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Posted at 10:05 AM ET, 02/25/2010

Forecast: Powerful winds to develop, skimpy snow

By Jason Samenow

* High Wind Watch tonight thru Fri. p.m. (map) | NWS snow totals *
* New: Capital Weather Gang Snowmageddon T-shirts *
* Share photos of recent storm damage | Bob Ryan leaving 4 *
* Radar, clouds & more: Weather Wall | Local home page *

Today's Daily Digit
A somewhat subjective rating of the day's weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.
2Chilly, windy and just a little snow flaky.
Get tomorrow's 'Digit' on Twitter tonight


Today: Chance of early a.m. light snow, becoming very windy. 35-39. | Tonight: Very windy with snow showers likely. 23-27. | Tomorrow: Chance of snow showers and still quite windy. 35-39. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


By David Streit*

Finally a Nor'easter that knows where the Northeast is! It looks like this storm will be a real bomb; that is, one with rapidly dropping pressure and winds rapidly ratcheting up today. While it will become extremely windy here, the main snow band with this storm is likely to be in New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania and interior New York. In the metro region, any new snow accumulation may not occur until tonight into tomorrow on the backside of the storm when even an inch of accumulation may be hard to come by.

Radar: Latest regional radar shows movement of precipitation over past three hours. Powered by HAMweather. Refresh page to update. Click here or on image to enlarge. Or see radar bigger on our Weather Wall.

Today (Thursday): The deepening storm will be well off the coast, making its closest approach midday. Scattered light snow may occur during the early morning (40% chance) but should gradually taper off. During the day, we could even see periods of sun. Winds will increase from 10 to 20 mph in the morning to 20 to 30 mph in the late afternoon, with gusts possibly exceeding 40 mph. Highs will be in the mid-to-upper 30s with wind chills in the 20s. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Winds will be very strong all night, blowing from the west at 25 to 35 mph and gusting to around or past 50 mph. Some power outages cannot be ruled out. There is a decent (60%) chance we'll have a period of "wrap-around" snow late tonight into tomorow, potentially giving the area a dusting to an inch. The combination of snow and gusty winds may produce slick roads and brief but hazardous whiteouts. Lows will be mainly in the mid-to-upper 20s with wind chills in the teens. Confidence: Medium

Keep reading for the forecast through Monday...

Tomorrow (Friday): There could be lingering snow showers. At the very least we should be mostly cloudy and windy with a chance of flurries. Winds will blow from the west at 20 to 35 mph with higher gusts. Highs will be in the mid-to-upper 30s with wind chills only in the 20s. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow Night: There will again be the possibility of isolated snow showers as winds remain gusty, blowing from the west at 10 to 20 mph. Lows will drop to 25-30 with wind chills in the teens. Confidence: Medium


Winds will slow down just a little more Saturday under variably cloudy skies. Highs will be in the upper 30s to lower 40s. The storm will still be over New York but almost like a tropical storm it will be weakening over land away from the warmer ocean waters that aided its strengthening. Nevertheless, there is a chance that the system could still produce a band or two of "wrap-around" snow showers, particularly late in the late afternoon and early evening. Confidence: Medium

Sunday skies will begin to show some breaks in the clouds with breezy as opposed to windy conditions. This will make the morning lows in the mid-to-upper 20s more bearable. Highs will climb to the low-to-mid 40s which will be a welcome improvement as well but still well shy of the normal high which is now up to 50. Confidence: Medium

Monday will dawn with the storm finally pulling up into eastern Canada so winds will be far less noticeable. Morning lows will still be mid-to-upper 20s but highs should make the mid-to-upper 40s under partly sunny skies. Confidence: Medium-High

Updated: Thurs. Feb. 25 @ 11:25 a.m.

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

By Jason Samenow  | February 25, 2010; 10:05 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: High Wind Watch tonight through Friday afternoon


Wow. My high expectations for this storm followed by poor results are a real buzz-killer :( I'm thinking back to high school where I definitely wouldn't have written that paper in anticipation of 3-6 inches of snow!!

Posted by: kolya02 | February 25, 2010 6:13 AM | Report abuse

Yea big OOPS from the weather guys on this one.

Posted by: tristesse27 | February 25, 2010 6:17 AM | Report abuse

CWG: I, for one, think you all did a good job explaining the uncertainties of this storm. Look at it dance just east of us. So close and yet so far.

Let's send some snow shovels up to PA/NY/NJ/NE... looks like they are going to need it... this time.

