Desierto norte de Chile

Sunday, February 19, 2012

That was likely our last chance at snow...

The weak surface low slowly intensifying in eastern NC this afternoon will likely be our last chance at appreciable snow this winter. For us in the mid-Atlantic, the large majority of our snow comes from interacting upper-tropospheric vorticity maxima that phase to promote strong surface cyclogenesis. Cold air from our north is advected in at the surface while moist air from the south is advected aloft. The last week of NWP forecasts have bounced all around with how they treat today's low, but ultimately the phasing between vorticity centers didn't happen, so the slowly intensifying low will move essentially east from N. Carolina later this afternoon. Had it moved northeast (driven by a more amplified upper-troposphere wave), it would likely have brought us snow today/tonight. However we'll be lucky now to see even flurries. All in all, a disappointing "flourish" to a throughly non-snowy year. Since July 1, BWI has received 1.8" of snow: 0.4" on 09 Jan, 0.9" on 21 Jan, and 0.5" on 11 Feb. The total is 17.7" below the median annual snowfall value of 19.5". If it stands for the year (a reasonable outcome), it would be the 3rd least snowy winter in Baltimore since 1883 (1949-50 with 0.7", and 1972-73 with 1.2", are the 1st and 2nd least snowy, respectively).


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