Sunday, March 16, 2014

From Blue & Green... to Gray & White

From Blue & Green... to Gray & White


LATE WINTER STORM FOR MID-ATLANTIC & CENTRAL APPALACHIANS REGION
3-6" EXPECTED FOR DC & BALTIMORE METROS, UP TO 8" ALONG I-81 CORRIDOR

7:10 PM 3/16 – TEAM UPDATE & SNOWFALL MAP
(Wishing for a less white and a more green this St. Patrick’s Day?)





With another late-season snowstorm arriving in this region, here are the latest thoughts from our Winter Stormcast team. 



TIMING

  • We expect precipitation to begin around 5-8 PM from SW to NE. We may not be all snow to start as the cold air hasn’t arrived quite yet. 
  • Most of the Mid-Atlantic should fall below freezing by around 9-11 PM with all snow falling at that time. 
  • The heaviest snow is expected from 11PM-5AM, prior to sunrise. Snow rates will slow down towards sunrise and the morning hours, but another quick burst is possible during the late morning. 

IMPACTS: Some accumulation may be lost initially due to warm ground temps, but once the heavier snow moves in and the temperatures get into the 20s, snow should stick fairly easily. It will still take longer to stick to roadways. Accumulations on the roadways will be slightly less than what is shown on the map. Road conditions should begin to improve when the strong March sun arrives Monday morning. 



HOW COULD THE FORECAST GO WRONG?

1. Overperform Scenario (25%) – We are watching the potential for heavy snow bands to set up over the region. This will be oriented west to east, and moving WSW-ENE which means that there could be areas that get higher totals if they get stuck under the band for a long period of time. We will be watching to see where this sets up. 

2. Bust Scenario (10%) – If warm ground temps prevail and snow rates aren’t very exceptional, snow could simply fall and melt for the initial parts of the storm. The heavier snowfall rates that come in later could just not be enough to get to the expected totals. 

LANDSCAPING ONCE SPRING COMES? To get you through these tiresome late winter days, we invite you to check out the cool projects from our partner at Four Seasons Landscaping & Nursery in Damascus, MD. They have a full range of services including patios, pools and top class landscaping for your unique property needs. http://www.fourseasonslandscaping.net/

Stay with us and have a wonderful day (as best as you can considering the weather!) Let us know how you are coping... special dinner, trip away, Netflix festival?

(Forecaster Mike N., Advisor Foot and the WSC Team)




10:46 AM 3/16 - TEAM UPDATE on tonight's winter weather event for the central & southern Mid-Atlantic (PA you luck out this time!)


We honestly don't like throwing cold water while you all are enjoying a nice sunny day. It's way more work to bring the bad news, when this time of year we prefer to make the switch to "fusion forecasting" and working with our outdoor event partners to get Spring into swing! 



But alas, there is still some Pow left in the winter machine. (See we didn't use the P-word...)



CURRENTLY: Smashing Blue Skies! Boy it sure is nice. If you still want to get a project in, or a trip to the park, go for it! You have at least 3+ hours of sunshine left before clouds roll in. Temps will top in the low 40s for northern MD, northern WV, and mid-upper 40s from the I-81 corridor east to DC and Baltimore. Too cold to plant bulbs today? Perhaps. But SUNDOGS can rejoice for a little while!



OK, THE BAD NEWS: Winter Weather Advisories are in effect starting tonight for northern MD, with a large area of Winter Storm Warnings from DC metro into Southern MD, central VA, metro Richmon and over to the MD/VA eastern shore. Official NWS details:




THIS AFTERNOON: As the Eurthymics would say, "here comes the rain again, falling on my head like a tragedy." Hard to believe that all this nice blueness will be grayness by 4PM and snowness by 7 PM. LOADS of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico is being drawn north as our winds in MD already shifted to N and NNE. Wind in VA are E to SE. That spells snow, no two ways about it. The upper atmosphere will begin moistening and you'll see the cloud cover thicken and lower toward sunset. Current radar:


TONIGHT: Seeing snow by 7 PM TODAY when it was 70 F(!!!) YESTERDAY in DC  is not exactly the luckiest winning number around, unless you're a Powd... okay we'll spare you this time. The first few hours of snowfall will look pretty and probably stick to trees but melt on roads. Thus, the 0.60-0.90 of liquid printed out by the models for BWI will get zapped down to an actual 0.40-ish by daybreak. With a 10:1 ratio, that's where the general 2-4" ideas come from.

