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Posted at 7:15 PM ET, 12/19/2009

Historic storm begins exiting region

By Ian Livingston

Accumulation ranging mostly from 16-24"+ across area

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A car buried under a foot and a half of snow in NW DC late this afternoon. By CWG photographer Ian Livingston.

This paralyzing snowstorm is finally departing, but not before climbing the ranks of largest recorded snowstorms in D.C. history and doing the lion share of the work to near or set a new December monthly snowfall record (previous: 16.2", 1962). While snow continues to fall across much of the region it is now trending lighter overall as the storm moves northeast. Snow totals ranging from over a foot to near and past two feet are common, and some spots may still see a few more inches.

Accumulating snow ends between 9 p.m. and midnight. After that, we're in the icebox with lows mainly in the lower 20s and some flurries possible. Clouds break to partly sunny by tomorrow afternoon with temperatures failing to rise above freezing most spots. Winds continue to be gusty from the northwest, through tomorrow, causing blowing and drifting of snow.

How much snow fell at your location? Report your total!


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We welcome comments below with your storm reports...

By Ian Livingston  | December 19, 2009; 7:15 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: When will record-setting snowfall end?
Next: Forecast: Calm start to Christmas week



Posted by: mjwies11 | December 19, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Any idea whether the metro will be running above ground tomorrow? Specifically, to Reagan airport? I know the policy is to stop when there are 6-8 inches of snow on the ground. Will there be time to clear the outdoor tracks before the stations open at 7 am? Is it possible that the stations would switch to run above ground later in the day?

Posted by: clang4 | December 19, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

SECOND! (rolls eyes)

It's not slowing down yet, at Meridian Hill Park in the District. Still barreling out of the sky. Awesome!

Posted by: wrytous | December 19, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

22" and still falling in Potomac, MD near Great Falls.

Posted by: someonelikeyou | December 19, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

*snow sigh*

Posted by: manassasmissy | December 19, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Do not plan on Metro or any airports running near normal until late morning Sunday.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

19 inches in Bethesda. Still snowing. Simply amazing.

Posted by: PeterBethesda | December 19, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

The streets in the city are a complete disaster... With this evening's final burst of a couple inches, I think the District road crews have finally reached their breaking point.. Mounds over snow all over the place. The hill on 14th Street, from U to Columbia Heights, was basically a parking lot of stuck vehicles a few moments ago. How long will it take to clean up this mess?

Also, anyone know how much snow has been logged at Reagan National?

Posted by: realclear | December 19, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

21" and steadily snowing here in North Bethesda.

Posted by: Fab5Mama | December 19, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm curious if we'll have a winter where the remnants of snow actually last throughout (or at least until those bizarre Indian summer days in late January).

2 feet of snow (and the bigger piles made by the plows at the sides of every street) simply does not disappear easily unless it hits 50+ with direct sunlight for a few days. And that doesn't look like it'll happen for a while...

Posted by: SWester | December 19, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

When will the Maryland schools start making calls about Monday?

Posted by: edwardappleby | December 19, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

edward: I don't see schools opening at all before the break. I don't think it makes sense to squeeze a few days of school out with icy sidewalks (there will be ice for at least a week with all the melting and refreezing) and manpower it will take to dig out all the parking lots. They would rather put that to main and residential roads.

Posted by: jpl1019 | December 19, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

15.5" at DCA as of 7pm. Not bad for the region's snow hole.

Posted by: Storm9 | December 19, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Just a note from southwest Florida where we received the rainy end of the storm. Just shy of 4 " of rain in about 36 hours.

Amazing how both Al Gore and President Obama show up when unusual chill or snow happens. Not trying to make a cause-effect, just pointing out a relationship.

Posted by: hmmogil | December 19, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Spent the bulk of the day walking around Old Town, taking photos. I did stop in Murphy's and had a beer and some stew for fortification (Murphy's was very busy). It was very beautiful out, but walking was challenging. Definitely a workout in the drifts. I saw people walking in the street, and on the sides in the street. I also saw people almost get hit by cars- twice. Once when a car slid and the person was on the side in the road, and once when a car went through a red light while someone was crossing the street- the walker was navigating carefully and slowly, and I suppose the driver did not want to stop and possibly stall. I really don't know why so many cars were on the road- I understand some people had no choice, but it seemed too many cars out for only essential travel. Please shovel your sidewalks. Pedestrians- stay out of the roads! Thankfully, no one was hurt. On my way home, I noticed Whole Foods had closed at 1:00 due to the weather.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | December 19, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

21" accumulation, 19.8F, and a very light snow continuing to fall east of Front Royal.

