Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Knock, Knock, Knocking On (Mid-Atlantic's) Door


11:40 PM EST 3/5 (Winter Stormcast Team) Are you seeing snow or rain yet? Let us know!

STORM OVERVIEW: The day many of us never expected would happen this Winter is less than 12 hours away. Yes, in less than 12 hours a major snowstorm will be affecting much of the mid-Atlantic region. 

  • Precipitation should begin moving into the region around midnight with heavy snow likely through the day Wednesday. By the time the snow ends Wednesday night, many areas of central Maryland, northern Virginia, eastern West Virginia, and southern Pennsylvania should have a significant accumulation of snow on the ground. 
  • There will be many impacts from this storm including school closures, flight cancellations, and scattered power outages making this a high impact event.

TIMING: Precipitation is already moving into southern portions of the region and will move into the remainder of the Mid Atlantic over the next couple hours:

  • We expect precipitation to continue across much of West Virginia, Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania throughout the day on Wednesday. 
  • Precipitation should taper off during the late evening across West Virginia and western portions of Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. 
  • For areas farther to the east across the Delmarva and eastern Pennsylvania, precipitation may not clear out until the early morning hours on Thursday.

PRECIPITATION TYPE:
As with many of the storms this winter, precipitation type could be an issue for some portions of the mid-Atlantic: We expect a mix of rain and snow at onset around the I-95 corridor before changing to heavy snow. 
  • To the west of I-95 and the Baltimore-D.C. metro area, expect all snow which will be heavy at times on Wednesday. 
  • Areas east of I-95 could see mixing continue through the day, limiting snowfall accumulations. 
  • Further east along the coast, expect mainly rain with some snow mixing in at times.

IMPACTS: In areas that do experience snowfall, we expect there to be fairly significant impacts. Due to the duration of the event, both the morning and evening commutes will be extremely difficult, especially west of I-95. 
  • As a result of the marginal air mass associated with this storm, snow that falls will have an extremely high moisture content, which can be very heavy in large amounts. This poses a threat to power lines, trees, and weakened structures where snow is able to accumulate. 
  • Although the majority of vulnerable trees and limbs have already fallen victim to recent weather events, we still expect there to be power outages in the area and urge residents to be prepared. 
  • Many school closures are expected on Wednesday so make sure to check your school before heading out the door. Also, local airports have already begun canceling flights by the hundreds and we expect this to continue. 
  • Lastly, due to the heavy nature of the snow, please take many breaks and stay hydrated while attempting to remove snow from your property.

ACCUMULATIONS: Snow is expected to be heavy at times, especially across central Maryland and southern Pennsylvania where rates could reach 2-3” per hour. The Baltimore-Washington metro area could see 4-8” with places to the west seeing higher amounts. Below is a list of snowfall accumulations expected per city:
Washington D.C.: 4-8” | Baltimore, MD: 4-8”Westminster, MD: 4-8" | Annapolis, MD: 3-5”Ocean City, MD: Mainly rain | Dover, DE: 2-4”
Hagerstown, MD: 8-12” | Martinsburg, WV: 8-12”Pittsburgh, PA: 4-6” | Harrisburg, PA: 4-8”Philadelphia, PA: 4-8” | Atlantic City, NJ: 2-4
Winter Stormcast Team 
(Winter Stormcast Director Zachary Fasnacht, Mid-Atlantic Director Greg J., Advisor Rich F., Meteorologist Alex D., Michael N., Connor M., Jason M., Nikki B.)

48 comments:

ravensbbr said...

FF, obviously,time will verify, but those totals sound light to me...anyone else?

Storm said...

well based on what Andy said: YES those totals sound light...why so passive on the totals???

Unknown said...

Been snowing here in Summit Point, WV for about 15 minutes. Ground/deck/driveway/dog :)already covered but temps still saying 42. Looks like we are in the bullseye...just hoping the power holds out. ---Former Red Lion,Pa resident that can't leave FF. :)

Unknown said...

Scratch that...temps dropped drastically. Down to 34 now. It was 42 the last time I looked when the snow started.

Storm said...

I got nothing in Hampstead....bet it's BEAUTIFUL where u r Rachel.

ravensbbr said...

dynamic cooling in action, Rachel! Justin Berk called it!

coolest thing will be seeing the kids faces tomorrow when they wake up.

Storm said...

Justin is the man as usual!!!

Julie said...

so who are you all on JB's page I am Julie Ray Smith I think there is a Tina I laugh with over there you here tina lol

Storm said...

