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Posted at 3:15 PM ET, 02/26/2010

PM Update: Gusty winds starting to subside a bit

By Ian Livingston

Some sun returns this weekend; still breezy

* Power outage maps: Dominion | Pepco | BGE | SMECO *
* New: CWG Snowmageddon T-shirts | Your relationship with snow? *
* Bob Ryan's last day at 4 | Share snow damage pics | Local home page *

The storm that caused significant snows to our northeast is slowly weakening, but could continue to send some snow showers, mainly non-accumulating, into the area through evening. Highs in the upper 30s many places helped keep any accumulation minimal. Local reports of a trace to about .5" are typical where snow stuck, with numerous spots seeing no accumulation. Winds that have gusted past 50 mph since late yesterday will noticeably weaken as the sun sets, though breezy conditions continue over the weekend.

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.

Through Tonight: Coverage of snow showers will diminish this evening, but a few snowflakes will be possible through the early hours of Saturday. Otherwise, it's mostly cloudy and breezy with temperatures falling to the upper 20s to around 30 for lows. Winds that continue to gust past 30-35 mph early wane as the night progresses.

Tomorrow (Saturday): Any remaining snow showers should clear by sunrise as clouds break enough to bring us partly sunny skies to start the weekend. Highs should rise to the lower 40s, perhaps a bit higher. West winds will be much lighter than today, but gusts in the afternoon should still top 25 mph from time to time.

See Camden Walker's full forecast into early next week . And if you haven't already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Warming averages: In a sure sign that winter is running short on time, the average high at National climbed back to 50 degrees today! Of course, actual temperatures remain quite chilly. The last time we saw averages this "warm"? December 6. The next four Fridays feature average highs of 52, 54, 57 and 59, respectively. Spring is just around the corner.

By Ian Livingston  | February 26, 2010; 3:15 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Winds batter region, increasing snows north & east
Next: Southern storm may be snow producer Tues-Wed


not first

Posted by: marathoner | February 26, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Using my plans to see a hockey game as a guide, plan for snow Thursday. Already got snowed out twice when trying to get to Hershey this winter, so I expect some impact on my plans to see the Caps and Lightning...

Posted by: ValleyCaps | February 26, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Well at least we have another possible storm next Tue-Wed we can obsess about (LOL). 20 inches in NYC Central Park is very impressive!

Posted by: ntrlsol | February 26, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

just checked Raleigh's NWS site, and it looks like the NC piedmont could actually get hit with the next storm (mid-week next week) if it strengthens enough along the Outer Banks. GFS indicates up to a foot. But in any case, will we be on the fringes (northern edge this time) again with this storm?? Time will tell...

Posted by: BH99 | February 26, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

"Spring is just around the corner. "

Surely, thanks to that comment, a huge snow storm is just around the corner. Ian has damned us all!

Posted by: sallyquint | February 26, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

From previous thread

kolya02 had a great idea related to the whole argument of what type of weather is good/bad. A weather ad-lib exposing that too much of any type of weather is bad.

Here's my feeble attempt:

We had too much _____ (Type of weather) this ________ (Time frame) and are now dealing with _______ (Negative consequence).

I'm sure someone will find a type that doesn't fit, but this seems to work.

Posted by: dprats21 | February 26, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

two more will be pretty impressive even if the NC piedmont gets "only" 6 inches, let alone 12, seeing how average highs down there are now approaching 60 degrees (59 in Raleigh by week's end). Also, anyone from Westminster on here? Would be curious to know how much snow they got today.

Posted by: BH99 | February 26, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

@ Walter-in-falls-church: Just got a look at your latest and greatest creation...

WOW! A bobsled would have been a lot easier, lol. Simply awed by your snow sculpturing talents. You truly are at one with the snow!

Posted by: dprats21 | February 26, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if this has been posted, but I just heard (unofficially) that NY has decided to name this storm "Clusterflake".

Posted by: pjdunn1 | February 26, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse


How very Olympic of you! Looks great (as usual).

