Welcome to American Weather


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About gymengineer

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location:
    North Bethesda, MD 20852
  1. I weight impact high when I rank snowstorms, so it's the same with non-winter events. 1) Isabel ('03). It was not the strongest winds, nor anywhere close to the most rain, but it was clearly the highest impact event. We did not have power for about 72 hours, which was the longest power outage I've experienced. And the power outages were so widespread that it was arduous to drive away from home because of all the stoplights that were off. But more than that single stat, it was the experience as a whole that made it noteworthy. First phase was the anticipation. Lower Montgomery County had experienced a severe thunderstorm in late August that had knocked out plenty of power. So, when my coworkers asked me what Isabel would be like the day before, I said it would be like that thunderstorm, except ebbing and flowing for more than 12-hrs instead of the 30-minutes for a thunderstorm. The local news was split about the extent of the effects-- Topper Shutt on WUSA9 was conservative in his estimate of power disruptions while Doug Hill was going for a once-in-a-generation event. We had the entire Thursday off, and the Fed Gov't closed early, so most people were home before the first rain bands moved through between noon and two. The first couple of bands were gusty to about 35 mph. But, what was most noticeable was that the sustained winds were already stiff in the 20's. This felt different than a thunderstorm. By 3:30, our power was flickering, and it went out for good at around 4 pm. At that point, the sustained winds were very noticeable even though the gusts hadn't gotten up to severe thunderstorm level. It was just a continuous lashing back of the trees from an unusual wind direction. With power out, we ate dinner from a propane cook-top before the sun went down. After sunset, it was completely dark, and we just listened to the wind, as we weren't prepared enough to have a battery-operated radio. During a lull around 8 pm, I went outside to my car in order to listen to the car radio for updates. The WTOP updates were blaring the flood warnings and suggested many hours ahead. I used the landline to call a friend out of the area, directed her to locating a local radar on the internet, and asked her to describe what was headed towards DC. She did her best, but it wasn't quite enough detail to paint a full picture. Exhausted from all the pre-storm tracking, and with nothing else to do in the dark, I went to bed around 10 pm. That means I missed the peak of the sustained winds right around midnight. But, I did experience the highest gusts in the storm which blasted through at various times between 4 pm and 1 am. The next morning, we used the landline to call around to see if any of our friends had electricity still. One family did, so we drove through all the dark stoplights to get to their house late morning. On our street, there were numerous downed branches, and our neighborhood had multiple downed tall trees, including ones that fell on houses. At our family friends' house, I saw the video on NBC4 of the ongoing Annapolis storm surge flooding, and was struck by the row of power poles downed in western Montgomery County. Even though the max gusts did not poke into the 60-70 mph range as forecast, they were high enough from the SE on top of the soggy soil after a wet summer to cause PEPCO's biggest outage ever. About 5 out of 7 customers lost power. That has not been matched since, neither by the 1/11 snowstorm nor the 2012 Derecho.
