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Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 01/27/2009

Snow Lets Up; Heavier Again Later, Then Ice

By Capital Weather Gang

Some could see total accumulations of 3-5"

Winter Storm Warning through 12 p.m. tomorrow for Loudoun and Montgomery counties and N & W

Winter Weather Advisory through 12 p.m. tomorrow for the rest of the metro area

Snowfall paints the scene in Dupont Circle this morning. By Capital Weather Gang photographer Ian Livingston.

Snow that began early this morning continues to fall, heavier south of town and lighter north of town. With every flake sticking, thanks to temperatures mainly steady in the upper 20s, many spots have seen their first inch of the seaon, with some already approaching 2 inches.

This Afternoon: We'll probably see the snow let up in intensity, possibly even break for a time, this afternoon as the storm's second wave gets organized off to our west. So additional accumulations through early evening may only be about 1" or less (possibly 1-2" south of D.C. where precipitation may be heavier).

This Evening: Once the storm's second wave arrives we're likely to see another burst of moderate to possibly heavy snow between 6 p.m. and midnight, which could accumulate an additional 2-3" across the region. Evening accumulation could be less or more depending on exactly when warmer air mixes in at the upper levels of the atmosphere and causes the snow to change to sleet and freezing rain -- which we believe will happen from southeast to northwest at some point this evening.

Late Tonight & Tomorrow: We still look to be on track for significant icing across the area, especially for D.C. and points north and west, before precipitation eventually changes to plain rain during the day tomorrow as temperatures warm to above freezing.

How much snow have you gotten? Let us know in the comments area below...

By Capital Weather Gang  | January 27, 2009; 11:30 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts, Updates  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Snow Bursts Onto Scene; Turns to Ice Tonight
Next: Snow Picks Up Again; Icy Mess Late Tonight


Shovel crews hit the sidewalks in Georgetown about half an hour ago, still coming down at a good rate.

Posted by: lioninzion | January 27, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Prince William County schools just sent out an e-mail saying that teachers were being sent home from their scheduled workday at noon on a Code Red.

Posted by: meta2 | January 27, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

If precip is heavier to the south, I have to say I don't mind being on the north side of this one. It'll fill in eventually.

Posted by: lioninzion | January 27, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

3 inches in Lake Ridge as of 11:45 AM. I still can't get over the fact that it snowed on a day PWC had a teacher workday. HAHA! Beggars can't be choosers -- so I'll take what I can get.

For those of us (myself included) noticing the southward trend on the radar, fear not. Look at the path of the warnings/watches up the east coast. It may trend south now, but it'll turn northeast later. Whew.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | January 27, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

My main concern is obviously the roads. From where I am in Potomac they still appear to be clear of snow. Actually, from what coworkers are saying, the roads are just wet and slushy. I wonder what the road temps are beacause it looks like a good 2 inches on the grassy areas.

Posted by: s399035 | January 27, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

It appears that the high in New England is pushing the snow down to the south or southeast on radar. If this high pressure system turns out to be stronger than currently anticipated, it could easily delay the changeover to freezing rain and, especially, the changeover to rain from the stronger system to our SW. The CAD situation may stay around longer than expected. What are the prospects that the NWS will upgrade the entire forecast area to a winter storm warning this afternoon? It's starting to look like the prudent thing to do.

Posted by: Pianokey | January 27, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

The side roads are deceptively slick. I just watched a car struggle up our (slight) hill, and earlier, I was nearly hit by a car making a slow turn, skidding, and jumping the curb up onto the sidewalk. Slow down!

Posted by: ltwd | January 27, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Still some light snow here near Union Station. Productivity update: low to medium-low, with a 50% chance of increased productivity during the "lull" this afternoon.

Looks to me like the southeast trend on the radar is just about done though, and shifting to a more easterly flow. Looking forward to the second wave....

Skywalker from Silver Spring

Posted by: SkywalkerSS | January 27, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

2" fresh powder at 34th & Q St., NW as of 12:00 noon.

Posted by: lioninzion | January 27, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

wow. i consider this good news. is the storm "overperforming?" i like the part about "delay the changeover to rain" and "accumulate an additional 2-3" across the region." does that mean me? in falls church...inside the darn beltway...?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 27, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse


It would've been wise for NWS to have already upgraded most of the region to a Winter Storm Warning. Think it's coming...

