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Posted at 4:10 PM ET, 02/14/2010

Monday snow amounts manageable, for a change

By Brian Jackson

Most should see accumulations around 3" or less

* Full Forecast through midweek *
* Blizzards and climate change | Must-see photos/videos *
* Politician sounds off on snow | Snow stats | Best of storm comments *
* News, traffic & storm coverage: Local home page | Get There *

CWG team snowfall forecast for Monday-Monday night. Confidence: Low-Medium.

Another Snowmageddon or Snoverkill is not in the cards this time around. Still, yet another winter storm could produce accumulating snow in the area for the fourth time in less than two weeks. While snowfall amounts look to be light, at this point, any additional snow is likely to be at least a minor setback to the area's effort to return to normal.

When will the precipitation start and end? This latest storm comes in the form of an Alberta Clipper, which will approach from the west/southwest tonight and early tomorrow. Snow or a rain/snow mix (possibly a little sleet in there, too) should develop from west to east sometime between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. tomorrow. Periods of snow or a mix continue until probably ending by late evening or overnight.

Visible satellite image from this afternoon shows the comma-shaped cloud structure associated with the clipper as its low-pressure center (near the comma's center sprial in northwestern Missouri) moves into the Midwest. Courtesy NOAA.

Why is forecast confidence lower for this storm than recent ones? This storm is actually trickier than the past two storms, in that with the last two, a significant amount of accumulating snow was a sure bet. With tomorrow's storm, the D.C. area may be near a border with a few inches of snow to the north and west and under an inch to the south and east.

We expect the storm's low-pressure center to track very close to or just a bit west of the area. Such a track, rather than to the south and then east/northeast of the region, could pull in enough warmer air at the surface for snow to mix with or change to rain, especially for the District and points south and east.

Moderate to heavy precipitation would likely chill the entire atmosphere enough to maintain mostly or all snow. But this system lacks the moisture of our recent storms, and the track close to or just west of the area may tend to pull drier air into the storm as it moves through, so extended periods of moderate to heavy precipitation may be hard to come by.

Here are our latest accumulation probabilities covering the range of possible scenarios:

Inside the Beltway and to the south and east

40%: Less than 1"
30%: 1-2"
20%: 2-4"
10%: 4"+

North and west of the Beltway

30% less than 1"
35% 1-2"
25% 2-4"
10% 4"+

SchoolCast (Mon.*)

* Some school systems have scheduled classes for tomorrow, President's Day, to make up for recent snow days.

Dan Stillman contributed to this post.

By Brian Jackson  | February 14, 2010; 4:10 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts, Updates  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Expert: Blizzards "consistent with" climate change
Next: Forecast: Some snow likely this afternoon


Hooray I'm first for once!

Posted by: worldtraveler83 | February 14, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Is there still a possibility of a coastal storm next weekend? Last I heard was that the models were backing off on the chance of a storm.

Posted by: oriolesfan23 | February 14, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Just got an email from our County Supervisor (Western Loudoun VA) stating that some dirt country roads have 6-8' (two have 14') drifts according to VDOT. 80% of Western Loudoun roads are at least "one lane passable". Yikes!! Going to make bussing the kids difficult to say the least.

Posted by: worldtraveler83 | February 14, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

ONLY 1-3 inches? Winter just isn't like it used to be. I remember when we used to routinely get TWO BLIZZARDS in ONE WEEK! Not so anymore. I am moving to Maine, I just miss snow too much.


Posted by: SouthsideFFX | February 14, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to disagree with the CWG here--what hubris, how dare I?

Well, I'd love to see 1-3 inches in DCA, but as I've said before, with a clipper going just to our west and north, I can't see it. I'd say 80% chance of 0-1 inch, 20% chance of 1 or more at DCA. Most likely none measurable.

Posted by: doubtingdavid | February 14, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

CWG: If I'm reading your accumulation map correctly, it appears that Arlington and Alexandria are on the border of the 1-3" line and the rain/snow mix line. Am I correct?

