December 17 2020

Recapping the first storm of the season, and biggest event in two years, Many places got more snow than all of last winter! I have lots I want to share with you and document here for reference.

As always, I want you to grade my forecast. This time added a poll below to tally as many as possible in one place.

In this report you will see:

  • Regional Snow Map And Satellite
  • Time Lapse Snowfall Video – My first complete storm!
  • Grade My Forecast Poll
  • Local Snow Reports and Compare with my Final Call For Snowfall

I started discussing this storm last Thursday, and it got a lot of attention. I believe it deserved it for the region. I will highlight what I think worked out and what went wrong.

I know some will say this was a bust. That always happens. Some will say it was perfect. But the reality in between is where I am interested. I do this service for you and value your trust.

Record Snow
Binghamton NY was a big winner with 41” inches of snow. I worked there at WBNG TV before moving to Baltimore in 1997. They know snow, but that was a record!
They also recorded:
6” in one hour
20.5” in a 6 hour span.

*There were other 40 inch reports into southern Vermont.

December 17 storm snow reports northeast



Satellite This Morning

This storm was so intense, we can see what appears to be an eye on satellite south of New England. This is somewhat common with the strongest winter storm.   I have a closer look at our region below.

December 17 storm satellite northeast



Time Lapse Video
I want to start with my very first complete storm Time Lapse Video

  • We had two rounds of snow with sleet in between that compressed totals a little.
    At one point nearly 3 inches fell in one hour.
    The second surge was between midnight and 2 PM

Final total zoomed in at the end: Between 10 to 11 inches (around the MD/PA line)




Snow Line From Space

This close up of the visible satellite this morning showed the snow line lined up very close to I-95.

Why does this happen? Because I-95 was built on the Fall Line. North and. West the elevation increases, it is farther away from the warmer Chesapeake Bay, and colder.

December 17 storm satellite Maryland


Snow Reports
Regional Map

See County maps and spotter reports below.

December 17 storm snow reports Maryland VA and WV


My Final Call For Snowfall.
Use this map to compare to results below.

December 15 My Final Call For Snowfall


What Went Right:

  • Sleet, icing, and Rain were on target.
  • Most of my zones worked out: 6″ to 10″;  3″ to 6″, and even the Coasting to 3″
  • Thursday morning temps in the 20s starting the day icy for many!
  • My First Call and Final Call were almost the same. I did shave off the south end.
  • I played it conservative: My call was LOWER than NWS, Most Models, and many local TV offices.
  • Snow zones: Mostly Right, but we can compare to my forecast below.


What went wrong:

  • The arrival was almost 2 hours earlier than I expected.
  • The front end overachieved for many, but the back end was lower.
  • A little under 10” in many of my 10″+ zones


My Personal Grade: B+


Please scroll down to compare the spotter maps to my final call for snowfall below.

How would you grade my forecast and sharing of information?

*Not the web server, that was out of my control and my IT team worked tirelessly to fix it.

How would you grade my forecast: Dec 16th Snow and Ice Storm?

  • A- (28%, 315 Votes)
  • A (Thanks) (27%, 304 Votes)
  • B+ (24%, 269 Votes)
  • B (12%, 139 Votes)
  • B- (4%, 45 Votes)
  • C (3%, 37 Votes)
  • D (1%, 12 Votes)
  • F (Come on, really?) (1%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,127

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Offical Snow Total:
Baltimore at BWI= 1.6” Snow, but total liquid was 1.42”
Baltimore City = *Will not go into the climate record.

  • Mount Washington = 4.1″
  • Pimlico = 3.8″


December 17 storm snow reports Balltimore central Maryland


More Local Snow Maps
Please note, these are NWS maps and the color can make it difficult to see. I highlighted  where I could.

