Beware the Ides of March & Have the Snow Shovels on Standby

The odds of one or possibly two snow events during the March 11th- 16th time frame have increased to 50% based on the latest suite of ensembles. The European, Canadian and GFS are all currently showing a very interesting set up for us snow-deprived Washingtonians.

Before you go to your nearest wholesale club and fight over the 700 mega roll of toilet paper, keep in mind that this POTENTIAL event that is still 5 days out and could change. 

If you hate snow, there are lots of gators in Florida… they can be found in the local ponds, the beach, in the ocean or hanging out by the local, community swimming pools (lot’s of elderly folks down there enjoy lathering up in oil and then burning their “skin” into a “beautiful leathery crisp”) #Classy!

Friday through Sunday:

  • Currently the latest European shows an arctic front sliding south out of Pennsylvania into the DC Region possibly delivering a light wintry mix.  How far south this front travels will be key regarding how the possible weekend system evolves.


The European Ensembles are currently showing a deep trough swinging across the Mid-Atlantic this weekend:

  • Sunday morning (7am)


  • Sunday evening 7pm:


Okay, so let’s look at how the latest European Operational run (00z) is currently “handling” this system (again, no promises here for snow… just showing you the latest and greatest “tea leaves”):

Overnight Saturday (1AM Sunday), blue and purple colors represent snow:


Sunday Morning 7AM: 


Sunday Afternoon (1 pm):


Sunday Evening (7pm):  Potential storm system has now exited our region.



IF (and a big fat IF)… the European control run (images above) were to be 100% accurate (NOT!) this is how much snow COULD accumulate:


The current European Ensembles (these will change) showing 50 opinions on how much snow could accumulate (please note that about half of them have NOTHING falling):  This is why I have stated that there is a 50/50 probability of an event.  Now if these Ensembles continue to trend towards agreement, then confidence will increase.

eps_snow_25_washdc_31 eps_snow_50_washdc_31

Moving on to the American made Global Forecast System (GFS):

  • Just like the European, this model is currently showing a fairly fast moving storm system:


The latest GFS Ensembles (image below) shows 20 various solutions regarding locations of where the low pressure systems may be located Saturday night (again, we could have RAIN, a WINTRY MIX, SNOW or NOTHING… it could track north or south of Washington)


GFS Ensembles for Snow:

  • Notice that as of this morning’s latest GEFS run (image below, courtesy WxBell)… we are also seeing varying opinions on accumulation, because there isn’t ever going to be 100% agreement this far out on the exact placement of the areas of low pressure. 


I’m officially exhausted… let’s move on to the Canadian Model:

  • The latest Canadian model keeps the heavy snow south of the DC Region on Saturday and then brings us a classic Nor’easter the following Tuesday into Wednesday! And quite frankly, this solution could very well pan out. 


  • Remember how I said “two possible events”… between this upcoming weekend and the 16th? This is why I mentioned this… b/c the first system could track well south of us and then a nor’easter could develop behind the first system. 


European Ensembles also show a second potential “event” March 14th and 15th

  • See the two tiny little red “L”s sitting off of the Del-Mar-Va coastline? 


And finally the potential 2nd system to watch….moves northeastward toward Newfoundland.


So there you have it… I could have just posted a map with the Mid-Atlantic in white blob with a title “Storm possible somewhere in this area this weekend”, but you’re smarter than the average joe that turns on the local media and becomes satisfied by a one-sentence headline.

Now back to Florida… a fantastic state to retire! And due to climate change we now have gators in the ocean and on the beach.  


Have a fantastic Monday! If someone walks up to you today and says “Tim says we’re getting a foot of snow this weekend” PLEASE buy them a plane ticket to Florida (they clearly didn’t read this post). Am I hating on Florida? No. I lived in that state during my entire childhood through early teens… and I prefer the bustling, cosmopolitan northeast megalopolis, not to mention…. four distinct seasons. 


4 thoughts on “Beware the Ides of March & Have the Snow Shovels on Standby

  1. I’ll add that I don’t think people tend to understand how much drought sucks until their precious “Spring” and “miserable Summer” arrives. I just looked at NOAA’s awesome new Drought Page and we are in some dire need of precipitation. The snow-haters will just have to deal with snow if that’s how nature chooses to deliver us some much needed ground moisture!

  2. The least I can do is make you laugh for all the interesting DC Area climate data you provide. You are my only follower who has consistently stated that this winter could turn during the month of March (even while I was giving up all hope). Hoping we get nailed Sunday and this storm system doesn’t wind up going south of us.

  3. Florida is way too warm all year round!
    You never know what can happen with the forecast models for snow! While they’ve gone inthe wrong direction all year, I see a glimmer of hope as there may be blocking setting up! #We’llSee

  4. You have a great sense of humor and made me laugh. Quite an accomplishment on a Monday morning! That always comes in handy when it comes to weather forecasting.

    Don’t mention Florida to me! I had the grave misfortune of being there during our great blizzard of 1966 and have never gotten over it! I finally found a good video of it online, so at least I now know what I missed.

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