Wednesday February 28 2018

A High Wind Watch will go into effect for primary Friday and into Saturday morning as a very strong storm moves off of the east coast. All of Maryland and Delaware are included as well as northern Virginia and coastal New Jersey. While southern Pennsylvania is not on this version of the path, I would not let any guard down. This entire area can expect winds between 30 and 40 mph with gusts up top 60 mph.  That is tropical storm force intensity! Consider all of the rain we have had recently and how soggy the ground has gotten. The net result of strong winds can be trees down and power outages. March is definitely roaring in like a lion.

While the exact timing of the wind watch varies across our region, the main event will be building on Friday and peak Friday evening as Low Pressure off of the coast will be at the closest and strongest. This map below shows the upper level winds at the 850 mb level, around 5,000 Ft above the ground. The proud shading over central Maryland and Delmarva shows these winds aloft between 64 and 68 knots. This translates to 74 mph to 78 mph. That is hurricane force… but at cloud level! Expect planes to be grounded or a LOT of turbulence with plenty of delays.

 

Wind Timeline —> slider

This is a look at the 10 Meter wind timeline form the NAM 3 Km high resolution model. This is close to the surface steady wind expectation. Gusts will be higher!

We also need to consider that some areas will be protected by hills to the north, buildings, or trees and will get less wind. While other areas will be fully exposed on north facing hills, open fields, on the water, and definitely on bridges. Expect restrictions on the bridge crossings Friday into Saturday!

LEGEND:

  • Yellow: 30 knots= 35 mph
  • Orange: 34 knots = 39 mph *Tropical Storm Force
  • Red: 40 knots = 46 mph   

 

Winter Returns?

Many models have suggested that with the strong winds, the colder air and instability from the Great Lakes will help some snow showers cross PA and reach our region. This is most likely in the classic western and northern parts of the suburbs of Baltimore and Washington. If you see snow, the odds are that it will not add up to much., but remind us that winter is trying to fight back.

 

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Also See:

My Winter Outlook 2017-2018 for more snow

Maryland Winters

La Nina Formed: What it could mean to our winter

NOAA Winter Outlook: Not The Best But Not The Worst For Snow

Two Farmers Almanacs Winter 2018 Outlooks

Winter Weather Folkore: Suggestions from Animals and Crops

First Frost and Freeze Dates For Maryland (southern PA and northern VA)

My Preliminary Winter Outlook Notes

Low Snow Winters In Baltimore: To Repeat Or Not Repeat

NOAA Ranks Blizzard 2016 4th Worst Snowstorm On Record

Blizzard 2016 Record Top Snowstorm: Area Totals

Extreme Weather of 2015 balanced out on both ends