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Posted at 3:45 PM ET, 02/13/2008

CommuteCast: Rain Transitioning to Snow

By Ian Livingston

Some accumulation possible across the area tonight

Temperatures have risen above freezing, at least temporarily, in all locations this afternoon and icing has come to an end. While it has warmed at the surface, upper levels are now beginning to cool in response to developing low pressure to our south and east.

Rain will slacken for a time and could later transition to snow during the evening as more precipitation associated with the low pressure system arrives. The commute home may be tricky where pavement remains wet, but it will hopefully not be as treacherous as Tuesday's. If snow begins to mix in during the evening, drivers should be on the lookout for slick spots and changing road conditions as temperatures fall back toward and below freezing.

Tonight: Snow or a rain/snow mix will likely end around midnight in western locations and after midnight to the east of DC as the storm heads northeast out of the region. Accumulations will generally be light. The most likely amount is in the range of a dusting to an inch, but a little more or a little less is also possible:

Dusting or less: 30% chance
Dusting to 1": 40% chance
More than 1": 30% chance

Overnight lows should drop to the upper 20s or near 30 in the city and southeast while making it to the mid 20s in the suburbs north and west.

SchoolCast:

  • Arlington, Alexandria and DC:
  • Everywhere else:

Valentine's Day: Love will be in the air, and in the wake of recent storminess the region will see a break in the precipitation along with seasonably cool temperatures. Winds out of the northwest should be noticeable early in the day with some moderate gusts possible across the region, then diminishing in the afternoon. Highs area wide will reach the mid 40s under full sunshine.

See Dan's forecast for Friday and the holiday weekend.

By Ian Livingston  | February 13, 2008; 3:45 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Update: Snow Showers Approaching Region

Comments

Wow! Ask and you shall receive!

Posted by: Laura in NWDC | February 13, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

is there any chance of no school for moco tomorrow?

Posted by: d | February 13, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Hey Augusta Jim,
Sorry if I've asked before, but what part of Augusta County are you in?
Reason I ask is because SHD went above 32 overnight and you were reporting 31 this morning. I was skeptical when SHD was the only one around at 34, so where in Augusta County are you? :)

Posted by: Chase, Luray | February 13, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Ian,
NWS made it sound like the precip will build in from east to west.

Where is this precipitation coming from? Is it just going to start deveoloping all across the area? I don't see where it's coming from.

Posted by: Chase, Luray | February 13, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Ditto Chase. The precip shield is well east of NW Montgomery and it is currently partly cloudy. Temperature up to 35.1

Posted by: JT | February 13, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Ditto Chase. The back edge of the precip shield is well east of NW Montgomery County and it currently partly cloudy. I don't see where this snow is going to come from. Temperature is 35.1

Posted by: JT | February 13, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates suffered a fractured shoulder after slipping on ice Tuesday night at his Washington home, the Pentagon said.

Posted by: sam | February 13, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Chase, the next area of precipitation should come from what is currently near the NC/VA border. As the low moves by the shield should expand NW a little and move through here. Western sections may be harder pressed to get a lot more moisture.

Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | February 13, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

at least 5 people (including me) have asked for a school cast for montgomery county, why aren't you guys responding?

Posted by: sam | February 13, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Do you guys honestly think that Montgomery County will not have school tomorrow when they did today???

Posted by: Period | February 13, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, there are no prophets here.

We'll all be going to school tomorrow.

Posted by: Period | February 13, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Sam, you're having school. :)
1 apple.

Posted by: Chase, Luray | February 13, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

3 reasons school might not open on time tomarrow.
1.The streets are very wet and that will all freeze.
2. The wind is supposed to pick up toninght and wind+ice=power outages
3.An inch of snow on top of everything esle would make the ice hard to see

Posted by: sam | February 13, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

37.8F here in Arnold with winds out of the NW, had some nice gusts earlier in 20mph range...hopefully that cold air gets in here soon. I think most places will be hard pressed to be off school tomorrow. A 2hr delay could be possible with things refreezing. Just have to see what its like at midnight tonight. I have to work tonight, hopefully they'll be a little snow falling when I get off.

Posted by: arnoldkh | February 13, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Chase:
I'm in the eastern part near the mts.

Watch the precip.now breaking out over western N.C. and s.w. Va. It's developing on the eastern edge of the 500 mb. vortex and will race northeast and perhaps result in some snow later this eve. and overnight, even for areas west of D.C.

