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January 31, 2012

Enjoying the heat wave?

 

Today's high at BWI today reached 66 at 3:13 p.m., according to the National Weather Service, but it did not break the 1947 record of 69 degrees. And Wednesday is forecast to reach 63.

According to Candus Thomson's story in today's paper,  it's been the warmest January since 2007: 

"Temperatures were above 50 degrees on a dozen days; one day, Jan. 7, topped out at 66 degrees. Through Sunday, this month has averaged 37.9 degrees, nearly 5 degrees above the long-term average and the warmest January since 2007. ... The jet stream has stayed to the north of the Mid-Atlantic region for most of the season, allowing higher temperatures to move in from the south," said Bryan Jackson, a meteorologist at the national Climate Prediction Center in Camp Springs.

Thomson also reported that because of the warm weather lately the "USDA updated its plant hardiness zone map last week for the first time in two decades. The color-coded map, used by gardeners to time their spring plantings, increased the temperature in each zone by about 5 degrees and added two warmer zones to the map."

Anyone open their windows, take in a round of golf, go for a long run or take the kids outdoors? 

(Above) Kerry Clough of Owings Mills pushes her 3-year-old daughter Simone Clough, while Sophia Clough swings on her own at Meadowood Regional Park. Baltimore Sun photo by Barbara Haddock Taylor. 

Posted by Kim Walker at 5:00 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Winter weather
        

January 29, 2012

Punxsutawney Phil and nature's weather predictors


 

From the Sun's print edition:

Baltimore Sun librarian Paul McCardell offers this post:    

Groundhog Day is coming Thursday, when Punxsutawney Phil will emerge from his burrow. If he sees his shadow, it will mean six more weeks of winter.

The day is a reminder about how before there were weather bureaus, humans looked to nature and animals as weather predictors. People looked at how their dogs and cats behaved; studied the color, shade and thickness of the hair on the wooly bear caterpillar; and watched squirrels gather nuts. They listened to birds and watched which direction they flew.

While flipping a coin maybe more accurate than Punxsutawney Phil’s prognostication, there is something to be said for observing and listening to nature.

Reuters photo

Posted by Kim Walker at 7:04 AM |
Categories: From the Sun's print edition
        

January 28, 2012

Punxsutawney Phil: Will we get spring or spring?

 

From The Sun's print editions:

Baltimore Sun reporter Candus Thomson offers this guest post: 

Thursday is Groundhog Day, when Punxsutawney Phil tells us how much longer winter will last. Two years ago, Phil predicted a prolonged winter and we got Snowmageddon. Last year, Phil correctly called for an early spring. If Phil does not see his shadow next week, we can look forward to an early spring. If he sees his shadow, we get another six weeks of ... what? Warm temperatures, spring-like rain and an explosion of flowers bursting from their bulbs? Either way, bring it on.

Reuters photo

Posted by Kim Walker at 7:28 AM |
Categories: From the Sun's print edition
        

January 27, 2012

See some stars on Saturday

From The Sun's print editions:

Baltimore Sun reporter Candus Thomson offers this guest post: 

Astronomy is looking up. That's the motto of the Westminster Astronomical Society, a local group of stargazers who share their enthusiasm and expertise once a month when they open their planetarium at the Bear Brook Nature Center.

There's a gathering Saturday night at 7:30, with a second show at 8:30, if the crowd warrants it. Keep in mind that good views are weather dependent. The cost is $5 and includes the use of a time machine. Reserve a seat by calling 410-386-2103.

Posted by Kim Walker at 6:12 AM |
Categories: From the Sun's print edition
        

January 25, 2012

Surviving the solar flare

From The Sun's print editions:

Baltimore Sun reporter Candus Thomson offers this guest post:

Having survived a weekend ice event followed by a radiation blast from a solar flare, it's safe to say we've run the gamut. The eruption, the largest since 2005, began Sunday evening. Solar flares can wreak havoc with communications satellites, GPS units and the power grid, but not earthlings, experts say. Sometimes, a strong storm can cause Northern Lights to flicker in our skies. If you’re awake between midnight and dawn, face north and look near the horizon for green or red glows.

