Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Meanwhile on Hoth

Meanwhile on Hoth

8:30 AM 3/2 - If you have been feeling like the region is beginning to resembles a Star Wars movie set, we would tend to agree. March is now the fifth straight month of wintry weather to be observed in the Mid-Atlantic. Appreciable snowfall for this season first began in mid November 2014 and show no signs of stopping.

IMPORTANT PLANNING MESSAGE FOR THE EDUCATIONAL COMMUNITY: We recognize that in some states such as Maryland, standardized testing is scheduled to commence this week and next across the state. With this in mind, we wish to provide the best available information about the weather pattern to aid school administrators in navigating this complex scheduling challenge ahead. 

This synopsis is valid for areas from I-76 in Pennsylvania south to the I-66 and I-50 corridors, including the Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC metro areas. 

  • MON 3/2 - Dense ice on a several inches of snowpack will begin to fracture and melt with rising sun angle. This will lead to significant runoff into the evening. Temperatures are expected to drop below 20 F for most areas of the northern and central Mid-Atlantic north of the DC metro. 
  • TUE 3/3 - Runoff will have refrozen overnight and is likely to prompt more school delays due to widespread ice in parking lots, sidewalks and sidestreets. Residual moisture ahead of a warm front will reintroduce sleet and freezing rain toward the Tuesday PM commute. See the NOAA precipitation projection below for 7 PM Tuesday night.
  • WED 3/4 - Temperatures warming to the 50s will lead the most improvements in melting of snow and ice on sidewalks, driveways and snowpack. Extensive moisture ahead of a cold front will deliver up to 0.75" of rain across the Mid-Atlantic. However, the front will be fast-moving, and turn rain over to snow Wednesday night. 

  • THU 3/6 - Cold air rushing in behind the Wednesday frontal passage may change rain to snow by evening, continuing into Thursday AM. Warmer surfaces should negate some of the snowfall, so if forecasts are for 2-4" (as an example), warming and March sun angle may reduce actual accumulation to less than that. However, road conditions may be problematic again by daybreak Thursday. 
  • FRI 3/7 - Temperatures drop back to below freezing in wake of the Thursday front.  Any surface moisture, standing water or snowpack will refreeze Friday morning as highs are not expected to break 30 F for most areas.
We will continue to monitor the mid- and late-week developments and update later today when we have new information. 

If you liked our Star Wars Hoth reference, we defer the credit for the photo to this creative blogger which has a series of crafty and chuckle-worthy shots at http://media.gunaxin.com/battle-hoth/179677. Given the long and toilsome winter, it's our way of trying to use some humor to help warm hearts.

Mr. Foot, Forecaster Mike, Advisor Keith and the Winter Stormcast Team 


Unknown said...

Great picture!

kyleZ said...

ANDY are you out there your mountain man insight would be truly appreciated does the Thursday threat seem like a good chance??

ravensbbr said...

Haha, love the Empire Strikes Back reference, Foots.

Imperial walkers spotted on the north ridge!


Oh, and ice sucks. Just BTW. Sucks.

kristia35 said...

Hopefully Andy is on his way to the store to stock up on Manwich

fan of Andy said...

I miss reading Andy's thoughts on the weather. Does he post on another forum where I could read his interpretation of data?

Butch Dynomite said...

If I had an at at I would totally take it to work

kyleZ said...

It really ticks me off to see people complaining for winter to end and for it to be spring. There must over a two hundred posts on Jberks page everyday complaining and we have just 25-30 inches of snow just half from last year for the season if you don't like it then move south stop complaining no one likes whiners plus there is still 18 days left of winter so it can still be cold. End rant.

NeedaSnowday said...

Kyle ... I dont have FB, but can access JBs page. I was so agitated reading the incessant number of complaints, whining, and anti-winter memes.

Love Mid-Atlantic weather forums - great education, insights, forecasts, and folks that love weather - all kinds!! They are all amped up for March 5th!

Psst, , sometimes that CRAZY ANDY posts pictures/observations over there!

Westsidehideaway said...

Hi Everyone. Greetings from West Baltimore. Tomorrow evening and Thursday morning looks most interesting. I am looking forward to the discussions.

kyleZ said...

Honestly the only people that should be complaining about winter is Boston and the surrounding areas over 100 inches in a big city is amazing so I understand that.

Butch Dynomite said...

Target ing power generator s

genser95 said...

Everyone check out the WPC three-day snow probabilities!


Rufus said...

Hey Rufus here....I have to pick Jacob up in Edinboro PA for spring break was going to leave Thursday morning but thinking Wednesday is a better option. Just looking for advice thx :) Hope you have all been well.

Unknown said...

