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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 02/ 1/2010

Forecast: Cold & stormy start to February

By Jason Samenow

Chance of wintry weather Tues night and over weekend

* Snow Lover's Crystal Ball | Saturday snow totals: View submissions *
* Outside now? Temps, clouds, webcam & more: Weather Wall *

Today's Daily Digit
A somewhat subjective rating of the day's weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.
5Cold, cold start -- but moderating afternoon temps & sun.
Get tomorrow's 'Digit' on Twitter tonight


Today: Mostly sunny. Near 40. | Tonight: Becoming partly cloudy, still cold. 17-25. | Tomorrow: Increasing clouds. Chance of light snow late. 35-40. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


Just as the sun puts a dent in Saturday's snow cover today, two opportunities to refresh our snow supply may present themselves as the coming week progresses. Tuesday night a weak storm developing to the south may spread some snow into parts of the region. A more significant storm system may impact the entire region with snow and/or rain late Friday into the weekend.

Satellite image showing Saturday's fresh snow cover over the mid-Atlantic region. Note the sharp cutoff near the Mason Dixon line. Image courtesy NASA.

Today (Monday): The first day of February will be on the quiet side with high pressure sitting over the region. Despite the cold start in the teens (most places), full sunshine will warm the air through the 30s to near 40. This will melt a lot of the fluffy snow, particularly areas facing south. Confidence: High

Tonight: Clear skies early may give way to some high clouds late at night and towards morning. It will still be cold, with lows from the teens in outlying areas to the mid-20s downtown. Confidence: Medium-High

Keep reading for the forecast through the week...

Snow falls by the Treasury Department Saturday afternoon. By CWG photographer Ian Livingston.

Tomorrow (Tuesday): Clouds increase during the day tomorrow as weak areas of low pressure approach from the southeast and west. By mid-to-late afternoon, there's a 30% chance of light snow or rain. Highs should range from 35-40. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow Night: There is a decent chance (50-60%) of some snow overnight -- particularly along and east of I-95 -- depending on the track of an area low pressure to the south. Refer to the Snow Lover's Crystal Ball for additional discussion, including accumulation potential. Temperatures should bottom out around 30. Confidence: Low-Medium


A few light snow showers could linger into Wednesday morning, with skies probably staying mostly cloudy in the afternoon. It will be slightly colder than average, with highs 35-40. Skies should gradually clear Wednesday night, with lows 18-25 (suburbs-city). Confidence: Medium

High pressure over the region Thursday will bring mostly sunny skies and seasonably cold temperatures. Highs will most likely range from 40-45. Mostly clear and cold overnight with lows 20-27 (suburbs-city). Confidence: Medium-High

As we discuss in our Snow Lover's Crystal Ball, most computer model guidance suggests a storm may impact the region starting some time Friday (probably late in the day or at night, with clouds increasing before that), continuing into Saturday and possibly early Sunday (after which clouds will gradually decrease). It's too early to project precipitation type, which could be snow, rain or some combination. High temperatures will probably be in the 30s during this period with overnight lows in the 20s. Confidence: Low

By Jason Samenow  | February 1, 2010; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Two storms to be possible snow producers


Wide variance in low temperatures this morning. -1F outside of Culpeper VA, 28F in downtown DC. wow. Several spots between +1F & 5F in the piedmont.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 1, 2010 5:07 AM | Report abuse

No more snow. With over 36inches this winter so far I have had enough. Obviously you snow lovers don't have to drive or shovel the stuff. Time for global warming like you leftists claim and temps in low 50's until March 1.

Posted by: omarthetentmaker | February 1, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Can't find the previous post... but someone mentioned something about the average snowfall in DC being reported as 8 inches?

Basically, Dulles' average is 22 inches and Reagan National's is 16.

Posted by: MKoehl | February 1, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Okay, regarding previous post - it is only through 2002 - but it can't be too far off...

Posted by: MKoehl | February 1, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Wow that satellite image is awesome. And to think we are usually in that dark spot...

