This storm has been pounding a lot of the country with everything from mountain snows across the west to a full out blizzard in the Upper Midwest to icing in the Appalachians and flurries even down in Georgia, to severe weather along the Gulf. It has forced road closures, flight cancelations, and even the collapse of the roof of the Metrodome in Minneapolis. Not only is this storm incredibly large, but it’s incredibly strong. It has drawn such warm air up ahead of it that temperatures are in the 50s in New England, creating a flooding threat. And, it has connected with just as cold air behind it, bringing in another round of bitterly cold, Arctic air. Temperatures have already gone below zero in the Dakotas and Minnesota…and we are talking actual air temperatures, not the wind chill.
In western Maryland, there was icing overnight and the cold air is already changing things over to snow in Garrett and Allegany counties. That’s where a winter storm warning is in effect through tomorrow morning for more accumulating snow. For the rest of the state, we have been on the warm side of the storm with temperatures in the 50s – meaning rain. The rain, fog, and drizzle will come to an end overnight as the cold front swings through. When it does, winds will turn around to the northwest and open up the gates to the next round of cold air. There will be some snow showers and flurries making their way all the way across the state overnight and tomorrow along these gusty winds. There is the chance for a light covering of snow if one of those stronger bands comes through your neighborhood.
But we are also concerned with icing in the morning. Not from anything coming out of the sky, but from the quick rush of cold air taking over – possibly freezing up some of the wet spots on the roads before they have a chance to dry. We are forecasting a low of 31 degrees at BWI-Marshall, which would put us below freezing. It will be a close call in the city, but parts of Baltimore County will likely drop below freezing along with areas north and west of the city.
Highs will get above freezing tomorrow afternoon, but barely. Highs will only make it to the mid 30s with a wind chill in the 20s. Then highs on Tuesday might not even make it out of the 20s, as the winds continue to gust and flurries or snow showers could still be flying around. Tuesday will be the coldest of the next few days, but the cold air is going to hang around again this week. Highs will be in the 30s Wednesday, Thursday, and possibly still on Friday. That is about 10 degrees below average.
We are watching for what right now looks like a weak storm Thursday and then again Friday night into Saturday that could cause some light snow or mixed rain and snow showers. However, in this weather pattern with so much cold air and energy, any one of these little systems must be monitored for more development. And, this weather pattern is going to continue through Christmas.