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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 02/26/2010

Winds batter region, increasing snows north & east

By Jason Samenow

'Snowicane' impacting New York City

* Wild winds & snow showers today: Full Forecast through weekend *
* Wind Advisory through today (map) | Weather Wall *
* Winter Weather Advisory for northern/eastern suburbs *
* Power outage maps: Dominion | Pepco | BGE | SMECO *
* New: CWG Snowmageddon T-shirts | Your relationship with snow? *
* Bob Ryan's last day at 4 | Share snow damage pics | Local home page *

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.

Winds continue pounding the entire metro region, with widespread reports of gusts near or even exceeding 50 mph. Snow is confined mostly to just north and east of the District, with reports of light accumulations starting in Howard and Anne Arundel counties. The combination of snow and wind may reduce visibilities and cause some challenging driving conditions at times in those regions. From the District and south and west, more isolated snow showers and flurries are possible, and snow-related travel problems are less likely.

Throughout the entire region, powerful winds will continue throughout today, with gusts to 55 mph likely -- especially late this morning and early this afternoon, possibly downing trees and power lines. The peak wind gusts reported so far have been impressive, including 53 mph at BWI, 53 mph at Dulles and 47 mph at Reagan National. To the north and northwest, gusts exceeding 60 mph have even been reported...including a gust of 63 mph in Clear Spring, Md., and a couple gusts exceeding 60 mph in Frederick County, Md. (See National Weather Service wind observation reports.)

While we've had to contend with the winds and some light snow north and east, this storm has caused been dubbed a "snowicane" for its impacts around New York City, northeast Pa., northern New Jersey, and interior New York.

Keep reading for more on storm impacts elsewhere...

Around 17" of snow has fallen in Central Park in New York City, with 3-6" of more snow possible. Upward of 20" has impacted the northern suburbs. The storm has caused hundreds of thousands of power outages and closed New York City public schools. Interestingly, Boston has seen mostly rain and coastal flooding because the storm has remained to its south, resulting in relatively mild winds from the east.

Closer to home, blizzard conditions are impacting western Maryland and the highlands of West Virginia around Canaan Valley. Around 15-20" of snow has fallen near Davis, Wv. with severe blowing and drifting. Another foot or so could still fall there. According to a Davis, Wv., weather Web site: "Route 32 is closed from Davis to Harman and Route 33 is closed from Seneca Rocks to Harman. State of emergency has been declared for the Tucker County Highlands." So one only has to go a few hours from the District for a blizzard, but getting there is another story...

By Jason Samenow  | February 26, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Updates  
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Next: PM Update: Gusty winds starting to subside a bit


Dolly Sods is my favorite place to go hiking. It's already a very windy place on a normal day. Couldn't imagine it now.

And am I reading that Canaan Weather site correct? They've had over 19 feet of snow so far this winter!?!?

The Forest Service has a webcam for the area here:
Looks intense right now.

Posted by: VelocityAtrocity | February 26, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Usually I'll take a walk outside during lunch - now I'm not even sure I'm going to scurry out for a minute, to get to where I can walk laps inside (we're in a separate building from everyone else...)

Posted by: MKoehl | February 26, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know the all-time record D.C. March snowfall? I believe there was a 16" snowfall in 1892. But don't know the record (not that I'm hoping we'll break the March record, or anything like that...)

@VelocityAtrocity, there was a post yesterday about Canaan Valley snowfall: 217" according to, but that's old data.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 26, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Anyone from Carroll County? Working in DC and wondering how bad the drive home will be. The radar shows moderate to heavy snow in the area!

Posted by: DLO1975 | February 26, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 26, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

i'll come right out and say it: let's break that march record! (2) 10" snows would be fine. or (3) 7"ers would be fine too - i'm not particular...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 26, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I think instead of Snowicane it should have been called a Snownami.

Posted by: starcaro | February 26, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

The GFS 12Z is showing the potential for another snowstorm to affect the midatlantic on Tuesday to Thursday next week. The current models show at least 6-12 for the DC to NYC area.

Posted by: ajmupitt | February 26, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

The temps also appear to be cold enough to support mostly snow with a little mixing south and east.

Posted by: ajmupitt | February 26, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

The trend on the GFS is interesting. Dynamics would argue for a snowy solution here if it ended up right, but surface temps may be an issue.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 26, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Saw that as well ajmupitt.....seems to have a favorable track AT THIS POINT....we shall see! I am hoping!

Posted by: GMorg11 | February 26, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

@Ian, thanks for the March data. We've broken the previous December record, so March would be cool, as well.

@Walter, the increments do not matter to me, either. I would wish it's not a heavy, wet snow, so people don't lose power from falling tree limbs. But not too dry to sculpt, either. We can get drier snows early in the month. The misnamed (for here, at least) "Storm of the Century" in 1993 would up being a fairly dry snow, once it changed back from sleet.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 26, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

@ajmupitt - I'm pretty sure the 12z GFS showed most of the precip being rain for Tues-Thurs. But the amount of the precipitation in the run was encouraging.

