Next Chance of Accumulating Snow: Friday - Saturday
Probability of Accumulating Snow (1" or more): 50%
For non-snow lovers in the Mid-Atlantic, this is has been your winter. Record setting warmth in December with no snow at all, and a pretty quiet January. The area just picked up its first measurable snowfall after an over performing storm on Sunday, and even that was small. Well non-snow lovers, your luck may be running out.
Our storm chance covers the period from early Friday through Saturday. This storm does have the potential to be big, as I'm sure most have heard. However, there are large uncertainties with respect to its evolution and track.
There is high confidence a storm will develop near the Gulf Coast states midweek and then head northeastward. But as with all storms from the south, the exact track it takes will determine how much impact it has on the region. A more inland track could mean some snow before a changeover to rain and/or mixed precipitation. A track too far to the south and east would result in little, if any, precipitation. A track just off the coast, in between the first two tracks mentioned, would mean the potential for significant snow, which is what some of our more reputable models are showing like the European.
I don't disagree that there is the potential for a significant precipitation event somewhere in the Mid-Atlantic late this week but I should stress it is very unclear whether this precipitation event will manifest itself as a significant snowstorm. As we have witnessed throughout the winter so far, many snowstorms simulated 5+ days out by computer models have a high chance to not materialize. Below is an image from the American Model which shows some mixing problems for Southern Maryland because of the winds coming off the water (represented by the arrows).
Keeping everything in mind, here's my assessment of our current snow potential:
Nuisance Event: 30%
Disruptive Event: 40%
Significant Event: 20%
Historic Event: 10%
I still think it's too early to latch on to an exact track, but I do tend to think the inland scenario is a tad more likely than the other two I described which would mean some significant precipitation for the region. My other hunch is that cold air may be in shorter supply meaning rain and/or sleet may enter the picture. You're going to see a lot of images over the next few days of crazy snow totals along with a lot of hype. All I can say is to do is just ignore those sensationalist, and keep it locked in with JB Weather for the latest throughout the week.