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Posted at 9:40 AM ET, 01/26/2011

AM update: A break before big snow boom

By Jason Samenow

After a sloppy half inch to two inches of snow and sleet (and more from Baltimore north) since the pre-dawn hours, precipitation throughout the metro region has changed over to rain and sleet in most spots (some snow in higher elevations and to the north/northwest) and is diminishing somewhat. Temperatures are just above freezing in most locations - primarily in the low-to-mid 30s. If you need to get out and about to run any errands, the next several hours - through around 2 p.m. - would be a good time.

But a major, potentially remarkable thump of snow is coming later today. Computer models continue to advertise a period of intense snow from mid-afternoon through mid-evening, probably beginning briefly as rain. Regional radar shows the upper level disturbance that will generate this activity marching toward us from the southwest generating heavy snow in West Virginia at the moment. It should arrive between 1 and 4 p.m. from southwest to northeast.

Not to sound alarming, but all be aware that the snowfall rates around this evening's commute may be extreme and make travel very hazardous and potentially crippling. Thundersnow is possible with rates in excess of 1 to 2 inches per hour. Total accumulations of 4-8"+ in the north and west suburbs continue to seem like a good bet but may be conservative on the low end. Similarly, our forecast of 3-6"+ around D.C. and to the southeast may be a bit conservative on the low end of that range. In other words accumulations exceeding 4 or 5 inches seem most likely.

By Jason Samenow  | January 26, 2011; 9:40 AM ET
Categories:  Latest  
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Comments

Who else here is ready for the snowstorm of the winter?! I know I am! I'm 98.9% convinced we'll see a decent snowfall!
Let it SNOW, let it SNOW, let it SNOOOOOOW!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7CYd5LhWNQ&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 26, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Weather Channel just had an update, DC and Northern Virginia are now on the fringe of 8-12". Does the Weather Gang agree?

Posted by: TommyMcGuire | January 26, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the update, Jason!

So with the alarmist sounding snowfall rates, are we still expecting 4-8 out past Leesburg? Ugh.

Hoping for a quick melting of this stuff!!

Posted by: rumbly45 | January 26, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I think the Fredericksburg, VA area will be warm enough to keep accumulations down to 1-2 inches. CWG, would you agree?

Posted by: Showmethesnow | January 26, 2011 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Mt. Holly is definitely more bullish than Sterling!

http://www.erh.noaa.gov/phi/StormTotalSnow/index.php

http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/lwx/winterstorm/

I like those numbers.

Posted by: ResQgal | January 26, 2011 9:48 AM | Report abuse

(from previous thread)
@eunicedelrosario
Just what I was thinking! Seems like there will be plenty of white stuff to get in some good shots at Dupont Circle Park tonight. What do you say we kick things off at 8? Planning to create an event page here: http://bit.ly/fFb1QF

Posted by: mlipin | January 26, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I am a bit curious whether OPM lets their workers go early.

Usually they are safe than sorry but it seems that since last year's big storm where everyone got mad at OPM for 4-straight days off....they don't do much unless 100% necessary

Posted by: Bious | January 26, 2011 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Less than a block from the water here in Edgewater it appears to be plain old rain. There's a coating of slush/ice on everything including our street. What should we expect here in eastern AA county? I've seen snow totals anywhere from 2-10" but I'm wondering if the frozen water will keep our temps down and maybe put us at the higher end of things? Thanks for all the hard work CWG! :)

Posted by: elizabethk611 | January 26, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for all the informative and educational updates, CWG. Your passion and enthusiasm jumps right off my screen each and every time. You guys do great work!

Posted by: Hanz1 | January 26, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

The aticipation is KILLING me... I will post frequent updates at IAD when things start to heat up.. ( or should it be cool down?)

Posted by: SnowDreamer | January 26, 2011 9:57 AM | Report abuse

This is Sarah Palin's fault.

Posted by: johnfchick1 | January 26, 2011 9:57 AM | Report abuse

YAY! FINALLY A CHANCE OF DECENT SNOW!

