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Posted at 9:15 PM ET, 03/ 1/2009

Snow Attempting Minor Come Back Western Suburbs

By Jason Samenow

Significant accumulations east of I-95

* Winter Storm Warning through 2 p.m. Monday *
* CWG on: Twitter & Facebook | Weather Wall | SnowCam | Snow Polls *

While this storm has certainly been an underperformer west of I-95, some accumulating snow does appear to be moving in and there will be more overnight as an energetic upper level low rotates through. I think it's fair to say earlier predicted totals will not be reached west of I-95, but several inches are still possible in the metro area by morning. East of I-95 totals continue to mount, with 3-6" common in Calvert and Charles counties.

Here are some revised snowfall projections:

West and northwest of beltway: 1-3"
District and Inside Beltway: 2-5"
East of I-95: No change from earlier map, 4-8", with a narrow band of 6-10".

By Jason Samenow  | March 1, 2009; 9:15 PM ET
Categories:  Updates  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Steady Snow East, Not Much West
Next: Big Snows East, Some Snow West

Comments

This kills some people's high hopes, but you should all be commended for your hard work and honesty.

I'm still hoping.

Posted by: matthew_lawlor | March 1, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Great, now I'm completely loaded and we're only going to get an inch of snow. This storm sucks. Biggest bust ever.

Posted by: SnowMonsterDC | March 1, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Current temp. in Burke: 32.2 with heavy snow!

The snow has intensified and is accumulating on sidewalks, driveways, and roads! : )

Posted by: Yellowboy | March 1, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Wow, big change. 4-8 inches here in MoCo, now 1-3?

Feh.

Posted by: NattyBo1985 | March 1, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Less snow and less hassle! yay!

Posted by: chaps1 | March 1, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Overblown to say the least. It's about 38 degrees here in Sterling...nowhere near cold enough to snow.

Posted by: 1buj | March 1, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

the heaviest stuff is coming overnite people

Posted by: redskinsfan01 | March 1, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse

2 or less for DCA. Count it.

Posted by: wecndo | March 1, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Also, 38 degrees is certainly cold enough for it to snow. This is because it takes time for snow to melt once it is falling through above-freezing temperatures. Unless it is snowing heavily, it won't accumulate on hard surfaces at that temperature.

Posted by: crzytwnman | March 1, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

what your "schoolcast" for MoCo, considering its 34 here in Bethesda?

Posted by: swimdude412 | March 1, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

6 inches for McLean.

Posted by: KBurchfiel | March 1, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Just within the last 15 minutes, the snow is starting to stick to paved surfaces here in West Springfield. But meh. What a disappointment if I wake up and there's not even enough to justify shoveling.

Posted by: novamatt | March 1, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

started snowing in Jeffersonton! Yeah!!

Posted by: soccersusi | March 1, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Well this sucks. I went from 4-8 inches to 1-3. Bummer.

Posted by: PeterBethesda | March 1, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

@matthew_lawlor

Thanks for the nice note. It's been a rough night and a challenging one. Snowing quite hard in NW DC at the moment...

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 1, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

It is ever-changing and it is snowing hard again in Tenleytown. Gotta think positively so I can take my six month old out for her first "frolic" in the snow! It would be fantastic if it was a good one!

Posted by: mjwies11 | March 1, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Heard that Fenty lifted snow emergency in DC. Any truth to that DC folks?

Posted by: ThinkSpring | March 1, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, I hope FCPS doesn't do a 180 now... has that ever happened before? I have a sick kid who can't miss anymore school!

Posted by: mchristinaw | March 1, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Snowing in Olney

Posted by: celestun100 | March 1, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

According to DC.gov:

Mayor Fenty Lifts Snow Emergency, Advises Residents to Monitor Weather and Road Conditions


So yes, it's true ThinkSpring.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | March 1, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Is there actually any science involved at all in forecasting winter storms, or is it really just a total crapshoot?

Posted by: spacecadetkid | March 1, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

As I mentioned in the other thread, in the NE corner of Montgomery County, temperature is 36 degrees and steady, barometer is steady, no precipitation, and no wind.

In fact, I was just outside and the pavement is now drying.

While it's *possible* to get some snow here, it seems to be remote now, unless something happens to drop temperatures significantly in the next 4 hours (IMHO). In fact, based on the barometer and lack of wind, I'd be surprised if we got anything more than a few sprinkles of rain.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | March 1, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Still slightly above freezing with no accumulation in Alexandria, just wet pavement. I'm a little alarmed about projected temps for the next few days and concerned about potential ice, but at this point that's about it.

Posted by: MaxineofArc | March 1, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

As long as the Post is cutting their budget, they should cut you guys loose. It's not so bad that you totally missed this one, it's that this fizzling was so forseeable, yet you went for the sensational prediction. Worse than that, you stuck with it, even when looking out the window and watching the thermometer should have told you better.

It's somewhat like the Post's coverage of Obama: oh he's great, just great! Oops, he's going to quadruple the deficit? Nevermind, he's great!

