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Posted at 3:50 PM ET, 12/19/2009

When will record-setting snowfall end?

By Dan Stillman

Moderate to heavy snow continues

* Winter Storm Warning through tonight | Travel tips *
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A snow plow on the streets of D.C. this afternoon. By CWG photographer Ian Livingston.

Despite the lack of snow in recent winters, today is proof positive that "The Big One" can still happen in D.C. and vicinity. Most metro area locations have already surpassed a foot of snow, with many probably approaching or exceeding 18 inches and counting.

Accumulation at National Airport has burned past the previous greatest December snowfall on record for Washington, D.C. (12 inches in 1932). With 14 inches as of last report, and still going strong, this storm now ranks No. 10 on the list of D.C.'s biggest snowstorms.

While the Blizzard Warning in effect earlier has been cancelled, moderate to heavy snowfall could continue for at least a few more hours before tapering this evening.

In an earlier post, we asked what you would name this storm, and there was no shortage of suggestions left in our comments section. We've picked some of the best candidates and put them in a poll below. Please vote for your favorite!...

IMPACT FORECASTS

SchoolCast (Mon.)

 
We welcome comments below with your storm reports...

By Dan Stillman  | December 19, 2009; 3:50 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts, Updates, Winter Storms  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: New December snowfall record for D.C.
Next: Historic storm begins exiting region

Comments

First!

Posted by: mjwies11 | December 19, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

15" and still going in Wesley Heights.

Posted by: ah___ | December 19, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Old Town Alexandria update: Snowing very hard here with steady winds. Temp is 26 degrees out. I'm getting ready to head outside and take my first measurement & get tons of pictures. I took another iPhone picture & posted it here: http://joelhousman.com

Posted by: joelhousman | December 19, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Gusty winds & moderate to heavy snowfall all morning & afternoon in Centreville VA. The forecast yesterday afternoon seems spot on! Some of our local evergreens are really stressed under the weight of snow & drifts. A few people have attempted to drive out of the neighborhood with mixed results. Don't even try it unless you A) have all wheel drive hi clearance vehicle & B) have driven in similar conditions before. Just don't drive unless you absolutely have to, ok?

Temp 25 degrees. Snow is close to 20 inches(?) but there is a lots of drifting so I can't attest to accuracy.
Wow what a snowstorm. Please everyone be safe.

Posted by: cville4 | December 19, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I posted on the old board- CWG-
what are the chances of Alexandria and Arlington being closed on Tuesday?

And yes, I am a teacher~ bring on Christmas break!

Posted by: icecubedowntoilet | December 19, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

3:15 p.m.- At least 13" in Chevy Chase. Yardstick measurement in the front yard. It's really blowing, and there are cars abandoned in the street.

Posted by: ChevyChase3 | December 19, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

You may want to raise that apple by a half, CWG. Loudoun is out for both Monday and Tuesday already; those federal funds must have been less than the cost of clearing the parking lots and heating the buildings. (Happy winter break - this is my last year!)

26.2 degrees, moderate to heavy (heavily moderate?) snow ATTM.

Posted by: Sterlingva | December 19, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Updated my Snowpocalypse 09 set, http://www.flickr.com/photos/kitcase/sets/72157623030405866

Amazing looking down 123, towards Tyson's, on the Saturday before Christmas, and seeing so little traffic.

Posted by: wiredog | December 19, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

CWG: Will you do a FedCast, and if so, when?

Was there a final decision on the icon to use for FedCasts? I can't recall...

Posted by: --sg | December 19, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Just did a measurement of the snow on my deck in Centreville: 18 inches. Here's hoping Fairfax follows Loudoun and calls it a year...

Posted by: fitzcarraldo | December 19, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Surf is going off in Ocean City. Not that I would ever go out in these conditions. OC Webcam:

http://71.200.75.211/livevid.html?frills=no?ds=1

Posted by: wiredog | December 19, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Since Loudoun schools are now closed on Monday and Tuesday, they can take their sweet time plowing their parking lots - their winter break begins on Wednesday and goes through January 3. Lucky kids!

Posted by: thepostischeap | December 19, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Wow. So can we start comparing "the back end of the precip" to the "last throes of the insurgency"? Heavy snow in G'town right now, roads impassable.

Posted by: fleeciewool | December 19, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

16.5 inches in McLean as of 3:20. That's a snowfall rate of 1.5 inches in the last hour, which is twice as intense as the 1:15 to 2:20 time slot.

If you've been watching the radar, you've likely noticed how the winds have shifted a little. Things seem to be filling in nicely to our south, and the snow seems to be coming more from a more westerly direction. Those both have to be good signs.

Just an astounding storm. Did the power just go out for a second?

Posted by: KBurchfiel | December 19, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

It's coming down pretty heavy in North Arlington. It's drifted to the point where it is difficult to measure, but I'd estimate we got 12 to 14 inches. It's coming down inch-an-hour fast now, so we may get another couple of inches before it peters out. It's lovely.

Looking forward to wearing out the kids on the local sledding hill tomorrow!

