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Posted at 11:35 AM ET, 12/16/2010

Update: Snow covering metro region

By Jason Samenow

11:30 a.m. As the snow gently, but steadily falls, road conditions continue to deteriorate. Dr. Gridlock reports snow and ice are causing accidents in both Maryland and Virginia. Most areas have between a dusting and half an inch, but southwest of immediate metro region, 1 inch totals are coming in. Here are some recent reports:

@kcbeth: Stafford County is well past one inch.
@DinoFTW: Chantilly has its first inch already...
@NatsTownNews:The first snow of the season has arrived at #Nationals Park. (Photo)
@EriElizS: Leesburg Pike and George Mason is covered-- And it's only 11:00am!! #fallschurch (Photo)

From Ian Livingston: Video of snow in Dupont Circle

11:35 a.m: Steady snow is falling throughout the region and accumulating everywhere. Webcams and eyewitness reports indicate snow is sticking to the roads and more schools have decided to close early (the latest: Prince William and Prince George's county). To the southwest, I'm hearing reports of more than two inches around Lynchburg and Roanoke, Va. Here are a couple recent Tweets from @capitalweather followers:

Hawaiiexpat: View of my back yard (Cabin John, MD) as of 10:55: Photo
KateErdy: 18th and Eye NW..let the chaos begin! (Photo)

10:35 a.m.: Loudoun and Fairfax county schools will close two hours early due to the snow.

Let us know what's happening where you live in the comment area. We'll provide frequent updates throughout the day. Keep reading this post for earlier updates.

10:30 a.m.: Our first widespread snow event of winter 2010 is underway. Light snow is falling pretty much everywhere in the metro region and, due to the frozen ground and temperatures only in the lows 20s, sticking to everything. At the rate snow is accumulating (due to how cold it is), the higher end of our accumulation range may be closest to reality. Comments and tweets are pouring in...too numerous to feature them all. Here are a few:

@thinkgeek :If you want an updated view of what it looks like in Fairfax, our TimmyCam is pointed outside (Webcam)
@HorchataRemote: Snowing and sticking in Bethesda! (photo)
@chemekimmi: got about an inch already in Stafford

10:00 a.m.: Reports of snow are now becoming common in the immediate metro region, including Ashburn, Falls Church and Herndon. I now see snow outside my window at the Washington Post downtown. To the south in Prince William and Fauquier counties, already a dusting has accumulated and is sticking to roads (see webcams below). Use caution as roads will quickly become slick.

Webcams showing snow sticking to the roads along I-29 in Gainesville and I-95 in Dale City around 9:50 a.m. Source: Traffic Land

9:40 a.m.: A light powdery snow is now rapidly approaching the metro region. Via our Twitter feed, I'm hearing reports of snow in Fredericksburg, Winchester, and flurries as close by as Woodbridge and Fairfax. Some of the snow you see on radar is virga - i.e. snow that is not yet reaching the ground. But most likely during the 10:00 a.m. hour, flakes will begin to fall throughout the metro region from southwest to northeast. We're still forecasting 1-2" today with less north and more south.

By Jason Samenow  | December 16, 2010; 11:35 AM ET
Categories:  Latest, Updates, Winter Storms  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Forecast: Snow likely today, unlikely Sunday
Next: It's snowing & sticking! Up to 2" expected.


Light snow in Manassas.
Right on time!

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | December 16, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Light flakes in Landmark area...

Posted by: MaxPowerDJ | December 16, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

I went into the Harris Teeter in Bristow to get some food. It was starting to light flurry. I emerged 15 minutes later and it was snowing pretty good. The parking lot was getting covered and I, with summer tires on my car, scurried as fast as possible. Main roads looked like they were holding up, but the neighborhood roads are going to be sheets of ice tonight after this powder geets compacted down.

Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | December 16, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Powdery snowfall in Sterling.

Posted by: qengho | December 16, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Light but steady in Centreville, and as expected, it's sticking and covering the roads quickly. Can't wait for the fun ride back to Gaithersburg tonight.

Posted by: h8paperdoll | December 16, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

It started snowing in Calvert county around 9:45. Very small flakes...fairly steady...and of course, as cold as it is, sticking on everything already.

Posted by: RandyH_Calvert | December 16, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Our parking lot in Chantilly already has a layer of snow on it.

