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Posted at 8:30 AM ET, 01/30/2009

Forecast: Temps Fluctuate Ahead of Next Storm

By Camden Walker

Best weekend day: Sunday

* Misguided Medal for Hansen | Later: Grading Our Inauguration Forecast *

Storm early next week? Jump to A Look Ahead...


Today: Partly cloudy. Snow flurry? 39-44. | Tonight: Breezy. Around 20. | Tomorrow: Partly sunny. Mid 30s | Sunday: Mostly sunny. Upper 40s. | A Look Ahead


CWG's Josh Larson and Ian Livingston yesterday both mentioned the chance of a snow flurry today. Indeed, that chance remains, but any flakes would be largely inconsequential with temperatures climbing past freezing. Early next week, a major East Coast storm could bring more significant precipitation our way. What kind of precipitation is not so clear. In the meantime, let's enjoy a fairly sunny weekend.

A colorful sunset closes the book on our snow-to-ice-then-rain storm earlier this week. Taken Wednesday evening from Glover Park, D.C., by CWG photographer Ian Livingston. See photo bigger here.

Today (Friday): We'll warm up to about 40 today, maybe some low 40s, and a cold front passing through midday could create some snow flurries (30% chance ... but a near-zero percent chance of accumulation). Skies should be partly cloudy, and after the cold front passes we'll see late-afternoon and evening winds increase out of the west. Confidence: High

Tonight: Bundle up if going out for the evening -- winds from the northwest around 15 mph (with some gusts to near 25 mph) will put evening wind chills in the 20s. Under partly to mostly clear skies, overnight lows drop to near 20. Confidence: Medium-high

What's up with next week's storm? Read on...

Tomorrow (Saturday): It'll be partly sunny and look nice enough from indoors. Outside, however, we're back to below-average temperatures with highs in the mid-30s, which will feel even chillier with winds from the west at 10 to 15 mph. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: Partly cloudy and not quite as chilly as Friday night. Mid-20s downtown, low 20s outside the Beltway. But our bonus will be calmer winds. Confidence: Medium-High

Sunday: Dress in layers if going out in the morning, as afternoon highs could be 25°+ higher than morning lows. We'll be even sunnier than Saturday -- with a nice bump up in temperatures. I suspect highs will generally top out in the upper 40s. With enough of a breeze from the south, 50 degrees might be possible well south of town. Confidence: Medium-High


A bit milder Sunday night with lows in the low 30s. Temperatures could be even warmer if a breeze from the south kicks up overnight. Confidence: Medium

Clouds increase on Monday as we watch a formidable storm system approach out of the Gulf of Mexico. Highs may rise into the 40s, but there's a 50% chance of precipitation by afternoon or evening. Confidence: Low-Medium

Temperatures and the type of precipitation we get Monday night and Tuesday -- rain, snow or wintry mix -- depend on the storm's exact track, which is uncertain at this time. There's even a possibility the storm tracks out to sea and largely misses us. Stay tuned for additional updates. Confidence: Low

See our Snow Lover's Crystal Ball for the latest on next week's storm potential.

By Camden Walker  | January 30, 2009; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: PM Update: Snow & Ice Dwindle; More Next Week?
Next: Grading CWG's Inauguration Forecast


LOVE the sunset/tree photo within this blog post this morning - this site is blessed with some VERY talented photographers, keep up the great work!

Posted by: VAStateOfMind | January 30, 2009 6:15 AM | Report abuse

Current temp. in Burke: 23 with partly cloudy skies.

The NWS said that this area has a 70% chance of snow on Tuesday! :)

Posted by: Yellowboy | January 30, 2009 6:34 AM | Report abuse

I'd love some serious snow, but if it isn't snow please let it be rain. I'm sick of the ice for the season.

Posted by: PoorTeacher | January 30, 2009 7:29 AM | Report abuse

GFS has shifted east!!

Posted by: JTF- | January 30, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Is there a web page that easily shows charts of the the same time slot - i.e. 090203 /1200 - in a progression over different model runs ? I know I can you to the NOAA site or others and just open a bunch of tabs - but is there a simpler way ? I know I can easily automate my current process, but don't want to reinvent the wheel.

