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Posted at 9:00 AM ET, 02/11/2010

Forecast: At last ... a chance to dig out!

By Jason Samenow

Several dry days, then chance of President's Day snow

* Snoverwhelming: Tracking another snow chance *
* Report snow totals (view map) | Snow totals from NWS *
* Snowiest winter ever | Snowmageddon's incredible output *
* Outside now? Radar, temps & more: Weather Wall *
* News, traffic & storm coverage: Local home page | Get There *

Today's Daily Digit
A somewhat subjective rating of the day's weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.
3Brilliant sunshine but windy, cold and snowed under.
Get tomorrow's 'Digit' on Twitter tonight


Today: Sunny, windy, cold 30-34. | Tonight: Partly cloudy, breezy, cold. 15-19. | Tomorrow: Sunny, still breezy. 32-36. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


By David Streit*

I would wave a white flag to surrender, but no one would see it! I'm sure there are still a handful of snow lovers out there who haven't had enough yet, but may I speak for the majority of us who hope this is truly a once in a century event. The main problem today is still the wind. This is likely to hamper clearing roads and sidewalks until we get up to the freezing mark and the fluffy late-storm snow firms up. I am almost afraid to look at each new model run for fear of what the next potential storm -- an energetic disturbance diving south out of Canada that could produce snow around President's Day -- will turn into.

Snow collection in a basketball hoop. By CWG photographer Kevin Ambrose.

Today (Thursday): It will be a bright day with sunny skies reflecting off the fresh blanket of snow. Winds from the northwest at 15-25 mph lead to wind chills in the teens, and blowing and drifting snow in open areas resulting in occasionally low visibility. Highs struggle to reach the freezing mark. Confidence: High

Tonight: There will be a few clouds in the sky but the deep snow will still radiate the little bit of day time warming and leave most areas with lows in the mid-to-upper teens. Winds from the northwest around 12-18 mph lower wind chills to the single digits, so keep bundled up. Confidence: High

Keep reading for the forecast through Monday....

Connecticut Avenue near Van Ness in the District yesterday late afternoon as snow tapered off. By CWG photographer Ian Livingston.

Tomorrow (Friday): Skies will be mostly sunny but winds will be slow to let up from the northwest at 10-15 mph. Temperatures remain chilly as the deep snow cover limits highs to the mid-30s. The sun and highs inching above freezing will allow streets and roadways to melt but look out for ponding due to clogged gutters. Confidence: High

Tomorrow Night: Winds continue to lighten under mostly clear skies. A few clouds will be possible later at night as another East Coast storm passes far to the south of the region off the South Carolina coast. Lows in the mid-teens (colder suburbs) to lower 20s will result in the refreezing of ponds and black ice on the roads. Confidence: Medium-High


Saturday is still likely to see a few clouds as a winter storm in the Atlantic is just close enough to destabilize the atmosphere. Winds from the north pick up as well but these should be the only effects as the system will be far to the south. Highs only in the low 30s with very little melting. Confidence: Medium-High

Valentine's Day (Sunday) starts cold with overnight lows in the teens. A strong sun during the day should push highs up to the low-to-mid 30s, but melting progress will remain very slow. Winds will be fairly brisk from the west, making wind chill a factor once again. Confidence: Medium-High

President's Day (Monday) may start out with some sun but clouds are likely to increase through the morning. Some light fluffy snow is possible by mid-afternoon. Highs in the low 30s. Please refer to our Snow Lover's Crystal Ball for additional discussion on the snow potential. Confidence: Medium

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

By Jason Samenow  | February 11, 2010; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Snoverwhelming: Tracking another snow chance
Next: Region reacts to snow: 'Best of' CWG comments


CWG, you guys are the very best. Thank you so much for all your hard work over the past couple of weeks. I appreciate a place where the information is accurate, coherent, and entertaining.

Oh- and you nailed the last storm. For all that howling and the tremendous rate of precip, it looks like we got around 11 inches in North Arlington.

Posted by: BadMommy1 | February 11, 2010 5:17 AM | Report abuse

Snow on Monday, you say? The map posted below from the NWS is calling for possible heavy snow?

