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Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 12/18/2008

Weekend Winter Weather Cancel?

By Jason Samenow

* Weather Calms, Briefly: Express & Detailed Forecast | SkinsCast | Later: Ex-Bush Official Joins AccuWeather *

Next Chance of Accumulating Snow: Saturday Night & Sunday
Probability of Accumulating Snow: 35%
Most Likely Potential Impact:

A significant winter weather event for the weekend appears increasingly unlikely. While cold air will briefly settle into the area Saturday and Saturday night, it will quickly erode as low pressure cuts to our north and west, causing milder air from the south to work its way into the area.

A brief period of snow, sleet, and/or freezing rain is possible Saturday night into early Sunday morning, especially in the colder north and west suburbs. But most of the precipitation should change to a cold rain during the day Sunday area-wide -- washing any frozen precipitation away.

Chance of no snow: 65%
Chance of a dusting to an inch: 25%
Chance of one inch or more: 10%

By Jason Samenow  | December 18, 2008; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  Snow Lover's Crystal Ball  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Forecast: Unsettled End to the Week
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Comments

Well, now that's pretty depressing news...

Posted by: jburksva | December 18, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

First I get a cold...and now this? Can it get any worse?

Posted by: kridgely | December 18, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I saw as much on last night's 00z GFS run. That secondary low was forming off Jersey instead of North Carolina, and it has pretty much killed any possibility of good winter weather.

Figures, as soon as I start getting excited stuff goes to hell. >:( I need to move.

Posted by: hobbes9 | December 18, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

As I said before if you live in this area,you can pretty much forget the word snowstorm! It just doesnt happen around here anymore. But this is the only place in this country that can go from possible major winter weather event to rain storm in a matter of 12 hours! So all and all the warming trend on the models started yesterday and I see no reason why they would change again so Im going out on a limb and say very very brief period of frozen precip then all rain. Nothing new for nova and DC.

Posted by: clintonportis17 | December 18, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

If you buy in to the GFS run.......still too far out to know for sure.

Posted by: ntrlsol | December 18, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

ntrlsol I admier your hope but just listen when I say there will be nothing to get excited about sunday! To put this winter in simple terms, South of the Mason Dixon line your get nothing.

Posted by: clintonportis17 | December 18, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

This is still pretty far out event so let see a couple more GFS runs before we start throwing around % (35% impact? come on, you don't know that, it's a weak guess).

Posted by: ntrlsol | December 18, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

ntrlsol, look at the NAM runs as well. The NAM runs are a little cooler than the GFS (due to the fact that it has the secondary low forming a bit further south), but all that changes from the GFS is more frozen precip on the front-end, and pretty much nothing on the back-end. The models are actually in decent (for three days out) agreement right now.

Overall there's more precip associated with the GFS, but they both run just a little too warm to do much here.

I'd LOVE to believe that things can go back to the original solution, but I've been watching these models too long to know that this probably won't be a significant winter event for this area. And besides, December is never a big snowmaker here. February is where we traditionally get the most snows.

Disappointing to say the least.

Posted by: hobbes9 | December 18, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Hello CapWx crew. I moved up to NY in September, but will be checking out your posts from time to time. Woke up this morning, and they're claiming 6-10 inches of snow, with "Heavy Snow" forecasted for tomorrow. Let's see if it pans out. Hopefully I will have a little more luck with NYC winters than I did with DC winters!

Posted by: KaloramaPark | December 18, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Hey KP!
Good to see you checking in, hope all is well with you and yours in the 'northland!

Posted by: MikefromtheBlueRIdge | December 18, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Jim in NOVA here (used to be Jim in Blacksburg):

Can't say I'm surprised by this development. DC is just too far south to expect snow from this type of storm when we have a positive NAO as currently. No blocking, storm goes west and north - end of story. And the past few winters we have not been able to buy a negative NAO - until that changes, we won't see any appreciable snow. The sole way DC gets snow with a positive NAO is through clippers, and we all know how reliable they are!

Now, technically, a big storm could "thread the needle," and that is what the models were previously showing with Sunday's storm. But reality has set in and we all need to realize "threading the needle" seldom if ever happens.

KP up in NYC should do considerably better. Looks like 6" plus from the event Friday (when DC will be in the low 50s - so not even cold rain, actually WARM rain!). And likely quite a bit more with Sunday's event. New York is just far enough north that it occasionally gets in on the action even when the NAO fails to cooperate.

Now, just for kicks and grins, I will list some surprising cities that have had more snow than Washington, DC this year:

Jackson, MS
Houston, TX
New Orleans, LA
Las Vegas, NV
Seattle, WA
Portland, OR

Pretty depressing, isn't it? The even more depressing news is that many have forecasted a very warm January. So we may not even be talking about any real snow threats for the next 6 weeks at least. Course no one can know that with any certainty, so we can keep hope alive I suppose! As for Sunday though, I'll hope for something frozen, but I'm planning on rain.

Posted by: jahutch | December 18, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

"As I said before if you live in this area,you can pretty much forget the word snowstorm! It just doesnt happen around here anymore."

Not "anymore" - ever. Snow events in this area have always been rare, based on our location and climatology.

I'm not saying climate change isn't real, but I keep hearing people say our winters "just aren't the way they used to be" because of global warming. That simply isn't the case, and the more we make that correlation, the more disbelievers we will have when we have an abnormal winter with a lot of snow.

