The SI Weather
15Feb/13Fri

7:00 AM | “Cosmic coincidence”; complicated weekend setup with more than one snow threat

6-Day Forecast

Today

Becoming mostly cloudy, milder, highs near 55 degrees

Tonight

Cloudy, rain this evening changes to snow late, small accumulations possible, cold, low 30’s

Saturday

Cloudy with steady snow or snow showers during the afternoon, colder, mid 30’s

Saturday Night

Cloudy, windy, cold, evening snow showers still possible, low 20’s

Sunday

Partly sunny, windy, very cold, maybe a snow shower, low 30’s

Monday

Partly sunny, not as cold, low 40’s

Tuesday

Mostly cloudy, mild, maybe a few showers, upper 40’s

Wednesday

Mostly sunny, colder, breezy, near 40

Discussion

A very fluid and complicated weekend weather pattern is shaping up for the Mid-Atlantic region with multiple snow threats, but before we talk about that let's give an update on a "cosmic coincidence". First, later today an asteroid will pass by the Earth at a relatively close distance in terms of the cosmos, some 17,150 miles away. This distance is actually closer than geosynchronous satellites which orbit at about 22,500 miles and they provide data for GPS, communications, and weather predictions. Apparently, there is no chance that the asteroid, which is about 50 meters in size, will damage any of these spacecraft. The closest approach of the asteroid will be at about 2:24pm (ET) and this is the closest that any tracked object this size has ever come to the Earth. It is not expected to be visible around here with this closest approach coming during daytime hours. Coincidentally, in an unrelated event, a meteorite exploded early today over the Ural Mountains in Russia damaging many buildings and injuring hundreds of people due to such things as broken glass. The town that took the brunt of this damage, Chelyabinsk, is located about 900 miles east of Moscow.

Back on earth, a cold front will sweep across the area early tonight and that will set the stage for much colder air to move into the eastern states this weekend. In fact, this cold air outbreak will make it all the way down into the Deep South with a possible freeze over the weekend in northern Florida. A second cold front will come through late tonight and low pressure is likely to form along that Arctic frontal boundary zone. This storm could generate some accumulating snow late tonight and early Saturday and then a second storm could form near the coast later tomorrow and tomorrow night. It is too early to tell what kind of impact the second storm will have here, but more accumulating snow is on the table for later tomorrow and tomorrow night. Sunday promises to be the coldest day during this cold air outbreak, but temperatures will modify some on Monday. Stay tuned for updates.

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