Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
The new Washington
Post Weather website
Jump to CWG's
Latest Full Forecast
Outside now? Radar, temps
and more: Weather Wall
Follow us on Twitter (@capitalweather) and become a fan on Facebook
Posted at 5:30 PM ET, 01/ 5/2009

PM Update: Wintry Mix Targets Area Tuesday

By Ian Livingston

Greatest ice threat is N&W of D.C. late in the day

Winter Weather Advisory in effect 6 a.m. Tues. through 9 a.m. Wed. N&W of D.C. (includes Fairfax, Montgomery and Howard counties and points N&W; excludes Arlington County, Falls Church and Alexandria)

* Inauguration Wx: The Case of Kennedy | InaugurationCast *

Following a brief period of morning sprinkles and light showers (mainly D.C. and east), today was mostly cloudy and quiet on the weather front. Highs that touched 50 in many spots will drop back through the 40s this evening as a wind from the north funnels colder air into the area.

Tonight: After a few evening breaks, clouds will increase again. A light wintry mix of sleet, freezing rain, or just plain rain could be approaching western portions of the area after midnight, leading to a slight chance of precipitation before sunrise. Morning lows should be in the low-to-mid 30s.

Tomorrow Morning: Expect the chances of sleet, freezing rain and rain to increase through the day and last into the night. But precipitation may be too light and intermittent, and temperatures not quite cold enough, to cause many problems for the morning through midday period.

Tomorrow Afternoon and Night: With enough precipitation, roads could become significantly slick north and west of D.C. in the afternoon and into the night, when readings there could sink to just below freezing. In D.C. and to the south and east, roads should fare much better with temperatures likely to be at or just above freezing through the day and into the night.

Overnight and toward morning, temperatures should warm, allowing for frozen precipitation to change to plain rain from southeast to northwest.

See Jason Samenow's forecast through the weekend.

By Ian Livingston  | January 5, 2009; 5:30 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Inauguration Weather: The Case of Kennedy
Next: Will Ice Impact Schools?


I do not agree with the NWS winter weather advisory. It sounds like there current thinking is that they are noet even sure is to how low the temps will go and how long they will stay that way. So IMO why be so fast to cancel the watch for an advisory? It gets really confusing when they sometimes change from advisory to warning like they have in the past for these events. I mean over HALF the counties that were under the watch, now have nothing. So IMO they jump the gun way to fast. long story short: issue it once and stick with it and not change it every hour. I'm not saying it is but its possible. one thing is for certain, next weeks cold looks to go to waste :(

Robert in Culpeper Va.

Posted by: clintonportis17 | January 5, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I find it curious how this storm is being coordinated between NWS offices. Case in point, Lexington, VA has a winter storm warning, while Staunton, VA (which is almost directly north, but a different NWS office) does not even have an advisory issued!

Posted by: mciaram1 | January 5, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

mciaram1- They will fill in with something at some point. Now after really thinking about it and looking, The mild temps and cloud cover is going to really hurt us i think if you want to see wintry precip. With all the cloud cover, it might be hard for temps to fall very fast or much. Unless we get a really strong persistant north wind. I think light north winds are forecasted though.

Posted by: clintonportis17 | January 5, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Dry air is filtering into the area. Dewpoint has been dropping all day. It is now at 30 degrees at DCA.

Posted by: mciaram1 | January 5, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm not seeing the cold air here, nor am I convinced that the DC area will receive any freezing precipitation. Upper level temperatures (e.g. 850 millibar) just seem to get too warm, too fast.

Posted by: KBurchfiel | January 5, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Sleet & Ice are just headaches....we need some snow!

Here goes the GFS again playing it's usual tricks next Wed.

Posted by: StormChaserMan | January 5, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

No schoolcast? Bummer!

Posted by: mandarb77 | January 5, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Where is your schoolcast?? We need to see those apples so the kids know whether or not to get their hopes up!

Posted by: MLTKJohnso | January 5, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Remember the good old days....

Snow -

Lots of comments on this blog -

We gotta approaching quasi-ice event and 8 people have weighed in so far...

The Post's golden touch strikes again.

