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Posted at 1:45 PM ET, 12/21/2010

White Christmas odds good, not yet great

By Jason Samenow

(originally posted at 1 p.m., updated at 1:45 p.m.)

There's little doubt that a storm, originating from the Pacific (and dumping heavy rain and snow there), will cut across the southern United States Thursday and Friday arriving in the Southeast Christmas day. Plenty of cold air should be in place for any precipitation that reaches the metro region to fall as snow. The big question is how much moisture and precipitation will, in fact, reach the area Christmas day or even as late as Boxing day (Sunday).

We're more or less confident that at least a little snow should fall on Christmas (but trending later in the day). But whether it will be a dusting, 1" of snow, or more than 4" of snow is the subject of vigorous debate in the weather world. Right now, we think a light accumulation is the most likely scenario for the mid-Atlantic (including D.C.).

Next accumulating snow chance: Christmas Day into Sunday
Probability of accumulating snow (1" or more): ~55%
Probability of more than 4": 20%

Keep reading for technical discussion

TECHNICAL DISCUSSION

The various computer models streaming into the Weather Gang Lab this morning paint three possible scenarios for the potential Christmas storm.

Scenario 1: The southern storm is strong enough and passes close enough to bring enough moisture into the metro region to produce a light, accumulating snow event Christmas day into Christmas night. However, it does not combine with a disturbance to the northwest in time to produce big snows. The models supporting this scenario include the Canadian model and many of the GFS ensemble members, including the operational GFS. In this scenario, there would be a slight possibility the northern disturbance would combine with the southern disturbance in time to produce heavy snow over New England.

Scenario 2: The southern storm is too weak and passes too far south to produce much more than light snow or flurries (if that) and/or dry flow from the north eats away at the moisture arriving from the southwest. It does not combine with the disturbance to the north for a big storm anywhere along the East Coast. Just a few of the GFS ensemble members and last night's UK Met model suggest this possibility.

Scenario 3: The southern storm is strong and combines with the disturbance coming in from the northwest to produce a significant storm off the Southeast coast which rapidly intensifies as it moves up the Eastern seaboard. In this scenario, heavy snow and wind would be possible from Richmond to Boston, with the most severe conditions likely in New England. Last night's European model simulated this scenario. (Note, we'll update on this morning's European run as soon as it comes in.)

UPDATE - 1:45 p.m.: The latest European run shows a huge storm for the entire East Coast, but on December 26 into December 27 as opposed to Christmas day. Essentially, it slows the progress of the southern storm allowing it to completely phase (or combine) with the northern storm. The result is a major snow/wind storm (blizzard) in this simulation. However, this model has a bias of being too slow with disturbances along the southern branch of the jet stream - so we'd like to see other models trend toward this solution before buying it. If this model were to move the southern storm faster, it would simulate a lot less snow (maybe not even any - as it might go out to sea rather than merge with northern storm).

As the models came in, I spoke to Wes Junker, our winter weather expert, who said: "Of the three camps, I think the most likely camp is the light snow event [Scenario 1]. All scenarios are still possible."

Wes will have a new post tomorrow where he posts his latest ideas and analysis.

The Snow Lover's Crystal Ball appears when the potential exists for accumulating snow beyond 24 to 36 hours.

By Jason Samenow  | December 21, 2010; 1:45 PM ET
Categories:  Latest, Snow Lover's Crystal Ball, Winter Storms  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Christmas snow statistics for the D.C. area
Next: Poll: A white Christmas or not?

Comments

C'mon, lucky #3...

Posted by: Langway4Eva | December 21, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Let's go #3!!!

Posted by: mkbf26 | December 21, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh, yeah- #3 has my vote! (snow dancing madly).

Posted by: Snowlover2 | December 21, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

if #3 happens, will the heavy stuff happen on the 26th?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | December 21, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Hoping for #3, expecting a #1 scenario. Oh well, I'll take a few flakes on Xmas just for the fun of it.

Posted by: parksndc | December 21, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

latest Euro looks awesome but also extends the start time to 26-27th

Posted by: snowedin85 | December 21, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, who _wouldn't_ want heavy snow and wind from Richmond to Boston?!

Oh, that's right: those of us who have guests traveling in and out of the District this weekend.

So, no.

Posted by: dcreader6 | December 21, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Digging the division between non-technical and technical discussion. Very nice. What would be even better is if y'all were to add a glossary so those of us who read the technical discussion but are not weather experts can easily find out what you're talking about when you use acronyms and jargon. Would also be cool if you listed the various models you consult and explained the strengths/weaknesses of each one ordered by your confidence in them.

And again, best weather site on the web. Bar none. Next to wunderground haha.