Posted by: refresh7 | January 26, 2011 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I had an interesting commute this morning given the variety of the geography that I had to travel through. I started off in North Arlingon and temp was 34 degrees with light sleet and about an inch of "slush" on the ground. As I got near Reagan, temps rised to 35 degrees, then as I crossed 14th st bridge it hit 36 degrees and changed over to a hard rain. Right around the 395 tunnel it hit 37 degrees with moderate rain. I then made it to DC 295, and temps were back down to 35 degrees and sleet. I went up and got on 50 towards Bowie and right after I got outside the beltway in Lanham, temps were 34 degrees with a mix of snow, sleet, and rain. This should be fun going home.

@CWG, why do you think it is a winter storm warning has not been issued for DC and areas inside the beltway

Posted by: dcg35 | January 26, 2011 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Do we know when the snow is suppose to end? Or at least taper off? I heard 10ish last night and sometimes midnight.

Posted by: hereandnow1 | January 26, 2011 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I'm impressed that my 18-yo son was able to schedule this snow for the day after he returned to college (and thus to avoid shoveling...).

Posted by: skidge | January 26, 2011 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I don't really understand "thundersnow." Does this mean essentially blizzard conditions with a few rumbles of thunder? Are the main concerns with the speed of the snowfall visibility and drifting?

I lived in Michigan for a number of years and was once caught on the highway during significant snow. They closed the highway and detoured us all off onto side roads. But we didn't call it "thundersnow" it was just snow. Maybe heavy snow or blizzard.

Posted by: anelsen2 | January 26, 2011 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Need to take all of the illegal aliens off the roads and lock them up before the next snow-mageddon hits this evening.

Roads will be treacherous enough without having to deal with a bunch of inexperienced "Marylanders" with bad brakes and bald tires.

Posted by: Vic1 | January 26, 2011 10:04 AM | Report abuse

It looks like predicted temps are above freezing. Won't this prevent accumulation. I'd think the snow would melt on contact.

Posted by: purplejen_1 | January 26, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

@Showmethesnow

I'm in F'burg...the NAM is bringing a bulk of the precip through our neck of the woods...i can't see how it keeps our snow down. It's a bit warm but the temps will dive later on and the snow is going to come down in bunches.

Posted by: krg3m | January 26, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

"This is Sarah Palin's fault."

To be fair, she is too stupid to actually understand how rain turns to snow

Posted by: Bious | January 26, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Looking forward to this evening (assuming we don't lose power). The kids are at daycare but I will pick them up early.

Question: you said low ends are conservative at this point? Are we talking a higher probability of the higher end totals throughout the area? I am in Rockville and was quite surprised to wake up to the amount of snow we had...I thought it was mostly going to be sleet.

Posted by: authorofpoetry | January 26, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

@BobMiller2, I'm ready. I gotta love your enthusiasm! North Arlington seems right on the line between "decent" snow and "major" snow, I'm jealous that you're going to get more than me!

Posted by: dcg35 | January 26, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Anyone want to speculate the fedcast for tomorrow?

Posted by: atayah | January 26, 2011 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Is the 12z NAM overdoing the precip amounts? If it wasn't we'd get close to if not over a foot of snow..

Posted by: Dylan0513 | January 26, 2011 10:07 AM | Report abuse

As I am at work & have no plans to leave early, after reading Jason's speil I feel....alarmed. Big snow boom. This site usually doesn't hype like some weather forecasters do.

Nothing but rain & Slurpee slush out here in Manassas.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 26, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse

CWG or anyone else- im a bit confused, when you say "Total accumulations of 4-8"+ in the north and west suburbs continue to seem like a good bet but may be conservative on the low end." does that mean that we will probably be getting more snow than that or does that mean totals will probably be towards the low end?

Posted by: kantor1125 | January 26, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I can't wait or the THUNDERSNOW!! That will be very exciting...

BTW, the current conditions on my deck here in NE Loudoun are 33.7°F with light sleet and 0.75" snow accumulation thus far.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 26, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Dylan, the sref ensemblemean now is predicting an inch of liquid equivalent which is impressive given the members have less resolution than the nam. The nam may be overdoing this a little but even if it were, we still would be in for quite a thump late this afternoon into the this evening.

