Tuesday, March 6, 2007

- Marlon Brando playing Sky Masterson in "Guys and Dolls"

WHAT'S NOT LIKELY TO HAPPEN ON WEDNESDAY: Schools in the eastern Mid-Atlantic (east of the Appalachians) to be delayed, closed or have an early dismissal. (Read: Northern/Central Maryland/Baltimore-DC Metro areas)

Mar clipper

Why? Timing of the storm will be such that accumulating precipitation does not arrive in force until mid to late morning. This precip has to overcome a dry atmosphere and penetrating rays of the sun into the clouds as the snow will be primarily a daytime event. The ground will be cold, however liquid equivalent amounts of perhaps .25 for the entire event will be negated considerably by the aforementioned two factors. I can see a situation where it is snowing to beat the band Wednesday morning into the afternoon, accumulating on cars and grassy surfaces. However roads are simply slick and wet. Daytime traffic helps to warm road surfaces, and combined with salt trucks making rounds, this allows roads to remain perfectly fine into the evening rush, thus eliminating the need for schools to close early on Wednesday. Although it will be super cold out there for most of this week, the sun rays will feel strong...because they are! Intensity of the sun angle now is equivalent to EARLY OCTOBER! This same type of storm in early February if you recall delivered a surprise day off on 2/7 for almost all Baltimore Metro area schools, as cold temperatures caused road surfaces to become very slippery on contact with the snow, and sun angle prevented roads from warming. Not this time my friend. I agree with the National Weather Service on this one..expect a light accumulation not to exceed 2 inches in metro areas east of the mountains. Those of you in the mountains, 2-4 inches seems reasonable. You can also check Accuweather's projections and they are fairly similar. Note to Philly area readers: I think your NWS call is off...2-4 inches is much too high and I doubt the moisture can make it that far east or have enough time to pull in from the ocean before storm departs.

There is the outside possibility that upper level dynamics throw us a curve ball, and enhancement of snow banding due to upward motion (along with higher liquid ratios) as was observed in the February 25 event raised snow totals. Just for fun, I'll explore that possibility tonight...but either way..kids or teachers..you're in school Wednesday regardless.


terpguy said...

Our 7-year Accreditation starts Tuesday...I can only imagine what kind of monkey wrench a delay or closure will throw into THAT set of works!

Julee said...

Computers aren't ready for this year's early DST either! Daylight Savings Smackdown "patches" can be obtained at your local Apple or MSN site.

Julee said...

OH...GOOD luck terpguy!

terpguy said...

Thank you, Jules.

But this is my fourth....at the same school..........yawn.

Julee said...


Oh utter yawn-making bore of bores.

Then good luck ... staying awake.

E.H. Boston said...

Lucky guys...

Boston will be out of this one. I easily see areas in NE MD and SE PA and Jersey to pick up 4" or 5" out of this one!

Dundalk...probably 1-2" on the grass...

Here in Woburn..I'm sitting at 13.5" for the season

Boston is 6.4" for the season...least snowy winter ever?


Andy, Southern York County PA said...

I'll take what I can get in March!

Linda said...

It's ironic that we will probably get more snow out of this clipper, that we got all this winter, and so close to spring. But I'll take it. There is just something so peaceful about snow. I don't like winter to be over too, because I miss all the people on this site, until hurricane time. Kristine, hope that your dads surgery goes well.

wvmommyof4 said...

I cant believe this, they have just updated Wednesday's snow from "slight accumulation" to "moderate accumulating snow". Lets see if it sticks!! The forecast and of course the snow:) Although I must admit, even though I am a snow lover I am very ready for spring!!!

chip said...

Well, my knuckles aren't itching -- so I don't think we'll get much of anything from this clipper in Baltimore County, even in the Hereford Zone. Happy Spring, everyone!

Foot's Forecast said...

I agree with Chip. A dusting at best on this one unless you're in the mountains. It'll be a pretty snow from your window, and one you won't have to clean up when it's over.

Julee said...

Welllllllllllllllll driving home from my Safari Montage class, NPR said 2 - 4 inches. THAT is a change from what I'd been hearing earlier!
Just heard Mr. Tasselmayer say 1 - 3 again. Said it will be a tough call for schools since it will start slowly around 5:30 a.m. but continue through the day.
A heavy dusting?
I'll be watching it from the windows in the hospital cafeteria.

Foot's Forecast said...

Here's the game plan as I see it for the Baltimore Metro area:

Difficulty overcoming dry air (dewpoints currently near zero) delays start time until 9 AM. When oyou wake up tomorrow morning, the radar looks impressive but nothing is reaching the ground, allowing traffic to warm pavements.