Posted by: AdmiralX | December 21, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, dcreader6, for expressing my thoughts exactly. I cannot understand why grown adults get so jazzed at the thought of snow. Unless you're newly arrive from Fiji, and have NEVER seen it, it really shouldn't have a novel appeal for you. So, I sit here trying to decide how significantly my travel plans will be disrupted: will I be able to catch the flight to see my mother? Should I go ahead and plan to drive 10 hours? But, as long as everyone gets to see the marvel that is SNOW, I guess that makes everything OK...sheesh....

Posted by: ophelialit | December 21, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

dcreader6 and all the other snow-dislikers aren't understanding why we get so excited over the heavy white stuff- it gets us excited and gives us the hope about life that many of us lost in adulthood. This simple frozen precipitation is so powerful that many of us measure time and remember life events according to when we remember it falling in copious amounts - just look at all the posts where people remember specific years and points of their lives when big snowstorms happened.

If none of that sentimental mush turns this crowd to the white side, at least acknowledge this: it's not that tough to travel in and out of the district in snow.

Posted by: kolya02 | December 21, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

The Buzzkill Brigade is back and in full effect....

Posted by: Rcmorgan | December 21, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

The latest Euro run would be a blizzard if it verified. Pressures are sub 970 mb off southern Maryland. Never seen that except March 1993. But as I write above, we're not buying it at this point.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 21, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Hello Jason,

Any thoughts on which scenario a traveler going from DC to Louisiana connecting through Atlanta on Thursday afternoon should be rooting for? Any chance of DC or southern flights being impacted prior to XMAS day?

Posted by: weathery | December 21, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Hi CWG! I love your column so much, I fantasize working for y'all. Srsly.

Anyway, I'll be down south in Raleigh, NC for Christmas -- any chance they'll get some wintry precip too, or is it sure to be rain for them?

Posted by: aPostReader1 | December 21, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

At this point, I think 1-3" likely 55%,4+ 20% & >1"-0 25%. All guesses subject 2 change.
Now if the wind would quit blowing, I could go striper fishing at the 301 Bridge. Hopefully little or no wind 2morrow.

Posted by: VaTechBob | December 21, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Euro model for Monday morning (12/27) looks scary. I hope that does not pan out.

Posted by: Finn1917 | December 21, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

besides its obvious beauty and the fact that it's fun to play in, i think another reason people at a WEATHER website like snow is because it's interesting weather. there's only so much weather-geek (i mean that totally in a good way) discussion one can have about 40 degrees and partly cloudy.... snow, like a thunderstorm, is exciting weather.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | December 21, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

@weathery

The way things are trending- Thursday afternoon looks fine.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 21, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

kolya02--snow gives you hope about life?? I'm a mental health professional, and even I don't know where to begin with that one. And yes, yes it is difficult to travel in and out of the district in snow. Last Thursday, Delta canceled 47 flights due to the TWO INCHES of snow we had. I grew up in SW PA, and I remember snow very fondly from my childhood...but unless you're 12 or under, precipitation shouldn't really impact your perspective on life....

Posted by: ophelialit | December 21, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Well I believe that grown adults who get excited about snow remember that inside there is still a 10-year-old kid.

That kid never really goes away.

Posted by: aPostReader1 | December 21, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

@aPostReader1

I think Raleigh has a decent chance of snow on Saturday - though it could mix with rain. Snow on Christmas would be very unusual for down there.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 21, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

What are your thoughts on a 4pm flight from National to West Palm on Sunday? Like I need one more thing to stress over . . .

Posted by: Post43 | December 21, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

opelialit - Why would you criticize a person for enjoying something as an adult that they enjoyed as a child. You say you are a mental health professional like this means you are a negative person. If my children love Santa and Christmas am I beyond repair because I enjoy it with them. Sure there are problems when there are big snowstorms but there is also beauty, tranquility, a slower pace to life, and fun to be had. If you don't like snow (especially around Christmas) move south.

Posted by: jhckb | December 21, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

There's nothing like colorful outdoor holiday lights sparkling on a fresh blanket of newly fallen snow.
Just sayin'.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | December 21, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

THANKS for the response CWG. I kinda feel like Lady Gaga just personally gave me her weather forecast. Except that you are about 100 times cooler than Lady Gaga.

Posted by: aPostReader1 | December 21, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I think enthusiasm for snow may be related to how soon a person expects it to be plowed out of the way and the roads treated. So they can get on with normal life after the initial excitement fades.

Which means it's probably mostly an urban/suburban sentiment. I live in a rural area that doesn't have much of a budget for snow removal. I don't personally know any adults who are thrilled at the prospect of snow.

Posted by: tinkerbelle | December 21, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

jhckb: Because adults, by definition, should have moved beyond childish behavior. There's nothing for an adult to gain from a snowstorm beyond traffic snarls, power outages and oodles of inconvenience. Maybe some people have fewer obligations to attend to than I, so that alters their attitude. And moving south is a simplistic proposal; aforementioned obligations negate the feasibility of that solution. Look, I think it's great that everyone wants to have their Norman Rockwell holiday, but there are SOME of us who have to live in reality. I'm not a Grinch, I just have a lot to do.

