Forecaster: Warm weather in Carroll County could yield to ice and sleet, then 'significant wintry event'

There are spring-like temperatures forecast for the weekend, but the weather analysts at Foot’s Forecast warn people not to be deceived. Winter will be back on schedule — as soon as Monday or Tuesday.

“We’re supposed to have temperatures in the mid-60s on Sunday, which is great,” said Keith Krichinsky, executive director of Foot's Forecast, based in Hampstead. “The problem is, starting Monday and Tuesday, the temperatures are going to drop back down into the low 30s again. That puts the cold in place.”


With the possibility of some precipitation on those days, he said, “it’s probably going to be more so an icy event, sleet or freezing rain.”

However that event turns out, Krichinsky said the cold turn will prepare the ground for the next winter weather event on the forecasting groups’ radar, potential snowfall on the weekend of Dec. 8 and 9.

“That’s a more likely scenario for a significant wintry event because the cold will already be in place, the temperatures will be dropping,” he said. “The ground will be cold enough to sustain an accumulation type scenario.”

This is the pattern — a winter weather event of some degree every three of four days — the Foot’s Forecast models indicated could hold all winter, Krichinsky told the Times after the first snowfall of the season on Nov. 15.

But while the general patterns seems likely to hold, the exact intensity, or timing, of any one event remains difficult to predict for Carroll County and the greater region, according to Krichinsky.

“If we lived in upstate New York it would be a no-brainer. But because this is the mid-Atlantic, this is the most difficult area in the country to forecast for, simply because we’re right where everything converges,” he said. “There’s the northern jet and the southern jet, they affect our weather. The [Chesapeake] Bay affects our weather, the ocean affects our weather, the mountains affect our weather.”

So how should you take these forecast of winter weather made a week or more out?

“What I would like to see is that people take the information and just plan accordingly. If it’s supposed to snow that evening, don’t [wait] until that morning to buy snow tires,” Krichinsky said. “Make sure the cars are gassed up ahead of time, in case you get stuck. Just be prepared and don’t wait until the last minute. I am big on preparation. Knowledge weighs nothing.”

Better to be prepared for 10 inches of snow and get 2 inches than expect 2 inches and get a foot, he said.