Also, can anyone out there give me a road condition update for Arlington, specifically the Carlyn Spring Rd/Columbia Pike area near the N VA Community Hospital? Are those roads pretty clear (considering the huge drifts probably at the side of the road)?

Trying to make sure I make the best weather related decisions for my appts tomorrow. Thanks in advance!

Posted by: southbridgemom | February 14, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I went to the car wash this afternoon, therefore it will snow tomorrow ;-)

Posted by: natsncats | February 14, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

@southbridgemom--Arlington County roads are in great condition, including Carlin Springs Rd.

Posted by: tleckey15 | February 14, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

tleckey15-- Thanks a bunch! Sure appreciate the info. Those hills near Carlin Springs and Columbia Pike are a bear in good weather. I didn't want to get stuck on them if it were to start snowing or icing. Will lean toward keeping the 11:30 at N VA Comm Hosp then.

I love snow as much as the next one, but I need a break -- yeesh.

Posted by: southbridgemom | February 14, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse


Your interpretation is exactly right. I think those areas south of the 1-3" should still see several hours of snow before any mixing and/or dry slotting, but accumulations are more likely to be light there.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 14, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I bought a snow shovel today - so I'm guessing there won't be enough snow to shovel for at least 8 years or so...

Posted by: 3seasons | February 14, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for the comment ... you should note that we have D.C. itself right on the border between 1-3" and less than 1".

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 14, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I can top that... I have a snowblower arriving this week. So that means besides cleaning up the mess, no new blowable snow. :)

Posted by: leesweet | February 14, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

If it snows tomorrow that will actually be the FOURTH snow storm in less than two weeks not the third as the blog states. We got 4-5 inches on Feb. 3, then the big storms on Feb. 5-6 and Feb. 10.

Posted by: buffysummers | February 14, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

@3seasons -

If you want to break in that shovel I've got an elementary school bus stop under four feet of snow and ice that you could hack at with me. :)

Posted by: siestador | February 14, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Gee, how many itsy-bitsy Feb. snowfalls will it take to set a new all-time monthly record (at least for Wash DC/DCA)? And then reach the 60" mark for the season? This could be like watching a two-hour parking meter run down.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 14, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm kinda hoping this is just the intermission with the final act still to come.

Posted by: nlcaldwell | February 14, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Great news. Maybe for what's left of this rapidly dwindling winter, we can continue the trend of snow threats diminishing as they get closer to us. Maybe the snow magnet is finally losing its power.

Spring update: With meteorological spring only 14 days away, we're gaining over 2 minutes of sunlight per day now. Sun will rise before 7am this week. Only 4 weeks til DST.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | February 14, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm sticking with the groundhog's prediction (and this winter's trend) - we still have more winter weather coming our way in the next few weeks.

Posted by: Frida7 | February 14, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

ThinkSpring, the anti-snow bias of your comment suggests that you should be removed from this blog immediately.

Posted by: SouthsideFFX | February 14, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse


You're right. The number has been fixed above.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 14, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

My wishcast is that this clipper waits a day and then snows. :)

Posted by: celestun100 | February 14, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Fairfax County Public Schools is closed tomorrow, scrapping that make-up day and scheduled to open two hours late on Tuesday.

My car got stuck one block from my house yesterday. The streets are only navigable because there's so little traffic. Otherwise, conditions on side streets are still very poor, with huge amounts of snow on the street and only one lane of traffic with nowhere to pull over for another car coming the opposite direction.

Posted by: elizestrada | February 14, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

CWG: Does the existence of this Alberta Clipper (more precisely, the characteristic track that gives it the name) presage a change in the Jet Stream that brought us all this snow over the last week? Or is this merely an interlude in the more dominant el Nino pattern?

Posted by: MillPond2 | February 14, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone seen a comment from bobosnow lately? I'm curious to know how his/her house saga is going.

