Storm Staying South, But Snow Spreads North


The frustrations of forecasting winter weather in Maryland really apparent today!  The low pressure system responsible for today’s snow is staying pretty close to the forecast track; moving through Georgia toward the South Carolina coast and expected to be just off Hatteras by 7pm.  But the significant snow has spread farther north than expected.  The 3-6″ snow band that was forecast to stay well south of Baltimore is now developing north of the city, even though the storm is well south!  I don’t have the answer as to why the shift, but I suspect the  very cold air in place (temperatures in the teens), is producing huge water to snow ratios, turning just a little bit of moisture into much heavier snow than would normally occur.  With just .25″ of liquid precipitation we could see 5-6″ of snow today…a 20:1 ratio compared to a more typical ratio of 10:1 or so.  At any rate, we should see the snow tapering off in the early evening, but not before leaving 3-6″ of snow north of Baltimore and 6″+ from the city south,  with a foot of snow possible in parts of southern Maryland.  That is, unless the storm throws us another curve…stay tuned!

Tom Tasselmyer

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5 Responses

  1. Here in Arnold we got over 8″ of snow and it’s still coming down!!!!

  2. ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF WEATHER FORECASTERS BEING WRONG……AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. I just measured the deck in Perry Hall and got about 7 inches of snow..

  4. I live in Cape St. Claire, just outside of Annapolis, and just measured an average of 7 ” of snow at representative locations throughout my yard. It’s still snowing, though it has diminished significantly. My question is what happened to the ‘dusting’ that was repeatedly forecast as recently as this morning? As a practicing scientist (geologist), I can appreciate the vagaries of complicated predictions and forecasting. However, I was more than a little dismayed to hear the lack of responsibility for missing the situation in a big way as reported by Channel 11 news at 6 pm today. It looked to me as though the high pressure system that was supposed to keep the major snowfall well south of us did not behave as anticipated. A little more ownership of this miss would go a long way in adding credibility in the future.

    Sincerely,

    Craig Stevens

  5. Craig,
    Thanks for the report and thanks for watching WBAL-TV. No doubt we got a lot more snow than I thought we would, but I don’t think anybody at WBAL was forecasting a “dusting” for Annapolis. We were going with ” 1-3″ mainly south of Baltimore” and we ended up about 4″ more than expected. My latest post on the blog explains some of the possible reasons, but I can honestly say I don’t fully understand all the weather events that move through this area and this is one of them. And, I’m sure it won’t be the last. I’m not sure what you mean by “lack of responsibility”…we put the forecast out, on our channel, with our face in front of the camera for everyone to see, and we provide a forum like this for comments like yours…I think that’s pretty much owning the forecast. I hope you haven’t heard us blaming someone else? Anyway, I really do appreciate your interest and viewership and I hope you got a chance to enjoy the beauty of the snow. I hate to be wrong as a forecaster, but I’m always stunned by the beauty of snow. Take care and stay warm!

    Tom Tasselmyer

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