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Posted at 3:25 PM ET, 02/21/2010

Forecast: Relatively mild and more melting

By Brian Jackson

Rain showers on the way tomorrow afternoon

* 'Snowmageddon' name traced back to CWG reader *
* Photos: D.C. makes snow history | Weather Wall | CWG on Facebook *

Today's Daily Digit
A somewhat subjective rating of the day's weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.
7Just a spring tease, so enjoy it while you can!
Get tomorrow's 'Digit' on Twitter tonight


Today: Increasing clouds. 44-50. | Tonight: Becoming overcast. 32-36. | Tomorrow: Cloudy, p.m. light rain. 40-45. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


One more pleasant day will round out the weekend and rivers will continue to flow from the snow piles. Snow depths continue to slide with Reagan National's pack down to 6" yesterday. At one time, tomorrow's storm seemed to have the potential to add to our snow pack, but now it appears cold rain will take it away. That seems to be a trend as what looked to be another chance of snow midweek has also become less likely.

Clouds: Latest mid-Atlantic infrared satellite loop, courtesy Unisys. Click here to expand. Refresh page to update. See more maps on our Weather Wall

Today (Sunday): We're looking to put another dent in our snow pack today as ample early sun will once again push our highs into the mid-40s. Parts of the region (especially south of the District) have a shot at seeing 50 if increasing clouds wait until after peak heating. Either way, it's going to be a pretty nice day! Winds will be from the west, veering to from the south at 5-10 mph. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Clouds will be on the increase heading into tonight as our next storm system closes in. We'll remain dry though and overnight lows will be in the low-to-mid 30s. Winds will blow lightly from a southerly and easterly direction. Confidence: High

Keep reading for the forecast through Wednesday....

Tomorrow (Monday): We'll see plenty of clouds to start out the work day. During the afternoon hours cold rain showers will move in from the west and southwest. The rain should be mostly light in nature with around a tenth of an inch possible by evening. If any of our readers live near the Md./Pa. border you may have to worry about a bit of snow or sleet mixing in. But for most of the metro region, rain will be dominant, with highs in the low-to-mid 40s. Winds will be from the east at 5-10 mph. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: Rain showers will continue into the overnight as an area of low pressure forms off the Southeast coast. Once again rain will probably be light with amounts likely around a quarter of an inch. Overnight lows will be in the mid-to-upper 30s. Winds from the east will begin to back around to out of the northwest by morning. Confidence: Medium


Tuesday initiates a more uncertain period in our forecast. The coastal low will gradually move up the coast. Showers will probably diminish in the morning, assuming the low doesn't intensify too quickly (earlier intensification would result in more precipitation and for a longer period of time). Adding to the complexity will be the passage of an upper-level wave in the atmosphere which may interact with the coastal low and cause showers to redevelop in the afternoon (40% chance), possibly mixed with snow north and west of the Beltway. Skies will be cloudy with a high around 40. Confidence: Low-Medium

Tuesday night, the chance for rain or snow showers lingers (30%, increasing north of the District) with skies remaining mostly cloudy. Expect lows in the low 30s. Confidence: Low-Medium

Talk of another snowstorm on Wednesday has diminished as storminess will probably stay to the north and east. My call is we'll just have a small chance for some light snow showers late in the day with mostly cloudy skies and a high in the upper 30s. However, there's some chance this forecast could change, as the details in pattern evolution and storm development are uncertain. Confidence: Low

By Brian Jackson  | February 21, 2010; 3:25 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Forecast: Raw, unsettled stretch arrives


What I read is cold rain Monday with some cold air damming from a secondary over Cape Hatteras. By Tues they are talking about that low being up by Delmarva (NWS Philly). Too far north for any snow for us. By Wed the upper low is coming in from the west and spawning another surface low somewhere. Will that one also be too far north once before it gets going? Does seem like it. NWS Blacksburg thinks the surface low will only get going over New England. Bottom line, no chance of any accumulating snow.

