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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 12/26/2010

Forecast: White Christmas, a day late

By Brian Jackson

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


A zero if you've got travel plans, but a 10 if you've been waiting for snow. Splitting the difference.
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter


Today: Snow at times. Becoming windy. Upper 20s to near 30. | Tonight: Snow tapers. Windy. 18-23. | Tomorrow: Lingering a.m. snow showers? Partial clearing & windy. Near 30. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


A late Christmas present for snow lovers, and a travel nuisance for others, the storm moving up the coast today leaves us with a dose of the white stuff. It's no Snowmageddon or Snowpocalypse, at least not here in the D.C. area. But probably enough snow to slow down an already busy travel day, especially as the impacts of higher accumulations in Philadelphia, New York and Boston reverberate elsewhere. Besides the snow, the other big story is the wind, which really cranks up later today through tomorrow.

Snow Potential Index: 8 (↑) - We won't be buried like our friends to the northeast, but a few inches is within reach.

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

Today (Sunday): The coastal storm we've been watching all week is here, providing us with periods of light to moderate snow. We're expecting accumulations in the metro area to be closer to the lower end of our 3-6" range, as shown in yesterday's accumulation map, than the higher end. Temperatures should hover in the upper 20s to near 30 and winds crank up from the north this afternoon, increasing to near 15-20 mph with higher gusts. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Snow tapers tonight, though it may not seem like it with 15-30 mph winds from the north blowing around the flakes that have already fallen. Temperatures bottom in the low 20s with wind chills dipping to the single digits. Confidence: Medium

Keep reading for the forecast into the coming week...

Tomorrow (Monday): Winds roar from the northwest at 20-30 mph with gusts to near or past 40 mph. Skies clear by afternoon, but we'll stay blustery cold with highs only near 30 and wind chills probably holding in the teens. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: Not as windy as during the day, but still breezy. Under mostly clear skies, lows fall to the low 20s downtown, upper teens to near 20 in the suburbs. Confidence: Medium-High


Tuesday looks to be our transition day toward a warming and less windy stretch. Some breeziness still lingers, around 10-15 mph from the west. But that sure is an improvement, as are highs in the mid-to-upper 30s and mostly sunny skies. Partly cloudy and cold overnight with lows mainly in the low 20s. Confidence: Medium-High

Wednesday looks like the most pleasant day of the bunch. Highs head up to near 40 with light winds and mostly sunny skies. Confidence: Medium-High

Highs near 50 by the weekend? Could happen. How's that for a change?

By Brian Jackson  | December 26, 2010; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Snow may be closer to 3" than 6"
Next: Update: Nail-biter snowstorm remains close call


Thanks CWG keep up the good work! Go snow!

Posted by: snowlover | December 26, 2010 5:11 AM | Report abuse

The NWS radar makes the storm look like its spinning clockwise, or at least heading more eastward:

Posted by: mmurphy70 | December 26, 2010 5:11 AM | Report abuse

mmurphy70, looks like that to me too, but the Mt Holly forecasters said an upper low will kick it more northerly later. Heading back now from the Boston area, Rt 84 to 81 just to be on the safe side.

Posted by: eric654 | December 26, 2010 5:24 AM | Report abuse

ive noticed that the steering currents are looking really good for good amounts of snow here in DC. Is this something I am looking at wrong?

Posted by: lll1424 | December 26, 2010 5:52 AM | Report abuse

Lesser amounts of snow in DC = good.

Greater amounts of snow further northeast = bad.

See you at the office WEDNESDAY (maybe), Brian?

Posted by: ajfroggie | December 26, 2010 6:51 AM | Report abuse

Centreville VA
After a week long drama I want to at least get a dusting.
Bring on the flakes....and I'm not talking about all the wacky CWG posters from the last few days.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | December 26, 2010 6:55 AM | Report abuse

That's right Eric. It should have its closer approach to the Northeast coast toward this evening.

Brian, I wonder if we could make a run at 60F next weekend.

Posted by: MattRogers1 | December 26, 2010 7:04 AM | Report abuse

If you look at the precipitation sheild and project where it is headed based on it's last 6 hours, it lookes like a complete miss for us in NoVa. I hope there is some wrap around that makes it here, but it doesn't look good right now. The precip gradient is going to be extremely tight.

Based on their predicted amounts, I hope NWS pays as much attention to what's actually happening out there as to what the model says will happen 6 hour from now. Up to 7 inches predicted in DC? I say NO CHANCE.

Posted by: 4seams | December 26, 2010 7:11 AM | Report abuse

Our key DC accumulating period should be this afternoon and tonight. As the low strengthens and moves north, the precipitation envelope should expand westward. But this is always a precarious position to be in, and I have seen storms like this really under-perform away from the primary energy. So, I agree that the low end of our accumulation forecast is a safer call right now:

Posted by: MattRogers1 | December 26, 2010 7:21 AM | Report abuse

I spotted the first isolated, wayward flake in Gaithersburg at 8:15.

Posted by: hawknt | December 26, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse


My family and I plan to travel tomorrow (Monday mid-morning) to King of Prussia, PA (just west of Philly). How will the westward suburbs of Philly fare in this storm? The weather reports seem to be changing up there as well.


Posted by: teacup7 | December 26, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Now I'm really frustrated it seems like the storm is already half past and it's not snowing at IAD.

Posted by: SnowDreamer | December 26, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

It's almost noon and I'm not quite ready to completely throw in the towel for accumulating snow for western Fairfax county, but it doesn't seem likely looking at those radar screens.
What an Xmas tease.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | December 26, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

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