Posted by Kim Walker at 6:57 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: From the Sun's print edition
        

January 23, 2012

Weekend snowfall totals

While the BWI snowfall was 0.4 inches, the National Weather Service spotters around the region found up to 2.6 inches.

The 2.6 inches was measured by a spotter in Parkton. Other totals include 1.2 in Pimlico, 1.8 in Perry Hall and 1.4 in Savage. See more spotter totals here. 

Posted by Kim Walker at 12:01 PM |
Categories: Winter weather
        

January 22, 2012

Freezing rain advisory issued through Monday

A freezing rain advisory, predicting slick roads and icy conditions, has been issued for regions throughout Maryland, including Baltimore City and its surrounding counties, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Sunday.

"Light icing on roadways and elevated surfaces will make traveling hazardous," according to NOAA, which estimates less than a tenth of an inch in accumulation. The alert, issued at about 1:30 p.m. Sunday, is expected to remain in effect through Monday morning. It covers Baltimore City and Allegany, Anne Arundel, Calvert, Carroll, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George's and Washington counties.

-Tricia Bishop

Posted by baltimoresun.com at 4:20 PM |
        

1987 storm tested mayor's first day

From the Sun's print edition:

Baltimore Sun librarian Paul McCardell offers this post:  

Mayor Clarence H. Du Burns told The Baltimore Sun he was hoping for a sunny day on Jan. 22, 1987, his first full day in office. Instead Baltimore was hit by a major snowstorm. The National Weather Service forecast the storm but couldn't predict the amount of snow because of the difficulty in knowing where the rain-snow line would fall. Snowplow crews spent most of the day playing catch-up as Baltimore received 12 inches, only to be hit three days later by nine to 10 inches more. January 1987 was the third-snowiest January on record in Baltimore.

Posted by Kim Walker at 6:27 AM |
Categories: From the Sun's print edition
        

January 21, 2012

Baltimore road crews begin to wrap up salting, plowing

In Baltimore, road crews were starting to wrap up salting and plowing operations, with most roads expected to be done by 11 a.m.

“It’s turning into a rain event,” said Adrienne Barnes, a spokeswoman for the city’s Department of Transportation. She said crews will be working throughout the day and night, but they will be hitting targeted, problem areas, instead of cruising the streets.

Barnes said that all primary and secondary roads were salted and plowed by this morning and as of 10 a.m. crews were responding to individual calls for service or complaints.

“We haven’t encountered any major challenges or problems,” she said. “Friday night, there was a low volume of traffic, which definitely was a tremendous help. People stayed indoors last night, which was great, so we were able to maneuver through the city without any problems.”

Barnes said that as of 9 a.m., trucks spread 275 tons of salt on 1,500 miles of city roads. The city has 13,725 tons of salt remaining for the winter.

-Peter Hermann

Posted by Kim Walker at 10:05 AM |
Categories: Winter weather
        

Weather service warns of ice as winter advisory continues

A winter weather advisory remains in effect for the Baltimore area until 1 p.m. Saturday, as rain continues to fall on top of last night's snow, creating an icy mess.

The wintry mix left less than an inch of snow around Baltimore City, but higher accumulations in the outer suburbs, according to observations from the National Weather Service, which lists 1.9 inches near Bel Air and 1.4 inches near Laurel.

Freezing rain will continue to fall in the morning, changing to rain in the early afternoon, the National Weather Service says. About a tenth of an inch of ice could build up on top of what's already fallen. The NWS warns that the ice could make roads treacherous and build up on power lines.

By 7 a.m., snow had given away to a light mix of sleet and freezing rain, coating the roads and cars with a thin layer of crusty ice. Streets were slippery but passible, mostly covered with slush, but few cars and people were on the roads.

Only a handful of diehard shovelers and joggers were in downtown Baltimore this morning, with the Inner Harbor mostly deserted as dawn approached. Authorities were dealing with two road incidents, both in the Washington suburbs. Two right lanes were blocked on the outer loop of the Washington Beltway at Route 450 in Prince George's County because of a disabled tractor trailer. And on I-270 near Falls Road in Montgomery County, a truck hit an overhead sign, forcing police to block two lanes of that highway.