Posted by: BadMommy1 | December 19, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Storm backfilling= offshore intensifying going on. We are going to get another three to four hours of moderate snow.

Posted by: Tom8 | December 19, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

NAM shows we are not as close to done with this as most of the outlets seem to be discussing... odd.

Posted by: Alexandria2009 | December 19, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Still coming down hard in Tenleytown - about to go out for my second shovel. I did it at around 8 am and I think there is more snow now then there was then. Then I am going to stick my 16 month old in the backyard and measure........

Posted by: mjwies11 | December 19, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

This storm is not over for us yet. Too many outlets are using weather radar as a prognostication tool, when in fact those "edges of snow and gaps in the snow" are just pauses in what is a dynamic atmosphere right now. Lots is still brewing for us. And only the weather models are able to capture that. So, ignore all those radar images out there that tv station weather folks are pointing to as if they can predict snowfall.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and what the heck is wrong with Fenty? He seems to not be acknowledging the severity of the event.

Posted by: Alexandria2009 | December 19, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

An absolutely wicked band between Dale City and St. Charles has just been sitting there for hours now, they must have close to 2 feet by now.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Camden- Great analysis! I am going to head out for my third round of shoveling

Posted by: Tom8 | December 19, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Snow My God!!

Posted by: klustila | December 19, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

these bands are really intensifying and moving very slowly. they are just pivoting around the area

Posted by: snowlover3 | December 19, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Thanks CWG!

Posted by: Alexandria2009 | December 19, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Wow nice intensification of precip right overhead - the radar is blowing up right now.

Posted by: fleeciewool | December 19, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

What an amazing storm. It seems to be churning away here.... crazy stuff. In the past hour the snow on my deck has gone from 18.5" to 20.5"

Herndon, VA

Posted by: markinva | December 19, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

...and the bottom just fell out of my barometer.

Posted by: fleeciewool | December 19, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

The numbers at DCA have come in low in every snowstorm I can remember going back to '93. I don't know if it's their proximity to the river, the heat island effect from the runway and parking lots, the heat from the planes, or some combination of all of these, but they usually seem to report totals ~10% less than locations very close by. This was certainly true with the blizzards of '96 and '03. With this storm, however, they seem to be low by at least 20%. They are reporting only 14" whereas everyone else is report 17+".

Posted by: bdeco | December 19, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I think moderate to heavy snow may continue past midnight. Is that plausible?

Posted by: Alexandria2009 | December 19, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Took my daughter sledding today. Not easy pulling a 40lb 4-year old in snow up to my knees but we had a great time!!! How awesome would it be to have two blizzards in one season?!?!

Posted by: authorofpoetry | December 19, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

One more giddy comment and I'll give it a rest - my name for this storm is: "Hurricane Santa."

Posted by: fleeciewool | December 19, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Heavy snow once again in Lake Ridge.. Closing in on 2 feet of snow!!

Posted by: ZmanVA | December 19, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Repeat of earlier post: Easily 15, possibly as much as 17, inches in my backyard in Silver Spring at about 3:30. The snow continues to fall at a moderately strong pace. I'm done with cleaning until tomorrow.

Posted by: Murre | December 19, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

CWG,
I now finally believe the NAM to its fullest as radar is INDEED FILLING in nicely. This storm is longgg from over.

Posted by: marylandwx | December 19, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

CWG - OUTSTANDING COVERAGE!! Great job, Guys!!

Camden - Thanks for the analysis on the continuation of the storm. I, too, was getting hung up on the northward advancement of the outer edges and gaps in precip. I see now on the radar how the wrap-around snow is filling back in, rather rapidly I might say. Great call.

Just over 18" on my deck out here in Camp Springs, MD.

Posted by: johnnierat | December 19, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Camden, absolutely correct. In fact, the current development and intensification of bands was indicated in yesterday's NAM, especially the high res version

It ain't over 'till it's over!

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Trying to get a FedCast up! ... having some technical difficulties

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

ZmanVA, I'm jealous! My snow total went down here in Lake Ridge from 19 to 17 because of the wind. Crap. I was hoping we'd break 20, but hey...I can't complain! I remember when we were all excited over 3 inches of snow, now we're talking about 2 feet of snow like it's just a lil' flurry.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | December 19, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I measured 19" in Friendship Heights in NW DC

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Thanks everyone for following us at CWG. For those of you just south & east of the Beltway--Brian alluded to a strong band of snow. It is really coming down for those of you south & east of town right now. But for all of us, we have more snow to contend with until late evening tonight.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

http://box.mmm.ucar.edu/prod/rt/wrf/wrf20/2009121900/tarn.hr18.png

This is incredible! Ok I'll be quiet now =)

Posted by: Alexandria2009 | December 19, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

@ weatherdudeVA - I wouldn't call it a flurry; I can't open my front door ;)

Continued moderate snow in Sterling, 26.7 degrees, we may be over 20" right now... haven't gone to measure since 2:00 (16").

Posted by: Sterlingva | December 19, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

weatherdudeVA - It's getting harder to measure.. but with about 19-20 inches already on the ground and with hours of decent snow to go.. we are bound to break the 2 feet mark - (fingers crossed).

