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Posted at 9:40 AM ET, 02/ 5/2010

Forecast: Crippling snowstorm imminent

By Camden Walker

Severe "Snowmageddon" storm approaching

* Winter Storm Warning Friday morning through Saturday evening *
* Will the storm make history? | Q&A transcript | Winter driving tips *
* Follow storm on twitter: #Snowpocalypse | E-mail forecast to a friend *
* 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.
 
3Though a thrill for snowlovers, this is a serious, potentially dangerous storm coming in.
 
Get tomorrow's 'Digit' on Twitter tonight

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Snow/mix developing, changing to snow. 33-37. | Tonight: Heavy snow with high accumulations. 26-30. | Tomorrow: Snow, gradually ending late, breezy. 27-31. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail

SETTING THE SCENE

Not just major but most likely historic snow is approaching. Please take this potentially dangerous storm seriously. Snow will start between mid-morning and mid-day, slowly lowering the temperature to around freezing. Mixed precipitation may accompany the light, beginning period of the storm. Slowly through the afternoon and early evening the snow will accumulate. But the bulk of the storm's fury will come after dark when snow rates over an inch per hour are likely. Snowfall intensity will diminish Saturday afternoon, slowly. But breezes will pickup, creating cold wind-chilled air. The impact of this storm will be felt for long after snow ceases by Saturday evening.

ACCUMULATION MAP AND TIMELINE

9 AM to 1 PM FRIDAY
Snow develops SW to NE. Possible mix with rain/sleet. Temps 33-37.
1 PM to 7 PM FRIDAY
Snow, becoming heavy late. Some mix S&E. Temps 30-34.
7 PM to 1 AM SATURDAY
Snow, likely heavy. Some mix S&E. Temps 28-32.
1 AM to 7 AM SATURDAY
Snow, becoming breezy. Temps 26-30.
7 AM to 1 PM SATURDAY
Snow, decreasing some in coverage/intensity. Breezy. Temps 27-31.
1 PM to 7 PM SATURDAY
Snow tapering to flurries. Breezy. Temps 27-31.

Forecast Confidence: High

IMPACT FORECAST

STORM FAQs

Where is the storm now?

Check out the national radar for a wide view of the storm and a sense of how enormous it is.

How confident are you in your forecast?

It is virtually certain we will see copious amounts of winter precipitation from this storm. We are very confident the region will see double digit snow totals, even if some areas (primarily south and east of the beltway) mix with sleet and/or rain.

Could the storm "bust" or end up being much less than these hyped-up amounts?

We have not hyped the amount of accumulation we are predicting and have arrived at this forecast with careful consideration. Having said that, due to the complexity of the atmosphere and the major effects small changes in storm evolution can have, there is always the possibility that storm totals will be lower or higher than forecast. For this storm, however, we think the bust potential is relatively low given its size and consistency in computer model simulations.

Keep reading for more FAQs. And if you haven't already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Just found us? Visit us 24/7 -- rain, snow or shine -- at washingtonpost.com/capitalweathergang.

arlington1_web.jpg
A scene at Arlington Cemetary yesterday. By CWG photographer Kevin Ambrose.

What are the probabilities of lower or higher amounts of snow than forecast?

Lower amounts would arise if more sleet and/or rain mixes with snow than currently forecast and/or the computer models are overdoing the amount of precipitation they're simulating. Higher amounts are possible if precipitation remains all snow and some of the wetter computer models verify (that are simulating totals in the neighborhood of 25-30", which we think are unlikely but not implausible in a few locations).

10% chance less than 10"
20% chance 10-16"
55% chance 16-26" (most likely, representing CWG's forecast for the metro region)
15% chance 26"+

Will we see any of the dreaded wintry mix?

Yes, but only to a small extent. Parts of the area may see the initial onset of precipitation as a mix, as temperatures take a couple hours to fall toward the freezing mark. The mixed precipitation will change to snow though some mixing may continue intermittently mainly south and east of the beltway through early Saturday morning. Any periods of mixing are not anticipated to prevent snowfall accumulation from being very high.

Will travel be impacted?

Travel will be very difficult Friday night through Saturday night. DO NOT DRIVE unless absolutely necessary. Be socially responsible and consider emergency vehicles needing right of passage. If you become stalled, in an accident, or block a major road with your careless driving, you will be endangering not only your own life, but others who are experiencing emergencies during this paralyzing event.

Flying in/out of D.C.? Airports will likely be forced to close Friday night through Saturday evening. Normal service could take a few days to restore, but any ground-stops will likely be lifted after the snow tapers off late Saturday.

Amtrak & Metro (for above ground stations) may also have a breaking point after 8 inches of snow has accumulated. The snowfall rates may be so fast & furious that tracks will be impassable by late evening on Friday through some time late Saturday.

Besides driving hazards, what other safety risks may present themselves during this storm?

Snow on roofs, power outages, & snow shoveling.

*Snow on your roof will weigh a lot with such a large snowpack. See this article for advice on safe roof snow removal: Avoid A Roof Collapse From Heavy Snow - Here's How To Remove Snow From Your Home's Roof

*Some power outages are possible as snow accumulates on power lines and tree branches topple under the weight. Increasing winds may exacerbate these issues on Saturday, especially east of the beltway.

*Monitor your elderly neighbors too, so that they are not forced to shovel such great amounts of snow and be at risk of a heart attack. This will be a somewhat wet, heavy snow. Shovel early and often.

How the heck is such a thing like this possible? & TWICE in one winter?

Perfect atmospheric conditions are aligning. This is a textbook scenario that a meteorologist reads about, but it is actually going to happen in real life. We have a moderate El Nino in the Pacific Ocean providing moisture into our region, and a very active feed of cold air from the Arctic that rarely stays put in D.C. for as long as it has this season. When the cold air and the moisture align as such because of the persistent, hemispheric circulation patterns present, we get these textbook events that are stunning. Yet also historic and paralyzing!

What will conditions be like after the storm?

Very wintry for more than at least several days after the snow stops. Weather will remain chilly with lows in the teens & highs struggling to get toward the freezing mark both Sunday and Monday. More accumulating snow is possible on Tuesday although details are still coming together. We face a continual challenge from winter this year.

By Camden Walker  | February 5, 2010; 9:40 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts, Snowmageddon  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Update: Some FAQs for Snowmageddon Eve
Next: Eating our way through 'Snowmageddon'

Comments

Good morning CWG,

You all are awesome!

Posted by: Alexandria2009 | February 5, 2010 5:13 AM | Report abuse

I am just stunned that so many of the Maryland school systems are sending the kids today. Radar returns are indicating this event will start a bit sooner than stated yesterday. I believe this will be a regretable decision. I hope for the kids it won't be.

Posted by: jcmcgrath1969 | February 5, 2010 5:16 AM | Report abuse

In the words of the late Chris Farley:

I am El Nino! All other tropical storms must bow before El Nino! Yo soy El Nino! For those of you who don't "habla Espanol", El Nino is Spanish for..
THE NINO! To any of you hurricanes who are listening, step on up! Because nobody can take El Nino! I challenge any of you punk-ass tropical storms to a no-holds barred cage match! Any time! Any coast! I swear to God all Mighty it is time to pay the piper, 'cause El Nino's coming for ya! And it ain't gonna be pretty!

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

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost (1923)

Posted by: djm-01 | February 5, 2010 5:23 AM | Report abuse

Any speculations on what "accumulating snow" on Tuesday might look like? It sure sounds like whatever falls over the weekend will still be with us early in the week.

Posted by: Alexandria2009 | February 5, 2010 5:24 AM | Report abuse

Since the forecast totals have been rising with each forecast cycle, I halfway expected the NWS to have predict 30-36" when I got up this morning.

