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Posted at 9:15 AM ET, 02/ 2/2009

Forecast: Turning Colder, Unsettled

By Jason Samenow

No big storm likely; some light snow possible tomorrow

* It's Groundhog Day: Phil Says Six More Weeks of Winter...*


Today: Increasing clouds, chance of showers late. 45-50. | Tonight: Scattered light rain showers, then a chance of light snow. 30-34. | Tuesday: Chance of light snow, breezy. 30-34. | A Look Ahead


After all the build-up and anticipation, a big storm no longer seems in the cards. Nonetheless, we'll still have an active weather pattern for the next several days. Today brings mild conditions and rain showers, with the transition to colder conditions arriving tonight. We may well see some periods of snow or flurries late tonight and especially tomorrow, with an outside shot at a light accumulation. Then after a cold, blustery mid-week period, temperatures will moderate towards the weekend.

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 (Monday): While not nearly as warm as yesterday thanks to increasing clouds, it will remain on the mild side. Temperatures should climb towards 50, before a cold front approaches with a 30% chance of some scattered late afternoon showers. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Scattered showers continue through the evening as cold air gradually trickles in (60% chance). After midnight, any lingering showers may mix with or change to snow, especially north and west of the District. I'm not expecting much snow accumulation overnight as precipitation will be light and spotty, the ground is relatively warm, and air temperatures should stay above freezing for most of the night (except north and west of the Beltway, where lows may dip to around 30 and up to an inch or so could fall). Confidence: Medium

Keep reading for the detailed forecast through the weekend...

Tomorrow (Tuesday): Although the main storm will develop too far to the northeast to give us lots of snow, an energetic upper level disturbance will swing through, likely producing some periods of light snow or flurries -- especially in the second half of the day. While accumulating snow is no certainty, I can't rule out a coating to an inch (50% chance) or even a little more in a few spots. With a cold wind blowing in from the north, temperatures will remain steady. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow Night: Light snow or flurries may continue into the evening, but gradually decrease in coverage and intensity. It will be breezy and quite cold, with lows 19-23 (suburbs-city). Confidence: Medium


Very cold and windy Wednesday with a few linger snow flurries possible. Highs may only reach 30, with wind chills in the teens. Remaining breezy at night and bitterly cold, with lows 12-17 (suburbs-city) accompanied by single digit wind chills. Confidence: Medium

The cold holds Thursday, but fortunately winds will diminish. Under lots of sunshine, highs will struggle to around freezing. Clear and cold at night, with lows 15-22 (suburbs-city). Confidence: Medium-High

Temperatures begin to moderate on Friday, with partly to mostly sunny skies and highs in the mid-40s. Partly cloudy and not as cold Friday night, as winds from the south hold low temperatures to 26-32 (suburbs-city). Confidence: Medium-High

The first full weekend of February looks promising if you don't like the cold. Both days should be dry, with highs approaching 50 on Saturday, and possibly well into the 50s on Sunday. Could next Sunday be a repeat of this past Sunday's warmth? Confidence: Medium

By Jason Samenow  | February 2, 2009; 9:15 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Umbrella In the Snow: Yea or Nay?


This is so upsetting....

Posted by: AnneinSand | February 2, 2009 7:19 AM | Report abuse

Might be a real stupid question... but what are the factors that cause a front to shift... in this case the low pressure system to move very east. Wind??

Posted by: PoorTeacher | February 2, 2009 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Northern stream energy too strong, high pressure offshore weakens too much too fast allowing convergence focus to shift offshore, upperlevel energy never catches up with the surface system etc. etc.

As I said yesterday morning, "when in drought leave it out" serves very well. Most systems this winter have been underperformers as the long term qp deficit increases. We are in dire need of a major pattern shift toward more rain or snow before spring and summer. We need 200% of normal rainfall for several months instead of the 50% of normal long-term trend we have witnessed.

Will it happen???????? Perhaps, but not likely.

