Friday, January 23, 2015

Light this up like it's dynamite

"...light this up, like it's dynamite..."
-Lyrics from Dynamite by Taio Cruz


(Lead Forecaster Kyle Jackson, Central Kentucky TeamBefore the Mid-Atlantic gets into the big storm action tonight and Saturday, we must first take a close look at how the scene is being cast in the Mid-South. 

It appears that Old Man Winter has brought some sticks of dynamite with him to the set without authorization. We're trying to remove these items, as those sticks may soon explode with precipitation. If so, that precipitation may fall in the form of some snowflakes. Other sticks might produce a nasty mess of ice.  But where and when exactly??

("What's that ORANGE on the map?" You say. We say, "Yeah, um that's ICE LIKELY."
Then you say, "But I have to go to New York this weekend!!" And we say, "No you don't.)

MID-SOUTH - From today into tonight, the system will be hanging out around the Mississippi/Alabama line before pushing northeast into Georgia and South Carolina. With temperatures in the lower to mid 40s, this will likely be a large rain maker putting down roughly around 1"-3" of rain.

TENNESSEE VALLEY - Later this evening, the system will push northeast and begin showers from east to west in the state. 
  • As temperatures will hang around the mid 30s and maybe a low 40 in there, a mix of some snow with the rain cannot be ruled out, especially around the Great Smokey Mountains near Knoxville. 
  • As the system pushes out Saturday morning, temperatures will be cold enough to turn whatever precipitation is left into snowflakes. Little to no snow accumulation is expected on ground level.

OHIO VALLEY FORECAST - By tonight, the system will push northeast into Kentucky and that's it. Ohio will stay dry.....for now. Central Kentucky can expect rain showers around 1 PM lasting until 4 AM Saturday morning. 
  • With temperatures being slightly colder like Tennessee, a mix of some snow with the rain showers will likely happen. Some small banding of snow showers can't be ruled out either. Anywhere from a coating to 2" can be expected.

MID-ATLANTIC - Rain, snow and sleet moving north from the Tennessee Valley and Shenandoah mountains will over-spread Virginia, then Maryland and Pennsylvania tonight, encompassing remainder of the Eastern Mid-Atlantic by Saturday morning. 
  • For many locations, precipitation will start as light snow, then mix with sleet and freezing rain toward Noon, and may even end briefly before resuming as all snow on the back edge Saturday afternoon. 
  • Winter Weather Advisories are in place for much of Maryland, northern and western Virginia into West Virginia and on up the I-95 and I-81 corridors toward the Northeast.
  • 1-3" of snow/sleet mixed with some freezing rain is likely for much of the DC-Baltimore-Philadelphia metro areas with higher snowfall amounts for interior sections west of the I-83 corridor.

"I throw my hands up in the air sometimes, 
saying AYY YO! Gotta let go."

9:15 AM EST 1/23 - If you are in a school district within Maryland, Pennsylvania or adjacent states which have received frequent bouts of winter weather, think about this example of where things stand for them:

School systems like Baltimore County and Carroll County in Maryland have not experienced a FULL, regular 5-day week of school since BEFORE Christmas. For some, the week of December 15-19, 2014 may have been the last time students and teachers actually had saw each other for 5 incident free days. 

NOW THINK ABOUT THIS: If you're in Facility Management, Transportation, Distribution or other inter-state commerce affected by impacts to the retail or services sector, you know that recent economic statistics showed retail sales fell over 9% in December -- and that was WITHOUT impactful weather and WITH a Santa rally on the stock market. 

  • The impending Friday night-Saturday storm is the start of what could become a "hyper-pattern" parade of back to back storms impacting multiple parts of the U.S. simultaneously.
  • This high frequency storm pattern, first projected here in early January, may continue well into mid-February, given indications from long range teleconnections, extensive Eat Pacific upward motion energy courtesy of the Madden-Julian Oscillation -- which is refueling the southern jet stream with copious moisture in each event.
  • "But, not all these storms will be snowy, so that's good right?" Yeah, that sounds great. Just like the Mid-Atlantic on Sunday 1/18. It was a blast, remember? You had so much fun not shoveling snow because you were busy crashing into the car next to you, because roads were a SHEET of ICE. That's waaayy better than a snowstorm.

The point of our report is to get your attention, and to be pragmatic and prepared, so you are aware of the risks and hazards. The good folks at the National Weather Service are more gentle about it, but they use bright pretty colors to make their point: When the map is all lit up like dynamite, it's a really good hint that everyone needs to alter their schedule accordingly, not just muscle through it because it's on YOUR calendar.

The long range pattern, as indicated by a plethora of statements, anaylses and imagery from the NOAA Climate Prediction Center, points to very impactful period from now to President's Day Weekend. It won't be like Snowmageddon in 2010, but the hassle created by multiple lesser storms all strung together will feel worse.

If you have something important to do, a major event or some other big activity planned for this February, we STRONGLY advise you have contingencies and alternate arrangements in mind. (And next year, try planning it for some other month if you can. It's no secret this has been the snowiest month of the year for many Eastern U.S. locations in recent years.)

We hope your schedule doesn't get lit up like dynamite if preventable, and that knowing these details ahead of time will aid in your short and long term planning rest of the winter.

