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Posted at 2:45 PM ET, 03/ 1/2009

High-Impact Snowstorm to Paste Metro Area

By Capital Weather Gang

Strong winds, cold temperatures to accompany snow

* Winter Storm Warning 2 p.m. today through 2 p.m. Monday *
* Capital Weather Gang on Twitter | Weather Wall | SnowCam *

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Patchy a.m. snow, a break, then snow re-developing later in the afternoon. Mid-30s | Tonight: Snow likely, heavy at times. Becoming windy. Low-to-mid 20s. | Tomorrow: Morning snow, windy and cold. Near 30.

Jump To: Accumulation Map & Timeline | Impact Forecasts | FAQ

FORECAST IN DETAIL

A significant winter storm appears likely to blast the metro area with snow late today through tomorrow morning along with strong winds and possibly blowing snow. We're expecting a general 4-8" of snow in the metro area, with greater amounts possible east/southeast and somewhat lesser amounts west/northwest. This is a high-impact storm that will probably cause significant disruptions, including travel delays and school cancellations.

ACCUMULATION MAP AND TIMELINE

1 PM to 4 PM TODAY
Light snow develops south to north. Not much accumulation. Temps 33-36.
4 PM to 8 PM TODAY
Snow increases in intensity and starts to accumulate. Temps 30-33.
8 PM to 12 AM MON
Snow, heavy at times. Temps 27-30.
12 AM to 4 AM MON
Snow, heavy at times. Temps 23-27.
4 AM to 8 AM MON
Snow declines, wind picks up. Temps 22-26.
8 AM to 12 PM MON
Snow ends SW to NE. Windy. Temps 22-26.

IMPACT FORECASTS

SchoolCast (for Mon)


FedCast (for Mon) capitol-black.jpgcapitol-black.jpgcapitol-black.jpgcapitol-gray.jpg

STORM FAQ

How confident are you in your forecast? We're fairly confident that accumulating snow will spread across the region this afternoon and should continue through tomorrow morning. One thing we're not as confident in is the exact amount. Our official forecast is for 4-8 inches for most of the metro area. 6-10"+ is still in play east of I-95 with isolated accumulations of close to a foot possible. These totals may be updated during the day today as slight changes in the storm's position will have a large impact on the location of the heaviest snow bands and total accumulations.

Keep reading for more storm FAQs. Just found us? We're here 24/7/365 -- rain, snow or shine. Visit us at washingtonpost.com/capitalweathergang.

How much snow will I get at my house? Check out our accumulation map but note storm totals will be very location specific. The snowfall gradient for this storm will be very sharp. Snowfall totals could vary by six inches or more in a span of 30-40 miles. The heaviest of the snows will likely occur just east/southeast of the area. Places like Annapolis and Waldorf, Md., and just east of Fredericksburg, Va., may be the jackpot areas. For the I-95 corridor from Washington to Baltimore, we are forecasting 4-8". Areas in the north and west suburbs like Frederick, Md., and Leesburg, Va., will probably get less snow, but since it will be colder in those spots, the snow may accumulate more quickly.

Could the storm bring more snow than expected? Yes. With snowfall varying so much over relatively short distances, a slight shift of the storm's track to the west could put the immediate metro area in the snowfall bulls-eye, with double digit accumulations not out of the question. Also, we'll need to watch for the potential for localized heavy bands of snow and even thunder snow (a possibility with this energetic storm), which are difficult to predict, but could substantially increase snowfall in isolated areas.

Could it fizzle out and leave us high and dry (or wet)? Yes. Do we think this is a likely scenario? No. But coastal storms are notoriously finicky beasts. All the right circumstances have to come together to produce heavy snowfall. A shift in the storm track to the east could result in snowfall amounts half of what we're currently predicting or even less. We do not think there is much chance this will be a rain storm.

Will we see any of the dreaded wintry mix? While we experienced a wintry mix from the first wave in our weekend storm duo, this second storm should be mostly snow except well to the south and east where some sleet may mix in (and even rain southeast of Richmond).

