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December 17, 2008

Weekend forecast: Get outa town

Ya gotta love a weather forecaster with a sense of humor. Okay, he's not Steve Martin (a former TV weatherman, and he played one in "L.A. Story"), but he does have a wry sense of impending doom as he looks as a wintry weekend forecast:

"If you don't like winter weather," forecaster Andy Woodcock said from Sterling this morning, "might be a good time to call your favorite airline and get that ticket to Miami."

Sun Photo/Doug Kapustin Oct. 29, 2008Here's what he's looking at: A cold front is due to cross the region late Friday into Saturday, dropping temperatures here below freezing Saturday night. Then, the front stalls in the Carolinas, and a low-pressure system starts tracking along the front, reforming off the Carolina coast. That is, Woodcock says, "a very classic" setup for wintry weather in the Washington/Baltimore area. Here's more from this morning's discussion:

"KEEP YOUR EYE ON LATE SAT NIGHT INTO SUN. SIGNIFICANT WINTER EVENT MAY BE
UNFOLDING DURING THIS TIME. GFS (COMPUTER MODEL) IS GETTING CONSISTENT IN SHOWING A VERY CLASSIC PORTION FOR WINTER WEATHER IN THE METRO AREAS AND POINTS WEST. IAD (DULLES) FORECAST MAX TEMP OF 33 IS DOWN A DEGREE VERSUS YESTERDAYS MEX MAX GUIDANCE FOR SUNDAY AND IT WILL START OFF BELOW FRZG TO START THE EVENT.

"AGAIN...STAY TUNED."

So far, the 7-day forecast for BWI-Marshall is talking about rain AND snow for the Saturday night and Sunday period, with overnight temperatures at BWI in the upper 20s, rising into the low 30s Sunday. If we do get snow, it looks like wet snow, possibly changing to rain as temperatures rise. We'll see. 

AccuWeather.com, meanwhile, sees this storm as just the start of a succession of nasty storm systems that will be moving across the contiment in the next week or more - any of which could bring us wintry misery (or joy!) as the Holiday travel season begins. Here's more.

For now, we're well out of the winter weather woods today as temperatures rise into the 40s. Thursday looks mostly cloudy, with rain likely again Thursday night and Friday as the new cold front approaches.  

Posted by Frank Roylance at 12:59 PM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Winter weather
        

Comments

Love that news. Lets hope it doesn't fizzle out on us.

crossing my fingers for a pre-Christmas snow!! I'd like a lot this winter

Sometimes I get a real kick out of reading the forecast discussion. Some of the forecasters don't have a problem letting their personal style seep in. I appreciate those who add something to what can otherwise be a rather dry summary.

If this setup for major winter storms are true, explain to me how a front stalls off the Carolina coasts if the fronts are that strong. Most major weather systems such as Noreaster's are followed by high winds. I would assume these winds would be more then enough to un-stall a stationary front. Love the blog. Keep it up.

FR: The front is forecast to stall to our south, over the Carolinas. The storm will track along the front, with a secondary low to form over central Virginia (no mention this morning of "off the coast"). It's the combination of cold air here and a storm system to the south and east that would bring us the wintry precip. It is possible to have a stationary front and a windy storm at the same time. Storm winds don't "push" fronts around. Storms track the jet streams that mark the boundaries between cold air and warm air. That said, this morning's discussion seems to suggest this weekend will see a mixed bag of rain, snow, sleet and freezing rain. Despite yesterday's comments from Sterling, it does NOT appear to be the classic winter coastal storm that drops 10 or 20 inches of snow here. Take an umbrella.

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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
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