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Posted at 8:40 AM ET, 02/18/2010

Forecast: At last -- peaceful weekend weather

By Jason Samenow

Next winter weather threat slated for Monday

* Later: Snow Lover's Crystal Ball *
* A new snow "bench" mark | Grading CWG's forecast performance *
* When will snow piles melt? | Radar & more: Weather Wall | Traffic *

Today's Daily Digit
A somewhat subjective rating of the day's weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.
6Partly sunny and breezy with more welcome snow melt.
Get tomorrow's 'Digit' on Twitter tonight


Today: Partly sunny, breezy. 40-44. | Tonight: Partly cloudy and still breezy. 22-26. | Tomorrow: Mostly sunny, not quite as breezy. 41-45. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


By David Streit*

Let's hear it for our stalled, tranquil pattern here to stay through the weekend! New storms will be kept away by a monstrous area of low pressure centered near Newfoundland, held in check by high pressure over Greenland. The Newfoundland low will keep circulating cool air into the region from the northwest, melting our snow only gradually and preventing the flood risk that would emerge from a rapid warm-up. Though this traffic jam in the atmosphere may block any immediate storminess, just as we start to enjoy a calm period another storm is likely on Monday. Will it be rain or snow?

A snowman at the Capitol. By CWG photographer Kevin Ambrose.

Today (Thursday): It will be another day like yesterday with brisk winds from the west/northwest making it feel about 5 to 10 degrees colder than it is. Temperatures ramp up to the lower 40s under partly sunny skies. Slow snow melt is the order of the day. Confidence: High

Tonight: Another chilly night is on tap with lows in the low-to-mid 20s and breezes from the northwest resulting in wind chills in the teens. Look out for black ice around the piles of snow. Confidence: High

Keep reading for the forecast through Monday....

Tomorrow (Friday): Expect even more in the way of sun and slowly diminishing breezes. Despite the overall warmer feel to the air, highs will remain stuck in the lower 40s as the very dense snowpack only modestly shrinks. Confidence: High

Tomorrow Night: Partly cloudy with lighter northwesterly breezes. Lows should range from the upper teens to mid-20s (suburbs-city). Confidence: High


Saturday will be déjà vu all over again with mostly sunny skies and light northwest winds. Temperatures should be ever-so-slightly warmer with highs in the low-to-mid 40s. Snow piles will shrink a little more! Confidence: High

Sunday starts off chilly with morning lows in the low-to-mid 20s. But with mostly sunny skies, highs should make it back to the low-to-mid 40s and with little wind. Not a bad day to be out and about. High clouds will likely increase in the afternoon as the new storm approaches. Confidence: Medium-High

Monday looks to be cloudy. Besides that, anything is possible! Seriously, the models have not quite settled in on the evolution of the next storm. Best guess for now is that some snow is possible in the morning, then a switch to rain and sleet in the afternoon, and possibly all rain by late in the day. More snow is likely north and west of the city, while a lack of cold high pressure at the surface out ahead of the storm may make it difficult to get all snow in the city. Highs will likely be held to the mid-to-upper 30s. Confidence: Low

*David Streit is a senior meteorologist with Commodity Weather Group, LLC, in Bethesda, Md., and a new Capital Weather Gang contributor.

By Jason Samenow  | February 18, 2010; 8:40 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Winter weather threat returns Monday


Looks like DCA won't break its all-time monthly snowfall record after all.

Posted by: HenryFPotter | February 18, 2010 5:36 AM | Report abuse

>Morning temperatures in the 20s

All three airports are above freezing, with temperatures rising after midnight. Only BWI dipped below freezing overnight. Weatherbug stations in Silver Spring and Bethesda are also above freezing. Would these higher temperatures now have an effect on the high temperature this afternoon?

Posted by: Murre | February 18, 2010 5:50 AM | Report abuse

Come on record books, get ready to enter a new record for snowiest February!
I'll have to give the models a look and pay a little homage to the snow gods - 4-8" would be nice.

Posted by: Bainbridge | February 18, 2010 5:55 AM | Report abuse

@Murre: I was wondering that myself. And can CWG explain why temperatures rose after midnight when not one weather forecaster anywhere was calling for that to happen?

Posted by: rwalker66 | February 18, 2010 6:16 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, rwalker66, how can we trust their forecast at all?!

