Tuesday, March 5, 2013

" Really? Really..."
-Amy Pollard and Seth Meyers, Saturday Night Live

Mostly clear skies in Baltimore City, MD
as the sun sets before the storm
5:35 PM EST 3/5 (Forecasters Foot and Natoli) For those basking in sunshine across the eastern Mid-Atlantic today, it is hard to imagine that winter is about to make a serious comeback tonight into Thursday. Today's conditions, with highs in the upper 40s to 50 in the Washington DC are a weather forecast version of the famous SNL News Update skits by Amy and Seth. 

You probably got "the look" from someone today when you asked, "Ready for the storm?" [big smile]. To which your colleague said, "What storm??"

And we know a few folks then said either. "Oh, you'll find out..." or "I have my sources." Thanks for making our team one of your sources, because our site traffic shows that obviously someone was reading, to the tune of 200,000 hits to this page over 2 days! 

That said, we are not resting on our snow-covered laurels, and hope to address some good questions from readers below regarding our snow forecasts, as shown in the preliminary forecast map as issued on Monday 3/4 at 6:00 PM.





WILDCARD # 1 - Could Forecasted Snow Amounts Be Too HIGH? 
  • Mixing - We are watching the potential for east winds to bring in warmer air off of the Chesapeake Bay around midday Wednesday, which could cause some areas to re-mix with or change to snow. 
  • Lower Rates - This storm involves the low pressure in the Ohio Valley weakening, then a new one strengthening on the coast. While energy is transferring, we may see lower precipitation rates, which would limit the ability of the storm to bring down cold air from the upper atmosphere. 

WILDCARD # 2 - Could Forecasted Snow Amounts be too LOW? 
  • Banding – As the storm strengthens, it pulls some local bands of heavy precipitation through, similar to what happened in Connecticut a month ago. This wouldn’t bring accumulations nearly that significant but possibly higher than what we are currently projecting. 
  • Stalling – We are also watching the potential for the low pressure system to slow down or stall off the coast, leaving precipitation and snow producing temperatures over the region through Wednesday night or Thursday early morning.
The High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) model 

The bottom line on our current forecast: No major changes.
Our team will issued a FINAL SNOWFALL FORECAST later this evening.
For links to our previous reports, visit these stories:

69 comments:

Storm said...

thank you so much 4 the update....a lot of us cannot get to facebook because it is blocked where we work....when will you all know for sure which scenario we will see??

thanks again!!

Unknown said...

When should temps begin to drop???

ravensbbr said...

Check it:

http://coolwx.com/cgi-bin/getptype.cgi?region=us&model=nam&run=18&fhr=02&field=ptype

Loops up and then right back at us again

Unknown said...

I work in annpolis but live in carroll county. It was 50 there today. I am doubting these forecasts more and more. SOMEONE Build my confidence back up.

Storm said...

hey Mike I'm in Carroll County as well...Hampstead to be exact....I already put in my leave slip for work tomorrow so my confidence is pretty high on this one:)

ravensbbr said...

Mike, same for me, work near BWI, live close to the MD/PA line in NE Carroll. Very, very warm. But check out the snowfall est. maps, we're still in the snow zone. Best discussion I've heard for how the temps are supposed to drop is "dynamic cooling":
http://www.americanwx.com/bb/index.php/topic/30684-dynamic-cooling/

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Due points are extremely low temps will drop like a rock. 8 to 12 is a lock. There will be 16 inch totals. I will post more later very busy day!

Unknown said...

It was 25 this morning when i left to go to work.I was hoping the clear skies this evening will allow a major cool off then the clouds will lock it in. My major concern is when the storm gets to the coast. Afraid it will pull in warm air aloft to ruin our fun.

Julie said...

feeling like i am in a snowhole here in glen burnie

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

No concerns about warm air at this point from Baltimore North and West. This storm means business and areas that are in advisories south of Baltimore will likely be upgraded to warnings. This will be a historic storm north and west of I-95 in central MD. It will be the best snow in years for area south and east of 95 as well.

Mike no concern about warm air aloft. Dps are low and temps will drop fast with dynamic cooling.

Julie said...

see I am in northern AACO wondering if I should be listening more to the Balto dealio

Unknown said...

Thanks Andy, I have been checking myself and I am in agreement. You are right on target I feel.

Unknown said...

Julie you will be seeing snow. Maybe heavy banding snow moving east to west if this thing does what I think it will do. Lets keep positive.

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Only major concern I have with my general forecast is that it may end up being low. This storm is trending wetter and colder.

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Radar is a thing of beauty! Look at the convection and gulf moisture being taped. This has that BLIZZARD type of feel and look to it.

Julie said...

well great cause my husband thinks its 2-4" and our snowblower, the one HE JUST HAD TO HAVE is empty and I don't know how to turn it on!

NeedaSnowday said...

roll call!!!!