Posted by: carver9 | March 1, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

So what is the latest for west of the 95 line .... I havnt heard any thing?

Posted by: fire3 | March 1, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

snowing again in Arlington. thanks for your hard work, CWG.

Posted by: dinergirl | March 1, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Moderate burst of snow here in Silver Spring. Sticking to everything, including colder areas of the roads!

Posted by: SkywalkerSS | March 1, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Weather Gang,

I'm also disappointed by the lack of snow so far, but I think you've been doing a great job with the forecasts since the beginning. This stuff is hard to predict, and I give you props for trying.

This is the best place on the Web for a DC specific forecast, and I really enjoy reading your blog, promised storms or not.

Keep up the good work and thank you.

Posted by: reader47 | March 1, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

It's coming down nicely in Chevy Chase, and it's just beginning to stick to our street.

Posted by: SoMoCo | March 1, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Tony Pann now saying 3-6 DC Metro, 2-4 West, 5-9 east

Posted by: ThinkSpring | March 1, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

We already have about 3-4" here down near PAX River (California, MD). Its still coming down hard. You can barely tell where the street was.

BTW - My first post since Capital Weather moved to Washington Post. I am still a "hanger on" to the old format, but I finally gave in. :)

Posted by: somdcommuter | March 1, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, weatherdude.

Incredible...can't recall seeing a snow emergency lifted that quickly before.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | March 1, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

When I think "sensationalist forecasting," the last site to come up is Capitalweather.com. It's not that you guys don't blow a forecast; but even when you do, you have an essay's worth of content explaining why.

I've been on this site since the days of capitalweather.com as "mcleaned," and even on nights like this, I don't have much to complain about. What other site is so in-depth, balanced and serious about providing a quality forecast?

For those of you yelling 'bust': Nobody's asking you to stick around. But the reason why you're here in the first place, I think, is because you know there's no better website on the internet for in-depth coverage of the Washington, DC weather scene. Even when a 'bust' rolls around.

Don't let the comments faze you, CapWX. Only God knows the real forecast.

Posted by: KBurchfiel | March 1, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

About an inch around 8:30 in Fairfax, but when I got back to Centreville there's absolutely nothing. If we get 2" it'll be amazing at this point. Looks like work tomorrow...

I hate coastal storms.

Posted by: RightWinger9 | March 1, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

@Jason-CWG-It's snowing pretty hard here in Adams Morgan too but not sure that any of it is sticking. Still seems to be above freezing. What to expect overnight? Ugh no more busts please!!

Posted by: BruinGirl2001 | March 1, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

At 11:12am 2day I predicted 1.5-3" 4 the DC area, 1.6 DCA, 2.7 IAD & 2.3 BWI. These storms r almost always over hyped, only about 10% of the time do they meet or exceed the 4cast total. It's best 2 expect the worst & hope 4 the best, that way u won't b disappointed. Once again there were some people thinking a ft. of snow, which is a very rare event in this area, especially in March.

Posted by: VaTechBob | March 1, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Carver9,
Horse Lady From the other Thread,


There are some reports coming out of NC and SC of thundersnow and 3 inch per rates in a few of the heavier bands associated with the upper level low. There is nothing i would want more than for one of these mega bands to park itself right over you.

Posted by: jfva | March 1, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Back edge of precipitation rotating through central VA to the northeast. Should be over with sometime between midnight and 3 a.m. by and large and then another little burst if the upper level low down over western NC rotates in behind the surface low. I think it will strain to get to 5" here in Ballston.

Posted by: VirgilCaine | March 1, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm not complaining. I have a whole weather station in my backyard, tied into my computer, upload to the weather underground.

I enjoy times like these. And I enjoy have a good "discussion" about the weather.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | March 1, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

I too thank CWG - they have an excellent blog and are composed of consummate professionals. They also do a great service every day to weather enthusiasts such as myself. You are appreciated!

Posted by: novajeffc | March 1, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Snowing pretty good in Sterling now, and sticking to the pavement.

Posted by: kridgely | March 1, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Still just a few flakes in Potomac - but really windy!

Posted by: AstrosFanInExile | March 1, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the nice comments somdcommuter, KBurchfiel, and reader47. Appreciate it.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 1, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Snowing moderately/heavily again in Bowie. About two inches on some of the grassy/elevated areas where it has stuck the most (maybe a few spots of three inches, just eyeballing). Only half an inch on the road surfaces.

Posted by: JTF- | March 1, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Current temp. in Burke 31.8 with moderate to heavy snow.

Is it just me, or do I see lightning in the sky?

Posted by: Yellowboy | March 1, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Oh yes, and the winds have picked up quite a bit as well. Snow is blowing sideways at some moments.

Posted by: JTF- | March 1, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

It's fair to note that everyone has made a forecast that didn't pan out. Everyone. Naturally, I hoped that you guys were right on the money for this one, but nobody's batting 1.000 who forecasts for this area. Pay no attention to those trolls behind the curtain of anonymity; CWGs, you do a terrific job. Who's perfect?

