BLOG: Rain To Snow?

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timwilliams

As a low pressure system currently moving across Northeastern Pennsylvania continues to head to the east today, we will encounter a few periods of rain. Temperatures mostly in the upper 50s and lower 60s this morning fall this afternoon as this feature pulls a cold front southward and through the Greater Baltimore area. There is a small chance for a thunderstorm when that front moves through, but no severe weather is anticipated. It will, however, turn noticeably COLDER late this afternoon and especially tonight. Many places will be in the upper 30s tomorrow morning with clearing occurring late tonight. A high pressure system building into the Northeast will bring sunshine back to the region tomorrow. It’ll be chilly, with most temperatures no higher than the 50s.

Looking ahead to Saturday, we’ve been watching this with much anticipation all week long. The global models are starting to form more of a consensus on how they handle a low pressure system this weekend. This new wave of low pressure, which will form just off of the Carolina coast tomorrow night, is expected to track to the north and east on Saturday. With all of the future model soundings (or, vertical temperature profiles of the atmosphere) showing some unseasonably cold air at the 850-millibar level (air temperatures between 5,500 and 6,000 feet on Saturday morning are forecasted to be near 28 degrees Fahrenheit), there’ll also be what appears to be a band of steady precipitation spreading up the coastal plain during the morning. Many places within 50 miles of I-95 (both east and west of it) will encounter rain at the onset of precipitation, when temperatures will be mostly in the 40s. However, before the precipitation tapers to a few showers in the afternoon, some heavier pockets of it will cause the vertical column of air to cool, so temperatures will be falling.

For what it’s worth, the European model is even showing signs that Baltimore may wind up in the upper 30s by day’s end. Therefore, anybody who encounters some of the steadier, heavier precipitation could see some wet snow for a while. Both ground and pavement temperatures are going to be high enough the next 48 hours to prevent any of this wet snow from sticking to road surfaces, but there could be a small, slushy accumulation of snow by early Saturday night in some places. There are concerns for Saturday given the temperature and precipitation distribution being shown on the models. There is a chance that the air is cold enough for a large percentage of the precipitation to fall as snow and the worse case scenario is that parts of the viewing area get enough heavy, wet snow to bring down trees and power lines.

It’s too early to tell exactly WHERE, but it is something we aren’t ruling out at this point. The departure of this wave Saturday night, which may cause a few inches of snow across interior parts of New England, will be followed by nicer weather on Sunday. Expect some sun and temperatures mainly in the 50s.

 Have a good day!

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