Posted by: eric654 | February 21, 2010 7:16 AM | Report abuse

ok...this is really beginning to stink.

everybody talks (and many complain....) about how snowy this winter has been. we had ONE significant snow in december. then over the next 5 WEEKS we got about 2" (? maybe). then we did get great snow for about an 8-day period in late jan/early feb. and now it hasn't snowed in about 2 WEEKS, and it looks like snow chances are evaporating for this week.

so, really, we had that one big december storm, and one period of just over a week with lots of snow. now granted those were good snows, but it's hardly a case of it snowing all winter...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 21, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

amen out of 365 days a year thats how many days of snow THIS winter (or the last 3 winters for that matter) vs. how many days of hazy, hot and humid?

Posted by: ftwash | February 21, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Your area radar loop shows snow, and some heavy snow over Dulles right now. What gives -it's sunny without a cloud in the sky?

Posted by: silencedogoodreturns | February 21, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

@silencedogoodreturns: That's ground clutter on the radar. You can see the false echoes to the east and a few south as well.

Posted by: wx_bob | February 21, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

No snow computes since I just bought snowshoes... At least got in a short excursion yesterday... Article/Video Report

Posted by: spgass1 | February 21, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I agree, walter-in-fallschurch. This is wack.

Posted by: Rcmorgan | February 21, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

For me, it's not that it has snowed nonstop this winter. It hasn't. But the snow we HAVE had has been record-breaking in its volume and impact, and the snow has not gone away as it usually does after a snowstorm in DC. The effects are way more crippling than anything I have seen in fifteen years in DC -- and I don't just mean with traffic (which is fairly obnoxious) but with damages to homes and paralyzing my husband's business, since he needs to get around in a work truck and residential streets are impossible to navigate and have been for weeks now. Snow fatigue has definitely taken hold of us. I enjoyed it, but now I am ready for it to melt and not come back until next year (with all due respect to Walter's lovely creatures!).

Posted by: esmerelda123 | February 21, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

That is the problem with this area, snowshoes are essential for getting through deep powder just a few days every six years or so. I got in about 1 week of cross country skiing (too many rocks and branches sticking up now with no trails). I had 4WD until last summer when I decided I didn't need it anymore. The rest of the time, those winter essentials are just superfluous around here.

I am willing to bet for the rest of 2010 that I will get around 20 acres to fill bird feeders with just boots, and that I will be able to drive every day with just front wheel drive.

Posted by: eric654 | February 21, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

It's certainly disappointing to hear that these two storms will be just rain, but perhaps they are clearing the way for more snow. Generally, snow in Washington didn't fall until late Feb/early March, so happily there is still a chance for significant accumulation. I recall the blizzard of 93 was in March. Everyone, pray to the gods for more snow!

Posted by: cgindc | February 21, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I bought a new shovel yesterday to replace the old one I had that broke in the last storm. So, that is an ironclad guarantee we will get no more snow this winter.

Posted by: maymay1 | February 21, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse


I couldn't agree more. We've had four snow events (grante three were huge) over three months; more frequent snow would be nice. Now February is winding down and our chances for one last storm are quickly disappearing. Joe Bastardi still likes the idea of a storm March 1st...but he also originally liked this idea of this one bringing us snow. Is it greedy to want one last decent snowfall?

Posted by: DLO1975 | February 21, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Currently 45 degrees in Fairfax at 11:30. Come on 50! Melt all that snow. And rain melts snow even better than sun, so come on rain! I need the sidewalks back. I don't drive, and walking in the road is hazardous to your health (and life).

Posted by: rwalker66 | February 21, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

damn all you shovel and snowshoe buyers for cursing our snow chances!

i'm going out to buy a bathing suit and a tennis racket and some flip flops and a kite.....

