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Posted at 5:15 PM ET, 01/27/2009

Snow Picks Up Again; Icy Mess Late Tonight

By Ian Livingston

3-5" total snowfall; could be an icy morning rush

* Storm Timeline and FAQs | SnowCam | Q&A Transcript *

Winter Storm Warning through 12 p.m. tomorrow for Loudoun and Montgomery counties and N&W (until 6 p.m. Wed for Frederick County)

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


Snow that began early this morning subsided briefly this afternoon, but is picking up again as we head toward dark and could complicate the evening commute (tip: leave early). Reports of 1-3" were common through early afternoon, with the highest totals south of D.C. where snow was more intense throughout the day.

This Evening: The storm's second batch of snow should continue for several hours mixing at times with sleet and then freezing rain. Snow may be moderate to sometimes heavy with this batch, and an additional 1-3" is possible. Total storm snow accumulations across the area should range from 3-5". Temperatures will hover in the upper 20s to near 30.

After Midnight: Warmer air aloft will be advancing across the area, ending most of the snow accumulation. Ice will become the story -- as surface temperature only slowly rise toward freezing -- though areas south and east of D.C. may switch to plain rain. For D.C. and points north and west, the change to plain rain may not happen until morning. Some significant icing is possible in these areas -- perhaps bringing about a treacherous morning commute.

Tomorrow (Wednesday): Some morning ice -- which could make for a troublesome commute -- should give way to plain rain as temperatures rise above freezing between approximately 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. Much of the day may be characterized by light and spotty showers as temperatures rise to near 40. But a cold front will sweep through during the afternoon or evening, bringing with it possibly intense rain showers.

Behind the front, temperatures will once again drop below freezing late Wednesday night, so any water left on roadways may become icy again.

How much snow has accumulated in your neighborhood? Is it snowing again? Let us know in the comments area below...

By Ian Livingston  | January 27, 2009; 5:15 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Snow Lets Up; Heavier Again Later, Then Ice
Next: Snow Becoming Ice, Treacherous Travel


2.5" in Mount Vernon. Very soft and fluffy to shovel.

Posted by: Etta- | January 27, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

When will school cast be?

Posted by: Kmlwx | January 27, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

wow. we just reached 150 comments(this is 151) when is the last time we got so many comments?

Posted by: samdman95 | January 27, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

lots of melting going on in charlottesville

Posted by: danuva | January 27, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

When exactly is 'evening'? When exactly is this new batch of snow expected to hit places like Loudoun?

When should westerly commuters run out of DC to avoid being stuck?

Thanks...a great blog guys!

Posted by: burk504 | January 27, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Tomorrow (Wednesday): Some morning iciness should give way to temperatures rising above freezing near sunrise as a low passes to our west.


That instantly dashes the hopes of all us kiddies hoping for a snow day tomorrow. Oh well. GL with a 2 hour delay even.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | January 27, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Is there any possibility that the Low tracks further south and cuts up?

Posted by: stinkerflat1 | January 27, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

weatherdude, not necessarily, as buses for many high schools still need to get ready by like 7 or 8 with a two hour delay. It's not like the moment the temp goes above 32 degrees, all of the ice is going to magically melt. It's going to be a gradual process. I don't think many counties have used any snow days yet this winter, so I have a feeling they're going to use one tomorrow to be on the safe side.

Posted by: danuva | January 27, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

weatherdudeVA - have you forgotten that this is the weather-wussy capital of the world? They have cancelled or 2hr-delayed school on the weakest hint of snow in the past. People get apoplectic over even the slightest dusting, it's ridiculous.

Schools will almost certainly be closed tomorrow in FFX and Loudoun if there is even a hint of flurries on the way. They are predicting ice so that makes it almost a 100% certainty that schools will be closed again here in the weather-wuss capital.

Posted by: georgejones5 | January 27, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Productivity update: Up to 75% during this lull, but predicted to drop again in the coming hour as the next wave gets closer.

Speaking of which, from what I can see, that line of ice is creeping closer to the city, and winds seems to be coming more from the the south/east here at Union Station. I'm guessing a changeover to sleet won't take very long this evening.

Looking forward to seeing how long the cold air can hang on tonight!