Posted by: le_rod | March 1, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Very light/fine snow falling right now.

Snow covering grassy areas and cars but streets and sidewalk are only wet.

Posted by: Terps98 | March 1, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

vatechbob

you did say that this AM and Im with yeah.....Im not BUSTING on anybody like others thought in the past just saying that alot of times to much is looked at and a Mt is made of a moe hill

Posted by: fire3 | March 1, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

SNOWCAST FOR MOCO?
also btw I'm sick of all you "bust" shouters. If you don't believe in forecasting and freakout every time something goes wrong in this difficult science don't be a boardmonger.

Okay, done ranting now.

Posted by: swimdude412 | March 1, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

I can understand the frustration of many, but severely criticizing the CWG is uncalled for.

These guys do a GREAT job and consistently provide one of the best sources of weather info. available in the D.C. area! I wish I had a team of professionals focused on my area as they are for D.C.

The dynamics of this storm are almost unbelievable! I have received more than an inch of snow during the past hour while none of the radar types, and I have many at my disposal, have indicated any precip.

More fun and games probably await later tonight and tomorrow morning as the very robust ULL to our southwest moves through.

Posted by: AugustaJim | March 1, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Quiet in Fredericksburg.

Why do people want snow? Snow delays business, puts people at risk, makes it hard for those without means. We should be thankful we have jobs to go to, instead, we complain when we don't have a day off.

I hope this is a bust.

Posted by: Duke-of-Fredericksburg | March 1, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

I live in Great Mills, MD.(St.Mary's county) about 2 miles from the Bay. It has been snowing here steadily since before sunset. Roads are completely snow packed and my neighborhood roads have 5 inches of snow. It looks like the middle of winter down here. I took a yardstick and measured the snow depth in 8 different spots in my yard. Average is 6 inches. Don't remember who I read that said past few warm day's and sun angle would kill this snow event. It is always warmer here in Southern MD. and we are getting blitzed! Don't give up hope yet.

Posted by: redd4099 | March 1, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Pretty windy in Warrenton. We have snow on the ground and on the cars-didn't check the road out front (too windy). Felt more like rain than snow now.

Quit dumping on CWG. It's not like they were the only ones to be taken by surprise. It happens.

Posted by: jms8 | March 1, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

@VirgilCaine

Good assessment. I agree.

@jfva

The upper low is the real wild card. Will be best chance we have to bring up totals close to our original forecast...

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 1, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Are you guys planning a post-mortem on this storm? Would be interesting to learn about the variables that ultimately caused the forecast to be so far off (for most of us, anyway).

Posted by: CapHillEast | March 1, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Everyone has made a forecast that didn't pan out....which just means no one around here has any skillzz....Napoleon Dynamic skills, like bow hunting seem to be more accurate.

Remember when weather forecasting seemed to be a lot more accurate when it was just three guys on your TV stations? At least I get to go to work tomorrow safely ... at the same time wouldn't be surprised to wake up to a foot. Or sun. Buzzkill....when will we get the blizzard we deserve...

Posted by: cooldavej | March 1, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Here in S. Arlington (Walter Reed/Col. Pk) snow is falling moderately and starting to stick to the roads. A little too late I guess.

Posted by: Sanookdi | March 1, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Well, at least CWG did their part to stimulate the local economy. The local Costco was jampacked with people loading up on a year's supply of Pop tarts and Tp just in case.

Posted by: SWB2 | March 1, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Take that last one for what it is ... mild sarcasm. WaPo's site definitely has the best coverage of the storm -- bust or not.

Posted by: cooldavej | March 1, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Current temp. in Burke: 31.8 with moderate snow.

I like snow because of snow days. Everything looks nice when it's coated with snow, too. : )

Posted by: Yellowboy | March 1, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe those idiots in Fairfax ALREADY canceled school for Monday. This whole storm is a big nothing. Maybe the school board will learn not to listen to the chicken littles next time.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | March 1, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Please, weather from Burke, come here! A mile north of Mount Vernon, there is NOTHING on the ground. Cold wet rain washed it all away.

Posted by: squirrelgirl1 | March 1, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

The poll earlier 2day had 21% expecting 8-12 & 60% expecting 12+ in their back yard. Once again wish casting has raised its ugly head. Live in this area 55 yrs & u will learn that most snow storms in this area fall short of what u hope 4.

Posted by: VaTechBob | March 1, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Think I just heard some thunder in Bowie! Snowing moderately/heavily.

Posted by: JTF- | March 1, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Folks wanting an updated SchoolCast-- Will provide in next update... coming between 10:30 and 11 pm

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 1, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Good job "gang" along with the other weathermen in the area you successfully scared Fairfax county into canceling school making countless numbers of parents have to shift their schedules for what appears to be an inch of snow.

Posted by: hghjg221123 | March 1, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Tomorrow, 3/2/2009, all Prince William County Public Schools are closed on Code Red. The School Age Care Program will not open.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | March 1, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

30.7 deg. and light snow in Loudoun, RT 7/RT 28. It's sticking to the cars and on the grass, but not the pavement -- yet.

