Monday Storm Development Update

The upcoming coastal storm is becoming less of a threat to land based interests in the Mid Atlantic region. The storm center is now forecast to be too far out to sea to have a major impact from snow and ice. Nonetheless, the storm will become quite strong and winds will be an issue for maritime interests.

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The late morning satellite image shows the clear conditions over the Chesapeake Bay region and the clouds associated with a cold front to the west and a developing wave at the base of the front in the Gulf Coast region. As the front progresses eastward the wave will further develop into a low pressure center passing over the Carolinas and out to sea. Further strengthening is expected once the low pressure center is off the DELMARVA Peninsula coast.

95fwbgusThe forecast map above shows the expected situation during the predawn hours of Tuesday. The rain/snow line is the purple dashed line to the southeast of Baltimore. The storm will continue to strengthen Tuesday but be more of as problem for New England. Strong winds will bring out small craft advisories on the Bay.

Temperatures are mild ahead of the cold front and as it approaches, precipitation is expected to start as rain showers and change over to snow.

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The forecast map above shows expected snow accumulations. This particular computer model is calling for up to 2 inches of snow over most of Maryland and Delaware. Northern Deleware could receive a bit more than that. The greatest snow accumulations nearby are expected in the mountains to the west where up to 8 inches of snow may pile up on some ridges. These snows will fall after the passage of the storm when strong northwest winds set up. This is good news for skiers.

If you check out the past few blog posts you can easily see how a typical winter storm forecast develops and how computer models will swing back and forth regarding storm track and intensity. In this case, track was the big issue and model consensus came together about 24 hours before the event.

Check out Tom’s forecast this evening and see how things are progressing.

John Collins

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