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January 11, 2011

Central Maryland due 3-5 inches tonight

Central and Southern Maryland should expect 3 to 5 inches of snow tonight, with the heaviest amounts close to the Chesapeake Bay, falling off to the west and south. Much of the Eastern Shore is being told to expect 1 to 3 inches, except along the Atlantic coast, where mixed precipitation will likely hold accumulations to little or none.

UPDATE, 10:45 a.m.: Baltimore, Howard and Harford county Schools will close an hour early Tuesday in anticipation of the snow. Anne Arundel and Kent schools will close two hours early. Here's the link. The National Weather Service has also updated its forecast snow map. The new one is now displayed below. It shows a much-diminished area of 4-5-inch accumulations (purple). Snow estimates in their Winter Weather Advisories have not changed.

The National Weather Service has issued Winter Weather Advisories for almost the entire state, calling for the snow to move in from the south and west. Forecasters believe it will begin snowing between 3 and 5 p.m. in Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., Frederick, Montgomery and PG counties. Flakes should turn up between 4 and 6 p.m. east of there, including Westminster, Baltimore, Columbia and Annapolis.

Eric the Red, a professional forecaster from Baltimore, tells us the latest model runs suggest an earlier start for the snow:

"Latest radar, satellite, and model data has snow developing around midday, with an inch or so possible in the DC area during the eve rush, with lighter amounts in Baltimore due to a later start.  The period of heaviest snow will occur between 7 and 10 pm, and perhaps linger til midnight in nrn and northeast MD."

NWS new snow mapNWS forecasters expect temperatures to hold in the lower 30s, so the event is likely to remain all-snow. 

The fact that Sterling issued a Winter Weather Advisory rather than a Winter Storm Warning, means that they don't believe accumulations will top 5 inches in the Baltimore area. But their morning forecast discussion indicates their confidence in that conclusion is not ironclad:

"IT WOULDNT TAKE MUCH MORE TO RAISE THE BALTIMORE AREA INTO WINTER STORM WARNING CRITERIA. IF FRONTOGENETIC FORCING IS STRONGER AND DECENT BANDING OCCURS AND...OR IF PHASING [MERGER OF THE TWO STORM SYSTEMS] OCCURS SOONER...THEN HIGHER SNOWFALL TOTALS MAY RESULT. DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH CONFIDENCE IN THAT RIGHT
NOW...WHICH IS WHY ADVISORIES WERE MAINTAINED."

(I know the NWS map above is hard to see. Here's a link to the source page. Best I can do.)

Once the storm passes by, we won't be entirely out of the wintry weather. Colder-than-average temperatures and stiff winds will keep us in the icebox:AccuWeather.com

"WESTERLY/NORTHWESTERLY FLOW WILL QUICKLY INCREASE ACROSS THE AREA WEDNESDAY WITH GUSTS EASILY INTO THE 30 TO 35 MPH RANGE THROUGH THE DAY. WITH MAX TEMPS IN THE MID 30S...WIND CHILLS ARE EXPECTED TO BE IN THE TEENS IN THE MORNING AND NOT GET ABOVE THE MID 20S IN THE AFTERNOON." 

Elsewhere, the Northeast is bracing for the same storm, in spades. AccuWeather.com is saying Eastern Massachusetts could see 12 to 18 inches, with much of New Jersey and New York City due 6 to 12.

Here's how close we are to the Winter Storm Warning area, in purple, with 5 to 8 inches forecast in Philly, 4 to 6 in Dover.  

UPDATE  9 a.m.: Eric the Red has popped in, after a new look at the models. Something there has caught his eye:

"The off-cycle 06z run (1 am) of the WRF/NAM has changed its story dramatically.  It has the coastal low intensifiying faster and farther south, and is now upping the total to a half inch of liquid or more.  This would be at least 5" of snow, with higher totals across north-central and northeastern MD. 

"I am not ready to jump on this just yet, cos the same cycle run of the GFS has actually backed off.  But early morning visible satellite imagery is a wee bit disturbing, and radar shows the pcp [precipitation] breaking out sooner than expected.  I will keep you posted."

UPDATE: 10:45 a.m.: "Seeing another set of model data has set the record straight.  Last night's "uh oh" fcst from the WRF was just a blip, and it has gone back to the idea of 2-4" for most of the region.  There may be higher totals in northeastern MD, but most areas are looking at a quick shot of 2 to 4 inches.  I suspect DC may come in a tad lower, with 1-3". 

Posted by Frank Roylance at 6:48 AM | | Comments (14)
Categories: Forecasts
        

Comments

milk ... bread .. BEER!!!!!

Tonight? It was snowing at the South Towson city/county line about an hour ago. I guess I should be honest...heavy flurrying. It stopped as I left the neighborhood and drove southwest (toward Mt. Wash.)

FR: Flurries are quite possible today before the steady snow arrives. It's evidence that the moisture moving into the region is working to saturate the atmosphere, which has been fairly dry. Once that work is done, the snow will start in earnest.

Would some one speak t o The Eastern Shore?

I would like to know how my farm will fare in this storm.

I worry about my free range chickens, my cows, and all the birds on my pond.

FR: here's the snow forecast map for the Lower Shore: http://bit.ly/7UcyQv

BMore, you best be adding toile paper - you're going to need it after all that beer!

Seems a little hasty to be letting schools out early, when it seems like the snow won't be getting here until late afternoon.

FR: Trying to get the kiddies home ahead of an expected early rush hour, I suspect.

OK, so let me calculate this...I will need one-and-a-half quarts of milk, six eggs, 2/3 loaf of bread, and half a roll of T.P. Or should it be five eggs? Maybe I should get a gallon of milk. But what if I don't drink it all and it goes bad? I couldn't live with that.

Should I get a whole loaf of bread? I already have half a loaf of rye in the breadbox. I dig rye toast. Nice and crispy, just the way I like it. But I don't want sandwiches on rye. And eggs on rye is just out of the question. But white bread is so mushy and it will probably be sold out anyway.

Wait, how many inches are we supposed to get again? Maybe I should get a roll of Charmin while I'm at it. Or should it be Scott tissue? Scott tissue lasts longer, but Charmin is so much softer.

And maybe I should just get soymilk. Or should it be almond milk? Which is very delicious in its own right. I could get the rice milk, but that's kind of gross. On the other hand, it's shelf-stable. But then so is Parmalat, but that's gross, too.

When is this snow getting here?!
[Keels over.]

I think that Roland Barthes has put his finger on why we are so obsessed with snow in Maryland:

"Any considerable rupture of the everyday introduces festivity."

If you listen closely, you can hear this insight confirmed by the joyous whoops of children getting out an hour early from school today.

I am curious to how much snow i can expect in my area?? I live in the Marley area of glen burnie in AA.co!!! Thanks so much!
Amber

FR: A few inches. Maybe 1-3.

fyi: flakes have started falling in DC :)

FR: Arrgghhh! FLAKES!

snow in urbana (fred co) at 1:30

Any idea when it should hit the Cockeysville area? Thanks!

FR: I saw flurries there at noon. Consider yourself "hit."
But most of the snow will come after dark.

IT'S SNOWING IN DOWNTOWN BALTIMORE! IT'S SNOWING IN DOWNTOWN BALTIMORE! [Runs around in a circle 417 times.]

Downtown Baltimore snow: False start, #501, offense. 5 hour penalty, repeat first down.

:(

But it really WAS snowing. Honest. No foolin'.

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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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