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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 01/11/2011

Forecast: Light snow this afternoon & tonight

By Matt Rogers

On the edge of the storm

(originally posted at 5:00 a.m., updated at 9:00 a.m.)

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


Snow by mid-to-late afternoon could irritate evening commute.
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter


Today: Cloudy, light snow developing later in afternoon. 32-37. | Tonight: Snow. 1-4." 24-29. | Tomorrow: Variable clouds, windy. 36-40. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


Last winter, seemingly every storm had us in the bullseye while this year we're on the edge. Like its 2010-2011 predecessors, a developing coastal storm is not expected to get its act together until it reaches just off the New Jersey coast tonight. What that means is we get about 1-4 inches of snow from the energy associated with the storm, but no major event.

Snow Potential Index: 8 ↑ - There is still a chance we get less than forecast but it would be hard for us not to at least get a little snow.

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

Today (Tuesday): Our morning is mostly cloudy and cold with temperatures rising into the low 30s. There may be a little bit of patchy light snow or flurry activity but no accumulation. Steadier light snow should work into the area from south to north during the afternoon, with the latest trends suggesting a later start is more likely, maybe even as late as between 4 and 6 p.m. this evening from D.C. and to the northeast and from 2 to 5 p.m. in the southern suburbs. Light winds come from the east and northeast. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Light snow is likely this evening into the early morning hours. The snow may fall moderately between 7 and 10 p.m. One to four inches are still expected with the heaviest totals toward northeast Maryland including Baltimore. There is the possibility (30%) if the storm develops too late, accumulations are less than forecast. Temperatures drop into the mid-to-upper 20s and winds start to pick up from the west and northwest as the snow tapers off in pre-dawn hours. Confidence: Medium

10 AM to 1 PM TUES
Light snow approaches from the south. 28-32.
1 PM to 4-5 PM TUES
Chance of light snow, mainly south. Little/no accum. 29-33.
4-5 PM to 10 PM TUES
Light snow west, moderate snow east. Accumulation likely, esp. after dark. 26-30.
10 PM TUES to 2 AM WED
Accumulating snow ends from southwest to northeast. 25-29
Overall Forecast Confidence: Medium

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend...

Tomorrow (Wednesday): As the storm blows up and becomes a big winter storm story for Boston and New York City (again!), we get those annoying high winds and strong wind chills. Highs could reach the mid-to-upper 30s, but with north and northwest winds from 15-25 mph and higher gusts, wind chills will feel like the 20s. Look for variable sky conditions. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: Breezy conditions, clearing skies, and lows in the upper teens to mid-20s (suburbs to city). Confidence: High


Thursday and Friday are similarly cold winter days as highs hit the low-to-mid 30s and lows Friday morning range from the mid-teens to low 20s (downtown). Thursday could be breezy yet, but less so by Thursday night and Friday. Sky conditions are at least mostly sunny. Friday night temperatures drop into the teens and 20s again under clear to partly cloudy skies. Confidence: High

The weekend is favored to feature warming conditions. Partly sunny skies on Saturday are accompanied by temperatures in the mid-to-upper 30s. Clouds could increase on Saturday night with lows in the 20s. Sunday offers a 30% chance of light snow or even rain showers, but the latest trends suggest we stay on the dry side. Temperatures could range from the 30s into the low 40s. Confidence: Low-Medium

We have another chance of a storm toward late Monday or Tuesday of next week. Could be snow or rain- I wouldn't mind the rain to wash the salt away.

By Matt Rogers  | January 11, 2011; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The latest on late Tuesday's minor snow event
Next: Philly, New York, and Boston face major snow


First! Now bring the snow!

Posted by: 300_sq_ft | January 11, 2011 5:17 AM | Report abuse

It is amazing how different the GFS and NAM are at 06Z considering how close the storm is now.

Posted by: 4seams | January 11, 2011 5:37 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, 4seams, I was surprised to see the 6z show stronger snow totals tonight, but I believe at this point it is an outlier.

We could see a few flurries around the area this morning- but most of what is on radar in moving up through Virginia is virga.

Posted by: MattRogers1 | January 11, 2011 5:52 AM | Report abuse

What is the NAM saying?

Posted by: 300_sq_ft | January 11, 2011 6:08 AM | Report abuse

So long as the snow gods at least shroud the ground out respect for the dead grass, I'll be grateful.