But Chuck Gischlar, a spokesman for the State Highway Administration, said both incidents were cleared by 8:30 a.m. and all lanes reopened. No backups were reported as traffic was light, and Gischlar said that roads throughout central Maryland are for the most part clear.

Still, Gischlar said, "Every now and then, you get someone who spins out, with people going too fast for the road conditions. It's looking really good but the situation is fluxuating. Be careful and don't go too fast. The speed limit is set for ideal conditions an these are far from ideal conditions."
Posted by Kim Walker at 8:59 AM |
        

Leap second

From The Sun's print editions:

Baltimore Sun reporter Candus Thomson offers this guest post:   

For those of us trying to cram one more thing into a busy schedule, this is our lucky year. The masters of time are is giving us 86,401 extra seconds. Most of it comes on Feb. 29 to mark leap year. Then, on June 30, we get an extra tick to get the world’s rotation and our atomic timepieces (accurate to one second in 100 million years) back in sync. Leap seconds have occurred 24 times, the first one on June 30, 1972.

Posted by Kim Walker at 6:38 AM |
Categories: From the Sun's print edition
        

January 20, 2012

The difference between winter storm watch, warning and advisory

From The Sun's print editions:

Baltimore Sun reporter Candus Thomson offers this guest post:    

What is the difference between a winter storm watch, a warning and an advisory? In these parts, an advisory is issued by the National Weather Service when a disruptive coating of 2 to 4 inches of snow —alone or with sleet and freezing rain — is anticipated. A watch means the possibility of hazardous conditions looms within 48 hours. A warning is for a mix-and-match set of circumstances: more than 5 inches of snow or sleet; one-quarter inch of ice; enough accumulation to down power lines; damaging precipitation and high winds.

Posted by Kim Walker at 3:31 PM |
Categories: From the Sun's print edition
        

Weather pitfalls for fans traveling to Ravens game

 

While it may be mostly freezing rain here, those traveling to the Boston area on Saturday for the Ravens game on Sunday will see more weather action from a fast-moving storm coming from the Midwest that will dump snow and ice along the Northeast.

According to AccuWeather (who also provided the map above): 

"The storm has the potential to put down a half a foot of the white stuff along a swath from northern and central Pennsylvania and the southern tier of New York to New York City onward into part of the Massachusetts coast.

"Cities that run the risk of a glaze of ice include Morgantown, W.Va., Charlottesville, Va., Hagerstown, Md., Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Wilmington, Del., and Philadelphia. (Philadelphia's northernmost suburbs and much of Long Island fall within the zone that can receive several inches of snow, even if mixing occurs.)"

The Boston area itself is forecast to get 2-4 inches of snow Saturday, but it will be partly sunny with a high of 34 on game day. 

 

Posted by Kim Walker at 11:55 AM |
Categories: Winter weather
        

Wintry mix this weekend

The National Weather Service forecast is calling for snow, sleet and freezing rain overnight into Saturday morning. And Sunday isn't looking great either.

UPDATE 3 p.m.:  A winter weather advisory is in effect from 11 p.m. Friday to 1 p.m. Saturday calling for accumulations of 1-2 inches of sleet and snow and two-tenths inch of ice from freezing rain.

"SIGNIFICANT WINTRY PRECIPITATION WILL CAUSE DANGEROUS
  TRAVELING CONDITIONS LATE THIS EVENING THROUGH SATURDAY
  MORNING. ICE WILL ACCUMULATE ON TREES AND POWERLINES."

Previous post begins here: 

Meteorologist Kevin Witt told The Baltimore Sun that the entire Baltimore area will be affected by the wintry mix, and the most precipitation will come between midnight Friday and noon Saturday.

"It's a wide system. We're going to see a little bit of everything," he said.

Witt said the precipitation will start with snow and then become a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain.

"The onset will be this evening, and then we'll see the snow and sleet and then sleet and freezing rain," Witt said. "The brunt of it will be overnight and into tomorrow morning. Midnight to noon will be the worst time, and then it will tail off."

