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Posted at 11:45 AM ET, 02/13/2010

Monday snow: Light to moderate, unlikely big

By Jason Samenow

Areas S & E of town could mix with rain

* A calm weekend: Full Forecast | Politician sounds off on snow *
* Regional snow stats | Snowbound in suburbs | Best of storm comments *
* News, traffic & storm coverage: Local home page | Get There *

Next Chance of Accumulating Snow: Monday-Tuesday
Probability of Accumulating Snow (1" or more): 70%

As the snow threat for President's Day draws nearer, confidence is growing that it's unlikely to be a crippling storm. Nonetheless, the upper level disturbance that will swing through the region will be energetic, so some locally moderate to heavy snow could fall, for at least a time.

Having said that, some of the latest computer models track the disturbance directly over the region or even slightly to the west. This would have the effect of bringing in winds at the surface from the south, which could cause the snow to mix or even change to sleet and rain especially from the District and to the south and east. Other models track the clipper far enough south that precipitation would be all snow for everyone.

In terms of timing, the snow should begin between mid-morning and early afternoon on Monday and end overnight.

Here's my latest thinking on accumulation potential:

Less than 1": 30%
1-3": 40%
3-6": 20%
6"+: 10%

My best bet: 1-3" (2-4" N & W of beltway), with some mixing south and east of Prince George's county

The Snow Lover's Crystal Ball appears when the potential exists for accumulating snow beyond 24 to 36 hours.

By Jason Samenow  | February 13, 2010; 11:45 AM ET
Categories:  Snow Lover's Crystal Ball  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Forecast: Calm-ish weekend, snow risk Monday
Next: Snowmageddon: Must-see photos and videos


Thank goodness. Gotta get to Vancouver on Tuesday!

Posted by: Langway4Eva | February 13, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

wow, Langway4Eva - sounds like you'll be seeing some Olympics? nice.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 13, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

As long as the accumulation stays on the low end, I guess I don't mind so much.

This winter has certainly tested the snow-worthiness of my new Subaru!

Posted by: natsncats | February 13, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like it will be naught but a sloppy dusting here in isn't even worth breaking out the shovels.
Anyway, that's what I tell myself.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 13, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

What's the accumulation potential for central Virginia, around Charlottesville? Same or less than DC, I hope!

(I know we're not technically in the DC area, but I do appreciate the interactiveness of CWG--better than anything we have down here--and I look forward to your response.)

Posted by: shmoozer | February 13, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

great job on everything as usual.

so, when you say, "which could cause the snow to mix or even change to sleet and rain especially from the District and to the south and east", what does that mean for, say, falls church - which is south but not east...

will that dreaded changeover happen for people who are BOTH south AND east (i.e. the lower right quadrant on a cartesian plane), or for people who are EITHER south OR east (i.e. everybody except those in the upper left quadrant)? it the typical situation where there's a SW to NE line through washington...?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 13, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I like that 10%.

Posted by: ennepe68 | February 13, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I like that 10%.

Posted by: ennepe68 | February 13, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Right.... the whole 'four quadrants' deal is always a mess. We often used to get told 'worse for the NW suburbs', which usually applied to Fairfax and Loudoun. But the last few storms have had comments (not necessarily on/only on CWG) specially for SE, etc, and those to the West didn't get an answer. Did that mean it wasn't worse? It was the same? Not as bad?

It's hard to tell what a forecast means for the suburbs, especially when one of the 'four regions' is spelled out. Or eight... How are SE/NE/NW/SW compared to N/E/S/W? :)

Maybe one of the CWG can elaborate on what the rest of the 4 or 8 should assume when one of the quadrants/octets is discussed...

Posted by: leesweet | February 13, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I like that 30%. :)

Posted by: ThinkSpring | February 13, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Go 10%!!

Posted by: manassasmissy | February 13, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Any ideas on travel disruptions for flights back to DC at the end of the long weekend?

Posted by: ah___ | February 13, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

the person who likes 10% either does not have to shovel,walk dogs or go to work.
I see we have a 70% chance of 1-3 inches.

Posted by: umpandref | February 13, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

CWG, I've posted a few pics of heavy frost this morning...I'm not sure if it's hoar frost or rime? Any experts on this topic? There was heavy fog overnight and temps 0F to 5F above.

Posted by: dvorak9 | February 13, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

that close up is co cool.

must be a function of the same property that causes snowflakes to be hexagonal, but on a huge scale...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 13, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

@ dvorak9 - Where are you located to take those great pix?

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | February 13, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

from the crystal ball:
"...snow to mix or even change to sleet and rain..."

ugh.... possibly my least favorite phrase in the english language.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 13, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse


I think Cville is in the same boat as DC for this one as of now.


