Holiday travelers were held up for hours as they tried to drive on the only road that leads to the island.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Holiday travelers were held up for hours as they tried to drive on the only road that leads to the island.
Friday, October 22, 2010
The best news is that federal forecasters see no compelling reasons to think we'll stray far from the long-term averages for precipitation and temperatures this winter. Snow totals should look more like Baltimore's 18-inch norm than last year's record 77 inches.
On the other hand, forecasters at AccuWeather.com expect an early start to the cold weather in the Mid-Atlantic states this fall. Later in the winter, said AccuWeather.com's forecasting operations director, Ken Reeves, "you're going to find yourself with … warm air pushing against cold air in the region." That means more "mixy-type storms instead of colder snowstorms."
He guessed 20 inches to 25 inches in all at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. But he said "the bust potential is down rather than up this time," meaning that his estimate is more likely too high than too low.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center said the worst of the snow and cold this winter will fall across the northern tier of states, from the Pacific Northwest through the Great Lakes to New England.Warmer- and drier-than-normal weather is expected across the South, with growing worries about drought conditions developing from Texas to Florida.
The forecast is driven mostly by a strengthening La Nina — a cooling of surface waters in the eastern and central tropical Pacific Ocean.
That has replaced last winter's moderate El Nino, the pattern of above-average sea-surface temperatures that drove winter storms across the southern U.S. and up the East Coast, helping fuel the storms that dropped a staggering 77 inches of snow at BWI.
"In a La Nina, storms track to the west of [the Mid-Atlantic], and history has shown we often do not see a whole lot of snow," said Mike Halpert, deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center. "If I were a betting man, I would be betting against a very snowy winter."Last winter was 2 degrees lower than the long-term pattern because of sharply colder weather in February. A more nearly "average" winter in the Baltimore region would feel warmer by comparison.
If AccuWeather.com's forecast proves correct, the snow we get would come early in the season. Joe Bastardi, its chief long-range forecaster, said he expects temperatures in November and December to be near or below normal.
Reeves said that would come with an expected southward dip in the jet stream, down through the Great Lakes into the Mid-Atlantic.
"If we get that kind of flow going, it probably means access to colder air and a chance for … not Snowmageddon 3, but smaller batches of snow moving from west to east," he said.
If nor'easters do form, he said, they would tend to spin up off the Carolina coast without first sweeping up moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. And until we're deep into December, the odds will favor rain over snow.
Come January, the dip in the jet stream will flatten out, Reeves said. And that will mean milder weather. And when such temperatures collide with colder air to the north, Maryland can expect "wintry mix" storms that can slicken roads and bring down power lines without delivering much snow.
If you'd rather have a snowfest this winter, stick with the 2011 Old Farmer's Almanac. Its seers, using sunspot cycles and a strengthening La Nina as their guide, forecast a "cold, snowy" winter for the Mid-Atlantic, with the flakiest times in early January and mid- and late-February.
How reliable are NOAA's Winter Outlooks? The Climate Prediction Center measures its performance with a statistical tool called the "Heidike Skill Score." Negative scores are worse than random guessing. A score of 100 percent is a perfect forecast."Our average skill score is somewhere around 20 to 25 percent better than random chance," said Michelle L'Heureux, an El Nino and La Nina expert at NOAA.
Last year's Winter Outlook, once it was measured against the actual weather, got a score of 15 percent to 20 percent.
"While we did better than random chance, we didn't do as well as one would have hoped," she said. And that was because of a very strong negative Arctic Oscillation, a fast-changing atmospheric factor that contributed the cold air for Maryland's heavy snows. It's "always a wild card in our seasonal outlooks."
"This year's forecast is based on the expectation of a strong La Nina pattern, so as long as we don't see extreme AO values, then we should do reasonably well," L'Heureux said.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
- December 8: 6:00 PM.
It started to snow. The first snow of the season and the wife and I took our cocktails and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a Grandma Moses Print. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!
- December 9:
We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a more lovely place in the Whole World? Moving here was the best idea I've ever had. Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life.
- December 12:
The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a disappointment. My neighbor tells me not to worry, we'll definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we'll have so much snow by the end of winter, that I'll never want to see snow again. I don't think that's possible. Bob is such a nice man I'm glad he's our neighbor.
- December 14:
Snow lovely snow! 8" last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn't realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I'll certainly get back in shape this way. I wish I wouldn't huff and puff so.
- December 15:
20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4x4 Blazer. Bought snow tires for the wife's car and 2 extra shovels. Stocked the freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that's silly. We aren't in Alaska, after all.
- December 16:
Ice storm this morning. Fell on my ass on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurt like hell. The wife laughed for an hour, which I think was very cruel.
- December 17:
Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should've bought a wood stove, but won't admit it to her. God I hate it when she's right. I can't believe I'm freezing to death in my own living room.
- December 20:
Electricity's back on, but had another 14" of the damn stuff last night. More shoveling. Took all day. Goddamn snowplow came by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they're too busy playing hockey. I think they're lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower and they're out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they're lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he's lying.
- December 22:
Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white shit fell today, and it's so cold it probably won't melt till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to piss. By the time I got undressed, pissed and dressed again. I was too tired to shovel. Tried to hire Bob who has a plow on his truck for the rest of the winter; but he says he's too busy. I think the asshole is lying.
- December 23:
Only 2" of snow today. And it warmed up to 0o. The wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What is she nuts!!! Why didn't she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she did but I think she's lying.
- December 24:
6". Snow packed so hard by snowplow, l broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the son of a bitch who drives that snowplow, I'll drag him through the snow by his balls. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the street at a 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over where I've just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas Carols with her and open our presents, but I was busy watching for the goddamn snowplow.
- December 25:
Merry Christmas. 20 more inches of the !=3D@x@!x!x1 slop tonight. Snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. God I hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she's an idiot. If I have to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" one more time, I'm going to kill her.
- December 26:
Still snowed in. Why the hell did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She's really getting on my nerves.
- December 27:
Temperature dropped to -30o and the pipes froze.
- December 28:
Warmed up to above -50. Still snowed in. THE BITCH is driving me crazy!!!!!
- December 29:
10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That's the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?
- December 30:
Roof caved in. The snow plow driver is suing me for a million dollars. The wife went home to her mother. 9" predicted.
- December 31:
Set fire to what's left of the house. No more shoveling.
- January 8:
I feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed?
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
The Eastern Shore is again under a Winter Storm Warning. Just as the Shore is struggling to get back to normal in a winter that has been anything but normal, the National Weather Service has issued this warning.
...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 AM EST THURSDAY...
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN WAKEFIELD HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR ..WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 AM EST THURSDAY. THE WINTER STORM WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.
SNOW AND SLEET WILL DEVELOP ACROSS THE VIRGINIA EASTERN SHORE LATE THIS AFTERNOON. SNOW AND SLEET WILL CHANGE TO RAIN TONIGHT. RAIN WILL TURN TO SNOW WEDNESDAY MORNING AND CONTINUE THROUGH WEDNESDAY EVENING. 4 OR MORE INCHES OF SNOW IS EXPECTED BY WEDNESDAY EVENING.
A WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW... SLEET...AND ICE ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. STRONG WINDS ARE ALSO POSSIBLE. THIS WILL MAKE TRAVEL VERY HAZARDOUS OR IMPOSSIBLE.