easy call there. No school for most of Chester County Schools on west. Philly schools on a 2-hour delay.

Baltimore Metro: Believe it or not, Baltimore County Schools could see a 2-hour delay only 3 days before spring. It all depends on if at least half the county experiences accumulation on the roadways.

Harford, Carroll, Frederick, Howard - Also a 2-hour delay
Anne Arundel, Cecil - No delay
Eastern shore - No delay

And hey, there's always a chance the storm moves a little farther south, and the heavy snow band shifts with it, putting the northern MD areas in the 3" plus area. If that happens, counties I listed as a delay will be closed.

Another update tonight as the situation begins to play out.

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