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Posted at 3:45 PM ET, 12/23/2010

PM Update: Winds to reluctantly relent

By Jason Samenow

Temperatures cracked the 40-degree mark for the third straight day, but you wouldn't have known it with today's raging winds. Gusts neared or topped 40 mph at all three area airports. These winds only very gradually settle down tonight through tomorrow while temperatures remain wintry but not bitter.

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.

Through Tonight: Skies are clear, but winds - while lower than during the day - remain gusty. As temperatures drop through the 30s, winds of 10-20 mph still may gust near 30 mph overnight at times. Low temperatures range from the low 20s (in the coldest suburbs) to the upper 20s with wind chills in the teens.

Tomorrow (Friday): Christmas Eve presents few challenges weatherwise for travelers and last minute shoppers. Yes, it's a bit windy again, but expect plenty of sunshine as the mercury rises into the upper 30s to near 40. Winds of 10-15 mph, gust from 20-30 mph at times.

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

Peak winds today: The highest wind gusts recorded at the area airports were 43 mph at Reagan National, 37 at BWI, and 45 mph at Dulles.

By Jason Samenow  | December 23, 2010; 3:45 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Forecast: Continued wintry. Weekend snow?

Comments

Cold dry wind makes for unhappy skin & hair.
I need an afternoon inside the DC Botanic Gardens.
http://www.usbg.gov/

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | December 23, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

"Cold dry wind makes for unhappy skin & hair."

Try wearing contacts.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 23, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that the closer-in stations (IAD, DCA) recorded higher wind gusts than the usually windier NW boonies. I think we topped out at 36 mph or so in the Winchester-Hagerstown-Martinsburg area. So far, anyway. I hope the wind stays reasonable!

Posted by: tinkerbelle | December 23, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Re wind on skin. When I go hiking, I slather Vaseline all over my face to keep the wind from flaying the skin right off it. I did the same thing when I worked in D.C. and had to hike the windy concrete canyons. Nothing like petrol all over the face to look enchanting! I used pricier face lotions once upon a time but they all make my skin break out. A beret protects my hair, but then of course I end up with hat hair....

Posted by: tinkerbelle | December 23, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Here's the most recent NWS update. The possibility of a track shift is still mentioned....as well as the light snow on Christmas Day/Evening. Just imagine if the 0z runs track west 50 miles...could get interesting.

.DAY ONE...THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT

A WIND ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT FOR LOCATIONS ALONG AND WEST OF THE
BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS UNTIL 6 PM THIS EVENING. PLEASE REFER TO THE
LATEST HAZARD MESSAGE /NPWLWX/ FOR FURTHER DETAILS.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...FRIDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY

AN UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCE WILL BRING A CHANCE OF LIGHT SNOW TO
THE AREA CHRISTMAS AFTERNOON AND EVENING.

A COASTAL LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM IS FORECAST TO DEVELOP ALONG THE
SOUTHEAST COAST AND THEN TRACK NORTHEAST UP THE EASTERN SEABOARD
SUNDAY INTO MONDAY. WHILE LATEST FORECASTS HAVE TRENDED TOWARD
KEEPING THIS LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM FAR ENOUGH OFFSHORE FOR LITTLE TO
NO IMPACT ACROSS MUCH OF THE MID ATLANTIC...THERE DOES REMAIN A
DEGREE OF UNCERTAINTY REGARDING THE EXACT TRACK OF THE STORM. ANY
SHIFT IN THE TRACK OF THE STORM TO THE WEST WOULD BRING A CHANCE
OF SNOW TO THE AREA. THEREFORE PLEASE CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE
LATEST FORECASTS.

Posted by: DLO1975 | December 23, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

DLO- I love the positive outlook for snow. I hope your positive vibes can make it happen!

Posted by: 4seams | December 23, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I just went back and looked at videos I shot from the snowstorms last season...we got spoiled for SURE. 34.5 inches from the first February storm in Leesburg. Doing some quick math, based on the fact that had never happened in recorded history, we are due for another storm like that in only about 100 years or so. :(

Posted by: 4seams | December 23, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

18z GFS looking better, hmmmmm.

Posted by: dannythe357 | December 23, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Danny- the track is similar, but it has the storm MUCH stronger throwing precip back closer to us.

Posted by: 4seams | December 23, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

So the next run will be the 0z right? 10PM? Maybe Bastardi isn't crazy for standing firm...he has been saying each GFS run will pull the storm a bit further west. Hmm...

Posted by: DLO1975 | December 23, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

DLO, it didn't really get pushed west I don't think, it is just stronger with more precipitation. This run was stronger, now if the next couple runs bring it west we might be in business.

Unfortunately, I'll bet money that doesn't happen.

Posted by: 4seams | December 23, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I just compared the last two runs at the 72 and 78 hour marks and it does appear to be a bit further west; but it's admittedly hard to tell. Wish I could see them side by side.

