I found myself at 3,500ft in elevation with crystal clear skies on Friday April 20th, 2012. Being “Park Week”, I had no choice but to visit a long time friend of mine; Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. With the forecast looking poor during the peak activity, I arrived a couple of days early to maximize my chances at a clear night. The first night was clear, but the dew point was causing issues with creating tons of condensation, which formed on everything. Things got a little hairy at point when a black bear approached us at 11pm in the pitch dark. I didn’t realize he was there until I heard a stick break and then noticed the bear 50 feet away. He growled and made noises, but kept on moving towards the east with no issues at all.
Sunset was even a pleasant palette of pastel colors in the western skies facing West Virginia
Shenandoah Celebrated it’s 75 year anniversary last year as I celebrated my 12th year there at the highest Point in the Park, Hawksbill Mountain
Rain water created tiny pools of water along the highest cliffs in the park
The second night there wasn’t a problem with condensation forming on my gear because we had gusty winds near 40mph or higher along the ridge preventing that from happening. The sturdy tripod made all the difference this night taking the stronger winds. Keeping the tripod low to the ground increases the stability. A steady rain, followed by 6″ of snow blocked any chance of observations for the “peak night”. But the night before offered some gorgeous views of the heavens.
The track is unknown until we see where the center developes. This is the situation:
1. If the Low tracks closer to the coast we could see a change over from snow to a mixture of snow, sleet and freezing rain. Areas inland will see higher snow totals because of that.
2. If the Low is further off the coast. The air will remain cold enough and heavy amounts of snow will fall along the I-95 corridor. As the storm nears, winds will intensify, creating blizzard conditions which in result will cause downed trees and powerlines. Snow totals could range anywhere between 6″inches and 2 feet!! Keep an eye on my blog for future udpates!
Storm Track 1.
Storm Track 2.
Yet another Winter Storm will impact us early next week. This one could have the potential to dump over 12″ of snow, maybe 2 feet! There is also the down side of receiving a wintry mix, or just plain rain. Let’s hope the storm stays off the coast just enough to keep us in the snow and get the big stuff! The track is uncertain as always, but one thing for sure is this storm is going to be a monster!
Here is the latest forecast model for Sunday, January 23rd, 2010. The yellow line is the potential track of the storm for next week.
Some models have this thing exploding into a monster as it rides up the coast. This is going to be a significant weather event for millions of people. Keep your eye on your local forecast over the weekend. Just like a rain dance, a snow dance is always encouraged!