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Posted at 12:15 PM ET, 12/26/2010

Snow struggling to stretch west of D.C.

By Jason Samenow

Warnings, advisories dropped except east of I-95

1:25 p.m. update: Light snow and flurries continue mainly along and east of I-95 with little accumulation. Accumulating snow is mainly confined to the counties on the west side of the Chesapeake Bay and to the east. That will continue to be the story for the next few hours into this evening. However, even spots which haven't seen much today could still get some snow as radar does show some light activity building to the west.

For one last time, we've scaled back our accumulation map posted beneath the radar to the right which now indicates little to no accumulating snow may fall in large parts of the metro area. Nonetheless, where it snows, the combination of snow, wind, and falling temperatures may create some slick conditions, especially after dark.

Snow accumulation forecast 12/26.

12:45 p.m. update: Winter weather advisories have been discontinued by the National Weather Service for most of Fairfax and Montgomery county. Little snow is expected in those areas. The District, Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church and spots further east remain in the advisory for up 1 to 2 inches of snow through tonight. The far southeast suburbs in Calvert and St. Mary's county remain under a winter storm warning for 3-6" of snow.

Keep reading for earlier updates...

12:20 p.m. update: It's becoming clear the western cutoff to the snow is from central Fairfax county through eastern Montgomery county. Areas west of there aren't getting much of anything. And even areas just to the east of that line are on the fringe with just light snow or flurries. Because the intensity of the snow is so light, it's not sticking much despite temperature below freezing. This may continue to be the case for a while. To get into accumulation, you have to get into southern Prince George's county and to the east and south. We may have to shrink the area of 1-3" snows further east depending on whether we see indications that the snow might expand.

The big time snow isn't too far away though - see this webcam from Salisbury, Md.

11:00 a.m. update: Not surprisingly, the National Weather Service downgraded the Winter Storm Warning to a Winter Weather Advisory for most areas west of the Chesapeake Bay (with the exception of Calvert and St. Mary's county) due to the model/radar guidance we talked about in our earlier post. Nonetheless, some snow is still coming. About 1-3" in the immediate metro area with up to 3-6" in the eastern suburbs.

After a seemingly endless wait, local radar (shown to the right) is filling in to the south and southeast as low pressure begins to rapidly deepen just south of Cape Hatteras, NC. Light snow and flurries are starting to be reported in the metro region and steady snow, but mainly light, should spread over the immediate metro area in the next hour. However, regional radar shows a very sharp western cutoff to the precipitation and places in the western suburbs, particularly around Loudoun and Frederick county (and points west) may see very little snow. As a result, the National Weather Service has canceled the Winter Weather Advisory which had been in effect for Loudoun county.

The big snows continue to be well to the east. The Virginia, Maryland and Delaware beaches, for example, have been getting hammered (see Ocean City webcam). And the storm has prompted blizzard warnings from the central Jersey shore to eastern Maine, including New York City and Boston. Snowfall amounts in those areas may be well in excess of one foot with winds over 50 mph. The snow has already reached central New Jersey and Long Island. Conditions will continue to deteriorate up and down the northern mid-Atlantic and northeast coast this afternoon and tonight making travel to and from that direction difficult if not possible.

By Jason Samenow  | December 26, 2010; 12:15 PM ET
Categories:  Latest, Updates, Winter Storms  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Update: Nail-biter snowstorm remains close call
Next: Flurries, light snow continue; windy


Centreville Va very light snow flurry, cold & windy.
I have the broom ready. It doesn't read as if those of us in western Fairfax will have just cause to break out the shovels.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | December 26, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Centreville Va very light snow flurry, cold & windy.
I have the broom ready. It doesn't read as if those of us in western Fairfax will have just cause to break out the shovels.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | December 26, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

OC webcam seems to be getting hammered as well.

Posted by: random-adam | December 26, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

very light flurries at US Capitol began about 10:45 and continues.

Posted by: caphillse | December 26, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Light snow in Burke; if this is a broom storm, rather than a shovel/snow blower storm, I'll be the happiest guy around.

Posted by: Gunga2009 | December 26, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Is it just me or is it only 364 days 'till Christmas? Better start decorating!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 26, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

At least the evil words "ice" & "sleet" & "winter mix" were never spoken in this see-saw forecast.
Those are the worst. This is nothing, except for the damned wind.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | December 26, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

this has been the must frustrating storm -- i may have to quit reading -- this went in circles.

Posted by: Rjmw | December 26, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse


Thats because of a little thing called COLD AIR! :)

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 26, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Flakes finally falling in Woodley Park...if we even get one inch rock creek park will look gorgeous!

Posted by: rivergirl1 | December 26, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I know this will get people mad, but the redskins dont stand a chance today... This is coming from a Dallas fan!!! :)

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 26, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Disregaurd that statement. We have an official super super lite flurry-idge. You can only see it if you concentrate very hard..... But snow it is !!!!!!!!!!!! WWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT

Posted by: SnowDreamer | December 26, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, to Jason and his colleagues, for your efforts regarding this storm. I can appreciate your willingness to admit uncertainty all the way along as the storm developed. That made the shifting calls more understandable. I cancelled a flight from Boston to BWI that was supposed to take off at 12:30 and get in at 2. Now it might be possible that that flight will take off and land, and that the roads will be good back to Crystal City, just like when you watch the World Series of poker, you see underdogs hit on the River, but that does not mean it would have been a good move to stick with my original travel plans. I rebooked last night on Amtrak, came back early, and had a smooth ride on good roads this morning.

My practice for years has been to plan visits to family in the winter with lots of flexibility on travel days due to the uncertainty of the NE corridor. If I buy nonrefundable tickets, then I have to be willing to let the airline pick the day I come back if the weather turns sour. If I drive, then I have to have a couple of day window on either end. In 15 years of travel in the winter, I've only had one set of trips messed up when I took that approach, and that was in Snowmaggedon.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | December 26, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

That is at IAD btw

Posted by: SnowDreamer | December 26, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Snow flurries in Reston...not expecting any snow today now. Think the 2.4" guestimate is at risk now...oh well. It was a great weather year. CWG, I hope you had a great holiday and spent plenty of time with family.

