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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 02/20/2008

Forecast: Winter Puts on Its Rally Cap

By Dan Stillman

Two chances to score, or strike out, with snow

**Snow Advisory in effect for metro area from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. today**

It may not be the bottom of the ninth. But as we move into the season's middle to late innings, winter seems primed to stage a rally with chilly temperatures and two chances of snow through the end of the week. The first comes today. And while it may not be a total strikeout, it most certainly will not be a home run, with minor accumulations at best. The second chance -- Wednesday night into early Saturday -- has both the potential and unpredictability of a wily, but wild, relief pitcher.


Snow likely, dusting to 1" possible, mid 30s. An Alberta Clipper -- a fast-moving area of low pressure originating from Canada -- will pass just south of DC as it moves from west to east, giving the metro area an overcast day and a chance of snow from late morning through early evening. A dusting to 1 inch is possible, especially in areas that see periods of steady snow, though some places may see little or no accumulation. Highs will probably only make it to the mid 30s. No ice is expected with this storm. But roads that do see accumulation could become slick for the afternoon/evening commute.

Tonight, clearing and windy with lows ranging from the upper teens in the coldest suburbs to the low 20s downtown. Skies may begin to clear quickly enough to at least catch some glimpses of tonight's lunar eclipse, which starts with a partial eclipse at 8:43 p.m., peaks with a total eclispe from 10:01 p.m. to 10:51 p.m., and finishes with a partial eclispe ending at 12:09 a.m.


Increasing clouds, low to mid 30s, chance of snow tomorrow night. High pressure passing overhead should give us partial sunshine for the morning, but then gradually increasing clouds through the day with highs in the low to mid 30s. Overnight, snow may develop with some accumulation possible by morning and lows in the 20s.


Wintry mix, low 30s. Snow may mix with and possibly change to sleet, freezing rain and rain. It could be a nasty day with difficult driving conditions as temperatures struggle to reach the freezing mark. Precipitation may linger overnight, with temperatures holding near or below freezing, and into early Saturday.

Total accumulations could be as much as a few inches, but the storm details are too fuzzy as of now to predict accumulations with much confidence.


Precipitation should end by early Saturday, followed by clearing skies and highs in the 40s.

Sunday is looking sunny early with the potential for increasing clouds later in the day and highs in the 40s. Maybe a chance of light rain or snow late in the day or Sunday night.

The outlook for early next week is for quiet weather on Monday with highs in the 40s, and then another chance for precipitation Tuesday into Wednesday.

By Dan Stillman  | February 20, 2008; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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snow lovers, dont give up all hope,
Snow MAY mix with and POSSIBLY change to sleet, freezing rain and rain. that means it could be an all snow event!

Posted by: sam | February 20, 2008 5:46 AM | Report abuse

weather channel has Chevy Chase not getting above freezing on Friday... but they also have freezing rain.

Posted by: jj | February 20, 2008 5:48 AM | Report abuse

Where does Jack Diamond on 107.3 FM get his weather? Here is what he said for the weather:

Today - A few clouds

Tomorrow - Sunny

Friday - A few flurries in the evening

Is he using the forecast geared towards the "best case scenario" for snow haters or is he getting his weather from something else?

Oh, and The Weather Channel is forecasting RAIN showers for me today and RAIN (regular ole rain) for Friday.
Good thing they're wrong a lot! :)

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | February 20, 2008 6:27 AM | Report abuse

NOAA says 1-2 inches today!!! :)

Posted by: d | February 20, 2008 7:06 AM | Report abuse

weatherdudeva...jack diamond is a moron when it comes to weather...i personally think he makes up his own forecast...

Posted by: bernydoode00 | February 20, 2008 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Let's hope for the best.

Posted by: Period | February 20, 2008 7:26 AM | Report abuse

No Snow!

Posted by: Jack Diamond | February 20, 2008 7:30 AM | Report abuse

berny: I'm beginning to think so too. When my alarm goes off I wait to hear his forecast call for a "perfectly sunny day" and it's pouring outside.

RIGHT AFTER he said that there would be "just a few clouds" today he said "snow advisory" something like 20 times in a row.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | February 20, 2008 7:32 AM | Report abuse

It's amusing to see such excitement over a possible dusting of snow! I hope it never snows again. The greatest weather scientist of all time, Al Gore, the hero of many here, has predicted that you may never see your breath again so get used to it. Spring is barely a month away. The chances for snow are OVER. You'll have to get your snow and icy conditions elsewhere where you can sit in the comfort of your home and watch the news about how your twisted desire has killed or maimed someone on the highway. So have a nice globally warmed day!

Posted by: Snow Sucks | February 20, 2008 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Snow is now reaching the surface at Elkins, moving southeast and east toward Winchester and Harrisonburg. Will be interesting to see how well it survives crossing the mountains, because often these moisture starved clippers can be wrung out during that journey. A dusting to an inch for most still seems reasonable.