Posted by: ZmanVA | December 19, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I want an absolutely wicked band!

Posted by: snowlover | December 19, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

CWG, could you all do an article on what the reason behind the DCA Bummer is when it comes to measuring snow. This has been going on for all 20 years of my weather geekiness.

17" on the dirt, 16.25" on the pavement here north of Vienna.

Posted by: rocotten | December 19, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

FYI, East-West Highway from Colesville Rd up the hill past the Giant Plaza is basically a car-trap. I just walked by and there were several cars stuck or spinning their tires. If you have to go through there try to turn into the Giant parking lot as that is plowed better than the road...

still snowing strong in Silver Spring.

Posted by: bmp246 | December 19, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

What role do you think the budget crunch will have on the decision to close schools or not?

Posted by: edwardappleby | December 19, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Allright all, I'm going to make my attempt at escape. Wish me luck, at least I'll get a good grasp on snow totals from SE all the way up towards Balt.!

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I ask again -- is it likely I see another 6" from this storm say from 4:30?

Posted by: snowlover | December 19, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Photo of our storm from a couple hours ago:

http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/realtime/single.php?A093531800

Posted by: RandC | December 19, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Well, it took 20 hours, but I have finally seen a plow on my cul du sac. He was spinning his wheels as he was pushing the 17+ inches of accumulation out of the street. Now, the big question...try to take advantage and run down to the grocery 1/2 mile a way, or just stay and find ways to make things minus milk?

Posted by: ksrgatorfn1 | December 19, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Egg in the face of the naysayers late last night who were saying we'd only get 8-12". You know who you are! As CWG points out above, you looked at the radar and assumed the breaking up appearance meant the storm was breaking up. Nope. It was just getting started! NWS issued a statement around 2am that "intense cyclogenesis" was still expected for today and they were right.

Posted by: wandering1 | December 19, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

17" on my deck in Greenbelt at 4 pm, with moderate snow continuing.

Posted by: markf40 | December 19, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Just measured 24" in my front yard in Charlottesville. With compacting, it's gotta be more than 2 feet.

Still a nice, light snowfall, too.

Posted by: cvilleSnowMan | December 19, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Dan & all CWG, thanks for posting the FedCast!

Posted by: --sg | December 19, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Awesome coverage, and awesome fun! Thanks for the great coverage CAPx!

Posted by: snowlover | December 19, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Good God.

Posted by: fleeciewool | December 19, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Ok, the snow can end now. I think there's plenty out there for everyone!!

Posted by: rumbly45 | December 19, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

18" in Bethesda near Massachusetts Avenue. I would say it's snowing a little more than an inch an hour.

Posted by: nlcaldwell | December 19, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I am looking at forecast high temperatures for Washington on the Washington Post site (via Accuweather) and on the Weather Underground site for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday Wednesday, and Thursday. Here is what I see now:

Post 36, 33, 42, 42, respectively

Wx Und. 29, 36, 31, 32

I wonder why there is up to an 11-degree difference?

Posted by: BaracksTeleprompter | December 19, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Well, I goofed that up. Here are the forecast highs for Sun. through Wed.:

Post 36, 33, 42, 37

Wx. Und. 29, 36, 31, 32

Still, an 11-degree difference on Tuesday.

Posted by: BaracksTeleprompter | December 19, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Hope everyone is staying safe in this major historic weather event

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

19.5" east of Front Royal, 19.6F, light snow continuing.

Posted by: spgass1 | December 19, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Light to moderate snowfall this last hour in Centreville VA. Lots of wind & drifting & absolutely horrible road conditions. Current snowfall rates certainly not as ferocious as the all day blizzard bands, but steady accumulation continues. Estimate 16 - 20+ inches, impossible to tell here with any accuracy. It's a lot of snow for sure.

Posted by: cville4 | December 19, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

to answer accumulation questions, yes another 4-8" is still possible. Probable in many areas.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Temperature predictions (highs AND lows) for this upcoming week... aim low. Look at the lowest estimates out there, and go with those. With all of this snow, all temperatures will be muted and colder than most weather outlets are predicting right now.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Measured 16 inches in Adams Morgan at 4:30 and still going strong. Occasional heavy winds still gusting up 18th street.

Posted by: egindc | December 19, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Thanks cvilleSnowMan for the accumulation update. Two feet sounds about right for my area off Rt. 20 south. (Don't want to venture outside again for another measurement.)

Posted by: shmoozer | December 19, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

CWG: Thanks. Been following you guys all this week. Keep up the good work. Great coverage. Though I don't know NAM from Pam, it's been interesting. What a storm!

Posted by: jpg63 | December 19, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

just as i think its ending here in madison va, the radar fills back in. i have had all i can take at this point. i thought it was going to end before dark. how much more snow will we get in madison ???

