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Posted at 5:30 PM ET, 12/26/2010

Slick spots possible as winds gust

By Dan Stillman

8:30 p.m. update: We're back to the pattern we saw earlier today with radar showing most of the snow in the immediate metro area along and to the east of I-95, with the exception of some light snow in eastern/southern Montgomery County. It's worth mentioning again that the occasional light snow or snow showers through around midnight, while providing little to no additional accumulation, may result in icy spots tonight into tomorrow morning.

Looking ahead, the news is good after a cold and very windy day tomorrow (gusts near or past 40 mph) and warmer but still breezy day Tuesday - winds die down by Wednesday with rising temperatures heading into the weekend, when 50 degrees or higher may be within reach. Check out our full forecast through midweek.

7:30 p.m. update: With daylight long gone and light snow lingering, the potential for a dusting to 1" remains across the area this evening, before the light snow winds down by midnight or so. Watch out for some icy patches forming if you're out and about this evening and there may even be a few slippery spots early in the morning. Beyond that, it's a storm that clearly fell short of expectations locally.

Here's a sampling of some of the higher accumulation totals in the mid-Atlantic (all from NWS unless noted otherwise):


Calvert County: Kings Landing - 2.0"
Charles County: Cobb Island - 3.0"
St. Mary's County: Portneys Overlook - 5.0"; Piney Point - 6.5" (source: @stmaryscountymd)
Ocean City - 8.0" (though there were other reports of 10" and counting)
Salisbury - 8.5"


City of Virginia Beach: Kempsville - 14.5"

6:35 p.m. update: Occasional light snow and flurries remain the story in and around D.C. with a few slick spots the only real worry from here on out through the evening. Where's the real action? Reports of thundersnow now coming from New York City and Ocean County, N.J.

5:30 p.m. update: I was tempted to use this nifty storm nickname - "Beach Blizzard-Beltway Bust," coined by caphillse in the comments section of the previous post - as the headline for this post. But might be worth saving for a storm review post. It sure is accurate, though, as the metro area struggles for a dusting to 1" this evening while a Twitter report indicates Ocean City is now up to around 10". In keeping with the theme of this entire storm, a band that was heading for the District from the northeast and may have contained some briefly moderate snow has mostly fizzled. Still, light snow continues off and on across the metro area. And as darkness settles in, a few slick spots can't be ruled out. Winds now generally gusting to 25-30 mph get stronger this evening and overnight.

By Dan Stillman  | December 26, 2010; 5:30 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts, Latest, Updates  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Flurries, light snow continue; windy
Next: Forecast: Windy today, then warming trend


What a DC dud.
The new snow shovel remains untested.
Still, holiday lights are sparking on the thinnest layers of new fallen snow here in Centreville. It does look pretty.
Glad I'm not on the road or at an airport tonight. The east coast is all messed up.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | December 26, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse


Nothing interesting in Laurel, nothing to shovel, nothing, just a micro dusting.

Posted by: MikeinDC2 | December 26, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Guess not...

Posted by: MikeinDC2 | December 26, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

just want to thank all the CWG mets for their very hard work here, their predictions were as close as anyone else's, and we're getting far more depth and analysis than people in the much larger and more heavily impacted NYC area

I'm not the biggest WaPo fan, it has a dated baby boomer writing style and can't say I'm on board with its political views, but this weather blog is a great innovation in local media, and I think we need to lay off the gang for predicting that the snow that hit Queenstown, MD would fall 30 miles closer to DC

if you were in Boston or NYC right now, all you'd have is blow-dried Mets telling you what you already knew, or worse, you'd be heading over to accuweather to hear Rayno, Margusity, or Bastardi predicting the end of civilization

Wes Junker practically apologized in the last thread, NOT NECESSARY WES! look forward to your analysis of our next winter event

Posted by: TGT11 | December 26, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Who else is sad for two reasons, one, Christmas is over, and two, we got no snow?

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 26, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

@TGT11 - I COMPLETELY AGREE. the reason I like this blog is because of the dedication and the fact that they give you an in-depth analysis. That is what I've always looked for. I feel bad for the folks new York since there's no NYC Weather Gang!

i.e. Three sentences; brief description.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 26, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse


Thanks much for the comment... we welcom both the compliments and the criticism. This was one of the toughest storms in recent (or longer) memory to forecast. One thing we tried to do through the very end, even as and after we issued our first snow map yesterday, is emphasize how paricularly uncertain this situation was. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | December 26, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

5/8ths of an inch so far today in the Blue Ridge Mtns east of Front Royal...

