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Saturday, February 2, 2008

Groundhog's Day Irony

First a note: Yesterday's official rainfall at BWI was 1.80"- a record for the date, nd the highest 1 day total since October 26th, 2007 when we had 2.49" of rain. That was part of a 4 day total of 5.43" between Oct. 24-27. It's been a while since we had a good soaker. We reached 50F very briefly, but Salisbury hit 63F.

So today is a holiday celebration today actually started as a German Festival 122 years ago. Some consider it to be like Candlemass- the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. The original festival ended with the groundhog as the 'main course'... Yummmmmmm.

The irony I see today is that while it is cloudy, Phil 'saw his shadow'. I agree with the forecast of 6 more weeks of winter, but the method is a bit hazy. Perhaps the lights and glare of the camera flashbulbs did it. Either way, we are on the same page. I had mentioned last week of the return of the -NAO, or North Atlantic Blocking pattern that will shift the trough in the jet back along the east coast. There is a lot of energy in this La Nina pattern, and it's just a matter of positioning the jet to benefit us (for snow). While there may be another brief ice event as the next 'rain' storm arrives Monday. This should be our last warm up before the pattern shift. And it will be a warm- into the mid 50s.

Here is the GFS projection for next Friday evening. It does not look like the coastal it tried to spit out yesterday, but the first in a series of clippers as the northern branch of the jetstream becomes more active. This will bring us the chance of snow and lead the charge of dropping the jet farther south with each pass. It will be a week or two process, but I see our return beginning next week and lasting through then end of February at least. Go Phil- I'm with you!

Have you heard of the Golden Snowball Contest in NY State. It's a contest between 5 cities for the highest seasonal snowfall. The latest tally is listed below. As you can see, so far a normal season for them. Below is the National Climate Data Center Summary for snow this season.

Click here for the Northern Hemisphere Snow and Ice Report for 2007-2008 Season.

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