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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 12/ 5/2009

Wet snow spreads over region, sticking west

By Jason Samenow

Roads to become slick as day wears on, especially N&W

* Accumulation map, frequent questions, and timeline *
* Winter Weather Advisory through 9 p.m. *
* Capital Weather Gang on Twitter | Crews prepare for snow *
* Radar, temps & more: Weather Wall *

Rain and a rain/snow mix has mostly changed over to snow across the metro region as temperatures have dropped into the low-to-mid 30s. Snow, moderate to even heavy at times, will continue through the day though some rain may mix in downtown and south and east.

Reports indicate in the north and west suburbs, a light accumulation has already occurred -- with some reports of slush on the roads. Those places should have no problem getting 2-4" of snow. A few spots, especially where there is some elevation, could exceed 4".

Locations in town and south and east should easily pick up a slushy inch to two or three inches, with roads conditions deteriorating later this afternoon or this evening.

Our next update will be in the mid-afternoon. We welcome comments with your storm observations...

By Jason Samenow  | December 5, 2009; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: A snowy scene with slushy & slick roads

Comments

Snowing in downtown DC already (!)...

Posted by: MVTzen | December 5, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Snow starting to stick on the untreated roads in Rockville. Grass and cars are completely covered with about an inch to inch and a half.

Posted by: Ucfman3 | December 5, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

My wife just got back from the post office in Merrifield and she said some of the roads are getting very slippery. She saw no plows or spreaders treating the roads.

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | December 5, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Re-posting from the last thread --

Snowing pretty hard in Ashburn, it's lovely :-)

Is anyone else having problems with the Weather Channel? It's stuck on a radar loop from 5:09, via Comcast/Loudoun.

Posted by: natsncats | December 5, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Heavy snow falling in N. Stafford. Grassy areas and driveways are covered now.

Posted by: david_in_stafford | December 5, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Steady, heavy, wet, fluffy flakes with accumulations on the roads as well as grass in Manassas. Slushy, but its been all snow since at least 9:30 or 10:00 this morning. SNOW!!! SNOW!!! SNOW!! (Its been a long time)

Posted by: manassasmissy | December 5, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Big, puffy flakes falling steadily in Lake Ridge, with roofs, grassy areas, etc. fully covered. There's about an inch on my deck.

Should be interesting driving tonight...my kid's got a choir concert at 6:30.

Posted by: meta2 | December 5, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Here in Manassas it's been snowing very heavily since about 9 AM. It looks like 1.5" to 2" of accumulation so far (eyeballed off of the top of my fence), and the neighborhood roads and sidewalks are totally white. I don't know how the more heavily travelled roads are doing (I'm happily snug in my house).

Posted by: concolora | December 5, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

if only it was colder outside...still a little early in the season for it to be sticking everywhere.

really coming down now in bethesda...huge flakes,

Posted by: swishjobs | December 5, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

CWG- since you predicted it would start snowing at noon and we've already accumulated a couple inches in bethesda, is that bonus snow and we can still expect 2-4 MORE inches, or does this mean that it will snow less in the afternoon?
Thanks!

Posted by: samdman95 | December 5, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Heavy wet big snow in Logan Circle - mulch and cars beginning to get covered. Man, I need to get a life.

Posted by: 300_sq_ft | December 5, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

haha, I just realized I responded in another thread to "Technorati"...I guess the snow has gotten to my head.

on that note...I'm going to take it all in.

cheers

Posted by: swishjobs | December 5, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

CWG - that's not a dry slot I see forming on local radar is it??

Posted by: 300_sq_ft | December 5, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

West Springfield: Grass is vanishing under the snow...maybe approaching our first inch.

Posted by: bikerjohn | December 5, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Started snowing in NW Spotys. about 9:30, around 1/2" on ground. Temp dropped 5.5 degrees between 9 - 11. Spotsy cancelled the Christmas parade, was looking 4ward 2 watching my 5 yr granddaughter walk in it in the snow.

