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Posted at 9:19 AM ET, 12/19/2009

Alert: Blizzard Warning for immediate metro area

By Jason Samenow

*** Latest forecast, storm information, and commentary ***

From the National Weather Service (warning map):

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A BLIZZARD WARNING ... WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM EST THIS EVENING. THE WINTER STORM WARNING IS NOW IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 AM EST SUNDAY.

* PRECIPITATION TYPE...SNOW.

* ACCUMULATIONS...HEAVY SNOW WITH ACCUMULATIONS OF 12 TO 22 INCHES THROUGH TONIGHT.

* TIMING...SNOW WILL CONTINUE THROUGH EARLY SUNDAY MORNING. SNOW WILL BE HEAVIEST BETWEEN 8 AM AND 6 PM TODAY.

* TEMPERATURES...UPPER 20S TO LOWER 30S THROUGH THE EVENT... LOW TO MID 30S IN COASTAL SOUTHERN MARYLAND.

* WINDS...15 TO 25 MPH...WITH GUSTS UP TO 40 MPH DURING THE DAY TODAY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A BLIZZARD WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. FALLING AND BLOWING SNOW WITH STRONG WINDS AND POOR VISIBILITIES ARE LIKELY. THIS WILL LEAD TO WHITEOUT CONDITIONS ... MAKING TRAVEL EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. DO NOT TRAVEL. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL ... HAVE A WINTER SURVIVAL KIT WITH YOU. IF YOU GET STRANDED ... STAY WITH YOUR VEHICLE.

By Jason Samenow  | December 19, 2009; 9:19 AM ET
Categories:  Alerts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Powerful, historic snowstorm pasting metro region
Next: Update: Double digit snowfall totals reaching D.C.

Comments

BRING IT!

Posted by: gconrads | December 19, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

It is so beautiful outside!

Posted by: OverTheRiver | December 19, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Do you guys think the coastal low that is forming will really allow for the snow to continue thru the early morning hours(6 am)as NOAA is forecasting in the description part of the alert?

Posted by: MITCHRAPP | December 19, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Now I remember, THIS is why I have kids ..

Posted by: boblas | December 19, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I have a heated Precipitation Collector. Storm total as of 9:30 AM 12/19/2009 is 0.44 inches.

http://members.cox.net/kingstowneweather/Current_Vantage_Pro_Plus.htm

Posted by: OverTheRiver | December 19, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Just finished shoveling round No.1. Already have 1/2" on it! Keeping it down under heart attack levels will mean multiple trips out with the shovel today! No need to hit the gym.

Watching the news and two things strike me. One they are acting like this is some crisis and two the morons out on the road in little cars trying to go places!

Posted by: Pilot1 | December 19, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Keep in mind that some of the morons "in small cars" may need to go places - ie., work...

Posted by: ZmanVA | December 19, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Just heard a plane departing DCA, so someone is getting out of here!

Posted by: oldtimehockey | December 19, 2009 9:40 AM | Report abuse

9.5 inches at 8:30 a.m. so far in Adams Morgan - Dupont Circle and New Hampshire Ave are gorgeous with the Xmas decorations and snow.

Posted by: juantana | December 19, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Mitch: It always looks like the back edge is approaching more rapidly than it really is. Remember the 2006 snowstorm? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_blizzard_of_2006 People were writing off the storm when we had 3-4 inches, but then it exploded off the coast and we ended up with 14 inches (at least in Bowie, we did).

Posted by: JTF- | December 19, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

@MITCHRAPP

I don't think the heavy stuff will last much beyond late this afternoon or early this evening. Lighter, more intermittent snow is possible overnight.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Drifting from the blizzard conditions. The drift is almost 3 feet high:

http://www.vorklift.com/snowstorm09/IMG_0150.JPG

Posted by: RandC | December 19, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Smithsonian museums closed today.

Is Baltimore covered in this warning?

This area can't handle the usual amounts of snow, I shudder to think how they will handle digging out from a blizzard.