Posted by: deveinmadisonva | December 19, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Traffic stopped at Thomas Circle on 14th street. Mass Ave NW also experiencing severe problems -- barely passable. Vehicles abandoned nearby.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Very heavy snow redeveloping over downtown DC and especially points from La Plata MD over to Charlottesville VA - watch out everyone. Possible thundersnow. 4-5" per hour snowfall rates.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

wow Camden, that additional amount you expect is pretty incredible. outside steps and benches have definitely disappeared here in Clarendon.

Posted by: novajeffc | December 19, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Camden, could thos 4-5" rates make it up to the Crofton, Annapolis area?

Posted by: snowlover | December 19, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

when is the heavy bandy gonna hit takoma park, Camden?

Posted by: redskinsfan01 | December 19, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

The band is hard to predict. I dont expect it to move much. But all of us are still under moderate snow for several more hours.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Old Town Alexandria update: Just came in from outside about 20 minutes ago. Am uploading pics now (took a bunch) and will be posting a link as soon as they finish but I wanted to go ahead and give an update. I measured an untouched part of the parking lot across the street & measured 14" with a tape measure (the metal kind). I then found a picnic table about 500 feet away & measured the untouched snow on top if it & got 15.5" of snow.

The snow had moderated from heavy snow to just moderate snow when I was out (although still snowing large flakes). Since I've came back in, it has noticeably strengthened. Visibility has reduced to the point that it was earlier today around 1 or 2 pm. The wind has picked up some too.

Posted by: joelhousman | December 19, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Although I don't have better Fedcast logo for you (Wash. monument buried in snow perhaps), I think that there should pretty much always be two capitol domes, regardless of weather, given how little they work up there.

Posted by: ah___ | December 19, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Just over 14" in Silver Spring (inside beltway) - still coming down at a good pace here.

Posted by: FunkyGawy | December 19, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Forget a record for December son - what's the all time record for snowfall in DC? We've got to be closing in rapidly.

Posted by: fleeciewool | December 19, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Can there be an "other" for the naming of the storm? I don't care for any of those, especially since Festivus isn't until the 23rd and since the effects were felt far beyond the Beltway. Yule is later this weekend--maybe the Yuletide Snowstorm?

Posted by: jkuchen | December 19, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

is that heavy band going to move north over time and affect areas in baltimore county

Posted by: snowlover3 | December 19, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Baracks Teleprompter

The AccueWX temps are derived from its in-house version of GFS based Model Output Statistics (MOS). That is, the raw model output is statistically corrected on the basis of past model performance. For example, suppose the model temps are known to be systematically too warm by 2 deg, MOS would adjust by subtracting 2 deg. It's more complicated than that, but OK for illustration.

Weather Underground obtains temperature forecasts by a NWS version of MOS, which likely accounts for differences.

I do not want to speak for CWG forecasters, but am strongly inclined to believing they consider NWS MOS, but can adjust on the basis of personal experience and expertise. Straight MOS, whatever the source, does not have the value added advantage of forecaster intervention, i.e., for example, knowing when MOS looks wrong or biased in some specific circumstances

I recall looking at which verifies better on average, but since I don't have details now, I can't comment right now

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

They want us to name the storm before any catastrophies have occured due to it.

Harkening to the little snow-scene you shake up and set on a shelf for peasant viewing by infants and toddlers, I think we should name this octo-storm, Octo-Mom's snow scene.

Otherwise, we should wait for some tragic loss of life due to accident or inability for emegency crews to respond in time.

Posted by: blasmaic | December 19, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Ashburn near IAD - measured 17 inch pretty much in all flat spots in my backyard at 5pm. Kids and neighbors just got done taking a quick walk. It was fun! Only snowing light to moderate right now.

Posted by: LoudounGeek | December 19, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

And the NWS Station at DCA is now reporting 10 inches.

(just kidding...they used to count crowds on the Mall for the NPS)

Posted by: Losercuda | December 19, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

As of 5pm, around 14" in Hanover, PA.

Posted by: FeartheNoodle | December 19, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

21 inches in Poolesville. Snow moderate. Temp 26.2

Posted by: MKadyman | December 19, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

And, BTW, my measuring stick on the relatively-enclosed deck a mile from DCA has pretty much disappeared. It was 20" tall.

I inserted it into the snow at 11:00 and it was at 12".

Posted by: Losercuda | December 19, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Saw two county vehicles plowing the parking lots at our Fairfax county elementary school at 11am this morning. Total waste of time and money. Good thing there isn't a budget crisis or anything like that.

Posted by: xathros | December 19, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to turn the usual "If it were cold enough to snow..." bromide on its head and ask, if this were a rain event, how much would we be getting?

Posted by: snowpro | December 19, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

I have about 17"-18* out here in Odenton, anyone want to take a guess at my total by 6:00 am tomorrow? I am thinking along the lines of 21"-23". Sound reasonable?

Posted by: snowlover | December 19, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Just measured 15-16 inches in many places in downtown Silver Spring. Pictures to follow....

Posted by: SkywalkerSS | December 19, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

to figure out qpf (rain totals), divide the amt. of snow in inches by 10 or 12

Posted by: danuva | December 19, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Huntington Area, Alexandria update- 17 inches. We usually always run lower then most other areas so we are just in awe by this. The snow on our back deck is piled up so high we can't get out of our back door.

