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Posted at 3:10 PM ET, 12/ 5/2009

A snowy scene with slushy & slick roads

By Dan Stillman

* Winter Weather Advisory through evening. *
* Capital Weather Gang on Facebook & Twitter *
* Radar, temps & more: Weather Wall | Snowcam | Travel Tips *

This pup checks out her first snowstorm in Oakton, Va. By CWG photographer Kevin Ambrose.

The snowflakes have been wet and fat at times. Just the kind that make snow lovers salivate. And that have made many roads slushy and, with temperatures in the low-to-mid 30s, untreated roads slick, especially north and west of the Beltway. As Twitter user @ArnDC put it, "Snow in DC is beeeautiful. Driving in the snow in DC, on the other hand..."

Suburban locales to the north and west, like Gaithersburg and Herndon, were coming up on and surpassing 4 inches of accumulation as of early-to-mid afternoon, while most spots closer to the Beltway, in the the District, and south and east of town were in the 1-3" range. Our accumulation map from earlier seems to be mostly on track, except that some of the outer suburbs to the north and west may exceed expectations (a nice change of pace for a D.C. area storm, no?)

Through Evening: Another inch or so is possible before the snow tapers off around 6-8 p.m. Please drive carefully as wet roads can quickly turn slushy and slippery during heavier bursts of precipitation.

Tonight and Tomorrow: Temperatures drop below freezing area-wide tonight, so watch out for icy patches through early Sunday morning. Then, partly to mostly sunny skies get the melting process going as highs reach near 40.

How much snow do you have? Let us know with a comment below...

By Dan Stillman  | December 5, 2009; 3:10 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts, Updates  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Wet snow spreads over region, sticking west
Next: Significant early-season snowstorm departing


will the snow freeze into ice overnight?

Posted by: samdman95 | December 5, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

We'll call it a dusting to an inch in Georgetown, grassy areas only. The Gang is to be congratulated for this one. If you discount the 24-hours-out giddiness and hysteria, which I myself participated in and always encourage, the CWG forecast was almost 100% correct.

Posted by: fleeciewool | December 5, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Anyone know when the last time was that this area got over 1 inch of snow this early in December?

Posted by: Thundershock | December 5, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

We have 4.6" on the grass and 3.25" on the street in Herndon at Worldgate (near Elden St. & the Toll Rd) as of 3:30 pm.

Posted by: kygurl94 | December 5, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

'Anyone know when the last time was that this area got over 1 inch of snow this early in December?"

Yes. Two years ago when I (we) had five inches.

Posted by: MKadyman | December 5, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Heavier band over DC right now... basically nothing here in Silver Spring at the moment. Hoping for one more band to pass through here before all is said and done. Got the holiday lights hung, sipped some hot chocolate, watched the snow fall, and hung out on the CWG board all day. Not a bad start to the season!

Posted by: SkywalkerSS | December 5, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like a nice day, Skywalker. We're making hot chocolate now and I've got the fireplace ready to go. I need to go outside again for new measurements; the snow has picked up again in the mountains east of Front Royal.

Posted by: spgass1 | December 5, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Jumping ahead, Tuesday night looks to be a problem too. Icing this time.

For those of us who despise winter, this is setting up to be a long one.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | December 5, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Heard this morning that the average date of first measurable snowfall in DC is Dec. 28th. However, in 3 of the past 5 years, it has occurred before Dec 5th. Doesn't look good for Al Gore et al? Ooops, sorry! It must be global warming...

Posted by: gouZgounis | December 5, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse


This is about the fifth time that it has snowed on December 5 of the last 8 years.

So, yes, it often snows this early in the season, especially on December 5.

Posted by: JTF- | December 5, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

CWG: What do you take of LWX's bullish approach to the tue/wed storm in the western burbs calling for an ice storm?

Posted by: jpl1019 | December 5, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, this doesn't seem too abnormally early, especially considering that most of it in the city isn't really sticking all that well (here in SW Waterfront, there is not a trace on the ground.) It was a pretty sight falling from the sky, though!

Hopefully this will be the boost that local ski areas need to open for season!

Posted by: SWester | December 5, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse


Briefly looked at Tuesday night and Wednesday last night, and definitely a feature with significant wintry mix potential (snow/ice/and rain). We'll have more on that once we're done with this event.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | December 5, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Had been enjoying a very lovely snow day here in Arlington (Christmas music on, coffee brewing). Day was spoiled somewhat when my husband and I went for a walk and witnessed a horrific car crash (One car involved...skidded and flipped).

Luckily, the driver was talking and appeared to be at least mostly okay. It was really scary, though. i wish sometimes we could just shut down the roads around here when it snows. Stay home, people! Or walk.

Posted by: dinermail | December 5, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Are there any ares east of the metro that have snow sticking (covering) the ground?

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | December 5, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

It is still snowing out here in Harpers
Ferry and it is beautiful. I would say we have six inches here on the mountain. It is a winter wonderland. We got the tree up and are enjoying Christmas music.

Posted by: bcorey48 | December 5, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

The big thing here so far is elevation with the marginal temps. The easiest example I can think of is that National has seen .1" of snow accumulate so far. Maybe we should have gone with a range of .1-6"+, that might have been amusing!

Some more nice banded activity headed west across the area now.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | December 5, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm out here on the Western shore of the bay (Port Republic in Calvert County) and we finally have a dusting of snow on the grass. It switched from rain to snow about two hours ago and it's coming down moderately as I type this.

