Storm Gaining Strength…Blizzard Continues


The low pressure system responsible for tonight’s blizzard has made it into eastern North Carolina.  The central pressure is falling and winds ahead of the storm are increasing as it continues to strengthen.  The lowest pressure I could find as of 1:00am was a barometer reading of 29.21″ at Manteo, NC on the outer banks.  Peak wind gusts are beginning to top 50mph….with a gust to 54 mph at the Diamond Shoals buoy south of the storm, a gust to 53 mph at the Chesapeake Light in Virginia, and a gust to 54 mph at Wallops Island, Va.  Winds at Manteo were from the southeast gusting to 32 mph,  so the storm is likely just west of there over the North Carolina sounds.

The pressures are plummeting just east of Norfolk, so the storm should continue toward those pressure falls and a position east of Norfolk by 7am Saturday, just as the models have been predicting.  Once there, our local in-house meso-scale model shows the storm lingering for about 6 hours, waiting for the upper-level low to move in from the west.  Then, sometime in the afternoon on Saturday, the tandem is forecast to kick east out to sea, east of the Virginia tidewater area.

With the storm holding off the coast of Virginia, heavy moderate to heavy snow may continue into Saturday afternoon for much of Maryland.  Snowfall reports so far around the state range from 20″ in Allegany Co., to 10-16″ in the Baltimore/Washington metro area, and 8-12″ on the central and upper eastern shore.  Rain has been reported in far southern Maryland at the Patuxent Naval Air Station.  Look 15-24″ of snow around the Baltimore area by dawn, with more to come on Saturday.

Tom Tasselmyer

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One Response

  1. I woke up at 2 a.m., looked outside, and decided I better not wait to shovel. We already had 2 feet of snow here in Severn, MD ! We, quite literally, would have been snowed in had I waited longer!

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