Posted by: wjunker | January 26, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

@anelsen2: thundersnow is a thunderstorm that has snow instead of rain. Can have thunder, lightening, heavy/intense bursts of snow as the bands move through. Blizzard like winds as well.

Posted by: beta1 | January 26, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I'm much more excited by the prospect of a period of "remarkable thump of snow" than anything to do with totals. This really looks like it is shaping up to be a powerful, dynamic storm with an unusual track over and west of us.

Bring on the thundersnow!

Posted by: marklandterrapins | January 26, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

"Anyone want to speculate the fedcast for tomorrow?"

I said above I was curious if OPM lets feds off early today. I doubt it though as it seems fine outside now and OPM seems to hold off on closures until the bad stuff is occuring.

As for tomorrow, I doubt feds are off. Barring anywhere less than 8 inches, Metro will be ready and I suspect others will be as well.

OPM caught lots of crap for last years closures (even though most days were deserved to be called off) and they seem hell bent on not looking bad in closings

Posted by: Bious | January 26, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

krg3m,

I just am not sold on the temps diving down to make it cold enough. I am onboard with the precip but I am afraid of a mixed-bag and not all snow that far south. What are the local temps at now?

BTW, I hope I am wrong.

Posted by: Showmethesnow | January 26, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

atayah - It could be a close call between 2 hour delay for OPM and a closed/unscheduled leave policy. But this is speculation, as you say!

FIREDRAGON47 - I wouldn't say it is hype we are after, but rather the impression this word.. this use of language... grabs your attention. Weather Communications is a tricky thing. We don't want to overdo or underdo, but we are out to protect lives, property, etc. And we need to make it clear that tonight there will be several hours of heavy snow, the likes of which we do not see in DC often. Especially with what seem to be marginal surface temperatures during the midday hours. The "boom" should help fewer people be caught off-guard. I am telling everyone I know that "when you see snow flakes start, take it seriously and get home" because I don't want anyone out on the roads during it. Make sense? That is our overall strategy with CWG. Careful, measured communication. This situation warrants stronger use of attention-grabbing language.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 26, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

@kantor1125

Good question. We just are thinking based on the latest data that 3 or 4 inches (the low end accumulations) might be conservative and 5-8" or so may be more likely.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 26, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

@Showmethesnow

It's 36..was 41 this morning I believe.

Posted by: krg3m | January 26, 2011 10:15 AM | Report abuse

We had 2" at 5:30 northeast of the city heading towards baltimore.

It continues to snow, although at a diminished rate, and it is above freezing. Once temps drop, and the snow kicks up in earnest, we are primed for real snow.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | January 26, 2011 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Showmethesnow - the heavy precip is confidently (but not certainly) expected to bring colder air from higher in the atmosphere tonight. It will be a rare event where surface temperatures aren't relevant. The entire lower atmosphere will cool, and dip below freezing quite spectacularly.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 26, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I cannot believe that OPM did not give employees the option of unscheduled telework today. How does it help to have thousands of federal workers on the road and on transit during the evening commpute while it's snowing? Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | January 26, 2011 10:19 AM | Report abuse

As for the Feds, they generally only close if Metro closes above ground stations & Metro only closes above ground stations when there's HUGE accumulations they can't keep up with, like with last year's back to back blizzards. That's the general rule we tend to go by anyway.

Which doesn't mean they may not close early or open late but I'd guess unless we get accumulations like last years blizzard, they'll be open in some fashion.

Posted by: wadejg | January 26, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Hi - Traveling from MD to Tysons for lunch @11:30. Should be back on the road before 2. Is this a bad idea??

Posted by: DrLRonHoover | January 26, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Camden. Bring on the cold air!

Posted by: Showmethesnow | January 26, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

We have 2-3 inches already in the Baltimore/Howard County area, and still snowing. Roads are treacherous as they were not pretreated because state decided rain was more likely than snow.

Frankly, the OPM is disturbing given some of the conditions in the area, would it have hurt them to make it a flex leave day? Folks who made the commute in from Maryland are going to have a very rough commute home.

Posted by: westwoodmom | January 26, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I think it's time to upgrade the WWA to a WSW.