Late week still appears very unsettled, with some snow likely Thursday night changing to sleet and freezing rain Fri. morning. 1-3 inches a good bet, though many may be on the low side of that range. The best chance of significant precip. appears to be late Fri. and Fri. night as low pressure intensifies off the Va. coast. Will this coastal development pay off or be too far east? Only time will tell.

Winter weather enthusiasts may be pleased during the next several weeks. Phil probably made a wise forecast, as I suggested back on Feb.2. The GFS is coming around to the ECMWF idea of colder than normal and stormy as we end Feb. and move into March.

Posted by: Augusta Jim | February 20, 2008 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Regarding Jack Diamond:

I worked in radio and can tell you that Jack is probably reading from an old script provided by a "producer" ----typically the weather report is not something that they care about nor spend much time on.

Jack is actually a pretty good guy.

Posted by: Greg | February 20, 2008 7:48 AM | Report abuse

I love it! So who is at bat for the snowstorm? Big Papi or Bucky Dent?

Posted by: Uncle Dak | February 20, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Future Poll? Weather forecasts from your morning radio?

Posted by: Jamie Jones, Capital Weather Gang | February 20, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Bob Ryan has the area getting up to 2 inches. I swear that after we skewered him a few weeks ago, he must've listened...

Posted by: Dulles ARC | February 20, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

I think the 2 inches is only up near the PA border and far west. Metro area is up to an inch only.

Posted by: Ivan | February 20, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Morning radio - blah!! I prefer to hop right online instead... Uncle Dak - I had the biggest crush on Bucky Dent when I was a nine-year-old growing up in NY...

Posted by: marlee | February 20, 2008 8:19 AM | Report abuse

I wake up to the weather and traffic on WETA. Informative and soothing. I think they get their weather from Ch 4.

On the way to work I listen to WTOP (doesn't everybody?) which has weather from ch 7. Both were calling for a dusting to an inch today, and snow|sleet|freezing rain Friday.

Posted by: wiredog | February 20, 2008 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Fox also calling 1-2 inches and he seemed pretty confident about it ... if we get snow i think it will stick out here. We never seem to get a midday warm up that melts things off.

Posted by: weathergrrl | February 20, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Snow beginning to fall on the 3500-4000 ft. ridges 15 miles to my south.

The clipper seems to be tracking a little south of the earlier thoughts of many.
Greatest pressure falls in eastern Ky. A light breeze from the east at my location also suggests a southerly bias. 12 utc RUC also has these ideas.

8:45: 27 degrees and overcast.

Posted by: Augusta Jim | February 20, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

If anybody cares, is having one of it's series of "Battles of the Media Hotties" and this one is Kim Martucci of WUSA-9 vs. perenial favorite, Sue Palka of Fox-5 (do they still call it WTTG?) So far the Mighty Martuch is in the lead. If you're interested in voting, go to and scroll down for the voting link.

Also glad to see that WUSA is incorporating the comments from this blog into its ads for Topper Shutt and his weathercasts.

Posted by: DCThunder | February 20, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

12z NAM and NGM now prog. the clipper to be centered in southwest Va. at 1 pm.

Posted by: Augusta Jim | February 20, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

I have to laugh about the comments about Jack Diamond's weather report. Reminds me of that episode of WKRP when Less Nessman beats his chest and gives the traffic report from the "WKRP Helicopter".

Posted by: Sara in Oakton | February 20, 2008 9:01 AM | Report abuse

I have to laugh at people who get their weather information from the Weather Channel or an FM radio station. How ignorant can you be?

Posted by: Laugh | February 20, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

I have a 45 mile commute from Odenton, MD (AA County) to Tyson's Corner, VA - What is my commute looking like for Friday morning? Thanks!!

Posted by: Snowlover | February 20, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

AYCN . . . "Abandon Your Cars Now!"

Posted by: Uncle Dak | February 20, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

It is looking miserable, Slowlover.

Posted by: Yipster | February 20, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

The radar picture this morning closely resembles the Dec 5 clipper -- same size area of precip currently to our west diving a little further south than anticipated, taking a bead on DC/Baltimore. I think 1"-2" is certainly plausible for the immediate metro area...

Posted by: VAStateOfMind | February 20, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

At 10 am, highways are beginning to cover with snow in Bath and Highland Counties.

Posted by: Augusta Jim | February 20, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Two questions for the community -

What is todays sun angle?

What was the sun angle on 12/5?

Posted by: Kalorama Park | February 20, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

COME ON SNOW!!!....and gosh I hate trolls.
They must be desperate for attention to post on a site bashing us snowlovers.

Posted by: StormChaser | February 20, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for update Augusta. I hope winter can squeeze out a coastal storm before spring.

