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Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 12/20/2009

Forecast: Calm start to Christmas week

By Brian Jackson

Travel troubles for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day?

* CWG on Facebook & Twitter | E-mail forecast to a friend *
* Outside now? Radar, temps & more: Weather Wall *
* Report snow totals (view map) | NWS snowfall reports (view map) *
* View/submit photos & videos | Tweet reports to #eastcoaststorm *
* The latest storm news, traffic, and cancellation info | Travel tips *

Today's Daily Digit
A somewhat subjective rating of the day's weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.
6Chilly, but with mounds of freshly fallen snow all around.
Get tomorrow's 'Digit' on Twitter tonight


Today: Partly to mostly sunny & cold. Breezy. 28-33. | Tonight: Partly cloudy. 18-24. | Tomorrow: Partly sunny & a little warmer. 33-38. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


Well, that was intense! Washington-area snow lovers got their Christmas present a bit early with final snow totals of 16 to 24 inches common across the area. The 16.4 inches at Reagan National Airport makes 'Snowpocalypse' the biggest December snowstorm on record for D.C., and places it No. 7 on the list of biggest D.C. storms regardless of month. As we begin to dig out, we'll welcome a much calmer, albeit cold pattern for the first half of the holiday week. Stay on guard, though, as another storm threatens to make a mess of travel Christmas Eve into Christmas Day.

Snow-covered cars in D.C. yesterday. By CWG photographer Ian Livingston.

Today (Sunday): Other than the chance of lingering flurries early, our historic snowstorm is history. Except, that is, for the snow, which is going nowhere fast. Partly to mostly sunny skies won't do much to help the snow removal crews, as temperatures spend most of the day near or below freezing with highs in the upper 20s to low 30s. Winds at 10-15 mph with some higher gusts mean wind chills stuck in the teens and 20s. Confidence: High

Tonight: Partly cloudy overnight, and the snow will help to keep things chilly. Expect overnight lows ranging from the upper teens in the colder suburbs to low 20s downtown. Winds should decrease to near 5 mph by morning. Confidence: High

SchoolCast (Mon.)
FedCast (Mon.)

(updated at 5 p.m.: Federal Government and most schools closed Monday)

Keep reading for the forecast through Christmas Day...

Tomorrow (Monday): Some clouds may accompany you on the way to work tomorrow morning, if you're dug out by then. But skies should gradually clear into the afternoon. We'll be a little warmer but still well below average with highs mainly in the mid-30s and winds 5-10 mph from the west-southwest. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: Once again we'll see a cool overnight under partly cloudy skies. Lows dip into the low-to-mid 20s, maybe some upper teens in the outer suburbs, with light winds. Confidence: Medium-High


Tuesday and Wednesday look to bring at least partly sunny skies as we close in on Christmas. Highs both days should warm only to the upper 30s, with overnight lows in the upper teens to mid-20s. Confidence: Medium

Precipitation from the next storm system, possibly in the form of a wintry mix, could arrive either during the day Thursday (Christmas Eve) or Thursday evening. Any wintry precipitation should, at least the way we see it now, change to rain by fairly early on Friday (Christmas Day). Confidence: Low-Medium

By Brian Jackson  | December 20, 2009; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Historic storm begins exiting region
Next: The Perfect Snowstorm


CWG: FANTASTIC COVERAGE OF THIS STORM!!! What a great community of weather enthusiasts, too. Thanks, one and all. Now to go dig some 'doggie trenches'. Will take some measurements for final snowfall later this morning. Hope everyone fared well!! CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS??

Posted by: dprats21 | December 20, 2009 6:49 AM | Report abuse

Can't wait to see what works of art Walter, our local master snow sculptor, will make this time. I will be haunting the comments for word from him (when I'm not out playing in the snow myself, of course!)

Posted by: ChickenLady | December 20, 2009 6:53 AM | Report abuse

Uncle! :-)

Is it possible the 16.4 mark will rise, with late reporting?

Posted by: jaybird926 | December 20, 2009 7:03 AM | Report abuse

CWG - Great Job! Do you have the official totals at Regan, BWII, and Dulles? How did this storm rank? Thanks!

Posted by: snowlover | December 20, 2009 7:12 AM | Report abuse

Anyone will to weigh in on the moco school cast? probably not tomorrow but what about the rest of the week????