Posted by: mhardy1 | February 14, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Things look much better around 8th Road, South in Arlington County.

According to Eastern Wx, Southeast thread, parts of AL and GA could see some thundersnow out of this clipper. We could still be in for a surprise.

ThinkSpring, I bet we see some bonus snow in March this year, due principally to the lowered temperature from persistent snow cover lingering on the ground. But this Tuesday is "Fat Tuesday" or Mardi Gras, which often heralds the approach of warmer temperatures in these latitudes.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | February 14, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

leesweet and 3seasons-

I can top you both. After shoveling a 1/4 mile driveway way too many times to count, we went out on Friday and bought a Kubota tractor with a snow blower attachment! Now you KNOW it won't be snowing like this ever again. After losing power for 5 days with Hurricane Isabel in Sept. 2003 we purchased a generator and have used it twice since. Murphy's Law I guess (or just "insurance").

Posted by: worldtraveler83 | February 14, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

HCPS is closed through Tuesday. Are school systems still not going to be able to open this week because of the last storm?

Posted by: Dylan0513 | February 14, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

I retract my previous comment. After watching the Channel 4 weather forecast showing the projected track of this low, this little system doesn't even qualify as an Alberta Clipper. It's just a ripple in the atmosphere.

Posted by: MillPond2 | February 14, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

No I don't think that that ThinkSpring should be removed from the blog for anti-snow comments. I myself can be very anti-raw, windy rain at any time.

But the folks who suggest that we liberal males [or, for that matter, conservative males, or "tea-party" males!] should be spayed or neutered, are out of order & should be removed from the CWG blog. Such comments are out of order, even in a "politics" blog.

Oh, and Fox5 is once again "pulling" Sue Palka for their "precious" NASCAR coverage--just because it's "Daytona Sunday". Now, there's something that really gets me! At least the Weather Channel integrates their NASCAR coverage into forecasts for track conditions at the time of each race.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | February 14, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Dylan0513 - yes there is still very disruptive snowpack around DC. No doubt many roads are still impassible for school buses.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 14, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

oriolesfan23 - that storm is still way off, and frankly too early to tell if it will materialize or not.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 14, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Today was my first time driving after the storms... and I expect many of you have experienced similar conditions - but man, it is crazy having to peer around those mounds of snow when you're turning, and then I had a traffic lane pretty much disappear in front of me - twice. Luckily, people seem to be being reasonably patient - especially by the lady who let me just as I discovered a disappearing lane.
Also, if anyone is coming off of 395, or coming from the Little River Turnpike direction, to go to Landmark Mal1 in Alexandria... don't take the separate lane that takes you right into the mall. Doesn't look like it has been plowed at all - there were about 6 vehicles stuck in there when I passed by, because the first car was stuck - and by the looks of the tire tracks that's not the first time that had happened today.

Posted by: MKoehl | February 14, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Centreville VA Saw a front end loader this afternoon finally clearing up our access street from subdivision to Stone road.
It took them only eight days!
Subdivision remains an icy mess, with parking & visibility severely impaired.
Tomorrow's weather event sound like something we can easily subdue with a broom.
That's good, because we have worn the edges right off our shovels.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 14, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

My wishcast if for the clipper to hold off and become a big coastal for next Saturday.

Posted by: manassasmissy | February 14, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Nine full days without bus service in my neighborhood. Tuesday, maybe, maybe?

I did make it to the Sunday Dupont Farmer's Market, thanks to a friend's intervention. None of the vendors I talked to made it last Sunday.

Oh, and the CVSes ran out of coca-cola a week ago. It's been a cruel week. So, snowgods, give us 4.1" between now and the end of Feb. and then flake off!

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 14, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

The usual turn lane into Landmark is, indeed, not plowed at all. People were driving in there and then over the curb back out into traffic.

Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | February 14, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

JerryFloyd1 - I hope you can get bus service back soon. I am feeling the transportation strain too--here in downtown DC!