Posted by: VaTechBob | December 5, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Getting pummeled with big flakes in Glover Park... some melting, too bad it's not just a smidge colder.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | December 5, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

THE ROADS ARE A MESS HERE IN MADISON VA, AND ARE FIRE AND RESCUE ARE AT THERE WITS END. PLEASE DRIVE VERY CAREFUL. EVERY UNIT IS IN USE IN MADISON COUNTY.

Posted by: deveinmadisonva | December 5, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

@samdman95

The earlier start would've indicated a better chance of hitting the high end of the ranges we give. On the other hand, the snow may stop a little earlier than we first anticipated. So, in sum, probably a wash.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | December 5, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

All snow for about last 1-2 hours here in Hillcrest. Grass and cars are completely white and the trees are getting plastered with the heavy wet snow. Quite pretty.

Roads haven't been treated and are starting to get slushy. Hope the salt trucks come around soon...

Posted by: HillcrestDC | December 5, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Big Flakes in Gaithersburg with about 2 inches accumulation now.

Posted by: Thundershock | December 5, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Jim in NOVA here -

This is overperforming so far out my way. I am in Fair Lakes, and I woke up around 9:30 it already was all snow!

So I slept through the rain, fine by me :).

Posted by: jahutch | December 5, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Looking good here in downtown Silver Spring... Just made a journey up to Rockville and it's a winter wonderland up there! Starting to stick to everything here, including the streets!

Looks like this storm will end a little earlier than expected, based on the radar... but I also anticipate some backfill, so don't despair and enjoy the flakes!

Posted by: SkywalkerSS | December 5, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

around 2 iches of snow in reisterstown. still comming down hard.
CWG how lon is it going to snow today?

Posted by: snowlover3 | December 5, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Went out running at about 10 this morning in Old Town, mostly rain amongst the Bagpipes since the Scottish Walk is today. Mix started around 10:30 and full on snow around 11. Already starting to accumulate on grassy areas and streets are starting to get mushy in the gutter areas.

YAY!!!

Posted by: jacquelinemathis | December 5, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Here in the mountains just outside of Front Royal we have about 4 inches on the ground now. It's a winter wonderland, just beautiful. Still snowing hard.

Posted by: capone1 | December 5, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

re: questions how long will the snow last?

Latest data suggest snow may end a little earlier than we first thought... probably between 5 and 7 pm, rather than between 7 and 9 pm. That's good news for road conditions later tonight.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | December 5, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Greenbelt: .5" on grass, back roads getting slushy. Snowing hard: big flakes.

go snow!

Posted by: r3hsad | December 5, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Roughly 2 inches in Vienna, though it's fluffy and piling higher as a result.

Posted by: BDVienna | December 5, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

For anyone driving this afternoon and evening on slick roads, here are some tips from a post earlier this year:

*Before you drive, clear all ice and snow off of your car, including the windows, front and rear headlights, hood and roof.

*Let someone know where you are headed and what time you expect to be there.

*Keep your headlights on, even during the day.

*Travel at or below the speed limit and give yourself extra space behind other vehicles. Increase your stopping time even if you are driving a four-wheel drive vehicle.

*If you must brake quickly over snow or ice, press and hold the brake firmly if you have anti-lock brakes (ABS). If you do not have ABS, gradually pump the brake, increasing in firmness as your vehicle slows.

*Temperatures at or below freezing can lead to patches of "black ice" - clear ice on the roads that is nearly invisible from the driver's view. Use caution on bridges, overpasses, and intersections where icing is common.

Posted by: Ann-CapitalWeatherGang | December 5, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

The windowed side of the building seems to be the place to hang out today. It's like a weather-weenie convention!

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | December 5, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Sunny and 75 degrees here in Rockville.

Heehee...okay, not quite. Just drove to Congressional Plaza. Slushy mix and even slick in some spots. People driving without caution (it seemed) so be careful out there!

Posted by: authorofpoetry | December 5, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of weather-weenies, if you're as fascinated by snowflakes as I am (or if you have kids at home), try this: put a piece of black construction paper or felt cloth in the freezer for a few minutes, then take it outside (or just go outside with a dark-colored coat on) and catch snowflakes on it. You can identify them using this guide from snowcrystals.com.

