Sunday, February 15, 2015

Metro D.C. Area Moderate Snowstorm Forecast and Recap of Arctic Blast; Photos of Dangerously Snow-Blitzed Eastern Massachusetts

A snowy evening in Reston, Va., Feb. 14, 2015 as seen in a black-and-white image taken by Kim Michael and posted in this CWG entry.


Well, whaddaya know ...

There's a winter storm watch out for tomorrow into Tuesday for at least 5 inches of snow for the Baltimore/Washington corridor including in the District of Columbia, where 6 to 8 inches of snow is (presently) considered the "most likely" amount.

The Sterling (LWX) county warning area (CWA) map for most likely snowfall amounts for the period 12PM EST Feb. 16, 2015 through 1PM EST Feb. 17, 2015 issued at 4:02PM Feb. 15, 2015.


After flipping and flopping endlessly, the models have come into agreement (for now) on a scenario in which a low pressure system moves out of the Gulf of Mexico to a point off the Outer Banks and overspreads accumulating snowfall across the region.

Here is the Capital Weather Gang entry on it (link embedded): Moderate snowstorm an increasing likelihood Monday night.

Last night, WOODY! on his graveyard shift at Sterling had all-but-removed any chance of snow from the forecast, and since he's usually correct on these things (grrrr ...), I figured that was that (although the 0Z and 6Z models were starting to look more promising), so this is a pleasant surprise.

Today has been, as forecasted, a bitterly cold day although KDCA managed to 22F (the forecasted high was only about 18F). Both KBWI and KIAD reached 18F and both reached 6F, which tied the record at KBWI set in 1943 (a pre-airport record) and surpassed the 7F at KIAD set in 1965.

National got down to 11F, which was impressive for its location but NO WHERE NEAR its daily record low of -11F set in the unprecedented winter of 1898-1899. (Nearly all KDCA winter lows are from the pre-airport period and many set during that incredible winter.)

The wind also stayed up for most of the day and a wind chill advisory for wind chills of -5F to -10F remains in effect for much of the area and a wind chill warning for wind chills of -10F to -20F in more northern and western sections.

Indeed, the CWA forecast map has the wind chill advisory and wind chill warning superseding the winter storm watch.

The Sterling (LWX) CWA map of weather advisories as of 5:08PM EST February 15, 2015.


By tomorrow morning, temperatures will be in the single digits and maybe even make a run for 0F at Dulles (KIAD).

Last night's snow squalls dropped as much as 4 inches of snow around Columbia, Md., and even KBWI officially had 2.6 inches -- raising its seasonal total to 9.4 inches (or -5.2 inches below the season-to-date normal).

KIAD had 0.7 inches, bringing its total to 11.0 inches (or -4.5 inches below the season-to-date normal).

KDCA had ... drum roll ...0.1 inch bringing its seasonal total to a whopping 3.7 inches (or -7.9 inches below the season-to-date normal).

God, I hate that little climate station ...

... way out there by Hunter Point at the edge of Reagan Washington National Airport beside the tidal Potomac River in a totally useless and unrepresentative location.

Well, to be clear, I don't hate it. Rather, it's just so damn WRONG -- as in, NOT REPRESENTATIVE of anything around here except itself.

Please, National Weather Service, move D.C.'s "official" climate station somewhere else. I suggest the National Arboretum or maybe the Naval Observatory. Heck, even the National Mall (in a suitably protected spot from the mobs of big, slow-moving tourists).

Now I know you won't because having it at National Airport "proves" some dumb-ass point about which nobody cares. Or maybe it's some stupid Federal regulation that "requires" this or that involving a "legacy" spot of some sort. 

Northeast U.S. visible satellite picture from earlier this morning in a Tweet from Kathryn Prociv at 10:11AM.


The situation in eastern Massachusetts including the Metro Boston area is a whole other level -- orders of magnitude different level. It really is a bad situation there. The seasonal total at Logan Int'l Airport (KBOS) is now about 90 inches and careening toward the 1995-1996 all-time record of 107.6 inches.

Snow-blitzed Copley Square in Boston earlier this morning in a Tweet from Julie Loncich, 7:57AM February 15, 2015.


Here is the Capital Weather Gang entry (link embedded): Winter storm blasts New England with two feet of snow, severe winds.

The CWG entry includes a lot of pictures, several of which I am posting in this entry. I've been getting a number of hits on my blog from folks in eastern Massachusetts looking for snow images but the primary ones that come up are from the 2013 storm in this entry.

The Blue Hill Observatory south of Boston recorded a new all-time greatest snow depth at 46.0 inches as seen in the Tweet from this morning at 9:52AM Feb. 15, 2015.

Here are some additional pictures ...

Massive snow drifts in Gloucester, Mass., reaching to the second floor of a house in a Tweet posted by Eric Fisher, 9:10AM February 15, 2015.

This is outright dangerous territory in terms of massive weight of snow on roofs.


A street scene in Somerville, Mass., just north of Boston this morning in a Tweet posted by Kathleen O'Keeffe at 7:25AM February 15, 2015.


Finally, this one taken by Instagram user clkubat. I'm not sure where the person lives but presumably somewhere near Boston:

Again, this is snow taken to a whole different and unwanted level.


OK, that's all for now. I'm meeting Nick for dinner at Tsunami a bit later. Last night, I went to Dupont Italian Kitchen, where Roger joined me, and then I went to Fox & Hound where I met Jamie and Jenny and, later and despite the flash-frozen frigidity of the night, to Larry's Lounge, where I had a nice and fun conversation with Chris H. (not my former friend / bartender; I think I'll just refer to him as Chris H1 and this one as Chris H2).

Chris H2 is hilarious including all those voice imitations he does and his sarcastic attitude.

Lastly, should the would-be snow event crap out, I'm not going to go into much detail on that in a subsequent entry.  


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