Posted by: natsncats | March 1, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

FCPS is closed tomorrow. I think that raises moco's chances, at least a little.

Posted by: PeterBethesda | March 1, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Current temp. in Burke: 31.8 with moderate snow and windy.

The snow has accumulated on the sidewalks and streets.

squirrelgirl1:

I wish I could.

Posted by: Yellowboy | March 1, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Especially to those who are vociferously and prematurely having already judged this a total forecast "bust," but also for anyone reading, I suggest doing what I did for an hour from 8:30 to 9:45:

...it took some self-restraint, but I left the computer and didn't look out the window that entire time; I just let things run their course for an hour and when I resumed going back into snow mode, it was snowing heavily, my snow totals had doubled, and radar was looking much more impressive (as I suggested it would). It's a healthy thing to do for those suffering from snow hysteria/anxiety/depression, etc., in my opinion.

I'm about to go outside and take more measurements, and I'll post those in a bit. Personally, I'm still confident that our forecast (for most areas) will not stray too far from our original forecast. And I think some people will end up being pleasantly surprised.

Posted by: Josh-CapitalWeatherGang | March 1, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Just saw the snow emergency in the District was lifted. If the snow is still coming, when will it arrive? It's snowing here in Mt. Pleasant, but doesn't seem to be sticking to the roads much.

Posted by: paperball | March 1, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Good evening everyone -- snowlovers and snowhaters alike. Sometimes forecasts work out quite well. Sometimes they bust. But it's pretty much impossible to assess which until *after* a storm is over. When the storm's over, we'll all know just how well we and other forecast outlets did. But it seems odd to make that judgement before a storm's half over.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | March 1, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

"Carver9:" Thanks for condemning our forecasting IN THE MIDDLE OF THE EVENT. We're nowcasting and updating faster than any other media outlet. We've nailed accumulations thus far east of I-95, but the forecast is dicey in the city and to the northwest compared with our earlier predictions. We've been forthcoming about that all evening.

In no way was our prediction of 4-8 inches along and just west of I-95 "sensational[istic]." Perhaps you should aim your criticism at other outlets, who have been calling it the "Monday Megastorm" and the like.

And no, we have not stubbornly stuck to a forecast that didn't seem to be verifying. Note the frequent updates all day/evening about the snow totals.

I get the feeling that if you were doing the forecasting, the public would have whiplash from every time you looked at the radar and drastically changed snow totals up and down, not realizing all the ingredients at play.

We'll have a complete post-mortem after the storm is actually over with, and we analyze what went right/wrong.

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | March 1, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Don't listen to the nasties who only show up to take out their disappointment on you, CWG. Your true gang members know you do your best every time, and we'll always be here.

Posted by: --sg | March 1, 2009 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Folks one thing you need to keep in mind when trying to judge snow totals and which makes forecasting for this area so tough are the tightly packed demarcation lines for the precip in a deep but not phased trough like this one. You could easily see a narrow band to the east with 10" while areas just a few miles west see half that. Plus, the snow has about a 5" to 1" snow to water ratio which makes it much wetter. When we have colder air and thus dryer snow it's not uncommon to see ratios as high as 15 or more inches snow to 1 inch of water equivalent.

Posted by: VirgilCaine | March 1, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Thanks jfva, I appreciate the thought!

Carver9,
Horse Lady From the other Thread,


There are some reports coming out of NC and SC of thundersnow and 3 inch per rates in a few of the heavier bands associated with the upper level low. There is nothing i would want more than for one of these mega bands to park itself right over you.

Posted by: jfva | March 1, 2009 9:58 PM

Posted by: carver9 | March 1, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Current temp. in Burke: 31.5

All the drama on this site was emotionally draining.

Posted by: Yellowboy | March 1, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Temp just dropped precipitously in the last half hour in NE MontCo. We're now at 33.

Barometer is steady, dew point has dropped as well. Humidity has gone back up to 80% as well, but that's mostly a function of the temperature dropping.

Could this be a 4th quarter comeback for the non-storm here in the NE? Time will tell.

But the drop in temperature is certainly an intriguing development.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | March 1, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Drove from Manassas to South Riding. Not snowing much at home, but once I hit Gum Spring, it was coming down hard enough I couldn't use my high beams. By the time I got to South Riding, it was coming down very hard and blowing.

Not sure how long it will last, but THIS is what I have been expecting all day. LOL.

Posted by: ksrgatorfn1 | March 1, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

It is snowing again here in the City of Manassas. However, the wind is blowing pretty good, so it is hard to tell the difference between snow falling and what is just being whipped off of roof tops and trees by the wind.

Posted by: irish031 | March 1, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

vatechbob: I think the 60% result for 12+ inches refers to what people actually wanted to get in their backyard--not what they thought would fall.