Probably snow for Falls Church, but 1 in 3 chance of some mix

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 13, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

CWG please don't forget to post a school cast for Monday as several school districts are planning on being OPEN Presidents Day

Posted by: artteach | February 13, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

waterfrontproperty; about halfway between the Twin Cities and Rochester, MN.

Posted by: dvorak9 | February 13, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I too dislike the words, "rain and sleet" what a mess that would be. But I think I will stick with the 2-4 inches of snow. Should be easy compared to what we've been dealing with.

Posted by: celestun100 | February 13, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Alright ... for those of you cheering on yet another big snow ... enough. I had my weekend plans last weekend driven completely haywire by the storms then, and came home to have to shovel out what felt like a ton of snow.

You've gotten your record snow season. You've gotten three major snowstorms this season. It's time to move on and start thinking about nicer weather in spring.

Posted by: joshnva | February 13, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I will take more snow over mix. What about up towards Columbia and Baltimore Monday? Are they still 2-4" or is it higher?

Posted by: johnslau | February 13, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Some model projections gleaned from recent Eastern U. S. Wx postings:

Fri., Feb. 19...Not sure...but I have a big Elks Lodge dance that evening. Hopefully no snow.

Fri., Feb. 26...Possible intense thundersnow event roughly similar to that of Mar., 1984 which happened during evening rush hour.

Mar. 7...Meteorological winter is over, but one traditional almanac weather expert in central PA seems to think that the biggest event of the winter could impact the East Coast aoa this date. [Note: this would make it a "Bonus Snow" for this area, and I may tend to agree with ThinkSpring that "bonus snows" after Met Winter is over wouldn't be too welcome around here this year. Neither, for that matter, would raw, rainy "coastals"!]

Still about two weeks of Met Winter left...

Posted by: Bombo47jea | February 13, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Forgive my ignorance, but when you say areas "south" of the District is that south as in Falls Church and Annandale (inside the beltway) or Fredricksburg?


Posted by: readerl | February 13, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Glad I'm off work Monday. Hopefully by Monday they'll have some of the side streets here in McLean cleared off.

Posted by: wiredog | February 13, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

You know, this might be DC's snowiest winter, but February 1899 still is the king, even if we get 4 more inches. Look at it: one 20.5-inch blizzard plus nearly 15 inches of other snows that left 34 inches on the ground, and several days well below zero F. This February might end up with more consecutive below-average-temeprature days, but 2/99 is going to be very hard ever to beat.

Posted by: doubtingdavid | February 13, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm rooting for the 10% (GO 10%!!) and doesn't care who knows it.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | February 13, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

@ readerl - "areas south" could mean Oxon Hill, Waldorf, St. Mary's, Fredericksburg, Richmond or Myrtle Beach, depending on whick met you're listening to. It can be very vague and annoying, especially if you live south of the city.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | February 13, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

The weather channel currently has a 60% chance of snow next saturday (Arlington, VA). Do you see the same thing? How can they be so confident this far out?

Posted by: bryankellogg1 | February 13, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Re: what south and east means...

Assume, unless we indicate otherwise, south and east of the beltway.


Though I think 60% is high, there are strong signals for storminess next weekend.


I'd put that area in the 2-4"+ category at this point. But things can change (up or down).

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 13, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Frustration: it's now been eight days since the D-2 bus ran on the north end of the route in Glover Park. I have no idea if other parts of the route are in service.

When I go to the Metrobus alerts page, there is no mention of route changes or suspension of service. All busses running normally, the page says.

I don't think so and this is yet another example of why Metro's patrons are so disillusioned. I know the streets here are difficult to maneuver when we have snow, but the least Metro could do is advise its patrons. I sent Metro feedback re: this.

Of course there was also no D-1 service this past week, at least not that I'm aware of.

Maybe by March, there will be some semblance of bus service in our forgotten neighborhood. I realize this isn't as urgent as dealing with ice dams, leaking roofs, etc. but it is symptomatic of the crummy mass transit service in D.C.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 13, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I was just at the grocery store and I have to tell you - nobody was buying 24 rolls of toilet paper, bread, milk and eggs. Could it be that we are tired of freaking out whenever there is SNOW in the forecast? Probably not. 'Cuz there's still tomorrow and Monday to hit the panic button.

Posted by: PGirl | February 13, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse


I was also just at the grocery store and it was very slow for a Saturday. Slower than a Saturday in the summer. Perhaps panicking people bought so much stuff last weekend they didn't need much this weekend. Milk was fully stocked, so the trucks have finally made it thru.

Posted by: rwalker66 | February 13, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

No one freaks out until the day of or the day before... :) Or, yes, it could finally be possible that we are burned out on freaking out. Hard to believe!