Posted by: dprats21 | February 25, 2010 6:33 AM | Report abuse

yawn....i just woke up to a typical washington area "snow" storm - streets are wet, and i hear we could maybe possibly, if all works out, get flurries later...

i was having a dream where washington area winter storms produced snow! it was great: they'd predict snow...and it WOULD snow. in the dream we got snow-producing storm after storm for about 2 weeks....

oh well...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 25, 2010 6:54 AM | Report abuse

I'll remind everyone of my post from Monday morning:

"I think we can put away the snow shovels. Looks like Wed/Thurs will bring cold air aloft, but not much in the way of moisture, no easterly flow, etc. What we would need is cold air at the surface and a relatively warm flow aloft, but we are going to get the opposite."

Posted by: eric654 | February 25, 2010 6:55 AM | Report abuse

gee, congrats eric654.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 25, 2010 6:58 AM | Report abuse

Instead of waking up to a winter wonderland I've woken up to blue skies and not even a trace of snow on the grass. Biggest bust of the winter.

Posted by: rwalker66 | February 25, 2010 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Witch doctors in suits are all that weathermen are. I did a superb job of calling this winter back in August and I'm not even a meteorologist. The constant rain, clouds and cool weather we experienced all spring and summer last year was all I needed to tell me that this winter would be epic. Another FAIL by the local weathermen in general, not picking on the weather gang per se but just all weathermen in general.

Posted by: j0nx | February 25, 2010 7:02 AM | Report abuse

well, if you look really closely, you may see a thin coating of ice on somethings - if it hasn't melted already... but, chin up, there's still a chance of flurries later....


Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 25, 2010 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday afternoon we did our "No Snow Dance" just wearing our kilts barefooted in the snow w/ several SI swimsuit models in bikinis as a friend played his bagpipes. We made sacrifices of surburban and urban dwelling snow lovers to our Celtic Gods and consumed massive quanities of fine untaxed VA corn liquor. We had huge bonfire.

We then carried the SI swimsuit models to our trucks since they couldn't walk in the mud, slush, sheep poop and snow in their 6in stilettoes.

And it worked! Sorry snow lovers.

Posted by: sheepherder | February 25, 2010 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Everybody's a meteorologist these days! CWG must be rolling their eyes and thinking the same thing after reading half of these comments today. Jeez!

Posted by: suntan | February 25, 2010 7:23 AM | Report abuse

And my collies called the the winter weather back in Sept when they started putting on more winter coat than normal.

If you can read mother nature ie plants and animals it will tell you a lot more about the coming weather. It doesn't matter if you are looking for tomorrow's forecast and a forecast for the next season. Shame most weather forecasters don't read the fauna and wildlife like a good farmer or stock person does. George Michael was always a better weather forceaster than Bobbie Ryan.

Screw computer models.

Posted by: sheepherder | February 25, 2010 7:27 AM | Report abuse

j0nx, our CWG winter outlook released back in November favored below normal temperatures and above normal snow.

Posted by: MattRogers | February 25, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Sunny blue skies this morning. Anti-snow gang: Whatever you're doin', keep doin' it. It's working.

Nice call on this storm eric654.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | February 25, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Measured 1/8th inch in eastern Warren County.
Currently 24.1F with sunny skies.

Posted by: spgass1 | February 25, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse


I hate snow.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 25, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

CWG: You're the best thing that's happened to! I, for one, think you did a great job on this forecast; always explaining the complexities of an unusual system in a year of unusual weather patterns. It's all fascinating and amazing, and I'm ready for spring!

Posted by: Hoyas4Ever | February 25, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

I signed on four times yesterday/today, including +/-1:00 a.m., and CWG had this nailed pretty well. Don't know what the critics here are talking about.

Posted by: pgeagle | February 25, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

CWG-long term March outlook?

Posted by: manassasmissy | February 25, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

CWG did forecast this well. They always had a low chance of getting any accumulation. I think people read/listen to/watch lots of forecasts and then blame the one that they are able to respond to in the comments section.

Posted by: celestun100 | February 25, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

will temperatures go below freezing tonight? any idea when that would happen in falls church?

i know they were predicted to, but has that changed? - given that we are cursed with blue snow-melting skies instead of the dark cloud with snow...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 25, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

As a snow lover I feel pangs of heartbreak at seeing the partly cloudy skies and light winds upon waking up this morning, but come on - we've had our fill of snow this winter.