Currently 19.4F with light snow...

Posted by: spgass1 | December 26, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: KPosty | December 26, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Let's remember folks, the CWG forecast amounts were qualified as highly uncertain, in fact there was just about equal probability for nothing (20%) as any other single category of the total snowfall. That's the science with all it's warts and lack of understanding and modeling capabilities. Some cases are much easier to pin down, but not this one. Those are breaks, and Jason, Wes (and other CWG forecasters) deserve kudos for playing it cool without going overboard one way or the other in the face of readily acknowledged uncertainty.

Anyone who believes that they or anyone else, amateur or otherwise, could have nailed this with complete confidence is simply a charlatan even if they hit the mark (in hindsight of course) via pure luck!

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | December 26, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

spgass1 - very cold, wow. Still flurrying there in FR?

KPosty - how much do you have where you are? Not much, I take it by your naming?

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 26, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: apeirond | December 26, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

apeirond - funny title. nice.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 26, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Finally snowing in Carroll, started just after 2 pm, and it is really coming down. It is a very fine wind driven snow. After the weather guys take all warnings and advisories down for Carroll it starts to look like a blizzard, figures.

Posted by: jimmygre | December 26, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

How can it snow for HOURS and HOURS at the 310 Bridge, and the grass isn't even covered?

CWG - You have nothing to apologize for.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | December 26, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Santa was really good to me this year. Great gifts, great time with family, and NO SIGNIFICANT SNOW!!! LOVE IT!!!

Posted by: SouthsideFFX | December 26, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

jimmygre - up near you and the Westminster area, the band of snow does look moderate. And the winds are picking up. But I don't think it can last all too long. But do be careful. Don't drive during periods of lower visibility!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 26, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

SouthsideFFX - ah, I see you are chiming in for the not-so-snow-lovers side of things :) very good. Glad you got what you wanted.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 26, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Camden, it's still snowing at my location, but it's light... the kind of snow you have to shine a light at to see.

Posted by: spgass1 | December 26, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

I think you guys did a great job with this storm--especially keeping people up to date as the situation changed on the holiday. Thanks to your guidance, we're not stuck in our beach house in a blizzard. And I'm thankful for that!

Posted by: bachaney | December 26, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

So, so jealous of my parents in Raleigh right now!

Thanks so much, CWG, for all of your hard work this weekend. Sad that the storm missed us, but thankful for your work and analysis.

Posted by: RASinDC | December 26, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

spgass1 -totally understand. Know what you mean. So, very little accumulation it sounds like.

Thanks to everyone for reading our blog - appreciate all your responses!

I am off to drive from Fredericksburg back to DC. Wish me luck, but I am not too worried. Will let you all know how the road conditions were, once I am back!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 26, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

I think Wes should personally apologize to every single juvenile snowlover in the WashPost area.
It's the only thing that will satisfy us... personalized grovelling.
For example: "I'm so sorry Amy you didn't get to use your new shovel or the Flexible Flyer sled. I was wrong to raise expectations for a snowstorm with less than 100% certainty."
He ratcheted us up to the breaking point for all day snow games.
We are mad.

Wes, welcome to the CWG winter games.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | December 26, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

@Camden-- you (and the other CWG guys) have a place to bail out at exit 152A off of I-95 if you ever need it. Be safe, and good luck with the I-95 crazies! :)

Posted by: southbridgemom | December 26, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Just home from a 2nd weekend trip to Shenandoah Valley for a funeral today. I66 was a little hairy coming across the mountain at Linden from MM 13-28 to Marshall. After that, roads were just wet. Saw one car in the ditch during that hairy stretch. Be careful if you venture that way.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | December 26, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Right there with ya, SouthsideFfx. And I'm looking forward to the warmup next weekend.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | December 26, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

I am hoping I can wash my car when the temps's like a grey ghost. Gonna start thawing my garden hose tomorrow.

Posted by: tbva | December 26, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Know I said I wouldn't post again but I just wanted to apologize to Wes. I was very upset with my hopes getting raised and now that my emotions have simmered empathy has ruled over cold, calculated logic.

