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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 12/17/2010

Forecast: Continued cold. Any more snow?

By Camden Walker
Today's Daily Digit
 
A somewhat subjective rating of the
day's weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.

 

Wintry wonder makes for a picturesque Friday. Despite being "warmer" in the 30s, definitely will still feel cold.
 
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EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Mostly sunny. Low-to-mid 30s. | Tonight: Partly cloudy. Upper teens to low 20s. | Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy. Mid-30s. | Sunday: Mostly cloudy. Morning snow? 30s. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Our winter wonderland is kind of becoming a winter broken record. Reminiscent of states nearer the northern U.S. border, we see many clouds in the coming days, but not as much today. Temperatures struggle to get much above the freezing mark during the weekend, yet that won't fully prevent melting. Peeks of sunshine and a few hours above 32F appear able to eliminate a lot of our snow by this weekend. I see continued cold overnight low temperatures, and high temperatures struggling through the 30s -- even into next week. Stay bundled up! Take that vitamin D-3 to avoid Seasonal Affective Disorder? Eesh!

Snow Potential Index: 4 (↓) - Odds of a big weekend snow remain low. Someone to the east could get more? There's also a hint of an Alberta Clipper out about next Tue, but it looks moisture-starved for now.

 
The SPI is a daily assessment of snow potential for the next week on a 0-10 scale. Get the 'SPI' on Twitter
 

Temperatures: Latest D.C. area temperature map powered by iMapWeather (base map by Google). Click and hold on map to pan. Double-click to zoom. Refresh page to update. See larger map on our Weather Wall.

Today (Friday): Before snow melt during the warmer, sunnier hours, it may blow around a bit. Temperatures only manage to get into the low-and-mid 30s. Northwest winds sustained as high as around 10 mph will definitely ensure you know it's winter. I hear this is what Upstate New York is like? (just observing -- no offense!). Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Partly cloudy for the most part, but get ready for a frigid evening. Low temperatures range from upper teens (suburbs) to low-or-mid 20s (downtown). Crank up that furnace... The power company will make some money off of us! Confidence: Medium-High

How are our chances for snow on Sunday? Keep reading...


People cross a snowy Taft Bridge headed toward Woodley Park. By Capital Weather Gang photographer Ian Livingston.

Tomorrow (Saturday): Mostly gray and still colder than average. Clouds dominate and help keep those temperatures down in the mid-30s. Brrrr. Good news, if there is any, is that we're looking at lighter winds around 5 mph. At least wind-chill is less of a stinging annoyance, right? Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: Cold, cold, cold. Despite clouds that would normally insulate, any bit of snow we have left on the ground helps chill the lower atmosphere. Lows should get into the 20s again, or as far as the lower 20s in the suburbs to the upper 20s downtown. A slight risk of snow creeps in late at night, though mainly south and east, I think. Confidence: Low-Medium

Sunday: As of now, the storm system we have been watching mainly impacts those south and east of the area, but still brings a slight risk of snow into the morning. We may see some clearing in the afternoon but this forecast lacks a lot of confidence. High temperatures could range from the low-to-mid 30s to the upper 30s depending on storm impacts. Confidence: Low-Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

On Sunday night will feel like someone re-opened the refrigerator door! Low temperatures head into the upper teens (suburbs) to nearer 20 downtown. Skies are variably cloudy. Confidence: Medium

Monday means a better chance of sunshine! But guess what, cold air remains entrenched. High temperatures will STILL struggle to get much past freezing -- perhaps as high as the mid-30s. Confidence: Medium

Tuesday could demonstrate that sunshine remains a commodity, as it may be obscured by more clouds than Monday. Overall, chances are it will remain cold with perhaps a slight breeze. We'll keep our eyes on a moisture-starved clipper system which could bring a few flakes but don't bet on it. High temperatures struggle to again far above freezing, perhaps mid-to-upper 30s, at best. Confidence: Low-Medium

By Camden Walker  | December 17, 2010; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: On-again, off-again Sunday snow is...

Comments

Camden - I went to college in upstate NY (Troy/Albany area), and I remember snow ... and cold ... um, I think you're probably spot on with your observation.

Speaking of the cold, what's the reason our temps have been lower than average for the past couple of weeks? And when might the temps moderate a bit? It'd be nice for the highs of the day to get to the high 30's/low 40s.

Posted by: creativekev | December 17, 2010 5:21 AM | Report abuse

6 degrees and 2 inches of crunchy snow on the ground in Harpers Ferry. Hiking boots handle this fine and I can sort of breathe through my frozen schnoz. Calm wind makes for a nice change, except the wood fires smoke is pretty dense in some locations.

We kept a little more heat in the house last night than the previous night (worried about pipes) so the interior temp was in the balmy 45-50 range when we woke up.

Posted by: tinkerbelle | December 17, 2010 5:28 AM | Report abuse

CWG, your posts have shown us that the models have been flip-flopping on Sunday's storm more than dear presidential candidate John Kerry! At first commenters were clinging to the bearish Euro model as proof there wouldn't be a big storm, and now that one is itself predicting snow!! Is there any model agreement out there on no storm, or have you reduced the storm's chances due to other reasons?

Posted by: kolya02 | December 17, 2010 7:15 AM | Report abuse

My Dad lives in Cedar City Utah. 45 minutes from the slopes and at 6000 feet elevation. For the past couple of weeks it's been warmer there than here.

