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Posted at 3:15 PM ET, 02/17/2010

PM Update: Slow warming starts tomorrow

By Ian Livingston

Sun returns Thursday, sticks around for a while

* A new snow "bench" mark | Grading CWG's forecast performance *
* When will snow piles melt? | Radar & more: Weather Wall | Traffic *

Other than some conversational snow showers and flurries, today has been fairly calm and chilly with highs ranging from the mid-to-upper 30s. Though a few peeks are possible before sunset, starting tomorrow we should see a few days with a fair amount of sun and temperatures rising back into the 40s during the day. Those sick of all the snow piles may have some time to go until they are gone, but every little bit helps!

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: Any remaining snow showers will end this evening and we should stay mostly cloudy overnight. Lows range from the low 20s in the cold spots to the upper 20s downtown.

Tomorrow (Thursday): Clouds break and lead to a partly-to-mostly sunny Thursday. Temperatures should be a little warmer, helping our snowpack continue its slow melt. Look for highs near 40 and into the lower 40s.

See Dan Stillman's full forecast through the weekend. And if you haven't already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

2009 review: NOAA's Environmental Visualization Laboratory has put together an animation detailing the warmth of 2009 as well as other nifty Earth statistics. Besides the warmth, the video shows global snow and ice cover, the impact of the tropical seasons and which places were wetter and drier than normal.

By Ian Livingston  | February 17, 2010; 3:15 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Reaching a new snow "bench" mark for Washington
Next: Forecast: At last -- peaceful weekend weather



Posted by: Hawaiiexpat | February 17, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Very cool video. The biggest issue I have with the NOAA is many of the points were the lowest or highest since 1966 or 1979. That is not even a blink of an eye in the history of the earth. Good to keep track of things with new technology but let us not forget to have a sense of perspective!

Posted by: VAresident2 | February 17, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

VAresident2 - ah, I see where you are coming from. Geologic history of the Earth in point of reference to billions of years? You're right. But I think it could be argued to narrow down to when humans have been expansively present on Earth--we could say 10,000 years? Then the final narrowing-down I would argue could be since the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s. That is when humans really started having an impact. I think this can be neutrally delimited in reference to NOAA's statistics? Whether you like the 200 year or even the larger 10,000 year baseline, this dataset starts becoming significant.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 17, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

so, is it too early for you model-watchers to comment on monday's precip? i'm hearing rumblings about rain.

can we get snow or just call the whole thing off?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 17, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

The folks who believe in man caused global warming used Katrina as an example of the type of storm that is casued by unusually warm waters of the Gulf and the Atlantic, and that the storm was just a taste of things to come. How many Hurricanes hit America in 2009 let alone since Katrina, and have any of them had the same impact?

I'm sure just like what is happening in the UK, with their "expects" who are having to do a major redo on data, all of this is, no pun intended, hot air from noaa.

Posted by: irish031 | February 17, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

I found this article in Time magazine which was written right after Katrina. I wonder if the guy wants a do over?,8599,1099102,00.html

Posted by: irish031 | February 17, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse


Love your sculpting. Have for many years. Hope we see more snow and more masterpieces.
Concerning the Monday storm system... It looks at the moment to be a mix/rain maybe even freezing rain scenario. There is a lot of conflicting data and at 5 days out there is a lot of time for changes and more agreement in the data. Having said that, we definitely don't need a heavy rain system to come in with warm SE winds to add to the moisture already present in the snow and ground around our houses. A quick melt scenario is worse than a slow melt/more snow picture.
Stay tuned. I'm sure the CWG will be addressing this situation over the next few days.

Posted by: pjdunn1 | February 17, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

@Camden, since we are on the topic of Geological time-scales, and Climate, you might be interested in viewing NOAA's very own data which puts everything into its proper perspective:,file=12282,filename=noaa_gisp2_icecore_anim_hi-def3.gif


Posted by: TheAnalyst | February 17, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

irish301, if 2 cat. 5 hit the US this yr. will u change your tune? Basing your opinion on a short term result dosen't prove anything. Maybe climate change is happening, maybe not. It's a long term theory, not a short term theory. If the next 5 winters in this area r above average does that verify climate change?

Posted by: VaTechBob | February 17, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

looking like wintry mix to rain next storm. Yuk!!!

Posted by: Tom8 | February 17, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

thanks for the analysis - profanity and all...hopefully it will change.

i consider "sleet", "mix" and "rain" (in the winter) profanity.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 17, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

CWG I would agree a 200 year window would make the date more significant, 15% of the industrial revolution (ir). I believe that many think that the ir is ancient history but for many parts of the world the ir is a reality. Many countries have no environmental laws and I will concede that the American consumer is looking for the cheapest product environment be damned.