OVERNIGHT INTO MORNING: Heaviest snow is exepcted from 11 PM to about 5 AM across the region, with lesser amounts Baltimore City and north, higher amounts in the DC metro on south. Here's a repost of our snowfall ideas from last night:
  • 2-4 inches for Central MD (but around 2" near the PA line of Frederick, Carroll, northern Baltimore, Harford and Cecil.)
  • 3-4 inches in Baltimore City-northern Howard-northern Anne Arundel 
  • 3-5 inches from southern Anne Arundel over to the DC metro and Southern MD.
  • 4-7 inches in Northern Virginia, as well as the Eastern WV panhandle including Martinsburg. 
  • 5-6 inches are also expected across the Bay from Talbot County south to Salisbury & Ocean City. On the western shore, that includes the Northern Neck-Richmond and the Tidewater.
  • Up to 8" along and west of I-81 corridor in the VA/West Virginia/Shenandoah region
BOTTOM LINE: By the crucial decision hours of 5:00-6:00 AM for government agencies and school districts, we do expect snow to be falling moderately across the area, with a general 2" or so on the ground for most of us. 

ROADS & SCHOOLS: As for the tough decisions that others have to make, we do remind that the March sun is on your side. By 8 AM, rising sun angle will start to work wonders on roads that were pretreated overnight (with brown sugar if course, since all the white sugar is long gone in road crew coffee, and the salt is WAY past gone for some areas!;-). We don't do school closing or opening predictions, but we can say that by 9 AM, depending on local conditions, it is not unreasonable to expect a quick improvement in road conditions once the Sun gets to work. 

CONNECT & REPORT IN WITH OUR LOCAL TEAM ZONES!

WHO'S READY FOR A BIRDLAND or NATS DAY? Our team would like to gauge reader interest in meeting up this Spring with O's or Nats fans who are also FF readers, preferably on a sunny Saturday in April or May (there's lot of those in MD, right??) What days would you suggest we target for a team-reader day at Camden Yards or Nationals Park? We look forward to meeting you all and starting some new traditions here at FF!

Photo of Camden Yards by Maryland reader Gloria Bethke

Image and data sources:

GFS/NAM Liquid Projections:

NOAA Weather Prediction Center US Liquid Maps

(Forecasters Foot, Jason M., Connor M., Julian B., Mintong N., Kate O., Andrew B., Justin B., Joe F., Matt B., Nick G., Advisor Lear, Meteorologist Dr. Pete W. & the WSC Team)

45 comments:

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

I am enjoying the novelty of a St Patrick's day snow event. Does not happen often. In the last couple of years we have had snow on the ground here for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentines, President's day, now St Patrick's day. Batting for the cycle over a couple season stretch with holidays. As long as it warms up before Memorial day. Would hate to add that holiday to this list!

Westsidehideaway said...

It is 43 degrees here in West Bmore and partly sunny. What is weird us that it does not Feel like snow. If you know what I mean. Oh well. Back to weekend chores.

Unknown said...

NWS didn't think they were bullish enough with Winter Storm Warnings! Warnings have been expanded to include Howard and Southern Baltimore Counties. They also upped snow totals...

Westsidehideaway said...

Noah. Thanks for the NWS update. Temp here in West Bmore is now 45 at 2:06pm and the sun is popping out here and there. We shall see!!

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Noah,

Their WARNING is SPOT ON. 3-6 is a reasonable call, but this won't be a widespread 5 or more. Their call will largely verify especially on non paved surfaces. State College NWS is more strict, if it is not 6 or more in the larger area they will not issue a warning. 3-6 is similar to my thought of 3-5. Storms can surprise and maybe there will be an upside that the models have missed?

Unknown said...

Yeah it's interesting to see what the NWS is doing... no one else is predicting up to EIGHT INCHES in the DC Metro. I'm starting to wonder if they know something we don't...

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Statement as of 1:49 PM EDT on March 16, 2014

... Winter Storm Warning in effect from 7 PM this evening to 2 PM
EDT Monday...

The National Weather Service in Baltimore MD/Washington has
issued a Winter Storm Warning for snow... which is in effect from 7 PM
this evening to 2 PM EDT Monday. The Winter Weather Advisory is no
longer in effect.

* Precipitation type... snow

* accumulations... 3 to 6 inches.

* Timing... a mix of rain and snow early this evening will change
to all snow by mid evening. Snow will continue overnight through
early afternoon Monday. The heaviest snow is expected late this
evening through early Monday morning.