Posted by: spgass1 | December 19, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

I will never again complain about lack of snow in this area again - 19" and it's STILL snowing steadily. Kudos to you, CWG team (and the NWS) for totally NAILING the predictions on this storm!

Posted by: VAStateOfMind | December 19, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Old Town and Georgetown look really pretty after snow fall.

Posted by: jaybird926 | December 19, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

I don't know about everyone else, but I'm exhausted thanks to this event. Great storm though! The 6 hour heavy snow period late morning into early afternoon rivaled the best.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

The area certainly seems to have been crippled (except for the crazies). I wonder if we'll really dig out by Monday. *hopes for snowday*

Posted by: Alexandria2009 | December 19, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and I meant to say as well- THANK YOU CWG for your fabulous coverage. You are the best!

Posted by: Snowlover2 | December 19, 2009 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Yes! Thank you CWG!!!

Posted by: Alexandria2009 | December 19, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Thanks CWG -- hoping for another 1-2" and will report in with totals in the morning! Guessing between 19"-24"

Posted by: snowlover | December 19, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Old Town Alexandria update: Still blowing snow. I would call this 'Moderate' Snow, having lightened up from the 'Heavy' we were getting earlier. I haven't been back out since earlier to take any further measurements. Just took another picture & posted here:

Posted by: joelhousman | December 19, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

In the end, CapWX definitely beat out Accuweather. They were calling for around 8 inches last night, if I remember correctly; imagine that!

21.25 inches on my deck in McLean at 8:00 p.m. I should be satisfied by now! But I still think it would be awesome to get to 24. One foot is very rare for DC, but two feet? Wow.

Posted by: KBurchfiel | December 19, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Always reading, but rarely commenting. But this snow made me crawl away from the fireplace and fire up the ol' computer so I could leave a comment. Hats off to the CWG for calling this one, and to all the other snow lovers out there in the DC area, Holy guacamole, 25" in Rockville (unofficial, of course, just my back yard)and STILL snowing...!!!

Posted by: tnewton726 | December 19, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Just ran outside for a quick measure...and sank down to my knees. (I am 5'6"). An approximate measure came up as about 20 inches, but it is hard to tell what is fallen snow and what is a drift. My front yard is well over 2 feet deep, but I am sure that is mostly drift.

Kim n manassas

Posted by: ksrgatorfn1 | December 19, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

snow is winding down. Look for it to clear out by 9-10 pm

Posted by: Tom8 | December 19, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Still snowing like crazy here in Odenton, but expect that to end at or about 9:00

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

Having been here for 25 years now, I can assure some of the newcomers that it is going to take a good week to get the roads, parking, commute, etc., back to normal.

Thank God it is Christmas week and relatively slow...but this is going to be a huge pain in the ass.

Posted by: Losercuda | December 19, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Really enjoying this site! What a great community. Has anyone posted "Thundersnow 2009" as a name idea? Heard a few rumbles here in Georgetown. Seems to be the most unique identifier of this storm.

Posted by: pleekabar | December 19, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Ooops....and you folks at CWG did a terrific job during the past 24 STRAIGHT HOURS OF SNOW.

Posted by: Losercuda | December 19, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

I measured 22" in my backyard near Oakton, VA. My F-150 pickup truck looks like a big lump of snow in my driveway.

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Took new pictures tonight of the same places I took at 2p.m. just to show the difference.

Hopefully, metro is running on Monday and the Museums are open.

Posted by: epjd | December 19, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Can't tell if it's still snowing here or if it's just snow blowing off of the trees/roofs. I went to measure again and it's 18 inches in my little former safe haven. Out behind the building we have a bunch of AC units, one of which hasn't been turned on in weeks. It's in a pretty sheltered location, and it has 23 inches of snow on it.