 Baltimore professional meteorologist Eric the Red's take:

"The models do have enough cold air initially holding firm east of the mountains and from Baltimore north to produce a period of accumulating sleet and snow late tonight.  The farther north you go, the better chance you have of seeing an inch or two of snow before it changes of to sleet and freezing rain.  So the updated outlook is for a brief period of snow late tonight, changing to sleet and freezing rain by morning in most locales.  Across [northern Maryland], snow may last long enough to accumulate 1 to 2 [inches] before changing over.  Everywhere else, an inch or less is expected."

As far as Sunday goes, the National Weather Service says there could be a second round of sleet, freezing rain and then rain Sunday and Sunday night, but not enough accumulation for a winter storm watch to be issued yet. Stay tuned.

1:55 p.m. UPDATE from Eric the Red: 

"Cold air is pushing into the region at the surface.  At the same time, moisture will come at us from the west and south.  Warmer air will also push into the region aloft, changing the snow to sleet ... and freezing rain. ...  So we're looking at a decent shot of snow and sleet tonight ... an inch of snow and sleet south of Baltimore is possible before changing to freezing rain and rain, while I'll go with 1 to 2 [inches] from Baltimore north, with potentially more (2-4 inches) as you head up toward the PA line, esp if the cold air holds longer than expected. 
 
Temps will struggle to get above freezing Saturday, and many locales north and west of town won't top freezing at all.  Arctic air pushes south back into the region at the surface Saturday night, setting the stage for a super dicey Sunday ... with freezing drizzle and ice grains possible."  

Posted by Kim Walker at 11:20 AM |
Categories: Winter weather
        

January 19, 2012

Will we see flurries tonight?

The National Weather Service is still calling for a chance of flurries before midnight. According to the forecast discussion:

"[TONIGHT'S COLD] FRONT IS STILL RELATIVELY MOISTURE STARVED...AND THERE
IS QUESTION AS TO HOW FAR SOUTHEAST SNOW SHOWERS MAY BE ABLE TO MAKE
IT. HIGHEST POPS ARE FORECAST ALONG THE WESTERN SLOPES WITH THE
FRONT AND BEHIND IT /UPSLOPE FLOW/ WHERE THERE MAY BE AN INCH OR TWO
OF SNOW ACCUMULATION OVERNIGHT. LOWER POPS FOR SNOW SHOWERS ARE THEN
FORECAST ACROSS THE REMAINDER OF NORTHERN MARYLAND/EASTERN WEST
VIRGINIA...AND THEN FLURRIES FURTHER SOUTHEAST INTO THE
WASHINGTON/BALTIMORE METRO AREA." 

Baltimore professional meteorologist Eric the Red says tonight's activities will merely be a "dusting. Any snow that falls would do so between 7 p.m. and midnight-ish."


Posted by Kim Walker at 11:57 AM |
Categories: Winter weather
        

January 18, 2012

Flurries possible Thursday night

Before Saturday's possible wintry mix, we may see some scattered flakes on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

According to the forecast discussion about Thursday's weather on NWS' website: 

"INCREASING CLOUDS MOVE IN FROM
LATE MORNING THROUGH AFTERNOON. STILL AM NOT OVERLY IMPRESSED WITH
MOISTURE NOR FORCING WITH THE FRONT AND CONTINUE POPS FOR
MEASURABLE PRECIPITATION GENERALLY OVER THE HIGHLANDS/WESTERN
SLOPES WITH THE FRONT AND BEHIND IT /ENHANCED BY UPSLOPE FLOW/.
HOWEVER CANT RULE OUT A FEW FLURRIES MAKING IT EAST OF HERE EVEN
TOWARD THE BALTIMORE/WASHINGTON CORRIDOR ESPECIALLY WITH THE 500
MB TROUGH LAGGING BEHIND FOR THURSDAY NIGHT."

Baltimore professional meteorologist Eric the Red weights in: 

"Some flurries may accompany a strong cold front [Thursday night], followed by some light snow, sleet, and freezing rain Friday night/Saturday morning, changing to rain on Saturday... with a chance of freezing drizzle Sunday into Sunday night.  Long-term outlook indicates we finally get into a very favorable ... pattern for wintry weather by the end of the month." 