Posted by: ophelialit | December 21, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Geez ophelialit, I feel sorry for your patients.

I have been going to this website for a long time (even before it was affiliated with the Washington Post) and I have never commented before. Just want to say that I LOVE snow, for all the reasons mentioned above. I am also a major weather geek. Thanks CWG for all the great updates! Fascinating!!!

Posted by: lcb127 | December 21, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

@ophelialit

You are exactly a grinch. You are hating on some people's joy because it isn't your own. You remind me of the headmaster from Matilda who hates kids and proclaims she never was one.

This need to always be doing something, and if something isn't being done it's a waste of time, is something that ails modern society. Take a tip from the Spanish, take a siesta, have a drink, and chill out.

/rant done.

Posted by: bouncinggorilla | December 21, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I find it amusing that a mental health professional would post with the name "Ophelia".

Get over yourself. You're whining about being inconvenienced. Life is inconvenient. You have obligations. BFD. Everyone does. Plan accordingly.

Posted by: mason08 | December 21, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

bouncinggorilla: Fantastic! That solves everything! I'll have a nap and a drink and forget about all of my responsibilities and commitments...why didn't they teach THAT therapy method in grad school? And here I thought that the ills of modern society stemmed from people who refuse to grow up! Weird.

On another note, I concur that this IS a fantastic website as it allows people to plan around any weather events, be they good, bad or indifferent. Thanks for the information, CWG, even if I don't always like it.

Posted by: ophelialit | December 21, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm always rather amused at the back and forth between lovers and haters. The weather will do what it will do, regardless of how any of us feel about it. I'm personally a snow lover and am proud to be so.

Yup, it's inconvenient and gets in the way of the many things I have to do in a day, but it sure is pretty and I love to see my dogs and kids having a fine time in it.

I consider myself to be in better than average mental health, because in weather, as in life, my adage is: "If you can't get out of it, get into it!" That belief gets me through boring meetings, traffic jams, undersirable weather, etc. etc. etc.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: chrissie413 | December 21, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

mason08: Yes, my point exactly...life IS inconvenient...why, then, would anyone want to encourage it to be more so? Right. Also, Ophelia happens to be my actual name. So, glad you're up on your Shakespeare, but your wit didn't quite win out this time....

Posted by: ophelialit | December 21, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Any ideas on how the evolution of this storm might be affected by the NAO trending neutral or potentially even positive toward the end of the month?

http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/pna/nao.sprd2.gif

Posted by: triplephaser | December 21, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

You might want to reconsider banishing your credentials, when you're named after a character who committed suicide.

Oh. And get thee to a nunnery. Preferably one w/o an internet connection.

Posted by: mason08 | December 21, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm 62 & love the snow, love 2 walk the dog in the snow, love 2 watch it fall from the sky. I find snow 2 b peaceful & calming. It makes me happy & soothes the soul. If some1 finds something wrong with that, to bad; because I'll continue to hope for snow.

Posted by: VaTechBob | December 21, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Well, Ophelia, I think you can be quite grown up and still enjoy the simple childlike pleasure of being snowed in with the ones you love. If it's a matter of life and death, then I'm on your side. But there really isn't much in our frenzied modern life that meets that criterion. There is such a thing as being too childish and there is also such a thing as being too grown up.

Posted by: bodypolitic1 | December 21, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Who is encouraging snow? Are you so deranged that you think that ANY of us can CHANGE the fact that it may or may not snow on Saturday? I like it because it's pretty, and I am well enough equipped that anything short of last year's double whammy is no problem. Ergo, I'm not inconvenienced. Delayed, perhaps, but I do arrive. Perhaps you should reevaluate your provisioning, so that you're not a helpless wreck when it weathers - and it will weather.

Posted by: mason08 | December 21, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: iqsz24 | December 21, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Of course it supposed to snow when im not here.
most likely a 2-5" scenario

Posted by: redskins-95 | December 21, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I was once in the snowlover camp in D.C. I lived in an apartment building whose super shoveled, salted and de-iced. There was never a danger of lost power due to frozen wires or downed trees. I was within walking distance of work. So, yeah, bring on the snow!

Then I moved to a house with many exterior steps, a house far enough from work that I need to commute by car, a house old enough that severe winter storms can mean expensive or difficult repairs.

So, much as I'd like to share the childlike wonder of snow, it's a lot easier to ooh and aah when the operational necessities of day-to-day life don't make a snow storm something to dread.