Posted by: kallieh | December 19, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Snow:Rain = roughly 10:1

Posted by: Alexandria2009 | December 19, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

@danuva

Believe it or not, ratios with this storm have been closer to 20:1 than 10:1...due to powdery nature of storm.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Sidewalks are impassable in NW dc. My 15 min walks are now very dangerous 45min walks. ugh

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

blasmaic: "Otherwise, we should wait for some tragic loss of life due to accident or inability for emegency crews to respond in time."

http://www.wtopnews.com/?nid=600&sid=1845270
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Authorities believe the winter storm that dumped up to two feet of snow on parts of Virginia may have contributed to three deaths.

Posted by: map408 | December 19, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Old Town Alexandria update Pictures have been posted: http://joelhousman.com

Once I got the pictures off the camera I took a closer look at the tape measure. In the above post I said I measured 15.5". After looking at the picture in high-res, I think it was closer to 16".

The 3 pictures of the tape measure measuring the snow on the top of the picnic table are at the bottom of the blog post. I apologize for not holding the ruler on the outside of the table so you could clearly see the bottom touching the top of the table, but I only have a 50mm f/1.4 lens and my arm is not long enough to hold the ruler in 1 hand, and the camera in the other, and still capture the entire ruler length + table + snow in the same shot.

Again - I measured 16" on that table & ~14" across the street from it in an untouched parking lot.

Posted by: joelhousman | December 19, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Ok,I'm from near Boston originally, why are there so many people still on the roads? Why havn't the roads been closed except to emergency vehicles?

Posted by: Alexandria2009 | December 19, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Camden - lets say as of 5:30 how much snow is left SW to NE? lets say charlottesville, DC, BWI?

Posted by: snowlover | December 19, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Just measured here in N. Potomac/Gaithersburg 17 inches! Snow is up to my knees and where the snow was plowed, there are drifts up to 6 feet tall! Do not go driving in this snow. I can tell you from having taken a walk in it, that it is highly likely you won't be able to get any traction. In addition, the snow even on plowed roads are up to a foot high or so in spots.

Posted by: Thundershock | December 19, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Serious snowdrifts over two feet. Hard to measure snow in downtown dc. wow. wind blowing everything.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Still coming down strong here in the City of Manassas. Visited the Wal-Mart at Manassas Mall, not a gallon of milk to be seen. Roads are hit and miss. Still too many yahoos in cars thinking they can drive in this mess and have something to prove.

Posted by: irish031 | December 19, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

snowlover: Cville 2"; DC 4"; BWI 6"

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

As to the DCA low-snow totals - a person I work with in the World Weather Building claimed that the DCA offices measure the snow amounts on a flat rooftop, not an open ground surface. This is at best third-hand information, so take the appropriate shaker of salt (with lime and tequila if you are so inclined); the claimed source was very high on the NWS food chain.


Posted by: jace2 | December 19, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Here in ParkFairfax (just across 395 from Shirlington Village), it is now coming down as if windblown - but windblown straight down! I was here for both 2003 and 96, but don't remember it snowing nonstop for this long during either of those events.

Posted by: snowpro | December 19, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

snowlover...I'm in Odenton also. Just measured about 20". If it keeps coming down like this I wouls think we would have just over 2 feet of snow when it is all said and done.

Posted by: add1212 | December 19, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

edwardappleby asked, "What role do you think the budget crunch will have on the decision to close schools or not?"

Not a heck of a lot, I reckon. With the "snow emergency" declaration, state funds are (theoretically) available to help local districts with weather-related costs. In the other direction, any federal/state funds lost by non-attendance on school-closing days is roughly offset by saving money on contractual services & energy/maintenance costs. If saving money by closing schools was a viable strategy, they could just declare four-day school weeks (ten-to-twelve hour days), six months per year (the nice-weather months!) and save a heck of a lot of money. For any of a number of reasons, that's not generally how budgets are balanced.

Posted by: bobsewell | December 19, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

If it is a rooftop, that is idiotic. Every roof on my street has less snow than the grass or even the pavement. Obviously the wind would blow some of the rooftop snow off.

You would think weather people would know how to do it right.

Why can't DC have another official spot so the totals the announce on the news, like the Weather Channel do our area some justice.

TWC is still saying "over a foot" in the DC area when most of us are at or surpassing 1.5.

Posted by: rocotten | December 19, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

hoe much more for areas just North and west of baltimore

Posted by: snowlover3 | December 19, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

I can't recall the poster's name, only that their were from Iowa, but last night they felt the storm was only going to produce less than a foot of snow. Have they been back for their crow pie?

Posted by: irish031 | December 19, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Hole-y socks! We're just above 20 inches in Dale City. Dogs and kid losing collective minds! I must say I'm not terribly crazy about our choices for the names, either. Solstice is Monday, so perhaps Solsti-storm? Yup, looking at it, that's pretty lame. I'll try again later.

Posted by: chrissie413 | December 19, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

@bobsewell

Right, but isn't an extra day or two in June more cost effective than the cost of plowing for a 2- or 3-day school week?

