The Weather Page

The Sun's Frank Roylance answers readers' weather questions

Looking back: Snowy owls

9:03 PM EST, January 10, 2014

Looking back: Snowy owls

More news came out this week that snowy owls have returned to Maryland. One was captured at BWI and released in late December. I only have found a few mentions in The Baltimore Sun since 1837 of the snowy owl, also called white owls. The Jan. 16, 1844, edition mentions numerous sightings of white owls and the capture of one for a museum. Sightings in Maryland are indeed rare. On Jan. 15, 1985, the Evening Sun ran a photo of a snowy owl that happened to land on The Sunpapers' fourth-floor roof just outside the photo department. "The bird stayed long enough to be photographed a few times. The bird's destination was not known," the story read.

Did the weather make a difference in JFK's assassination?

2:15 PM EST, November 22, 2013

Did the weather make a difference in JFK's assassination?

If it had kept raining in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, would it have changed history? Several books and articles have pondered this question. President John F Kennedy greeted a crowd on a misty morning rain in Fort Worth at 8:45 a.m. central standard time. The weather in Dallas had been rainy, but the sun came out before the president's plane had landed. The plexiglass "bubble" top had been removed from the car. The Secret Service knew the president preferred not to use the bubble, unless it was inclement weather, according to media reports.

At Polar Bear Plunge, 35-degree water awaits swimmers

7:00 AM EST, January 26, 2013

At Polar Bear Plunge, 35-degree water awaits swimmers

Swimmers at the MSP Polar Bear Plunge are in for a cold one.

Will Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow?

5:00 PM EST, February 1, 2013

Will Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow?

At 7:20 a.m. Saturday Punxsutawney Phil will leave his burrow at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., for the 123rd time and prognosticate how much longer winter will last. If Phil sees his shadow and returns to his burrow it means six more weeks of winter. If he doesn't see his shadow, we can look forward to an early spring. Phil has seen his shadow 99 times, and 16 times he didn't, with 9 years of records missing since 1887. In 2012 he saw his shadow, but in 2011 he didn't. Speaking of animal predictions, the Chimpanzees at the Maryland Zoo predict Ravens to win Super Bowl.

The weather during the Battle of Gettysburg

6:10 AM EDT, June 29, 2013

The weather during the Battle of Gettysburg

Curious about the weather during the Battle of Gettysburg fought by soldiers in wool uniforms July 1-3, 1863? The Rev. Dr. Michael Jacobs, a math and science professor at Pennsylvania College, now Gettysburg College, recorded the temperatures three times a day during the battle: 7 a.m., 2 p.m., and 9 p.m. On July 1 the temperature at 2 p.m. was 76 degrees and the sky was cloudy. At 2 p.m. July 2, it was 81 and partly cloudy. It was 87 degrees at 2 p.m. July 3, the time of Pickett's Charge. Lee's retreat from Gettysburg on July 4 was hampered by rain, mud and swollen creeks. The thousands who will gather in Gettysburg for re-enactments next week will see temperatures in low to mid-80s and scattered thunderstorms predicted most days.

Looking back on storms of '78 and '03

7:00 AM EST, February 9, 2013

Looking back on storms of '78 and '03

Boston is being hit hard by a major snowstorm with 2 feet or more expected. Its largest snow amount was Feb. 17-18, 2003, when it received 27.5 inches. Baltimore received 26.8 inches, which is also our largest snowfall total, Feb. 16-18, 2003. Boston's second-largest was Feb. 6-7, 1978, when the city received 27.1 inches. This storm shut down Boston with heavy winds causing power blackouts and traffic to cease for days. On Feb. 5-6 1978, Baltimore received about a foot of snow and up to 18 inches in others parts of state. While this caused some problems, Baltimore was spared the worst of nature's fury that year. Overnight into today, we might receive about an inch of snow.

Baltimore ties to cherry trees in D.C.

7:09 AM EDT, March 12, 2012

Baltimore ties to cherry trees in D.C.

The original cherry tree planting in Washington 100 years ago was directed by Baltimore-born Col. Spencer Cosby, who helped develop Potomac Park as superintendent of the Office of Public Buildings and Grounds. Cosby worked with the Japanese government on making sure their gift of 3,000 trees arrived and passed inspection. On March 27, 1912, the first two cherry trees were planted, one by first lady Helen Herron Taft and the other by Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador, according to the National Park Service. These two trees still survive, marked by a bronze plaque.

6:00 AM EDT, September 15, 2012

Frostburg celebrates bicentennial

Frostburg is celebrating its bicentennial this weekend. Despite the name Frostburg is not named after Jack Frost or the weather, though the town can become quite frosty with the winds and snow coming down from the Big Savage Mountain. This beautiful historic town in Western Maryland was founded along the path of the National Road originally called Mount Pleasant. The name was changed to Frostburg in honor of Meshach and Catherine Frost, who in 1812 built the first home and tavern for stagecoaches. This weekend will be very pleasant a good time to get out and explore the area.

6:00 AM EST, November 10, 2012

Remembering 2009's nor'easter

Maryland was spared the effects of the recent nor'easter, unlike on Nov. 11, 2009, when the state was hit over several days with up to 8 inches of rain, high wind and waves. A quarter of the dune line in Ocean City was eaten away, with coastal flooding partially caused by high bay tides. This extratopical storm was called Nor'Ida or the Veterans Day storm because it formed from remnants of Hurricane Ida. When the storm was over, Marylanders again felt they had dodged a bullet. This weekend we will have much-needed sun and warmer temperatures. The normal high is 59, and the Baltimore area is forecast to reach 63 today and close to 70 on Sunday.

4:27 PM EDT, July 27, 2012

Will July have normal rainfall?

Maryland could be on tract to have normal rainfall for the month of July after six consecutive months of below-normal rainfall. As of Friday afternoon, Maryland has received 3.24 inches. Normal for the month is 4.07 inches. Maryland has had 16.62 inches since Jan. 1 with a deficit of 7.27 inches below normal. Dry areas of the state should get some relief with more thunderstorms in the forecast for today and above-normal precipitation predicted for the beginning of August by the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center.

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3-Day Forecast

Thursday
Partly cloudy
87° | 69°
Friday
Mostly cloudy
84° | 72°
Saturday
Thunderstorms
81° | 66°

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