Not that I think we'll see that much; totals above 30" are almost unheard of outside the Sierras, favored areas of the Rockies and lake-effect snow belts.

Posted by: HenryFPotter | February 5, 2010 5:28 AM | Report abuse

CWG - Do any isolated areas in your accumulation bands have the potential to see more snow than other (i.e. elevations or specific areas w/more precip forecasted?)From what I can tell from the last 4-8 model runs the NAM has the annapolis area getting hit hard!

Posted by: snowlover | February 5, 2010 5:45 AM | Report abuse

Could you post a link the the school closings on the home page? I had to search around for it.

Posted by: fresnel33 | February 5, 2010 5:48 AM | Report abuse

CWG Team - The CWG link inside the front center blue shaded story box on the front page of washingtonpost.com does not work.

Posted by: shackleton | February 5, 2010 5:49 AM | Report abuse

Someone asked about mountain lions. VA authorities have the carcass. It was a mountain lion I paid for a DNA test. VA authorites have known that mountain lions have been here since at least 1978 when I came across one while looking for a cave near Front Royal one cold January day. They just don't want folks in GW Forest or along Skyline Drive etc out looking for them and taking pixs. Not unusual to see black bears along Rt 7 on Mt Weather.

Dogs and sheep know the storm is coming and are hyper. LGDs had an easy night. Coyotes and mountain lions etc are resting up for the easy pickings with the deep snow.

Sick of snow. I was sick of the stuff after the first snowfall back in Dec. I don't expect to take anything but catnaps for the next 48hrs with my ewes lambing.
Then the male lambs need to be neutered within the first week or. So like all good Liberal Democratic males should be. We do it the old school. We don't band.

What happened to the good ole days when Dougie and Bobbie would hype a snow storm and then have to apologize the next day for oops it moved furtherehr out to see.

And if one more Green nut job says all this snow is a result of global warming he or she will become mountain lion food.

Posted by: sheepherder | February 5, 2010 6:03 AM | Report abuse

The news about Bob Ryan possibly going to Channel 7 is good. Bob and Doug Hill would be a top-notch team. WRC really shot itself in the foot when they laid off Steve Villanueva, one of many bad personnel decisions the station has made in recent years.

With Diane Sawyer anchoring the ABC Nightly News, and Gordon Peterson, Maureen Bunyan, and Bob Ryan in the 6 p.m. news slot, WJLA would have a chance to break WRC's ratings stranglehood.

Now back to "when's it going to start snowing...?"

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 5, 2010 6:04 AM | Report abuse

And sorry today's daily digit should be a negative 50!

My bro in Springfield was told by the pizza delivery folks last night they didn't know when his pizza would arrive because the roads were choked with fools
out trying to find milk, bread and TP and gas.

I made sure my supplier delivered some fine untaxed VA corn liquor for storm recovery purposes only and I still have 8 bottles left of my favorite single malt from the Highlands birthplace of collies ancestors.

Posted by: sheepherder | February 5, 2010 6:09 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everyone, and great job CWG. Thanks for staying up all night analyzing this, this "thing" coming at us.

Ch9's Map (General 16"-24") : http://www.wusa9.com/weather/currents/snow_bands.jpg

Good luck everybody, be safe and stay warm. We may see blizzard like conditions tomorrow. Good luck with those ewes Sheepherder!

Can't wait to see everybody's reports on accumulations and conditions!

Posted by: dprats21 | February 5, 2010 6:29 AM | Report abuse

I hope the technical issues raised get addressed soon...thanks for the help. Regarding favored areas for snow banding, usually, the elevation enhancements in the western and northwestern suburbs of DC tend to see higher snow totals when all is said and done. But for Annapolis, you can see we have Annapolis in the higher accumulation area due to the expected storm track. Regarding the Tuesday event, the models seem to be shifting it toward later Tuesday or maybe even Wednesday. Still on the light side (few inches), but it may be a coastal storm and we know how that goes...so we'll need to watch it.

Posted by: MattRogers | February 5, 2010 6:31 AM | Report abuse

WOOM WOOM WOOM WOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMM

Posted by: shamuballeno | February 5, 2010 6:38 AM | Report abuse

I love the probabilities! I could not have imagined ever seeing that we have a greater chance of getting over 26" (15%) than getting less than 10" (10%). I guess I shouldn't be too worried about this storm missing us... LOL!!!

Posted by: dprats21 | February 5, 2010 6:39 AM | Report abuse

So, there's a 105% chance of snow? That's what your probabilities(10% +25% + 55% + 15%) say!

Posted by: masasi | February 5, 2010 6:46 AM | Report abuse

good catch masasi -- I saw CWG gets rid of the 10% chance of less than 10" and add an additional 5% to the 26"+ :)

Posted by: snowlover | February 5, 2010 6:50 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: djm-01 | February 5, 2010 5:23 AM
-------------------------------------------
"Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening"

My all time favorite poem. Thank you.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | February 5, 2010 6:51 AM | Report abuse

I keep asking this question and it's not posted and hasn't been answered...what is considered the south when it comes to Northern VA? Is it Dale City, Fredricksburg, Richmond? News anchors fail to mention which counties they are even talking about when they say things like "South and East of the district we'll be getting more OR less"

Posted by: tressoleilgoddess | February 5, 2010 6:53 AM | Report abuse

Tressoleilgoddess, I'm not sure I understand your question? We sometimes say south of the District, but when we get this close into the event, I think a map tells the story better, so you can see where those cities fall on our accumulation map up above.

Posted by: MattRogers | February 5, 2010 6:58 AM | Report abuse

@Matt thanks! I'm in Dale City, and I usually hear either the "South" will get a little more or in other storms a little less. I just never knew if they meant our area was more or less likely to get snow or if they were referring to counties even further south of the listening area. I know even 30 miles can make a difference in snow totals but it seems like with this one, everyone will see mostly double digit accumulations.

Posted by: tressoleilgoddess | February 5, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse

@ masasi:
LOL! You know it's a serious storm when there is a greater than 100% chance of snow! It's the Superbowl nature of this storm, like it's saying, "I'm gonna give 110%, coach".

Welcome to the pre-game show everyone, kickoff should be around Noon!

Posted by: dprats21 | February 5, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse

I am anxiously awaiting this storm

NWS is calling for 20-34" at my house...as of this morning I measured a solid 6" base on my yard (even coverage)

Posted by: panthersny | February 5, 2010 7:07 AM | Report abuse

The only thing I'm not loving is the fact that we are once again going to be housebound with two small kids. I've bought new activities and games but I don't think one bottle of wine will do the trick. We usually like to take the kids out after a storm and play but the December storm it was freezing out. I'm wondering if it will be too cold to even enjoy the snow on Sunday as well.

Posted by: tressoleilgoddess | February 5, 2010 7:08 AM | Report abuse

@CWG Fantastic blog, guys.

Hat tip to the commenters, too. A lot of really well-informed folks participating.

Posted by: DrewinAlexandria | February 5, 2010 7:11 AM | Report abuse

Federal Government closing 4 hours early today. See OPM website.

Posted by: schrute | February 5, 2010 7:11 AM | Report abuse

And the engineer in the group has now fixed the probabilities. we're just that excited for the storm.

Posted by: Jamie Jones | February 5, 2010 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Terrific article! Big Snow Storms are like earthquakes in California (I grew up there), you remember where you were, how old your kids were, etc.

At least with these snow storms, we have lots of warning well in advance! Thanks so much to CWG for making the experience even better!

Posted by: ThinkGreen | February 5, 2010 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: ChadwickWDC | February 5, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

I hope the Caps take the storm as seriously as you advise. I'd really like 'em to reschedule tonight's game.