Posted by: Augusta Jim | February 13, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Sam - better do your homework! :-)

Posted by: MoSnow | February 13, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

arnoldkh i totaly agree with u

Posted by: sam | February 13, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

In terms of schoolcast, any decisions and thoughts will not be processed until later on this evening. With the uncertainty of tonight's weather, it will be a few more hours until we can make a schoolcast.

Posted by: Jamie Jones, Capital Weather Gang | February 13, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Chase -- the precip would clip the area as it comes up from the south and expands westward in response to the strengthening low pressure off the coast. So, eastern areas may be more likely to see more significant precip then western areas, but then on the flip side eastern areas will be a little warmer. Which basically evens out the accumulation potential. I think our forecast pretty well indicates the uncertainty as to how much, if anything, we'll get in the way of accumulation.

Posted by: Dan, Capital Weather Gang | February 13, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Jamie

Posted by: sam | February 13, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Just saw an interesting story on WBAL 11 News in B-More. 80% of emergency room patients today were ice fall victims at a local hospital.... Lets hope for snow or rain with the next big storm....

Posted by: HEELS | February 13, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

The roads are not slippery... just wet. Besides, re-freezing never really takes place how it sounds like it should. It's not like everywhere that's moist will transform into an ice rink. Of there is standing water then maybe, but the just the 'wet' places won't freeze.

Unless that is we get more freezing rain tonight, which does not sound like the case.

Posted by: Period | February 13, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Augusta, Thanks for link earlier, just got home. Guess I can't access 18z gdcx free, darn. Model is accessable through AccuWesther, but need to be a member.
What is latest on Sunday storm..Is it still holding snow for us?

Posted by: cfromVA | February 13, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Capital Weather Gang,

Is there any chance of no school tomorrow for MOCO? I will only listen to you because you are the experts of weather.

Posted by: d | February 13, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

There is always a chance, but it is completely dependent on what happens tonight.

Posted by: Ian (no it's really Period) | February 13, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Augusta Jim, reveal your true self! Are you a retired meteorologist or what? Secretly on the CWG payroll? Seriously, I await your predictions as eagerly as I do any from CWG HQ!

Posted by: weathergrrl | February 13, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

There is not enough water to make a whole sheet of ice because most of it has evaporated. But remember last year when there was a 30% chance of a dusting of snow and then we got 6 inches of snow and an inch of ice. MIRICALES CAN HAPPEN!

Posted by: d | February 13, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

i say a 2hr delay

Posted by: sam | February 13, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

i say a 2hr delay

Posted by: sam | February 13, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

that you will be in school at 7:20.

Posted by: I say | February 13, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Accuweather radar is "filling in" nicely for the DC region. I'll have to go outside to see if snow actually is falling right now, as the precip type algorithms claim, or if we're still getting rain.

Take a look at the radar yourself: http://www.accuweather.com/radar-large.asp?partner=wndaily&traveler=1&site=VA_&type=SIR&anim=1&level=state&large=1

Posted by: mcleaNed | February 13, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Do the last two posts add up to a 4 hour delay? ;)

Posted by: Mike from the Blue Ridge | February 13, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

In case no one noticed, Schoolcast has been added to the post!

Posted by: Dan, Capital Weather Gang | February 13, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

A little mixed precipitation in Glover Park.. mostly rain, some sleet and perhaps a flake or two.

Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | February 13, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

When will the flakes start falling?

Posted by: d | February 13, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

No snow in Bethesda, unlike what radar suggests.

Posted by: Peter | February 13, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

As a teacher in AA County, I was amazed we had no delay today. Although the main roads were just wet, the sidewalks at the schools were slick. I should know....I fell at my school and injured my knee. Those who make the determination of whether to have a delay or cancellation need to think twice before totally negating the need for a delay. Even the AA County gov't had a liberal leave policy today! What harm would even a one hour delay have caused? None! Thanks for letting me vent!

Posted by: Jim From Annapolis | February 13, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

When did this feature start up on washingtonpost.com? I'm adding it to my toolbar, because it's GREAT.

Posted by: Liz In Burke, VA | February 13, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

it is great

Posted by: capitalweatherobsessed | February 13, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

ice, ice, baby

Posted by: fred | February 13, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

when can we expect an update?

Posted by: frank | February 13, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me, or does it seem like we're hyping this up to be much more than it will be?

Posted by: Period | February 13, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

NWS calling for less than a 1/2 inch tonight. WOO HOO!

Posted by: Period | February 13, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Sleet coming down here in Silver Spring... just walked home. It's a mix of sleet and a few flakes... cold wind too.

