Sunday, March 24, 2013

An Early April Fool's Storm? 


10:40 AM EDT 3/24/13  
(Mid-Atlantic Winter Stormcast Team) For those concerned about the possibility of another potential snow bust in the Mid-Atlantic, we share that challenge with you. 

There are a number of factors that could easily alter the outcome of this storm in the final hours. The result could be either a surprise early morning snowfall along the major metro areas-- or yet another under-performing event that leaves public safety officials, schools and parents alike wondering what happened to the forecast. (Image left: National Weather Service Eastern Regional HQ)

Here's what we think is the MOST PROBABLE situations for the Mid-Atlantic, with links to our local zones in those areas:



1. I-95 corridor and central MD: We think that easterly winds and warm temperatures will prevent a major snowstorm. This will force warm air onto the shore, and keep temperatures warm, and possibly forcing some regions from snow to rain during the day on Monday. Details on our forecast in these areas at our Central Maryland zone on Facebook
  • The one factor that could change this is when the wind shifts to be more northerly and northeasterly. If that occurs, cooler air from the Northeast could be pulling southward east of the Blue Ridge mountains. If this occurs early Monday morning, snow could begin to stick in areas west of I-95.
2. Central/Western PA & West Virginia: If the storm accelerates and arrives sooner than we currently think, heavy precipitation may occur before sunrise, and before the high March sun angle has a chance to take effect.  Please visit the Three Rivers or Central Pennsylvania zones for local updates from those forecasters.
  • We expect areas from I-81 west, and areas along & north of I-70 will receive the heaviest snow, up to 6" in some areas as noted by the lastest Watches and Warnings shown above. 
3. Mid-Atlantic Coastal Areas: This storm involves a transfer of energy from a primary low pressure system in the Ohio Valley to a coastal low offshore. If the secondary coastal low takes over sooner, and gets stronger than expected, then heavy precipitation rates could initiate dynamic cooling. The bigger impact on these areas, as noted earlier by our Surf & Sail Team, will be strong winds, 1-2 foot storm surge and heavy waves.
  • This could produce heavier "snow falling" allow more of it to stick, especially in the early morning hours of Monday. As posted
THE APRIL FOOL'S PART? If these factors do not pan out as expected, many readers will be waking up to a scene similar to March 6, with snow falling but not sticking in the metro areas, and heavy wet snow farther inland that quickly compacted, and did not produce as much travel impact as was originally expected. 

31 comments:

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...


NWS BALT WASH

"Additional winter weather headlines may need to be extended further east into the Washington and Baltimore
metropolitan areas. Did not issue for these areas yet due to the
high uncertainty from surface temperatures being close to freezing."

They are being conservative and rightfully so. I still think we are apt to reach warning level snows. I expect them to issues warnings and watches very soon.

Unknown said...

"I am increasingly confident that this will be our heaviest snow of the season by far. I think that we will soon see widespread WINTER STORM WARNINGS by this afternoon. The NWS is correct in being conservative considering climatology, but the BEST CASE SCENARIO which was the MOST UNLIKELY SCENARIO is unfolding.By noon time there will be WARNINGS for much of the area. I am in the 4-8 camp for Baltimore Metro."--Andy
"We think that easterly winds and warm temperatures will prevent a major snowstorm. This will force warm air onto the shore, and keep temperatures warm, and possibly forcing some regions from snow to rain during the day on Monday."--The Page

It looks like you and the page contradict each other, Andy. Care to elaborate??

Julee said...

Jeremy,

You must be new here, because we, who have been together here for about 10 years, are all good-natured and pleasant to each other.

Unknown said...

Julee: I just wanted to know where Andy was coming from with his call; if he sees something that the person (or people) who wrote the post on the page don't. I never meant for any of that comment to sound mean...

Unknown said...

Also, I'm noticing, as the precip closes in us, that the bulk of it could fall at night...so... there maybe some real accumulation for the Baltimore metro.

Unknown said...

Also, I'm noticing, as the precip closes in us, that the bulk of it could fall at night...so... there maybe some real accumulation for the Baltimore metro.

BioPat said...

Jeremy, the jury is still out on this one. It's easy to get sucked in to any one forecast, but experience has taught me that NWS is not always the best source. We are fortunate to have Andy as a very knowledgeable fellow blogger, who has consistently taken a broad look at all the information from a variety of sources.
It is always helpful to watch and listen to all the data, particularly this winter, where the models have been all over the place with perhaps the exception of "Sandy".

Unknown said...

Amazing that we are able to even be talking in these realms on March 24th. Blessed to live thru some of the most exciting snow events in Maryland history.I have been able to be a part of at least 10 of the top snow storms in our areas history. 2003,1983,1996,1979,2000,2006,1987,
1993, and the snowmegeddon storms of 2010 was most satisfying. :-):-)

Julee said...

