Thursday, December 13, 2007

Holding pattern (UPDATED)

Despite the header, this blog won't be about aviation. Sorry to disappoint you (and I know you're terribly disappointed).

But it is about travel.

My wife and I had a simple plan for the weekend: Hit two family reunions in the same trip. The first, on Saturday night, is for my dad's side of the family back in my hometown. The second, on Sunday afternoon, is for my mom's side of the family in suburban Baltimore. From there, we'd head home.

Ah, but the best-laid plans...

As the east-coast folks know, we're in for a doozy of a storm this weekend. Supposedly.

We can't see it coming, but the weather folks assure us it's not going to be a weekend for the beach. We can't see it coming because it hasn't formed yet.

If we believe the forecasters - and that's your choice if you want to or not - here's what we know: The swath of land between New York and Washington is going to get some combination of winter weather: snow, sleet, freezing rain. Rain and ice aren't out of the equation yet. It's supposed to start in D.C. late Saturday afternoon and move northward.

I talked with my dad this evening, who caught the weather on the 10 p.m. news and The Weather Channel. The local guys predicted a mix; TWC foretold of a foot of snow, maybe more.

Our original plan for tonight was to start packing and getting things ready. We did neither. We're still not sure if we should go. We'll make a final call sometime tomorrow morning, only hours from our planned departure time.

Let's do a quick comparison. My hometown is technically in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre TV market, so we'll pit their three local stations' forecasts against what DC's four stations are saying. And we'll throw in Philly's four stations just for fun.

WNEP (from video): Chief meteorolgist Tom Clark says, "We'll get some snow starting here later Saturday night. Anytime after 8 or 9 o'clock, it could start snowing. It'll get kind of windy, and I expect the storm to wind up, a secondary storm to form, and Sunday is going to be a stormy day. We'll have snow; there's a chance of sleet; high winds; drifting; could be a foot of snow in some areas of our viewing area by Sunday night."

WBRE/WYOU (from webcast): Meteorologist Josh Hodell says, "This weekend, we're looking at a potential Nor'easter that will bring us a wintry mix of snow and sleet ... [As the initial storm] moves northeast, a coastal storm will develop and also move up the eastern seaboard. The combination, for us, will mean wintry weather Saturday into Sunday. Looks like it will be a wintry mix of snow and sleet. Poor road conditions are possible Saturday night into Sunday. And in addition to the snow and sleet, it's going to get windy around here."

(link for the Nor'easter provided for you west-coast folks)

KYW: Saturday - Mostly cloudy. A chance of snow showers and sleet in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 30s. Northeast winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation 40 percent. Saturday Night - Sleet and rain. Breezy with lows in the lower 30s. Northeast winds 10 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation 90 percent. Sunday - Cloudy. Rain and likely in the morning...then a chance of rain and snow showers in the afternoon. Windy with highs around 40. Chance of precipitation 70 percent.

WPVI (from video): From meteorologist Cecily Tynan: "It'll be cold enough that we do expect it will begin as snow. And then what will happen is [one] low pressure will transfer its energy over to a coastal low. Where [the coastal] low develops will determine just how quickly we will change over to rain and how far up to the northwest it will go. At this point, it's too early to tell."

WCAU: Precious little detail over at NBC10's site; video wasn't very cooperative.

WTXF: Last webcast updated on Wednesday or very early Thursday. Come on guys!

WRC: See WCAU. Gotta love those NBC O&O's...

WJLA: Saturday: A chance of rain, freezing rain and sleet. Cloudy, with a high near 37. Northeast wind around 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible. Saturday Night: Periods of rain, freezing rain and sleet before 1am, then periods of snow, freezing rain and sleet. Low around 34. East wind between 11 and 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible. Sunday: A chance of rain. Mostly cloudy and breezy, with a high near 40. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

WUSA (from webcast): Meteorologist Kim Martucci says, "It's going to be an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-storm on Saturday and Sunday." Sums it up nicely.

WTTG: Nothing but a graphic over at Channel 5.

So there you have it. Somehow, we're going to get pummeled, or so they say.

In the meantime, we wait for better information and hope we make the right call...

-- UPDATE: It's 11:12 p.m. on Friday night and we're firmly planted at home.

In consultation with my dad this afternoon, we figured it would be best to skip out on Saturday night's family party.

A phone call from my uncle in Baltimore informed us that, because of the bad weather, Sunday's event would be postponed as well.

Luckily, we have a couple of local events to take in. It should be a fun weekend anyway, though I am disappointed I won't get to see my family.

1 comment:

ME said...

Sorry you guys couldn't get out.

We drove to Cooperstown last night so we wouldn't have to try & make it here today. Now we're hunkered down, hoping for lots of snow, at least until we head home tomorrow.