Posted by: dcreader6 | December 21, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

@ophelia

Thanks for the nice words about this blog. Your opinions are welcome here. Consider though that adults may like snow because of its beauty or the recreational opportunities it offers (skiing, snow walks, sledding etc) irrespective of the challenges it presents which in most (not all) cases are not insurmountable. Plenty of busy adults with significant responsibilities enjoy snow.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 21, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I've never posted before either, but I can't get over that a mental health professional has such a negative attitude towards life and is displaying such a judgemental attitude. The apparent lack of empathy on display is staggering given her/his field. Oh, and I'm pretty sure that "taking a nap and having a drink" is also known as "relaxing" which, yes, is a form a therapy. And frankly your entire worldview is questionable if you truly believe the ills of modern society are due to people refusing to grow up.

Onto the hate/love snow debate, let me just say I hate pretty much hate everything about it once it is done snowing, but still strangely get excited for it in anticipation and love it when it is actually falling. So I guess it is possible to both hate it and love it.

Posted by: purps | December 21, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

@Post43

Too early to be speculating about how the weather will impact travel on Sunday. My advise at this point is just to keep an eye on things and probably to wait make any decisions until Friday or so when information will be better.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 21, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Ophelia - I'm a very busy and very responsible adult...I don't need you to judge me based on my dislike or like of snow. I enjoy all forms of weather and especially love snow. I don't need to defend it and I do not consider that childish, but respectful of the power and majestic ability of nature. I'm a bit surprised to hear you're a mental health professional if this is your 'argument.' You sound a bit more like a patient.

Posted by: parksndc | December 21, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

CWG - if we get any snow this weekend, can you promise that the NAO will start trending positive and it will warm up for the rest of winter thus negating any future snow chances? Please? It's my xmas wish! :)

Posted by: rumbly45 | December 21, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Hear, hear, chrissie413 and walter-in-fallschurch -

My sentiments exactly re: the whole snow loving/hating topic.

Couldn't have said it better.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | December 21, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Flying to Dayton on Friday out of BWI, scheduled to land in Dayton at Noon. Will we arrive ahead of the snow there or are we likely to encounter delays?

Posted by: amwehl | December 21, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

A snow storm this weekend? How many ways can you say "maybe":

chance
possible
might
could
plausible
conceivable
doable
imaginable

Any others??
foreshadowed
suggested
credible
supposeable
questionable
seemingly

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | December 21, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Posted by: LongtimeFed | December 21, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

If it snows on Christmas eve and, yes I know it's still an if, will that effect Santa's GPS? Because if it does, I'm going to have some major 'splainin' to do to my kids.

Hey, c'mon, it's a serious question!!

Posted by: mcaicedo | December 21, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I love snow as well, and root for as much of the white stuff when it does fall. Just b/c we love it doesn't mean we aren't inconvenienced, etc. I'd like snow this weekend as well, but this time around I'm hoping it doesn't significantly affect my travel plans. Everyone gets impacted by snow (and weather in general) differently at different times. No reason to blast those who are able to and want to enjoy it when they can. Besides it's not something anyone has any control over.

Posted by: crazer | December 21, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

if you listen to all the editorializing that goes on w/mainstream meteorologists, snow is treated like a disaster - as is rain or heat or cold or anything interesting. listen to just about any tv or radio guy/gal and they're always portraying snow/rain as bad news and something to be avoided. weathermen generally get the perfunctory ribbing from the other anchors "blaming" them for all the horrible snow and the weathermen play along apologizing for predicting anything other than "75 and sunny", but add, "hopefully it will warm up soon and melt everything" or "if we're lucky this whole system misses us to the north" or some other anti-snow comment. that's the norm. CWG is a refreshing change.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | December 21, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

If #3 comes true it would probably be a bad day to drive to NE huh? I have to wait until 27th am, and have to be in NH noon 28th from grandmother's memorial service. Good thing I grew up up there and know how to drive in it. It just might take 24 hours in the car with 4 kids and a pregnant wife. Mwahahahahah

Posted by: mandarb77 | December 21, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

"Yes, my point exactly...life IS inconvenient...why, then, would anyone want to encourage it to be more so?" If that were true, why would any of us have children.
I understand why people don't like snow, but is it so hard to understand why people do even if you don't share that opinion yourself? I still look forward to watching Rudolph each year and I'm 45 years old. I wonder what that says about my mental health!!

Posted by: weatherwatcher1 | December 21, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

@mcaicedo Snow doesn't affect GPS, besides Santa should have an easier time in the snow, so nothing to worry about

@walter-in-fallschurch
"CWG is a refreshing change."

That's why i come here for my weather. BTW, amazing you were able to do the bird sculpture with so little snow.

Posted by: crazer | December 21, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I am a mental health professional too, with over 2 decades in this field. Snow DEFINITELY gives me hope about life. It forces all of us to slow down and reminds us that we don't control everything. It's beautiful and shows us to appreciate the external world that we so often overlook in going about our busy lives. So, yes Ophelia, I'll take door #3!