When will this storm start? Look for the first flakes to fly between 1 and 3 p.m. this afternoon with the heavier stuff arriving as we head toward dusk.

When will the heaviest snow fall? Moderate to heavy snow could begin around dusk. Periods of moderate to heavy snow are possible throughout the night before winding down early Monday morning. From I-95 and to the east, some moderate snow could even linger into mid-morning Monday.

Will the snow stick? For the first hour or two of the storm this afternoon, air and ground temperatures will probably be warm enough that the snow will melt on paved surfaces and mostly accumulate on grassy areas. However, as it becomes dark, the snow picks up, and temperatures drop, snow should begin accumulating on all surfaces, including roads.

What will this mean for Monday morning's commute? Nothing good. While the heaviest of the snow should be out of the area by the time most of us begin our work week, lingering snow may still be falling, especially to the east and northeast. Crews will initially focus on clearing the major roads, so secondary and side roads may be slick, if not snow covered. And strong winds may mean blowing snow.

When will the storm be over for our area? We may still see some light snows Monday morning, especially to the east. By the mid-afternoon hours, the storm for us will be over. We may even see some late-afternoon sun sparkle off the freshly fallen snow.

What's the best thing to do once the storm starts? Anything you want! Take an evening stroll -- everything seems so much quieter when it snows. Turn on your porch light, curl up with a book and beverage of choice and enjoy the scenery. Stay off the roads Sunday night into Monday morning...travel conditions may become difficult and even dangerous as the night wears on.

What will conditions be like after the storm? Cold and windy -- with the possibility of some blowing snow. Late in the afternoon tomorrow we'll begin to see the clouds break up and move off. By nighttime we'll have some patches of clear skies and temperatures will plummet well into the teens. This cold snap continues Tuesday and Tuesday night as well with temperatures well below normal.

What are other forecast outlets calling for? (as of late Sat. night)...

National Weather Service: 4-6"
NBC4: 2-5"
WUSA-9: 3-6" (Tony Pann's blog)
ABC7: No forecast on Web site at press time
Fox5: No forecast on Web site at press time
The Weather Channel: 2-4"

By Capital Weather Gang  | March 1, 2009; 2:45 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Here Comes the Snow: What You Need to Know

Comments

Posted by: spgass1 | March 1, 2009 1:26 AM | Report abuse

Let's have some fun... Predict how much snow you think will fall at the three area airports: DCA (Reagan), IAD (Dulles) and BWI (Baltimore-Washington). Comment with your numbers below.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 1, 2009 1:27 AM | Report abuse

Yay! I'd given up on this winter, but better late than never. What's the FedCast?

Posted by: lumi1 | March 1, 2009 1:33 AM | Report abuse

@lumi1

I'll post the FedCast tomorrow.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 1, 2009 1:38 AM | Report abuse

Want to predict more, but I'm gonna go with 4inches in eastern Fauquier (Warrenton/New Baltimore). For now, anyway.

Posted by: weathergrrl | March 1, 2009 1:39 AM | Report abuse

Sigh. This Montana gal is pleased at the thought of March Madness, the white stuff. And, kids! You can blow off homework, sort of. Finish on Sunday for a Monday of snowball and sledding fun.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | March 1, 2009 1:39 AM | Report abuse

DCA: 6.0 inches
IAD: 3.5 inches
BWI: 5.5 inches

Posted by: landlaw | March 1, 2009 1:44 AM | Report abuse

Jason-CapitalWeatherGang:

I would defff fill the other apple in lol!

Posted by: clintonportis17 | March 1, 2009 1:44 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, Jason, and everyone in the CW gang for your great weather reporting.

I predict AA County schools will close Monday, but I won't tell my kids that until they finish their homework :) Mixed rain and sleet here in Pasadena for the last few hours.