Posted by: KBurchfiel | March 1, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

The poll earlier 2day had 21% expecting 8-12 & 60% expecting 12+ in their back yard. Once again wish casting has raised its ugly head. Live in this area 55 yrs & u will learn that most snow storms in this area fall short of what u hope 4.

====

Uh... Try reading those poll results again.

Posted by: mason08 | March 1, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

OK, posted this on the last update's discussion, but will do so here again.

Last night I posted a couple of reasons why I thought we may not get a lot of snow. Talked about sun angle, and the fact that it was going to get relatively warm today. That did happen, and we have stayed above freezing for most of this storm.

I also talked about the warm weather of the last few days and how the ground was warm. That theory was also criticized. Tonight we're seeing the results of that warm ground...it's keeping surface temperatures above freezing and that has really cut back on the snow accumulation.

Finally, it has been evident for several hours that high pressure to the north has been suppressing the precipitation southward. It's the reason for the late onset of the precip, and for the relatively light amounts of snow. I have not seen that addressed here by the CapWX gang.

Since the CapWX gang was quick to criticize my theories last night I must say I am disappointed to see them so silent about them tonight.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, computer models are a good tool, but other factors must be weighed in when making a forecast, especially in a late-season snow situation.

Oh well, I will continue my curmudgeonly ways...but it's close to my bedtime, and I must soon leave you to your own devices for the rest of the night.

Posted by: Curmudgeon4 | March 1, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Why only 1-3 outside the beltway when we are getting very heavy snow here and EVERYTHING is covered with at least half an inch?

Posted by: Snowman_In_Herndon | March 1, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Is bethesda count as west? Will we still get 3-6?

Posted by: hoyafan516 | March 1, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

@ Josh or other CWG members:

Could you clarify a few things? I'm confused.

I see a dry slot approaching the area from the south which looks like it will end precipitation in two to three hours. Will we have a complete lull in precipitation during the early morning hours?

I am under the impression that the upper level low will intensify off the coast and provide some "throw-back" moisture which will be our second round of snow. Is this correct?

I am just worried about the end to this batch of snow, and that the ULL does not seem very well-defined right now.

Posted by: Sterlingva | March 1, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Why are residents in Washington DC and the surrounding counties so emotional about snow, or lack thereof?

Posted by: Duke-of-Fredericksburg | March 1, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Comeback finally reached Haymarket...10:15 pm, 32 degrees, about a half inch snow on the ground...

Posted by: silencedogoodreturns | March 1, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Moderate snow here in Chevy Chase with current a current measured accumulation of 1.4"; snow now is beginning to stick on warmer, paved surfaces, and the temperature is down to 30.9. I believe we'll have close to 2" here by or shortly after 11pm.

Posted by: Josh-CapitalWeatherGang | March 1, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Quick update from the North end. Back to mod. snow in Columbia. What was just wet an hour or so ago is now covered. Pavement is just now beginning to hold patches of snow.
Is anyone out there from the Heathville area or NE of Richmond? They look like they've been under the heaviest of it for most of the day.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | March 1, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

And btw here is a good Radar to see where its REALLY snowing http://radar.weather.gov/radar.php?rid=lwx&product=N0R&overlay=11101111&loop=no

Posted by: Snowman_In_Herndon | March 1, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Wait... These forecasts can't deliver on my own heightened expectations and sense of entitlement!? For shame - I demand satisfaction!

Posted by: Goombay | March 1, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Never stopped snowing in Alex. City- no dry slot for us. However, still nothing on pavement just lots of wetness. I am getting concerned about ice now. Snow I can drive in, ice I can't at all.

Posted by: kallieh | March 1, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Looks like another dud. The only shame of it is that it would have been great if the global warming wackos got snowed out.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | March 1, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

P.S. I am sure that many of the enraged posts have less to do with the snowstorm (or lack of it so far) than with greater threats closer to the ground, and I suggest we all ignore the nastiness. I share the fear that my sparkling white hopes will dissolve into slushy yellow-and-brown disappointment...but what will be will be!

Posted by: paperball | March 1, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Lincoln, Virginia. Snow has just started, if you can call it that. Flakes very small about about two feet apart. 34 degrees F. My weather system shows a 1.4 mph wind, but it's pretty sheltered. I can hear the wind picking up in the trees.

Posted by: seahawkdad | March 1, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

DC people are the most fickle bunch you'll ever meet. Whenever something doesn't go exactly as they had hoped, you'd think it was the end of the world. It's not ust the weather, it's the Redskins, politics, you name it.

Posted by: Thundershock | March 1, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Feeling cheated by the storm, or just antsy waiting? Instead of venting, learn something about the precipitation process by making your own snow:
Virtual Snow Machine

Posted by: CapitalClimate | March 1, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Laytonsville, MOCO, snow just began, and intensified quickly. Been dry since noon.
CWG- Keep up the good work. I am sure I am not the only one who visits regularly and posts rarely, who appreciates your dedication to the science. Sometimes it is just like nailing jello to a wall. (Just had to dust off that old chestnut) Sometimes you guys even disagree in an attempt to give measured perspective. I wouldn't call that hype.
Thanks CWG and all of the regulars who make this a great resource.