Posted by: fleeciewool | February 25, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

You're letting the CWG off way too lightly. They had DC towards the high end of the 1-3" band and Baltimore smack in the middle of the 4-8" band. NWS kept saying 1-3, then 2-4, then 1-3, then 1-2 (as late as around 5 this am), and so on, for DC. No, let's be honest, this forecast was blown for this area. It will be interesting to see what happens in NYC, where the NWS still is predicting 7-11 for the city and maybe more. Also interesting that it's raining in BOS with only more rain forecast; that doesn't happen very often.

Posted by: doubtingdavid | February 25, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

I love it when a plan comes together! Muhahahahahaha. About time a storm followed the traditional DC pattern around here! We were due.

Sorry snow nuts! Now you'll get to experience the FUN of wind driven power outages without your precious white snow. How thrilling for all of you! ;)

Posted by: nocando | February 25, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

manassassmissy, March overall is looking to average colder than normal with above normal precipitation again as we contend with the remains of this winter's El Niño pattern.

Posted by: MattRogers | February 25, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Spring may be just around the corner, but the March of snow hasn't started, so keep the ice cube trays filled!

The snow tees are neat; will definitely get one.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 25, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Why does NWS persist with the Winter Storm Watch, 5 or more inches, while all the forecasters seem to be ignoring them? CYA I guess?
Their confidence level seems very low.

Posted by: seasejs | February 25, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Sunny Bethesda here, very thin clouds, were thicker last night, even some blue up there...having trouble believing it will even get windy. I think the models so poorly handled this, the forecasters are going to look silly when even the winds do not materialize with anything close to predictions. Snow? Snow? haha! Next year.

Posted by: doczoidberg | February 25, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

CWG did a great job on this one. Their confidence was low, and they kept emphasizing the uncertainty with this storm. That part of their forecast is always more indicative of reality than the possible amount of precip.
The CWG also predicted that this winter would be colder and snowier than normal. Based on this prediction, in November I suggested that a coworker break down and get a pair of boots, which she definitely used!

Posted by: LCFC | February 25, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

YESSSS!!! (thanks Matt)*smiles hopefully*

Posted by: manassasmissy | February 25, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

What a nice thing to have blue skies on the way to work this morning! It was a really pleasant reminder that the skies are not ALWAYS dark and frowning upon us.

Because CWG was so cautious on the forecast, though, I wasn't surprised to see the snow bust. They said from the beginning that there was a non-trivial chance that we could get nothing at all.

I'm not happy to hear that news about the long-term forecast for March, though. All these clouds and cool temps get depressing after a while!

Posted by: jiji1 | February 25, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

To the anti-snow contigent: if you know classical literature, you know what goes around comes around. The snow snides I'm seeing here this a.m. are kinda' fun, because they increase the odds we'll get creamed again this year.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 25, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

CWG can't have it both ways. Having a map with snow accumulations in the metro area then falling back on the "low confidence" line at the end. Count this as a blown forecast.

Posted by: jojo2008 | February 25, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Any chance the lack of snow could mean some decrease in the wind speeds and gusts later today?

Was looking forward for some snow, but if we only got gusts up to, say 35 instead of 50 mph tonight, I'd call that a fair trade.

Posted by: fklemm | February 25, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I believe CWG and Doug Hill were (rightly, thus far) on the conservative side with the snowcasts, and have been continually saying the wind (trees down, power outages) will be the big weather story in this storm. That said, breezes have been picking up since early morning in Fauquier, skies are blue and no clouds to speak of (yet) ....

ps, while i love a moderate amount of snow (3-5 inches at a time is just fine, with a quick meltoff), these blizzards and piles of dirty snow are harshing my mellow!!!

Posted by: weathergrrl | February 25, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

@doubtingdavid and others calling the forecast a bust...

We should remind you that the most we ever officially called for in the metro area was 1-3", with 2-4" northeast through Friday morning (which is 24 hours away--the second part of the storm, when it retrogrades south, hasn't happened yet). Furthermore, we made that specific snow forecast now being criticized in ONE update (at 11 am yesterday), and then in every single subsequent update (starting at 3:30 pm yesterday when we talked about "minimal accumulations") backed off of it. Anyone who has been reading our forecasts carefully should not at all be surprised by what has transpired. We have focused on wind, and downplayed the snow -- although we've been consistent in forecasting a good chance of snow showers tonight (which might cause some briefly inclement conditions, especially when coupled with the wind).

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 25, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

...I want to clarify my comment, as it seems other posters are piling on CWG as they interpreted me to be doing. I love what CWG is doing! It makes even the most boring weather days exciting! I think their forecast was on-the-mark!

