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Posted at 6:10 PM ET, 02/23/2010

Growing threat for snow, high winds Thursday

By Ian Livingston

Will it be a near miss or significant hit?

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

Today's rather benign weather behind us, we're back into a hectic period with the potential for a close call or even a substantial snowstorm starting tomorrow night and lasting into Thursday. Under mostly cloudy skies today, we've seen the melt down continue as highs rise into the low-and-mid 40s this afternoon. But enough about that, what about the snow chances?

Webcam: Latest view of D.C. from the Netherlands Carillon at Arlington National Cemetery. Courtesy National Park Service. Refresh page to update. See this image bigger on our Weather Wall.

Through Tonight: We'll stay mostly cloudy overnight with lows ranging from the upper 20s in the coldest suburban spots to possibly as high as the mid-30s downtown. Breezes from the northwest should be around 10 mph or so, maybe a little higher at times.

Tomorrow (Wednesday): There may be some breaks in the clouds early before we trend back cloudy as the storm approaches -- highs reach the low-to-mid 40s most spots. By late afternoon or evening, precipitation in the form of rain or snow should begin to advance from the south. The bulk of any activity should hold off until the overnight or Thursday.

Tomorrow Night: Much uncertainty still exists regarding the storm system that will develop off the coast. Right now we sit on a border between little to perhaps no snow accumulation to the west, and potentially significant snowfall to the east. Uncertainty aside, the odds of snow increase overnight, especially over eastern sections of the area. Lows should fall to the mid-20s to near 30.

Thursday: A chance of snow, possibly significant, may continue into much of Thursday. While we can't yet say with certainty how much falls, we do know one thing: it will be very windy as the storm strengthens rapidly off the coast. Highs could range from near freezing if we see more snow to the upper 30s if less. Winds from the west/northwest will increase to at least 25 mph sustained, with gusts to 50 mph or higher, as the day progresses.

See Matt Rogers' forecast through the weekend. And if you haven't already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Keep reading for the accumulation probabilities (now superceded by the info in tonight's update).

Accumulations (Wed. night-Thurs.): Here are our latest snowfall accumulation probabilities...

Less than 2": 50%
2-4": 20%
4-8": 20%
8"+: 10%

West of the Beltway, snow potential decreases a little...

Less than 2": 60%
2-4": 15%
4-8": 15%
8"+: 10%

Forecast issued at 3:55 p.m., extended watch info updated at 6:10 p.m.

By Ian Livingston  | February 23, 2010; 6:10 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Hurricane study unites formerly divided experts
Next: Still on the edge of significant snow potential

Comments

the dancing is working! keep going!

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 23, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

BRING ON THE SNOW!!!!!!!!

Posted by: aaf314 | February 23, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Can you clarify "significant"? I see your percentage totals, but I think that word has a different meaning this winter. Previous winters, "significant" was 4 to 6 inches. Now if you say "significant" snow, I think 20 inches.

Posted by: hereandnow1 | February 23, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

From which direction can we expect those gusty winds on Thursday?

Posted by: hawknt | February 23, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, hereandnow1- all this snow has changed the meaning of words!!!

Now my neighbors will never move the chairs out of the parking spots.

Posted by: celestun100 | February 23, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Have a bad feeling about this one - you guys will be calling for 12+ inches this time tomorrow - book it!

Posted by: Axel2 | February 23, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

The 18Z NAM is trending more in the favor of some snow for the immediate DC area. I still want the 18Z GFS to keep on track and then see the trend continue with agreement between the models on the 00Z run.
It's interesting (and exciting) to see the steep gradient forming on the western edge of this storm. Just a small shift geographically and someone can go from 1" to 10" or from 10" to 1" potential. Snow lovers keep your fingers crossed, and sleep with those PJ's inside out!

Posted by: pjdunn1 | February 23, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jrodfoo | February 23, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

As they say on South Park, "Jesus Tapdancing Christ."

Will this never end?

Posted by: Gunga2009 | February 23, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

@Axel2 - AMEN!!

Posted by: DaveB2 | February 23, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

jrodfoo,
grammatically, shouldn't that be "worst" blizzard.... sheesh.

also, sheesh for how that blizzard area carefully avoids my house....