I remain to stand by my comments earlier, as I still do deem it a bit unsettling how persistent forecasts stand in the face of obvious, disparaging tangible evidence by simply viewing the radar or looking outside our windows, but it was unfair to single out someone who is, in all fairness, far wiser than I in the field of meteorology. When all of your peers and colleagues are jumping on board with a forecast and a preferred model supports it I can understand how confidence can raise more than you would like with hindsight.

At least you guys are more stable than the hype machines at Accuweather, like Bernie Rano, who just pump out convictive statements and flip flop over them more than the beach at Ocean City (although not in this snow).

Just to reiterate, now that I'm more calm, it was more the final hours that peeved me. When the storm reached a certain point off the coast and was failing to make significant Northward movement it was just so obvious that we were out of the woods with this thing. The reason I get so upset is because time and time again this happens. I remember a storm in 01' I believe it was, when I was in 7th grade, and the mets called for 2-4 inches with rain changing to snow. The storm progressed with rain persisting throughout, cold air failing to work its way through. The back edge was dangerously close, and the mets STILL had the advisory up, STILL projecting those totals. I know this sounds like severe bitterness, pulling out tragedies from way in the past, but there are a million stories like this one. I think the main thing mets need to work on as a whole is to become faster with their short range forecasts, and more flexible with changes, because like someone posted earlier, a TON of money is being wasted on treating roads and other preparations and a LOT of people are upset when a forecast is off base. Those who are less in tune with the scientific side of this stuff but still love snow were probably hopeful throughout the entire day today because they couldn't see a forecast change that could have been made at midnight last night.

I'm going to stop before I start getting worked up again, I'm already venting as it is. But again, just wanted to apologize to Wes, shouldn't have singled you out like that just because of one comment you made last night. I felt bad when you said you should have done better. Because the fact is if this thing hit you would have looked like a genius while a lot of the models were going against that forecast. You were courageous in making your own statements and that takes independent thinking, which is exactly what mets need.

Posted by: bbirnbau | December 26, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Still snowing here in the Northern Neck (Ches. Bay), though there's probably only been another .5-1 inch since I last posted midafternoon. Totals right now around 6-8 inches on varying surfaces.

We definitely had a very different experience down here: flurries started yesterday and I awoke to a solid blanket of snow.

Posted by: dcnative71 | December 26, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Huge fan of CWG, and think they did, as usual, an incredible job. I really appreciate Wes's articles, and think he is a wonderful addition.

I am completely bummed by the way the storm failed to materialize here. I'm just a snow loving fool. Hopefully my juvenile tendencies will help me get over the disappointment- as soon a I see a shiny new snowball on the horizon, this snowmissmass will be but a memory.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | December 26, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

CWG, I'm happily snowed in in NJ with friends and plenty vacation to burn, but I've been following every update. Y'all did a great job!

Posted by: kmill67 | December 26, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

One nice, thick, powdery, shovelable inch in Herald Harbor, Crownsville, MD. Roads were probably a little slick coming from DC, though luckily I didn't feel it nor see anyone in any ditches. Traffic was travelling at nice safe slower-than-the-speed-limit speeds, I took an hour rather than 45 mins to get home.

Interestingly, there is quite a bit LESS ice cover on the creek this evening than there was this morning.

Posted by: ChickenLady | December 26, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

We got a dusting here in Fairlington, but the streets were just wet. Was glad to see a salt truck in the neighborhood, since wet streets will be icy overnight.

Winter's only five days old, folks -- keep hope alive!

Posted by: rosilandjordan | December 26, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

OK, so this was a bust. Wheaton has MAYBE 0.5" and nothing is falling as of 8 PM. Cold and windy, with most of the "snow" staying liquid on the roads, which could be a problem tomorrow morning when things freeze over.

So, what's our next likely target? Anything in the long range to start watching?

Posted by: DCMacNerd | December 26, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Well... About .15" inch. At IAD. So much for 6".....

Posted by: SnowDreamer | December 26, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Saw a brief burst of flurries up here in Frederick County.

Safe driving and keep your distance behind snow crews on the roads!

Posted by: eabgarnet | December 26, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Going to pick up my roommate at Reagan National in an hour or so... while I'm disappointed that the snow didn't materialize, glad her coming back from the holidays didn't involve much drama...

Posted by: MKoehl | December 26, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

We got about 2" in Northern Calvert on the western shore of the Bay. I shoveled, but I probably could have just broomed it.