...What I was cursing was my own illogical unsupported euphoria about this storm :")

Posted by: kolya02 | February 25, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Centreville VA Wet streets & cloudless blue skies this morning & a surprise; cars parked in shade covered in a bumpy texture of frozen raindrops. Since the temp read 35 degrees as I was going out the door this was unexpected.
Nice shirt design.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 25, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

will it get below freezing tonight?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 25, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

I, for one, was ready for a little break. (Thank you @sheepherder for your assistance.) I am not surprised CWG says it not over with March being colder and wetter. I want Spring, but my mantra this time of year is always "You have to get through March." Having grown up on the Gulf Coast in Houston Spring came by Rodeo at the end Feb. But living here since 1985, I know we get snow in March and sometimes on the Cherry Blossoms. I will wait for the dogwoods as the true sign of Spring. Thanks CWG for giving me some hope that this one wasn't going to another big one!

Posted by: erbele | February 25, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

@doubtingdavid and others calling the forecast a bust...

Just a few additional comments... first, we do realize that some are not necessarily criticizing CWG in particular, even though it may seem that way. On to the comments...

Re: the map issued at 11:20 a.m. yesterday. If we don't issue a map less than 12 hours out from the potential arrival of snow, then we'd get criticized for that. So it's sort of a no-win situation. We thought it was in the best interest of the audience to issue a map showing what we thought the potential might be. We also emphasized the low confidence. And you can't say we always fall back on that. We've had several storms this year that we've been able to predict substantial snow with medium to high confidence.

Our map, and then the two subsequent forecasts yesterday afternoon and evening, predicted the same or less snow than most other outlets. We were purposely conservative with this forecast knowing that there was potential for little to no snow.

As the above CWG comment alludes to and as we stated in forecasts yesterday afternoon and evening, we've only passed one of the two potential windows for accumulation that accumulation forecasts were based on. So while I'm not terribly confident we'll see any accumulation tonight/early tomorrow, it's always wise to not judge a forecast until an event/storm is actually over, not just halfway through.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 25, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

In general, weathermen frsutrate me, but CWG has become my go-to weather forcast. I feel like I get a reasonable description of the range of possibilities. As a result, I knew to wake up a few minutes early this morning just in case, and found that my car was coated with ice, but no snow on the ground - well within what CWG predicted.
Personally, I don't care if we get 1.3, 1.7, or 1.9 inches of snow. I just want to know if the weather is going to affect my daily activities and CWG does a great job of doing that. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: justanotherguy | February 25, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

This is one of the best mornings of comments all winter! Seriously, I laughed.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 25, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Sure a poster can claim Monday commenting, 'I think we can put away the snow shovels..'.

Though what was the forecast TUESDAY for today? Yep, snow..

Heck, even Wednesday was still talk of this 'snow'.

I'm a Meteorologist from Colorado and have recently relocated to the D.C. area due to a job transfer. The Rockies have a far more up/downslope conditions than the dinky Appalachians.

The erroneous forecasts issued here is mind numbing. 'The Weather gang', the NWS and the like must use the same, horribly analyzed graphic, alphanumeric data.

Example: Week before last was supposed to be '10-20 inches' FROM A FAST MOVING STORM! Hence, the expected 1-3" inches DID FALL. Though the damage was done. School, Government businesses were closed for little more than a dusting.

Apparently snow 'magically accumulates' in the D.C. area the moment it touches the surface. Not taking surface, radiational heating into consideration.

I suggest looking at more than rawinsonde data and thickness, vorticity charts..

TOTAL BUST.. The kind which would require a forecast review in reputable weather offices..

Posted by: paulbongiorno | February 25, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I think the people complaining didn't read the forecasts, they just saw the snow map.

Not so bad really. Where I grew up (Detroit) people used to blame the snow/cold/rain etc. on the meteorologists. Not just the forecast, the storms themselves. LOL

On the bright side, I noticed yesterday that plants are beginning to pop up in my garden.
Also, my backyard grass is quite green where the snow has melted away. Soon it will be gardening time, which, as much as I love snow, is actually more fun.

Of course, it is not over 'til it's over.

Posted by: celestun100 | February 25, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse


I AGREE!!!! I am still predicting ONE more major snow before the end of the season as is farmers almanac. I was predicting 2nd week in march , but from what I am hearing it just might be before then!!!! BRING ON MY SNOVER!!!!

Posted by: akamrspris | February 25, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

I still have part of an ice dam in my back gutter, so I'm not complaining. Now, when that last chunk finally melts, let it snow!