Harford, and Cecil

December 17 storm snow reports northeast Maryland

…Cecil County…

  Rock Springs 1 ESE      3.5   500 PM 12/16  Trained Spotter        

  Woodlawn 2 E            1.0   500 PM 12/16  Trained Spotter

…Harford County…      

  Norrisville 1 WSW       8.5   627 AM 12/17  CoCoRaHS       

  Whiteford               6.0  1137 PM 12/16  Trained Spotter         

  Kingsville 3 NNE        3.1   700 AM 12/17  CoCoRaHS   


Frederick, Carroll, Howard, and Baltimore

December 17 storm snow reports central Maryland


…Frederick County…

Sabillasville 1 NNW    12.1  1159 PM 12/16  CoCoRaHS               

  Sabillasville 2 SSE    12.0   800 AM 12/17  Trained Spotter        

  Emmitsburg 2 SE        10.0   650 AM 12/17  Co-Op


Thurmont 3 N            8.1   700 AM 12/17  NWS Employee

  New Market 3 NNW        7.0   345 AM 12/17  CoCoRaHS               

  Thurmont 1 SSE          6.8   700 AM 12/17  CoCoRaHS

Bloomfield 2 WSW        9.4   700 AM 12/17  NWS Employee           

  New Market 2 NW         6.8   800 AM 12/17  CoCoRaHS   

New Market  N           6.5   700 AM 12/17  Trained Spotter        

  Frederick 1 W           6.2   800 AM 12/17  Trained Spotter        

  Adamstown 1 ESE         6.1   646 AM 12/17  Trained Spotter                            

  Union Bridge 7 SSW      4.8   700 AM 12/17  CoCoRaHS               


Carroll County

Manchester 1 SSW        9.0   820 AM 12/17  Trained Spotter        

  Taneytown  NE           8.2   900 AM 12/17  Trained Spotter        

  Millers 4 NE            8.0   411 AM 12/17  Co-Op Observer         

  Manchester 2 NW         6.0   447 PM 12/16  Trained

  Millers 4 NE            6.0   600 PM 12/16  Co-Op Spotter        

  Gamber 1 WNW            5.6   830 AM 12/17  CoCoRaHS               

  Westminster  SE         5.6   700 AM 12/17  Trained Spotter        

  Eldersburg 1 SE         5.3   700 AM 12/17  Trained Spotter   


  Eldersburg 1 E          5.3   700 AM 12/17  CoCoRaHS               

  Westminster 3 SSW       5.0   700 AM 12/17  CoCoRaHS               

  Mount Airy  SE          4.4   700 AM 12/17  CoCoRaHS



Bentley Springs 1 E     8.5   615 AM 12/17  Trained Spotter        

  Glyndon 1 WSW           6.2  1100 AM 12/17  Trained Spotter        

  Parkton 1 W             5.8   440 PM 12/16  Trained Spotter        

Reisterstown 1 NW       5.4   700 PM 12/16  CoCoRaHS               

  Long Green 1 SW         5.0   700 AM 12/17  CoCoRaHS               

  Towson 1 SW             5.0   830 AM 12/17  CoCoRaHS    

  Long Green 2 NW         3.8   800 AM 12/17  Trained

Timonium  NE            3.6   700 AM 12/17  CoCoRaHS               

  Kingsville 1 E          1.8   700 AM 12/17  CoCoRaHS               

  White Marsh 2 ESE       1.5   700 AM 12/17  CoCoRaHS    Spotter        

  White Marsh 2 E         0.3  1116 PM 12/16  Trained Spotter        

…Baltimore City…

  Pimlico  SE             3.8   600 AM 12/17  Trained Spotter        

  Pikesville 2 SE         3.7  1015 PM 12/16  CoCoRaHS


Howard Baltimore

Dayton                  4.0   452 PM 12/16  Broadcast Media        

  Glenelg 2 N             4.0   550 PM 12/16  Trained Spotter        

Columbia 2 N            3.8   700 AM 12/17  CoCoRaHS               

  Sykesville 2 SSE        3.4   700 AM 12/17  CoCoRaHS

  Elkridge 2 W            3.3   730 AM 12/17  Trained Spotter      

  Elkridge 2 W            3.2   530 AM 12/17  CoCoRaHS               

  Marriottsville 3 S      2.5   700 AM 12/17  CoCoRaHS               

  Laurel 1 NNE            2.2   700 AM 12/17  CoCoRaHS               

  North Laurel 2 ESE      1.7   700 AM 12/17  CoCoRaHS           



Southern PA

Harrisburg set a daily record for snow and had more than all of last year.

Most of this region was in my 10″+ zone, but ended up mostly 6 to 10 inches.

December 17 storm snow reports Pennsylvania





Also see:


Winter Outlook Series

Winter Outlook 2021 Tropical Hints

Winter Outlook Polar Vortex Arctic Oscillation

Winter Outlook Solar Minimum

Early Winter October

Winter Outlook Series Weather Folklore


Winter Outlook 2021 La Nina Advisory

Winter Outlooks Farmers Almanacs



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December 5 Snowfall History Start Of Faith in the Flakes



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