Posted by: SkywalkerSS | January 27, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

We have 1.8" of snow here in Arnold. The temp is currently 28F. I think some will be surprised as to how the long the cold air will hang in tonight and early tomorrow morning. I think a lot of the area could be looking at some fairly good snow and ice accumulation tonight as CapWx has been saying(they really have had as close to a perfect forecast as possible with this storm). It is always hard with these types of storms but the way this one is setting up and some recent model data is tending to show colder air hanging in longer. Based on all this I would be quite surprised to see many kids going to school tomorrow.

Posted by: arnoldkh | January 27, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"Tomorrow (Wednesday): Some morning ice -- which could make for a troubled commute..."

Aww, I feel bad for the "troubled commute". Is there anything we can do to help him (her?) out?

OK, I know I'm being picky, but it made me laugh. Perhaps "troubling" or "troublesome" would work better.

Posted by: spunkydawg | January 27, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

As far as schools closing - this is one of those years where we just dont have much in the way of snow, so its very easy to use one of those built in snow days on a day like today with a potentially tricky afternoon ride home - plus its the first event of the year...its a good "dress rehearsal" for the rest of "Winter" (ie the next six weeks).

Posted by: DullesARC | January 27, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

The radar is filling back in pretty quickly now, snow may spread across area again in time for the evening rush or maybe even before dark.

Posted by: Pianokey | January 27, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm banking on MOCO being closed tomorrow. Can't imagine ice will be clear in areas like Poolesville and Damascus until 10am or so.

Posted by: PoorTeacher | January 27, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

oh and just about 3 inches here in the LoCo bootheel...not too bad for our dry run in a few weeks when we get that two feet...

Posted by: DullesARC | January 27, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Per NWS 3:31 discussion, they will not be changing warnings/advisories.

Posted by: mciaram1 | January 27, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Light snow begining to fall in Germantown. Fringes of next band have arrived.

Posted by: PoorTeacher | January 27, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Folks to the west (e.g. in Fairfax County) -- Has the snow resumed where you are? Any sleet mixing in? Thanks for any reports.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | January 27, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Very light snow just starting in Springfield.

Posted by: map408 | January 27, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Light snow has resumed in Bowie, Temp 28.7 degrees.

Posted by: Pianokey | January 27, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Fairfax Report--it actually is some rain at the moment. From my vantage, I am unable to confrim that it actually is freezing rain. (Government Center)

Posted by: GISman | January 27, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Ashburn: Round two has begun! Smaller flakes than earlier today but it is snow as of right now.
Hang in there cold air...

Posted by: bodyiq | January 27, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Out by ffx government center snow has resumed. I thought it was rain so I went for the mail, and it was definitely small flakes which have gotten heavier and larger while I typed this.

Posted by: Ginnie_Cricket | January 27, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

thank god I left DC.

It snowed here 4 inches yesterday. No panic. No rush to the grocery stores. No one really even knew it was coming.

More importantly, people drove slowly and took their time. The streets weren't plowed till late. Normalcy.

Posted by: delantero | January 27, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse


First light flakes reported in Falls Church.

Wife reports light snow (very fine) out in the Burg know as Lees!

Posted by: stinkerflat1 | January 27, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

snow, sleet and freezing rain here in dulles. moderate and steady.... all three precip types at once!

Posted by: markinva | January 27, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

The flakes are falling again at Farragut North. I only implore the weather gods to let my bus get home without incident; once I'm home and in my pajamas, they are welcome to unleash all the wintry messiness they wish!

Posted by: jlspivey | January 27, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: clintonportis17 | January 27, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Rain (freezing rain I assume), sleet and snow in Lake Ridge at 420PM. True wintry mix.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | January 27, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Great reports. Thanks, and keep them coming. Seems like it's still mostly snow, but with some mixing, especially when the precip is light...

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | January 27, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Snow here in Reston, Va with sleet mixed in. I would be willing to bet that FFX School will be closed tomorrow. Too many curving roads that are not plowed or de-iced in this part of the county to chance safety.

Posted by: photojenn | January 27, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Very fine, light snow here at Union Station... might be a little sleet mixed in but hard to tell. Fun to see the precip back! Productivity just went down again....

Posted by: SkywalkerSS | January 27, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse


If its sleet here in culpeper I would imagine that the sleet line is moveing north? I still can't believe the NWS as not included DC in the winter storm warning!

