Flirting with the 50s ... and a few flakes
We may still have a few flakes in the forecast, but there is a softness in the air now that feels more like spring. That may come from the fact that the thermometer will be pushing toward the 50-degree mark this afternoon - a range we haven't seen since the end of January.
It's March, after all, and the long-term averages for Baltimore are now touching 50 degrees. So when we rise out of the 40s - maybe today, and probably by the weekend - it will just FEEL like an extraordinary gift after all we have been through in the past month.
The forecast isn't all tulips and sunshine. Low pressure is developing in Texas and the Gulf of Mexico today. It is expected to make its way over to the Florida coast, turn left and move up the coast by late Tuesday into Wednesday, bringing a bit of wet snow to the southern Appalachians.
In the meantime, another low over the Great Lakes will head our way, bringing light precipitation for a time Tuesday night, probably a mix of rain and snow along the Baltimore-Washington corridor.
National Weather Service forecasters out at Sterling, Va. say points south and east of the cities will see mostly rain from the Great Lakes system, while Western Maryland will likely get more snow. There are no accumulation predictions yet, but amounts are likely to be light.
The coastal low, meanwhile, is forecast to intensify. And while it is expected to stay to our south and move away from our region without contributing much in the way of precipitation, it may well bring us windy conditions Wednesday.
Temperatures will drop, too, as the storms move through, with highs near 40 degrees Wednesday and Thursday before things begin to dry out and warm again toward 50 degrees by the weekend. Sunshine will return, too, by late in the week. Sunday's forecast calls for partly sunny skies and a high near 50.
Here's Eric the Red on the approaching storm systems:
"We have ourselves another close call, but it appears that this coastal low will just miss or merely brush the region Tuesday night and Weds. Coupled with a stronger March sun and increasingly warm 'ambient' conditions, the odds of significant snow now appear slim."
"Things could go wrong: Perhaps the models are not getting the interaction between the Midwestern low and the costal low correct, and the low tracks a bit farther west. If this were to occur, then precipitation amounts would go up. But I'm guessing, if anything, this goes the other way ... This one ... will likely be our last hurrah ... and a small hurrah at that."