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Posted at 9:30 AM ET, 12/27/2010

No-mageddon: The Washington, D.C. snow hole

By Jason Samenow

Sometimes pictures speak louder than words...

12-26-10-snow-chart.gif

(NOAA snow cover image valid yesterday)

By Jason Samenow  | December 27, 2010; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  Humor, Latest  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Forecast: Windy today, then warming trend
Next: Weather Checker: "False Alarmageddon"?

Comments

wow. no kidding. this made my heart sink a little.

Posted by: meteorolinguist | December 27, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

At first I think "So not fair!"
Then I remember last winter.
Everybody gets a turn. This wasn't ours.

I give today a "1", if only for wonderfully clean air & some sunshine.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | December 27, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

meteorolinguist - mathematically speaking, I would think we'll will see our share of some snow before the winter is over. It can't stay a "hole" allll winter ;-)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | December 27, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

After tracking this for a week plus, including like 6 consecutive runs of the Euro that showed DC getting obliterated with 2 feet of snow - this one is gonna hurt for a long, long time. I didn't even get a dusting in Rockville. Ugh.

Posted by: NattyBo1985 | December 27, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

@Camden
And even if it did, I think some would say we got enough last year to deal with a few years worth of holes. We are most definitely due a few misses.

Posted by: JJones-CapitalWeatherGang | December 27, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Seeing NYC dig out of this storm makes me kind of glad it bypassed us. It's fun for about a day then it sucks big time trying to dig out.

Posted by: ShawnDC | December 27, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

so sad that we missed the snow :(

Posted by: madisondc | December 27, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

a holiday haiku:

south carolina,
georgia and alabama,
got more snow than us!

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | December 27, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I'm curious about what it would take to do higher-confidence predictions of events such as this weekend. Is it just a matter of not enough data points? If there were sensors every square mile over all of North America, would that solve the problem? Or are the models themselves just not good enough, even if the data were available?

Posted by: wpbaud | December 27, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Clever name Jason!

After watching all the reports on TV, and then driving with no problems this morning, it's almost surreal out there.


Posted by: jaybird926 | December 27, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Very interesting! As a side note, the Hudson Bay appears still not to be fully frozen. Very unusual for this time of year, is it not?

Posted by: Finn1917 | December 27, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

What a neat graphic! I have to wonder, are there any characteristics of the immediate DC area that make it prone to misses like this, or any details about this particular storm that caused it to develop a no snow eye? Or is yesterday's event just an anomaly??

I have much empathy for CWG; you must have thick skin to deal with all the ppl who complain b/c they made serious & costly travel plan changes based only on forecasts. Don't many summer picnics go as planned rain or shine? Don't we have plows and salt and road crews skilled enought that the Chicken Littles don't have to cancel their plans to drive in the weather based on forecasts of 3-6"??

Posted by: kolya02 | December 27, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Even the weather knows: everything the cool kids are doing, DC does not.

Posted by: eslashe | December 27, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Finn, yes typically by mid-December, Hudson bay is frozen over with at least thin ice. It is however following patterns as typically the eastern portion is last to freeze.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | December 27, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

>I have to wonder, are there any characteristics of the immediate DC area that make it prone to misses like this, or any details about this particular storm that caused it to develop a no snow eye?

-------------------------------
Must be all the hot air emanating from Washington.

Posted by: mw123 | December 27, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

@mw123,

LOL. I was thinking the same thing.

Posted by: Rcmorgan | December 27, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Wow, I guess Pat Robertson now knows that God blesses Barack Obama, too.

Take that, Repugnants!

Posted by: bs2004 | December 27, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Credit the 12/26 WP print edition weather page for NOT jumping on the 6"-10" snow bandwagon.

Watching the Mosaic Radar Saturday evening, the way the low pressure center was moving towards NE Florida, rather than across southern Alabama and Georgia, it appeared DC could miss a big snow. And this was before the OCMs starting scaling back the huskies during the 11 p.m. Saturday newscasts

Given the large amounts of snow that fell from Virgnia to SE New York state during CY10, if CWG has the resources, it would be interesting to see calendar year totals for selected locations from Norfolk --> NYC. (These are the numbers that will appear in the 2012 World Alamanc.)

I don't recall if DCA has topped 40" of snow in a calendar year (maybe once in recent decades?). Philadelphia may have set a new calendar year record and there were impressive yearly totals at IAD, DCA, BWI, Central Park, even at Norfolk.

I'm just kinda' sad a snow piscine didn't swim in Fairfax this weekend.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | December 27, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I live in DC but am home for the holidays in Alabama. We saw a White Christmas for the first time in recorded history down here. Before anyone gets too jealous, we probably saw a total of 1 inch fall, but it certainly looked festive and appropriate for the holiday.

And as for DC's lack of snow, last year revealed how quickly excitement becomes a complete headache.

Posted by: cabaretic1 | December 27, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

If Congress had scheduled another Global Warming hearing we would have more snow than New York City and Boston combined. It's Nancy Pelosi's fault.

Posted by: dccrab | December 27, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

JerryFloyd1,
sadly, no piscine. didja catch the recent aves, though?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | December 27, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Looks to me like another case of the notorious "D.C. Split"!!! Usually this involves the rainstorms passing on either side of us and the much-unneeded crowd whining about not enough rain.

One probable factor: My dance schedule is rather light. Give me a normal dance schedule, and it will rain or snow like crazy whenever I need to leave home for the dance, even if we're in a drought otherwise. The Clarendon Ballroom is "dark" for swing dances until Tuesday, Jan. 11. Anyone willing to guess when the next big snow or wintry-mix event will happen??? One further note...the Clarendon Ballroom does NOT like cancellations due to weather. They held a Tuesday night dance that evening in February a few years back when the Mixing Bowl iced up so badly. The attendance was about fifteen, not the usual sixty or seventy dancers.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | December 27, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

bombo,
schedule more dances immediately!

