Thursday, December 15, 2005

WHAT'S THE FINAL WORD FOR FRIDAY ?
(THIS POST FOR DC-BALTIMORE-PHILLY-CENTRAL/EASTERN PA)

Dec 3E Radar

As of 4:00 PM, our storm is well underway and has wreaked havoc with everyone's Thursday program, however it was very helpful that schools gave parents a lot of advance notice to make arrangements for the EXTREMELY early closings (2 and 3 hour closings were widespread in central Maryland). It appears that the snow, started earlier than expected, and hung on longer. At present, the colorized radars are showing conflicting precip types, and in comparing the radars between Accuweather and Intellicast over previous storms, I tend to side with Intellicast as it more accurately depicts what is taking place in my backyard. At present I have moderate freezing rain and this has been going on for several hours now.

SCHOOL CLOSING SUMMARY

Yes, I know... the real reason you are here is to decide if you have to do lesson plans or homework for Friday. Well, just plan ahead, wear your pajamas backwards and put the snow shovel upside down and that'll jink the storm so you can sleep in tomorrow, right?

DC schools: Probably opening on time, changeover and melting will allow roads to improve over the next 12 hours. N. Virginia: At least a 2-hour delay if not closed due to a longer period of freezing rain.

Baltimore City and south: Delays likely, closings unlikely due to earlier changeover to rain. (I expect Anne Arundel to have perhaps a 1-hour delay but not closed, as they would have switched over to rain early tonight.)

Baltimore/Harford/Cecil Counties: Tough call here. I am going out on a limb and saying they are going to start with a 2-hour delay and then see how much melting/warming takes place. Obviously if we wake up and discover the temps rose to 40 overnight, then it's a no brainer, you'll be in on time Friday. The determining factor is to what extent the northern and western parts of those counties have more icing than south and east. If it becomes apparent that at least 1/2 of the county is has significant icing, power outages, downed trees and powerlines, they will close with no delay. Even if the temp rises to 33 or 34, that is not going to do much to melt 1/4 inch of ice in a few hours, especially when atmosphere is saturated and unable to soak up additional moisture.

Frederick/Carroll/York Counties and Southeastern PA Schools: Widespread closings and delays as these regions will be locked into the freezing rain for most of the night. 1/4 to 1/2 inch of ice will be common and some areas may see up to 1" which could bring down high tension transmission lines and damage towers.

ANALYSIS BEHIND THE FORECAST

Dec 3E Temps

The real issue is going to be this expected changeover from frozen to liquid precip in the overnight hours. I have some big problems with the plan being purported by the news and weather channel. News anchors always seem to overfocus on that magic 32 degrees, because they all report on it by saying..."So if we can jjuusstt get the mercury to creep a little but above 32, we'll be in better shape, right?" You know as well as I it is not that simple. Sure the 2 meter level temperature (what the temp is at 6 feet above the ground) might be 34 or 35, but without the sun in play and nighttime coming, bringing the air temp to slightly above freezing does not alleviate at all any significant icing problems. It will take a prolonged period of 6 or more hours with rising temps to get real melting in areas where you experience more than a light glazing of ice. This is why I firmly believe many Baltimore Metro Schools will be at least delayed 2-hours Friday and many northern areas may be closed. Take a look at the air temperature profile for Thursday afternoon. Another fun site to analyze current road conditions is the Maryland Dept of Transportation's interactive "Roadway Weather" which reports current roadway temps and status.

Brief update later tonight before bedtime, and I'll definitely be back online tomorrow around 6AM.

31 comments:

Frank said...

If you check out my hometown on noaa.com (08854) it is all over the place. I don't know what to expect.

Mr. Foot said...

I think we'll call this the "Kitchen Sink" storm. Might even have some THUNDERSLEET too later tonight!

Good Luck Frank!

Mr.B said...

Mr. foot my question. Why does it look like it is going to end soon will more precip come into play later?

Mr.B said...

Freezing rain now already a glaze of Ice. If this keeps up to 3am or more I have a filling its going to be bad. Temp at only 20.