Posted by: parksndc | December 26, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

how much confidence is their in the 1-3" forecast? Seems like we could still easily get just flurries in DC, no?

Posted by: BH99 | December 26, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Sos I have 200 inches snow in my back yard!

Posted by: rappahanock | December 26, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Believe it or not, it's 42 degrees in el paso! I was trying to find a place with hot weather so I typed I. El paso tx and it said 42 degrees!

Speaking of el paso, who remembers this famous line from Seinfeld:
George: So, they're gonna fly the tiny instruments in from el paso...
Kramer: El Paso?! I spent a month there one night!
Newman: (wheezing laughter) El paso! Ha ha ha!

Oh what a great show that was!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 26, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse


I gotta say, the way the dry air is eating into the snow trying move in here, the 1-3" forecast could be in trouble - but not changing it at this point. We may have to rely on wrap around bands later, which are iffy.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 26, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I have to say, I think this storm was a very big disappointment and tease. Snowtease 2010

Posted by: mkbf26 | December 26, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I have been hearing reports that Home Depot and Loews in Fairfax and Loudoun are filled with customers trying to return their just brought snow

Posted by: BlackHill | December 26, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Just East of I-95 in Woodbridge, VA near Potomac Hospital. Flurries/light snow at the moment, (was steadier earlier) and is barely sticking. Just a dusting barely before noon. Most of that was from last night.

Posted by: SW6Blues | December 26, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

This is great news, since I have to fly back to Leesburg airport (JYO) on Tuesday. I was worried about taxiways to my hangar being cleared, but now it looks like there's nothing to worry about.

Posted by: BeechF33A | December 26, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

On the planet Mars it is 20 below with gusts up to 200 mph.

Posted by: johng1 | December 26, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

This storm blows. So much for that 3-6". I'll be lucky to get a dusting at this point.

Posted by: oriolesfan2323 | December 26, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Steady flurries in Old Town - kind of sort of sticking to the ground but if it keeps up for a few hours, we will get something.

Posted by: hereandnow1 | December 26, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Another pretend storm as a marketing ploy to sell shovels and salt. Putting the gear away for the winter...

Posted by: DontGetIt | December 26, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Yep...... Snowtease 2010

Posted by: SnowDreamer | December 26, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

GFS is showing an active southern branch again starting in just 10 days or so. This means we should all cancel our plans to travel since there will surely be multiple east coast storms since the models say so :)

I really think the CWG is the best thing going with DC weather. Full explanations, objective forecasts and timely revisions when needed; all things we don't get most other places.

Tough forecast, though I DO think many could have started looking at satellite and radar starting last night and been able to see that the models weren't picking up on how tight the precipitation shield would stay to the center of the low. The fact that many were still giving too much credence to the models as late as just a few hours ago and ignoring what was actually happening (surface reports, radar, etc) is unfortunate. Score once for the NAM, that's for sure!

Posted by: 4seams | December 26, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Washington DC is laughing at this "storm," laughing out loud! We scared the storm away with our good vibes and prayers.

Posted by: johng1 | December 26, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Don't put you money on the wrap around bands; they're burned me MANY times...

Posted by: hawknt | December 26, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: hawknt | December 26, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

In response to a comment on the previous post..a horrible forecast is 1-3 inches...oh wait looks like 5-10 inches...well maybe more like 2-4 inches...actually wait a minute more like a dusting to an inch. This wasn't just CWG either, I'm talking about this entire area's trusted forecasters including the NWS. This has been going on for a week with each model run. Since when did "could be a little, could be a lot" become an acceptable forecast? The frustrating thing about this particular blown forecast (a common theme around here) is that thousands of people altered their plans based on the doom and gloom predictions from yesterday. WINTER STORM WARNING SAVE YOURSELF WHILE YOU STILL CAN!!! It's media hype which sadly effects people's lives especially on the biggest holiday of the year. If winter storms are so hard to predict in this area because of this or that factor, then the media should stop hyping each event for ratings and website hits. You would think history would tell local mets to stop reporting each and every model output's potential to the public. As technology advances, mets will think more and more that they can some how predict the unpredictable leading to more chaos.

Posted by: tjack55 | December 26, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I want to echo jca. The uncertainty has made following the forecasting extremely frustrating at times, but at the same time, I am very appreciative of CWG's admission and explanations of that uncertainty. Even as late as yesterday, you were honest in telling us that there were just about equal odds of less than 1" or of 6-12" or more - and of 1-4" or 4-6"! And that even extremely minor shifts, of 25-50 miles, could have drastic effects on the outcome for us. So it was fairly clear to me - if, again, somewhat frustrating - that I couldn't be sure of much of anything until it actually happened.

But as I see it, as of yesterday you were forecasting a 50% chance of what it looks like is actually going to happen in the immediate DC metro area: 1-4". That's pretty good, given a system that according to you guys, presented you with the most uncertain forecasting you've faced in 30 years! And as jca says, given the uncertainty and the dangers of travel (and the fact that there are plenty of areas near us that are getting slammed!), that doesn't mean that planning for the worst wasn't smart, or the right thing to do. We all have 20-20 hindsight.

I don't envy you guys; you can't win for losing: assuming we do in fact get only an inch or two, people will continue to slam you for crying wolf and causing them to change their plans unnecessarily, and if we'd gotten 12 inches or 18, people would have slammed you for failing to correctly forecast a big one. You'd only get praised if you'd have happened to hit the bullseye of 3-6", which this system didn't seem to lend itself to. You must love what you do to do it despite the fact that you always bear the brunt of people's weather anger - and I appreciate your continuing to inform and educate us to such a high level despite this.