Posted by: AugustaJim | February 2, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

99.5 FM is saying "1-3 inches of snow tonight." Where are they getting their weather from? Sounds like the entire radio industry just makes up their own weather or something. I know that the couple of times I listened to the Jack Diamond Morning Show, all of the weather forecasts he read were way off from what actually happened.

AugustaJim: My guess to end the drought is that we'll get a tropical storm/tropical remnants to stall over the area this summer. Or we'll have one or two thunderstorms a day for 2 months like we had last summer. I would prefer the latter, though.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | February 2, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

"While not nearly as warm as yesterday thanks to a blanket of clouds..."

ummmm...there is not a cloud in the sky.

Posted by: baddabing1 | February 2, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

BOOO. Are the odds of significant accumulation so low that it isn't even worth mentioning a percentage chance? 10%? 5%?

Posted by: matthew_lawlor | February 2, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

You were quite lucky last summer. I had closer to 2 thunderstorms per month!!

Posted by: AugustaJim | February 2, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

NBC said this morning that we would have 1 inch by morning and possibly 2-3 more during the day on Tuesday. Doesn't sound likely at all based on this site.

Posted by: AnneinSand | February 2, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

is tom k on nbc4 overhyping???

Posted by: jenniel73 | February 2, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

ok, this is going to be my last-gasp effort to get us some snow. given how the models have been fluctuating all over the place since last week, what are the chances of one more "shift" in the right (snow) direction?

but first, is my impression that models have been fluctuating correct? or have they been trending down (away from snow) somewhat consistently?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 2, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Any thoughts on the coverage of the radar echos over the SE? They seem more robust, and further SW, than models were indicating.

Posted by: gfp76 | February 2, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

is that good (for snow)?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 2, 2009 8:52 AM | Report abuse

This is a GREAT forecast! Not disappointing at ALL. I think I speak for all lovers of warm weather when I saw that I welcome some above average temperatures for a change. While all the winter weather lovers complain that we haven't had Maine-like conditions around here, the fact is that this winter has been more "wintery" than many due to the abnormally cold temperatures. Augusta Jim is right, though, we are once again down on precip. Gardens and crops will suffer this spring if we don't get moisture in the ground soon.

Posted by: SouthsideFFX | February 2, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

In other parts of the country, 1-3 inches IS light snow. ;p

Posted by: weathergrrl | February 2, 2009 8:55 AM | Report abuse

nothing personal, but that's just crazy talk ;-). we have plenty of chances during the year for summery weather. for me, rain in winter is a waste of precip., and cold w/o snow is just cold and unpleasant. (lots of snow now would be great for our gardens and crops too.)

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 2, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse


Good point re: lack of clouds this morning. They will increase, however, later and limit high temps. But we may get warmer than I anticipated...

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 2, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I think Accuweather should have to change their name to HypeWeather, Time after Time, terrible forecasts. Thank god for people like Capital Weather Gang.

Posted by: jrodfoo | February 2, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Hey Walter, just personal opinion, but I wouldn't hold my breath for a big shift in the models. With the exception of the hiccup at 0z late Saturday night on the NAM/GFS, most of the models have been consistently offshore. Anything can happen, but things have to be more or less absolutely perfect for us to get a big storm around here, and that rarely happens. That said, if we got even another 2 inch storm followed by a couple days of cold, at this point, I'd take it!

Posted by: timjuliani | February 2, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

All my friends in England are complaining about the entire country (apparently) being shut down by snow:

Posted by: wiredog | February 2, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

thanks for responding. that "hiccup" is what i guess i latched onto. my rational mind knows things have been trending away from snow ever since last week, and though i am generally a rational person, i am not rational about snow. it is just so beautiful and fun to play in. at this point i'd be happy with 2" too, but it seems like we're not even getting that. wah, wah, wah. (that's me crying...)

when is the next big snowstorm on the horizon i can get whipped into a frezy about, then be disappointed by?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 2, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

What time will you post the School Cast?? Optimistic teachers want to know!!! :)

Posted by: artteach | February 2, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

were in for a big warm up late week and possibly after. According to big bad JB at Accu, were in for a colder then average and stormy(snowy) for the mid atlantic. Its JB so take it with a grain of salt!

