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February 10, 2010

NWS: "Extremely dangerous winter weather"

With Blizzard Warnings in effect until 7 p.m. Wednesday from the Virginia suburbs of Washington, through Baltimore to Philadelphia and New York City, the National Weather Service is warning that weather conditions have begun to deteriorate. With heavy snow and winds gusting as high as 60 mph, attempts to travel could become life-threatening.

Total snow accumulations still could reach 10 to 20 inches, with windblown drifts 2 to 4 feet deep.

The entire state of Maryland is now under a Blizzard Warning! Has this EVER happened before?

Says Steve Zubrick, NWS science officer in Sterling: "I'm not sure about when the last time all of MD. was in a blizzard warning ... but right now you are in a blizzard! (or as close as you'll ever be in one.)

"Not how there are lulls interspersed with outrageous, near whiteout conditions. That's a characteristic of the random nature of these howling winds. Enjoy!"

 In a Special Weather Statement issued at 8:24 a.m., forecasters at Sterling said:

"...EXTREMELY DANGEROUS WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS THIS MORNING FOR
THE BALTIMORE-WASHINGTON REGION...THE EASTERN PANHANDLE OF WEST
VIRGINIA...

"DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DRIVE THIS MORNING AND EARLY AFTERNOON. LIFE
THREATENING BLIZZARD CONDITIONS HAVE DEVELOPED RAPIDLY ACROSS THE
BALTIMORE-WASHINGTON REGION THIS MORNING.

"AT 7:27 AM THIS MORNING...A WIND GUST WAS RECORDED TO 60 MPH AT
MANASSAS VIRGINIA. NUMEROUS WIND GUSTS OVER 40 MPH HAVE OBSERVED
AROUND THE REGION ALONG WITH WHITE-OUT CONDITIONS."

The Blizzard Warning issued for Baltimore is in effect until 7 p.m.. It still calls for 10 to 20 inches of new snow before the storm ends late today. The heaviest period of snowfall will be from this morning through the early afternoon.

Forecasters said an additional 2 to 5 inches are possible this morning.

BWI has already received 5.2 inches as of 7 a.m. That means this is now the snowiest winter on record (since 1883) for Baltimore. The old record was 62.5 inches, set in 1995-96. We are now at 65.6 inches and counting.

More accumulation reports are coming in. Here is a sampling of 7 to 8 a.m. measurements:Whiteout in Cockeysville

Sykesville, Howard County:  11 inches

Jarrettsville, Harford:  9 inches

Ellicott City, Howard:  9 inches

Mount Airy, Carroll:  8.5 inches

Long Green, Baltimore:  7.8 inches

Camp Springs, Prince George's:  7.1 inches

Bel Air, Harford:  6.5 inches

Columbia, Howard:  6.1 inches

Crofton, Anne Arundel:  5.5 inches

(SUN PHOTO/Frank Roylance/Whiteout in Cockeysville)

Posted by Frank Roylance at 8:43 AM | | Comments (9)
Categories: Winter weather
        

Comments

FR: Just received this from Steve Zubrick, science officer at NWS Sterling:

Frank,

On my drive to work this Wed morning (Feb 10, 2010) between 730-800AM EST (6 Mile: from Herndon VA out to our WFO in Sterling VA), I experienced _true_ blizzard/whiteout conditions at several points along
Rt 606 between Rt 28 and the turn into our office.

This likely coincided with a measured wind gust at the Dulles ASOS (KIAD) at 747 AM EST of 44 MPH...and a radar band that was producing 2"/hr snowfall rates (confirmed at one site).

Our facility is on the north side of Dulles Airport on a flat grassy plain. Conditions on-site where completely whiteout at times...just before 8AM.

No-one should be out driving. While the roads I drove on were passable in terms of snowfall, surface visibility was non-existent at times. I literally couldn't see beyond the front of my hood.

Both nrn VA VDOT and PePco have pulled their crews off the roads.

fyi...we just experienced at (905 AM) a snow-nado!! (A vortex of blowing snow that moved approximately 100 yds on the north side of our building on Rt 606. It doesn't do any damage...it was just kinda neat seeing the swirling of heavy snow! -Steve Z.

Reports out of D.C. are that the blizzard is hitting it really hard right now ... is it moving up this way?

FR: Yes.

The media really should address the challenge of all the many horse farms in the area. The snow is a major problem when it is taller than your fence lines...
There is no where to plow and push the snow...
And now, with the wind, the drifts will create more snow banks...

FR: A serious problem for horse farmers, and horses, but it does not affect very many humans. I suspect the media will remain focused on transportation, economic and public safety issues during the storm.

Re: the note from Steve Z

Wouldn't that snow-nado be closer to a snow-devil, aka a dust-devil in warmer, dryer weather? Or is that a regional term from further out west? Either way, cool to see.

What a month we are having!

In Owings Mills we're at 13" as of about o 9:30 am. This is insane

Snow humor, from some very clever readers/twitterers at this blog!

Wed, Feb 10 at 9:51 am: So, we have back-to-back blizzards in DC, earthquakes in Chicago, and torrential rains in CA this week. It's the Crapture! #mdsnow

This is a little disturbing... a huge sheet of snow and ice (with fang-like icicles) is hanging off our neighbors' roof:

http://twitpic.com/12epjw

Anyone know if there is anything we can or should do about this? Looks like the TV cable line is the only thing holding it up.

Should I be concerned about the amount of snow on the porch/garage roof ? Do I need to get out the window and sbovel ! How much weight can roofs take?

FR: Yes, you should be concerned, especially if it starts raining. Gutters can also be damaged by heavy loads of snow and ice. But do not start climbing out on the roof. Better to lose the roof than your life. In general, buildings are designed to take as much snow and ice as local codes calculate they're ever likely to see. Older buildings, flat roofs and those in considerable disrepair become problematic. If you're really worried, consult a professional roofing company. Some will clear your roof of snow and ice. It's worth the money.

Please watch my video

(link deleted)

It's about climate change, earth catastrophe and our planet as we lives in.

Thank you.

FR: Already posted your link once. That was plenty. Thanks.

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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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