Heading out there Thursday, hope the weather here is dry that morning.

Posted by: wiredog | December 17, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

The models still haven't come to consensus but the way things are trending, in my opinion, is that DC gets grazed by some light snow or flurries with a few inches possible toward the coast. But still could be a total miss or bigger hit. We'll have a full update later this morning.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 17, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Re: our cold weather. There are two ingredients that I see (but probably more). The negative North Atlantic Oscillation http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/pna/nao.sprd2.gif causes blocking north atlantic highs or even retrograding highs that keep us in an east coast trough. The second ingredient is storms from the pacific (La Nina driven) that go north and west of us giving us rain, but then get stuck in eastern Canada and pump down cold air forever. The La Nina also has a role in the cold air pump but is not supposed to hit us so much http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensocycle/laninasfc.shtml but I think that tongue of blue is making it all the way to us because of negative NAO.

Posted by: eric654 | December 17, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

I voted an 8 on "Today's Daily Digit". I took the bus in to work today, as I do every Friday, and marveled at it being close to a perfect winter day: barely below freezing, no wind, clean fresh snow on the ground, and passable roads.

This is the kind of day that gets my mood up. I'm a big walker, not specifically for exercise, but for getting about, since I just like the mode of transportation, and this is the kind of winter day made for walking.

Posted by: ArlingtonSMP | December 17, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

when is the "mostly sunny" supposed to happen today?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | December 17, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Cloudy here in Reston and we had some very slight snow flurries for a brief period of time. Curious how much sun we'll really get today. This Sat night/Sun forecast is driving me nuts. I have a gut feeling we'll get more than we think right now but the models won't confirm it!

Posted by: parksndc | December 17, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

12Z NAM showing OTS.
Maybe our coastline gets a flurry?..

Im saying we dont get a flake from this, thats my call. I just cant see it happening. Neg tilted too late and too disorganized.

Who knows what itll say tomorrow LOL. But I cant imagine theres too many more miles of shifting that will take place. This has to be the biggest flip flopping of storm models ever. But still too OTS for us.

Posted by: KRUZ | December 17, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

when is the sun coming out?

will the SPI be adjusted throughout the day? or is it issued once a day and that's it?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | December 17, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

"forecast lacks a lot of confidence"
That's for sure. :-(

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | December 17, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: wiredog | December 17, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the "upstate NY" comment with one exception: Sunshine. There is not much of it in upstate NY (Rochester/Buffalo area) this time of year. Makes a big difference!

Posted by: diane15 | December 17, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

NOAA really seems to think this storm will start shifting west in the next 24 hours ALA last years storm around this time.

50% chance of snow saturday night, thats a bold claim especially from NOAA. I really want to hear what Wes is thinking at this point.

Posted by: KRUZ | December 17, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I seem to recall that the Winter Outlook predicted a milder January and February. Is that still the consensus? I'm debating whether it's worth it to drag my winter wheels/tires up from the basement for my rear wheel drive car. I would hate to go through the hassle and then have a mild, rainy winter for the next couple of months!

Posted by: FH59312 | December 17, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

We're literally minutes away from our next update on the Sunday snow threat. Hang tight folks...

@FH59312

Our winter outlook thoughts haven't changed. Yes-- we don't expect Jan and Feb to be as cold relative to average as Dec... but a lot of this depends on the state of the NAO which is tough to predict. Also, even if Jan/Feb are slightly milder than average, we still expect some winter weather threats.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 17, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

clouds finally breaking..everyone seeing some sun now?

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 17, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

You mean that bright yellow thing in the sky?

yep.

Posted by: wadejg | December 17, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm breaking out the shorts!

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | December 17, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

haha, it isn't THAT mild, is it?? ;)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 17, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

haha, it isn't THAT mild, is it?? ;)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 17, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

clouds finally breaking..everyone seeing some sun now?

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 17, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Most past winters I can remember which featured a cold December, ended in a rather boringly mild Jan./Feb....though March was often a bitterly cold surprise.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | December 17, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Most past winters I can remember which featured a cold December, ended in a rather boringly mild Jan./Feb....though March was often a bitterly cold surprise.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | December 17, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Most past winters I can remember which featured a cold December, ended in a rather boringly mild Jan./Feb....though March was often a bitterly cold surprise.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | December 17, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Bombo47jea, hey there. According to our CWG Winter Outlook which I still take stock in, January and February will be less severely cold than December. Probably a bit above average, temperature-wise. However, Jan & Feb are our coldest months in DC, typically. So it will still feel like winter, I would think. But just not as brutal. The NAO appears to be relinquishing some of its starkly negative posture. It has been immensely negative! But luckily the coldest air from the arctic regions have spilled into Asia, rather than North America (this time around, anyway!)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 17, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Sometime in January, I'm having my attic insulation beefed up. If I can avoid another ice dam, I too can be a snowlover on the Walter scale.

Posted by: mhardy1 | December 17, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

"But luckily the coldest air from the arctic regions have spilled into Asia, rather than North America (this time around, anyway!)"

Would this trend last for the entire winter? Or is this just what is happening right now? Nothing against Asia, but I'd love to be spared from the colder temps. A milder winter is fine with me.

Posted by: creativekev | December 17, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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