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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 02/19/2008

Forecast: Colder with Snow Threats Looming

By Matt Ross

Flakes likely Wednesday, more possible Friday

After yesterday's high temperatures in the 70s, a colder and more wintry pattern will set the tone for the rest of the week. Some light snow may fall and possibly accumulate a bit for the first time in more than a month Wednesday. Thursday through early Saturday, a second, more significant, round of wintry precipitation could affect the area although there is still a lot of uncertainty on the details.


Sunny, windy. 45-50. Today will be mostly sunny and seasonable for mid to late February. The main story today will be the wind, which could gust in excess of 25-30 mph, especially in the afternoon. High temperatures in the mid to upper 40s will feel quite nippy, more like the 30s. Overnight, winds will diminish but it will still be breezy. Clouds will be on the increase with lows ranging from the lower 20s in the colder suburbs to upper 20s downtown.


Light snow. 30-35. A clipper, a fast moving storm system originating from Canada, will approach the area from the west with some snow likely (60%). Right now, it appears that the best energy will move north of the DC area, leaving us with just a light accumulation -- maybe a dusting to an inch. However, there is still a lot of uncertainty with this system, so keep checking in as we fine tune the forecast -- including a Snow Lover's Crystal Ball later this morning. Any precipitation should quickly taper after dark. Overnight lows will drop to the low to mid 20s under gradually clearing skies.

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend ...


Partly sunny, cold. 35-40. It will be partly to mostly sunny on Thursday and quite cold with afternoon high temperatures only reaching the mid to upper 30s. Clouds will be on the increase after dark as a complex storm system approaches from the west. Overnight, look for a 30% chance of precipitation (most likely snow) with lows in the mid to upper 20s.

Sometimes showery stratocumulus clouds fill the sky in Harpers Ferry, WV late yesterday morning. By Capital Weather Gang visitor Jonathan Lubetsky.


On Friday we will still be dealing with this complex storm system. Right now all options are on the table with the most likely a snow to ice/rain scenario. We will be pinpointing the details during the week as they become clearer. Any action should move out by early Saturday, but temperatures will remain cold in the 30s to low 40s. Seasonably cool will be the rule on Sunday with temperatures in the 40s.

By Matt Ross  | February 19, 2008; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Snow Lovers: Double Pleasure or Twice the Pain?


nws says, chance of snow and sleet, mainly after 1am. Cloudy, with a low around 25. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible. If snow ratios are 10:1 doesnt that mean 3-6 inches thurs nite

Posted by: sam | February 19, 2008 6:44 AM | Report abuse

no it means like dusting-2

Posted by: d | February 19, 2008 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for holding the snow off until after I got back from Georgia ;)

I'm happy now. YAY! I'm suddenly having a good day :)

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | February 19, 2008 7:38 AM | Report abuse

two flakes? Who hooo! Its a beautiful day outside but on the inside...half of our staff is down with some kind of fevery-coughing nastiness, including me. Germs in the air?

Posted by: missy | February 19, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

As usual, Matt has produced an accurate and well reasoned overview of the precip. potential during the next 4 days according to the latest available info.

When he says "Some light snow MAY fall and POSSIBLY accumulate a bit",for tomorrow, notice that he did not say WILL fall and LIKELY accumulate.

Re. late week, Matt says "Thur. through Sat., a second more significant, round of wintry precipitation COULD affect the area". Notice that he does not say WILL affect the area.

I find nothing to get excited about this morning. Based on latest model data, the next several days may be another disappointment to many, after a likely dusting to an inch tomorrow and a mixed bag to freezing rain and rain Thur. night and Fri. with again probably disappointing QP totals as we witnessed late Sunday and Sunday night.

This can all quickly change, but persistence this winter is not in our favor.

35 degrees and westerly winds gusting to 35 mph at 9 am.

Posted by: Augusta Jim | February 19, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

im still kinda worried about thursday-friday storm as their is the chance for some significant icing. would definately not overlook that one.

Posted by: ccwx | February 19, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Missy, a lot of our staff have been out sick. I have been sick for about a week now- fevery coughing nastiness summs up the symptoms perfectly. Something is definitely going around. I think snow would help me feel better though :)

Posted by: Snowlover2! | February 19, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Yes, I'm pretty sure snow would cure me.

Posted by: missy | February 19, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

'May,' 'could,' and 'possibly' are weasel words that allow a forecast to matter what actually happens.

'Will' is quite why would it be used when the 'forecast confidence' is LOW?

'Expected, 'likely,' and 'forecast' are better because they express uncertainly in probabilistic terms.

Posted by: TQ | February 19, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I'm setting up telescopes for the public in West Springfield tomorrow night for the eclipse.

What do I root for...snow or eclipse?

Maybe the real question is: which is more rare? The next eclipse here is in December 2010, which is just about when the next snow will occur.

Oh the decisions.

Posted by: Bikerjohn | February 19, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

great picture!

Posted by: madison | February 19, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

So what exactly is the timing of this clipper system going to be? There is a total lunar eclipse tomorrow night beginning around 8:45PM tomrrow, 2/20/08, and I am wondering if this Clipper system is going to get in our way of viewing this event in the D.C. area? I hope this system comes in very early, and moves out early so we'll have plenty of clear sky to see it!

Posted by: KJ | February 19, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Uncertainty notwithstanding - I am taking the laptop home Thursday and working from home Friday!!

Posted by: Susan R | February 19, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

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