Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
The new Washington
Post Weather website
Jump to CWG's
Latest Full Forecast
Outside now? Radar, temps
and more: Weather Wall
Follow us on Twitter (@capitalweather) and become a fan on Facebook
Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 01/ 9/2011

Forecast: Chilly 30s 'til next snow chance

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


The sun is there, sure. But the cold and biting winds do no one any favors.
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter


Today: Mostly sunny. Windy & chilly. Low 30s. | Tonight: Mostly clear, cold. Mid-teens to near 20. | Tomorrow: Partly sunny. Low-to-mid 30s. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


Unlike our past two days, you'll wake up today lacking a fresh coating of white on the lawn. Still, a frosty morning may have you using the ice scraper if you're headed out and about early. Despite a good amount of sun today and at least part of tomorrow, temperatures won't make it out of the 30s. A gusty wind makes today's chill especially bitter. And what about that chance of Tuesday snow?

Snow Potential Index: 6 (→) - Still eyeing a decent, but not definite, shot at snow on Tuesday.

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 (Sunday): Mostly sunny skies can't overcome the chill in the air, not to mention the biting breeze. Afternoon highs in the low 30s feel more like the low 20s to near 20 thanks to stiff winds from the west-northwest at around 15-20 mph with gusts of 25-30 mph. Perfect day to watch some playoff football, or do just about anything else that doesn't involve going outside. Confidence: High

Tonight: Better bundle up! One of the chillier nights of the year is upon us as slackening winds and mostly clear skies combine to allow temperatures to dip nicely after dark. Lows reach the mid-teens (suburbs) to near 20 (downtown) as winds decrease to around 5 mph late. Confidence: High

Keep reading to see our snow chances for midweek...

Tomorrow (Monday): After another bitter cold start, highs in the low-to-mid 30s combined with light winds might feel a touch better than today - might. Sunny skies early slowly fill with clouds by or during the afternoon as our possible snowmaker begins to head this way. Winds from the north blow lightly, around 5 mph. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: Clouds take over the sky as low pressure forms off the Southeast coast and starts to work its way north-northeast. I'd put odds of seeing snowflakes by morning at about 20%. Overnight lows don't fall off so much with the clouds, only dropping to the mid-20s. Confidence: Medium


We're looking at a slightly better than 50/50 chance for light or light-to-moderate snow during the day Tuesday as the coastal low continues north-northeast. This one doesn't seem to have big-snow potential for us, and we could end up catching the drier part of the storm with not much snow. But a few inches or a little more are possible if everything comes together just right. Afternoon highs top out in the low 30s to near 30 under mostly cloudy skies. Confidence: Low

The chance of lingering snow is around 40% Tuesday evening into the overnight with lows in the mid-to-upper 20s. Confidence: Low

We should get into clearing skies Wednesday after the chance of a few straggling morning snow showers. Winds kick up in the wake of Tuesday's storm system and temperatures are chilly again, probably in the low-to-mid 30s. Confidence: Medium

By Brian Jackson  | January 9, 2011; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Decent chance for at least some snow Tuesday
Next: Tuesday snow chance looks real but light


I am hoping for very little snow. After last winter, I really got tired of shoveling it and driving in it. In addition, I couldn't jog outside for a long time.

Small amounts are okay, but the larger events really disrupt life.

Posted by: david_in_stafford | January 9, 2011 6:49 AM | Report abuse

I am hoping for very little snow. After last winter, I really got tired of shoveling it and driving in it. In addition, I couldn't jog outside for a long time.

Small amounts are okay.

Posted by: david_in_stafford | January 9, 2011 6:50 AM | Report abuse

I see my IE has some technical issues with this page.

Posted by: david_in_stafford | January 9, 2011 6:54 AM | Report abuse

I think the dreaded dry slot is becoming more and more likely during energy transfer from midwest storm to coastal storm. I'm not that optimistic for chances of more than an inch or so of snow, but it looks like beaches and NYC get another good snowstorm! Good for the beaches, this is the year mother nature makes it up to them for so many "snow-to-rain" storms in the past.

Posted by: 4seams | January 9, 2011 7:19 AM | Report abuse

CWG, why do the models show the southern stream storm weakening as moves east before retrengthening along the east coast? Looking at current radar, it seems as if there is ample tap into subtropical moisture but I can't figure out how it would weaken once it starts interacting more with the Gulf of Mexico.

Posted by: 4seams | January 9, 2011 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Who else has seen the GFS at 264 hours out? If it verifies, we would pick up a good 20 - 25 inches! I have seen this storm on the GFS for several days so I'm crossing my fingers that is verifies. All we need is cold air. This time I looks like DC is in the bulls eye!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Technical question for CWG: Why does the CWG page take so long to finish loading, and why does it take so long for a post to appear?

