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February 15, 2011

Sunny, dry and warmer ahead, but winter's not done

My wife (unlike myself) apparently got outside into the balmy, 67-degree weather yesterday. Her question for me this morning was, "So, are we done with the snow?"

We'd like to think so. The cold front that swept the warm air away yesterday afternoon has sunk temperatures in Baltimore back into the more nearly normal 30s and 40s. But, as this high 2003 snowstorm Baltimorepressure moves east in the next couple of days we will see winds swing to the south and southwest again, and the thermometer will stretch back into the 60s.

Forecasters at Sterling say BWI-Marshall should top out at 67 degrees or so on Friday (map below).

But, here in the middle of February, we can't count winter down for the count. Not yet. On Friday night forecasters are calling for another cold front to pass through. Saturday's high will drop back into the 50s; Sunday will only make it to the 40s, and Monday looks like it won't escape the 30s. We could also see some cold rain.

Nope. Sorry. It's still winter, and while the sun is stronger and warming air from the south is reaching us from time to time now, we're not in the clear yet.

Today is the eighth anniversary of the start of the Feb. 15-17 "President's Day Weekend Storm" that dropped 26.8 inches at BWI in 2003 (photo, left). That's still the top-ranking three-day storm for Baltimore, and the top storm overall.

March and April snowstorms are also well-within our weather parameters. The March 28-29 "Palm Sunday Storm in 1942 still ranks sixth overall for Baltimore at 22 inches, and the 5th-deepest two-day storm. And the 9.4-inch April Fools Day Storm" in 1924 is still on the books as the deepest April storm's forecasters think the persistent cold we've experienced for much of the winter is done. But we can still expect some "cold shots" ahead:

"The main point's long range forecasters want people to take away from the long-range forecast is that more cold shots and wintry events will occasionally hit areas generally north of Interstate 70 or 80 from the Plains into the East in the coming weeks.

"However, the general thinking is that the persistent colder-than-normal conditions that have gripped these areas December through early February is over. Temperatures are expected to make bigger fluctuations from here on out, alternating cold with warmth."

My shovel is still on the porch.

And here's another prediction I heard from a forecaster: After a La Nina winter like this one, we should expect more violent spring weather - tornadoes - as cold air to the north and warm air to the south begin to clash. You heard it here first. 

(SUN PHOTO: Karl Merton Ferron, Feb. 16, 2003)

Posted by Frank Roylance at 11:10 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Forecasts


This little Indian Winter reminds me of the winter of 1999-2000. We had an abnormally warm winter with little if any snow and I was trying to pursuade my father to come up from Florida for my son's March 8th 3rd birthday. I convinced him that it was warm enough and he made the trip. On his second day in town we got a 8"-10" storm! While standing outside with my dad and son, my dad turned to me and said "Drew, I love that grandson of mine more than life itself, but I haven't seen this much G**-D*** snow since Korea and I have no intention on seeing it again! I will not be coming back up for Jacobs Birthday again. But you might get me up here for yours." Frank my birthday is in June! Lesson to be learned is exactly what the title of this post states; "Winter not done yet".

Maybe winter isn't over, but Accuweather seems to think its back is broken. They are predicting seasonal or warmer temps thru the end of February. While snow isn't out of the the question in March, it just looks like the weather patterns have changed, per Eric the Red's prediction of late January. Nothing's guaranteed, but things are looking pretty good. Score one for the groundhog and the Norseman.

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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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