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USNA News Center
USNA News Center

Winter Weather Thursday Night and Friday (03 MAR 16)

  POSTED ON: Thursday, March 3, 2016 11:40 AM by A.R. Davies

Storm Overview:  

An area of low pressure currently situated near the Texas/Arkansas boarder will quickly move east throughout the day.   The system is expected to rapidly intensify off the Carolina coast late tonight and move out to sea in an East-northeast direction on Friday.  Fortunately, most of Maryland will remain well north of the most intense parts of the storm.   However, some precipitation will likely overspread the area as the storm passes to our south.    

At this time, the most likely scenario is 1.0-3.0 inches of snowfall/mix.  It is important to note that this time of year, accumulating snow is increasingly tougher to come by thanks to gradually warming temperatures and a higher sun angle.  The air temperature at the surface (and surface temperatures in general) will hover around 32 degrees +/- 2 degrees between 2200 EST on Thursday and 1000 EST on Friday, which is generally the period when snow is possible.   Hence, with marginal temperatures accumulation will be maximum on untreated surfaces (grass, decks, some sidewalks/parking lots) with perhaps an inch or so of wet slushy accumulation of the streets around Annapolis.

Bottom Line:  

Probabilistic Snowfall Forecast for Annapolis

  • 25% chance of less than 1.0" of snow/mix with little accumulation on paved surfaces 
  • 60% chance of 1.0-3.0" of snow/mix with perhaps an inch or so of wet slushy snow on paved surfaces.  
  • 15% chance of >3.0" of mostly snow with 2.0-3.0" of mostly snow on paved surfaces.


Precipitation will likely begin as light rain this evening before turning to snow or mix between 2200 EST on Thursday and 0000 EST on Friday.  The best chance for accumulating snow will likely occur between 0000 and 0800 EST on Friday.  Most of the precipitation should generally be out of the area by 0800 EST on Friday.  If any lingers, additional accumulation will likely be limited due to the sun angle.   The storm timeline is shown in the High Resolution NAM model simulated radar in the Figure below. Notice how convoluted the freezing line (dashed pink) will be at the surface throughout the event (keep in mind, the model likely will not get this exactly correct… rather it highlights the complexities and that surface temperatures will be marginal for accumulation).  Note also that the high temperature on Friday will likely be around 40 degrees which should help to melt any accumulation once the sun comes up.

NAM Simulated Radar

The system timing (i.e. leading up to the morning rush hour on Friday) is the concern.  Hence, the National Weather Service (NWS) Baltimore/Washington Field Office has issued a Winter Weather Advisory from 2200 EST on Thursday through 1000 EST on Friday.   Here is a link to the Advisory Text:

The Figure below shows the "most likely" snowfall map issued at 1000 EST on Thursday by the NWS.  NWS indicates 2.0 inch of snow is “most likely” for Annapolis and most of Anne Arundel County. Looking ahead, a quick moving Clipper could produce some snow showers Saturday night (less than one inches of accumulation is possible).  A warming trend will take hold for next week!!

NWS Snow Forecast


Disclaimer: This is not an official U.S. Navy weather forecast and should not be confused with the official Navy weather forecast provided by the Fleet Weather Center in Norfolk, VA.  Furthermore, the official U.S. Government forecast for the greater Annapolis area is issued by the National Weather Service Baltimore/Washington Forecast Office in Sterling, VA.

Category: General Interest


Meteorologist Alexander Davies
Oceanography Department, USNA