Watch the winter storm shape up with new snow forecast maps

Friday, January 28, 2022

Afternoon update

Here we are after a long week of trying to figure out this storm. Light snow spread over much of the area today but has not stuck yet. This will change as it gets darker and colder. The is ahead of the mower part. The main event will develop off the coast of South Carolina as higher level energy rushes in that direction. We’ll take a look.

I also have new model snow maps to compare to my updated snowfall call and all NWS regional office snow forecasts.

Before I dive in, I wanted to highlight a few points based on the messages I received today:


  • Snow fell and spread over the whole area all day.
  • Sticky and icy roads: With the ground wet with snow and temperatures above freezing, when it gets dark and colder, the roads will get slippery tonight.
  • The temps have been too warm for collage, but that will change tonight as it gets colder.
  • It will be a big storm. Even if you don’t enter heavy snow, the storm itself is not a “bust”
  • Bomb Cyclone is a real weather term. This means that the pressure drops by at least 24 mb in 24 hours. I’m sorry it sounds like “Catch Phrase” which has been overused on TV. I haven’t used it much here for that reason.
  • Storm Name: I don’t know or am not that. Naming winter storms is a Weather Channel marketing plan that is not endorsed by the National Weather Service or the American Meteorological Society. I don’t work for TWC, so I don’t use it here.
  • Planes: I don’t know how the airlines will react. However, there will be very strong winds even outside the snow zone. Plus a major impact in Philadelphia, New York and Boston. The cascading effect may cause delays at other airports.
  • Blizzard: There is a legitimate warning for this rare event on the Lower East Coast of Maryland, Sussex Co Delaware and up the coast to New England. The combination of high winds (over 35 mph) and heavy snow (over 1”/hr) is the qualifier.
  • This same area can receive over 12 inches of total snow, with drifts up to 2 to 3 feet high.
  • Drift will make snow measurement difficult. More accurate methods involve finding at least 3 points on your property to be measured and then taking the average. An easy math activity with kids.
  • The storm will move away from metropolitan areas in the morning.
  • The storm will move away from the beaches in the afternoon.



EXPANDED Winter Weather Advisory to include:

  • Northern Harford, Baltimore, Western Howard and Montgomery in Maryland
  • Pennsylvania: York and Lancaster counties.
  • Northern Virginia from Louden County west to northern West Virginia.

The blizzard warning has already been EXTENDED to include:

  • Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties in Maryland, plus Sussex Co in Delaware.
  • *Salisbury, Pocomoke City and Crisfield. In Delaware, from the beach now to all of Sussex County!

  • Snow storm is qualified by sustained winds of 35 mph with snow rates of 1”/hr or more for 3 consecutive hours.
  • Winter storm warnings: Snow likely more than 5 inches
  • Winter weather advisory: Snow probably “at least” 1-3 inches.

Monitoring the development of storms

Doppler Radar

It’s been active with snow all day, but the temps haven’t taken the sticky yet.

The bands are moving northeast and will expand this evening.

Afternoon surface weather

The Clipper is still near Cincinnati. This is a piece that will enhance the snow along our forehead…

Freezing temperatures are located in Pennsylvania behind this front and will spread through the region this evening.

The coastal storm is just beginning to form. Pressure measured at 1006 mb.

Mesoscale analysis

The main depression is located southeast of South Carolina.

Note: Surface pressure is 1006 mb. It is forecast to be 975 mb east of Ocean City (a few hundred miles) by 1 p.m. tomorrow afternoon. That’s a drop of 31MB in less than 24 hours.

Temperatures at 4 p.m.

The temperatures were just above freezing, so the snow that fell did not stick. That will change tonight.

Temperature forecast at 8 p.m.

Snow is expected to stick tonight as temperatures continue to drop… The freezing line will eventually reach southern Maryland and the blizzard zone before midnight.

Next Level Energy

Tourbillon at 500mb

I showed this plot of the jet stream yesterday. This afternoon, he was located in Texas and was racing towards the American coast.

Swirl Animation

1:00 p.m. Friday to 7:00 p.m. Saturday

Even though it sounds like The Matrix, improved circulation can jump with this developing storm!


Surface wind forecast

Entertainment 7 p.m. Fri to 2 p.m. Sat


Saturday morning snapshot

Band of gusts of wind (peak during the event)

Surface storm timeline

GFS model -> slider









Animation up close

3km NAM pattern ending Saturday at 2:00 p.m.


Snow forecast

Compare my call updates to the models and the NWS desk forecast

New snow data computer model

American models

NAM 3 Km


European ECMWF

Canadian EME

Also see:

Snow map models below

Click to go to page: NWS Regional Office Snow Forecast Maps



7:00 a.m.

Wind Chill!!!!

Faith in the flakes!

*Disclaimer due to frequently asked questions:

I know there are spelling and grammatical errors. I’ve made a few public statements over the years, but if you’re new here, you might have missed it:

I’m dyslexic and discovered it in my sophomore year at Cornell. That didn’t stop me from getting my meteorology degree and being the first to get the AMS CBM in the Baltimore/Washington area.

I miss my mistakes in my own proofreading. The automatic spell check on my computer sometimes does an injustice to make matters worse.

All maps and information are accurate. “Word” stuff can get sticky.

There is no editor who can verify my work when I need it and have it ready to ship on a newsworthy schedule.

I accept this and maybe prove that what you read is really mine…

It’s part of my charm.


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Winter Perspectives Series:

My Snow Call

Recap of last winter: my old outlook and your notes of my storm forecast

Winter Weather Page – Lots of Resources

Solar cycle Increased sunspots suggest more snow

Comparison of 4 Different Farmer’s Almanacs: Mostly Colder Winter Outlook Than NOAA’s

NOAA Winter Outlook – But read the fine print

Signals for an early start to winter in November

Winter Perspectives Series: La Nina Double Dip

Nor’easters may give a hint for winter La Nina Pattern

Winter Folklore Checklist

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