This is a reply to southbridgemom from the last post: I missed the Dec 5 snowstorm by 2 days -- I got home the following Monday night. And thanks for the welcome home! It's good to be back after being in Mobile AL for 4 months. I walked around campus for 3 hours in the middle of Tropical Storm Ida's landfall and thought I wouldn't see another exciting weather event after that, darned if I was wrong!

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | December 19, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to see a long-term radar loop of this storm. Not just those herky-jerky clips. Something with a little gravitas. Any good sources for something like that -- like, going back a couple days?

Posted by: Groff | December 19, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

The measurements in my backyard averaged to about 22.5".. highest total since the Presidents day snowstorm in 2003.. Just an awesome event for this time of year..

Posted by: Snowman_In_Herndon | December 19, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Will the precip currently in Kentucky/Tennessee ever make it to us?

Posted by: edwardappleby | December 19, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

I think it'll be a while before we're dug out. Here in Montgomery County, snow plowing of residential streets doesn't start until snowfall stops. They estimate 48-60 hours to get all residential roads after 24" of snow.

Posted by: jwind | December 19, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm living up to my name, only today I decided to bring my snow too :)

Posted by: Thundershock | December 19, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

I measured 19 inches in the open area of the front yard about two hours in Manassas. Very fluffy snow, not so good for snowballs or for sledding.

Posted by: manassasmissy | December 19, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

I measured around 22 or 23" in Friendship Heights (NW DC).

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

I think it's over in Silver Spring. At any rate, there is no snow falling for the first time in 24 hours.

Posted by: Murre | December 19, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Centreville VA
Snow has been very slowly winding down here over the last hour. Drifts 3+ feet all over. Cannot get accurate measurement: estimate between 18 - 22 inches. Snowing now for a little over 24 hours.
Help your friends & neighbors tomorrow during the huge cleanup process. Your neighbor who hasn't done a thing with his/her steps & sidewalk by tomorrow afternoon might be recovering from the flu, or simply not have a shovel!

Don't drive tonight. Let the cleanup crews do their job.
Thank U CWG for the accurate forecast. Nice job.

Posted by: cville4 | December 19, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

weatherdudeVA -

FYI - I just measured a little bit more than 24.5" at my place here in Lake Ridge -I got several consistent measurements. Very light snow at this time..

Posted by: ZmanVA | December 19, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

I just wanted to add my praise and thanks to the CWG. Helpful, interesting, fun, what more could I want?

Posted by: bobsewell | December 19, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

21.5 north of Vienna. This morning the amount of snow on the driveway was about 1" less than the dirt area that I am also measuring on, probably because of slight melting at the onset of the storm, but now everywhere I measure is between 21 and 22, so I'll go with 21.5.

Posted by: rocotten | December 19, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Time for a big WHEW!!!! What a ride - it doesn't get better than this (for snowlovers). My colleagues at CWG are the best and have once again demonstrated it sets the textbook standard of capability and integrity in coverage of all things weather - a one shop stop where you can't go wrong.

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Unofficially measured 18 inches in Bethesda at about 8pm.

Posted by: JJS3 | December 19, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm exhausted from all the snow-citement.

Posted by: manassasmissy | December 19, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Only a tiny little bit of frozen precipitation now here in Fairlington in Arlington. Oh, what a beautiful site. How snow remakes everything - like looking into a different world. So rare to have so much snow here - wish I was on a very steep slope with all this virgin powder.

I am from Vermont, originally, and love snow and skiing. So, living in DC is frustrating at times snow-wise, and there's even tons of folks who detest snow here - an anathema to me.

Jeez, I even gave up the SUV four-wheel drive for the sedan. I made it out to Starbucks at Bradley this morning about 8:30 am, no problems. Tried to get about later ... am used to snow driving, and love it ... but bottomed out in my Fairlington neighborhood and turned back, and shoveled out a parking spot. Truly an event for four wheel drive, high clearance vehicles.

So, thank you CWG and all you snow lovers ! I really love reading everyones' snow postings, and CWG analysis and input is interesting, scientific, and fun. This is a great community around storm time. Thank you!