Evan said...

the roads are glazed over here in timonium. its been freezing rain since about 2:00-2:30. It seems more is freezing now since the sun went down.

John said...

It is going to be a very interesting scenario tomorrow. I work out here in Owings Mills and it is looking rather slick out here. It will be the northern and western parts of the county that will make the call for schools.

kristine said...

Mr. Foot-
What about the Hereford Zone...is it possible for them to get a day? Usually we get what Southern PA gets...

Mr. Foot said...

In Dundalk at 5:40 is it definitely just rain, and a glaze on sidewalks, porches, steps. Parking lots and roads seem just wet, and my car was originally "glazed" and now the hood is just shiny wet. Temp is still 30-32. Makes me wonder if we are just now seeing a drift to 32, how long will it take N & W of Balto to see that since it is creeping ever so slowly... as in maybe 2-3 miles/hour.

Mr. B..if you are at 20 then you will be known as Mr I, as in Icicle. Forget about school tomorrow.

I agree with John, it will be from Towson north and west that determines the final call for Friday. If you all see a total change to rain and temps drifting toward 34-35 early in the evening, then everybody better set your alarm clock. The 2 hour delay will mean you have 2 extra hours to scrap and drive real slow.. NOT to SLEEP IN an extra 2 hours. Unless you're a student catching the bus.

It is entirely possible that we see the Hereford Zone closed and everyone else a 2-hr delay.

Stormin' Norman said freezing rain to continue into early morning hours. That could clear the way for a 3-day weekend. Just as long as you all don't get spoiled and start saying "ONLY A 3 day weekend, sheesh!"

Mr.B said...

22 temps slowing rising about 1-2 degrees per hour at this rate temps below freezing at least till 1am. Heavy freezing rain just to my south and moving this way now ice is covering everything. Wusatv 9, Topper shut thinks major ice storm up here with maybe .6" of thick ice. Look Out.

Julee said...

Mr. Foot, you FUNNY man,

Not so much ice here in the heartland. Certainly not 1/4 inch. Things are glazed but not laden. Cars ARE creeping, however.

bw said...

Mr. Foot,
Congrats on the new little one. Enjoy every moment you have with them because before you know it they are starting college. Now to the point.

As a child, I remember heavy snow storms with temps. in the high 30's to mid 40's. What is the difference between then and now? Also, how will the Dundalk area weather,(sorry about the pun, the storm? Will it be icy tomorrow morning or just wet?

Andy, Southern York County PA said...

32.5 degrees on my second story deck here in York County. Heavy ice glaze on everything. Think it is still below freezing right near the ground, but if it continues to warm maybe the roads will be fine by morning. It's the side streets of course that are nasty now. With about an inch of snow on our snowpack and cold temps through the week, looks like a white Christmas is a good bet here, albeit with ice covered snow. I hope we do get some real snow before the holiday though, would be nice!

Andy, Southern York County PA said...

Caveat: We still have about 4 inches of packed snow from the last event and a new inch of snow and ice today. Some models indicate maybe a few systems developing but the trend is they stay to our south or move out to sea. Maybe the southern bias will be our friend next week, time will tell.

Mr.B said...

28 and ice everywhere about 1/4 of a inch maybe alittle more. Foot how much more and will the temps get above 32 by 5am. I hope not. Bring on the ice.

Mr. Foot said...

Mr. B look at your intellicast radar and the local obs pic...it gives you a good idea of temps and precip. That rain line seems to have gotten pretty far north, but I wonder what the surface temps are..like Andy said it is probably at or below frz at ground level.

Balto County folks...unless we get bad news coming in from the Hereford Hinterlands and the Owings Mills Outlands, I think a 2-hr delay is more in the offing. Of course I'd rather just see you OFF. Julee..get out there and throw some crushed ice around when the BCPS road surveyors do a sweep thru at 4 AM!

Mr. Foot said...

Hey BCPSians:

I have a question. Since lunch was not served today in many of the HS and MS, does that meant Thu did not count as a regular school day, or is it just the hours accumulate until we reach 990 for the year?

I have always understood it to be that if lunch is served, the day counts as full even if there is an early dismissal afterwards.