Posted by: dprats21 | March 1, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

I find it hard to believe all the naysayers out there...CWG has all along said that the heaviest snow would be in the late night. Also said that west of 1-95...not so much with a sharp drop off from east to west on snow. Which, just happens to be right on so far. Here in Manassas, lots of pretty snow, not too much accumulation yet. And we are WEST of 1-95. I hope CWG is ignoring the negativity of a few. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: manassasmissy | March 1, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Add me to the list of CWG supporters! This is by far the best place to get your weather.

You almost always get an idea of what might happen that might cause the actual weather event to differ from the forecast (if you read the posts).

You also find out what went wrong when the forecast doesn't pan out.

Posted by: AndrewArlVA | March 1, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Augh! My question got pushed back!

Light snow in Sterling.

Posted by: Sterlingva | March 1, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Been snowing steadily in Alex since a little after 5. Just started getting a nice coating on the road (side road, not treated) about an hour ago. Looks good, keep it comin'!

Posted by: AnneinSand | March 1, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

I have 3" on the deck and it's continuing to snow moderately a couple of miles west of I-95 in Spotsylvania. I've been out twice tonight to clear snow off the Sat. dish.

Posted by: 123451 | March 1, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Driveway looks like it has .5 to an inch of snow now...

Posted by: Snowman_In_Herndon | March 1, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

The snow and wind has started to increase in Oakton, VA. The Sterling radar appears to show precipitation backfilling south of Culpeper. I hope it continues!

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | March 1, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

In addition, I notice that NWS is sticking pretty close to the original forecast for my area in Manassas, even now.

Posted by: manassasmissy | March 1, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Just did a visual out the window here in South Riding...a good coating of snow on everything..streets, sidewalks, road. Considering WTOP was saying on the drive over that Loudon might not get ANY snow...i'd say they got some...and a nice white coating.

For those who want to whine about what the CWG has been saying...wait until you get up in the morning to cast judgement. Just because it isn't snowing over your house doesn't mean the forecast is a "bust" and that the CWG should be "let go" (an absolutely insane suggestion, btw...)by the Post. You will find, if you spend any time actually reading through their forecasts, that they are probably the least "sensationalistic" forecasters in the region, and always give us a post mortem, regardless of whether it was a spot-on forecast, or a bust.

BTW...it is windy enought to actually be howling against the front windows.


PS: what is with the big break in precip between CHO and the Triad? Will what is currently just across the NC border be making it's way up here as well?

Thanks guys!

Posted by: ksrgatorfn1 | March 1, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't like that dry slot and if this "busts" I may take future model guidance with a grain of salt.

It appears that computer models aren't that much better at forecasting than the old procedures of the 1950's and 1960's.

Right now the darned warm ground is cutting down on accumulation totals. There's not much more snow than with the first batch this morning. Much of the real action seems to be east of I-95, a rather unusual place for maximum snowfall, especially in March.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | March 1, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Kevin, I've noticed the backfilling southwest of Culpeper too. In my opinion, though not likely, it's certainly possible that much of the "dead zone"/dry slot area in between this current batch of snow and the other further to the southwest, may fill in...

Posted by: Josh-CapitalWeatherGang | March 1, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

CWG - thank you for updating your forecast. Better to know now, rather than later, that this is essentially a bust for DC proper and the immediate area to the west. Well done.

Posted by: 300_sq_ft | March 1, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Whoa, the temp just dropped from 35 to 32 in like 5 minutes. Plus, the Mayor cancelled the snow emergency.

This one might still surprise us.

Posted by: epjd | March 1, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

CapWx Team - No matter the outcome, I want to say thanks for being a source for nowcasting. It's frustrating waiting for updates from NWS and TV mets. So, for that, I'm thankful.

I'm off to bed, as I suspect I'll be going to work tomorrow.

And, as my ID implies, I'll go to sleep with thoughts that in 12 hours it will all be over and, hopefully, headed toward a change in seasons. Good nite!

Posted by: ThinkSpring | March 1, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Sharp temperature drop here in the Loudoun boondocks. Down 4 degrees in the last 45 minutes to 33; wind's starting to really pick up and we finally have some light flakes, which are flying sideways.

Posted by: glastonbury27 | March 1, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

I think it might be true that computer models are not giving us the accuracy we thought they could. And I am happy for that. I like unpredictable.

Posted by: Duke-of-Fredericksburg | March 1, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

This evening was the first time I ever made a concerted effort to search for DC weather info on the web. What a precious find CWG is!!! No other site compares. You definitely have a new fan. Keep up the good work!

Posted by: smhh | March 1, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

hghjg221123 - with regards to the "countless number of parents" who actually have to deal with CARING for their own children...well, frankly, why'd you have them if you don't want to deal with the "hassle"?

The forecasters didn't force them to have children...

