BLOG: Warmer Air Returns

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Bernadette Woods

Warmer air returns to Maryland, but so does the rain.

We are 20-25 degrees warmer this morning over yesterday. Temperatures were in the 20s early yesterday, while today they are in the 40s to near 50 degrees. Those temperatures will continue to rise this afternoon, topping out close to 60 degrees and not dropping off much overnight. It’s all because of a strong storm that is just making its way into Maryland.

Rain has been spreading across the state this morning – and this is just the beginning of this storm. The rain will really start to pick up overnight. Expect rounds of heavy rain and maybe even some strong thunderstorms overnight and during the first half of tomorrow. Since we could get 1-3″ of rain, a flash flood watch has been posted for most of the state (not including extreme southern Maryland or the Eastern Shore). It goes into effect today and will continue through tomorrow afternoon.

Another factor with this storm is the wind. Southerly winds could gust to 30 mph later today and tonight. Then, they will turn around to the northwest tomorrow and remain up – possibly still gusting 20-30 mph. If any thunderstorms do get going, damaging wind gusts are a possibility with this kind of wind energy in the atmosphere right now.

After the cold front passes tomorrow and the winds turn around to the northwest, much colder air will come rushing into the state. This storm could even end as some snow in the mountains. For the rest of us, our daytime highs will likely be early in the day with temperatures plummeting in the late afternoon/evening. Highs will not get out of the 40s for the rest of the week and weekend while overnight lows drop back into the 20s.

Actually, it looks like this cold front is going to change the weather pattern for the next few weeks – flipping the mild pattern we have had into a much colder one. There are some long term pattern trends (and long term weather forecasters) that support a cold first 3 weeks of December. And that brings us to our next topic…

A look ahead…

The change from November to December marks an official transition in the meteorology world. The last day of November is the official last day of the hurricane season. While the first day of December starts meteorological winter. Winter does not officially start until the solstice on December 21st. But tomorrow is the start of the coldest 3 months of the year, climatologically speaking.

We just covered the fact that it’s going to turn colder for the change of meteorological season. That sets the stage for December 5th. December 5th you ask? Well, if you didn’t hear us talk about it last year, December 5th is becoming a significant weather date around Baltimore. Just over the last 9 years, we have had snow or flurries on that date 7 times. And believe it or not, there is a new storm moving our way this Sunday…at the same time that the cold air settles in, and the same time for the Steelers to come to town.

Although I am not ready to totally go for it yet, it’s not completely out of the question that some snow could mix with some rain. It would depend on a few different factors, though. One, we have to see how cold the air is coming our way. And two, the timing of this storm. But we will obviously stay on top of it and keep you updated as we move through the week. If we don’t see any white on Sunday, the chance of getting our first snow of the season is really ramping up.

A lot of people ask what our winter forecast is. Well, I don’t have a whole lot of confidence in my long term forecasting…at least yet that is. But the National Weather Service put their’s out and you can see it at this link:

http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/lwx/research/dcbalt_lanina/

And even though this blog is not specifically geared toward Baltimore, it does a great job at explaining some of the weather features and patterns that we meteorologists need to study for long term/seasonal forecasting:

http://mascoweather.blogspot.com/

Now that should give you something to keep you busy as we transition seasons.

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