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Posted at 3:30 PM ET, 02/20/2010

Forecast: Sunny skies and melting snow

By Jason Samenow

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

Today's Daily Digit
A somewhat subjective rating of the day's weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.
7Sunshine and temperatures near normal--feeling practically springlike.
Get tomorrow's 'Digit' on Twitter tonight


Today: Partly to mostly sunny. 42-47. | Tonight: Clear and cold. 20s to near 30. | Tomorrow: Partly to mostly sunny. 42-47. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


Temperatures have finally recovered to close to average (yesterday they were actually a hair above average, due to a relatively mild overnight) and the snowpack is being eaten away. As of yesterday morning, National Airport's snow depth was 7", down from a high of 21" on Feb. 11. Due to sunshine and highs well into the 40s this weekend, there may "officially" be no snow left by Monday (though shady, north-facing areas will still have plenty), especially factoring in the possibility of rain on Monday. The chance of any accumulating snow Monday is pretty much gone, although a chance of snow returns mid-to-late next week.

Today (Saturday): We should have a fair amount of sunshine today with clouds mixing in at times. It will feel about as warm as it has all month with highs probably reaching into the mid-40s -- closing in on average for this time of year (48). There will be a noticeable breeze (at 10-15 mph), but it won't be as gusty as the past couple of days. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Clear skies, diminishing winds, and lingering snow cover will allow for a solid re-freeze throughout the region. Lows will range from the low-to-mid 20s in the colder suburbs to the upper 20s to near 30 downtown. Confidence: High

Keep reading for the forecast through early next week...

Tomorrow (Sunday): More grass may emerge on south-facing lawns as we'll have another day with considerable sunshine and temperatures climbing well into the mid-40s. Winds will be slightly less than today, from the northwest at 5-10 mph. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: Cloud cover will gradually increase overnight as a bit of the moisture ahead of the storm system developing to the west streams in. But precipitation should hold off until during the day Monday. Lows will range from 25 to 30 (suburbs to city). Confidence: Medium


We'll have a 40% chance of mixed precipitation or rain in the morning Monday, and a 60% chance of rain in the afternoon as low pressure passes to the west and northwest. It will be a cold rain with highs in the upper 30s and low 40s. Some rain will likely continue into Monday night as a secondary area of low pressure develops to the south. Lows will range from 32-37. Confidence: Medium

A little light rain could linger into Tuesday morning, before precipitation cuts off in the afternoon followed by slow clearing. Highs will likely be in the low 40s. Confidence: Low-Medium

There is lots of chatter in the weather world about the possibility of a coastal storm Wednesday night into Thursday. The pattern developing next week is quite complex, so it's not clear if/where this storm will form and what its impact will be. Colder air moving into the region may give us a chance of some more snow, but it's way too soon to even begin to speculate about accumulation potential. Assuming the storm risk still appears real tomorrow, we'll bring out the Snow Lover's Crystal Ball and provide additional commentary.

By Jason Samenow  | February 20, 2010; 3:30 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: PM Update: Cool, calm weekend before next storm
Next: Forecast: Relatively mild and more melting


See grass? You must be joking. Between the base (close to 3 feet) and what was dumped as part of shoveling walk and driveway, we may not see grass until April!

Posted by: Marywexler38 | February 20, 2010 7:20 AM | Report abuse

The south/west facing hill in my backyard is now about 1/2 clear of snow. Probably will be gone by Sunday night. But those big piles left by snowplows don't seem to be going anywhere...

Posted by: steske | February 20, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

the snow was a pleasure to work with yesterday...i'm just saying'....

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 20, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

"As of yesterday morning, National Airport's snow depth was 7", down from a high of 21" on February 11."

Is this another example of National under-reporting snow? My snow depth is still well over 12 inches.

Posted by: Murre | February 20, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

may favorite comment about the last sculpture was when dprats21 said,

"I cannot believe I feel concern for a snow sculpture. Go Seal, GO!!!!"

look what happened!

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 20, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: megamuphen | February 20, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

"Temperatures have finally recovered to close to average (yesterday they were actually a hair above average, due to a relatively mild overnight)"

I'm curious, where were they above average? The highs at DCA and IAD were still below normal.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | February 20, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

we basically get the same high as Boston, 400 miles away, while just 100 miles away - Richmond's going to be in the mid-50s

Posted by: TGT11 | February 20, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse


The low yesterday was just 36 at DCA, 6 degrees above average. The high was 45, 3 degrees below average. In the aggregate we were 2 degrees above.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 20, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Thinkspring, I think they mean the combined average for the day was slightly above average because of the high low temp.