Ah, the weather ... inherently unpredictable, or very difficult to predict until a short ways off the event. Wow, last year was tough - a few close calls that never materialized at the end. This storm makes up for it CWG. Happy Snowmeggdon DC 2009!

Posted by: Surgadibumi | December 19, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

once in a lifetime!

Posted by: pvogel88 | December 19, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

The storm finally ended after 26 hours, non-stop. My estimate says two feet, but some of the drifts are exceeding three feet.

Posted by: david_in_stafford | December 19, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Terrific! Unless you have children trying to get home for the holidays. Or have to go to work on Monday. Or your dog (a 40-pounder) can't make it through the drifts to do his business. I'm guessing that most of the posters (and they have been fun to read) don't have many obligations.

Posted by: summerlover | December 19, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

As the snow is about to end, it has picked up in intensity near Oakton. We may add half of an inch to the total.

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to all for the nice comments about our coverage.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

ZmanVA: Thanks! I just took a walk around outside and it's impossible to walk. I had to walk in the tire tracks, which only had 6 inches of snow.

I mistook a 3 foot deep snow drift for a curb on one of the side roads around here and got caught. I sank into the drift up to my waist, and when I tried to get up, I slipped and fell on my back. I was a foot below the snow once I fell on my back, it was kinda being in a really cold box. I was taking a video at the time but I won't be posting it anytime soon (rather embarrassing, plus a ton of cussing from being stuck in a 3 foot snow drift and all).

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | December 19, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

You guys were spot on with your predictions

Posted by: mrevell83 | December 19, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Another amazing thing about this storm is how uniform the measurements have been...usually you have a pretty wide range from west to east or north to south, but this time everyone seems to be in the same 18-24 inch range now. I took another reading on my deck in Greenbelt and it was 20" as of around 8:30. Snow is still falling an hour or so later.

Posted by: markf40 | December 19, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

@summerlover -

I sympathize. I see no joy whatsoever in this crippling storm that is gonna leave it's mark on the area for at least the upcoming week. Ruined a lot of people's plans and may ruin some people's Christmases with loved ones. And that 3.5 hours I worked shoveling this "stuff" was a real blast . I waited for some of these snow lovers to come help me, but surprisingly, none did. Now, I get to go out again tomorrow and do it all again.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | December 19, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Measured about 17 inches in Rockville...great day to watch the weather, play with the kids and smell the baked goods being made by my wife in the kitchen...

Posted by: authorofpoetry | December 19, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Brrrr. Just spent 2+ hours digging out the lady's car and frolicking in the snow. I think we're goign to finish with just about 18 inches in Columbia. Time for a winter warmer....

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Still snowing steady in Forest Glen. I enjoyed watching all the trucks get stuck on the Beltway and Georgia Ave today....

Posted by: OMGPonies | December 19, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

what was the final measurement at reagan? is this a top 10 or top 5 storm of all times?

Posted by: realclear | December 19, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

what's the official measurement at KDCA so far?

Posted by: danuva | December 19, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

To those heading out right now with shovels......remember to clear out the fire hydrants.

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

An even 2 feet in the LoCo bootheel. I'm having a hard time deciding which was biggest of the Big 3. I think 96 was the King, but this is 03's twin. What a ride...

Posted by: DullesARC | December 19, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

CWG-you guys nailed it, great job!

Posted by: mcaicedo | December 19, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

16.3 inches at DCA as of 8:58 p.m.

Just a bit more to move into the top 5!

Awesome job CWG.

Posted by: todd27 | December 19, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Near South Riding, I measured 17 inches at 5 PM, and I know we got a few more inches after that.

Loudoun County has already cancelled school for Monday and Tuesday. The kids get a full two-week break.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | December 19, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Wow, those reports are awful. You have 8.5" reports next to 20" reports within a mile of each other. I know its hard to gather accurate information for snowfall, but the majority of those reports seem way too low.

Posted by: rocotten | December 19, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

what are the odds mcps will be closed monday?

Posted by: samdman95 | December 19, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Sandman... I am a teacher for MCPS and am banking on no school Monday. I'm pretty set that there is no school Monday.