Posted by: edwardappleby | December 19, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

where is the snowcam with the ruler? can you guys provide a link? thanks!

Posted by: samdman95 | December 19, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Nickname: The Big Dumper? (or not...)

Posted by: snowpro | December 19, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Can we get a new map with revised projected final totals? I must say, yours were pretty damn good this morning.

Posted by: FeartheNoodle | December 19, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

@Camden, 5:30 (and others). I briefly opened the door at about 5:30 and saw the strongest winds of the day blowing snow off the roofs on my block. Snow was sideways and the wind/gust could have been 20-30 mph.

Posted by: Murre | December 19, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

@FeartheNoodle

The map we put up this morning and late last night was our final call. No need to adjust at this point...we called for 16-24 across a broad area which seems pretty good. I think we'll see another 2-4" now.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

NW DC Sidewalk on 38th ST. (Tenleytown) is (was) clear of snow 45 minutes ago. Now it is covered yet again. Still coming down with alacrity. At least 18 inches.

Posted by: mjwies11 | December 19, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

I suppose the winds could have been stronger than I indicated...

Posted by: Murre | December 19, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

@icecubedowntoilet

I'd say at least 50/50 chance your holiday has started...but tough to predict how quickly crews will clear roads and what these school systems will do.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Early this afternoon, radar clearly showed the southern end of the precip line north of Fredericksburg...and moving north. It looked like it was going to stop in the DC Metro area around 3 PM or so.....then, Bang, the same areas south of us just started getting redevelopment after redevelopment that just won't quit. It seems endless.

I suspect that either the storm center itself, offshore, slowed down, or it blew up so much in intensity that it caused wraparound precip and upper-level energy, west of us, in WV, to move east and quickly replace the dry slot that had been moving North earlier in the afternoon. By all indications, it SHOULD have stopped snowing around 3 PM or so, if not for that.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | December 19, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

what are the chances of me getting a cab into NW from Dulles Sunday night? (Assuming my flight even lands)

Posted by: bwvanlan | December 19, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

@MMCarhelp

Both the 12z NAM and GFS models suggested snow would decrease significantly after 3 p.m. and that's what radar suggested. I think your explanation makes a lot of sense...

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Victory of sorts. Was able to dig the Sonata out and very very slowly make a run to the store .5 miles away. I was one of few cars out...mostly SUVs or trucks, and even then, only saw maybe 2 dozen on the entire trip. bad news is, people are walking down the middle of the streets (and I'm talking 4 lane main roads) because sidewalks aren't plowed and they assume cars won't be coming. VERY dangerous since if cars or trucks do come, stopping is tricky at best. Oh, and last measure was approx 17 inches in Manassas/Bull Run.

Posted by: ksrgatorfn1 | December 19, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if this will post right, but pretty funny -- massive snowball fight at 14th & U

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1sU4mR97Ss&feature=player_embedded

Posted by: ChickenLady | December 19, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

@add1212 - what part of odenton are you in? I am in piney orchard. I have only been measuring on my deck, but my totals are within an inch or so of yours, so I will take yours:) Anyway, I think we be near the top end of accumulations at or around 24" when all said and done. If thinks work out just right, I think we can pick up an additional 4-6" right through midnight! And....possibly and inch or two after!!!

Posted by: snowlover | December 19, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Here in Adams-Morgan I've seen a burst in intensity of the snow in the last hour--large flakes blown by a steady wind. I couldn't get an accurate depth measurement because of the drifting but I think it's around 15".

Posted by: jkegg | December 19, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

so how much more for areas nrth and west of baltimore

Posted by: snowlover3 | December 19, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

@snowlover3

I'd say 3-6" or so more.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: SkywalkerSS | December 19, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

you guys should have an article comparing this to previous dc blizzards (2003, 1996)

Posted by: samdman95 | December 19, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Hello from Copenhagen, where I am about to depart to a snowy Boston (hopefully arriving after the storm hits there).

Looking at radar trends, seems another band of heavy snow is going to rotate through DC from the WNW, as the area of precip shrinks and rotates further towards east. Congrats to my colleagues for EXCELLENT COERAGE throughout this event.

We have proven, yet again, that when storms hit, we are right there with ya every step of the way. And thanks to readers, we're able to keep track of rapidly unfolding developments. Just a note of thanks to my colleagues and our loyal readers. Best wishes for happy sledding etc.

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Laytonsville: 15.3" at 6pm. Current conditions- wind blown snow, moderate to heavy band going through. Main roads snow covered but plowed and passable. Drifts up to 3' deep around house.

Sick of shoveling. So sick of shoveling...

Don't forget to keep your heat pumps clear of snow.

Posted by: dprats21 | December 19, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Was is the total so far at reagan and bwi?
Thanks

Posted by: snowlover | December 19, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I have to say, for all the crap I usually give Metro, I should also give them credit when they really deserve it, and that was today-- caught a train into and out of town almost right away, not too crowded, very easy.
When I got home, I could barely see my car under a few drifts. :)

Posted by: ward_9_from_outer_space | December 19, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Light to moderate snow continues; a few more inches expected. Stay safe until sunrise tomorrow. Roads will remain dangerous.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Last report I got from hubby and kids was 18 inches here in Dumfries. Lots of wind as well. Something tells me we're close to 20 inches (or more) here, but winds have kept us from getting good measurements. Something tells me we're not getting up our hill anytime soon...