Posted by: amaranthpa | February 26, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

thanks guys.

i thought of a bobsled - in fact that was my first thought - but it seemed a little plain... i like skiing better anyway.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 26, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse


Looking at the latest 12z GFS maps re. the storm next week, I see the surface temps are above freezing for a good portion of the duration of the event. I also see that all the other pertinent lines, 850, 540 etc., stay just to the south and east of DC. It seems that everything points to snow or a mix unless the surface layer is deep enough to melt any frozen precipitation. My question is, how do you tell the depth of the surface layer of above freezing air?

Posted by: pjdunn1 | February 26, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

NWS is now saying there is a 40% chance snow Tuesday night (40% chance) and mixed precip on Wed. But I'm not emptying any more ice cube trays into the loo 'til the SLCB reappears.

The possibility of a mid-week storm next week has been bruited about for what, two weeks now. Could get interesting??

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 26, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

JerryFloyd1, the storm has been on the maps for a very long time. It's pretty cool in that regard.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 26, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

does its being "on the maps for a very long time" have any bearing on its likelihood to "deliver"?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 26, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

LOL, I actually wrote snow sculpturing instead of sculpting. We need an 'edit' button...

Walter, I am very glad you didn't settle for the bobsled, but went for the metaphorical 'gold'.

Posted by: dprats21 | February 26, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

@Ian, I'm hoping the SLCB reappears by Monday or so, with nice percentages. Bob Ryan seems pretty confident that if we do get anything, it will be all-snow.

BTW, has anyone heard any buzz about who will replace Ryan at WRC. ; ((

For those asking about WV snow, Ryan is reporting that his friend Dave Leishman (sp?) in Davis, WV -- very near Canaan Valley -- has measured 110" of snow this month and 236" for the season. Snow you can believe it! (And enough snow to sculpt a great white whale.)

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 26, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Walter, I think it's likely a storm forms near the northern Gulf and moves to the East Coast. The question as usual is where it goes from there. I don't see a lot to keep it well south right now. Personally my bigger concern -- if I want snow -- is that there does not appear to be a *ton* of cold air around. But in reality there was not a super abundant supply for either of the historic storms we had and there is some wiggle room. Verbatim surface temperatures look to be an issue... dynamics can overcome that without too much trouble though if it works out right.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 26, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse


Speaking solely for the DC metro area (because I realize a storm forming next week in the south is not an issue) but correct me if I am wrong concerning this event next week. I have heard that it is like "threading a needle". There is the low off the NE coast that needs to move out before a system can move up the eastern seaboard. There is the question of timing on the phasing of the upper level low and the surface low along the coast, which may happen too far east, and then there is the question of surface temps that appear to be on the warm side but you have alluded to " dynamics can overcome that without too much trouble though if it works out right." I believe the 3 words "works out right" can also refer to "threading a needle". Everything needs to work out just so for this March event to bring us significant snow. Is this a realistic assessment?
Thank you,

Posted by: pjdunn1 | February 26, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

PJ, every snowstorm needs to work out just right to be a snowstorm. it is early march and as you can recall, the biggest snowfall least year was in march. There is a decent chance of snow as of now if the models dont really shift and maybe we need the perfect solution to give us 1-2 feet, but we could still get a decent amount (4-6 inches) even if the track isnt perfect. And so far in advance, it is really difficult to call any storm but the models have been surprisingly consistent for this one.

Posted by: samdman95 | February 26, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Walter, if we get more material, would you consider a snowboarder with red hair?

Posted by: tbva | February 26, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

i notice the NWS "at a glance" puts the chances of that needle being threaded at 40%. but i also notice they show 2 macaroni noodles and 2 snowballs, whereas you guys seem to think that if it happens it will be all snow.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 26, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

pjdunn1, I think that's a valid assessment, though most storms around here are like that -- we simply don't have the climate that really snowy places do.

I'm not terribly concerned about the northeast low... the remnants of the current storm that gave NYC a historic event. It should move out in time. Many of our "blockbuster" storms have a low pressure somewhere in the vicinity of 50 west and 50 north with even an extension toward New England from time to time. When you combine that type of situation with a Greenland block you end up with a pattern where a storm can run into a "wall" and stall close by. The Greenland block allowed the current storm to stall and retrograde but the 50/50 low was lacking.

