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December 18, 2009

Storm Warning bumps again: 1 to 2 feet

Forecast creep has pushed the National Weather Service's storm forecast upward again. The latest Winter Storm Warning out of Sterling calls for snow totalling one to two feet by Sunday morning.

Here's the latest forecast discussion. And here's the forecast for BWI

Foot's Forecast, meanwhile has settled on a storm total of more than 24 inches. Mr. Foot tells me he February 2003 snowstorm Baltimorethinks that may prove to be too little. This is a very "juicy" storm, and some computer models predict accumulations closer to 29 inches, he said. That would be the storm of record for Baltimore.

Just thought you'd like to know.

I had some conversations with forecasters at Sterling this afternoon for the story we're running in the print editions on Saturday. Their best estimate at the time was 14 to 17 inches before it's all over.

No matter which of these forecasts proves accurate. we're in for a pretty good ride, the end of nearly three years of meagre snows in Baltimore. I notice the barometer has been on the skids all day, and the winds are out of the northeast. Let the wild nor'easter begin!

I will be blogging from home for most of the day Saturday, so be sure to check back here for more updates. Send me your reports and photos if you like. I'll try to use as much as I can manage. Blog traffic today, judging from the comments, has been phenomenal.

(SUN PHOTO/Jed Kirschbaum Feb. 17, 2003)

Here's the snow forecast map that Sterling published just before noon on Friday.


Posted by Frank Roylance at 7:27 PM | | Comments (13)
Categories: Forecasts


wow, this is getting more and more epic as time goes on! Thanks for all your hard work and updates (and Mr. Foot too!). I'll be checking in on your and his blog tonight and tomorrow as well. This will be a doozy!

My husband and I are running the Celtic Solstic 5-Miler tomorrow morning, snow or no snow (definitely snow!), and we are totally excited for the snow. It will certainly hinder race times, but how fun to frolick (technically race) through beautiful snow with a bunch of other crazy runners! I will be checking back on your blog regularly to read all the juicy snow details as the weekend progresses...

Started snowing here in Owings Mills at 10:37pm. When will it stop? This storm may surpass Foot's name!

Oh crud, I'm supposed to fly out 10 am sunday. Guess I'll be calling SW to get a new flight. Even if BWI is open, doubt I'll be able to free my car from my sidestreet....

Sorry, just saw the recent predictions noted in your blog, varied based on computer models. No need to post my first question! Thanks, stay warm.

C'mon Frank, gimme a break with the "official" start of winter nonsense. I don't know how it started, but it's ridiculous. Winter is Dec-Feb, Spring is March-May, etc.

Having said that, we could sure use a drought right about now.

FR:The meteorological winter does indeed run December through February. And many societies regarded Dec. 21 as the middle of winter, not the start. But the current "traditional winter" season, in our culture, begins at the solstice.

It's looking very blizzardy at the moment, blowing from the east.

Is this an example of the global warming that requires us to give $100 billion to despots and dictators so that they can combat global warming. Do you think Chavez and Mugabee give a rats you know what about global warming. Heck they know the global warming emporer has no clothes but they will be glad to take our money to build their war chest against us and their people.

FR: You're entitled to your opinion on the politics. But as for this being "an example of global warming," the answer is no. It's one day of WEATHER in one small slice of the globe. GW is about CLIMATE on the entire globe.

All of the major forecast models have come in line with what WRF/NAM and the European models were telling us for two days.

A December snow of record breaking proportions with 30" or more of snow possible.

The GFS and others maintained the more believable 6-`2" storm.

As of last night and early this morning the GFS, Canadian, UKMET, ETA all jumped on the WRF solution to the point that the GFS is now as strong as the WRF in storm strength and total precip.

I know this might sound like gobbledy gook to some - but the bottom line is a couple of the models (WRF/NAM & Euro)saw this storm coming well before most folks were giving them any credence. Even though they are both sound model tools that forecasters use every day.

Now the models that were most "believable" have come to the unbelievbable forecast of 24-39" as well.

You said "Yikes" Frank when you looked at them a couple of days ago on one of your early blogs on this storm.

This is what the GFS says now:

I'm betting a lot of folks will earn their PhD up at Penn State and elsewhere doing their thesis on this Nor'easter.

I just put a ruler outside on a somewhat level area and it's already showing 6.5 inches of snow in Catonsville. If I recall correctly, the official forecast said 1-2 inches by "dawn" saturday. We're in for a wallop.

FR: I'm looking at 5 inches on the Weatherdeck in Cockeysville at 7:30 a.m.

the global warming denial Geniuses fail to understnad that climate change IS the cause of Nor'easters like these! The Gulf of Mexico is a relative jacuzzi and what we have here is a glorified winter hurricane!

Blizzard of 92
Friday 13 Blizzard of 93
Blizzard of 96
Blizzard of 05

...and THIS monster of 09.

yes there are also years in the nino/nina cycle that are devoid of ANY snowstorms. Different side same coin.

Above were NY/NJ storms.

the worst storm of the 19th century was the Friday March 13 1888 storm seeded by Krakatoa eruption five years earlier.

Everyone here is invite to my pity party.

As an ex-Marylander living down here, I am pouting you all get to have fun with your Blizzard of 2009 - just days before Christmas which means you may get a White one, you lucky snowbirds.

Down here as I got was a cold rain and coating of overnight ice.

Charlotte was along the dividing line between rain and snow. I drove only a few miles north on I-77 to find some snow.

Saturday, after watching the Weather Channel, I got my innertubes and headed for the Western Carolina Mountains where they got over a foot on average.

I tired to get onto the unplowed Blue Ridge Parkway but got stuck right away so I abandoned it in favor of the plowed roads.

I drove US 221 north into VA and then US 58 east to I-77 south and home.

The scenery was beautiful see the heaven made virgin snow cover the farmland of WNC. I even stopped to help dig out a local resident who got stuck in his driveway.

This is the time I get somewhat depressed living down here after a blizzard like this hits my former home state.

I remember the blizzards like the unpredicted 1979 one in the DC area, the predicted 1983 blizzard while I was a Towson State student and the gigantic Super Storm of 1993 when I lived in New Jersey. I even flew to Jersey when I lived in Florida after the 1996 blizzard to see the snow

Enjoy your snow while it lasts. I would love to see what west 34th street in Hampden looks like with their Christmas lights.

Merry (white) Christmas to everyone up there in Merryland.

Mark from Charlotte.

BTW, if Frank sees this please answer if you made the drive to Raleigh safely.

BTW, if Frank sees this please answer if you made the drive to Raleigh safely.

I correct myself; It was Staci that was driving to Raleigh. If she (or he) sees this message, let this column know if you made the drive or not, safely.

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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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