Posted by: nrasch0402 | January 26, 2011 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I was very surprised to see only a Winter Weather Advisory this morning. That *may* make sense for DC proper south and east... but here in western Fairfax County (Fair Lakes / Centreville / Chantilly) I think chances are over 50% that we see warning criteria snows.

I thought if anywhere in the county was likely to see warning criteria snows that a winter storm warning was appropriate? It seems a near certainty someone in Fairfax County will see over 5" for this event. I'm wondering if NWS will end up upgrading the WWA later on today.

Posted by: jahutch | January 26, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

CWG- you guys were pretty much on top of this thing 48 hours out while NWS was saying stupid stuff in their forecast discussion like "It is hard to beleive that we are gonna see snow on Wed when up in the high 40s on Tuesday"... even last night they were reluctant to issue a warning until it basically started snowing in Baltimore.

Posted by: jac8949 | January 26, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

I think I'm going to leave work early then. I don't want to get caught in that going up 270. My poor worn tires can't handle it!

Posted by: nuzuw | January 26, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

OPM opened late last week after the ice. Smart move...They are expected to get their status updated by noon. They went to "unscheduled telework" on Dec. 16 around 2pm or so...I expect something similar, but they may actually announce it slightly earlier. I hope that they have Wes on the batphone. Dont think LWX is going to be able to handle them...also, is it possible that the LWX office is mostly in Seattle at the big wx conference there? Surely we have SOMEONE from LWX who lurks here...

Posted by: DullesARC | January 26, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I was a bit surprised by the inch of slushy, sloppy stuff this morning. Lovely. I was expecting the precip to start later in the day.

At this point, are y'all fairly confident in the prediction of when things will start and stop? I'm guessing most of the variables in the models have settled down now, but are there any that you think could still cause signficant changes?

Posted by: kickabout | January 26, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

What does "exceeding" 4-5" mean? ...give me a ballpark number!!I have to be at the clinic I work for in Montgomery County Gov, HHS, by 7am.,tomorrow morning.. Supposedly working a half day..(7-11) if they are open! I expect that today they will be making some kind of decision based on your forecast as well..if our patients can't make it, then we will be closed..which means I won't be called to come in!

Posted by: CountytaxpayingCHNII | January 26, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Regarding OPM, perhaps they don't have anyone who remembers the year they waited until late afternoon to let everyone go...by then the storm was full blown - it was the year the plane hit the 14 St bridge and metro derailed at the same time. DC has a histroy of bad OPM calls -- too little too late. Maybe they need some historical perspective.

Posted by: Rjmw | January 26, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

@ CWG

Will you all be giving a "leave now or shelter in place" warning later if conditions warrant?

Posted by: Alexandria2009 | January 26, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Just rain in Warrenton.

Posted by: LadyMac | January 26, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Camden - I hope some upper management members of my organization are reading this blog. Early closure is the only way most of us can escape. Doncha love your employees as much as the little school children?
Likely answer: No.

I'll probably be sliding home in the worst of it. Ah well...that would be my proper snow karma for wanting this so badly.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 26, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

As of 10:30 AM, the Weatherchannel.com has only issued a Winter Weather Advisory, with predictions of 3-5 inches for the Fairfax, VA area. This seems tame compared to what you guys at the CWG are prognosticating. Their WWA does not make any mention of periods of heavy snow - the "boom" that you have referred to in your responses.

Posted by: MillPond2 | January 26, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Get this: NWS has Takoma Park under WSW for 2-4" while Greenbelt, just a few of miles away, is under WWA for 3-5".

Posted by: beetsnotbeats | January 26, 2011 10:33 AM | Report abuse

So sounds like when it does start snowing it will be quite heavy, very fast. Are we still estimating a start time after 4 pm, or has that been moved up to 2pm??

Thanks

Posted by: justhavingfun4u1 | January 26, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I suggest calling this storm "thunderthump." Not sure if it's accurate, but it just has a certain ring to it.

Posted by: rj2835a | January 26, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Kudos to CWG so far, last night one of you guys posted an advisory that people should be aware of the potential for snow/slush in the morning. A warning I didn't hear anywhere else. I think you guys are going to be spot on with this storm and your forecasts were earlier than the others who were still hedging their bets. Love this site. Thanks guys.

