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November 29, 2009

Will we get snow on Dec. 5?

It's that time of year again, when the WeatherBlog speculates about the chances for snow on Dec, 5. Why Dec. 5?

Well, because we've noticed a curious pattern - or coincidence - about some of the earliest snowfalls in Baltimore. It's just this: In five of the last seven years, Baltimore-Washington First snow WeatherDeckInternational Thurgood Marshall Airport has recorded snow - at least a trace of snow - on Dec. 5. And it's snowed in six of the last seven years if you fudge the criteria a bit and include Dec. 6.

Here are the stats:

2008:  None  (but we got 0.6 inch on the 6th)

2007:  4.7 inches

2006:  Trace

2005:  1.4 inches (and another 1.9 inches on the 6th)

2004:  None (something went terribly wrong)

2003:  3.0 inches (and another 3.8 inches on the 6th)

2002:  7.4 inches (and a trace on the 6th).

Okay, so there's probably no real science attached to this. Call it folklore. Local folklore (it sounds nice coming off the tongue). But it fits in nicely with the season, and our inevitable anticipation of the first snowfalls.

That said, the long-range forecast for Saturday (the 5th) is not very promising: Mostly sunny with a high of 42 degrees. We may need to call for a pajama campaign to pull it off this year. Kids? Better turn those jammies inside-out this week.

If anyone has some other family snow charms that have worked for you in the past, let's hear about them. Looks like we're going to need them this year.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 8:07 AM | | Comments (9)
Categories: Winter weather
        

Comments

My grandson was convinced last year that making paper snowflakes and taping them to the windows would cause it to snow. It didn't, but it did add a festive look, while we waited for the snow.

WBAL TV had Friday night into Saturday morning at a 60% chance for snow, on the weeklong forecast this morning. My kids heard at school that a spoon under the pillow will generate at least a '2hr delay" snow, couple that with inside out PJ's and you are guaranteed a good sledding day!

the latest gfs model (november 30 12z gfs model) for saturday shows snow (from the 120 hr time frame and on)!!

FR: Doesn't show up in the 7-day forecast out of Sterling yet. They say 42 and mostly sunny. They do show "upslope snow" in the western counties this weekend. But east of the mountains - and therefore at BWI - looks dry.

Welcome to December Frank!

Looks like the countdown is on to the fabled December 5 kickoff snow in Baltimore.

This year, evidence for that potential is being monitored not just by me... but also by nearly 100 students across the Baltimore region in three different schools. It's termed the "Climate Collaborative" and the kids will be making the call this time.

If they get it right, I hope you'd consider a short article on the effort at some point this winter. The two other teachers and I are hoping to use this first storm as training for the students so they'll be ready for the "Big Kahunas" in Jan - Feb.

My birthday is December 5th, and I would be SO THANKFUL to find a way the same Dec. 5th snowfall statistics at BWI (where I live in Linthicum Heights, by the way) back farther than 5 years ... to 10 years, or even 20 years. I pray for snow on Dec 5th every year ... it's like a birthday gift from God !!

Is there a website where I can get that info?

FR: Sure. The Baltimore Sun's online weather page has a tool (called "Detailed History and Climate" and carefully hidden below the almanac data for today's date) that can provide weather data for any day at the airport back to 1948. The data set is a bit inconsistent, with more detail in more recent decades. But there is a lot there, and certainly enough for your purposes. Here's a shortcut: http://bit.ly/87ip3C Good luck.

Wait a minute...2008 and 2004 were both leap years! That explains why the snow was off by a day in 2008!!!

i was told on the news that it will snow i really so want to know i want it to snow but if it dont ill be sad but ill get over it i guess

Well its Dec 5th n we have snow...way to go inside out PJ's n everyone w/spoons under there pillows.Now Im just wishing for a big storm this year.I had just had my daughter in 2003 when we had that blizzard so that was very memorable for me.So its time for another 1 just like it so my lil girls can do some real playing in the snow.

Ok, some say coincidence, but I will beg to differ. Years ago, before our 2002 snow, I was missing my dad who died long ago. I prayed and asked God to send some snow on my birthday as a "gift" in memory of him. My birthday is December 5th. That year, we got snow and as each year passed, it seemed like almost every year on Dec. 5th, we also got snow. So, of course, I was not at all surprised to come out of church today and hear someone say, "I think I see snowflakes." You can call me whatever you wish, but I will tell you that in light of the Christmas season - God sometimes answers our most benign requests...and perhaps that answer comes as mere flurries on an early December day.

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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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