Thursday, February 19, 2015

Weather that grinds the soul

Weather the grinds the soul
Precipitation and Surface Map Projections for 7 PM Saturday 
from the NOAA Weather Prediction Center



Our team is assessing the latest computer model guidance, and will have a revised statement and new precipitation forecast map later today. For now, we want to point out a few considerations for the Sat-Sun event:
  • Single digit lows Saturday AM will allow for precip to start as mostly snow across most of WV, VA, MD, PA and DE. Pre-treatment of roads may not help mitigate initial snowfall due to low temps.
  • Model projections have indicated higher liquid amounts of 0.50" or more are possible prior to when temperatures rise above freezing. Thus, it is plausible the NWS could extend watches further east if additional data points to more areas being probable to meet warning-level criteria snow of 5".
  • Most areas may also see a change to freezing rain Saturday night into Sunday, which will create additional hazardous travel issues for second part of the weekend.
Continue monitoring the latest official statements from the NWS on this developing storm potential. Our team will have an updated map and overview this afternoon, however we expect Winter Storm Watches will soon be extended east to encompass the 95 corridor metro areas of Baltimore and Washington as well as adjacent interior sections.

3:00 AM EST 2/20 (WINTER STORMCAST TEAM) We have the potential for the coldest temperatures in 19 years coming in tonight, followed by a storm system which may bring some more wintry precipitation. This graphic focuses on the storm system Saturday into Sunday, so read ahead for details.

THIS MORNING - BWI hasn't dropped below 0ºF since February 5th, 1996. It hasn't dropped below 0ºF this late in the season ever. That could change tonight, but it will be a close call. The record low for February 20th is 4º. There's a good chance that one falls tonight. Lows are expected to drop near to below zero for the suburbs of all metro areas in the Northeast Corridor from DC north to New York City, with wind chills approaching -10º to -20ºF. For the metros, we will be right around 0 to the lower single digits. 

FRIDAY - Cold. Can we skip it? Highs in the mid teens with NW winds at 10-15 mph. 

THE WEEKEND - We are watching the potential for the next winter storm to impact the region Saturday into Sunday. We have limited the possibilities down to two scenarios. We are fairly confident about the storm track - to our west which means we will be in the warm sector, but the question is how much the storm can warm us up. 

SCENARIO A (60%) - In this scenario, the storm system remains weak and thus ineffective at bringing in warm air. The entrenched and extremely cold air wins out. 

  • We would start as snow during the day on Saturday, and finally mix with sleet to the north, and mix with sleet and freezing rain or rain to the south. This is the favored scenario at this point due to the fact that we will be in the single digits Saturday morning and cold air is very hard to get pushed out. 
  • If more cold air remains in place than currently expected, the system could become a significant storm with snowfall exceeding 4" with highly disrupted travel. This is the favored scenario at this point due to the fact that we will be in the single digits Saturday morning and cold air is very hard to get pushed out. 

SCENARIO B (40%) - This scenario brings a stronger storm. Then the southerly flow is much stronger and more effective at beating out the cold air. We would start with a snow/wintry mix Saturday during the daytime, but changing over to plain rain by the evening or overnight. This one we think is less likely than Scenario A, but can't be eliminated just yet. 

Stay with us through the next few days and stay warm!!!

Weather that grinds the soul
(unless you're a Powderhound ;-)

10:19 AM EST 2/19 - COLD, COLDER, ICY AND SNOWIER When weather like this hits, long time readers are fond of saying, "Well, now you know what it was like for me as a kid in the 1960's."

A true winter hound, by reader
Kelli Lynn F., Ballenger Creek, MD
  • WIND CHILL WARNINGS OR ADVISORIES across the Mid-Atlantic and Eastern U.S. that will see readings hover between -10 and -25 F over the next several days 
  • ZERO OR BELOW FRIDAY MORNING throughout the region. Even BWI and Dulles airport could go below zero, or even  flirt with all time low temperature records. 
  • WINTRY MIX SATURDAY INTO SUNDAY that will produce ice from the Tennessee Valley to the southern Mid-Atlantic, with snow to the north, then snow/sleet in the Northern Mid-Atlantic Saturday night into Sunday, possibly changing to rain (believe it or not) by Sunday morning. Below: Current precip projections for 7 PM Saturday 2/21

It is what it is, so layer up, stay hydrated and know that it won't last too much longer, it just feels that way! Here is our fireplace banner cover from the Central MD Facebook Forecast page to help warm your soul:


kyleZ said...