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 21, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

It figures...Monday and Tuesday are my big Gottaswing dance nights...we start getting this MUCH-UNNEEDED cruddy cold rain!!!

Posted by: Bombo47jea | February 21, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I just took a break outside at work (Fairfax, Fair Lakes area) and it is gorgeous! Two weeks ago today we were digging out our cars at work after having been marooned here and at I'm watching the snow recede in the courtyard. Yay!

Posted by: natsncats | February 21, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

An all-time record for snow; snow piles 8' high; snow on the ground for weeks; a rare, massive snow in December; and still chances for snow for another three weeks or so...and all of that is not enough for a winter in this area? That does not make sense to me.

Posted by: steske | February 21, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse


I think it's because this winter is like an April Fool's Joke that we want to keep going and going and going....

It could be years before winter plays another joke on us.

Posted by: Rcmorgan | February 21, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I was driving on US 15 last night, heading toward Point of Rocks. I saw what looked liked 8 to 12 feet snow banks where the snow had been plowed. I guess these where the result of snow drifts. In any event, I have never seen snow piled that high anywhere ever around here. I thought I had snow in south western Loudoun but northern Loudoun and Fredrick County MD got kill! I know this is not news to the people who live there but it was really something to see. It also shows what a wide forecast area we have and what CWG covers. 50 miles makes huge differences in snow accumulations.

Posted by: ntrlsol | February 21, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Re snowshoes: Some communities in the Berkeley Springs area are still so snowbound that as recently as a couple of days ago the Sheriff and National Guard were showshoeing to homes to check on folks, deliver medications. I don't know how they would have evacuated anyone who needed it--on a tobaggon (sp?) maybe.

Posted by: tinkerbelle | February 21, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

anyone know where snow shovels can still be found? Mine broke and all the Home Depots, Lowes and Hardware stores around me don't have anything:(

Posted by: silencedogoodreturns | February 21, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

RC--but it's sort of irrational to think is should snow in this area all winter long. This is not Buffalo, although you would not know it from this winter :) I would think for snowlovers this winter would have been a paradise--but I guess not.

Posted by: steske | February 21, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, no winds on Mon. finally can fish the 301 Bridge. Would love 1 more nice snow, but once March comes it's time 4 spring & bass fishing.

Posted by: VaTechBob | February 21, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Joe Bastardi calls the next 10 day or so "March Mayhem" so I guess we can't use that term if any big snowstorms do occur (LOL)

Posted by: ntrlsol | February 21, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

They still had snow shovels at an Ace Hardware on South Washington St in Old Town Alexandria but I do not know if you want to drive that far. You may want to call first.

Posted by: ntrlsol | February 21, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

There were snow shovels on Saturday at Cherrydale Hardware on Lee Highway in Arlington VA.

Posted by: Lawyerette | February 21, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I agree that overall it has been a great winter. But, January sucked and one last snowstorm would be nice! Still about a foot on the ground here in Eldersburg, but the rain will hurt tomorrow. Hopefully, there won't be enough rain to cause flooding. There's always a chance the rain changes to snow on the back end once the cold air comes back.

Posted by: DLO1975 | February 21, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

ntrlsol, wow those are some big drifts. I was listening to WINC fm 92.5 earlier in the week and the traffic report indicated near white-out conditions in some areas due to blowing snow.

Posted by: spgass1 | February 21, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to 50 degrees everyone!

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 21, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Most snow in DC history. More than our kids we'll likely ever see again. And you snow lovers still aren't happy. Unreal.

Gorgeous day outside! Break out the champagne! We made it to "normal" highs for the first time since January 28th. I sat outside, soaked up the rays, and listened to the wonderful sounds of melting snow. Got me anxiously awaiting that first day in March when we hit 60.