Posted by: lumi1 | March 1, 2009 1:47 AM | Report abuse

Current conditions Blue Ridge east of Front Royal: lightly snowing, 1" snow accumulation from Snow Storm #1, 23.9F

Early predictions for Snow Storm #2:
DCA: 8 inches
IAD: 7 inches
BWI: 9 inches

Posted by: spgass1 | March 1, 2009 1:53 AM | Report abuse

I posted in the other thread but i will post again:

DCA: 11
IAD: 13
BWI:14
RIC: 6

Roanoke: 9
Charlottesville: 9
Philly: 10
NYC: 12
Boston: 11
Atlanta: 3

I am going with a slightly west solution.

Posted by: jfva | March 1, 2009 1:53 AM | Report abuse

Dang. And I had just situated myself in the "Bring On Spring" seating section. Ah well, having turned into a complete snow curmedgoen who's been burned on getting his hopes on one too many storms around HERE, I'll believe it when I see it!

Posted by: VAStateOfMind | March 1, 2009 2:12 AM | Report abuse

RAINMAN GREG PREDICTS:

**By morning we will learn that the storm has shifted west by 40 miles. This means:

DCA: 9 (with a sleet mix keeping totals down)

IAD: 10

BWI:13

RIC: 6 with a mix of sleet keeping totals down.

Other locations:

Blue Ridge: 1-3 inches
Fredricksburg and Woodbridge: 1 foot
Annapolis: 14 inches

Posted by: stinkerflat1 | March 1, 2009 2:22 AM | Report abuse

Well well well....nothing better than a beast of a storm on the horizon and the pundits flailing away!! Always a chore forecasting the mid-atlantic! WeatherGang has my money...;)

Precip Potential AirPort
Dulles 4in
BWI 10in
Reagan 6in


Snow on and Go TERPS!!

Posted by: Hurrizzard11 | March 1, 2009 2:34 AM | Report abuse

Nice street/sidewalk cover with grass accumulation for some time now in Gaithersburg.

Going with IAD: 7
DCA: 11
BWI: 10

Posted by: TheMot | March 1, 2009 2:44 AM | Report abuse

I still am an outlier forecaster


DCA 3 in
BWI 4 in
Iad 2in

Posted by: pvogel88 | March 1, 2009 2:56 AM | Report abuse

Our poor little crocuses... I knew they were being too optimistic when they sprang up last week.

Posted by: pundito | March 1, 2009 3:07 AM | Report abuse

Man I love the snow - but as a result get no sleep and am glued to this freaking site! My predictions are as follows:

DCA - 5.5"
IAD - 8"
BWI - 11"

My House - 20" yep thats right!

Posted by: snowlover | March 1, 2009 3:54 AM | Report abuse

You can thank me for the snow. I put the kids' snow disks in the attic Thursday.

You're welcome!

Posted by: ASColletti | March 1, 2009 4:01 AM | Report abuse

Winter storm warnings up... 8-10" expected in the city by NWS, 1'+ to our east, lesser amounts west of 95.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | March 1, 2009 5:02 AM | Report abuse

Working an overnight shift goes so much faster when you have a snowstorm to watch! Will the Cap Weather crew be upping it's prediction to match the new NWS warning?

Posted by: BrentwoodGuy | March 1, 2009 5:36 AM | Report abuse

Book it:

Could it fizzle out and leave us high and dry (or wet)? Yes.

Posted by: fred_p_harris | March 1, 2009 6:13 AM | Report abuse

Gwen Tolbart seemed barely concerned about this storm last night and pretty much blew it off. Good work - I'm sure Sue must be proud of you! Maybe that's why you got demoted to the weekends. Tony Pann is the best of the weekend crew in this area, too bad his cheap station cancelled their weekend morning newscasts. He said he'd be updating his blog this morning though. Chuck Bell on NBC4 is saying at least 6" as of their 6am newscast. While ABC7 doesn't have a Sunday morning newcast of their own, they have morning news at 7am on Newschannel 8, so I'll see what they say. Bring it on!

Posted by: BGinVA | March 1, 2009 6:24 AM | Report abuse

Nothign like waking up to the headline High-Impact Snowstorm to Paste Metro Area. LOL.

