I have no intention to sensationalize or fear monger. There has been enough of that this winter online, and my social media following has built up on a steady flow of consistent and honest information. I’d like to say I’ve had a good track record forecasting and outdoing the models, and hope to keep that going. So I have waited until I have high confidence that something will hit, and now I see two large events on the way next week.
February out like a Polar Bear
Today will be one of the coldest in Baltimore weather history. The record low this morning was 5F, and that was not matched. But the afternoon is the record that most of us will feel. The coldest afternoon (or lowest max) temperature was 25°F in 1934. That is a mark we could duplicate today. Considering full sunshine and lack of snow around the immediate city that is a very impressive mark of this airmass. It also sets the stage for what is on the way.
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March in like a Lion
Two storms in one week! Yes, it appears very likely. The first appears to arrive Sunday night and ends by early Tuesday morning. This should start as rain, then change to ice and end with mostly snow. The second one could be a larger system from the Gulf of Mexico that slowly moves up the coast Thursday and Friday. This one appears to start as snow, then mix with ice... perhaps ending as snow. Oh, there will be a lot more wind with this too.
The first storm will be more of a complicated, long duration set up. The cold air will retreat over the weekend, and the arctic boundary will be to our north. That is when waves of Low pressure will ride along it and slowly push it southward. What is important to note is that cold air like this tends to be more impressive than computer models can handle. I like to rely on the Canadian GEM model which handles the cold air very well… but this may not give it full credit. The next result could be a shift of results south and colder.
Please refer to the maps in the slide show and animation video clip.
- Light rain arrives from central PA and moves into central Maryland as the arctic front crawls back east.
- Chance to freezing rain/sleet after midnight.
- Gradual change over to snow from north to south.
- Most of Maryland will be under snow or ice (lower eastern shore). This will end over night.
Accumulation: It is too early to say or even justify with models as the ice/snow line is tough to define and what is left over after the change over. My philosophy is to wait until within 48 hours to make a first call that is closest to verifying. Saturday will be the first time to asses that.
This is a week away, so the details are model based and subject to change
Low Pressure will organize around the base of a deep trough in the jet stream by the panhandle of Florida. This will spread ice into South and North Carolina with a change over to snow near Raleigh. We will get snow to reach central Maryland during the day. It is too early for specifics.
Snow will mix with freezing rain/ice near the Chesapeake Bay. This will be a slow moving storm and turn into a wind machine as well. Heavy snow will continue at the ski resorts.
The storm pulls away and ends with snow. Considering the deep Low Pressure, there may be blizzard conditions in New England.
Kid Weather App
Support my efforts: This is a great time to work off the active weather and see the app I made with my son (when he was 6 years old). It won a Parents Choice Award, was listed on Mashable.com's top 10 list of apps to teach kids science, and has been downloaded in 29 countries. We have over 400 items of trivia plus live weather and forecasts for kids. It's available on iTunes and for Android on Google Play and Amazon. See more and links for your device at kidweatherapp.com