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Posted at 3:15 PM ET, 01/29/2009

PM Update: Snow & Ice Dwindle; More Next Week?

By Ian Livingston

Cold front arrives Friday with a few snowflakes

* Science Group Erred Giving Hansen Top Honor | Iwo Jima in the Snow *

Sunshine returned to the area today but cold temperatures remain. Fortunately for those sick of icy sidewalks and streets, the sun has been enough to help temperatures rise to the mid-to-upper 30s this afternoon. Melting has been occurring and many spots in the sun are now relatively snow or ice free.


A reminder about our recent milder, snow-free winter weather in the D.C. area. By CWG photographer Kevin Ambrose, taken in Fairfax.

Tonight: We start out mostly clear and trend cloudier toward morning. Temperatures will fall toward freezing once the sun goes down, and down to overnight lows in the low and mid 20s, about normal for this time of year. It'll be worth watching for isolated slick spots again overnight and early in the morning.

Tomorrow (Friday): A cold front will approach and pass through the area Friday. Some snowflakes cannot be ruled out during the day, but they will be inconsequential and scattered at best. Highs should make it to around 40 before winds behind the front drag in some more cold air.

See Josh Larson's forecast through the weekend.

Next Week's Storm: Computer guidance continues to suggest a large storm will form near the Gulf of Mexico and move north up the East Coast early next week. There's pretty good model agreement that the storm's track will be an inland one rather than off the coast, which usually means a rainier rather than snowier result for the D.C. area. That said, it's an evolving situation, and there is plenty of time for shifts. Meteorologists Dave Tolleris and Henry Margusity recently shared their thoughts on the storm and its evolution.

More on Obama's Snow Comment: The local uproar over President Obama's comment about D.C.'s winter-toughness continues today. The Post's John Kelly writes, "Not being able to handle ice and snow--fishtailing on highways, rioting for toilet paper, shutting down schools--is an integral part of Washington's charming folkways, the way rampant corruption is part of Chicago's." Take that, Mr. President.

By Ian Livingston  | January 29, 2009; 3:15 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Forecast: Temps Fluctuate Ahead of Next Storm

Comments

That is an awesome picture Kevin! It really does show how screwy our weather can be.
--
Just a reminder for some folks, for the love of all things snowy, PLEASE salt and sand your sidewalks if they are currently wet or still have residual snow/ice on them! It's not rocket science, really. Whatever melted today will refreeze tonight, please take pedestrians into consideration (and pedestrians need to watch out too!). Remember, you could be liable for injury if someone slips and falls on your property if you haven't treated.
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"Not being able to handle ice and snow...is an integral part of Washington's charming folkways, the way rampant corruption is part of Chicago's."

ZING! I've liked Obama from the beginning, but what he said did tick me off a little. Out in Chicago, when they get a storm, it's usually pure snow. Here, we're always on that 32 degree line, so we get snow, ice, snow, ice, snow, rain, 20 degrees for low (and usually in that order, too). It doesn't matter how experienced or inexperienced you are (or THINK you are) in winter weather driving, once your car hits that ice and slides, it's over for you. You're at the mercy of momentum. Regular students have to walk, drive or take the bus to school. President Obama's daughters drive to school with a professional, highly trained driver in a heavy-duty armored diesel limo-tank thing. They could drive to school in a Category 5 hurricane dumping feet of solid ice and they'd still make it to school in time for lunch. My point is that ice is WAY different from snow. All of the people whom I've talked to about this all agree. Anybody disagree with what I said and agree with Obama? I'd love to hear different viewpoints on this.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | January 29, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Its ok. I'd rather not be in the bullseye 5 days out.

Posted by: jpl1019 | January 29, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Ian Livingston:

The hype man at Accuweather (Henry) is saying down here we could get some pretty good back lash snows once the storm really winds it self up to our north. COULD we be looking at a rainstorm followed by a mini snowstorm?? I think my comment goes to so everyone what its been like around here this year, LOL were all hopeing for backlash snows!!!

Posted by: clintonportis17 | January 29, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

To the Obama comment:
I lived in central PA (Mechanicsburg PA) for 10 years or so. Snow there is norm and usually need upwards of 10" for a school closing. Why? because people are prepared and don't have to worry about the traffic like we do here. I voted for Obama, but i have to disagree in his comments about the snow in this area. Chicago has only to worry about Chicago...and maybe 1 or 2 additional small cities around it.
MoCo and NoVa have a lot of smaller cities that are an integral part of the D.C "web". If i'm not mistaken, DC metro has the 2nd worst traffic congestion in the country.
just my $.02

Posted by: ishq | January 29, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Chicago is also very used to snowy weather, it has an awesome public transportation system and a much bigger grid than the Washington DC area. Of course, if the President's girls attend DC Public Schools they would have had a two-hour delay. Sidwell Friends has tons of families that drive in from McLean and Chevy Chase.

As for next week -- since everyone is saying lots of rain here of course we will get a foot of snow. :)

Posted by: photojenn | January 29, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Concerning next week's storm:

Snow lovers are probably going to be disappointed. This looks to be a rain maker and a HEAVY rain maker. Of course it is 4 days out but the models are not trending in favor of snow lovers. There are a few things to consider - the high pressure system we need to the north for snow is going to be out over the ocean. That will mean we do not have the cold air in place for snow. It will be bringing a strong south-easterly flow into our area. Warm air. The track of the low pressure system bringing all of the precipitation to us looks to be going way too far inland, taking a track through the central Carolinas and possibly even to the WEST of the Appalachians! If it trends 100 miles east of the latest GFS run it would only be over the I95 corridor which is still WAY too far west for snow. Now consider the models have been trending WEST all winter, and you can see where the meat of this posting is heading. The Ohio Valley - Kentucky, Tennessee, and western Ohio - could be the bulls eye for over a foot of snow.
I am a snow weenie. I grew up in the tropics and didn't build my first snowman until I was 21 years old. I love the snow! I am deeply disappointed that once again we have no major storm in our near future.
On another note: this storm could mean some major rains for the Atlantic seaboard and someone just might experience some serious flooding issues.

