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October 18, 2009

The End is Near

Rug wet 

No, not the second Flood, or the End of the World. The end is near for this five-day stretch of unseasonably cold and very wet weather.

The National Weather Service is forecasting sunshine for Monday - and nearly the entire week (through Thursday) - with high temperatures climbing in to the 60s, to near 70 by Thursday. The deep low-pressure system that has brought us the latest of the cold and rain is now off Delmarva, and will soon be moving off to sea. The rain is moving into New England. That will allow high pressure to build in (the barometer is already rising) and bring us nicer, more seasonable, weather.

But it's been a long time coming. And we still face a 90-percent chance of more rain today, and a high, again, in the 40s.

WeatherDeckAs we've noted before, we expect today will mark the fourth consecutive day with highs below 50 degrees. If so, it will be the first time that's ever (since record-keeping began in 1871) occurred in October in Baltimore.  It will also be only the second time on record (the last was in 1899) that we have set (or tied) all-time record-low maximum temperatures for five consecutive days.

UPDATE: Nope. The airport high today was 52 degrees. So we had only three straight days in the 40s (not four as I stated incorrectly earlier; we touched 50 on Wednesday). That ties the record. Today's high also exceeded the record-low maximum for the 18th of October by one degree. So we had only four straight days of tied or broken record low-maximums - one fewer than the record of five set in 1899. Here are the four new record-low maximums, and today's:

Oct. 14: 50 degrees (tied), 2009

Oct. 15: 43 degrees, 2009

Oct. 16: 48 degrees, 2009

Oct. 17: 45 degrees, 2009

Oct. 18: 51 degrees, 1972 (today 52 degrees)

Earlier post resumes...

Amazing. And that doesn't even touch the snow that readers have been reporting just over the line in Pennsylvania. I suspect we'll hear from others west of the city before long. Here are some Maryland snow totals from the NWS.

We've clocked an inch of rain since midnight Sunday morning here on the WeatherDeck in Cockeysville. The total since the rainy weather began on Wednesday (as of 8:30 Sunday morning) is 3.7 inches. That's about a month's worth of rain in five days. The total for the month so far is 3.86 inches.

At BWI, the NWS has recorded 3.18 inches since Wednesday. Here are some more totals from around the region for the 24 hours ending at midnight Saturday night.

At The Baltimore Sun station, Calvert & Centre streets, the instruments have recorded 2.6 inches of rain since Wednesday.

Some other readings since midnight Sunday morning:

Bishopville, Worcester County:  2.91 inches

Ellicott City, Howard County:  1.92 inches

Columbia, Howard County: 1.77 inches

Eldersburg, Carroll County: 1.67 inches

Severn, Anne Arundel County: 1.43 inches

Jarrettsville, Harford County:  1.26 inches

(SUN PHOTOS/Frank Roylance)

Posted by Frank Roylance at 8:19 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Forecasts


Just curious, Frank. Did you turn your heat on yet?
I'm ashamed to admit, I finally gave in to the cold and damp and turned mine on.

FR: We did. We caved Thursday night when the temperature in the back bedroom hit 58 degrees. Life is too short ...

A dusting of snow in Eldersburg this morning. Good thing I had milk, bread, and toilet paper ;-).

3 am, Sparks, maryland, dog starts barking and we look around the house can't find what he is barking at.

We get back into bed and I ask if there is hunting at night because I hear gunshots, not unusual in the area. I found out hunting is not allowed at night, I get up look out the window it is SNOWING! Cars are covered, ground covered, tree covered and bushes are covered. We could hear limbs snapping off the trees, and trees falling down. Incredible!

I've got pictures that I'll post of the snow that fell in Owings Mills Sunday morning. We woke up at 7am to an inch on the ground, and limbs and trees down all over.

If the trees around here are sentient, they're probably pretty irritated with how this year has gone. Between the nasty winds from those two big storms this Summer and now this, they've suffered a lot of damage.

I was expecting an early snow this year, but not the middle of October. Pretty amazing.

FR: Send your pictures along, I'll post 'em.

FR: This just in from Mike Madsen:

Dear Mr Roylance:
Finally got around to catching up on your blogposts.
Regarding the weekend before last, I live on Falls Road, about a mile south of Shawan, and the capper to the 4+ inches of rain we had Thur-Sat, was that sometime around midnight when I went to bed (and it was still raining) my wife said it stopped--we couldn't hear it. I scoffed, but the next morning, Sunday, we saw why--it was easily a half-inch of very wet, heavy snow.

There were a dozen large boughs that had broken out of the silver maples, a magnolia that split one of the stems at a Y-fork, and several "bent" branches on my cherries and crape myrtles. No pine tree damage, though, so it was purely due to the added load from the leaves and affected those with weak wood and vulnerable branch structure. Some of the "bent" branches have been recovering over the past week, but others are noticeably altered still.

I wish I'd taken a picture (was late for church), cause it wasn't a dusting. It didn't finish melting until 2 or 3 that afternoon.

However, on my way to my church in the city, I was shocked to see that the snow quickly tapered off, and long before I made it to Padonia, there was no trace of snow. It petered out to nothing shortly after Falls and Ivy Hill, and by Heather Hill at the last, when I was on my way down, at around 10am.

Enjoyed the comment about wanting to delay the furnace--I, too, had a target date of Nov 1, but called uncle during those 4 days of cold rain when the house finally sank to 58.

Any thoughts on how the last winter was "super cold" (at least according to BGE) and then this spring and summer were at the least, not overly warm in terms of 90s or 100s--is the trend intact as we go into this winter? Is this just chalked up to the usual Nino/Nina catch-all excuse, or is there some other atmospheric effect that seems to be keeping a lid on things (not aware of any volcanic effects, as of late).

Wish the paper's spot was all 7 days. Enjoy the columns, but forget to hit the blog frequently.


FR: Thanks, Mike. BGE made those comments about the cold last winter after everyone's heating bills soared in January. That month was colder than average, but December and February ended above average, and so did the winter as a whole. This winter is forecast to be colder than average, at least in this part of the country, in some measure due to El Nino. You can also think of it in terms of the "return to the mean" - a mathematical term that simply means that despite the extremes, all things eventually average out. After the relatively mild winters we've seen in recent years, we're due for a colder, more wintry one.

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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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