How to be right and wrong at the same time? This storm is an example of it and writing this may be an exercise in futility. Yesterday I made my final call for snowfall that was higher than NWS and other outlets. I’ve included the link because I will never hide from a forecast since I have good reasons to back it up. After the storm I will post a wrap up and ask you to grade my forecast, again in the effort to show my determination and integrity.
In short: The Winter Weather Advisories still hold for counties north and west of Baltimore with up to a few inches of snow still expected. I still see potentially 4 inches or more in the highest terrain far north and west, and for the local ski mountains that are open today.
Baltimore City does not have an advisory, but snow is falling and some roads are slick while many pre treated and exposed are wet. South of I-95, much of Anne Arundel County has either snow, a mix, or rain falling, but it is too warm for much to lay and stay. There is still a chance the colder air pulls in as the storm departs but the Eastern Shore appears to have mostly rain as well.
The storm will race out this afternoon, so expect the advisories to be cut short earlier than 6pm.
This may seem like a cover up, but simply an explanation for what I expected and what happened. There is always a reason and this is what I have to answer your questions. More on the storm below, but here are a few links to my web site for you to track it now:
Weather pages on my web site
- Winter Weather Precipitation
- Winter Outlooks
- Baltimore Snow Almanac
- Baltimore Snow By Decade
- Winter Storm Page
Winter Storm Forecasting Manifesto
Sign up for email alerts to my articles for Baltimore Weather Examiner
Keep track with quicker updates via my social media
Facebook: Justin Berk, Meteorologist
About the storm:
What went right?
- There was one storm in the Mid West that was going to transfer energy to a southern system in northern Florida. That was expected to move up the coast and take over the energy. The image here shows that.
- Along with upper level support, the burst of moderate snow was planned to develop between 9 AM and 1 PM. This is all happening.
- I expected a stronger storm, farther east than model projected. The first Low was stronger, and the second one is about 50-100 miles southeast of expectations. This will end up stronger as it intensifies rapidly.
What went wrong?
The snow began in northern Maryland and southern PA around 7 AM. Central Maryland saw it around 9AM – 10 AM begin. This is later than my 3 AM to 6 AM forecast start.
The delayed start limited the cold air holding. A little early solar radiation throught the clouds let the pavement warm just a little, so a lot of roads will be wet. There are some slick spots that are still a concern. Snow will lay and stay on the grass. So there will be something to measure. However the slightly warmer air may make for some compacting and melting. It is possible2-3 inches compacts down to 1 inch. Or 1 inch ends up looking like less.
The first storm was stronger and as a result pushed in dry air into central Maryland. This delayed the onset of snow cut back early stickage and accumulation. The warmer air will also cut back on stickage and accumulation. While I see the same intensity developing, the result will be lower than my expectations. The north end may still reach modest accumulation near 4 inches in spots and at the mountains. This was my 4 to 6 inch zone.
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