Alot of peoples frustrations have been all the cold air and no real snow storms.That is a big reason they are tired of winter. They feel what good is the cold without the snow. I feel similar and so will you as you get older. To get a trough ( a storm) to really dig in and even stall in our area we need the NAO to be negative. This just has not been the case for us this winter. We get storms but not the monsters we all want to see. This indeed may be our final real shot at decent snow. Sun angle will make it difficult to pile up if it snows into the afternoon. The modeling for this storm will come back south with some heavier accumulating snow. IMHO. It will be an interesting storm. Cold to warm back to cold. Lots of precip available. There is nothing to slow down the storm however. It will blow thru like all the others have. Andy likely not posting much because the truth is, there is not much to post. Sorry if this offends or makes people mad but this is not the winter for large snow storms folks. Please check the records. The last time it was this cold we did NOT have great snow winters. It has been 35 yrs or so since it was this cold. I doubt most of you were alive then. I was. I also checked history. Of the top 24 storms ever recorded in Baltimore 1 (ONE) was in the 70's. The 70's was the last time it was this cold and we were driving cars across the bay!In 1979 there was a 20" snow recorded in one storm. This is the 9th best snow ever. It is the only one I had as a kid in my life. I was 16. The next big one was 1983. So an entire decade of cold air was wasted. You all have been blessed to see the huge storms you have as young people. To quote the great one. "Enjoy the weather because it's the only weather you have".

Unknown said...

To put it in perspective. Out of the top 24 storms. 7 were since the year 2000. Good time to be a kid the last 15 years. In 16 years I had 1 of the top 24.

kristia35 said...

I vaguely remember the blizzard of 83. I was five at the time. I didn't know what was going on but I knew I liked it!

NeedaSnowday said...

Loved the storm of 79... I can recall walking in the neighborhood with my mom and there was no other sounds except snow falling... It is a great memory! Not to mention sledding down what we called suicide hill!! In 83 lots of my friends couldn't get back down south to college so it was a great extended college break! Seems like those types of storms just don't exist anymore!

Unknown said...

Suicide hill in leakin park! I grew up less than 10 minutes from there in Edmonson Heights. Good times for sure!

Rufus said...

Mike do you know a guy named George Brookhart by any chance.

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Statement as of 3:37 PM EST on March 02, 2015

... Winter Weather Advisory in effect from 9 am to 10 PM EST

The National Weather Service in Baltimore MD/Washington has
issued a Winter Weather Advisory for snow... sleet and freezing
rain... which is in effect from 9 am to 10 PM EST Tuesday.

* Locations... the Baltimore and Washington metropolitan areas and
north central Maryland.

* Hazard types... snow... sleet and freezing rain.

* Accumulations... snow accumulation of up to 1 inch... along with
around a tenth of an inch of ice.

* Timing... Tuesday morning through late Tuesday evening.

* Impacts... roads will be snow and ice covered. Travelling will be

* Winds... southeast 5 to 15 mph with gusts up to 25 mph.

* Temperatures... in the upper 20s.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of snow... sleet... or
freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Be prepared for
slippery roads and limited visibilities... and use caution while

kyleZ said...

if people here really think this is cold then they haven't experienced anything plus it does happen to get cold in the winter try living in Garrett county md it goes to -20 regularly during the winter. Most of the complaints on JBs are about the snow which makes no sense because there has been little snow this year.

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Sorry guys! I have been insanely busy this year and have had only a few breaks to post about weather and gather my thoughts. Sadly, it has been a winter of chronic nuisance rush hour events with only one really nice storm on the weekend. The bad news is we have one more nuisance event tomorrow afternoon just in time for rush hour, BUT then the Beast a comeeth!

I can see us going gto a WINTER STORM WATCH by tomorrow afternoon to be upgraded to a WARNING Wednesday forlate Wednesday night to 2:00 pm Thursday for a possible 5-10 inches of snow.

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

I remember the blizzard of 1983 well. I was 7 and just finished serving another week of detention at school, (wrongly accused). At the time I resided in the lovely City of Baltimore. I remember the heavy wet snow with giant flakes and thunder/lightening.

It was the first time I had ever heard of anything like that and did not even know that was possible with snow falling. I had more questions than anyone around me could answer about weather after that storm. That storm solidified my interest in snow and I was forever hooked on the big storm idea. That was an amazing event.

kyleZ said...

What would the snow rates be? Would the snow be able to accumulate during the day if it was heavy enough?

Unknown said...

Rufus--Sorry, I do not recall him. I graduated from Woodlawn 1982. Lived in the (hood) until 2004 when I moved to the highlands of Carroll County.

Welcome back Andy--Yes 1983 was amazing. 79 was the one that hooked me. There was Thunder and Lightening in that storm too.

Andy, Southern York County Pa said...

Krisita35, Some things never change :), Mike you are right!


There has been very little to post about except for nuisance events. My weather passion is the chase of a nice snow storm, or at least the prospect of one. There has been one Manwich meat sandwich event this year. It was our nice 8 inch event. Aside from that it has been nickle and dime city during rush hour despite the historic cold.

Foot's forecast is the best and I will always come home here for the storm and storm musings. Whenever there is a threat of a storm I will crawl out of my mountain cave, pound the chest, swing the club, and throw it out there in a loud monosyllabic style prestorm post meat sandwich belch.