Posted by: PoorTeacher | December 19, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

So much fun! THANK YOU, CWG! Haven't gotten much work done this week, but I've loved following the coverage from your expert team. We have about 17 inches here in Highland, MD (outside of Clarksville in HoCo). Although I do look at the Accu Weather blog (Henry M., God love him he did get this one right) I trust you guys more than any other source for weather. Hope everyone is safe and warm tonight! Looking forward to the next one....

Posted by: kathyb39 | December 19, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

sam: my guess would be 99.8%. And that's conservative I think.

Posted by: jpl1019 | December 19, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Thinkspring, I'm sorry you're not able to appreciate a storm of astounding proportions that thousands, maybe a million snow lovers in the DC area have been waiting for. It saddens me that you don't see more beauty in the transformative nature of 20 inches of snow, and that you don't appreciate how it makes this Christmas more beautiful for so many D.C. families. Why, you don't even seem happy about all the calories you burned shoveling today!

I don't mind your comments; they're just a little depressing for me, since I see so much good (and yes, some bad) in this event. Certainly, you could find a job in a place like Florida, southern California or Hawaii, where you probably wouldn't have to shovel for the rest of your life? Have you ever considered moving? It would make your winters a lot happier.

21 and 7/8ths of snow on my deck in McLean. And yes, the sight of it is beautiful.

Posted by: KBurchfiel | December 19, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

And just think. This storm occurred BEFORE the first official day of winter.. Dare I say.. Could we be looking at an all-time snowiest season??? If DCA ends up with about 18 inches, they only need 30 more inches to top the record.... Is it possible? If there was ever a season to say, its now.... :)

Posted by: realclear | December 19, 2009 10:35 PM | Report abuse

I have to say I'm very disappointed in your weather coverage. You have lots of pages, lots of links, but little information. Links on summary pages just take you to other summary pages. I've poked around for 5 minutes and can't find the map that shows estimated totals. And how about a comparison of the estimate with the final totals now that the snow has stopped? You have a whole weather "gang" but I don't see any information coming out of them. "Don't expect the airport to open until Sunday." Wow, such insight. And you shoveled out somebody's car? I got more news about DC and what was going on in one article on then I got in looking at 20 pages here.

BW, I want to be a news source, not a social networking site. Please put more effort into providing information and less on gathering fluff.

Posted by: stmdc | December 19, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

@stmdc the snow hasnt stopped and snow showers are expected overnight. and why would you need an accumulation map just look outside

Posted by: samdman95 | December 19, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Some spring and summer lovers have missed the point...and need to do a little more dancing! Snow dancing!

Posted by: manassasmissy | December 19, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

stmdc, you are on a weather blog for weather geeks that want to talk, cheer, and complain about all things weather. This is not the forecast page. Use another link and leave us amateur weather geeks to ourselves.

Posted by: rocotten | December 19, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Manassas City Schools have announced they will be closed on Monday. About 18" on the ground in the Wellington section of Manassas. Thanks CWG for your outstanding job in accuratly predicting this storm.

What does the next one (Christmas Eve) hold for our area??? I'd rather it be snow instead of rain.

Posted by: RWRose | December 19, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Will there be cab service tomorrow?

Posted by: nsg2282 | December 19, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse


This site has the best weather coverage anywhere.

If you looked for 5 minutes and can't find the estimated totals...that does say much for you since at the top of the page there are 2 links that take you directly to estimated totals in the area.

One where the "social network" reported totals and one where the NWS has totals.

Between you and ThinkSpring...must be time for the grumps to come out.

Posted by: JennySue69 | December 19, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

stmdc: 755 words of Capital Weather postings focused on the DC area isn't enough for you? For sites like Accuweather, Intellicast, WUnderground and, you'd be hard-pressed to find 100 words of expert commentary focused specifically on the DC area and located on one central page.

And what about the hundreds of comments that provided detailed information on how the storm affected local readers? By the way, don't forget that the team's forecast, though somewhat wide in scope, pretty much nailed the ensuing totals. I'm not really sure what else you could have been looking for.

By the way, if you were reading through the comments, you could have found the map of totals--as it was posted not far above your own post.

Posted by: KBurchfiel | December 19, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse


What information are you looking for?

