February 28 – I know some may cringe at the mention of snow after a mild, sunny Sunday. I get it! I want to take a moment to highlight the spectacular Sunday we had. Sunshine and a high temperature of 65°F at BWI was 17 degrees above the average for the date. So it was a nice way to close out the month, prior to Leap Year Day. But there is winter left and a lot of chatter about a storm for the end of the week. I still have a few dozen schools to deliver FITF shirts to, and I do not want to give false hope. But if nothing else, there will be flakes falling to watch this week. Will they gang up and do anything of consequence is the debate.
The mid week storm:
Earlier today I mentioned that March will come in like a lamb and this storm that will pass well to our north and bring mostly rain. There was some cold air trying to end this as snow inland and north. The latest model run of the GFS has trended stronger and colder. The net result shows a stronger burst of snow with the wrap around. But I stand by my mention that snow squalls from this should not amount to much in part due to the timing in the middle of the day. I want to point out one key element that is important to keep in mind for the rest of the season: As we enter March, the higher sun angle makes it more difficult to get stickage should snow fall during the day. That solar radiation gets through cloud cover, and I have seen many events that despite below freezing air, snow may stick on the grass, but often the roads remain wet during the day. Throw in a few more warm days and a rain storm, there will be the added battle of a warming ground.
End Of Week Storm:
I have a few models to show you, but I need to address the questions about ‘how much snow will fall’. Some weather apps and weather outlets have given forecasts with how inches of snow will fall highlighted FIVE DAYS ahead of time?!? First, I NEVER think it is a good idea to give snow amounts more than 48 hour ahead of a storm. There are too many variables and the storm has not even formed yet. Secondly, as I hinted at above, the time of year and time of day suggested by this snow potential could result in snow falling that may not stick. I have already told my clients that I think the chance of ‘workable snow’ is about 20%. So if you have Faith in the Flakes.. Yes we should se some snow. But impact snow is definitely not a sure thing at this time. Let’s start with the least aggressive, GFS Model. This slider shows a weak, disorganized system with light snow starting Friday afternoon. This does not support stickage or school impact. But this is more impressive than it looked earlier today.