Posted by: SubRosa2 | December 26, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

I would suggest to WP weather writers to consider that especially in offering weather news on the WP, that there will be local people traveling to DC that will take such information seriously. I know that I did, and I changed my travel plans, based on WP weather forecasts. Clearly I will do something differently next time, but I was not the only one, who was not able to get a straight story from other national weather sources, and turned here for local weather news. Something to consider in the future.
I don't need to tell people how providing such information on DC weather on 12/25 and 12/26 impacted travelers to DC.

Posted by: responsiblepublic | December 26, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Still snowing in Annapolis, in Highland Beach- just measured 4 inches on the driveway! If it keeps up, maybe 6" by morning?

Posted by: KastleDonovan | December 26, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

0.5" in Berwyn Heights...lighter coating on street. Lot of people upset with the forecast...but hey, no one seemed to have this one nailed down well. So, I will continue to follow/enjoy the expertise of the CWG site and hope that we get at least one 4"+ storm before winter is over (that's not too much to ask for is it!!?:)

Posted by: BH99 | December 26, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

@KastleDonovan, really?? So close, and so much less here.

Posted by: ChickenLady | December 26, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Not much accumulation, but with the wind blowing what did fall around, untreated roads are pretty slick around here(Columbia).

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | December 26, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

No snow in Cedar City UT. I think Ocean City got our winter. Lots of rain and flooding a bit south of here. Driving near Hurricane at aroundd Noon I looked north and saw a rainbow. That sort of thing can only happen this time of year.

Posted by: wiredog | December 26, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

The people criticizing the weather people are being a bit irrational. Do you really think a forecaster could have accurately predicted that snow that looked liked it would stay east of the Bay, south of Fredericksburg and then reform just north of Baltimore, would really just give DC only a dusting?

Yes, maybe one model showed that (others did not). But if CWG or others would have assumed no snow and then 6 to 12 inches fell, everyone would criticize them for being so stupid to assume that it would snow everywhere on the East Coast around D.C. expect D.C. because that is what one model said.

They forecast 3 to 6 inches. (actually, Annapolis appears to have met this). Don't forget the NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE initially forecast 6 to 10. And, frankly, people last night where on here asking over and over again, why CWG why they were only forecasting 3 to 6 when the NWS is 6 to 10?

If all this criticism continues, what will happen next time when CWG decides to just play it safe and give a forecast for 1 to 6 inches or 2 to 10 inches. Will that really make us all better off?

Posted by: realclear | December 26, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse


So I guess your sledding trip you had in mind didn't work out?


Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 26, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

I actually think that CWG's forecasting this week is some of their best work to date. They were quite clear throughout that the forecasting was especially tricky, they explained the different models and put the possible outcomes into layman's terms.
I wonder if people who are irked that they changed their travel plans and we didn't get hammered by a blizzard are also irked that they buy insurance but haven't been in any accidents so haven't gotten a payout.

Posted by: RightField | December 26, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Here in Loudoun county, I only saw a dusting... Amazing what a difference a few miles can make!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 26, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

I had been tracking this system for about 15 days prior to Christmas. By last weekend, it became increasingly clear that the DC area could be in for a blockbuster monster snowmaggedon. The Euro model had been pumping out about 15 to 20 inches across the board. Some meteorologists took this more seriously than others. The Euro continued in that trend for a few days, but then Wednesday night, I believe, it joined all the others in predicting a glancing blow. By then I had lost hope.

For the next few days I didn't give the storm any thought. I don't think any of us did. When I head the meteorologists say that they'd be watching every model closely, I thought it was a joke. But then on Christmas eve, things started to change. By Chrismtas morning, the GFS was pumping out 16" for the metro area and even more to the east. But then, of course, things to a nose dive. Again. By yesterday evening is became increasingly clear that we wouldn't get much.

I must say, however, that I truly appreciate the Capital Weather Gang being here for us 24/7/365. Even at all hours of the night early on Christmas morning CWG never failed to keep us informed. Like I've said before, don't they ever give you guys a day off? This is without a doubt, a city in which the weather is very hard to predict. This storm proved it. Up until this storm, I only checked CWG periodically, but after seeing their remarkable performance this time around, I must say, I'm thoroughly impressed. The snow totals, on the other hand, aren't as impressive as I was hoping they'd be.

Oh well, there's still two full months of winter left for a good old fashioned blizzard. My hope is that the next one will be measured in feet, not inches!