Posted by: jcats | December 26, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse


Thanks for the kind words. I'm not sure that radar and satellite last night was telling enough beyond what we did say last night, which is that lower end of forecast range was looking more likely than closer end. When you have what is currently accumulating snow in P.G. County and little to snow D.C./north and west, that is just too tight of gradient right in the metro area here to say anything with even medium confidence until you see how radar is evolving in the few hours leading up to and during the storm's onset.

Yes, it looks like NAM wins this one, likely because it has a higher resolution than GFS and was able to resolve the tight gradient in precip better (though not to complete accuracy) than other models. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | December 26, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey guys, don't blame the weathermen. It was the goat and lamb sacrifices performed at my church last night that altered the course of this storm.

Posted by: johng1 | December 26, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Typical leftists in action. Wrong as the day is long..

Posted by: wewintheylose | December 26, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I think if meteorologists actually UNDER forecast storms, people would be less upset. If you call for 2-4, and suddenly 6-10 pops up, there is less outrage. Most folks aren't out there with a ruler anyway, and the folks that are measuring are probably happy they got more than expected.

Posted by: 4seams | December 26, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I agree with tjack55, keep all of us uninformed because some of us are too dumb to understand what a "forecast" is.

Posted by: hawknt | December 26, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Actually, to be accurate I should have said you were forecasting yesterday a 50% chance of *less than 1"* to 4"...which, again, is what it looks like is going to happen here in the immediate DC metro area.

Posted by: jcats | December 26, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

@Jason and BH99

I could be wrong, but my gut feeling is that we will be lucky to see an inch. Stray flurries this late in the game doesn't bode well. Since last night all the radar maps have shown moisture well to the south and east of us, moving northeast. In other words, everywhere except DC. Let's take our pick: we can drive down to Williamsburg or up to Philly to see the winter wonderland that missed us yet again.

Posted by: meteorolinguist | December 26, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

@Dan--Not only do you have accumulating snow in Prince George's but not other parts of the metro region, it's only PARTS of Prince George's! Bowie still tiny, tiny flurries, sticking to nothing. Don't envy your task on this one, so many thanks to everyone all the Gang's effort, especially yesterday.

Posted by: Louise9 | December 26, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

We've got at least 4" of virga here in Rockville. I just gassed up the virgablower and am going out to clear things off before it piles up too much.

Really, I'd rather get at least 3" of snow...or nothing. Less than that is actually MORE difficult to remove. As if preference ever affected weather.

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

The thing about this storm and the forecasting, is that storms like these where the track is uncertain as it works it way up the coast, will always cause the kind of confusion we are seeing now.

In this world where we seem to have lost our sense of awe, I think it is kind of cool that weather will always have this dynamic quality.

Hang in there snow lovers!

Posted by: jaybird926 | December 26, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse


Some regulars here will know that we can be pretty hard on ourselves in assessing out own forecasts post-mortem. There will likely be a full post-mortem on this storm in the coming days. But informally, I think if you look back at our forecasts during this past week, we did about as good a job as possible trying to be steady and balanced with our forecasts in the face of widely fluctuating models, and in being honest about the paricularly high uncertainty with this storm. Yesterday's best guess of 3-6" (which still emphasized an unusually low confidence) will almost certainly turn out to be too bullish. But we were faced with some models indicating as high as 8 inches (or more with a slight shift west of the storm). Based on out expertise, experience and gut instinct, we hedged on the low side, and my guess is we were probably on the low end of the various forecast outlets. But we also walk a fine line where you don't want to go too low and then put yourself at a significant risk of, say, forecast an inch or 2 and ending up with a foot. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | December 26, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Winter Weather Advisory was just lifted in Fairfax...we basically now have a forecast of flurries in Reston. I even question if Philly will get this blizzard they're worried about for the Eagles/Vikes game.

Posted by: parksndc | December 26, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

1-3 flakes around IAD this morning, but that was before the anti-dandruff shampoo

and this is the problem with all those wildly inaccurate accuweather mets, the storm hypers like Bastardi and Rayno are too bald to understand this

Posted by: TGT11 | December 26, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse


I think you're right, but only for a subset of the population - the snow lovers. On the other hand, there are a ton of people out there with travel plans, kids, etc., that would be pretty upset and highly inconvenienced to be expecting, say, 2 inches and end up with 10 inches. Is there overlap between those two population categories? Yes, of course. But in the end, forecasters have to walk a fine line that sometimes has them erring on the higher side (better safe than sorry) in deterministic forecasts (e.g., accumulation maps). -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | December 26, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Amen. Proof that god exists because she/he answered my prayers and sacrifices. Alleluia! We've been spared. More blood sacrifices for thanks are in order.

Posted by: johng1 | December 26, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | December 26, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Here in Sandy Spring.......NOTHING, no activity whatsoever. It's 12:30pm EST.

Posted by: iamasofaking | December 26, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

@johng1: God DOES exist and he DOES answer prayers (even if they have to do with snow!) Thank you for acknowledging that.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 26, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Too bad we're not getting snow.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 26, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

not without sacrifices bob! he likes that.

Posted by: johng1 | December 26, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I have always wondered what people did with the snow shovels they bought last year?

Posted by: slim21 | December 26, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Still hoping for 'the stall' - although I know it's not likely. CWG is still the first and most accurate forecasters around. Thanks for all your work!

Posted by: Bworl | December 26, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

This is by far the best place to get info regarding the weather. Thank you guys for keeping us updated and aware of everything you guys knew regarding new info on forecast models etc. It's disappointing we aren't getting as much snow as we'd like, but we still have Jan-Feb.

Thanks guys!