Posted by: thedude3 | January 26, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: SnowDreamer | January 26, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I never get OPM's operating status emails in a timely manner. I get them at 4 p.m. or later, which is not much help. I just check the website, but is this a problem everyone has? It really doesn't make sense for the emails announcing delayed opening to reach people hours after the fact.

Posted by: weatherwatcher1 | January 26, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

WHERE is the dislike button for this forecast???? Ick!!!

Posted by: B-rod | January 26, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

OK - the NWS...which downgraded our totals from 5-9 to 3-6 last night...just INCREASED out totals to 4-8; yet, they're still only calling for an advisory. I feel like they might be downplaying this a bit too much, thoughts? Couldn't a warning be warranted at this point for Fairfax County? I have interviews to conduct at work around 4pm...a warning would help me communicate with these folks. Arg. I'll just send out the CWG post and see what they say !

Posted by: parksndc | January 26, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Hello Camden and Jason. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems confidence is pretty high now that DC gets 5 or 6" of snow (with the potential for more). That being the case, shouldn't NWS upgrade DC (and surrounding counties) to a Winter Storm Warning?? I definitely do think some people will be caught of guard, not only because roads are now mostly wet and it is above freezing, but also because the Winter Weather Advisory precludes the possibility of "potentially crippling" conditions later as mentioned here at CWG.

Posted by: BH99 | January 26, 2011 10:43 AM | Report abuse

And word on the 12Z GFS? Is it as wet as the NAM, or drier?

Posted by: jms12 | January 26, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Jason - thanks for the update. Are you still in Seattle? If so, kudos for you for getting up early to keep us informed on the latest weather news!

Would you say that this storm is more comparable to the December 2009 snowpocalypse, rather than the February 2010 snowmageddon? It doesn't appear that any area around here will top a foot of snow, and most estimates are less than that.

Posted by: jaradel | January 26, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Charlottesville will be on the low side, but I'd be happy with anything to sled on or throw.

Posted by: cvilleSnowMan | January 26, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

someone on the accuweather forum from Lynchburg just reported that it is raining/sleeting and thundering outside

Posted by: snowedin85 | January 26, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I think we are all a little nervous about the coming storm. I would guess that by 12-1pm we will have our WSW and possibly OPM guidance.

Posted by: Alexandria2009 | January 26, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Here was the view outside where I stayed last night in Wheaton, taken this morning around 7:15AM. http://goo.gl/Ju5Tq

Looking forward to this afternoon!

Posted by: DCMacNerd | January 26, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse

GFS 12z model looks $$$$ for DC as well...

Posted by: finger11 | January 26, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

The NWS is quickly making their warning/watch/advisory language irrelevant by clearly botching it this time around.

Posted by: markinva | January 26, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Im worried....Radar doesnt lie....and this huge gop of precip over WVA and Ohio seems to be moving NNE and it looks like it will miss DC to the north.....will it fill in to the south? Just curious?

Posted by: inthemiddle2 | January 26, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

@BH99, I agree. My only guess is if you remember the December storm bust they had started off with a watch, then advisory, then warning, then, absolutely nothing. I can only guess that someone at NWS is not convinced that the next storm will bring enough cold air with it to have the higher snow totals. That's just a guess.

Posted by: dcg35 | January 26, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

@BH99, I agree. My only guess is if you remember the December storm bust they had started off with a watch, then advisory, then warning, then, absolutely nothing. I can only guess that someone at NWS is not convinced that the next storm will bring enough cold air with it to have the higher snow totals.

Posted by: dcg35 | January 26, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

@jms12

I think it shows .75-1 qpf for around DC, so drier than the NAM but still significant.

Posted by: Dylan0513 | January 26, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

@inthemiddle2 yes..what's up with the trajectory of the precip? Doesn't look that great.

Posted by: BH99 | January 26, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I don't know about most folks, but if I feel that my life is in danger on making the commute home I will leave early and not wait for some announcement from OPM/or other agency. I will glady take personal leave if it means not getting into an accident.

Posted by: Showmethesnow | January 26, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

@ inthemiddle2

There appears to be a bit of a spin on the tail end of the current radar. That my be what smacks us.

