Thursday, February 21, 2008

THE PROOF HAS ARRIVED, AND A LITTLE EARLY.
CHECK THE LATEST MID-ATLANTIC RADAR FOR PRECIP TRENDS

inmaSIRVA_

THU 9:30 PM. The Winter Storm Warning now in effect until 10 PM FRIDAY for Central and Western Maryland, Northern Virginia and the West Virginia panhandle probably comes as no surprise to those of you who have been following the development of this storm since last Friday. There are no changes to the forecast, because the truth has arrived : A high impact winter storm will affect the entire Northeast region Friday into Saturday, and not a soul on Earth can stop it. View the NWS spread of warnings and advisories to understand the extent of this storm already. As for the current radar, I'm sure you're noticing the "dry slot" of separation between the two storms, but that is simply an indication the two storms will not "phase" or merge together quickly. This allows the energy from both systems to slowly blend, which actually prolonges the event...and the pain for commuters. The alternative is a rapid phasing, a quick accumulation and then out to sea. That is not likely to happen.

STORM SUMMARY AND IMPACTS: An initial 1-3" of snow starting by midnight in the central Mid-Atlantic will be followed by nearly 24 hours of sleet and freezing rain to affect the entire I-95 corridor from Washington to New York City. Interior sections from Pennsylvania to England will see widespread snow possibly exceeding 6 inches. By Friday afternoon, areas affected by ice may come to a virtual standstill, even hampering the ability of emergency and utility workers to reach residents in need. If you have something important to do, get it done on Thursday, because travel on Friday for most of you will be limited to your living room, TV room and the nearest refrigerator (assuming there's power to keep it working!)

SCHOOLS, COLLEGES, OFFICES: Most schools throughout central and western Maryland, northern Virginia, West Virgina will be closed Friday, in addition to a number of colleges as well as many county, state and federal offices. Any activities, meetings or special events planned for Saturday will have to be rescheduled, so make necessary arrangements now. Those who attempt to open or hold an event will face a travel and logistical nightmare. However, conditions will improve behind the storm on Sunday, allowing roads to dry out in time for a regular school day on Monday.

BACKGROUND AND ANALYSIS: (Skip this part if you're not into the meteorology behind the forecast). The green-blue areas on the map below indicate moisture that will by 1AM Friday be running overtop an expansive dome of sub-freezing surface/lower level temperatures. The lines that bend southwest across Virginia indicate cold air damming, a classic setup for sleet and freezing rain, which may initially start as snow. Also note the 0 deg Celsius line at 5,000 feet is deep in southern Virginia, that indicates an extensive southward push of cold air. Warm air advection at or above the 5,000 foot level will intrude later Friday morning, this will be evidenced by snow changing to sleet and then eventually freezing rain by noon. This is well depicted in the NWS forecast for Baltimore as a representative location for the central Mid-Atlantic. Comparing this Wednesday night GFS projection for 1AM Friday to the current radar, it appears the precip is moving in faster than expected, but may result in just slightly higher snow totals if it starts earlier, despite your concern about the "dry slot."

GFS 1AM Fri 2-22

THE MYSTERY OF FREEZING RAIN. Surface temperatures on Friday will start out in the 20's, and then you'll see a quick rise to 30-32 in many areas, followed by a whole day where the temp hovers just around freezing. This is a phenomenon that often occurs with freezing rain, because water turning into ice is actually a CONDENSATION process, which RELEASES heat into the atmosphere. This "latent release of heat" helps keep the temperature just around 32 or 33. But strangely enough, if slight melting begins to occur, EVAPORATION of that water from a solid back to liquid is a COOLING process, which in turn chills the surface layer just enough to stabilize the temperature. So in effect, once a freezing rain regime has setup, it just keeps on going until enough warm air aloft mixes down to the surface and provides enough warming to take the air temperature past 33. Given the depth and coverage of the cold High pressure dome that's now in charge, I doubt we'll see a change to all rain by Friday afternoon as projected by Baltimore's WJZ. It will be fun to see who is right in the end.