Posted by: magicdomino | February 25, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Hey CWG guys, I'm not perfect either. Apparently we are the only ones. Maybe we could form a club and meet in a booth at Waffle House. Meanwhile, the perfect folks can rent out the Verizon Center and talk about their perfectness. My ex-wife can be their President.

Posted by: justanotherguy | February 25, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I repeat what mentioned yesterday: CWG forecasts for today were low confidence for even a few inches of snow. I prefer to look at them as high confidence of, at best, just a few inches locally. Contrast this situation with the high confidence predictions for heavy snow with Snomaggedon and Snoverkill.

Given that all weather predictions will unavoidably be characterized by varying levels of uncertainty, the ability to discriminate between these differing conditions and circumstances is a hallmark of forecasters' ability to extract the maximum information from models, observations, and reservoir of forecasters' personal experience and background.

Nevertheless, there is an element of justifiable confusion in the CWG forecasts. Namely, probabilities are not matched to the snowfall maps. As stated in yesterday's 2PM update, the probabilities "... are intended to communicate the range of possible scenarios, as a complement to the more deterministic "best-guess" map above...". CWG is assessing how best to discuss and display forecasts to resolve the problem.

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | February 25, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

My snow looked like dew. I could do without ("dew without"?) the winds today though. I think there's a lot of saturated ground and potentially toppled trees out there.

Posted by: oldtimehockey | February 25, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

"To the anti-snow contingent: if you know classical literature, you know what goes around comes around. The snow snides I'm seeing here this a.m. are kinda' fun, because they increase the odds we'll get creamed again this year."

Posted by: JerryFloyd1
I second that, Jerry.

Also, I don't think the CWG should have to defend themselves. Thus far, they've been spot on and we must remember, part 2 of the storm hasn't even happened yet.

Posted by: Rcmorgan | February 25, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse


Welcome to D.C. ... ummm, you must have missed the 6 to around 20 inches that fell across the DC/Baltimore region the week before last?

Also, good news, we have a Weather Checker who periodically independently reviews our forecasts.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 25, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Actually, except for the post yesterday about possible blizzard conditions (that post surprised me a little coming from the anti-hype CWG), I think CWG did a good job. It seems like there are a lot of folks who have waited all winter for CWG to get it wrong, and now they want to pounce. But these "bust" posts really just demonstrate how little some people understand about meteorology. It's not an exact science and it never will be. But it will provide a degree of accuracy that is more precise than the thickness of your dog's hair.

Posted by: GD1975 | February 25, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Just curious if DCA recorded any snow fall from this storm? We got about an inch ( maybe a little less) where I am (when I measured this morning at 7am).

Posted by: soleil2000 | February 25, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Also want to add my thanks for your spot on forecasts. I really enjoy reading the CWG posts!

Posted by: soleil2000 | February 25, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Interesting chain of comments. Seeing the sunshine this morning, the word "bust" did briefly cross my mind. While I'll probably do a short column on this one in the next few days, one thing I will mention that is in line with the CWG comments above -- it's wise to wait until the storm ("round 2") is over before critiquing it.

Jamie Y aka Weather Checker

Posted by: JamieYPotomac | February 25, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Besides some of the "bust" people were also saying that "bust" before each of the two blizzards.

CWG You cannot be responsible for people who do not read the posts. Besides, as I remember it, the idea that it might snow a lot was clearly stated to be based on seasonal trends-it was not like it was a hard fact or something-give me a break.

People may be mixing up the comments with the actual weather reports.

Posted by: celestun100 | February 25, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Low confidence was emphasized. Low confidence was emphasized. Low confidence was emphasized. Low confidence was emphasized. Low confidence was emphasized.

Did anyone actually read the forecasts? How many times did they say LOW confidence? Again, the NAM was spot on.

Posted by: DullesARC | February 25, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

The Colorado Rockies are dinky compared to the himalayans...big woop.

Posted by: GD1975 | February 25, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

You have a lot of fans, CWG- Don't start changing everything- we want bullish posts once in awhile, o.k.???

Posted by: celestun100 | February 25, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I think that this forecast, as well as those for the previous storms have been as accurate as can be expected, and certainly more in depth, informative, and accurate than the network guys. Those who say otherwise are asking for the impossible, a map 24 hours before a snow storm showing exactly what will happen in their zip code. aint ever gonna happen. so, CWG, I say keep on doing what you're doing, and dont change a thing.