Posted by: Alexandria2009 | January 26, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

NOOOOOOOO!!!! The 12z GFS is DRIER!?!?!

Are you predicting lower snow totals now??

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 26, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

"but if I feel that my life is in danger on making the commute home I will leave early and not wait for some announcement from OPM/or other agency"

I think you are being a bit over-dramatic

Your way home may be a bit longer but it won't be life-threatening going HOME today

Posted by: Bious | January 26, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

@ BobMiller2

If the GFS verified, it'd still likely be higher than the totals CWG or anyone else has out right now, so it probably only helps the case to raise the projected totals.

Posted by: Dylan0513 | January 26, 2011 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Regional roadways have been treated with salt and brine, they are all also in full deployment mode,so, if we get what some call heavy accumulations, it will likely be on the grassy areas and NOT on the roadway. We will be able to move to and fro on Thursday morning as crews will have all night to move the white stuff to the side.

While you are out playing in the snow, please remember to shovel the sidewalk in front of your house/business. Kids will have to make their way through the snow on their way to school. Unless the city wusses out.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | January 26, 2011 10:52 AM | Report abuse

@BobMiller2...0.75-1 in the DC area still sounds good to me, no??

Posted by: BH99 | January 26, 2011 10:52 AM | Report abuse

@BobMiller2, remember at this point we can't take each and every model run individually. We're going to get "thumped", no doubt!

Posted by: dcg35 | January 26, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

you guys need to relax or just look at the maps... it's really pretty easy to learn.

GFS is barely drier. Most of the moisture isn't coming till 5/6pm for a good 6 hour period as part of the comma portion of the Low, when the low will be out to sea alraedy

http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/

Posted by: finger11 | January 26, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I'm shocked NWS is being so stubborn/conservative. Just look at the Warning map of the US on weather.gov and notice the "dip" in our area between weather offices (like the snow hole!).

Hopefully they'll realize they need to upgrade to a warning for most of the area after this model run (and the past several).

Posted by: JTF- | January 26, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Trajectory of precip doesn't look great, but I'm guessing that when energy from that area of precip is transfered to the coastal low that precip will start to fill in here. Of course, I'm an amateur and that might be completely wrong!!

Posted by: BH99 | January 26, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

@Bious,

My point was do not wait for an agency to announce it's closure if you feel that you may not be able to get home safely. LEAVE EARLY.

Posted by: Showmethesnow | January 26, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

BobMiller - I believe Jason's current post has effectively nailed the CWG big boom snow forecast flag to the mast.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 26, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

@justhavingfun4u1

Start time still looks to be between 1 and 3 from southwest to northeast. Again, precip may begin briefly as rain around the metro area & SE (may be all/mostly snow N & W of beltway) - should go over to snow within an hour or two.

@folks asking if this is going to miss us looking at the radar...

Let's make one thing clear. This is NOT missing us. Radar is impressive, and models more impressive.

@jms12

GFS has quite high precip amounts. 0.70 liquid equivalent between 1 and 7 p.m. tonight -most of that between 4 and 7 p.m. - which is incredible. If it verifies and is snow, will be insane rates. Then it gives 0.20 liquid equivalent between 7 pm and 1 am.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 26, 2011 10:56 AM | Report abuse

@concernedaboutdc, 2"+/hour snowfall for a few hours and salt or even the hand of god won't be able to help drivers ;)

one model this morning had 4" an hour snowfall rates for a 1 hour period... I can't imagine what that even looks like

Posted by: finger11 | January 26, 2011 10:58 AM | Report abuse

accuweather has updated their snow total map.. here is a link to the new one:

http://www.accuweather.com/winter-weather.asp

Posted by: SnowDreamer | January 26, 2011 10:58 AM | Report abuse

@concernedaboutdc

The snow will likely be on the roadways. Maybe not on the main roads, but the side streets will be a mess. A lot of side streets will probably not be plowed until possibly tomorrow afternoon if we get heavy accumulations.

Posted by: cubscapsfan | January 26, 2011 11:00 AM | Report abuse

@CWG: In no way do I think this is a bust, but what are your thoughts on snow ratio w/ this storm? I'm starting to think the usual 10:1 conversion between QPF and snow depth is going to be too high....1" QPF at 5:1 (wet snow) gives us "only" 5".