One week til meteorological spring and 3 weeks til I can put the snow shovel back in mothballs for the season.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | February 21, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Walter. Let's have some more snow.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | February 21, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I love snow--I used to live in Norway. The problem with the recent snowstorms isn't that there is too much snow, but that it happens so infrequently we are not equipped to deal--and I'm not talking about snow plows and shovels. I don't own cross country skis anymore. Snow shoes aren't practical for around here. Also, it has felt a lot like Narnia--always winter, but never Christmas. All these snow days, but no trips,no vacations, just stuck at home.

Posted by: queen522 | February 21, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I am with you, ThinkSpring! I took advantage of this spring tease and went for a nice 3-mile run in the sun, and I cleared our sidewalk afterwards. It felt great soaking up the sun before it got covered by the clouds.

March 20 marks the vernal equinox this year, and March 14 marks the first day of DST!

Posted by: david_in_stafford | February 21, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

queen522 - I thought the same thing recently...that the scene outside has looked a lot like Narnia!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 21, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

More snow please. There are days and days and days, the rest of the year for heat and smog filled skies. One more big storm for me.

Posted by: manassasmissy | February 21, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

All of you wishing for yet MORE snow - can I interest you in a one-way discounted ticket to Siberia? Maybe that would satisfy your insatiable appetite for winter storms. VDOT only finally plowed our street THURSDAY. Yet still, you clamor for more crippling snow.

Bring on SPRING. The sun is out for longer each and every day, temperatures are rising, Greenland blocking or not - this winter will be over shortly! Kicking and screaming, perhaps, but still over.

Posted by: nocando | February 21, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I can identify with both camps--love the snow but maybe not a record-level amount that has disrupted life this winter ;) It's a tough call for me!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 21, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

It has hit 50 degrees for this first time the entire month of February!

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 21, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse


You tell 'em!!! As you said, climatology is gonna win out. And the sooner the better. Even now, the sun is having a strong effect on the snowpack.

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

52 in NW Spotsy. 2day, & GW isn't real. The 52 2day proves it is real. Even walked the dog 2day wearing shorts & t shirt.

Posted by: VaTechBob | February 21, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

It's not the snow that's the problem; it's the way the area deals with it. I don't think anyone is rooting for another crippling snowstorm, but one last 6-12 inch storm would be nice.

Posted by: DLO1975 | February 21, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Ntrlsol what you were seeing was the results of the relentless drifting snow that upper Montgomery County and most of Frederick County experienced. There was not that much more snow in Rockville than there was in Point of Rocks but when you have miles of unbroken fields, especially where the roads run north and south and the winds blow from west to east you get constant drifting snow. There were numerous accounts of people trapped in cars for up to a day on Route 340, 15, 28, and some other county roads. None of this made the Washington paper but it was covered by the Frederick Post. They even had to bring in equipment from Garrett County.

From Germantown south buildings, subdivisions, and trees block the drifiting effect.

Posted by: MKadyman | February 21, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I would like 4-6 inches of snow. But, oh well.

Posted by: celestun100 | February 21, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

When is the spring outlook coming out? I would really like a really hot and mostly rainless spring to dry things out.

Posted by: steske | February 21, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

That sounds most pleasant but won't be good at all for the farms, steske ... I can handle a bit of rain if the temp goes up and if it means a bounty in this year's CSA share!

Posted by: esmerelda123 | February 21, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

MKadyman said "Ntrlsol what you were seeing was the results of the relentless drifting snow" thats a good point but what has become of the red snow fences that i would see in va and md??? i never see them anymore. snow drifts were everywhere this year.

Posted by: deveinmadisonva | February 21, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

One thing for those of you wishing/begging/praying for more snow, even just a few inches, to think about: just about every jurisdiction in the area has completely blown their snow removal budgets by millions of dollars. Guess where that money comes from: either the general transportation funds (which means less road repair) or the general funds of the state (which means less everything).

If you want longer-term or year-round snow, perhaps it's time to consider moving to an area with such a climate? ;)

Posted by: joshnva | February 21, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

I don't think that anyone who wishes for or against snow is going to effect the weather.

