March Roars in like a Lion: Widespread Severe Thunderstorms Today; Snow Showers & Squalls Friday

Main threats with today’s storms (opinions are mine):

High Winds (80% chance of widespread damaging winds with initial squall line)
Hail (60% chance of individual super cells containing nickel to ping-pong sized hail)
Tornadoes (40% chance of a Tornado within any rotating super cell that develops)


Latest high-resolution models showing “future-cast” radar:


DC Region:


Washington Metropolitan Area:

  • Main squall line may approach the Metropolitan Area between 1 and 4 PM (damaging winds in excess of 60 mph are likely with this line)


High Resolution North American Model:

  • Actual cold front won’t pass through the area until later this evening so some super cell thunderstorms may linger from interstate 95 points east during the evening hours. Any super cells would pose the greatest threat of containing large damaging hail and isolated tornadoes.


Scattered Snow Showers and a few Snow Squalls are possible on Friday behind a fast-moving clipper as bitterly cold air moves in aloft (mid to upper atmosphere) with steepening lapse rates:

  • Latest Global Forecast System (GFS) model (image below) shows a potent clipper tracking across Northern Maryland on Friday morning with accumulating snow across southern Pennsylvania and scattered snow showers across the DC Area.


  • The GFS has not been consistent with its track compared with the European model which has consistently tracked this system further south impacting our region with more widespread snow showers.


Latest European Forecast Model showing potential Snowfall Accumulation:

  • March sun angle is high so not expecting anything more than a dusting in spots (on grassy surfaces) that receive a heavier burst of snow (most likely across northern Shenandoah Valley, WV, western and northern Maryland, & Northern Virginia).


  • Friday will be very windy with highs holding in the 30s in the higher elevations to near 44 in downtown DC.  Wind chills will hold in the 20s! It will certainly feel like winter. 






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