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12:15 PM (Friday) | ****Next wintry storm arrives tonight…third storm arrives on Sunday afternoon and has the potential for a major impact and significant snow…Arctic cold to follow****

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12:15 PM (Friday) | ****Next wintry storm arrives tonight…third storm arrives on Sunday afternoon and has the potential for a major impact and significant snow…Arctic cold to follow****

Paul Dorian

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Overview

March has begun more like a lion than a lamb and there are two more storms to deal with over the next few days which can bring additional accumulating snow and ice to the Mid-Atlantic region.  Storm #1 brought accumulating snow to the Mid-Atlantic region in the overnight hours and is now pushing off the coastline, but there will be no clearing behind it.  In fact, storm #2 is already gathering strength in the Southeast US and its precipitation shield will expand noticeably later today as it gets invigorated by an upper-level wave of energy. This next storm can start as a wintry mix tonight and a transition to all snow is possible in the overnight hours; especially, to the north and west of I-95.

Storm #3 arrives on Sunday afternoon and has the greatest potential of all for a significant impact as it will be loaded with moisture.  The immediate I-95 corridor region from DC-to-Philly-to-NYC is liable to be the “battle zone” region with significant snow accumulations possible to the north and west and mainly rain to the south and east. There is the potential for 6+ inches of snow to the north and west of Philly and NYC and perhaps even as far south as the far northern and western suburbs of DC - but some details still have to be ironed out.  All of this activity will be followed by an Arctic outbreak for next week across much of the nation.

Forecast map for early tomorrow morning with strong low pressure off the Mid-Atlantic coastline and snow (in blue) in parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast US; map courtesy NOAA/EMC, tropicaltidbits.com

Forecast map for early tomorrow morning with strong low pressure off the Mid-Atlantic coastline and snow (in blue) in parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast US; map courtesy NOAA/EMC, tropicaltidbits.com

Friday night/early Saturday

Later today, low pressure will intensify as it approaches the Mid-Atlantic coastline thanks to strong support from an upper-level wave of energy that passes overhead. As a consequence, the precipitation field of this low pressure system will expand significantly late today leading to rain by early tonight in the DC metro region and likely a wintry mix or snow in the Philly to NYC corridor.  In the DC metro region, rain can mix with or changeover to sleet and/or snow later tonight with small accumulations of a coating to an inch or two possible across the far northern and western suburbs.  In the Philly metro region, a wintry mix is likely tonight and it could change to all snow in the far northern and western suburbs. In NYC, this next event is likely to feature mainly snow and a few inches of accumulation are possible by early tomorrow. Precipitation winds down Saturday morning in the Mid-Atlantic region and the rest of the day should remain mostly cloudy and chilly. 

Forecast map for early Monday morning with strong low pressure off the Mid-Atlantic coastline and snow (in blue) in parts of the Mid-Atlantic and much of the Northeast US; map courtesy NOAA/EMC, tropicaltidbits.com

Forecast map for early Monday morning with strong low pressure off the Mid-Atlantic coastline and snow (in blue) in parts of the Mid-Atlantic and much of the Northeast US; map courtesy NOAA/EMC, tropicaltidbits.com

Sunday afternoon into early Monday

Of all three of the systems that we have been monitoring in recent days, the one with the most potential for significant impact arrives in the Mid-Atlantic region on Sunday afternoon.   By early Sunday, there will be a widespread area of precipitation in the Tennessee and Mississippi Valleys and it will be headed right towards the Mid-Atlantic region. In fact, precipitation can break out in the Mid-Atlantic region during the afternoon hours on Sunday and then continue at a pretty good clip through Sunday night and into early Monday as strong low pressure pushes towards the Mid-Atlantic coastline.

Upper-level energy (circled regions) will play a key role in the development of tonight’s storm (left) along the Mid-Atlantic coastline and also the late weekend system (right) that will feature significant precipitation amounts; maps courtesy NOAA/EMC, tropicaltidbits.com

Upper-level energy (circled regions) will play a key role in the development of tonight’s storm (left) along the Mid-Atlantic coastline and also the late weekend system (right) that will feature significant precipitation amounts; maps courtesy NOAA/EMC, tropicaltidbits.com

The immediate I-95 corridor region from DC-to-Philly-to-NYC is liable to be the “battle zone” region late this weekend with significant snow of 6+ inches possible to the north and west and mainly rain to the south and east. This “battle zone” region still can shift a bit to the northwest or to the southeast and a small shift can make a big difference in the metro regions in terms of snowfall amounts. One factor that is still a bit unclear at this point is the exact track this storm will take at the end of the weekend.  The farther the track is to the southeast of the big cities, the more snow is likely to accumulate while a path of the low pressure system to the northwest of the I-95 corridor raises the chance that rain will be the dominate precipitation type in the immediate metro regions.

Stay tuned on this one…could end up as the biggest snow event of the year for many N/W suburbs along the I-95 corridor.

Meteorologist Paul Dorian
Perspecta, Inc.
perspectaweather.com

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