My initial post didn't seem to be loading, so I stopped it, shortened it a bit for a test, and tried to post it again. Both posts did appear, but IE seems to crawl when trying to load the page or post to the page. Sometimes, it will give me an error and not load.

Despite the technical glitches, the CWG does a wonderful job. This is now my most visited weather website after I check the NWS page!

Posted by: david_in_stafford | January 9, 2011 7:47 AM | Report abuse

I agree with 4seam - the storm in the South seems to be tracking a bit further South this morning and is bringing in a decent bit of cold air while juicing-up. I have not been "sold" on this storm at all as I think the pattern is set this winter where we have many near misses and wind storms.

Posted by: greg2010 | January 9, 2011 7:49 AM | Report abuse

BobMiller, I KNOW that you KNOW the GFS after 168 hours is just throwing colors on a canvas and hoping it is right...but then again, I always look out to 384 hours, too, looking for that monster snowstorm :)

Posted by: 4seams | January 9, 2011 7:50 AM | Report abuse

For Tuesday, a couple of inches will mean school will be closed, businesses / gov open, and commutes a nightmare if Dec was any indicator. Bring on a real storm or nothing at all.

Posted by: biketraveller22 | January 9, 2011 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Did I mention that there's another big storm storm on the GFS at 384 hours? 12+ inches maybe!

And if you missed it when I posted it a little while ago, this is the GFS at 264 hours; 20 - 25 inches!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 8:11 AM | Report abuse

things are looking poor to say the least.

Posted by: bbirnbau | January 9, 2011 8:11 AM | Report abuse

After Tuesday what are we looking at? I see some forecasts trending warmer. There is always the next one if cold air remains in place.

Posted by: moo1 | January 9, 2011 8:15 AM | Report abuse


I've been eyeing the storm on the 20th (GFS 264hr) for a few days now. It looks awesome. I wonder, though, what did the storm on the 26th and this Tuesday's storm look like on the GFS 11 days out? Same thing right?

Posted by: 300_sq_ft | January 9, 2011 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Just to reiterate David-in-Stafford's comment above, the webpage has been acting sluggish the last week. I've tried it on three different computers with three different browsers and something is definitely off--it's slow to load, and it stutters a bunch when you try to scroll down the page.

Posted by: Heraklitus | January 9, 2011 8:20 AM | Report abuse

@david_in_stafford: I get the same technical issues you describe, and have for a long time, first with internet from Cox and now with FIOS. I blamed the pop-up blockers I use with Firefox, but since you mention IE, it can't be quite the same problem. I think we can safely blame the WaPo website. Whatever the cause, I just put up with it; I'm sure you feel that CWG is worth it just as I do.

Posted by: --sg | January 9, 2011 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Heraklitus and David- in- stafford:

I have noticed the exact same problems.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 8:24 AM | Report abuse

According to one of the NWS discussions I read yesterday, the southern stream storm is losing its upper level support as it moves east (upper level trough retreats north). It doesn't get back that upper support until it phases with the midwest low off to our NE.

Posted by: eric654 | January 9, 2011 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Bob - Brought a big smile to my face and something to look at for the next week -

Posted by: Gooddogs | January 9, 2011 8:29 AM | Report abuse

In looking at the models, why is the short wave coming out of Canada not driving further south and phasing with the storm earlier.....what is the technical reason? It looks like they are just taking way too long to phase and instead we get a "double barrel" low situation which is never good for us here in the IAD area.

Posted by: snowfan23 | January 9, 2011 8:52 AM | Report abuse

BobMiller2: I've noticed the GFS likes to forecast snowstorms 200+ hours into the future. It's sometimes referred to as the "Good For Snow" model. Unfortunately, at 200+ hours it's a winter weather fantasy land that almost never materializes.

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | January 9, 2011 8:59 AM | Report abuse


You gotta have temperature contrast for a disturbance to strengthen. Until the southern system can interact with the northern system which brings in cold air, the southern system will weaken.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 9, 2011 9:11 AM | Report abuse

all this "dry slot" and "out to sea" and "not phasing" talk is really bringing me down. ggggrrrrr..... i mean, sheesh, are we supposed to be happy w/an inch...? the snowphobes have been getting their wish day after day after day. it's out turn, dag nabbit.

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

I wouldn't get too excited about 200+ hours out - look at this storm; we're 36 hours out and nobody has the foggiest idea what's going to happen.

Posted by: prickles1009 | January 9, 2011 9:13 AM | Report abuse

The NAM is giving us 2 - 3

The GFS is giving us 1 - 3

So in conclusion, I think it's safe to call this No-Mageddon part deux.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I'd like to see either a real blizzard or nada. A few inches will just mean having to clomp to work in snow boots.