Posted by: timdgoff | February 25, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse


Thanks for the comment. At the risk of sounding defensive, especially seeing as you are speaking well of us, it's worth pointing out the "blizzard" post was focused on blizzard-like winds -- they are still coming, and should be on schedule -- and cast doubt as to how much snow would come with the winds.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 25, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

@koyola02: Your post was clear that your disappointment was based on your personal expectations. I felt the same way when I woke to a very fine dusting, but realized that anything more than that was my own wishful thinking. (My earlier post was more in anticipation of the trend today of people calling 'bust'- which you certainly did not).

I think there is a lot of unhappiness and frustration being directed at CWG due to some posters either projecting their personal wish-casts into the forecast, or only viewing/reading one element of the forecast and basing their expectations solely on it. Interesting. Then, of course, there are those who just seem to have it in for you.

Posted by: dprats21 | February 25, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

As a snow lover I was somewhat unhappy to wake up to nothing this morning, but it happens from time to time. It will likely happen again tomorrow morning in my opinion. Such is life, and winter in D.C. We got spoiled! Overall the forecast here was OK.. I think sometimes there is too much "what went wrong". In this case we needed a lot to go right and it did not.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 25, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Ive been hearing that there may be a storm coming next week? Any truth to that??

Posted by: kylef1 | February 25, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I am a meteorologist and completely agree with Ian on the blizzard. Blizzards don't need 10-20 inches of snow - there was one last week in the Dakotas with 1 inch of snow. That was what we were looking for today. If we had any snow, the wind later today would be blowing and drifting the new snow. Thankfully, the old snow is so heavy that it won't blow and drift much. I said if we didn't get snow, this would be similar to a March or April wind storm, but wrap-around could bring light snow and the mentioned "blizzard"

Posted by: ajr32 | February 25, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

To the "meteorologist" from CO:

ROFL!! The storm is still predicted to retrograde later today into tonight, yet you already called a bust! LOL!! It's not over... even according to the on-air mets!! LOL! Even if snow does not materialize overnight, your call of a bust is incredibly premature.

If you are so much better than every other met in the area (As your rant implies), why don't you start your own blog, link it from here, post your forecasts, and let others review it? Better yet, why don't you become one of the 'Gang' so you can show them how it's done?

What an interesting thing for a self-described meteorologist to post.

Posted by: Weathergeek | February 25, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

"Example: Week before last was supposed to be '10-20 inches' FROM A FAST MOVING STORM! Hence, the expected 1-3" inches DID FALL. Though the damage was done. School, Government businesses were closed for little more than a dusting."
that doesn't even make sense?! I think you're confused. The expected 1-3'' fell followed by another 4-17'' across the region. What are you talking about?

Posted by: bhfairfax | February 25, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse


"What goes around comes around"


All the chest thumping that has gone on with the pro-snow contingent this winter and you react to a couple of tame comments from people happy that it didn't snow for a change?

We're gonna enjoy our one small victory this winter. You've certainly had more than your share already.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | February 25, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

kylef1, there has been very good agreement for like a week that a storm will develop early to the middle of next week across the south. The question is how far north it gets .. and then that could bring in precip type questions. Lately the trend has been for it to miss us to the south, though that can clearly change with the amount of time to go.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 25, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

@CWG -

You have nothing to apologize for. Weather forecasting is tricky at best, even with all of your sophisticated equipment. You are up against Murphy's Second Law - Mother Nature is a b#tch. She's going to do whatever she likes.

You guys are the best - smart, informative, responsive, engaging and, best of all, you humor us! Your fan club has grown by leaps and bounds over the last several months.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | February 25, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

There might not be much snow...but the WINDS could be dangerous...think I'll stay home tonight.

We can't rule out snow showers/snow squalls either. My hunch is that the snow-haters are celebrating prematurely. We'll still get some whiteouts...just not much accumulation...this storm is supposed to behave like the big 1888 blizzard...but I don't think that storm dropped much on D.C., either. I still think the wraparound might get us. Just hoping a lot of power doesn't get knocked out.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | February 25, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I don't know what the heck half the people are talking about here today.

The CWG forcast has been just fine, and I knew what to expect this morning.

I did have a question on the timing of the wrap around snow- are we talking late night (11 onward) or earlier in the evening (7-11)? I need to be on the road and was wondering since even a small amount of precip. coupled with the wind may impact visibility. Hoping to plan accordingly.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | February 25, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"March overall is looking to average colder than normal with above normal precipitation again as we contend with the remains of this winter's El Niño pattern. "

Imagine that? More rain for the dc area? Imagine that, I am shocked. Not. We could go 6 months without another drop of precip and still be fine. 12 months of clouds and rain is enough. When is el nino supposed to end Matt? I would love to be able to actually enjoy my convertible this year unlike last year where I was lucky to get 2 days a week with the top down due to it being 55 at night in July and rain/clouds during the day..

