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Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 01/ 2/2009

Forecast: Temperatures Trend Upward

By Camden Walker

Saturday shaping up better than Sunday

* InaugurationCast: Let the Forecasts Begin | Later: Weather Ins and Outs *


Today: A.M. rain/snow shower? Low 40s. | Tonight: Partly cloudy. Mid-to-upper 20s. | Tomorrow: Mostly sunny. Low-to-mid 40s. | Sunday: Mostly cloudy. 50% chance of rain. Low 40s. | A Look Ahead


Our truly cold weather takes a hike. In its place comes a couple of quick-moving weather systems. They simply won't have time to impact our area much. But there could be a few raindrops or snowflakes today, and a better chance of rain on Sunday. The next storm to keep an eye on could arrive around Tuesday.

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 (Friday): The greatest chance (30%) of a rain or snow shower is in the morning, when skies will be mostly cloudy. Partly sunny skies establish themselves during the afternoon as highs reach the low 40s. A bit of a breeze will blow from the southwest, around 10-15 mph at times. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Partly cloudy. Winds will be light out of the west but will stir the atmosphere enough to prevent temperatures from slipping too far. Overnight lows in the upper 20s downtown, mid 20s in spots such as Leesburg and Warrenton. Confidence: Medium-High

Need a dose of sunshine this weekend? Anything wintry next week? Read on...

Tomorrow (Saturday): Mostly sunny. And temperatures don't change too much. Highs in the low-to-mid 40s. Breezes from the northwest should be fairly light, so there shouldn't be much of a wind chill. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: Partly cloudy as lows bottom in the mid 20s to near 30 (suburbs to city). Confidence: Medium-High

Sunday: will feature mostly cloudy skies and a 50% chance of rain. If the precipitation arrives early enough in the morning, there could be a brief taste of freezing rain or sleet north of town. Highs in the low 40s. Confidence: Medium

Sunday Night: Mostly cloudy with a decreased chance of showers (30%). Temperatures will drop no lower than the mid 30s it looks like. Confidence: Medium


Monday is relatively simple it seems -- partly to mostly sunny with highs in the 40s. Confidence: Medium-High

Tuesday? More tricky. We have a chance of rain or a wintry mix. At the moment, rain looks like the more likely of the two, but it's still worth keeping an eye on. Either way, there's a decent chance that something will fall out of the sky. Confidence: Low

By Camden Walker  | January 2, 2009; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: InaugurationCast: Let the Forecasts Begin
Next: Weather Ins and Outs for 2009


It's dark and cloudy out there! But so far nothing reaching the ground. The radar is active, so perhaps the atmosphere will moisten so that a flake reaches the ground?

Downtown is already approaching the mid 30s. It may only be a rain drop downtown vs. snow flake.

Any one have snow in sight??? Let us know!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 2, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Cap Team, Just looking at 06z 114 hour plots...Looks like forecasted southern storm will track in a favorable area off OBX coast. Wouldn't that setup draw cold air into our area...

I'm slightly reminiscing cause Jan 7 is the 13 year anniversary of Blizzard of 96...

Posted by: StormChaserMan | January 2, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

StormChaserMan: I do like the look of that low pressure system-- it is a good track, yes. However, what I don't see is a strong high pressure over New England.

That set up is what made the Blizzard of 96. Strong high pressure in New England, wedging down cold air from the north, on the east slopes of the Blue Ridge mountains.

Sure snow can happen without that ideal setup, and it still very well could--strictly seeing what the 114hr plot depicts. Yes there is some weak wedging of cold air from the north, but nothing substantial.

In conclusion, yes that appears to indicate wintry precip. But a lot can happen between now and 114 hours. Neither does it appear to be an ideal "blizzard of 96" setup. I love reminiscing too though!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 2, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

It does look pretty nice, I agree. And yes, if only we could have high pressure to the north to feed the region some cold air... but I'll take what I can get, and if this set-up is what happens, I think I'll be happy :-).

Also, GFS shows a very impressive trough 162 hours out!

Posted by: Sterlingva | January 2, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Camden....

I've been waiting patiently for 13 years for our next big storm..... it's unusual how we had two big storms 3 years apart....93'-96'--now a big lull for 13 years...ugh....besides some mini storms, nothing historic..

