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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 12/17/2008

Storm Has Eyes on Washington for Weekend

By Dan Stillman

* Weather Calms, Briefly: Express & Detailed Forecast | Later: Weather Gifts *

Next Chance of Accumulating Snow: Saturday Night & Sunday
Probability of Accumulating Snow: 40%
Most Likely Potential Impact:

It would figure that our best chance yet for accumulating snow (or other types of frozen precipitation) in this young winter season would wait for a weekend.

No, it does not look like a blizzard. But a storm coming from the west could spread a variety of wintry precipitaton over the region Saturday night and Sunday.

What are the prospects for impact in the metro area? Keep reading...

One reason this potential storm looks somewhat promising for impact in the metro area is the possible positioning of high pressure to the north, the circulation around which could help lock cold air in place.

The typical caveats apply. That is, we're too many days away to be confident about how stubborn or wimpy the cold air will be -- whether it will hold strong, or retreat and allow a changeover to ice and rain -- and what the exact track of the storm will be.

But the overall pattern is reminiscent of events that have produced accumulating snow and ice in the past, which is why we're going as high as 40% for the chance of accumulating snow, even more than 72 hours out. Of course, keep in mind that means a 60% chance of you know what.

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

By Dan Stillman  | December 17, 2008; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Snow Lover's Crystal Ball  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Forecast: Weather Calms Down, But Not for Long
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I hope all the snowlovers get an early Christmas present this year! The scenario looks promising. Time to lay in a supply of wine and wrapping paper!

Posted by: weathergrrl | December 17, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

The GFS has been flipflopping with the idea of the the secondary low forming off the Carolina/Virginia coast over the past few runs. The DGEX has not put up this possibility even once yet. The GFS has also had the better solutions longer term, so we'll see.

Posted by: hobbes9 | December 17, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse


better to get it this weekend than when everyone is trying to head out of town next week. This way we get our dose then can hit the road after it melts. :-)

Kim in Manassas

Posted by: ksrgatorfn1 | December 17, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Mr_Q | December 17, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

This comment from the NWS does look promising. Let's hope Bob Ryan has to shovel a fanny load of snow for his "Golden Snow Shovel" Reward:

Long term /Thursday through Tuesday/...
keep your eye on late Sat night into sun. Sig winter event may be
unfolding drg this time. GFS is getting consistent in showing a very
classic portion for winter weather in the metropolitan areas and points west. Iad forecast
maximum temperature of 33 is down a degree versus yesterdays mex maximum guidance for
sun and it will start off below freezing to start the event.

850 mb temperatures start the day at minus 7 in the mountains with surface system
forecast over Kentucky at 12z Sunday. Secondary low then begins to form along the
Carolina coast. Again...stay tuned. If you don't like winter
weather...might be a good time to call your favorite airline and get that
ticket to Miami.

Posted by: GregRAINMAN | December 17, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Whether and where the secondary low forms might be the key. Right now it's rather uncertain as to if it will form, and if so whether it will form along the Carolina coast or instead further north (the former would be more conducive to keeping the cold air in place than the latter).

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | December 17, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to make chocolates on Sunday. Bring it on!

Posted by: mchristinaw | December 17, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Any thoughts on the long range GFS and EURO which are showing snow for the 25th-26th?

Posted by: worldtraveler | December 17, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

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