IF YOU WANT TO NOWCAST THE STORM, you don't have to wait for me...I recommend monitoring the following sites over the next 48 hours. For up-to-the-minute data on road conditions in MD, check Maryland Roadway Weather, and if you want the latest indications of precipitation type at BWI, this helpful graph from coolwx.com breaks down what may be falling when. A good sense of what's happening with precipitation and storm movement is best seen on AccuWeather's National Radar Loop and Regional Snow-Ice-Rain Radar, and this map of current observations. If you want more detail and like to decode secret messages written in acronyms, then follow the Baltimore/DC NWS Forecast Discussions, updated about 4-6 times per day. Those who seek serious hard core meteorological prognostication should review the HPC Short Range Discussions. (That's short for Hydrometeorological Prediction Center.) For weather analysis and long range entertainment, Henry Margusity's "Meteo Madness" provides a blend of both.

Justin Berk is a TV meteorologist with ABC2 News in Baltimore who operates a very worthy blog I suggest bookmarking, and since I've been a life-long fan of ABC, I can't recommend any other network anyway. For a long range glimpse of what US computer models are projecting for next week, take a peek at the GFS animation on wunderground.com. There's also the NOAA/NWS 5-day map series, and you can even see our future SuperKahuna indicated there starting Wednesday 2-27. Once we get the first Kahuna launched in full (translate: me home Friday for a day off to do the analysis), then I can start to show you data and maps for next weeks potentially major event that could make this upcoming storm look like a flurry!

86 comments:

Mr.S said...

11:30PM Severn. Mr foot . soory to inform you we only had about an inch - maybe a bit more . Roads are clear . See you at 730 am tomorrow!!!
Question about next week .
Could recon plane be due to the fact that the government will be shooting a missle at that satellite in space and they need info for that ?

Mr. Foot said...

Interesting theory. Maybe the Pac recon is a cover for the fact they'll be doing hazmat cleanup wherever the debris lands?

Welcome everyone to Big Kahuna # 1 of the 2008 Season. A storm on this site does not qualify for Kahuna status until it can garner enough impact to affect the Mid-Atlantic AND the Northeast.

A SuperKahuna would impact the Eastern 1/3 of the country (Feb 83, Mar 93, Jan 96, Feb 03, Feb 07, Mar 08??)

Mr. B said...

YAY other ice storm. Bufkit prints out 3" snow here and .40-.50" ZR.

Mr. Foot said...

Sorry there wasn't a surprise delay this morning, but at least you can sleep in tomorrow. I would highly recommend teachers get their interim grading done today if possible, so you don't have it hanging over your head tomorrow along with the heavy duty icicles that are sure to form.

See you all later this afternoon. Any comments about midday changes of heart, second guessing the forecast, etc are welcome and enjoyed!

Prospero said...

Oh, but there is, Mr. Foot!

Just got the e-mail:

BCPS -- one hour late!

Mr. Foot said...

OOPS, trusted TV too much. 1 hour delay, now how about that, our forecast is coming together nicely considering it was made 4 days ago:

1-2" snow check
delay on Thursday check
storm to arrive Fri AM near check

Prospero said...

We are in control here.

We control the vertical.

We control the horizontal.

(I didn't see it on TV, either).

Mr.S said...

Well Mr. Foot, yesterday you said "1 inch of snow= 1 Hr Delay, 2 inches = 2 Hr Delay" I thought you go closer to the 2 inches? Oh well. Down here we barely made the 1 inch, so No delay in AA County! Guess I'll see you at 8:30!

terpguy said...

Fallston-0630 local

14.0°F

1.0" of snow
0.05" of liquid

Yeah, that's 20:1...but these are small numbers, so margin for error is high.

The TV stations are finally conceding that there will be a Winter Event tomorrow.

NWS (DC/B'more):

0400 local

THIS STORM COULD BE A HIGH IMPACT EVENT...WITH THE POTENTIAL FOR
SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW AND...OR ICE ACCUMULATIONS. LATER
FORECASTS WILL MORE SPECIFICALLY PIN DOWN PRECIPITATION TYPES...
TIMING... AND AMOUNTS.


QUICK, EVERYBODY!!!