Posted by: j0nx | February 25, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse


so...what's up with "round 2" and these rumors of a possible/maybe/low confidence storm in the foreseeable future?

Posted by: Pat_E | February 25, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse


Best chance for snow showers will be after midnight tonight through the day tomorrow.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 25, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I for one would just like to say that I love that CWG has not taken any attitude from posters today and are just dishing it right back.

Not to mention, I never understood the benefit of commenting just to complain or criticize - what a waste of time!

Oh, and GO CWG!

Posted by: HokieTerp | February 25, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

A few minor tweaks have been made to the forecast above to account for the continuing chance of snow showers through the day tomorrow.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 25, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Snowlover2 | February 25, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Hey j0nx, the El Niño is still at moderate intensity right now, but should weaken to the weak category this spring. I'm thinking April will be decent and May will be quite nice around here.

Posted by: MattRogers | February 25, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Here's the forecast from Tuesday night:


*In the metro region, we will likely at least have some snow showers and flurries Wednesday night and Thursday (and possibly continuing through Thursday night), but the chance of steady, accumulating snow is just 50/50.

*It will very likely be quite windy Thursday into Friday (20-30 mph sustained, with gusts to near or over 50 mph possible especially on Thursday).

*Uncertainty for this storm is larger than any previous storm this winter due to the complexity of the overall pattern, and lack of clarity about the exact track of the storm and how quickly it will develop. There is the possibility that the area could see disruptive wind-driven snow on Thursday at one extreme or just flurries at the other. We are currently favoring a scenario in between those two extremes -- but will need to fine tune our forecast.


Seems pretty consistent with how things have played out so far. I really don't understand the criticism of the CWG forecasts.

Posted by: ElJocko | February 25, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

wxgeek & bhfairfax,

The incident with the 1-3" episode occurred I believe on Wednesday, February 10. The following Thursday and Friday became snow days from that minor weather event.

I'm friends with an educator in McLean who'd found out via their school site of no school for Thursday and later including Friday as well. WITH CLEAR SKIES those 2 days following the dusting.

I work for a company whereas we provide weather to specific airline, ag industry.

To give my customers, pilots/ crew and my customers an erroneous update would be a frightening domino effect. As I'm sure is the result of today's snafu in some respects.

As for 'blogging' and the such, I'm content with my 70 + hour work week. 'Inventing' time to be a husband and father in the process.


I've been here since Fall and did experience the December, January snowfalls, respectively. The snow totals for the east, MD & D.C. specifically were accurate. Though the amount for N. VA was greatly overestimated. KIAD's 'measured' amount during December's big storm is speculative and broached by other weather sources as well.

I've found the Navy, Air Force and very impressive U Wyoming sites (specifically the upper-air portion) being accurate, fun for interested parties.

Good day.

Posted by: paulbongiorno | February 25, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

As a librarian I hate to say this, but people don't read. They skim the headlines and ignore the details.

I read this blog, the NWS discussion, Accuweather mets and the forums and the boards at Eastern. (I don't understand a lot of the talk at Eastern, but I try to puzzle it out). I can tell you that CWG doesn't hype, they allow for a margin of error and they don't talk down to their readers. Instead they assume that Post readers are intelligent, thinking readers.

Ian, Jason & Co, don't allow the fact that your readership has expanded so greatly in recent times to affect how you produce this blog. Keep it intelligent, keep it adult and ignore the whiners when they misinterpret what you say.

And if you want hype, go over Accuweather where I note that Henry M no longer accepts comments on his blog. Guess he got tired of getting flamed over his constant "Big Daddy" hyperbole....

Posted by: concepcion611 | February 25, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the temps are keeping most populated areas of the Northeast from experience Paralyzing snow.

Posted by: rocotten | February 25, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Paul, the Feb 9-10th storm deposited 10.8" at the normally lower National Airport station. Maybe try a different date?

Posted by: MattRogers | February 25, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

OH SNAP!!!! NO HE DIDN'T!!!!!!!

Posted by: aaf314 | February 25, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

That Matt Rogers is a bad man....

