Friday March 2 2018

The winds have increased on schedule and so has the snowfall. But the snow is not the issue as most places will be too warm for much to stick.  The wind gusts have already pushed close to 60 mph gusts and knocked down trees prompting the first school closures around Washington DC.  Montgomery and PG Counties were first to close, which is where the winds were strongest. Then Baltimore (city and county),Carroll, Howard, and Frederick Counties followed.  There may be more, but I am sure there will be a debate as well. Please consider that restriction have been put on all bridges and some mass transit has shut down. In addition, expect trees to topple and widespread power outages as the strong winds will last all day.

The High Wind Warning will prove itself all day as the strong winds will have a second surge this evening. As the strong off of the coast strengthens and drops southeast, this may challenge the name Nor’easter and will be similar to a tropical storm with the impact. In fact, later today I will show the comparison to Hurricane Jose that looped off of the coast in the same location in late September (Atmospheric Memory).

Stats For March 2

Average High:  49ºF

Record High: 80ºF in 1972

Average  Low: 30ºF

Record Low: 13ºF in 1980

Snow Record: 4.7″ in 2009

Seasonal Snow To Date (at BWI): 8.7″

Sunrise: 6:37 AM

Sunset 5:59 PM

*Daylight = 2:32 longer than yesterday 

*Bay Water Temperature = 42ºF at Thomas Pt. Light House

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This Morning

At 6 AM the strongest wind gusts were between northern Fredeick County and around Washington DC. This will expand and increase

Snow Timeline: HRRR Model

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Storm Animation (850mb, 5000Ft)

It’s a Nor’easter but dropping southeast. Later today I will post. compassion to this and the loop Hurricane Jose made in September (atmospheric memory)

Wind Speed Timeline

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LEGEND:

  • Yellow: 34 knots= 39 mph *Tropical Storm Force
  • Orange: 42 knots = 48 mph 
  • Red: 50 knots = 58 mph   

 

 

Remember The High Wind Warning Includes all of our region

 

Why is this wind such a big deal?

A few people have commented that we have seen gusts before to 60 mph and the expectation of 70 mph is limited. Well, yes, but this is NOT a severe thunderstorm that comes and goes quickly. This wind storm will be with us most of the day and last into Saturday. The duration of the strong winds pounding on trees stuck in soggy soil may be enough to fall over. Branches can easily break loses and fly around. Other objects may fly and lead to damage and debris as well.

This special graphic was sent out by The National Weather Service to highlight this event

Storm Highlights:

  • Winds increase before daybreak
  • Snow may fall at daybreak and all morning. But the ground is too warm and the surface air should remain above freezing. So stickage is not expected.
  • Visibility may be low in the morning with snow falling with increasing winds
  • Winds will increase all day. Strongest winds will be mid afternoon and evening.
  • LOW WATER: The wind flow from the northeast may drain water OUT OF THE BAY. The rain fall still has to drain out, so I expect the lowest Bay water levels will be Friday night and into Saturday.
  • Winds speeds are likely to be between 30- to 45 mph. Wind gusts will reach over 50 mph for most areas and some can hit the 60 to 70 mph range.
  • Winds will remains strong but ease a little Saturday. Then improve Sunday.

Impact:

  • Restrictions on bridges
  • High Profile vehicles will be easily pushed around
  • Busses, vans, and SUVs can get pushed around.  Honestly, cars too.
  • Airline travel is likely to be delayed or postponed. If you fly, it will be very turbulent.
  • Trees can fall over thanks to soggy soil.
  • Power outages likely
  • Schools: I have no idea what they will decide.

Outlook:

The winds will bot be as strong on Saturday but still gusting over 40 mph.  Sunday will be the better day of the weekend.

If you are waiting or hoping for snow, the storm pattern will be active over the next 2 weeks. Rain will return on Tuesday, but we need to pay attention to next weekend and beyond. This is just a guide and expected to change. But a hint of what may be on the way in mid March

 

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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