Any take on that by the seasoned crowd? Will we have to make up today?

kristine said...

We had lunch at our school. I thought you had to serve lunch...

NeedaSnowday said...

15 minute "lunch" for us in HoCo today....

what are the chances we go in on time??.... I have a field trip planned...Yikes!

John said...

Schools are required by law to be open for at least three hours each school day, and must be open for at least 180 days school days and must be open for at least 1,080 school hours during a 10-month period in each school year. This is set out in Section 7-103 of the Education Article of the Maryland Code.

Mr.B said...

30 here in greencastle and tons of ice a little over a 1/4" now and another .10 to .25 to go. Then possibly another 1" of snow towards daybreak. Still worried about temp jumping above freezing to fast as it goes up a half of a degree per 15-30mins.

Andy, Southern York County PA said...

We ae at 36 with moderate rain. NWS says rain could go back to freezing rain by early morning. Just don't wash away my snowpack for Christmas! So far it's holding ok in light of the rain. Now if we can get a good snowstorm going before the 25th, I wouldn't mind so much, but the way it looks right now the snowpack that exist is my best bet. BRIGHT SIDE: It's 12/15 and about 10 inches of snow has fallen since November in York. GREAT START DESPITE THE RAIN NOW!

Katiehum said...

At DMS we immediately changed into 1/2 day scheduling and still served lunch. Granted the 6th grade had to eat at 9:45 :-P I thought lunch HAD to be served. Seems like poor planning by several administrators.

Mr. Foot said...

Thank you John and others for setting the (my) record straight, it is 1,080 hours..I was thinking of PA laws as I was a long time resident there.

No fair! You all had lunch and at Dundalk High most everyone was sent home hungry (but happy). Our school day started at 7:45 AM and ended at 11:15, so we got our three hours in, yes? I ascertain that means Thursday counted as a full day and does not have to be "made up."

HoCo..they always like to roll the dice just for fun I think. I'll bet you dollars to donuts you are ON TIME! even early for good measure.

Signing off for the night as I listen to the rain pounding on my room. Might even hear some thunder in isolated spots due to strong upward motion as center of Low passes nearby overnight.

Andy, Southern York County PA said...

37.5 deg. and heavy rain. All I can do is wine. No typo here folks. I mean wine as in Boone's farm (select of course $1.50 per bottle, not the cheap .99 cents stuff!)

wvmommyof4 said...

We are at 31 with rain. Still appears to be freezing. I am pretty sure that the temps were at 32 about an hour ago. I may be wrong. I actually just checked and we are down to 30 so maybe things are going to get rougher tonight. They have already called off our school system for tomorrow.

aisasami said...

Hey, I came to your site not too long ago (my chemical teacher recommend your site after last weeks' storms).

Right now in Charles Country, it is raining (it was raining hard @ 8 when I went to a work party) and temps are around at 40F with a bunch of heavy fog (visbility looks around .5). Looks like school tommorrow indefinitely. :(

Mr. L said...

Lunch was served at Patapsco High School :) I was informed that the day counted and does not have to be made up.

Mr.B said...

32 and 1/2" of ice still no power outages or downed tree branchs expect some later if the winds do pick up.

kristine said...

What took so long in calling the delay this morning for Baltimore county? SOme of our students catch their bus at 6:30 and we did not get the delay until then. Not to mention that most staff is heading out their doors at that time too. Thank goodness for my team leader who called as I was ready to walk out the door.
Julee- were you late putting out the crushed ice this morning and caused this late call??:)

Mr. Foot said...

Happy Friday... sort of, for some of you. At least the BCPS Hereford Zone gets some extra time. Temps in Dundalk 35 and clear skies. Since we drained out all the cold air BEFORE the storm, and there's a Low pressure system in the upper Great Lakes area..the high that moved in behind this storm was already "moderated" and thus provided more seasonal temps. That's why you didn't see plunging temps below freezing in the storm's wake.

Mr. B you must have some pretty darn strong trees and power lines up there! 1/2 of ice, maybe you can take some pics for us.

Julee? Where was the crushed ice cubes on the road? We were all counting on you!!!

kristine said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.