Winter’s Last Stand: Significant Snowstorm on its Way

4 03 2015

Winter 2014-2015 will be ending with a bang.

I am currently tracking a disturbance associated with a stalled front which will pass through the region tonight into tomorrow. This system will be moisture-rich and will have plenty of cold air associated with it. While the event is less than 24 hours away, there is still some uncertainty concerning where the front will stall. If it stations itself further south, this means less snow for areas around I-95 and more snow for South Jersey and Delaware. If the front stalls further north, more of the Delaware Valley will receive significant snows.

The timeline of this storm will also be prolonged. Throughout the day today, it will be rainy and “warm”. As the front progresses south, temperatures will slowly fall to freezing. At this point, the rain should change to snow. The snow should start to fall by 1 AM tonight and continue throughout the day tomorrow until slowing down and ending by around 6-7 PM. Since snow will be falling for an extended period, totals will be significant.

GFS Model 8 AM Thursday

GFS Model 8 AM Thursday

Many models are projecting a general 6-9 inches falling for the immediate suburbs with slightly higher totals possible in South Jersey. The effects on the roads will be serious tonight and tomorrow. I would strongly recommend against driving tomorrow unless it is absolutely necessary.

Snow Map for Early March Snowstorm

Snow Map for Early March Snowstorm

That said, the snow will not last long after the storm ends. The March sun angle (equivalent to late September at this point) will quickly melt the snow. Roads should be fine by Friday and most of the snow could be melted by the end of next week.

A note about February: February was one of the coldest months we have seen on record. In Philadelphia temperatures were 10 degrees below normal. The last time we hit a high temperature above normal was on February 8th when we reached 51 degrees! The brutal February pattern should regress as we head into March, but will likely not completely disappear if long-range models are correct. Overall, I expect March to be around 3-4 degrees below normal, which is still an improvement over February.

Until next time…

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