« Socked in; rain totals top one inch | Main | California wildfires from space »

November 14, 2008

More winter weather "advisories" ahead

Sun Photo/John Makely 1999 

Marylanders can expect more "winter weather advisories" in their future. It's not because winters will get worse. Rather, the National Weather Service's Sterling forecast office, which serves Central and Western Maryland and Northern Virginia, is changing its criteria for issuing the sloppy weather alerts, adding more alerts under lesser storm threats to high "public impact" areas.

Here's how it works:

In the past, forecasters have issued "Winter Weather Advisories" when they were at least 80 percent certain there was 2 to 5 inches of snow or sleet on the way within 12 hours. The advisories mean that hazardous winter weather is coming that "causes significant inconveniences ... and if caution is not exercised ... could lead to life-threatening situations."

Simple enough. Starting Monday, it gets more complicated.

In the future, ADDITIONAL "Winter Weather Advisories" will be issued for specific high-travel areas during rush hour periods when forecasters are at least 60 percent certain that there is 1 to less than 2 inches of accumulating snow or sleet en route during weekday morning or evening rush hours. Those rush hours are defined as  4 to 9 a.m. and 2 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, federal holidays excepted.

Those "high-travel areas" include the I-95 corridor from Harford County, Md. to Spotsylvania County, Va.; inside and including the two urban beltways; the I-270 corridor from Montgomery County to Frederick County; the I-70 corridor westward as far as Frederick County; the I-66 corridor from Washington to Prince William County, Va.; and the Route 50 corridor from Arundel to PG County.

Got that? There will be a quiz in the morning.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 3:02 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Winter weather

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Verification (needed to reduce spam):

About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff

Sign up for FREE weather alerts*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for weather text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
Maryland Weather Center

Area Weather Stations
Resources and Sun coverage
• Weather news

• Readers' photos

• Data from the The Sun's weather station

• 2011 stargazers' calendar

• Become a backyard astronomer in five simple steps

• Baltimore Weather Archive
Daily airport weather data for Baltimore from 1948 to today

• National Weather Service:
Sterling Forecast Office

• Capital Weather Gang:
Washington Post weather blog

• CoCoRaHS:
Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. Local observations by volunteers

• Weather Bug:
Webcams across the state

• National Data Buoy Center:
Weather and ocean data from bay and ocean buoys

• U.S. Drought Monitor:
Weekly maps of drought conditions in the U.S.

• USGS Earthquake Hazards Program:
Real-time data on earthquakes

• Water data:
From the USGS, Maryland

• National Hurricane Center

• Air Now:
Government site for air quality information

• NWS Climate Prediction Center:
Long-term and seasonal forecasts

• U.S. Climate at a Glance:
NOAA interactive site for past climate data, national, state and city

• Clear Sky Clock:
Clear sky alerts for stargazers


• Hubblesite:
Home page for Hubble Space Telescope

• Heavens Above:
Everything for the backyard stargazer, tailored to your location

• NASA Eclipse Home Page:
Centuries of eclipse predictions

• Cruise Critic: Hurricane Zone:
Check to see how hurricanes may affect your cruise schedule

• Warming World:
NASA explains the science of climate change with articles, videos, “data visualizations,” and space-based imagery.

• What on Earth:
NASA blog on current research at the space agency.
Most Recent Comments
Blog updates
Recent updates to news blogs
 Subscribe to this feed
Charm City Current
Stay connected