CWG, weather guys,
so, is the low stronger than thought or did it form further south?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 23, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I think "significant" in this case means 4-6 plus, but Jason and others can comment on that further if they wish.

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | February 23, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I am SNOweary. Three pairs of socks today mushing through the snow drifts making my way to azaleas under the snow.

Posted by: tbva | February 23, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I honor of Roberto Duran, I suggest this snowstorm - if it hits us hard - be designated Snow Mas.

Posted by: qazqaz | February 23, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

walter-in-fallschurch,

yeah, his maps seem a bit much. I think the blizzard talk is meant further north.

Posted by: jrodfoo | February 23, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Snow mas would be a good name, if we need one.

Posted by: celestun100 | February 23, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

A storm with a 60% chance of being a bust does not need a name. If we get a foot or more, it needs a name.

Posted by: Langway4Eva | February 23, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

"Significant" seems like what you say, Andrew, to me. 4-6 inches is enough around here to mean delays and travel disruptions, cannot just be brushed aside with a broom.

Maybe you need another graphic measure in addition to snowflakes. Toilet paper rolls. 1 TP means "enough snow where you'd better have a backup roll" 2 means "stock up for possibly a couple days; 3 is "buy a week's supply" and 4 means "grab all you can anywhere you can, because there's no telling when you'll be able to get more". We've had a couple or three 4-roll storms, but this sounds like a 1-roller.

Posted by: ah___ | February 23, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

@jrodfoo--you also have to like his misuse of the word "worse".

Posted by: ah___ | February 23, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

The 18Z GFS has backed off on the QPF for the immediate metro area. Not much, but the trend is not in the right direction. Hopefully that will not continue with the later model runs. Less snow to the west of DC and more snow to the east. The further north and east you go, the more snow. Sometimes you only have to travel a short distance to see significant differences in accumulation projections. Still a storm to watch closely.

Posted by: pjdunn1 | February 23, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

The snow-joy folks must not be homeowners.

Posted by: chunche | February 23, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

qazqaz - I like 'snow mas'. That gets my vote.

Posted by: danacruikshank | February 23, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

chunche: Practically all the snow and ice on my roof has melted, so I'm not worried about the roof or gutters for this one.

Posted by: stuckman | February 23, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Nah. Lots of us own homes and are fairly respectable in many/some/a few other ways, just not so much with snow. I think we snow-joyers just see it for what it is; a rare, perhaps once in a lifetime winter. I'm personally with the crowd that says "hey we got the record, now let's go retire it!" I did have to climb on my roof and clear the ice dams, etc., so I get that part. Long driveway too. But this winter is amazing and fun to follow.

Posted by: curtmccormick | February 23, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I just watched Channel 4 news. He says that we may get snow showers. No mention of getting any significant snow. Just very windy.
Same with Bob Ryan on channel 7.

Posted by: tiggerinfairfax | February 23, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

If I'm recalling correctly, I thought I read somewhere here on CWG that the NWS defines a blizzard as strong sustained winds (of a specified MPH) and driving snow - and that snow fall doesn't actually have to happen during the blizzard period.

If so, with the strong winds predicted over the next few days - regardless of any precipitation - is it possible we could have a blizzard with the existing snow on the ground?

Posted by: Vingold | February 23, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I filled up the ice cube trays last night. Time to do some flushing!

@ah___Toilet paper icons very creative.

Margusity nailed it the last time, or one of the last couple of times, I do believe. If he gets this one right, Walter gets to sculpt and Margusity is beatified.

What's interesting is the talk of the low looping in NE Pennsylvania. If that happens could we get some wraparound snow?

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 23, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

pjdunn1, I usually like comparing 12z to 0z etc rather than to the off runs. The off runs are not "bad" all the time per se but they are quirky here and there. At upper levels the storm looks good and has trended better the last day+. I think that's about as important as what we see currently with precip outputs. Either way you cut it it looks like we're on the edge, but a small shift can make for big differences.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 23, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

To Vingold:
Yes, "blizzard" conditions can occur without falling snow but in the absence of new snow, especially a drier snow, blizzard conditions would be unlikely because our remaining snow cover is compacted, slushy, and, in some areas, hardened. This type of base cannot be lifted and blown about with high winds.

Don, Capital Weather Gang

Posted by: Weatherguy | February 23, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

These kind of storms are great, because they keep you in suspense! A matter of 50 miles east or west can mean almost no snow or a foot, I love it!