Posted by: gdennie | January 5, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Guys - I hate to say I told ya so but it is yet another RAIN event! We can't win in DC! We are the new Richmond. The long range does look promising but by next Wednesday the storm will again go West and we will be left with RAIN!

Rain Man Greg

PS: Glad to see El Bombo back as well as Mike from the Blue Ridge.

Posted by: stinkerflat1 | January 5, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

If your expecting to be out of school tomorrow, your going to be disapointed!
Precip not even expected to start by dawn MAYBE dawn. Road temps are well above freezing so not expecting any problems with roads.

Posted by: clintonportis17 | January 5, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

I see two possible reasons for the dearth of comments on CapWX. The first explanation is that Capitalweather affiliated with one of the largest newspaper companies in the United States. The second is that we haven't had more than three inches of snow for a year (by my records).

Which seems a more likely reason to you?

Posted by: KBurchfiel | January 5, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse


Good points - and I believe both are relevant.

However, this storm has potential, particularly for those residing a bit west and north. The snow drought notwithstanding, I simply recall this type of event generating more comments in the past.

The registration is at play here as well, no doubt.

I have viewed the migration to WaPo as a rather significant negative from day one.

Just my opinion ofcourse.

It's just a pity.

Posted by: gdennie | January 5, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse


If you combine the comments from all three of today's posts, we've had 36 comments today (we produce twice as many posts on this site as we did on the old When you consider this is forecast to be a minor event with no snow, but rather just some ice, mainly in the suburbs, that's not too bad.

Also, some reduction in comment volume can be attributed to the registration/login requirement. While it reduces comment volume, it ensures accountability and the quality of comments has improved overall.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 5, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

@SchoolCast fans...

I'll try to post something by 10 p.m., but I wouldn't get your hopes up...

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 5, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

There will most definitely be plentiful schooling taking place tomorrow across the region.

Posted by: wecndo | January 5, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

I've lived in Washington County for 37 years and I can only recall about 8-9 really big snow events over that period. Unusually cold winters have happened with even less frequency. Face it, small sloppy/ice patterns are more the norm when any precip falls at all.
I'd rather just be surprised.

Posted by: bendersx6 | January 5, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse


Clearly understood. In para graph 1, you say the volume is up. In para 2, you say it is down...

I assume your accountability and quality assessment is derived using internal criteria.

Call it what you will - I prefer the good ole' days, and I suspect many present and former contributors share my view.

Enough said I suppose. This die is cast.

Regardless, I appreciate your hard work and expertise.

Posted by: gdennie | January 5, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse


I fully expect PWC to be in school, on time, regular schedule through the duration of the event. I've officially stopped getting my hopes up. If it happens it happens, but I'm not gonna go "OMG WILL THERE BE SCHOOL TOMORROW!?!?!?!?" and spend 4 hours fretting over it the night before. I wake up at 530 every day anyway, right around the time in which they make the decision, so I'll find out then.

NWS has a balmy 34 in Lake Ridge tonight, tomorrow and tomorrow night.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | January 5, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse


Calm down! This is a very borderline situation! and no human being is infallible.

There was obviously no co-ordination between Sterling and Blacksburg NWS offices this afternoon, which is no surprise to me. This has been corrected. Government is inherently slow and inefficient. If you don't understand this, then may God bless you.

At this time, this is not a major wintry threat, escept for ice accretion on elevated surfaces such as trees and powerlines etc., in favored areas.

I advise all commuters to use extreme caution tomorrow into Wed., but this will not likely be a widespread problem on highways because the pavement is too warm.

Hopefully, power outages will be limited.

Posted by: AugustaJim | January 5, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Was this our first Winter Storm Watch of the season?

Posted by: tengoalyrunr30 | January 5, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse


You said:

"Government is inherently slow and inefficient. If you don't understand this, then may God bless you."

Oh wow. That made my night. Thank you for the laugh. :)

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | January 5, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: macronbase | January 5, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

tengoalyrunr30- yes it was the first watch of the season and the way this winter is going it would not surprise me to be the last. Folks! I think we may be headed for a near snowless winter. If you want snow, The pattern has to change end of story. I see no big pattern or storm track change in the future. Maybe capital weather can do a post on this one day.

