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Posted at 9:15 AM ET, 01/26/2009

Forecast: Cold, Snow, and Slop

By Jason Samenow

Look out for a few morning snow showers

Winter Storm Watch Tuesday Evening Through Wednesday Afternoon

* Snow Lover's Crystal Ball: Latest Tues-Wed Storm Details *


Today: Mostly cloudy, morning light snow & flurries. 35-39. | Tonight: Chance of snow towards morning. 25-30 | Tuesday: Snow likely. Mixing late. 29-32. | A Look Ahead


Notwithstanding this morning's dusting, our best chance at seeing snow truly whiten the landscape arrives tomorrow. But as is often the case here, the snow is likely to change over to ice and then possibly plain rain creating one sloppy mess here Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Late week now appears more tranquil, with perhaps some moderation in temperatures by late in the weekend.

Radar: Latest D.C. area 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): After a few scattered snow showers or flurries this morning (a quick dusting is possible), dry weather should return this afternoon with high pressure in control. Nonetheless, we'll still see plenty of mid-to-high level clouds due to a fast moving jet stream over the region. While some sunshine will filter through these clouds, it will be on the chilly side, with highs in the mid-to upper 30s. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Clouds gradually lower and thicken. Patchy light snow will likely develop from west to east during the pre-dawn hours, with a dusting possible by sunrise. Lows will be in the mid-20s. Confidence: Medium-High

Keep reading for the detailed forecast through mid-week.

Tomorrow (Tuesday): Periods of light snow are likely as low pressure develops to our southwest. Snow may mix with sleet in the District and south and east late in the afternoon. A general 1-2" of snow is possible with highest amounts north and west. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow Night: Light snow will likely mix with and change to sleet and freezing rain across the area and possibly plain rain late at night. The changeover will occur first south and east of town but should progress into even the far north and west suburbs by midnight. These north and west suburbs could pick-up another inch or two of snow before the changeover. Temperatures should remain steady -- in the upper 20s to low 30s. Confidence: Medium


As the storm pulls away, the steady rain or mixed precipitation ends Wednesday morning, with just a slight chance of rain or snow showers Wednesday afternoon. Highs should be in the upper 30s. Gradual clearing Wednesday night, with lows in the 20s. Confidence: Medium

High pressure attempts to build back into the region Thursday, returning some sunshine. Temperatures will remain cold, with highs 35-40. Confidence: Medium-High

A reinforcing shot of cold air arrives late Thursday into Friday. Friday afternoon's highs may only reach the mid-30s, under partly sunny skies. Confidence: Medium-High

Temperatures may moderate some over the weekend...reaching near 40 Saturday and perhaps the mid-to-upper 40s Sunday. Right now, it looks to be mainly dry. Confidence: Medium

By Jason Samenow  | January 26, 2009; 9:15 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Winter Storm Watch Issued for Metro Area
Next: Storm Scenario: Some Snow, Then Ice and Rain


A light band of snow is so far no reaching the surface on the south side of the Beltway and info Faquier, Fairfax, and Pr William Cos. Drive cafefully in the next hour, as this flurry/shower activity potental progresses slowly toward the District!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 26, 2009 6:24 AM | Report abuse

Light snow in Woodbridge; very light. More like flurries, but sticking (if you want to call it that) on everything. Dusty coating similar to that which is on my hard furniture. Let's hope for some tomorrow.

Posted by: PC09 | January 26, 2009 6:39 AM | Report abuse

I hope the Snowcam is ready to go. I'll be looking for it.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | January 26, 2009 6:51 AM | Report abuse

Important thing to note is that the watch is out for a different event than the snow expected tomorrow. Two separate event (LWX thinking)

Posted by: Kmlwx | January 26, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse

For as much as they aren't/won't amount to much, the Radar does look pretty impressive with this early morning bout of flurries throughout the area. Typical DC snow hole, but decent returns Morth, West, and even South of the district.

Posted by: JJones-CapitalWeatherGang | January 26, 2009 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Flurries in Centreville, enough to give a very light dusting on non-grassy surfaces.

Posted by: jkuchen | January 26, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Current temp. in Burke: 28.6 with light snow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Finally, this is the first time I've seen actual snow since that time it snowed a little in December!It's accumulating a little on everything!:)

The snow day made my day:)

Posted by: Yellowboy | January 26, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Hey Portis17-what are your models saying about that snow falling right now? Suck on that WSW for DC baybee...

Posted by: lioninzion | January 26, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Dusting of light snow out here in New Baltimore .... still a few flakes falling.

Posted by: weathergrrl | January 26, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

And the returns seem pretty true. Just drove down to work (Pentagon to South Alexandria/Springfield) . Hit light snow around the mixing bowl, and while I was waiting for gas, started coming down heavy. Grass is still green (brown), but the roads and parking lots down here are all white. Nice morning suprise!

Posted by: JJones-CapitalWeatherGang | January 26, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Snowing in Ballston... too bad it's not tomorrow's snow!! I am climbing the walls for a major storm.

