Archive for January, 2013

This Is January?
January 30, 2013

7:00 pm UPDATE………

The threat of stormy weather remains. Until the final cold front goes through the area sometime after midnight, heavy rain and possibly a severe thunderstorm are possible.

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The National Weather Service has outlined areas for the potential for tornado producing thunderstorms. A TORNADO WATCH remains in effect for the area outlined in yellow on the National Weather Service map below until 2:00 AM Thursday.

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A FLASH FLOOD WARNING is also in effect for the western edge of the Tornado Watch area (red highlighted area). Some areas west of Baltimore have already received up to an inch of rain as estimated by radar up to 7:00pm.

John Collins

4:15 pm UPDATE……….

The approaching squall line “deflated” in a manner of speaking as it approached the metro area. The line of rain became more diffused and produced a period of moderate shower activity generating a quarter to half inch rainfall in one hour as estimated by National Weather Service radar. Parts of northern Virginia received up to one inch of rain before the squall line weakened. See the image below.

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The rainfall will continue across the area past sunset with the leading edge moving to the east and southeast.

John Collins

3:15pm UPDATE………..

A squall line is approaching the Baltimore metro area as of 3:15pm. Strong gusts and briefly heavy rain likely with passage. On the surface analysis below, note the temperature fall on the station reports to the west. Click on the image to enlarge it for detail.

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John Collins

Previous entry…….

It happens, but not that often. At midday, temperatures around Baltimore are in the upper 60s. Readings are running 10-15 degrees cooler near the Bay with wind coming off the cold water temperatures.

Wednesday’s record high is 72 (1914) and by noon the BWI temperature was 4 degrees short of the mark.

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At midday a squall line had developed in western Maryland. It is evident in the visible satellite image as bumpy clouds.

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The 10 AM surface analysis shows a complex system of fronts affecting Mid Atlantic weather. A strong southerly flow of air ahead of the initial cold front is responsible for the unseasonably warm temperatures.

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The complex system is also responsible for a very unstable air mass. The Storm Prediction Center has outlined an area along the East Coast, including the Mid Atlantic Region, as having a slight risk for severe weather Wednesday.

Check with http://wbaltv.com/weather for updates through the rest of the day.

John Collins

Winter Has Arrived
January 23, 2013

Cold air has finally settled in. Winter is here!

No records have been broken so far and none are threatened.

Tuesday morning’s low was 15 degrees and the record low is -7.

Wednesday morning’s hourly low was 13 and the record is 0.

Thursday and Friday morning record lows are 1 and 0 respectively. The forecast lows for those two days are around 15 degrees warmer.

True winter weather includes snow and there is some in the forecast.

A weak clipper tonight could dust up the area with minor accumulations of a relatively dry snow.

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The RPM forecast model above shows the scattered, light nature of the predicted snow for Thursday morning’s rush hour. Some fine tuning is possible so check back for updates. With the very cold temperatures, even a dry, light snow can cause slippery driving conditions.

Another system is expected Friday and Friday night. There will be a northern and southern component to this one. 

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The GFS forecast model above shows the next system approaching midday Friday. The storm looks more impressive than what is expected although it could likely produce the greater amount of snow of this week’s systems. Nonetheless, the track of this storm will probably allow relatively light accumulations of dry snow across the area. There is also a possibility that the two components of the storm will concentrate any snow to the north and south of the Baltimore area.

The upshot, Friday’s snow forecast will need some fine tuning so watch for updates on http://wbaltv.com/weather

John Collins

Braving the Mile High Weather, Tips from a Denver-Native
January 8, 2013

By Meteorologist Ava Marie

This weekend, some of you may be traveling to Denver to watch the Ravens play the Broncos at the Mile High Stadium. It’s called Mile High for a reason. Denver’s altitude is literally a mile above sea level. That’s 5,280 feet above Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, 4,563 feet above Westminster, and 1,920 feet above the highest peak in Garrett County.

Denver’s high altitude makes the air thinner, which means the air has less oxygen. This can cause some side effects in those who aren’t used to it. Symptoms of Altitude Sickness include headache, fatigue, dizziness and stomach illness. Dehydration only makes these symptoms worse. The air is naturally drier there, so your body loses more water to evaporation, from both your skin and your lungs.

Growing up in Denver, I was accustomed to the high altitude. Now that I’ve lived away for several years, I’ve completely lost all my tolerance. During my visits home, my lips instantly get chapped and my lungs burn anytime I go for a walk or run.

Water will be your best friend while you’re in Denver. Drink as much as you can, even when it’s cold. Fortunately, the tap water in Denver tastes fantastic, since it comes straight from the mountains. Be sure to wear sunscreen too, even though it’s winter. The thin air makes the sun shine all the brighter. Chapstick with sunscreen is a must as well.

Remember, Sports Authority Field at Mile High is an open stadium. So expect frigid temperatures for the game. Dress in warm, moisture-wicking layers, and remember to drink lots of water. And cut back on the alcohol. It dehydrates you and affects you much more quickly at higher altitudes.

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If you’ll be spending a few days in Denver, here’s a look at the extended forecast:

Thursday: Mostly Sunny, High 55, Low 23
Friday: Mostly Cloudy, Chance for Snow Showers, High 32, Low 8
Saturday: Partly Cloudy, High 20, Low 5
Sunday: Mostly Sunny, High 24, Low 7

As for things to do, if you arrive on Thursday while it’s warmer, I would highly recommend you check out some of Colorado’s natural outdoor attractions like Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Otherwise, as temperatures get colder, there are plenty of museums to visit. My favorite is the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Another popular destination in Denver is 16th Street Mall, which is an outdoor mall, but there’s a free shuttle to take you to all the different restaurants and shops. LoDo is also a popular social scene, it’s located nearby Coors Field.

And lastly, I’ve been getting asked a lot of questions about this weekend’s game. I’ll admit, I’m in a tough position. After all, I was born and raised in Denver and most of my family still lives there. But I’m also very proud to call Baltimore my new home, proud of its talented sports teams and its dedicated fan base. So you may not agree with my answer, but I hope both teams play well and may the best team win. I do, however, have a friendly bet going with my Dad. I owe him a beer after the Broncos won their last game against the Ravens so it would be nice to win that beer back!