Posted by: leesweet | February 13, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Comparing the 17 inches Reagan National got last Saturday, to other parts of the area that got more, Paul Farhi of the Washington Post observed, “The entire region is buried (with more coming), and the airport reports the relative equivalent of a dusting?”

Wonder how will he describe this one?

Posted by: jaybird926 | February 13, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

You know, I kind of want to get back to school and work as normal... but I can't help but cheer for that 10%! Monday is my birthday, and my presents have been delayed in the mail due to weather... at least Mother Nature can give me an on-time gift!

Posted by: megamuphen | February 13, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

My typical Question is, When you say North and West of Washington; How far North and west are you talking about.

I live in PW County. That's WEST of the City, but it isn't as West as Winchester or Front Royal or Deep Creek for that Matter.

Posted by: CALSGR8 | February 13, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Gee, I grew up in Indiana, which is WEST (and slightly north and extending slightly south of due West) of the Baltimore/DC region.

I wonder how much snow the CWG gang is predicting Indiana will get with this next system? I don't care that Indiana has a completely different weather pattern -

I WANT TO KNOW, G.. D... IT! WITH ACCURACY! I have family in Indiana that MUST BE WARNED!!

Come on people! Use some common sense for a change.

Look at a map. Due North is the TOP of the map. Due South is the bottom of the map. East is to the right, West is to the left.

Looking at a map, I see, for example, that Falls Church is DUE WEST of Washington DC.

Now can the STUPID questions stop, and people use thier brains for something other than thinking up STUPID questions?

Posted by: critter69 | February 13, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Wintry mix S & E, 2-4 inches N & W. Now that's the type of DC snowstorm we're all used to.

Posted by: fleeciewool | February 13, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

I agree with joshnva, the dopes who want another foot of snow must not have had to shovel out their cars/driveways from under 2 feet of snow. I want a couple of weeks of 50 degree days with some rain mixed in to get rid of this snow.

Posted by: misterbeauregard | February 13, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Bring on the 10%, and also the "strong signals for storminess next weekend" as CWG puts it.

The pooch loves it. I love it.

Plus, snowstorms are one of the few times when the people of this city are actually bearable (and friendly)

Posted by: 300_sq_ft | February 13, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

RE: Snowstorms = friendliness
This friendliness sometimes doesn't last too long.
We see a lot of anger & arguments over parking spaces in our formerly cooperative neighborhood.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 13, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

@critter... Have to say I appreciate the post on directions! :-)

The 4 directions only apply in some areas though, you know. :-)

Growing up in Pittsburgh- we had 2 directions- UP and DOWN (due to the hills). My grandmother who lives in NW Indiana couldn't understand when we told her that we could NOT give her directions by saying, "Go 2 blocks north.. turn left. Go 3 blocks west, etc." Once she visited- she got it.

Still- truly appreciate the post. :-)

Posted by: aquarnnr | February 13, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Just saw Walt on 9 News Now at 6pm with his snow shark!

Posted by: rwalker66 | February 13, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

@ misterbeauregard: You might want to wish for sunny, 40-degree days, unless you enjoy swimming to work ;)

Posted by: Sterlingva | February 13, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse


I know about giving out travel directions in Baltimore, so I sympathize with you on the situation in Pittsburgh.

In Baltimore, many of the streets are one-way, but not all streets are straight - they may curve to the right, or curve to the left; merge with another street, then diverge (with the traffic then in the opposite direction). And one wrong turn can get you into a world of L-O-S-T!

Giving travel directions into Baltimore for someone who has not visited makes for inventive methods of telling people how to get to a specific location. Much different than the MidWest, where the roads run mainly North-South and East-West.

Posted by: critter69 | February 13, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Why do we always accuse people of "panicking" and "hording" if they go to the grocery store before a storm? I've got teenagers. They eat. A lot. I've got a minivan. I don't have snow tires. I don't live close enough to walk to the store in the snow. I'd rather not drive in the snow and you'd rather I avoid driving, believe me. So, if I can feed my kids something other than Ramen all week I'm going to stand in a line in the grocery store. It's called "planning" and "practicality." Not panicking. I try to go when I think the lines might be manageable. I don't mind standing in line with a lot of other practical planners who don't want to drive their bald-tired cars in the snow or eat Ramen all week. And if the storm doesn't materialize as promised I've made a few more friends and don't have to go to the store for a few days.

Posted by: angua1 | February 13, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

I feel the same way, with kids you have to have food in the house. They are home all day, which means 3 meals and snacks each day. Mine were extra hungry on some days from playing outside in the snow.

I can walk to the store if I have to, but don't like driving with heavy snow on the ground. I have learned it is easier to do before the storm.

