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Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 03/ 2/2009

Snow to Wind Down, Remaining Windy & Cold

By Jason Samenow

* Winter Storm Warning through 2 p.m. today *

* CWG on: Twitter & Facebook | Weather Wall | SnowCam *

* New Feature: Report Your Snow Totals - Interactive Snow Mapping *

* Later this morning: Storm Photography | Live Chat at 1 p.m. *

The early morning heavy snow band is heading off to the northeast, and snow will gradually diminish over the next several hours from southwest to northeast-- although scattered snow showers could continue into the afternoon. Just a little additional accumulation is expected (up to an inch, highest amounts northeast). Snow totals are generally in the 5-7" range across the metro area, with higher amounts (5-10"+) east of town.

Today's Forecast: Scattered snow showers are possible interspersed with partial clearing and peeks of sunshine this afternoon. However, winds will remain gusty at 15-25 mph (from the north and northwest) and temperatures will only climb to near 30 degrees. This will create wind chills in the teens and 20s. Also, lookout for some blowing snow in open areas. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: It will remain windy and with the freshly fallen snow, temperatures will tumble. Lows will drop to near 10 in the colder suburbs to near 15 downtown. Wind chills will be bitterly cold, near zero late at night. Confidence: Medium-High

*** Winter Weather Center ***
Closings/Delays | Traffic | Metro | Flights | Amtrak | OPM | Roads: DC/MD/VA
Radar: Latest regional radar shows move-
ment of precipitation over past three hours. Powered by HAMweather. Refresh page to update. Click here or on image to enlarge. Or see radar bigger on our Weather Wall.
Temperatures: Hover over and click icons for more info. Click and hold on map to pan. Powered by Weather Bonk. Map by Google. Refresh page to update. See map bigger on our Weather Wall.
View/Submit Photos | Ultimate Overview of Current Conditions: Weather Wall

Keep reading for the forecast for tomorrow and Wednesday. And we will welcome comments with your storm observations...

Snow falls in Mt. Pleasant last night. By Capital Weather Gang photographer Ian Livingston

Tuesday and Tuesday night: Blustery flow from the northwest and our snow cover will keep it quite cold, with highs only the low 30s (about 20 degrees below average). We will have plenty of sunshine expect some melting...especially in south facing areas. Overnight, clear skies, snow cover, and relaxing winds will allow temperatures to plunge to near 10 in the colder areas (north and west of town) to near 20 downtown. Confidence: High

Wednesday: The flow of cold air from the northwest will abate and we'll enjoy plentiful sunshine. These factors will help temperature rise into the low 40s meaning more melting... Confidence: Medium-High

By Jason Samenow  | March 2, 2009; 11:30 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts, Updates  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Alert: Very Heavy Snow Next 1-2 Hours
Next: Recap and Photos: Washington with Snow


i was one of those whining (but not complaining about the CWG guys) about yet another bust last night. i kept looking out the window and nothing. 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 1:00, barely anything and still not really snowing. i even woke up at 3-something and i could still see blades of grass. woke up this morning to a winter wonderland! it was still snowing hard and looked so beautiful.

now...what to make with it? it won't be good for sculpting until tomorrow, so today i'll be harvesting (i don't shovel my driveway and sidewalks - i harvest...) and playing with my daughter in the snow. great day!

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

Roads are a mess. THey said it won't be plowed til tonight. Schoolcast for tomorrow for MOCO? We've got about 7 inches right now. I mean if all of these roads cant be plowed by tonight, I think no school tomrrow.

Posted by: hoyafan516 | March 2, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

But for now I'm gonna ENJOY MY SNOWDAY!

Posted by: hoyafan516 | March 2, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Here in G'Burg we have around 6", of which 4" or more fell since 5:00 am. (4" on top of my Post on the drive way) Definitely a 4th quarter comeback for this storm.

Posted by: MDScot | March 2, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

I am now writing 500 times "I will not judge the forecast until the storm is over." LOL

Once again, nice job CapWX gang.

