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February 7, 2010

Winter Storm Watch posted for region. Again

The National Weather Service has posted a Winter Storm Watch for the region, predicting at least 5 more inches of snow due with a new storm due here on Tuesday. The Watch is in effect from Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday afternoon.

Read it and weep:NOAA






I just got off the phone with Bryan Jackson, NWS meteorologist at Sterling. He says this storm will bring more warm air and mixed precipitation into Southern Maryland Tuesday, but the Baltimore area is expected to receive all snow.

Thankfully, this is not another soggy coastal storm coming north from the Carolinas packing loads of moisture and getting more intense as it approaches.

Instead, this one is coming across the country as two low-pressure systems. It's not going to be as wet as the last one, Jackson said, and it will become a coastal low only after it reaches the Delmarva coast. Its biggest impact is expected to be to our north as it intensifies and moves north from here.

"We're not looking, certainly, at anything as significant as what we just had," he said. "But we are looking at the potential for a Winter-Storm-Watch-criteria snowfall," which is 5 inches or more.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 3:58 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Watches and warnings


hi Frank,

Over the past several days the Tuesday/Wednesday storm has taken on a more disturbing look. With the models placing a growing emphasis on developing coastal low that will be somewhere near the mouth of the Chesapeake Wed Morning.

Looking at the afternoon and moring model runs, all now have us getting snow Tues night and Wednesday.

Right now thinking 6-12" based on majority of models giving us ~.75-1.00" liquid. Ouch!!!

Worse still is that three major models (GFS, Canadian and European) crank it up to be another 12+ snowstorm. Not willing to forecast that much yet, but it is unsettling how similar the set-up is to what just happened-- a blocking ridge to the north, an aggressive upper air system in the northern jet diving down behind a low pressure in the southern jet and creating another bomb on the East Coast.

There will be a low press system to our southwest that will try to bring up warm air, but before that happens a new low will begin to develop over the Carolinas. For a short time, the low to our west may bring up enough warm air aloft to cause a brief period of freezing rain or sleet Tuesday night from Baltimore south and east before changing back to a fluffier snow as the coastal low drags down colder air.

Our best hope to avoid big snow would be the powerful "shortwave" in the northern jet does not dig as far south as predicted--the further north that feature stays, the greater the likelihood the coastal jump will be to our north and give NJ, NYC and points North and East the brunt of snow. They can use the snow and we've had plenty! Even then we might not get off untouched, but at least it wouldn't be so paralyzing.

The best hope for us to miss the snow and ice will be if that coastal jump (the reformation of the low center along the coast) happens north of Dover. DE.

The other hope is that the system is more progressive and moves far enough off shore to hold totals more toward the 6" range, potentially even less if the coastal jump is further north.

The worst case scenario is not good. The GFS and Canadian bomb out a low off the VA capes and take it slightly further north-giving us another storm with 12-18" potential.

On top ofwhat we have that could pose huge challenges for us all. Better to be ready than to be caught unaware. The NWS will not want to frighten folks too early and there is time for the models to come to a much more benign solution, but for now the picture is not pretty.


According to the Latest NAM/WRF & GFS, a low will develop along the coast well south of the Delmarva

The morning runs looked nearly as ominous with closed lows located somewhere between NE NC/SE VA and the Outter Banks.

Either would give us plenty of snow. I respectfully disagree with the Gentleman from Sterling that the coastal low WILL form to far north to be a major storm for us. It may (and that would be good news) but most model guidance right now are giving us significantly more than 5" of snow.

FR: As per their usual policy, the NWS is being very cautious. Others would tend to agree with you.

Frank, this is from the Roanoke Times -

Looks like the East Coast is in for a very long, snowy Winter, at least till the end of February. What do you think?

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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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