Saturday, April 21, 2012

High impact snow event 
for Western Pennsylvania


12:20 PM EDT 4/22/12 Winter Storm Watches are in effect for all of western Maryland and western Pennsylvania including the Laurel Highlands. This storm is likely to produce 12 or more  inches overnight Sunday into Monday, with impacts in western Pennsylvania and New York equal or greater than the October 2011 storm. 

Our Three Rivers Team in metro Pittsburgh is tracking the event closely on their local forecast page in Facebook. Please visit their page for the latest updates on this significant event. Regional updates on impacts in the Mid-Atlantic are also posted in our Winter Stormcast page.

Photo credit: The Gevril group in New York from October 2011

"Here it comes."


7:15 AM EDT 4/22/12 An overview of our multi-state coverage for this developing coastal storm that has spawned severe weather in the Southeast, will deliver wind-whipped rain for the cities, and snow in western PA. The map below displays our team's latest impact projections for snow tonight:

  • In Pennsylvania: Our Three Rivers Team in Pittsburgh, led by Forecaster Greg J., is posting the latest in Facebook for this  unusually out-of-season snow potential. A Winter Storm Watch is in effect for amounts that may exceed 4" along the Laurel Highlands. You can also follow our Central Pennsylvania Team with Forecasters Zach and Andrew, while Forecaster Robert is reporting from Philadelphia on the rainstorm for Southeast Pennsylvania.
  • New Jersey - Forecaster Andrew is reporting on the Flood Warnings posted in that region for our Central NJ page as coastal areas will bear the brunt of winds and heavy rain from this storm.  
  • Central Florida - Forecaster Matt B. reported all last night on a line of severe thunderstorms that moved east from the Gulf of Mexico, spawning numerous warnings and tornado watches. The risks continue today.
  • Capital Region - Forecaster Nikki notes that heavy rain will be sweeping across the DC metro area in the next several hours, and continue on and off throughout the day.
  • Northeast Ohio - Forecaster Jason W. is in collaboration with our Mid-Atlantic Team on the snow impacts to that region, and prepared the overview map shown above as discussed in the Ohio Valley Winter Stormcast page. 

"A Tale Of Two Cities"
- 1859 novel by Charles Dickens

7:15 PM EDT 4/21/12 (Forecasters Greg J. and Mr. Foot) As Philadelphia, PA basked in summer-like temperatures that hovered near 80 today, Pittsburgh metro and much of western Pennsylvania are facing a Winter Storm Watch -- believe or not -- for rain changing to snow Sunday night in that region. Talk about a tale of weather in two cities! 

Hall & Oates might quip, "Say it isn't so..." The Pennsylvania Team expects dynamical cooling should allow a cold, windswept rain on Sunday in western PA to begin changing to snow in higher elevations late in the day. Even areas of the Blue Ridge in western Maryland may see heavy wet snow on fully "leafed" trees.

Remember October 2011? This storm scenario may be similar to what occurred last Fall, when heavy snow on trees brought down power lines across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Many municipalities were woefully unprepared for the massive power outages that resulted, leaving millions without power, some for up to ten days. A harsh price to pay for some communities after just having recovered from Hurricane Irene damage. This time it is a similar danger in a different season. Although we don't expect the wide-ranging impacts of that event, utilities and emergency management team on both sides of this storm should remain alert for the wildcards that April weather can deliver...rain or snow.

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