FusilliJerry1 - near the Convention Center in DC there are still 12' piles of snow, little pavement visible on non-main streets (9th & 14th sts NW). I can only imagine how your ramps must be just as bad out in Landmark. ugh.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 14, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

It is going to be very interesting to see what teachers will do when their first class is so far behind the rest of their classes because the buses will be so late.

Also, I heard that Fairfax County Schools are going to extend school days instead of adding days in June. Teachers are going to love that.

Lastly, what is going on this weekend? How big is the storm suppose to be and does anybody have any info about it?

Posted by: aaf314 | February 14, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

What is the best guess for what road conditions will be like tomorrow? I need to drive from WV to southern maryland but would like one more opportunity to ride my horse tomorrow afternoon before going back. Is it crazy to try to risk not going back until late afternoon tomorrow. I notice we dont seem to be under any winter weather advisories, etc. I don't like driving when the roads are slick (and had a bad experience during the little storm 2 Saturdays ago) but don't mind driving in it if it isn't sticking.

Posted by: js2225 | February 14, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

@Camden 8:07 -- thanks re: bus service. Like quite a few people in D.C. I don't drive so this has been a real hardship. The Tuesday a.m. rush hour could be another nightmare. There's a lot of work that could be done to make the streets more passable but it's not happening in many places.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 14, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

@Bombo-Thanks for having my back, but Southside was being facetious.

@Southside - Thanks, you made me laugh.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | February 14, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

@aaf- Hopefully teachers will make the most of what they are dealt and lay a positive foundation for students.

Hopefully students and parents will be positive in dealing with any adjustments and be supportive of learning-- and take responsibility for their part of learning.

My sophomore year of HS we were in school 3 extra weeks (til 30 June- latest day by state mandate) because of a teachers strike that ended on 4 October. A few weeks later due to an act, the teachers were out again for a few days.

AP exams and SATs were all a wreck, and students studied feverishly while they were not in school. Everyone banded together to make the most of a very challening situation.

While we weren't happy that we had to be in school til 30 June, we acted decently and respectfully towards our teachers. Never a word was said to their faces, nor a look of disgust given.

It's just about digging deep, being patient, being respectful, and taking the responsibility that we all must do to make a positive experience focused on learning.

Yes- I'm a teacher now and I enjoyed my snow days. I'll find a way to get all students back on the same page, and regroup for time lost. I have to- it's my job and I'm honored to do it.

Posted by: aquarnnr | February 14, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse


The worst conditions will probably be late tomorrow afternoon. Roads could briefly become a little slick (though not impassable), especially as you head closer to WVa.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 14, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to repost but was gone most the day...

Thanks everyone for your responses-re : astronomy

pjdunn1- Just shy of OT on the Parkway (before Belleview). There was a nest there from before. These we saw sitting in the tree on either side of the nest. Did not see them in the nest...just people watching I guess. Every time I see them I am amazed by their size! Actually saw one flying over Old Town yesterday.

Posted by: motherrunner | February 14, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Southside FFX
Thanks for the laugh...started to worry that maybe your roof came down...good to see you here.

Sorry to post from another thread but wanted to follow up...

Thanks everyone for your responses-re : astronomy

pjdunn1- Just shy of OT on the Parkway (before Belleview). There was a nest there from before. These we saw sitting in the tree on either side of the nest. Did not see them in the nest...just people watching I guess. Every time I see them I am amazed by their size! Actually saw one flying over Old Town yesterday.

Posted by: motherrunner | February 14, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Thanks CWG...I'll be headed away from WV to Southern Maryland but won't be able to hit the road until late afternoon. So it sounds like I'll see the worst conditions on the first part of my drive. I probably shouldn't chance it but weather hasn't gotten in the way of my plans so often lately, that I'm tempted to risk a nasty drive tomorrow.

Posted by: js2225 | February 14, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

@Camden - Actually that is the only bad part. It is really the access lane that funnels the traffic onto the overpass coming from the west on 236. the over pass is open though. So you can still get into the Mall.