Posted by: snowlover | February 23, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Winter Storm Watch just issued:

...WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH
LATE THURSDAY NIGHT...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A
WINTER STORM WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT
THROUGH LATE THURSDAY NIGHT.

* PRECIPITATION TYPE...SNOW.

* ACCUMULATIONS...POTENTIAL FOR SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 5 OR MORE
INCHES.

* TIMING...A MIX OF RAIN AND SNOW WEDNESDAY EVENING WILL BECOME
ALL SNOW BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND 3 AM WEDNESDAY NIGHT. SNOW IS
EXPECTED TO CONTINUE THURSDAY AND THURSDAY NIGHT.

* TEMPERATURES...LOWS IN THE UPPER 20S WEDNESDAY NIGHT. HIGHS IN
THE LOWER TO MID 30S THURSDAY. LOWS IN THE UPPER 20S THURSDAY
NIGHT.

* WINDS...NORTHWEST WINDS 10 TO 15 MPH WEDNESDAY NIGHT.
NORTHWEST WINDS 15 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS AROUND 35 MPH THURSDAY
AND THURSDAY NIGHT.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT
SNOW THAT MAY IMPACT TRAVEL. CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST
FORECASTS.

&&

$$

Posted by: someonelikeyou | February 23, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Should have noted area for above watch:

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA-MONTGOMERY-PRINCE GEORGES-CHARLES-ST. MARYS-
LOUDOUN-PRINCE WILLIAM/MANASSAS/MANASSAS PARK-FAIRFAX-
ARLINGTON/FALLS CHURCH/ALEXANDRIA-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...WASHINGTON...GAITHERSBURG...WALDORF...
ST MARYS CITY...LEESBURG...MANASSAS...MANASSAS PARK...FAIRFAX...
ALEXANDRIA...FALLS CHURCH

Posted by: someonelikeyou | February 23, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

@someonelikeyou, just to clarify, the watch is for DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA-MONTGOMERY-PRINCE GEORGES-CHARLES-ST. MARYS-LOUDOUN-PRINCE WILLIAM/MANASSAS/MANASSAS PARK-FAIRFAX-
ARLINGTON/FALLS CHURCH/ALEXANDRIA-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...WASHINGTON...GAITHERSBURG...WALDORF...
ST MARYS CITY...LEESBURG...MANASSAS...MANASSAS PARK...FAIRFAX...
ALEXANDRIA...FALLS CHURCH

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 23, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

It's true: Winter Storm Watch now in effect for the District and northern Virginia. What prompted this abrupt about-face by the NWS? A "CYA" excercise just in case, or has a very recent model run just come in much snowier? We need to know! And yes, BRING ON THE SNOW!!!

Posted by: jeffdutton | February 23, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

It's a good call by the NWS in my opinion. We could be close in DC and just west but the upper levels look really good.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 23, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

We're on the edge!!

Posted by: celestun100 | February 23, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

If flushing ice cubes helps bring snow, I assume that flushing boiling water helps keep it away?

I just don't feel like putting the studs back on my bike. Or burning another vacation day. If I could work from home, I think I'd hate snow a lot less.

At least I finally have a shovel. I figured that getting the studs and a shovel would be a sure way to deter snowfall. Looks like I had better start boiling water now too.

Posted by: debiguity | February 23, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Bring on the snow! Yeah, let's all cross our fingers real hard for more tree and power line damage that will come with it

Posted by: tengoalyrunr30 | February 23, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

@CWG

Well, a half an hour ago, we were maybe getting snow flurries. Now we are under a storm watch, and a chance of 4, or 5, or 6 inches. Every storm this season has been like this. So by tomorrow night, will the forecast be for 12-16?

Posted by: tiggerinfairfax | February 23, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

woah this article was written in the future!!

Posted by: samdman95 | February 23, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

As an aside, why does the main post have a time stamp of Feb. 23, 8:10 pm ET? It's only 6:29 pm ET right now. Since the forecast for this storm seems to be in flux, I think it would be better to have accurate time stamps this week.

Posted by: 123home123 | February 23, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Bob Ryan says 50/50 chance of 4" in Washington, D.C. and probably 6"+ N/E of Baltimore and on the Maryland Eastern Shore...

