Two Clippers Coming

Two clippers show up on satellite imagery...click for larger view

Midday Friday 18,000 ft. above sea level...click for larger view

An active northern branch of the jet stream will send two fast moving weather impulses, known as “clippers”, through the mid Atlantic states Friday and Saturday.  These systems will be hard to find on the surface map but can be seen in the upper level wind flow and pressure fields.  The first one looks to be on a better track to produce snow around the Baltimore area; it is headed for central Virginia by midday on Friday, putting Baltimore on the favored north side, where there are colder temperatures and stronger lift.  The second impulse, coming through on Saturday, is forecast to track across Pennsylvania, leaving the Baltimore area on the south side with warmer temperatures and weaker lift.  Unlike Wednesday’s soggy snowmaker, these clippers come out of the drier areas of western Canada and track through the northern plains and Ohio Valley with very little moisture associated with them.  In fact, whereas Wednesday’s storm produced a record 1.82″ of precipitation at BWI-Marshall, Friday’s clipper is forecast to produce less then .10″ of precipitation.  However, with colder temperatures in the middle and upper levels of the atmosphere, the snow to liquid ratio could be around 20:1, producing a quick dusting to perhaps an inch or two of snow as the system moves by.  Current indications are that the snow showers will impact central and eastern Maryland mainly between 9am and 4pm on Friday.

Tom Tasselmyer

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One Response

  1. I wish I had a camera to take a picture of a snowman that someone made during the 9 hr back up on Rt 140…if you can get by there its in the median .look to your left …what a way to pass the time…..9 hr grid lock they could have made a whole family of snow men….

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