Posted by: Murre | February 18, 2010 6:19 AM | Report abuse

Snow, then Sleet, then maybe rain David? Wow, don't go out on a limb with your forcast. Why not predict some hail too just to be on the safe side. And no cold high pressure out in front of the storm in DC but there is enough in Leesburg for and all possible snow event? BTW David where is this storm on the map? I come to CWG for cutting edge forecasting. I might as well go back to the Sterling Forecast

Posted by: ntrlsol | February 18, 2010 6:31 AM | Report abuse

50/50 Low over Canada that would help drive Monday's storm closer to the coast is moving out which will allow the low to move north through the Ohio Valley and bring us warmer air and rain for Monday.

Posted by: formerwxman1 | February 18, 2010 7:04 AM | Report abuse

@Murre -

Here's my uneducated guess as to why temps rose after midnight. I'll let the "pros" at CWG correct me if I'm wrong.

Winds shifted and started coming out of the west. The downsloping winds from the mountains to our west thus caused the warmer temps.

OT: Bob Ryan answered a question I posted on here last night on the 6pm news. We are of course on track to go the entire month of February without having a single day reach "normal" highs. Bob said in his entire career, he can't recall that ever happening though he has no evidence to verify that claim.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | February 18, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse


there are plenty of models out there indicating the development of this Mon/Tues storm and Mr. Streit tells it like it is. Maybe you should go look at the models yourself to get a better understanding. Streit hit the nail on the head. Snow/Sleet mix to freezing rain to all rain.

Posted by: GMorg11 | February 18, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Nice - we could use a good coastal rainstorm to wash away all this snow and free up some parking spots downtown. Heaven knows the city isn't going to do it.

Posted by: fleeciewool | February 18, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

BTW David where is this storm on the map? I come to CWG for cutting edge forecasting. I might as well go back to the Sterling Forecast

Posted by: ntrlsol | February 18, 2010 6:31 AM


Somebody got up on the wrong side of the bed.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | February 18, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse


before all you snow i'm-fed-up-with-it-ers start doing you rain dances, should think about others. not everyone likes rain. i know of a certin shark and a certain seal who will DIE if we get and significant rain. think about all the other snow creatures people, including children, have made all over the area. rain KILLS.

people walking outside in the rain could get wet and if we get significant rain puddles could form on the road. do i have to remind you how cars driving through puddles can cause dangerous sprays of water that could splash up onto a pedestrian's eye and BLIND them....

...but sort of semi-seriously:
to those complaining about the dangerous winter, and expressing concern for your and others' property and safty and so forth, looks like you should be much more worried about the impending dangerous summer weather....

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 18, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Re: rising temperatures after midnight ... clouds increased (keeping the heat from escaping) and winds began gusting from the west (downsloping).

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | February 18, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

The stiff breeze at 430am this morning was almost warm compared to other mornings since Dec 1. Wasn't as cutting. I heard the wind howling and thought #@$^&@!!!!

But it wasn't that bad.

Hey CWG I have a question at 40 degrees in partly cloudy conditions what is the average snow melt per hour? At 45 degrees?
And God forbid a balmy 50 degrees.

Any history major could ahve told the idiot at the U in UK that temps were warmer during the medieval age.
I guess all that human activity caused this warm up too. Like eeking out an existence and paying your taxes to your Lord. Or fighting some war with swords, axes, spears, and maybe a bow and arrow.

Gobal warming can become global cooling with one significant volcanic eruption.

Posted by: sheepherder | February 18, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse


If by "cutting edge" you mean a more specific forecast than provided above, for a storm that is 4 days away and (as alluded to) with models not converging on a solution, then you are right you probably will not find that here. And guess what, you won't find it at NWS Sterling either, whose forecast for Monday is "MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF RAIN AND SNOW ... CHANCE OF PRECIPITATION 50 PERCENT"

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 18, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse


How are your ewes and (I suppose) baby lambs?

Have you already posted how things went during the storm?

Posted by: celestun100 | February 18, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

I understand wanting to get rid of some snow, but with rain all I picture is flooding of my basement.

CWG- Won't it take a lot of rain and warm temperatures to get rid of this amount of snow?
Will rain at this point help our situation?

Posted by: celestun100 | February 18, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Walter -- Interesting chart (at

Trying to interpret what I am seeing here.... The lack of 30-year averages for fatalities from heat, cold, winter storm, and wind, I'm guessing, is due to the lack of base statistics beyond 10Y.

In the other cats, two of them (flood and lightning) show a decline in the 10-year vs. 30-year baseline. One is almost a draw (tornadoes), and one is significantly higher in the 10-year. That one is hurricane, and my guess is that it's inflated by Katrina.