.... time to get the ol' Foots gang in here.... then, it will be a big kahuna!

Julie said...

smittywa, julie dan smith here lol

BioPat said...

Just got back from class, and after reading these posts I concur we'll be looking at a solid 12 and even more in many spots. Now the question remains, with MSA's at stake, will the school systems call this correctly. It has been a rough year so far with the county systems failing miserably in their delay calls thus far. Let's hope this time someone with a brain and common sense is making that call.
Today I bet a pizza party to my environmental science class that we'd be out on Wednesday, so I have a lot vested in the school system's call tomorrow!

Unknown said...

Are we sure? Weather.com and the National Weather Service are saying that we'll get only 3 or 4 inches in Baltimore City. I'm banking on this snow, man! I'm not working on an assignment to focus on another because I'm banking on this snow. Make it blizzard. PLEASE!!!

NeedaSnowday said...

or if he mentions the "beast" Julie...

Unknown said...

Someone would get sued if the counties were not called off tomorrow. It would be outright dangerous to go to school tomorrow if what actually is supposed to happen happens. I go to a private school so I don't need to worry about MSA's, but I do need to worry about our principle making the wrong call....

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Jazzy,

How about 3-4 inches in an HOUR at times. There are some mega death snow bands showing up on NAM sim radar.

BioPat said...

Cool! This is going to be a great storm to discuss from a science perspective.

Julie said...

3-4" an hour?!

NeedaSnowday said...

Balt Co Circuit Court already closed for tomorrow..whoa

Julie said...

le sigh I should go find the shovels...we have been in such a snow drought I think I have become lax

Unknown said...

Andy,

From your keystroke to God's ears. Bring it! This may save my GPA!


BioPat said...

I just told my husband, who insists we'll be going in to school, about Balto Co Circuit Court. That closure almost sets a precedent for the school system.

I did not get a chance to check the snow blower, but with help will do that first thing tomorrow before it really gets bad.

NeedaSnowday said...

I was ready for spring, but now I am stoked for this kahuna!!

BioPat said...

I'm with you Needa!

Julie said...

amen

BioPat said...

Well now, Baltimore Co Circuit Court has also closed as well as the B&O Museum. So will the school systems wait because of the MSA??? My, the suspense is mounting on when they will make the call and who will be first. I still think with the courts closing Baltimore County almost has to make a call. Why not let the parents make plans now!

NeedaSnowday said...

think they are waiting to make move for 11PM news?

BioPat said...

I'm thinking along those lines as well. But it would be so much easier for families with young kids if they would make the call now. Some families do have to line up a sitter if parents are essential employees. I was there once, and always appreciated an early call for just that reason.

BioPat said...

Winds are definitely picking up at this time in Catonsville. I suspect the temps may be falling as the winds are rising in preparation for the main event.

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Travel will be nearly possible by late morning. Stay off the roads.

Unknown said...

Andy, I think you mean IMpossible. BioPat: all jurisdictions here in southern PA have already closed for tomorrow.

ravensbbr said...

so, Andy, is nearly possible like not quite doable? Challenge accepted!

Kidding, furthest I plan to go is the end of the drive with my buddy John Deere.

Kathi said...

When I left a friend's house in Bowie around 9:00 it didn't feel cold at all. By the time I got to Glen Burnie the winds had picked up and temps had dropped a good bit.

Kathi said...

We have you guys to thank for our snowblower! I was on here a lot during Snowmaggedon and we didn't have a snowblower. Someone on here told us that the Home Depot in Pasadena just got about six in and hubby was able to get one! Of course it hasn't snowed since!

Leslie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Storm said...

Everyone's hoping now for MORE snow...I could use 2 days off this week!!...it looks like it's starting later than what was originally predicted and now won't letup till Thursday AM...my fingers are crossed....please make it so:)

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Based on the latest GFS, SREF, NAM combo. I think 8-12 in Baltimore City is a lock. 12-18 north and west of the City. This storm is a BEAST. If only this came 2 weeks ago we could have been talking about 30 inch totals due to better ratios.

I have not been into the dime store hootch yet, so my IMpossible travel comment with the patent contextual error is troublesome to me!

Storm said...

WOW!!!...ok Andy how bout us folks in Northern Carroll County...what are ur thoughts???

Storm said...

or is the 12-18 for North Carroll County too???

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Cannabis Sativa L AKA WEED,

I think you are a lock to push 18 inches. I will go with 14-18 for you.

Unknown said...

Andy....Reisterstown??? Would I been clobbered by this storm??

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Take a look at the radar on FOOTS page. Look at the tremendous feed of gulf moisture coming into the system. Also look at the comma developing. This is a feature that is common with our historical storms. This is a true KU (Kocin Uncelli) storm in the making. Enjoy this storm. Welcome to the March Mid Atlantic Blizzard of 13.

Let's see how it plays out. If the storm slows down the totals could be epic.

