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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 01/24/2008

Forecast: Close Call With Coastal Low

By Josh Larson

Storm teases, but snow likely to stay mostly east

Call it a tease. Call it a flirt. Either way, odds are an area of low pressure developing off the coast today will track too far east to give the metro area anything more than flurries or snow showers. And if that holds true, then today's main event is likely to come from the other direction, as a cold front moving through from the west will drop high temperatures some 5-10 degrees from yesterday. Friday and Saturday look dry and cold, with moderating temperatures for Sunday into the start of next week.


Mostly cloudy, windy late, upper 30s. Today will feature mostly cloudy and increasingly windy conditions as another shot of cold air barrels through the area. Some fluuries or scattered snow showers, especially over the southern and eastern suburbs, are possible. But no accumulation is expected. (The Eastern Shore could see a dusting of snow.) Winds increase toward evening, then become gusty overnight with lows from the upper teens in places like Damascus and Herndon to the low 20s downtown.


Mostly sunny & cold, mid 30s. The forecast for Friday is more straightforward than today's. Expect mostly sunny skies with light winds from the northwest and chilly highs in the mid 30s in most spots. Clear and cold once again on Friday night, with overnight lows ranging from the upper teens across the coolest suburbs to the low 20s downtown.

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend as well as a sneak peek at early next week.


Times of clouds and sun, 40s. Another chilly day is on tap for Saturday, with the likelihood of partly to mostly cloudy skies and temperatures topping out around 40. Mostly cloudy and not as cold Saturday night with lows ranging from the mid 20s in spots such as Gaithersburg and McLean to near freezing downtown. Along with more sunshine on Sunday, you'll notice warmer temperatures with highs in the upper 40s. Mostly clear and chilly Sunday night with lows from 25-30.


Whitetail deer enjoy melting snow yesterday in Oakton, Va. By Capital Weather Gang photographer Kevin Ambrose.

Prepare for mostly sunny and seasonable weather on Monday, with highs once again in the upper 40s and milder Monday night lows from the upper 20s in the coolest spots to the mid 30s downtown.

The next storm system will likely approach the area on Tuesday, bringing increasing clouds and a chance of showers for both Tuesday and Wednesday. Highs both days should be somewhere near 50 with overnight lows in the mid 30s to near 40.

By Josh Larson  | January 24, 2008; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Looking more and more like we will have to wait to winter 2008-2009 for a significant snow storm - but who know maybe February will surprise!

Posted by: Snowlover | January 24, 2008 5:46 AM | Report abuse

February has indeed been quite good in the past year's. Take that sleet/ice/snow storm from Valentines week last year...I sure hope February can hold some suprises like you said.

Posted by: Kenny | January 24, 2008 6:34 AM | Report abuse

I agree. February is the month for snow in the dc area.

Posted by: ki | January 24, 2008 6:58 AM | Report abuse

Sleet and ice, stay the hell away. Now that I've accepted being away from anywhere you can ski/snowsohe without driving 3 hours plus, I say rain or snow. Just do one or the other. That's all.

Posted by: Jeff from Huntington | January 24, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, really. I lost power for 3-4 days because of that ice storm and it was freezing inside the house!

Posted by: jtf | January 24, 2008 9:04 AM | Report abuse

15 degrees at 7 am.

The GFS for several runs now, establishes a storm track through the Ohio Valley during the next two to three weeks ( 500 mb ridging off the s.e. coast and a trough in the Mississippi Valley). This keeps us on the warm side of systems that should produce mostly rain in our area.

Lots of rain or snow is direly needed before spring as the drought continues to worsen!! This may come as a surprise to some but Reagan National has only received 54% of normal precip. year to date and Richmond Int. only 32% of normal. Most of our area is in moderate drought conditions with extreme to exceptional conditions over much of the southeast.

If this pattern continues into the spring and summer, we will all suffer the consequences in one way or the other, whether it be from higher food prices, water shortages or much higher electric bills because of nuclear power generating facilities closing down because of lack of water for cooling requirements, or other results of severe drought.

Posted by: Augusta Jim | January 24, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Any way you can post the five-day forecast (with graphics) at the top of the page on the new site like you had on the old one?

Posted by: Ann | January 24, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Looks like there may be a storm here next Thurs with some possible frozen precip? Any comments on that (i know it is a week away, but i am desparate!)

Posted by: Mike from Ashburn | January 24, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Ann -- we're working furiously on getting an at-a-glance forecast, similar to what you speak of, up on the page. Look for it in the next couple of weeks.

Posted by: Dan, Capital Weather Gang | January 24, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Yes, if this mornings snapshot verified, that storm would begin as snow then change to rain, but looking that far out, details of that potential will change many times during the next 10-15 runs of the GFS, hopefully the changes will trend colder!!!

Posted by: Augusta Jim | January 24, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Some snow is now breaking out overhead but not reaching the surface. It appears to be in response to whatever wants to happen near the coast.

Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | January 24, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Another puny little DUSTING...while I'm waiting for a "KNICKERBOCKER"!!!

Please take's not over until the general SW-SE advection gets too warm for snow (late February to mid-March).

Posted by: El Bombo | January 24, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

In climatological terms, we're now officially past the "dead of winter". Normal high temps in DC begin their upward trek today after bottoming out for the year at 42 degrees. (Now, 43 is normal high.)

Also, we begin gaining 2 minutes of daylight each day.

Spring is starting to make its move.

Posted by: Ivan | January 24, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Snow appears to be breaking out near Annapolis at this time.

Posted by: Camden, Capital Weather Gang | January 24, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Patuxent River reported light snow at 11:18. They're the only regional station reporting precipitation

Posted by: Steve, Capital Weather Gang | January 24, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Patuxent River reported light snow at 11:18.

Posted by: Steve, Capital Weather Gang | January 24, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Yes, here in the Pax River area (Lexington Park), we have been getting light snow and/or sleet/snow grains for about an hour now. The usual surfaces (cars, mulchy areas, etc.) are getting a light dusting. Precipitation is very fine but steady.

Posted by: Randy from Pax | January 24, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

FYI - WTOP mentioned the Capital Weather Gang's "Ranking the local forcaster" last night during their broadcast while talking with Doug Hill. I thought that was pretty cool.

Posted by: Snowlover | January 24, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

It does look like beginning of Feb will begin a stormy pattern.

Posted by: ChrisfromVa | January 24, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

The snow shield has solidified just to our east and is slowly pulling away. Looks like we'll have to hope the front can drop a few flurries!

Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | January 24, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Is the actual front the band of precipitation that is just now developing in central PA?

Posted by: Brian | January 24, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Hey its really helpful when you gurus imbed links so we can look and try to figure out from your comment combined with the images what the situation I want to see the band of precipitation that Brian is talking about but have no clue where to find this...

Posted by: missy | January 24, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Try this Missy:

If you click on any area of the map it will give you a zoomed in view of that area's NWS radar.

Posted by: Brian | January 24, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Brian, the precipitation is preceeding the front. The actual division in these airmasses (the physical cold front) is just now entering PA and WV.

Posted by: Camden, Capital Weather Gang | January 24, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: missy | January 24, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

On and off snow showers here - upslope showers crossing the mountains. Radar looks pretty good, with some showers making it east of I-81. Don't expect any accumulation but still nice to see the flakes!

Posted by: Jim in Blacksburg | January 24, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

A brief period of light snow fell in eastern Warren County (elevation 1900 ft). The temperature fell from a high of 40 to 33 over the past couple of hours.

Posted by: S.P. Gass | January 24, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

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