Looking forward to that lunch of crow at noon. Can I bring friends?

Posted by: Curmudgeon4 | March 2, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

So here's a question for CWG:

In the past (before CWG existed), we would have had fewer forecast updates--four times a day from the NWS with maybe some NOWcasts thrown in for good measure. Since it seems that the snow totals are running about where the original forecasts were, do you think that having frequent updates makes forecasting less accurate?

I guess the question I'm asking is the same has been asked about TV news: is getting rid of the "news/weather cycle" and switching to a 24-hour format making us too likely to change forecasts based on the opinion of the moment instead of taking a step back and looking at the big picture?

I appreciate all of CWG's work on this storm--this is an awesome resource for the community and I know it's a lot of work to put on!

Posted by: bjackrian | March 2, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

the snow sure is light and fluffy. still coming down at a good clip in clarendon.

Posted by: novajeffc | March 2, 2009 9:06 AM | Report abuse

I measured 5" in two different spots in our front yard here in the City of Manassas. Still snowing, but it appears the wind is blowing the majority of what is "falling".

Posted by: irish031 | March 2, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse


The answer to your question is yes in some cases. Too much nowcasting can cause you to lose sight of the big picture. But in other cases, especially when a small change in a storm's evolution can make a big difference, it can help. I think there was a little bit of both going on last night. The fact that the first thump of snow we were expecting fizzled definitely reduced totals. But it turned out the later part of the storm overperformed.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 2, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Its a beautiful winter wonderland here in east Manassas. 4" by ruler measure on the deck and in the open area of the yard. Would've liked to have the high end projection , but am TOTALLY LOVING this snow gift! And yes, where's Steve?

Posted by: manassasmissy | March 2, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Kudos to the CapWX guys for a pretty much on spot forecast. I am eating some of my words from last night.

Posted by: wecndo | March 2, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

HoyaFan - CWG won't do a SchoolCast until close to your bedtime tonight. Roads *will* be plowed by tonight and I'm guessing NO MORE THAN a 2-hr delay on Tuesday morning. Make sure your homework's done, because I just don't see most of the schools getting another full day off. Yes, I know you don't want to hear that - neither do my kids in Fairfax County!

Posted by: VAStateOfMind | March 2, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

I really enjoyed the discussion that curmudgeon and ombudsman provided. Both of you provided good informed debate. I learned a lot!

It was the people who had never been here before and had no previous experience with CWG, who for some reason feel it necessary to comment on every website they visit ever, who bugged me.

Those people won't be back to eat dirt because they randomly trolled on through, believed wrongly that anyone cared about their completely uninformed opinions, and moved on. I doubt most of them regularly visit CWG.

I don't understand people who visit a site once and feel they ought to comment, as though it would violate their first amendment rights not to.

All of that said, curmudgeon, thanks for the informed debate. That's science.

Posted by: LaurainNWDC | March 2, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

9.5 inches here in Fredericksburg, Va. Sunny and windy here now. Love the Capital Weather Gang. Great Job!!!

Posted by: kambp-in-Fredva | March 2, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Fluffy majesty, kickable shin high piles and the laughter of kids sledding in laundry baskets for the morning walk. 6" on top of the car. 7" out in the park and the back yard. 23.5F in Falls Church. With the last flurries coming down out there, it's definitely a snow globe world.

Posted by: MiltonWaddams | March 2, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

LaurainNWDC, thanks for the kind words.

It turns out that I was pretty much right for the first part of the storm, and then very wrong about the second part of the storm.

I really enjoy this site...especially the lively weather discussions.

Posted by: Curmudgeon4 | March 2, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Still coming down pretty good in Potomac.

Isn't it beautiful?!!!! I moved here from Texas years ago (as you can tell from my screenname!) and have been really missed the snow the past couple of years.

Posted by: AstrosFanInExile | March 2, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Ahhh... finally got storm reporting to be decent in IE and fix some last javascript bugs. Now, I look forward to being buried by data.