Posted by: StormChaser | February 20, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

So, with a more southerly track the DC metro would be closer to the clipper's precipitation bullseye, correct? Of course, that's not saying a whole lot even if the system overperforms. But if we can get any accumulation that holds around until the Thursday - Friday storm enters the picture, that may enhance any accumulation we see later this week, right? Obviously, desparation has set in; no need to point it out!

Posted by: Parker | February 20, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

As the day progresses, let us know if anyone is having issues with the site. One of our providers apparently was having issues overnight, but they seem to be resolved now. Anyway, keep your fingers crossed for snow.

Posted by: Jamie Jones, CapitalWeather Gang | February 20, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Looks like the precip could hold off and start a little later, more around 2PM or 3PM this afternoon. That could definitely help with accumulations as the sun will not be as much of an issue. Also that could make the evening rush a little hectic, that nice thin layer of snow on those roads always makes it fun. We'll have to see though, most pavement temps are in the mid 30's up to 40. Also, in regards to the storm Thursday/Friday I really think its going to be colder than the models are showing, the cold air will stick in place.

Posted by: arnoldkh | February 20, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

This is irresponsible to put a headline like that up. "Winter Primed to Stage Rally" Quickly, run to the grocery store, grab everything Oh my God what are we going to do. Get your head out of your behind and report responsibly, not instill fear and panic amongst people you idiots.

Posted by: Goodstones | February 20, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

This is irresponsible to put a headline like that up. "Winter Primed to Stage Rally" Quickly, run to the grocery store, grab everything Oh my God what are we going to do. Get your head out of your behind and report responsibly, not instill fear and panic amongst people you idiots.

Posted by: Goodstones | February 20, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Guys that radar doesn't looking promising. Looks like the heavier precip is going south,

Posted by: No snow ? | February 20, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Yes, fear and panic have been rampant since the fear-mongers at Capital Weather Gang posted this headline. Just look at the chaos on the streets! Grow up. With the beginning of spring training, the weatherman used a sports metaphor.

Posted by: Metaphors? | February 20, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse


First of all, there are real people running this website. Nobody appreciates being called an idiot.

Second, how many times have you seen the Nats stage a rally and come up short? There is no guaranteed grand slam here, and I don't think this post suggested that. It was just fun and creative. Geez.

Posted by: Laura in NWDC | February 20, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, calm down Goodstones. The folks at Cap Weather are actually pretty good at what they do... If a big storm were to hit you would be the first to question why there was no heads-up about it..

Posted by: HEELS | February 20, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

hey goodstones --that's not what the headline says! It says Winter puts on its rally cap which in my dictionary means it could rally or not. Especially with a subhead that says two chances to score or strike out--i am not sure I see your point.

Anyway, if you want over reporting just turn on your local easy listening radio station. I am a new reader but I think the capital weather gang have been really good about responsible reporting!

Posted by: montgomery village md mom | February 20, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

It's snowing fairly hard in Martinsburg, WV now. Everything is quickly becoming white. My wife works in DC, and it is a good thing she takes the train, because I'm sure that 270 will be a parking lot this evening.

Posted by: M.burg | February 20, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Is this for real? A chat about the local forecast? Oh My!!

Posted by: Ugh | February 20, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Any guesses on whether it'll be worth it for me to hop in the car and head out of the city for the eclipse tonight? I'd rather not make the 30-45 minute drive that I'd need to clear the light pollution if it turns out I'll have to contend with the skies anyway.

Posted by: Mark | February 20, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I love the snow-cam... and the inclusion of the WxUnderground radar... Great additions Cap Wx. team!

Posted by: Steve in Silver Spring | February 20, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

weather newbie here: It's been mentioned a few times that these Clipper storms lose a lot of moisture when then move over the mountains. Do storms lose more moisture over mountains than over flat, sea-level land, and if so, why?

Posted by: JohnB | February 20, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Mark, I imagine we will have a better feel for the weather later in the day, so be sure to check by in the afternoon time frame. However, I know biker john was advertising an event he was having in Springfield to see the eclipse, that may save you some time and travel.

Posted by: Jamie Jones, CapitalWeather Gang | February 20, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Yup, most of this clipper's energy appears to be concentrated well to the south of DC. I'd be surprised if the Metro area saw any more than a dusting. And the road temps are well above freezing so travel shouldn't be too bad.

Posted by: Ivan | February 20, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Sterling radar seems to be filling in, we will have to see if this continues...

Posted by: arnoldkh | February 20, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

JohnB: Yes-- storms lose more intensity over mountains than flat land. Air is forced to rise over the mountains, therefore producing enhanced clouds, and enhancing precip, especially on the windward faces. What this means for the leeward (downwind or east) side is less moisture, because it has already been squeezed out by the mountains to the west. Mountains can also disrupt the circulation of storm systems -- which tends to weaken them.

Posted by: Capital Weather Gang | February 20, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

snow now falling on Capitol more verga! let it snow!

Posted by: rjm | February 20, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

there will be more snow thursday night going into friday with snow and sleet

Posted by: Anonymous | February 20, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

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