Posted by: epjd | December 19, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

@epjd

Baltimore is: http://www.erh.noaa.gov/lwx/

Posted by: RandC | December 19, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Thanks guys. I am still hoping to get the record breaker though. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Posted by: MITCHRAPP | December 19, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

those pfizer ads are really annoying, blocking half the screen

Posted by: samdman95 | December 19, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Randc, thanks. Someone up there owes me a huge apology for laughing at me when I told him on Thursday this storm was a-coming.

Posted by: epjd | December 19, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

12 inches on the ground in Warrenton. And still falling fiercly.

It's beautiful.

Posted by: LadyMac | December 19, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I never forgot, this is one of the many reasons I have grandkids! Just came in from great sledding and hiking through woods with them in Columbia: approaching 1' rapidly!!

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

My birthday was Dec 8th, and I wished for a December storm.
You're welcome.

Vladimir cracked me up this morning, too.

If anyone gets out on King Street in Old Town, could you report back on the sidewalk conditions? I'm *considering* getting out of my jammies and walking over to meet a friend for drinks at some point today...wondering if places are open. I am thinking yes.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | December 19, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Snowing really hard in Centreville VA; flakes are much bigger too. Gusty winds. Have not yet mustered up for an outside measurement, which will be difficult now because of some drifting. It looks as though it's approaching a foot of snow and it is putting down fast.

Posted by: cville4 | December 19, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Been out shoveling we have about 10 inches. The snow is wetter than I thought it would be. Maybe my neighbors salted their sidewalks?

Posted by: celestun100 | December 19, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

We have somewhere in the range of 10 to 12" in my yard near Oakton, VA. I measured 9.5" on the road. We're getting into a good snow band with decreased visibility and blowing.

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Went out to do a "trial run" to see if I can pull off a several mile walk today ... don't think so. ;-) About 9" in Glover Park.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

It IS my birthday today so I'm personally calling this storm the "Birthday Blizzard of 09." Thank you weather gods!

Posted by: snickering | December 19, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

How come the closings aren't listed on the front page of WAPO?

Is Metro really not delayed? Surely, the red line would be running even slower in these conditions, at least through the above ground stations.

Posted by: epjd | December 19, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

We have at least 10" of snow in Clifton, VA. In the half-hour it took me to shovel my driveway, the first part was covered by at least another half-inch of snow. And in the past 15 minutes the flakes have turned from itty bitty ones to huge flakes blowing sideways.

The side roads here are passable, at least for SUVs and pickup trucks, which were driving past with no trouble.

Posted by: misskaren1 | December 19, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

For the King street poster, some places are open, sidewalks are not in good shape.

Posted by: kg2273 | December 19, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

12 inches + in Lake Ridge and counting.. Coming down hard - winds have picked up the last hour or so.

Posted by: ZmanVA | December 19, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Here's for hoping the heavy stuff sticks around until 8pm or so! We got snow, now lets break some records!!! CWG - at this point are we thinking higher end or lower end of snow totals. I wondering if 24" is realistic in central AA county about 15-20 miles from the bay

Posted by: snowlover | December 19, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

People have been wanting to see the blizzard conditions:

http://www.vorklift.com/snowstorm09/MVI_0157_sm.mov

Posted by: RandC | December 19, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Federal employee, running into the cafeteria yelling, "Snowflake!" [That was yesterday afternoon.]

Where we live, we got whalloped yesterday into today with 24 inches of snow and still falling. So I got my trusty shovel and I've been clearing the stuff out, slowly. The bird feeder was filled and I put out some fresh suet [which is frozen solid].

My son tried to drive from Blacksburg yesterday afternoon even though we suggested that he wait. To make a long story short, his car went into a ditch. But he got lucky when a girl from VaTech saw him trying to shovel his way out and gave him a ride home.