I'm not on JB's page because I don't do facebook.

janbm said...

What a difference 20 minutes makes. Snowing and blowing hard in Middletown. Temp has dropped 6 degrees.

Unknown said...

On Justin's page and Facebook. It's going to be an interesting night. Have to let the big dog out to clear a path for the little ones. :) Dynamic cooling for sure! My kids argued all evening saying it wasn't going to snow because it was too warm today. Even after all my explaining, they still weren't buying it. Especially, my oldest boy...who even did a science project on atmospheric memory this year. lol. I can't wait for the "I told you so's" in the morning.

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Rich and the forecast team do a great job. I suspect they will up their totals. Nevertheless, I'm just some random snow fanatic who has been tracking storms for 10 years. I have a solid grasp of regional climatology, models, and synoptics, as well as trends.

I try to share that background with you fellow fanatics. I try to put together the best data available and give you a reasonable forecast based on the most recent information.

We are at the point where this is an all snow event, warnings, have expanded almost 100 miles south of Baltimore, models have trended wetter, colder, etc. Storm is slowing down and is more amped up than earlier believed. I stand behind my 8-12 for Baltimore and 12-18 north and west.

I also think there is a real shot at a BLIZZARD WARNING AT OR AROUND NOON.

wvmommyof5 said...

Wow. It is so nice to see all of the regulars. It has been way too long since we have had this much excitement over a snowstorm. It started here in the eastern panhandle of wv as snow around 11. Ground was covered by 1130. This could be huge!! -wvmommyof5

The Brit and the Bulldog said...

Just beginning to snow here in Catonsville!

Unknown said...

edge of woodstock and ellicott city and it just started coming down pretty good.

Kirk Mantay said...

Towson's on deck with swirling wind and heavy snow...

Cathy in BelAir said...

I follow Justin and I follow FF, but when there is a snow event headed our way, I always come to this blog first. Andy, you may not be a meteorologist, but I trust your forecast more than any of the others... and I like your sense of humor. Thanks for all you do, keep up the good work!

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Thanks Cathy as I missed having winter weather for most of the last 2 years. This storm HONESTLY is one for the HISTORY books! I simply cannot believe the trends as I look over the most recent short range data, radar, and temp profiles.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do and please be safe but enjoy the storm. I expect a Blizzard Watch or Warning somewhere within 50 miles of Baltimore or in Baltimore itself. The data seems solid. 1-2 feet because of slow convective banding is on the table.

I am in awe of the RARE event, and lets sit back and enjoy!

wvmommyof5 said...

Wow. Already 2 inches and down to 29

BioPat said...

Storm is well under way here in Catonsville! The wind blowing so hard woke me up from a deep sleep. Schools still have not committed to closing but I expect WBAL's list to begin growing in about an hour or so.
I see my fellow Foot's bloggers are as snow starved as I have been and anxiously anticipating this event. I agree with Andy that this will be one for the record books, I don't know that it will match the epic Ash Wednesday storm of '62 but it will hold it's own unique characteristics.
This one will be interesting to watch develop and I suspect tomorrow we'll see snowfall amounts continue to grow. You newbies, Andy is a great source and very much right on the money with his forecasts.
Enjo the storm and stay safe!

Julee said...

I'll be so sad if I lose power tomorrow and can't follow the rantings ... I mean ... the weather wisdom of that old son-of-a-snowblower, the Sage of Southern York County.

BioPat said...

Love it Julee!You know this is serious, Andy hasn't even discussed his manwich yet. Our blogging weather sage is fired up these early morning hours. I am thankful my husband is sound asleep,he'd be convinced I've lost my mind watching me blog about a storm at this hour.

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

This storm is kind of like winning the lottery when you are in bankruptcy, filing the paperwork in federal court via your attorney, through your appointed social worker at the Court mandated rehab center. All after you were given days to live with a rare terminal illness that has miraculously gone into remission, subsequent to the vacation of a life sentence in a capital conviction that you never committed. Ironic, metaphorical, and statistically improbable is the best verbiage one can assimilate into a serial adjective when describing the atmospheric variables that have converged to make this BEAST our BABY!

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

BP,

Thanks! You know I love storms as we all do. It has been tough pulling at straws looking for something the last 2 years! Honestly a powderhound can't go 2 years without a Warning Criteria snow and be functional? Yet we all endured! This is our superbowl! Enjoy and stay up as late as you like it is worth it!