Posted by: Dylan0513 | February 26, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Still snow showers & spitting snow here in NW dc, 34 degrees, gusting between 30-40mph... but we haven't topped our earlier 46mph gust for quite some time.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 26, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Will it ever end...the next big storm. Gee I can't wait! I seriously wonder how the jobs market is in San Diego right now? But if I did move there, then they would probably start getting the white excrement. Ever notice how attractive the snow pack is several days after the storm? Looks like dirty lauudry or vomit to me.

Posted by: seasejs | February 26, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Just got a note that my Snowmageddon tee has been "queued for shipment". I so gotta' wear to work next week if we get snow.

Wonder if one of Walter's sculptures will be sporting a Snowmageddon tee?

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 26, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Oh man. Should I be worried about my Thursday mid-morning flight next week?

Posted by: runnergirl03 | February 26, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Check out the "eye" of the storm sitting just off the Jersey Shore on the visible satellite:

Pretty cool!

Posted by: bdeco | February 26, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

the snow pack still looks great. it's the snow-plowed piles with all that sand and road muck that start looking nasty - which is why we need a "refresher snow" at least once a week!

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 26, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

@bdeco, the system with the comma down in Texas, also on the Wunderground image, also looks interesting... wonder where that's headed?

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 26, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

What's causing that absurd loop in the storm's path....a blocking high over Eastern Canada or just offshore? I know the loop was predicted by the models, but no one said what was actually CAUSING the block. If that block doesn't let go soon and let the center start moving away, it's going to be bad news for a lot of New England.

I also notice that the storm center seems to be forming an eye right off of NYC and Long Island....about 20-30 miles across, like a hurricane. That gives you some idea of what the central pressure is like....Accuweather has 984mb/28.80"

Posted by: MMCarhelp | February 26, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

2 days until meteorological spring.

DCA normal high is now 50.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | February 26, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

One other thing.....anybody notice that system over East Texas? Looks like it could be right on the heels of this one....if this one ever gets out of the way.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | February 26, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

@JerryFloyd1- Been looking at those Snowmageddon tees and wondering why they're not sweatshirts! Although they will be fun to wear this summer when it's 95 degrees and DC humid.

Posted by: WickedRose | February 26, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

MMCarhelp...looks like that storm in East Texas will only affect the immediate Gulf Coast region through tonight and then central and south Florida tomorrow...not a very big storm.

Posted by: BH99 | February 26, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

The storm currently hitting the northeast keeps the other storm from being able to gain much northward movement.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 26, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Hey guys, for a newbie how low is too low a pressure or how high is too high?

What is 984mb/28.80" ?

What was the barometric pressure during hurricane kartina?

Posted by: RoseVA | February 26, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully it will be enough north to give DC a glancing blow with 6 inches.

Posted by: ajmupitt | February 26, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully the snowicane will be far enough out to sea by next Wed-Thurs so we can have a nice snowstorm in DC for March.

Posted by: ajmupitt | February 26, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Interesting though this storm was a bust for my area. Hardly any snow...

It actually proves Global Warming...LONG LIVE AL GORE!!!

First, it seems that Meteorological Winter has ended ONE WEEK EARLY! Global Warming Lives!

How do I know this??? Please notice...that February isn't even over...AND WE'RE ALREADY GETTING THE "MARCH WINDS"!!! Let's just hope this sort of stuff doesn't drag into mid-April like the last windy March we had.

Take that, you right wing naysayers!!! Global Warming Lives! LONG LIVE AL GORE!!!

Anyway, if we get a snowstorm around Wednesday [model guidance is tending to suppress this system as far south as Florida] it will qualify as a "Bonus Snow" since it's past meteorological winter. [My hunch: we could get two or three "Bonus Snows" next month.]

BTW, someone mentioned the March snowfall record was aoa 19.7 inches. Was that for a single storm or the whole month?

Posted by: Bombo47jea | February 26, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I received an announcement of the State of the Arctic Conference next month. Where is it being held??


Perhaps the next tropical meteorology conference should be in Alaska!

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | February 26, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

The NWS forecast has been horrible with this storm. All day the NWS in Sterling claimed that accumulating snow was falling in northern Anne Arundel County when in fact we have not had a flake here since 9AM. Perhaps they were just looking at the radar which seemed to indicate snow was falling all day. To post a forecast all day that called for 1-3 inches when the sun was breaking through the clouds is irresponsible.

Posted by: joshct | February 26, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I like the bonus snow idea, but am not familiar with meteorological spring.

Posted by: celestun100 | February 26, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse


I have noticed that the NWS tends to give the worst case scenarios, like a warning of what could happen. But also, everyone has said all along that this one is hard to call as we are on the edge.

I have enjoyed looking at the satellite and radars of this one and then seeing snow come in from the west.

Posted by: celestun100 | February 26, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

@Rose Va

I asked a similiar question about pressure during the last storm. If you go to the page and type in your zip code, look under the map and you will see the pressure. Then under that there is a thing that says "3-day history" so you can see how the pressure has dropped.

