Saturday, February 13, 2010

"One moment in time..."
- Whitney Houston, for the Seoul 1988 Summer Olympics Album
A lyrical video of her timeless and inspirational song


10:15 PM SUN 2.14.2010  
We know many readers, from regular families to emergency managers and government officials alike are concerned about forecasts for what we're calling "PD III." This refers to what may be the third time in 31 years significant snow impacts the Eastern U.S. on Presidents' Day. "PD I" was February 18-20, 1979 ; PD II ended February 17, 2003. Will Mother Nature "own the podium" yet again on this notable day in climatological records? 

ARRIVAL  As evidenced by the NWS Watch and Warning Map, Dixie is will soon bear the brunt of this storm.  Precip will be across the Georgia/Tennessee Valley by Monday morning, and across the Mid-Atlantic by noon Monday.
MID-ATLANTIC Snow or rain mixed, depending on your location, will not reach the ground until afternoon, becoming heavier overnight, ending Tuesday morning followed by strong winds. Details below are for Mid-Atlantic amounts.
SOUTHERN STATES  Details on storm impacts for the Mid-South is being provided by new team member Daniel Ross, a meteorology student at Georgia Tech, and Lead Forecaster for the Georgia-North Florida Zone.

PLAN A: Accumulating snow tomorrow night  Our original analyses first published Thursday 2.11.2010 remains very possible (with a tweak): a general 3 to 6 inches by Tuesday 12 PM could occur across portions of the I-95 corridor from Washington to Philadelphia and interior sections. Much of the accumulation should arrive in a "back-end thump" late Monday night into Tuesday morning. Our earlier idea of "up to 12 inches" is very likely, yet heaviest snow is slated for northern Maryland, the MD northeastern shore, Delaware and southeast/southern PA.

PLAN B: Be rain, please! There is always bust potential, and we figure most of you would be a-ok with that! "Plan B" represents what National Weather Service forecasts are showing for places like Washington, DC. The clipper could track along or north of I-95. This would permit several hours of afternoon precip at marginal temps, "snowing out" much of the moisture at lower ratios of 10:1 or even 8:1. Even cold temps at 5,000 feet, a closed upper level low, evaporative cooling into the  night, and a chilling influence of the expansive snowpack, our predicted 6" would be more like 2-4" max solely due to influence of the low track.

PLAN C: Coastal? NOT AGAIN! The team has been watching the comeback potential per say, as the storm has shown some signals of a possible coastal development. The aspects to take a look at are the 50/50 low in the Canadian Maritimes/Northern Maine (including blocking), the possibility for Gulf Moisture, wraparound snow, and Nowcasting the storm.
A detailed report on this scenario by Ryan K. in the Winter Stormcast Zone.

Data and rationale Liquid projections have increased to a general .25 to .50 inches of total available moisture Monday into Wednesday. The surface low and associated upper level shortwaves have appeared on NOAA maps, and HPC shows a classic clipper track along the Washington-Baltimore I-95 corridor.

We anticipate this storm will START with LOWER "snow-to-liquid ratios" near 10:1, but transition to above 20:1 overnight to Tuesday morning. Ratios in the Feb 2010 Blizzard # 2 at Fallston, MD started around 8:1 but ended near 30:1 as calculated by Advisor Terpguy, a CoCoRaHS observer in central Maryland. 

Just how much are we talking? 
Updated sample calculation: .20" liquid BWI x 15:1 avg. =  3" prelim*
Elkins, WV | BWI airport| Dulles
Philadelphia | Dover  | NY LaGuardia
*note: we hypothesize that most of this comes overnight into Tuesday.
Storm grade projections released 9 AM Monday morning. 

Our storm roundtable discussions will be posted in the Winter Stormcast Zone as we prepare for the next run on Mother Nature's ski trip through this winter of our discontent. For an "off-the-hook" trip down a real discontented winter, view this video clip from the infamous March 1958 SuperKahuna(Warning: not for those faint of heart from shoveling- may induce strong emotional reactions. Please check with your doctor before viewing.)

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