Sunday, February 4, 2007


hundreds of school districts across the Northeast and Ohio Valley have closings and delays for Monday which will probably stretch into Tuesday. These regions include Northeastern, Central and Western parts of PA, much of Eastern Ohio, and parts of West Virginia. Wind chill values of possibly -25 F will be observed over the next 2 days, affecting student safety in addition to concern over buses being able to operate at such low temperatures. Compounding this problem will be the arrival of a clipper system on Tuesday night that may deliver surprise snow to many of these areas, including the Baltimore Metro region.

I call it a surprise for the simple reason that whenever you have a moisture supply inside an extremely cold air mass, the snow-to-liquid ratio is much higher than in a conventional snowstorm. The Baltimore/DC NWS office is aiming for 20:1, which means the possibility of 1-2 inches cannot be ruled out. I know that seems like wishcasting to some of you, but an upper level clipper visited the area on January 3-4, 2003 and what started out as a forecast for flurries ended up with 4-5" across the Baltimore region, closing school on Monday the 4th. All because of the "fluff factor" associated with clippers in cold air masses. I'll monitor this closely for signs the forecast could bust or otherwise, but given the timing of this snow, school delays on Wednesday morning are probable.


Fabulous February

This 4-panel image shows the next 15 days may be replete with opportunities for snow in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Yes I know this is the GFS, and it usually prints out a big storm for 10 or more days down the road, then backs off over time. However, the period I have established for the next storm, (Feb 13 - 18) the GFS has been repeatedly showing some kind of major precipitation event during that time frame, especially the 14th and 15th. Now back in early December I did promise you a fabulous February, so we'll see if this upcoming period verifies that call. A guide to the panels above: Top left is light snow from the mid-week clipper..maybe an inch at the very most due to cold air and the fluff factor, if the moisture gets over the mountains. Top right is potential Kahuna # 1 (or February Storm # 2) around the 14th. Lower left is a Mid-Atlantic Grazer around the 17th, and Lower Right is a weird looking coastal thingy for Feb 20. Granted these are all long range, but if we are going to get a snowstorm in the climatologically most favorable time, when enough climate indicators are pointing in that direction...the next 10-15 days would be that time. In the meantime, please join in the "Cold Contest" rules and procedures are listed in the post below.


E.H. Boston said...

Up here in Boston, we had a COLD DAY in January 2004. I remember, there was a lot of scrutiny with it as temperatures in Boston fell to -7. Suburbs were in the -10 to -15F range with wind chills -20 to -30.

It was cold and that is about our threshold up here in Boston for cold. Won't get it this week. Amazingly in AK, the threshold for much of the state is an actual temperature of -50F!

terpguy said...

1979 or 80 (or about): 5 or 6 below zero F. Went up to 5 above that day.

No delayed opening.

Was an interesting time, seeing as how 50% of our school population walks to school.


E.H. Boston said...

Oh yeah..almost forgot.


E.H. Boston said...

I was reading some from 2 winters ago. There was nothing to complain about that winter. By this time that winter, Boston was probably approaching 60" on our way to 86"+ TOTAL.

This year 1.8" and on our way to...

E.H. Boston said...

Sorry, we picked up 0.1" the other day...its now up to 1.9".

Who am I fighting the battle for first to 2"?

E.H. Boston said...

No complaining here in Woburn though...I've got a whopping 4.7" for the winter with about an inch snow cover. At least the grass is covered and it looks like winter.

Foot's Forecast said...

Hey Mr. E.H. on a different topic, what is the status of cleanup of the Tannery and Wells G & H? Is it still a Superfund site? Every year my Environmental Science classes do a study of the Woburn lawsuit/movie, interesting that you actually live in the place we study.

Foot's Forecast said...

My mom in Philly had added her numbers to the cold contest: Low of 5 and High of 15 on Tuesday.

Linda said...

Goodmorning! I think I already lost the cold contest, as it was colder this morning, than my predicted cold. It is 6, with wind chills-10. Pretty cold if you ask me. My dog,I think decided to hold it until it warms up a bit!

Frank said...

I'll say Piscataway, NJ Tuesday am-7 degrees, Tuesday high-22 degrees. It got down to 9 this morning here.

WEYTYN said...

Hey Mr Foot. heres my temperature predictions. I posted this last night but it might have gone to the wrong list of comments. sorry!

Indianapolis brew pubs Sunday night-

AIR TEMP prediction @ my postage stamp of AMERICA
min- +3 deg F
max +17 deg F

coffee pot - 118 deg F @ 7am

car temp - 75 deg F on way to the office after 20 minute warm-up period

shower temp 115deg F on entry
skin temp on exit- 105deg F

cold beer temp after long work day-
46 deg F

wvmommyof4 said...

Wow Mr Foot you are right on the money!! I just noticed that TWC is now calling for 1-3 inches of snow tomorrow night ( here in the eastern panhandle of WV). This morning at 8:30 when my daughter got on the bus the temp was 3 with a windchill of about -15. I can only imagine what tomorrow will bring. I am going to guess a temp of -1 with windchill readings anywhere from -10 to -15.

E.H. Boston said...

I'm not all that familiar with the crisis here in the 70's, I was in high school at Watertown High. My family and I moved here back in May 1991.

Amazingly, nobody really talks at all about that...

I have 3 kids in high school and beyond and they've never done a project or anything of the sort. My son thats a junior didn't even know that Civil Action was about Woburn. I guess the "politicians" around here don't want Woburn known for its dirty water, so its all hush hush.

Your students must love us. We Woburn-ites make them have to do a report. Tell them I say sorry..haha.

But on a serious note, not many of the old timers around here really talk about it at all. Pretty wierd. Funny as the highs school teams are the Woburn High Tanners.

Eastern Massachusetts is filled with history. We got the Lexington green 2 minutes from my house. Paul Revere's house. Old North Church in the North End. Plymouth Rock..haha...don't ever go visit it...its just a rock the size of a chair.

Mr.B said...

We topped out with a high of 15 here in greencastle, pa today. Temperatures are already begining to fall. Let's hit that goose egg tonight. Also I hope this clipper comes a little father north so maybe I can get a inch or two.

Russ said...

Does BCPS delay openings tomorrow because of the wind chill and cold??

Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. Foot... you guessed correctly... Ellicott City or Columbia works!!

I like this COLD CONTEST... it can replace fantasy football!!

Tues AM Low - 7 F Tues PM High 21 F This morning my car said 12 F and that was NOT fun! But.. since I will be enjoying mid-70's in Orlando by the weeks end... I wont complain!

Foot's Forecast said...

I just typed a response to you all, and then my cold-induced stupor somehow caused me to delete it. Argh. I'll try again after the kitchen is cleaned up.

Misty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda said...

What the heck is that? I wonder if the cold got to someone!!!

John of Rosedale, MD said...

What is the latest on the Clipper coming tomorrow night? Will Baltimore County get its first school snow day? or another 2 hr delay, the delays really mess up our schedule in this house, rather have a closure