Tuesday February 7 – It does seem hard to believe that after a record day in the 70s we have a snowstorm on the way. Perhaps even hard to imagine considering the pathetic winter for snow so far. Only 0.7 inches at BWI and a lot of losers in snow contests. A Winter Storm Watch has been extended (as expected) into Maryland. There is the potential for a moderate to heavy snow event. I have some totals below… Here is the latest information I want to share and geek out a little to explain why this is such a special event. If you can’t stand the reading, my snow map is below too. Please keep in mind that this is my first call. I like to stay on my low confident end. But also consider that this is what I expect we may measure on the grass, but not all will stick on the roads. But there will be road issues and school impacts Thursday morning. Here is why:
- A strong storm will develop just south of us Wednesday night
- This will intensify so quickly, it will develop its own cold air and drag it down
- Timing of the heavy snow burst will be before sunrise Thursday. This is the best time to counteract the warm ground.
- More snow will stick and accumulate on the grass. I’ve been going over this for my contractor clients. There will be less to shovel than total measured.
- Snow showers will continue in the evening with strong winds. Temps will get cold enough for icing Thursday night (salt if you can)
- I like that the models didn’t see this until recently. The odds are more favorable than a long range tracking event
- There is a full moon on Friday. I have a theory that this influences the fluid atmosphere like the tides and often enhances weather events. So over achieving is possible.
These first two maps I showed in my last post. This is the expected 7 AM Thursday set up with heavy snow and a classic freezing line near or right long I-95. The Canadian Model is slightly colder than the GFS but that could make a big difference where the heavy snow totals end up. If you live or travel north and west of Baltimore, you almost certainly will have snow and travel issues. It’s closer to the Bay and south where it gets more complicated. I will try to explain and simplify what I am looking at.
Also see: Today’s record high temperature
The Little Storm That Could Spin- Quickly
Have you ever ridden the Tilt a Whirl? That’s all I can think of now, since not only do you spin around in a circle, but the individual cars spin too. They spin faster as they round the corners. Those same physical laws apply to the weather. There is a little spin or vorticy that will ride on the base o the trough in the jet stream and speed up rapidly. That will be this storm developing quickly, right over us, then off the coast. Here are the upper level winds that appear to start week and then boom!