I hear you on the piles though. FFX county did work on Backlick Road in Springfield and has it to 2 lanes. All that "snow" is now making massive piles at the corner which, in my new car makes me pucker trying to get out into traffic. I just hope I don't get T-boned....

Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | February 14, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Now, just where and how did I manage to miss the comments on the spaying and neutering of political males??? Or some such, based on Bombo's post above....

I'd whine that I miss all the good stuff, but I happened to see Walter's shark. Great work as always!

Posted by: --sg | February 14, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't see clouds with fangs for tomorrow. Is it safe to assume that any rain that mixes in with the snow will not be freezing rain?


Posted by: meta2 | February 14, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

I hope we get some fresh snow, and I hope it helps me with my Igloo. LOL, I have been trying to work on the freaking thing since Snowmageddon!!! The chunks are taking forever to smooth out though, and more snow was piled up on it again, so I have to resmooth it (But it's larger)!

Just tonight I was out walking on the hard re-frozen pack, and I wasn't sinking through anything. I thought "Hey, this snow seems shallow now". Just then, I took a step and my leg went all the way in, with the snow up to my waist. I thought I was going to lose my BOOT! My dog was left standing on top of the deep snow though, so she was over my head level just checking it all out lol.

Posted by: TheAnalyst | February 14, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

No rain, please. My clay soil here in southern MD will not be able to take the sudden influx of liquid that isn't frozen. I'll have to sandbag my doors! And with the storm drains still covered with snow the roads will flood. I want more sunny cold days for a gradual melt. And given the alternative of flooding, I'll take snow over rain any day of the week!

If I will be in Baltimore till 7-ish tomorrow night what are my chances of getting back to Waldorf without sliding down a hill?

Posted by: gnomish | February 14, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Channel 4's Chuck Bell said, and I'm paraphrasing, that there's a chance we may not get anything out of this system. How likely is that?

Posted by: natsncats | February 14, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

@ThinkSpring... re: your 5:11pm post...


Especially for the DST reminder... sunset after 7pm in 4 weeks... yay!

Posted by: MikeinDC2 | February 15, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Oh my, all of you doubters out there. This after the front page WP story today about all of us snow nuts inhabiting CWG yet the general consensus of this evening comments are accumulations of 0 to 1" east of 95 and a mix of rain to boot. Once again, everybody has bought into the NAM and GFS hook, line, and sinker. However to me, it appears that this storm is currently tracking a little more to the south than predicted and the precipitation shield tracking to the northeast seems to be a little more impressive. So much for moisture starvation. The upper low tracking north and placing DC on warmer side of storm seems a bit optimistic. Agree that system is slowing down but track will be further to the south west of Nelson/Highland Counties in Virginia. Bottom line, 3 to 6 inches in the metro areas but will of course have to wait and see. After that, a very active period in the MID Atlantic. Colder than normaal temps seem to be in store. Not a forecast, just an obervaton. Never the less I still expect "one more big one" before the sasond is through.

Posted by: ntrlsol | February 15, 2010 1:22 AM | Report abuse

I, for one, do not think the models have a very good handle to today's storm and the weathermen and women my have to resort to "Now Forecasting" later this afternoon which is pretty much just looking out the window (and Doppler Radar). The NAM keep suggesting that the storm is just going to zip right through here but the low just seems to be creeping along. There also seems to be some transfer of energy to the coast especially to the south, (that may or may not mean anything but I love to make that observation). Despite what my betters are saying out in Sterling, I still feel we will be more on the southern side of the low and will see more snow from this system than rain so I am still holding to my 3 to 6 inches for the Metro area (including DC). Although nobody is talking much about it yet, next week looks to be a rather unsettled period weather wise with below normal temps continuing. I still have a gut feeling that we are going to get a least one more big one before the season is through. (and I have quite a gut).

Posted by: ntrlsol | February 15, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

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