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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Keep your Eyes on the Prize

Yesterday we reached 71F without the sun! That was an impressive show, thanks to strong southerly winds that gusted over 40mph. There were some trees down this morning, but that Tornado Watch thankfully did not result in any twisters- as of this posting (6am). The air pressure at BWI dropped to 29.47" or 997 mb on the barometer. That is mighty low and the main reason for our strong winds. However it only resulted in .38" of rain up through 6am this morning. That is well under the expected 1 inch or more. It sure sounded like more!
The strength of this storm will help to establish a little blocking as it winds up in eastern Canada in the next few days. That is a pattern that allow colder air to spill down the east coast. That will set the stage for an eastward push of our next storm. Before I get to that...
Spotlight: St. Louis, MO
Monday: High temperature 79F
Tuesday: Snowfall= 10 inches. A record for the date!

Now we can focus on the next storm for Friday and Saturday:
Here is the GFS projection for late Saturday. As you can see an impressive Low Pressure of 992mb will be passing off of the coast to our east. The 540 thickness line that we watch for rain/snow is highlighted in white. The strong northerly wind direction should allow some backlash moisture to survive as the cold air catches up. Here it does appear to have the chance of bringing a few hours of snowfall. The question that will arise is "can it stick"?
I would suggest now that would be based on timing. The higher sun angle, and recent warm stretch will hurt the chances of 'stickage' during the daylight hours. So while there will be a lot of talk about how much we can get- I can't go there. At least not now. If the timing changes, and we end up with overnight snow- then we could expect to talk amounts.
On that note, here is the Canadian model also showing a turn over back to snow on Saturday: You can see that the surface Low is a little faster, which would result in less moisture left over for snow- but could signal a chance of the whole pattern turning sooner or earlier in the day. Something to watch:
Surface Pressure Precipitation (6hr total)

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