Scroll down the main page for all previous posts that show accumulation maps, storm timelines, and variables that could have changed the performance of the storm.

The snow has not stopped in all areas. It is still snowing in parts of the area and not all official totals have been updated. With all major storms in the past, the CWG has provided a full post-storm assessment of both the storm, its impact, and their performance in their forecast. I predict things will be no different this time.

The comment section is offered as a supplement to the coverage from this site. Each post is displayed on the main page with the comments hidden so you don't have to read them. I, like many readers, enjoy the comment section as it allows a chance to clarify or offer feedback to these professionals. That opportunity isn't available with other websites, TV/radio media, or the NWS.

Posted by: jpl1019 | December 19, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Final total in Kensington, MD on enclosed deck: 22 inches at 10:50 pm. Light snow still falling.

Posted by: h0db | December 19, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

22 inches in Centreville VA what an amazing storm and thanks for using one of my storm name suggestions for the poll CAPWEATHER GANG thats whatsup. Glad i got my snow fix before i bounce back to college hopefully my family and I can make it to baltimore tomorrow for this cruise haaaaaaa should be an adventure

Posted by: jmc732msstate | December 19, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

I think it has finally stopped snowing here in Manassas.

I hope it has finally stopped snowing here in Manassas....

Posted by: ksrgatorfn1 | December 19, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Still snowing moderately here just north of Annapolis. Nothing showing on radar, but it's still coming down.

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

PS: stmdc, where have you been looking on this site? either you are looking in the wrong place or not looking hard enough, because the moderators (Ian, Camden, etc) here have been not only updating posts regularly, but they are interacting through the comments to provide updates and answers.

You might not like the "social" part of this media, but as a result, we have gotten feedback and storm updates not only from readers in cities around the DC area and throughout Commonwealth of VA, but from the moderators/"Gang" themselves, including forecasts, updates, and any changes in numbers as they have happened.

Posted by: ksrgatorfn1 | December 19, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the comments from "stmdc" ... I have to disagree with you on just about all counts of your comments above. CWG has provided consistent and comprehensive coverage of this storm since it was first appearing on our "radar," so to speak, earlier this week. Most of the "summary pages" you speak about were continuously updated throughout the storm as estimates were changed or further information came in.

Also, please remember that CWG is a blog on Washington Post's website, which inherently means that there is somewhat of a social nature to the interaction between the CWG writers and the commenters who respond. For the most part, the commenters have added to the coverage possible by the team by providing local reports of what's happening throughout the Washington area. If you don't want the social nature of a blog, either don't read the comments or go to somewhere else. May I suggest or the home page of

Finally, the CWG team has been covering this storm nearly nonstop for 24+ hours, and this storm literally JUST stopped in the last hour in some places -- and it's still snowing in spots as I just saw on NBC4. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt -- and a good night's rest -- before we start the analysis of forecasting versus actual event.

Posted by: joshnva | December 19, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

So what's the previous December DC snow record, 16.2" in 1962 per Ian Livingston, or 12" in 1932 per Dan Stillman in the CWG post from this afternoon?

Posted by: pjoseph327 | December 19, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

16.2 is the record TOTAL december snowfall

Posted by: danuva | December 19, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

congrats CWG. you deserve significant praise from your weather expert colleagues and WaPo. been a follower from the start and you have all stayed true to your professional style.

Posted by: novajeffc | December 19, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

KBurchfield and Jenny -- I don't read the comments because most of the commentators, like you, just blather without paying much attention to what they're commenting on. I wasn't looking for snow totals, but the estimated totals and a comparison. But thanks for proving the social media aspects of this are a waste of time and effort.

I'm sorry you have time to count the words posted by the Capital Weather Gang. I don't. And counting words doesn't measure the amount of information conveyed. THe Post provided very little real information and what little it does have is poorly organized and conveyed. Yes, I know I can turn to other sources. I did -- or didn't you read my comment? I got lots of useful info from the NYT.

Please don't bother to post more blather. I won't be checking back. But I did want to know that I thought their weather coverage was weak and poorly organized.