Ha... hehahah.. HAHAHHHA *SOB* *CRY* *SOB* *CRY*

Such mixed emotions I have...

Posted by: B-Kraemer | February 11, 2010 5:32 AM | Report abuse

Yes - thanks! This is the only place I trust for the real deal, plus good tangential info and entertainment. I wish the places I travel to for work had Weather Gangs. - Mt Rainier, MD.

Posted by: jodicello | February 11, 2010 5:51 AM | Report abuse

I'm wondering if Metro will be able to serve the above-ground stations on Friday. Fingers crossed because I REALLY REALLY REALLY need to get out of here. any thoughts?

Posted by: owensm | February 11, 2010 6:52 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, CWG. I think my neighbors are now following you, as they were impressed with your calling of Snowmageddon (i.e. Friday/Saturday storm) as relayed by me.

Keep up the good work and get some rest!

Posted by: Murre | February 11, 2010 6:58 AM | Report abuse

We emerged from our igloos around 5pm last night to start clearing. The snow itself was not that bad to shovel but the Mt Everest at the end of the driveway is over my head. The one in the back of the driveway is about 10 feet high. Tossing snow up there gives comic relief to my neighbors. Hubby just took off for work in Vienna. He works at a grocery store. I hope customers understand that if the 18 wheelers can't get to the stores to make deliveries it results in shortages. The trucks have to be able to navigate the Interstates and get into the back areas of the stores for deliveries. The days are long gone when stores kept huge inventories in the stores. The new model is "just in time" deliveries, ironic in bad weather.

Posted by: tbva | February 11, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

First, I mean eighth.

Hey, where are all the Global Warming guys? I miss you... it's sunny outside.

Posted by: HolyMoley | February 11, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure enough is being reported on the likely scenario of flooding from snow melt after this storm. Generally a good snow pack portends good news for the rivers in the basin. Problem in the mid Atlantic is that temps don't stay consistently cold enough to result in a slow melt into spring. Rather we get 20" of snow, then a week later 40s or 50s, and rain. That combo is the perfect storm for flooding. We saw an example recently with 15-16ft at the Strasburg gauge on the NF (typical 2-3ft), and that combo was the cause of one of the two historic floods in 1996 (January 18 & 19, 1996):



The Strasburg gauge on the NF was 27.8ft on 20 January 1996. Hate to see a repeat of that again.

Posted by: blackbear336 | February 11, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Dear CWG, I want to echo all the many posts of gratitude Ive been reading here over the last couple of days. Ive been following you guys since the December 2009 snows and really enjoy reading and watching what happens here on the various pages and posts. You all do a tremendous job and have to work 24-7 during times like these which I am sure is exhausting! I just wanted to chime in to the chorus of praise for a job well done! I hope your bosses give you a well deserved extra couple days off while things are calm in the skies. Thank you!

Posted by: alcw1 | February 11, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

The Great Dig at Tysons and Dulles promises to dwarf Boston's little $8B extravaganza, so why not go ALL UNDERGROUND! This little storm should convince you that above ground is useless when the big winter storms hit.

And, yes - we are wimpy... now get out and start shoveling all you fat guys

Posted by: HolyMoley | February 11, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse are so right, however, I don't think our sore-backed, bruised, cabin-fevered bodies and brains can handle anything other than a cloudless sky! The last flakes fell until 11 p.m. in my area (north-eastern Mont. Cty) and I couldn't face the wind at that hour. Sun's way up, so my turn to get out there this morning. Good luck everyone!

Posted by: retiredlady2 | February 11, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Agh! What's that bright, shiny thing in the eastern sky!??!?!

Seriously, CWG, great job managing the 1-2 punch these last few days. Clearly this is the go-to site for solid forecasting and analysis of any weather event! You guys are fantastic.

Posted by: DaveB2 | February 11, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

CWG - I'm still having problems viewing the total amounts on the map. I can see the map, but without the totals (circles). I've tried several different computers/laptops - and nothing. Not sure what the problem is since I was able to see the totals previously.

Any assistance/suggestions to help me troubleshoot this issue is appreciated - either from CWG or others.