Posted by: VelocityAtrocity | December 16, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Been snowing in Lake Ridge for about 20 minutes - roads/grass covered quickly. Coming down at a good clip.

Posted by: ZmanVA | December 16, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Coming down in Rosemont, Alexandria, and just starting to accumulate on cars and roofs. Bring it on!

Posted by: casa_wasabi | December 16, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Fine, light snow falling in downtown DC at Franklin Square.

Posted by: ParkerGP | December 16, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Snowin' pretty good at Nutley and 29 in Fairfax.

Posted by: Gunga2009 | December 16, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

First snow in in Upper Northwest. Actually went from a few to many, many flurries in a span of 5 minutes. I have a feeling we get more than just an inch.. I bet 2 to 3 or maybe even 4.

Posted by: realclear | December 16, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Finally, it's coming down near the 270 merge. Very small flakes, but LOTS of them!

Posted by: bigolpoofter | December 16, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Snow sticking to the grass in Vienna.

Posted by: rj2835a | December 16, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

It's snowing here in Brunswick.

Posted by: barb407 | December 16, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Just looked out the window and, yippee, light snow in Ballston.

Posted by: mcaicedo | December 16, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Right on time at 18th and E NW. Small flakes started at 10am sharp. My guess is that the ground will be white by noon.

Posted by: DullesARC | December 16, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Most of the radars (e.g. WUNDERGROUND) look like we're about to hit a long dry spot, but the NWS radar doesn't show the same gap - who should I believe, and why?


Posted by: josh28 | December 16, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

it's coming down steadily in the Franconia-Springfield area. I love when surfaces are cold enough for it to stick immediately. Crossing my fingers we get 3 inches. C'mon moisture :)

Posted by: meteorolinguist | December 16, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

snow covered streets here at 14th and constitution. It is still a light snow.

Posted by: ajmupitt | December 16, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

snow covered streets here at 14th and constitution. It is still a light snow.

Posted by: ajmupitt | December 16, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

ffx county 2 hy early dismissal

Posted by: mandarb77 | December 16, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Nothing yet in Columbia....

Posted by: mickb1 | December 16, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

wow. saw the first few flakes then went into a store. came out 10 mins later and the roads were covered. this stuff is sticking right away. house and car roofs are totally white now here in falls church. pavement and sidewalks are covered too. keep it conmin'!

drive carefully. always be conscious of MOMENTUM ("moe" as i call it). driving in snow is all about no sudden changes in momentum. don't stop start or turn suddenly.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | December 16, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Light dusting accumulating on the patio outside my office building in Kensington.

Posted by: sadiebee | December 16, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Nothing yet in Annapolis/Crownsville. Praying for it to stay nothing, as I still have one more carload of stuff to bring over from Shady Side before I'm finished moving, and I can't go for another hour or so. And I'm driving a borrowed car....

And I'm a certified snowlover!

Posted by: ChickenLady | December 16, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

it's actually about inertia.....
but the advice is more than correct

Posted by: mandarb77 | December 16, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Snow starting falling about 45 minutes ago in the Palisades (NW DC). It's coming down pretty heavily now. Parking lots, rooftops, ground all covered. Lovely, as long as you don't have to go out in it!

Posted by: jlspivey | December 16, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Just started in Columbia.

Posted by: mickb1 | December 16, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

The first tentative flakes are falling in Linthicum, just north of BWI.

Posted by: allagar | December 16, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

It's days like this that make me sad that I work in what only can be described as a bunker without windows. Nice coating in Suitland already.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | December 16, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Oh, yippee. Just enough snow to make the roads slippery and give every idiot in an SUV the urge to test the limits of 4WD and show how macho they are. Can't wait to slog home from Lorton to Fairfax. @Gunga2009: keep posting, you can almost hit my roof with a snowball from where you are. God, I hate snow.

Posted by: GreybirdK1 | December 16, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Started in Old Town Alexandria about 40 minutes ago. Sidewalks and streets are covered. The grass still shows but it's got snow on it as well.

Posted by: concepcion611 | December 16, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: eric654 | December 16, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

This ROCKS! :)

Posted by: Rcmorgan | December 16, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Snowing pretty good here...ground covered...up to half-inch or so.

Bombo snow potential for next seven days raised to 5... 2 inches today, low chance Sunday, another storm Tuesday?

