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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 02/ 1/2009

Forecast: Super Weather for Super Sunday

By Brian Jackson

Storm potential increases for early in the week

* Coming Around Noon: New Snow Lover's Crystal Ball *


Today: Mostly sunny. 50-53. | Tonight: Increasing clouds. 31-34. | Tomorrow: Mostly gray, afternoon showers. 46-49. | A Look Ahead


Beautiful weather today masks the unsettled weather that will mar the early portion of this week. A wind from the southwest will bring warm temperatures -- complemented by a good deal of sunshine. However, a storm often follows the calm, and indicators are growing stronger we may have one in the works for Monday night into Tuesday.

Temperatures: Current area temperatures. Powered by Weather Bonk. Map by Google. Hover over and click icons for more info. Click and hold on map to pan. Refresh page to update. See map bigger on our Weather Wall.

Today (Sunday): February ushers in quite a sharp warm-up relative to the below normal temperatures that have been chilling the area for the past couple weeks. Mostly sunny skies will help boost the warmth, though by evening, expect mid-to-high level clouds floating in. It's almost a shame that with temperatures topping out in the low 50s (perhaps mid-50s just to the south), most will be inside preparing for the "big game" (I don't want to be sued by the NFL). Still, one couldn't ask for better weather for that pre-game round of touch football. Winds from the southwest will blow lightly, at less than 10 mph. Confidence: High

Tonight: Clouds will continue to be on the increase into the overnight. These clouds, combined with moisture brought in by the southwest winds will keep low temps above freezing for most, bottoming out in the mid-30s, with some isolated spots nearing 30 outside of the metro area. Winds will continue out of the southwest slackening to near calm by morning. Confidence: High

Keep reading to see what Monday night and Tuesday's storm might bring to our area...

Tomorrow (Monday): The first stage of an active weather system approaches on Monday. A cold front will move across the area during the afternoon. This brings with it cloudy skies and a 50% chance for a few rain showers. Highs during the day will depend on just when the front makes it through. I'm going for a late morning/mid-day passage with highs reaching the mid-to-upper 40s. A second day of 50+ could easily be realized with a delay of just a few hours. Winds will be shifting from south-southwest to northerly with the frontal passage, at a speed of less than 10 mph.

Tomorrow Night: Monday night we'll begin to feel the effects of a deepening low-pressure area developing to our south. Rain showers will probably continue (60% chance) but with temperatures falling behind the front this should change to mainly snow after midnight. Overnight lows will range from the upper 20s in the outskirts to just below freezing downtown. Winds will be out of the north-northeast at 5-10 mph. Confidence: Medium-High


Tuesday plays the wildcard for our weather this week. Our coastal low will be making its closest approach to our area during the day. Just how close and at what forward speed are the key questions. A slower track closer to the coast would result in more precipitation for us (most likely snow) while a faster, more seaward track would deliver just a glancing blow. Stay tuned for the Snow Lover's Crystal Ball midday for a full assessment of the possibilities. Temperatures should remain steady or slowly drop during day -- from the low 30s into the 20s. Confidence: Medium

By Wednesday, we'll likely return to a more tranquil stretch of weather. Cold temperatures will follow in the wake of the storm but skies will be bright. Afternoon highs will only reach around 30. Also, watch for some strong wind gusts blowing in out of the northwest. Confidence: Medium-High

By Brian Jackson  | February 1, 2009; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Tuesday Snow Chances Living on the Edge


Up early to take my daughter to a soccer game... Thanks for the update! I'm hoping for snow!!

Posted by: someonelikeyou | February 1, 2009 5:53 AM | Report abuse

someonelikeyou, I recently had to be at the Dulles Sportsplex at 7:15am for one of my kid's soccer games. It's a bit painful, but least it's indoor soccer and we're not freezing on the sidelines.