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Look at the RADAR!!! Look at that COMMA signature! Paul Kocin is jumping up and down on his bed and being scolded as we speak. What a thing of Beauty from a synoptic standpoint. This is our gem in the rough! Welcome to the March BLIZZARD of 2013.

BioPat said...

Andy, I love your crazy rantings!!! I'm thinking you've had a rough 2 years at the job w/o the snow storms to maintain your sanity (lol)! I have so missed our winter blogs and have been anticipating this event for the pat 10 days. id not want to use the Blizzard until there was more certainty, but I have to agree we're there!

BioPat said...

Just looked at my last post, I guess fatigue is setting in, and it's hard to type in the dark.

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

BP,

The definition of a blizzard is sustained winds of 35mph and 1/4 mile visibility or frequent wind gusts to 35 resulting in the 1/4 mile or less visibility. By the text of the Warning we are under we will be meeting the NWS textbook definition of a blizzard. In clear algorythmic fashion the scientists at the NWS will likely issue such an advection based upon this definition when those conditions appear imminent! Those conditions will likely occure near noon.

Chantilly Lace said...

It's been coming down hard in Baltimore city since just after 1 am. There's about a quarter inch on the cars but it's just now trying to stickto the street and sidewalk.

I'm so excited. I wish I had class or work tomorrow so that I could get off.

Also, I'm the one who makes sure we are pretty prepared in our house. I would be delighted if we had to rough it for a small amount of time to justify my efforts. That being said, it would be preferable for it to be a small amount of time. Wouldn't want the food to spoil or the night to get too cold!

May everyone stay safe and warm!

Unknown said...

Raining in Harford county

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Snowing here light and steady. Everything is white. Breezy! Time to go to bed. Travel will be impossible by middle morning so enjoy the day off unless you are ems or police!

Julee said...

Andrew, Andrew, Andrew.
If only you had a gift for hyperbole ... oh ... wait ... you DO!!!

Snowing in Pikesville -- 1/4 inch for now.


NeedaSnowday said...

IGottaSnowday!!

ravensbbr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ravensbbr said...

for the love of everything good people, doesn't anyone else sleep? :-)

coming down here in buckets up in North East Carroll. too tired to measure, too happy to care.

Wow. A Super Bowl win and a Superbowl snow storm.all in the same year #countyourblessings

Amy said...

Rain in Pasadena. Seriously???

baltimoeronvino said...

Sooooo....when do we expect this thing to really start to come down & accumulate in the Baltimore/ towson region? Snow is mixed and very fine right now. Not resembling the high moisture heavy snow suggested in the least. By all accounts there should have been a few inches by now but there is hardly 2 inches on the ground a.

Unknown said...

I am at work, my office is on the water of teh inner harbor near the port.
Waiting for this rain to turn to snow! I love snow and am hoping for significant accumulation! The diesel will get me home so i dont even care if they dont let me go
home early ;)

Westsidehideaway said...

Just a mix here in West Baltimore. Roads are fine. Guess I am going to work

BioPat said...

Well I had to sleep for a bit this morning, wind once again woke me. I was surprised that the snow on the ground is minimal considering how long it has been snowing. I know this storm is just beginning, so we'll see what nature holds as the day progresses.
Andy, the specs you have given are correct for a blizzard but isn't there also an amount of snow involved? Get some sleep my friend, I'm anxious to read your continued musings.

Unknown said...

35 degrees here on the harbor. hope it gets a little colder and see this stuff start to changover and stick

NeedaSnowday said...

Snow now picking up here in Timonium area!

BioPat said...

It's changing over now.

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

4 inches on the ground here and steady light snow and wind.

Unknown said...

Travel report-I left Manchester in Northern Carroll County at 540am in HEAVY SNOW. Had 2-3 inches on the ground. Got out pretty easy to my surprise. Rt 30 had some snow cover. RT 27 has getting covered.My ride to work takes me to Annapolis. When I got to the end of 795 there was a change to more rain. Annapolis has no snow only rain. Looks like this will be truly a NORTH AND WEST OF type storm.

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/32639942@N03/8534200850/in/photostream

almost 4 inches this morning as of 7:30.

Unknown said...

it hasnt snowed at all in annapolis...-_-

BioPat said...

We got about 4" overnight but much of that has disappeared with rain. Currently precip is vacillating between rain and snow with temps at 36 I do expect that. Now awaiting a complete changeover as the storm continues to move into the area.