Posted by: steske | February 20, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

so i noticed the wed & thur icons of the NWS "at a glance" forcast have changed to entirely white clouds w/snowballs! exciting!

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 20, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

@Murre, not a DCA issue, Dulles reported just 8 inches of snow depth this morning, and my front yard is less than that

Posted by: TGT11 | February 20, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Walter, is the grasshopper still intact? The seal is extra cool. Digging out a trailer in the driveway today...uggggg. It was one place where I piled snow and now...the punishment for those bad acts.

Posted by: tbva | February 20, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

well, the grasshopper is inside the original shark.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 20, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

oh, btw, on an earlier thread we were guessing which area snow pile would last the longest. i know which pile it is - and have posted a link to it on this thread....

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 20, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

walter: I LOVE THE SHARK EATS SHARK! How awesome is that!

Posted by: manassasmissy | February 20, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Looking at the precip forecast map, I'm betting that we won't have a dry day again for at least a week. A lot of systems out there. Ycch. Freezing rain due to start in Eastern Panhandle Sunday p.m.

Posted by: tinkerbelle | February 20, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Signs of approaching spring: winter acconites (sp?) blooming; witch hazel about to bloom; gardening catalogs stuffing the mailbox...A week from Monday is the beginning of meteorological spring!

Posted by: steske | February 20, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Interesting discussion from HPC about the possible storm next week. Looking good:

Posted by: 300_sq_ft | February 20, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

There is moisture right now in the SW which should drop into Texas and then head towards the Mid Atlantic by Wed-Thurs. At the same time all of this 850MB cold air appears to be moving to our area as well. You can see the moisture in the SW on Doppler. Ironically, the secondary low which is supposed to bring us rain Monday appears not to have developed yet ( but not saying it won't). However I am beginning to have more confidents in a snow event at the end of next week than a lot of rain on Monday. Just an observation not a forecast.

Posted by: ntrlsol | February 20, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I take it back about not seeing the secondary low. If you look, it appears to be developing in northern Arkansas.

Posted by: ntrlsol | February 20, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

@Walter: Incredible!! That's an inspired addition. Thanks for the mention, but I am sure there were many others who felt the same way. You sculpted the seal in a way that really looked like it was in its last desperate moments. It's a credit to your sculpting ability. Well done!!

BTW: I laughed pretty hard when I saw this. It's somehow satisfying to see justice meted out through snow sculpture.

Posted by: dprats21 | February 20, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

@ 300_sq_ft

It looks like that is yesterday's HPC discussion. The NAM and GFS models seem to have lost or significantly weakened the Wed-Thurs storm in subsequent runs. I'm not saying that the storm won't happen, but my thinking is that it is low confidence, at best, at this point.

Posted by: bdeco | February 20, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Well I could already see some grass yesterday in DC. Hoping between the warm temps this weekend and the rain on Monday it will be nearly gone soon!

Posted by: cf07 | February 20, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Sunny skies????
It's been fairly solid overcast for hours in Centreville VA. Will this burn off later in the afternoon?

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 20, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the 06Z GFS run has taken the mid week storm down a couple of notches but in all in all, it really is too early to make a forcast.

Posted by: ntrlsol | February 20, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

SNOW! SNOW! BRING ME SNOW!!! sayeth this Ice Queen >:)

Posted by: sigmagrrl | February 20, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Once again, we're starting to get this horrid thirtyish/rain crud right when I LEAST appreciate it--during the Monday/Tuesday Gottaswing dance cycle!--made worse by the fact that I have been UNABLE to get to these dances ever since the first snowstorm--the folks at Metrobus have been instituting unwarranted "service cuts" on Ballston-bound 25A and 25B buses after 8 PM or something. Having to run out in a raw, soaking rain Monday night, after a trip to the Library Monday afternoon to avoid an overdue fine DOESN'T make me any happier...wish they'd schedule these raw pneumonia-makers for times I don't have to be making Library runs or dance runs in the darned crud!!!

Posted by: Bombo47jea | February 20, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Saw this article on the Baltimore Sun site this afternoon:,0,7355282.story Explains some problems with BWI's snow measurement methods.

Posted by: ml2152 | February 20, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Yes the ever evolving GFS long range forecast model. It you are not happy with it's current forecast, just wait another 6 hours. As a matter of fact, 72 hours ago (or so) it predicted snow Monday.

Posted by: ntrlsol | February 20, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

@CapWx -

Thanks for the clarification on average temps for yesterday.

