Wednesday, March 16, 2005

- Janet Jackson, from the album Control

That's probably accurate for today's headline since there has not been a "new" post since Saturday night. Sometime earlier today, you probably happened across the Weather Channel or your local NWS forecast and discovered that the "Rain/Snow" with a high of 38 for Baltimore disappeared. In it's place is now "Chance of Showers with high of 53." For our northern clients, please pardon the emphasis on the southern areas, as I am using it to illustrate a point.

I CAN FIND NO MODEL SUPPORT for this forecast. I saw this and thought, "Hmmm, GFS must have done a real role reversal or something for the NWS to go totally the other direction." So I checked the GFS, and the European, and the NAM, and the DGEX and the UKMET and NONE of them depict a scenario which would lead to showers and 50's. In fact if you check local NWS forecasts for areas very close to Baltimore, like Cecil County MD or across the Chesapeake, there is barely a mention of rain... mostly cloudy and 40's.

SO WHAT'S GOING ON? The models are having a hard time resoloving the imbalances in the system caused by the Polar Vortex, the building southern stream in conjunction with the Atlantic Ridge, as well as the persistent Canadian High that has and will dominate Northeast weather through the weekend. What's happened is that the computer sees a zonal west-east flow and thinks "Hey, warmth is coming... let's warm things up." The Philadelphia office put it best by saying in their forecast discussion "Most long range models seem to be in disagreement over the details."

IS OUR BIG STORM HISTORY BEFORE IT WRITTEN? No, the window for a final snow event in the Mid-Atlantic is still open for Saturday-Sunday-Monday. I can say that beyond that the window appears it will close for good on this winter. Andy, our designated skeptic in York County, PA maintains that no more than 4 inches of snow will fall at BWI the remainder of the season, and he may end up to be the most accurate on that forecast. If the skeptics win and I lose on the Final Kahuna, you can be sure I'll be the first to tell you why.

AND THE WEEKEND? I believe we (the Northeast) will see cooler temperatures than are advertised, and that the storm coming east out of the Lakes by then is going to get squeezed between the southern stream/ridge and the northern Highs. This will force a piece of energy to zip out towards the Mid-Atlantic and travel through Maryland with potential for development once it reaches the coast. Now storms from the west don't bring extra rest, so snow falling out of this system will not be enough to disrupt school on Monday, especially if it is on the order of 4 inches or less as predicted by Andy. New England should continue to see below normal conditions and tranquil weather through Sunday. The final forecast outlining the weekend storm and any potential for snow will be posted Thursday.

WHERE'S THE 'TRAIL' WE ARE BLAZING? DID WE LOSE IT? Still trailblazing, just a different trail...this time tracking if the weekend storm will be our Final Kahuna or not.


Frank said...

Stick a fork in it, winter is done. But a surprise would be nice.

Foot's Forecast said...

Yeah, I think I have to agree with Frank and Andy on this one. There can still be a storm with snow falling Sunday, but the real issue is warmth of ground by then. Still plenty of potential for coastal development, but next system on Sunday coming from the WEST not south or southwest.

Strength of high latitude block over Canada is just not going to let a big snowstorm develop. In reality, what is now more likely to happen is the Final Kahuna is a great big rainstorm for I-95 with significant interior mountain snows in upper New York State, extreme northern New England. Once the block gives way, warm moist southern air will surge northward, probably too fast.

So the last opportunity to see flakes will be Saturday night-Sunday. After that, break out the gardening tools and hibachi.

Andy, Southern York County PA said...

As for the mid atlantic at least from D.C. to Harrisburg, Pa the winter was dull. Very little snow. Most storms went way North East of us and a few stayed South of D.C. So I felt like their was a force shield over the area preventing snow. The way I see it is that the shield held up, with only a few minor leaks. To the very end the storm track has done everything it can to avoid us here. But there is always next winter. There will be a 1-2 foot storm at BWI next year. That's my general feeling. HAPPY SPRING! Mr. Foot has done an outstanding job with this site, and I'll be sure to tune in everyday next snow season. Hoping for a last minute surprise, so I have decided to close the book on this winter today, but won't file it away until April 1 keeping at least that tiny bit of hope.

Terpboy said...

16 March-Final K

Cosgrove- bailed
DT- bailed
Mr. Foot-bailed

The run was fun, though. Thanks for all that I've learned!

I told my students today when they asked about the storm that it was postponed to either Sunday...or December.....

Still keeping my fingers crossed.

Next stop: the tropical season!

Thanks again!


ps- was it that the Rex block was TOO strong? Gee, I love this Wx talk!

Later all!

Julee said...

I remember when it snowed on OPENING DAY, April 6th!

With a Vengance

Foot's Forecast said...

Yup, you got it terp. Rex/Omega in Eastern Canada has overwhelmed pattern and is suppressing storms to the south, allowing high pressure to dominate.

Final Kahuna may be a rainstorm for us and snow to the far north.

Spring-a-lings..are you ready?

Hannah said...

Oh no. Guess I had better prepare myself for those allergies on their merry way!

MA Penna said...

I think winter is over for the Mid-Atlantic. Some minor disturbances may filter through New England, so ski now before it's too late.

Andy, Southern York County PA said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Andy, Southern York County PA said...

I'm a powderhound, but a hound who also believes there is a time and place for everything. So now that late March is creeping in, so is the new season of Spring. The lonely cold unforgiving hand of winter is begining to loosen it's icy grip, as the colorful blossoms of Spring fight their way through the frozen earth. Soon the Lord's sun will grace us with its warmth, and all the creatures will emerge from their long but restful sleep. So now is the time to rejoice and celebrate the snow that has been bestowed upon us, and look forward to the future snows that will bless our lives in years to come.

Hannah said...

That was beautiful, Andy.

E.H. Boston said...

Just checking in...St. Patty's Day tomorrow. Boston and Ireland, is there a corrilation there? :)

45 deg. has been the rule here. Snowpack down to piles and a few couple inches of covering here and there out of the sun. Snowpack still of 6-10" in Woburn. Spring sports start Monday, here. Looks like baseball in the gym for a while. Good luck to all, hope we get one more snowfall...some forecasters are alluding to a snowy Sunday, first day of spring, around here. Can't be true. Good night.