MILK, BREAD, AND TOILET PAPER!!!

Mr. Foot said...

For those whose servers block the images, I've cleaned up the site and put the most important links at the top for today.

If you want to check the current 4casts against earlier ideas, click on older posts and look back to was said Sat and Sun.

Southern Snow said...

Mr. Foot,

Is the storm going to impact Southern Maryland as well??

Mr. B said...

Saturday I might be reporting from Icecastle. LOL.

snow lover said...

looks like a major ice storm when will they issue an ice storm watch

photofreak65 said...

well, I must say I am surprised about this morning's delay.... I was out at 10:30 last night and the roads were fine. This is not to say I'm not happy. A little extra sleep is always good.

this weekend sounds like a mess. Your thoughts...will places like banks and malls be closed on Friday? How about Monster Jam on Saturday?

Mr.S said...

MR FOOT We have a charity bus trip to atlantic city planned for Sat at 9am . What are your thoughts on this . We returm by 9 pm . I think its up to the bus to cancel ? Will there still be precip sat morning? Thanks
MRS S!

terpguy said...

0030 local

DT (WxRisk.com), a Virginia-based Met, posted his "First Guess" (this is followed later by "First Call" and "Last Call").

Using the Fall Line as a boundary (sorta Rt 95 to you non-geographic folks), he has:

West- 2-5" of snow, then heavy IP or ZR
East- 2-4" of snow, then quickly to R.

The wait continues....

I'm going with Foot...get your runnin' around done today!

Mr. B said...

DANG you models, dang you winter 07-08!!

E.H. Boston said...

Sorry mr. b

Mixing issues are getting close to Boston for this storm.

Mr. B said...

HPC thinking models are way to fast moving out the cold. We'll see. Major ice storm or bust.

photofreak65 said...

Here's something interesting....my husband's building sent out a severe weather bulletin to everyone who is employed in the building. He's never gotten one of those before.

Chris said...

Winter Storm Warning coming into effect 10:00pm tonight Hopefully its more snow than ice.

Kyle said...

My work canceled a large event that was weeks in the planning in anticipation of this storm. It's looking like more freezing rain than snow. The clouds didn't fill in today as much as expected. I'm wondering if the clear skies (cooling) canceled out the radiating heat from the sun this afternoon. Also, about next week's storm, am I missing something?:

From NWS-

AN UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH MAY BRING A FEW SNOW
SHOWERS WEDNESDAY NIGHT...MAINLY ACROSS THE POTOMAC HIGHLANDS.

Kyle said...

I know there's this storm at hand and all, but I can't help but look towards next week. After reading the HPC and NWS discussions, I'm not seeing any indication of a big storm next week, what am I missing? Thanks.

CMS Teach said...

in checking the list of closings at4:15 p.m. , the annapolis city government has announced they are closed tomorrow! this bodes well.

snow lover said...

could this be like the valentines storm last year and give us a major sleet storm??

Colin Myers said...

Howard county public schools sent paychecks out today instead of tomorrow.hummm?

Anonymous said...

Radar looks like we have potential for a bust here. I hope i'm wrong

snow lover said...

yeah it seems we may be xaught in the middle

Kyle said...

This storm is moving quite easterly, we won't be caught in the middle. No worries (although stranger thing have happened)

photofreak65 said...

Did anyone see the rainbow this afternoon?

Julee said...

They're OUT there!
HAD to go to the grocery store this p.m. due to son's birthday today.
Of course everyone was FRENZIFIED. I REFUSED to buy milk, bread, t-paper or eggs. Isn't it interesting that when we get the "white stuff" everyone rushes out to buy ... white stuff? Yeah ... well I'm artistic.

Anyway, as of 5:00 Bob Turk is still saying snow and ice ... mostly ice.
YOU won't turn on us, will you Mr. Foot?

Mr. Foot said...

I know all y'all are nervous about the dry slot. Just be patient. Give the atmosphere time to moisten and you'll be ok.

Deep breath...exhale.. Now, turn off the TV, back away from the computer. Then go have dinner, (wash your hands first) play some Wii, read the paper, check back after 9PM.