Posted by: WickedRose | December 21, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Walter-
Just once, I want a TV Met to respond to "Can you do anything about this [weather type]?" tripe with, "Only if [sports anchor], can bring a [championship name] to [local sports team]."

Or better yet, "No."

Posted by: mason08 | December 21, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Guess what? No one controls the weather, unlike that guy said who used to post on the old CapitalWeather.com site (about plane contrails I think).

Therefore, love snow or hate it. Doesn't matter and it won't change anything. Just don't get your hopes too high for either since nature is unpredictable.

Sincerely,
A Rational Man

P.S. LET IT SNOW!!!

Posted by: JTF- | December 21, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, ophelialit, for being sane. Some people are so fragile that they can't stand anyone questioning whatever it is that makes them jump up and down.

Who wouldn't love HUGE snow? gee -- maybe someone like me who is putting the person they love most on a plane headed for New England, early on Sunday. If the snow misses us and builds up going North, I will be sweating bullets until I know that plane has landed safely.

But oh, I should be happy because all you juveniles get to play in the snow, and just take a drink.

I do believe we have become a nation populated by thoughtless children.

Posted by: Hyperlocal | December 21, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

The possibility of snow seems to be trending later into the weekend.
Perhaps already answered, when was the last year that it snowed 1+" on Christmas Day?
And the anticipation continues to build...

Posted by: bodyiq | December 21, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

If it snows on Christmas eve and, yes I know it's still an if, will that effect Santa's GPS? Because if it does, I'm going to have some major 'splainin' to do to my kids.

Hey, c'mon, it's a serious question!!

Posted by: mcaicedo | December 21, 2010 3:30 PM
----------------

a more serious question is how does santa's sleigh land/takeoff in places w/o snow.

thanks crazer - it was my most efficient use of snow yet.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | December 21, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Problem is with these long range forecast is I feel like I'm in the comic strip below.

http://xkcd.com/831/

:)

Posted by: NEDTHEBEAR | December 21, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Kind of off point but does anyone no the 5 day forecast for Cleveland Ohio?

Posted by: snowlover31 | December 21, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Hyperlocal-
If it's not safe to fly, THE PLANE WON'T TAKE OFF! You're not putting "the person you love most" into a dangerous situation. It MIGHT be an inconvenient one, in that that person might end up in Portland, Bangor, or Burlington instead of Boston, but if there were any danger, the flight would be canceled.

Now who's thoughtless?

Posted by: mason08 | December 21, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Hey. I am a 'mental health professional', too.

I say it's perfectly fine to enjoy life when it's inconvenient. It's healthy to make the best of a situation. People cannot change the course of the storm by wishing. Enjoying life should not be a 'condition'.

These discussions are useless, however, I cannot stay silent when a self-described 'Mental health' expert tries to tell everyone to feel bad about the coming holiday and potential snow. No.

Love it, hate it, just stop telling others how to act... you aren't the 'parent' to all.

BTW- I'm not a mental health professional.

Posted by: Weathergeek | December 21, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Walter--I think what you see on TV about snow perhaps reflects the fact that the majority of folks in this area are not that thrilled by it. This blog speaks mostly to and for snowlovers, and geeky ones at that...:)

Posted by: weatherdude | December 21, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Hyperlocal - we snow lovers are not objecting to Ophelia's dislike of snow, but rather to her judgment that liking snow is childish and by implication abnormal in an adult. I understand perfectly why some people don't like snow, and why it would not be ideal for you this weekend. There are times I've wished bad weather would miss us because it will mess with my plans. But, overall, I'm a snow lover and there's nothing wrong with that. I won't call you names if you don't call me names. How about that??

Posted by: weatherwatcher1 | December 21, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

It seems the more vocal snow haters on here are lacking in rudimentary coping skills. It's winter, it may snow, get over it.

Thats like me coming on here in August and saying "it's so humid, all you people who love summer should grow up!"

Posted by: JW211 | December 21, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

JW211-

Agreed. My house tends to lose power for a little while in those afternoon/evening storms we get around here in the non-winter months. Sometimes a light breeze does it. Do you know what I do if I get home and there's no power, and therefore, no opening of the fridge? My wife and I go out to dinner. If it's not on after dinner, we go to a movie. If it's still not back when we get home from the movie, we go to bed. If it's not back by the morning, I break out an MRE or buy something to eat on the way to work.

Lemonade comes from lemons.

Posted by: mason08 | December 21, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Since us non-snowlovers are clearly no longer welcome here and will be shouted down as heretics, can someone direct me to a local weather site as good as this one where I can great info like that presented by Wes Junker?

BTW, in addition to concerns about being able to travel to the Shenandoah Valley to spend time with my family on Christmas Day, I now have to worry about Sunday there as well due to a funeral. Unexpected death of a parent of a long-time friend from high school.

So, yeah, I'd prefer it not snow this weekend. I need to be there now and would like to do so safely.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | December 21, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

TS-
1) Leave early.
2) Go slowly.
3) Stay the weekend.