Also have been doing some measuring here in Arlington, my backyard is showing 7 inches on tables and grill, 4.5 to 5.5 on the roads, and in between everywhere else. Pretty solid 6+ here I think with heavy light snow still falling.

Posted by: JJones-CapitalWeatherGang | March 2, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Still snowing at a pretty good clip (and blowing) between McLean and the City of Falls Church. At least six inches on the ground. No plows on side streets, but not much traffic either. Remember to feed the birds!

Posted by: mouthofmclean | March 2, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

The sun is poking through the clouds here in the City of Manassas. Seems to be just blowing snow now.

Posted by: irish031 | March 2, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

CWG I have to admit I was doubting it last night too, but you guys did a solid job in forecasting. Thanks for the great work.

Posted by: 300_sq_ft | March 2, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Here in north east Carroll County we have a temp of 17 degrees wind chill of -4 below and very heavy snow since 4am sometimes looking like a "white hurricane".I just measured 7 inches with 1 foot drifts and is still coming down moderately. I saw something I have not seen since the blizzard of 1996 bulldozers plowing major intersections of route 140 in westminster. With the snow still falling and the temps in the high teens I'm still holding hopes of a 12 incher!

Posted by: jamesg2 | March 2, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

A "thank you" to the Post for CWG. What a wonderful resource for everyone, including weather fans! And many thanks to the Gang for staying up all night to track the storm.

Sunny now, a few flakes coming down and some blowing around. Absolutely beautiful here in Chevy Chase!

Posted by: ChevyChase3 | March 2, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

When I left Columbia this am, had about 4-5 inches to clean off the car and was still coming down heavy. Roads were generally ok if you took it slow. Though 29 in Howard County looked like it had not been touched.
Managed to count 29 drivers off the road during my commute, including 2 that I watched happen. I'd like to give kudos to the man in the green BMW who managed not to sideswipe me as he spun back across the beltway near exit 17.
Got to work in Suitland and looks like there may be close to 6" on the ground here, with light snow falling. NO ONE is at work, The NIC usually has about 80 or so folks, right now I can count maybe 15-20. At least I got a good parking spot!

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | March 2, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I really got out and about (and frostbitten and frozen solid and everything), and I think we have about 6 inches of snow. Lots of ditched and spun-out cars, sheesh. Even the snowplow driver couldn't get traction and got stuck in the middle of the road.

Regarding school tomorrow...IMO it's iffy if it'll be a delay or closing. With the temperatures dipping really low tonight, the winds, and the blowing snow, I would say closed...but that may just be the wishful thinking in me. I have a feeling that if they call school for tomorrow, they'll do it fairly early on today (evening-ish). Just wait and see...

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | March 2, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Measured 14+ inches on the glass table on the lower deck here in St. Leonard in Calvert this morning. Sun coming out now.

Lost power for two hours around midnight. Cable and Internet did not come back and is still out (posting here via iPhone).

Posted by: ranincalvert | March 2, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

I remember a winter in the late '70's there. We got 21-24 inches and I could ski to the Giant store on cross country skis. I remember when Hurricane David went through, tree fell on my '72 Chevy Impala. I remember the summer of 1980, 21 consecutive days of 90 degrees plus and 90% humidity plus. Still the hottest summer on record in the District.

Posted by: virgin12 | March 2, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Even though we only have about 7 inches in NW Montgomery we are going to have a lot of trouble with drifting snow. Its snowing lightly but the winds are blowing the snow out of the fields onto the newly plowed roads.

Temperature 20.7

Posted by: MKadyman | March 2, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Just made the commute in to work. The walk to the Silver Spring metro was a lot of fun. Looks like we had about 5-6 inches (measured on a table outside my building). Metro was running fine. Now sitting in my very empty federal office, looking out the window and already seeing some sun poking through the clouds. This was an exciting/fun/frustrating/surprising storm to follow. Thanks CWG! Walter, looking forward to seeing what you do with all this snow.... ;)

Posted by: SkywalkerSS | March 2, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

About 5.5" here in Potomac - South of the Village near the Canal. Very beautiful. Kids have been bundled and sent out to play!

