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Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 11/26/2008

Sunday: Season's First Accumulating Snow?

By Dan Stillman

* Trouble-Free Turkey Day Travel? Full Forecast *

Next Chance of Accumulating Snow: Sunday
Probability: 30%
Potential Impact:

Models show the potential for a storm system to develop to the south and take a track up the coast that ordinarily would be favorable for some frozen precipitation in the D.C. area. So why only a 30% chance of accumulating snow?

For one, the late-November air may not be cold enough to support a sustained snowfall. And this early in the game, there's still a decent chance the storm misses us entirely.

Still, the situation is worth watching, and is intriguing enough to warrant this season's first Snow Lover's Crystal Ball.

The Snow Lover's Crystal Ball appears when the potential exists for accumulating snow beyond 24 to 36 hours.

By Dan Stillman  | November 26, 2008; 10:45 AM ET
Categories:  Snow Lover's Crystal Ball  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Forecast: Travelers Give Thanks for Good Weather
Next: Were the Pilgrims Weather Wimps?


This is cutting way too close to my vacation for comfort. I knew knew knew knew KNEW something like this would happen. Hahaha! I'm leaving for Florida (of all places to go when it might snow) on Mon Dec 1 and coming home Tues Dec 9. Of courrrrse there would be a 30% chance of snow so close to my leaving the area. As long as it does it while I'm still here, we're good.

If I miss this I'm blaming on you, Mr. Stillman. Everyone always blames the meteorologist if the weather doesn't go the way he or she wants it to, so I'm gonna blame it on you. Either you or Laura in NWDC. I haven't decided yet. Heh. :^P

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | November 26, 2008 6:14 AM | Report abuse

Late weekend and early next week have limited possibilities. Monday into Tuesday may show more potential than Sunday, but nothing is exciting at this point.

Persistence dictates that most folks will be too far north and west for sig. impact. This has been a very dry fall, with many receiving a scant 50% of normal precip. during the past 60 days. Exceptions would mostly be in the eastern areas toward the coast. The longterm dry pattern continues.

I did witness a quick half inch of snow yesterday during a mid day squall.

Posted by: AugustaJim | November 26, 2008 7:55 AM | Report abuse

At a glance shows a low temp of 36 and a high temp of 49 on Sunday; how could we possibly see accumulating snow with these types of temps? Will the track of the storm determine if colder air will be pulled in from the north? Thx!

Posted by: snowlover | November 26, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

snowlover -- if you look back at past wintry events, more often than not you'll see temperature forecasts several days before were significantly higher than what turned out to be. The models usually don't do a good job resolving cold air getting pulled down from the north and wedged against the mountains until much closer to the event. That said, as mentioned in the post above, a lack of cold air (in addition to the general uncertainty about the development and track of the storm) is a big reason the chance is only 30% at the moment.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | November 26, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

She has arrived. :)

Posted by: PeterBethesda | November 26, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

The 12z GFS paints a much jucier picture for Monday than previous runs, I guess it's coming around more to the EURO solution? Looks like cold air is questionable.

Posted by: gfp76 | November 26, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

very exciting!!

Posted by: madisondc | November 26, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse


Greg the Rain Man

Posted by: stinkerflat1 | November 26, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Dan/snowlover: Both of you also forgot to consider the lapse rate with the question of snow with surface temperatures in the 40s. A dry layer at the surface, topped by a cold moist layer aloft, with a sharp temperature lapse rate, can lead to frozen precip at the surface with temperatures substantially above freezing. The moist cold air aloft supples the moisture; the dry layer at the surface causes evaporative cooling as the moisture falls into the warmer and drier air and partly evaporates. The evaporative cooling turns the falling rain into frozen precip. Eventually the suface air cools to the sale level as above, moistens up, and the precip reaches the ground, then becomes all sleet or snow.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | November 27, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

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