Easy, no?

Posted by: mason08 | December 21, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

From the bottom of my heart, thank you ophelialit for being an (almost) lone voice of reason. I cannot fathom why anyone would want snow. It is in the same category as hurricanes, flooding, thunderstorms, and other natural disasters. Please, please, please SCENARIO 2!!!! If people want to be stuck inside to "slow down" their life, please be my guest and sequester yourself inside this weekend. We don't need snow to do that!

Posted by: pbj1 | December 21, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

pbj1: Thunderstorms are natural disasters???

Posted by: weatherwatcher1 | December 21, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

weatherwatcher1: when I spend 8 days without power, as I did in July, they surely are. I spent another week without power during out "winter wonderland" last Feb. Snow holds no appeal for me. It's dangerous, inconvenient and alot of shoveling. Plus, after hanging around for a week or so, it is black and dirty. I am miserable at the thought of it coming this weekend. But, I guess if other people like it... As they say, it's an ill wind that blows no good.

Posted by: pbj1 | December 21, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

pbj1: I can understand your view. As I've said, I don't expect everyone to love it, but I think the problem is how it is expressed. If you love snow you are childish, how can anyone like it, etc. I personally am not a fan of hot humid weather (which has its own risks and health hazards). I think it's fair of me to come on here and say that, but not fair of me to question the mental health and maturity of those who do.

Posted by: weatherwatcher1 | December 21, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

pbj1: I can understand your view. I lost power during last year's storm too and had to shovel the snow off a leaking porch roof. As I've said, I don't expect everyone to love it, but I think the problem is how it is expressed. If you love snow you are childish, how can anyone like it, etc. I personally am not a fan of hot humid weather (which has its own risks and health hazards). I think it's fair of me to come on here and say that, but not fair of me to question the mental health and maturity of those who do.

Posted by: weatherwatcher1 | December 21, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

To me, if you want it warm and sunny all the time, why the interest in a site for weather junkies. Those types should be fine looking at 5 day forecasts. People that get excited about these kinds of things do so because they are out of the ordinary.

Posted by: rocotten | December 21, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

It is in the same category as hurricanes, flooding, thunderstorms, and other natural disasters.
===

Just so we're clear: You're comparing snow to storms that wipe neighborhoods and sometimes cities off of the map? In pure dollar value, it's not close. Hurricanes win by an order of magnitude. As far as fatalities are concerned, there might be room for argument, but that is only because a large blizzard affects far more people than even the largest hurricane. A storm hitting Miami-Dade and killing 29 people is more deadly per-capita than a storm that affects 140,000,000 people and kills 300.

Posted by: mason08 | December 21, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

18Z GFS sends it out to sea, only a light coating to an inch or 2 here...

Posted by: greg421 | December 21, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Wow, snow sure elicits passion, either pro or con.

Following up on Steve's humorous post, the 18Z GFS only gives us around .08" inches of liquid equivalent which probably would equate to around an inch of snow.

Maybe the euro is right, maybe the GFS, or somewhere in between, that's today's word from Wes.

Posted by: wjunker | December 21, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

As they say, it's an ill wind that blows no good.

===

"They" obviously aren't skiers or photographers.

Posted by: mason08 | December 21, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

It is childish to whine about inconveniences and to treat desires as life essentials.

It is adult to adapt and have patience, while learning to cope and even enjoy life situations.

(P.S. I'll take snow OR thunderstorms, please!)

Posted by: orangelauren | December 21, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I gotta agree with the snow haters on here. As someone whos job is to plow/salt snow I can say without a shadow of a doubt that even though most people LOVE the snow, they should never be in it.

Oh the things ive seen while plowing snow. Cars stuck and left in the middle of roads (for days), tiny honda civics sledding down hills into backs of other honda civics. Also as someone said earlier, many love snow around here because it does indeed get salted and plowed for the most part. But if it didnt, at all, you would all be singing a different tune unless you have absolutely nothing else to do than look out at snow :/

With all the accidents and injuries out on the roads during snow along with the municipal costs from plow damage and salt to paying for the man hours snow is bad for everyone. It looks pretty but it costs dearly in all regards.

But as has been said, it is winter and so snow is to be expected. Although I would just argue that we average like 1-2" of snow in december and technically winter doesnt start until 638pm tonight. So to us snow "haters" I would just say bring on the snow..... IN FEBRUARY!

Posted by: KRUZ | December 21, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

How many ways can you say "maybe"?

Here's one more:

Probability of accumulating snow (1" or more): ~55%
Probability of more than 4": 20%

(I would have said maybe the probabilities were ~58.3% and 17.2%, respectively, because I'm more precise like that.)

So will more than 50% of the US see a white Christmas as JB predicted? The most recent snow cover report I heard (but didn't confirm) stood at 51%. Chances are looking pretty good.

