Archive for February, 2012

Near Miss
February 20, 2012

Our closest brush with a significant snow this season turned into yet another failure. The storm missed the Baltimore area by about 50 miles.

The Monday midday visible satellite image clearly shows the snow accumulation in Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky. Below is a listing of snow accumulations from the National Weather Service.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
SPOTTER REPORTS
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
112 PM EST MON FEB 20 2012

THE FOLLOWING ARE FINAL SNOW TOTALS FOR THE 19 FEBRUARY STORM.
APPRECIATION IS EXTENDED TO HIGHWAY DEPARTMENTS...COOPERATIVE
OBSERVERS...SKYWARN SPOTTERS...MEDIA AND THE PUBLIC FOR THESE
REPORTS. THIS SUMMARY IS ALSO AVAILABLE ON OUR HOME PAGE AT
WEATHER.GOV/BALTIMORE.

********************STORM TOTAL SNOWFALL********************

LOCATION          STORM TOTAL     TIME/DATE   COMMENTS
                     SNOWFALL           OF
                     /INCHES/   MEASUREMENT

MARYLAND

...CALVERT COUNTY...
   SOLOMONS               0.5   830 AM  2/20  CO-OP OBSERVER
   1 W PRINCE FREDERICK   0.1   700 AM  2/20  COCORAHS

...CHARLES COUNTY...
   1 SW DENTSVILLE        1.0  1200 AM  2/20  TRAINED SPOTTER
   2 ESE BRYANS ROAD      0.9  1105 PM  2/19  TRAINED SPOTTER
   3 S WALDORF            0.5   800 AM  2/20  COCORAHS
   LA PLATA               0.5  1033 PM  2/19  TRAINED SPOTTER
   SAINT CHARLES          0.5  1125 PM  2/19  TRAINED SPOTTER

...PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY...
   7 ESE BRANDYWINE       1.0   700 AM  2/20  COCORAHS
   1 SE OXON HILL         0.1   700 AM  2/20  CO-OP OBSERVER
   ESE CAMP SPRINGS       0.1   700 AM  2/20  COCORAHS
   2 SE FOREST HEIGHTS    0.1   700 AM  2/20  COCORAHS

...ST. MARYS COUNTY...
   2 N CLEMENTS           2.5   900 AM  2/20  TRAINED SPOTTER
   1 NE LEONARDTOWN       2.0   600 AM  2/20  COCORAHS
   SW PARK HALL           1.8   700 AM  2/20  COCORAHS
   2 W CALIFORNIA         1.5   707 AM  2/20  TRAINED SPOTTER
   4 ENE CHARLOTTE HALL   1.0   700 AM  2/20  COCORAHS
   5 NE MECHANICSVILLE    1.0   700 AM  2/20  CO-OP OBSERVER
   1 NNW COLTONS POINT    1.0   700 AM  2/20  COCORAHS
   1 N RIDGE              0.9   700 AM  2/20  COCORAHS
   4 E HOLLYWOOD          0.1   700 AM  2/20  COCORAHS
   3 ESE PARK HALL        0.1  1155 PM  2/19  TRAINED SPOTTER

VIRGINIA

...ALBEMARLE COUNTY...
   4 NW EARLYSVILLE       6.5  1129 PM  2/19  TRAINED SPOTTER
   EARLYSVILLE            6.0   833 AM  2/20  CO-OP OBSERVER
   1 N ADVANCE MILLS      6.0   900 AM  2/20  TRAINED SPOTTER
   6 NNW CHARLOTTESVILL   6.0   700 AM  2/20  COCORAHS
   2 WSW MONTICELLO       6.0  1000 PM  2/19  TRAINED SPOTTER
   2 W CHARLOTTESVILLE    5.8   800 AM  2/20  CO-OP OBSERVER
   2 WSW NEWCOMB HALL     5.3  1015 PM  2/19  ROUTE 64 EXIT 118B.

...AUGUSTA COUNTY...
   3 E GREENVILLE        10.0   900 PM  2/19  TRAINED SPOTTER
   FISHERSVILLE           9.5   914 PM  2/19  DEPT OF HIGHWAYS
   2 S CRAIGSVILLE        7.8   705 AM  2/20  CO-OP OBSERVER
   WAYNESBORO             7.4   700 AM  2/20  CO-OP OBSERVER
   STAUNTON               6.9   800 AM  2/20  CO-OP OBSERVER
   CRIMORA                6.5   930 AM  2/20  TRAINED SPOTTER
   WEYERS CAVE            5.5  1100 PM  2/19  ESTIMATED 5-6 INCHES