Posted by: ZmanVA | February 11, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Which part of this forecast did David write, and which part did Jason write? If you're looking for a little unsolicited writing advice, I'd suggest making the intro paragraph shorter and a but snappier -- it was a bit long-winded today.

I only offer this b/c I love CWG like a band of precip-covered brothers! David, hope you can rise to the level of the rest of the Gang!

Posted by: wrytous | February 11, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

CWG meteorologists: Is there any evidence that winters like this come in cycles, i.e., that several consecutive winters with above-average snowfall are likely? Thanks very much.

Posted by: josrwood | February 11, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

I too want to add my thanks to the CWG forecasters! Many of my colleagues are now following your blog as well. I get e-mails from friends now that quote CWG. Anyway thanks so much for your on target forecasts, your willingness to blog around the clock and keep us updated and for your mix of detailed information and great attitude towards us readers, patiently answering as many questions as possible. I have always loved weather ( I actually looked at being a meteorologist while in highschool and joined a local club here at NOAA in silver spring years ago). Although, I chose another career, it's great to be able to have somewhere to go with such great dialogue and info. Keep up the great work!

Posted by: soleil2000 | February 11, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: GoodBoyBo | February 11, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

I understand that most of our big storms this season have resulted from a consistent stream of cold Artic air dipping much farther south than usual. Is this pattern in any way predictable over a long(ish) term like El Nino/La Nina? If so, where do we find out about it for next year, so we can buy season ski passes? If not, why isn't it as predictable? Just curious..

You guys have done an amazing job this winter. Very consistent, calm and accurate. A rare combination -- and the definition of true professionals. My hat's off to all of you.

Posted by: reedd1 | February 11, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse


What's the NF? The links you gave don't seem to work.

Posted by: maymay1 | February 11, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. Thanks for all of the nice comments. We really appreciate them.

Note: Over the last couple of days, primarily due to how busy we've been, some inappropriate comments have slipped through the cracks. We apologize for that and will do our best to unpublish comments that are SPAM, resort to name-calling, and/or are offensive. We respectfully ask readers to be polite and stay on topic.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 11, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

i suggest checking under rocks and bridges...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 11, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Dear CWG,
You reporting made these storms much more bearable due to your lack of hysteria (esp. with #2 when most other outlets were forecasting 20 inches). I've been a regular follower for over a year, and you never let me down. As others have noted, I especially appreciate your explanations and your follow up. You sure were right when you predicted that this winter would be snowier than usual!

Posted by: LCFC | February 11, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Sno más

Posted by: blasmaic | February 11, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

josrwood, you asked,
"CWG meteorologists: Is there any evidence that winters like this come in cycles, i.e., that several consecutive winters with above-average snowfall are likely?"

actually, sometime near the beginning of this storm (i think - they're all running together now...) CWG posted something about a 7-yr cycle. every 7 yrs we seem to have lots of snow. now, the chart only went back a few cycles to include '96, '03, and '10.

someone commented that '89 was a good snow year, but i don't know.

anyone remember where that chart is and, if the cycle goes back further?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 11, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse


No evidence snowy winters come in cycles. The last couple times we had snowy winters, they were followed by a series of years with below average snow.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 11, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 11, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Count me among those who appreciate all the work CWG has done over the last couple of weeks. Great job, guys!

Here in Gainesville this morning it is 36 degrees and sunny, with brisk winds but less of the gusts we had last night. Our neighborhood still is not plowed; at this rate, I don't know if I'll make it to work Friday or not. I'm just hoping at this point that we can get out of the house sometime this weekend, as we've been largely housebound since last Friday evening.

Posted by: jaradel | February 11, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Nice rundown here on (most) everything you (probably) want to know about snow - or perhaps just rubbing it in when to some snow is the last thing you want to hear more about!

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | February 11, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

is there a typo in that link?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 11, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

If we get any more storms, can we name them "Fluffy" or "Blossom" or something in hopes of having a good influence?

Posted by: paperball | February 11, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Walter, delete the second "http//" and the link will work.