No severe weather anywhere in U.S.; may have to check websites in Australia, South Africa.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | December 16, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Prince William County 1 hour early release!

Posted by: sparkler39 | December 16, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

What do you guys think of the possibilities on 12/22, 12/25, and 1/1? Too warm?

Posted by: dustinmfox1 | December 16, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

sticking to the side walk and streets here on capitol hill!

I'm with dustinmfox1; what are the chances for the next 3 weekends?

Posted by: mkbf26 | December 16, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

We're 1/8 of the way to 2" here in Falls Church, and coming down in steady, small flakes. I predict more than 2" and a long commute.

Posted by: koggly | December 16, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

They're calling for 3-6" in Richmond...

Posted by: koggly | December 16, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

It started snowing here in the Colesville area about half an hour ago. I'm impressed with how rapidly the snow is falling and accumulating. Driveways and roofs are already coated and it's beginning to stick to the streets as well. Just in time for me to have to drive to a meeting...

Posted by: AshleyD11 | December 16, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

snow!!! in capitol hill...

Posted by: madisondc | December 16, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

any chance accumulations can be upped to 2-4?

Posted by: fortheglory | December 16, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

just started snowing here in baltimore...very small flakes!

Posted by: bachaney | December 16, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

It's snowing steadily in the 14th & U Street area!

Posted by: kschlem1 | December 16, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

And can you say "GLOBLA WARMING"? Some
one better call Al Gore and get him on
the scene now, It so warm outside.

Posted by: jmsmaxwell | December 16, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

SNOOOOWWWWW!!!! (Ok, just had to get that out of my system. Even though I knew it was coming, it's always a treat to see the first snowfall begin).

With that said, here are some winter weather driving tips to keep handy today.

Posted by: Ann-CapitalWeatherGang | December 16, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse


As I'm focused on the current storm, haven't analyzed latest models too closely for upcoming threats since yesterday...but what I can say is that the general long-range pattern would support another event or two like today's: light events. Chances of something bigger are low, but not zero.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 16, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Corvette and snow with ice tonight is not a good mix.....

Think I'll leave car at work for the weekend.

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | December 16, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

And can you say "GLOBLA WARMING"? Some
one better call Al Gore and get him on
the scene now, It so warm outside.

Posted by: jmsmaxwell | December 16, 2010 11:06 AM |

Um, I expect you meant "GLOBAL." But in any case, global warming is a question of climate; what we're seeing this morning is weather. Weather is not the same as climate.

Posted by: ajsmithva | December 16, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

This is like snow drizzle here in Adams Morgan... or "snizzle" as I like to call it.

Posted by: CuseFan07 | December 16, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

@jmsmaxwell: Congratulations, you're the first global warming denial troll! Now scurry back to your fantasyland.

Posted by: mcaicedo | December 16, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Just spoke to my parents, who live half way between Roanoke and Lynchburg. They have 3.5 inches on the ground, and the expected change over to sleet hasn't happened yet.

Posted by: ParkerGP | December 16, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Just remember one thing about winter weather. It doesnt have to be THAT cold to just has to be cold enough. I lean slightly towards the "yes, the climate is warming but the earth has been in these cycles for millions of years" camp...

Posted by: DullesARC | December 16, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Global warming is a hoax, as was the global cooling the enviro-fascists attempted to foist upon us schoolkids back in the 1970s. I remember it well. It never came to pass. Nor will global warming. I do, however, predict that the climate will remain dynamic, said dynamism to continue being twisted as needed to suit the fascistic tendencies of those who seek power and control.

Posted by: koggly | December 16, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Alexandria Schools are closing early.

Posted by: concepcion611 | December 16, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Looks like the storm is tracking in a more northerly direction than predicted - the northern edge, via radar, is into southern Pennsylvania.

Posted by: AlfromAlexandria | December 16, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

13th & I -- my colleagues have stupidly gotten into their cars and are trying to flee back to the suburbs. Um, it is going to stop in a few hours and the roads will be plowed. Better to wait unless you must get home for kids. I live in McLean and now is the worst time to try to get there from here. On the up side, my office is nice & quiet now!

Posted by: conchfc | December 16, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Here in Ashburn the roads are covered and the ground is slowly turning all white. I Love it!!

