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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Another Waste of Cold Air

With temperatures running around 15 degrees below normal, we have nothing to show for it. Today is my 5 year anniversary at WMAR (ABC2). I had to sit out for two weeks during my transition from 5 years at WBAL- and my first day back was covering a snow storm that dumped only 3 inches at BWI but about 5"-6" in Baltimore county. It was anti climatic after the 28" of snow two week earlier. I remember standing on a snow bank next to the Nautilus Diner on York Road in Timonium. I was standing higher than the street sign. Ah- good times...
If nothing else, this season's weather pattern has been persistent. That is the 'haves' continue to 'have it', and well you know the rest. While I would love to play Robin Hood and spread the wealth for my fellow snow lovers, I have not figured a way to do that yet. However, I wanted to point out one of the lucky cities- Chicago.
This image is from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) onboard NASA's Terra satellite on February 24, 2008. It shows the snow cover in the Great Lakes area. Chicago on the south east end of Lake Michigan- does not typically get Lake Effect snow, so they rely on standard synoptic scale (what you see on a weather map) storms to bring them the fluff. Here are the snow stats for them up through today:
Normal: 30.2"
Last Season: 30.3"
This Season: 50.9"
That is 2/3 above normal.
Record Season 1978-1979: 89.7"

While they are a long way from their record... Just average snow for the rest of the winter will bring them into the top 10%, and the most since 1980. Definitely an impressive season for them.

So what about us? I am beginning to lose my optimism. While I still hold that there will be a large coastal storm, it may come a little too late to help our snow efforts. A clipper passing to our north tomorrow night will bring only the chance or rain or snow showers. I would be surprised if there is anything substantial out of this. behind it, the trough will lift and we will warm up over the weekend. The next storm, will be a warm rain maker. Temps may get close to 60F by Monday. As for that coastal I touched on yesterday... it does not look promising now. The track of the Tuesday storm will lock up the cold air well to our north. It will set the stage for another storm for the end of next week- that will again stay to our west. More snow for Chicago, non for us.
We can still look back to March 10-13 of 1993 for signs of late season storms. Still waiting...

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