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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 01/12/2011

Forecast: White & windy but dry; cold

By Dan Stillman

(originally posted at 5:00 a.m., updated at 6:30 a.m.)

Today's Daily Digit
A somewhat subjective rating of the
day's weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.


Fresh blanket of snow is pretty enough to distract from breezy chill.
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter


Today: Partly sunny & becoming windy. Mid-to-upper 30s. | Tonight: Breezy. Upper teens to mid-20s. | Tomorrow: Partly to mostly sunny & breezy. Low-to-mid 30s. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


Say it with me, kids. First snow, then wind. Now you. "First snow, then wind." And again! In a pattern almost as predictable as school delays and closings for a couple inches of snow, today is our requisite windy day after the storm. It actually won't be as bad as some post-storm windy days are, but enough to keep winds chills in the 20s through the day. Besides the chill, watch out for some slippin' and slidin' courtesy last night's snow, especially on side streets. Breezes calm by Friday with only a slight weekend warm-up.

Snow Potential Index: 3 (↓) - Small chance of a few weekend flakes. Bigger storm possible Tuesday, but precip type a question.

The SPI is a daily assessment of the potential for accumulating snow for the next week on a 0-10 scale. Get the 'SPI' on Twitter

Temperatures: Latest D.C. area temperature map powered by iMapWeather (base map by Google). Click and hold on map to pan. Double-click to zoom. Refresh page to update. See larger map on our Weather Wall.

Today (Wednesday): Drive and walk carefully this morning, especially on side streets and sidewalks, where snow and ice may be particularly slippery. In the northern suburbs (Frederick and Howard county), some lingering snow showers/flurries are possible early. Winds from the west/northwest increase to near 15 mph by late morning and near 20 mph in the afternoon, with gusts to near 35 mph. So, highs in the mid-to-upper 30s won't feel any warmer than the 20s under partly sunny skies. Confidence: High

Tonight: A breezy and partly cloudy night awaits with a hefty chill, though lows in the upper teens (colder suburbs) to the low-to-mid 20s (downtown) will only be slightly below the average for this time of year. Confidence: High

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend...

Shovelable snow in D.C. last night. By CWG photographer Ian Livingston.

Tomorrow (Thursday): With colder morning lows than today, tomorrow shapes up as a partly to mostly sunny, breezy and even chillier day with afternoon highs only in the low-to-mid 30s. Winds blow from the northwest around 15-20 mph with some higher gusts. Yeah, we may be used to it. But cold is cold no matter how acclimated you are. Bundle up. Confidence: High

Tomorrow Night: With lighter winds and just some high clouds, temperatures sink a bit lower than tonight with lows in the mid-to-upper teens in the burbs and near 20 to low 20s downtown. Confidence: Medium-High


On Friday, I think the chilly start and a fair amount of clouds hold highs to the mid-30s. At least winds won't be much of a factor. Friday night lows dip to the upper teens to mid-20s. Confidence: Medium-High

Low pressure tracking across the Great Lakes is either strong enough and dips far enough south to give us a brief period of light snow Saturday or Saturday night (30% chance), or is weak enough and far enough north such that a passing snow shower or flurry is the most we'd see (70% chance). Highs max out in the mid-30s to near 40 with partly to mostly cloudy skies the way it looks now, followed by overnight lows in the 20s. Confidence: Low-Medium

As of now, I'm not seeing any precipitation threat for Sunday. Temperatures stay on the cold side though, with partly sunny skies and highs somewhere in the mid-30s to near 40 again. Confidence: Medium

By Dan Stillman  | January 12, 2011; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Update: Storm is over
Next: Snow totals and your pictures


I wish you all could see the view from my central Vermont dorm. The snow has fallen all through the night, and any trace of sidewalk or grass has all but disappeared. And with a forecast high of 23, any melting is out of the picture.
The NWS says we'll get 5-10 inches total from this system, even with the highest accumulations well to our east.
But hey DC, you had your fun last year. I wish I was there for the February storm. It's still early in the snow season, though. I'm confident you'll see at least one big storm by the time winter is over.

Posted by: KBurchfiel | January 12, 2011 6:23 AM | Report abuse

1.75 inches in Laytonsville. Very little mixing yesterday. Roads are fine.

Posted by: dprats21 | January 12, 2011 6:41 AM | Report abuse

Surprisingly, shoveling snow from the driveway at 5am (so I don't have to deal with a block of ice tonight when I get home from work) is NOT fun. Who'd a thunk it?

