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    (Another) One for the Ages

    1/27/2011, 7:12:12 AM

    Thursday, 11:50 a.m.

    Wow. I'm just in awe of the event that unfolded in the East over the past 36 hours. I'm beginning to run out of words at this point! Records are starting to disappear left and right. Last year, it was northern Virginia and Maryland into southern Pennsylvania that just couldn't miss with snow. This year it's a little farther east and northeast, with New Jersey, New York City (including the lower Hudson Valley and much of Long Island) and a large chunk of southern and eastern New England getting dumped on again. And again. And again.

    Just look at the snow depth across New England now:

    That's a huge area across southern New England with more than 2 feet of snow on the ground, and of more importance now as we start to move from the dead of winter toward spring is the amount of water locked up in that snowpack. Up to now, much of the snowfall has been dry and powdery - great for skiing, easy to shovel, easily compacted, but not containing a lot of water. However, yesterday's snowfall was much heavier in nature, more of a 'clingy' kind of snow, one with a lot more water in it. Most places now in the Northeast and parts of the mid-Atlantic are now looking at at least 2 inches of water locked up in that snow pack and some more than 4 inches:

    At this juncture, we are in now danger of seeing a sudden and dramatic warming over this vast snow field. Temperatures won't really be any better than normal for a few days, then they'll trend lower after that next week.

    If anything, we may ADD to this snow pack and the water contained therein next week. Take a look at the very latest GFS for next Tuesday evening:

    This is looking much more like the European has been looking over the past couple of days. It has a strong high dropping into the northern Rockies and a storm forming over Texas or the Texas Gulf Coast waters that could well have snow and ice in northern and western Texas and Oklahoma.

    The Canadian looks even more ominous:

    This storm is going to be a real menace early next week from the southern Plains to the Ohio Valley, and probably the mid-Atlantic and New England with plenty of snow and ice over a far more widespread area than this past storm. Look at the strength of the high over Montana - 1058mb! IF, and that is still a big 'if', it would strongly suggest brutal cold in the northern Rockies and northern Plains into the Midwest, ready to stick a dagger deep into the heart of Texas, complete with a danger of a freeze to the Rio Grande Valley by Wednesday and Thursday!

    Okay, any ready to cry 'uncle' yet? And we're technically not even to the halfway point of the winter season!

    On that note, time to deliver my annual 'Countdown to Spring' list. So, without further ado, the 'list', with an added twist - days to go to reach the marker!

    1) Feb. 2 (6) Groundhog Day (if he sees his shadow, deep fried rodent, anyone???)

    2) Feb. 5 (9) End of Solar Winter (1/4 of the year with lowest sun angles)

    3) Feb. 6 (10) End of Football (love it, but time to make room for the boys of summer...)

    4) Feb. 10 (14) Same sun angle as Oct. 31 (Hey, it's my list... October just sounds warmer to me!)

    5) Feb. 13 (17) 'PITCHERS AND CATCHERS REPORT' (Early this year - okay by me!!!)

    6) Feb. 20 (24) Daytona 500 (Let's go racin', boys!)

    7) March 1 (32) End of meteorological winter (makes for easy bookkeeping - you know. K.I.S.S.)

    8) March 13 (44) Daylight Savings Time begins (I LOVE the extended daylight in the evening!)

    9) March 20 (51) End of astronomical winter (More than 12 hours of daylight!)

    10) April 1 (63) OPENING DAY (So there's a game March 31; this is the real opening DAY!)

    Again, it's MY list! Feel free to add from it, or suggest changes. But trust me, these little signposts are markers that are now getting closer and closer, and they will help me get through what remains of this seemingly unending siege of cold and snow!

    The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com


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