P.S. - CWG: When will our next best chance of precip. be. I know this next weekend might have some, but it looks like it'll be in the form of rain. Also, how long will this apparent warming trend last? Thank you and any feedback would be greatly appreciated! :)

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 26, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

I think CWG did an admirable job with this difficult forecast. The key point is that through the entire forecast period right up to today, they emphasized the very low certainty of their forecast updates and the reasons why. To me, they were telling it like it was.

Wes - I enjoyed your technical analysis write-ups. I'm not someone who would normally be interested in those details, but you kept your reasoning and the explanations of the graphical outputs of the various models reasonably simple and accessible for a non-weather person like myself. From all the technical posts, I came to understand why this forecast was as difficult as it was (not necessarily all the tech details, but enough to follow the high-level summaries of what the models were saying). Your technical write-ups also gave me a glimpse into some of the tools a meteorologist uses and some of the reasoning involved - and that was interesting and informative. So, CWG and Wes - kudos for a job well done!

Posted by: creativekev | December 26, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm drinking the last bit of eggnog still left in my fridge. I can't believe I'll have to wait another year before I can have it again... I think it's the absolute best Christmas drink hands down!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 26, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

A day in the 50's after the December we've had will seem like a day in Heaven. It's also a great way to start off the new year.

Posted by: rwalker66 | December 26, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone else watching The Sound of Music on ABC?

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 26, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, I sure love The Sound of Music

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 26, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

While I'm not watching the sound of music, I am glad to report roads are drivable between Fredericksburg & DC. Definitely some slick spots on I-95 between Fredericksburg & Dumfries tho. Plus, even downtown, the blowing snow is still easily coating streets that were treated. Temperatures hovering near 25 start negating some of the salt effects

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 26, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

@Camden-CapitalWeatherGang: do you guys get to work from home? I feel sorry for you having to drive on I95. I despise that highway!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 26, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

BobMiller2 - thanks for asking, but it was a family/holiday visit. Luckily for fun, rather than "work" per se. But all of us on the CWG team try to work on the blog from wherever (and whenever) we might be!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 26, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

bbirnbau, Thanks for the apology, it wasn't really needed. criticism comes with the territory though at times it does sting.

In my part of calvert county I ended up with whopping 1.25" or so and the plow just went through.

Posted by: wjunker | December 26, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Amazing, last night, comments were being posted at a rate of about 2 per minute and now, we've gone almost a half hour and no one but me has posted anything...

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 26, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Thanks again for everyone's feedback - positive and negative. We'll do some post storm analysis of what went right/wrong Monday and/or Tuesday... but I am so done with this storm for now and Dan's 8:30 p.m. update will mercifully be the last forecast related post for this wretched, miserable storm.

All I want to do now is stare at the radar in New York City (I might drool). If the Euro model on Wednesday had been right, that woulda been us!!!

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 26, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure NY is just deliriously happy under all that beautiful snowfall.
Let's take lots of pretty pictures and not think too much about the stranded travelers sleeping overnight at airports. That spoils the fun.
Centreville VA has about .15 snow & I have no legitimate excuse not to go to work tomorrow. That wretched wind will be waiting for me as soon as I step out the door.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | December 26, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

CWG - You guys did a great job forecasting this was quite difficult to forecast for the DC area. We'll live and learn and do better next time. Anyone in their right mind understands that. Jason, I have a buddy from Millersville University (we both went to undergrad meteo school there) who's in NYC and he's having the time of his life right now.

Posted by: parksndc | December 26, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to be in NYC right now... sigh- well, off to sleep, perchance to dream. I'll dream of snow.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | December 26, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

My husband came in from taking the trash out and announced, "I've seen dustings of pollen thicker than the snow we got!"

So, that's just the way it goes for us in Gainesville, VA this time.

Thanks for the time and work you all put into this blog! It is fabulously fun and fascinating - on so many levels.

Posted by: holly6 | December 26, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to bed... hopefully I'll dream of snow!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 26, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'll just ditto holly6's last paragraph, without giving any indication of my feelings pro/con snow! Thanks so much to the CWG guys.

Posted by: skidge | December 26, 2010 11:18 PM | Report abuse

We can watch the NYC radar tonight just like New Yorkers watched our radar last February 5-6 when we had Snowmageddon and they had flurries.

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | December 26, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Possible to take a break from the NYC radar to look a bit south?

Still getting snow in Western NC mountains (Yancey County) and need to return to DC in next day or so via I-26 and then I-81.