Mr. Foot said...

FRENZIFIED. I like it. Add that one to the list of candidates for Websters in 2008.

Does that make you a Frenzif-er or Frenzif-ee?

You know I not backing down now, it's either the storm ..

..or the bag.

Kyle said...

wow, Mr. Foot...I think you were speaking directly to me on that last comment. ok, ok, ok...i'll shut my laptop for a couple hours... ::shuts laptop very slowly::

terpguy said...

DT's "First Call"
(WxRisk.com)

West of Fall line- 1-3", then heavy IP, ZR.

East of Fall Line- 2-4", then rain.

I'm sticking with Foot. I don't think that rain is going to happen anywhere around here..
(he wrote, 5 miles from the Fall Line).

BUT, I don't care if school's are closed...





..I retired from teaching last June.

heh, heh, heh...

snow lover said...

so we shouldnt be worried probability of no school

Mr. Foot said...

No Kyle, just a general comment to everyone who over-reacts to changes in radar.

For those of you new to the comments, the normal procedure in the event of a bust :::now don't get alarmed::: is that I wear a bag, put a picture on here of me wearing it, and also wear it for a few minutes in class.

I don't back down from a forecast, but rather explain why it did not happen as expected. off to dinner now.

snow lover said...

where is the precip coming from then for us the northern storm or the southern storm

Mr. B said...

Latest bufkit for here is so funny. 2" snow and .87" ZR.

Kyle said...

No really, I needed to take my eyes off for a few... I was getting a little too excited and started to question everything. Then, I saw the HPC discussions for the next storm and that bummed me out. But, as you can see, I didn't exactly shut the laptop for a few hours...more like a few minutes, but hey, that's a start. The bag thing is funny, that makes me feel better knowing you are really going for the best accuracy possible in order to avoid something like that, heh heh. I'll eagerly await your 9pm update (hopefully with a small tidbit about next week :-D )

Russ L said...

OK, i see the dry slot as well as everybody else, however correct me if i'm wrong, isn't this storm really two-three different systems that will be comming to this area? i thought that the two systems would NOT phase together. if this is correct wouldn't that explain why we are seeing a gap in the radar? one system to the west of us tracking east, one system to the south west of us which will be coming up the coast, and a third system that is northwest of us?

snow lover said...

just looked at the weather underground site and it says 3-5 inches tonight alone. Thoughts anyone

Russ L said...

just looked at noaa web-site and was reading forecast discussion which was updated at 8:57. everything seems to be the same as before. i have pasted a line from their discussion

NEAR SURFACE COLD AIR
WILL REMAINED LOCKED IN. PRECIPITATION RATES INCREASE DURING THE DAY
ACROSS THE NORTHERN FORECAST AREA...PRESENTING A RISK OF SIGNIFICANT
ICING.

Chip said...

Wow, check this out from NWS:

"Tonight: Periods of snow and sleet, mainly after midnight. Low around 19... Chance of precipitation is 90%. Total nighttime snow and sleet accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.

Friday: Periods of freezing rain and sleet. High near 28... Chance of precipitation is 90%. New ice accumulation of 0.2 to 0.4 of an inch possible. New sleet accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

Friday Night: Periods of rain or freezing rain before 10pm... Chance of precipitation is 80%. New ice accumulation of around a 0.1 of an inch possible."

So, 3-5 inches snow, then 0.2-0,4 inch ice, then another 0.1 inch ice... WOW... if this actually happens, it's going to be wicked nasty! Hope everyone gets through it okay!

Mr. Foot said...

Anyone still nervous about the dry slot?

I thought not.

Will be back soon with a brief update. Chip are your knuckles itching yet?

Kyle said...

Whoa, where did that come from all of the sudden? Did they specify region on those forecast amounts? That would be intense.

Russ L said...

chip,
what NWS location is that from?

Russ L said...

agree mr. foot. look how things are starting to fill in----mostly look around the gulf region with all that moisture and heading north

Chip said...