Posted by: clintonportis17 | January 27, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Actually, now it's back to 100% snow in Dulles....

Posted by: markinva | January 27, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Centreville - North of 29 - mostly snow with some sleet mixed in. Seems to be picking up.

The cats are firmly planted in front of a heat register.

Posted by: bobosnow | January 27, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Report from my folks in northern Loudoun County (north of Leesburg) - light snow's been falling all day but is starting to pick up in intensity now.

Posted by: map408 | January 27, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

A very fine but steady "wintry mix" coming down here in Manassas. Main roads are fine, but visibility is getting bad. Be careful out there 2nite!

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 27, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse


This is a really tricky situation. Yes, the trend should be to mix and changeover to sleet from southeast to northwest. But the changeover may not occur smoothly so it's possible you (and areas further north) go back and forth between sleet and snow (with some additional snow accumulation, greatest amounts north) before ultimately becoming all sleet/freezing rain later.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | January 27, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Moderate snow in Oxon Hill. Seems like all snow at the moment. Adding to the 2+ inches from earlier in the day.

Posted by: pjdunn1 | January 27, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

A northern virginia update as far west as I can tell: Here in Hamilton, VA (Just to the West of Leesburg) we have returned to nothing but snow, about the same pace I awoke to this morning. Light, but pretty fast. Just shovelled the driveway to prepare for ice, and a solid dusting has already fallen. I'm banking on LCPS being closed tomorrow.

Posted by: Lauramul | January 27, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Looks like a fairly heavy batch of precipitation (exactly what type, unknown) over southern Fairfax and southern PG county at the moment. Another pretty good batch to the west of the metro area. It's going to be an interesting evening! Keep the observations coming...

Posted by: Josh-CapitalWeatherGang | January 27, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Heavy sleet in Lake Ridge. This is turning into a soap opera, with all the twists and turns and stuff.

I can't wait to see who the father of freezing rain's baby is! Ohhhh I hope it's sleet!

(Sorry, bad joke. :P )

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | January 27, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Light snow falling in Arnold and 26F. temperature has fallen in the last hour.

Posted by: arnoldkh | January 27, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

And just south of Leesburg snowing steadily as well. Was a brief period of sleet but then back to snow.

Posted by: mandarb77 | January 27, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse


You were dead on! It just went back to a very fine almost powdery like snow.

Posted by: clintonportis17 | January 27, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Now back to all snow here near Union Station... coming down at a pretty good clip! Looks like the cold air still has some fight left in it....

Posted by: SkywalkerSS | January 27, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

This is a complex storm system and I think it's quite possible that we'll see a wide variety of (changing) precipitation types from area to area over the next several hours. Predominate type should be a snow/sleet mix...

Posted by: Josh-CapitalWeatherGang | January 27, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Only 1.5" here today in Greenbelt.

Posted by: markf40 | January 27, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Correct me if I'm wrong. This morning here in Culpeper, It actually started as all sleet then changed to snow. Now with the lull we just had, its started back as all sleet and now as gone back to snow. Is this case to where temps upstairs are borderline for snow/sleet that when the sleet fell it cooled the atmosphere enough to allow the change back to snow?

Posted by: clintonportis17 | January 27, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

back and forth from sleet to snow over the last hour in Alexandria. Looks like snow now.

Posted by: AnneinSand | January 27, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: stinkerflat1 | January 27, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

A snow/sleet mix in Fairfax City, temperature has dropped 2 degrees to 28 in the past 2hrs.

Posted by: snowedin1985 | January 27, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse


Well sleet forms when snow melts in a warm layer and the droplet re-freezes. You can get sleet to snow situations when the snow falls steadily/heavily enough to cool the warm layer to such an extent the flakes no longer melt.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | January 27, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

snow/sleet in alexandria part of fairfax county... covered my car, which i cleared around 3pm... sounds like sleet outside.....

Posted by: timeagle | January 27, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

snow just picked up in intensity in Clarendon. yay

Posted by: novajeffc | January 27, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Not to steal this storm's thunder, but the GFS is showing a nor'easter riding up the east coast a week from today.

Posted by: bdeco | January 27, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like the precip is changing over to freezing rain/sleet in Springfield, still very light after picking up for a while around 4:30

Posted by: map408 | January 27, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Snow began falling again in Chevy Chase DC-about 15 minutes ago. Coming down lightly but steadily.