Posted by: BH99 | February 23, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

@Ian,

I repeat myself... Love it when you come on so bullish!
I believe in my last post I did say this storm needs to be watched closely. And I have been following your somewhat colorful ;-) discussion on EasternWX and have learned a lot in the past 4 weeks on watching the 500 low and how it interacts with the surface low along the coast. Or doesn't, etc. And I did say I want to see the 00Z runs. I am soon to bed and early to rise (2:30 AM) and will see if your consistent calling of a storm to be watched comes to fruition. Fingers are crossed.

PS. You remind me of that commercial from the 80's (70's?). E.F. Hutton. The bull is walking through the fine china store and of course nothing gets broken. In the end the voice over proclaims "When E.F. Hutton speaks, everyone listens. Or is that "When Ian speaks..."

Posted by: pjdunn1 | February 23, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

They may well turn out to be correct, but this seems a *tad* hyped to me ;) From AccuWeather's home page:

A powerful storm of historical proportions is aiming at much of the Northeast Thursday into Friday and will follow up to a foot and a half of snow through Wednesday over upstate New York and western New England.

This second storm will be nothing short of a monster. Even in light of the blizzards earlier this winter that targeted the southern mid-Atlantic, this may be the one that people remember the most this winter in parts of New England and the northern mid-Atlantic.

At its peak, the storm will deliver near hurricane-force wind gusts (74 mph) blinding snow falling at the rate of over an inch per hour. For some people in upstate New York and eastern and northern Pennsylvania, this may seem more like a "snow hurricane" rather than a blizzard.

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | February 23, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Sounds good to me. I have a class on Thursday that I rather not go to.

Posted by: nlcaldwell | February 23, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

tiggerinfairfax, that was not our forecast a half hour ago.

samdman95, fixed.. I made an error when fixing the watch info.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 23, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

The suspense is killing me!!!!

Posted by: Snowlover2 | February 23, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

@samdman
If anything, I would think they would want to backdate the time stamps. Makes the forecasting look that much better. For example, say we do get 3" of snow on Thur. Backdate this forecast to Mon. Then they can point to it and say, look how accurate our 3-day forecast was! Putting the later time gives them even less wiggle room on this hard-to-predict storm.

Posted by: 123home123 | February 23, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Tengoalyrunr30, I'd like to place an order of JUST SNOW. No ice, power outages, roof collapses and all of that unnecessary stuff. Just snow. And I'd also like to order of A DAY OFF OF WORK and a SNOW DAY for the kids. That'll be all. Thanks!

Posted by: Rcmorgan | February 23, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

@123home123 haha good idea

Posted by: samdman95 | February 23, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

pjdunn1, lol, thanks. Everyone was focusing on the March threat over at Eastern, but the past few days even with the storm shown as a "miss" the overall pattern just looked too good to ignore it -- i.e., comparable to that during the times we got our bigger events this winter. There are some complications this go around, like the low near New England, which makes it a lower confidence ordeal. At upper levels it reminds me a bit of the Feb 9-10 storm with some extra injection of southern moisture. I'm personally a big fan of rolling with the seasonal pattern... the blocking setup as shown argues for a storm that hits this area as well as places north and east.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 23, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone watch Sue Palka tonight, after 6 p.m.? I was focused on WRC and Bob Ryan's 6:21 forecast changed dramatically from his 5-6 p.m. forecasts. And I still haven't emptied the ice cube trays!!

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 23, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Something's been telling me for the past couple of weeks, "We're not done..."

If I can just get in and out of class Wednesday night, I won't complain. Like I can control it. Let's break the record for snowiest month ever!

Posted by: MKoehl | February 23, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

@Rcmorgan

Fine with me! I'm fine with the snow, but it seems like with cheering this storm on, that's cheering on the effects it comes with.

Posted by: tengoalyrunr30 | February 23, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

@CWG

I think you mis-understood me. It was the TV forecasters that changed their forecast after the new data come in.

You guys ROCK.

Posted by: tiggerinfairfax | February 23, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Yeeeah! More snow!!!