* Temperatures... falling into the lower 30s by mid evening and
then dropping into the lower and middle 20s late tonight. Highs
Monday in the lower 30s.

* Winds... northeast around 10 mph with gusts up to 20 mph.

* Impacts... roads will become snow covered and slippery. Travel
will be dangerous... especially tonight through the morning
rush on Monday.

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...

That warning is for Baltimore City, points south west and east. Does not include Northern Baltimore County, Harford, or Carroll.

MAW said...

Is there still a possibility it will move a little bit north? Or what is the probability? I guess anything is possible.

Westsidehideaway said...

I don't know why but I am not buying the higher totals. If we get it, then it be slush here in Bmore and I will be heading to work in the morning.

Westsidehideaway said...

Justin Berk is saying 3-6 in for Central MD on his "final call" posted an hour ago. Any updates from Bastardi?

BioPat said...

I have found it pretty grey today and getting a bit more chill to the air as well. A this morning's St Patrick's Day Parade Mass the Archbishop closed with saying he was in charge of the weather today and our Rector is in charge of tomorrow's weather. Needless to say he got a chuckle, but I think Msgr. Art may be getting the better end of the deal as the storm pulls away.

Westsidehideaway said...

At 3:45 it is still 45 degrees in West Bmore but it is 36 degrees in York. So the cold air is drifting south. It is also quite cloudy here at from the radar it looks like rain is not far off.

Unknown said...

Some snow showers are already developing north of the Mason-Dixon line including York County, so the precip does appear to be getting close...

Westsidehideaway said...

From the national radar it looks like a lot of the southern moisture is heading out to sea. The band that is coming at us now stretches back to Misouri and Arkansas. It is a long thin band and will take a long time to get by. Hmmm. Could be interesting. Just watching the temps now. Has dropped down to 43 in Bmore.

Amy said...

What was supposed to start as rain is falling as snow in pasadena. Slightly confused.

Unknown said...

Yeah Amy flurries here in Woodstock, HoCo already...

Westsidehideaway said...

My friend tells me there is light snow in Columbia. It is 41 degrees in Columbia. Yes. This is a bit confusing. And it is not the green beers fault.

BioPat said...

Snowing in Catonsville; proceeded by grey sky and chilling temps but not rain.

Kathi said...

Snowing in Ferndale and 38 degrees.

Bill from Southern AA County said...

Snowing and 35F in my backyard in SE AA County a 1/5 mile from the Bay.

Bill from Southern AA County said...

That should have read "1/2" or a half mile from the Bay...I couldn't afford 1/5 mile, lol.

MarylandMonroe said...

I started seeing flurries in Glenelg around 4:30 PM. It didn't rain at all. The snow has increased in intensity, and it's starting to stick to the grassy surfaces and trees. It's currently 32 degrees.

Westsidehideaway said...

Hey Everyone. It is 34 degrees in West Bmore (also 34 in York,PA) and it has stopped snowing. No stickage anywhere here yet. Warnings are being flashed across the TV screen saying 3-6 inches expected. Fairfax County, VA schools are closed tomorrow.

Westsidehideaway said...

At 8pm the temps seem strange. It is 34 degrees in Bmore, York, Hagerstown AND New York City. 27 degrees in Pittsburgh, which is mostly outside the snow band. The temps need to drop fast to get the snow to stick.

Unknown said...

32.2 with mod snow in bel air south coated the cars already once it satsrts it drops quick.

Morpheus said...

Left for dinner at a friends house in AA county at 5 pm and flurries were coming down with 41 degrees on the car dash. On the way home at 8:30 pm it was snowing hard, grassy surfaces covered and 31 degrees. Dropped another degree on the 15 minute car ride home. So not starting as rain as predicted. Roads not sticking yet except for under an overpass. Non-treated driveway has clumps of flakes starting to hold. Snowing harder than I have seen all year. Every other snow this year started as rain! Our big snow of the year has arrived... I do not want to hear you snow weary highlanders uses the slanderous term nuisance snow.

---Man raises fists in the air and yells this is it!

Detritus Effluvium said...

Chesapeake City, Cecil County, MD

Snow starting to cover grass at 9:45 EST

Temp. = 33 Degrees F
Winds NNE at 5 MPH

Westsidehideaway said...

28 degrees in West Bmore and snowing. Grass and cars getting covered. Roads and sidewalks are just wet. Signing off.

Butch Dynomite said...

Happy for morph. Not sticking to roads yet in parkville. a little on windshields and grass. Light flurries since Maybe seven off and on now steady but still light. Hopefully waking up to something of note.