From your Mid-Atlantic, Ohio Valley and Tennessee Valley Teams of Foot's Forecast

9:35 PM 1/22 - Twenty-eight years ago on this date, the East coast was digging out from one of the biggest storms of the 1980s. It was the January 22-23, 1987 blockbuster that put down 6-12" of snow or more from Atlanta clear up to Maine. Hundreds of school districts were closed for days, dozens of major airports closed, life in small communities and big cities alike ground to a halt for the weekend. Yours truly actually forecasted that storm while still in high school. 

Then the SECOND storm came on Sunday night into Mondaydropping another 6-10" but this time more in the southclocking DC and Baltimore which were still digging out from the rout the previous Thursday.

Starting to sound like a familiar setup? For the Spring-a-lings and Coastals out there who think winter is done, we're here to say, like the song goes, "If I told you once, then I told you twice, we gon' light it up, like it's dynamite."  

Don't believe it? Take a look at two key indicators of what's churning in the long range pipeline from the NOAA Climate Prediction Center:

Look at the charts and tell us what you see regarding projections for temperature and precipitation.

Photo credit to Fallston, MD reader Dan Carr from December 2013
Now consider that the next 5 days will feature TWO potentially large and disruptive storms to sweep across the East. The first on Saturday 1/24 to bring a wintry mix of mayhem over the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic. The second comes Monday 1/26 as a Clipper charging East which may bring yet another round of snow, sleet and freezing rain for places that would have JUST received it. 

Like Taio Cruz says, "And it goes on and on and on...." and that's what we think the pattern will feel like to you the next 3 weeks. Winter's go time is here, are you ready?

(Forecaster Foot and the Winter Stormcast Team)


notsofreestate said...

Where is everybody? Has the excitement gone out of winter...or are these two storms just not interesting?

Butch Dynomite said...

Just.... Can't take all the let downs😖...

Westsidehideaway said...

Wowser. The forecast is scary but vague. Do we gear up for two of three days of a half foot of snow in a row or is it more complicated and volatile than that. Inquiring minds want to know?

BioPat said...

Looks like the first storm is arriving before the cold air sets in so lots of liquid but not all as snow. The Sunday storm has more potential with the cold in place but still watching. I'd love to spend time having to dig out of a major storm but the setup is not yet right.
We are in a new cold pattern that should stay in place over the next 7 - 10 days so it is conceivable that we will see measurable and disruptive snowfall during that time period.
So Needa unbox your snow blower it may be ready to get its first workout. Don't fret, we bought a snow blower and our first SUV after the winter of '96. The nest winter we were convinced would be a no snow winter. It got off to a late start but both the SUV and snow blower got their first workouts in '97.

Unknown said...


Rebecca said...

Just can't handle the ice and rain. Need snow to keep everyone busy.
-A SAHM of 4 and their friends

Anonymous said...

Dang!!! Rain, freezing rain, sleet, UGH! Can't we just get snow??? I love snow!

Anonymous said...

Looking at the models, I am seeing disruptions for the beginning of Catholic Schools week next week. Maybe the patron saint of powder will bring good news for all!

BioPat said...

Brian I have been teaching in Catholic schools for over 40 years. I can count on one hand the number of years Catholic Schools Week has NOT been disrupted by snow, ice or both. Enjoy the time off for Catholic Schools Week, I hope you haven't planned any major programs.
It has started to flurry in Catonsville, since we are west of the city I wonder how much snow we will see tonight.

ravensbbr said...

Can't resist. Who exactly, for the edification of us non-Catholics, is the patron saint of powder? :-P

ravensbbr said...

...and Intellicast just upped NE CC to 5-8"?!? What the what? :)

Foot's Forecast said...

Frenzied Friday greetings all. I know it has been an eon or two since I last chimed in with any specificity as to what shall present in the pattern next.

Thought I might leave this tidbit here now (since am cooking steak for the young'uns-- need that protein to shovel or bail tomorrow).

At first inkling, we saw the Monday event as a pass-through only. In, out, done. Now short range models suggest moisture will hang back and keep the atmosphere juiced Monday night. Then shortwave energy zips over the area to activate the moisture and..

WHAM. We have the beginnnings of 48-hour intermittent snow event AFTER the Monday storm is done.

This pattern is just getting started friends, time to get your winter face on!

-Mr. Foot

Westsidehideaway said...

Cold Rain and Snow at 7pm Friday eve in West Baltimore. Bourbon in one hand, smart phone with Foots on the screen with the other.

ravensbbr said...

Thanks, Mr. Foot!

Wisconsin Native said...

I'm just so confused. Being a Wisconsinite I would think I'd be more familiar with 33 Degree Wintry Mix but it just confuses me that it won't necessarily turn to snow in AA County as the night gets cooler yet sometimes it snows when it's 35. Here's hoping for a bust event to help me get over my football blues.

Westsidehideaway said...

7:30pm Friday in W Bmore and it is now all snow. Waiting for some of it to stick.

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

Welcome, Wisconsin Native! We, too, have both weather and football blues here for the moment here. You'll fit right in... :)

Westsidehideaway said...

Well I got me a wife
She give me trouble all my life
She run me Out In The Cold Rain and Snow
Rain and Snow
She Run Me Out in the Cold Rain and Snow.

Traditional folk song. Made somewhat famous by a The Greatful Dead.

BioPat said...

I winder if Carroll Co figures have been increased I would imagine west Baltimore county expectations may be up as well but the rain tomorrow will make a nasty mess. Next week should be interesting; enjoy powderhounds!!