Posted by: angelicat | January 9, 2011 9:15 AM | Report abuse

i second (or third or fourth) the comments about the slow loading. CWG is the slowest-loading page i visit.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 9, 2011 9:15 AM | Report abuse


It looks chilly through next weekend, but not extreme cold.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 9, 2011 9:17 AM | Report abuse

I'm with you Walter- getting depressed with the dry slot talk. Hopefully Wes will have a better slant on it in this afternoon's report.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | January 9, 2011 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Is this snow only for East and North again? So yet again, DC will be missed?

Posted by: superseiyan | January 9, 2011 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Folks I am really concerned about this being a dry winter. I welcome any form of precipitation. In Western Loudoun we still have lots of agriculture not to mention communities that desperately need it.

Posted by: moo1 | January 9, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

"If it verifies, we would pick up a good 20 - 25 inches!"

Why on Earth would any sane person want this?

Oh ... maybe I just answered my own question. :)

Posted by: mhardy1 | January 9, 2011 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Let me clarify something - you all are talking about this horrible "dry slot" (that's a 4 letter word), but at the same time I'm hearing snow predictions. If this dry slot occurs do we still get 1-3/possibly 2-4 inches? Or do we get nothing?

See, in my world (teacher - FCPS), which I know is not everyone's reality, that type of snowstorm is "enough". As long as it starts overnight Mon/Tues I'll likely get the day off on Tuesday and if we get 1-3 inches we'll prob also have a 2 hour delay on Wed. The only scenario that would make me sad/mad is a getting nothing.

Regarding the technical issues - at home I use Firefox and FiOs and have had no issues. The page is sometimes slow when I load it on my iPhone in Safari.

Posted by: mamory1975 | January 9, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse

The dry slot doesn't necessarily mean nothing, but it increases the odds of less than 2", and decreases the odds of more than 2". And yes, there's a chance this could be a 12/26 type event where we just have fairly meaningless light snow and places to the northeast (and south) get hit hard. We'll have a full update around 1:30 p.m.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 9, 2011 9:52 AM | Report abuse


Hate to break it to you but with these kind of transfer storms usually the 1-3 or 2-4 that the models project actually turn out to be a dusting at most. Because the fact is that if we aren't going to be in on the coastal storm action, the moisture moving over the Appalachians is not going to make it; it's going to "jump" right to the coastal low.

So basically it's all or nothing, unless we get on the extreme fringes of the coastal storm for a quick couple of inches.

Right now I'd bet on nothing, but hey, things could definitely change. Even the NWS forecasters aren't calling this one off for us yet. Definitely a difficult forecast to make.

Posted by: bbirnbau | January 9, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

12z run of the NAM isn't a blockbuster, but gives a little more backing to accumulating snow. But the energy transfer brings the dryslot dangerously close to our western 'burbs.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 9, 2011 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Next time I want to curse out a snowlover (which I don't think has ever happened- they are such lovely people), I will call them a dry slot.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | January 9, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

@bbirnbau - I concur, and to your nuanced approach I'd add the following rule of thumb. The only way you ever see 4"+ this far south is off a Gulf of Mexico track. Any "transfer" to the Atlantic has got to occur somewhere south of Hatteras to affect us. So we really should look at Gulf moisture only at this point, and not get distracted by what's going on to our north & west, unless a repeat of yesterday morning's dusting is of serious concern to somebody.

Posted by: prickles1009 | January 9, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

The NAM is a definite improvement, but I think we are drawing near to the point where 6+ is not a possibility. Unless the next few runs start trending with an earlier phase we will be lucky to pick up 4+.

It seems like the plains low makes a rapid shift to the NE at the exact wrong time, while as if it kept its eastward movement we would be in for a biggie. Any thoughts from the gang on why it shifts to the NE right as the coastal low gets going? Is the coastal low kind of bumping it off before they phase?

Posted by: bbirnbau | January 9, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I too use Safari and experience a slow loading CWG page (along with the whole WP website).

Posted by: hawknt | January 9, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

May I just take a moment to vent about how much I hate hate hate cold dry winter wind?
My poor dehydrated garden should be under a blanket of fluffy snow to protect it from that monster.
But thus far this is a "normal" DC area winter, which means not much snow.
Right now, reading the drift of the forecast chatter, it seems that Tuesday will not be anything for snowlovers to get too excited about.
It's 27 degrees on my Centreville VA digital thermometers and I'm watching stuff fly off my neighbor's decks with these wind gusts.
Was going to take down outside holiday lights this afternoon; now I don't think so.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 9, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I know the snowfall is up in the air, but i keep reading on blogs that the nation is in for a very cold snap in the next ten days. i keep looking at the models and i dont see very cold air making it to washington. do you guys know anything about that?