Posted by: leochen24551 | December 19, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

hmmm, Ian, I'm thinking of a 1.5 mile walk in Old Town, which seems doable (although I don't know the sidewalk conditions)-the 1.5 mile back with a bellyfull of chicken wings and a beer or two might be harder to manage.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | December 19, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the info kg2273!

Posted by: Snowlover2 | December 19, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

The Kennedy Center takes the Scrouge prize! We have four tickets for tonight's "Messiah" concert at $85 a ticket. The official word from the KC is that tickets are NOT refundable. If the show is canceled, mail them in and they will decide on another show. Or.... tough luck - thanks for your contribution!

Posted by: dskiff | December 19, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

@snickering

Mine, too! Museum and dinner in Georgetown plans are cancelled, but a blizzard is a great substitution.

Posted by: NML_dc | December 19, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Hey CWG, when was the last time a straight-up Blizzard Warning was in effect for the District proper?

Posted by: fleeciewool | December 19, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

So is this storm gonna keep moving northeastward? Is there another storm behind it?

Posted by: luyehara | December 19, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

We used to live in Silver Spring, and well remember the blizzard of 1996 (which took a long, long time for the area to recover from, with streets blocked for several days, and people in apartments, etc. fighting over parking spaces they had cleared and therefore felt they owne). Metro was certainly a disaster back then, and during the more recent President's Day storm that shut down the airports. Pity the poor homeless people, and animals, having to cope with the wet and the cold.

Posted by: Sutter | December 19, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

@NML_dc

Happy Birthday Blizzard to you!!

Posted by: snickering | December 19, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

11 inches on our deck in the Mount Vernon area of Alexandria, with lots of snow falling.

Posted by: dixiechick1 | December 19, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the other CWG Mets can correct me, but I'm not sure if we have had a blizzard warning since the President's Day '03 storm. Regarding the storm question, the surface low pressure is still in far eastern North Carolina, so bands of moderate to heavy snow should continue to generate and lift north over our area all day with wrap-around snows tonight.

Posted by: MattRogers | December 19, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

The last couple of hours have been great - moderate to heavy snow, with more heavy snow on the way! It now feels like a real historic snow storm.

Posted by: snowlover | December 19, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

At 10am measured 15.5" in Owings (northern Calvert County)!

Posted by: guitarsit1 | December 19, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Great storm! My wife's mother remembers the 1922 storm and thinks this is what it was like (but she is 90). Coming down really hard in McLean. Snow plows have done our street twice but there's now a couple of inches.

I feel a ski trip to Whitetail coming tomorrow.

Got the fire going, Christmas music on the stereo, and a fresh pot of coffee. Could it be any better than this?

Posted by: rtkx7hwed | December 19, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Bah! Humbug!

Sorry, but I had a stroke last year. I have only one usable arm, walk (carefully) with a quad cane, and don't drive. Shovelling snow...

I managed to clear the Dec. 5 snow on my own, but this one is beyond me. Fortunately, a couple of my neighbors came over this morning to shovel my front walk and ramp or I'd be totally stuck.

For someone in my position, this much snow is potentially life-threatening. I would appreciate it if you contained your enthusiasm -- and volunteered to help any neighbor who is in my position.

Posted by: rlguenther | December 19, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

How is everyone doing? Play it safe if you clear your walkways and/or venture to drive. But I really disrecommend going out today!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

At least 13 inches in Dumfries, VA and still going strong. Fire hydrant in front of my house is 1/2 buried in snow. Reminder as you're shoveling -- please keep hydrants clear and visible, and also clear a pathway to storm drains. We'll need a way for runoff to drain, and heaven forbid there's a fire, having access to a hydrant can save lives! Have fun and be safe -- more from southern PWC later. Time to bake!

Posted by: southbridgemom | December 19, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Kennedy Center just announced the performances set for tonight are ON. Considering officials are advising people to stay home except for essential travel, I feel that is very irresponsible of KC. Singing the Messiah, while fun, is not essential. They should cancel the performance to keep everyone home rather than risking their lives to use their tickets.