Posted by Kim Walker at 12:21 PM |
Categories: Winter weather
        

Wintry mix expected to start early Saturday morning

A wintry mix is expected this weekend with snow flurries beginning early Saturday, turning into rain, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service told Sun reporter Jessica Anderson last night.

Would the threat of a snowy weekend put a damper on your plans? Or do you think we're due for a good snow shower? 

Posted by baltimoresun.com at 7:51 AM |
Categories: Winter weather
        

Weather's toll on statues and monuments

From The Sun's print editions:

Baltimore Sun reporter Candus Thomson offers this guest post:   

A colleague wanted to know what kind of weather gives monuments, statues and fountains the biggest beat down.

For that, we turned to Barbara Wolanin, curator for the Architect of the Capitol since 1985, who oversaw the restoration of the bronze Statue of Freedom atop the Capitol dome. Water, she says, is the enemy of all types of decorative structure. It either softens porous material, rusts metals such as bronze or seeps into cracks, where the cycle of freezing and thawing takes its toll.

Baltimore Sun file photo by Barbara Haddock Taylor

Posted by Kim Walker at 6:16 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: From the Sun's print edition
        

January 15, 2012

Perfect weather for a Ravens game

From the Sun's print edition:

Baltimore Sun librarian Paul McCardell offers this post: 

The Ravens will have perfect weather conditions for today's game. The temperature at kickoff is forecast to be in the mid-30s, and it will be the coldest game the team has played at home all year. T

he Ravens have a perfect season at home this year and the weather has been mild, but in past years on average the Ravens have played better at home when the temperature has been below 40, The Sun reported in 2009. The last time the Ravens played in NFC championship game at home was on Jan. 13, 2007, against the Colts. It was a high of 69 and low of 53, and the Ravens lost.

Today's game won't be the famous 1967 Ice Bowl or 1988 Fog Bowl, but maybe it will be called the Chilly Bowl.

Posted by Kim Walker at 6:20 AM |
Categories: From the Sun's print edition
        

January 14, 2012

Chilly game day for Ravens fans

Bring blankets and hand warmers and wear your wool socks if you plan on going to Sunday's Ravens game. The National Weather Service is calling for a high of 34.

Baltimore professional meteorologist Eric the Red thinks it will be colder than that:

"A rather non-descript arctic front will drift south thru the region [Saturday night] and weaken, but its impact will be notable. ... A northerly wind will signal its passage, and temperatures on Sunday will now struggle to get out of the middle and upper 20s." 

Posted by Kim Walker at 11:04 PM |
Categories: Forecasts
        

Fun with weather on SciJinks

From The Sun's print editions:

Baltimore Sun reporter Candus Thomson offers this guest post:   

SciJinks, the nifty NASA website for kids — and grownups — includes a look at folklore around the world through the microscope of modern science.

Happily, some folklore makes the grade. For example: "There is an ancient rain-predicting proverb among the Zuni Indians that says, 'If the moon's face is red, of water she speaks.'" The scientific thumbs up? "The moon appears red because of dust being pushed ahead of a low pressure front bringing in moisture. So the Zuni were right on!"

(Also, check out the Bad Weather Joke Machine).

Posted by Kim Walker at 6:12 AM |
Categories: From the Sun's print edition
        

January 13, 2012

Alberta clippers bring the cold

From The Sun's print editions:

Baltimore Sun reporter Candus Thomson offers this guest post:   


"Why are they called Alberta clippers?" asked the man at the next bar stool as the TV forecast ended.

The weather term sounds like the explanation of what happened to Baltimore's old hockey team. But it describes a low-pressure system that begins in western Canada and picks up speed across the Great Plains like a hockey player crossing the blue line.

Usually, a clipper isn't a scoring threat, bringing bitter cold but little snow. But if it taps into Atlantic moisture it can turn the landscape mighty white.

Posted by Kim Walker at 6:23 AM |
Categories: From the Sun's print edition
        

January 12, 2012

Poll: Weather whiplash

The Baltimore Sun Facebook Page asked:

 After a high near 60 today, snow is possible overnight. Do you...