Lets see, preditions....since I have to fly out of IAD tomorrow morning almost exactly 24 hours from now, that is what worries me the most. I'll put it at 5 inches for IAD. 7 inches for DCA. I'll give the full 8 for BWI.

Regardless...I think my flight will be delayed tomorrow. LOL

Posted by: ksrgatorfn1 | March 1, 2009 6:56 AM | Report abuse

11 news in Baltimore said they are backing of their totals a little bit - full forecast coming up shortly. CWG has anything changed since the 2:00am post? Thanks!

Posted by: snowlover | March 1, 2009 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Fox blew this one last night big time - relied solely on the NWS forecast (almost verbatim). That's not really forecasting, is it?

I'd fill in that last apple, too. With but an inch we would see widespread 2 hour delays; 6-10 we may see closings for multiple days.

My predictions:

DCA: 9.8
IAD: 4.6
BWI: 11

The 0z Euro increased the QCP amounts and the ratios seem to have increased as well - hopefully my predictions are on the low side!

Posted by: worldtraveler | March 1, 2009 7:03 AM | Report abuse

Channel 11 calling for 3-6" east of 95 and 1-3 west - I hope these are low

Posted by: snowlover | March 1, 2009 7:12 AM | Report abuse

I'm wondering about activities in FCPS schools today, surely they are going to be cancelled? No news on website.

Posted by: mchristinaw | March 1, 2009 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Snowing now in Round Hill

Posted by: mkjec1 | March 1, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

A Real Snowstorm Countdown 2009 Coverage

Hi everyone, Buster Dryground here. Yea yea, there is a lot of snow coming. I'll concede that, but you're not getting your treasured 8-10 inches. You just can't forecast extreme events that well...be happy with the 4 inches you'll get. It's still twice the season total!

Where is Snowy Hill? He's running around the house planting yard sticks. I'm sure he'll be in later.

Till then, don't drive into my bus when I'm trying to work tomorrow morning...stay home!

Posted by: snowynbuster | March 1, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Where is the Snowcam?

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | March 1, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Sunday activities in Howard County schools (e.g. Sunday school for us) are on. We barely have a coating.

For once, I have nothing scheduled as a teacher for tomorrow, and the eastern scenario favors me as a resident of HoCo and a teacher in PG! Now, should I search for the snow tube today, or wait?

Posted by: dynagirl | March 1, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Nice presentation with the synopsis, as always guys!
Ended up with 1.5 from round one, temperature currently at 24 which will spell nice ratios for round 2!

Posted by: MikefromtheBlueRIdge | March 1, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

It's started snowing---moderately---here in Olney. Is this the last of the first storm or the beginning of the second?

Posted by: lilymama | March 1, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

DCA: 9.0 inches
IAD: 8.5 inches
BWI: 8.5 inches

Posted by: ajfishman1 | March 1, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

When is the next run or report out?

Posted by: snoinmclean | March 1, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

@snoinmclean

We'll be getting new model runs in between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.... so we'll post our next update around 11 a.m.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 1, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

I am going to this positive since this the one and only storm we might get this "winter". I think it shifts some and we gets lots of bursts.

DCA: 10
IAD: 12
BWI:14
RIC: 8

My front yard in Reston - 12.5 :)

Posted by: photojenn | March 1, 2009 8:19 AM | Report abuse

I'm in the Charlotte area this AM and the forecast is for 5 to 10 inches of snow depending on where you are and when the changeover occurs. Possible thunder is mentioned in the forecast. Also, since the precip could be more convective down here, we could get alternating periods of rain and heavy wet snow today before the changeover to all snow. We already had one thunderstorm around 5 AM with a temp of 34F. What's interesting to me is that the forecasts for CLT and DCA are so similar, especially for Sunday night; that doesn't happen too often, especially in March for 35 degrees north latitude.

Posted by: Pianokey | March 1, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

I've got snow over by Glenmont Metro station. Looks like we may be getting hit earlier?