The mountains along the TN border look brutal, but it is so tricky down here with each locality so different that difficult to tell if things are going to let up or not. They say we may get another 6+" tonight? Agree?

Sorry, don't mean to put this snow dump in my fellow snow lovers face....just gotta get home soon.

Posted by: DCcola | December 26, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

What I don't understand is why the lower bound on some of the predictions was so high? What is the confidence interval indicated by a 3"-5" range? I got a dusting thus far, and a range of 0"-8" would be more useful to me, as it actually would have included the right answer.

Posted by: staticvars | December 26, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

DCcola - as far as I can observe and detect...along your route should be under control tomorrow morning. Salt crews will have been working hard, and snow will almost completely have stopped. Drive safe! But you should be able to get here nearly at the speed limit without too much hassle.

staticvars - we still thought 2" was possible last night, east and along Route 29 in Virginia (to use as a boundary line for you)... in our discussions we discussed the exceptionally high uncertainty and gave a wide range of accumulation expectations in our narrative. We had to visually post something for our readers on 12/25 and did start at a stripe of 3-6" in the immediate Metro Area. Then slowly eased down into the 2-4" range by around midnight I believe. Of course, we have it all in writing below our post here. I believe we had the best interpretation of the data in DC, but still the atmosphere was highly unpredictable. I truly wish we could have given you more accuracy, sooner, but it would have been rolling the dice and not mathematically or scientifically serving our readers!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 27, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Most galling part of this weekend's "storm" (other than the threat thereof chasing my relatives away before we really had a chance to visit) -- how seemingly so many points around the immediate D.C. area (hinterlands of FfxCo to the west, northern PGCo & Baltimore to the north, Fredericksburg to the south, and God knows EVERYONE to the east of the Chesapeake Bay!) got freakin' measurable snow today and the city and near-in 'burbs got the dusting of doom or flat-out nothing. That was just salt poured liberally into the wound left behind from the truncated visit with my kin... :(

Posted by: VAStateOfMind | December 27, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

I think it would valuable to understand what represents the "DC metro area" in the CWG weather reporting. I would have thought it would have been DC to roughly 30 miles radius of the suburbs. I could even see it going as far as Baltimore (38 miles).

But if it is going to include Ocean City, MD (148 miles), Richmond, VA (106 miles), Salisbury, MD (119 miles), etc., then where does the DC metro weather area reporting end? Should it include Harrisburg, PA, (121 miles), Philadelphia, PA, (140 miles), Dover, DE (150 miles) etc.?

I agree such information on other areas and other states is of general interest to readers, I just don't know why it has been such a large part of the DC metro weather reporting here.

Because I think people who live in the DC area and immediate suburbs would want to know a lot more about what is going on in the District and in the suburban areas ranging North to South from Columbia MD to Upper Marlboro, and from Germantown, Leesburg to Manassas areas, including focus on Arlington, Fairfax, PG, Montgomery Counties and the like. That seems to be a very small part of the recent reports I have seen. I would think those would be the primary readership for weather information for the Washington Post, no?

Given the recent weather activity, perhaps the actual DC metro area is not as interesting to write about, but I think that is what people were coming here to find information on.

Posted by: responsiblepublic | December 27, 2010 12:48 AM | Report abuse


We said on Saturday there was a 25% of less than 1":

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 27, 2010 12:58 AM | Report abuse


We generally consider the counties/locations listed at the bottom of our main weather page as the "dc metro region" that we cover. See:

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 27, 2010 1:22 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Guys!

No more than a dusting in N Arlington - looks like half an inch of less, but it is blowing around (along with one of my neighbor's unsecured recycling -- GRRRRR) so it is hard to say for sure. I am not sure I've ever seen a half inch of snow "drift," but I may be seeing it now! The wind is totally brutal.

Thank you for all your very hard work over the last several days. I'm grateful to have this place to come for my obsessive weather watching. Definitely the best spot in the area and my go-to for weather.

Posted by: BadMommy1 | December 27, 2010 7:19 AM | Report abuse


I don't see anything in this post that suggests the D.C. metro area is anything but your first and fairly accurate definition (generally 30 mile radius around D.C.). We did, in this post, report snow totals from across the mid-Atlantic, because when there's interesting weather news on a national or especially regional scale, we report that too, but not at the expense of our local coverage. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | December 27, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

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