Posted by: pjdunn1 | January 29, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Oops. Meant to say EASTERN Ohio.

Posted by: pjdunn1 | January 29, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Come on rain!!! Wash all this mushy yuck out of here. How long til spring?

Posted by: rumbly45 | January 29, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

PJDUNN. Nice comments. I agree with you 100%. Think it's going to be a soaking rain for us.

Posted by: PoorTeacher | January 29, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

What a waste for the storm... one that actually had some major potential to boot. =(

Posted by: wecndo | January 29, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

If we actually had normal snowy winter around here we would probably gearing up for a blizzard....but it doesnt happen any more! To be honest, I know theres more then a month left for winter weather but I'm tired of slop! Bring on summer!

Posted by: clintonportis17 | January 29, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

snow, snow, snow, snow! :)

Posted by: AnneinSand | January 29, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

Figures, it's going to be one of those "if the storm had been 5 miles farther west" type of storms.

Posted by: Rafael3 | January 29, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

No big change on the extended forecast charts...still looks like a rather nasty rainstorm [for the most part].

Posted by: Bombo47jea | January 29, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

OMG....
now it's stupid rain! ugh....it is so, SO disappointing.

on the other hand, i made snow dolphins today! pics soon.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 29, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Weatherunderground is forecasting SNOW (60%) with temps of only a high of 36 and low of 20 for Tuesday.

weather.com is forecasting the same.

This is a change from earlier in the afternoon. Looks like we might get some cold temps in for Tuesday???

Posted by: PoorTeacher | January 29, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

That's probably some backlash precip near the tail-end of the storm as it gets cooler

Rafael3 - not 5 miles, more like 200-300 miles

Posted by: danuva | January 29, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Looks like another inland runner, which is what usually happens in ths area. Things could change, but this like a rain storm. Backlash snows in this area generally don't produce much snow. Storm odds, mostly or all rain 80%, a little snow then sleet to rain 10%, mostly or all snow 10%.Of course, the snow gods could finally smile on us.

Posted by: VaTechBob | January 29, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

i just uploaded my sculpture pics to my "flicker" page. http://www.flickr.com/photos/58171957@N00/.

i tagged the pics "capitalweather"

THIS is why i love the snow.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 29, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Regarding next week's storm, SemiAccuWeather.com's Henry Margusity is in full-blown "Big Daddy Hype Machine" mode for the I-95 corridor, the EasternUSWx.com guys are saying "nothing for you East Coasters to see here (unless you're going to the Ohio Valley), so move along," and the CWG gang is holding their cards for now (which is a comfort for now).

When you confirm for us that this will be a chilly, gale-driven RAIN next Monday and Tuesday, CWG-ers, will you PLEASE be gentle and let us down easy? I'm so depressed about next week's storm already turning into a MISS, that it's like this past Tuesday's storm didn't even happen. I know not to listen to the model-gazers this far out, but....I couldn't help it this time and got my hopes up. :[

Posted by: VAStateOfMind | January 29, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Snowlovers: Much too early to give up on storm early next week, unless your are into the reverse psychology of preferring to be surprised than disappointed.

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | January 29, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Oh, SteveT- don't tease us! I am trying very hard to wait and see and NOT get excited until there is the reality of something to get excited about closer in. But it ain't easy.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | January 29, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

new GFS model run has come much farther east...

Posted by: danuva | January 29, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

@ danuva

You're right... here's the 0z GFS run at 102 hours:

http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/namer/gfs/00/images/gfs_pcp_102l.gif

So, there's still hope.

VAStateOfMind: Don't listen to this. :-)

Posted by: Sterlingva | January 29, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Walter-- nice sculptures--very impressive!

WeatherdudeVA-- I agree driving on ice should be avoided. Snow is a little different and I do agree that the news goes a little overboard with their coverage, but who cares? It's entertainment. I also agree with ishq about the DC area's bad traffic. Plenty of snarls and accidents happen on perfect weather days. Any precip is sure to cause additional problems.

CapWeatherGang-- Are you sure you want to completely count out tomorrow's clipper? NWS is calling for 30% chance of snow showers after 11am with accumulation up to half an inch.

Posted by: spgass1 | January 29, 2009 11:42 PM | Report abuse

One reason we may not be getting much snow has to do with ENSO. It appears that after briefly touching "La Nada", the ENSO has retreated back into La Nina territory. This means we're similar to last year despite our cold weather. It also threatens us with more tornadoes this spring, and possibly an above-average hurricane season this summer. Thus far the La Nina is entering its second year.

I've also seen reports of an active Madden-Julian Oscillation in the tropics this winter, but am not sure how this is affecting our winter weather.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | January 29, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

The UAE has received more snow so far this year, than D.C.

Too funny.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | January 30, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

0Z GFS showing some major SN for DC in 102 hrs...

(Oh, the fun of acronyms.)

Posted by: KBurchfiel | January 30, 2009 3:17 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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