We are all here to share ideas and chase the big impact events. When I have time I like to try and breakdown the small ones also. This year I have been working too many 60 hour weeks and that has chewed into my lazy time. As my workload has increased I have even had to stop taking naps at work and cut lunchtime back to two hours. It has been a battle, but I am holding up as well as possible under the circumstances!

The clerk at the liquor store was worried about me as she had not seen me for several weeks, the trashman stopped by and asked if I was ok because the recycle bin was devoid of empty spirit containers and wanted to make sure there was no health issue. I informed that it has really been almost all work and no play that has beaten me down. Soon the snow will fall, the spirits will flow, and the trashman will be busy once again.

I think Thursday is a mini Kahuna and will do some follow up posts.

Kristia35, I was only kidding, and of course things change, you are no longer 5 :)

BioPat said...

Rufus, Great to see you posting again! Take that trip to Edinboro early on Wednesday; it will be raining but much safer than leaving later.
Andy glad you found a break to post some highly valued info. Check out the posts of the numbers looking for your insight and prose of course. This week look like winter 2015 will leave with a bang to help us remember her.
Tomorrow looks like another nuisance event. Hopefully enough interruption that I won't be making that trek to Towson in the slop.
Looks like a great week on the blog wnjoy all!

Rufus said...

Thanks Andy I think that just solidified my thoughts of leaving Wednesday late morning early afternoon for Edinboro, PA. Head back this way Friday. We usually head up 70 to 76 to 79 into Edinboro. Not a bad little town to be in a couple nights...sure they are ice fishing. Be safe tomorrow.

kristia35 said...

Oh to be 5 again. Not only would I get to know what I know now but I would get to relive the 83 blizzard and the kahuna of 2010! Totally worth the time travel risk IMO :)

Rufus said...

79 and 83 remember them both and thunder snow. I shoveled my sisters car out only to find out she didn't have to go work. Lots of fond memories of sledding and skating in my youth. My Dad God rest his soul would have been ragging on us to come out to the house and go sledding these past weeks.

Mike, George is older but grew up in Ed Heights.

Pat much rather travel in rain and daylight. I hit a lake effect storm on way up for Christmas. Traffic stopped craziness and they supposedly know how to drive in it :)

Westsidehideaway said...

I was a senior at North Hagerstown High (Go Hubs) for the 83' storm and it was wild. But we only took a couple of days off and then back to school. Not like today when schools close with every two inch storm.

Now on to Wednesday night/Thursday. Looks promising. A good way to round out the season. Especially since the Mrs. and I are headed to Playa del Carmen next werk!!!

kyleZ said...

I've heard stories from my parents about the 70s when the bay froze over and blizzards in79 and 83 unfortunately I was not alive for that but it sounded like they were some crazy storms.

Westsidehideaway said...

Wow. Cool. Should be an awesome three days of weather watching and chatter.

BioPat said...

Rufus, safe journeys!

Looking forward to some banter on the blog over the next few days. At least we'll get into school today, I am sure the public schools are anxious to get the testing underway asap, or I should say out of the way. Best wishes keeping the kids focused, I hope you have windowless testing rooms.

Well, off to teach young America and make sure they have much to do over the next few days. The shame is this is the most exciting unit of the year, and also usually the one nailed with interruptions. Oh well such is life! Be safe all!

Unknown said...

Looked at some modeling this morning and it seems there may be a real battle to root out the warm air quickly in central and southern parts. Right now most models have most of the accumulating snow more north. I hope this is wrong for all concerned. It has dropped further south from the model runs yesterday but is not as far south as it needs to be for all. I would be cautious at this time about getting real excited until further model runs zero in on the timimg of the cold air in conjunction with how much precip there was left to get through.

kyleZ said...

Feel like sleet might cut into totals a bit but we still could get 6+inches.

kyleZ said...

Winter storm watches up will this be the kahuna we have been waiting for or will it elude us again.

Julee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andy, Southern York County Pa said...


10 inches is the common number on all guidance. If I were to make a forecast I would go 8 to 12 for all of us with isolated totals as high as 14. Not there yet, but am very confident based on all reliable data in a 5 to 10 inch event.

Julee said...


::::YOWP:::: May I quote you on that?

Morpheus said...

I have fond memories for Blizzards and big storms from 77 to 79 in NY. One of them was a whopper (in 77 I think). Snow drifts topped our one story school...so of course we walked to the roof with the help of a window AC unit and jumped into the drifts. All was well until my friends little brother forgot to spread his arms and disappeared into the drift. There was a scramble, some digging and luckily he had his hands up and we were able to pull him out, well except for his boots. He cried all the way home...not sure why we did not carry him. Of course after he was safely home we went back to drift jumping...not the smartest thing but boy was it fun. We also dug an ice cave next to the school, complete with candles for light.

So I think there is a good chance the Bowie area will not change over as quick as the highlands, leaving us with another 4 inches at best - hope I AM WRONG. Can only root for the cold. Good luck highlanders.

Morpheus said...

Did not mean to use caps - really not upset, it has been a nice few snows for my neck of the burbs - much better than the all ran fest we had last year.

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