Posted by: annapyr | January 26, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

GFS/NAM and last night's Euro all max out precip right over 95 basically from DC to Balt.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 26, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Sterling is really selling this storm short..I'm in FredericksBurg and we may get the short end of accum but still when it comes down, it's going to come!

I work at a school and I know for a fact they are definitely taking this lightly...when we dismiss at 3:15, I fully expect it to be madness outside. I'm warning folks that this storm has some punch and no one is really buying it.

Posted by: krg3m | January 26, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

what time does the 12z Euro come in?

Posted by: mciaram1 | January 26, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Wohoo! Thanks for the clear and fantastic information, Jason! Our whole office thinks you're the best!

Posted by: Wfisler | January 26, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

NWS just issued Hazardous outlook for Charlottesville, with snowfall rates approaching 2" hour. Now if ya'll could just wiggle that Low a little further south....

Posted by: cvilleSnowMan | January 26, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

CWG- If we're expecting snowfall rates of 1-2" per hour later this afternoon, early evening, should those of us taking Metro think about getting home early? Will Metro be able to handle the heavy snowfall on their exposed tracks? I know that Metro shut down in the huge storms we had last winter. Normally I travel home via Metro to the District from Braddock Road station around 8-9pm.

Thanks, and you guys do a great job!

Posted by: daz314 | January 26, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
1058 AM EST WED JAN 26 2011

DCZ001-MDZ004>007-009>011-013-014-016>018-VAZ038>040-042-050>057-
501-502-262200-
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA-FREDERICK MD-CARROLL-NORTHERN BALTIMORE-
HARFORD-MONTGOMERY-HOWARD-SOUTHERN BALTIMORE-PRINCE GEORGES-
ANNE ARUNDEL-CHARLES-ST. MARYS-CALVERT-GREENE-MADISON-
RAPPAHANNOCK-LOUDOUN-ORANGE-CULPEPER-
PRINCE WILLIAM/MANASSAS/MANASSAS PARK-FAIRFAX-
ARLINGTON/FALLS CHURCH/ALEXANDRIA-STAFFORD-SPOTSYLVANIA-
KING GEORGE-NORTHERN FAUQUIER-SOUTHERN FAUQUIER-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...WASHINGTON...FREDERICK...WESTMINSTER...
GAITHERSBURG...COLUMBIA...BALTIMORE...ANNAPOLIS...WALDORF...
ST MARYS CITY...LEESBURG...CULPEPER...MANASSAS...MANASSAS PARK...
FAIRFAX...ALEXANDRIA...FALLS CHURCH...FREDERICKSBURG...WARRENTON
1058 AM EST WED JAN 26 2011

...RAPIDLY DETERIORATING CONDITIONS FOR THE MID TO LATE AFTERNOON
AND EVENING RUSH HOUR COMMUTE...

AFTER A BREAK IN PRECIPITATION THIS MORNING...ACCUMULATING SNOW
WILL OVERSPREAD THE AREA THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING. A MIX OF RAIN
AND SNOW WILL QUICKLY CHANGE TO ALL SNOW DURING THE AFTERNOON AS
IT BECOMES HEAVY. THE PERIOD OF HEAVY SNOW WILL COINCIDE WITH THE
LATE AFTERNOON AND EVENING RUSH HOUR COMMUTE ACROSS MOST OF THE
REGION...INCLUDING THE WASHINGTON DC AND BALTIMORE METROPOLITAN
AREAS. CONDITIONS IN SOUTHERN MARYLAND WILL DETERIORATE AROUND
SUNSET AS PRECIPITATION CHANGES TO SNOW.

THE HEAVY SNOW WILL REDUCE VISIBILITIES BELOW A QUARTER MILE WITH
SNOWFALL ACCUMULATION RATES AT TIMES OF 2 INCHES PER HOUR. THIS
WILL PRODUCE DANGEROUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS DURING RUSH HOUR. SNOW
WILL MOVE OUT OF THE AREA BY MIDNIGHT.

