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Posted at 2:15 PM ET, 02/ 5/2010

Head of NOAA urges public safety

By Jason Samenow

NWS warns of dangerous conditions tonight

*** Latest Capital Weather Gang Storm Update ***

* Winter Storm Warning Friday morning through Saturday evening *
* CWG's Matt Rogers: Live chat transcript | All-time record in jeopardy *
* News, traffic & storm coverage: Local home page | Get There *

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admistration (NOAA) Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco has released the following statement:

An epic snowstorm has the mid-Atlantic region in its cross hairs. At this time, personal safety must be first and foremost. National Weather Service forecasters have been tracking this storm for the past week and now that the storm is here it must be taken very seriously.

Chris Strong, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) Office in Sterling, Va. just emailed CWG and other media outlets the following note:

Our media partners,

If you would, please ensure these points get some airtime. Tonight into Saturday morning will be about as dangerous as winter weather can get around here. Thank you.

Chris Strong
NWS Baltimore/Washington

[bold text=emphasis added]

IMPORTANT SAFETY TIPS FROM NWS

1. ENSURE PORTABLE GENERATORS ARE ADEQUATELY VENTILATED.

2. TRAVEL CONDITIONS TONIGHT ACROSS THE REGION WILL BE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND LIFE THREATENING. HELP YOUR LOCAL AND STATE GOVERNMENT FIRST RESPONDERS AND TRANSPORTATION AGENCIES BY STAYING OFF ROADS LATER THIS EVENING AND TONIGHT.

Keep reading for critical safety information...

3. FOLLOW LOCAL AND STATE GOVERNMENT EMERGENCY DECLARATION ORDERS. IF YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED TO TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY ... DO NOT TRAVEL ALONE. LET SOMEONE KNOW YOUR TIMETABLE AND YOUR PRIMARY AND ALTERNATE ROUTES. CARRY WITH YOU A WINTER STORM SURVIVAL KIT WHICH INCLUDES A MOBILE PHONE ... BLANKETS ... FLASHLIGHT WITH EXTRA BATTERIES ... HIGH CALORIE NON-PERISHABLE FOOD AND WATER ... AND A SHOVEL.

4. IF YOU GET STRANDED IN YOUR VEHICLE...DO NOT LEAVE YOUR CAR TO TRY TO WALK FOR ASSISTANCE ...YOU CAN QUICKLY BECOME DISORIENTED IN WIND DRIVEN SNOW AND COLD.

5. AVOID OVEREXERTION WHEN SHOVELING SNOW. BREAK THE SHOVELING DOWN INTO SMALLER JOBS AND TAKE FREQUENT BREAKS.

6. IN CASE OF POWER SUPPLY DISRUPTIONS...HAVE AVAILABLE FLASH LIGHTS WITH EXTRA BATTERIES ... EXTRA FOOD AND WATER...EXTRA MEDICINES.

7. ENSURE ANY PETS AND FARM ANIMALS HAVE PLENTY OF WATER ... FOOD ... AND SHELTER.

8. THE KEY TO GETTING THROUGH THIS IS WITH ADVANCE PLANNING AND BEING AWARE OF CURRENT CONDITIONS. THIS STORM WILL BE WINDING DOWN EARLY SATURDAY EVENING ... SO DO YOUR PART AND LET YOUR LOCAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS RESTORE ROADWAYS TO NORMAL CONDITIONS BY STAYING AT HOME.

By Jason Samenow  | February 5, 2010; 2:15 PM ET
Categories:  Winter Storms  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Weather Service: All-time snow record in jeopardy
Next: Blizzard warning expanded west to D.C.

Comments

MY 1*6 board with markings every 2 inches has the first mark completely buried out here by leesburg...
If we get 30+ I'm sure glad that I have a generator and 800 gals propane at the end of this dirt road
the 3 cases microbrew and some Jameson won't urt either

Posted by: mandarb77 | February 5, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

The NWS loves to SHOUT.

Posted by: SWester | February 5, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

How often does the NOAA Administrator comments on weather events?

Posted by: GD1975 | February 5, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm disappointed. They took out the earlier reference to "axillary heaters". I was looking forward to learning more about how to keep my armpits warm.

