Forecasters are predicting another round of unusually light and fluffy snow Friday, potentially a few inches of it across the region this time, though some began to second-guess the forecast Thursday afternoon.
Though the system isn't expected to be moisture-packed, it could still bring a decent snowfall because of the cold temperatures. A typical ratio of snow’s accumulation total to its liquid content is about 10:1, meaning 10 inches of snow would equal 1 inch of rain. Any snowfall this week could have a snow-to-liquid ratio of 20:1 or higher, forecasters said.
The colder the temperatures, the less moisture it takes to produce the same accumulations of a wetter but slightly milder system, said Chris Strong, warning coordination meteorologist at the weather service's Baltimore/Washington forecast office. Temperatures are forecast in the mid- to upper-20s when the snow is expected to arrive Friday.
Some snowfall Thursday morning reached 30:1 ratios, meaning a tenth of an inch of liquid precitation caused 3 inches of snowfall in some areas, according to AccuWeather.com's Henry Margusity. The case could be the same Friday, bringing 4-5 inches in some spots on Friday, he said.
(For more on Thursday morning's snowfall totals, read this morning's forecast post.)
Weather service precipitation forecasters predict 50-70 percent chances of at least an inch of snow Friday, and 20-30 percent chances of 2 inches or more in Central Maryland.
Frederick-based meteorologist Rick Grow blogs that snowfall could reach a widespread 3-5 inches, starting around 2-4 p.m. Friday. Weather Underground blogger @WxManMd predicts 2-4 inches.
But by early Thursday afternoon, local meteorologist "Eric the Red" said forecasts appeared to be trending in the wrong direction for snow lovers. Models are showing the southern storm not strengthening as much as previously predicted, bringing as little as a dusting of snow instead of a few inches.
Foot's Forecast is also cautioning of a potential "dry slot" -- a space between the southern system and a northern one where little to no precipitation would fall. The phenomenon occurred when snow was forecast Dec. 29, but only flurries came to pass.
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