Posted by: stmdc | December 19, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

wow 2 little snow pockets above dc and baltimore

Posted by: samdman95 | December 19, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

I feel compelled to thank summerlover & ThinkSpring for their refreshing commentary. Yes, it's true that nobody here leads a productive and useful life except for themselves. I hope that they will both find the time to visit often and grace us with their witty, gracious, and helpful insights.


Posted by: bobsewell | December 19, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Great Job CWG your site is definitely the most accurate!! I think we got 22 inches at least in Olney.

It looks beautiful, but it is sort of pain. It took me 2 hours to clean off the car and shovel out at 1:30 and then I went back out expecting to have to remove about 6 inches and there was a whole 'nother foot!!

Fun reading and posting about snow with all of you.

Posted by: celestun100 | December 19, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Have you ever heard of "crowdsourcing"?

Posted by: mason08 | December 19, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

I don't think we got as much as weatherdude and zman in Lake Ridge, but we were close. Final tally: lost count. I'm about 3/4 mi from I-95 (as the crow flies), so we normally get less than our Lake Ridge bretheren. But it was amazing nonetheless. Thanks to CWG and the other posters for making me feel like I was still part of the outside world! I now have enough cookies for shovel brigades near my house tomorrow. :)

Posted by: southbridgemom | December 19, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't looking for snow totals, but the estimated totals and a comparison.

Are you being obstinate on purpose? There was a map. It's a few posts down.

Exec Summary of the map: 16"-24" in a wide swath across the region.

Exect Summ of the series of predictions: All but the latest were exceeded.

Posted by: mason08 | December 19, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Can you say "sweet spot" for DC!! In over 30 years, big storms come and go, and there was always some other spot to the west or north (or south or east) that had substantially more snow. DC was always the runner up. OK - so there may be a few inches more here or there with this storm too - but the band of heaviest action was centered on DC for most of the day, and here at 11:30pm, the flurries are still falling on the capital. There's no place I'd rather be! (Total for Georgetown - 20"+ - at this point who knows, and for once, it doesn't really matter :)

Posted by: manatt | December 19, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Hard to say exactly what the total is here at 34th & Q, NW, with all the blowing and drifting, but all told we got about 20" of fresh powder in the past 24 hours.

Posted by: fleeciewool | December 19, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

stmdc must have been having a bad day. It's kind of sad to see someone in that sort of mood; most normal people aren't, oh, so critical on a nice and snowy night.

And for the record: if you all will let me blather, you're welcome to blather to me all night. Though I might be in bed for a lot of it.

Posted by: KBurchfiel | December 19, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, still getting light snow here. Radar is clear, and no drifts can bring snow in from where it's blowing in from (over water), so there has got to be some still coming down not showing on radar. Either that or we are seeing some convection causing snow showers to remain right along the Chesapeake still.

Posted by: RandC | December 19, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

So much for Global Warming!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Jimbo77 | December 19, 2009 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the great forecast CWG. Jimbo, I don't know if your comment is a joke or not but this is an interesting article regardless:

Posted by: AndrewArlVA | December 19, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

4 PM snow depth check--15 inches. We had 3 or 4 inches since then, but it's letting up now.

Compares with 1996 and 2003.

No thundersnow recorded [contrary to Channel 9 hype!]. Vaisala is surprisingly lightning-free. According to historical accounts, "Knickerbocker" of 1/28/1922 was also thundersnow-free.

Next storm, Christmas, being threatened as mix-to-rain or rain, but continued 30-degree temperatures will make this event interesting.

Very good sign: Eastern U.S. weatherboard is now accepting guest access!!!

Posted by: Bombo47jea | December 20, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

This event has absolutely nothing to do with global warming, it is an isolated event 2000-2009 was still the warmest decade on record

Posted by: mrevell83 | December 20, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Further notes: ThinkSpring seems to be our local "Much-needed-rain" fifth-columnist these days. Haven't seen or heard from AugustaJim yet. I'm told by TV mets that his Upper Shenandoah domain is buried under as much as three FEET of snow!!!

One last note; Even if we get no more snow this winter, we're getting close to our seasonal average of 21 inches, something we haven't done in seven years! With more Arctic cold waves we could be headed for one of those forty-inch seasons that snow lovers here long for.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | December 20, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Out here in Reston, VA, we had 18 Inches by 1800 HRS EST. I have to go out and re-measure, but I am certain that we at least evened out around 20 Inches, possibly more.