Detritus Effluvium said...

Chesapeake City, Cecil County, MD

Snow has stopped despite what radar shows. Previous accumulation has evaporated or melted. Head fake?

Temp. = degrees F
Winds NNE at 4 MPH

Morpheus said...

Thank Butch - NWS has us at 4-8. Driveway covered - inch of snow on the deck and first plow truck - presumably sanding just went down the street! Whoo Hoo!

...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 2 PM EDT MONDAY...

* PRECIPITATION TYPE...SNOW

* ACCUMULATIONS...4 TO 8 INCHES...LESSER AMOUNTS POSSIBLE IN LOWER
SOUTHERN MARYLAND.

* TIMING...SNOW WILL BE MODERATE TO HEAVY AT TIMES LATE THIS
EVENING AND OVERNIGHT. SNOW MAY MIX WITH RAIN AT TIMES IN LOWER
SOUTHERN MARYLAND. SNOW WILL GRADUALLY TAPER OFF MONDAY DURING
THE LATE MORNING AND EARLY AFTERNOON.

* TEMPERATURES...UPPER 20S AND LOWER 30S THIS EVENING...FALLING
INTO THE MIDDLE 20S EARLY MONDAY MORNING. HIGHS MONDAY IN THE
LOWER 30S.

* WINDS...NORTHEAST 10 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 20 MPH.

* IMPACTS...ROADS WILL BECOME SNOW COVERED AND SLIPPERY THROUGHOUT
THE NIGHT. TRAVEL WILL BE DANGEROUS...ESPECIALLY LATE TONIGHT
THROUGH THE MORNING RUSH ON MONDAY.

Instructions: 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.
Target Area:
Anne Arundel
Calvert
Charles
Howard
Montgomery
Prince Georges
Southern Baltimore
St. Marys

ravensbbr said...

All you, Morph! :)

Morpheus said...

Thanks Ravensbbr - looking good. 2+ inches on the deck, road and driveway covered, heavy banding setting up just to my south, should catch the northern tip. I would say we are in inch plus per hour territory right now. It is a beautiful thing. If this hold out till 5 am we will have 7-8 inches. That will blow the socks off our 4 inch record this year.

Morpheus said...

Any other lowlanders out there enjoying this snow???

Carrie said...

Hey Morpheus ~ I'm with you! Just hope it starts sticking to the roads soon. A delay would be nice! :)

Morpheus said...

Carrie - road outside my house is covered, looks like 3 inches on the desk table. Hope the banding keeps up - it would be nice to brake the 4 inch make this time around. I would expect delayed openings, possibly some local county closing if this keeps up.

Unknown said...

I think that heavy band decided to settle right over me! The flakes in Woodstock have been HUGE over at least the past half an hour. This is easily a rate of snowfall of an inch an hour. A road that was salted an hour ago is already completely covered again.

Definitely not a nuisance event! This is borderline historic for mid-March. Those totals in Eastern Maryland may even qualify as such.

This storm has made for a happy powderhound!

Westsidehideaway said...

Snowing Hard in West Bmore. From the radar it looks like a couple more hours of this.

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

I must have been asleep when I attempted this the first time....

Looks like most counties are in and it's a st Patrick's day miracle! I'm trying to think what I have in the house to dye a shamrock in the snow on my lawn to commemorate the event!
Hope all y'all are home safe with treats and nowhere to go. I hear the roads are really bad.
#powderhoundparadiseallwinterlong

BioPat said...

ell we are home, schools closed all around the State. However, looking about at 7 am I think we really could have gone in with a 2 hour late opening. I know the roads are still not good at this point but by 10 am I think we will be in pretty good shape. I do hope the State forgives some of these snow days to allows spring break to stay in tact and not move back the school closing date. There are still many schools without a/c and once we start to warm up I think we'll have a very hot summer.

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

Solid six inches of fluffy beautiful snow for Bowie! Cold out there while I took the measurement - drive has less with heat retention and later sticking. I have a mid-day opening so time to get the snow blower going and get a sled ride in or two!

Verrrry happy to get beyond those miserable 4 inches storms. Happy Saint Patrick's Day Foots fans!

bandita said...

BioPat - Not sure how much you received (Catonsville, if I remember?), but western HoCo has a solid 9 inches and while main roads look great, I am hearing neighborhoods are not all plowed yet. And can you imagine how long it would take to clear 9" off all those buses? I'm thinking closing was their only option today.