  • - enjoy the wild weather swings
  • - wish Mother Nature would make up her mind, one way or another
  • - want winter to stay a while
  • - miss Snowmageddon
  • - want to go straight to spring 
Submit you answer on Facebook
Posted by Steve Earley at 4:17 PM | | Comments (1)
        

Light snow overnight

A cold front coming from the Midwest tonight might turn some rain into snow after midnight if the temperatures drop low enough, forecasters from the National Weather Service say. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch is possible.

Baltimore professional meteorologist Eric the Red doesn't expect much to happen:

"Strong cold front will come blasting thru between midnight and 6 am. Out ahead of the front, temps will remain spring-like... so we'll have our work cut out for us far as dropping temps to the point where we can get snow.  Temps are expected to drop fast late tonight, but I'm guessing most of the [precipitation] will be thru by the time that happens.  So for tonight, a chance of showers after midnight, possibly ending as a period of snow, especially in [northern] MD and in the mountains." 

 

Posted by Kim Walker at 2:02 PM |
Categories: Winter weather
        

'Stars of the Ancient Sky' on Friday

From The Sun's print editions:

Baltimore Sun reporter Candus Thomson offers this guest post:   

Dr. Rommel Miranda of Towson University's Department of Physics, Astronomy and Geosciences will be discussing "Stars of the Ancient Sky" Friday night at the Oregon Ridge Nature Center in Cockeysville. The program, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., will employ the portable StarLab Planetarium.

The professor received the university’s 2011 Excellence in Teaching Award. If the weather cooperates, Miranda will lead everyone outside for some star gazing. The cost is $4 for members and $5 for non-members. Call 410-887-1815 to make reservations.

Posted by Kim Walker at 6:11 AM |
Categories: From the Sun's print edition, Sky Watching
        

January 11, 2012

Stargazing highlights for 2012

From The Sun's print editions:

Baltimore Sun reporter Candus Thomson offers this guest post:  

What are the 2012 astronomical highlights likely to be, weather permitting?

The best chance to see Mercury will fall between Feb. 20 and March 12.

On March 14, Venus and Jupiter will fly in tight formation to be joined on March 25 by a crescent moon, creating a spectacular display.

On June 5, Venus will transit across the sun's face. Sunset will interrupt our view locally. But since it won't happen again until 2117, we can't complain.

Geminids Meteor Shower will peak around Dec. 13.

Posted by Kim Walker at 6:32 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: From the Sun's print edition
        

January 9, 2012

It's snowing in D.C., but ...

Baltimore professional meteorologist Eric the Red says:

"The models hold this [northern] edge into the afternoon, at which time the [precipitation] shield is expected to expand north toward Baltimore in the early eve before ending. ... Impacts would be minor - if any.  After record-warmth this weekend, the ground is plenty warm.  [Precipitation] lingering after sunset could pose a problem is it's heavy enough, but it should be done falling before that happens."

UPDATE  3 p.m.: "The first round of snow is exiting the [southern] portions of the region. ...  The money vort is coming at us from the northwest, and that will bring round 2, which will fall a bit farther north. 
 
Satellite shows clouds expanding across WV and nrn MD, and radar is beginning to pick up on developing snow across northern VA and eastern WV.  I honestly don't know where the northern edge will set up... but based on satellite and radar, seems like it will be somewhere between Baltimore City and the PA Line. This precipitation will start to impact the area in the form of rain and wet snow between 3-4 pm and last for several hours, perhaps enough to whiten the ground."

Update 3:30 p.m.:  "The [northern] edge of the 2nd round of snow is setting up near I-70 ... so from Baltimore City/I-70 and south, snow likely this eve, maybe enough to whiten the ground and [disrupt] rush hour. North of that, doesn't look like it's gonna make it." 

The National Weather Service agrees that it will be mostly rain here. 

"BY THE TIME MEASURABLE [PRECIPITATION] ARRIVES... [SURFACE] TEMPS SHOULD BE ABV
FRZG...SO NO ADDITIONAL HEADLINES [EXPECTED]. RAIN [EXPECTED] TO [INCREASE] THIS
AFTN WITH APRCH OF UPR SHRTWV TROF... [ESPECIALLY ACROSS SOUTHERN] ZONES...WHERE
UP TO ONE-TENTH INCH WILL BE PSBL THRU THIS EVE."

