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Posted at 9:30 AM ET, 01/19/2009

Forecast: A Little Light Snow for Inauguration Eve

By Jason Samenow

Inauguration Day Weather Forecast (Tomorrow) : With subfreezing air temperatures and wind chills in the teens to near 20, it is going to be one cold day. Continue reading for tomorrow's Inauguration Day weather details...


Today: Light snow likely. 32-35. | Tonight: Mostly cloudy. 19-23 | Inauguration Day: Mostly cloudy and breezy. 29-33. | A Look Ahead


I'm sure inauguration planners are thrilled that the best chance of snow we've had all season has arrived on the eve of the big day. But not to worry, today there will be no repeat of the crippling snowstorm that befell the eve of John F. Kennedy's inauguration. Rather, we may get just enough to whiten the landscape for tomorrow's historic event, if even that. We're talking sweepable, probably not plowable snow potential.

Radar: Latest regional radar loop shows movement of precipitation over past two hours. Powered by HAMweather. Refresh page to update. Click here to see radar bigger. Or see radar bigger on our Weather Wall.

Today (Monday): Periods of light snow are likely (65% chance), possibly beginning during the morning, but a better bet during the afternoon. With the recent cold, the snow should stick on untreated surfaces. However, the most likely accumulation will only range from a dusting to about an inch. Here are the various possibilities for the amount of snow we'll see today:

No snow: 35%
Dusting to 1": 40%
1" or more: 25%

High temperatures should range from 32-35, but will drop several degrees during any periods of snow.

Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Light snow (50% chance) may continue through mid-evening before gradually tapering off. Skies will remain mostly cloudy through the night, with lows from the upper teens in the colder suburbs to around 20 downtown. Winds will start to pick up late, out of the north-northwest at around 10 mph. Confidence: Medium-High

Keep reading for the detailed forecast through mid-week.

Tomorrow, Inauguration Day (Tuesday): It's going to be windy and cold. See full Inauguration Day Weather Forecast details in our special InaugurationCast post.

Inauguration Night: If you're headed to any of the Inauguration balls, dress warmly. Temperatures will drop into the low 20s by midnight and with a persistent wind from the northwest at around 15 mph, wind chills will dip down to near 10. Winds may slowly subside late while skies partially clear, allowing lows to reach the low-to-mid teens in the suburbs to the upper teens downtown. Confidence: Medium-High


Both Wednesday and Thursday will likely be on the sunny side -- with moderating temperatures. Highs Wednesday will only be in the low-to-mid 30s but will warm back up into the low-to-mid 40s Thursday. Confidence: Medium-High

By Jason Samenow  | January 19, 2009; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Inauguration Weather Forecast: Blustery for Obama


Dusting in progress in Gaithersburg - 8:50

Posted by: MDScot | January 19, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

very light snow in NWDC with a temp of 29 degrees.

Posted by: NWDCJesse | January 19, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Very light snow in Oakton with a patch of blue sky directly overhead.

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | January 19, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Light snow in NW DC

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 19, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

and the light snow has stopped, at least where I am in NWDC, cleveland park. Any idea why the snow seems to be developing right after DC?

Posted by: NWDCJesse | January 19, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Nothing here SE of DC in Suitland yet(working on the holiday, WOOO!). Still some lengthy breaks of sun from time to time. Here's to hoping I need the snow brush when I leave today.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 19, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe Norfolk is going to see upwards of 5 inches of snow with this coastal storm and we're still here - snowless

Posted by: 300_sq_ft | January 19, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse


It's stopped here too. Can't really explain the patterns of's mostly random. We may get some more to pivot through through the afternoon, though.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 19, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Snow north of us, west of us, south of us.. with a nice gap of nothing over the metro area... Typical..

Posted by: ZmanVA | January 19, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

a few little flakes out here in New Baltimore, but sun is trying to peek out :(

Posted by: weathergrrl | January 19, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Snowing at a nice clip here in Middle River, MD. Ground is already covered with snow.

Posted by: CarolinaMike | January 19, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Light snow again in Oakton, near Fairfax. Perhaps the dry slot is trying to fill in.

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | January 19, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

300_sq_ft, I have to agree with you that it is truly depressing that NC and Tidewater are going to get a decent snow, and we will get nothing from that storm. Our lame winter continues with no real snow chances in sight.

Posted by: mciaram1 | January 19, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Snowing in Tysons Corner.

Posted by: ZmanVA | January 19, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Light snow for the first time today. Maybe the dry slot over Sterling is filling in... I'm praying for a sudden snowstorm.

Posted by: Sterlingva | January 19, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

SNOWING HERE IN HERNDON! It has been snowing at a light/moderate pace for about 20 minutes... got a light dusting just on the sidewalks a little. Nothing on the grass yet.

Posted by: Snowman_In_Herndon | January 19, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

It's snowing little pellets here in Bethesda -- definitely snow, not ice, but denser and more 3-dimensional than regular flakes. Sort of like styrafoam when you crumble it up. Or like aquarium gravel (but just a little bit smaller). The pellets are dense enough to bounce and roll, but you can also easily crush them between your fingers. I don't remember seeing snow quite like this before. Is there a name for it?

I just went out and checked, and now it's changed to just regular flakes. The pellet-snow lasted about 15 minutes.

Posted by: sus_in_bethesda | January 19, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Snow again here in G'burg. However the roadways and black surfaces seem to have heated up just enough in the sunlight that the snow is not sticking on those surfaces.

Posted by: MDScot | January 19, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

ive seen a verry tiny snow shower around 10 in takoma park md ,since then nothing much is going on i think were done for today

Posted by: redskinsfan01 | January 19, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

snowing moderately in bethesda but absolutely no accumulation on anything

Posted by: cjespn | January 19, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Sus, sounds like you're getting some graupel. In layman's terms, it's kind of a snow/hail hybrid, but much less dense. We used to get it alot in upstate NY. My friends would ask me why it was raining dip'n dots!

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 19, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Its been snowing here for 40 min now, my driveway has a slight coating on it.

Posted by: Snowman_In_Herndon | January 19, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Snow ended for now in Tysons.. Radar looks like it may be filling back in from the southwest.

Posted by: ZmanVA | January 19, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Looks like the snow bands keep forming just to the north and west of the District. Just a few flurries in southern Shaw.

Posted by: bjackrian | January 19, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

dry and partly cloudy here in NWDC. this stinks.

Posted by: NWDCJesse | January 19, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

just looking at the radar...where is the snow?

Posted by: cjespn | January 19, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse


The snow is in Montgomery County and north and west. I know, disappointing for those of us to the south and east -- but some more snow showers could develop this afternoon (confidence only moderate though -- don't get hopes too high).

I just published an update post. See: Update: Scattered Snow Flakes Flying

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 19, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Brian, I'm glad to know the word graupel—thanks!

Posted by: sus_in_bethesda | January 19, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Sun just came out and all the snow melted in about 5 minutes.

Posted by: Snowman_In_Herndon | January 19, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

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