Posted by: dinergirl | March 1, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Leave it to DCers to turn weather conversations into political diatribes (and I say this as one who's lived in the area all my life). I was hoping for more snow that is now suggested (in DC proper), but I don't understand getting so emotionally attached to the amount of wintry precipitation. I think the CWGuys have done an admirable job so far and I appreciate all they're doing. Relax, people!

Posted by: spyderjerusalem | March 1, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

A little bit of snow coming down. Temperature has stabilized just under 32 degrees. Humidity at 92%.

The air definitely has a bite to it now that wasn't there an hour ago.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | March 1, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

ksr,
That break in the radar is basically a break between the surface system moving off the NC coast and the upper level support system back over north GA/western SC. This upper system should slowly make its way to our area later tomorrow morning.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | March 1, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Looking forward to the updates! I work 1-9 tomorrow, so I can stay up and provide moral support. I see that Culpeper County schools are closed as well. Cannot believe that Fauquier is one of the last holdouts-we shall see. Could this change? I wonder.

Posted by: jms8 | March 1, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

if that dry slot by Charlottesville would just fill in, we'd be in the jackpot!

Posted by: 300_sq_ft | March 1, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Snowman_In_Herndon | March 1, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Folks, thanks for all the positive comments. Don't get us wrong. If we blow the forecast, then people have a right to call us out on it. (Though it's nice when people are respectfully critical, and mindful of the fact that weather forecasting is an inexact science -- and we more than anyone bend over backwards to explain how things might play out differently than our "most likely" forecast.)

The point is, though, give us hell in the morning if you wake up with something dramatically different than what we predicted. Not now when the storm is still ongoing.

Regarding a comment or two accusing us of being sensationalistic -- for years, Capital Weather Gang/CapitalWeather.com has made it a point of emphasis to *not* be sensationalistic and not hype more than we feel is warranted. Everyone's entitled to their opinion, but know that we specifically and actively try not to overhype.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | March 1, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

For those of you who think the CWG is still being bullish, The NWS just posted an update to their discussion, and they aren't really pulling back much at all. I also wanted to thank the CWG guys for the updates, it definitely makes things interesting to get readings from different areas. :

&&

.NEAR TERM /UNTIL 6 AM MONDAY MORNING/...
-- Changed Discussion --
SLIGHT MODIFICATIONS MADE TO TOTAL SNOW AMOUNTS...BUT CHANGES HAVE
NO EFFECT ON HEADLINES THAT REMAIN AS IS. PREV EVENING DISCO
BELOW...


WINTER HEADLINES GENERALLY REMAIN AS IS...EXCEPT FOR THE
INCLUSION OF HIGHLAND/PENDLETON COUNTIES IN AN ADVISORY FOR LOW
WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY CALIBER WESTERN FRINGE SNOWFALL
OVERNIGHT.


[...]

THE SECOND PIECE OF THE STORM WOULD LIKELY HAVE THE HIGHEST SNOW
AMOUNTS IN A SIMILAR LOCATION -- WHICH WE HAVE DETECTED AS ALONG
AND TO THE EAST OF THE INTERSTATE 95 CORRIDOR. OUR CONFIDENCE IS
HIGH IN 5 OR MORE INCHES TO FALL IN THIS AREA...IT LOWERS FURTHER
WEST.


Posted by: ohioexile | March 1, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

My 15-yr-old nephew inherited my skills as a procrastinator so is not ready for his test tomorrow. Keep on a-snowin'.

Posted by: chunche | March 1, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Here in Arlington near the Pentagon, we have nada, zip, zero, zilch. There was a bit of snow on the grass earlier, but it's all melted, and no snow has fallen for a couple of hours.

Posted by: concerneddemocrat | March 1, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Is the NWS "Point Forecast" and the Sterling radar down for anyone but me?

Posted by: Sterlingva | March 1, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that it's not snowing near the pentagon. It's been snowing pretty steadily in Rosslyn for the last hour.

Posted by: cdog123 | March 1, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Just drove from the Outer Banks of North Carolina back to DC via US-64 to Rocky Mount and then straight up I-95. There was rain, heavy at times from the Outer Banks up to Richmond where it turned to a brief period of sleet and then heavy snow. The snow was heavy and sticking to the roads until about 5 miles north of Fredricksburg. It snowed constantly the rest of the way with some accumulations on shoulders, but the roadway was dry.

Posted by: bjackrian | March 1, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Hey CWG! I agree with everyone else out here saying ignore the criticism. Maybe its DC politics getting to our head, but it seems like there is just a bit too much disagreeability here to be talking about some snow. That said, temperatures are dropping here in Western Loudoun, and wind has picked up tremendously. Hoping that comeback makes itself a reality! I have lots of work I could do tomorrow..

Posted by: Lauramul | March 1, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Andrew at CWG,
Thanks for your comments. My comments were based on CWG's 2:45 posting saying CWG was staying with last night's forecast of 4" - 8" in the metro area, followed by the 4:45 posting saying CWG's forecast had not changed, and the 6:30 posting saying the forecast remains 4" - 8". A reasonable person would take that to mean that CWG's forecast had not changed during that period.