Posted by: southbridgemom | December 19, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

15.5 in. (avg) on the north side of the house here in the Wheaton area. On the lee side, who knows? Best guesstimate about 20 in. That's it for me; not going out again tonight.

Posted by: landlaw | December 19, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Here in Gaithersburg/Germantown, we definitely had mod-heavy snow from about 1Pm to 5:30. The radar showed it and at my house, I measured 5 places and the average was 19.5 inches as of 6:15

Posted by: derrickd | December 19, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

southbridgemom: You definitely have received 20 inches or a few over. The last good measurement I got was around 4PM or so when I measured 19", then the wind got to my little safe-haven and the totals went down to 17". I'm sure Lake Ridge has gotten pretty darn near 2 feet now, but the wind keeps carving away at the flat spots around my house so I'll never know.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | December 19, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

back edge of precip not moving much - almost a straight line from 29-64 intersection in charlottesville to few miles south of 66-81 intersection

Posted by: TGT11 | December 19, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

@snowlover. I'm right nect to you in Chapel Grove. I think you are right. If you are we would be close to the 30 inch mark!

Posted by: add1212 | December 19, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

21.5" in Vienna (near Hunter Mill Road and Dulles Toll Road)

Posted by: hme-vienna | December 19, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

A little over 20 inches here in Annandale, which is just heavenly for this snow-loving family. (Plus two plows just came through and cleared our cul-de-sac.)

Posted by: VAOrangeFish | December 19, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know why the mountains are receiving more snow than us despite us being closer to the ocean where the center of the storm is?

Posted by: Thundershock | December 19, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for reporting your snowfall amounts! keep them coming. They are very impressive.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Made it home, still can't believe how many people are still out on the roads. Anyway, I would like to give out 2 dum-dum awards based on my ride home.

Award #1 goes to the gentleman in the Land Rover that thought he could plow through the unplowed area, surrounded by two plow-banks, between the 495-95N interchange. Good luck getting out of that one.

Award #2 goes to the individual who so defiantly passed a number of us following a plow-train, only to spin out immediately while attempting to get back in line in front of said plows.

Honorable mention to the considerate individual at my apt complex who parked their car smack dab in the middle of the lot, preventing the plows from reaching 1/3 of the complex. Enjoy tracking down your car tomorrow once it's towed.

I love this town...

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Thundershock: when the air off of the ocean is forced to rise up & over the foothills & mountains, the moisture is effectively squeezed out of the air. It is forced to cool as it rises over the taller topography. And when it cools, the air can no longer hold-in all the moisture that it came with, off of the ocean.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Weather-wise, still snowing mod-heavy, with what has to be getting close to 20 inches on the ground in Columbia.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Thunder,

I used to live in Agusta county VA. It was common talk that systems tend to get hung up going through the Blue Ridge. Not sure how scientific that is, but it always made sense to me.

Posted by: Alexandria2009 | December 19, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

I defer to Camden =)

Posted by: Alexandria2009 | December 19, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

@add1212 with a couple more significant bands of snow, and light snow until midnight I am hoping for another 4"+ or so! That woud but us right in the 25" range!

Posted by: snowlover | December 19, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

In my backyard is a small surveyor's stick with an orange flag near the top. That's been my unofficial measure, as long as I could see that it was not too bed. Look out around 6, couldn't even see the stick let alone the orange flag.

Posted by: epjd | December 19, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

CWG: Thank you for great coverage, once again. Even better--the dog has totally collapsed after a day of frolicking in this glorious snow!

Posted by: LCFC | December 19, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

17 inches here in shirlington

Posted by: asimo | December 19, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Centreville VA
Steady snow, bigger flakes than the fine stuff seen during most of this event. The great snow machine in the sky is parked right over us, isn't it?
Temp has gone up a degree last hour 26+ from 25+ where it had been stuck all day.
Tip of the evening: for those not used to strenuous shoveling/upper body workouts but had to engage in it for long periods of time today, take a pain-killer NOW.

Posted by: cville4 | December 19, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

@snowlover 25" would be cool! This snow was awesome.

Posted by: add1212 | December 19, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

weatherdudeVA - last measurement I got for Lake Ridge was ~ 22.5 inches - about an hour and a half ago.. With the heavy snow we're getting now - I'd say its a good bet we hit the 2 feet mark and prob go a few inches beyond that..

Posted by: ZmanVA | December 19, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

17.5 inches (as of 20 minutes ago) in heart of Columbia Heights. Still snowing at a good clip and really starting to blow... This is more like-blizzard conditions than it even was earlier when there was an actual blizzard warning

Posted by: realclear | December 19, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Already been said, but I just wanted to add my kudos to the Gang for great, great coverage today. Outstanding work, guys.