Posted by: megster671 | February 5, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

NWS slightly upped accumulations for higher elevations in some zones: "AMOUNTS OVER 30 INCHES POSSIBLE AT HIGHER ELEVATIONS."

Posted by: spgass1 | February 5, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

Thank you very much for the travel update. It's greatly appreciated. Never found myself unable to get home from business travel before, and I've been worried about when and how I can get back.

To the readers who felt the need to belittle those with travel questions in a previous blog post -- I'm 'stranded' in Florida. Are you? Neener neener.

Posted by: SilverySpringlike | February 5, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

@Sheepherder, thanks for the added info about the mountain lion. Sorry to bog down this blog with non-weather stuff but I see no other way to contact Sheepherder. Hope you weather the storm with minimal losses. I will be looking out to see whether you post storm totals in your area (which is where?). Post your farm name and I'll look out for you at the sheep and wool festival and do my best to buy wool from you to help offset any losses you suffer this winter.

Posted by: angua1 | February 5, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

QPF totals are still high, ratios being used seem to be low for this year, and most forecasts this year have been on the low side.

I won't be surprised if the upper 16"-26" band is actually more like 24" to 30".

Shovel early and often. Take care of the elderly. Stay off the roads.

Life can wait a day or two.

Posted by: Vingold | February 5, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Here's a little tidbit of science to get you in the mood for some possible record snows:
http://www.natice.noaa.gov/products/featured_product/index.htm

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 5, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

@Vingold I agree with your post. It appears that forecasters and mets are trying to be conservative with this one even in the midst of their anticipation of such a big and rare storm in this area. I've seen ranges all over the map (no pun intended) and I think with talk of hyping events, it's good to see that so many want to keep their journalistic integrity and rely on data and history over television ratings and blog hits.

Posted by: tressoleilgoddess | February 5, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Just started snowing in Charlottesville!

Posted by: cleombrota | February 5, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

What are the chances of making it down to Christiansburg on Sunday afternoon?

Love this blog!

Posted by: icecubedownthetoilet | February 5, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

It looks as if the first precipitation will arrive as rain - or at least according to the green spots on radar.

Posted by: Hanz1 | February 5, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: JTF- | February 5, 2010 7:57 AM | Report abuse

I too am leery of most of the estimates of snowfall put out. It just seems more moisture is being pumped north than they account for.

Noticing GFS QPF is starting to increase, looking more like some of those "outliers" the NAM produced yesterday.

Posted by: RandC | February 5, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

I'd be curious to hear CWG's thoughts on those two graphics from the links above. One suggests that we're smack dab in the middle with more than 3" of moisture coing our way - and the other looks less somewhat less ominious.

Posted by: Hanz1 | February 5, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

I bet we see 30-35 inches at Dulles

feel ripped off that NY and Boston won't share our pain

Posted by: tgt111 | February 5, 2010 8:13 AM | Report abuse

@JTF-

When suppertime came the old cook came on deck
Saying, "Fellows, it's too rough to feed ya,"
At 7 p.m. a main hatchway caved in
He said "Fellas, it's been good to know ya."

Posted by: mensan98th | February 5, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

I hate to do this, but I can't not . . . I think all this hoping for amounts over two feet is almost offensive. It is like wishing the Category 3 hurricane coming at you becomes a Category 4. This is serious stuff. People are going to die. I truly, honestly believe the people that get the most excited about snow have few or any responsibilities that come with it (family, etc.).

Oh, but have fun with the "winter wonderland!"

Posted by: SouthsideFFX | February 5, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

The news about Bob Ryan possibly going to Channel 7 is good. Bob and Doug Hill would be a top-notch team. WRC really shot itself in the foot when they laid off Steve Villanueva, one of many bad personnel decisions the station has made in recent years.
----------------------------------------

WHAT?!? When did this news break & I missed it?!?

First they "retire" George Michael, then Arch Campbell & who knows who else, & now my beloved Bob Ryan may be jumping ship?!

SAY IT AIN'T SO!!

If they lose Vance I'm outta there!

Back to your regularly scheduled snow panic.

http://snowpocalypsedc.com/

Posted by: wadejg | February 5, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

My guess on the schools, BTW, is that by opening on time and closing after a half-day, they don't use up a snow days, which will save them an extra day of school (and the associated costs) come June.

Posted by: mheney | February 5, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

I should add that CWG is to be commended for pointing out the danger in this storm.

Posted by: SouthsideFFX | February 5, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

SouthsideFFX, its the little things in life sometimes...or in this case, the big things. I have a job, no kids, but when it snowed when I was a kid, my parents loved it. I'd get up at five to see if FCPS was closed, then go down to the creek with my friends for the entire day and play in the snow and come home at night. I still love snow for this reason, even if it messes with my schedule. If I had kids, I'd be happy that they have something to enjoy even if it causes me headaches, because some of my best memories growing up were on snow days. People will die in 6 inches or 24 inches. Maybe less people will go out in 2 feet.

It's the little things in life that take you beyond the daily bump and grind that make people like me, who love following heavy snow, floods, and hurricanes that look at the excitement that comes with watching natures fury. If you can't enjoy that, or at least appreciate that, then I almost feel sorry for you.

Posted by: rocotten | February 5, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

CWG--I just want to take this opportunity to thank you guys! I read your blog year round, but your coverage of this storm in particular has been outstanding. Thanks for keeping us all informed and teaching us weather buffs how to read the maps and everything.

I'm usually a big snow lover, but I'm getting worried at the idea of snow totals over 26 inches. I live in Southeast Baltimore and it took the city a long time to get back to normal after the December storm. Some streets never got plowed, and trash didn't get picked up for weeks. So the idea that this could be bigger could really cripple the city.

Posted by: bachaney | February 5, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

So I assume getting to the Caps game around 5 will be possible, but coming out after the game at 9:30 should be a complete nightmare?

Not sure what to do about this game..

Posted by: SA-Town | February 5, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

In related news, Obama's press secretary has released a statement asking the members of the George W. Bush administration to acknowledge responsibility for this winter's storms.........

Posted by: LNER4472 | February 5, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

@tgt111 :

Funnily enough, New Yorkers and Bostonians often feel likewise about DC because this part of the country tends to have such mild winters. When I lived up in Boston, I loved coming down here for business during the winter for a brief respite. I'm sure a lot of folks up north are thinking, "It's about time they feel the pain of winter that we feel every year."

Posted by: urkelism | February 5, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

please remove comment from 6:03 AM. Let's keep focused on weather not politics.thank you

Posted by: thedude3 | February 5, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Southside, with respect, your post is seriously disappointing. Believe me, you can love snow - and large snow storms - and have a family, too. And a storm like this is not inexorably going to result in fatalities. This is not a hurricane. Lighten up.

Posted by: CapHillEast | February 5, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Snowing now in Charlottesville - very small flakes but coming down at a moderate clip. Nothing sticking to roads - the ground is probably still too warm for it.

Posted by: shmoozer | February 5, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

CWG-Is accumulation map set in stone at this point, or do you anticipate adjustmetns after the next model runs?

Posted by: snowlover | February 5, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I think if you have family and friends who are working in it - fire, police, emt, etc - I have ever right to be worried about the snow and every right to be frustrated with those calling for more and more snow. It's not your husband out there in the snow. So while I don't begrudge people who want to have fun, try to at least be cognizant of those who are at risk during the storm.

Posted by: hereandnow1 | February 5, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

@wadejg, see last CWG night's update re: Bob Ryan's possibily moving to WJLA.

At 8:15 a.m. at the beyond mobbed Glover Park Whole Foods, an announcement was made over the store intercomm that the store couldn't sell wine or beer until 9:00 a.m. (D.C. law) The wailing in the checkout line was not to be believed.

