More Storms Needed!

Now there is a headline that needs explaining.

Simply put, we need more precipitation in the Mid Atlantic region. We are on the extreme northern fringe of the much publicized drought that has hit the southeast states. Technically, northern Maryland is “abnormally dry”. That is very evident if you take a look at any of the reserviors around Baltimore.

2007 experienced a 6.42 inch shortfall of precipitation at BWI-Marshall Airport. So far this year the numbers are running .83 inches short of average. Factored into that number is the 1.17 inch surplus of precipitation this month.

March is coming up and the weather is typically unsettled. This winter the Western Hemisphere has been under the influence of a La Nina weather pattern. A series of storms have hit the central part of the country and the Mid Atlantic region has not yet really been a prime target.

This weekend storms began hammering the west coast again. A number of storms are lined up in the North Pacific and taking aim on the west coast of the U.S. and Canada.
North Pacific Sunday
Long range computer models show a persistent pattern that takes storms off the Pacific and moves them eastward toward the Mid Atlantic and Northeastern U.S. The first of those is slated for Tuesday.
Tue 26 Feb 2008 gfs
Another, weaker system, is slated to move across the area late Friday and early Saturday.
Sat 1 Mar 2008 gfs
Longer range model forecasts show activity beyond next weekend but are subject to considerable timing and intensity errors. That is understandable. These storms don’t exist yet and are based on the probability that atmospheric physics will allow for their development.
Wed 3 Mar 2008 gfs
Wednesday, March 3

Tue 11 Mar gfs
Tuesday, March 11

The best way to look at these long range models is to take the specific date, position and intensity forecasts with a grain of salt and to concentrate more on the fact that the models are showing a probability of a series of storms in a broad time frame. If the storms do develop, early March will live up to its’ reputation for being stormy and the Baltimore area could do some catching up on some much needed precipitation.

John Collins


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