Posted by: epjd | December 19, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

CWG on the radar there is a dry spot over VA. will this fill in?

Posted by: snowlover3 | December 19, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

The only blizzard warnings I remember were for the March '93 storm and the January '96 storm. The March '93 storm turned to sleet and rain in DC at the peak of the storm so it was very disappointing for snow lovers. In January '96, we were dry slotted for a while during the height of the storm, but blizzard conditions developed after many had thought the storm was over.

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

so when the storm starts to wrap up later today that will be the height of the storm, are you worried about the dry slot with this storm

Posted by: snowlover3 | December 19, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Just shoveled a foot to 14 inches here in the LoCo bootheel. That was a workout. Better than shovelling 24 inches tomorrow...what a way to kick off the fantasy football championship weekend - Go Flying' G-Fish!!! (That reminds me - go know the snow off the satellite).

Posted by: DullesARC | December 19, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"People have been wanting to see the blizzard conditions:"

Hi, RandC. Thanks for the images and video. Where are you that you're getting these conditions?

I'm seeing moderately heavy snow and the occasional gust in Greenbelt, but nothing like what you're showing.

Posted by: kevinwparker | December 19, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

National Airport is reporting 9" on the ground as of 11am. We are three away from tying the December record.

Posted by: MattRogers | December 19, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

rlgeunther, you're right: Those of us for whom this storm is a blast should think about who we help out today.

Posted by: --sg | December 19, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

@kevinwparker

Near Cape St. Claire, MD (near Annapolis)

Posted by: RandC | December 19, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Up early here on Maui this morning. We are
expecting high of 81 with light tradewinds.
Have my kayak ready to roll as we head out on the Pacific Ocean for a morning of whale watching. Aloaha.

Posted by: gone2dabeachgmailcom | December 19, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

@Matt CWG -- Where are you going to get the airport snowfall totals? Do you know how much is at Dulles, and BWI? Thanks!

Posted by: snowlover | December 19, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Pretty good agreement b/w GFS and NAM at least. Both calling for another foot on top of what we have before this is over. At least that is my amateur interpretation!

Posted by: JTF- | December 19, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Hard to say what the true total is in New Balmer, b/c of all the drifting and blowing snow. Highest drift closest to house is 19 inches. I think it's probably closer to 10-12. Snow is blowing sideways right now.

Posted by: weathergrrl | December 19, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Coming down really hard again! Visibility is awful, can't see 50 (which is about 1000ft away) (Fairfax City)

Posted by: snowedin85 | December 19, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

here in madison va, its over the 18 inch mark with 2-3 ft drift. its still snowing like crazy. with up to 20+ inch's all around me. >>> clinton portis do you still post here??

Posted by: deveinmadisonva | December 19, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I have a heated Precipitation Collector. Storm total as of 11:30 AM 12/19/2009 is 0.57 inches.

http://members.cox.net/kingstowneweather/Current_Vantage_Pro_Plus.htm

Posted by: OverTheRiver | December 19, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Holy mother, it is snowing hard here now! If I had to guess I would say at least 1.5" per hour maybe more!

Posted by: snowlover | December 19, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

We are no getting clobbard(spelling) -- almost white out conditions!

Posted by: snowlover | December 19, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

We like "Weekend Whiteout" or "Weekend Washington Whiteout" for naming this storm.

Posted by: katsy55 | December 19, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

In the name of my love for the DC area...
how about SnowGate or BlizzardGate? Maybe SnowGate 2009?

Posted by: ams40 | December 19, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Got out the snowblower for about an hour. My snow is only about 5-6" at 2pm near Philly, PA. Don't see this lasting all night.

It's Miller time.

Posted by: luyehara | December 19, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Given that the season is Fall, seems like a lot of snow, given that global warming is turning the planet in a Fireball, etc.

I'd name this storm "Further Evidence Global Warming is a Hoax Fall 2009 Global Cooling Event"

Posted by: KPosty | December 19, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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