  2. Start a thread? I've wondered about this too. How many people would rank the Derecho ahead of Isabel?
  3. Don't get me wrong-- I love any tropical remnant/TS condition experience. It's just that those memories fade for most non-weather-obsessed folk in the area whereas the biggies snow-wise remain planted in their memories. I loved Ernesto '06 in Annapolis- wind, rain, storm surge. Hannah '08 was fun too with TS gusts. As I said, Fran was pretty high up there as a "dress rehearsal" for Isabel, complete with TS gusts, decent storm surge, wind-swept squalls, power outages, etc. Floyd was nice wind-wise, but like Hannah, they were from the wrong direction (N vs. S) to cause much disruption. But ask most people about Fran, Floyd, Ernesto, or Hannah, and they'd have no idea when the event happened. As for snowstorms, of course I'm not including lowland DC or especially DCA . I'm not even talking about just using the NW suburbs. If you look at the other major city in our region which *is* along I-95-- Baltimore--the big ones stack up well snowfall-wise there against Boston. Of course Logan Airport is going to get better winds than our airports. That's why I said "in the same league." Our snowstorms might not match every criteria of the worst New England blizzards, but at least they're on the same playing field: >25" snow with multiple areas over 30", >45 mph gusts, >5' drifts, etc. But that's a minor quibble. My main point is that we get big-deal snowstorms with some frequency, but very rarely get any tropical systems that can bring sustained TS-force winds to the cities. So, anything in the 7-day range tropical-wise is such low-chance for our area (and up to NYC) that it almost seems weird to use the term "fail" or "cave." (When metfan complained about wasting a week of his time staying up late for model runs for Earl, I was thinking "What were you expecting ?!") Even in the 3-day range, like when models showed Joaquin or Hermine impacting our area, it's still showing a solution that is so anomalous for our region that excitement is tempered with skepticism.
  4. The thing is that our once-in-a-generation tropical event (Isabel) would barely make a dent in a list of most exciting tropical events this generation in almost any coastal area south of the NC/VA border. For example, inland Orlando's third best event of just the year 2004 (Frances) far exceeded what we experienced with Isabel. We get hurricane conditions about once a century. A storm like Fran (96) was actually a very decent event for the area, but river flooding from it afterwards far exceeded the day-of impacts. But our best snowstorms continually are in the same league as the best ones to our northeast, so that accounts for the imbalance.
  5. The slow moving cell over DC right now is causing an extended rain delay at the Citi Open tennis tournament. (Players ranked 7-11 in the world are all here on the men's side-- this is the best field so far at this tournament .) The last match last night ended at around 1:30 am, and this delay sets up another late night ahead.
  6. Wait, you're normally much more on top of what's current than this. That exact tweet was already posted in this thread and discussed a couple of pages ago in this thread....when it first came out, at around 3 pm.
  7. 1/16 managed 43 mph at DCA and 52 mph at IAD. But, that was a significantly deeper low than what's progged here. (46 mph at DCA and 47 mph at IAD for 2/10/10)
  8. That website is amazing, everyone. Play around with the parameters, like this one: https://weather.us/model-charts/euro/maryland/significant-weather/20170729-1500z.html
  9. Using that amazing euro link, it looks like the 12Z Euro run is showing 40 mph+ gusts across the area from 10 am until around 7 pm Saturday.
  10. You two of all people haven't met before?
  11. Oh, the magic of this event. We were having Christmas dinner at a relative's house in Rockville. Before leaving for the dinner I noticed that flurries were in the forecast. After the dinner while everyone else was still chatting, I ducked out from the dining room and went to the front door hoping I could see some flurries in the air. Opening the door, the shocking sight was that the driveway was already covered while heavy snow was falling. I informed everyone else that the ground was covered and we all left in a hurry (because of course DC area folk freak out about driving in the snow). On the drive back on secondary streets, we saw multiple rear-wheel drive vehicles on the side of the roads not able to make it throug the icy roads. Once we got home, the snow was winding down. 1.5" of surprise snow had fallen. My dad and I decided to kick around a soccer ball out in the snow; I convinced him to do so because I just wanted to be out in the first event of 93/94.
  12. Notice I didn't put the word snow at all in the post you responded to.
  13. 0Z models so far are unanimous for a heavy stripe of precip over a narrow region of our subforum early Sunday AM (that would be the Norlun verifying, right?). The orientation of the stripe is also unanimous-- NNW to SSE. The only difference is if the center of that stripe lands in VA or MD.
  14. It was an F for me until this morning. Four consecutive mornings of 100% snow cover with two snowcover days in January separates this winter from the other F winters. 59.5% fake D-.
  15. This whole issue in the media would not have started if Greg Carbin (WPC) hadn't gone on record in an interview and said what he said. Sure, the reaction has been over the top, but this simply would have been viewed as a busted forecast and nothing more until the article came out.