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | January 27, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse


Greg the RAINMAN here! Today marks the official death of the RAINMAN! After years of being dead on with my weather assesment I was wrong with my prediction of 1-2 inches of snow with mainly rain. Thanks for putting up with me all these years. I will be changing my name to GREG THE SNOWMAN (in the winter) and THUNDERBOLT GREG (in the spring and summer).


Shame on those that are responsible for the upkeep on the DULLES GREENWAY (owned by Australian investors). While driving into the office at 9:00am this morning slush and snow was quickly piling up while the snow plow drivers (hired as contrators) were sitting on the side of the road in the median area. I pay almost $10.00 per day to take this road and the least they could do is maintain the road during the storm. SHAME ON THE GREENWAY and shame on their investors!!!!

As for what I now think is going to happen:

The radar seems to continue to fill in so I do believe that moderate to heavy snow will fall throughout the day today. 5-9 inches total with heavier amounts west and south from a line to Woodbridge.

I look forward to additional thoughts on the possible warm air advection tonight and the colder air filtering in.

In Falls Church it is snowing at a moderate rate at 12:20pm with about 2.5 - 3 inches on the ground.

Posted by: stinkerflat1 | January 27, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely--DC needs to be upgraded now, esp. if the system is southward of previous expectations.

Posted by: lioninzion | January 27, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Hey Rainman--don't worry about it. It's like flipping a coin. I've been through many winters here and you just never know. Ever since grade school I've usually been on the cold (optimistic) side of the forecast, and usually I'm wrong.

Posted by: lioninzion | January 27, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

2" as well in Brambleton/Ashburn as of 12:30 p.m.. Still a light snow coming down.

I haven't heard any ice amounts mentioned yet. Are we talking 1/2"+?

Posted by: bodyiq | January 27, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I like "Pianokey's" post...the problem with the "forecast" setup is that projected dissolution to BORING OL' PLAIN RAIN [worse yet, at 33-39 degrees!] tomorrow!!!

Hope we can strengthen that CAD! Thus far the snow looks great...though I'd prefer 1-3 FEET over 1-3"!!! We deserve something better for the anniversary of the Knickerbocker and Washington/Jefferson storms.

Looking ahead...possibly more boring above average temperature weather the first 10 days of February. On the optimistic side, below normal heights in Alaska and the Yukon should serve to recharge the Arctic reservoir for more excitement during the always-active Presidents' Day period.

Back to today's storm...there's more snow to the south of town than to the north [unexpected!]. The second wave later today could make us really messy overnight before the [unwelcome] change to plain ol' rain tomorrow, should that change materialize. Perhaps an occlusion will block the above-freezing air from reaching the surface.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | January 27, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

THUNDERBOLT GREG-It's got a ring to it ;)

ps-Excellent job as always to THE TEAM!

Posted by: MikefromtheBlueRIdge | January 27, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Still snowing outside L'Enfant, SE/SW freeway still moving good. 4-6 inches inside the beltway looking good as that stubborn high is going to keep the air aloft cold enough for a nice burst into the evening. FINALLY!!

Posted by: alexandriaweatherfan | January 27, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

1.25 inches on the ground near Wheaton, Md. at 12:15 p.m. Seems to be tapering off.

Posted by: landlaw | January 27, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know how the side streets are looking in Arlington/Alexandria?

Posted by: Snowlover2 | January 27, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse


Side streets are very tricky if they have remained untouched.

Posted by: wecndo | January 27, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Still snowing in North Stafford...about 2 inches so far, but temps are just above freezing. What is falling is starting to melt keeping down totals.

Posted by: tjack55 | January 27, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Enjoy your snow!!

Here in the usual sweet spot for snow, I have only a quarter inch of sleet, mixed with a little snow.

At 12:30 a light mix of rain and sleet with 29.5 degrees.

Posted by: AugustaJim | January 27, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

wecndo, thanks! Hopefully school bus routes are cleared. I am sure it is best for everyone to use caution regardless how road conditions may appear.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | January 27, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

School buses are the heaviest things on the road, and they have huge tires. They are probably the safest vehicles out there for this stuff.

Now all the Smarts and Prius's . . . good for the environment, not so good in this. Hope people realize that!