Posted by: eventual_eventer | February 5, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

@GD1975

It's fairly unusual for the NOAA Administrator to comment on a winter storm (I can't recall many instances). Her/NOAA's presence is Washington, D.C. is surely a factor.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 5, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Any word on hospitals requiring drivers? I know for the December storm there was a call for those with adequate vehicles to pick up emergency staff.

Posted by: genestad | February 5, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Snow sticking to roofs of cars and sides of non-traveled side streets in Bethesda.

Posted by: Cat11endofdays | February 5, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Tell that to freakin' Ted Leonsis and the Caps, who refuse to cancel the game tonight and won't refund or exchange anyone's tickets. My wife and I are out $300 if we have the good sense to listen to this urgent message. Incredibly irresponsibly behavior by them. Unless you consider hockey to be essential during an emergency.

Posted by: curtmccormick | February 5, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

The reason NOAA is shouting is that they only have 7 bits for their characters.

That eighth bit costs money, you know, and NOAA isn't one of those fancy overpaid agencies with 16 or 32 bits for unicode, or even 8 for extended ascii! Nope, 7-bits was good enough for grandpa-NOAA, and it's by god good enough for us!

Posted by: wiredog | February 5, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

It's not just the Caps, it's also the Georgetown-Villanova game scheduled to take place at noon tomorrow.

Posted by: Juan-John1 | February 5, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Noticed a change in intensity in Clarendon - the flakes are bigger and snow is starting to stick to the streets.

Posted by: novajeffc | February 5, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Starting to get very gnarly in Virginia Square. Wilson and FFX drive still holding out, but side streets getting almost completely white.

Posted by: jase700 | February 5, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Please delete 2:38's comment. Thank you.

Posted by: alibidc | February 5, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Nearing 2" in Annandale/Merrifield area. Street is well covered in about an inch of slushy accumulation.

Posted by: TheBorg | February 5, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Ted Leonsis does not decide if the game is played or not. This would be up to the NHL.

Posted by: danp3111 | February 5, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

On my second bloody mary and watching Children of Men. Snow storms are cool.

Posted by: watchingweather | February 5, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

2:38 comment is violent

Posted by: celestun100 | February 5, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Sidewalks and street out here in Centreville still completely black, nothing is sticking, and the snowfall is getting pretty light. Barely coming down.

Been snowing since 10am and no accumulation.

Posted by: southside721 | February 5, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

@jase100 Not sure which Virginia Square you're in, but looking out my window Lincoln and Kansas still have almost zero sticking to them.

Posted by: ironmanjt | February 5, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Called the Caps, an organization known for fan friendliness, and they lamely blamed the NHL for not canceling tonight's game. Like another poster, I don't want to take my family out tonight simply to avoid losing a few hundred dollars on tickets. The Caps should do something to alleviate this decision on their fans.

Posted by: photomat | February 5, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

It's still 36 degrees in Wheaton/Aspen Hill. Nothing is sticking on the streets/sidewalks yet. Snowing since 11ish.

Posted by: B-rod | February 5, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Centreville VA 33 degrees w very light snow. Snow has tapered off in the last half hour, & the wind seems to be picking up a bit.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 5, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Flakes are getting pretty fluffy down here in SW DC. Barely sticking, though.

Posted by: SWester | February 5, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

NWS uses upper-case letters because it was made standard by the WMO, it's easier to read/leads to less misunderstandings, I think.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | February 5, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

CWG: i'm curious as to your take on lack of early accumulation. It's been snowing heavily for at least 3 hours here in Crystal City and still nothing on the streets or sidewalks. Was this taken into account from the outset or will this hold down accumulation totals for the storm as a whole? thanks.

Posted by: rhingo | February 5, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Side streets getting white in the Huntington area.

Posted by: kallieh | February 5, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

You can fault the NHL for holding the games, but they aren't compelling anyone to go.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | February 5, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Blame the NHL. The Wizards are offering an exchange for a later game, but the Wizards do not have a 12-game winning streak, conference-leading record, and the best player in the league. All those tickets would be hard to come by for the Caps.

Posted by: AlexBike | February 5, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

danp3111 is correct w/r/t the NHL.

and i agree w/ alibidc: FridayKnight needs to be blocked and/or have his post deleted ASAP.