Posted by: jenniel73 | December 20, 2009 7:32 AM | Report abuse

@CWG - Verizon does the public weather service and they reported that Regan National is reporting 16.6" of snow. Not sure which one is correct 16.4" ro 16.6"?

Posted by: snowlover | December 20, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse

That was a great day yesterday and it did not even RAIN!!!!

Here is my final snow report..enjoy!

Posted by: stinkerflat1 | December 20, 2009 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Anyone missing the snow, check out some of the traffic cams around Boston.

Posted by: dprats21 | December 20, 2009 7:53 AM | Report abuse

@jenniel73 - I've lived in Fairfax Co for 20 years this fall and have seen them close school for a week with less snow than this. I doubt the kids will go back before January. Besides the neighborhood streets not being plowed for the busses, the budget crisis will make them hesitant to pay the overtime necessary to get the school lots and walkways cleared.

Posted by: momof3g | December 20, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

I am so happy I had a "big one" with unadulterated snow for once. The big ones in 2003, 1996, and 1993 were marred in my neighborhood by a couple of hours of (mixed) sleet so the snow on the ground totals were lower than they should have been.

Posted by: Murre | December 20, 2009 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Not sure which one is correct 16.4" ro 16.6"?

Why does it matter?

Posted by: Axel2 | December 20, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

@axel2 - Because it will move us up in the record books for all time biggest snows in DC.

Posted by: snowlover | December 20, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

16" in is BS. Independent observers all around DCA are reporting 20". DCA lives on as the snow hole.

Posted by: bdeco | December 20, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Bravo Zulu CWG!

Never mind the snow, something tells me y'all hit a record in Web traffic this weekend.

Posted by: Juan-John | December 20, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Airport totals according to NWS:

18" IAD, 16.4" DCA, and 21.0" at BWI

Thanks for the nice words, all. And yes, record traffic :)

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 20, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to everyone for their awesome participation here during the storm. To our loyal followers, casual fans, and hopefully a few new fans who will stick around. Remember, we're here with (hopefully) useful weather info day in and day out 24/7/365, not just during the 'Snowpocalypse.'

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | December 20, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

What is the setup for the Thursday/Friday event? Is it showing up on the NAM yet? With the significant ground cover of snow, I am wondering where the above-freezing temps are coming from?

Posted by: ennepe68 | December 20, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

given the NWS official bethesda snowfall of 24", what are the odds MCPS has no school Monday, the odds for tuesday, and the odds for wednesday? also, is there any chance of a hard freeze tonight? Thanks

Posted by: samdman95 | December 20, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

The GFS is showing the Thur/Fri event as a mostly rain event for the area. I don't think it is coming up on the NAM yet. I believe the NAM only goes out 84 hours??

Posted by: snowlover | December 20, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

CWG, *great* job as usual, thanks!!!

My own total for the storm is 0.8 lbs, with a lot of effort (it was just me, and the snow and a cappuccino machine, and lots of good food).

I wanted to get a final snow total, but the snow plows have moved in, and it's too hard to find a good spot.

Posted by: MikeinDC2 | December 20, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

What are the chances that Metro opens to above ground stations on Monday? I am getting really anxious about seeing my friend.

I figure the schools will close for the week. Why bother plowing out for just a couple of days before the holiday.

Fantastic work as always CWG and everyone who provided useful information.

Posted by: epjd | December 20, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse


I think it's safe to assume no school in MoCo tomorrow.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | December 20, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Yeah I don't think moco will be open tomorrow, probably not tuesday or a delay with the same for wednesday. on one of the stations they were mentioning black ice as a major problem is week!

what a bummer about rain on christmas!!!!!

Posted by: jenniel73 | December 20, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

As I recall from the '96 storm, MoCo uses the same equipment to clear the schools that they use to clear the roads. This means they don't even start on the school parking lots until the residential streets are cleared, and hte MoCo website is estimating 2-3 days before the residential streets are clear, so that makes earliest sometime Wed. for the school lots to be clear, more likely Thursday. Quite possibly the holiday break may have already started.

Posted by: RandC | December 20, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

To anyone taking "final" measurements this morning, be aware that the snow has settled some and/or drifted a bit. My snow stick went down from 20.5" last night at the end of the snowfall to just under 18" this morning.