Posted by: blemt | March 1, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

I'm in the heavy band area... Yippee!

Abandon your car now!

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | March 1, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like Calvert County might be the Bullseye - 12"+

Posted by: snowlover | March 1, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Looks like a band of snow is drifting from the northwest to the southwest. Is this associated with a front?

Posted by: ZmanVA | March 1, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

this light snow that's falling now is just the tail end of last night's appetizer, right?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 1, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Jason - "knock on wood" we don't usually see much changes in the models this close to the storm do we? In other words, I would expect a bit of forecast tweaking, but no major changes.........right???

Posted by: snowlover | March 1, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

mine here

DCA: 13
IAD: 15
BWI:10
F-BURG:11
Va us 29
Charlottesville:9
Madison:12
Cullpeper:13
Warrenton:14
Mannassas:14

Posted by: deveinmadisonva | March 1, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

did anything drastic happen with models etc... overnight? the best news about this storm (#2) is that there won't be "mixing". is this still the expectation - no sleet, rain etc...?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 1, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

I couldn't sleep any later this morning... had to come check CWG, and I'm excited at what I see! Currently snowing at a good rate here in Silver Spring. Looks like it's the last bit from storm 1. I'm hoping the second storm slows down just a little bit so we get the full impact overnight. Looking forward to the fedcast, and a fun day!

Posted by: SkywalkerSS | March 1, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

How come Bethesda is expecting 3-7 and like everyone else is expecting 4-8 or 4-9????? WE NEED 9 INCHES! Go ahead and fill in the apple!

Posted by: hoyafan516 | March 1, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Had some fun talking about this storm last night, but now it seems that most, if not all forecasters are now saying that we are going to get hit with a major storm.

I always look at these forecasts with a jaundiced eye, but even the ole Curmudgeon is getting a little excited about the possbility of a good snow.

I want to thank CWG and others for the lively discussion we had last night.

Posted by: Curmudgeon4 | March 1, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

The snow we're getting now is from Storm #1... We should have a break later this morning through mid afternoon. Storm #2 may role in a little later than the above timeline...but it should be snowing again by dark.

@snowlover-- I wouldn't expect major changes to the forecast at this point, but small changes could happen. The latest model that just came in supports what we're saying I think

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 1, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

About to leave for a 5-hour round trip trek to Shepherdstown...let's see if I can beat the storm. The kid sure picked a great weekend to come home from school!

Posted by: meta2 | March 1, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Being in C'ville, I'm somewhat resigned to being on the low side (and at risk of getting

As for predictions:

C'ville: 4
Culpeper: 6
IAD: 5
DCA: 7
BWI: 6

Posted by: cvilleSnowMan | March 1, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

They have snow like this in Chicago every day.

Posted by: spidey103 | March 1, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

They have snow like this in many, many areas and cities.. then again, this is the East Coast - I-95 corridor Snowless Winter of 09.

Posted by: ZmanVA | March 1, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

I am supposed to get my wife at BWI coming in from Buffalo at 2:35 p.m.

Any idea's if this flight will make it today?

Posted by: SA-Town | March 1, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

We've got an inch at least in New Balt. from Storm #1. And it's still coming down. Big ole fat flakes.

IAD: 5 inches
BWI: 8 inches
DCA: 10 inches

Posted by: weathergrrl | March 1, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

SA-Town: Should be fine. Snow shouldn't get going until later in the pm.

Posted by: ZmanVA | March 1, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Just added "Do the snow dance" to the weekend homework on my students Blackboard sites. Hopefully all of the other teachers at school are now thanking me for wearing my "I live for snow days" shirt on Friday.

Posted by: HistoryTchr | March 1, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

The local TV mets must be on crack...NBC says "up to 4" and Fox says basically wintry mix. Only WJLA and WUSA seem to be on top of this.