Posted by: MVPlaya8120 | December 26, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Like someone previously said, I think it's much less disruptive to suggest we could get 2-4 and end up getting say 7 or 8 inches rather than suggesting we could get foot, and end up getting a dusting. The CWG usually does stay on the low end up accumulations, which is a good thing. I was just looking at the radar last night saying to myself, I wonder why nobody else can see what I'm seeing. A huge mass of moisture doesn't just stop on a dime and suddenly go left. I guess some were unwilling to let go of the same models that lead them into this mess in the first place.

Posted by: tjack55 | December 26, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Whenever people hear that it's gonna snow, they go and buy new shovels... Hmmm... What happened to your shovels from last year??? It's not as if some sort of shovel fairy comes and snatches everyones shovels...

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 26, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to the CWG, even though Lucy has pulled the snowball away from us. Hopefully, we'll still get enough to see tomorrow morning.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 26, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

RE: I have always wondered what people did with the snow shovels they bought last year?
Possible answers - Shovels were
1) lost in snowbank
2) lost in storage area
3) stolen
4) poor quality construction doomed shovel to one season use
5) bronzed in memory of greatest DC snow season ever

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | December 26, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Very light flurries in Beltsville. Nothing is sticking yet. It almost looks like drizzle with a few tiny snow flakes here and there.

Posted by: MikeinDC2 | December 26, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

@FairlingtonBlade: Lucy... who's lucy? You mean Lucy from Charlie Brown??

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 26, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Who here is gonna be watching the redskins game today? Let's hope they LOSE!!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 26, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Got a Twitter report that snow is sticking a bit in north Arlington. Anyone else seeing any accumulation?

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 26, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

tjack55; not everybody possess your clairvoyance.

Posted by: hawknt | December 26, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Good, snow sucks!

Posted by: fakedude2 | December 26, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

@johng1: God DOES exist and he DOES answer prayers (even if they have to do with snow!) Thank you for acknowledging that.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 26, 2010 12:25 PM

oh come on... you guys cannot be serious?! the idea of god tabulating and responding to snow prayers is pretty laughable - and illogical. did more people pray for snow north and east of here?

you said earlier that you are a cowboys fan. why? are you from texas?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | December 26, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

For those celebrating no snow, i am pleased your happy. I personally wanted snow and lots of it -- so now you have your wish.

Next storm I want my wish -- again, it will be snow and lots of it. I will be counting on you to keep your displeasure to yourself while those of us that like snow enjoy it. It will be our turn. If you can"t live with that move to Florida.

By the way God has nothing to do with it -- he is my God too.

Posted by: Rjmw | December 26, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I mean no disrespect to CWG, but its pretty sad that in 2010, computer models do not have the ability to predict whether a large snowstorm will hit a particular area even hours before the event is suppose to start. Think of all the millions that went into pre-treating the roads, needlessly changing flights, booking extra nights of hotel rooms, etc. Looks as though the greater d.c. and baltimore area will get no appreciable snow.

Posted by: jdtdc | December 26, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Jason - Great job by you and the CWG, as always.
PS - Its now 83F and sunny in the Dominican Republic. We'll be back on January 4. Maybe you can stir up another storm by then :>)

Posted by: djm-01 | December 26, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Today in history...
On this day WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY back in 2004, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck sumatra indonesia. You probably remember that it triggered that awful tsunami...

Plus, Bugsy Siegel opened the Flamingo Hotel.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 26, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Jason - Great job by you and the CWG, as always.
PS - Its now 83F and sunny in the Dominican Republic. We'll be back on January 4. Maybe you can stir up another storm by then :>)

Posted by: djm-01 | December 26, 2010 12:49 PM |
Hey, it's bob again, I sure hope there's a storm on the fifth!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 26, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Anyone in northwest DC getting actual snow? It's just a flizzard here in Woodley Park with flakes swirling around and not sticking.

Posted by: rivergirl1 | December 26, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

To anyone driving: if you're looking for a place to stop and eat, I recommend Cracker Barrel. Good old southern food. Reminds me of Texas, my home state.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 26, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

djm-01, wow enjoy DR! It sounds like you are a snow lover... perhaps you are glad not to be missing too much while you are gone?

BobMiller2, I cannot believe it has been 6 years?! Was a sad, large-scale event. Glad you reminded me. We all need to remember that tragedy.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 26, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Will nobody rid the CWG comment threads of this BobMiller2 caricature? Jeeze

Posted by: natsncats | December 26, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Snow here. Not really big snow though. For that you need to head for the Rockies. Looks like 7% chance of more snow and my girlfriend has her face in the mirror and a straw up her nose here. I'm like, you could of just rolled up a 100, we have them laying all over the place. She's doing another line. Lines at the ski lift are long. I need another drink and the kids are off with their friends doing God knows what.

Posted by: jobandon | December 26, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

CWG- I agree, getting 10 when you were told 2 could be a very big deal. Without trying to go overboard, that could be a life threatening miss for those with travel plans and kids, I agree. It is a very fine line to be walked, and I think you guys do the best job of it.

I think the key is giving your BEST forecast, but also alerting folks to the possibilities on either end of the forecast, how likely they are to verify, and what the potential disruption would be. As best I can tell, this is the ONLY place where you give a) rationale behind your forecast in language most can understand, b) the public a chance to ask questions and interact with the folks making the forcast, c) specific answers (when possible) to people asking questions about individual travel/family plans. Honestly, I think that is pretty amazing and if I had to guess, I think that is where weather forecasting should be and IS heading.

TV weatherman have very little time to convey their information. CWG gives context to forecsats as well as alternatives and has no set timetable for when the information is dissemenated. Revisions are made as SOON as they need to be and are available real time. How can this be beat?

You may not even know this yet, but I think at some point CWG will have either a live streaming video or will comandeer their own local TV channel during big weather situations where phone calls and questions are fielded and updates are made real time. In situations like today, who among us wouldn't be glued to that channel? Selling advertising would be a piece of CAKE.

Clearly...I LOVE this site. And no, my name is NOT Wes Junker.