Posted by: manatt | December 21, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

@rocotton: Don't want it warm and sunny all the time. I actually enjoy it cold, like it is now. I visit this site because I do have a keen interest in the weather. I simply do not prefer the outcome that most people here would like. I am visiting today in hopes that the forecast changes to "no snow."

@mason8: actually that expression is intended to mean that there is almost no event that doesn't have some good attached to it. So, the snow would "blow good" to skiers and photogs:))

Posted by: pbj1 | December 21, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

glad to hear about the decent prospects for "out to sea"

you snow lovers should move to New England, or better yet, upstate New York

Posted by: TGT11 | December 21, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

@orangelauren: Thanks for the advice. Spending christmas alone and away from my family in a, potentially, dark and cold 1-bdrm apt, shoveling out my car: Wow, these are just wonderful opportunities to adapt, cope and ENJOY. I'll try to keep in mind that being with people I love on xmas is simply a childish convenience. BTW: my 85 yr old mother will also be snowed in and alone. I'll pass along your advice to her.

Posted by: pbj1 | December 21, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

yeah TGT,

maybe the snow furries could move up to Alaska and live next door to Sarah Palin and have many wonderful discussions about global warming and how warm it is in Alaska (sarcasm)!!!! Maybe go ice fishing with what little ice that is left (more sarcasm)

But seriously though, as I said a couple days back, i think the GFS in onto this track. Storm goes south and OTS! Except this time we may get clipped by it as it goes south of us. Just like Jason said in a previous post, this storm has a 45% chance of following the exact track as last storm.

Posted by: KRUZ | December 21, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm pro-snow and its because of what Walter said: I enjoy weather events.

I'm also pro-Hurricanes and Thunderstorms. I'm not necessarily rooting for them or the damage that they do - but they sure do break up the monotony.

When you think about it, how many really big weather events do we get in a year? 30 at most? That means 90% of the time our weather is rather bland and boring.

Now, having said all that let me be clear - last winter is still very fresh in my mind. And I'd hate to see 13' snow like they got out on Mammoth Mountain.

Give me three or four 4 to 8" blizzards for the whole of winter and I'll be just fine.

Posted by: Vingold | December 21, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Kruz-
These same snow haters did and will complain in February. I reject your notion that it's bad for everyone because it costs money to clear. Libraries and schools cost money to equip, maintain, and operate. The roads themselves will break down even without snow and plowing. There are certain things that responsible municipalities just do. If anything, I think that we should spend MORE on snow clearing, so that we don't have to listen to people whine about it when it does snow. It would cost more, yes, but we could treat the run-of-the-mill storms we get here as just another day instead of preemptively emptying the Giants of milk, TP, and bread.

It seems that the state agrees with me. They have raised the statewide snow removal budget by ~15% over last year, but are still budgeting for less than 40% of what they spent last year.

Posted by: mason08 | December 21, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

BTW: my 85 yr old mother will also be snowed in and alone. I'll pass along your advice to her.
====

Why don't you stop whining on the Internet, sack up, and leave early? Bring her some canned food and Sterno. That would be adapting. Be proactive and constructive.

@TGT
Those prospects have been about the same since the beginning. There are others that say differently. That's why they give OTS a 45% chance and not-OTS 55% chance.

@Vingold
The thing about that much snow at Mammoth is that the town is spread out enough that they just push it in between the buildings or to the edge of town. If it's on the roads, the truck-mounted blowers just shoot it over the side into whatever happens to be there. One side of my parent's house there has Lexan windows because a dog-leg in the road puts it right in the blower's "kill zone".

Posted by: mason08 | December 21, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

>it's not that tough to travel in and out of the district in snow.

I would like to live in that alternate universe.

Posted by: Murre | December 21, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

In my opinion, it looks like the models are starting to agree more and more on a northeast "bomb" developing off the Delmarva and moving toward Cape Cod. Whether or not that forms close enough to allow the moisture to override us from the southwest as the upper low transfers energy to the surface low, remains to be seen. My guess: Big snowstorm/Nor'Easter for New England, possibility of some snows here, followed by VERY cold temps and high winds.

Posted by: marklandterrapins | December 21, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand why snow-haters are so critical of snow-lovers. It's nothing either camp can do about whether there is snow. I personally HATE thunderstorms, but if someone loves them, hey GREAT for you, you can enjoy a lot of them in season, since they're going to happen anyway.

LET IT SNOW! LET IT SNOW! LET IT SNOW! (even though I might have to forego being with my extended family which is life-long tradition that I have only missed once, for the birth of my first-born. But I can't do a thing about that my either hating or loving snow).

Posted by: luvhh1 | December 21, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Mason08

"Easy, no?"