Also have the kids check out Earth Gauge Kids for a quiz, fun facts and activities about snowflakes.

And don't forget to go outside and enjoy the snow while it lasts!

Posted by: Ann-CapitalWeatherGang | December 5, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Possibly not too far from Capone1, we have 6+ inches in the mountains east of Front Royal. The snow is getting lighter/finer. Current temp 29.3F.

Here's a short video from the backyard.

Posted by: spgass1 | December 5, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, CWG probably on earlier ending. Dry slot definitely working its way into SW area.
Snow has lightened slightly in Ashburn over last hour.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | December 5, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

wow, spgass1, congrats on so much snow!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 5, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Coming down hard in Tenleytown. Once my 15 month old gets up from her nap we are going to go outside and frolic! We already were outside catching snowflakes in our mouth and she loved it.

Posted by: mjwies11 | December 5, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

West Springfield: Over an inch now.

Posted by: bikerjohn | December 5, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Was going to run errands today. Roommate told me the roads were already slick and she saw several accidents. Staying home today and looking out the window to enjoy the pretty.

Posted by: epjd | December 5, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

in chevy chase, rain mixing in pretty much demolished all accumulation. had about 3/4 of an inch on the deck, but now its a hole filled dusting. My friend in bethesda said they didnt have that, so I guess its a localized problem

Posted by: cjespn | December 5, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Snow has been coming down in Takoma Park/Silver Spring/Wheaton since 9:30 am. Right now at home, the snowflakes are smaller than they were an hour ago, and there is at least 1.5 inches of snow on the wooden back porch. As of 1 hour ago, the roads from here to the Van Ness area were fine.

Posted by: Murre | December 5, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Just west of Tysons we have about 3 inches now in the non-asphalt areas and and 1.5 inches of snow and slush on the roads. I am surprised to see pictures on the Weather Channel that show no white sticking in the District because our grass became completely covered over an hour ago. Very beautiful.

Posted by: rocotten | December 5, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Thanks everyone for the snow reports. The region has many varied pockets of precip and temperatures, varying widely the snow accumulation local amounts!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 5, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Huntington, Alexandria- Completely snowing now, but very wet. Temps still (barely) over freezing but they have dropped 7 degrees in 4 hours so we'll see. Only thing it's sticking to thus far is the top of our trash can. http://twitpic.com/s9m1h

Posted by: kallieh | December 5, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Ann, great activity! I am going to try it with my students first chance I get!

Snow seems to, maybe, be starting to accumulate on grassy areas here in Old Town- not sticking to the metal on my balcony yet. Getting ready to go take a long walk around Old Town to take in the sights and hopefully get some nice snowy photos.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | December 5, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

4 inches of snow in the Town of Herndon and still coming down? How much should we expect from this point forward?

Posted by: CMan62 | December 5, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

2.5 here in madison va. by the heavy snow fall in the last 4 hrs, i thought we would be well over the 4 inch mark by now. i think when its all done we should be at the 5" mark. looks like lots more snow to go.deve

Posted by: deveinmadisonva | December 5, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Just west and northwest of the beltway could be jackpot.. nice band has just been sitting out there. We may see intermittent snow for a while but as the upper energy swings through later this afternoon we should see another solid intense period I think, and that looks to come as the sun is going down so it could get dicey. This event always seemed poised to overperform, but it's clear temperatures are an issue outside heaviest precip.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | December 5, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

rocotten, it is interesting to see elevational differences and then the heat island of downtown/river area going to work. There are a lot of small scale features involved here so far. In DC itself it seems to be ranging from basically no accumulation to around 1-2" in the "hills". Have probably had about 1.5" here in Glover Park (around 400 ft) on grass etc, but it's also melting a bit so we have about 1" on cooler surfaces at the moment.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | December 5, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Snow has lightened up here in downtown Silver Spring, and melting has happened immediately. Looks like another band is trying to make its way north through DC though!

Posted by: SkywalkerSS | December 5, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Been snowing since 9:30 in McLean near the Chain Bridge. It's sticking on even the main roads, which are a slushy mess.