It is truly amazing that when you look at the seven day forecast there is only one day above freezing which is Sunday and of course it comes with a big system which equals rains this winter is the biggest waste of cold I have ever seen we just can't win might as well be warm if it ain't gonna snow.

Unknown said...

I am quickly losing all hope for 1 big storm for us here in maryland. I saying a widespread 8-12 + storm. This is not our year it seems. Anything is possible but it's been so cold for so long I'm just about ready for warmer weather and fishing.

Lizzy B said...

Wow, all public schools in DE are closed for the extreme cold tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

Educator here and I'm hoping someone can help me out with this. Baltimore County already has a delay...but the difference between an 8 am start and 10 am start is a matter of TWO degrees per If the district is admitting that there is at least an above average danger level to being outside, why not just cancel schools until it warms up next week? I'm sorry but just a delay tomorrow makes absolutely no sense...although it could always change.


kristia35 said...

Harford county has closed already also

Flame said...

Given the extreme cold in the region, i do wonder if the models are handling this correctly, given the lack of priord in the region. Any thoughts on how the models are doing?

NeedaSnowday said...

HoCo & Anne Arundel delayed too..... good point Brian!

Lizzy B said...

A delay gives buses extra time to get started, which will be interesting since diesel fuel doesn't do well in cold temps... I also think the # of BCPS kids who receive free breakfast/lunch @ school is a factor in their decision...

Butch Dynomite said...

Good gives them time to asses building issues .. some of the older buildings may struggle bwith heat. I know one bc school was closed today because of this. Also I feel bc just prefers to wait untill , as Mr. Foot might say - see what the ground truth is.

notsofreestate said...

The ground truth is that my feet are FREEZING (and I'm even wearing ugg boots)!!!!

Westsidehideaway said...

Let's look to the weekend now folks. Looks dicey. I am planning on hunkering down.

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

NWS said there is a WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT for north central MD in their disco, but it is not reflected on their headline site. I think around Baltimore 2-4 followed by sleet and freezing rain, and 3-6 for the northern zones. This will be interesting to see unfold. The year of penny and nickle nuisance events continues!

This one will be more of a nickle rather than penny event and will be high impact for weekend travel.

BioPat said...

Agreed Andy this truly is the year of nuisance events.

The cold is another factor, and I understand getting kids to school is an issue but the bigger issue as already stated is getting the buses started. A similar scenario set up in the last 70's and schools chose the 2 hour late option for the sole purposes of giving the buses time to get started.

EC Brian said...

Hi. I read all the time but haven't commented yet. has the burbs just West of Baltimore getting 5-8 inches on Saturday. I understand things are changing on a dime this year, but that's significantly more than I was expecting.

BioPat said...

I hope it's 5-8" of snow and not the sleet and freezing rain. I'd much rather navigate on snow Sunday morning. I know there is a warm up moving in but with the ground and water/ice so cold I have to believe that it will not be possible for sufficient warming to occur for rain. The Chesapeake Bay and even the inlet in OC are significantly full of ice, that just won't change in a matter of hours - I feel a lesson on the properties of water emerging here so I'll stop.

Butch Dynomite said...

I concur but of course I am soooo biased that I clearly just look for reasons to justify snowhope.

Anonymous said...

Local (i.e. Baltimore) weather outlets are now saying 5-8 inches of snow during the day, 3-5 more at night... so 8-13 inches!? Can that be right?

CerpherJoe said...

High for Sunday keeps falling. WX Underground now has 8-12 inches Saturday.

Westsidehideaway said...

Just bought the chicken to roast and the fresh Cabernet to drink on Saturday. 5-8" in West Baltimore sounds awesome. Yep. The temp on Sunday is gonna be the kicker on this one. I work across from the Inner Harbor and it is 2/3 frozen over today. Pretty neat. I look forward to chatting with you all this weekend. Stay warm and stay cool:))

kyleZ said...

Winter weather adivsory for most of central Maryland except Carroll and Frederick which are under a warning and York is under a winter weather advisory for 3-5 inches seems a little low in central Maryland.

Amy said...

Thoughts on timing of the event? Trying to make smart plans, and not get stuck while out.

I concur about ground temp guv u by models trouble. Too much cold to be overcome in a single day. Any concern it could be a strong ice event?

Westsidehideaway said...

Tasselmeyer is saying snow will change to freezing rain/sleet tomorrow evening then all rain tomorrow night and into Sunday morning. He also says 3" of snow but it could be more. Maybe up to 5". This sounds like another tough one to call.

Unknown said...

In this map: "NOAA Precipitation Projections for 1 PM Saturday 2/21" I see a little green off the Carolina coasts and Florida could there be another Low developing there?

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