In seriousness, I work for a school in Mclean too and while there wasn't any snow on those two days, there was about 30 or so in the parking lots and walkways that needed to be cleared. Though, it is possible that I could have just been imagining that....

Posted by: aaf314 | February 25, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

huh? the 10th was a true blizzard--the beltway was deserted as were most roads. subdivisions not plowed since the preceeding weekend, got another 10inches. . . I have footage of that day at 6 o'clock taken from Route 7 over the beltway to demonstrate how bad conditions were, and how bad they were in NOVA near McLean into the next day.

Posted by: agunn3 | February 25, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Re: retrograding, round 2, etc. It's over. Unless it retrogrades south of our latitude (extremely unlikely) we will get nothing but dry northwest flow with flurries and maybe a snow shower.

Posted by: eric654 | February 25, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Well, CWG prepared me well for this storm. Yesterday, one of my professors mentioned that forecasters were expecting 6+ inches from this storm in the DC area. I didn't say anything, but I was wondering where he got his weather info. CWG has been saying for a while that if any part of the region gets significant accumulation, it's going to be North and East of Baltimore.

Still hoping for that one last snowstorm though. We usually get at least an inch sometime in March.

Posted by: nlcaldwell | February 25, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Here's what I love. Those of us who have been loyal followers for YEARS (even pre-WAPO) have nothing but praise for the CWG. Are they absolutely perfect everytime? Nope. But when I see that confidence is high for little snow, I don't worry about it. When I see confidence is high for a lot of snow, I run to the grocery store, library, and video store. Usually days before panic sets in!

It seems that some of the more negative comments are coming from folks whose names I haven't seen before. Reminds me a LOT of when all the nonsense was happening when a hurricane was threatening NOLA a year after Katrina. Any of you who were here then know what I'm talking about. Luckily, all of those people went away, and hopefully the same will happen this time.

CWG and loyal fans: You are all amazing and wonderful (even ThinkSpring, snow hater that he is!)and I imagine we'll all stay that way!

Posted by: chrissie413 | February 25, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

paulbongiorno must be talking about some other time. We had way more than a 1-3" dusting on 2/9-2/10. 15 inches was more like it on top of the previous dump from the weekend before.

Posted by: mickb1 | February 25, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I believe paulbiorgno is referencing the smaller storm prior to our first Feb. storm. Or, maybe he's referencing the wrong month.

That aside, he really should have gotten his facts straight prior to posting accusations and alluding to CWG being less than reputable. I don't think he appreciated the dynamics of attacking CWG... some of us are a bit protective, myself included. CWG is a great resource.

Oh well. He started his own problems. It's too bad, since he may have been able to add value with insight and resources. Lesson of the day: Don't start a fire if you can't stand the heat. Welcome to DC.

Posted by: dprats21 | February 25, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Paulborgonio simply doesn't know what he's talking about, and CWG is too polite to say it that bluntly.

Posted by: markinva2 | February 25, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I am so glad to see the number of posters who won't let this site get hijacked. We may disagree about snow, but we sure love our CWG.

Posted by: LCFC | February 25, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

People stop giving the gang a hard time i just discovered this website a few weeks ago and since then they have been spot on.

any one second that?

Posted by: snowlover31 | February 25, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I am officially despondent over this bust of a storm - but I'm NOT blaming CWG fr it... they did their usual great job of being upfront about our chances for snow diminishing.

Now...on to the next storm - what's it looking like for those of us who are waiting for winter to actually be OVER before looking for flowers and butterflies?

Posted by: DaveB2 | February 25, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

High Wind Warning has now been issued

Posted by: LLLrrr555 | February 25, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: snowlover31 | February 25, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

@dprats21-- Well said. I think paulbiorgno is a legend in his own mind. :D If he's such a professional he would have gotten his facts straight.

Thanks to the CWG I was able to stay one step ahead of the game during the Jan 30th storm, and all the Feb storms to date. I was able to make reasoned, timely decisions for the family based on their forecasts. This has been critical with hubby on crutches with a broken ankle, and 2 kids.

I love snow, but I have to admit I can't wait for Spring this year!!

Posted by: southbridgemom | February 25, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse


I have refrained from making any comments directed at the "bring it on", pro-snow crowd here previously. But as someone who lives in a rural area, and who has been dealing with an 89 year-old mother with cancer who had breast removal surgery yesterday (thank God for no snow), which had been postponed once previously because of snow, maybe you guys ought to think of someone other than yourselves and the impact that this weather has had on people who are trying to deal with real problems in this winter weather.

Posted by: NorthFork1 | February 26, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

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