Posted by: someonelikeyou | March 2, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I want to add my voice to the support of Jason, Josh, Dan, Brian and all of the other CWG guys. They do a great job. Yesterday, as the storm was approaching, I couldn't find an updated forecast on one of the major network's websites. However, here, on this site, there was continuous real-time forecasting. A quick dictionary check of the word forecast returns this: "To estimate or calculate in advance" -- I think they did a great job with this one.

Posted by: someonelikeyou | March 2, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

The sun just came out in Shirlington. I should look for a snowbow.

Posted by: jochpo | March 2, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

@CWG: Know of a good link for a past 24 hour radar loop?

The storm's last gasp is being felt here in Sterling with moderate to heavy snow.

The 5-6 inches of snow we received was at the low end of the NWS prediction of 4-8 inches, and at the (very) high end of CapWx's revised prediction of 1-3 inches.

A compromise, I guess. Now, I'm not complaining, I'd take 5 inches of snow any day!

Snow's winding down now.

Posted by: Sterlingva | March 2, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and the temperature is 22.6 degrees and steady.

Posted by: Sterlingva | March 2, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Final measurement in Bowie: 8-10 inches (several measurements)! I submitted the average of 9 inches to the new snow reporting feature you guys have. Less on hard surfaces, about 4-5 inches.

Good call, CapWx! We were right inside the 6-10 inches bubble on the snow forecast map yesterday.

Posted by: JTF- | March 2, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Wow, I was one of those naysayers last night who was calling it a bust. Turns out that the storm made a bit of a comeback. Probably around 5" in my Ballston (Arlington) neighborhood. Roads messy but passable on the way to work today.

Posted by: jaydreb1 | March 2, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

10:09 and we've got a nice little snowburst here in the Mt. Vernon area. Great work, CWG, just the right mix of optimism, skepticism and realism in a weather site. You're my go-to every morning (and mid-morning and noon and early afternoon and...) Thanks!

Posted by: mcaicedo | March 2, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I as well would love to have all the naysayers to pop back over and talk to us today. Not for the vindication aspect, but just to apologize for killing the comment stream and discussion yesterday with their one-tune negativity.

While we had a similar forecast to most of the other mets in the area, because we make ourselves accessible and transparent, we also have to take the most heat. Do we also get to take the most apologies?

Posted by: JJones-CapitalWeatherGang | March 2, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I hope that the DC snowmonster survived the night. Monster, let me know how alligator and lobster are doing.

Posted by: daggyswim | March 2, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Not sure what the nattering nabobs of negativity will do re apology or crow-pie fest. I appreciate the on-topic, civil blog comment string here. Somewhat like the flavor of the Achenblog here at WaPo. However, that bunch is hopelessly off-topic in the comment string, which works fine there.

Report of snow visual: little unclipped poodle dog is very happy in the snow. The comes back in with snow globules attached. Very nice day, wich Cincinnati chili perc-in in the crock pot.

Question: does anybody remember the rush hour storm in March in 1984? Cars were abandoned on the Beltway. I don't think the snow totals launched that storm into the records. But was astonishing for timing. And windy, if I recall. March 10 or 11? we recall this because we flew out the next day from Dulles on a very delayed flight. Between College Park and Dulles, we counted about 200 cars abandoned on 495 and later the Dulles road.

Posted by: CollegequaParkian | March 2, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

The roads in VA are a mess, as of 10AM there are long stretches of the beltway in VA that are UNTOUCHED by a PLOW!

MD roads are much better once you cross the border..

Posted by: wowisdabomb | March 2, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to the CWG gang for keeping us posted. This is such a great resource!

And in case you're interested, DCPS may be open, but it actually canceled the buses that take lots of students to other schools inside the District. So even DCPS is acknowledging it's not so smart to be out on the streets. My son's school, which typically follows the DCPS closing/cancellation policy, only made a decision after 9 a.m. to buck DCPS policy and close. We were about to walk out the door at 9:30 when we got the phone call.