Posted by: heelhen1 | December 5, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Someone to the west of I-95 could end up with 8"+ from this with the way banding has set up.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | December 5, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

snowing to beat the band in Centreville. Maybe we'll get the jackpot?

Posted by: mchristinaw | December 5, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Camden. Our power went off for about a minute but it came back on. I'm thinking our mail may not run today.

Posted by: spgass1 | December 5, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

i live west of the belt way and it has been snowiing hard for a few hours. how long will that band stay their and continue to dump snow

Posted by: snowlover3 | December 5, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm quite eager to get home and see how we've fared in Columbia. I might have to build a snow-fort in a friends backyard tonight....

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | December 5, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

spgass1, hope you keep your power on today. eesh!
snowlover3, it could be many several hours of snow through this evening.. Ian will be watching that band of snow for you!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 5, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

about the snowflake chart, what is the meaning of each type of flake? the ones coming down here are large clumps and are virtually unidentifiable.

Posted by: deveinmadisonva | December 5, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Picked back up in intensity now here in SS. Hanging Christmas lights in my window as I watch the snow. Doesn't get much better....

Posted by: SkywalkerSS | December 5, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

deveinmadisonva, we have had very large aggregate dendrites in the intense periods in D.C, very large flakes. Dendrites are great for accumulation and I think the marginal temps are causing them to clump and fall together. In some ways I think that can help overcome the initial ground warmth because of the greater surface area.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | December 5, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Snowflake size has increased in Silver Spring/Tacky Park. Inside watching it all at this time.

Posted by: Murre | December 5, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I put up an outdoor Christmas tree last weekend and it was getting pulled to the ground by the weight of the snow. I had to out and shake the snow off of the tree. Luckily, I got clip on Christmas bulbs so they all stayed on the tree.

Heavy snow is now falling. I estimate almost 4" on the ground in Oakton.

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | December 5, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jahutch | December 5, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Are folks seeing sand/salt trucks out and about today. I saw nothing going up and down I-270 in the Rockville/Gaithersburg area. Please report.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | December 5, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Gonna go ahead and congratulate CWG on their forecast of this storm.

You were on it all along. I was wrong thinking it was a non-event.

Good job.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | December 5, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Didn't see any trucks here in Gaithersburg where there's about 3 inches or so on the ground.

Posted by: Thundershock | December 5, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Roads are pretty dicey in Rockville and Bethesda. Lots of slush and I saw two plows during my 20 minute drive.

Posted by: PeterBethesda | December 5, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I congratulate Bob Ryan of NBC 4 who predicted we'd get 3-6 inches of snow after this paper and other places said it would be just an inch or so.

Posted by: Thundershock | December 5, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Checking in from SO. MD at the Potomac... Snowing hard but we can still (barely) see the grass thru the accumulation. Not sticking to the roads at all. The deck is completely covered.

Despite lack of accumulation, it's still great fun.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | December 5, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Drove around Bethesda / Potomac the past couple of hours and have not seen any snowplows / road treatments.

Concrete driveway is not covered with snow at all -- same can't be said for my side street -- anti-lock brakes went on twice in one block. Done driving today!

Posted by: JamieYPotomac | December 5, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

has anyone else had problems with rain mixing in? So far it has pretty much killed the storm in Chevy Chase

Posted by: cjespn | December 5, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

CWG - Any chance we se another 5 hours or so of steady snow out here in Odenton, MD? I am hoping to pick up a couple more inches!!!

Posted by: snowlover | December 5, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Been snowing for about 4 hours now yet not even an inch on the ground yet.

Posted by: jpl1019 | December 5, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Been snowing here in south arlington for 4 hours and not even an inch on the ground yet.

