The snow came pummeling into the DMV yesterday afternoon, and since then, we have seen a lot of it. Snowfall rates of 1-2" per hour have been common. Here, in Southern Maryland, we did also see quite a bit of sleet mix in for 4-6 hours last night. Before the sleet started, I measured 10.3" if snow here in Solomons, MD. We then added 2" of pure sleet on top of that, and have put an additional 1.2" of snow on top of that today. Below is a chart of my hourly snow totals so far.
Temperatures will not make it above freezing today. This will allow for most of us to stay all snow today, and stay away from mixing problems. The only exception would be for southern Saint Mary's County where some more sleet could try to mix in.
The Storm has stayed off the coast, and is currently off the Southern Delmarva beaches. Because of the storm's placement, this is when the blizzard conditions will begin across our area. Winds of 30-40mph can be expected with wind gusts as high as 50-65mph. The National Weather Serivce has extended the High Wind WARNING util 7pm this evening.
Impacts So Far have been what we've been telling you they would be. Main roads are snow covered, and I can only imagine what secondary streets and back roads look like. We haven't see too many power outages, but that is slowly changing. So far, 67 customers are without power (as shown below). Once blizzard conditions occur, SMECO has said that, "We will not risk the safety of our crews. Restorations will resume once the winds fall back below blizzard force." And that could be as late as midnight tonight.
The Bottom Line is that we're in the peak of the storm from right now (9:30am) through about 5pm tonight. High winds are likely and the snow can be heavy to moderate at time. Power Outages will be likely, and travel will be near impossible. Many have already seen 12-16"+ of snow, and you can expect to add 6-12 more inches on top of that by the time all is said and done. I will continue to keep Facebook, Twitter, the website, and Periscope updated as best I can. However, in the event that I lose power, I can not guarantee that. The clean up process will start tomorrow, and will last for days. For the latest school closings and delay, I will have them on social media first!
As of 4:45pm, here's where we stand right now with the Blizzard of 2016. Light to Moderate snow is falling across the region, and has been doing so since around noon today. Great call by the school districts to close today. As of 4:40, I have recorded 2.5" inches in Solomons, MD.
Temperatures are lower than originally thought. What does this mean? Well it means two things that are very important. Firstly, that means that more snow is able to fall and accumulate. After 2-3 hours of snow, most already reported 1-2" of snow. I'm sure those totals are way higher now. I expect for this to continue throughout the day. It's for this reason alone that it looks like our updated forecast should verify. Secondly, this means that it will take longer for temperatures to get to the point for mixing to occur, and when it does occur, it shouldn't last for too long, maybe just a few hours. It's for this reason that snow totals could be on the higher side of our ranges
The Storm Track looks to be further south than I had expected. Our new area of low pressure is forming off the South Carolina/Georgia border, when I had expected it off the South Carolina/North Carolina border. What does this mean? This will allow our already colder than forecasted temperatures to stick around. This also means that the mixing line may not be as far north as thought. Having this further south storm track is good news for snow lovers. This by no means signifies that we'll get the heaviest snow, but it does mean that we could see some more snow. Additionally, this storm track could mean that the winds may not be as high, but could still be above 35mph.
The Bottom Line is that things are working in favor for snow lovers right now. The temperatures are cold than thought, and the storm is tracking further south. Expect for the snow to continue, and increase in intensity, throughout the night. If we're going to mix with sleet or rain, it would be between 3am and 10am Saturday. However, some areas in SoMD (Huntingtown, La Plata, Lower Marlboro) may never mix. We are still expecting blizzard conditions, but the winds may not be as high as once feared. Power Outages are still possible, if not likely. Tomorrow midday and early afternoon will feature the heaviest snow for SoMD of the whole storm. The earlier arrival means that snow should leave later, and I'm thinking the snow tapers off between 5pm and 12pm Saturday. Our final forecast was for 12-18" south of Route 231, and 18-24" north of there. We're not changing our forecast, but totals could definitely be on the higher side of those ranges, and might exceed them. Stay off the roads, and inside. Snow removal personnel, SMECO crews, and emergency personnel do not need to worry about navigating around us to do their job. This storm looks to be a top 2 all-time snowstorm. Stay with JB Weather for continuing coverage.
Many who know me know that I HATE to change my forecast last minute or during a storm. However, the only time I've ever done it in the past two and half years, it was necessary. Like last time, this is a necessary update. It looks like this storm exceed my previous expectations. It looks very likely that most of the region will see at least 12" of snow, with some getting over 18".