Posted by: SouthsideFFX | December 18, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Southside FFX:

You are correct that, climatologically speaking, this area doesn't receive a lot of snow. BUT, it does get at least 10" or so in the vast majority of years. The current stretch of 5 or so years we have been in is JUST as abnormal as a 30" winter is. It is unreasonable to expect big snowfall totals here, but it is wrong to suggest that what we have been experiencing is "normal" because its just not. Check the climate records.

Has it happened before? Sure. Is it normal - no - its actually quite rare. Is it global warming? I don't really think so. I mean, I'm sure that plays in a little bit. But really, its a weather pattern we have been in the last several years featuring things like a positive NAO and powerful pacific jet. This will switch back around at some point, and we will get back to more normal winters. We may even get a string of "good" winters at some point that will cancel out this string of "bad" ones in terms of averages.

Global warming accounts for a slight increase in yearly average temperature, but at this point I suspect its impact on yearly snowfall is highly limited. Now, if the worst predictions for GW come true, maybe it'll be more a factor in snowfall, but as of now, I think we are dealing *primarily* with a bad pattern, plain and simple.

Posted by: jahutch | December 18, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

A big and hearty "Booooooooo" on this one. :( How can Vegas get accumulating snow before we do???

It just isnt fair.......


Kim in Manassas

Posted by: ksrgatorfn1 | December 18, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the weekend is still in flux - the NWS appears to have switched back to snow for Saturday - last night they had snow, this morning it was the snow/rain mix discussed here - but this afternoon this is what they have:

Saturday Night: Snow, mainly after 1am. Low around 28. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

At least for 20878 :-)

Posted by: MDScot | December 18, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

KaloramaPark, good to hear from you! So, did you move for the snow???

Posted by: --sg | December 18, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

~sg - No, I got married...and my wife has been up here for about three years. The snow is a nice perk though. I will tell you, snow in NY isn't like what it was in DC. Where I am, there aren't a lot of parks for it to accumulate. We got about a half an inch on Tuesday night, and the only place it really stuck for more than an hour was our community rooftop area. No sooner than in started sticking on the sidewalk, it melted. We'll see if that changes with this one. I'll try to post some pics if I can.

Posted by: KaloramaPark | December 18, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I think I know why CapWx hasnt left any comments today lol. There just as dissapointed as we are about the weekend storm, that once had some promise to it. I honestly see our area going AT LEAST until beginning of Feb til we see our first measuable snow! and that is truly SAD! :(

Posted by: clintonportis17 | December 18, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

From the NWS. Seems like will be lucky to see a flake satuday night :( Just not a good way to start the holidays lol.

FAST WRLY FLOW WITH 250 MB JET STREAK OF 160+ KTS ACROSS THE MID
ATLC REGION WILL KEEP WX SYSTEMS MOVING AT QUICK PACE NEXT WEEK.
ONE AREA OF LOW PRES WILL BE EXITING THE AREA EARLY FRI EVENING WITH
ANOTHER FCST TO IMPACT THE AREA SAT NIGHT AND SUN. SAT NIGHT FCST
COULD POSE SOME MINOR PROBLEMS IN TERMS OF PRECIP TYPE. THERMAL
PROFILES INDICATE AIR ALOFT TOO WARM FOR ANY SNOW BUT A SUBFREEZING
LYR SEEN ON FCST SOUNDINGS BETWEEN 1500-3000 FT COULD RESULT IN
-FZRA ESPECIALLY IN FAVORED AREAS OF THE SHEN VALLEY LIKE SKYLINE
DRIVE AND THE HIGHER ELEVS OF THE WEST. NOT ALL THAT CONFIDENT THAT
FZRA WILL MATERIALIZE BUT IT IS POSSIBLE. ANY ICE ACCUMULATIONS WILL
BE MINOR AS SYSTEM IS A FAST MOVER AND DRY SLOT LOOKS TO MOVE IN
QUICKLY FROM THE WEST CUTTING DOWN ON PRECIP AMTS. LOW PRES WILL
THEN DEEPEN RAPIDLY ACROSS NE ENGLAND WATERS SUN AFTERNOON AND DRAG
VERY COLD AIR INTO THE REGION LATE SUNDAY AND MONDAY. WINDS WILL BE
A BIG STORY SUN AFTERNOON AND COULD APPROACH ADVISORY CRITERIA AND
WHEN COMBINED WITH THE LOW TEMPS WILL PRODUCE LOW WIND CHILLS SUN
NIGHT AND EARLY MON.

COLD HIGH PRES BUILDS ON TUE BUT EXITS QUICKLY TUE NIGHT ALLOWING
FOR A RETURN OF WARMER TEMPS. ANOTHER SYSTEM EXPECTED TO IMPACT THE
REGION TUESDAY NIGHT AND WED WITH RAIN THE MOST LIKELY PRECIP TYPE.-- End Changed Discussion --

Posted by: clintonportis17 | December 18, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Well, we can all take at least some solace in the fact that it appears Christmas day will at least be appropriately chilly, with NWS saying highs in the upper 30s. That's at least a bone to chew on given recent Christmas days around here.

Posted by: jahutch | December 18, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

wow another "winter storm" for us is canceld its just sad

Posted by: redskinsfan01 | December 18, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

:( No snow. Well I'm keeping my wine stash and wrapping presents anyway.

Posted by: weathergrrl | December 18, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

weathergrrl: Excellent plan!

KaloramaPark: Congrats once again on the marriage! Didn't realize you'd left the area afterward. Do post snow pics, please...they're so bittersweet to those of us here in WashingtoNoSnow, D.C.

Posted by: --sg | December 18, 2008 8:30 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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