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Jeremy,

There is a dry spot over Reisterstown. You will likely have a 1-2 inch storm total. You might get a 3 inch drift.

Storm said...

thanks Andy u guys ROCK!!!

Unknown said...

ARE YOU SERIOUS?!! ANDY!! ARE YOU BEING SERIOUS?!!!

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Jeremy,

After your 1-2 inch total I have some stock I want to sell you in Enron. (Seriously foot plus for you)

Storm said...

Andy, I'm more like a DANDELION than anything else and I think u just killed Jeremy....LOL!!!

Unknown said...

Thank goodness.... I was scared like hell. I know it was a joke, but I was seriously flipping out. Knowing how much we've been disappointed , I actually thought you were being serious.

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE JUST UPGRADED WARNINGS!!!

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
1100 PM EST TUE MAR 5 2013

DCZ001-MDZ005>007-009>011-VAZ052>056-061200-
/O.CON.KLWX.WS.W.0005.130306T0500Z-130307T0800Z/
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA-CARROLL-NORTHERN BALTIMORE-HARFORD-
MONTGOMERY-HOWARD-SOUTHERN BALTIMORE-
PRINCE WILLIAM/MANASSAS/MANASSAS PARK-FAIRFAX-
ARLINGTON/FALLS CHURCH/ALEXANDRIA-STAFFORD-SPOTSYLVANIA-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...WASHINGTON...WESTMINSTER...
GAITHERSBURG...COLUMBIA...BALTIMORE...MANASSAS...MANASSAS PARK...
FAIRFAX...ALEXANDRIA...FALLS CHURCH...FREDERICKSBURG
1100 PM EST TUE MAR 5 2013

...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 3 AM EST
THURSDAY...

* PRECIPITATION TYPE...SNOW.

* ACCUMULATIONS...6 TO 12 INCHES WITH THE HIGHEST AMOUNTS WEST OF
INTERSTATE 95.

* TIMING...RAIN MIXING WITH AND CHANGING TO WET SNOW FROM SOUTH
TO NORTH LATE THIS EVENING AND OVERNIGHT. SNOW MAY BE HEAVY AT
TIMES LATE TONIGHT AND WEDNESDAY. SNOW TAPERS OFF WEDNESDAY
NIGHT.

* TEMPERATURES...IN THE MID 30S.

* WINDS...NORTHEAST 15 TO 25 MPH. GUSTS UP TO 35 MPH WEDNESDAY
AFTERNOON AND NIGHT.

* IMPACTS...SNOW COVERED ROADS AND POOR VISIBILITIES IN HEAVY
SNOW WILL MAKE TRAVEL DIFFICULT. HEAVY WET SNOW AND GUSTY
WINDS COULD LEAD TO POWER OUTAGES WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON AND
NIGHT.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER
CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF
SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN
AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL...KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT...
FOOD...AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

&&

$$

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

The Warnings now expand into southern MD and central VA. This is a true KU storm. Can we get a BLIZZARD WARNING? Time will tell, but it is not out of the question.

Unknown said...

So...Andy, just to be clear. A foot plus for me in Reisterstown. I'm still recovering from shock. :)

Storm said...

I'll say it again...WOW this is so exciting....hope everyone stays inside this time...we don't want peeps stranded on 83 like last time!!!

ravensbbr said...

LOL! you have now (hopefully) survived your FFinitiation, Jeremy. nice 1, Andy.

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Jeremy yes a foot plus. Seriously you may ALSO GET A BLIZZARD WARNING!

The criteria for a BLIZZARD WARNING is sustained winds of 35, or frequent gusts to 35 reducing visability to 1/4 mile or less.

Those conditions will happen here. I suspect BLIZZARD WARNINGS are on the table. Up to the National Weather Service. This will meet the criteria.

Nick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Storm said...

nothing yet here in Hampstead....winds are still calm as well...I think it's time for a stiff drink:)

Nick said...

So, Ellicott City would be in the 12-18 inch range, right?

janbm said...

Just started snowing in Middletown,just west of Frederick, MD!!!!

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

I do not advise you consume alcohol. This site is populated by a profoundly pius group of individuals here with a puritanical mindset. Fortunately I have been grandfathered in, so these rules do not apply.

If you must consume, I recommend Louis the XII Cognac. If the budget does not allow, mad dog 20-20 is not a bad choice. Steel Reserve is on sale at most fine Ghetto boozeries.

Storm said...

LOL...I'm going with Jameson!!!

Unknown said...

The heavens shall open up and bring forth a storm to rival that of any we have seen before. Thousands shall perish from the snow; hundreds from the biting wind. Those that survive shall be deemed worthy to fight out their days amongst the damned, as society collapses.
So about 4"-6" tomorrow with 1 or 2 inches tonight.

ravensbbr said...

Last o the Sam Adams Winter Lager here!