Friday, February 2, 2007

BETTER THAN NOTHING
or depending on the perspective of those who commute, maybe the headline should read:

NOTHING WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER

2-2-07
7:20 AM: SO IT STANDS. LET'S HOPE THE RADAR DOES "CLEAR OUT" OTHERWISE...
There could be a situation developing where that shortwave (read: big glob of snow in Kentucky, Indiana, Tennesse) moves in a whole lot faster..say 12 noon, reactivating precip across the Mid-Atlantic, and making the afternoon and evening commute worse than the morning. Maybe our "seasoned" readers can recall a time when there was a 2-hour school delay, conditions changed unexpectedly and had to be followed with an early dismissal. That sure would be the nightmare scenario and one I hope we never see!
Instead of watching every nuance of the radar this morning, I'll be packing for a trip this afternoon. There won't be a post after 9AM and before 9PM tonight. If my brain is still functioning then, I'll attempt a preview of the next storm, because yes Virginia there's snow coming, lots of it, including the coldest air in 20 years over the next week. Be safe everyone and take your time today traveling.

5:20 AM: I figured some of you would be coming here to check for an update after seeing the morning news. In the Baltimore Metro area, our critical "wrap-around" precip developed in the overnight hours as expected. I may not have said expressly when that was going to happen here on the site, but as those who received an email update or were in any of my classes Wednesday or Thursday, it was clearly stated the precip that would "force schools to start with a delay." Please understand that in no way should any of these statements or forecasts be misconstrued as criticism of my employer. I deeply enjoy my job and would never want to jeopardize it by appearing to present disparaging comments about them (Baltimore County Schools) in a public forum.


I recall a short conversation I had with our school's athletic director yesterday afternoon. We talked about the fact that while the computer models were all over the place, and this was a challenging situation for AD's trying to decide how to handle the Friday situation. I explained that the problem with forecasting today is that everyone waits for the computer model to tell them what to do. In my view, real meteorology is taking all of one's training, experience and understanding of the data, and then you have to MAKE THE CALL. It's about making a decision and then standing by your position. So the BAL/DC Weather Service is probably slapping themselves upside the head for dropping the Winter Weather Advisory last night, when in reality, there was going to be a second (or possibly third) stage of this storm that we are now seeing unfold. Mr. Nash and I agreed upon concluding our discussion was that this storm would be surprising us right up to the last moment, and that is exactly what I see developing.


WHAT ABOUT SCHOOL TODAY? I see other districts starting to fall in line with Baltimore County, AND I see more precip developing on the radar farther west. As the GFS did originally predict back on Wednesday (scroll down to see for yourself) there would be another round of frozen precip in the mid morning hours. The question is now...how will conditions change between now and 6:45 AM? I know it's a headache, but if the radar begins to breakout and more freezing rain/sleet starting to occur in the period from now to 6:45..this mauy cause the county to announce they will be reevaluating the situation. I suspect this is happening because the Arctic front is approaching a lot faster than even I anticipated. What is really quite possible (indeed we're seeing it now), is that this shortwave piece of energy is enhancing and activating the moisture ahead of it, causing frozen precip to break out. With temperatures currently progged to hold in the mid 30's today, there remains the potential that schools see the "handwriting on the wall" and realize there are too many factors that could conspire to create hazardous conditions both at the start and end of school today. We shall see in the next 75 minutes what happens.

21 comments:

Mr. Foot said...

Mornin' y'all. I know you're out there, watching the radar. Trying to conjure up some scenario that could make it happen.

If you can report in your observations, that would give us all a sense of what's really going on.

For the BCPSers..I see that radar getting ominous, or is it just wishcasting? I think that shortwave is going to swing through a lot faster. Anyone buy the potential that we have a delay, then snow breaks out in earnest at 10AM and afternoon conditions are worse?

Snow and sleet are starting up again in Dundalk at 6:15 AM with a temp of 30F.

E.H. Boston said...

Its snowing down on the South Shore of Massachusetts right now. Rain getting involved down on the Cape. Maybe an inch or two there. Nothing for Boston...this morning.

Tonight we may be a quick 1-2" of snow with a system coming out of NY.

Beggers can't be choosers. I'll take it.

Mr. Foot said...

hey Mr. E.H. sounds like we're in a contest.. who can get to a total seasonal snowfall of 2 INCHES FIRST. YEAAHHH!

