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Posted at 11:45 AM ET, 02/13/2008

Update: Temperatures Slowly Climbing

By Capital Weather Gang

Rain to taper; could end as a bit of snow tonight

**Ice Warning in effect north and west until 1 p.m.**

Now: With the exception of parts of southern Maryland, moderate rain has continued through late morning across the metro area, with heavy rain falling now on the Eastern Shore. As the back edge of the steadier precipitation approaches from the southwest, rain should become lighter and more showery in nature during the afternoon.

Temperatures are now at or above freezing in the immediate metro area and points south and east. At 11 a.m., all three area airports were above freezing. Readings in the 30-32 range can still be found to the north and west in upper Montgomery, central and western Loudoun, and Frederick counties. But even there the threat of ice accumulation is diminishing as temperatures inch upward. Mid 30s to near 40 is about as high as temperatures will make it today.

The biggest concern through the rest of the day is whether an increasing breeze will blow down power lines weighed down by accumulated ice.


Icicles form yesterday in Oakton, Va. By Capital Weather Gang photographer Kevin Ambrose.

This afternoon and tonight: As temperatures fall back through the 30s this late afternoon and evening on a 10-20 mph wind from the north, lingering precipitation may change from rain back to snow tonight (after the evening commute) before ending. A dusting to a half-inch of accumulation isn't out of the question, but there may also not be enough precipitation to produce much of anything. Any wet spots run the risk of refreezing overnight as lows dip into the mid 20s to near 30.

See Dan's post for Valentine's Day through the holiday weekend.

By Capital Weather Gang  | February 13, 2008; 11:45 AM ET
Categories:  Updates  
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Next: CommuteCast: Rain Transitioning to Snow

Comments

35 and drizzle...I'm ready for spring and summer.

Posted by: arnoldkh | February 13, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Temp. is holding steady at 31F here (just northwest of the RT 7/RT 28 interchange), and the power was out from 10:30 AM to about 11:30 AM. Soooo glad I didn't have to go to work today, although there are a couple of errands I'd like to run...hoping RT 7 isn't too bad!

Posted by: Donna in Ashburn | February 13, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

McLean High School (in Fairfax County) closed at 11 a.m. today due to an ice-induced power outage. There was already a delay in the morning, meaning we had a lovely 2-hour day spent in the gym (one of the few places still lit). I would have preferred to see Fairfax County Schools closed from the beginning, but this is good enough for me! :-)

Temps hugging the 32 degree mark.

Posted by: mcleaNed | February 13, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

The 12z GFS and Nam still gives us a shot at a little snow this evening and overnight. Any real accumulation will be more likely for eastern areas.

The DGEX has found the storm again for Sunday and gives us mostly snow, perhaps 6 inches. Don't hold your breath!

CfromVa: From previous post.
It would help if the sharp 500 mb trough to our west would move to a core position over Norfolk, then bomb a surface low over the Va. Capes that would be very slow to move n.n.e. while continuing to intensify. Excuse my French, but that ain't gonna happen.

Posted by: Augusta Jim | February 13, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

are there any other schools closing early today? Aleganny county went from a 2 hr. delay to a closing.

Posted by: d | February 13, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Roads and sidewalks just wet around Bethesda. But around school, many places are very icy. Dangerous stuff. Administration has come on 3 times to warn about ice and all the teachers are talking about MoCo's "big blunder"...

I hope it all refreezes tonight for another delay tomorrow! That would make 4 delays this year! But no days off...yet.. :-(

Posted by: Peter | February 13, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

People who wish for more ice must not have to drive or walk much.

WISH FOR SNOW, NOT ICE!

Posted by: notnICE | February 13, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Schoolcast for moco tomorrow? Any hope for a two hour delay?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 13, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

What happened last evening, hopefully, will (again) give local forecasters a good less in the effects of cold-air damming. Seems like they never truly learn that lesson once and for all. Even Doug Hill, perhaps the best of the local forecasters, kept saying yesterday afternoon that the warm air would start to prevail and mix down to the surface by abut 8 PM or so.

It is very, very difficult for that to happen when you get a really cold NE flow east of the mountains...inevitably the system occludes over us and the warm front never makes it down to the ground....we go from a surface E or NE flow back around to the N and NW behind the system.

What is irritating is that the forecasters see this happen time and time again, but yet CONTINUE to predict rising temperatures with these kind of systems.....that AGAIN, is what happened last night. For the most part, it just doesn't happen. Finally, they modified the ice-to-rain forecast to a full ice-storm warning.......after the ice storm had already gotten under way and was already doing damage.

And....have the forecasters learned? Probably not. They will continue to do the same thing.....just as they have for decades. They SAY they learn from it, but in fact they don't. The effects of East-Coast damming are well-known, but nobody seems to ever really retain that knowledge and put it to use.

Posted by: Mike | February 13, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Don't mean to toot my own horn, but i will :)

Any chance of cold air daming or surface temps not reaching the upper 30s to 40s today/tonight??? Please!

Posted by: Snowlover | February 12, 2008 08:02 AM

Posted by: Snowlover | February 13, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Dont forget, any amount of accumulating snow on top of any amount of ice is a lethal combination for slipperyness!

Posted by: CSH | February 13, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Augusta, Do you have a good link to DGEX model for Sun? Thanks

Posted by: cfromVA | February 13, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Dulles still hanging at 34. When are temps gonna fall back below 32 out that way? Should I leave work in DC early?

I'm not going through another commute like last night.

(And, yes, arnoldkh, I'm in complete agreement with you. Bring on spring/summer. I'm sick of this ice.)