Posted by: Smparry | January 27, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Sleet and freezing rain have coated everything outside -- roads, sidewalks, cars, railings...everything. Apparently salt and sand are no match for the wrath of sleet. Oh, 28 with moderate sleet/freezing rain in Lake Ridge.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | January 27, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Heavy burst of SNOW here near Union Station. Starting to re-coat the sidewalk by my building.

Heading back home to Silver Spring....

Total productivity for today = 40%... maybe

Posted by: SkywalkerSS | January 27, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

sleet or freezing rain now in falls church. it's loud! capwx guys - will this go back to snow, or is that it for us?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 27, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Snowing and possibly sleeting in Bethesda. I don't really know how to tell if it's sleeting...I hear precip falling on the snow so I assume thats sleet, but it's definitely snowing too.

Posted by: PeterBethesda | January 27, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse


It may go back and forth between snow, sleet and a snow/sleet mix for the next several hours. So earlier comments about this in response to clinton portis

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | January 27, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Great comments everyone. How fun to finally have a decent winter storm. Just a reminder, if you're looking to tell your friends and family how to find Capital Weather Gang, just tell 'em

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | January 27, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Dear Poor Teacher. I live in upper Montgomery County. The temperature is 28.2, the roads are clear, even the subdivisions, and it is snowing lightly. But wimpy Montgomery will close schools before you wake up. Count on it.

Posted by: MKadyman | January 27, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

MCPS isn't Wimpy! They're very good about snow. I do agree they will cancel it though. I will be shocked if they don't. I try to make a weather blog...SOmebody answer my question...


my website is

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

MKadyman, I'm thinking they will close before tomorrow morning. Depends on when the ice begins. What do you think?

I think the change over to rain won't begin until 9am or so, which makes it too late for a 2 hour delay.

Posted by: PoorTeacher | January 27, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Mostly sleet now in Bowie with a little snow mixed in, Temp has dropped to 27.6 degrees.

Posted by: Pianokey | January 27, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Temps are going to be below freezing @ 630 which is when they call school off. the ice wont start til 1 probably. But it's pretty much a done deal for school....hopefully

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I forgot to mention that @ 630 it would have been icing for 5 hours. It's going to be a huge problem. It's pretty much done. Its a done deal for anything west or north of dc.maybe even south

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't agree more Hoya. Tough loss to Seton Hall the other night!

Posted by: PoorTeacher | January 27, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

hey guys turned out to be a nice storm!!!!!!!!!!

by the way you guys posting the SCHOOL CAST!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: redskinsfan01 | January 27, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Pretty Sleety on my trek from Southern Alexandria to Arlington. Hoping for a change over back to snow soon.

Anyone else have bad travel or roads? My street here in Ballston is pretty much a sheet of snow/ice... won't be pretty later tonight.

Posted by: JJones-CapitalWeatherGang | January 27, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

No apples until 9:30 or 10, if the trend holds. I'm expecting to see a lot of apples.

Posted by: PoorTeacher | January 27, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Here in G'Burg at 6:15 we are in a little bit of a dry slot. Temperature is falling however and some of liberally applied salt seems to have been washed away already so there are plenty of slick spots.

Posted by: MDScot | January 27, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

In Alexandria...stuck my arm out on the porch and it felt even kind of liquid, and the snowpack seems to have been knocked back under 2 inches. Could we already be having freezing rain here?

Posted by: joshua-frank | January 27, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

A very wintery walk home from the metro here in Silver Spring. Looks to be light snow, sleet, and freezing rain all at once. Some sidewalks were pretty slick, and Georgia avenue was a slushy mess.

Storm is definitely moving now... looks like a little break right over us now that will probably fill in again soon. Should be a fun night!

Posted by: SkywalkerSS | January 27, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

HAHA Poorteacher...Don't remind me :'(

School Cast Prediction: 3 apples

Where do you teach poorteacher?

Posted by: hoyafan516 | January 27, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Do you think NWS is going to upgrade DC, Fairfax County, and PW county to Winter Storm Warning?

Posted by: Snowman_In_Herndon | January 27, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

New Post is up. Click here.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | January 27, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

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