Posted by: Section220 | December 19, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

CWG - I'm confused -

This turned out to be powdery snow; I thought it was supposed to be wet & heavy. Did something change, or did I misunderstand?

Oh, and obviously, party was postponed until January. Hope for a snow-free day then :-)

Posted by: Post43 | December 19, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Got back around 5pm from a four hour snow photo shoot in upper Montgomery County. I saw more snow plows than cars.

Posted by: MKadyman | December 19, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

2 hours ago we measured 14" in Foggy Bottom. Dogs are wiped out from all the romping.

Posted by: rallycap | December 19, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Radar is showing that it is getting increasingly dry in the western part of virginia. Judging by the rate of Virginia turning, dry, does that mean we have about 2 hours left of snow here in Montgomery County?

Posted by: Thundershock | December 19, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Still have swirling snow outside.
http://twitpic.com/u92fg

The car on the left is mine.. It is black and it WAS cleared off for my brief run to the store. You can see how long THAT lasted. LOL.

I will head out in a few to do another measurement.

Kim in Manassas

Posted by: ksrgatorfn1 | December 19, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

About 15-16" in Dupont Circle - could be more, but hard to measure with the snow drifting. Doesn't look like most of the side streets have been plowed or treated at all. Snow still coming down lightly!

Posted by: TarHeel14 | December 19, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

@Post43

We were never expecting a heavy wet snow...since we were forecasting temperatures in the upper 20s. Having said that though, the snow is more powdery than we expected. Ratios have probably been 15 to 20 inches of snow to inch of rain.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

18.5 inches in Greenbelt at 6:30.

I'm very impressed by this storm. My bf's Mini looks like a minivan with 18 more inches of height.

Posted by: r3hsad | December 19, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Okay, well, it's 7:00 pm in Georgetown and we've got - you guessed it, heavy snow. 26F. For fun, I'm going to scroll through all the old posts to see who was calling bust on this one during the day on Friday. Thanks again to CWG for the impeccable coverage of this historic event.

Posted by: fleeciewool | December 19, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

WeatherdudeVA: I would agree with you on your assessment. I think with the wind we've had here hubby's safe haven for measurement has been compromised. But now I think about it, on 12/5 when I think you said you got around 3 inches, we didn't get squat here. Barely enough to cover the grass. Just spoke to my girlfriend in Frederick, MD. She says they're going on 3 ft of snow at her house.

P.S. Have missed your posts, weatherdude! Glad to see you back for the holidays. :)

Posted by: southbridgemom | December 19, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

20 inches at 7:00 p.m.! Snow continues to fall pretty hard. You can view my photos at http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2045472&id=1383371252&l=dd12093655 (shouldn't need an account to view these).

Posted by: KBurchfiel | December 19, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Anyone familiar with METRO operations? I'm wondering when they will resume (a) bus operations and (b) above-ground rail? Tomorrow AM? Afternoon? Monday?

Thanks for anyone with insight.

Posted by: jpl1019 | December 19, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

I gotta give the CWG credit for staying on top of this storm like no one else. This has to be the first time I've ever seen it where the snow totals forecasted were upped dramatically from what they were first estimated at. Usually it's the other way around.

Posted by: Thundershock | December 19, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

I see a universal observation here about how difficult the roads & sidewalks are out there.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

I just saw a mid-sized car drive the wrong way down Patrick Street (a one-way street) in downtown Frederick. Dunno if it was a problem of not being able to get turned around, or not knowing that Patrick is a one-way, or a combination of both. The car was definitely having traction problems.

Considering that several plows had come through on this road in the previous half-hour, and the road was already covered in snow again in spite of the teeny-tiny flakes, the roads are simply awful!

Posted by: dettiot | December 19, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

HUGE KUDOS to the RT staff at Hopkins, doing tremendous work despite the challenges.

Posted by: welovepie | December 19, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Temperatures remain very cold (especially for December standards) and thus, being below 26F, road salt will not work tonight.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 19, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but what are RT staff?

Posted by: KBurchfiel | December 19, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Not to beat a dead horse, but could we put odds on local schools as well as colleges/universities opening on Monday?

Posted by: edwardappleby | December 19, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

jpl, go to wmata.com

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

New post is up...

Posted by: Murre | December 19, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Went to Harris Teeter in the West Side of Alexandria on foot between 12:30-2:45 pm today. Up to our knees(maybe 14-16 inches then?) Wiped the snow off my roommmate's coat collar when she said she was feeling a little wet - we were almost to the HT at that point (maybe a 1/2 hour walk) and it had to be an inch of snow.
Right now... moderate snow. I forgot to get the ruler when I went to the store so no measurement. Contemplating cleaning of my car so I can IDENTIFY it tomorrow morning.
I'm starting to wonder when this will end...

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

24.5" sterling, va 7:30.

Posted by: jubee200011 | December 19, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Just took a quick look around the neighborhood. So peaceful walking around (aside from the beeping from the snow plows. 20" of snow measured in South Riding, VA. (just west of Chantilly, VA)

Posted by: ajfishman1 | December 19, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

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