Baltimore officially recorded the first inch of snow this season at BWI on Wednesday, but now it is time to get down to real winter. Before taking a quick look at the storm and my first call for snowfall, take note that Baltimore only averages 3 inches of snow for December. What is on the way should at least get us to that mark, and surpass all of last season.
The Trifecta Storm
This third storm in an active jet stream arrives after a burst of Christmas Eve snow and the snow/rain mix on Wednesday. This will not be as strong as it arrives in our region, but it will be in the process of strengthening. What makes this storm different is that it will be riding the natural progression of the jet stream to the east. That not only takes the storm farther east, but allows colder air to filter into the Mid Atlantic.
Rather than get too technical, below is a quick look or Cliff Notes of what to expect.
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Where is it?
The storm does not look like much now. In fact part of the energy on Thursday evening was in New Mexico. As this races east and the upper level energy turns it our way, it will begin to strengthen. This will be early on Saturday morning. So the radar will no look like much when you go to sleep on Friday, but it will be impressive when you wake up on Saturday as the leading edge of the snow (and some rain) will be here.
For now this looks like a day event, most of Saturday.
- Arrive: Before sunrise over the course of a few hours from southwest to northeast.
- Heaviest: The most intense snow will be mid day into early afternoon.
- Ending: The storm will wind down from west to east during the afternoon and be gone by evening.
This is the most important question for many and one I take seriously. I love snow. I want snow. I also see a wide range or potential for this storm. The most important thing is that I see a lot of support for mostly snow to fall in the major metropolitan areas along I-95 and to the Chesapeake Bay. This means Baltimore, Washington, and Annapolis will see at least a few inches. There is upside potential for more, but my first call is for the low end of confidence. Almost a guarantee two days away, with the potential for more to be confirmed or denied the day before the storm. Please see my Winter Storm Forecasting Manifesto for more on my practice.
Most of central Maryland will get 3 inches or more. This will include the northern suburbs of Washington, north of Annapolis and north on I-95 through Baltimore City.
The mid Chesapeake Bay region and south through St. Mary’s County will get at least 2 inches. This includes Salisbury, which may be on the edge of rain or a mix for part of the storm.
Rain will dominate from Ocean City through Richmond, VA. However, the cold air will arrive at the end of the storm with up to 1 inch of snow as the storm pulls away.
More Snow: This storm will ‘bomb out’ in southern new England. If it strengthens sooner, then it could enhance the moisture and boost totals.
Note the last two ‘events’ over performed
Less Snow: The NAM Model which is often highest with precipitation, but this time is the lowest in part due to a weaker storm, farther off of the coast. If that verified, these amounts would be cut in half or less.
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- Winter Weather Precipitation
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- Baltimore Snow Almanac
- Baltimore Snow By Decade
- Winter Storm Page
Winter Storm Forecasting Manifesto
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