Posted by: david_in_stafford | February 11, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Saw this video of a time lapse on Capitol Hill of the storm from 2/6 -
sorry if it was previously posted here and I missed it. It's pretty cool:

Posted by: Snowlover2 | February 11, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

So far this season Baltimore has received 80 inches of snow and DC has received 55.9 inches, both breaking previous records for seasonal accumulation. Our region has also seen two 25-year storms in the same season.

U.S. Global Change Research Program said last year that "Cold-season storm tracks are shifting northward and the strongest storms are likely to become stronger and more frequent." Does this mean the patterns we are seeing now are likely to become the "new normal" for our region in the years to come? Should our regional planners and officials take steps to prepare for more extreme weather generally -- hotter heat waves in summer and snowier snow storms in winters?

Posted by: member8 | February 11, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

VERY cool time-lapse. t'anks.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 11, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

I am so addicted to this blog, you all are great! No plow out here in the burbs (Howard County) since Monday, don't really expect to see one before the weekend, gave up measuring with all of the blowing, suffice to say we got a lot. Already excited about more snow on Monday, what a great winter. BTW, contrary to some of the fun sponges that post here, I for one love the "Firsters", and laugh every single time. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Posted by: weatherjunkie | February 11, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Jason.....I know you have thumbed through hundreds of comments, and probably don't remember it, but thanks for the official response to my inquiry last evening on why those insane snow bands just wouldn't quit over Fairfax/Loudon countues last night....and the fact that the models simply didn't pick it up. I have considerable weather traning/experience, but am not exactly a meterologist. We've had cases of constant fill-in/never-ending, wraparound snow bands from most of the storms this season (including the three big ones), but the ones last night were just insane. The closest I've ever seen to something like that, before last night, was probably the Blizzard of '96. there were indications that the low was becoming vertically-stacked and becoming closed or cut-off, with little or no push to it (and even some W/SW drift). That, of course, would have been a true disaster for our region....thank God that didn't happen.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | February 11, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

walter, sorry about that:

This will get you there (All About Snow)

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | February 11, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse


Great video! Thanks. It seemed that no snowplows made an appearance in the production?

Posted by: h0db | February 11, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Centreville VA Day #6 in the bunker.
Townhouse actually DOES look like a bunker dug in deep behind 8 ft snow fortifications.
Icicle booby traps at front & back doors.
Can't stop looking out windows at incredible landscape.
So glad to see sunshine....& temps above freezing!
BTW, this household does not watch TV. All forecast info comes from CWG or linked sources like NWS. We were fully prepared for these storms & power outages (brief during Snowmageddon, & none at all yesterday....whew!) & although we are getting a bit cabin feverish have no urgent need for supplies. So thanks again for this wonderful blog.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 11, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Is there a FedCast for tomorrow (Friday)?

Posted by: jaydreb1 | February 11, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse


You may be referring to my comment last evening. It hits some important points, so I'll repeat since it's not easy to find any specific comment. You are right on in regard to a low becoming "vertically stacked", which usually means the system will move very, very slowly.

I mentioned in today's chat that it is notoriously difficult to predict the details of rapidly intensifying storms ("bombs"). The bust on the recurrent wrap around bands is another example of that truism. Even today's most advanced state-of-the-art operational weather models cannot fully resolve the complexities of the relevant atmospheric processes. Yes, the models can "simulate" banding, but that's not the same as accurately predicting the where and when.

The single most impressive case of recurring bands and snow I've experienced was February 1969 in the Boston area. Unlike the present case, this continued for several days as the low remained virtually stationary off the coast. Each of several rounds of bands would normally be considered a significant snowstorm in and of themselves. I recall walking from my dorm to class in Cambridge between huge drifts well over my head.

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | February 11, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Yes, props and applause to CWG for all its good work! Now, is there a Hollywood deal for you out of this? And what shall we call the movie?

Posted by: DCinVA | February 11, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Snowlover2; Tremendous video!!

What is the time interval between individual frames?

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | February 11, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

@DCinVA , I don't know what they should call the movie, but I hope Jon Hamm's in it. Maybe he could play Steve or Jason.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | February 11, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Following up on Member8's question earlier:

"U.S. Global Change Research Program said last year that "Cold-season storm tracks are shifting northward and the strongest storms are likely to become stronger and more frequent."