...CITY OF CHARLOTTESVILLE...
   CHARLOTTESVILLE        5.5  1020 PM  2/19  TRAINED SPOTTER
   1 SSE CHARLOTTESVILL   4.0  1200 AM  2/20  BROADCAST MEDIA

...CITY OF FREDERICKSBURG...
   FREDERICKSBURG         1.5  1030 PM  2/19  PUBLIC

...CITY OF HARRISONBURG...
   2 SW HARRISONBURG      1.0   905 PM  2/19  TRAINED SPOTTER

...CITY OF STAUNTON...
   STAUNTON               6.5   950 PM  2/19  BROADCAST MEDIA

...CITY OF WAYNESBORO...
   2 ENE WAYNESBORO      10.0   700 AM  2/20  TRAINED SPOTTER
   2 W WAYNESBORO         5.5   909 PM  2/19  TRAINED SPOTTER

...CULPEPER COUNTY...
   2 NW WINSTON           2.0  1000 PM  2/19  END TIME ESTIMATED
   4 SE BOSTON            1.0   842 AM  2/20  CO-OP OBSERVER
   3 N RIXEYVILLE         0.8   700 AM  2/20  COCORAHS
   6 NNE RIXEYVILLE       0.6   700 AM  2/20  COCORAHS
   6 N RIXEYVILLE         0.2   800 AM  2/20  COCORAHS

...FAIRFAX COUNTY...
   1 SW MOUNT VERNON      0.4   945 PM  2/19  ON GRASSY SURFACES
   1 NE LORTON            0.2   600 AM  2/20  COCORAHS

...FAUQUIER COUNTY...
   LOIS                   3.5   100 AM  2/20  END TIME ESTIMATED
   4 ENE REMINGTON        2.0   515 AM  2/20  COCORAHS
   2 NNE CATLETT          1.5  1000 PM  2/19  NWS EMPLOYEE
   6 SSE WARRENTON        1.0   750 AM  2/20  COCORAHS
   6 NNE REMINGTON        1.0   900 AM  2/20  COCORAHS
   6 S WARRENTON          1.0   700 AM  2/20  COCORAHS
   OPAL                   1.0   719 AM  2/20  NWS EMPLOYEE

...FREDERICK COUNTY...
   7 SE WINCHESTER        1.0   700 AM  2/20  CO-OP OBSERVER

...GREENE COUNTY...
   1 W RUCKERSVILLE       5.2   700 AM  2/20  TRAINED SPOTTER
   2 WNW STANARDSVILLE    4.2   600 AM  2/20  COCORAHS

...HIGHLAND COUNTY...
   1 NE VANDERPOOL        2.5  1011 AM  2/20  TRAINED SPOTTER
   1 SSW HIGHTOWN         1.8  1100 PM  2/19  PUBLIC
   1 SW MILL GAP          1.6   600 AM  2/20  CO-OP OBSERVER

...KING GEORGE COUNTY...
   KING GEORGE            2.1   600 AM  2/20  TRAINED SPOTTER

...MADISON COUNTY...
   1 NNE DAWSONVILLE      4.0   100 AM  2/20  TIME ESTIMATED
   3 ESE MADISON          3.1   945 AM  2/20  TRAINED SPOTTER
   MADISON                2.5  1015 PM  2/19  TRAINED SPOTTER
   HAYWOOD                2.0   700 AM  2/20  CO-OP OBSERVER

...NELSON COUNTY...
   1 SSW ELMA             6.5  1211 AM  2/20  TRAINED SPOTTER
   12 SW SCOTTSVILLE      6.0   800 AM  2/20  COCORAHS

...ORANGE COUNTY...
   2 NNE BARBOURSVILLE    7.5   520 AM  2/20  PUBLIC
   1 NW BARBOURSVILLE     5.5   100 AM  2/20  COCORAHS

...PAGE COUNTY...
   1 SW LURAY             1.0   905 PM  2/19  TRAINED SPOTTER

...PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY...
   1 SSW WOODBRIDGE       0.4   605 AM  2/20  COCORAHS

...RAPPAHANNOCK COUNTY...
   SPERRYVILLE            0.5   500 AM  2/20  CO-OP OBSERVER

...ROCKINGHAM COUNTY...
   1 SSE GROTTOES         7.0  1035 PM  2/19  TRAINED SPOTTER
   1 SW MCGAHEYSVILLE     5.0  1130 PM  2/19  TRAINED SPOTTER
   1 SE MASSANUTTEN       4.0   749 AM  2/20  TRAINED SPOTTER
   DALE ENTERPRISE        0.5   700 AM  2/20  CO-OP OBSERVER

...SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY...
   1 S DUNAVANT           5.0   100 AM  2/20  PUBLIC
   3 E DUNAVANT           1.8   100 AM  2/20  TRAINED SPOTTER
   5 SSW FREDERICKSBURG   0.2   600 AM  2/20  COCORAHS

...STAFFORD COUNTY...
   2 E ROSEVILLE          2.0  1000 PM  2/19  TRAINED SPOTTER
   1 SSE GLENDIE          1.5   800 AM  2/20  TRAINED SPOTTER
   1 ENE HARTWOOD         1.2  1100 PM  2/19  TRAINED SPOTTER
   1 S GARRISONVILLE        T  1000 PM  2/19  TRAINED SPOTTER

WEST VIRGINIA

...PENDLETON COUNTY...
   2 SW BRANDYWINE        0.5   800 AM  2/20  COCORAHS

KRAMAR
John Collins 

The Snowiest Time Of The Year…usually…
February 11, 2012

There’s a little snow in the weekend forecast, but even in this very mild winter mid February snow is to be expected.  February, after all, is the snowiest month of the year, averaging 8.0″ over the past 30 years (January is 2nd snowiest with and average of 6.8″).  In fact, the February record book is filled with big snows.  John Collins scanned the February stats and produced the graphic above to show some of the more memorable single day record snowfalls in February.

Tom Tasselmyer

Baltimore’s Most Severe Arctic Outbreak
February 10, 2012

8 records in 5 days

The coldest day on record for Baltimore is February 10, 1899.  That morning dawned with arctic high pressure centered near Lexington, KY (barometer: 30.64″) producing clear skies in Baltimore, an all-time record low of -7°, a northwest breeze of 8 mph, and a wind chill of -21°.  The afternoon high February 10, 1899 was just +3° which produced a bone chilling average daily temperature of -2°.  And it was just the second day of a 5-day deep freeze that rewrote the record book for cold in Baltimore:

Coldest temperature ever:  -7° Feb. 10th

Record low temperatures:

Feb. 10th: -7°

Feb. 11th: -6°

Feb. 12th: 5°

Record low maximum temperatures:

Feb. 9th:  8°

Feb. 10th: 3°

Feb. 11th: 11°

Feb. 12th: 11°

Feb. 13th: 10°

To add insult to the brutal cold, a powerful nor’easter rolled up the coast from Florida to Virginia on February 12th and 13th dumping 15.5″ of snow on the city!

Tom Tasselmyer

Snow Drought Continues
February 6, 2012

A major winter storm headlined the news late last week.

The Plaines states blizzard generated one to two foot snow totals along a band stretching from the Colorado foothills northeastward into Iowa. The Monday afternoon (2/6/12) satellite image clearly shows the snow cover over Nebraska and Iowa with the paths of the Platte and Missouri rivers labeled. The Colorado snow cover is obscured by clouds.

The storm eventually worked its’ way to the mid Atlantic region with much less impressive results. The storm was generally a rainmaker but northern Maryland did receive minor amounts of wet snow. The totals are shown below, as provided by the National Weather Service.

John Collins

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
SPOTTER REPORTS
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
1252 PM EST SUN FEB 05 2012

THE FOLLOWING ARE UNOFFICIAL OBSERVATIONS TAKEN DURING THE PAST 30
HOURS FOR THE STORM THAT HAS BEEN AFFECTING OUR REGION. APPRECIATION
IS EXTENDED TO HIGHWAY DEPARTMENTS...COOPERATIVE OBSERVERS...SKYWARN
SPOTTERS AND MEDIA FOR THESE REPORTS. THIS SUMMARY IS ALSO AVAILABLE
ON OUR HOME PAGE AT WEATHER.GOV/BALTIMORE

********************STORM TOTAL SNOWFALL********************

LOCATION          STORM TOTAL     TIME/DATE   COMMENTS
                     SNOWFALL           OF
                     /INCHES/   MEASUREMENT

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

...DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA...
   AMERICAN UNIVERSITY      T   510 PM  2/04  BROADCAST MEDIA

MARYLAND

...ALLEGANY COUNTY...
   FROSTBURG              4.1   700 AM  2/05  CO-OP OBSERVER
   ECKHART MINES          3.5  1014 AM  2/05  TRAINED SPOTTER
   LA VALE                2.5   700 PM  2/04  DEPT OF HIGHWAYS
   1 ENE MOUNT SAVAGE     2.0   850 AM  2/05  TRAINED SPOTTER
   1 S CUMBERLAND         0.7   700 AM  2/05  CO-OP OBSERVER

...ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY...
   1 N BALT-WASH INTL A     T   700 PM  2/04  ASOS