Posted by: Skywalker in Silver Spring | February 13, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Here's an ice storm picture taken this afternoon if interested: http://www.olddominionwildlife.com/2008/02/13/3rd-ice-storm-of-the-season/

Posted by: S.P. Gass | February 13, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

I havn't checked yet here in Bethesda but it says it is cloudy 34 degrees.

Posted by: d | February 13, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

isay, there is no way i will be in school at 7:20 bcuz my school starts at 7:50

Posted by: sam | February 13, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Sam,
I go to MCPS too. Dont get your hopes up.

Posted by: d | February 13, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Fairfax represent!

Posted by: Period | February 13, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Looking ahead, NBC 25 (Hagerstown) appears to be forecasting a large [snow] storm on Sunday: http://your4state.com/content/weather/

Posted by: S.P. Gass | February 13, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

This is really funny. EVERY meteorologist/news outlet in the area is calling for something different.

ABC calling for practically nothing (flurries... if that), you guys are saying probably dusting to 1", and the weather channel is saying 1-2" for prince william county.

I'm really hoping TWC is right on this one, sorry guys. LOL.

The radar does look like we'll have a good period of snow come through if the moisture in SW VA and W NC holds together and comes through.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | February 13, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Seeing as the school facilities (at least here in Rockville) were skating rinks even after the 2 hour delay this morning, I wouldn't be surprised if MoCo decided to over compensate for todays blunder.

Today was overcompensation for their previous 2 hour delay when roads and sidewalks were simply wet (whenever that was a few weeks back) save for a few spots (if they were bad, how come I heard nothing about them) north and west.

Personally I slipped and slided all around on my way in to school this morning. I've got a nice bit of road rash on my right hand to show for it. Meanwhile, my Girlfriend's street was an ice rink since she's situated on an often times overlooked back street that has all of 4 houses on it. Her reply to an email she sent to the school board was something along the lines of "We don't care."

Personally, I hate MCPS with their horrible calls for emergency closings.

But if I had to jump in to the sandbox fray over who thinks what about school tomorrow, my guess would be expect to go to school. At most we could see a 2 hour delay.

Posted by: Havoc | February 13, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Havoc: It seems that all of the school systems in the area are under-compensating when it comes to calling school. PWC kept us in school all day while 5" of snow fell last month, then sent all the busses out in it. Took me 40 minutes to get home when it usually takes 10. At least my bus driver was careful and didn't slide TOO much. The next morning was only a delay, and even when the delay was over everything was still a mess. As much as I hate to admit it, PWC made a good call with the delay this morning. Not too many things (except for the cars and grass and trees and stuff) were icy. Hopefully they'll make a good call tomorrow in regard to whatever happens tonight.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | February 13, 2008 7:58 PM | Report abuse

i live in Fauquier county and i got sleet and snow coming down right now my personal instinct is that kids wont be going to school at least in Fauquier county. Ithink we are also going to get a bit more snow then what people are anticipating there is a good bit of moisture to our south west what do yall think.

Posted by: madness | February 13, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Good thoughts Havoc, but I don't think that today was "overcompensation."

Posted by: Period | February 13, 2008 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Period:

I can recal more than a few times where parents have complained to the school board about them closing for no real reason.

I can then also recall a few weeks later, them deciding to open when all local mets were calling for 2-4" of snow at the least, and then having to release kids early, with a good 3" of snow on the ground.
I believe this was my sophmore year that happened.

And what do you know after that call?
Parents complained again.

We do have to give credit though, they have a tough decision to make. I just wish their evaluations of the county were a bit more in depth, and wide spread.

I've heard before they send out maybe 4 or 6 people to check out conditions in all points of the county. But I've heard nothing further. Do they check side streets? Sidewalks? School parking lots? Frequently used pathways that aren't in front of homeowners ROW (right of way) and not salted or sanded?

If MoCo could clarify in depth how they scout out the situation, then the "I wonder if schools will close" question could be answered a lot easier.

Posted by: Havoc | February 13, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Next update around 9pm

Posted by: Jason, Capital Weather Gang | February 13, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

I also have to say that from my Bethesda perspective, a delay was completely justifiable. Until I got to school, which was a mad house with completely untreated sidewalks. Strange that school is more dangerous than my sidestreet sidewalks were...

My gut tells me MCPS will slam us with an on-time tomorrow. This kind of thing always happens. I always think MCPS will be more cautious the next day since they were getting yelled at, and then they don't seem to give a damn and give us an on-time anyways.

Posted by: Peter | February 13, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

"Personally, I hate MCPS with their horrible calls for emergency closings"

But when you grow up you will realize that you were fortunate to grow up in Montgomery County and had the opportunity for an education instead of ducking bullets on the way home from school. You will also realize that adults have to work when there is a 1/10 of an inch of snow instead of whining about it.

