Winter Storms On Parade

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A split flow in the upper atmosphere is delivering a steady supply of winter storms to the United States.  A storm that took the southern route and dumped record snow on Las Vegas, NV earlier this week is moving into the mid Atlantic and northeastern states today.  This one will bring Maryland mostly rain, but it will likely dump some very heavy snow on portions of northern Pennsylvania and central New York.

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The next two storms in the parade will ride the northern branch of the steering currents, dropping in from the Pacific northwest, then racing east across the I-70 corridor across the plains before turning northeast just prior to reaching the coast.

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This storm track favors heavy snow and ice for the midwest, Ohio valley, great lakes and northeastern United States.  Here in Maryland we’ll be teased with some snow and sleet on the leading edge of these systems, but the turn to the northeast before reaching the coast means we’ll probably get into the warm sector of the next couple storms to roll through.  This is to be expected when the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is in a positive mode.  The NAO is forecast to stay strongly positive through the end of 2008, but there are indications that it will go negative again around New Year’s Day, which might lead to colder, snowier storms for Maryland in the first weeks of 2009.

Tom Tasselmyer

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