A Foot of Snow Possible For SOME Marylanders

Winter Storm Watch for Wednesday
Posted at 7:42 PM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 19:42:13-05

No, everyone isn't going to get a foot of snow. But I wanted to make sure you read this, plus-- some folks in western Maryland will pick up 12" of snow. The combination of a high pressure system to our north sending very cold air our way + an area of low pressure tracking to our south and east spells significant winter storm potential for the Mid-Atlantic. We are expecting snow/winter precipitation will mix with rain as warmer air from the Atlantic Ocean gets pulled into the system. For that reason, the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for Wednesday.


Confidence is pretty high that we will have a major impacts in the area. All of the models-- you name them, NAM, GFS, EURO, CANADIAN, BARON..... I mean the list of them is ridiculous, all pick up on this system intensifying and bringing heavy rain, heavy snow, and breezy winds to the area. Thankfully the major ice threat will be to our south, but some mixing is expected. The major thing that is outstanding is the track. If the system moves a little further eastward-- we'll see more areas pick up higher totals.


We'll start of dry, but looks like the timeline has shifted a bit, so we'll start seeing snow moving into the western part of the state around 1pm. That energy will be moving eastward, and by the 5 oclock rush our commute, looks like we will have a bit of a mess on our hands. Several models try to keep this a mainly snow event, but looks like there will be significant warm about 850mb that will be above freezing. This will likely lead to the mixing of some freezing rain into the equation. How long that freezing rain last will have a direct impact on our final snow totals.


I think there will be a steep gradient where some folks pick up roughly and inch and 10-15 miles down the street others pick up 4-5 inches. That gradient looks occur along I-95. Some of that has do with the Chesapeake Bay. This time of year, the waters are still a bit mild--so it tends to advect warmer air near the surface, which on a large enough scale can cause slightly lower snow totals.