Posted by: OMGPonies | February 23, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

CWG, weather guys,
in this morning's SLCB, you talked about how if low is "stronger" or if it forms "further south and west" that we could see more snow.

so, is the low stronger than originally thought or did it form further south/west?

i have a feeling my schedule is about to get hectic. gonna work late tonight... just in case we get good snow.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 23, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

NWS UPdate at http://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=NWS&issuedby=LWX&product=AFD&format=CI&version=1&glossary=0&highlight=off:

50 PCT CONFIDENCE FOR WARNING SNOWFALL CRITERIA /5 INCHES IN 12 HOURS OR 7 INCHES IN 24 HOURS/ EXISTS ACROSS NORTHEAST MARYLAND AND A WINTER STORM WATCH WILL BE ISSUED. THIS MAY BE A STORM WITH A TIGHT GRADIENT OF SNOWFALL...WHICH ADDS TO
THE CHALLENGING NATURE OF THIS STORM. SO PLEASE STAY TUNED AS THIS TIGHT GRADIENT COULD CUT THROUGH THE DC METRO AREA.

They also say:

THERE IS STILL PLENTY OF UNCERTAINTY WITH DISCERNING WHERE THE SHARP PRECIP GRADIENT ON THE WRN SIDE OF THE LOW WILL SET UP. WE ALSO WANTED TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE POSSIBILITY OF A NW SHIFT OF THE COASTAL LOW/PRECIP EDGE THAT HAS FREQUENTLY BEEN OBSERVED WITHIN THE OPERATIONAL MODELS THIS WINTER AS THE EVENT NEARS.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 23, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

By the way, I'm not mocking the CWG folks. This page has been a great resource for this turbulent month of winter weather.

Count me in with the group hoping for no more snow this winter. Though it's nice to be out in the snow for 30 minutes on a weekend, it's a big hassle to deal with off-days and Metro above-ground line closures. I had to walk home from downtown D.C. to Virginia on Feb. 9 when Metro shut the above-ground lines early. If I lived nearby, it would have been great. How many times can you walk around downtown D.C. and the Mall and not see a single other person? But having to walk through the heavy snow and cross the 14th St. Bridge when there was a fallen tree at the north end of the sidewalk was not a fun experience.

Fortunately it doesn't sound like we're going to get another historic snowfall this week. I'm still hoping for the "near miss" outcome.

On the Weather Channel site, I'm seeing forecasted highs in the mid to upper 40s for the seven days following this Thursday, so any new snow should melt pretty quickly, much faster than all that snow from Feb. 5-10. When is spring going to arrive? And stay?

Posted by: 123home123 | February 23, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Shift, shift, shift, shift, SHIFT!!! (snow dance, booty shake)

Posted by: Snowlover2 | February 23, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

walter-in-fallschurch, I think "further south" is the better story here, though the main change might actually be the western extent of precipitation. At upper levels one of the big drivers (a closed 500mb low) has drifted south in model guidance over recent runs -- likely in response to the high pressure over Greenland. Whenever you can get one of these to go right south of an area it's a pretty good signal for snow. Then you add in the southern stream merging with the northern stream and you have the recipe for a big storm -- both the Dec 19 and Feb 5-6 events were "phasers" like this. In this case it seems the best snows will be north a bit. I do think this will be a historic event to our north.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 23, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

thanks ian.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 23, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

CWG - Ian, what needs to happen for the DC/Baltimore area to see big snows out of this storm (say 10"+?)Does the low need to form further south and have a more inland track? Is this or any other senario a possibility to give us a big snow storm, or is it just not in the cards this time around? Thanks!

Posted by: snowlover | February 23, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

I WANT SNOW!!!!! :) I miss the lovely white fluffy stuff falling from the sky...so pretty.

Posted by: sigmagrrl | February 23, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Arlington County just sent out an e-mail about a NWS Storm Watch of 5+. I am not ready for this again unless it's enough to close the government Thursday & Friday. Otherwise, I'd rather have rain.

Posted by: ArlingtonGay | February 23, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Bastardi is now calling for 6+ at BWI with Philly and NYC getting absolutely buried. On the flip side, this could turn out to be a rogue hurricane for Longs Island! Wow...winter is not ready to go quitely into the night. I say bring it! Once last historic storm for a historic winter. Temps look to warm up next week...so this could be it...or not!

