Storm Update … Monday

The anticipated coastal storm continues to develop on Monday. Confidence is higher on some of the details on how the system will behave. By Tuesday the storm will have moved out of the Gulf to the Mid Atlantic coast. It appears that the coastal low pressure will pass fairly close to the coast as it moves toward New England but there is a complicating factor that will likely hold down the snow accumulations for the Baltimore-Washington area.

A secondary area of low pressure is expected to develop west of the mountains. The first signs of that are beginning to show up in the Monday morning satellite image above. Ultimately the two areas of low pressure will have to “phase” or merge before the coastal storm can strengthen into a significant snow maker. It appears that this phasing and strengthening will occur when the coastal low is off or just north of the DELMARVA coast. This set-up would generate the heavier snows northeast of the Baltimore area.

The National Weather Service forecast map for Tuesday evening places the coastal Low between Norfolk and Cape Hatteras and the secondary low over Wheeling, WVa. The earliest stages of phasing will likely have begun by this time and it is from this point on that the more significant snow accumulations will start. You can click on the map to enlarge it. If you look carefully you can see a pink dashed line running from New Jersey across the DELMARVA Peninsula into SE Virginia. This is the expected rain/snow line. Portions of the lower DELMARVA Peninsula and southern Maryland (west of the Bay) could see some sleet, freezing rain or rain as the storm moves through.

The bottom line … it looks like the Baltimore-Washington area will receive only a glancing blow from this developing nor’easter.

The computer forecast model we use in-house at WBAL has been consistent since early Sunday in keeping snow accumulations in excess of 6 inches to the northeast of Baltimore. It looks like the TV-11 vieweing area can expect snow accumulations to generally be in the 1-4 inch range. Harford and Cecil counties could go a little beyond that. You can click on the image above to enlarge it for a more detailed look.

Keep in mind, the storm is still 24-36 hours away as of this writing and some unforeseen change in storm development could increase or decrease snow accumulation forecasts so check back from time to time for updates on wbaltv.com and watch Tom Tasselmyer this evening on WBAL-TV 11 for the latest information.

John Collins

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