Not to distant in our past (US) the Ohio River has caught on fire, one could not see the city of Pittsburgh due to coal and steel production, ddt being sprayed on everything. We have become more environmentally aware and I would argue that many successful companies have updated production and technology which resulted in a more "green" product but the bottom line is profit. Many of the world's 2nd and 3rd economies have not gotten to this stage of the ir.

I believe many want and do what they can to protect the environment from recycling, mass transit, clean ups etc but get put off when global warming er climate change is pushed down our throats. Transparency and discourse are healthy things but many have forgotten this in our new post 9/11 world.

Posted by: VAresident2 | February 17, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Hey CWG and followers,
I've now heard 2 rumours of a big snow early next week (20"). One cited The Weather Channel. Any thoughts?

I'm doing my best to dispel until the later models come out over the weekend. Thanks!

Posted by: kygurl94 | February 17, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse


I don't know if five years is a pattern or not. All I know is that after these last two storms, it appeared that people who believe in man caused global warming did not want to jump to the conclusion that the storms showed global warming was over or at least overblown. Yet, people on the same side wanted to use on storm, Katrina, as proof of man caused global warming. They want it both ways it seems. I don't think that is fair.

Every couple of years we seem to have less than usual rain fall and we usually catch up the next year or so. But, who really knows what the normal rain fall is for this area?

IMO, there are still far too many questions to come to any firm conclusion.

Posted by: irish031 | February 17, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

kygurl94 - at this point for any Monday wintry precipitation, disregard any dire predictions. Too early for discussion (with any significant confidence) on matters such as: Precip type, amount of precip, timing of precip, etc. If you truly found an outlet that stated 20"? I find that scientifically irresponsible! sigh :-) CWG will update you when we know more though!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 17, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

One of the things that gets me about the people that don't believe in global warming: How can you say we don't understand chemistry? Open your eyes and look around. Do you see all those materials that aren't found in nature? You don't think we can figure out how carbon dioxide mixes in the atmosphere yet we're able to produce all the chemistry necessary to mass produce all these other things? We're smashing atoms at near light speed and you don't think we can have a handle on the atmosphere? Sure scientists may not be 100% accurate and sure there may be mistakes but those don't mean that it's not happening. I'm amazed anyone was able to get computers to work at all given they don't understand the simple gas, carbon dioxide.

I'm guessing many of these people never took chemistry. Really, gases and the equations that predict the chemistry involved is well understood.

Posted by: typical_guy | February 17, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

The pattern ahead is better than usual but not as good as it was prior to the December storm or during our snowy stretch of recent. Models have been all over the place really, though today the general move seemed to be one which would at the very least mix us and potentially give us mainly rain.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 17, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Monday's system does look like a cold rain at this point, especially for those of us on the east side of DC like me. Its also not looking particularly strong, 0.25-0.50" of water.

Next Friday, though, if you put any credence in 10-day model runs, has a coastal low blowing up, 2"+ of water with 850-temps solidly below zero, and that's a recipe for 20" of snow. A recipe printed in what it is at this point a science-fiction novel, but still...

Posted by: jace2 | February 17, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

I would give the models (especially the GFS) another 24 to 36 hours before anyone gets too excited. Nothing is in agreement yet and timing and track are all going to be huge factors. For what it's worth, snow can be a lot of fun but at the same time incredibly stressful. There have been some real horror stories out there and I really feel for everyone who has been negatively affected by these events. However there is nothing we can do about it except to get prepared. John Wotton, the UCLA basketball coach said that "Failure to Prepare is a Plan for Failure". So if it appears we are in for another mega storm next Tuesday, make a plan how you are going to handle everything. This will help with your stress level. Of courses a good plan would be to head to South Beach Miami but short of that the simple act of planning helps you to regain a small amount of control.

Posted by: ntrlsol | February 17, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

I have also looked at the 240hr GFS. It is science fiction at this point, but the best science fiction is indeed plausible.

Posted by: pmichaels1 | February 17, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Check out the 11pm ob out of Dulles. They are reporting blowing snow.

Posted by: dcawx | February 17, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

@ntrisol -- tonight I dined outside in San Diego. Temps in the 70s during the day, mid 50's at night. I agree that the best "preparation" is to head somewhere warm. Oh well, I'm back to DC on Friday.

Posted by: griffin1108 | February 18, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

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