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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 12/ 1/2009

Season's first snow chance arrives early

By Jason Samenow

* Volatile week: Full Forecast | Winter road warriors at the ready *

Next Chance of Accumulating Snow: Saturday-Saturday night
Probability of Accumulating Snow: 25%
Most Likely Potential Impact:

As Ian pointed out yesterday, Dec. 5 (Saturday) is a strangely favored first day of snow in the D.C. area over the past decade, so it is interesting to see this potential appearing again. (Clearly, when I wrote "No signs of our first snow threat though" yesterday I had the reverse mojo going...)

How could this all happen? Cold air will spill into the region behind a storm that threatens rain for the area Wednesday p.m. through Thursday a.m. Then, another storm is likely to develop in the Gulf of Mexico late in the week and move up the East Coast Saturday with some cold air in place. The big uncertainty, like always, is the storm track. A track too far inland would push warm air and rain into the region (25% chance), a track just offshore would hold the cold air in and give us snow (25% chance), whereas a track further east would deliver either a glancing blow or a miss (50% chance).

The most likely timing for the storm would be the second half of Saturday into early Sunday morning.

Keep checking back for updates.

Matt Rogers contributed to this outlook.

By Jason Samenow  | December 1, 2009; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Snow Lover's Crystal Ball  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: PM Update: One-day break from rain on Tuesday
Next: Forecast: Sun today, stormy Wednesday


Current temp. in Burke: 31.6 with a nice clear sky.

Hooray! First threat of snow for the 2009-2010 winter season. Things seem like they're getting off to a good start. Take a look at this:

Posted by: Yellowboy | December 1, 2009 6:51 AM | Report abuse

So....if this thing tracks "just right," for snow, what type of temps are we looking at and how much snowfall? Under this senario, are we looking at rain changing to snow, or an all snow event. This is the year that I learn how to read the GFS/NAM, etc., so that I don't have to ask these types of questions. I wish there was a seminar being offered on how to read the weather models. Thanks!

Posted by: snowlover | December 1, 2009 6:57 AM | Report abuse

@Yellowboy - what does the orange line on the map indicate; rain/snow line? Thanks!

Posted by: snowlover | December 1, 2009 6:59 AM | Report abuse


No the rain/snow line would approximately be the blue line to the left of the orange line

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | December 1, 2009 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Wow, the GFS is really living up to its name (Good For Snow)

Posted by: Sterlingva | December 1, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

@CWG - Thanks, and I was afraid that might be the case! But still looks okay as long as it stays that way.

Posted by: snowlover | December 1, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Wahoo! First snow chance! I remember 6-7 years ago when we were suprised by... what was it, 6 inches of snow?... on or around December 5th. A harbinger of that snowy winter... bring it on!

Posted by: MKoehl | December 1, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

yea! snow :)

Posted by: madisondc | December 1, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: CapitalClimate | December 1, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

The 18Z map looks GOOD FOR SNOW here.

Now the question remains...whether the ECMWF, GEM, NOGAPS & the other models SUPPORT the GFS on this... I continue hearing "rain", "flurries" or even "partly cloudy & blustery" in the Dec. 5 extended forecast!

Posted by: Bombo47jea | December 1, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Toronto set a snow record in November.

Posted by: CapitalClimate | December 1, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

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