C'est la vin!

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 5, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning CWG from Frad Maukins. I had trouble sleeping last night with visions of possibly 3 Greg Oden's dancing in my head.

Go Trailblazers!!!

Posted by: FradMaukins | February 5, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

CWG - Great work as usual. Alas, the lead story on WP takes you to a WP-local page and when you click on "CWG Forecast" it takes you to a stale post from Wednesday. Get this fixed so your growning fan club can find you!

Posted by: arlington_girl | February 5, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

@Hanz: The NAM is often more aggressive than the GFS in terms of moisture. However, the point of the graphics is that there is a lot of moisture heading this way. Assuming a 10:1 conversion ratio (it may be a bit lower since it is hovering near freezing?), the NAM is suggesting 30-40 inches while the GFS 20-30 inches. Both scenarios are quite severe regardless.

Posted by: JTF- | February 5, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

People are being way too hard on Southside. I love snow and I'm very excited to the large numbers we're expecting. But I also realize that my excitement is a luxury that not all people have. For many, a snowstorm of this magnitude may be less an opportunity for a good time and more a major inconvenience, a serious economic hardship, or a life threatening event. For those without adequate food, clothing, shelter, and money & the elderly and infirm, this storm is dangerous. I hope we will all keep them in mind. I, for one, am grateful to Southside for reminding me.

Posted by: ratnerstar | February 5, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

@arlington_girl

Thanks. We'll get that fixed.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 5, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

@JTF - thanks for responding!

Posted by: Hanz1 | February 5, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

What are the chances that the heaviest snow will still be falling after sunrise Saturday? It would be a shame if the best part of the storm occurred in the dark. Also, any chance for some thundersnow?

Posted by: jmbethesda | February 5, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

@rocotton: Amen. Chill Southside FFX - we get it there is danger invovled with large amounts of snow, for most at the worst its an inconvenience. As rocotton pointed out everyday life is dangerous. People die on bright sunny Spring days, because of the nice weather, because they decideded to venture out and fell off a rock in park somewhere.

I have absolute respect for emergencey workers and those who HAVE to get out in weather like what's approaching, to help the rest of us. Everyone else, stay home, watch TV, read a book, get to know your family, cook some good food, etc...

@LNER4472, get a life. There's polictics boards you can post that kind of drivel on.

Posted by: DaveB2 | February 5, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Looks like the snow should be arriving soon..

http://www.wunderground.com/radar/radblast.asp?ID=LWX

Posted by: ZmanVA | February 5, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Thanks so much for this blog and all those commenting here. I am learning so much! I headed out this morning to drop my kids off at school in MoCo. Then went to fill up my car ( lines starting to form at the gas station). Then even though we did our grocery shopping earlier, decided to stop by the store for fixings for smores and hot cocoa with big marshmallows, lines starting to get longer there too but express lanes were moving quickly. Now I think we are all set. We have logs for the fire, a stack of good books for everyone and board games.

Hopefully, when MoCo releases at 1:30 it will still be okay to drive since I have to pick up my kids. Stay safe and warm everyone!

Posted by: soleil2000 | February 5, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

I hope the Caps take the storm as seriously as you advise. I'd really like 'em to reschedule tonight's game.

Posted by: megster671 | February 5, 2010 7:29 AM
Share This: E-Mail | Technorati | Tag in Del.icio.us | Digg This

My understanding is that that is the NHL's call, not the Caps.

Posted by: rbpalmer | February 5, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Kinda excited, kinda concerned. I like snow, but... this is a lot of frozen precip.

I think even the computer models (never mind the humans reading the models) are having some difficulty wrapping their brains around the fact that there's so much liquid, and so much potential snow. I think we're going to break some records - but we'll know that for sure come Sunday.

Posted by: MKoehl | February 5, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Been snowing now in Partlow (just south of Fredericksburg) for about 30 minutes now. Sticking to all surfaces immediately.

Posted by: reds37win | February 5, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone have tips for getting this much snow off a three story townhouse roof? The link in the post didn't have any information on the logistics of getting up there. I'm in the middle of a row and as far as I know, there's no access through the attic. We had seepage from the last storm melting and I'd like to keep it to just one ceiling to fix this spring.

Posted by: georgieporgie1 | February 5, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Why isn't Fedcast a 4 since there is already early dismissal announced?

I'm with the poster who said that it is important to remember that, while you are excited (I am not), there are many for whom this is a more than a major inconvenience: Homeless, elderly, disabled. I have a friend who is due to go into labor any minute. While it may be "fun" for some, for many it is not and it is worthwhile to remind folks of that.

And, for all of you who have pets, BRING THEM INSIDE!

Posted by: liledjen4901 | February 5, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

I really don't get people being upset that others are excited by the snow. Whether we are excited or worried or scared won't change what happens.

I grew up in Michigan, and to me snow storms are magic times when outside responsibilities and commitments fade away and I can just stay at home and be, relax with my family, play games, bake cookies--all those things that get pushed to the end of the list when normal life is in full swing. I love that no matter how self-important we get, a big snowstorm is a reminder that we cannot control everything and are not in charge the way we think we are.

Be safe, and enjoy as much as you can! And if you don't know how to drive in snow, please stay put!

Posted by: qarla | February 5, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Agree about keeping political remarks off this comments space. Let's stick with the weather and related topics (the post about the folks out there working in this imminent storm was really good).

Hey, the Post delivered the Sunday comics today. First time that's happened on Friday and I guess most subscribers got an email saying regular delivery of the paper could be interrupted.

Just hope that we don't lose power this weekend; would be beyond catastrophic.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 5, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

@qarla: You've hit the nail on the head! I could not have said it better!

Posted by: mchristinaw | February 5, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I unapologetically hate snow. But I've made peace with the fact that I'm just going to be stuck at home for a few days. All I care about at this point is my early morning flight to California on Wednesday. What are my chances? I've had so many plans ruined by snow this year.

Also, Giant was totally sold out of salad and fresh vegetables last night. So much for homemade soup...and who stocks up on salad before a storm?

Posted by: JoanArkham | February 5, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I'll go out on a limb and predict mostly sleet with very little snow in the city itself.

Posted by: goldbergjeffrey | February 5, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

We've been upped by Sterling - 20-28 inches is the final call it appears. WOW.

Posted by: DullesARC | February 5, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Updated Winter Storm Warning...20-28 inches!

Posted by: ladderlassie | February 5, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

This is awesome! I see people are capitalizing on the storm through Craigslist... shovels for sale, emergency water storage barrels... lol! http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/grd/

Posted by: righto5 | February 5, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Snowing in Manassas....hoping the temps go down.

Posted by: rocotten | February 5, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

SouthsideFFX: Please provide the posts that your referring to.

I thought people on this blog enjoyed being here because they are fascinated by the power of Mother Nature.

But I don't see how that means that they aren't concerned by those affected by Mother Nature.

Posted by: shackleton | February 5, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Comon' where's the next update! The last update was at 5 am....some of use are at the edge of our seats pressing F5. Lol.

Luv the blog and appreciate the awesome job, CWB.

Posted by: ServingTeaInCombatBoots | February 5, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

A very light snow just started in Fairfax City about 5 minutes ago.

Posted by: dudster89 | February 5, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Question for CWG team or others: I live in Chevy Chase DC. My snow totals tend to be a little higher than at National Airport. (I measured 18 inches for the 12/19 storm). Why the difference? Is it the slightly higher elevation? (350 feet above sea level)? Is it proximity to the Potomac that reduces DCA's snow amounts? Is it a reduced urban heat island effect? Thanks.