Posted by: 4seams | December 26, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the comments by tjack55. Local forecasters should remember that in the past many, MANY "false alarms" led people to not trust last winter's first major snowfall report. I remember people hearing about those reports and laughing them off, saying "oh yeah, we have heard that before." That is not a good thing. Some credibility was regained last winter, but it was readily squandered today. Given the significant travel issues involved around the holidays, balanced weather reporting is essential. There has been a lot of confusion today. At 11 AM, I heard one well known news radio station talk about 3-6 inches of snow starting at 1 PM, and 10 seconds later talked about winter advisories being cancelled. Weather reporting needs to be better organized than that with the DC area media. It seems that some decided on a story on DC weather and then decided to keep running it - no matter what the facts turned out to be. Perhaps DC weather media should focus on reporting the facts.

Posted by: responsiblepublic | December 26, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

@Camden-CapitalWeatherGang: Gerald Ford also died on Dec. 26 2006. The USSR was also dissolved on this day in 1991.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 26, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

The light snow flurries in DC are likely just blowing over from where the heavier snow is to the north and east. It can take up to an hour or more from the time a flake begins to fall to when it hits the ground. With winds, let's say, about 20 mph from the north northeast, - you do the math.

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | December 26, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

also, I promise to never write that much again. Even I ignored that comment because it was too long.

Posted by: 4seams | December 26, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Columbia, South Carolina had its first Christmas snow since weather records were first kept 120 years ago, ditto for Atlanta.

I am so happy the EPA is protecting us from global warming or is it global cooling?

Posted by: alance | December 26, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I imagine meteorologists walk a fine line between forecasting what they think will happen versus what they feel responsible to report. Looking at the radar last night and this morning, I thought it was clear that most of the snow would stay south and east of DC, but if I were a professional forecaster, I would feel somewhat obliged to go with the snowier forecast for DC to prepare the public. Maybe we need a "think-cast" to go along with the official forecast. CWG, has there ever been a forecasting challenge like this one which teased us for 7 days prior to the event?

Posted by: DOG3521 | December 26, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I am calling this storm "The Great Snowmagetnone"!

Posted by: Snakeheader | December 26, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Need new girlfriend. She just stormed out the door, said she was heading off to Florida with some guy she met in a bar last night. Better off I guess is better. She's off and running, kids are off and skiing.

Posted by: jobandon | December 26, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Please do not tar & feather the CWG in retaliation for the storm not living up to last night's accumulation forecast map.
It was made clear on every post that it was a low confidence forecast.
Go punish that Joe B. weather-hype-guy instead.
Since it's not going to snow, I am looking forward to a warm up later this week.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | December 26, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

CWG, last year notwithstanding, why does DC always miss out on the snow that Philadelphia-NYC get? Even when it comes south it still misses. It's rather surreal to see South and East getting snow and us missing it.

Is there a chance of any 6"+ snowfall this winter?

Lastly, just want you to know we love the work that you do and appreciate the time and effort you put into serving us. We realize it can't be 100% and know we don't hold today against you, nevermind the few grumbling voices.

Posted by: superseiyan | December 26, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

now we've got some flurries in Gaithersburg.

Posted by: hawknt | December 26, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

So disappointing....

Posted by: KEBV | December 26, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Well, it is interesting following the developments snow or no snow. It was close.

Posted by: RepealObamacareNow | December 26, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

@Camden - Yes, I do love snow. More so, I love watching Mother Nature doing what she does best...

Posted by: djm-01 | December 26, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Stemming from what 4seams said, I think something really neat to have would be podcasts of the various CWG mets discussing what they think will happen prior to a big event. We see glimpses of some of this behind-the-scenes talk through the comments section, and getting more of this through podcasts and the like could help a lot of people put forecasts in the proper context.

That being said, I think CWG did a good job already with placing this storm in the proper context. If only it had shifted 60 miles further to the west (or just 0.3% of the Earth's circumference at DC's latitude)...

Posted by: nlcaldwell | December 26, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Cetainly see signs of backbuilding now. 20DBZ pockets down near Charlottsville.

Posted by: DanOwingsMills | December 26, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Naming idea:

Beach Blizzard-Beltway Bust

what do you guys think?

Posted by: caphillse | December 26, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Storm fail in central Fairfax. Maybe 20-30 flakes, not including the two I saw with sleds walking down the street.

Posted by: ennepe68 | December 26, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

That's it! I'm hitting the after Christmas sales and spending my Christmas money. Later! ;)

Posted by: MKoehl | December 26, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

@Rjmw, get over yourself

if you want more snow, move to New England

Posted by: TGT11 | December 26, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

As always, CWG, a fine job forcasting what was a most difficult storm to pin down.

Posted by: MKoehl | December 26, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Hurry up summer!

Posted by: fakedude2 | December 26, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm happy 2 report I was able walk the 75 feet from my front door 2 the paper boxes, despite a raging snow flurry.
Shovels disappear with socks that r in the clothes dryer. If we could locate the place they go to, we would have a life time supply of shovels & socks.
Looks like milder temps by mid week, which may indicate a pattern change 2 milder weather 4 Jan & Feb.
Always a tough call on coastal storms, a slight shift in direction can mean the difference between 0 snow to big snow. Even with modern computers they still can't precisely predict a storms behavior
It's really un realistic 2 expect 4casts 2 b 100% accurate. Best 2 just let nature take it's course.

Posted by: VaTechBob | December 26, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Well the occasional flake is falling at IAD. A total bust it seems...... No accumulation whatsoever.

