Saturday, February 14, 2015

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Something Wicked This Way Comes

6:14 AM 2/14 - It's been eight years since we last used that headline, and is not something we choose lightly. But ironically it was the Valentine's Day SuperKahuna of February 2007 that first prompted invoking the chilling title of Ray Bradbury's novel - and later a Disney movie. 

Now eight years later, once glance at your Advisory Map from the National Weather Service is reason aplenty to resurrect this stark headline. While not the most gentle way to start your Valentine, we have no love of seeing our readers be caught off guard in what will be a life-threatening period of weather the next 36 to 48 hours. 

We're not sure when such an incredible span of high impact warnings was last seen for the Eastern U.S. Consider the following already in place before the storm even arrives:
  • WIND CHILL WARNING ACROSS MUCH OF THE EASTERN U.S. STRETCHING TO SOUTH CAROLINA
  • HIGH WIND WARNING FOR THE ENTIRE I-95 CORRIDOR, NEARLY ALL OF MARYLAND, EASTERN AND CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA, NEW JERSEY 
  • BLIZZARD WARNING FOR PORTIONS OF NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND, INCLUDING ONCE AGAIN, BOSTON AND EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS
  • STORM WARNING FOR THE CHESAPEAKE BAY AND MID-ATLANTIC COASTAL WATERS
  • HURRICANE WIND FORCE WARNING FOR OUTER COASTAL WATERS OFF NEW ENGLAND

TO EXPECT IN VA, PA, MD, NJ AND DE:

*HIGH WIND WARNINGS take effect at 6 PM tonight until 2 PM Sunday for winds sustained at least 40 mph and gusts to 60 mph

*WIND CHILL WARNINGS take effect at 12 AM tonight and extend to 12 PM Sunday for temperatures dropping into single digits in metro areas and below zero in northern and western counties. Wind chills of -20 to -25 F will be common. We are not making this up:


*POWER OUTAGES, DOWNED TREES AND POWER LINES may create extremely dangerous travel for those venturing out this evening. Coupled with hazardous wind chills even before the Warnings take place, and we urge you to be very alert to your surroundings and avoid travel tonight if possible. Please don't become a headline by going out to walk the dog in the pretty snow at 6 PM to never come back. It's not worth it. Adjust your plans to go earlier and come home earlier if you can. That's what the Foot family is doing today. We'll still go about our plans, but will be back before conditions turn on us.

BEFORE THE WIND, WE GET THE SNOW. 

A rapid arrival of the cold front to usher in this nastiness will bring what may LOOK like a blizzard for some: 
  • Brief but extremely heavy squalls of snow may erupt across the region late this afternoon anytime after 3:30 PM and continue intermittently until about 8 PM. 
  • With such intense cold smashing into moisture, high snow ratios will rival what you normally see in the Rockies. Yes, we mean "champagne snow" and no it's not a drink with your Valentine's Dinner. (But at least it will look pretty if you are watching from a warm window with your favorite person.)
  • Are you going out for the night? It sounds crazy but you might even want to put a shovel in the back and bring an extra coat. Taking the kids or a friend to the movies? Just be ready to get blasted when you come back out to the car and find the temp has crashed 25 degrees!!

WE WELCOME YOUR LOCAL REPORTS. Readers in western and northern areas will see impacts first, starting by mid-afternoon, with metro areas by late day and coastal areas by 6 PM. 

WHAT ABOUT TUESDAY?

Uncertainty and model adjustment will continue to rule the forecast until the event gets closer in time. Present indications are that wintry precipitation will return first to the Tennessee Valley and Mid-South on Monday, then work up to the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic by Tuesday. 

After that the probabilities become less clear and we will need to examine more data as it becomes available the next two days. Below is the latest Day 3 Snow Probabilities to give you an indication of how the system may evolve.


Forecasters Foot, Mike N., Connor M., Mintong N., Jason M., Troy A., 
Advisors Keith K., and Meteorologists Jolene W., and Dr. Pete W.



13 comments:

Westsidehideaway said...

Yea. Bad winter weather is here!! I have the fireplace stacked, pantry full, took the Mrs. to Val dinner last night, and the First Ever SNL is being rebroadcast at 11:30 tonight. What a great day!!!

Butch Dynomite said...

Gonna run out now .....gather kindling ..then listen to wind howl outside

Westsidehideaway said...

It's about 30 degrees here in West Bmore at 3:30pm. No wind. Mostly cloudy. Kind of a typical winter day. Where is the bad stuff I wonder?

Flame said...

Just wait an hour or two. It should happen rather suddenly. It's still early. It was actually sunny with some clouds earlier.

Anonymous said...

Snowing here in Cockeysville. Road & lawn just about covered. No wind, temperature 32, humidity 55 & steady.

Westsidehideaway said...

Peg, same here in West Baltimore. Just stirred up a Tito's martini and rocking out to Quadrophenia. Yep. I'm outing my age somewhat with this message!!

Julee said...

I cancelled this afternoon's Valentine lobster lunch with my aged mother due to anticipated afternoon snow. BUT -- NO snow this afternoon. NO lunch. No lobster.
I had BETTER be rewarded with some lovely winter weather this evening!!!

Westsidehideaway said...

Julee. Bummer about the lobster incident. Maybe tomorrow? Snowing good here.

Westsidehideaway said...

Impressive snow squall here at 7:30pm. One inch in an hour and coming down hard. No sign of plow trucks in West Bmore yet. What are you all seeing?

notsofreestate said...

One plow, 2+inches with howling wind in north Baltimore County, but I wish we"d have a blizzard (with heat and electricity, of course)!

Westsidehideaway said...

3 plows in 10 minutes. Short break now snowing with swirling winds. Wow.

notsofreestate said...

No more snow. :(

Wind is howling like a banshee.

Sinbad said...

A pretty decent drive from Bel Air down 95 to the Beltway 10:30 pm to 11:something, albeit extraordinarily windy. All the snow in the air came off the ground and trees. NOAA says it's 17 degrees F, but my cheap patio thermometer says 20. Enough gear in the car to take a troop of boyscouts to the Arctic for a week, but all I used was the ice scraper and the windbreaking pants. Can't wait to see how 7 am looks for the return trip......