Posted by: TheBorg | February 5, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Please delete the comment by FridayKnight ASAP. That is just wrong

Posted by: seraphina | February 5, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

"Called the Caps, an organization known for fan friendliness, and they lamely blamed the NHL for not canceling tonight's game."

The decision is up to the NHL, not the Capitals. If both teams are here, and the refs and people who work the arena can make it there, the game is played. The NHL schedule is already compressed due to the Olympic break, they won't reschedule games unless absolutely necessary.

But don't blame the Capitals unless you know what you're talking about. I'm a season ticket holder who probably won't go, but I'll get over it. But as of right now if conditions stay the way they are (meaning nothing is happening despite the dire, scary predictions) I'll probably still go.

Posted by: southside721 | February 5, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

If you look at the history of the NHL there are a number of games that have been played with little to no fans their.

Refunds have been given, or tickets to other games, but in this case, the Caps are all sold out. They have nothing to give...unless you want free Wizards tickets

Posted by: SA-Town | February 5, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Looks like a decent band has formed just north of Prince William County into centrol Fairfax and Loudoun - thus the light snow being reported in Manassas, Centerville, Lake Ridge, etc - with nothing sticking. Decent band though approaching from the south soon which should change that.

Posted by: ZmanVA | February 5, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Big flakes but traffic still moving normally in Adams Morgan. Went shopping in Safeway last night on Columbia Road. Long lines, but there was still plenty in stock (although nothing but microwave popcorn was left).

During the last big storm, Tryst and a few other 18th Street venues managed to stay open, but I wonder if that will be the case this time around.

Posted by: smoke111 | February 5, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

@ringo

Yep-- we took into account the fact sticking may take a few hours to get going. The overwhelming majority of the accumulating snow from this storm will fall after 4 p.m. today. Tonight, it will go nuts.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 5, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

33 degrees in Olney, streets are getting white

Posted by: celestun100 | February 5, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: corones | February 5, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

No sticking near Farragut yet (except on the grass in the square). Steady snow here in Courthouse - sidewalks and roads rapidly moving from slushy to snow-covered.

And I concur that 2:38 comment is disgusting.

Posted by: matthew_lawlor | February 5, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

2:38, not funny in the least.

At 1:30, I got off Metro at Huntington, flakes were just starting to get bigger. Now, it's coming down harder but snow is not sticking to main or secondary roads yet. I expect that to change very soon. The snow is sticking to cars and the ground.

Posted by: JefffromHuntington | February 5, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Regarding this lack of accumulation early-on, it was taken into account. The storm will be ferocious tonight.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 5, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Are we really so sure of these accumulation totals? 4 hours of snow so far in C'ville and no accumulation. Light snow mostly which melts on contact. I believe several inches were predicted to fall during the afternoon, but the temperatures don't seem to be dropping much, or any, at all. Was this accounted for in the accumulation predictions?

Posted by: bkkwarlock | February 5, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

How often will NWS put out their forecast discussions? I see the last one was issued around 1:30.

Ditto on deleting FridayKnight's comment. Sick.

Thanks!

Posted by: mchristinaw | February 5, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

The Wizards ticket exchange is for the Minnesota game on Feb 17. Heard it on WTOP. guess it's the best they can do, but that game is quite the downgrade from a pretty good Atlanta team.

Posted by: JefffromHuntington | February 5, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Noticed that all the birds left. I filled the feeders around 1pm, but nothing's showed up to feed. Not even the pesky squirrels. HUnkered down In Takoma Park.

Posted by: david23 | February 5, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Oops, my question was just answered seconds before I posted it!

Posted by: bkkwarlock | February 5, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Anyone with Caps tickets who wants to transfer them to a rabid fan who lives within walking distance of Verizon? ;)

Posted by: bryc3 | February 5, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Not sticking here in Forest Glen yet. All this snow is being wasted!

Posted by: OMGPonies | February 5, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Everyone's a little disappointed that the snow isn't sticking to the roads.

Sounds like the road treatments are working.

Posted by: Vingold | February 5, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Roads still look pretty okay here in Fair Lakes. I suspect this is because the light precip rates and marginal temperatures are allowing the residual salt on the roads to keep things clear. Good news for those still at work. I myself came home around noon and am working from here.

Right now, the snow in Fair Lakes has entered a serious lull - it is light at best.

