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Could a spring snowstorm be on the way for Philadelphia, Baltimore, and DC?

National Weather Service forecast map
National Weather Service forecast map
Map courtesy National Weather Service

Just forty-eight hours ago, the big cities in the Middle Atlantic states were digging out from a potent late-winter storm that produced 4 inches in Philadelphia and 6 to 12 inches in Baltimore and Washington. Yet, the strong March sun and forty-degree temperatures melted most of the snow away on Tuesday and today's rain showers finished off the last of the snow pack. In the coming days, the region will experience weather that is more representative of late March with highs in the 50s and even some 60s before the week ends.

Meanwhile, computer forecast models are hinting at the possibility of another major winter storm next week. The first feature that will become pronounced in the northeast and Mid-Atlantic early next week will be a surge of arctic air that will send temperatures tumbling to as much as 20 degrees below average for this time of year. As with the last storm, the cold and dry air will be a key ingredient in setting the stage for a potential winter storm. While the return to colder weather is just about certain for the region, what happens thereafter is still very much undetermined. Computer forecast models such as the EURO and the GFS are both showing a developing area of low pressure, but they have been inconsistent from run to run in terms of the track and intensity of the low. It does appear that the arctic air will result in a more southerly low developing as opposed to a center of low pressure that jumps from the Appalachians to the Delmarva coastline (the latter of which would be less favorable for snow in our area.) The questions that remain include how much will the low intensify, what will be its ultimate track, and will it eventually run out to sea or will it move up the coast? Additionally, the point at which the storm intensifies will play a critical role in where the snow falls and where the rain/snow line sets up. Making matters more complex is the potential that the storm could be much weaker or miss the area completely.

I will continue to monitor the latest data in the coming days and try to narrow down more specifics regarding this potential spring snowstorm.

Regional Weather Information

Baltimore average lows and highs

Washington average lows and highs

Philadelphia average lows and highs

National Weather Service daily weather discussion

Baltimore/Washington National Weather Service

Philadephia National Weather Service

Chesapeake Bay marine forecast

Delaware Bay marine information

Mid-Atlantic radar loop

For more weather updates, please visit my web site www.chesapeakebayweather.com, my Chesapeake Bay Weather page on Facebook, and if you're heading to Ocean City feel free to check out my Ocean City MD Weather page on Facebook. You can also follow me on Twitter @chesbayweather.