Does this mean we should expect more of the same in coming years?

Posted by: pitchtorobert | February 11, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

MMCarhelp and Steve T:
Okay so what is a low that is "becoming vertically-stacked and becoming closed or cut-off, with little or no push to it"?

Posted by: manassasmissy | February 11, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Here's to hoping that we get another foot or two on Monday!

Posted by: OMGPonies | February 11, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Closed Low - A low pressure area with a distinct center of cyclonic circulation which can be completely encircled by one or more isobars or height contour lines. The term usually is used to distinguish a low pressure area aloft from a low-pressure trough. Closed lows aloft typically are partially or completely detached from the main westerly current, and thus move relatively slowly.

Cutoff Low - A closed upper-level low which has become completely displaced (cut off) from basic westerly current, and moves independently of that current. Cutoff lows may remain nearly stationary for days, or on occasion may move westward opposite to the prevailing flow aloft (i.e., retrogression).

Posted by: js2081 | February 11, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Vertically Stacked System - A low-pressure system, usually a closed low or cutoff low, which is not tilted with height, i.e., located similarly at all levels of the atmosphere. Such systems typically are weakening, slow-moving, and often are occluded at the surface.

Posted by: js2081 | February 11, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Glad everyone enjoyed the video!

@SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang, I did not take this video, so I don't know what the time elapsed was..a friend sent it to me.

It was a great video, but the credit doesn't belong to me :)

Posted by: Snowlover2 | February 11, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, SteveT.....sorry if I confused your previous comment with Jason.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | February 11, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

if this link is true do we just turn a blind eye. how do we trust the people that measure the snow there at the nws dulles. are there more than just one person doing the measuring? is there video/pics? what are the persons names doing the measuring?

Posted by: deveinmadisonva | February 11, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

So then is a closed or cutoff low separated vertically from the westerly current or separated by horizontal distance? Does it not turn cyclonic because there are no wind currents feeding the system?

Posted by: manassasmissy | February 11, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

This IS the "go to" place for all things weather-related, no doubt about it. Like many old time readers, I was skeptical about the move to the Post, but I appreciate them letting you guys just do your thing. My sister and I are big fans.

The warm-up is beginning - am hearing the crashing of icicles coming down. What a racket. The cats jump 6 feet every time.

Called the insurance company about the leaky front door. They haven't had a lot of calls yet, but expect they will start coming fast and furious over the next few days.

Thanks CWG - you all are the best.

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

@ OMGPonies: Why yes, of course. I mean, what's a few hundred thousand people without power, a few more hundred thousands who don't get paid if they don't get to work and a couple of carbon monoxide deaths -- all as long as the records keep falling, right?

Posted by: pitchtorobert | February 11, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

@OMGPonies - sure, as long as we can then push you head first into the nearest snowdrift. And you can freeze there for a few hours as EMS can't make it down the still unplowed streets and unshoveled sidewalks.

After that, we'll return you to one of the homes that's still freezing cold and without power from the LAST storm, and you can spread your warmth and cheer over them, while doing your "more snow!" dance.

Sound good? Just how much snow does it take to satisfy you? Have you considered moving to Siberia?

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

Great vid snowlover. Love the extrication of the car.....wonder if someone else tucked into it after the original car got out.

Posted by: tbva | February 11, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse


I hope the pharmacy near you reopens soon so you can get your Prozac prescription refilled. Psycho.

Posted by: gjjg4dgd | February 11, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse


So I like snow....excuse me for posting that on a weather board.

Posted by: gjjg4dgd | February 11, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Wow, can we keep the comments civil?

Posted by: manassasmissy | February 11, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

@gjjg4dgd - This from the person who spent most of yesterday cutting and pasting "bust" comments over and over to prove people wrong?

I'll pick up your Adderall refill while I'm there. You must be low by now.