I can't remember the "normal" pressure number. Is it 1080? someone out there will know.

Posted by: celestun100 | February 26, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

NWS is accustomed to worst case scenarios by now - this entire winter has been a worst case scenario, unlike the 'average winters of DC past'. I feel like my house is now 'Ice Station Zebra'

Posted by: seasejs | February 26, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

@ajmupitt: not sure where you are getting your information saying next Tuesday thru Thursday "The temps also appear to be cold enough to support mostly snow".

I am looking at the 10-day forecast and it shows the high temp being 44 or 45 each of those days in Fairfax.

Monday starts meteorological Spring. Snow lovers stop wishing for snow, you had your fun, and now winter is over in a few days. Think Spring!

Posted by: rwalker66 | February 26, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Why don't the winds shut down quicker? In the winter, it takes days for the winds to die down. I actually saw several semis lying on their side or upside down this morning on my way to work! I believe their were a total of 4 or 5 trucks lying on Rt 15 at the same time.
I can't wait for Hurricane season.

Posted by: seasejs | February 26, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

"Monday starts meteorological Spring. Snow lovers stop wishing for snow, you had your fun, and now winter is over in a few days. Think Spring!"

Does that mean that this snow lover can also start wishing for torrential downpours? I love them as much as the snow, plus everything stays nice and green.

Posted by: rocotten | February 26, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

We may be entering meteorological spring soon, but March has a good history of having some snow accumulation in the DC area. With temperatures still below average and likely to remain that way for some time, I have to think it's just a matter of time before we get at least another inch of snow. Of course, given the angle of sun, it'll all melt within a day or two.

But, can't wait for spring nonetheless! Getting tired of wearing sweaters.

Posted by: nlcaldwell | February 26, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

@rocotten: Sure, wish for all the rain you want. The problem is snow. People have to walk in the road and end up getting run over. Bus stops, and the sidewalks they are on, are buried in mountains of snow plowed there. Roofs collapse. People are stranded in their cars overnight. Some school systems are now going to have school in session until almost July because of all the snow days they had to take. I'll choose rain (or wind) over snow any day.

Posted by: rwalker66 | February 26, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse


I was looking at the GFS models for next week and they show the potential for another storm. Usually the extended forcasts on site like weather channel and nws do not get too specific about storm chances unless it looks very very likely and wont hint at storm until a few days before. 15 day forcast shows a chance of snow next wed-thurs with temps in upper 30s and lows below freezing.

I am not saying this is going to happen but I just informing everyone that there is a chance and even CWG has hinted at this in their long range forecast.

Posted by: ajmupitt | February 26, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

For everyone that does not like snow you cannot control so do not get upset about and complain aboot everything. It is the weather and thankfully one of the few things in life us humans cant control like we always want to.

Posted by: ajmupitt | February 26, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

good point, ajmupitt

Posted by: celestun100 | February 26, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Interesting how the Northeast storm appears to have pulled dry air all the way through it, so it's split into two halves.

Posted by: Groff | February 26, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse


Hold on! Before you get on your high horse and pass off your personal dislike of snow as an admirable concern for the safety of the general public, think about this:

We can play ad-lib with your comment- and fill in "unbearable heat," "poor air quality," "excessive humidity," or some similar weather quality from DC's sweltering summers (don't forget to switch the month to June, August, or September)- and it still makes sense. Just admit it! You can't stand snow!

"" @rocotten: Sure, wish for all the rain you want. The problem is snow. People have to walk in the road and end up getting run over. Bus stops, and the sidewalks they are on, are buried in mountains of snow plowed there. Roofs collapse. People are stranded in their cars overnight. Some school systems are now going to have school in session until almost July because of all the snow days they had to take. I'll choose rain (or wind) over snow any day. ""

Posted by: kolya02 | February 26, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

"The 'dry slot' comes about because the air stream in that quadrant of the cyclone is descending and descending motion suppresses cloudiness from adiabatic warming."

Is that what's happening here -- there's an area of sinking, warming air running north/south through the center of this storm? Or is this not a dry slot effect? It is more than a "quadrant" and it's not just an intrusion of dry air from the southeast.

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

kolya02- Good point & great idea. Too much of any type of weather creates problems. Too much: Sun = drought, Rain = flooding, Wind = damage & power outages, Snow = just look outside.

Here's an attempt at a weather ad-lib:

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

As a side note, As the snow banks melt I am noticing a lot of street drains blocked by dirt and debris from plowing. If we were to get a deluge, flooding would be a huuuuuuge problem. If you see a blocked street drain, notify your town/city/county.

Posted by: dprats21 | February 26, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

"If you see a blocked street drain"? Honey, the Arlington plows came in here last week and PACKED snow atop my nearest storm drain to a depth of two feet in all directions, presumably so Hummers could pass one another in my already mostly cleared street. I did say a thing or two on the government website..

Posted by: Hyperlocal | February 26, 2010 10:03 PM | Report abuse

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