Posted by: clintonportis17 | February 2, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Mid to late February through early to mid march so he says.

Posted by: clintonportis17 | February 2, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Artteach... no school cast! I'm thinking we will wake up tomorrow morn to a dusting and that is it.

Posted by: PoorTeacher | February 2, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Hey! We teach in VA so we can get a snowday from a few snowflakes!!! :) hee hee

Posted by: artteach | February 2, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse is telling me it's going to snow through tuesday and into wednesday now.

Posted by: AnneinSand | February 2, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Thanks a bunch global warming =(

Posted by: Alexandria2009 | February 2, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I believe CWG is the *ONLY* wx team that consistently did NOT jump on the "storm of the century" bandwagon; yes, they mentioned the POSSIBILITY last week but tempered that consistently with the other, far more likely scenarios. Job well done so far, CWG'ers.

Having said that, I'm glad I didn't have to forecast this storm - I'm convinced it's going to come right down to a NOWcast at this point. I just found this gentleman's blog (, who follows and blogs about wx in the Mid-Atlantic, and he also has some interesting things to say about tomorrow's event...

Posted by: VAStateOfMind | February 2, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Model ballet continues. The 12Z GFS and to some extent the NAM both show a more robust system and precip shield backing westward, now covering at least the eastern parts of the forecast area. The GFS now looks wetter and a little wilder than in previous runs.

Posted by: Pianokey | February 2, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Don't fall into the GFS/NAM trap again. Look where that got everyone Sat. nite.

Beautiful day again today out there. Temps likely to top out warmer than forecasted.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | February 2, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Ugh! This storm has had more personality changes than Sybill! I am a mere weather enthusiast, by no means an expert, but I'm willing to bet this storm isn't done playing with our heads. Fun!

Posted by: chrissie413 | February 2, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Um, guys? I don't mean to take the conversation away from the snow, but WHY did they send the hurricane hunters out today? They sent them to 30.4N 77.8W, which is about 200 miles east of Jacksonville, Florida. What does all this mean?

A. A63/ CARPS (30.4N 77.8W)/ 02/1200Z
C. 02/0515Z
E. 30,000 FT/ 02/1400Z
A. A63/ CARPS (30.4N 77.8W)/ 03/0000Z

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | February 2, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Some folks are screaming "drought" again. Wish it were so...except for last week's mix-storm and the New Years Eve thundersnow "teaser", the only precipitation I've seen this winter is RAIN...and mighty cold rain at that!

I probably won't be worrying about drought, unless we have an exceptionally dry spring.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | February 2, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

QPF on the 12z Euro looks good for at least a couple inches...

Posted by: Holt1 | February 2, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

latest models are trending up with precip amts.

Posted by: danuva | February 2, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I know the odds are against it but I keep thinking about those storms that were forecast to be "a dusting to an inch" and proceeded to dump way over predictions. I've been here since 1995 and this has happened a handful of times---even the 1996 blizzard was just supposed to be a few inches the day it started. Then the snow total predictions started to rise...and rise until they were talking in terms of feet. Then a few days later they predicted flurries (or something equally uninteresting---and we ended up with 7 inches.

Given the back and forth of these models and given that there is still uncertainty and given that the next two weeks look to be warm and our snow chances are dwindling---I am going to hope the current forecast is wrong until the last flake falls.

Posted by: lilymama | February 2, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

when's the new update coming reflecting holt1's and danuva's bullish references?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 2, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

i guess what i'm asking is, is anything to what they're saying?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 2, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

@walter et all

Most definitely something to the comments here, most of the mid-day computer models did bring much more "hope" to those looking for snow in the next 24 hours.

Will this hope be enough? I don't know, but Ian and the PM update should give us all a pretty good idea of the current thinking in the next hour or so.