It's tricky because that extra low can also suppress something to the south if it all does not line up right. Both of the big storms this winter had a low of some sort in that area. Right now, that type of system to the northeast of New England is not modeled to be a major factor, which makes me think this storm will lift north in future runs. For a while, the block was not showing up well with this event (it appeared transitory). As we get closer it has a nice look though, with highs setting up over western Greenland.

If you look at upper levels (500mb particularly) it's really not terribly different than the setups we had for our big snowstorms. Even though it's still south on modeling I'd be concerned it lifts too far north and brings in precip issues (mix/rain). The seasonal track off the coast says maybe I don't need to worry about that too much. I do think it would have a better chance of being a more typical nor'easter that goes up the coast toward New England rather than just hitting one area.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 26, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

his name IS shaun WHITE - like snow....

i really don't know what i'd make if it snows again.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 26, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

pardon me, i meant,
i really don't know what i WILL make WHEN it snows next week.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 26, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

@dprats21, using your template:

We had too much COOL DRY AIR (Type of weather) this MARCH (Time frame) and are now dealing with PLEASANTNESS(Negative consequence).

Posted by: mhardy1 | February 26, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

pjdunn, earlier you also asked about temperature profiles through the column. A good (and easy) way to look is through text output. (example: 12z GFS for DCA). Some hours in question on the 12z GFS: 114 & 120. You can see that at 114 the lowest layer noted above the surface (975mb -- not sure exactly what height this is, probably ~1,000/1,500 feet? up) is above freezing and at 120 everything is below. That's not terribly deep or strong warmth at the surface and could probably be overcome by heavy precip, but there was some warming coming into 114 as the storm approaches..a north shift on the models could possibly introduce more depending on what happens. Here's the site to pull up for a model/location of your choice.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 26, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

@ mhardy1- only if 'pleasantness' has a negative consequence for you.

@ Walter- I like the way you think!

Posted by: Snowlover2 | February 26, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Flurries/light snow showers in the Northwood area of Silver Spring right now. Very nice to look at under the street light.

Posted by: harrison794 | February 26, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Ian @ CWG,

How often does this "Greenland Block" occur? Is there a chance it could happen next season as well?

Posted by: ntrlsol | February 26, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse


Thank you. Your willingness to paint a simple picture of a complex event is much appreciated.
The one detail I see missing from the picture for the upcoming event is the high pressure (not) located in the vicinity of eastern Ontario which would give us a better chance of some low level cold air. I agree with your assessment that a more northerly track would erode what minimal surface cold air might be present on the onset of this event. A perfect track, i.e., "threading the needle" would be necessary for a decent snow event in the immediate DC region.

Posted by: pjdunn1 | February 26, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Hint to Channel 4: Bring in KIM MARTUCCI to replace Bob Ryan...I'm waiting for the Hill/Ryan team to begin on Channel 7/NC8. This has been quite a season for TV met turnover, hasn't it???

If the Bonus Snow materializes Wednesday, what do we name it? All the good names [Snowpocalypse, Snowmageddon, Snoverkill, Snowicane] seem to be used already. Still open: "SNOWLAPALOOZA".

Or perhaps we can start going to Greek letters like NHC does when they run out of hurricane names!!!

Posted by: Bombo47jea | February 26, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Will miss you Bob!! At least I still have CWG for my weather needs (fix?):)

Posted by: BH99 | February 27, 2010 12:29 AM | Report abuse

@JerryFloyd1, @Ian, I have been noticing the storm on visible SAT since at least a few days ago. It was noticeable leaving Asia, and once it hit the EASTPAC, it really began to take strong form. There are currently two more systems right behind the one in question as well, with the second one taking good form in the CENTPAC north of Hawaii as we speak.

Posted by: TheAnalyst | February 27, 2010 12:57 AM | Report abuse

latest HPC guidance puts area of heavy snow from east Tennessee to southern Maryland for Tuesday to Wednesday. We'd get some snow but not much(perhaps several inches)according to this evening's update...

Posted by: BH99 | February 27, 2010 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Snowinging AA county, with about 1/2" on the ground! Lates guidance is shifting back to the SE for the storm next week :(

Posted by: snowlover | February 27, 2010 4:07 AM | Report abuse

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