Posted by: peg248 | January 9, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

It seems to be late in the NAO cycle to get a decent east coast trough. The link here shows it going positive quickly which means that systems don't back up in the Atlantic which then means that we don't get an upper trough being forced south to grab the southern stream storm and strengthen it. Even with phasing from the two current systems, the lack of blocking means they will waltz into the Atlantic leaving us with nothing.

The only bright side is that with no blocking the storm will move out instead of hanging out Eastern Canada as a wind machine. So it should not be as windy the rest of the week (in theory).

Posted by: eric654 | January 9, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

latest gfs pretty much seals it in my book. I don't see much change happening this close to the event. The NAM was promising but it isn't as reliable from what I've heard. Looks like we're gonna have to wait for the next one.

Posted by: bbirnbau | January 9, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I'd prefer a mild winter over a cold winter that keeps teasing us with snow and then coming up with nada.

Posted by: Rcmorgan | January 9, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

hear hear

Posted by: bbirnbau | January 9, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

bbirnbau - Yep. That pretty much sums it up.

mhardy1 - you said, "Why on Earth would any sane person want 20 - 25 inches of snow?"

My response: So are you suggesting that all snow-lovers are insane??

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse


Believe me, I know how bad the wind can be. I was out this morning and just walking from the parking lot to the store was torture. I'm with you; I want the wind to stop! What good is all this cold without precip?

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

When will this afternoon's update from Wes be posted? I am on pins and needles!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Rcmorgan, I agree. If there's not going to be snow, then what good is all this cold? That's why I was thinking of taking my family on vacation to Cancun or maybe Rio, to get away from this bitter cold, dry weather.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

"When all is said and done, the weather and love are the two elements about which one can never be sure." Alice Hoffman, 'Here on Earth'

I thought this would be an appropriate quote this winter.

Posted by: dprats21 | January 9, 2011 12:47 PM | Report abuse

The classic Shenandoah Valley dry spot seems very apparent on the NAM and GFS. I'm no expert, but it looks like this storm is going to have a very similar impact as the last dud. Philly will get something, and NYC will get the jackpot. Very disappointed, but then again, last year it was the mid-Atlantic cities that got all the jackpots while further up the coast tended to get less.

Posted by: rocotten | January 9, 2011 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Looking more and more like Dec. 26 storm. Latest Euro came east, NAM has a hit and GFS is just in la la land. This will come down to the last minute AKA radar.

Posted by: KRUZ | January 9, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

KRUZ- great point. We all need to avoid falling in love with a model and remember to pay attention to what's actually happening! Radar, satellite, and surface observations will be our best best with the models fighting over which one will screw up least.

Posted by: 4seams | January 9, 2011 1:04 PM | Report abuse

CWG, I am curious how the National Weather Service resolves internal inconsistencies. Do the regional forecasters consult before they post?

Here are two posts at NWS within the last three hours:

New York NY forecast discussion, 12:32 pm: "Low pressure will deepen off Cape Hatteras and track up the coast." (Meaning more snow for DC and particularly NY)

Baltimore/Washington forecast discussion, 10:38 am: "Right now we are leaning toward ... phasing occurring northeast of the mid-Atlantic coast" (meaning less snow both for DC and NY)

There are more extensive discussions with caveats, but these are key pieces of information and they are in conflict. Which is the better outlook?


Baltimore/Washington forecast discussion,

Posted by: erickoe | January 9, 2011 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm with a previous poster, if the timing is "right", an inch or two could still shut school systems down. If we aren't going to get a lot, we might as well have a snow day to enjoy nature's beautiful white blanket!

Posted by: icecubedownthetoilet | January 9, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Wes Junker just posted his update on the Tuesday storm.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

BobMiller: Of course not. I'm a snow-lover ... if we're talking about 2,3,4 even 6 inches or so of accumulation.

In my book, a person whose eyes light up with glee about the prospect of being buried under 2+ feet though ... that's a different thing. And yeah, in all honesty, I do wonder about such people. That sounds like three weeks of frozen misery to me. Endless travel disruptions, massive power outages and all the other complications that go with it. If it happens it's beyond our control and we'll cope, of course, but there's really no good reason for anybody to desire that to happen.

I've been watching you all winter posting multiple times in every single thread about snow snow snow and, bud, I think you are a little obsessed.

Posted by: mhardy1 | January 9, 2011 4:49 PM | Report abuse

mhardy1 - LOL, especially on that last sentence. Insightful post...

Posted by: VAStateOfMind | January 9, 2011 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Let it snow. The more the better...

Posted by: Joe_Citizen | January 9, 2011 9:57 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2012 The Washington Post Company