Strong Thunderstorms Possible on Wednesday; Snow Showers Possible Friday; Major Pattern Change Possible through Mid-March

gfs

Once the warm front moves through later today the Mid-Atlantic will be under the influence of southwesterly flow out ahead of the next strong cold front forecast to arrive during the afternoon hours on Wednesday. 

March will roar in like a lion, starting out with the potential for another round of strong storms and mild weather and ending the day with modified arctic air behind the cold front.

Watching a Clipper on Friday as some light snow may impact portions of the Mid-Atlantic

The Global Forecast Model (GFS) shows a clipper diving south out of the midwest on Thursday and passing just north of the DC Area on Friday.  The European model on the other hand passes this system further south with a better chance of seeing some light snow.

  • Temperatures on Friday morning are forecast to be cold enough in our northern and western suburbs for snow.  Timing of the clippers arrival and exact track are key as an arrival Thursday night and a track just south of DC would allow for some accumulation across parts of our area. 

ecmwf_t2m_maryland_19

Latest European Forecast Model:

  • Snow (shades of blue) break out Friday morning across northern Maryland (if this model solution is correct)

ecmwf_ptype_th_maryland_19

Friday 1PM

  • March sun angle is  higher so again, track, timing and strength of this clipper could mean the difference between a conversation light snow falling, no snow falling, light cold rain falling, or a light accumulating (nuisance) storm system. Definitely something to watch as we head into the middle portion of the week. Modeling will likely become more accurate after Wednesday’s cold front crosses the area.

ecmwf_ptype_th_maryland_20

Latest European Snowfall Accumulation potential:

  • Again we are still 4 days out from this potential event and a track further south and sooner (Thursday night) could bring some light snowfall accumulations right into the Metropolitan Area.

ecmwf_tsnow_g_maryland_21

Pattern Remains active through Mid-March:

  • If the teleconnection forecasts are accurate, we should start to see a ridge of high pressure building out west with blocking developing over the North Atlantic (-NAO). 

 

  • Notice the bright orange colors pushing northward over the western United States and the trough (blue colors) developing over the eastern United States. Also notice the bright orange colors (blocking) developing over Greenland. 

blocking_gfs

18Z (1PM) Global Forecast Model from yesterday afternoon shows how this pattern could evolve into some “fun” along the east coast:

active_march

Regardless of whether snow falls in DC before the month of March is out, we are certainly going to have the opportunity for several waves of cold air to infiltrate the eastern United States with several shots of arctic air slated to move in.

  • First shot of cold air will arrive behind the cold front on Thursday with a reinforcing shot behind Friday’s exiting clipper. The upcoming weekend looks cold with lows in the 20s and highs in the 40s (much more early February like than early March). 

gfs_1st_cold_shot

  • Second wave of a cold air (modified) arctic intrusion may occur between March 7th and March 13th across much of the eastern third of the United States

gfs_2nd_cold_shot

I saw an interesting blog comment put out last week while we were basking in record warmth that said the ground-hog who predicted 6 more weeks of Winter “couldn’t be located for comment”. I’m hoping that Mr. Phil will come out of his shelter and give a nice press conference to the “Winter is Over” crowd as winter-like temperatures are certainly returning over the next several weeks. It will be interesting to watch the teleconnections as if they do actually move in the right/wrong direction (depending upon if you love/hate snow)… we could be surprised to see old man winter pay DC a visit before the Cherry Blossoms on the Basin are in full bloom.

One heavy wet March Snowstorm could aid in the snow-drought across between the mountains and southern Maryland (both of which are the few who saw snow this year):

Average Snowfall in the Washington Area and Washington Region:

washington_metro_average_seasonal_snowfall_dcstorms-com

washington_dc_region_average_snowfall_dcstorms-com

I hope everyone has a great week! Be safe and be kind to one another. Updates to come on possible strong storms Wednesday and possible Clipper on Friday.

4 thoughts on “Strong Thunderstorms Possible on Wednesday; Snow Showers Possible Friday; Major Pattern Change Possible through Mid-March

    • Tim

      The blossoms on the Tidal basin have not opened yet, and even if the suburbs were to drop into the 20s, the urban heat island of Downtown Washington will probably protect them unless we get freakishly cold (teens in the suburbs and below 25 degrees in downtown DC for a prolonged period of time).

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  1. Brendan

    I love snow but after basking in warmth, I’m done with winter. Yes I wouldn’t mind snow in March but it’s been way too warm already! I will still watch it though!

    Like

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