Posted by: wishfullthinker | March 2, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Hello from Sunny Atlanta, where I arrived after a harrowing adventure to and thru Dulles. Left South Riding and took 606 to the airport back door...I don't know about the other roads, but I was seriously regretting my decision almost as soon as I crossed 50. Blizzard-esque conditions, and a white road. First time I have seen my cars traction control light come on in the 14 months I have owned it.

Got to Dulles, was told my flight was one of about 5 still listed as "on time"..wasn't sure that was going to happen because as I sat on the people mover at the Terminal, i couldn't see A-B terminals across the way...and the snow only got worse. We pushed back on time..and then sat for 90 minutes while they de-iced...then ground-stopped to plow the runways..then de-iced again. Finally got in the air at 8:30 for a 7 a.m. flight. Missed my connection, but as I was standing in line to change to the new flight, some guy popped up and asked "Are they flying into Dulles?" to which I replied "Well, i just came from there, but I wouldn't expect that you are on time."

At least it wasn't Logan, which I am hearing is not only having snow, but runway approach light issues! all still in the area...enjoy the snow! I am now jealous I wasn't able to stick around to enjoy it!

Kim normally in Manassas but now in Atlanta

Posted by: ksrgatorfn1 | March 2, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

4 1/2 to 5 inches here in Olney!!!Yayy!!!
I think we should ignore the negative people. Who seriously blames the weather foreasters for the weather? Give me a break!

Posted by: celestun100 | March 2, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Yes DC Snowmonster we are all very worried about you. I am afraid you either passed out or the lobster ate you...

Posted by: where_is_snowmonster | March 2, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

when i went 2 sleep this night i was like, well, no snow, i thought that we were going 2 get a lot of snow, and then when i woke up this morning and looked outside, it was snowing like crazy!
it is still snowing a little bit right now but it is starting 2 slow down
we only hav like 3-4 inches

Posted by: williamljjbccmlws24 | March 2, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

At 1250 ft. near wolfsville:
17 deg, dewpt 12, light snow, blowing snow, visib 1 mi.

Total snow 4.5-5 inches all since 3-4AM.

Posted by: dustygroundhog | March 2, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

My guess is that snow monster is sleeping!!!
Enjoy the snow everyone.

Posted by: celestun100 | March 2, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

10inches in Stafford...

Posted by: tjack55 | March 2, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

West Springfield (Accotink Lake/Mixing Bowl): Storm Total (final I think 10:30a)= 7.3" snow.

Posted by: bikerjohn | March 2, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Couldn't submit total on map, 5.5 in NW Spotsy. Looks like F'burg got 4" more than my area, usually the other way around, & I live about 8 miles W of town. I'll take my crow baked, only thought 1.5-3" from this storm, I beg 4 your forgiveness oh kind CWG.

Posted by: VaTechBob | March 2, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Oops- correction:
West Springfield (Accotink Lake/Mixing Bowl): Storm Total (final I think 10:30a)9.3" snow.

Posted by: bikerjohn | March 2, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

When I went to bed last night there was just a dusting of new snow. Like some other posters, I'm finding the blowing snow a little difficult to confidently measure. The average snow depth appears to be 4", which is at the high end of the original forecasted range for western locations. We had 1.75" of snow from Saturday night, probably about 1" or so of which was leftover after a bit of melting/evaporation during the day on Sunday. So I'm thinking we got 3" from "storm #2."

For the snowfall reporting, should I put in:
A.) 3" (for last night/this morning)
B.) 4" for current ground total or
C.) 4.75" for weekend event(s) total?

Location: Blue Ridge Mtns, eastern Warren County, VA

Posted by: spgass1 | March 2, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

What's up with radar? There seems to be quite a bit of snow re-forming in Southern Virginia and moving this way. Any thoughts from the pros here?