The storm also looks to come in a bit earlier than previously forecasted. Snow should start across Southern MD between 11am and 2pm today. Some sleet and rain may mix in at time Saturday, but mixing problems will not be a big worry.
Our Blizzard WARNING takes effect at 1pm today, with Governor Hogan's State of Emergency for Maryland already in effect. Many schools and businesses are already closed today, or scheduled to close early, and will remain closed all weekend.
It will take days to recover from this high impact, crippling blizzard. Wherever you are by lunchtime, expect to stay there for days. SMECO announced yesterday that if the winds get to Blizzard conditions (35mph gusts for 3 or more hours) they will be forced to wait to restore any outed power until the storm comes to an end to ensure safety for their workers.
For more in depth information, refer to yesterday's post.
Stay with JB Weather for non-stop 24/7 coverage here on the website, the Facebook page, the Twitter page, and on my Periscope.
The snow has started in many parts of the Mid-Atlantic, and as is on it's way to Southern Maryland. The storm looks like it's coming in faster, so the snow could start as early as 11am for some. As it becomes steadier and heavier, temperatures will drop and road conditions will go downhill. Treated highways and major roadways should fare decently into the early-evening or so with temperatures near or a little above freezing.
Confidence remains high that most, if not all, locations will get a minimum of around 10 inches by the time the storm finishes later in the day Saturday. There's a pretty good chance that some or many spots reach near or over 2 feet.
Governor Hogan's State of Emergency for Maryland took effect at 7am. Many schools, business, and governments have either closed for today (and the weekend) or will closing early today to be closed for the weekend.
For more, see my detailed forecast, accumulation map, and timeline.
Stay with JB Weather on Facebook, Twitter, Periscope (mobile app that allows me to go live) and right here on my website for non-stop 24/7 coverage.
GOVERNOR HOGAN HAS DECLARED A STATE OF EMERGENCY FOR MARYLAND
Not just a major, but a crippling winter storm is approaching. Please take this potentially dangerous storm seriously. Snow will start between mid and late-afternoon Friday, and the evening commute on Friday will likely be impacted, so take precautions accordingly. Slowly through the afternoon and early evening the snow will accumulate. But the bulk of the storm's fury will come after dark and throughout Saturday when snow rates could be over 1-3 inches per hour. It does also appear that sleet, freezing rain, and rain will mix in across our region, which will effect snow totals. However, the latest afternoon runs of the models are suggesting not as many mixing problems as once feared this morning. Snowfall intensity will diminish Saturday afternoon, slowly. But breezes will pickup, creating cold wind-chilled air. The impact of this storm will be felt for a long time after snow ceases by early Sunday morning.
The National Weather Service has gone ahead and issued a BLIZZARD WARNING from the I-95 corridor, west to the Bay, including all of Southern MD. Elsewhere, there are Winter Storm Warnings (pink) and Winter Weather Advisories (purple) up for locations across the Mid-Atlantic. The Blizzard Warning does mean that in addition to the wintry weather, we will also see high wind gusts over 35mph for three or more hours.
Impact across the region will be high. Travel will be very difficult Friday night through Sunday Morning. DO NOT DRIVE unless absolutely necessary. If you do travel, know that you could be putting your life at risk. Also be courteous of emergency vehicles and snow plows needing right of passage. Flying in/out of D.C. or Baltimore? Airports will likely be forced to close Friday night through Saturday evening. Normal service could take a few days to restore. While I'm not putting out any official school odds for any day other than Friday, expect multi-day school closures next week along with business and the government being forced to close. Below is a new map I will be using to show travel and school impacts.
What about School Odds for Friday? Even though the storm may be coming in later, I do not think that schools will want to risk a repeat of yesterday's travel problems across the DMV. But, schools could try to get in as much "learning time" (I use that lightly because not much learning will be happening) before the Blizzard. Some school systems may announce tonight, but some may wait until tomorrow morning. I will have updates on school statues tonight and all day tomorrow (if needed). Nevertheless, below are my school odds.
The Bottom Line is that this is looking like more and more of a crippling winter storm for the Mid-Atlantic. 8-14"+ can be expect across the region along with some sleet and freezing rain. This storm will close everything down for days. The later in the day you head through Friday, the more likely you are to encounter impacts. It looks like the storm should be arriving between 1 and 5pm Friday afternoon. Power outages are possible, if not likely. Have a plan ready to go if you lose power, because you could be without it for days. And of course, stay with JB Weather for accurate reporting on Southern Maryland weather, and how it will affect you. You can get updates here, on Facebook, or on Twitter.