Just because I like fresh snow doesn't mean that I cause it. Sorry about the snow removal budgets, but my desire for snow is not going to effect the budget at all.

If I thought that I could control the weather by moving or not hoping for snow, maybe I would consider doing those things, but the weather occurs without my consent.

Posted by: celestun100 | February 21, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Well said, celestun. I am tired of being told to move because I mention I like snow. I like all four seasons and the weather they bring. It doesn't matter in the end what we feel- the weather will be what it will be. So silly.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | February 21, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

That's what I think is so funny...other people don't like snow, so YOU have to move.

Posted by: mensan98th | February 21, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Yes I heard and read about people trapped in their cars by snow drifts especially in Frederick County MD but until I saw the remains of these drifts last night, I just did comprehend how awesome they really were.

Posted by: ntrlsol | February 21, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

I think one of the reasons I was so impressed with the snow drifts in Loudoun and Frederick Countries is that when you read or watch most of the recent snow coverage, it is about an unplowed street or side walk here and there. Pretty much just an inconvenient. But if you see the remains of some of these drifts, it occurs to you that "Wow, this stuff could kill". It reminded me of a tragic article I read years ago about a family stuck in a snow drift in the mountains of Oregon. You can understand something like that happening out there but on US RT 15 or I 70 and the back roads in-between Maryland and Virginia? You just do not see that here. Anyways enough about snow drifts. With some of the weather models changing twice a day, one has to wonder what is in store for us this week.

Posted by: ntrlsol | February 21, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

I'll take the rain.
The streets could use a good shower, along with my car.

Also I'm not telling anyone to move or calling anybody crazy, but I for one, have seen enough snow to keep me satisfied for another decade or so, or at least enough to keep me satisfied until I buy a snowplow.

Posted by: Havoc737 | February 22, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Storms like we have had this winter not only ring up millions of dollars in direct costs for clearance; they also inflict untold millions of costs in lost productivity. Let's add into that the costs of physical injury and in some cases lost life.

So, rooting for more white misery strikes me as perverse. Let the children in adult bodies move to the Sierras or the Cascades. We grownups will deal with what nature deals out as best we can.

Posted by: landlaw | February 22, 2010 1:26 AM | Report abuse

oh come on, landlaw...
"Let the children in adult bodies move to the Sierras or the Cascades. We grownups will deal with what nature deals out as best we can."

i hope you're sorry you wrote that. i hope you feel like a bit of a baby.

were i to reciprocate i might say perhaps the geriatrics in adult bodies should go to that mythical place below that's really really hot. but that would be childish, so i won't...

rather than toss around toss around empty words, let's look at some facts and figures. as i've mentioned elsewhere, winter is pretty safe and cheap compared to the rest of the year.



Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 22, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: nocando | February 22, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

indeed it will be changing, and $2B is a lot of money, no doubt. i'd love a tiny fraction of that.... but really, it kind of proves MY point.

look at all those other "disasters" on any of those lists/charts/tables the link i gave and you'll see that $2B is a relatively modest number.

according to
we spend an average of $23B per year on "weather related disasters". so you can see that this crippling, all-time record-breaking february will turn out to be just an average month. the december storm probably cost about $1B too, so that's $1B a month for 3 months of winter. we can expect to spend over $2B a month on weather-related disasters for the rest of the year.

so, if you're concerned about lives and $, FEAR THE SUMMER!

but, i love summer too, and will gladly get back to swim meets and tennis at the pool and barbeques and so forth - when the time comes. in fact, if it's not gonna snow, i'd just as soon have it be summer. maybe that's why these rain and 40 degree things kill me... since it's winter, and it's gonna be cold, i'd like it to snow... (seem like a waste of cold if it's not snowing.)

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 22, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

i'd be curious to know what kind of flooding would have happened if the snow from feb 5-10 had fallen as rain.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 22, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

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