Posted by: hrs123 | February 5, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Lots of fine steady snow has started in Manssas. Good heavens, I hope it wasn't a stupid move to come to work today.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 5, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

@qarla Ditto! I'm also from MI and you are right on. I always hope that snow causes minimal harm and try to appreciate the change of pace.

Posted by: McBee | February 5, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

the national weather service hust upped the snow totals for this area in the winter storm warning message to 20-28 inches!!

Posted by: drmammal | February 5, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

@hrs123

Yes...is the answer to all of your questions. The elevation, less urbanized environment, and no river -- all will tend to give you more snow in Chevy Chase relative to DCA.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 5, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

20+ inches for NWS. Wow. I remember being in the Research Triangle during the 2000 blizzard which brought 20.4 to RDU. Paralyzed the town for a week. Thankfully, I was on campus and we had power but were the only ones who had it for days.

Posted by: dukenilnil | February 5, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

snowings now in Spotsylvania!!

Posted by: panthersny | February 5, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Here we go - coming down in SE LoCo and the intensity is picking up noticeable over the last five minutes. It has begun. The Snomageddon is here. Now lets hear it from the peanut gallery...and lets not compare this event to any freakin hurricane. Trust me. Thats an insult to those who have gone through the fury of an actual named storm.

Posted by: DullesARC | February 5, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Just heard from my mother-in-law. The snow has started in Manassas.

Posted by: ArlingtonGay | February 5, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Flurries started in Centreville five minutes ago; in the time that it took me to get the laptop going and to the site, it's more of a snow.

Posted by: jkuchen | February 5, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

It's coming down in Chantilly, VA! Bring it on!

Posted by: ChantillyIT | February 5, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Winter Storm Alfred is what we should call this strom.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 5, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I am wondering if we will get more than we got for the Dec 19th storm....in Clarksburg MD we measured 30".

Posted by: willowonyx | February 5, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

When driving on a sheet of ice, do I text into the skid or away from the skid?

Posted by: walker1958 | February 5, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

And DullesARC, this is the only relevant tropical system for this weekend:

http://blog.memphisweather.net/2010/02/hurricane-whodat.html

Got it from a co-worker from Louisiana--just great stuff. I love the weather statement that came with the graphic.

Posted by: jkuchen | February 5, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

So, why does the radar show DC at this moment getting light rain, when in fact the ground is totally dry? Atmospheric rain or something?

Posted by: tebewebb | February 5, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse


Will the roads be okay Sunday afternoon to head from nova to Christiansburg/Blacksburg?

Posted by: icecubedownthetoilet | February 5, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Snow starting in Lake Ridge..

Posted by: ZmanVA | February 5, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Just saw the first flurries in Herndon!

Posted by: RoseVA | February 5, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

DullesARC - if this were hurricane season, and our snowstorms were named alphabetically, I do believe that today's storm would be called Godzilla...

Posted by: jjtwo | February 5, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Snow has begun in Merrifield, VA! Tiny flakes, but a lot of 'em.

Posted by: --sg | February 5, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

I'm surprised they don't expect these temperatures to cut down on the totals. It seems if it starts out warm, there is always a melting layer on the bottom which kills totals.

Posted by: rocotten | February 5, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Glad Snowmageddon is all over the news. I was getting really tired about hearing about that panda! 34.1 in N. Potomac but nothing yet.

Posted by: SirBeeda | February 5, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Flurries in Fair Lakes!

Posted by: veronica7 | February 5, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

extremely heavy band of snow of probably 2-3"/hr snow moving NE through the VA/NC border right now..

Posted by: danuva | February 5, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

@tebewebb,
Its called virga; when precipitation evaporates before it hits the ground. We've had virga before all of our snow events this season.

Posted by: GD1975 | February 5, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

It has started snowing in Manassas and Woodbridge, Va.

Posted by: drmammal | February 5, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

When do expect the coastal low to get cranking?

Posted by: crozet | February 5, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Off and on flurries in reston...storm is playing with me right now. I'm excited and nervous at the same time...just hope everyone is safe.

Posted by: parksndc | February 5, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

@rocotten,
I'm pretty sure that most forecasts have considered that the earliest snow will not stick. That said, we are going to get so much snow from this thing tonight and tomorrow that the amount that won't stick at first is negligible when considering total accumulations. This is not your average snow storm, this is historic.

Posted by: GD1975 | February 5, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

flurries/light snow has started here in Falls Church (gallows road/I-495)

Posted by: AmericnJewl | February 5, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Thank you GD1975. As a pessimist, I am looking for that kind of reassurance...I'm being serious.

Posted by: rocotten | February 5, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

If you look closely, a couple of flurries started in Silver Spring.

Posted by: crazer | February 5, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Wonderful job, CWG! You guys are a really impressive and informative team. Have been glued to your site since Tuesday and look forward to riding out the storm with you.

Posted by: anon56 | February 5, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Little Snowflakes in Loudoun County!

Posted by: ThinkGreen | February 5, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

The tiniest flurry in Laurel!

Posted by: edwardappleby | February 5, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

pardon the interuption. i just looked outside and saw a few snowflakes outside?! is it supposed to snow?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 5, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Concur on the kudos to the CWG. I don't think I've ever felt so prepared for a massive storm. Truly outstanding job guys, I know we all really appreciate it.

Posted by: ultrapop101 | February 5, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Flurries here in Alexandria between Landmark and Old Town,

Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | February 5, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Found this site the other day...lovin' it. Our 4 yr old wants to know the "why and how" of everything...have found great info on here. This has been a great learning experience for him-all around (science, planning, safety, helping others, etc) Thank you everyone!

SouthsideFFX: Shooosh! I am a nurse, yes people will die. People always die. Sorry to be blunt. Do your part. Check on friends, neighbors, strangers. Not just today but everyday. I have to be at work in weather like this, regardless...no 2 hour delay, half day off. We will sleep at work in order to be on time the next day, away from our families for days if needed.

Anyway, in the Dec snow we built a very large igloo, had a blast in it with our son. It was quite warm...with 2 adults, a kid, a couple of dogs and of course hot choc.! We are thinking maybe going for a 2 roomer this time!

Be safe, check on others, clear fire hydrants, etc.

Posted by: motherrunner | February 5, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Snowing in lovely Dulles/Sterling, VA

Posted by: ajfishman1 | February 5, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Yes - tiny flurries in Alexandria City, near Skyline!

Posted by: AmberGale | February 5, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Steady snow in North Springfield.

Posted by: cmspsu13 | February 5, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

starting to flurry here in alexandria...south of olde town

Posted by: fortheglory05 | February 5, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Flurries near Eisenhower Ave Station here in Alexandria.

Weather Underground now saying over two feet. NWS saying 20-28".

Posted by: DrewinAlexandria | February 5, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Check out the monster in the North Atlantic.
http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/natl/flash-wv.html

Posted by: spammy2 | February 5, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Snowing in Fairfax, just East of Fairfax City

Posted by: pmknp | February 5, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Finally little flakes in Reston. I feel like I've been waiting for a guest to arrive there has been so much anticipation for this storm.

Posted by: qarla | February 5, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Light snow started a few minutes ago in Alexandria/Fairfax County.

Posted by: brown3ml | February 5, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

flurries starting in Ellicott City

Posted by: Finn1917 | February 5, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

walter: I heard there was a slight chance of flurries, but nothing to be alarmed about. ;)

Adding up the NWS forecast for Lake Ridge, 21-31" of snow is their prediction right now (adding up the lower end of their ranges, and then adding up the higher end of the ranges...3-5 today, 13-19 tonight, 5-9 tomorrow). I'm getting a little upset that I'm missing this, now! I'm mad I don't get to witness the biggest snowstorm at my house since I've been alive (18 years, lived in VA 15 of those), but I'm happy I don't have to shovel any of it.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | February 5, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

@icecubedownthetoilet: I would not expect to be able to drive from Fairfaix to Blacksburg on Sunday without trouble. My guess is that main highways will probably have only one lane plowed open, and another lane partially open but still snow-covered. It would be a dangerous drive that I would not undertake.