Posted by: SnowDreamer | December 26, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

looking at the trafficland cameras again, best indication of what's actually happening where

Bay still holding as a big dividing line, nothing on the ground at western Bay Bridge entrance, looks like complete white out just 20 miles away at Wye Mills, MD

Posted by: TGT11 | December 26, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse


Thanks very much. I wouldn't say we always miss out on the Philly-NYC snow. We do sometimes get our "own" storms where, for example, D.C. to Richmond gets snow and nothing to the north. This is most likely with a storm that has more of a west-to-east trajectory to it. In general, though, Philly and NYC (and Boston) will have a better chance of getting snow from a coastal storm because it is just the atmosphere's tendency for coastal storms to sometimes not intensify until they are too far up the coast - too late to catch D.C. with significant snow but still in time to get Philly and points north. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | December 26, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Snow is extending from North Carolina all the way along the coast to Rhode Island now. This is a large storm. Yes, we were just barely too far west. There is plenty of snow coming down just 50 miles east of here. CWG always said this was a low confidence forecast. No one knows ahead of time where precisely these things are going to go. A computer model is not reality, it simply gives you an understanding for the range of possible outcomes. For the last 10 days we have been talking about whether the storm would be too far east or not. So, it's not like this particular outcome was outisde the scenarios that have been discussed here. I personally, love the CWG for explaining the issues and uncertainities involved in a forecast.

Posted by: Finn1917 | December 26, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

We went out for a walk along Sligo Creek. I think the snow was falling the entire time (45 minutes?) we were outdoors, but it was hard to tell.

The snow is still falling, at the rate of 1 small flake every 5 seconds per cubic meter. Or something.

Posted by: Murre | December 26, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse


You display the most amazing sense of entitlement I've seen in a good long while. You expect, or rather demand, that you have advance information for what the weather's going to do in your little portion of the world for what's obviously been a highly unpredictable storm track. You should be counting your blessings that you were born in a day and age where advance notice of these things is even possible; for the vast majority of human existence people would have to adjust to the conditions as they presented themselves. But instead you bemoan the fact that your travel plans were inconvenienced by the volatility of the forecast, which by the way was pointed out repeatedly by CWG. Get over yourself!

Posted by: markf40 | December 26, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone picked up any accumulations? Where I am, I have only seen flurries...

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 26, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

5+ inches so far down here in the Northern Neck (depending where I measure - 7 on the grass, 5 on hard surfaces)...

Posted by: dcnative71 | December 26, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse


A sense of entitlement? I don't think people have that here. If the CWG and every other media outlet in this area is going to be claiming a significant measurable snowfall, that's a big deal. This isn't something where myself and others are sitting around like most of you waiting for pretty flakes to fall, sipping on hot cocoa. On a major travel day, when some of us need the FACTS, it's not unreasonable to expect that the forecast be at least partially correct.

I'm sorry, but going from 6 inches of snow to nothing in a matter of hours, in this day and age and with the technology available, should be an embarrassment to the "professionals" who frankly are wrong much more than right. But as I've said many, many times, it's all about getting the clicks on the webpage, and getting people to tune into radio and TV stations. Mission accomplished, and as usual, the forecast was way, way off base.

Next time I'm not even going to bother. As you said yourself, people for centuries have adjusted to conditions as they presented themselves. Sadly, that's what we're continuing to do, despite the wealth of technology and "experts" in the field.

Posted by: jollyroger2 | December 26, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Bummer...looks as though "Santapocalypse" has morphed into "Scroogepocalypse"!!!

First the timing goes all out of whack--this was supposed to be a Christmas Eve/Christmas Day storm to begin with--now that nasty little cutoff at I-95 deprives just about everyone of a big storm.

Don't know what to blame--La Nina or whatever. Last year this would have been a 10-16 inch monster snowstorm for just about everyone.

To add insult to injury: 1. The folks east of us, New York and New England--who don't really need a monster snowstorm--are getting plastered and 2. The flow of Arctic cold seems to be running out--weather forecasts for the New Years weekend are hinting at 50-55 degree temperatures and even rain [MUCH UNNEEDED!].

Looks as though another lackluster January/February could follow our cold though much too snow-free December. Probably La Nina...only good thing is than no dances get cancelled by snow.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | December 26, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

superseiyan: I wouldn't say that DC "always misses the storms that Philly and NY get." What about last year? A couple of those storms either bypassed or just grazed those areas.

But to be realistic, winter nor'easters often do seem, at least to the casual observer, to bypass us, but what happens in many cases is that these systems do not achieve maximum intensity until they are north of our latitude.
Furthermorem they tend to stall sometimes at what's referred to as the "benchmark" position of 40 degrees N. Lat., 70 degrees W. Long., or 40/70, which is the prime position for giving the northeast excessive snows. Looking at Ludlum's winter storm records going back hundreds of years, time after time you would see examples of this.

Posted by: Don-Capital Weather Gang | December 26, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Shield pushing west fairly well now toward D.C. If it holds together it should be a little more "intense" than what we saw with earlier light snow activity. Back edge has been bouncing around a lot though.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | December 26, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm in Savage, MD, in Howard County, in that T-2 band. We haven't gotten anything but stray flurries, no sticking, so I'm not too hopeful of anything at this point.

Posted by: orangelauren | December 26, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse


A sense of entitlement?? Really? What a joke. How dare I want a SOMEWHAT accurate forecast within 24hrs of the event. How foolish of me?! I should just be thankful to be alive in the day and age of the GFS, NAM, EURO...etc etc. I understand weather forecasting isn't an exact science, but a winter storm warning to not even a dusting in those same zones to this point?! I better "get over myself".

Posted by: tjack55 | December 26, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I'd call this the Dolly Parton storm, a big bust 4 this area.

Posted by: VaTechBob | December 26, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

What do y'all think about Devon Lucie moving to Channel 7? I'm glad; it'd be great if they had TWO weekend meteorologists: Steve Rudin and Devon Lucie!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 26, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

jollyroger2, you either have a sense of entitlement, or you don't quite understand what a "forecast" is.

Posted by: hawknt | December 26, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

.....not sledding.....

Posted by: ChickenLady | December 26, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

@ChickenLady: sorry there's not enough snow to sled... I suggest going inside, having some nice eggnog or hot cocoa and RELAXING!!

