Weekend Snow Thoughts: A Spring Thing

Weekend Snow Thoughts: A Spring Thing

Thursday March 17 – As of the luck of the Irish would have it, most of this St. Patrick’s Day was nice, but we had green on the radar with showers mid day. That is the beginning of ushering colder air, and we set the stage for a costal storm this weekend. As luck for the rest of us would have it, the arrival of Spring on Sunday will come with snow. So is March in Maryland, and the Mid Atlantic. But the questions now relate to either a Saturday or Sunday start, and … FITF, but how much of what may fall could possibly stick?

I have been monitoring the trend of this storm and how the models handle it. In short, there should be snow this weekend. Once last chance to justify wearing our FITF shirts. But the main question as the days get longer is, “How much could possibly stick”. Here are the latest GFS and Canadian Model tracks. Please see my notes below.

GFS Model:

  • This has continued the trend north, so it is closer to us with more snow.
  • Timing is earlier with snow arriving on Saturday afternoon, but a chance for steady snow during the dark hours at night to help stickage.
  • If this plays out, the potential impact could be on Sunday morning.
  • Notice the ‘Freezing Line’ I highlighted. The clouds will be cold enough to produce snow, but stickage might be an elevation thing. Where most metro and bay areas stay too warm.
  • A moderte to strong winter storm event for central and coastal New England.
  • The upper level pattern supports flurries or snow showers into next week.
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Canadian Model

  • This also trended north.
  • Later arrival brings in a stronger storm, but closer with warm air.
  • This identifies a mix, or snow with temps too warm to stick on the northern side of Baltimore.  Rain more likely to mix in or take over around the Bay during Sunday
  • Snow with colder air, again on Baltimore’s north side at night.
  • If this plays out, the potential impact would be on Sunday night into Monday morning.
  • Costal New England turns to rain, but heavy mountain snow. This would produce over a foot for Vermont Ski Resorts.
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I can NOT accept straight snow forecasts from models like mid winter! But I will try to produce a first call snowfall map on Friday.

I keep referencing the event two weeks ago, when it snowed on Friday March 4th. Temps were actually below freezing then, but the snow didn’t stick on the roads. It did stick to everything else and was beautiful.  Since then, we’ve hit the 70s and 80s a few days. The ground is warmer and that heat penetrated to a greater depth. Most of our temperatures will be above freezing, so most of the snow will be wasted to melting. It’s a ‘spring thing’.

The best chance for stickage will be at night. If the GFS Model is correct, that would be a full day earlier than the Canadian. That all depends on whether the initial Low follows up the coasts the GFS Model suggests. This has the best track record this winter, but was wrong with the March 4th event.  The Canadian model shows the initial Low moving into the Ohio Valley, bringing in slightly warmer air, then redirecting the energy to the coast on Sunday. That is why it is a day later.

I want to see what the overnight models produce and will have a better handle in the morning. But in short, the chances for local impact on travel are slim.  The problems will be interior PA mountains through New England.



The cool down at best will be in the mid 30s on Sunday, but still above freezing. Then another bounce back up next week. The good thing is that my projection for snow at Easter was a week early. The holiday weekend looks mild.

You can still show off your preference for snow all year: FITF Shirts And Snow Sticks


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March 17th, 2016|Tags: , , , , , , |