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maryland

Winter Storm Threat: Mar 26-27 (final call)

Decided to shrink down the snow totals a bit for the 1-2″ range on the NE edge and for the 2-4″ range for the eastern and southern areas. The 4-8″ actually expanded a bit, but got shifted further south. It will be a battle of boundary layer temperatures and thicknesses tonight.

 

Winter Storm Threat: Mar 26-27 (first call)

A suppressed storm system will move through the region Saturday into Sunday as a vort. max travels east-to-west over northern VA into MD. The SFC low is progged to move across the Carolinas, which will be favorable in getting a layer of below-zero temperatures at the SFC. However, it should be noted that the winds in the mid to upper levels will be out of the WSW across the southern parts of the region, which could allow for a nose of above freezing temperatures to move into southern WV and VA. This will cause mixing issues with sleet and freezing rain that will hurt the overall snowfall totals across the southernmost parts of the region. The wintry mix will extend into northern NC before changing over to all rain in central NC.

 
I am siding with the GFS snowfall contouring for now since it seems like it has a better handle on the mid-level temperatures and the warm nose that will move through the southern parts of the region. I also did account for a slight northerly trend in the eastern parts of the region, which is consistent with trends that yesterday’s storm experienced further north into NY and southern Canada, where accumulations occurred a good distance further north than anticipated.

Risks: A northern trend could bring the 1″+ totals into southern PA, and a colder solution as depicted on the NAM could bring the rain/snow line a bit further south towards the VA/NC border.

Mid-Atlantic – The Week Ahead (Feb 27 – Mar 6)

Temperatures will be above normal today as the sun peaks through scattered clouds southerly winds push warmer air into the region. The birds are chirping this morning as spring tries to get going early in our region. Enjoy today, because tomorrow will be a different story.

***** IMPORTANT INFORMATION CONCERNING MONDAY’S WEATHER *****

 
After a miserable but warm start to Monday, skies should clear up a bit as temperatures climb into the upper 60s to lower 70s ahead of a rapidly approaching storm system. This system is expected produce plenty of severe weather across the region, with most of the concern centered on severe wind as storms line out, with some bowing segments. The storms should start moving across the Appalachians in the early afternoon, approaching the BWI/DC/RIC areas in the late afternoon or early evening. There is also some tornado and hail potential with these storms as a decent amount of thermal instability (CAPE of 500-1000 J/kg) and excellent wind shear fuel the thunderstorms. The SPC currently has a 30% severe risk (high-end Slight Risk) over most of the region, but I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if it got bumped to a low-end Moderate Risk somewhere in the region (central/southern WV/VA and DC/MD?). Yes it’s February, but this storm is more of an April-type system for the region, and should be taken seriously. Do not let your guard down on this one.

Following the Monday storm will be a nice break in the weather as mostly sunny and seasonal weather takes over. Tuesday through Thursday should be pretty nice as we start the month of March and meteorological spring along with it. Friday will be a bit gloomier as clouds and a few rain showers pop up over the region. This will continue into Saturday as a very complicated pattern evolves over the weekend. The models begin to SUBSTANTIALLY diverge with a late weekend storm system approaching the region from the west. The GFS currently has a storm moving through Saturday night into Sunday, while the ECMWF takes a much slower and perhaps more complicated look at this system, bringing it through much later (late next Monday). Right now I would go with a chance of rain showers Saturday and Sunday, but it is probably the most complicated system I’ve seen this season (and there’s been plenty of them), so confidence is very, very low.

Winter Storm Threat: Feb 21-22 (final call)

The morning update:

 
Temperatures are coming in colder than expected early across the northern half of the region as northerly winds take over. That means earlier/easier changeover to snow for many. This’ll be a fun one.

EDIT: Need to add that I also made a slight adjustment to the time constraints to better fit the storm period.

Winter Storm Threat: Feb 21-22 (only call?)

This forecast is for the second part of the two-part rain/snow event. What I have is not too different from what the models show now, save for some lesser amounts in northern MD. The changeover from rain to snow and the surface temperatures will be the biggest players in inhibiting snowfall totals. The models have probably underforecast the warmth in MD on Monday before the front makes its way through from north to south. However, once the changeover is made, moderate to heavy snowfall after a brief period of moderate sleet could lead to decent totals from DC northwards through central PA. The best combination of colder air and intense snowfall seems to be in southwestern PA, where a band of 4-8″+ is possible.

 
I also included a small area of 8-12″ for upsloping and cooler surface temperatures in the Appalachians in southern PA. The band of higher totals could shift north/south a bit depending on the placement of the low as it passes over the region.

EDIT: I may have to make some last minute changes to it if the temperatures stay colder in northern MD today. The 2-4″ and 4-8″ contours could creep further south!

Brush fire pictures from the Germantown, MD area

These were all taken from the same area where the power lines run north from Rt. 28 up until the end of Brandon Way Rd. in Darnestown, MD. The time I was there was approx. 1:45-2:45 pm. This was from the same area as the GIF animation in the previous post.

If you would like the full resolution, un-watermarked images, please leave a message on the Twitter page, or contact me using the e-mail address in the contact page.

UPDATE:
Here’s some pictures from Jason from the same area: http://www.weatherwarrior.net/chaserquest/bydate/2011/20110219/

Winds helping a brush fire in Germantown, MD

To add to the wind discussion in the previous post, here’s an animation of smoke from a brush fire (unconfirmed) in the Germantown, MD area:

 
There is also a brush fire near BWI in Hanover. Very dry conditions and strong winds are helping the brush fires intensify and spread quickly.

EDIT: I thought this was originally just blowing dust, but it was indeed a brush fire… I don’t really have any first-hand experiences with either.