Posted by: clintonportis17 | January 5, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

This will pretty much b a nonevent. Unfortunately I'm expecting a pattern change 2 above average temps the latter part of this month, which will last most of Feb. Looks like the predictions 4 above average snow this winter, have gone the way of the Dodo bird, extinct. Still may luck into a big snow at some point, but wouldn't hold my breathe. Next winter, at this point, is looking very mild, El Nino or La Nina.

Posted by: VaTechBob | January 5, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

WeatherdudeVA, you CAN'T officially stop hoping for a snow day. The winter comments will be significantly more boring without you and Ned getting all excited. And then southsideffx won't be able to yell at you for being selfish. It will be all facts and no color.

(Although tonight you'd better just go to bed.)

Posted by: LaurainNWDC | January 5, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm no meteorologist, but I started checking out this site shortly before the switch to

No care or clue about how much the registration affects comments... but the old site was simply more fun to look at. My initial suggestion... bring back the apple rating - all the time (not just once in a while)! 1/2 an apple, 3 1/2 apples... who cares? It's really what the non-weather geeks want to see i'd guess, and it used to always be around.

Great site, either way, but apples do beat millibars.

Posted by: MikeJC | January 5, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

correct me if i'm wrong but arent we headed into la nino now? If we are, with the overall pattern not likely to change enough to give us snow and now headed into a la nino event, IMO our snow chances are going down hill fast.

Posted by: clintonportis17 | January 5, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

My only complaint about this site is that everything is white and silver, kind of bland looking. But I think that is standard Washington Post formatting. Besides that, this is a great place for local weather.

Posted by: PeterBethesda | January 5, 2009 9:18 PM | Report abuse

What difference do you see between places like Leesburg and DC in this semi event?

Posted by: mandarb77 | January 5, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

clintonportis17, La Nina has re-emerged. I guess it's debateable how much it will hurt the rest of winter, but I don't see how it can be viewed overly positive if a snow lover in these parts. We should still have a few windows of opportunity though -- would like to see something in the next 10 days or so myself. See a detailed recent blog by Ed Berry for some more.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 5, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

This event could be interesting. My bet for most places near the district is mostly plain rain, MAYBE freezing on some trees or other elevated surfaces. HOWEVER, anytime you have these marginal CAD events, things are subject to change. 1 or 2 degrees could make a huge difference either way. Nonetheless, I don't forsee roads being an issue.

As for the future, as I mentioned in a previous post, there are at least some decent snow threats on the horizon. We are entering the heart of winter and it looks as though we have a period of mostly cold temps approaching - sometimes very cold. So the possibility is there - whether it pans out, time will tell.

Posted by: jahutch | January 5, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

MikeJC -- The funny thing about the apple rating (SchoolCast)is that we can't really whip it out a lot if there aren't a lot of storms to threaten school delays/closings. The couple opportunities that have presented themselves so far this winter, we have indeed posted SchoolCasts

That said, while we're providing more content (and higher quality) than we ever did on the old site, we're always eager for constructive criticism about what folks like and don't like about the site, what if anything they miss from the old site, etc. Please feel free to comment along these lines, or send your comments to us via the Ask the Gang link at the top of the site.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | January 5, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Lots of negative nancys today! I love the site. Keep up the good work. And yes, the required registration is the cause for a decrease of comments. I didn't leave comments the past few months because of it, but couldn't resist the urge to sign up.

Why do temperatures always seem to increase whenever significant precipitation moves in?

Posted by: PoorTeacher | January 5, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

mandarb77 -- As implied in the forecast above, Leesburg along with other places north and west of D.C. could see some significant iciness later tomorrow into tomorrow night. D.C. proper and to the south and east will likely not be cold enough for ice to be much of a problem.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | January 5, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

To everyone...

Thanks for all of the comments. Great discussion tonight. I just published a new post with SchoolCast apples. Dan is right: the reason you haven't seen much of SchoolCast is because we haven't had storms!


Temps warm before storms come in when the storms track to our north and west, causing winds to come from the south. But when storms track just to our south and/or east, the cold air holds and we get snow because we have a wind from the north. Unfortunately for snow fans, the tracks this winter have been mainly to our north and west...

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 5, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2012 The Washington Post Company