Posted by: jpl1019 | December 5, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

West Springfield: 1.75" so far 2:30pm

Posted by: bikerjohn | December 5, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Centreville VA western Faifax county VA:
Rain to snow switchover was between 8:30 AM - 9:00. Moderate wet snow with heavier bands all day. We have about 3 inches accumulation on the deck with less on the ground and NOTHING at all under most trees. The streets are a slushy mess that will likely hard freeze this evening. Snow is very heavy and with the gusty north winds looks likely to bust up some trees & shrubs before this is all over. Current temps registered here are 33.1 & 33.8. It's snowing fairly hard here right now.....and it is BEAUTIFUL.
Washington DC panda-cam http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/GiantPandas/default.cfm

Posted by: cville4 | December 5, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

No rain mixing in here north of Vienna...so close yet so far. Been snowing rather heavily since 8 AM and have 4-4.5" on the grass, but still only 1.5" on the pavement. The melting rate and the accumulating rate on the pavement seem to have evened out so it has stayed consistent on the roads. Actually, after shoveling the driveway, I think I actually removed some of the water from earlier, so oddly enough it is still accumulating there while it has steadied out on our patio.

Posted by: rocotten | December 5, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Is the alligator around? If so I won't let my lobster out.

Mike

PS Or was it the lobster that ended up eating the alligator? I forgot. That would be better, because I don't have an alligator.

Posted by: MikeinDC2 | December 5, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

In Aldie, we've got 6" on the grass and car, with 4" on the pavement, and it's still coming on strong. Overperforming? And how...

Posted by: tws1372 | December 5, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

@Thundershock

Bob's final forecast looks like it will do pretty well. I believe Thurs. night he was predicting a 50/50 chance of our first inch of snow in the area, and then increased his forecast yesterday as did we (and most other outlets). Once the storm is over and the final totals are in, we can assess how well our forecast verified.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | December 5, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

wow, looking at the pics from around the areq, we got cheated here in my neighborhood in Ft Washington! Snow barely sticking to roofs and still see about 50/50 snow grass out there. Even those of you in DC got a lot more than we did. Enjoy, just send it our way next on the next storm :(

Posted by: ftwash | December 5, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I should update my 1.5" total for the roadways in Vienna as that was based on the road near my house, which is surrounded by trees. More like 2-3" as I just drove to help my friend look for his dog. The roads are awful with slush topped by a couple inches of snow.

Posted by: rocotten | December 5, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

A few minutes ago the wind picked up in Germantown and the snow was going sidewise. Then it went back to straight down. Not heavy but steady.

Posted by: epjd | December 5, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Heavy snow again here in downtown Silver Spring... we're getting clobbered at the moment. Still only somewhere around an inch accumulation.

Posted by: SkywalkerSS | December 5, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Drove from Woodbridge to Lake Ridge (~5 miles West of Woodbridge) and there is a HUGE difference in snow coverage and snow amounts.. Barely nothing is sticking in Woodbridge (close to 95) while Lake Ridge has close to 3 inches and it continues to snow..

Posted by: ZmanVA | December 5, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Dan - The City of Rockville trucks are out, but very sporadically...I think they don't really care much since it is a weekend!

Posted by: authorofpoetry | December 5, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Looking at radar, backside of precip shield looks like it may be weakening ever so slightly. So, the NWS forecast of precip diminishing around sunset with another inch may be pretty accurate.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | December 5, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

What is with the snowflakes in the forecast for tomorrow?!?!

Posted by: authorofpoetry | December 5, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Conditions "deteriorated" nicely this morning in G'town, and it has been snowing ever since, but not sticking to anything consequential. Looks pretty though.

Posted by: fleeciewool | December 5, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Dan, why does the paper still show 1 inch of snow when you click on the forecast??

Posted by: Thundershock | December 5, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Very light precipitation, might be rain?? Hard to tell since I don't want to leave the house yet (Silver Spring Takoma Park)

Posted by: Murre | December 5, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Three miles south of Alexandria we have a dusting in grassy areas and wet pavement. Temperature is 32.2 at 1600 hrs.

Posted by: bdeco | December 5, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Herndon has around 5 inches in open ground, I'd guess, but there's hardly anything where there is shelter from a tree or building. Ploughs have been through, and we've just finished demolishing the ridge at the end of the driveway.

Posted by: fsd50 | December 5, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I measured 7" on the patio table on the deck in Clarksburg, MD around 6:30 PM....about 4-5 wet sloppy inches on the driveway. Frederick Costco, which is about 15 miles north of me only had about 1 inch when I was there around 5:30 PM.

Posted by: hian | December 5, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

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