Posted by: nocando | February 11, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

"how much snow will it take to satisfy you?"
This is an excellent question.
Many people don't care for snow & they provide excellent logical explanations for that fact.
As a native of this area I know that these mega-snow events are rare things indeed. The weather gawker in me revels in it. The "illogical" snowlover in me thrills to it.
And after days of burrowing like a badger in glorious fresh air I feel great.
Let me say for the CWG record that I would prefer if it did not snow again in any substantial way until at least Feb 26. This in mainly in respect for the needs of society, but our household is taking a big financial hit with this shutdown like many others.
Please handle this request to the best of your abilities....thank you.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 11, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

gjjgd: I like snow too, but what we've had has gone way beyond manageable levels. Most of us like a few snowy evenings in the course of a winter, where it stacks up 8 or 10 inches and then quietly melts away over the next couple of weeks.

Right now the region's under about four feet of it, with more maybe coming. Hundreds of thousands of people have been without power for days. People are losing income for not being able to work. A lot of us are seriously concerned about the structural integrity of our houses and some buildings have already failed. Motorist are stranded and rescuers can't get to them. People who need ambulances may not be able to get them to come if the roads are impassable.

We're already to the point where the time line back to normal is weeks or months. To come around hoping for another foot or two of snow on top of that really makes you sound either clueless or heartless, or both.

We all like snow, but we've had more than enough for one winter.

Posted by: mhardy1 | February 11, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

The NF is the North Shenandoah River in Virginia.

Here are the links again:

Serious flooding is a real possibility following this much snow.

Posted by: blackbear336 | February 11, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Can everyone take a breath? Is this really the forum to be pickin' at one another?

Posted by: tbva | February 11, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse


Good one. Sounds like nocando has been lacking for his anger management therapy with all this snow.

Posted by: OMGPonies | February 11, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

@js2081...Definition of warm-core and cold-core lows is also important. Nearly all our lows at this time of year are cold-core systems. Tropical lows are warm-core systems. Sometimes "hybrid" systems develop, especially in the summer and fall; these are generally referred to as "subtropical" lows.

I've noticed a new category recently, called "hurricane-force" oceanic extratropical storms. Yesterday's blizzard is an example. Perhaps these should be "named", like tropical and subtropical systems; they are generally powerful cold-core systems which reach hurricane force. They should also be rated on the Saffir-Simpson scale as hurricanes are...I believe a few historic hurricane-force storms have reached Category 3 in sustained-wind strength, but I doubt if any cold-core lows have ever reached Categories 4 or 5. It seems to be somewhat more difficult for an extratropical system to reach high wind intensities than for a tropical "heat-engine" cyclone to do so.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | February 11, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Does the 7-year heavy snow cycle sync up with El Nino cycles? I have seen some discussion that El Nino coaxes the Jet Stream south where it is picks up more moisture from the Pacific and Gulf and then the moisture and the cold meet here. It isn't snowing more because it is colder, but because it is wetter/stormier.

Posted by: jbmindc | February 11, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I know we are attempting to get beyond yesterday's storm but how is next week looking? I have a trip and am wondering what Monday and February 19-20. What are the models looking like? Great job I may never watch TV weather again.

Posted by: Rmjw | February 11, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Most of our office is due to travel in the next week. Concerned about getting out and even more so about getting back on the weekend of 20 February. P Michaels initially wasn't concerned about Monday but noted he thought the following weekend would be worse - at least that is my recollection - I think he eventually became more concerned about Monday. Thanks.

Posted by: Rmjw | February 11, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

The SUN is out - more evidence of "GLOBAL WARMING" Yippppeeee Wahooooo...

Anyone seen Walter under those bridges? He seems to be suffering from snow-induced rectal-cranial encephalectomy.

Posted by: HolyMoley | February 11, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

O inches of snow in Old Town since 6am.

Does this mean the DC Metro will be running tomorrow so the Fed Gummit peeps can all get back to the vital work of saving the people from capitalism and greed? Save the planet from ourselves?

Hope and Change Baby!

Posted by: HolyMoley | February 11, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Hey, if we can't afford salt, sand, and snow removal gear... how will we ever afford Obamacare?

Posted by: HolyMoley | February 11, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

CWG, please remove Holymoleys comments, they are not related to the article and are just there to incite argument. Thanks.