I've also thought about moving north but then Id loose my appreciation for winter weather....I'm just gonna keep waiting....

Agusta Jim mentioned -PNA causing problems for our lack of winter..??I'm unfamiliar with PNA..
What exactly needs to happen, for us to get a big storm...Does a storm typically push into California & get enhanced by the jet stream as it tracks east & taps the GOM moisture then rides up East Coast & explodes into a coastal storm....

Posted by: StormChaserMan | January 2, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Um... Stormchaserman, where were you Presidents Day 2003? I would hardly call 17 inches of snow a mini-storm. The last nor'easter was February 11-12, 2006 which dumped 8.8 inches on DC. Unfortunately, it was in the 60s three days later. ARGH!

Posted by: prayforsnowDC | January 2, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I forgot to add....When you guys posted all the Christmas Tree Photos in past snowstorms....I found it very interesting several dates were Dec 5th on different years....It almost seems some winter storms follow a reptitive cycle at or near the prior occurance dates.....even if dates are years apart..

Posted by: StormChaserMan | January 2, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse


Presidents Day storm was a big storm but it didn't top 93-96...where over two feet fell in many areas.....I shouldn't have said "mini-storms", my apologies...Im strictly speaking of a historic storm....96 superstorm lasted 48 hours...

Posted by: StormChaserMan | January 2, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I stumbled over the following Phily site:

I found the site to be very informative. Perhaps certain similar sections can be implemented on this site - i.e., forecast models, historical storm info, etc.

Keep up the great work!!

Posted by: ZmanVA | January 2, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I'm getting good feelings about the January 7th storm. Haven't we always said that the GFS and other models underestimate CAD? Wouldn't be surprised--elated, not surprised--to see six inches out of this one.

Posted by: KBurchfiel | January 2, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I would say that the Blizzard of 96' is the standard that most of us "long timers" base storms off of.

I remember getting word on a Friday afternoon that the NWS and Bob Ryan were calling for between 13-15" of snow and those totals kept going up as the evening went on. By Friday night at 11:00pm - Bob was in full storm mode with his sleaves rolled up and he was literally sweating on T.V. He brought in Tom K. and another guy (no longer with the station) and he ran coverage throughout the event.

We ended up with over two feet on snow in Centreville with drifts over 10ft against my apartment building. It snowed from Saturday evening around 8:00pm until Monday around noon. We had another storm that dumped around 8" that Friday afternoon followed up by a few additional events and a rapid warm-up/rain event that caused significant flooding. 96' will go down as the best winter ever! May we pray that we even get 1/2 of that this winter.

Posted by: GregRAINMAN | January 2, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

you guys are getting me excited! a snow day would be a great way to head back to school :)

Posted by: jenniel73 | January 2, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

The battle of the models! The cold GFS and the warm ECMWF. Which will it be ?

For several days there has been a standoff betwee the GFS and the ECMWF for next Tue.

The 12z GFS trended warmer, toward the ECMWF, but the 18z GFS is colder and gives many of us a Winter Storm on Tue., with snow/sleet and freezing rain.

30 hrs. from now when the 00z runs come in, we should have an answer.

Sunday morning could also be a close call for freezing rain.

Posted by: AugustaJim | January 2, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

I was, unfortunately, not here for the Blizzard of 96. However, people need to realize that storm was exceedingly exceptional. I believe it was surpassed only by the famous "Knickerbocker Storm" in terms of total snowfall. I think it is quite possible none of us will see a storm of that magnitude again in our lifetimes.

What we CAN hope for, and what I'd like to see, is some more 2-4" events, which DC typically sees a few of each year, and a 6" plus event, which DC typically sees about once a year. I say forget HECS/SECS/etc... and lets just get some snow on the ground! :)

Posted by: jahutch | January 2, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

The '96 blizzard and subsequent storm kept life VERY interesting for my family - my sister was married on January 13, 1996, and we had to send out a party of experienced snow drivers to retrieve the wedding cake from the friend (in Baltimore) who had made it. Amazingly, only one guest that I know of failed to make it to Annapolis for the event!

Posted by: fsd50 | January 2, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

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