Posted by: DLO1975 | February 23, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

This Swami sees the forecast getting worse as the event approaches. I've got landscaping plants that have already suffered severely as a result of the one-two punch of two weeks ago (arborvitaes that have splayed and two spruces that have had their tops snapped off and probably need to be removed). I already see dollar signs in my brain as I contemplate replacing plants that are over ten years old.

Plus, I'm 62 years old, live on a pipestem and have stiff shoulders from shoveling out a pipestem. Am I whining? - absolutely.

I have always loved snow, but I have reached my level of tolerance. NO MAS!

Posted by: MillPond2 | February 23, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

I love you DLO1975

Posted by: notdlo1975 | February 23, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Andrew @ CWG

Yes Accuweather hype. Great for entertainment purposes but not much else. I have given up on the models for now. Way too much inconsistency. Will just be looking at satellite photos and Doppler from now on (LOL)

Posted by: ntrlsol | February 23, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

snowlover, I'd want to see the 500mb low (that I linked to above) continue to drift south through tomorrow to start. That can allow for the merging of the southern and northern jet - and surface low pressure formation - to happen further south. In our 2 historic events there was another system off somewhere northeast of New England which, when aided by the Greenland high, helped slow the system and keep it from moving too far. It seems that this go around the additional system will not be a factor so the storm can end up hitting places up the coast harder. In a lot of winters we'd miss out on something like this because things would come together too late. The position of the Greenland high and previous tracks this winter would seem to argue we have a better chance than normal for that not to happen.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 23, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Ian!

Posted by: snowlover | February 23, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

@notdlo1975

Check out my tweet. And come to Bino bday dinner. Excuses, Excuses. And enjoy the weather, because it's the only weather you've got!

Posted by: DLO1975 | February 23, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Dear Snow Gods,

We've gone nearly two weeks without serious snow and winter will soon be over. Please give us one more snow Thursday. I'm not gonna' be greedy and ask for 14" at DCA, so we can cross the 70" threshhold there. And I'm not going to ask for a snowicane, like they may get out on Long Island.

Darn it's so hard to type with one's fingers crossed....

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 23, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

I love Ian's bullish forecast and he has been correct more often than not this winter but I have my reservations of whether or not we get more than 4". The setup for this storm still favors a northern track where we are just on the southern edge. And as has been stated numerous time... the southern/western edge (where we in DC are situated) has a steep gradient of precipitation where a small number of miles shift could have huge implications for whoever is in that zone. This needs to be watched carefully.
Snow lovers dance commencing... now!

Posted by: pjdunn1 | February 23, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

No hype here.

50% chance of less than 2".
50% chance of more than 2".

Can't argue with that.

Posted by: manatt | February 23, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Now, wait just a minute! I turn my back for a few days and THIS is what I have coming? NO "further south"! NO "high winds"!

Cr@p! Now I have to go to Safeway, AGAIN!

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | February 23, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

@CWG - Why is it that sometimes I can email your forecast to friends, and sometimes there is no email option?

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | February 23, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

One last traditional DC storm would be nice - 4-6" of snow and gone in a few days.
I love snow, even though my marathon training suffered a bit, I mean its not like we get a cold snap in August in these parts.
I just wonder what the timing of the cherry blossoms look like now.

Posted by: Bainbridge | February 23, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if there are even any cherry trees still standing after all the heavy, wet snow, high winds and ice this month.

Posted by: 123home123 | February 23, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Dear Snow Gods,

Ignore JerryFloyd. We've suffered enough. Please rest until next winter. Or, if you see fit, dump 10 feet of snow on the homes of JerryFloyd, snowlovers 1 & 2 and walter, and leave the rest of us out of it.

kthxbye

Posted by: mhardy1 | February 23, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

when can we expect the next update? Thanks!

Posted by: samdman95 | February 23, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

A small 8-12 inch storm would be great...well small by this winter's standards! On the other hand 12+ inches may close the FED again. Let's go for that!

Posted by: DLO1975 | February 23, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

@mhardy1, I live in an apt. building. It would have to snow about 30 ft. on Thursday to reach my bedroom window. Even the Poconos many not get that much snow later this week.

@bainbridge, today I saw a few crocus stems and wild onions sprouting from ground, which until a few days ago was buried under a couple of feet of drifted snow. Natural life goes on, snow or no snow.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 23, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

mhardy1,
if only s/he/it/they COULD deliver on such customized requests. it would be great! i would be happy to have any snow ever headed for your property redirected to mine.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 23, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

...oh how i want to be in that bullseye
when the snow comes fallin' down...

oh when the snow...etc...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 23, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Come on now, sing it with me!