...BALTIMORE COUNTY...
   1 ESE GLYNDON          1.0   821 PM  2/04  TRAINED SPOTTER
   1 SE GARRISON          1.0   600 PM  2/04  TRAINED SPOTTER
   PARKTON                0.8   723 PM  2/04  TRAINED SPOTTER
   1 E OELLA              0.5   630 PM  2/04  TRAINED SPOTTER
   1 E GLYNDON            0.3   445 PM  2/04  TRAINED SPOTTER
   2 NW LONG GREEN        0.2   650 PM  2/04  TRAINED SPOTTER
   1 W PARKTON              T   348 PM  2/04  TRAINED SPOTTER
   MIDDLE RIVER             T   408 PM  2/04  PUBLIC
   HUNT VALLEY              T   430 PM  2/04  BROADCAST MEDIA

...CARROLL COUNTY...
   SYKESVILLE             1.6   720 PM  2/04  COCORAHS
   3 SE WINFIELD          0.9   722 PM  2/04  TRAINED SPOTTER
   2 SSE HAMPSTEAD        0.7   640 PM  2/04  TRAINED SPOTTER
   LINEBORO               0.3   505 PM  2/04  TRAINED SPOTTER

...FREDERICK COUNTY...
   2 NW NEW MARKET        1.5   705 PM  2/04  TRAINED SPOTTER
   2 SE EMMITSBURG        1.0   715 AM  2/05  CO-OP OBSERVER
   3 NNW NEW MARKET       1.0   545 PM  2/04  COCORAHS
   POINT OF ROCKS         1.0   700 PM  2/04  NWS EMPLOYEE
   FREDERICK              0.5   700 PM  2/04  DEPT OF HIGHWAYS

...HARFORD COUNTY...
   2 E NORRISVILLE        1.3   755 PM  2/04  TRAINED SPOTTER
   CHURCHVILLE            0.5   700 PM  2/04  DEPT OF HIGHWAYS

...HOWARD COUNTY...
   1 SSE SIMPSONVILLE     0.7  1129 PM  2/04  TRAINED SPOTTER
   WEST FRIENDSHIP          T   407 PM  2/04  COUNTY EMRG MGMT

...MONTGOMERY COUNTY...
   2 NNE GERMANTOWN       1.5   653 PM  2/04  BROADCAST MEDIA
   2 SSW DAMASCUS         1.4  1000 PM  2/04  CO-OP OBSERVER
   2 WSW DAMASCUS         1.4   753 PM  2/04  CO-OP OBSERVER
   5 N LAYTONSVILLE       1.2   716 PM  2/04  BROADCAST MEDIA
   GAITHERSBURG           0.1   700 PM  2/04  DEPT OF HIGHWAYS
   GLENMONT                 T   700 PM  2/04  NWS EMPLOYEE

...WASHINGTON COUNTY...
   WILLIAMSPORT           0.5   600 AM  2/05  CO-OP OBSERVER
   2 SSW LONG MEADOW        T   816 PM  2/04  TRAINED SPOTTER

Storm near Florida could have become “Alberto”
February 6, 2012

Hurricane season doesn’t officially start until June 1st…tell that to the Tropics.  A developing storm off the coast of South Florida could have become the first named tropical system of the year.

Over the past few days, the National Hurricane Center has been watching an area of low pressure between Cuba and Florida for possible tropical development.  The concern was that it could develop into a subtropical low — a hybrid between a typical storm (a.k.a. mid-latitude storm) and a tropical system. (more info on subtropical lows further down)

At this point, tropical development is highly unlikely, near zero percent according to the National Hurricane Center.  However, the storm is still forecasted to continue northeast into Florida and bring heavy rain and isolated gusty winds.

Had the storm developed into a subtropical storm, it would have been given the first name on the 2012 Hurricane list: “Alberto”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While it is rare for tropical systems to form outside of hurricane season, it does happen.  The earliest tropical activity ever recorded was Subtropical Storm One, on January 18, 1978.  The earliest hurricane happened March 6, 1908.

Subtropical Lows
Subtropical lows are a combination of mid-latitude storms and tropical systems.  Mid-latitude storms are the typical storms you see on a weather map, with an area of low pressure connected to a warm front and a cold front.  These storms get their energy from the temperature differences across the fronts.  Tropical systems, on the other hand, do not contain any fronts, which means that temperature hardly varies across the storm.  Instead, these storms get their energy through the evaporation of warm ocean water.

A subtropical storm has characteristics of both mid-latitude and tropical storms, often containing weak fronts, while still getting most of its energy through evaporation.

Subtropical storms tend to be much weaker than tropical systems, with winds much weaker than 74 mph or hurricane-force.  However, they can still bring heavy rain and cause wind damage.