Brian, nice summary of the storm threat. Until the weather models lock onto a solution, it's best not to hype the situation. However, I am feeling more optimistic about our snow chances. Later this evening, after the Super Bowl, we'll probably have a much better idea what we'll see on Tuesday.

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | February 1, 2009 7:31 AM | Report abuse

The 00z runs were certainly a shift from the out to sea trend. The 06 GFS is a little weaker and less qp. but some may be lucky enough to see a light to moderate event.

Considering the drought we are in (many areas around 50% of normal precip. last 6 months), I don't expect a widespread significant event. "When in drought leave it out" serves very well in most cases until we see a major pattern change.

It warmed 10 degrees overnight! 37 at 7:30 am with a southwest breeze.

Posted by: AugustaJim | February 1, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

The 06 NAM, which I heard was the better short-range model, shows a stronger system than the GFS with higher precip, even though it might be a little weaker than the 00 NAM. It looks like there are two systems actually, an upper level system over top of the forecast area and the surface system off the Delmarva. I think that's complicating the picture and until the models resolve how these systems are going to phase with each other, Tuesday's weather is going to be anyone's guess (except windy and cold).

Posted by: Pianokey | February 1, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

A lot of websites say that it'll only be AM snow showers. I thought this was supposed to be a lonnnnng storm giving us alot of snow. How much do you think we'll get?

Posted by: hoyafan516 | February 1, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse


This was never forecasted to give us BIG snows. The POTENTIAL is there but not certain! IMO its no more then 3-6 inches. Thats a big snow for this winter! I think philly northward is under the gun for 6-12. Its probably to early to say this but I think we may have dodged a BIG bullet!

Posted by: clintonportis17 | February 1, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Missing a nice snowfall is dodging a BIG bullet? What?

Posted by: wecndo | February 1, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

The latest GFS and NAM are both horribly sucky. I knew it wouldn't last...

I also concur with wecndo.

Posted by: JTF- | February 1, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Yes, missing a big snowfall is dodging a bullet for many of us...

Posted by: steske | February 1, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

The 12Z GFS was a disaster! (east). We all got sucked in by last nights runs, and the 12z is east again! Probably my 3-6 is overdone but we'll see.

Posted by: clintonportis17 | February 1, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

oh...come on...
now you're telling me it's gone back to "horribly sucky"! AAARRGGGHHH.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 1, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Capital weather:

Any insight is to why the models have shifted so much with this event!? I know mets can't base a forecast off of one run but it seem just when maybe we could see a decent storm...the models shift again! I'm starting to see how hard mets really have it lol

Posted by: clintonportis17 | February 1, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

This is quite the emotional roller coaster- we MIGHT get the big one! Nope, not likely. Wait- still possible! Nah.. Yes! There it is! And so forth. But it's been fun to follow. I, too, would LOVE a major snowfall.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | February 1, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

As I recall, this system has always lacked the "cold-air-in-place" factor!!!

Had it been the extremely intense "inland-hugger" originally forecast about a week ago, all we would have seen was an extremely wet, windy "dance-wrecker".

As for ice storms I doubt this area would want what's been happening in Kentucky. They have now had nearly a week without electricity in some places. Louisville has been very hard hit.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | February 1, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Looks like last night's 0z runs of the GFS/NAM may have been hiccups. Euro has remained more consistent with its runs so far, keeping the bulk of the precip out to sea.

Anything can happen though.

In the meantime, what a BEAUTIFUL day outside. For the first time in what seems like forever, I just walked outside without a jacket.

Only 47 days til spring!

Posted by: ThinkSpring | February 1, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

The 12Z runs are quite a disappointment. We went from 15 inches on the 00Z runs to 2 inches on the 12Z.

Posted by: bdeco | February 1, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

It's beautiful out today... making me long for spring!

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 1, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Wow! I thought I was being aggressive with highs in the mid-50's. At least I got some good biking time in. Even though I almost killed myself twice on patches of ice in some of the deeper woods areas. Hope everyone enjoys the game.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 1, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

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