My AK Husky is nearly two feet tall at her withers, and the snow was not far below that. Lol, she loved it so much, it's the most snow that she's ever been in at once. She would bury her entire head into the snow banks, then pop up with her face covered, do a twirl, and start bunny hopping all over the place. I tried keeping up with her (On the leash), but I ended up winded, and flat on my face lol (With my legs burning).

Posted by: TheAnalyst | December 20, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

"mrevell83", the 1930's saw higher averages temperature wise, than even the latter 1990's high-point. In the Arctic, the temperature cycle has been on a decline this past decade, and even at its highest crest, it never exceeded the 1930's-1940's peak. Also, take into mind the lesser effect of urbanized heat islands back in the previous time frame, and the results are actually even more dramatic when considering such.

You are correct, one event does not dictate an entire climate cycle, but multiple events do. Cooler Summers, colder Winters, and snowfall increases are all legitimate factors to discuss. This is especially so, when we are talking about historic record setting events.

Also, anyone who attempts to construe record cold and snowfall as to somehow displaying "proof" of AGW, is really reaching for straws, and I would seriously question their integrity (Especially when it runs contrary to original AGW Theory and projections). In the Telegraph Article from this past February (Linked to by "AndrewArlVA"), the MET is using 1850 as a flash-point for their judgements, despite the fact that this was near the end of the "Mini-Ice Age". Therefore, of course cold snaps and winter storms would become less frequent after such (Their recorded study goes back 350 years ago, a time period during which the "Mini-Ice Age" initially took a grip upon the planet, which they conveniently fail to mention as well). Before this "Mini-Ice Age", on the coat-tails of the MWP, Greenland had far more open green space than it does now. Therefore, we are still in the midst of a cooler climate cycle overall, as compared to the time period before which the MET's study begins at (Convenient, yet again).

Posted by: TheAnalyst | December 20, 2009 1:00 AM | Report abuse

stmdc -

Would you like some cheese with that whine?

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | December 20, 2009 1:30 AM | Report abuse

Glad to have everyone's participation today. Hope we all sleep well now. It was quite a storm! Remain safe tomorrow... nothing will clear or melt quickly at all.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 20, 2009 1:38 AM | Report abuse

TheAnalyist you are right, I'm just tired of people saying one storm somehow disproves global warming

Posted by: mrevell83 | December 20, 2009 1:43 AM | Report abuse

The people who try to discredit global warming by using this storm as an example are the same people who refuse to believe that more frequent hurricanes are a consequence of the same trend. In one case, small sample sets (increased seasonal hurricane activity) are considered irrelevant; in the other, the SMALLEST sample set (1) is proof positive.

Regardless of how you feel about global warming, just remember: the smaller the sample set, the more useless the interpretation. (How you choose to feel, personally, about people who interpret from a SINGLE point of data is up to you...)

Posted by: spankyman111 | December 20, 2009 3:17 AM | Report abuse

Light snow reported at DCA as of 2:52 a.m. I myself just saw some flakes outside at 3:40 or so; it looks like a few small regions of snow are passing south.

I think some compacting may have occurred during the night. My measurement of 21 and 7/8ths dropped down to 21.5 while the ruler was in place; it's not much of a difference, but I don't think the winds took the snow away. Maybe the ruler's position caused the snow to collapse a little?

Wow--I probably should go to bed. Soon, at least. It's been a long and snowy day.

Posted by: KBurchfiel | December 20, 2009 3:50 AM | Report abuse

Now now, don't touch that thermostat comrades! Just put a sweater on and enjoy the snowy & frigid results of an historic winter GOR'easter.


Posted by: porchfan | December 20, 2009 6:33 AM | Report abuse

NAtional Weather Service is reporting Waldorf as receiving 13.5 inches. I live in Waldorf and when I measured around noon yesterday, we hade 11 inches. We have 21 inches-not 13. I dont know what they were measuring with or where..but we received a heck of a lot more than 13 inches!

Posted by: IGotLotsToSay | December 20, 2009 6:48 AM | Report abuse

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