"Hot fun in the summer time...hot fun in the summer time..."

Posted by: natsncats | February 23, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

I finally bought boots. That should keep all this stuff away. I am sick of seeing snow, dealing with snow, talking about snow. I work from home and it still messes with my schedule. Just. Make. It. Stop.

Posted by: epjd | February 23, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

This seems to be the type of storm that gets us our reputation - someone starts mentioning possibly 3-6 inches for our area and people start talking about running to the grocery stores.

Posted by: natsfan76 | February 23, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

@walter-in-fallschurch, if you get 10' of snow, will you sculpt a blue whale?

Of course, if you get 10' of snow, DCA will measure 7.3" from the same storm.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 23, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

so we're 50/50...this one is more to our NE...I'm thinking not much...maybe 2"-4" max...we're all just use to these things going further south than we're use to.

Posted by: parksndc | February 23, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

I have to admit, in a way I am really looking forward to massive, historic snow ... on my TV, falling on Philadelphia.

Posted by: mhardy1 | February 23, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

0z NAM has shifted now. 0 precip through 51hrs

Posted by: mciaram1 | February 23, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

@epjd, I bought a pair of new boots Dec. 18 at Hudson's Trail. The next day, 16.4" of snow at DCA...

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 23, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

It certainly has shifted...and we are right in the middle of the hole.

Posted by: rocotten | February 23, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

F the NAM.. come on GFS. Deliver!

Posted by: DLO1975 | February 23, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

I admit I don't know how to read the models very well, but it looks like this storm will completely jump over us from the south then reform and completely miss us from the east while clobbering NYC...according to this NAM.

Posted by: rocotten | February 23, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

NWS 9:14 D.C. update:

ACCUMULATIONS...POTENTIAL FOR SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 5 OR MORE INCHES.

TIMING...A MIX OF RAIN AND SNOW WEDNESDAY EVENING WILL BECOME ALL SNOW BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND 3 AM WEDNESDAY NIGHT. SNOW IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE THURSDAY AND THURSDAY NIGHT.

NWS and NAM need to talk.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 23, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

Yeah! What DLO1975 said.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | February 23, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

guys- its 2 days out, wait for the GFS and 12z runs before declaring this strom a bust

Posted by: samdman95 | February 23, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

The NAM just put a BIG PERIOD on our winter. See you next year folks.

Posted by: rocotten | February 23, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

0z Nam does print out about .1'' liquid on friday morning. it looks likes it has the storm come inland further up the coast but then has it loop (via inland route) closer to us. What are others seeing?

Posted by: mciaram1 | February 23, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

So, will we be on the southern end of this storm? If so, wouldn't that typically mean more sleet and rain and less snow accumulation? I'm not feeling this one. I don't think it will be cold enough in the metro.

Posted by: GD1975 | February 23, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

OK, this is a basic question, but what do the z's mean when people talk about models? (0z, 12z, etc.)

And, where can I find the model data in a format that I can read (i.e., not raw data in meteorologese.)

Posted by: mhardy1 | February 23, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

@mhardy1: Z time = Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Current Eastern Standard Time (EST) is GMT-5, as we are 5 hours behind GMT.

Posted by: --sg | February 23, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

the real question isnt about rain or snow(we typically get snow on the back end of storms anyways). The question is how far up the coast, the low "explodes". the further south, the more snow we will get. We may start as rain but the precip type will be primarily snow.

Posted by: samdman95 | February 23, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

I have to say that I've noticed, but cannot prove, a direct correlation between the number of comments per post on this blog this winter and the number of inches of snow we get. 100 comments appears to correlate to 6 - 7 inches.

Or, hm.....could it be the other way around? ;-)

Posted by: --sg | February 23, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Someone during the last storm said it stands for zulu time, or GMT. In this case it stands for zippo.

Posted by: rocotten | February 23, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

@sg, your formula of 100 posts = 6-7 inches was can be valid. During snowmaggedon, I believe, there were 300 posts in one thread.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 23, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

epjd, you said,
"I finally bought boots. That should keep all this stuff away. I am sick of seeing snow....[whine, whine, whine]..."

i bought a bathing suit!

