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Posted at 11:05 PM ET, 02/23/2010

Still on the edge of significant snow potential

By Jason Samenow

* Winter Storm Watch for metro area Wed. night-Thur. (map) *
* February climate facts and near feats | Weather Wall | Get There *

For those of you who have had enough snow this year, what I'm about to say will be music to your ears: the latest model forecasts have backed off on the snow they're simulating for Wednesday night and Thursday and there is not a ton of support for heavy accumulations. Here's what I can still safely say:

*The biggest risk of significant snow (exceeding 4") continues to be from around Baltimore and to the north and east.

*In the metro region, we will likely at least have some snow showers and flurries Wednesday night and Thursday (and possibly continuing through Thursday night), but the chance of steady, accumulating snow is just 50/50.

*It will very likely be quite windy Thursday into Friday (20-30 mph sustained, with gusts to near or over 50 mph possible especially on Thursday).

*Uncertainty for this storm is larger than any previous storm this winter due to the complexity of the overall pattern, and lack of clarity about the exact track of the storm and how quickly it will develop. There is the possibility that the area could see disruptive wind-driven snow on Thursday at one extreme or just flurries at the other. We are currently favoring a scenario in between those two extremes -- but will need to fine tune our forecast.

We'll have additional information tomorrow morning and throughout the day. In the meantime, see our full forecast through the weekend.

By Jason Samenow  | February 23, 2010; 11:05 PM ET
Categories:  Updates  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Growing threat for snow, high winds Thursday
Next: Forecast: Blizzard-like winds coming; Snow, too?



Posted by: DCcola | February 23, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Uncertainty and suspense... on the edge again.

Posted by: celestun100 | February 23, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

No, no, no, no, no, no!

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | February 23, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Read my lips: No new snowstorms

Posted by: stuckman | February 23, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

@waterfrontproperty: Don't worry, what is certain about this forecast is that the sun will rise and set tomorrow. Whew!

Posted by: DAK4Blizzard | February 23, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Music to my ears for sure, as one of the snow-fed-up-with-it-ers.

"Nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile!"

Posted by: natsncats | February 23, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

My rule: this is still Washington. When it comes to big snow, more often then not, we dont get it. Thus:

1. If CWG, NWS are reasonably confident it will be big snow --- it will be big snow.

2. If the day before, forecasts are "complicated" and "complex" and we are on the edge betwee big snow and nothing --- we tend to get nothing.

There you have it folks. A coating of snow for the DC metro it is...

Posted by: SJ43560 | February 23, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm getting a kick out of reading comments from those wanting no more snow and those who haven't had enough.

Posted by: crazer | February 23, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

WMAR (Baltimore) is going with a high potential for several inches. Interestingly, the forecast maps seem to bring the heaviest snow in late Thursday into Friday. Should know more tomorrow AM.

Posted by: DLO1975 | February 23, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

I was acutally hoping for one more big snowstorm but it doesnt look like this will be it. Maybe we will get our grand finale next week! Winter isnt over yet DC.

Posted by: ajmupitt | February 23, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

The fat lady won't start humming 'til tomorrow tonight and if she sings, it won't be until Thursday. The predicted storm track is so weird anything is possible. My guess is we get a few inches of wind driven snow. We had one like that on Feb. 6, 1978, the one that buried Boston. In D.C. just a couple of inches but very windy

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 23, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Yeah...I'm personally hoping for one more storm of 4+", at least that way by my unnoffical tally will have recorded over 5' of snow for the winter and break the DC montly snowfall record. But will just have to wait.

Posted by: crazer | February 23, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Oops my numbers were off i meant 5+" so it would be over 6'.

Posted by: crazer | February 23, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to CWG for at least having the marbles to attach some accumulation predictions to their forecast. There are some mighty trigger-shy "forecasters" out there in the D.C. Media right now. Doug Hill didnt touch an accumulation prediction on his WTOP reports this evening - he simply stated what the guidelines were for a NWS-issued Storm Watch. Ehhhh, cant say that I blame them. It's been a rough year for the entire profession, LOL.