Ugh. Only 67 days til spring. :)

Posted by: ThinkSpring | January 12, 2011 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Where's the passover party?

Posted by: jaybird926 | January 12, 2011 7:20 AM | Report abuse

...sigh... sounds nice...

i got 3/4" of snow on top of 1/16" of ice.

what happened?! there was no mention of freezing rain/sleet in any of the forecasts. sure, there were reports of that crap yesterday afternoon, as it was falling, but, well, that's not really a forecast...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 12, 2011 7:42 AM | Report abuse

In Falls Church, across Haycock from Metro, maybe an inch. Not enough to shovel, though Walter might be able to do something with it.

Last night started out with a little icing on some side streets, but soon turned to snow. No troubles on the drive to Chantilly this morning.

Posted by: wiredog | January 12, 2011 7:43 AM | Report abuse

The regional radar around Boston is a sight to see: Radar loop. Snow rates of 2-3" per hour.


Wes is going to do a short post on why the brief period of freezing rain.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 12, 2011 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Oh, how I wish I had the day off from work... But this isn't enough for me to have a good reason for not coming in. Sigh. Still eyeing that GFS storm on 1/20... 5-7 inches area wide:

As far as I remember, Cuck Bell was the only one who ever predicted freezing rain being a problem.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 12, 2011 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Is our big January thaw coming? Please? With a nice rainstorm to wash all this away?

ThinkSpring, I'll join you in the countdown.

Posted by: rumbly45 | January 12, 2011 8:02 AM | Report abuse

2 inches in southeastern Silver Spring.

Posted by: Murre | January 12, 2011 8:05 AM | Report abuse

It looks like maybe 1.5", through the windows ... I haven't been out yet. Herald Harbor, Crownsville, MD.

But how gorgeous! It's the kind of wet snow that clings to all the tree branches. Lovely. I hope the roads aren't bad.

Posted by: ChickenLady | January 12, 2011 8:05 AM | Report abuse

This was a perfect snow. It's making everything pretty without disrupting commutes, power and other things.

People who complain about anything less than a foot or two baffle me.

Posted by: mhardy1 | January 12, 2011 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Mts. in Western Mass and Southern VT look like they're being slammed too. Gonna be good skiing this weekend.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 12, 2011 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Sorry... Typo above... I meant to type CHUCK Bell! Sorry!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 12, 2011 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Sorry... Typo above... I meant to type CHUCK Bell! Sorry!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 12, 2011 8:24 AM | Report abuse

2 inches in Cloverly, just south of Burtonsville. Really nice band of snow last night but of course it didn't last. Wished it was just the leading edge of heavy precip instead of the whole storm.

Oh well, easy commmute this AM at least. Just havee to wait for the next "event"

Posted by: MDDem2 | January 12, 2011 8:34 AM | Report abuse

About an inch of snow in Herndon but lots of ice. The snow on the trees looks absolutely gorgeous.

I couldn't find my gloves or ice scrapper, so clearing the car today (with my employee badge) was pretty painful. :o

Posted by: dantebouchot | January 12, 2011 8:36 AM | Report abuse

This snow was only "shovelable" to those who have no brooms.
Wound up with about an inch in Centreville.
Main roads fine, back roads not.
I see the "s" word is in Saturday's forecast.
Don't think I can take being teased like this week after week to the end of winter.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 12, 2011 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: bethdb1 | January 12, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse

About 1/2" up against the Blue Ridge, just east of Thornton Gap...BTW, NWS discussion yesterday afternoon mentioned IP--ice pellets=freezing rain/sleet. So someone did mention it.

Posted by: NorthFork1 | January 12, 2011 8:53 AM | Report abuse

There must have been another brief snow shower last night... final total for Blue Ridge Mtns east of Front Royal = 7/8ths.

Posted by: spgass1 | January 12, 2011 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Jason, not to be too critical, but it was far more than a brief period of freezing rain. It lasted for almost two hours from DC south to Southern Fairfax County where I live.

Posted by: SouthsideFFX | January 12, 2011 8:59 AM | Report abuse

We have maybe an inch of snow in Springfield. Underneath that is ice. We lost power for an hour and a half last night.