Posted by: AnneinSand | January 26, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

It's snowing at a nice clip downtown near Farragut North. Let's hope this is just a preview of things to come tomorrow!

Posted by: jlspivey | January 26, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Lovely little flurries right now in Merrifield, not heavy but enough to stick to roads and cars.

Posted by: --sg | January 26, 2009 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Major, major hype on local news outlets this morning. It will be interesting to see whether the hype is over the top . . . CWG's analysis makes this look like a pretty minor event.

Posted by: SouthsideFFX | January 26, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse


I don't know what that was all about but a good part of our area may not even make warning criteria. I don't know what the forecast is for you but down here its 1-2 inches with ice and rain.

Posted by: clintonportis17 | January 26, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Flurries in Old Town for the past 45 minutes, and continuing - some of it actually sticking to the sidewalk! (Not that I'm expecting much more than that... but nice to see.)

Posted by: MKoehl | January 26, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

@SouthSideFFX : Hype? The only hype I got on my morning news was the tanker overturned on the greenway ;)

Posted by: JJones-CapitalWeatherGang | January 26, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Make that Old Town Alexandria...

Posted by: MKoehl | January 26, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

They were saying SNOW SNOW SNOW on Channel 7 this morning, and whatever radio station was on in my wife's car when I warmed it up for her this morning. I watch 7 from about 5:50 to 6:40, and it took them until 6:30 to mention that the forecast was for about 1-2 inches followed by rain.

Posted by: SouthsideFFX | January 26, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

This is all Bush's fault...

Posted by: jhorstma | January 26, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

flurries in capitol hill :)

Posted by: madisondc | January 26, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

there were some very light flurries on my walk to work this morning on capitol hill. (8:45-9:00)

Posted by: bjaurelio | January 26, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

OK, looks like maybe a few inches with significant ice up here in Washington County, right?

Posted by: bendersx6 | January 26, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse


Sounds about right.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 26, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

When do the next model runs come out? In general how many miles does the storm need to shift south for the DC metro area to be all or mostly snow for this next event? Any real chance of this happening or am I just dreaming?

Posted by: snowlover | January 26, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

storm is looking more and more like a non event for the DC area. 12z Nam blows 540 thickness line way north very quickly. I am not sure what the performance of the NAM has been this winter. Be interesting to see what the 12z GFS outputs....

Posted by: mciaram1 | January 26, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I have yet to notice any of the local stations going in to "storm crisis 2009" mode. A couple of weatherpeople mentioned that schools may be delayed on Wednesday, but nothing over the top - yet.

By the way, my name should be "shovelit," not "shoveit." If anyone knows how to correct this, please let me know.

Posted by: shoveit | January 26, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

correct me if i'm wrong, models continue to be warm with only slight differences in each run of the GFS. There is no real source of artic air for us. IE: no cold air damming. The highs or high to the north of us gets eroded or shoved off the east coast because we are dealing with stronger system rather then a flat wave moving from west to east. The first wave appears to be frozen precip tomorrow/night. Its the second wave that will be stronger and it will favor a north and west track of DC. That almost always brings in warm air and with no source to keep the cold air in, we have less frozen precip. I don't think most of our area will see a winter storm warning out of this with the exception of far north and west, perhapts maybe leesburg will. Over all it appears to be a minor event for DC. Folks what ever you do, don't fall for the hype on accuweather!!! Maybe I'm wrong, but thats the way I see it. Baring a major change in the 12z or 18z runs, I think its more wet then white.

Posted by: clintonportis17 | January 26, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

hey clintonportis17 were you an on air meteorologist once? i wont say where :)

Posted by: deveinmadisonva | January 26, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse


haha no I was not. I have been following and trying to study the weather for years now and I have lived here all my life and with these events, its pretty easy to forecast what the likely outcome will be. Capital weather does a great job but I thought I would chime in this morning with I thought was going to happen.

Posted by: clintonportis17 | January 26, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

so no delay tomorrow for schools???

Posted by: jenniel73 | January 26, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

As I have said since the start...

1-2 inches with RAIN!


PS: WSW will be cancelled to an advisory for the immediate metro. Places West of Fairfax will stay under Watch/Warning criteria. I said this woule be a Mason Dixin line event and it looks to be varifying. Sorry to burst the Snow Lover's Crystal Ball!

Posted by: stinkerflat1 | January 26, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

updated NWS. They are inline with what I said about the warnings/watches.


Posted by: clintonportis17 | January 26, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse wouldn't take my post...too long???

Whatever we get, the storm falls on an interesting date--the annivesary of the Knickerbocker and Washington/Jefferson snowstorms. Wish we could commemorate those two events by CUTTING DOWN ON THAT DRATTED WARM AIR ADVECTION!!! Time for a model rerun!

[If the weather gets too hazardous for tomorrow night's Clarendon Ballroom dance class and swing dance, will post an update on their website after 3 PM tomorrow. Cancellation is a possibility since the ice/rain change may not occur until some time after daybreak Wednesday.]

Posted by: Bombo47jea | January 26, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Is there some reason that the NWS types like a teenager on their cell phone?


Posted by: litigator02 | January 26, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

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