March Snow, But Not a Big Deal

Haven’t been saying much about this pending early-March snow, despite some models at times getting surprisingly jiggy with it. I think wet snow is a good bet this eve, but I will hold to my gut of a coating to an inch or two, primarily on grassy surfaces… with perhaps — if everything breaks just right — some local amounts up to 3″. But I think the vast majority of us will see an inch, maybe less. Curious to see how the morning models play out… and if anything changes I’ll pass it along.

The main thing working against this snow… well, two things, actually… the first being the time of year. But on top of the time of year, the storm is primarily taking a west-to-east storm track, which doesn’t allow it the opportunity to tap into Gulf and Atlantic moisture until it has passed us by. In addition, models show this storm rapidly intensifying as it gets to our east off the coast, which will serve in this case to cause the snow to consolidate offshore, which in turn will cause the pcp to basically shut off in these parts by mid-day. Still could be some commuting issues for early risers tomorrow morning, but by mid-day things should be fine. As a side note, BCPS are already a 1/2-day… so I’m a bit worried they may just pull the plug all together on the kids. Obviously, a delayed opening is not in the cards for BCPS.

For folks that follow this a bit more closely, another little tidbit. Another factor working against a heavy snow is the jet stream “upstream”… to our west. It’s relatively flat, meaning there’s no big northward rise (a ridge)… which in turn keeps it also oriented more or less flat (west-to east) here as well. Our big storms usually involve a jet stream that has a pronounced southward dip (a trof) over the eastern U.S., but in order to get a deep trof you usually need an equally strong ridge in the jet stream over the western U.S. Without that western ridge, it’s a tall order to get a big Nor’easter to form and move up the East Coast.

OK… on top of that, we have a clipper coming through Saturday night. And this may actually end up producing a bit more snow than Thursday night’s event. Still not a big deal… and inch or two, but I’m half expecting the Saturday night snow to end up being more noteworthy, if merely for the reason that it will be hitting at night.

BTW, our parting taste of winter this weekend will be replace by spring-like warmth just in time for the work week!


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