Posted by: SouthsideFFX | January 27, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Southside--Maybe--but I'm watching out my window at big deliver truck #2 trying to make it up our slight hill and failing, sliding all over the road as it attempts to back out of our street. (I'm in Arlington, on an untreated/uncleared side street.)

Posted by: ltwd | January 27, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

3.5 inches of snow in Lake Ridge...the snow is so fine and light that it's almost undetectable. Can't wait for it to blow up again.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | January 27, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

(copying my late comments from the old thread)

Walter, Etta is not the only one to remember you. At least, I remember your snow sculptures, though I had forgotten your name (but I knew who she meant!) You are a talented artist! Looking forward to the pics!

ChickenLady, in Riverdale
where the chickens are hunkering down in their coop out of this freaky cold white stuff

Posted by: reginak | January 27, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Sitting at 3 inches in Centreville VA during this current lull in action cant wait for it to start up again

Posted by: spdnchaos21 | January 27, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Just out of curiosity does anyone know if National Airport is over an inch yet?

Posted by: jfva | January 27, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

This snow's great ... if i had a window office i wouldn't get anything done today ...

Posted by: sparky0488 | January 27, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Re: DCA over an inch

Yep, they officially recorded the first inch around mid-morning. Last reading I was was 1.5"

Posted by: ParkerGP | January 27, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Quite a humongous dry spot right now? Any thoughts as to when this will fill up again?

Posted by: wecndo | January 27, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

thanks. i remember you and the "jims" and others. i only pop up for snow. it's stopped for the moment here in falls church, but i'm banking on the second wave this evening. meanwhile, since i work at home, i'm going out to play with my daughter. great day! i love snow.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 27, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse


Old Town Alexandria has 2 inches, Duke Street around King Street Metro looks pretty clear. It's not too far from National, so I would say it's likely National has at least an inch.

Posted by: MKoehl | January 27, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I remember 2 years ago we had a nasty ice storm that shut down Moco schools for 4 days. Anyone recall the amount of ice we got in that storm? I think it was sometime in February.

Posted by: PoorTeacher | January 27, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Had to go out here in Silver Spring. Thankfully, it's the light fluffy stuff so cleaning off the car was easy. The main roads are good and not a lot of traffic. What traffic there is, is not bad. The drivers are being amazingly polite and keeping good distance. We'll see when rush hour hits. That mess around the metro station is going to be worse than usual.

Posted by: epjd | January 27, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

this is the part of the storm that scares me... capital weather predicts 2-3 inches of snow plus ice but frankly i dont see it. Are you guys sure there is going to be alot more snow/sleet/ice??

Posted by: samdman95 | January 27, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

samdman95 -- Thanks for the question. Our forecast above specifically predicts the break in precip we're now seeing. We still expect another burst of accumulating snow between 6 and midnight. 2-3" is our best guess, but as we say above depends on exactly how slow or fast the snow changes to ice. We should get a good deal of ice before transition to plain rain tomorrow.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | January 27, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

sandman95- go here

then zoom out. You'll see the massive band heading our way after this break. That's why the predictions are the way they are.

Posted by: kallieh | January 27, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

thanks. just making sure! my scoolcast for tomarrow is 2 apples DC south and east and 2.5 apples north and west

Posted by: samdman95 | January 27, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I do remember that Valentine's Day storm from 2 years ago. I know it caused a lot of problems, but that thing was damn near amazing. I had never seen anything quite like it before...

Posted by: wecndo | January 27, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

As predicted, pronounced lull in precipitation this afternoon is occurring; for most places, I don't think we'll see "meaningful" snow again until this evening.

Posted by: Josh-CapitalWeatherGang | January 27, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Yes, it was nuts wecndo! I didn't know it was on valentines day. I was wondering how much accumulation of ice we had. Wanted to compare it to the forecast for the next band that is on its way here.

Posted by: PoorTeacher | January 27, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

As long as the plain rain doesn't arrive before sunrise and we do indeed get more snow/ice tonight, it's almost a done deal that a lot of schools will be closed tomorrow. (man i hope i'm not wrong!!)

Posted by: PeterBethesda | January 27, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm thinking 3.5 apples for tomorrow.

Posted by: PoorTeacher | January 27, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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