Midweek threat appears to be waning somewhat.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | February 20, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Out here in Reston, VA we stayed below freezing last night at around 30 Deg. F. As for anyone having exposed grass already, that is certainly not the case here, nor will it be by Monday.

Posted by: TheAnalyst | February 20, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I saw a nice swath of green grass driving by the condo complex in Worldgate Herndon. It was surrounded by ground snow and snow mountains of course.

Posted by: kygurl94 | February 20, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Any mild interest I may have had in "Gotta Swing" is gone.

Posted by: chunche | February 20, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

My kids love going to school as they go right by your house. Of course my kid's parents have to drive by frequently also. Just because. The grasshopper was cool and we all liked Santa on the couch. Thanks.

Posted by: amaranthpa | February 20, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

thanks for all the kind words about the sculptures. so glad to hear of people enjoying them. THINK SNOW!

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 20, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Yes the sculptures are very very cool! I have been meaning to comment but to wrap up in more snow!

Posted by: ntrlsol | February 20, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

kygurl94 - glad you have some grass; but, Snow Mountains indeed... still surrounding most intersections here in downtown DC. At least there is now sidewalk to walk on!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 20, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing what 100 miles or so can do. Just south of Richmond, and it's 57 degrees, with snow only in the shady spots. Go VCU Rams!

Posted by: ValleyCaps | February 20, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Walter- hilarious!!!!!!! Your work is always so great.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | February 20, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Walter, I love the new shark!!

Also, my snow depth report from this morning was a complete guestimate. I should go measure it tomorrow.

Posted by: Murre | February 20, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Thunderstorms seem to be picking up this evening around Las Vegas & Phoenix.

This may be next Thursday's storm here.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | February 20, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

From our experience delivering Girl Scout cookies today, there are still many sidewalks not cleared, and even when they are, almost no one has been able to tackle the mounds at the corners, so we were walking in the street a lot of the time. Last night when we got home at 8:00 we discovered that a snowplow had been down our street and deposited a 15 inch (or so) layer of snow in our driveway. Thanks!

Posted by: janedoe5 | February 20, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Cold rain b damn, if the stinking wind isn't blowing a NW gale on Mon., I'm fishing the 301 Bridge on Mon. Winter is almost done.

Posted by: VaTechBob | February 20, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Temperatures have actually RISEN in the past two hours!

Posted by: HenryFPotter | February 20, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

You're right... temperatures are up to 43

Posted by: celestun100 | February 20, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Temperatures here were around 34 Deg. F. the last time I checked. I currently have a bum arm wrapped in a heating pad, so I'm too lazy to get up to check it out again at the moment lol. Weatherbug is saying 38 Deg. F. for Reston, VA but the monitoring spot in question is typically always warmer than my location (I wouldn't doubt that they have the temperature gauge placed somewhere on a roof-top near an exhaust vent).

As I am typing this however, I just looked outside at the good ole' trusty analog thermometer (We've had it since we lived in this house 24 years ago), and it is showing me a reading of right around 30 Deg. F.!!! Yay, re-freezing!

Btw, for a comparison of the melting today: Last night I shoveled some snow from the piles onto a stretch of exposed grass we had. We previously dug-out a walkway through a pile of snow as a cut-through so people wouldn't have to scrape by our cars (Also, so the delivery guys could finally bring our new washing machine through). The area was dug down to a very thin layer of snow, and that melted away completely by yesterday. I recovered it with a thin layer last night (Friday, 19FEB09), and packed it down with the shovel. As of tonight, barely any of it has melted or sublimated whatsoever (And as of what's left, it hasn't lost any noticeable thickness).

Posted by: TheAnalyst | February 21, 2010 12:39 AM | Report abuse

@Walter, I wish you lived in my neighborhood. I would be outside every minute in the snow making sculptures too. We could even make a massive storyline of characters straight down the whole block lol.

When we had the 1993 blizzard, all of the neighborhood kids, myself included, built a giant bobsled track on the top of a big hill behind my house. I wish I had photographs to share online, but I have no idea who on the street has the pictures of it from back then. It was sooooo cool though, and we rode that thing for at least a week straight with innertubes. Sometimes we'd even get enough speed from the starting position, so that we'd go flying over the wall on the last turn, and then go shooting down the rest of the hill lol. Oh, the good ol' days.

Posted by: TheAnalyst | February 21, 2010 12:47 AM | Report abuse

Still 38 degrees in downtown DC. amazing. WARM! ;0) ha.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 21, 2010 2:57 AM | Report abuse

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