Posted by Kim Walker at 1:27 PM |
Categories: Winter weather
        

Saturday's spring-like weather

Did everyone enjoy the outdoors on Saturday? It was a perfect day for a going on a hike, enjoying a bike ride or taking down those holiday lights.

As warm as it was, the high of 66 was not a record for the date. The record was set in 1907 at 74 degrees.

As far as this week goes, temperatures will gradually fall from low 50s Tuesday to 40 on Sunday.

Posted by Kim Walker at 11:16 AM |
        

January 8, 2012

Coldest recorded temperature in Maryland

From the Sun's print edition:

Baltimore Sun librarian Paul McCardell offers this post: 

Miss the cold? The coldest recorded temperature in Maryland was 100 years ago on Jan. 13, 1912, in Oakland at -40 degrees Fahrenheit. It was recorded by a U.S. Weather Bureau reader named Ralph E. Weber of Oakland. On that date in Baltimore, it was 0. That January and February, Maryland was hit by one cold wave after another. Three other states share a record temperature of -40: Arizona set in 1971 and Kansas and Missouri set on same day in 1905. Alaska is the state with the coldest recorded temperature, a low of -80 recorded Jan. 23, 1971.

Posted by Kim Walker at 6:55 AM |
Categories: From the Sun's print edition
        

January 7, 2012

Sugar beet molasses and roads

From The Sun's print editions:

Baltimore Sun reporter Candus Thomson offers this guest post: 

A caller asked, "Does Maryland really use beets to melt snow from roads?" Indeed it does. The State Highway Administration blends sugar beet molasses with salt brine and applies it to roads and bridges before the first flakes fall. The beet juice lowers the freezing temperature of the brine, normally minus-6 degrees, to give it more punch. The state, by the way, makes its own brine at a cost of 7 cents a gallon and distributes it to highway sheds across the state.

Posted by Kim Walker at 6:54 AM |
Categories: From the Sun's print edition
        

January 6, 2012

Test flight this month at Wallops

From The Sun's print editions:

Baltimore Sun reporter Candus Thomson offers this guest post: 

NASA is hoping to conduct a test flight of a suborbital rocket from Virginia's Wallops Flight Facility on Jan. 11. The two-stage vehicle, with the friendly sounding name Terrier-Improved Malamute, is being developed to support NASA science missions. Liftoff is expected between 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m., with backup launch days on Jan. 12 and 13. The Wallops visitor center will open at 6:30 a.m. for public viewing. You can follow the mission at: sites.wff.nasa.gov/webcast. Launch status also is available at 757-824-2050.

Posted by Kim Walker at 9:52 PM |
Categories: From the Sun's print edition
        

January 5, 2012

Little accumulation from Wednesday's flurries

The National Weather Service's preliminary snowfall map shows amounts from trace to 0.1 inches of snowfall in central Maryland.

There wasn't much snow but it sure was cold.  The low at 6:10 a.m. was 13 degrees, 12 degrees lower than normal, but not a record. The high was 31, 11 degrees lower than normal.

The forecast gets warmer as the week closes with temperatures in the upper 40s to lower 50s through Sunday. 

Posted by Kim Walker at 2:00 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Winter weather
        

December weather in review

From The Sun's print editions:

Baltimore Sun reporter Candus Thomson offers this guest post:   

December 2011 was warmer and wetter than average, but no record setter, according to National Weather Service records. The average monthly temperature was 42.2 degrees, two-tenths of a degree below the mark set in 2006.

The low reading -- 22 degrees -- came on Dec. 12 and the high followed three days later, when the temperature reached 63. The total amount of rain for the month was 4.50 inches, more than half of it coming on Dec. 7, and including Baltimore’s only snow. The monthly average is 3.37 inches.

Posted by Kim Walker at 6:41 AM |
Categories: From the Sun's print edition
        

January 4, 2012

Round two of flurries

Did you enjoy the flurries yesterday? Most commuters did not. We're in for a second round later today.

