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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 01/29/2011

A snowstorm montage from January 26-27, 2011

By Kevin Ambrose

A video montage that shows over 24 hours compressed into 1 minute and 46 seconds. The video includes the onset of the storm and a trip from Oakton, VA to Washington, D.C.. The road scenes in the video are from Oakton/Fairfax (Fox Mill Road, Waples Mill Road, and Vale Road) and the Metro scene is from East Falls Church. You will easily recognize the Smithsonian Metro stop, the Mall, and the Washington Landmarks.

I finally got my power back Thursday evening after 24 hours of coping with no hot water, no stove for cooking, and no Internet for tracking the snowstorm (and other news). I felt fortunate, however, 24 hours is not too bad considering Hurricane Isabel took out my power for days.

I used the time without electricity to make a trip to Washington for a quick photo and video shoot. With the video clips, I assembled a video montage showing the onset of the storm and the trip into Washington. You may notice that the Mall has much less snow than the western suburbs, which is where I started and ended the video shoot.

Read below to see storm photos from Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Dominion Virginia Power restores power lines in Fairfax, Virginia, January 27, 2011.

Regarding the snowstorm, here's a note that I sent to our CWG leader, Jason Samenow, soon after I received power Thursday evening:

"I've keenly watched snowstorms in the D.C. area since the mid-70s and I've never seen a snowstorm like this. We had trees and limbs crashing down continuously, transformers blowing up, and bright lightning flashes. There were times I couldn't tell if the booms were thunder or transformers. It was very amazing to observe, but it scared my youngest son. My son and I stood in the garage listening to the trees crash down and watching the bright flashes of lightning and/or transformer explosions."

While the snowstorm of January 26, 2011 may not be historic in the record books, it will be historic in my memory of Mid-Atlantic snowstorms.

Trees down in Oakton, Virginia, January 27, 2011.

A tree has fallen under the weight of the heavy snow and pulled down wires in Oakton, Virginia, January 27, 2011.

Multiple trees block this road in Oakton, Virginia, January 27, 2011.

Despite AWD, this vehicle is stuck at the entrance of an unplowed side street near Reston, Virginia, January 27, 2011.


A happy snowman stands in front of the Capitol, January 27, 2011. I noticed the snowman has a tail?

The setting sun casts a glow on the Capitol, January 27, 2011. The trees at the Capitol and on the Mall had very little snow and no apparent storm damage.

The sunset with the Washington Monument, January 27, 2011.

By Kevin Ambrose  | January 29, 2011; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Latest, Photography  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Forecast: A flake or two today, nicer Sunday
Next: Another midweek storm to track


Beautiful as always, Kevin!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 29, 2011 11:37 AM | Report abuse

You guys really got crushed! As much as I always want more snow I think we were lucky in D.C. it stopped when it did. Nice shots Kevin.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 29, 2011 12:52 PM | Report abuse

All very good. Final photo of the sunset made me say "wow".
Glad you've had the power returned.
Never had so much as a light flicker here in Sully Station 2 in Centreville, and our tree damage seems comparable to what I see in your footage.

Can I has screensaver?

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 29, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

i'm surprised there's not more concern about the fact that washington monument is about to topple over.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 29, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Kevin, the storm that was closest to this in terms of power problems that I can remember was march 1958 which was a much wetter storm but also had intense snowfall rates with temps around or a little above freezing with the heavy snow following heavy rain. The 1958 storm produced heavier amounts overall if I remember correctly. It was one of the storms that hooked me on meteorology

Posted by: wjunker | January 29, 2011 1:13 PM | Report abuse

This Baltimore Sun columnist also has strong memories of the 1958 storm:,0,116212.column

Posted by: Peterb58 | January 29, 2011 1:31 PM | Report abuse

@walter-in-fallschurch: I was wondering if I'd get a comment about the leaning Washington Monument. Nice lens effect.

@FIREDRAGON47: Which shot do you want as a screensaver?

@Wes: I thought of the March 19-20, 1958 storm after I saw the trees coming down. I didn't live through the 1958 storm, but I have a lot of photos from that storm that show major tree damage. The liquid content in D.C. was 3.75" and 33" of snow fell in Mt Airy, MD.

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | January 29, 2011 1:31 PM | Report abuse

@Peterb58: Very interesting article, thanks for sharing.

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | January 29, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Nice. :-)

Posted by: dinergirl1 | January 29, 2011 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Kevin, your pictures reminded me of that storm. We had loads of tree damage with the 1958 storm and lost power for around a week. The snow in places was actually sitting on water that wasn't frozen. I measurde 16 inches in northern VA but I think I measured on grass so it may have been less. anyway, nice pictures

Posted by: wjunker | January 29, 2011 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Kevin - Today's screensaver wish list would be for the bottom sunset shot, 2nd choice the shot of those Dominion Power folks hard at work.
That's the one I would leave up on my workstation when I flee the office ahead of wicked winter weather ;-)

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 29, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

@FIREDRAGON: For screensavers from the storm, check out:

If anyone wants to see a less compressed version of the video, check out:

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | January 29, 2011 5:20 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 29, 2011 5:38 PM | Report abuse

i think the top picture is easily the best one (my favorite, anyway). it has the contrast of natural beauty of snow-covered trees/landscape with the man-made geometry of wires and the "cherry-picker" truck. it's early enough after the storm and all the snow is still on the branches. it also has the idea of all this beauty causing these guys to be out there working. nice...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 29, 2011 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Looking at the difference between the DC accumulations & what we have out here in the western lord we did take a walloping.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 29, 2011 9:02 PM | Report abuse

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