Posted by: krg3m | January 26, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse

ThunderDump

Posted by: KPosty | January 26, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Jason. You (or someone else) said that the heaviest snowfall will be between 4-7. When do you think the snow will end? Think it will snow til 12, or we basically looking at a 3 hour window for all our accumulation?

Posted by: jms12 | January 26, 2011 11:08 AM | Report abuse

NWS Special Weather Statement but still WWA....

Posted by: beetsnotbeats | January 26, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

annapyr, 5:1 ratios are too low. It may start low, like 7 or 8:1 but the ratios should increase as the snow gets going. I would guess we'll end up fairly close to 10:1 though Wes might have a better answer.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 26, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

@dcg35

This is most certainly is NOT going to be a bust. It is too late for this storm to bust. You can already see it on the radar.

Every snowstorm, someone comes on here and rambles on and on about how the storm will bust and yada yada yada. I remember last year during snowmageddon, one person was saying stuff like, "oh, this is CLEARLY a bust", and "oh, we'll see nothing". And what did we get? A massive raging blizzard.

I understand it's not a done deal, but CWG has stated that they are very confident in their forecast.

Have a nice day and enjoy the snow,
Bob

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 26, 2011 11:14 AM | Report abuse

ThunderDump...or is it ThumderThum...either way, sounds like a 70s metal band! LOL!!

Posted by: wadejg | January 26, 2011 11:14 AM | Report abuse

ThunderTHUMP, I meant ThunderThump!!

I guess I'm just too excited about the pending THUMP! of snow & hit reply too quickly!

Posted by: wadejg | January 26, 2011 11:17 AM | Report abuse

**JASON JUST POSTED A NEW UPDATE**

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 26, 2011 11:17 AM | Report abuse

11:14 am - Layhill and Bel Pre in N. Siliver Spring. Light rain/freezing rain looks as if its changing to snow. Roads were incredibly slushy. Also saw a mother tell a kid to stop throwing what appeared to be these densely packed ice balls.

And is a 'thump of snow' vernacularly correct?

Posted by: Hanz1 | January 26, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Cap Wx Gang:

What is your take on the NWS keeping a WWA in place?

It seems the short range models and radar indicate we are going to see more than 3-5".

Posted by: jackstraaw | January 26, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Gang - You're doing a tremendous job with this forecast so far. I've noticed a lot of people at work planning to stay at work into the commute, most citing that the local weather forecast didn't sound that bad...I'm now using your last update from Jason to "warn" people of, at least, a potential for a dangerous commute.

Thank you!

Posted by: parksndc | January 26, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: nrasch0402 | January 26, 2011 11:24 AM | Report abuse

OPM just posted two hour early dismissal.

Posted by: matthew_lawlor | January 26, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

OPM is letting folks go early.

Posted by: miglewis | January 26, 2011 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Getting ready to head home from work now. Afternoon meetings canceled!

Posted by: mjwies11 | January 26, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I just ventured out. I shoveled about a half an inch of slush from the end of our driveway, just so it wouldn't be there to refreeze under the snow later and make shoveling difficult.

I'm in Fairfax in the Fair Lakes area. Kind of drizzling right now, but it's above freezing. This is definitely the time to run errands, before the big snow comes.

Posted by: jillber | January 26, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

@bobmiller2 When did I say it was going to be a bust? Quite the contrary, I said that we were going to get thumped and there was no doubt. Please reread my comments.

Posted by: dcg35 | January 26, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Sleeting in Charlottesville

Posted by: cvilleSnowMan | January 26, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Ok, now sleeting HARD in Charlottesville!

Posted by: cvilleSnowMan | January 26, 2011 12:26 PM | Report abuse

@DullesARC LOL! Picturing Wes hacking away at his computer & looking at models with a bright red Batphone next to him is too good! Do we have any graphic artists among the CWG regulars?? That scene needs to be captured! The only question is, who would be Robin?? :P

Posted by: kolya02 | January 26, 2011 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Addendum: Saturday Jan 29
Jason's last 2 paragraphs in this post convinced me to leave Wed work ASAP.
THIS SAVED MY #&%!!!!!
Thanks CWG
I emailed those paragraphs to several buds at work. Saved their $%#&%$ too.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 29, 2011 8:47 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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