Posted by: Etta- | March 2, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to still point out that for those of us west of the city, if we did make it to the lower end of the predictions we barely made it. I'm not giving anyone a pass here. For well over 15 years we've either been below the predictions or at the lower range of them.

It's time these guys start questioning their computer models....

Posted by: JustinKJames | March 2, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Any idea why I can't get my snow total to showup on the map. Fill out info, hit submit but nothing happens. Now I'm ready 4 springtime, the bass r calling me.

Posted by: VaTechBob | March 2, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

VaTechBob: For "measurement time" field, make sure you click on the "pick a date" icon to select your time info (rather than typing it in)..

Posted by: ZmanVA | March 2, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

This is a wierd storm. Even though the skies have brighten and a few peeks of sun coming thru at times it's still snowing at a moderate pace. I'm certain the total for N.E. Carroll is going to be between 7-10 inches but the way the snow is coming down right now I'm not sure. Thanks Mama Nature for putting on a great show!

Posted by: jamesg2 | March 2, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse


Interesting watching those bands develop to the south... should stay to our south and east, but we'll keep an eye on them -- could graze us with some light snow


Just enter the entire storm 2 total.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 2, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

is it me or is there snow trying to form from the south again

Posted by: hikeguy23 | March 2, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

How do weather forecasters measure the accuracy of their forecasts? It looks like total storm totals came in around the forecasted levels, but how the snow accumulated was not as forecasted. The first part of the storm came in low and the second part came in high. So was it a good forecast because the entire storm total was close or was it a bad forecast because the accumulation rate did not occur as predicted? For example, DC put its snow emergency into effect because of the forecast for snow accumulation in the first part of the storm, but later had to rescind the emergency when it didn’t happen. Does that mean it was a bad forecast? How does one measure the effectiveness of a forecast?

Posted by: Radz | March 2, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Etta is right it looks like there is some back filling going on

Posted by: snowlover | March 2, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Sun is out, and it's helping to melt the snow on treated roads. The snow on my south-facing deck's railing melted quickly.
Too bad my car is in a shady north facing parking lot.

I'm thinking there is going to be a lot of ice overnight. Hoping that the wind will help dry the roads some.

Posted by: Curmudgeon4 | March 2, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Do we also get to take the most apologies?

Posted by: JJones-CapitalWeatherGang | March 2, 2009 10:17 AM

Before we throw out our shoulders patting each other on the back, let's check the facts. The CW guys told us:

"Snow will start at 1pm"

"Snow will start at 4pm"

"Snow will start at 8pm"

"Snow will start at 9:30pm"

"Snow should start overnight"

You completely blew the first part of the storm, but met the predicted totals when the second part of the storm turned out to be a bear.

This is the best weather site around, and the only one I check, so maybe I hold you guys to a higher standard. But it's awfully ridiculous to imply you guys met your predicted totals by anything other than sheer luck.

Posted by: bryc3 | March 2, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Clouds rolled back in here in Lake Ridge with a few snow flurries. Looking at Radar, looks like it's filling in to the south.

Posted by: ZmanVA | March 2, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Good forecast guys!

Question: I'm looking at the Shenandoah/Mid-Atlantic Precip Type radar on Hamweather right now and I'm seeing a large band of snow forming down over central and south west VA. What's the deal with that? It's gotten a lot larger in the last hour and a half or so....

Posted by: mason08 | March 2, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

DOH!! My question was already asked and answered. Sorry about that!

Posted by: mason08 | March 2, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

bryc3: Perhaps Jason at the CWG should have gassed up the plane for a fly-through of the storm. I mean, how else could they have known the storm was going to stall out for a few hours?

I say bravo, job well done, as usual.

Posted by: edwardappleby | March 2, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse


Let's be fair and characterize this accurately... We said the snow would start between 1 and 4--and were very consistent about that until late in the afternoon when we pushed things back. The snow DID start between 5 and 6 most spots-- although there was some mixing at the onset and it didn't accumulate west of 95 until after midnight. We definitely did miss on when the accumulating snow would start west of 95 --won't take issue with you there.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 2, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Soon as I thought the storm was just about over skies have darken and snowing very heavy again in N.E. Carroll.