Snow starts in earnest by 10AM across the region, prompting students to pester teachers all morning with "are we getting out early???"

Parking lots are a bit snowcovered, roads are just wet due to strength of the midday sun that although is shielded by clouds, radiation is strong enough to reach the ground anyway.

IF just IF the onshore flow dynamics allow air along Chesapeake bay areas to moisten faster than anticipated, then precip could start earlier. This flow could also enhance "dendritic snow growth" at upper levels and favor banding. Let's pretend this happens, just for fun.

The result is a quick 3" by noon. Schools have to hastily arrange an early dismissal. As students begin leaving around 1PM, snowfall rates begin to taper off quickly as the storm quickly exits the coast, leaving district officials to realize the dismissal probably wasn't necessary.

The afternoon and evening rush are fine, roads are slick and wet, the snow is pretty. By this time tomorrow night it's over, and I'm out taking pictures of my girls in the final snowfall of the season for Dundalk (which by the way will be 2.35")

Then again, will it truly be the final snow, or as Yoda would say:

"No, there is another."

Foot's Forecast said...


I cast the gauntlet into the ring.

Me: 9:00 AM
Tom: 5:30 AM

We shall see.

Snow not even appearing on Mid-Atlantic radar echos yet as of 6:30 PM. Has 11 hours to get it together, get here, moisten the column and then start accumulating.

I say all DC/BAL schools go in on time.

Unknown said...

Unfortunately, as much as I don't want to admit it to myself, I believe Mr. Foot is correct. As the hour-by-hour forecast seems to be playing out (at least here in Carroll County), there is going to be light snow, and then "heavy" snow starting at 9 or 10. Originally I was hoping that an early dismissal would come into play, (there's no reason for a delay to be useful) however, now I'm more skeptical. What time do most school systems make the announcement official? From my understanding, it seems that we won't have enough snow on the ground to warrant an early dismissal (at the time they need to issue it), and roads would just be wet. How much different is the angle of the sun's rays in comparison to the February storm (granted, temperatures were colder then)?

E.H. Boston said...

In this winter, take what you can get.

You guys have had more snow than me this year. (6.4")

So I don't want to hear anymore complaining...


chip said...

Well, Mr. Foot, et. al., my knuckles still are not itching, so I think Balmer County will be in on time, and not dismissed early. However, Ms. Julee, your colleague may want to reconsider her after school activity for tomorrow.

Julee said...

FIRST of all ... I think dendritic snowflakes are THE most beautiful so that would be lovely just on general principle.

SECOND of all ... Hmmmmm ... Mr. F., Mr. T. did mention that tomorrow morning's radar will *look* better than the actual precip on the ground.

Third of all, David ... NO movie???????? GYP!!!!!!

And E.H. I CAPICE and agree!

Supposed to be a beautiful, gentle snowfall to watch, so that's nice regardless.

p.s. wvmommyof4 ... think it will be five for lunch tomorrow where you live?

wvmommyof4 said...

I am beginning to wonder Julee. I think it would be great to have one last winter hoorah. I know my girls are praying really hard to be home tomorrow!! My seven year old has already asked if we could take our 9 mo old sledding tomorrow "if" we get snow. She knew it was too cold to have her out in the last storm. I looks awfully thick :) It is super cloudy here so who knows. We had some really good snow squalls last night. They barely left a dusting but it makes me wonder how much moistening the atmosphere needs tonight. I am not really sure if that comes into play with this type of a system or not.

wvmommyof4 said...

That was supposed to read "the air looks awfully thick. I am not sure what happend.

tirsch said...

As a participant in the Safari Montage class tomorrow, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for an early dismissal. It's always fun to hope!!

Andy, Southern York County PA said...

At least we are getting one final shot of fluffy snow! This time of year that is rare as what usually falls is wet paste. It is still possible to get more snow through the end of the month so no one can say it is all over. But rest assured to get snow beyond March 15th here, it would have to be a Kahuna to be able to overcome the sun angle that late. This WILL be the last fluffy snow of the year and that you can take to the bank. Let's pray for slop fest 07 around the 20th!

terpguy said...

0420 local, 19.9F.

The hoorah has begun. The roads are covered here, albeit with only a thin coating thus far.

Radar indicates perhaps a dry slot for a short time.

We shall see.....


terpguy said...

Make that Fallston.

BCPS are closed!!

Now, the wait for Harford...

Foot's Forecast said...




Maybe I'll just stick to my day job from now on.

Tom Tasselmeyer wins the Gauntlet contest this time, and I am VOTED OFF THE PLANET.

Anonymous said...

whuuut??? HoCo closed at 5:15?????

