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MID-ATLANTIC WEATHER WATCH FOR FEBRUARY

Cold, periods of light snow (1,2,3,4,5) with Nor’easter and heavy snow (6,7,8). Fair, rather cold (9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16) remaining fair, but not as cold (17,18). Snow, some rain in the southern part of the region (19,20,21) turning fair, cold 22,23,24,25,26) with Nor’easter, heavy snow (27,28,29).

 

MONTHLY GARDEN ACTIVITIES


BEST DAYS FOR FARM ACTIVITIES 

                                                       


JOHN GRUBER'S THOUGHT FOR TODAY'S 

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                                                                    John Gruber  (1768-1857) 

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HAGERSTOWN TOWN  AND  COUNTRY ALMANACK 

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ALMANACK SEES LATE WINTER START FOLLOWED BY WET SPRING

(Mercersburg, PA. January 20, 2020) – The Hagerstown Town and Country Almanack’s weather prognosticator Chad Merrill issued an updated winter outlook for the remainder of the winter, including a spring outlook that includes the forecasts for April and May.  

The winter so far has been warmer than average with less snow than average across the Mid-Atlantic, however rainfall has contributed to slightly above average precipitation. A strong polar vortex and westerly wind of the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation have contributed to the storm track being across the Ohio Valley. This has favored a pattern that has produced limited snow, a bit of ice followed by rain and then wind on the backside of these weather systems. 

Going forward through February, we see a shift towards colder weather later in February for the Mid-Atlantic. A storm late in January will bring wet snow west of the Blue Ridge and rain east of the Blue Ridge. Another system early in February will produce rain and wet snow. Between February 9-12 we see a winter storm that will produce a wintry mix but likely more snow than any storm so far this winter. We also see a winter storm around February 23 that will produce interior Mid-Atlantic snow and ice and a wintry mix to rain east of the Blue Ridge. We are expecting snowfall for the month to be near average along and west of Interstate 81 but less than average east of Interstate 81 to the coast. 

We still don’t see persistent cold long enough to bring overall monthly temperatures below average. Temperatures will trend near to slightly above average, with the coldest days of February occurring around Groundhog’s Day, several days before Valentine’s Day and then again towards the end of the month. The good travel days will be February 3-8, 14-20 and 28-29. Rain contribution to a few of the winter storms will allow total precipitation for the month to trend near average across the Mid-Atlantic. We also see very strong winds occurring very close to the middle of the month and again between February 23-26.

March will begin mild but then quickly turning stormy. The most snow will occur around March 9. We do expect cold air in the polar region to get dislodged and move south into the Mid-Atlantic early in March. This will be a function of the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation switching from a westerly to easterly phase. 

A storm during the middle of March will likely track west of the Appalachians, but enough cold air will be lodged east of the Allegheny Plateau to bring a wintry mix, with all rain east of the Blue Ridge. Icing potential could be significant in the highest elevations while rain looks to be heavy east of the Blue Ridge. A sizeable storm at the end of March will produce all rain from the mountains to the coast. The early month cold air and active storm track expected will contribute to above average snowfall west of the Blue Ridge and near to below average snow east of the Blue Ridge. We also expect very windy conditions in the middle and end of March. 

The first half of April will likely be wet and windy. There is even potential for wet snow in the highest elevations of the Alleghenies prior to April 5. Snowfall amounts we expect for the remainder of the season include 30-40 inches in the Alleghenies,13-19 inches in Hagerstown, 17-22 inches in Harrisburg, 3-6 inches in Washington and 8-11 inches in Philadelphia. 

Occasional showers are expected in early April with a cold blast a week into the month. The cold blast will be short-lived but a stormy pattern will evolve with occasional showers expected to resume very close to Easter Weekend. The second half of April after Easter weekend will get into a dry and milder trend. However, total rainfall in April will be above average, which means more than 3.50 inches will accumulate in Philadelphia, with rainfall exceeding 3.11 inches in Pittsburgh, 3.34 inches along I-81, 3.06 inches in Washington, D.C., and likely close to 4 inches for the Mid-Atlantic coast. 

The last hard freeze of the season will occur around April 10 along and east of I-95, April 18 along I-81 and between April 22-26 west of I-81.

May will begin dry and mild but we expect occasional showers and thunderstorms to contribute to more rainfall than average. Historically, May is one of the wettest months of the year and we expect with a weak El Nino or Neutral ENSO pattern that will contribute to above average rainfall. Therefore, we expect a wet spring in the Mid-Atlantic with above average precipitation. 

Chad Merrill, Weather Prognosticator
J. Gruber's Hagerstown Town and Country Almanack


                                                               
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