Posted by: celestun100 | February 13, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

First "bust" of the season coming Monday night. Inside the beltway will see >1 inch.

Posted by: bdeco | February 13, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: bdeco | February 13, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Pretty amazing that the Post feels so smug that they don't update for 11 hours, even though we went through the worst week in DC recorded history and the effects are still awful. They had better be right. Do not rely on the Post.

Posted by: faygokid | February 13, 2010 10:18 PM | Report abuse

I went out today and noticed that people are in a foul mood. Too much shoveling and frustration. Too much time away from routines. I have several friends who have a lot of very expensive property damage. If they cancel school and work on Tuesday, I think that some people are going to become unglued.
Bring on spring.

Posted by: 1Reader | February 13, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

I went out yesterday AND today and noticed that MOST people are in a VERY GOOD mood.

Maybe 1Reader is in a foul mood, and only noticed those others who were also in a foul mood, not paying any attention to those many, many more who are not in a foul mood?

Maybe 1Reader is ALWAYS in a foul mood, and wouldn't be able to recognize any other mood?

Posted by: critter69 | February 13, 2010 10:58 PM | Report abuse


No, no, 1Reader is right. I myself am in a foul mood because of this nightmare winter. I can attest to the property damage as well.

Traffic is still a mess on some streets and I'm tired of it.

1Reader, I'm with you. Bring on spring.

Posted by: Havoc737 | February 13, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

@angua1: Do you have a harris teeter near you?
Most of them are open 24/7 so you can go at odd hours of the night/morning and there's usually no lines or people in the store at all.
Defiantly my favorite grocery store after these last two big storms.

Posted by: Havoc737 | February 13, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Pretty rich from someone who was just telling people how stupid they were, a few posts up. Doesn't seem like a happy person to me.
Anyhow, I am in a fine mood. But when I was out there were a few road rage incidents I witnessed. Some people are surprised when their lane disappears, and other drivers are just going too fast for the conditions. Also, there was much anger in the supermarket due to the entire frozen food shipment being stripped (cashier says that they missed their shipment). It is not unusual too see this sort of behavior when people get stressed and their routines are disrupted....ask any schoolteacher.

Posted by: 1Reader | February 13, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse


STUPID posts are what get my ire up. And your posts is what I call S-T-U-P-I-D.

Ever been in the midst of a tornado, where the entire house or town is blown apart and totally destroyed in seconds? The only warning you get is a few minutes before the tornado hits? Want to live at the same geographic location? Not for many, many months - not until all the rubble is cleared away, utilities are reestablished, and a new house is built. Ask the people in Greensburg, Kansas what living through and after a tornado hits the town.

Ever lived in a flood zone, where a bridge taken out by the flood can cause a five minute trip take HOURS? And not for just a few days, but for weeks and months?

This region had DAYS of warning that snow was on the way. I'd bet that most of the property damage was because someone didn't clear snow from the roof; or didn't make sure the trees didn't have damage that would cause them to fall, and damage the house or other property if they fell; or some other stupidity.

You're tired of all the snow. BIG EFFING DEAL. Some people are born into environments that have snow on the ground more than 200 days per year, AND THEY DON'T Biotch and MOAN like some of you do in these messages.

Grow up and get over it. And you too, Havoc737.

Maybe a bunch of you should be placed under a suicide watch if you can't handle a few days of inconvenience becaue 'the kids have been home for too long' or 'the road/street is not plowed yet' or other such S-T-U-P-I-D comment. Then again, maybe not. Go ahead and suicide on us. It will increase the regions's IQ a bit if you do off yourselves.

Posted by: critter69 | February 13, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Oooh touchy touchy, pretty rich for someone who noticed everyone in a "fine mood."

Posted by: Havoc737 | February 14, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

My critter69, aren't you an unpleasant person! Last time I looked, people were allowed to disagree with you, and having a different opinion doesn't make them stupid. If your ego is too fragile to handle that, then perhaps an online forum is not the best place for you.

Posted by: mhardy1 | February 14, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

And now, back to the weather....

Posted by: bodyiq | February 14, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

@bodyiq -- yes please! All the sniping around here lately is really getting old.

Posted by: natsncats | February 14, 2010 12:50 AM | Report abuse

@Havoc737 - in fact, a Harris Teeter did just open near me. I've been thinking about going in and checking the price of a gallon of milk - my barometer for gauging whether I'll use the store regularly or just as a backup to Costco and Wegmans. :)

Posted by: angua1 | February 14, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

ONLY 1-3 inches? Winter just isn't like it used to be. I remember when we used to routinely get TWO BLIZZARDS in ONE WEEK! Not so anymore. I am moving to Maine, I just miss snow too much.


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

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