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December 4, 2009

A little snow, a little rain, a little snow on Dec. 5

UPDATE: The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory from the Western Shore to Allegany County. Expect 1 to 2 inches of snow Saturday in Baltimore. Points north and west of the urban corridor could see 2 to 4 inches; to the south and east, little to no accumulation. Earlier post below. 

Another storm spinning up in the eastern Gulf of Mexico is expected to be off the Carolina coast by Saturday morning, raising the chances for some snow in Baltimore on Dec, 5. That would be the sixth time that's happened in the past eight years (or the seventh, if you factor in the Leap Year in 2008, when a trace of snow was noted at BWI on the 6th).

The forecast this morning calls for a "slight chance" for rain at BWI after 3 a.m. Saturday morning, changing to snow by dawn, then "rain and snow likely" between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The precipitation would change back to all snow by late afternoon, continuing into the evening - if the AccuWeather.comforecast holds up. The chances, for now, are put at 80 percent., as we've come to expect, puts an edgier spin on the forecast, calling for 1 to 3 inches west of I-95, with travel delays, wet-to-slushy highways. (Map at left.) For a calmer analysis, check out Mr. Foot's forecast. He sees an inch. Maybe.

From there - Sunday through Tuesday - things look sunny, with highs in the 40s and lows near freezing.

Once again, precisely what happens Saturday, where it happens and when, will all depend on a delicate balance of timing, the storm track up the coast, and the interplay of temperatures aloft, where the snow will form, and near the surface.

Forecasters say it will "definitely" be cold enough to form the snow aloft as the counter-clockwise spin of winds around the storm draws cold air into our region from the north. But temperatures at the surface will range from the middle 30s in the western suburbs, to the lower 40s in Southern Maryland. On balance, expect flakes in the air west of the cities, and a rain/snow mix east of the urban corridor. For BWI, forecasters are predicting "less than one inch" of accumulation.

Nothing to worry about; just another Dec. 5 with flakes in the air, and perhaps a hint of snowier days to come.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 10:43 AM | | Comments (10)
Categories: Winter weather


4:55 friday afternoon. the banner on the main page ( lists the temp at 47F. the weather page lists the current temp at 41F. the sidebar ON THE SAME PAGE "maryland weather center" lists current temp as 49.2F.

the sunpapers in all of its glory.

FR: Well, I can answer some of this. The temperature on the main page of the Sun website comes from BWI, which appears to be accurate. The temperature on the weather page, where it says, "The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore Md.," comes from The Sun's own weather station at Calvert and Centre streets. It's almost always a bit warmer than the airport. Not sure what you're referring to as "Maryland Weather Center." But the "Current Conditions" data on the Weather Page are clearly wrong. That's supposed to come from BWI, too. We're investigating. It's a very complex digital feed from outside sources (except for our own station) through Chicago (it's a Tribune thing, not The Sun's), all without much human intervention. But like most electronics these days, it doesn't always work the way it's supposed to. Thanks for the heads up.

WOW! Thats a quick response time, I never comment on here because I figures no one is there...but now I'll be leaving comments and waiting for a response.

Good job!

FR: It's a one-man show, and a fella's gotta sleep and earn a living. But I try to check in and post readers' comments as often as I can. Thanks for visiting.

its a nice 29 degrees here in Frostburg

Snow! Snow! Snow!


(sorry, I can't contain myself)

With record lows and snow accumulations as far south as Louisiana and even Houston, TX, I suspect that (thankfully!) we won't be hearing much from the global warming crowd and their doom & gloom predictions at least for a while...What will Gore & Co. do with all their free time??

it's been snowing since about 7:30 AM here in northern Carroll County. Just starting to stick on the grass now at 9:30, still 34F.

p.s. - When will we see some articles on ClimateGate? It has been curiously quiet on that... inconvenient subject :-)

Finallly snowing here in Owings Mills. If it keeps this up all day we're going to have quite an accumulation before the day is out.

I see there is also another storm on the horizon for next week. Any chance it may reach us as snow too ?

FR: Looks like it will be too warm here for snow, but the NWS is concerned about an ice storm farther west, in the Md. mountains. Still quite a ways out.

Well, it's noon on Saturday, and we've already got over an inch of snow on the ground out here in Owings Mills. Looking at the radar map from, I'd guess we're due for another couple of inches at least. It has been pretty heavy for the last half-hour, and more of the same is on the way. Visibility is no more than a 1/4 mile, if that.

I'll snap some pictures later, and forward them to you.

-from your friendly neighborhood weather freak! (my nieces and nephews call me "Uncle Weather Nerd")

David, Let's not forget, the discussion to which you you allude is about CLIMATE, not WEATHER.,0,6947864.story

Glad to see you read your comments... You mention that Leap Year alters the date, but you have it backwards. The same "day of the year" (Julian Day) in a Leap Year is actually one calendar day earlier, not later. So the proper day to check during Leap Years is December 4, not December 6. It would be much more meaningful for you to go back and check the December 4th records for 2004 and 2008. December 6, 2008 is actually two days past the normal "day of year" for December 5 in a non-Leap Year.

FR: I've checked, and BWI recorded a trace of snow on Dec. 4 in 2007, 2005 and 2003. There was no measurable snow on that date in any of the years from 2002 through 2009.

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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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