I think B-more has maybe 1.25 and you're what, just slightly ahead with 1.5 ? It's gonna be close!

(is this pathetic or what?)

Anonymous said...

5 minutes ago.. birds were chirpin and nothing falling from the sky! Now it is SNOWING.... is coating the street and sidewalks here near Towson....

Got that delay Mr. Foot... come on SNOW pull through because I NEEDASNOWDAY!!

Anonymous said...

Up here in Bucks County, nothing not even rain.

Mr. Foot said...

Yeah I see that too, but it will be a political and logistical daymare if BCPS switches to closed now. I would hope they don't, will simply cause more problems then it will prevent. We'll have kids showing up at school being told to go home, few teachers to supervise those left behind. Let's save our snowdays for a good honking Kahuna later this month.

Mr.B said...

No snow here, not one flake. Hopefully that batch of snow over KY,WV,ETC gives me snow or I am going to have to declare war on this winter!

Anonymous said...

Ok Mr. Foot... oh dear... the "K" word... that wont impact the Spring Sports start date will it??

Anonymous said...

Well Mr. Foot, I guess the fruit in the fruit cup at Sparrows Point was fresh after all!! I gave up way too early with the storm. Do you think thre may be other problems this evening? I have B-Ball tonight and you know how Peiser is---he wants answers fast!! Thanks!!
Russ.L

Mr. Foot said...

Mr. Russ:
Yes I'm concerned about tonight when that Arctic front arrives. I expect snow showers to breaking out all over by 8PM or sooner, and freezing on contact. I guess you have until 2pm ish to make the call so there's time to see what this front will do. I'll give you a heads up after lunch.

Appears the fruit cup was holding some secrets in the jello that were'nt easy to see, you know those cherry colored jello types, the fruit is hard to see down in there.

Frank said...

Had about 15 flurries here in CNJ, followed by sun 10 minutes later. Nothing else to report.

Anonymous said...

Any chance we get a dusting tonight with the cold front?

Mr.B said...

Have about a half an inch here, hoping to pick up 1-2".

E.H. Boston said...

Technically, I already have more than 2" for the season. I live in Woburn. Its 10-11 miles NW of Boston. I've had a whopping 3.1" so far. Boston has seen 1.8" this winter. Thats engrained in my head because the lame weathermen show that graphic every newscast, showing that we should be at 24" by now.

Maybe an inch tonight! Woo woo! First one to 5" wins!

E.H. Boston said...

Snow moving in from PA. Accuweather radar shows SNOW for Baltimore. Whats going on down there?

I am now in observation mode here.

WOBURN, MA

4:14PM
Cloudy 36.4F

Mr.B said...

It stopped. NOOOOO. Have just about an inch. It's very pretty. Hopefully the stuff over western pa makes it here!

Anonymous said...

e.h., I think that you are going to be the winner, no snow here in Pa. I hope you do get something. In 1999, the groundhog didn't see his shadow, and the northeast fot a blizzard in March. So there is still hope.

Andy, Southern York County PA said...

I have a solid inch on the ground for the first time this season and still coming down at a moderate rate. ABOUT TIME! Really looks like winter with ground, streets, and trees covered. If we get 2 inches will will crush the record for this season here. Give me a good squall with the cold front later and I might have enough to shovel. YEAH!

E.H. Boston said...

Hey guys. We're getting ready for the snow up here in Boston.

Plows were driving around this afternoon. Yellow plows on trucks. Is there a more beautiful sight on a February day.

Still expecting 1-3". More NH and ME.

WOBURN, MA CONDTIONS
34.7
Very Light Snow

Mr. Foot said...

Evening y'all, I'm now in Yankee territory at my parents in Philly. We drive 2 hours through heavy snow all the way here up 95. Reminded me of the Feb 03 blizzard as I had to drive in that too.

My location, we had about an inch, and a snapped a pic of my second daughter Kaselyn walking for the first time, in the snow, on GroundHog Day no less!

This weekend I will be posting an analysis of where winter goes from here, because I believe (and have evidence to support) that the best is YET to come!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Mr. Foot, but the cards have not been in your favor thus far; what makes you think they will be in the future? Sorry to be so seemingly cynical, but maybe we need to take a step back and as pragmatic as we can. Let's face it: this winter has sucked canal water thus far.