Posted by: worldtraveler | March 1, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

DCA: 10"
BWI: 12"
IAD: 6"

Posted by: DontWannaMyPostID | March 1, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

@SA-Town

I agree with Zman. Your flight should be fine.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 1, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

jason:
does storm 2's later arrival mean more will stick at the start giving us higher accumulations?

very interesting that you had pmichaels1 as a teacher. i'd love to hear about that sometime/somewhere. but now, back to snow mania.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 1, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Just checked:
1-NBC4 and the front page says "6 inches or more"
2-Fox 5 hasn't updated since yesterday.
3-WJLA updated at 6am
4-No Met update from Ch 9, just a news post.
NBC4 is the only one with a snow accum map.
Doesn't really matter, just follow the CWG!

Posted by: MikefromtheBlueRIdge | March 1, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Very light and fine consistent snow here in Lake Ridge - amounting to nothing.

Posted by: ZmanVA | March 1, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Chuck Bell on NBC4 has been saying 4-9" (and probably at least 6 for most areas) this morning. Gwen Tolbart on Fox5 this morning is still saying 3-6". Between this and the Nats GM resigning, it's been a busy news morning around here. Newschannel 8 has live newscasts at 10 and noon for anyone wanting mid-day updates on this Sunday...

Posted by: BGinVA | March 1, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

I know you're all hoping, but unless those temps drop significantly, there will be little accumulation.

I for one am not hoping. Most drivers struggle in the dry pavement; they are terrified of wet, and the snow makes them into jelly.

Even the pedestrians are crazy here. Last snow/ice storm in January I was driving into work at 5 AM, and there was a pedestrian in black walking down the middle of the road. With his back to traffic. Probably because the sidewalks were icy, but!

Anyway, the snow is fun to look at, but I'm hoping for a complete bust.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | March 1, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

ombudsman1:
BOOOOO! ;-)

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 1, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

The 06Z NAM run had a significant shift to the east, and while the 12Z NAM run brought it back some, it was still not as far to the west as the 00Z and the 00Z and 06Z GFS runs. Any thoughts?

This really affects my area as I live west of town, near that sharp cutoff.

(Hopefully the 12Z GFS run will put my area in the bullseye!)

Posted by: Sterlingva | March 1, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Thanks Ombudsman, thanks...

Posted by: PeterBethesda | March 1, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

@walter-in-fallschurch

One of the models I was looking at suggested possibly a later arrival, but radar shows precip advancing quickly northward...so I think the timeline we have in this post is probably ok.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 1, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Is this a blindside? I must have missed something over the past 24 hours as I recall morning forecasts yesterday pointing to nothing more than a couple to maybe a few inches total with snows 1 and 2. Did this change massively over the past 24 hours, or was I mistaken yesterday morning?

Posted by: 125WMARION | March 1, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Ombudsman1, Hmmmmmmm.....yes I think most people on this site are hoping for a bust?!?!?!?! As for as being cold enough, this type of storm should draw the cold air in as it circulates up the eastern seaboard. So a temp at or near freezing should not be a problem.

Posted by: snowedin1985 | March 1, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

12Z NAM shifts storm every so slightly to the west. Lets hope the GFS agrees!

Posted by: bdeco | March 1, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I'll believe it when I see it. My broken clock is more accurate than the weather forecasters in this area -- okay, that may be a bit harsh, but it does seem as if every time snowfall like this is predicted, the prognosticators get it wrong ...

Posted by: wtdoor | March 1, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Morning Update: 1.75" snow accumulation, 27.1F, light snow falling

Location: east facing side of Blue Ridge

Posted by: spgass1 | March 1, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

ombudsman1 - when the low passes to our east it will draw in the cold air from the north - its going to snow!

Posted by: snowlover | March 1, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, ombudsman, we're in for it. Notice how there's no hemming and hawing from the forecasters now (might do this, depends on that). We're only about 12 hours out. Hang on to your hat bro!

Posted by: lioninzion | March 1, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Sad that we're getting more snow in March than we've gotten in January and February combined.

Posted by: SilverySpringlike | March 1, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I suggest a rating scale for weather forecaster on TV and Radio... on a scale of 1-5. If you're a 5, you get to predict anything you want. If you're a 1, you only get to predict what's going to happen in the next hour.

