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Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 01/31/2009

Possible Early Week Storm Still Bears Watching

By Jason Samenow

* Cold today, milder tomorrow: Full Forecast *

Next Chance of Accumulating Snow: Late Monday-Tuesday
Probability of Accumulating Snow: 35%
Most Likely Potential Impact:

As I indicated in the forecast early this morning, the potential Monday night-Tuesday storm may develop and track too far east to produce meaningful snow in the metro region. The latest computer model runs have us on the fence between getting a period of moderate, accumulating snow (possibly starting as rain or a mix) and next to nothing.

Although the trend is not looking good for substantial snow here, this situation is a close enough call, that it's too early to pull the plug on this storm. In a year where we've had a lot of pretty uncertain storms, uncertainty is even bigger for this one. We'll continue to provide updates on this situation throughout the weekend.

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

By Jason Samenow  | January 31, 2009; 12:00 PM 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: From Cold to Mild to ... ???
Next: Early Week Snow Chances Increasing

Comments

Get ready kids--another inch of snow and you'll be off another 2.5 days!

Posted by: dcwarren | January 31, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Can someone explain what the numbers in front of the GFS models mean? What's the difference between the 06 Z GFS and the 12 Z GFS, etc?
Thanks!

Posted by: previously | January 31, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

06Z and 12Z are times. 06Z is 1 AM our time and 12Z is 7AM our time (during EST).

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | January 31, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

previously, 06z/12z/18z/0z are just times the model is run in Zulu or Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Here is a chart that explains what times they correspond to in various places. Many weather charts/satellite images use Zulu or UTC time for timestampts, etc.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 31, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I like snow.
I hate D.C. winters due to the lack of said snow.

If it isn't just cold rain, it'll be an inch of rain/snow/freezing rain/sleet/slush crap.

This climate sucks.

Posted by: Havoc737 | January 31, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

so we've gone from a storm of epic proportions to "it's too early to pull the plug"... how disappointing, but typical.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 31, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

OK.. I know we're still a couple of days out.. but for the true snow lovers among us, I'm interpreting the change from yesterday's 2PM SLCB "there's also big-time forecast bust potential, which is why we're only willing to go for a 40% chance of snow accumulation and a 2-flake impact in our forecast above" to today's 12PM update down to 35% as a sign that I (we)should be less excited about some big event occurring than if the percentage had gone to 45% or higher? Probably not statistically significant, but definitely in the wrong direction. Is there a difference between "most likely potential impact" and just "potential impact"?.. As I read yesterday's "potential" it sounded like it could easily be a 3 or 4 snow-flaker. Or would posting a 4 snow-flaker be considered to much in the "wishful" a.k.a. "hype" direction?

Posted by: SnowLoverOlneyMD | January 31, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Play the Price is Right "LOSER" Sound Effect: Baaaaa-baaa-ba-buuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmm!

Posted by: stinkerflat1 | January 31, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Word from HypeMan:

GFS BECOMING MORE CONSISTENT


The latest run of the GFS shows a moderate snow event coming up the I-95 corridor. I do think we are finally getting to the details of the storm. If we go with the GFS, it's 2-4 inches in DC and Baltimore... 3-6 inches in Philly. 4-8 inches in NYC and Boston.

I still think we will some a little more of a shift west with the storm track, but I don't believe now it will ever get to the path I originally. thought. Oh, well, I miss out on a storm....

Accuweather Hypes and misses again!!!!!

Posted by: stinkerflat1 | January 31, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Snow lovers don't give up hope just yet. The 18Z NAM has made a significant westward shift.

Posted by: Pianokey | January 31, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

And EVEN More Bad News....Ba-Baaa-Buuummmmm:

MODELS HAVE
RETAINED SOME RUN TO RUN CONSISTENCY IN KEEPING THE COASTAL LOW
PRESSURE SYSTEM OFFSHORE...WITH THE BULK OF THE PRECIP COMING ALONG
THE FRONTAL PASSAGE MONDAY NIGHT.

850MB TEMPS ARE COLD ENOUGH FOR SNOW. HAVE BUMPED UP SURFACE TEMPS A
FEW DEGREES OVERNIGHT MONDAY AND INTO THE DAY ON TUESDAY. SUSPECT
MOS IS TOO COLD. IF TEMPS COME UP EVEN MORE WITHIN THE
GUIDANCE...THIS COULD MEAN MORE OF A RAIN/SNOW MIX...ESPECIALLY EAST
OF THE BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS.

SINCE THE MODELS ARE CURRENTLY PRODUCING MORE PRECIP WITH THE FRONT
THAN THE COASTAL LOW...HAVE PLACED THE HIGHEST CHANCES FOR MONDAY
NIGHT INSTEAD OF TUESDAY. AM RELUCTANT TO REDUCE POPS MUCH MORE.
HOWEVER...IF THE MODELS STAY ON COURSE WITH THE CURRENT
SOLUTION...LESS QPF/POPS MAY BE NEEDED.

Ba-Ba-Baaaa-Bummmmmm!