Posted by: Jambon99 | December 5, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

North Arlington got a substantial amount of snow -- it was definitely heavy fall a lot of the time. But then there was some sleet/rain towards the end, and also our accumulations stopped really by around 2 pm. We got at least three inches of heavy, compact snow on the lawn - the streets themselves are clear where the traffic travels, snow covered where it's undisturbed. Salting truck just went by, so it's likely to stay clear.

Lovely snowfall all told. If the temp had been just slightly lower, I'm convinced it would have been around 5 or even 6 inches. A lot of snow fell, but the temperatures came up just enough mid afternoon to make it a moot point.

Posted by: BadMommy1 | December 5, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Elevation certainly helped. At 1900 ft I believe we had an all snow event. When I looked out the window this morning ~7:20a, snow was accumulating on grass but not on stepping stones or the roads. However, our gravel roads don't hold onto heat like asphalt does so they weren't far behind. When I got my coffee temps were at 30.3F this morning before spending the rest of the day in the high 20s (currently 27.9F).

Of course N&W doesn't always win out... wasn't there a storm last winter where Southern Maryland got the big totals?

I went out to measure and got 9" accumulation. I also took one more picture before dark. We're still getting some very light snow, but per radar it looks like we'll be all done soon.

I was kinda hoping StinkerFlat would post another video...

Posted by: spgass1 | December 5, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

CWG - Snow is sticking out in Odenton, MD.

Posted by: snowlover | December 5, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

i have a little over 6 inches where i live just outside of reisterstown. it looks like the snow is going to be ending from west to east. CWG how long until the western edge passes through our area

Posted by: snowlover3 | December 5, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Looks like we have one or two decent bands left to come through in the next hour. Enjoy everyone, and be safe!

ps.. Ian, apparently a forecast of 0.1 to 8" would have been just fine. Appreciate the CWG keeping on top of this type of storm... keep up the good work!

Posted by: SkywalkerSS | December 5, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

I took a walk through the woods to get a few photos and a massive branch crashed down not far from me. The weight of the snow is taking down a branches in our area. I quickly left the woods.

I measured the snow in my backyard and the most common measurement was between 4.5 to 5.0". There were a few 3" measurements and a few 5.5" measurements, and under some trees there was no snow. It was very inconsistent. I live between Oakton and Reston.

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | December 5, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

The radar implies that we're getting rain in Annapolis, but it's been all snow since early afternoon.

BTW, anyone know how the radar figure out what's snow and what's rain.

Posted by: whosywhat | December 5, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

The snowflakes in Germantown right now are MASSIVE. Don't think I've ever seen snow as heavy as this.

Posted by: PoorTeacher | December 5, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

This last big band headed past Dulles now means business. With the sun down even places that have not seen road accumulation should expect that. Potential another 1-2" or so I'd think with this alone, and it will come pretty quick.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | December 5, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

At 5:30 PM, 35 degrees, rain/snow mix. No accumulation whatsoever around Mount Vernon.

Posted by: griffin1108 | December 5, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

could that heavy band hit, takoma park???????

Posted by: redskinsfan01 | December 5, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Decent snow here in Odenton at the moment

Posted by: snowlover | December 5, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

redskinsfan01, yes the band is on your doorstep though you should be back into decent snow anyway. If you're east of it you're probably getting hit at this point.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | December 5, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

yes i am but starting to wind down a bit, is there any other bands left

Posted by: redskinsfan01 | December 5, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

In Olney, MD (MoCo) we have at least 4". About an hour ago there was a spell of rain that took down the accumulation a little bit. However, flakes are huge and still going strong. We have also had tree branches crashing all around our house.

Posted by: fed_chick | December 5, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

We have 5 inches in Olney at 5:55 pm and it's still snowing pretty hard.

Posted by: krrolney | December 5, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

its just about done here in madison va. just a bit of light snow right now. measurable snow here was 2 3/4 inches. at this time its a sloppy mess, and has melted down to 1"5 ground heat did us in on this storm.

Posted by: deveinmadisonva | December 5, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

The last snow band produced an additional 0.5" of snow. Huge flakes, but it moved through fairly quickly.

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | December 5, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Band of moderate snow with huge flakes coming through odenton now.

Posted by: snowlover | December 5, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Just measured 7" here in Herndon at 6:15 pm with the snow starting to taper off.

Posted by: kygurl94 | December 5, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but I can't imagine anyone could be measuring some of the totals they are reporting here. I think there must be some wishcasting even in that.

Posted by: SouthsideFFX | December 5, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

What are you talking? I have 13" here in Odenton............just kidding, more like 3"

Posted by: snowlover | December 5, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

I can confirm the 7" in Herndon. I'm maybe 5 minutes away from The Worldgate here at Dulles, and we have a good 6.5"-7". Don't quote me for when the offical totals come out for KIAD.

Posted by: Havoc737 | December 5, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Just got home, got an inch and a half, maaaaaaaybe 2 inches here in Columbia.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | December 5, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Thanks again CWG for another fun ride! Until next time...........

Posted by: snowlover | December 5, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

the way it snowed today we should have well over 7 or 8 inches. we are just under 600ft here in madison, this storm was kinda odd for are snow totals. any total maps up yet?? the way it looks, the snow will be gone by noon.

Posted by: deveinmadisonva | December 5, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see DC is getting some snow! Here in Middlebury, Vermont, we're seeing snow sticking as well, but not on roads--which is a good thing, though Vermont drivers are probably much better than DC folks at maneuvering in wintry conditions.
Too bad this is our first storm. I think Burlington averages 6.8 inches in November, according to the NWS, so winter ha started abnormally late. But I'll take it! And hey, we'll see who has more snow by the season's end. ;-)

Posted by: KBurchfiel | December 5, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

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