Wednesday, January 25, 2006

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MAJOR EAST COAST SNOWSTORM IN
FEBRUARY 10-20 TIME PERIOD

DETAILS SOON. REASON FOR LONG SILENCE IS MASSIVE HOME IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS OVER PAST MONTH: new kitchen floor, new appliances, was very time consuming.

PLEASE NOTE THAT DUE TO TIME CONSTRAINTS OF ADDING BABY TO THE FAMILY MEANS THAT WEBSITE POSTS WILL ONLY OCCUR WHEN THERE IS STRONG POTENTIAL OF A SIGNIFICANT STORM EVENT IN THE NEAR FUTURE. My normal evening forecast activities have been usurped by the needs cute little bundle of waving legs and arms known as Kaselyn. Until Mrs. Foot and I get a handle on how to handle getting the two of them in bed on time, do not expect any regular updates on this site UNLESS there is a major storm brewing.

Thank you for your patience, understanding and thoughtful emails of late.

Sincerely, Mr. Foot

Friday, December 16, 2005

16 comments:
AN EARLY CHRISTMAS PRESENT:
A NORMAL WEEK AHEAD


THE QUICK FORECAST..
1. No big storms next week, just cold weather
2. Xmas week...mix of cold/warm, some rain/snow
3. January disappoints with above-normal temps

Xmas Week 05



Dec 4A

For those of you who did not get the delay or closing you hoped, at least it is a "payday Friday" for many of us. Considering that the holiday vacation time is fast approaching, it is comforting to know that the Northeast will have a quiet week coming up. With people making travel and shopping plans, kids off the wall, parents getting frazzled, teachers ready for a break...at least the weather will not throw a monkey wrench in the calendar between now and next Friday. The GFS (Global Forecast System) map shown above is usually the forecast model of choice for the NWS, and the next storm progged for Sunday afternoon looks to skirt along the southern Mid-Atlantic. Following that, a period of below normal temperatures will set in for remainder of next week leading up to Christmas.

SO WHAT HAPPENED TO THE STORM?

Dec 3E

Blame the big time changeover to rain on simple physics. Counter-clockwise air rotating around the Low pressure center as it moved north along the I-95 corridor pulled in much warmer, moist air from the Atlantic. In fact, water temperatures along the NJ coast, Long Island and New England are above normal, while coastal areas along the DelMarVa and the Carolinas are below normal. This may be a factor behind the sharp temperature contrast shown above as the storm pulled north...southern and central Jersey had a nearly a 30 degree rise in temperature over 24 hours! I did not forecast for the I-95 cities in this storm because it looked clear from the beginning they would get more rain than snow. Philadelphia was the exception as they received snow where rain was expected first. My call for schools was off somewhat or at least reversed as I expected some closings and instead we had early dismissals. The graphic below from Accuweather.com illustrates the second phase of our storm as it heads north, giving Boston a taste of Baltimore weather... snow, then a period sleet and freezing rain, then rain.

Dec 3F

Thursday, December 15, 2005

31 comments:
WHAT'S THE FINAL WORD FOR FRIDAY ?
(THIS POST FOR DC-BALTIMORE-PHILLY-CENTRAL/EASTERN PA)

Dec 3E Radar

As of 4:00 PM, our storm is well underway and has wreaked havoc with everyone's Thursday program, however it was very helpful that schools gave parents a lot of advance notice to make arrangements for the EXTREMELY early closings (2 and 3 hour closings were widespread in central Maryland). It appears that the snow, started earlier than expected, and hung on longer. At present, the colorized radars are showing conflicting precip types, and in comparing the radars between Accuweather and Intellicast over previous storms, I tend to side with Intellicast as it more accurately depicts what is taking place in my backyard. At present I have moderate freezing rain and this has been going on for several hours now.

SCHOOL CLOSING SUMMARY

Yes, I know... the real reason you are here is to decide if you have to do lesson plans or homework for Friday. Well, just plan ahead, wear your pajamas backwards and put the snow shovel upside down and that'll jink the storm so you can sleep in tomorrow, right?

DC schools: Probably opening on time, changeover and melting will allow roads to improve over the next 12 hours. N. Virginia: At least a 2-hour delay if not closed due to a longer period of freezing rain.

Baltimore City and south: Delays likely, closings unlikely due to earlier changeover to rain. (I expect Anne Arundel to have perhaps a 1-hour delay but not closed, as they would have switched over to rain early tonight.)

Baltimore/Harford/Cecil Counties: Tough call here. I am going out on a limb and saying they are going to start with a 2-hour delay and then see how much melting/warming takes place. Obviously if we wake up and discover the temps rose to 40 overnight, then it's a no brainer, you'll be in on time Friday. The determining factor is to what extent the northern and western parts of those counties have more icing than south and east. If it becomes apparent that at least 1/2 of the county is has significant icing, power outages, downed trees and powerlines, they will close with no delay. Even if the temp rises to 33 or 34, that is not going to do much to melt 1/4 inch of ice in a few hours, especially when atmosphere is saturated and unable to soak up additional moisture.

Frederick/Carroll/York Counties and Southeastern PA Schools: Widespread closings and delays as these regions will be locked into the freezing rain for most of the night. 1/4 to 1/2 inch of ice will be common and some areas may see up to 1" which could bring down high tension transmission lines and damage towers.

ANALYSIS BEHIND THE FORECAST

Dec 3E Temps

The real issue is going to be this expected changeover from frozen to liquid precip in the overnight hours. I have some big problems with the plan being purported by the news and weather channel. News anchors always seem to overfocus on that magic 32 degrees, because they all report on it by saying..."So if we can jjuusstt get the mercury to creep a little but above 32, we'll be in better shape, right?" You know as well as I it is not that simple. Sure the 2 meter level temperature (what the temp is at 6 feet above the ground) might be 34 or 35, but without the sun in play and nighttime coming, bringing the air temp to slightly above freezing does not alleviate at all any significant icing problems. It will take a prolonged period of 6 or more hours with rising temps to get real melting in areas where you experience more than a light glazing of ice. This is why I firmly believe many Baltimore Metro Schools will be at least delayed 2-hours Friday and many northern areas may be closed. Take a look at the air temperature profile for Thursday afternoon. Another fun site to analyze current road conditions is the Maryland Dept of Transportation's interactive "Roadway Weather" which reports current roadway temps and status.

Brief update later tonight before bedtime, and I'll definitely be back online tomorrow around 6AM.