Are you going to miss class on Monday if you don't make it back?

Posted by: --sg | February 5, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Sheepherder-

Good luck with this weekend with the ewes and lambs. I will be thinking of you, as I was planning on going out to Clarke County to work my dog on Sunday. Obviously, I won't be cause there will be too much snow for my little guy (13" tall at the withers) to find his sheep.

Posted by: corgiherder | February 5, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Charlottesville area here. It started snowing around 6am here, and we've got about 2" so far. A very pretty, steady snow.

Posted by: palmyra | February 5, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Flurries just commenced in Calverton.

I'm so conflicted about this storm, I'm tired of snow and would love for this to be a bust personally but I love CWG and I'm a total weather geek so I'm hoping that we get all that's predicted just to prove the models and forecasts right.

Posted by: ana_b | February 5, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

First flakes falling Gaithersburg.

Posted by: formerwxman1 | February 5, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: samdman95 | February 5, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Snow starting to fall heavier now in Fairfax City.

Posted by: JW211 | February 5, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

A few flurries in Rockville/Derwood area.

Posted by: willowonyx | February 5, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

i think people can be excused for rooting for as much snow as possible because part of us doesnt believe this is going to happen. 10-15 inches, sure, but we've had that already, and while it was kind of a pain, i dont remember there being mass casualties. but 25-30 inches? while that really could be dangerous, i dont think anyone is fully convinced that is going to happen.

Question for the Gang: do forecasters give any consideration to public safety when predicting snow totals at the high end of the scale? since people are going to be canceling plans at 15 inches anyway, do you err on the side of 20-25 just to ensure people know the potential danger? or do you play it straight with the numbers and use other means to impress on people the potential danger?

Posted by: dummypants | February 5, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I wish I could stay home and look at the home. I am the owner of a Home Health company called Home Instead Senior Care. We have 100 CAREGivers scheduled to work this weekend. In some cases, if we don't get them to the seniors home, then we could be dealing with a life threatening situation. So, I will be out on the roads ALL weeked in addition to 4 of my other staff. At least I have a good reason right? :)

Posted by: jackstclair | February 5, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

According to my better half, it started snowing in Gainesville shortly after 9AM. He's at home with the boys; I'm in Reston for the last day of my class. I hope I can make it home when class lets out at 2...

Posted by: jaradel | February 5, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

It's been snowing for about a half an hour here in the City of Manassas. Very fine flakes and starting to stick to the colder surfaces.

Posted by: irish031 | February 5, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

First flakes in Columbia at 10:00 am on the dot. Game on.

Posted by: curtmccormick | February 5, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Light snow starting in ParkFairfax/Shirlington. Real snow, no mix... looks more like the powder we had in December than the heavy wet stuff from earlier this week.

Posted by: snowpro | February 5, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Just looked outside my window at work. Some flakes seen in Adelphi, MD (on the egde of Hyattsville and the Beltway). Very sparse. Accumulation so far: 0.00000000001 inches. :)

Posted by: prokaryote | February 5, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Flurries in Falls Church. I just got out the ladder and cleaned the kitchen window. Birds have been hitting it. Now I will be able to look at the snow w/out the birdpoop obscuring my view

Posted by: tbva | February 5, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Steady snowfall in Reston...was expecting this to start around 1pm...glad I stayed home to work!

Posted by: parksndc | February 5, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

And there goes the pavement. White on the road here in SE LoCo now...and about a half inch on the deck area that I cleared for the "official measurement". Very steady moderate snow for about 45 minutes now.

Posted by: DullesARC | February 5, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Flurries starting in N. Arlington near DC.

Posted by: ArlingtonGay | February 5, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Just back from a last minute grocery run and light flurries have begun in West Laurel. Backyard temp is 38° so it's not going to stick at the moment, but I'm surprised it started already. Biggest fear: loss of electricity!
-Patricia

Posted by: ppitts2 | February 5, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Almost imperceptible snowflakes beginning to fall in Lovettsville/northern Loudoun

Posted by: map408 | February 5, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

If it is starting earlier, does that mean it will end earlier (please oh please).

Posted by: hereandnow1 | February 5, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Just started snowing in Dumfries. Steady snow, could be classified as "heavy flurries".

To all those who don't have to be out in the snow, be safe.

To those who have to be out (First Responders -- Fire, EMS, Police; and caregivers such as jackstclair), God Bless, be safe, and THANKS for all you do for others. You're a special breed of folks.

Posted by: southbridgemom | February 5, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Snowing at a good rate in Oakton, VA, not yet moderate. I just shoveled an area in my backyard so I can measure the snow without trying to factor in the existing snow cover. The snow cover in my backyard is 4.75", less in areas that received a lot of sun.

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | February 5, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Just looked at the National Weather Service page, and it's saying between 21 and 33 inches of snow for this storm. It sounds like we might be closer to 2ft than to 1ft. Could we actually get up to nearly 3ft?? Would that break any records for this area?

http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?CityName=Alexandria&state=VA&site=LWX&textField1=38.821&textField2=-77.0862

Posted by: akchild | February 5, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Steady light snowfall in Reston. 36 degrees.

Posted by: EricCarr | February 5, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Nothing in downtown DC

Posted by: Bious | February 5, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

A few stray flurries in N. Potomac, but temp has risen two degrees in less than an hour! Up to 36.1. Is normal for a storm to have a push of warm area on the front end?

Posted by: SirBeeda | February 5, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Ashburn - started steady flakes at 10AM. new NWS total is 20-28 in for the area. #2 all time is in sight.

Posted by: LoudounGeek | February 5, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I would like to second what southbridgemom posted. THANK YOU to the folks who put themselves in harm's way to care for others. Good luck and God Bless!
No snow yet in downtown Bethesda.

Posted by: kathyb39 | February 5, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Snow in McLean

Posted by: allisondt | February 5, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Just stepped outside near Crystal City and saw very, very light flakes. Barely a flurry. But I savored the moment thinking about what's to come.

The Mrs. said it started this way in Chantilly and just picked up in flake size and intesity very rapidly.

Posted by: DaveB2 | February 5, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Since 10am in Annandale/Merrifield, snowing steadily. Light, small flakes, but more than flurries. Fire going; milk purchased; buckling in!

Posted by: TheBorg | February 5, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

First flakes spotted in Glover Park!

Posted by: gulickr | February 5, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Checking in from Oakton with light snow. It started about a hour ago with flurries and is now starting to come down more quickly.

Posted by: paige_va | February 5, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Started snowing in eastern Warren Co at approx. 9:00a. 0.5 inches accumulation. 29.7F

My wife and I went to the Apple House for breakfast. Coming home, snow was beginning to stick in spots on Rte 55.

I'm hoping snow comes in at the lower end of the range. Reading JerryFloyd1's comment yesterday about the 48" record at Big Meadows was something else. Hope that doesn't happen again!

Also, I noticed a couple comments re: mountain lions. I thought I saw one a few years ago, and afterward bought a trail cam, but I haven't seen any evidence since then.

Posted by: spgass1 | February 5, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Good luck to you all. Please stay safe.

Posted by: Thinking4 | February 5, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

djm-01 Thanks for the poem. My favorite poem ever, as well. Been snowing in Manassas since about 9:45...wet and still melty on the deck. Trying hard to get the thin coating of ice off the deck to facilitate potty trips with the dogs once it starts piling up. Also, cleared off some of the grass to make little doggy paths. Trying to save money on carpet cleaner :)

Posted by: manassasmissy | February 5, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Light flakes in Tysons Corner began at 10:11am....now it's coming down a bit harder (10:34am)

Posted by: lnoz | February 5, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Steady very light snow has begun in North Arlington / Clarendon area.