As for flood and lightning, would that be due to fewer events, better warning and preparedness, public awareness, or something else?

Posted by: ennepe68 | February 18, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse


Good job, Walter!!

Seriously, snow vs. heat arguments aside, notice how few fatalities are due directly to the weather compared to auto accidents, or wars.

Posted by: celestun100 | February 18, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

If we get a lot of rain on Monday, it'll be January '96 all over again. It would almost be better if we were to get more snow - at least then we won't have floods and flooded basements.

Posted by: jaradel | February 18, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

For those of you wondering about our snowopack, here's a link to stations around the DC area:

NOHRSC provides a wealth of observational and modeled data, snow depth, snow-water equivalent, density, snow melt, etc.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 18, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

@Brian (

KDCA, elevation -10 feet?

No wonder they can't properly measure snow down there - the measuring station is under water.

Posted by: ennepe68 | February 18, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

don't know why there are no 30-yr averages for "heat", "cold", "winter storm" and "wind". i agree that "hurricanes" is probably inflated by katrina et. al. from 1995.

i would guess that fatalities decrease due to better preparedness, and better medicine, maybe?

i wasn't really so much showing it for the trends, but just the sheer numbers. summer weather appears more dangerous than winter weather - at least for the country as a whole.

celestun100, you said,
"...notice how few fatalities are due directly to the weather compared to auto accidents..."

absolutely! and, i would guess (totally w/o any facts to back me up....) that even locally, during and immediately after a snow storm, even though the roads are slippery, there are LESS traffic deaths than "normal" (admittedly, i'd guess, again, because less people are driving).

so, if you're concerned about traffic deaths, root for snow!

(can any of you "google experts" come up with a "baseline" traffic accident death rate and a snowstorm traffic accident death rate?)

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 18, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

indeed, no data going back far enough for those other categories, and we can see here that '95 did skew those hurricane numbers:

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 18, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

While I agree that rain and a Jan 96 like situation would cause great harm, adding more snow to the snowpack only makes the situation worse. We're within 10 days of March now. Sooner or later, climatology is gonna win out and we're gonna get one of those warm days...and it may come with rain.

So, maybe a cold light rain isn't such a bad idea for this storm. Get rid of some of the snow, but not all of it at once.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | February 18, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

...uh...i'm living in the wrong decade/century/millenia....apparently...

i meant to say "2005" (not 1995) for those katrina/hurricane references.... oh, brother...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 18, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

ThinkSpring...raw, cold rain is NEVER a winner with me, especially during the busy Monday-to-Wednesday Gottaswing dance window...was hoping we were through with that kind of crud for a while...but please see my post with the SLCB...some model guidance is hinting at a colder, snowier, more southerly solution.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | February 18, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Anything but cold rain!

Posted by: manassasmissy | February 18, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the explanation, Dan!

Posted by: Murre | February 18, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Oh come on guys. I was just kidding around. I have nothing but love for everyone at CWG. And yes I have been looking at all of the available models and for what it's worth, the OZ GFS is now indicating snow Monday and Tuesday and that should be great news for snow lovers who are hoping for another storm next week or 4 days out. But right now everything is still pretty much just a bunch of equations. This storm is just begging to take shape and it is still 50/50 which was the analysis in the last NWS forecast discussion. So I though it was amusing that David forecasted Snow/Sleet/Rain for next week, hence my comment. That said, I sincerely apologize to David or anybody else at CWG I may have offended. I centainly feel everybody is doing the best they can.

Posted by: ntrlsol | February 18, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

No worries ntrlsol! ... we'll chalk it up to the kidding around not coming through online as clearly as intended. Thanks much for the follow up comment/explanation.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 18, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

@Bombo -

Where are you seeing the colder, snowier solutions? Checking the 12Z forum on EasternWx that doesn't appear to be the case at all.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | February 18, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I still think DCA snow measurments are ridiculous. They have only reported 56 inches of snow when everyone else in area has 70 inches or more. We got 27.5 inches here in NW DC which is half of what DCA recorded all winter. DCA has only 8 inches on ground. We have at least double that up here in NW DC.

Posted by: ajmupitt | February 18, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Hey everyone start looking at what NWS reports at American University instead of DCA if you want to now how much snow has acutally fallen in DC and not at DCA which is not even in the District.

Posted by: ajmupitt | February 18, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

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