Posted by: MDScot | January 30, 2009 8:15 AM | Report abuse


I am a huge fan of TheWeatherGun ... that's where I do a lot of my analysis.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 30, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

i made a sculpture yesterday from the "snow" - it was more like cold sugar granules with chunks of ice....darn that sleet. check it out here.

i remember last year, before you went "big time" there was a capital weather photo album. where is that? can i put the snow dolphin pics there somehow?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 30, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I think before we all go crazy over the model shift east, lets remember the the Euro and GFS members are well west of the operational runs. IMO thats significant! Could we be looking at just a "error" in the operational runs?? Also don't forget about the yearly trend WEST! I firmly believe IMO we are still looking at a rainstorm and not a snowstorm. Its also very clear that last nights runs were way up on the strength! I don't think it even got below 1000mb until it went passed us. IMO I'm sticking with a I-81 track or just east of there.

Posted by: clintonportis17 | January 30, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse


Yes, there is a NCEP site that displays on one page the progression of successive model runs verifying at the same time.These are referred to as Continuity Charts. See "forecast-to-forecast continuity panel on right.

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | January 30, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse


Yes, there is a NCEP site that displays on one page the progression of successive model runs verifying at the same time.These are referred to as Continuity Charts. See "forecast-to-forecast continuity panel on right.

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | January 30, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Great sunset photo, Ian! I pulled over near my office to take pictures that day, because the colors and clouds were so great.

@walter-in-fallschurch, there is a photo album, though I'll have to look it up from the gang's home page. I was planning to put up a couple of my sunset pics (before Ian beat me to it).

Posted by: fsd50 | January 30, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

re: posting photos

We do have a gallery. Click here to post. This link is also along the sidebar under the radar thumbnail (where it says "Your Photos". Thanks for any submissions.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 30, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I don't know, but those continuity charts look pretty much in stride with each other...all have a nice blob of blue over us on Tuesday.

Should have known...every time I go to Oklahoma in winter, the weather is either nasty here...or there. (I have been iced in and snowed in in OK 2x in the last 3 years....) Now I have to worry about making a 9am flight out of IAD on Tuesday....

Kim in Manassas

Posted by: ksrgatorfn1 | January 30, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

thanks, jason. i think i got them up there.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 30, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

walter-in-fallschurch: I love your snow menagerie over on flickr, beautiful work!

Posted by: pollosmoky | January 30, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

thanks, pollosmoky. i confess i'm not so much a weather fan as a snow fan... eagerly awaiting next week's blizzard of 09. THINK SNOW!

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 30, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the comments on the photo, though the small size doesn't do it much justice! I actually missed the best part of it which occurred a few minutes later. It was very pretty though. Sunsets used to be my main photo subject back when I started taking photos in Connecticut.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 30, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

New to the gang and have been a weather freak for many years. My gut feeling on this storm is we'll get a mixed bag. Rain with a slow switchover to snow. Several inches is my guess but there is a potential for alot more if the track continues any jog to the east.

Posted by: maestrojmk | January 30, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Blast. Latest 12z GFS pushes things pretty far our so NYC and Boston get the massive precip AGAIN.


Posted by: hobbes9 | January 30, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

MDScot, I use Crown Weather Services' U.S. Page for their day-by-day charts of both the AM Prelim. and PM Extended Forecast discussions. Will need to check on the continuity charts and WeatherGun. My first attempt to get into WeatherGun produced only a page list and it shut down rather than take me farther.

The storm early next week looks more interesting. However the lacking factor is "cold air in place" ahead of the storm and thus we may see only light snow on the backside Tuesday, except for those living on the west-facing slope of the Blue Ridge. The impact on my dances Monday night and possibly Tuesday night is in question.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | January 30, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

With the 12Z we would get some snow! Folks this is looking NOTHING like what yesterday was showing! Per the GFS is gone from a monster storm to barley a hit! So What is going on capital weather!? Honestly I think this was hyped beyond what it should have been! (Accuweather) I think an out to sea storm should be considered as well. Still days away but I'm not excited!

