Monday, January 21, 2008


This forecast graphic just made me smile this morning, and for powderhounds in the area, I'm sure it'll have the same effect. If this pans out, look for a highly disrupted week considering the overnight temperatures. Keep in mind now I use places like downtown Baltimore or Dundalk as my bellweathers... because if warming influences of the urban heat island/bay are not enough to overcome frozen precip potential, then it's a sure bet outlying areas north and west are going to see more. If not "more" they'll at least see generally frozen precip.
Will The Fun Be Lasting
Right on schedule, the Baltimore/DC NWS is coming around to the ideas I originally posted late last week: 3 snow events on tap for the Mid-Atlantic over the next 7-8 days. Now Saturday's Vlizzard could have been counted as one of those 3, so that leaves Tuesday and Wed-Thu as candidates. There is still potential for a weekend system, and if the timing/amounts are right, is there a chance this might deliver TEACHERS as well as students in some school systems (namely Baltimore County) a shot at a 3 day weekend? The answer is: I suspect region-wide accumulations next Sunday would have to be 5"+, or at least fall very late overnight into Monday. Obviously that is too far distant right now for any solid projections, but the potential is there and I'll be watching it carefully.

Final note: Very busy today trying to get grades, paperwork done along with attempts to resurrect the "forecast computer." I may have spilled some water into the laptop's wireless port (of all the dumbest places!) and now, the laptop just sits on my lap and hums. It is not a pretty tune, so I'm hoping our President will deliver on his promise to send us all bonus money borrowed from China that I can use ot help stimulate the economy. (Just don't tell my wife!)Anyway, will try to respond to your comments as time and family permit.


Russ L said...

mr. foot
checked the NWS this morning and WOW, It went from sunny & moderate temps to colder temps & snow, what happened?

Russ L said...

mr. foot,
I know this a stuip question, but when they talk about snow ratios of 10:1 or 20: 1 what do they acually mean? I know the higher number the better for snow.

Prospero said...

Hi, Russ

Wouldn't that mean the "density" of the snow (I am sure that's not the correct term)? Meaning that, depending on the temps, the amount of moisture in the air, one storm system could give us 10 inches of snow for 1 inch of rain, or 20 inches for 1 inch of rain. I could be wrong.

Here's hoping for that disrupted week.

wvm said...

Well, we just went under a winter weather adv. for tomorrow. What are your thoughts for tomorrow Mr

Anonymous said...


Mr. Foot.. you are SCHMAAART!! 4 day weekend???? eh?? eh??

Russ L said...

I think you are right but never knew exactly--winter weather adv. in effect for from 10am until 4pm. I have noticed that all forecasts have started to lower temps as day goes on. It may be a very interesting day tomorrow--and maybe the week. might be a day like last week!!

Unknown said...

Mr.Foot you think we will get out 2hours early tomorrow? That would be awesome !

bell86 said...

Sounds like all the news stations are down playing the snow/sleet tomorrow. They are saying it's no big deal...again. I've heard this twice now in the past month and a half.

Foot's Forecast said...

Got to head off for a night church meeting, so all I can say is:

1. bell86..right you are. Where have we heard this before?

2. Sounds like: "Be Pleasantly Surprised, Part 2"

3. Fluff factor yields higher accums. Tomorrow will be interesting to say the least.

4. Grant: I bet we're on time, but go home early, again.

Mrs. A said...

Love the forecast! Looks like another day of, "What time will be getting out" - and that's the faculty!@! YIKES!!!!!

TQ said...

'...when they talk about snow ratios of 10:1 or 20: 1 what do they acually mean? I know the higher number the better for snow."

As another poster pointed out...the ratios refer to the amount of snow to the amount of water.

The snow-to-water ratio is determined by temperatures within the cloud where the snow crystals grow.

Certain temperatures support the growth of different crystal shapes...such as columns...plates...or dendrites.

Dendrites are the common image of a snowflake ( They have the highest snow-to-water ratio (a.k.a. 'fluff-factor') and give the biggest bang (accumulation) for the buck (water equivalent).

Stellar dendrites grow within a snow-producing cloud having a range of temperatures between -12° to -17°C.

Once the snow begins...collect some flakes on a cold...dark- colored surface (I used a piece of plywood..but plastic or a towel would also work) and see what kind of crystals are falling from the clouds. You can tell a a lot about what/s going on in the atmosphere ~2 miles up (~10K'; 700 mb) based on what type of crystals you observe.

TQ said...

Here's a good primer about snow flakes..