Posted by: justin-N-sterlingVa | December 16, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Getting a little slippery here in northeast DC. Seems like the afternoon commute is going to be horrible.

Posted by: mmurphy6 | December 16, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Don't you love it how these Big Oil apologists pop up from under the snow in the winter to claim there is no such thing as global warming?

Every month of 2010 in this area, except February, and possibly this month, were above normal in temperature.

June 2010 was the hottest June ever for Washington DC. July 2010 tied as the hottest month ever in Baltimore.

Looks like a trend to me. Does that mean global warming is real?

Where were these guys this past summer? Running the AC at maximum, no doubt. What, me worry?

Enjoy the snow. Light but steady up here in Howard County.

Posted by: otrdtr | December 16, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Interesting tid bit on the weekend storm. Today’s 12z GFS for 12Z Sunday has the center of the low 6mb stronger then the 6z GFS run for the same time. Also, and more importantly, the 12Z run has the center of the low @ 74W rather then 72W. 2 degrees of longitude swift to the WEST.

Posted by: pseaby | December 16, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

It's becoming a bit to predictable for the anti-science right-wing crowd to cry global warming foul whenever it snows in DC. Most of these folks haven't the slightest clue about atmospheric science outside of what they read in their farmers almanac. Ask them to explain radiative forcing and they give you that deer in the headlights look. How can you explain global warming to people who still don't believe in evolution?

Posted by: GD1975 | December 16, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Last winter, I used to love following ithe discussions here and on, but this year doesn't seem to be loading. Are they blocking traffic or has it moved? Are there other sites where you can waste enormous amounts of time reading the debates over analyses of NAM and GFS and other things I know nothing about? With snow now officially here, I'm aching for a good prognostication fight about the next storm.

Posted by: reedd1 | December 16, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

@GD1975 Word!

Posted by: GrassHouse | December 16, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

pseaby- Uhhhh, what??

Posted by: jschmugo | December 16, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Two feet of snow here in Pennsylvania, with 40 mile per hour winds. Wind chills below zero. All schools still open, nobody leaving work early, business as usual. No panic buying of toilet paper and milk. No events canceled, including outdoor activities. :)

Posted by: jgindles | December 16, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

@GD1975: The key is "belief". Science is based upon data and the observable replication of testing. There is no need for the "belief" in either evolution, global warming, etc.

Posted by: AlfromAlexandria | December 16, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

May the Big Oil apologists be in an SUV when it rolls over on the slick streets today.

Posted by: bs2004 | December 16, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

And it's also predictable for the less-informed people who do believe global warming is a concern to point to LOCAL temperature changes as proof of GLOBAL warming. (Don't get me wrong, global warming is a problem, and I firmly believe that much of it is as a result of human actions.) Just let the ignorant "no-global-warming!" trolls spew their nonsense. Engaging them only keeps them talking more.

Posted by: rj2835a | December 16, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

@ Rt. 7 and International in Vienna, VA: Snowing steadily and accumulating as predicted. Add the Xmas shoppers in Tyson's Corner to the already maxed out evening commute and you have the potential for a lot of accidents. Today may be a good day to "work late" and get a hotel room for the night if you don't other obligations like kids and pets.

Posted by: ebentley1 | December 16, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

@ jschmugo. The GFS (US Global Forecast Model) latest run has the weekend storm closer to the coast then in its previous run. The closer it is, the better chance for snow.

Posted by: pseaby | December 16, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Basic GHG theory says CO2 warms more when there's relatively less H20 in the air. So the last two extremely dry days would have been even colder were it not for the CO2 warming which is always present (a well mixed gas). So people who are in favor of cutting CO2 emissions must want it to be even colder when we have dry NW winds. That's their choice, but not mine.

Posted by: eric654 | December 16, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Considering the Capital Weather Gang (!) missed the summer hurricane-frequency forecast, why should we place any credence in today's predicted snowfall amounts? Which have been exceeded in Northern Virginia.

Perhaps y'all should change your name to the "Fifty-Fifty Gang."

I've found I can flip a coin each day, and half the time my heads-tails calls are as accurate as you-all's predictions for the day in the D.C. region.

Posted by: kinkysr | December 16, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

1 1/8 inches in Silver Spring an hour ago. Since the sun is out, I don't think I'm going to see any more snow.

Posted by: Murre | December 16, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

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