Finally, a question for CWG. When will conditions start to significantly deteriorate? Is it mainly overnight, or would going out to eat tonight around 630 or 7 (very locally, Fair Lakes Plaza, and I do have 4x4) be a fool's errand?

Posted by: jahutch | February 5, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Taking off for an hour for one last pickup of something while I still can. When I return I will update you all on Richmond Highway conditions, especially for those of you headed anywhere south of the Giant/Chipotle/BB&T? bank with all of the hills.

Posted by: JefffromHuntington | February 5, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Starting to see some accumulation on tree branches and grassy areas in downtown Bethesda. So, I guess air temp is around or below freezing, but ground is still a bit above...

Posted by: mfein2 | February 5, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know if Metro has a way of announcing that accumulations have reached X and therefore closure may be imminent?

I am going to the Caps game but contemplating leaving early if conditions warrant.

Posted by: BobLHead | February 5, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

weatherdudeVA is correct re: NWS use of ALL CAPS - it's an international standard: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/sew/faq.php#caps

Posted by: TheBorg | February 5, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I just cannot imagine why the Caps and/or the NHL have not canceled the Caps game tonight. I don't care that the players can all make the game. I don't care that it would be very inconvenient to reschedule the game because of the Olympics. The FANs are the reason they play the games. The fans, the fans, the fans. Fan safety to and from the game should be priority #1. This is reprehensible.

Posted by: jcomel | February 5, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Looking ahead, does anyone have any knowledge/predictions on the Tuesday/Wednesday snow?

Is there the potential of compounding the existing problem (or fun depending on one's perspective) that this weekend storm will create?

Posted by: superseiyan | February 5, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I certainly understand the NHL not canceling the game or offering exchanges, but refunds seem fair.

Although I remember a lot of people complaining of not getting Kennedy Center refunds during the Dec. 19th storm, so I guess this is a problem not restricted to sports.

Posted by: megamuphen | February 5, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Jeff- how strange. I live on Farrington (the lower section of Huntington metro) and our road is white. Slushy, but definitely sticking.

Posted by: kallieh | February 5, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

It's easy to declare a snowstorm a record or near record after the fact. I do not recall ever seeing an official NWS forecast mentioning even the reasonable possibility, let alone the near certainty, of one before the snow begins to fall.

Record breakers - extreme events - by definition are very rare and usually not predictable with a high degree of confidence.

I do recall several instances where media types have called for record breakers, but virtually all have been record busts. On the rare occasion the forecast pan out, I do not know of any that could be attributed to anything but blind luck.

Assuming this snowstorm lives up to expectations, it is a remarkable example of how far numerical weather prediction (models) - plus forecasters' interpretation of model output - has come over the past years. Why this storm and not others? I'll address later

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | February 5, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Centreville VA Moderate snow, temp has fallen half a degree, hovering JUST above freezing.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 5, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

To all you losers who are playing "Morality Cops Of The Internet," please get a life and stop with the fake indignation.

It was a joke.

I thought it was funny.

Stop acting all retarded.

Talk about the weather.

Posted by: Losercuda | February 5, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Folks: FridayKnight's comment has been unpublished. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. We will delete comments and/or block users who post in appropriate content.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 5, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

In north College Park by IKEA, the side street and parking lots are becoming slushy. The grass and cars have snow accumulating on them. The temperature is 33-34.

Posted by: DAK4Blizzard | February 5, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Well, i can see them not cancelling the game. Considering how tightly-scheduled most arenas are (plus olympics, etc) I suspect it'd be very hard to find a night where both the Verizon center was free and the Pens & Caps were available. (I don't suppose they can do double-headers, can they?) We can watch it on TV anyway. However, I do think they'll have some egg on their faces for tickets. Maybe they should have some way to exchange for a few no-shows, or for next season, or apply them to some playoff tickets or something? It really isn't right to expect, when the feds are shut down, a customer to make it to a game or lose their ticket money.

Posted by: Section406 | February 5, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

The frustrating thing about the Caps is not that they're holding the game, but that they seem to have no sympathy for the people who don't want to risk their lives to get there.

Forget a ticket exchange, how about a coupon for free food next time? Or a shirt? Or free tickets for next season pre-season? Something to show that they realize they're spending our money and we've got nothing to show for it.