Posted by: No snow? | February 13, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

I have to admit, I watched the video on the MCPS website about how they decide to close schools, and in the video there were like 3 people in cars and maybe 3 or 4 in a building. They can't nearly get an accurate estimate of a county as large os MCPS with 3 people in cars.

To be fair, they probabliy didn't show everyone involved in the video.

Posted by: Peter | February 13, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Will people stop trying to lecture the kids because they're hoping for a snow day? Come on already. The best of luck to you kids, enjoy it while you can!

Posted by: Relaxer | February 13, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Looking at radar now...
Not really seeing how this precip sheild could expand more NWerly....
:/

Posted by: Havoc | February 13, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

No snow with the low blow.
Someone clearly wasn't loved enough as a child.

Posted by: Havoc | February 13, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

How much snow for Gaithersburg tonight? Doesn't look like it's going to happen.

Posted by: NotEnoughSnow08 | February 13, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Weathergrrl:
Thank you for your very kind words.

I can assure you that I am not on the payroll of the CWG.

The CWG is a wonderful team of professionals that provides a superior product, compared to the NWS. I only wish that they covered my area in detail.

The NWS has many good people on staff, but they are lost in the bureaucracy of modern day governmental operations and the burdens of societal expectations. NOAA provides many valuable services to all of us, but the layers of bureaucracy and workplace culture sometimes results in a tainted finished product. All too often, government agencies, either state or federal, do not encourage independent thinking or individual excellence, especially if thoughts are outside of the teamplayer mentality. Even though there are many exceptions, the "best and the brightest" often enjoy a higher level of success in the private sector. I know, because I spent many years in this environment. I fared well, but grew weary of the games that must be played "inside the company".

Lets just say that I am a person with a certain amount of knowledge regarding the climate that I enjoy sharing with others.

But, always remember, we all suffer from the limitations of our human intelligence.

Posted by: Augusta Jim | February 13, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Havoc, there is precipitation moving towards the area from central VA that goes back into NC. It looks showery in nature, but not bad overall. There are reports of thundersnow in Winston Salem, NC.

Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | February 13, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

No snow?,

You're right, bullet dodging is one of my toughest subjects. =P

Posted by: Period | February 13, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Ian:
Thundersnow? Sounds promising.

Posted by: Havoc | February 13, 2008 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Ian,

By "not bad," do you mean 'not bad' for snow lovers, or 'not bad' for rain lovers?

Posted by: Period | February 13, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

i'm from mclean, but i go to college in winston salem, and if this is coming back up there, you guys will get hammered. this was so unexpected, we've gotten about 2 inches in about an hour and a half. it's insane.

Posted by: dan | February 13, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Moderate to heavy snow now falling in my area. Temp. down to 32 and snow beginning to cover the pavement. Vis. less than 1/2 mile. 1/4 inch acc., N.W. winds 10-20 mph.

Posted by: Augusta Jim | February 13, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Snowing here with the burst.

Posted by: Chase, Luray | February 13, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

"we've gotten about 2 inches in about an hour and a half. it's insane"

2 inches ? hahaha tell us you are kidding.

Posted by: James | February 13, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Such a turn of events...and in no time at all!

Posted by: Peter | February 13, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

is this the snow that is coming to DC? I am hoping that it is, it looks like some moderate to heavy bands are forming in that patch of snow, praying it comes here

Posted by: thejesse2442 | February 13, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Wow it is so amazing that this site extends all the way to Winston Salem. Thanks for caring dan.

Posted by: Joey DC | February 13, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

i mean im not going outside with a ruler or anything but id guess around 1.5-2 inches right now on grassy areas. the roads are all covered. looks to be moving out soon, but it gave us a huge burst of snow

Posted by: dan from WFU | February 13, 2008 8:54 PM | Report abuse

**********

SUMMONING THE SNOW GODS.

**********

Posted by: Peter | February 13, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Unless there is some serious wrapping around here, we won't be getting much.

Posted by: Period | February 13, 2008 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Period, 'not bad' was referring to our chances of seeing some snow -- as in, it looks good, but you never know. ;) Jason's update addresses the snow showers on radar.

Thanks for the report dan.

Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | February 13, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

i'm ridiculously jealous! i havent seen a flake! hopefully something will hit in the next hour??
with the high winds and snow i'm hoping tht i'll at least get to sleep in an extra couple hours :)

Posted by: strangldangel | February 13, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

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