Archive for March, 2010

Easter Outlook Update
March 31, 2010

On Tuesday evening the Mid Atlantic area is on the southwest edge of a major East Coast storm.

Tuesday Evening NOAA Satellite Image

The wet weather and chilly temperatures will be giving way to some outstanding conditions starting Wednesday. Keep in mind that back in 1942 a similar storm generated a record 22 inches of snow on March 29-30 and in 2003 the area received a record 2.6 inches of snow. It could be worse.

Looking ahead, a great set up for the Easter weekend. High pressure will settle over the region by the end of the week and temperatures will be running about 20 degrees above the seasonal average. A cold front will be moving into the mountains early Easter Sunday.

The main “energy” with this system will be over the upper Great Lakes and, as a result, as the front pushes toward the Chesapeake Bay on Sunday the rain chances should be small with higher rain chances in the mountains. All-in-all, a good forecast. Keep checking in for updates and fine tuning of the Easter forecast.

John Collins


Easter Outlook
March 29, 2010

The late weekend storm for the last weekend of March is expected to be a heavy rain producer. The last of the rain should be pulling away from the area on Tuesday, March 30 and the first days of April look great.

Early indications are that the good weather should continue right through the Easter weekend.

John Collins

March 16, 2010

The siege is over and sunshine has returned. The storm complex that moved in last Friday has finally moved out and the cloud deck has drifted to the south and east.

Satellite images from last week showed snow on the ground from northern Maryland into New England as well as ice over the southern portion of Lake Erie. Today’s image (above) shows very little of that is left.

The rain numbers at BWI-Marshall from this latest storm were impressive:

  • 0.98″  Friday (Mar 12)
  • 2.31″   Saturday (Mar 13)
  • 0.32″   Sunday (Mar 14)
  • 0.08″  Monday (Mar 15)
  • 3.69″   Storm Total

Some flooding was produced by this storm. There were a couple of contributing factors. A major snow storm left a lot of snow on the ground just a few of weeks ago and only some of it had melted in the intervening weeks. Also, the ground was saturated, not only from the partial melt of the recent snow but also from six months of significant precipitation across the region. Here is how those numbers stack up:

  • 6.24″   October 2009   (3.08″ above avg)
  • 4.94″  November 2009   (1.82″ above avg)
  • 8.06″   December 2009   (4.71″ above avg)
  • 2.24″   January 2010   (1.23″ below avg)
  • 4.15″   February 2010   (1.13″ above avg)
  • 3.79″   March 2010 (as of the 16th)   (1.86″ above avg)
  • 12.6″   Above average precipitation for the five and a half month period

With much of that water locked up in the soil all winter, this latest excessive rainfall could do little but run off into area streams and rivers and some disruptive flooding resulted.

A nice break in the weather is expected over the next few days. Sunshine and unseasonably mild temperatures should hold up into the first half of the weekend. Enjoy!

John Collins

Official February Summary For Baltimore
March 11, 2010

The official numbers have been released by the National Weather Service for Baltimore weather in February. The numbers are subject to review by the National Climatic Data Center but will likely go in the record books as published below.

The NASA satellite image below shows the snow remaining on the ground in early March over the Mid Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the U.S. after the February storms.

By early March 2010, several winter storms had left snow cover stretching from Canada southward to West Virginia. Mostly clear skies over the eastern United States and Canada allowed the MODIS on NASA’s Terra satellite this unobstructed view on March 6, 2010.The navy blue of the eastern Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean contrasts with the snow cover in this true-color image. South of Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes resemble giant claw marks in otherwise snow-covered New York. Snow appears the most opaque in Ohio, central New York, and between Lake Huron and its neighboring lakes to the east. In Canada, the mottled appearance likely results from a combination of snow cover and forest.————————


Snow Melting But Persistent … Rain On The Way
March 8, 2010

The Monday morning visible satellite image of the region shows that snow still dominates the landscape in many areas.

Virtually all of the white areas in the image above are snow cover. While the Baltimore metro area has lost most of its’ snow except for piles left by plows, higher elevations just north and west of the city still have enough snow on the ground to register in the satellite sensors. Farther north, colder temperatures have allowed much more snow to remain on the ground. Also note the ice on Lake Erie, piled up along its’ southern shore. The southern tip of Lake Huron and all of Lake St Clair near Detroit are iced over as well.

The snow Analysis map above shows the estimated snow depth across the region. The color coding indicates that parts of Garrett County still have over 40 inches of snow on the ground.

The El Nino weather pattern continues with a very active storm track across the southern U.S.

The latest storm to come off the Pacific Ocean is now reorganizing over the central U.S. and is expected to be over the eastern third of the country for the second half of the week. Until then the weather across the region should be outstanding. Once the storm moves in though, significant rainfall is likely.

The National Weather Service forecast map above shows the expected rain totals across the U.S. Monday through Saturday. For the Mid Atlantic Region, amounts of up to three inches or a bit more are possible. The rain is expected to move in by late Wednesday or Thursday and persist into at least part of the weekend.

Check in for the latest updates with Tom, Tony and Sandra on WBAL TV-11 or check out on the web.

John Collins

The Strongest Nor’easter of the 20th Century
March 5, 2010

Forty eight years ago, the storm that the National Weather Service considers the strongest nor’easter of the 20th century, was pounding the region with wind, rain, and snow.  The storm is remembered by a few different names:  “The Great Atlantic Storm”, “The Five High Storm” because it lingered over 5 high tides, and “The Ash Wednesday Storm” because it was at its peak on Ash Wednesday, March 7, 1962.  It was the result of the combined effects of deep low pressure on the coast and a higher than normal “spring tide” that occurs with the new moon.

On the coast the storm produced hurricane force wind gusts, heavy rain, coastal flooding that swamped Chincoteague and Assateague Islands, and beach erosion from 40 foot waves that reshaped the  inlets around Ocean City.  In the mountains it was a blizzard, dumping 3 to 4 feet of snow in the Blue Ridge of Virginia.  In the transition zone between rain and snow, Baltimore recorded 10″ of snow on March 6th.

It was a very costly storm, with 40 fatalities and $200,000,000 in property damages (1962 dollars).

Tom Tasselmyer

2010 So Far…Two Months Under Our Belt
March 2, 2010

Due to some of the extreme winter weather we have been subjected to recently, the profile for the start of the year is an interesting one.

The graph above is produced by the National Weather Service office in Sterling, VA. In general it shows:

  • January Temperatures were at or above normal
  • February temperatures were at or below normal
  • January precipitation & snowfall were below normal
  • February precipitation & snowfall were above normal
  • 2010 total precipitation(liquid) is running below normal (by .64″)

The extensive snow cover in February may be partially responsible for the month’s chilly temperatures, along with other factors in the weather pattern during the month. January’s dry conditions outweighed the February snow, resulting in a slight deficit in this year’s precipitation so far.

John Collins

A Month To Remember
March 1, 2010

February 2010 will be a month to remember for some of the most extreme winter weather this area has experienced.

John Collins

Click image to enlarge