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | December 27, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

OK, now that is just sad.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 27, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Oh there is a Santa Claus. My back thanks this most wonderful of holes for this very light dusting of snow. Long may it last.

Posted by: Penseur | December 27, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Let's start a POLL!!
-----------------------------------------
In your opinion, what is the best weather information resource in DC?

A) ABC7/TBD
B) CBS9
C) Capital Weather Gang
D) NBC4
E) FOX5

Please - - I urge everyone to vote!!!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 27, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I attribute this to all the hot air DC has been putting out over the past couple of weeks.

Posted by: Griftor | December 27, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

@Griftor

I assume you must be referring to the politicians, right, like Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner?

Posted by: BobMiller2 | December 27, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Anyone here who regrets that the storm missed us is crazy.

Do you all miss the ludicrous long lines at the grocery stores? The idiots in SUVs who think they can go at or above the speed limit? The idiots in rear wheel drive BMWs who think they can go at or above the speed limit? The acidic salt and sand damaging the paint job on your car? The insane lines at the hardware stores for jacked up salt and snow shovels? The unplowed neighborhood and secondary streets? Getting your work clothes dirty walking to the Metro?

Posted by: playahatah | December 27, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

@BobMiller2 - Yep

Posted by: Griftor | December 27, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

All 'hot air' references aside, many people say things like "when hell freezes over" and "cold day in hell" when they are describing sincere acts of bipartisanship. My guess is that somewhere among the frenzy of legislation that was passed in the closing hours of the 112th Congress, a little noticed resolution sailed through that proclaimed Washington as being "not quite ready to go to hell." Think of the 'snow hole' as someone firing a shot across the bow...

Posted by: HigherEducationAdvocate | December 27, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

playahata-

all that stuff is worth it when you love a big snowstorm. besides, everything you said has a workaround.

Posted by: swishjobs | December 27, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Just curious if people out there actually report potholes in DC.
Apps that conveniently report potholes to DC:

iPhone : http://itunes.apple.com/app/pothole-alert/id404126454?mt=8

Android : http://www.appbrain.com/app/pothole-reporter/com.shake

Pothole Map : http://www.savemytire.com/

--

Posted by: sharpwitz | December 27, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

@Walter, I thought snow birds were people who spent the winter in Florida. Have some snow birds been spotted in Falls Church?

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | December 27, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

JerryFloyd1,
indeed - from the dec 16th "storm" which pounded falls church w/about 1.5". these were too young to fly south... shall i repost? or do you have the flickr link?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | December 27, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

So will our next miss be called No-pocalypse?

Posted by: WickedRose | December 27, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

"I'm curious about what it would take to do higher-confidence predictions of events such as this weekend. Is it just a matter of not enough data points? If there were sensors every square mile over all of North America, would that solve the problem? Or are the models themselves just not good enough, even if the data were available?"

@wpbaud. These storms can be very hit or miss to predict. It really depends on how much the low deepens when it gets over the gulf stream, and how much it slows down. I don't think increasing the amount of sensors would necessarily help, because these are just the initial conditions that the models are run with. You still have to deal with the non-linear processes in the equations themselves. The storm itself was on a synoptic scale, while the "hole" over our area was meso, and maybe even micro scale. It is almost impossible for the models to predict exactly where these bands of snow will be, especially 24 hours out or more. When you "hit" a snow forecast, you are a hero. This is true with NWP as well. The good news is that these models get better and better every year, with more available computing power leading to higher resolutions.

Posted by: ravager814 | December 27, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I just had hernia surgery Wednesday and maybe my prayers were answered as I couldn't have dealt with the snow had we received an appreciable amount.

Posted by: waxtraxs | December 27, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

That is amazing. I'd love to see a storm track to see in motion just how we were spared the storm that hammered my family back in New Jersey. O_o;

Posted by: SilverySpringlike | December 27, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, none of you could figure out why we were the only ones without snow? All the "talking heads" talking ad naseum about what Congress did before the holiday break all day Sunday PLUS all the year end "best/worst of" lists PLUS all the talk about the Redskins and their misfortunes (ha! fooled you didn't they?) -- hot air rises -- I rest my case.

Posted by: deesa | December 27, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

@Walter, please repost that Flicker link so I can see the "boids". (I assume these weren't pink snowmingos since we only had 1.5".) Speaking of pink snow, haven't seen any of that around here in a while. Thanks.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | December 27, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse


looking at this weather map, it's easy to see why the forecasters in our area were having so much trouble trying to pin this one down all last week.

Posted by: potomacfever00 | December 27, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Ravager814 wrote: "The good news is that these models get better and better every year, with more available computing power leading to higher resolutions."

So, how much computer power do we need? Is this the sort of computation that works well with parallel processing which is the direction that inexpensive computers are going? Will we need new operating systems to handle the parallel processing? Can this be done with the the unused capacity in home computers like the projects to model folding proteins? Where do you see weather models in 5, 10, 20 years?

Posted by: fineman | December 27, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | December 27, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

City officials are being told by NWS and Accuweather, that this winter the D.C. Metro area should expect record lows (below zero) in temps, but very few accumulating snow showers.

Being FROM a cold climate, I can deal with that.

But, you know how meteorology goes, it is imprecise and often very wrong, and more often, opinionated based on the reporters desire over science. In general, they tend to take the "be afraid, be very, very afraid" angle, or model (as they put it).

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | December 27, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

@Walter, thanks... and "Glow, little snow-worm."

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | December 27, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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