Posted by: ironmanjt | February 5, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Snow already in Derwood? None yet here in Rockville by Barnsley Elementary.

Posted by: dkf747 | February 5, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I'm so glad I found this website! I've been unfriended on FB because I keep talking about how excited I am for the snow.

I know native people here are tired of it, but I'm from Florida and I absolutely love it. Next year I will be in Iraq and I won't even get to take a snowflake with me. I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts

Posted by: WorfsBabyMama | February 5, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

2 feet of snow just fell from the sky all at once in Lynchburg crushing the roofs of Toyota's only....recall info to follow.

Posted by: SA-Town | February 5, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Snow has just started in North Arlington. No sleet -- all snow. Tiny flakes, falling very fast.

Posted by: BadMommy1 | February 5, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Small flake snow here in Falls Church. According to Weather Underground our temperature has dropped from 35.5 to 34.5 in the past hour.

Posted by: UpstateSnow | February 5, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

It's okay WorfsBabyMama...some of us are happy to have a fellow snow lover. :0) I'm from Washington state, and most years I miss not getting as much snow around here. I'm excited for this storm!

Posted by: akchild | February 5, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Snow is coming down a bit heavier in Woodbridge. There is no mixing with any other type of precipitation at this time. It is starting to stick on elevated surfaces, temperature is 31.8.

Posted by: drmammal | February 5, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Temperature outside my kitchen window is 36. That is right up against the house, so it is probably colder. I just noticed my NWS temp on my desk top dropped from 35 to 34.

Posted by: pmknp | February 5, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

For those who are traveling, I just came through Charlotte where every gate going to VA/MD/NYC were just packed with everybody trying to get back before the snow. My flight to DCA had 8 standbys who couldn't get on.

Got to DCA and it was packed. Not chaotic - just jammed with people trying to get out.

My guess is that you will see the last planes at BWI/DCA/IAD this evening and maybe they will fly some back in Sunday late.

Posted by: Losercuda | February 5, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Can you guys post the "how to get snow off the roof link" at the top so its easier to find than in the blog?

Posted by: manassasmissy | February 5, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

No snow falling in B'more yet. Just got back from the grocery store. Much more civilized than last night! Snow shovel at the ready. ;-)

Posted by: lsquared58 | February 5, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Flakes at American University in NW--not sticking yet though...

Posted by: amandap8 | February 5, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Light snow starting to fall in NW DC. Here it comes.

Posted by: NW_Washington | February 5, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Snowing here in Old Town

Posted by: dukenilnil | February 5, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Flakes on U Street!

Posted by: AliBird | February 5, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Moderate snowfall in Reston, VA but at 34 degrees and the air having been warmer befor this came in...not sticking just yet.

Posted by: parksndc | February 5, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

THIS IS SPARTA!!!!

Go Trailblazers.

Posted by: FradMaukins | February 5, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Snow at McPherson Square!

Posted by: tricia8 | February 5, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I'm hoping everyone did they're chaotic shopping over the past couple of evenings, leaving me relatively free to get groceries this afternoon. I wonder how well that will work...or if there will be anything left.

Anyway, I'm a happy Fed, so I'm about to leave for the day. Wish me luck!

Posted by: akchild | February 5, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

To the poster who asked about MD school systems and their closing policies/whys?--

My guess is that since many MD counties are already over their allotted snow days, they may have wanted to get in another day-- or part of one.

Each county has a different system (at least in VA) for building in snow days.

Personally, I'm very grateful that VA schools closed early last night. Seeing buses of children potentially in the midst of a storm with ALL of the excitement that students have at times would have been a lot.

Add to that the endless number of calls to school offices from concerned parents and the mass amounts of, "Hey, look! It's snowing! When are we getting out? Will we be stuck here?" etc comments..

I'm all for the learning by the one poster (igloo maker with 4-year old) if possible with the parents.

To all who are working and out to help another this weekend.. THANK YOU and PLEASE be safe!

Posted by: aquarnnr | February 5, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

@dummypants

We don't let public perception of storm totals influence how much snow we forecast. We base it all on science.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 5, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

The flakes began to fall at 10:45am in Gaithersburg.

Posted by: hawknt | February 5, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

First flakes on Conn. Ave. in Northwest about 10 minutes ago. Very light snow.

Posted by: Ann-CapitalWeatherGang | February 5, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Snow becoming a bit steadier in Glover Park but with a temp of 37 degrees may take a while to stick (it has fallen nearly 2 degrees in the last hour). Just hope Dolcezza opens today. Need a gelato fix!

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 5, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Hi all.. Im a newbie here, and Ive seen links posted in the past on where/how to run and read the models. I cant locate those links. Could someone please post them again. Thank you.

Posted by: kylef1 | February 5, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

A few flakes drifting down at Union Station.

Funny to see them and think: The next time there are no snowflakes in the air, there will be two feet of snow on the ground.

Posted by: SpiralStairs | February 5, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Just started snowing here in Calvert county, 5 miles south of Prince Frederick.

Posted by: ranincalvert | February 5, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I just happened to run into a fellow who is a Katrina refugee, and commended him for offering assistance to help an elderly woman with her groceries.

He mentioned how people unselfishly helping people was the autonomic reaction of a vast majority of citizens dealing with Katrina. The coming snowstorm, of course, is no Katrina, but this fellow was highly skeptical that Washingtonians would display the same level of concern for others.

LETS PROVE HIM WRONG !!!!

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | February 5, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Light snow in Rockville/Derwood.

Posted by: willowonyx | February 5, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Snow coming down at a good rate here in Alexandria. Starting to accumulate.

Posted by: letitsnow | February 5, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Very faint flurries have just begun to fall in Frederick, MD.

Posted by: Fizban257 | February 5, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Snowing lightly in Old Town.

Went to Whole Foods- busy but civil. They were stocking the shelves as fast as they good, but it was slim pickings in the milk aisle. There was plenty of chocolate and wine, though, so I'm good.

I am aware of all the difficulties the accompanying storm brings- and I have a loved one who is very ill and elderly. She lives with my brother, and he just got a call from her doctor and will need to run out for a prescription change. This cold happen again in the next few days, and with stores closed and roads impassable, what then? She is in the hospital frequently, and often requires emergency care. Being snowed in is a potential dangerous situation for them.

I have the utmost respect and am very thankful (and worried) for emergency personnel out there on the roads.

I almost didn't comment, because I feel chastised for enjoying the prospect of a significant snowfall.

It is as previous commentators noted- I cannot control or change the weather, and I choose to enjoy what I can from this event. It's coming anyways. I find weather- all kinds exciting- and come on this blog to share that excitement with like minded people.

I love snow- I can't help it I love the way a snowfall makes the world go quiet and forces us to take life slowly. I love the beauty and grace in it. Many commentators make valid points regarding why a storm such as this is not a good thing. I understand and respect why they want to make their views known. I am sick, however, of those that repeatedly come on just to whine incessantly and be negative.

Now, back to the weather!

Posted by: Snowlover2 | February 5, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

NWS Radio is saying up to 20-31 inches for DC; highest estimate I've heard so far.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 5, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Yep, flurrying in the Gaithersburg Airpark area.

Posted by: wadejg | February 5, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

10:45 in Farragut Square...

Posted by: DontWannaMyPostID | February 5, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

oops- sorry for the typos in the above post- I should have reread :)

Posted by: Snowlover2 | February 5, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

It's been snowing lightly in Bethesda for about 20 minutes.