P.S. Rio is still at 82 degrees :)


Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 26, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Wow tjack55, let it all out.

Posted by: Finn1917 | December 26, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

At 2:15 here in central Calvert, including the approximately 1/2 - 3/4 inch we received last night, now have 3 inches on the ground.

Snowing moderately at the moment...small flakes...little to no wind.

Posted by: RandyH_Calvert | December 26, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Was hoping for enough to pull out the sled here in 22191. I am just East of 95 by Potomac Mills. Sticking a bit on the grass but just pretty white dust. 2 deer in the back yard laying down and taking it all in. Kind of pretty. Crazy how they've got about a foot or more just South of us in Richmond and Williamsburg!

Posted by: lisajulia | December 26, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

DC missing this storm was a post-christmas miracle, a divine act from the heavens! Thank you lord for answering my prayers, accepting the blood of the sacrifice, and sending the nasty snow to those who deserve punishment. Oh great punisher, I beseech you to continue punishing those who have it coming.

Posted by: johng1 | December 26, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Not to get political, but these nasty comments are a side effect of people who don't understand the science. You can have the best models on earth, but a prediction is still just that: a prediction. If it were possible to say what the weather is going to do with an exact certainty from day to day, there would be no need to forecast it.

I'm not going to say cut the CWG some slack because they weren't wrong. Drive over toward the bay and you'll see exactly how right they were. They couldn't tell you with GPS certainty where the snow bands were going to set up and who would get what. Boo hoo. I'm sure you'll live. And I'm equally sure the people getting hammered right now who were prepared because CWG called it like it was are thankful they "got it wrong."

Instead of going to the bank with a forecast, perhaps you should do like regular people and take it under advisement. Get the science and act accordingly. Don't buy five tons of salt because you're told there's a 20 percent chance of a trace of snow.

Posted by: AdmiralX | December 26, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

tjack: I hear you! I changed some holiday plans in order to avoid the snow. Kind of a bummer. Yet I cannot complain about the result - I detest snow! Going out for a run and I will enjoy each and every snow-free step!!! YES.

Posted by: pbj1 | December 26, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

After filing the police report of stolen snow (filed it at the mobile Lego unit in the living room) headed out anyway. Managed to get bundled up as if there was 3 feet of snow, grabbed the scooter and skateboards and pretended to sled. I'm sure our sanity was questioned but it was a fun alternative! Cocoa time and hoping for another round another day!

Posted by: motherrunner | December 26, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Typical winter storm nonsense. After predicting inches up to a foot of snow, so one must cut short one's holiday plans, nary a flake is on the ground. Welcome to Washington!

Posted by: cgindc | December 26, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Latest radar trends showing (finally) light snow starting to back into DC from the east. Any observations that this is reaching the ground, given the dry air?

For snow lovers out there, this is a frustrating storm to say the least.

But for travelers, this is a blessing, giving the potential for much more significant snow.

As a snow lover stuck in Boston for this storm, I'm keeping an eye on where the banding features set up. Latest info suggests areas just to the northwest of Boston will get the jackpot of close to two feet, rather than the city itself. So even snow lovers here can be a little frustrated. Keep in mind though that Boston missed out on most of the action last winter.

Kudos to Jason, Dan, Ian and the rest of the forecasting team for their constant admissions that the uncertainty factor with this storm was unusually and consistently high.

Posted by: afreedma | December 26, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

When we go to bed tonight, we must all pray and pray to God that the next storm will give us at least 4 feet of snow! After all, God does have control over all weather on Earth!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 26, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Still in Savage, MD in Howard County. ;)

It's getting heavier now and it's starting to stick. Very wet, doesn't look like it's sticking on the roads yet.

Posted by: orangelauren | December 26, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Didn't TWG's forecast as late as yesterday still include a fairly high probability of nothing. I seem to remember that. I thought TWG were fairly restrained in their projections. It was clear to me that a very small deviation in track would yield either almost nothing or significant snow. I think they did a very good job of trying to interpret what the models were showing. There is fairly significant accumulation just to the east of us.
All in all - kudos to TWG. (Again, my good mood is made possible by the favorable result!)

Posted by: pbj1 | December 26, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Folks-- Thanks for all of the feedback - good and band. We understand the range of perspectives and will take a look back at what went wrong in the next couple days. We are getting some steadier (still light) snow now (at least inside the beltway and east) so I've put up a new post to focus on what's actually happening rather than what didn't (or hasn't) happen(ed).

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 26, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I agree with those who say the CWG has been pretty conservative with their updates. If you look just slightly South and East of metro DC, they are getting significant snow. Petersburg which is just a 2hr drive directly South of where i am in Woodbridge, VA has about 7" while we have a dusting.

Posted by: lisajulia | December 26, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Ok.... IAD is now experiencing it's first thing that looks more like a flurry and less like the occasional flake.... Not sticking.

Posted by: SnowDreamer | December 26, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Snow is now sticking in a thin layer to cars and roofs in Silver Spring.

Posted by: Murre | December 26, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

We're having a tiny, pathetic "flurry" in Gaithersburg at the moment.

Posted by: hawknt | December 26, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I thought CWG did exactly what I would want them to do. They did NOT call it wrong. They called exactly what is happening: heavy snow east, light to nothing west, with the dividing line between those two somewhere near DC. It turned out to be somewhere just a bit to the east of DC, so we ended up on the light side of the line. No errors. The critics must not have been actually following the blog?

Posted by: ChickenLady | December 26, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I have to laugh at all the time and effort wasted on this complete bust of a "storm." How much money does the Post throw down the toilet on this blog? So much misinformation given out over the last few days. All we have to do is check the NWS's forecast. No need for this blog to recreate the wheel.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | December 26, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

There are some flakes flying in Centreville, VA, and it looks like it is turning into a legitimate light snow. Hopefully we will get a dusting.