Posted by: DOG3521 | December 20, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Okay so I'm wondering about tomorrow getting to Belvoir from Annandale. Like many my employer doesn't do snow days so you gotta eat leave if you choose to stay home.

I'm worried because last March I made the foolish mistake of driving to work and found to my horror that my street was the best of the lot, the Fairfax county parkway was okay, not great but on post nothing had been plowed!!!! I saw my life flash before my eyes spinning out on a hill on the campus of my client agency.

Posted by: HokieAnnie | December 20, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

epjd: I'm willing to bet that Metro runs full service tomorrow - the only question is when it starts.

Posted by: --sg | December 20, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Here's a view looking out the front door this morning.

Posted by: spgass1 | December 20, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

When do you think schools will start making the call to cancel? I don't see the point in waiting.

Posted by: edwardappleby | December 20, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I saw on the USA9 website that two school systems in southern Maryland are already closed for Monday and Tuesday. I think we will hear something prior to the Ravens game this afternoonfor all the schools in the DC, VA, and MD area.

Posted by: jcmcgrath1969 | December 20, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Alexandria City schools closed tomorrow... !

Posted by: icecubedowntoilet | December 20, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

My Kingdom for a shovel!!!!!

Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | December 20, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

A shoutout to my good neighbor Steve and all the other good neighbors out there. I have only a shovel and a small "electric broom". Steve pushed his big-a** gas blower over to my driveway and made short work of the big mound from the snowplow that would have taken me all afternoon with my shovel.

Posted by: HokieAnnie | December 20, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Between being in NYC and having trouble with the WaPo commenting, I feel like I missed out on the fun with my beloved CWG crowd!

for those interested, the storm here in NYC picked up around 5 p.m., and really got going around 7 p.m. I happened to be at 30 Rock, and it was a genuine Winter Wonderland, with an abundance of happy holiday people. I would guess there's about a foot of snow here in Queens this morning (haven't actually been outside).

Now I'm worried about our 8 o'clock train...all the news is covering is airports. anybody know anything about Amtrak?

Posted by: dinergirl1 | December 20, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

17 inches in southeastern Silver Spring, average of low and high on the back porch.

Posted by: Murre | December 20, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Just heard the first plane overhead from National. Guess they did get things going again.
As always, thanks CWG! It's great to know that there are so many weather junkies out there.

Posted by: phanieb | December 20, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

ok first of all, any updates on amtrak status? Their webpage is a complete joke.

Second, what do people think about the federal govt having a delayed opening for tomorrow?

Posted by: skaterman2297 | December 20, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

More with the post above: 16 inches here.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | December 20, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

This was a fun snow. I can't remember it snowing here in our region for a full twenty four hours.

Posted by: irish031 | December 20, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Re: Amtrak, I know they had some problems yesterday w/ the train 20 (NB Crescent) got delayed for several hours near Alexandria. Also train 97 (SB Silver Meteor) and train 99 delayed for 12+ hours.

Posted by: spgass1 | December 20, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Manassas City and Prince William County Schools are closed on Monday.

Need some help from the CWG gang. I have plans to drive to Southern Virginia (Bassett) on Christmas Eve. Several different ways to get there...I81 through Roanoke, RT. 29 through Charlottesville or even I95 through Richmond and then Rt. 360 to Rt. 58 the rest of the way. Guess it is to early to ask about weather on Christmas Eve. But do you folks think rain, snow, ice?

Posted by: RWRose | December 20, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure that a delayed opening for the federal government would make much sense tomorrow morning. It's not like the major roads need that extra two hours to get cleared tomorrow morning; they should already be in good shape. And 2 hours probably won't make a difference for the local streets.

I'd guess it'll be liberal leave tomorrow, if anything.

Posted by: gmbo | December 20, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse


Too early to tell...but if I had to guess now, more wet than white, but more wintry (snow/ice) as you head eastern routes may be the best bet

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 20, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

According to the MCPS website, Mont Co announced on Friday night that there would be no school on Monday.

Posted by: hippiema1 | December 20, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Federal government is closed tomorrow!

Posted by: Eleiana | December 20, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

My wife and I drove back today to the Virginia 'burbs from SE Ohio. The roads -- especially I-68, I-70 and I-270 -- were surprisingly clean. Thanks to all the crews who worked so hard to clear the roads and were working on the Beltway to remove cars and jack-knived semis from the shoulders and medians.

Posted by: css1 | December 20, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

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