As you get better (accurate forecasts), your rating goes up and you're allowed to forecast longer. If you get worse, (inaccurate forecasts), your rating goes down.

Over a period of 1-3 years, you could then tell how good a weather forecaster is by their score. Crazy idea, but wouldn't that be great?

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | March 1, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

From the discussion out of Sterling at 1519 yesterday....

BOTTOM LN - A FEW INCHES OF SNOW ARE PSBL SUN NGT B4 PSBLY CHG TO IP AND THE WHOLE THING IS OVER MON MRNG...AND THEN THE WINDS AND COLD AIR COME IN. WE HV A WINT WTCH UP...AND MY THINKING IS TO HOLD W/
THAT - NOT GOING TO ISSUE ANY ADVSRY/WRNG...AND IT MAY BE THAT WE
HOLD IN WTCH MODE AT LEAST ANOTHER 12 HRS - IT ISN`T CLR EXACTLY WHAT`S GOING TO HAPPEN AND WE DON`T WANT TO PIN FUTURE SHIFTS IN.

This is frustrating, and I certainly understand that atmospheric science is one giant monster of a dynamic - I studied Met for 2 years before I had to switch majors (simply wasnt smart enough). I think this is going to be a huge bust, something for which these guys in this area are simply famous for. I get its not their fault, I get their doing their best, but this is frustrating.

Posted by: 125WMARION | March 1, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

One nice thing about that first storm is that it moistened up the atmosphere. I imagine precipitation will start hitting the ground immediately, unlike some storms where we lose potentially several inches of snow due to the dryness of the atmosphere!

(Or am I completely wrong on that?)

Posted by: JTF- | March 1, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

CWG, what are the odds that this is a total bust (2 or less inches)?

Posted by: samdman95 | March 1, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I'll give you my FedCast now: Liberal leave. Possibly late arrival also.

It's not gonna close. Those hoping for that will be sorely disappointed. We'd need enough snow to shut down Metro and that's more than 8 inches areawide. And that's just not gonna happen. Sure, some people may see amounts => 8 inches, but it won't be areawide.

So as I posted yesterday, it will be just enough to make the roads a complete mess but not close the Feds. Just like about every other storm we get.

On that note, which one of you snow weenies is gonna shovel my driveway and sidewalk? Since you love snow so much, I expect you'll do it for free, right? :)

Posted by: ThinkSpring | March 1, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Since snow totals r almost always over 4cast, I'll go with DCA 4.6", IAD 4.1", BWI 5.1" & generally 3.5-5.5". Wouldn't b surpised to see some mixing of sleet & rain, it's very difficult 2 get an all snow event in this area. Very light mist in NW Spotsy. 31.7.

Posted by: VaTechBob | March 1, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Radar showing a large area of rain from Rich down to Ga. moving N., although it's snowing in Miss. Now thinking storm begins as rain & to snow late 2night, keeping snow totals way down. Now going with 1.5-3" of snow. DCA 1.6".IAD 2.7", BWI 2.3"

Posted by: VaTechBob | March 1, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

VTBob - I agree. Does the radar appear to have a NE trend to you? Looking to me like the heaviest precip trying to head that way to me.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | March 1, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Bonus snow...could be thundersnow. Apparent thundersnow in Southern Appalachians acc. to Weather Channel.

Not sure of accumulation totals...some GFS charts trying to intro. WAA and change-over to rain here...540 thickness line north of D.C. If this goes all snow, we could get a huge accumulation, even more than the projected 5-8".

Posted by: Bombo47jea | March 1, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

For all the storm naysayers; just check out any eastern U.S. regional radar on loop. You can clearly see the storm getting organized over GA. There is no question that this is a developing storm with plenty of energy. As long as the cold air comes in from the northwest and the storm tragectory continues as forecasted, we are in for a good one. Possibly on the higher end of the forecasted snow totals. These types of systems are historically some of our biggest snow makers. We'll see.