Posted by: samdman95 | February 11, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for the comment. 2/19-2/20 is too far into the future for us to project at this point.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 11, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Government is shut down, Stock Market is up... a coincidence? Just wondering... LOL

As spurious a correlation as Global Warming and the evidence to correlate it to the evils of humankind...

Posted by: HolyMoley | February 11, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Sam-I-Am is of course correct, I nominate him to be the new Internet commissioner...

Sam-I-Am's commentary is the only one that counts, and his personal attacks are OK... careful of the double standards here...

Now, back to the snow... Yipeeeee

Posted by: HolyMoley | February 11, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Sam-I-Am, the 2nd Amendment only applies to liberals... think about it.

Posted by: HolyMoley | February 11, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

The latest postings remind me to look up the difference between sociopathy and narcissism. Enough with the sniping and politics, please?!

Posted by: krosseel | February 11, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Ja Wohl Herr Krosseel

Posted by: HolyMoley | February 11, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

holymoley, i do not own any weapons. what are you saying that the 2nd amendment only applies to liberals, as conservatives support gun rights, and in District of Columbia v. Heller, all the conservative judges favored 2nd amendment rights.

Posted by: samdman95 | February 11, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Now that the snow has abated, what will all you wizards do? How will you exist without a weather blog to captivate you?

Now get out there and enjoy the day the Lord hath made!

I'll miss you all, your sense of humor and wit...

Signing off forever - HolyMoley

Posted by: HolyMoley | February 11, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

My bad... 1st Amendment...

BTW, they are discussing Global Warming on that evil-doer channel, Fox News. Megan Kelly is a babe, eh?

Posted by: HolyMoley | February 11, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Why are all the conservative newswomen so hot, and the liberals so homely?

Posted by: HolyMoley | February 11, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

OK, I really am leaving.... Wahoooo Yipeeee Have a Great Day!

Posted by: HolyMoley | February 11, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

New posting was up at 1:00 pm

Posted by: krosseel | February 11, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse


With the way the costal jet stream has been huggung the mid-east coast, is there a possibility that the system currently sitting over TX might surprise us and drop some precip on us if it doesn't head out to sea near the Carolinas? I know that the NAM and the GFS are not projecting that right now, but the theory seems to have some basis in recent history.

Posted by: Alexandria2009 | February 11, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

blackbear336, the floods could indeed happen again like they did in 96. But one mitigating factor is that the second storm missed the mountains. We mostly got 3-5 inches of fluff out here. But there is still 30 inches of the weekend storm, which rivals the 96 amounts.

Let's hope for a nice gradual melt.

Posted by: eric654 | February 11, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for all the work you've done for the past months and years in predicting and reporting the weather as you see it.

Also thank you for having this comment section so that others can report on what's happening in their area, ask questions that get answered (unlike the many other similar sites that don't even acknowledge the readers).

I do have one request - can you revoke the posting priviledges of some posters, such as 'HolyMoley'? The comments from that poster are not civil, are rarely on-topic, and the lack of knowledge of simple science SCREAMS from each of his/her posts.

Posted by: critter69 | February 11, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

The link to the Snow & Ice center at UC Boulder mentions that upstate New York has the snowiest cities. As a former Syracusan (Syracusian?), I want to point out that the big 5 upstate cities (Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse , Albany & Binghamton) have an annual contest to see who gets the most snow every winter. See As usual, Syracuse is running ahead.

Don't even think about what it's like to live in a place with an AVERAGE annual snowfall of 125 inches. Those piles in the parking lots? They melt in late June... It's not fun, it never was fun -- we're thinking DC is too far north now.

Posted by: agriffithva1 | February 11, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

while i share your sentiment about holymoley's "contributions", i don't think he should be banned.

his comments MUST be parody. he can't REALLY be that unpleasant. must be an act. if his comments ARE taken seriously (i.e., not thought to be parody of a right-wing nut), then they themselves are the best possible indictment of his espoused positions....

(fancy talk for the more he posts the stupider he SEEMS.)

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 12, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

we began that global warming conversation on that earlier thread, then you left - to go bother people on the new thread. meanwhile, i'm still waiting back on that old one....

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 12, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

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