Jeremy --
Sorry for the misunderstanding. Always take up for my peeps. I must be the ONLY snarky person on Foot's! That's fortunate.
Looking all over the net for snow totals ... and they ARE "all over."
Might have to find out as we did in the old days. Wait for it to end.

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

I understand the caution here with warnings etc. They are however doing a DISSERVICE to the public by not posting at least a SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT. This is starting to give me the Feb 2011 sense where we had a foot of snow in Baltimore with no advisory even.

At least some outlets like the weather channel have spread word about the potential for heavy snow.

This is a 4-8 inch event even in the metro areas. There will be convection, heavy rates, and it will fall after and before peak sunlight hours in the dark. There will be no screaming east wind with the orientation with this low to warm boundary layers.

Welcome to Spring Heavy Snow and slush fest 2013.

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Radar filling in nicely. Solid feed of Gulf Moisture. Convection from Florida to North Carolina. If this was only February right? Well not so fast. This storm has all the ingredients we need to be a classic heavy hitter. The timing here is absolutely perfect for heavy accumulation considering the time of year. Get your snow shovels ready. The EAST wind will not save us this time.

NeedaSnowday said...

I will not get sucked in...
I will not get sucked in...
I will not get sucked in...
I will not get sucked in...
Shhhh Julee...
I will not get sucked in...
I will not get sucked in...

BioPat said...

Love it Needa!

Thanks Andy for the update, I have grades to do so I will keep checking in to see he updates. I am determined I will neither watch or listen to any other forecast through Monday afternoon. Now, we are scheduled to join in a Seder tomorrow evening, should I prepare or not prepare; THAT is the question.

BioPat said...

Sorry for all the typos, medication is fracturing my fingernails and it hurts to type.

Loosend said...

I'm sucked in, again. I was waiting for the first comment before I shot my keyboard off but I'll take a Palm Sunday surprise. ; )

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

http://www.erh.noaa.gov/phi/briefing/packages/current_briefing.pdf

Some competing philosophies with NWS offices. Winter weather advisory for Carroll County and One for Cecil County, but none for Baltimore or Harford County. Cecil is part of Mt Holly NWS while Harford and Baltimore are part of Balt Wash NWS. Balt Wash is being overly conservative. I think there may very well be an upgrade to a Warning but they are not confident enough yet.

http://www.erh.noaa.gov/phi/briefing/packages/current_briefing.pdf

(interesting analysis out of MT Holly Office above)

NeedaSnowday said...

put snow shovel away ...check
virga .. check
not getting sucked in ... check

::dusting of hands:: I feel better now!

Loosend said...

Hi Andy-I notice the radar fill in is much different than the last storm. Does this storm have the capability to 'make' more cold air than the last one? Thanks.

Unknown said...

Hahaha, Needa! At some point you're going to have to let yourself go....

Loosend said...

Keeping my shovels put away also. That might have been what messed the whole works up last time. I even sprayed them with silicone.

Nick said...

Andy, what do you think the accumulation chances are for the D.C. Metro area?

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Nick,

I think they are very good. This storm has real cold air to work with and there will be much better rates. I would go for 2-4 in DC and 4-8 north and west. Thee are advisories on the lower eastern shore of MD. They are generated by the MT Holly Office. Shows you how POLITICAL advisories can be since there are none for Northern Baltimore and Harford Counties.

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

When you have one NWS office calling for 2-4 on the lower Eastern Shore of MD, while the other remains silent in the colder elevated areas on the western shore that tells you something.

Unknown said...

NWS needs to start doing something for Baltimore and Harford counties. I mean, this is ridiculous...

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NeedaSnowday said...

NWS just called me to say..."we are not getting sucked in"....

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

I just look at the best available data. I think 4-8 for most of us is a REASONABLE forecast considering the EVIDENCE. I am not bound by politics, public scorn etc. Just an honest and fair look at all the data tells me that is what I should expect.

NeedaSnowday said...

OT -- Ravens agreed to terms with ELVIS DUMERVIL..

Things are lookin up.... :)

We now return you to your regularly scheduled weather update with Andy.

Unknown said...

Getting frustrated looking at the forecasts. Hearing anything from 3-10" for us here in Summit Point, WV. Any input on what we can expect? Thanks in advance.

ravensbbr said...

Let's all take a break and focus on what's important here...

THE RAVENS SIGNED ELVIS DUMERVIL!!!

oh, also, it's going to snow like a dog up here in the highlands...

:-P

Unknown said...

Just started snowing here! More flurries...but it is still snow. :)