Posted by: clintonportis17 | January 30, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse


GFS has a tendency to overstate. Look for slight west trend out of next NAM and Euro.

It's still 72 hours out, so there will be changes in the models.

Your lack of optimism is not justified here, IMO.

Posted by: gdennie | January 30, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse


These are good trends IMO, don't get me wrong but with this storm, TIMEING is everything. I think the 12Z GFS is to far east. The 12Z ggem shows the big high moving of the east coast and south winds ahead of the front. While we COULD get an ideal track, we still have warm air to contend with. IMO whether its an off the coast track or a I-95 track were still going to be dealing with the lack of cold air. It does look MUCH better for snow IMO so thats a good thing right now.

Posted by: clintonportis17 | January 30, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse


I thought I saw plenty of cold air with the
12Z GFS...?

Not sure.

Let's see what Henry M. has to say soon.

Most mets expect the upcoming Euro to track will make things interesting for us.

As much as I don't trust JB, his latest track (just off DelMarva, east of NYC, w of Nantucket) looks pretty good to me.

I believe things are setting up pretty well...

Posted by: gdennie | January 30, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I think the GFS was overdoing the cold air! It has a cold bias. I'm hope capital weather chimes in soon to clear all of this us lol. What ever you, be carful not to fall for Henry's hype! Not saying he's wrong but just take what he says lighly right now. I'am PRAYING for snow jsut so you know lol.

Posted by: clintonportis17 | January 30, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

@Walter, you ROCK.


Posted by: reginak | January 30, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Guys - I feel like I am trying to read these messages and they are written in a different language!!! You guys make me feel less than intelligent with your GFS and 12Z and your ggems! Just tell me one thing - will we have cold air when the precipitation comes? Help a novice out!!!

Posted by: authorofpoetry | January 30, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

gdennie, unless you want to set yourself up for certain snow heartache, take anything written or posted by's Henry Margusity with a large grain of salt. He routinely pitches snowstorms for the D.C. region, only to have them come through as cold rainstorms. He is more concerned with hype and wishcasting than the kind of no-nonsense forecasting you get here on CWG.

Posted by: VAStateOfMind | January 30, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

There are a couple things that I'm fairly certain about next week. One, there will be a significant winter weather system moving up the east coast. And two, it's far to early to call the bulls' eye. There are 5 days ahead of us for our hopes to be dashed, or our fears to be realized, or to sit contently and think about puppies. Still, if this were tropical season and we had some kind of graphic with a cone such as the hurricane forecasts, I would say with confidence that our area would be well within it for the chance of significant snowfall, and lots of wind, don't forget the wind.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 30, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Brian! Not one single ackronym for me to try to decipher! Before your post, I felt like I had walked into a calculus class drunk and in the 7th grade.

Posted by: authorofpoetry | January 30, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I need help. As I tried to sit back calmly and think of puppies instead of our chances for next week, what do I imagine? Puppies- PLAYING IN THE SNOW. It all comes back to the snow sooner or later......

Thanks for the hurricane cone analogy- made everything very clear.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | January 30, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I agree that we'll get something out of this but it'll take some luck to get in that "bullseye" Regardless, given our snowless winters of the last few even a few inches is welcome for this snowlover!

Posted by: maestrojmk | January 30, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

For years, my dad (A Giant Food employee) claimed Izzy Cohen (founder of Giant Food) had a "Direct Line" to Bob Ryan... when the dairy cases had too much milk and/or the paper aisle had too much TP, Izzy would call Bob and say, "Hey, Bob, I need a snow storm!" and Ta Da... we'd get a Great Snowstorm Prediction! Maybe only the names have been changed.... (but my fingers are still crossed!!!!!)

Posted by: CincoDeMe | January 30, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Bob Ryan was already emphatically insisting last night on the weather that the event Tuesday will "for sure" be all rain.

Posted by: manassasmissy | January 30, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Better late than never -- Ian's awesome sunset photo is now available in larger size. See link at the end of photo caption above.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | January 30, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

thanks, chicken lady.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 30, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

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