Posted by: Alexandria8 | February 5, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Snow is intensifying and starting to stick to the roads here in the Camp Springs Andrews AFB area. Temperature has just eeeeked below the magic freezing mark, it's now at 31F, and dropping. Flakes are getting larger. Enjoy the ride, because tonight is potentially going to be something special with extreme snowfall rates and increasing winds. But, above all, please stay safe!!

Posted by: johnnierat | February 5, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Followed the instructions and reported FridayKnight for offensive comments. Hopefully it will be removed soon. I hope he thought he was humorous, but it is not funny at all.

Posted by: kawilson69 | February 5, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

It began snowing here in Columbia around 10 am. Just started sticking to the roads and cars about 2:30 pm.

We have dozens of hungry birds at our two bird feeders. I put out extra seed for them yesterday and replenished it this afternoon. It will be a long time before they see the grass and bare ground again. Be kind to your birds and give them something to eat.

Posted by: beach57 | February 5, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Right off the river in Potomac, the snow is coming down steady, sticking to the side streets and grass. No luck yet, on the main thoroughfares like River Rd.

Posted by: mkbf26 | February 5, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

kallieh and Jeff - I too live in Huntington (upper). The street is definitely starting to turn whitish. I'll be walking my dog in a little while to assess the neighborhood. Flakes are pretty consistently large right now.

Posted by: beth_in_alexandria | February 5, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

@Losercuda

In the spirit of having a civil community here, can you express your views without name calling? At CWG, our time would be much better spent tracking the storm and reporting out rather than policing comments. Thanks.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 5, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Snowing hard in Edgewater MD just outside Annapolis. Started sticking on the "shady" side of the street about 3:00 p.m.

Posted by: durhamquilter | February 5, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

A friend in Charlottesville is reporting 12" of snow.

Posted by: mchristinaw | February 5, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

NWS Blizzard Warning!

Posted by: edwardappleby | February 5, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Blizzard warning issued for my county AA county starting at 10:00pm tonight!

Posted by: snowlover | February 5, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

7th and D NW ... snowing steady for 3 hours but nothing sticking yet (3:30 pm)

Posted by: Ptarmigan | February 5, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Re. the Caps -- okay, so the NHL won't cancel the game, but nothing prevents the Caps from providing refunds to ticket-holders. They should.

Re. accumulation -- it seems like we don't have to get too far west of the urban core (Annandale?) right now to see some accumulation... maybe right at the center of things, in the District and in Arlington where a lot of us here seem to be... the temps held at 33 or 34 juuuust long enough to take an inch or two out of this. Wouldn't affect IAD... but would cut into the official reading at DCA.

Posted by: MosesCleaveland | February 5, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

CWG, thanks for noting that accumulation totals already accounted for the delay in getting the snow to stick.

Is everyone on this board from Huntington? Should we just meet up at Mike's Q-Mart?

Posted by: AlexBike | February 5, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

The snow in north College Park is now starting to stick to the sidewalk. Watch out, everyone, because the melted snow will freeze into ice! I'm predicting there will be a layer of ice on many roads and sidewalks by sunset (around 5:35 pm).

Posted by: DAK4Blizzard | February 5, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the Caps....I am a season-ticket holder and my gut tells me I will miss this game. It would be the first home game I've missed this season. Disappointing, but it's life. The game would not be "cancelled" in any event--at most, it would be postponed, and that would only happen if one of the teams couldn't reach the arena. The Thrashers were already in DC last night per Joe B and Locker on last night's broadcast, and the Caps came back from New York last night. I hope the Caps' players are put up in a hotel, though. Under no circumstances would they simply call off the game and not make it up the way Major League Baseball sometimes does, especially because the Thrashers are still in the playoff hunt.

As far as those of you complaining about a "ticket exchange," where are the Caps supposed to get tickets to offer? All the games are sold out. It's easy for the Bullets to offer an exchange program because they stink and nobody's buying the tickets. For those who want refunds from the Caps, be realistic: The tickets always say no refunds and you take the risk of being unable to attend when you buy a ticket.

