Sunday, March 3, 2013

END TO THE SNOW DROUGHT?


8:25 PM 3/3/13 - TEAM STATEMENT - As you can see in the graphic above, the lack of snow for the past two years has been very significant. Many Mid-Atlantic cities have not had notable accumulation since January 26th, 2011! After holding back all year, the pattern looks like it will all come together to end winter 2012-13 with a bang. 

After anxiously waiting for months on end for a big snowfall, it looks like many of us in the mid-Atlantic will finally receive our snowstorm of ’13. The snowstorm should move through Tuesday night through Wednesday night providing a period of heavy snow to someone in the mid-Atlantic. The exact track of heaviest snow is still an uncertainty, but at the moment looks to be somewhere over Maryland. Nevertheless, this storm will be a high impact event for the mid-Atlantic causing difficult travel, school closures, and flight cancellations Tuesday night through Wednesday. Below we outline the current scenarios that we see for this significant snowstorm with the first being most likely. 

Winter Stormcast Team Projections


SCENARIO A: (70% Chance, Storm similar to current models)


TIMING: Expect precipitation to push into portions of the mid-Atlantic Tuesday evening. Snow would be heaviest through the day Wednesday before coming to an end from west to east Wednesday night.


IMPACTS:
In this scenario, the storm is a bit slower and is able to push further north before moving offshore. Portions of central and southern Maryland could start as rain before changing to heavy snow. An elongated period of heavy snow is likely across Maryland and extreme south central Pennsylvania (southern Adams, Franklin, Fulton, and Bedford counties) which could last for up to 12 hours. The snow would be heavy wet snow and given the heavy accumulations, damage would be expected for weak structures than cannot handle the weight of the snow. This would cause travel problems Tuesday night through Thursday morning across Maryland and southern Pennsylvania. Many flights would likely be cancelled on Wednesday at Dulles and BWI.


ACCUMULATIONS: Maryland and extreme south central Pennsylvania could see significant to high snowfall accumulations. Other areas across southern Pennsylvania could see a moderate to significant snowfall, especially across Franklin and Adams counties. Further east across southern New Jersey and Delaware, precipitation should start as rain and might change to snow for a few hours before pushing offshore leading to slushy accumulations of a few inches.


SCENARIO B:
(30% Chance, Faster Storm, Snow Further South)


TIMING: Precipitation would begin across the mid-Atlantic Tuesday afternoon. Heaviest snow would fall across Virginia Tuesday night and taper off around midday Wednesday.


IMPACTS/ACCUMULATIONS: The storm could push offshore before developing and not provide much precipitation to the central mid-Atlantic. This could lead to a mix of rain and snow changing to heavy snow with significant accumulations across Central Virginia. Further north some light to moderate snow is possible, but rain may mix in and lower accumulations. The snow would be heavy wet snow, so damage is possible if enough of it piles up on a weak structure. Travel would be affected Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday afternoon across portions of central and northern Virginia.

The map here shows our two scenarios for the heaviest snowfall amounts. If you are not in the areas, it does not mean you will not see snow, it just means that you will likely not be in the heaviest snow area.

Winter Stormcast Team - (Greg J., Michael N., Zachary F., Connor M., Jason M.)

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