Posted by: jamesg2 | March 2, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

looks like we've got something forming in SE Virginia that could move up here and give us another round of some light snow later

Posted by: danuva | March 2, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Jason - It appears that the moisture forming to the south might actually skirt the SE DC and points east - Thoughts?

Posted by: snowlover | March 2, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I was critical last night and argued that CWG predictions for my area are too high. I predicted four and though I didn't measure it, I think there was 5-6 on my car in South Arlington. Good job CWG team and thanks for taking the time to do this (I presume that you don't make $$$ in this job post). My apologies.

Posted by: shackleton | March 2, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Oops, more light snow begining and radar is filling in to the!

Posted by: bikerjohn | March 2, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

With the wind and cold temperatures, are we looking at any chance for delays tomorrow morning?

My road is somewhat clear on one side. The other keeps getting re-coated thanks to the wind. I assume that the highways are all clear by now?

Posted by: edwardappleby | March 2, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

This is amazing to watch that large batch of snow in Southern Virginia just explode over the last half hour. Hopefully...

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | March 2, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse


We can agree to disagree, I guess. I live downtown, where snow didn't start sticking (and wasn't even an issue) until midnight or so. To me, that's nearly twelve hours off your initial timeline. That's a pretty significant miss, in my opinion.

People expect the impossible from forecasters (ie, "How much snow will we get on Shady Lane in Centreville?" and "Will my flight two days from now be cancelled by the coming storm?"). So I understand some frayed nerves after a night like last night. You all must be exhausted.

But even Ovechkin scores a lucky goal sometimes. Nothing to be ashamed of, and the crowd cheers all the same.

Posted by: bryc3 | March 2, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse


Looks like we could have some more snow showers through mid-afternoon...still some upper level energy pivoting through

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 2, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Snow in Southern VA continues to develop and it even looks like it's filling in across the northern neck. Jim Cantori just said it could give DC another inch or so.

Wishful thinking?

Posted by: 300_sq_ft | March 2, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Still bright and sunny here in the City of Manassas. The wind gusts are pretty bad, complete white out from time to time.

Posted by: irish031 | March 2, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse


I think it started snowing downtown around 6 p.m. when we said between 1-4... that's a miss of a few hours -- not 10. We said there would be accumulating snow by around nightfall--so that was a bigger miss of about 6 hours or so.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 2, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Just got a report from Hampton Roads, their snow is back after a lull (you can see it popping on the radar). While it may not accumulate much, with the cold temps, it will add a bit to the top of the totals. Will be interesting to see if this can hold together as it gets up

Posted by: JJones-CapitalWeatherGang | March 2, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I consider the forecast made by CWG, NWS and the local tv meteorologists to have been right. A hit. Not a miss. Not wrong. Not a bad forecast. This is despite that the snow didn't start with the gusto that was predicted, and perhaps forgiving the nowcasting of the reduced snow totals midway through the storm. The nowcasting did redeem itself because I would say that late last night (before midnight) there was significant talk about the second half of the storm being quite significant.

Regardless, this was ONE storm... and one storm that was forecasted with accuracy and the snow totals were largely correct. The notion that there may have been some luck involved is not relevant. When dealing with mother nature and storms the dynamic of luck is right there with opinion and the general hybrid math-science-opinion-gut instinct nature of forecasting.

So, no- I don't think the snow accumulation has to be 100% spot on for all neighborhoods of a city's metro area. I don' t think the exact time snow starts and the exact timing of the snow matters. All the major aspects of this storm- the accumulation amounts, the predication of heavy bands of snow, the total duration of the storm- were SPOT on. Some of the naysayers were acting as if 4-8" of snow were forecasted to be on the ground by dinnertime Sunday- never giving the storm a chance to materialize or the forecast any benefit of the doubt.