Posted by: DLO1975 | December 23, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

"Maybe Bastardi isn't crazy"

yes he is, still waiting for him to apologize for that silly White Christmas map he put out

he's not a forecaster, but a frustrated entertainer who needs to draw attention to himself

Posted by: TGT11 | December 23, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

TGT- Clearly you don't like the guy- why don't you just NOT pay attention to his work?

Posted by: 4seams | December 23, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

TGT...we'll agree to disagree about Bastardi. He was very accurate last winter, and while he missed the last storm he still has an outside chance with this one. He also nailed the December colder than normal pattern well in advance; which is not easy.

Posted by: DLO1975 | December 23, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

First off, I agree completely with Joe B about all the global warming nonsense. It's the one thing he's gotten right. That said, he's accurately predicted 17 of the last 4 big storms. It's a disgrace that he just hypes everything - from Hurricane Rita's winds at landfall to last week's snowstorm. He's not forecasting, he's just trying to scare people to bring attention to himself. As long as people are foolish enough to listen, I'll keep pointing out the remarkable inaccuracy of most of his forecasts.

Posted by: TGT11 | December 23, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

First off, I agree completely with Joe B about all the global warming nonsense. It's the one thing he's gotten right. That said, he's accurately predicted 17 of the last 4 big storms. It's a disgrace that he just hypes everything - from Hurricane Rita's winds at landfall to last week's snowstorm. He's not forecasting, he's just trying to scare people to bring attention to himself. As long as people are foolish enough to listen to him, I'll keep pointing out the remarkable inaccuracy of most of his forecasts.

Posted by: TGT11 | December 23, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Due to the possibility, can you guys do another rapid-fire model update post like last night? Just a 50-75 mile shift west, well within the realm of possibility, could give us a big storm!

Posted by: samd95 | December 23, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

I love the snow loving on here but we're not getting a big snowstorm in the DC area...we'll be lucky to get a coating.

Posted by: parksndc | December 23, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

@samd95

If I see anything interesting in the models tonight that meaningfully changes the forecast, I'll post an update... but so far nothing. 0z NAM out to sea.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 23, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

It is SO nice to have a place where nobody thinks you're nuts for being a snow lover...YES we got too much snow and it took out one of my evergreen trees out front but i just love that white stuff! Anyway...every since i found your page on FB i have been obsessed with checking for updates regarding this weekend's snow (or non-snow) Anyway...i really enjoy all the updates and the wonderful comments. Merry hopefully white Christmas!

Posted by: lisajulia | December 23, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

It is SO nice to have a place where nobody thinks you're nuts for being a snow lover...YES we got too much snow this last Winter and it took out one of my evergreen trees out front...but i just love that white stuff! Anyway...every since i found your page on FB i have been obsessed with checking for updates regarding this weekend's snow (or non-snow) Anyway...i really enjoy all the updates and the wonderful comments. Merry hopefully white Christmas!

Posted by: lisajulia | December 23, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

The 0z GFS shifted the track back a little west so that the Delmarva would get some snow, and it's a big hit for New England. If we get any more shifting west with the models, could put us (D.C.) back in the game for some snow...but odds are low. We'll have more updates tomorrow. This particular forecaster needs some sleep.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 23, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Rest well Jason, and thanks for all of your hard work (and the hard work of the rest of the Gang too!)

Posted by: natsncats | December 23, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Dropping my snow odds again based on latest model runs. Need 75-100 mile Westward shift for 4"+.
0-1" 70% +
1-3" 20% -
4"+ 10% ->

Posted by: VaTechBob | December 23, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

SREF also shifted a bit west. This may be the last-ditch effort by the models to put D.C. back in the game for some snow. I agree with Jason the odds are low that we can, at this point, get the track to shift west enough to put us back in major or even moderate storm territory, especially given that so many of the 12z and 18z gfs enemble members were well out to sea with the storm. But it's worth remembering that we're still 48+ hours away from what would be the potential start time for snow from the coastal low. Tomorrow morning's (12z) models could be the final nail in the coffin (if they shift back east even just a bit) or could give new hope for snow if they continue a westward trend. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | December 23, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Winds are really wailing out here .... hasn't slacked up a bit all day and it doesn't appear we're gonna get any slack tonite ....

Posted by: weathergrrl | December 23, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

This is actually getting fun. East West East West, Euro goes West and we may be back in business. Good night all and Merry Christmas!

Posted by: dannythe357 | December 23, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

But...as I posted separately...no huge Arctic push behind the storm!!! The snow is wasted if we go back to forty degrees once the high pressure returns...would prefer highs in the twenties and lows in the single digits or teens after the storm. The fact that it hit the forties today with all this wind, shows there's little Arctic air to the north...and even hints at the threat of precipitation more liquid than snow.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | December 24, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

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