The National Weather Service is forecasting scattered flurries after 3 p.m. as well as later tonight. Here's their updated discussion on their site:

"THE MODELS HAVE CONTINUED TO SHOW AT LEAST SOME WEAK LIFT LATE THIS
AFTERNOON AND EARLY THIS EVENING. IN COMBINATION WITH THE TERRAIN...
THIS MAY PRODUCE SOME SNOW SHOWERS ON THE WRN FRONT AND MAYBE A FEW
FLURRIES MAINLY NORTH OF US 50. BY LATE EVENING...THE FIRST [WAVE] IS
THROUGH AND THE SECOND IS ON THE DOORSTEP. MODELS HAVE CONSISTENTLY
PAINTED SOME LIGHT PRECIP WITH THIS ONE. SCTD UPSLOPE SHSN SEEM LIKE
A GOOD BET. THE QUESTION IS FURTHER EAST."

 Here's what Baltimore meteorologist Eric the Red had to say:

"Weds...  an upper-air disturbance will come at us from the west, while a weak front stalls just to our south and west.  This will set the stage for another round of snow showers Weds afternoon and eve.  ... They will be hit and miss... altho some of the "outlier" models (less commonly used) indicate there could be a bit more widespread accumulating snow with this, esp across nrn MD.  If the worst-case models are right, then an inch of snow could fall in portions of nrn MD Weds afternoon and eve. 
 
Weds night and Thrs morning, warm front begins to lift north toward us while another upper-air dist comes at us from the west. This too could touch off some light snow or flurries early Thrs, again most likely in nrn MD."
 

Posted by Kim Walker at 11:28 AM |
Categories: Winter weather
        

International Space Station flybys this month

From The Sun's print editions:

Baltimore Sun reporter Candus Thomson offers this guest post:  

The International Space Station will make two passes of six minutes' duration each over our area in early 2012. The first comes Wednesday night at 5:53, when the spacecraft will enter the west northwest skies and begin its leisurely flyby to the south southeast.On Jan. 14, the 430-ton ship will return at 6:46 p.m., appearing from the southwest and cruising to the east northeast.

If you get the chance, check out a spectacular YouTube video of Comet Lovejoy taken by NASA astronaut Dan Burbank, commander of Expedition 30.

Posted by Kim Walker at 6:22 AM |
Categories: From the Sun's print edition
        

January 3, 2012

Quadrantids meteor shower

Between the clouds and the moonlight, I'm not sure how much you'll see, but the Quadrantids meteor shower will happen overnight. According to NASA, the Quadrantids have a maximum rate of about 100 per hour, varying between 60-200. Peak time will be in the early morning hours, so if you can't sleep, take a look out the window.
Posted by Kim Walker at 3:49 PM |
Categories: Sky Notes, Sky Watching
        

Flurries in Baltimore

We had a brief snow shower today downtown as well as some flurries in some central Maryland counties earlier. The National Weather Service says accumulations will be less than half an inch.

Baltimore meteorologist Eric the Red says there's a chance for a dusting tomorrow:

"A weak disturbance coming thru tomorrow (Wed.) may produce some light snow or flurries during the mid to late afternoon.  Seeing some hints that it may be enough to dust the ground ... does not appear to be anything beyond that."  

With the temperatures dropping and some flakes falling, here is an overview of winter weather hazards. 

Posted by Kim Walker at 3:36 PM |
Categories: Winter weather
        

January 1, 2012

2012 is a leap year

From the Sun's print edition:

Baltimore Sun librarian Paul McCardell offers this post: 

Happy New Year! We will have an extra day this year because 2012 is a leap year. February will have 29 days instead of 28 and the year will have 366 days instead of 365.

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, leap years are necessary because the length of a year is 365.242 days, so an extra day is added, in most cases, every four years and on years that are evenly divisible by four.

Also, check out Joe Burris' article on a proposal by two Hopkins professors to overhaul the calendar so the same dates fall on the same days year after year. What do you think?

A toast to new beginnings and hopefully a year filled with nice weather.

Posted by Kim Walker at 7:09 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: From the Sun's print edition
        
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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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