Archive for October, 2012

Sandy On Track For Early Next Week
October 26, 2012



Sandy is an impressive storm when you take a world view. By Monday the storm will be merging with and taking energy from a cold front/upper air trough and promises to be even more impressive, at least in scope.


Friday afternoon model guidance heavily leans toward a storm center landfall along the DELMARVA coast Monday night or Tuesday with a lesser argument for landfall closer to New York or southern New England.


Rainfall potential is running in the 5-10 inch range over Maryland. Tropical storm force winds are likely over a period of time and these high winds may contribute to tidal flooding on the Bay and Atlantic beaches.

Stay with WBAL-TV 11 for the latest on the storm’s progress at

John Collins




Sandy Still Tracking North
October 26, 2012

There is not much change in the forecast of the upcoming storm.

Hurricane Sandy is expected to become a “post-tropical” storm as it approaches the Mid/Atlantic/Northeast Coast of the U.S. This is a technical reference and by no means that the storm will be any less dangerous.

Most models now agree that the storm will turn toward the coast somewhere between the DELMARVA Peninsula and New England with Delaware to New York  the favored targets.


The European model is the fastest with the storm center making landfall Monday evening near Ocean City. This would be a worst case scenario for Maryland with strong winds and heavy rains reaching farther west.


The GFS model is slower with the storm approaching Long Island Tuesday evening. The storm intensity might be a little less threatening for Maryland in this case but is still likely to cause some major disruptions.


The NCEP forecasters at College Park will be responsible for tracking the storm once it loses it’s tropical characteristics  and are splitting the difference between the European and GFS models by placing the storm off the New Jersey coast on Tuesday morning. This is close enough to Maryland and Virginia to cause major disruptions due to heavy rain and high winds. Coastal flooding is possible because of a prolonged east to northeast and ultimately northwest wind fetch during abnormally high tides associated with a full moon.

This is not the final word on the storm and much fine tuning needs to be done between now and Sunday. It is a pretty good bet though that windy, wet conditions will affect the area from the latter half of the weekend into early next week.

Check out the forecast at

John Collins

What Will Sandy Do?
October 24, 2012

It is way too early to tell how late season Hurricane Sandy will affect Mid-Atlantic weather but the following is some of the information that is out there right now. (Here’s how it’s churning up the surf in south Florida)

Sandy is now a hurricane and is forecast to move north


2:00pm Update … Selected model guidance from NHC/NOAA is shown below.


The model above is a hurricane forecasting tool. It is obvious in the latest ensemble of model runs that it is a split decision as to whether the storm will turn out to sea or toward the US coast. At this stage the NHC is splitting the difference and taking a middle course.


Questions as to the storm’s track come into play by the end of the weekend. Sandy is expected to lose it’s tropical characteristics by that time but still a force to be reckoned with. Some computer models turn the storm away from the US coast but more models are showing a trend that would block the storm from making that turn. Instead, whatever remains of Sandy would be drawn into a trough of low pressure over eastern North America. In this case the storm would likely interact with a cold front and develop into some sort of hybrid storm more like a nor’easter.

Long range forecasters at NOAA’s Hydrometerological Prediction Center on the University of Maryland campus place a powerful storm south of Long Island early Tuesday. This forecast position is fairly well aligned with the trend of the European Forecast Model (ECMWF) since last weekend.

That model, from 0z Wednesday, positioned a powerful storm off the New Jersey coast for the predawn hours next Tuesday. If this scenario were to play out, the Mid Atlantic region would be in for some stormy weather but the northeast US would receive the worst of it.

Additionally, a full moon will be generating some high tides and a storm of this magnitude would amplify the situation.

It is too early to deal with specific forecasts but the storm’s progress will have to be carefully monitored.

Stay tuned.

John Collins

Above-Average Snowfall this Winter? Maybe, Maybe Not.
October 9, 2012

There’s been a lot of talk in the news about this upcoming winter.  Some forecasters are already predicting above average snowfall for cities along the I-95 corridor, including Baltimore.  These forecasters are relying heavily on the expected development of El Niño this winter.  El Niño conditions tend to favor a more active storm track in the East, which can sometimes, but not always, lead to above-average snowfall.

Tropical Pacific Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies

However, it appears as though El Niño conditions are not developing quite as expected.  According to a recent update by the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), the probability of an El Niño event developing this December through February has dropped from about 70% to around 50%. At this point, the CPC predicts that it is more likely that a weaker or even more neutral El Niño event will occur

This could be bad news for snow lovers, as a weaker El Niño has far less of an impact on our winter weather.  Simply put, a weaker El Niño means out winter forecast could go either way.  Many other variables, including temperatures, influence how much snow we actually receive.

The lesson here: When it come to long-range forecasting, proceed with caution.

– Meteorologist Ava Marie