Yes, it stinks. Yes, I also wish tonight's game could be postponed, although as others have noted that's the NHL's call and it has to take into account BOTH teams' schedules for the rest of the season, as well as CBA rules that prohibit teams from playing on more than two consecutive days. But I also recognize the hassle for the league and the teams if it's postponed, and I'm CERTAIN the TV advertisers want this game played tonight--they'll get their biggest viewership of the season due to all the people who would normally be at the arena!

Posted by: 1995hoo | February 5, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I understand the decision re Caps is in the hands of the NHL, not the the team. But the fans deserve more than a form note on the web site that's been the same for three days now. This is cut and pasted from the latest NWS report. Someone from the league should be on TV explaining why they think this is the best way to go:

...EXTREMELY DANGEROUS WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS DEVELOPING TONIGHT...
GUSTY NORTHEAST WINDS 20 TO 30 MPH WITH VISIBILITIES FREQUENTLY FALLING BELOW ONE-QUARTER MILE DUE TO HEAVY SNOW WILL DEVELOP TONIGHT TO PRODUCE NEAR-BLIZZARD AND EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS WINTER WEATHER
CONDITIONS TONIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING. TRAVEL IS HIGHLY DISCOURAGED TONIGHT AND WILL BE VERY DANGEROUS.

2. TRAVEL CONDITIONS TONIGHT ACROSS THE REGION WILL BE EXTREMELY
DANGEROUS AND LIFE THREATENING. HELP YOUR LOCAL AND STATE GOVERNMENT FIRST RESPONDERS AND TRANSPORTATION AGENCIES BY STAYING OFF ROADS LATER THIS EVENING AND TONIGHT.

Posted by: photomat | February 5, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

FYI - Already 2 dead in an accident on I-81.

So, while you're jumping for joy, keep in mind that this storm can and will be a killer.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | February 5, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Just passed Rugby Rd in Fairfax, near the Inova Hospital on FFX County PKWY. Side roads are all either slushy or covered or a combination of both. Passed two cars already on the median of the parkway. Snow was nice fat drops a few minutes ago but has switched back to smaller flakes. Still pretty heavy though not blowing around yet.

Posted by: massexile | February 5, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Snow is starting to stick to the road here in my little corner of Fairfax/Burke.

Posted by: MichelangeloF536 | February 5, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Accumulations beginning on some treated surfaces and sidewalks in Rosslyn

Posted by: genestad | February 5, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

If Greg Oden played for the Caps, he wouldn't need a stick.

Go trailblazers!!!

Posted by: FradMaukins | February 5, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

1995hoo: Playoff tickets aren't sold out yet.

Posted by: MosesCleaveland | February 5, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Chad Meyers on CNN is saying DC will top out at 18, and that the forecasters aren't taking into account some dry air pockets that will cut down totals. He says you guys are just converting the water ratios but that this snow will be more condensed in the beginning, so instead of multiplying water amounts by ten, it should be by 7. What say you?

Posted by: davis_renee | February 5, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Little after 3: Starting to stick to streets and sidewalks in Chevy Chase. Side street slushy but white, main street turning white where traffic isn't active, and sidewalks just starting to show white areas. Grass is covered.

Posted by: ChevyChase3 | February 5, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Georgetown is apparently still planning to hold the LSAT tomorrow morning. What can they possibly be thinking?

Posted by: anon56 | February 5, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

People, don't forget that Ted Leonsis is NOT Dan Snyder. He also isn't answering the phones at the VC or acts as a meterologist in his spare time. Have faith and patience and let the storm play out just like he is.

Ted might not offer fans unable to attend tonight's game a full refund or seats on the glass for a playoff game, but he will do something. It might be a food voucher as some suggested, it might be a partial refund or tickets to a game next year, but he won't just sit back and laugh his way to the bank the way Danny Boy would. Mark my words. Just give him some time. Ted represents everything that is right about sports ownership and he will not let any of you down.

Posted by: RickyBobby | February 5, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

About an inch of snow here in Emmitsburg, MD at the Mount St. Mary's University campus. The gravel parking lots are covered with snow, and the paved lots and sidewalks are just now starting to get some snow sticking. Got myself some beer, a bottle of pinot, and my rented movies on iTunes, and of course there is always hulu! Oh yeah, and my grad school work...forgot about that. :-/

Posted by: VAtoLA | February 5, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

eventual_eventer, you said,
They took out the earlier reference to "axillary heaters". I was looking forward to learning more about how to keep my armpits warm."

omg! that is so funny! thanks so much. i almost peed myself...i hadn't noticced that in the original....