Russ, it's from NWS for Baltimore Co. I thought you might ask me that, Mr. Foot, and yes, the knuckles are itching a little. Just glad the power is holding out so I can watch "Lost." :) Got an extra flashlight and a tranistor radio this afternoon... gonne write down the BGE outage number for easy access too. Hee hee hee...

Russ L said...

mr foot,
like you have been saying for a week!!--below is from accu-weather always tease peiser to get you a transfer to SPHS--however i don't think i would ever get any work done!!

Winter Storm FactorsUpdated: Thursday, February 21, 2008 2:12 PM
What you see here is the foundation of all big winter storms. In a nutshell, moisture attacks from the south while cold air resists. This creates the classic overrunning pattern that meteorologists are always talking about. That simply means the moist air being lighter is forced up and over the cold surface air. The ascending air then cools and condenses forming an extensive area of clouds and precipitation.

The whole overrunning pattern that currently exists and its resulting precipitation will spread into the Northeast Thursday night and Friday. Cold air damming will probably give the winter storm some extra zest from the Appalachians eastward, meaning the storm could be a little worst from central Pennsylvania and Maryland to southern New England. A major consequence of this will be significant icing along the I-95 Corridor from Washington to central New Jersey.

A schematic of cold air damming is shown below.

Story by AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist John Kocet

Russ L said...

chip,
how do you click for baltimore co.? i thought you had to click on a site on the map?

Mr. B said...

Nam was wack, hopefully gfs does not follow.

wvm said...

Loved your catch phrase. I guess we got it done yesterday. We had our fifth child yesterday. Thank goodness!!! We were supposed to come home from the hospital tomorrow afternoon but opted for tonight instead. We actually had snow and sleet on the way home ( 8:00 pm). I cant imagine someone trying to get anywhere tomorrow around here, if we get the ice they are calling for here in the eastern panhandle of WV.

Russ L said...

should we be following the models now for this storm?

Chip said...

Russ,
try this site, then click on the map on Balt. Co. (It's part of the pink chunk of counties at this point in time, hee hee):

http://www.erh.noaa.gov/lwx/

Mr. Foot said...

Anyone disagree that this is turning into a slam dunk? (unless you're a commuter :( or emergency personnel and have to brave the elements anyway. My heart goes out to those folks, they have to be in nasty weather all the time to keep society functioning. Remember them in your moments of glee tomorrow at 4:58 AM.

Otherwise, all is going according to plan, hats off to NWS Sterling for good calls and overall timing of statements to the public.

Will start a new mini post for comments overnight and into the morning. You'll like the headline and graphic.

Russ L said...

congratulations wvm! where are you in wv? i spent my first year in college at potomac state. my mom was from keyser--spent a lot of time there growing up.

Chip said...

Or, Russ, try this, no clicking necessary (I think):

http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?site=lwx&FcstType=text&site=LWX&map.x=296&map.y=35

Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. Foot ever consider putting the chat feature back on here during KAHUNA times!? I know you had it last year... just wondering?

Mr. Foot said...

Holy COW wmn... wow you really did get it done I'll say. Super big congratulations are in order. Not to mention the fact that you're on this site what.. 48 hours after giving birth. Holy smokes madam you are dedicated, and a great mom as well I'm sure.

::is everyone getting this?:::

I'm honored and thrilled for you to let us know and a big prayer of praise for a healthy delivery. Many best wishes for your ever growing family. I think when you first started on this site, your call sign was Mommyof3. Now Mommyof5? Amazing. Hope tomorrow is not too hectic with all the little ones cooped up inside with a new baby.

Mr. Foot said...

NASD.. I may put up a chat feature briefly tomorrow depending on availability of time and needs of children.

Anyone seeing snow yet?

wvm.. hope you can get some rest.

Mr. B said...

Have a dusting with light snow right now.

Russ L said...

chip,
when i use those addresses i get the same map as i usually get. nothing for baltimore county in general, just individual communties in the county. thats ok, i like what you found!!

Kyle said...

Only virga here at Ft. Meade, darn radar illusion. Congrats wvm!

Anonymous said...

Okee doke.. if you need any help with monitoring it again... I can help out! :)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Russ L said...

nothing in perry hall, cold and wind is picking up. mr. b, where are you?