Just remember, this has been a very dynamic system from the start, beginning as super land-storm (I prefer land-i-cane) last Thursday to a storm going over Bermuda this weekend to now something that may be throwing some moisture back to us, so at this point, be wary of any major pronouncements one way or the other

Posted by: JJones-CapitalWeatherGang | February 2, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Not sure what the teachers are worried about - the predicted dusting should be enough to close school at least tomorrow.

And not to throw a bomb or start up this discussion again, but am I the only concerned that teachers are on here clamoring for snow days in equal numbers to school kids on here clamoring for snow days???

Posted by: SouthsideFFX | February 2, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

excellent! that's just the straw i needed to grasp. i'm going to the store now to buy provisions...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 2, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Why does it matter if people want a day off. Chill out about it.

Posted by: amorris525 | February 2, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Teachers aren't as bad. They would prefer a Friday or Monday off.

And I don't think schools will close tomorrow. I gather this thing starts tonight and we only get an inch, if that, and then it snows all day Tuesday. Your best bet is Wednesday, but if its just snow, then I'm sure the roads will be clear.

Posted by: Rafael3 | February 2, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

This is interesting. My father-in-law reports a "surprise snowstorm" in east Tennessee has already closed schools for at least tomorrow. Is the thinking locally that that there will be too much warm air for much snow east of the Allegheny Front?

current radar loop:

Posted by: spgass1 | February 2, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Just noticed something, don't know whether it's significant or not, but the actual precipitation shield in the SE (SE Georgia, South Carolina) is developing considerably NW of its position on the 18Z NAM that is just coming out. I have been checking the Charleston radar loop and the heaviest precip right now is still over land in the vicinity of Vidalia and Hinesville, GA, moving up toward Walterboro and Chas, SC. And it seems to be moving NNE more than NE. The actual low may actually be trending west of the forecast model position.

Posted by: Pianokey | February 2, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

HM isn't the first met over at Accuweather to say he's received extremely nasty emails over this storm. He's not blogging about the weather for a while because of it. It amazes me that people get so nasty about the weather. I understand that we get a little upset that it won't snow, but to get so upset over the weather that you're going to say hateful and threatening things? That's ridiculous.

This is the entire post from his latest blog post, posted not too long ago:

I had a chance to read through the hundreds of e-mails and comments and it saddens me to see so many threats and hatred by people over a snowstorm. So the forecast went bad and went bad for many reasons, some of which still baffle me today. But to have people e-mail me with the garbage that I have read really is not right at all. Quite honestly, it scares me to even post any more, and I really don't want to post any more given the shameful comments I have received. Therefore, I am taking a break from blogging about the weather.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | February 2, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Current temp. in Burke: 56 with increasing cloud cover.

From Henry Margusity's blog:

I had a chance to read through the hundreds of e-mails and comments and it saddens me to see so many threats and hatred by people over a snowstorm. So the forecast went bad and went bad for many reasons, some of which still baffle me today. But to have people e-mail me with the garbage that I have read really is not right at all. Quite honestly, it scares me to even post any more, and I really don't want to post any more given the shameful comments I have received. Therefore, I am taking a break from blogging about the weather.

Apparently, the "Madman" is literally mad.

Posted by: Yellowboy | February 2, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

When will we get snow like we used to??

Posted by: rb227 | February 2, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Winter Weather Advisory up, but basically only for mountains (1-2 inches). In VA, advisory doesn't get east of Clarke Co.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | February 2, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

The radar loop in GA/SC startign to look more impressive. TIme to stop lookign at models and look at the radar. This is what happened in our suprise storm in 05. Kept saying nothing (models take storm out to sea), but all day the radar showed slow moveement NNE rather than NE up the coast. Could be happening again. Only thing not sure of is how the artic front will interact. Is it possible it could slow down/stall just east of our area to interact with the storm riding up the coast? Or am i just majorly wishcasting?!

Posted by: AshburnMike | February 2, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

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