It became obvious to me by 5 p.m. or so that this storm would follow the pattern of so many others over the years, and dramatically underperform the estimates. Simply put, when it starts off warm (39 degrees then), with rain, we simply do not go on to significant accumulation. It has probably happened, but the smart bet based on that fact pattern is not much will happen. I'm in Old Town, which is, I believe, east of I95, and so far we have about 1/4" of accumulation.

I appreciate the hard work, and know it is frustrating, but I think the signs were there much earlier that this would not be as advertised.

Having said that, I hope to wake up to 4" and apologize!

Posted by: carver9 | March 1, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

MOD SNOW HERE IN CULPEPER VA. TEMP IS 31 AND GUSTY WINDS. EXACTLY ONE INCH AT 10:48PM.

Posted by: clintonportis17 | March 1, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Just submitted a pic looking out the front window at the snow below. Will take another one in the morning for comparison. LOL

Posted by: ksrgatorfn1 | March 1, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

30.8F in FFX City, increased wind, smaller flakes but moderate snow. Residential streets are fully white.

Posted by: dudster89 | March 1, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

I was wrong about people's snow pred. 4-8 47%, 8-12 15%, 12+ 3%. By the way, I don't think CWG over hyped this storm more than any1 else, they called as they saw it. No point in getting upset over 4casts that don't meet or exceed expectations, this isn't an exact science. Still may get another band of snow later, but just don't see much in the immediate DC area.
Question 4 the CWG, how long have most of u lived in this area?

Posted by: VaTechBob | March 1, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Drove back from Philly around 5:00 PM this evening. Thinking that we'd trade off a bit more precipitation for fewer idiots on the road, we took US 301 east of the Chesapeake Bay rather than taking I-95 on the west side. As we expected, traffic was really sparse on the east side of the bay. But the snow was quite heavy. Whatever plowing/salting was taking place was pretty ineffective, so it was a pretty hairy trip. Bad visibility and substantial accumulation, even on the roads. Until we hit the Bay Bridge. West of the bridge on US 50, the visibility was poor, but the roads were pretty good. By the time we got back to DC, the precipitation was mainly rain, although it has started snowing again.

A question: Would you rather face more snow but fewer other drivers (as we faced on 301), or less snow and more idiots in still hazardous conditions (as we probably would've faced on I-95)?

Posted by: mannewskie | March 1, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Bethesda is barely "west." What your current prediction for us here in Bethesda?

and when is there going to be A NEW SCHOOLCAST?

Posted by: swimdude412 | March 1, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Temperature down to lowest levels of the evening thus far (30.8) in Chevy Chase and snow now definitely beginning to stick on sidewalks and walkways; I'd imagine it's only a matter of time before snow starts accumulating on the roadways, especially secondary, ones around here.

Posted by: Josh-CapitalWeatherGang | March 1, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

CWG, I love you.

I have a fun question. Hopefully it doesn't get buried under all the nowtrolling.

I live right on Connecticut Ave and noticed this fall that the trees lining the street didn't turn brown for weeks after the rest of the trees in my neighborhood did. They also held on to their brown leaves for months. Some of them are still clinging to old crumplies. Sometimes when I walk across the street on a cold day I can feel a dramatic increase in temperature when I walk across.

So. When I report precip type from my window, is it possible that what I'm seeing is different from what people a couple blocks east or west might be seeing? Especially in mixed precip events?

Right now it's snow outside, but I wonder if the accumulation totals outside my window are different, too.

Do you have time to answer? If not, I'll ask again one sunny boring day.

Posted by: LaurainNWDC | March 1, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Still snowing here in the City of Manassas, but is only sticking to the grass and colder surfaces.

Posted by: irish031 | March 1, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

From where I'm sitting in Arlington, it looks like you guys are going to end up being spot on. I've got about an inch and a half so far and its looking like there is plenty of snow coming.

You guys are the first site I turn to for weather because you do such a good job. Don't let all those angry people out there terrified of actually having to waste time exploring the internet, forwarding emails, and getting coffee in order to "earn" their paychecks tomorrow get to you.

Posted by: jackowen | March 1, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Snowing to beat the band in Potomac! Going to bed, and will be up early to see where we stand.

Posted by: JamieYPotomac | March 1, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 1, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

even though i'm not an english teacher... i'm pretty sure that "fore" in forecast assumes a prediction of a weather event. if weatherpeople can't reliably "predict" weather events in the DC area until after storms have occured, then why not call them postcasts?

this is in response to a comment by andrew-capitalweathergang who said "We'll have a complete post-mortem after the storm is actually over with, and we analyze what went right/wrong."

Posted by: dcteacherdude | March 1, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Did the low ever form off the coast? It looks like the main center stayed inland rather than off the coast. From past experience it seems if the storm does get off the NC coast, then we don't get bombogenisis, which produces the big storms.

Posted by: VaTechBob | March 1, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse

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