JerryFloyd1. you said,
"if you get 10' of snow, will you sculpt a blue whale?"

well, the aquatic theme is kind of unrecognizable...thanks to 4 grueling days of 40s, sun and rain....but, something will rise from the ruins....

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 23, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

What could be expected out in Winchester VA?

Posted by: kylef1 | February 23, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

I do love how we're back to having 100s of posts! Thanks to the snow...

Posted by: SWester2010 | February 23, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Here it is just 36 hours before the storm... and there is no consensus as to whether or not we'll get flurries or a blizzard. Crazy stuff.

Posted by: markinva2 | February 23, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

With all due respect to Roberto Duran...If this one pops - and I'm not convinced it will - it should be named:

Snowprize

As in: DC Area Eclipes Winter Snow Record...Coastal Storm Suprises Area with 6-10 inches.

Posted by: Z-man-notZorn | February 23, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

OH WHEN THE SNOW....BEGINS TO FALL
OH WHEN THE SNOW STARTS TO FALL

I WANT TO BE IN THAT BULLSEYE
OH WHEN THE SNOW STARTS FALLING DOWN!!!!!

Hmmmmm hhhmmmm hahmmmm oooo hammm hammm ahmmm

Posted by: akamrspris | February 23, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

We will need 3.2 inches at the airport, right?

That means everywhere else will need about 10-12 inches to help DC break the record.

Posted by: celestun100 | February 23, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

qazqaz wins ... Snow Mas.

Seriously -- no more snowdays for these kids. Parents have to work sometime, you know.

Posted by: BDVienna | February 23, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

3.2
3.2
3.2!!!

Posted by: celestun100 | February 23, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse

FOX 5 is the first to put out an accumulation guess, going with 1-3 metro area proper, more towards the eastern shore and A LOT more up towards Philly. CWG guys, is this a fair opening salvo?

Posted by: jdtdc | February 23, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Conservative...just like their news channel!

Posted by: DLO1975 | February 23, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

We can give the name "Snowicaine" to the New Yorkers if they get the big hurricaine of snow that accuweather was talking about.The pun lady from NY (see earlier posts) won't like it that we and accuweather have named her snowstorm, but we will at least win the pun contest, if we can't get the snow record.

Posted by: celestun100 | February 23, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

jdtdc - A lot more in Philly? He said 4-6+ in Philly. Hardly a doomy forecast.

Posted by: punyandy | February 23, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

123home123

I went for a run around Hains Point yesterday. The cherry trees seemed to come through with minimal problems. Virtually all of the less numerous evergreens had some limbs down.

Posted by: marathoner | February 23, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

DLO1975 - somewhat fair opening salvo. But I still want to emphasize CWG probabilistic totals, for DC, east & north:

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

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 23, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Marathoner,

I beg to differ. I went for as much of a walk as I could around the Tidal Basin last Saturday. Beyond the big oak that came down by the pedal boat dock, I saw a lot of damage to the cherry trees. While whole trees didn't come down a lot of limbs were lost.

Posted by: SPS1 | February 23, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

So I know this is a DC weather blog, but I can't seem to find any reliable accumulation estimates for this... I'm supposed to drive to Syracuse Friday morning. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being most likely, and tear inducing)... how likely is it that I'll be canceling this trip?

Posted by: CuseFan07 | February 23, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

We wait with anticipation and sleepy eyes for CWG"s next snow update.

Posted by: Frida7 | February 23, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

40% chance of 2-8 inches...not bad. We're quite a bit further north here in Eldersburg. Hoping for 6-8 inches; one last good snowfall would be nice. Extended outlook looks warmer...for now.

Posted by: DLO1975 | February 23, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

@CuseFan07

Joe Bastardi mentioned Syracuse in his video and blog post today. He says 1-2 feet. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

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

Darn...was hoping places like Syracuse would left out in the "cold" this winter in terms of big snow fall this winter...claim all the glory for the DC area.

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

SPS1

I was around Hains Point (East Potomac Park) and didn't go around the Tidal Basin. Sounds like the trees at the basin got hit much worse. The cherry trees around Hains Point are a different variety than the Tidal Basin and maybe that has something to do with the difference.

Posted by: marathoner | February 23, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

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