Snow predictions for Baltimore are fading
Snow lovers are likely going to be disappointed by this one. Steve Zubrick, science and operations officer at the National Weather Service office in Sterling says warm air is nosing into the region west of the bay, shrinking the predicted snow totals for the storm.
Accumulation totals for the Baltimore area have dropped from 3-to-5 early this morning, to just 2-to-3 inches by mid-afternoon. Locations south of Baltimore are likely to see a mix of precipitation rather than the all-snow event forecast earlier.
Here's how the new Winter Weather Advisory puts it for locations from Carroll to Arundel:
"ACCUMULATIONS...2 TO 3 INCHES...MAINLY SNOW. A GLAZE OF ICE
* TIMING...SNOW WILL BECOME MORE STEADY BY EARLY EVENING...AND
CONTINUE MUCH OF THE NIGHT...ENDING BETWEEN 4 AM AND 6 AM. THE HEAVIEST SNOW WILL BE BETWEEN 9 PM AND 3 AM. AT TIMES SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN OR DRIZZLE COULD BE MIXED IN WITH THE SNOW"
UPDATE, 6 P.M.: for northern Maryland, from the afternoon forecast discussion:
"AMOUNTS OF 1-2 INCHES FORECAST FOR THESE AREAS...WITH HIGHEST TOTALS NEAR MASON DIXON LINE AND AREAS CLOSEST TO COASTAL LOW PRESSURE N/E OF BALTIMORE. FOR METRO DC AND POINTS SOUTH...INCLUDING SOUTHERN MD... NOTHING MORE THAN A TRACE
FREEZING ACCRETION SHOULD OCCUR."
Light snow was falling downtown at 7 p.m. But, said Zubrick, "For the snow lovers here, this one looks like it will be more north and east of us."
The problem seems to be the late arrival of the low-pressure system coming out of the Ohio Valley. The other low that's been moving up the Atlantic coast today is starting to intensify, Zubrick said. But it will need the Ohio Valley storm to trigger rapid intensification and more snowfall here.
"The surface low coming up the coast is starting to deepen, but it will take the upper-level system from the west to pop that low," he said. Until then, warmer temperatures will seep into Central Maryland from the south and east, and our snow totals will dwindle amid some snow, sleet and freezing rain.
"We really haven't had much snow at all," Zubrick said.
Maybe next time, snow lovers.
Eric the Red has thrown in the towel. Here's his offering at 4:50 p.m. Tuesday:
"Yet again, a forecast goes belly up. I don't think this storm is happening folks. The worst-case scenario is unfolding... as the western low remains dominant. In fact, we're getting snow-sleet mix here at home, indicative that the western low is still very much in control. The coastal low is a shell... offering little if any moisture to the equation, and it certainly isn't dominant. We are pretty much relying on some energy with the western low to produce our snow.
"If there's any comfort I take from this infuriating situation, it's that at least I'm not alone in sending out awful forecasts. Every media outlet and NWS forecast has been on the same page, that we would get our first [significant] snow of the year. But in the end, I still feel like total crap having these forecasts go awry."