First Potential Winter Storm – 12/12/2016

Good afternoon,

Hope everyone enjoyed today’s spring-like warmth (at least that’s how it will compare to tomorrow). Strong cold front will produce some snow showers or light snow east of the mountains tonight, with the primary target for this north of DC and east of Frederick. Doesn’t look like much, but I don’t know how many times I’ve seen something like this… where a minor “event” precedes the “main” event and all eyes are on the latter and miss the former. Would not be out of the question to see a coating of snow for the morning commute, but this is not the big story.

Following the arrival of the chilly-jerry-carney air mass Thursday, we’ll get a taste of wintry pcp Friday night and Saturday morning as a warm front lifts north over the region. With no high to our north, the cold air will not hold… and any snow/sleet Friday night will change over the a brief period of freezing rain and then plain old rain by mid-day Saturday. Latest models are targeting northern and northeastern MD for the greatest chance of accumulating snow. South of I-70 and toward DC and nrn VA, the pcp kinda jumps over this area… so when the cold air is still around late Friday and early Saturday, the DC area won’t get much — if any — pcp, and by the time the pcp arrives, the warm air will be here (especially aloft) so I think for DC and environs up to ~ I-70/Baltimore Beltway, don’t expect much snow or sleet.

For nrn MD, models show a rather quick-hitting burst of moderate to perhaps even briefly heavy snow before the changeover occurs in the morning Saturday. In the counties along the PA border, latest models are showing “liquid precip as snow” totaling 0.40-0.60″… which if you go with a 10::1 snow-to-liquid ratio would get these locales a quick hitting 4 to 6″. I’d like to see tonight’s model data before offering up a forecast… but the overall ides of 2 to 4″, perhaps up to 6″ before a changeover occurs seems plausible. This is still 2+ days away, so a bit early to try and pin this down… and anyone who’s been on the list knows I’ve never been guilty of giving a precise forecast well in advance!

Will shoot out an update tomorrow.


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