And CWG, I think you are being too hard on yourself. You may have missed some of the microforecasting details, but you nailed this overall. If this had been a rainstorm, you would've gotten a 100%. Just because it is snow, and the evidence of snow is much easier to see, I'd take you down to 90-95%. Still an A forecast in my book.

Posted by: markinva | March 2, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Several inches here...blowing and drifting.

Interesting note is that plans to hold the dance classes, etc. tonight, saying "the roads will be plowed..." etc. I reminded them of the bitter cold/black ice issue after dark. Anything that melts this afternoon will certainly refreeze, and travel overnight will be difficult. Getting to the bus stops will be an issue and the buses will likely be delayed. Much of what melts tomorrow will also refreeze tomorrow night.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | March 2, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 2, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Radar showing snow here in NW Spotsy. but nothing falling from the sky, in fact, the sun is trying to come out, very strange.

Posted by: VaTechBob | March 2, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

While the internet is the magnet for all sorts of nutty behavior, I can honestly say that I have never seen such juvenile behavior as the " need to drop to your knees and apoligize to the weather gurus at the Washington Post...." for anything that might have been said on a FRIGGEN MESSAGE BOARD!

You make it sound like a murder case or deliberations as to whether we should start a nuclear war.


Weather is certainly fun, exciting, interesting, and stimulating, but, to paraphrase William Shattner in that classic Saturday Night Live Skit: "You people need to get a life."

Posted by: Losercuda | March 2, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

What do you think the refreeze situation will look like? With temps so cold throughout the day, will it be minimal?

Posted by: HistoryTchr | March 2, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I also notice the Hampton Roads snow, moving north, and our flurries, moving south, are on a collision course. Wonder what that means...

During the summer when two lines of thunderstorms meet, the result is often a massive stationary or "training" cloudburst at the collision point. This is what happened down there with Tropical Storm Gaston a few years ago down there.

Perhaps we could be in for another blizzard or at least more blowing snow...

Posted by: Bombo47jea | March 2, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

To paraphrase Losercuda:

It doesn't matter if you're rude on the Internet. There's no one on the other end!!

Posted by: mason08 | March 2, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

When I went to bed last night, there was just a dusting. But, I had hope because this is DC. When you predict a big storm, it doesn't happen, and when you don't, it does. Once the Mayor called off the snow emergency, I knew we were in for a big storm. I woke up around 2 and still not much. But, the sky was all bright from the reflected lights off the light snow and clouds.

This morning WOOOMF. Snow everywhere. And I see the CWG guys were up all night.

The totals came in just about right. So, kudos on that and double kudos for staying up all night updating.

Posted by: epjd | March 2, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Light snow again here at Union Station, after about an hour of sunshine. More fun!

Posted by: SkywalkerSS | March 2, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

What's with the persistant snow bands in central VA (as of noon)? Doesn't make sense.....that stuff should all have moved NE by now, with the upper low, but they keep re-forming to the SW of DC. This is annoying.....we've had enough.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | March 2, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon was never one of the rude ones, anyway. I like the debate here as long as people are adding information and analysis instead of just snarking on each other.

Posted by: BDVienna | March 2, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I want to add that my criticism is of the meteorological community in general and not the CWG guys. Actually, I just recently found this place and it seems very interesting and informative.

I still reserve criticism for the NWS and local weathermen/meteorologists who tend to forecast 4 big storms for every one we truly get.

I also think, in general that forecasters try to be right more often than statistically accurate. I'd rather hear we can get 0-12 inches of snow if those are within the realm of possibility rather than some guy trying to nail it within a few inches and being consistently wrong.

As I said earlier, my bro works for the NWS so if you're tired of hearing me just think of how he feels.

Anyway, in retrospect I think we did end up getting more snow than I initially thought so I was wrong on this one. I sure would like the forecast to miss on the low end just once to even things out....

Posted by: JustinKJames | March 2, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

It's snowing again in Franconia, VA. Soooo pretty =)

Posted by: Alexandria2009 | March 2, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

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