CWG, other weather experts,
seriously, be straight with me. is something going wrong? is it warmer than it was supposed to be? are we still looking at 20"+?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 5, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Moderate snow in Charlottesville with 4 inches on top of existing snow cover on grassy areas. It is accumulating on minor roads and there is ~2 inches on sidewalks. Nowhere near 12'' yet but we're getting there... ^_^

Posted by: cleombrota | February 5, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

The National Hurricane Center, Max Mayfield warned the folks in New Orleans about Katrina; that's the last time I recall a weather chief issuing a warning comparable to the one we've gotten.

Just walked up from G'town to Glover Park. The crazies are still speeding up and and Wisc. Ave., the Whole Foods is still crowded, and the snow is getting serious.

And I hope everyone heeds CWG's request not to flame. They got better things to do this weekend than worry about posts (glad I missed 2:38!).

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 5, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

"FYI - Already 2 dead in an accident on I-81.

So, while you're jumping for joy, keep in mind that this storm can and will be a killer."

I read some study showing that the number of people killed on the roads decreases in snow due to the sheer lack of people out there vs normal road conditions. So perhaps we should be jumping for joy as the snow is saving lives on area roadways.

Posted by: SJ43560 | February 5, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

RickyBobby: Though I am frustrated at the prospect of driving tonight, you are right 100%. Ted Leonsis is the ONLY owner in DC who gives a hoot about his fans and I know he's not kicking back on this. Dan Snyder would charge the fans an extra "snow fee" of some sort and the Wizards would...well, the Wizards are just so bad that no one would even notice. But you are right. Leonsis is the best owner in sports right now and he will figure something out.

My beef is with the lack of information. The team should post something explaining why their hands are tied and why there are few options available to them. In a pickle--and this isn't Haiti--information is always well received. But your point is well taken.

Regards.

Posted by: photomat | February 5, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

re: Caps game. All the reasons I have heard on this blog and from the team for why they are playing the game tonight are totally lame. I am really happy that "the players for both teams are in town and can make the game". Wonderful. these guys make tons of money, will be driven home if need be after the game, or put up in a close hotel. This is sports people, just sports, just entertainment... and the fans are the only reason this team exists.

Who knows, maybe the Caps will show some compassion in the next few days and at least offer some kind of compensation for those that couldn't make the game. I hope so. Ted seems like a good guy and who will do the right thing.

Posted by: jcomel | February 5, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Just saw a plow go by on my side street in North Arlington, which was odd given how little snow had stuck (and how rarely the county seems to be able to locate this street). But now, only about five minutes later, the street has a thin white covering again. Things are picking up! #snowtorious B.I.G.

Posted by: 27champs | February 5, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

@davis_renee,
Chad's forecast is on the low end of the CWG forecast and slightly lower than the NWS forecast. I think if you look at the radar now, it appears that there is potential for dry air to enter the picture. But I think the models are accounting for wrap-around moisture from the developing coastal to fill in a lot of the dry slots. We will be northwest quadrant of the coastal low just as it is reaching it's full strength, which is basically be ground zero.

Posted by: GD1975 | February 5, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I know everyone is talking about it winding up later, but it's been awfully warm, we've had a trace amout out here in dale city, less on cars, none on streets. I guess we're in that area that will be spared the brunt *sigh*

Signed,
A winter weather lover :-)

Posted by: tressoleilgoddess | February 5, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Just beginning to stick on RT 50 near 66. Traffic's finally dying down. Seems like people are starting to come to their senses. My company...not so much.

Posted by: massexile | February 5, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

@bryc3 If you're interested in Caps tickets, we've got two for tonight. Email me at mensan98th@gmail.com.

Posted by: mensan98th | February 5, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Timely arrival in mail today: Kevin Ambrose's "Blizzards and Snowstorms of Washington, D.C."

Kevin, since this book was published in 1993, I hope you update it after this winter. ; ))

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 5, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Temperature at Manassas Regional Airport just dropped 2 degrees to freezing in the last 30 min. Snow intensity has picked up and even treated surfaces are now covered with about 1/2 inch.