Hey CWG - I assume that Montgomery County is one of those areas likely to see lesser snow fall totals, based on current models?

Posted by: rob10873 | February 23, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

rob10873 - you are correct, more than less, that MoCo will be on the slightly lighter side of regional accumulations (if they do occur)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 23, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

any guesses as to how this storm will affect airports in the area? I'd like to avoid having my second flight of the winter cancelled. :(

Posted by: m3456 | February 23, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

I love snow, but happy to pass on big snow. Go away!

Posted by: rickblum | February 24, 2010 12:07 AM | Report abuse

I was liking the trends on the models up to 00z runs. I am still thinking we see precip shift less!

My First thinking is out At Mid Atlantic Weather - I may be a bit overdoing it at this point!

Posted by: midatlanticweather | February 24, 2010 12:15 AM | Report abuse

m3456 - I myself have a Friday morning flight. I'm not too worried at this point, because the chance of seeing airport-impacting snow is still low. E.g. 8" in 12 hours is about the point where all transportation becomes severely disrupted. The chance of seeing 8" or more, at this point, is low (around 10%)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 24, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

rob10873 - what was CWG's accumulation prediction?? I must have missed it.

Posted by: manatt | February 24, 2010 1:30 AM | Report abuse

CWG probabilistic totals, for DC, east & north:

0-2": 50%
2-8": 40%
8"+: 10% chance

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 24, 2010 1:35 AM | Report abuse

On another website, I read something about this storm being a "triple phaser". Can someone explain what that is? Thanks!

Posted by: jcmcgrath1969 | February 24, 2010 1:54 AM | Report abuse


There are a lot of terms that get tossed around... some used, some generated on the spot.

What was the context/site? Once I see it in this context, I can translate for you.

Posted by: wxsquid | February 24, 2010 3:21 AM | Report abuse

Interestingly, the Farmers ALmanac predicted significant snow in the Northeast on the 26th....

Posted by: droopyd | February 24, 2010 3:36 AM | Report abuse

For all my DC snow lovers, the snow dancing is working!!!!
HR 54, LP sits on top of Trenton, NJ. Balt/Wash in the party now too!!!!!

Posted by: lll1424 | February 24, 2010 3:41 AM | Report abuse

@Camden, now, now, now, *smh* I know that you made a typo in your projections. Instead of meaning that there is a 50% chance for accumulation levels of 0-2", you REALLY mean 0-2'. There, now the forecast sounds GRRRREAT! ;-)

Posted by: TheAnalyst | February 24, 2010 4:02 AM | Report abuse

The Alert Montgomery e-mail I got last night indicated high winds with the potential for heavy snow could cause power outages.

Regardless of snow accumulations, with the melting of snow over the past week or so, and the bit of rain we had Monday, the ground is very saturated. Trees are no doubt damaged and weakened from the previous snow.
I'm sure it won't take much wind to cause some downed trees. My guess is we're looking at a good chance of some power outages.

Posted by: Havoc737 | February 24, 2010 4:14 AM | Report abuse

Also, I'd just like to say all this snow has me a little snowicidial.

Posted by: Havoc737 | February 24, 2010 4:20 AM | Report abuse

I read "triple phase" from the MD thread at Eastern Weather BB.

Posted by: jcmcgrath1969 | February 24, 2010 4:38 AM | Report abuse

"*In the metro region. . . ."

So let's see. Alexandria to Fredricksburg is about 45 miles. Both 'cities' are considered 'in the metro region'.

Downtown DC (1400 NY AVE, NW) to Baltimore's Inner Harbor is about 38 miles, and Baltimore is NOT considered 'in the metro region' ????????????????

Yes, I know that The Washington Post is based in Washington, DC, but let's get real, people. Basing the limits of a 'metro region', for example, on which NFL or MLB team the residents of an area support does NOT make for a good definition of a 'metro region'.

Oh, and the meteorologists at WBAL-TV in Baltimore are predicting that Baltimore City will be on the shy side of the 8" to 12" snow line (in other words, Baltimore City and BWI airport will most likely pick up 4" to 8" of snow).

Posted by: critter69 | February 24, 2010 5:52 AM | Report abuse

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