Posted by: Ivan | February 13, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I don't think that forecasters have not learned the affects of CAD. Sittuations like last night happen, and last years Valentine's day storm being one of them are not common, yet they do happen. Its a matter of forecasting what it looks like will happen. Its a matter of forecasting what appears is going to happen. This storm looked as though it would change over to rain due to southerly winds. The storm was not as strong as was originally thought, winds stayed northerly, and the cold air won out for quite some time.

CAD is generally hard to forecast, as it is directly influenced by the current conditions in the storm, and models(that are not very dependable anyways) do a horrible job of picking up on CAD. I think forecasters do the best job they can with what they know, and their experience. As with any weather event it can go both ways. It looks as though it will be a colder storm, it goes warm. It looks warm it goes cold. Its the nature of the beast.

Posted by: arnoldkh | February 13, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Augusta Jim | February 13, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

From earlier posts, yes, it will refreeze tonight and any additional precipitation after sunset or when the temperature has dipped below 32-degrees F, will pose an additional hazard on the roads tomorrow morning. The forecasts for warmer temperatures are obviously not happening and it will be the 10:00 p.m. or 11:00 p.m. airing before the weathercasters come out and say this in plain english. Then wait until 5:00 a.m. for the schools to make their announcements.

Posted by: Uncle Dak | February 13, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I say: Moco= 1 and a half apples. The water will all freeze tonight. Does anyone know the accumulations for snow tonight? will it stick?

Posted by: d | February 13, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Thanks aronldkh ... looking back at our forecasts from Monday night and Tuesday morning, I think we did a pretty good job with the forecast (not perfect, mind you) through Tuesday evening's commute. It was the late evening and overnight where our misjudgment of temperatures really kicked in.

This line -- "Officials across the region were surprised by a sheet of freezing rain that blanketed the region just after 3 p.m. " -- from this Washington Post story last night was surprising. I didn't follow all of the forecasts from various sources, but I'm fairly sure a good number of forecasts, in addition to ours, highlighted the potential for freezing rain to cause slipperiness in the afternoon yesterday.

Look for a post-mortem evaluation of our forecasting for this storm in the near future.

Posted by: Dan, Capital Weather Gang | February 13, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Defense Sect'y Gates slipped and fell last night, breaking his shoulder. I'm sure there were many more accidents last night that we didn't hear about...so be careful out there!

Posted by: Kalorama Park | February 13, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

MCPS:
All afternoon and evening school and community activities in school buildings
are canceled for today, Wednesday, February 13, due to weather conditions. Day care programs in school buildings will remain open as scheduled.

Posted by: Uncle Dak | February 13, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

MoCo schools tomorrow (Thursday)? Open? Closed? Delayed??? Just made a bunch of cupcakes for the Grade 3 Valentine's Day party.

Posted by: marlee | February 13, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

As far as I can remember, whenever water refreezes overnight, MCPS always seems to have a 2 hour delay the next day. That's what I'm calling for. But on time is certainly possible too, as is no school!!

Posted by: Peter | February 13, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

A dollar sez two-hour delay :-)

Posted by: Uncle Dak | February 13, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Jerry west knows that we want a snow day. Afterall, MOCO used to get days off more than any other county. PLEASE CANCEL IT JERRY, AND PLEASE READ MY COMMENT

Posted by: d | February 13, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I read many times before yesterday afternoon that we could see freezing rain in the afternoon hours. I did not see one salt or sand truck in Western Fairfax County yesterday afternoon ready to go. I don't see why anyone is blaming the forecasters. Maybe it didn't warm up as fast as they thought it would but the damage was done prior to that anyway.

Posted by: Cartman | February 13, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Not sure why Jerry West would be interested in Montgomery County since he has a very good job now as a basketball general manager but where he came (Cabin Creek, WV) from they never had a day off.

Posted by: No snow ? | February 13, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

As late as 8 p.m. last night News Channel 8 was exclaiming that it was 63 deg in VA Beach and justa matter of time before that warm air reached us. At that time too there was no way to get a tv weather report due to the election coverage, and Mike Sidel was standing on some street in Milwaukee or something, so the Weather Channel was not focused on our ice storm. WTOP was doing a good job covering the traffic disaster in NoVA and reporting the NWS weather startements. The best thing is to hop on a computer and check this site.

Posted by: Uncle Dak | February 13, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

To those students in Montgomery County. The decision to close/open schools is not made by Weast...there is a position that was held by Larry Bowers until recently...the new guy seems a bit tougher on us.

I would say on time tomorrow barring any sort of significantly icy conditions. For those of you who are on Eastern, see my post about my day...the new guy seems to assess the roads but not walking areas...I could not get to school today and then the signals around there were out.

Posted by: Kenny | February 13, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

what is the school cast for montgomery county?

Posted by: sam | February 13, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Kenny,

Jerry does make the decisions. I just don't get it though, He always use to give us days off and now he only gives delays. we,ve had 4 delays when we should have had 2. It snowed 4 inches twice and we got delays. Many hebrew schools closed today, and all after school activities are cancelled for MOCO. Stay tuned people! :)

Posted by: d | February 13, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Commutecast for this evening? Am I hearing that the temps won't drop back to freezing until after dark? Anybody?

Posted by: Laura in NWDC | February 13, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Given the fact that official advisories weren't issued for DC until the precipitation began to fall, I'm not surprised that less weather-savvy individuals were caught off guard by the accumulating ice. Just mentioning it in a forecast isn't going to make an impression on those within the District, who are so accustom to ice remaining "north and west of the city".

Posted by: Ryan | February 13, 2008 4:00 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 4:10 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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