Posted by: cleombrota | December 26, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Oops, I meant to say CWG, not TWG, in my post. CWG did a pretty good job!!

Posted by: pbj1 | December 26, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Capital Weather Gang -- I am completely satisfied with how you handled this storm. From the beginning you were talking about the uncertainty involved with it, and how difficult it has been to predict. I value the explanations you always provide and come to this blog as my primary local weather source.

Posted by: Murre | December 26, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Ok... Another IAD. Update. The snow that is falling is now more like a very light storm or a (pardon the pun) category 4 flurry. The type of snow that is falling is extremely light and fluffy.. The flakes are approximately .5" across. Current temp. Is aprox. 28F, according to my highly accurate porch thermometer. There is also a good enough amount of wind that the flakes look more like streaks across the sky than actual flakes.... If we can maintain this rate of snowfall, we actually get some accumulation(crosses fingers)

Q: am I actually helping anybody, CWG, or oth., w/ my updates of weather at IAD, or am I just doing it to serve my own thirst to feel so?

Please reply,

Posted by: SnowDreamer | December 26, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Superfine snow blowing like crazy here in Bowie. Thin coat on the ground.

Personally, I would rather be worried about a lot of snow and then disappointed than surprised by a huge snowfall. I was changing travel plans back and forth yesterday as many were, but understood (thanks to CWG) that the only thing to really do was wake up this morning and look out the window. If they had downplayed a storm and then we'd been dumped on, I'd be in much worse shape for the week going forward.

Better safe than sorry as they say.

Posted by: Louise9 | December 26, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

WashingtonDame, at one point the NWS had DC at 6-10 inches, way beyond what the CWG was predicting. Overall it seems to me that the Gang had the most accurate predictions while keeping us apprised of the uncertainty and behind-the-scenes info (as opposed to some TV and radio mets with their rumblings of "chance of snow" or "an inch or two" who ultimately got the forecast right but were much less useful).

Much thanks to CWG as always for your superb coverage. I'm already looking forward to the next El Nino winter, or maybe the NAO will treat us kindly for the next couple of months...

I've found that predicting the weather is a lot like being in love... the system is as complicated as hell, frequently throws you curveballs, and any deep level of involvement requires a great deal of optimism... :)

Posted by: cleombrota | December 26, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to have to say I agree with those in the camp who complain about the forecasting. It's one thing to say something is uncertain, but highly another to say it's uncertain and then have one of your mets get pretty "bullish" about the forecast less than 24 hours out (cough, Wes Junker).

How can forecasters seriously be excused when AMATEUR weather hobbyists can see, clear as day, THE NIGHT BEFORE THE STORM, that the precip is OBVIOUSLY moving south and east of us. Like someone posted earlier, precip does not stop on a dime and turn, the movement is far more gradual along a curvature. I texted my friends last night at midnight assuring them we would receive little to no snow and that all advisories and warnings for the area would be canceled.


My friends, for years, have been relying on my INTERPRETATION of forecasting, because they know I will be objective, unbiased, and more accurate.

The organization is terrible, with forecasters staying tuned to models and updating us within minutes of their output, but then completely disregarding these models once the warnings and watches have been posted. Last night the GFS clearly backed off totals significantly, while the NAM, the Canadian, and the UK models had been supporting this all along. Where were the adjustments following readings? Minimal at best

This isn't about who wants snow and who doesn't. Our predilections don't change the weather. But a lot of people are depending on this forecast and if hobbyists are more accurate with their information over 15 hours before professionals, well I'm sorry, that is a HUGE embarrassment.

That being said, CWG, for what it's worth, has been more effective than the other forecasters in our area. Still too bullish in the face of an obvious bust for my liking, but at least I could sense some objectivity coming from this camp. You guys did a great job until the final hour, then bias and fear of dissonance in forecasting finally got the better of you. If some uneducated 22 year old behind a laptop can make a better short range forecast than there is no way in heck I can call our current system acceptable.

Well, that's it from me. This was my last shot. I'm moving to Seattle soon and this winter is going to be downright balmy from here on out. See you guys in a couple years.

Posted by: bbirnbau | December 26, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

SnowDreamer, I was going to pat you on the back for your updates, but why bother? From now on I'm going to ignore all the experts and depend on texts from bbirnbau for my weather prognostications. My sense is that I'm entitled to accurate weather predictions.

Posted by: hawknt | December 26, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

gaithersburg update: harder flurries and a bit more wind.

Posted by: hawknt | December 26, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Whoo eee! Another new post has arrived.

Posted by: Murre | December 26, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

WashingtonDame: As Jason/Dan have said, we will have post-mortems up in the next few days re: what we did right and what we got wrong. But if you really think we're just reinventing the wheel, and the NWS is the place to go for accurate weather forecasts, then I gotta ask, why are you on this site in the first place???

Posted by: afreedma | December 26, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

WashingtonDame: As Jason/Dan have said, we will have post-mortems up in the next few days re: what we did right and what we got wrong. But if you really think we're just reinventing the wheel, and the NWS is the place to go for accurate weather forecasts, then I gotta ask, why are you on this site in the first place???

Posted by: afreedma | December 26, 2010 3:34 PM


Posted by: WashingtonDame | December 26, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Wow..some of you all out there have a frownie face! Either need a time out, a snack, or some lovin'! We just started following last winter but I love CWG. Its fun to see how it's all done. Love hearing what some of the regulars on here are doing. Now go get your snack or lovin'....

Posted by: motherrunner | December 26, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse


Yes, it does display a sense of entitlement to demand accurate weather forecasts. If you're worried about travelling, err on the side of caution. Just about the entire Northeast corridor DID get dangerous traveling conditions, so what's the difference whether it happened to be a bust in our immediate area? You couldn't have gone very far without running into problems. They cancelled the football game 2 hours north of here tonight. If Plan A doesn't work out, go to Plan B. It's not the end of the world.

Posted by: markf40 | December 26, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

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