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Tricky travel possible for the start of Spring Break (09 MAR 2017)

  POSTED ON: Thursday, March 9, 2017 11:20 AM by Meteorologist A.R. Davies

 A quick moving, but potent Clipper system will swing through the Mid-Atlantic region on Friday.  The figure below shows the center of the storm off the Delmarva Peninsula at 0700 EST on March 10.  The associated precipitation field extends from the Ohio River Valley to Long Island, NY.  While the storm track is favorable for snowfall in across Maryland, the timing (early March with a higher sun angle/longer days) and the unseasonably warm conditions recently will likely mean this is a non-event in terms of snowfall in Annapolis. However, accumulating snow across interior Pennsylvania (generally north of the PA turnpike) and the New York metro area could impact travel on Friday.

Storm on 10 March

The figures below show the simulated radar from the high resolution NAM/Wrf model at 0700 EST (top) and 1200 EST (bottom) on March 10. In the figures, the pink line indicates where the model projects the freezing line will be located.  At 0700 EST, the model suggests that the freezing line will be located across interior Pennsylvania and New York where plowable snow accumulation is likely; the freezing line will generally stay in that vicinity throughout the morning. However, the most intense precipitation will fall to the south of the surface freezing line and the heavy falling snow will likely drag down colder air from a loft.  Therefore slushy conditions are possible along the Mason Dixon Line and into southern Pennsylvania/central New Jersey.  By 1200 EST, the bulk of the precipitation will likely be along the Eastern Shore of Maryland/Delaware, with tricky travel conditions possible along/west of I-95 from Philadelphia to New York.

Sim Radar 0700 Mar 10

Sim Radar 1200 on Mar 10

The figure below shows the composite, “most likely” snowfall forecast from all of the local National Weather Service Forecast Offices in the Northeast.  3.0 to 5.0 inches of snow is likely across most of Pennsylvania (north of the PA Turnpike), northern New Jersey, and the New York metro area. Further south, slushy conditions are possible in Southern Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia metro area, and across far northern Maryland.  Snowfall/snow showers are possible in Annapolis throughout the day (along with rain showers), but no accumulation is expected. Behind the storm, expect windy conditions in Annapolis on Friday night and Saturday with unseasonably cold conditions.  

NWS Snowfall on Mar 10

Another storm will approach the region on Sunday.  At this time, it appears the storm (and any associated wintry precipitation) will remain to our south.  The figure below shows the system south of Cape Hatteras, NC at 1400 EDT on March 12.  Looking ahead, another storm could impact the region on Tuesday/Wednesday.  While the system/storm track has the potential to bring wintry weather to Maryland, the details remain blurry (at best).  A quick reminder that Daylight Savings Time (EDT) begins at 0200 on March 12.

Storm Threat Mar 11

ISSUED: 09 March 2017 at 1130
FORECASTER: Meteorologist A.R. Davies
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Category: General Interest

Alexander R. Davies

Meteorologist & Oceanographer
Oceanography Department, USNA
  adavies@usna.edu
  410-293-6565