Mr. B said...

In Greencastle, pa russ.

Russ L said...

been looking at the accu-weather blog sites--those people are a bit different. they are all over the place form total storm bust to a huge storm. i never respond--a bit scared to! mr. foot, i noticed a guy on that site listed as big daddy from baltimore and he has listed www.midatlanticweather, do you know if he is the guy who runs that site?

Russ L said...

ok, hope some of that white stuff starts soon a bit south!!

Julee said...

Okay I'm doing something VERY VERY brave (for me). I'm NOT getting something ready to wear to school. Will I jinx everything?

And here's a question ... with all of this (potential)icing ... when do you think we'll be back to some semblance of "normal?" As in melting?
I'm worried about the wild birds that I feed at school, and the brand new Valentine's Day baby bunnies in the Ag department.

Is the next Kahunawannabe an all snow event?

terpguy said...

Fallston
2221 local

27.3°F
Barometer at 29.83 when I got up to look outside for snow...29.80 when I walked back 20 seconds later.

Light snow has arrived!!

Kyle said...

Just saw this:

Newbury School
Anne Arundel County
Opening At 7:30 AM
Submitted at: 9:55 PM EST on Thursday, Feb 21
Report Updated 02-21-2008 22:15

Opening at 7:30am?? Optimistic much?

terpguy said...

2225 local

DT amended his "First Call" to 2-5" in my area, west of the Fall Line.

(Harford County, Md and environs)

terpguy said...

...continued (sorry)

then heavy ice storm.

Got my generator ready!

terpguy said...

Newbury School
Anne Arundel County
Opening At 7:30 AM
Submitted at: 9:55 PM EST on Thursday, Feb 21
Report Updated 02-21-2008 22:15

Opening at 7:30am?? Optimistic much?


It's a pre-school for Crofton Yuppies...probably usually opens a lot earlier...

:)

Kyle said...

heh heh, thanks for the info terpguy, my wife (while looking for a permanent art teaching job) is substituting at Anne Arundel schools, but hasn't made it to that one yet. Alright, I'll ignore them, heh.

bell86 said...

I thought that some schools might close tonight, I guess not. I guess that forces everybody to wake up and check. To bad this didn't happen on a Thursday...could have been a couple days off.

Kyle said...

I sure wish that dry lot would fill in. I trust you Mr. Foot that it will, but it's taking a while.

Mr. Neubauer said...

Awesome! My science peeps at Eastern Tech will savor the extra time spent in bed, except for Mr. Mac who will diligently rise to record his precipitation reading for CoCoRaHS at 7 AM.

terpguy said...

Awesome! My science peeps at Eastern Tech will savor the extra time spent in bed, except for Mr. Mac who will diligently rise to record his precipitation reading for CoCoRaHS at 7 AM.

..and I am the coordinator for CoCoRaHS for Harford and Baltimore Counties, and believe I know of said gentleman, should he reside in the county of Harford. (at least thats the only "Mac" I could find in the local data base.)

Anyone interested in become part of a national weather network, utilized daily by the NWS, please go to:

http://www.cocorahs.org

Thanks!

Wishing.for.Snow said...

Snowing in Sparks (Hereford Zone) for about 30 minutes now.

crazedsnowboarder said...

school was already canceled for me xD

Mr. Neubauer said...

Terpguy, you have the correct "Mac". If I didn't live in an overdeveloped townhouse community with all the barriers you're not supposed to have, I might be on the network. Nice to e-meet you.

Mr. Foot said...

NOOOO Julee, at least lay some slack on the dresser or something. A pair of socks, anything. Not doing that could set in motion the Butterfly Effect, whereby the dry slot expands to encompass the whole east coast.

kyle..once an easterly fetch begins to develop off the ocean, you'll see the whole region from VA to NJ fill in nicely with precip. Interaction of the lows and high to our north make this a lock and there will be plenty o'precip around very soon.

This time tomorrow we'll be so sick of precip that some may even ask when it's going to stop!

Kyle said...

Thanks Mr. Foot for the response, I feel warm and cozy now :-)