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October 26, 2010

Front raking Midwest due here tonight

The historic band of storms and tornadoes raking the Midwest today (Tuesday) mark a sharp cold front that will reach Baltimore overnight tonight. But forecasters say that by the time it reaches us, NOAA/NWSits power should be much diminished.

The storms, powered by low pressure equivalent to major hurricanes, are pounding parts of the Midwest with 70-mph-plus winds. Some are calling it the most severe storm system to strike the region in 70 years.

That same front is expected to reach western Maryland and Virginia after sunset tonight. By then it will have slowed, and weakened.

But forecasters at the National Weather Service forecast office in Sterling, Va. say we should still be prepared for gusty winds and showers overnight. Conditions could be severe in some locations in the path of thunderstorms, especially after 3 a.m.

Winds could gust to 33 mph, with new rainfall of up to a quarter-inch, with more possible in thunderstorms.

A Special Weather Statment issued by Sterling forecasters at 4:22 p.m. warned of "linear storms capable of damaging wind gusts and nocturnal tornadoes. The best chancees for severe weather development will be after 10 p.m."

It's a good night to turn your NOAA Weather Radio to "Alert," so it can wake you up if there's a warning issued for your location. A Tornado Watch has already been issued for Garrett County as the storm front moves east. 

The slow-moving front will still be crossing the region on Wednesday with a 90-percent chance of gusty showers and thunderstorms, and as much as a half-inch of rain.

By Thursday skies should have cleared out, with a forecast high of 70 degrees. Friday and Saturday will remain sunny, forecasters said, but highs behind the front will stall in the 50s, warming to the upper 60s by Sunday.

Behind this big storm today, winter was arriving in the Dakotas.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 10:31 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Forecasts
        

Comments

Yikes!!

Frank,
How large is area that the Baltimore NWS reports for? I see alerts on TWC that will say "In your area". How large is "our area".

Thanks,
Brian

FR: The National Weather Service's Baltimore-Washington forecast office covers northern Virginia and Central Maryland, from Allegany County to the Chesapeake. Garrett County is in the Pittsburgh forecast area. The northern portion of the Eastern Shore is covered from Mt. Holly, N.J. and the southern portion is covered by the Wakefield, Va. forecast office. Four forecast offices for one little state - and none of them located in Maryland - that always seemed crazy to me. Anyway, none of that has anything to do with The Weather Channel, which is a private, for-profit company which has its own rules and organization. My guess would be that "in your area" on their forecasts means "in the region served by your cable TV provider." If they have a way to break it down more finely than that - say, by Zip Code, or some code or sub-section within the cable distribution system, I'm not aware of it.

As pleasant as temperatures in the 70's can be, I gotta say, I'm ready to feel a little fall crisp in the air. Warm and muggy isn't my idea of October, somehow...

FR: You'll get your wish on Friday, with a forecast high of 57 degrees in Baltimore, under sunny skies.

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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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