Posted by: kb66 | February 5, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Those CNN weather anchors think they're so much better than local anchors LOL They just want to be conservative so they can say everyone else simply hyped the numbers.

Posted by: tressoleilgoddess | February 5, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

snow is finally getting more serious in my cul de sac in Cville... sticking to the street now. Planning a late night amble just to experience the awe.

Posted by: mchristinaw | February 5, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Steets are snow covered in Rosslyn. Traffic is very light so it is beginning to accumulate.

Oh the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful,
And since we've no place to go,
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Lyrics by Sammy Cahn and music by Jule Styne, 1945

Posted by: djm-01 | February 5, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so the tempature dropped to 31 and the mix switched back to all snow. Starting to pick up in intensity here in West Springfield. Light coating on streets and sidewalks now.

Posted by: Firedude | February 5, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

When is this low supposed to actually form?

Posted by: tressoleilgoddess | February 5, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

How many of y'all are feeding the birds? They've always been a trusted short term barometer of the weather for me and they've been freakin' crazy for the last 24 hours.... Not that I needed them to see what's coming this time, but in the old days they added some useful perspective to some of the weather hype.

Posted by: tws1372 | February 5, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

tws1372 - birds have been crazy at my house too! I think it's so interesting to watch how the animals react to things we can't see.

Posted by: kathyb39 | February 5, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Snowing moderately in Lake Ridge and things are starting to become snow covered including streets.

Posted by: ZmanVA | February 5, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

until just before 4 pm, Richmond Highway from the Beltway to the Gold's Gym was fine. Snow not causing issues yet. How long will that last, that's the question.

Posted by: JefffromHuntington | February 5, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Went out about 45 minutes ago in Rockville to brush snow off the walk. About 0.5" on parked cars and beginning to stick to my residential street.

Posted by: btamil | February 5, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

"Playoff tickets aren't sold out yet."

Playoff tickets cost more than regular-season tickets and so would not be a fair trade.

Posted by: 1995hoo | February 5, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Kennedy Center closed tonight. I wonder how many other theatres are shutting down?

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 5, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Huntington folks, I concede that I haven't been around Huntington Avenue since 2:30 or so, it looks differet now I'm sure. Still not sticking to the pavement at my complex FWIW. I'm going for a run up the Wash Street Deck to get to my 6 pm yoga class, it will probably get much worse by then but that's a risk I choose to take, I will be ultra careful.

Posted by: JefffromHuntington | February 5, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

There's a new post up.

Posted by: Murre | February 5, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

sticking at my complex now, I think the real nasty stuff is only a few hours away.

Posted by: JefffromHuntington | February 5, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

It is really starting to stick here in the City of Manassas. What was clean pavement an hour ago is covered with an inch or so of snow and slush. Here we go, about time...

Posted by: irish031 | February 5, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

In Fairfax, 29, 50, 7100 are all covered and VERY slick. A few cars off the road on 50. Coming down harder now but visibility's still okay at about half a mile.

Posted by: massexile | February 5, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

**THE VERY FIRST DAILY GREG REPORT FOR THE STORM**

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbP4102Qkrk

More to come!

Posted by: stinkerflat1 | February 5, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

anon56, its not up to G'town whether to hold LSAT or not. Considering scope of the storm, seems likely to me that the Higher Powers will decide to postpone, but should be nationally. I really feel for those taking the test.

Posted by: EllenBedlington | February 5, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Caps Game...Hockey is a CANADIAN sport; they're used to cold weather; they won't postpone! Big issue is that fans who get there may not get home since Metro will probably close above ground by midnight. Ted Leonsis will take care of "rain checks" [snow checks!] This is why I'm upset over Leonsis possibly NOT gaining ownership of the Wizards...the Wizards need to be strengthened the way Ted Leonsis has built up the Capitals.

The snowstorm is really beginning to wind up now. Blizzard warning from Chesapeake Bay to D.C.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | February 5, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Pretty bad on N. 25th Road in Arlington

Posted by: Hal_Straus | February 5, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

does the link on the 6:00 CWG post work for everyone? I can only get through to the blog when I click on "read more" and there isn't one for that post.

Posted by: rocotten | February 5, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

It's not just you, I can't get onto that blog either! Panic!!! :-)

Posted by: FultonStSnowLover | February 5, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

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