J D Burke said...

Why are we closed? I am so confused.

That's cool though. An extra day of planning.

Novatriguy said...

Hi Ya'll

Nothing on the ground here in Leesburg but just got the call for Loudoun County Schools - CLOSED!

Foot's Forecast said...

For those who remember the old time commercials:

"How do you spell relief."


If you're in BCPS or a nearby county...you have not had a FULL UNINTERRUPTED WEEK of school since January 8. I am not making this up.

January 8-12: 5 full days
Jan 15: MLK day.
Jan 22: 2-HR delay
Feb 2: 2-HR delay
Feb 7: Closed. 2"
Feb 13: 3-hr early dismissal
Feb 14-15: Closed
Feb 16: 1-hr delay (Julee?) ahem.
Feb 19: President's Day
Feb 26: 2-hr delay
Mar 7: Closed. .35" in Dundalk

For students and teachers, that was a fabulous February, just not in terms of snow.

I really hope the storm delivers as promised (1-3" or more) so we don't end up with an under-reaction next time.

Foot's Forecast said...

That's NINE WEEKS OF SCHOOL INTERRUPTED IN SOME WAY due to snow, meetings, holidays.

Now there are rumblings of a semi-Kahuna in the March 19-22 time frame.

Anonymous said...

:::wide-eyed::: semi-Kahuna!? kiddin right? we just got the athletic fields back... ohh my!!

Mr.S said...

Ok, I was not expecting a closing. Down here in Severn, MD it's windy, cold, and dry! I really hope something happens here today and this is not an overreaction. Mr. Foot, what happened to What's NOT Likely To Happen On Wednesday:" I was really hoping that you were right. I don't know how I'm ever going to get through my curriculum with the Seniors this semester. I've already lost a few weeks since they graduate early, now all these days. This is kinda getting frustrating!
I'll keep you guys posted of any snow fall for down here!
Mr. S

Foot's Forecast said...

mr. s...I'm with you on this one.

Not to be critical, but everyone keep an eye on your local roads today to see if they do indeed get "snow-covered."

I say despite the snow, roads stay only wet today. Let's hope this is it for the winter. I'm ready to hang up my powderhound boots and put on my Spring-a-ling gardening gloves.

John said...

Here in the city the side streets are covered and the main streets have pavement where the tires have been going over them.

I truly think that politics/safety won out on this storm. Certainly the science did not indicate there should be a closing. Of course I believe that safety is a really long stretch.

Anonymous said...

Roads must be pretty bad as the accidents being reported are numerous...

A salt truck came though an hour or so ago... my street isnt clear.. but a few cars have been manuvering fairly well...

I am also ready for spring... at this rate we will be in school well into June... :::sigh:::

The Webmommy said...

I have to say that I'm completely speechless that schools are closed! Who ARE these people? LOL Were they born in the tropics? I think we can handle getting to school in a dusting. I am so unprepared for this; I never would have thought the kids would be home today. Never!

terpguy said...

My roads are covered, and untreated. 19.5F

0.5" of snow from 0.04" of liquid. Yes, that's a small amount to extrpolate from, but that's a 12.5:1 ratio!

More to come, and while some of us may be ambivalent, or even critical, of a "day-off", please don't forget the magic word:


Most kids walk to school, most of the rest walk to their bus stops.

The name of the game is "safety". That's the ONLY reason we get snow days.

I fully believed that the air was too cold to allow any substantial snowfall until mid-AM...and told my students so. (MR. F..I was pleased that my forecast agreed with yours!...Oh, well..)

I shoulds brought labs home to grade.... :(


Mr.B said...

Good morning everyone. The sky is white the ground is white. mmmm I love it. NASD what is up? Sorry I missed you this morning. I was sleeping like a baby. LOL Well I have about 1" and am hopeing for more. Bring it on.

Hokiehop said...

Mr. Foot-

Not sure what roads you're looking at, but mine (near Pimlico) have been covered since 5:30. I teach in the county, and I think that today's closing was a stretch, but I can say that the roads have been covered since early in the morning.


The Webmommy said...

Good point terpguy! I forget that not everyone treats right away. My husband did a good salting at 6 AM before leaving for work since he assumed with less than an inch that schools would go in. Not everyone gets up that early and salts hehe.

Unknown said...

Wow. The closing this morning in Carroll Co. really took me by surprise. My assumption last night was wrong. I do love snow days (Time to catch up on my weekly AP German and AP Euro. Hist. homework), but I know all of these snow days are not helping my teachers, esp. my AP Euro. teachers as far as prep. time for the AP tests. Snow would be nice on my birthday (March 22), but I'm not counting on anything.