No, it's not that easy. Easier with dry roads. Accept the fact that this is inconvenient timing for many people given that it's the holidays.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | December 21, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

If everybody would just clear cut all the trees, then all of the snow and rain and wind wouldn't cause as much of a disruption. Just sayin'...

Posted by: lingering_lead | December 21, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

lingering-lead agreed better pave over everything also. Damn nature always getting in the way of these busy people's lives. Shame on you Mother Nature, Shame on You.

Posted by: teacher11 | December 21, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Ophelia,

You mentioned you were in the mental health field. Possibly a therapist? Anyways, I have been considering therapy and would like to know where you practice so that I can make sure to cross it off my list. I can't understand how some one can become so enraged and bitter at other peoples enjoyment of snow. Some of us get excited about the weather, it's kinda the reason we check this blog. Those of us that find weather interesting find stuff like thunderstorms, record heat and snowstorms intriguing. Good luck helping people. If that's what you do.

Posted by: johnnyjoe82 | December 21, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Boxing Day? Do you also celebrate the Queen's birthday? ;)

Posted by: mikecapitolhill | December 22, 2010 5:20 AM | Report abuse

I have to admit to being with the snow haters - or at least dreaders - here. Every time I read the "oh please please snow!" comments, I wonder to myself - how can all these people truly be hoping desperately for a weather event that will cause countless people in this area immense amounts of suffering? Not just inconvenience, but accidents, emergency vehicles not able to get through, elderly and ill people not able to safely leave their homes or get help, people in more rural areas without power (and therefore sometimes heat, or even water) or ability to travel safely for long periods of time, etc. etc. Or the consequence for people who own domestic animals - last year barns collapsed, emergency veterinary care couldn't access farms, etc.

Does everyone who wishes for snow have nothing to do and nowhere important to go, or easy access to public transportation, or live within walking distance of grocery stores, or not have elderly relatives to care for? Can you just stop your lives for days at a time with no consequence? Do you truly not have obligations that require you to drive? Or health problems that require you to go to doctors or hospitals? Can you easily get around in difficult, icy conditions? Do you have people to shovel for you if you can't? Lucky for you - but that's not the case for all of us, as much as we'd like it to be.

We don't live in an area that can cope with large amounts of snow, and while a winter wonderland is a nice concept, the after-effects aren't so nice. Obviously, wishing will not make it happen or not happen. And I understand the desire to return to the simplicity of childhood - but still I have to admit, I find it difficult and distressing to read the comments on this blog with so many people effectively "wishing" for distress and discomfort for so many - that's the effect, however it's cloaked. And I agree with the person above who said it feels like there's not much of a place on this blog for people who don't love extreme weather events. For a variety of reasons I dread the thought of snow - I'd be happy to make it through this winter without anything more than a flurry - and I feel like that makes me an unwelcome pariah here. I'm glad to have read these comments just to realize there are at least a few other readers of CWG who appear to have retained some perspective on what this sort of weather actually means for many of the people who live here.

Posted by: jcats | December 22, 2010 6:00 AM | Report abuse

jcats, you said,
"I find it difficult and distressing to read the comments on this blog with so many people effectively "wishing" for distress and discomfort for so many..."

...omg ...how you twist words/thoughts.

i'll bet you there is NOBODY on here who has EVER posted something like "i want lots of snow" who wished distress on ANYBODY.

here, let me try it: by hoping we don't get "anything more than a flurry" this winter you're selfishly depriving all the area children (and their of snow-days. my daughter is receiving a new sled for christmas, since ours broke last year. do you want her to just go play in the mud? does your snow-phobia mean you hate children too?

see? now, i don't know whether you hate children or not, so i'm not gonna make any broad generalizations about your motives. ;-)

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | December 22, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

walter wrote:

"i'll bet you there is NOBODY on here who has EVER posted something like "i want lots of snow" who wished distress on ANYBODY."

But see, that's why I said "effectively." The snow does cause distress; that is not disputable. So when you wish for snow, you are wishing for something that causes distress. Effectively, you are wishing for that distress. This is logic. I am not twisting words.

And it is patently ridiculous - not logical - to equate the unhappiness of children deprived of snow with the distress of people deprived of power and emergency services by a storm. Your kid getting to use his/her new sleigh vs. people without heat, fatal accidents, etc.? You're truly suggesting it would be selfish for me to wish to avoid the latter in order that your child can have the former?

(Anyway, playing in the mud would in fact make many kids happy.)

I don't see that continuing this discussion will accomplish anything. I've been bothered by this "rah rah snow!" attitude on the CWG comments for a long time; now I've said my piece, as have a few others. We've been pretty thoroughly disparaged in some cases quite personally, and I imagine things will go back to the way they were. I'll continue feeling baffled, and occasionally disgusted, by the prevailing attitude, which I continue to find immensely self-centered, but no one seems interested in examining it, so I'll bow out. And nature will do what it will, no matter what we wish for.

Posted by: jcats | December 22, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

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