Posted by: Murre | February 5, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Looks like the cars are starting to get a few flakes stuck to them but not really on the roads/sidewalks >> Alexandria/Fairfax Co.

Posted by: brown3ml | February 5, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

@parksndc

Same story here in south Reston, right near South Lakes High. Snow's falling at a good clip, but not sticking yet.

Posted by: EricCarr | February 5, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Snow in Herndon and Manasses an hour ago.

Snow in Alexandria and Arlington half an hour ago.

Snow in NW fifteen minutes ago.

Absolutely NOTHING on Capitol Hill.

The storm must have missed us!!!

Posted by: Trulee | February 5, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

"I am sick, however, of those that repeatedly come on just to whine incessantly and be negative." - Snowlover2

You mean like when people come on here to whine about how winter "just isn't like it used to be anymore" when we don't get enough snow?

Posted by: SouthsideFFX | February 5, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Now there are tiny flakes near here. (Barnsley elementary in Rockville.)

Posted by: dkf747 | February 5, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Snowing moderately but mostly melting except on existing snow and a few other surfaces.

Posted by: rocotten | February 5, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Current conditions in Burke: 38.3 and SNOW!

It has been snowing for about an hour now. It has been accumulating on everything except the roads and sidewalks. I can't wait until tonight!

Posted by: Yellowboy | February 5, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

SouthsideFFX, you are always SO negative! At least you didn't come on here complaining about school closings, beating that topic to death.....

Posted by: Snowlover2 | February 5, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I've got Greg Oden laying on his back in my yard measuring accumulation. 1/4 inch in arlington so far.

Posted by: FradMaukins | February 5, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Snow started about quarter to 11 in Germantown. A steady sifting down of fine snow.

Posted by: AlanSmithee1 | February 5, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

@SouthsideFFX

With aplogies to Francois Villon

"But where are the snows of yester year?"

This is where!

Be safe. Be warm. And, take care of those less fortunate...

Posted by: djm-01 | February 5, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Snow not sticking to street/side walks just east of FFX City.

Posted by: pmknp | February 5, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Been snowing moderately in Lake Ridge. Snow's been falling for about an hour or so.. Temps starting to drop. Sticking to colder surfaces.. just starting to stick a little on cars as well.

Posted by: ZmanVA | February 5, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

It started snowing in Old Town Alexandria (right at the waterfront) around 10am. By the time I made it back to Eisenhower Ave Metro from my run (around 10:20) the flurries were coming fast and furious! Not really seeing much accumulate yet but I know it's just a matter of time!

Posted by: AlexandriaAnna | February 5, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

With all of the focus on studying models and scientific research on this blog, I am amazed that some people would think that CWG is just pulling these accumulation predictions out of their collective arse. That's downright insulting, in fact.

I think it's possible to be excited about the snow while still being concerned about the dangers of a storm of this magnitude. We so rarely get snow like this around here; this winter has been phenomenal in the frequency and intensity of storms, and while the effects of the snow have ranged from the inconvenient to the dangerous, it's still exciting to behold.

I'd like to thank CWG for their tireless work, not just in the forecasting of this and the other storms this winter, but also for patiently answering questions and posting valuable information about safety and travel. You guys rock!

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

Posted by: drmammal | February 5, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

@liledjen4901,

"Why isn't Fedcast a 4 since there is already early dismissal announced?"

The Fedcast on this page is for Monday, not Friday. In December, OPM went with unscheduled leave the Monday after, so a 3 is probably a good bet for a similar storm.

I wish my work (government) was just a mile or so south and inside the Beltway so the status would be governed by OPM. We're on an unscheduled leave status, NO early dismissal with hourly updates of when the dismissal will come... I guess they aren't trying to imitate the kinder OPM approach. :(

Posted by: prokaryote | February 5, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

"The Fedcast on this page is for Monday, not Friday. In December, OPM went with unscheduled leave the Monday after, so a 3 is probably a good bet for a similar storm."

Actually, the Federal Government was closed the Monday after the storm in December.

Posted by: jaydreb1 | February 5, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Flurries began about 10 minutes ago in Laytonsville, MD (Upper Mo. Co.) Very small flakes.

Posted by: dprats21 | February 5, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse


I'm so glad I found this website! I've been unfriended on FB because I keep talking about how excited I am for the snow.

Posted by: WorfsBabyMama | February 5, 2010 10:36 AM
________________________________

LOL - thanks for the chuckle. An unfriended snow fan.

I'm a snow freak and I live in DC and am from Oregon. I love it, bring it on!! My snowshoes are ready to go. My Samoyed is hovering over her harness.

Best wishes to you when you serve in Iraq. I hope you are rewarded this weekend with tons of snow.

:-)

Posted by: DagnyT | February 5, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

OK - Office Pool.

When do Fairfax kids go back to school?

Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
or
the following Tuesday after the holiday?

I am guessing Thursday.

Posted by: Losercuda | February 5, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

@jackstclair: With your senior care business -- and I realize this may be too late to suggest it, but why not get all the folks under your care into a central location somehow? That way, everyone's together, you and your staff don't have to risk themselves outside (kinda like as if this were a hurricane).

Posted by: Juan-John1 | February 5, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Huntington Area, VA- snow coming down at a nice clip, temp down to 32 and it's starting to stick.

Posted by: kallieh | February 5, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Correction prokaryote....the Monday after the December 19 storm was a Gov Closure day. It was not an unscheduled/liberal leave day.

Posted by: DaLord | February 5, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Springfield, VA 12:07 pm
Steady snow for past 2 hrs
1" on grass starting to stick to roads...

Posted by: dawillcox1 | February 5, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Is it time to go to a continuation thread? Refresh is having to reload a long page.

Posted by: tbva | February 5, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Snowing steadily here on K Street...only concern is the temp at 34...worried that its not falling faster. Due point sitting at 30 is also worrying me...I want some road stickage already!

Posted by: jdtdc | February 5, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

See if yall hadn't traded your Caddy's for hybrids it would be warmer. This would just be rain!

Posted by: rexreddy | February 5, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Thank you CWG and commenters for getting me SUPER PUMPED about this snow.

I'm going to go (slowly, safely) ride a motorized mountain bike around once the roads are free of cagers. Last storm it took me 20 min to cross the city instead of 45!

And, because I was so pumped, here's the trailer:
Coming to a theatre near you.

Posted by: davidjknauer | February 5, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Where can one run/see the weather models? I know someone posted the links before but I cant find them. Thanks.

Posted by: kylef1 | February 5, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

It's been snowing lightly but steadily here in Myersville, MD, (about 57 miles northwest of DC between Frederick and Hagerstown)since about 11 a.m., but so far nothing is sticking to the pavement. Must be too warm. Only Tuesday's residual snow (about 3-4 inches) covers the ground.

Posted by: jcgarwood | February 5, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

In the quarter-hour since my previous post, the snow has started coming down more heavily and it's begun to stick to the street, sidewalks, and parked cars. Let the storm begin!

Posted by: jcgarwood | February 5, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

If the comment from sheepherder @ 6:03 about Liberal Democrats being neutered is OK, then me informing sheepherder that neutering their sheep is unnecessary because sheep can't get humans pregnant should be OK too.

Also LNER4472, they certainly would be entitled to release a statement making that claim since the lack of legislation dealing with climate change in a timely manner has indeed contributed to all the weird weather we're having, and more weirdness is certain to come.

Now we're "even". So lets leave the science to the scientists and drop the politics from the discussion, OK?

Posted by: icemachine79 | February 5, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Culpeper County has received 1 inch in the past 45 minutes. SnowMG!

Posted by: kjhjthomas | February 5, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

5.5" so far in Berwyn Heights, MD.

Posted by: BH99 | February 5, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

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