Posted by: stinkerflat1 | January 31, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

As I send this message, I'm noticing a high and mid level cirrus and altocumulus deck moving eastward toward Annapolis. Unrelated (but maybe not?), the whole state of North Dakota is under a high wind warning right now. Grand Forks has had a record high of 44 this afternoon. Having lived in ND 20+ years ago, I would have killed for an afternoon of 40+ degrees in January (or March for that matter). I think that's the system that's diving down into the GOMEX and generating the storm that eventually will make its way up the east coast. The point is, the temperature contrast and high winds (35-50 mph) give an indication of the available energy for our maybe/maybe-not coastal storm next Monday/Tuesday.

Posted by: Pianokey | January 31, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Boooooo. We went from crippling snowstorm to "too far east for significant snow."
Me no likey.

Posted by: PoorTeacher | January 31, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

@Poorteacher

There was never a forecast for a crippling snowstorm on this blog. At first we were favoring an inland rainy solution. Now we're favoring an off the coast solution--with perhaps a little snow.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 31, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Ok let me rephrase. We went from the HOPE of a crippling snowstorm, to now too far east.

Many non-weather persons were talking major snow Thursday and Friday. While some CWG people said "potential for first major snow storm."

You are right, you never forecasted it.

Posted by: PoorTeacher | January 31, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Guys, here we are again at 48 hours out, acting like these model runs are the gospel or something.

Posted by: lioninzion | January 31, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

That is to say--if the models were correct even half the time, the snow wallahs would be unemployed, and there would be very little mystery to any of this.

Posted by: lioninzion | January 31, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm more encouraged that the models are showing it running more east than west. If they stay west, there's little to no chance of snow. If they run east, there's the chance that it might stall off the coast or veer closer to us and produce more snow.

Posted by: markf40 | January 31, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Since the storm is supposed to hit Monday night, I'd miss a dance anyway.

However, even the Tuesday snow is suspect. Notice that the temperature figure for Tuesday reads "34/36" Fahrenheit! A "best-case" scenario with those temperatures should give us a bunch of cruddy mix/slush rather than outright snow. In the worst case, all we get at 35 F is a bunch of plain ol' RAIN...and a mighty cold rain at that!!! Rather be dry than soaked to the bone at that temperature!

Posted by: Bombo47jea | January 31, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

I agree--always better to be on the cold side. Always. Even if it means Norfolk gets a foot and we get nothing, I don't care.

Posted by: lioninzion | January 31, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me, or is the 00z NAM slowing down the storm, developing a second low right off the coast, and giving us 6-12+ inches?

Posted by: JTF- | January 31, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

0Z NAM now advertising a significant
snowstorm for much of the area. What a wild 48 hours for the models!
Will be interesting to see if the rest of the 0z suite shifts to the west like the NAM. Not going to get excited yet as it's only one run, but if nothing else, this brings back some hope!

Posted by: JSA2 | January 31, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

YEAH FOLKS NAM LOOKED GOOD! NOT TO MODEL HUG BUT ILL TAKE THE NAM. OUT HOPE STILL RESTS WITH THE GFS AND EURO. WE NEED SOME CONSISTENT RUNS NOW AND AGREEMENT. THERE IS STILL HOPE!

Posted by: clintonportis17 | January 31, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

***BA,BA,Ba, BURRRRRRRRRR****

Latest from WOODY! from NWS:

HV LOOKED AT
00Z NAM AND DON`T WANT TO RAISE POPS ANY HIGHER. THERE`S A LOW
COMING FM THE GULF AND A SHORT WV DESCENDING FM THE UPR MIDWEST.
IN TERMS OF ACCUM THE MORE COMPLEX THE SYSTEM IS THE LESS PTNL
THERE IS FOR SIG QPF. I`M ALSO WONDERING IF THE DEPARTING COASTAL
SYSTEM WL ROB THE ENERGY OF APRCHG SHORT WV TUE...LVG AREA W/
NOTHING. THIS IS SOMETIMES THE CASE.

WOODY!

Posted by: stinkerflat1 | January 31, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Anyone remember our January 2000 "suprise"?

These things can do anything they want to.

Of course, I want snow.

:)

Posted by: MKoehl | January 31, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

We will receive precipitation on Monday Night-Tuesday.

Brought to you by:

PRECIPMAN

Posted by: amorris525 | January 31, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

PRECIPMAN: HAHA! That's a pretty safe forecast. Sorta like George Carlin's...

"Tonight, dark. Continued dark overnight, with widely scattered light by morning."

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | January 31, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

00Z GFS showing coastal as well! Game on.

Posted by: Snowman_In_Herndon | January 31, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: redskinsfan01 | January 31, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Folks--The latest models do show significant snow for us Monday night into Tuesday. That's exactly why I said it was too early to pull the plug when I wrote this earlier. I saw some indicators in the upper level pattern that made me think the prospects for snow were not a lost cause. Still--lots can happen between now and Monday evening for or against snow...

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 31, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

GFS also has us in the bullseye of the new low forming. Wow. One set of model runs and we go from 1-2 inches to potentially over a foot, and we get a brand new L to go along with it! There's no way this holds true...

...but at least both the NAM and GFS consistent!

Posted by: JTF- | January 31, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Jason - New SLCB tomorrow?

Posted by: jpl1019 | January 31, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

@jpl1019

Absolutely. Around noon.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 31, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Tonights U.S. models are pretty impressive... some excitement that's not 100+ hrs away.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 31, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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