Posted by: manassasmissy | February 1, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I've had to shovel too but I'm not complaining. I look at it as a chance to get some good exercise. Saturday's snow was really easy to shovel.

Posted by: Thundershock | February 1, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I don't mind the snow so much when it is on the weekends. Especially when it is a nice, light, easy to shovel snow like we had in Frederick last weekend. However, I could just as well do without it. Since this is a long weekend coming up for me, I was hoping we would have some "nice' weather. Guess I will be stuck inside painting! I would love it if it was warm enough to rain and wash this stuff away as, while it looks nice now, by the end of the week will will be getting grungy around town. I'll be keeping an eye on the models. Here's hoping for a nice mid-50s warm up through the rest of the month!

Posted by: soyboy99 | February 1, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

@MKoehl, re: 8 inches of snow at DCA, that's the average through January, not for the entire season. So as of 1/31/10, this winter's snowfall was 300% above average.

The closest DCA came to 300% for an entire winter was 1995-96, when 46" fell. Other locations, including the old weather station on L Street and IAD have had higher season totals.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 1, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

We usually get wet snow in DC area. I liked seeing powered snow. Easy to shovel and drive in...

Posted by: rusty6 | February 1, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

omarthetentmaker, we have a month more of meteorological winter to go. You ought to be up in western Wisconsin where the ground is snow-covered from Thanksgiving to April Fools' Day.

Some uncertainty persists over both tomorrow evening's and the weekend event. The second event might be BIG around here.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | February 1, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

@MKoehl - when they stated 8" they were referring to how much snow we typically have at this point in the winter at DCA. In other words, if we continue the way we are going, we will have approx. 48" by the end of winter. One can only hope :)

Posted by: snowlover | February 1, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse


I'm liberal & proud of it, believe that the best science indicates that global warming is real and at least partially manmade, and I took the opportunity that the Dec. 19th and this weekend's snowstorms gave us to shovel out a total of 17 houses--got good exercise and earned some money. So yeah, I'm a snow lover who has to drive in it and shovel it, and I welcome it. I also know that local conditions at any given time have no bearing on whether global warming is happening.

Posted by: markf40 | February 1, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse


I asked the question about the 8-inch average last night--thanks for posting the link. I had said I thought it was 16. So this year might help bring that average up a bit. From Jerry's response, I now understand that the article was talking about the average through the end of January and not the entire season. And as he said, the 1995-96 season was the snowiest at DCA, where there was 46 inches, and I think I recall measuring over 50 inches that season in Fairfax, where I was living at the time.

Posted by: markf40 | February 1, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Hey Camden, in regard to the area-wide temperature variation which you speak of, I had a very curious observation last night (01/31/10 into 02/01/10). I was on TWC, and I have an AccuWeather feed on my handheld. Both services were showing a temperature of 9, and 8 Degrees Fahrenheit around 0400 HRS EST (For Reston, VA). However, when I went to my trusty digital thermometer/barometer stationed just outside my second floor window, it gave a reading of around 18 Degrees Fahrenheit (Which was the same temperature reading observed on my analog thermometer outside my kitchen window). By 0600 HRS EST, my digital thermometer dropped down to 15 Degrees Fahrenheit (Which is a normal drop rate/time), but then by 0630 HRS EST it shot back up to 20 Degrees Fahrenheit. I didn't detect a breeze outside, and although it is close to my window, I have never observed a fluctuation like that before. Now as well, on WTTG Fox5DC, Sue Palka is saying that IAD hit a low of 6 Degrees Fahrenheit during the same timeframe, which is quizzical, because my location is usually colder than IAD (I am a minimum of a couple hundred feet higher in elevation, up on a ridge above the valley-plain which IAD is located in). I have never noticed a 10+ Degree(F) difference between IAD and my location either, and when there is a difference, again, it is usually with IAD being warmer.

Do you have any ideas as to how all of this could have occurred (Such variances and fluctuations, over a relatively small geographical expanse/timeframe)?

Posted by: TheAnalyst | February 1, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

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