Posted by: DrMeglet | January 12, 2011 9:07 AM | Report abuse

At the 301 Bridge we got mostly rain and sleet. The dust(ing) on our bookcase is deeper than the dusting of snow in the backyard. The thin coat of ice on the tree branches is pretty, though.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | January 12, 2011 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Next Tues storm is a bit more promising...unfortunately, we could really be on a "line" (rain/snow/mix) for this one but it has better potential to not form so far OTS or so far north.

Posted by: parksndc | January 12, 2011 9:30 AM | Report abuse

1 inch on the pavement (on a thin glaze of ice - DogARC went sliding into a fire hydrant on her normal dash/sharp right turn to the field next to my house before the heavy snow started. The right turn didnt go so well. Hehehehe) and 2 on the grass in Southern LoCo - we'll call it 1.5 inches for this one...Seasonal total of 5 very spread out inches of snow this season. Seems to me that we are well on our way to the 15-20 inches we were looking at. Its only Jan. 12, ya'll!

Posted by: DullesARC | January 12, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse

You all are getting excited for any future wintry precip potential eh? Thanks for all the reports. And it sounds like they weren't enough for you, correct? :)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 12, 2011 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Somewhere between a dusting and .5 inch in Waldorf, on top of a pretty good slab of ice. It looks awfully white outside for such a low accumulation. After sliding out of development, commute was fine.

Posted by: luvhh1 | January 12, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse

i feel like we've just wasted all this cold weather. it's been cold enough to snow ever since well before christmas and all we've gotten is the "big one" on dec 16th w/1.5" of snow, yesterday's 1" and maybe 2 dustings.

and now i hear our next snow chance will be rain. oy...

who's complaining about "less than a foot or two"? you're off by a factor of 12. to the extent people are complaining, it's because we got less than an inch or two. i daresay we'd have been ecstatic w/3 or 4".

NWS mentioned freezing rain/sleet yesterday afternoon? was that before or while it was happening? once the storm got close enough, i saw that horrible pink stuff on the radar yesterday too. i wouldn't really say i predicted it though.

you say chuck bell "predicted" it. was that yesterday, while it was falling? or in the days leading up to the... uh... "storm".

correct on both counts.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 12, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

It's bad when DC snowlovers have to go on road trips to get their fix.
Boston anyone?

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 12, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

FIREDRAGON47 - please avoid Boston until they have a chance to recover.. at least a day, right? Over a foot of snow is rough! (too much? dare I say?)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 12, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

@mhardy -

Clearly, you weren't trying to get home from work last night if you think commutes weren't impacted by this event. The freezing rain made side streets (and walking) treacherous.

How anyone can call any snow "perfect" baffles me, but that's simply because we see the world thru different pairs of eyes. Capiche?

Posted by: ThinkSpring | January 12, 2011 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I know. I actually slipped and fell on the ice trying to get to my car last night. My drive was ok though.

My point was that an inch or two of snow is plenty to get the nice aesthetics the snow lovers are always going on about. We don't need crippling amounts, but there are some people who seem to enter a state of bliss when they imagine 18 or 20 inches on the ground.

Posted by: mhardy1 | January 12, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

"White, Windy, & Dry..."

Who is John McCain??

Posted by: ObamaisFraud | January 12, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Had to scrape my car last night and again this morning in herndon. Used a little ice melter on the driveway. Looks like winter is over, no need to save any up for later... ;-)

Posted by: staticvars | January 12, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Dance attendance was around 35-40 last night...OK...but there could have been as many as 30 "regulars" who didn't show up due to the weather.

In sum...winter weather events on Tuesday nights are unneeded unless the Clarendon Ballroom "bumps" our dance for a "private event" such date is Feb. 1.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | January 12, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

For what it's worth, the Euro model continues to show a low pressure area moving just to our southeast on days-6-7...keeping us in line for winter precipitation.

Posted by: Ayrwulf | January 12, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I think "El Bombo" needs to be on Dancing with the Stars! Who is with me on this?

Posted by: greg2010 | January 12, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse


It was before the sleet/freezing rain started up here...outside of Sperryville,, when I noticed it a few hours later, I wasn't surprised.

Posted by: NorthFork1 | January 12, 2011 5:52 PM | Report abuse


It was before the sleet/freezing rain started up here...outside of Sperryville,, when I noticed it a few hours later, I wasn't surprised.

Posted by: NorthFork1 | January 12, 2011 5:54 PM | Report abuse

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