Posted by: GD1975 | March 1, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

@sandman95

15% chance of a bust...less than 2"

@everyone

New update post is up...

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 1, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Predicted accumulations:

If all snow: DCA: 8+"
IAD: 4-8+"
BWI: 6-10+"

If WAA [that's warm-air advection!] cuts totals, less snow will fall but we could have a bunch of messy slush to deal with tomorrow.

Thundersnow possible: 6 PM tonight-6 AM tomorrow.

All schools will shut down. Federal offices may close, especially if Metro closes above ground. Tomorrow night's dance @ Chevy Chase Ballroom might be cancelled. There's no dance @ Clarendon Ballroom Tuesday night due to floor refinishing.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | March 1, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Is there a problem with the site - I can only see new posts when i submit one.

Posted by: snowlover | March 1, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Posted yesterday and received no response. So here it is again:

"CapWx,

Looking at the onset of storm #2, it appears we may have issues with precipitation type. Could this storm start out as a mix before the column thickens and changes everything over to all snow?"

Posted by: pjdunn1 | March 1, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

DCA: IAD: BWI:

Posted by: Hanz1 | March 1, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

@pjdunn1

Yes-- a little rain or sleet could mix in at the very onset (since afternoon temps are in the mid-30s) of the main batch...but will very quickly change to all snow and temperatures will drop.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 1, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

We mentioned the possibility of 'thundersnow' in our region tonight. Here is the current observation at Atlanta's Hartsfield Int'l Airport: Heavy snow, visibility 1/4 mile, lightning/thunder observed.

Pretty nifty!

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | March 1, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: justin1013471 | March 1, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Dulles- 6 inches
DC- 10 inches
BWI- 12 inches

For a change, us snowlovers out here in Snowtown (Leesburg) are on the ouside looking in! I'm hoping for a slightly western jog to the track of course.

Posted by: 4seamed | March 1, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Predictions:

IAD: 7"
DCA: 9"
BWI: 11"

No snow yet here in Greenbelt, which is a good thing, because it means the storm is not racing up the coast (CWG said this morning to expect the start time to be between 1 and 3 and we're almost at the end of that range). 36.5 degrees.

Posted by: markf40 | March 1, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

This is sweet!! I haven't been paying attention and had written our big storm off already. What an awesome surprise! The kids are psyched and we are crossing our fingers on the Fed Cast =) Making ice cubes for the toilet right now!

Posted by: Alexandria2009 | March 1, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

CWG,I know the center is still down south, but is the center generally where you expected it to be at this time?

Posted by: hortexp | March 1, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I am in Bethesda, MD near the Beltway at 4:13 PM. It is certainly above the freezing point here.
Any snow that had accumulated from earlier snow flurries has already melted.

Can anyone tell me when it is expected to become cold enough to actually snow rather than rain?

Posted by: captn_ahab | March 1, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Been out by bike in NE/NW Branch trails. Temp dropping still; 36 degrees by outdoor thermometer. Friend in Annapolis says that fluffy snow is underway.....no flakes yet in College Park.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | March 1, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

No flakes yet in Franconia, VA

Posted by: Alexandria2009 | March 1, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

@hortexp

Yes--low is about where we expected it.

@captn_ahab

It doesn't have to be below freezing to snow at the surface if it's cold aloft--which it is. Once the snow starts, it will bring down some of the cold here to the surface.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 1, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse


If they are predicting a lot of snow, we will get a little. When they predict a little, we get snowed in. Been here since 1967 and I still wonder why they even bother to predict snow or rain accumulation.
This is an unpredictable area.


Posted by: mortified469 | March 1, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

mortified, you are so right.

and yes, just like every other snow we get here it will be enough to make the roads, metro and life miserable but not enough to close down the government which is just really as unfair a weather proposition as i can imagine :(

(not that i dislike work or working, just that surprise days off are so very fun!)

Posted by: freckleface | March 1, 2009 11:36 PM | Report abuse

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