Posted by: jhbyer | January 11, 2011 6:11 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: MVPlaya8120 | January 11, 2011 6:20 AM | Report abuse

The 6z NAM was aiming for higher totals tonight around the area...4" or more...but it seems to be an outlier compared to majority of guidance that keeps us at or below that level.

Posted by: MattRogers1 | January 11, 2011 6:20 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: samdman95 | January 11, 2011 6:21 AM | Report abuse

I just hope it snows for once already. It's sickening that not only is Jersey, Philadelphia & northeast getting more as usual, but the SOUTH is joining in on the fun.

Why can't DC even get a 2-3" snowfall? That's a very minor event.

Posted by: superseiyan | January 11, 2011 6:22 AM | Report abuse

Love you CWG but I have to stop putting my faith in meteorologists and weather anchors. We won't know until it gets here I say. The guidance is good but 1-4 is a big range for areas that aren't prepared to deal with much more than a dusting. I doubt the salt trucks are even out LOL

I remember the Winter before last when virtually every single clipper or small storm we were supposed to be getting a dusting to an inch, we'd end up with way more. When they called for more snow, the sky barely spit.

Models, schmodels, I'm going to work and I'm coming home and the streets will be clear. Tomorrow, I am prepared to do the same thing. HA!

*quietly hoping this reverse psychology puts us in the greater range!*

Posted by: tressoleilgoddess | January 11, 2011 6:30 AM | Report abuse

Getting light sleet here in central Calvert county at 7am.

Posted by: RandyH_Calvert | January 11, 2011 7:06 AM | Report abuse

I think our area is more equipped to handle snow than most people give it credit for. Obviously not equipped to handle daily barrages like Upstate New York or mountainous communities, but they certainly have the salt-laying process down. There is so much salt out there, they can skip the pre-treatment process for this storm in my opinion.

Posted by: rocotten | January 11, 2011 7:11 AM | Report abuse

given the pre-treat/bust cycle we're in, you're right rocotten. nonetheless, they've treated my street already. they had treated it as of yesterday around 1:00 pm. probably KRUZ's doing...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 11, 2011 7:24 AM | Report abuse


Storms like this one coming up the coast to meet one coming from West terrify me.

Anyone remember that first big snow storm back in Jan 87. I beleive forecast said 2-4". I was working for DOD in Silver Spring and stupidly took Metro rail and bus that day. they closed the Federal govt at about 10am. I was at the Pentagon Metro and heading home on a Metro bus before 11am. I didnt get in my front door in Burke Va until after 10pm that night. I walked the last 1.5 miles home in over a ft of snow. man I learned how long I could hold it.

Maybe you all can do an article/blog on how weather forecasting has improved in the last 24 years so that the chances of similar disaster in forecasting are minimal.

Posted by: sheepherder | January 11, 2011 7:24 AM | Report abuse

"We have another chance of a storm toward late Monday or Tuesday of next week"

Well I for one am going to forget about tonight's little storm and turn ny attention to it.

In fact, I'm going to go look at the latest GFS and see what it says about it.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 11, 2011 7:38 AM | Report abuse

"We have another chance of a storm toward late Monday or Tuesday of next week"

Well I for one am going to forget about tonight's little storm and turn my attention to the next storm.

In fact, I'm going to go look at the latest GFS and see what it says about it.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 11, 2011 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Interesting storm on the GFS for Friday of NEXT week...

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 11, 2011 7:43 AM | Report abuse

The weather channel is now calling for snowfall around 1 inch tonight. Thats on the website and on tv.

Posted by: KRUZ | January 11, 2011 7:49 AM | Report abuse

It really sucks living in this area. The summers are long and muggy and winters are short and not really winter. No snow, hardly any cold temps. Here, we might have 2 weeks of actual winter like weather during all of 'winter'. This year is more like normal: no snow and hardly any cold days. People forget that last year, for example, it only snowed 4 times ALL winter, albeit 3 were big ones. The chance of that happening again is about zero.

Posted by: ideabook | January 11, 2011 7:51 AM | Report abuse

CWG, (and other experts)
what are the early warning signs that this storm is over/under-performing?

for instance, i noticed in this morning's write-up you said it would be starting later than originally expected. is that good (for snow)? i.e., has the system slowed down and will pass over us slower dropping more snow? or is it bad - like something won't develop until later, thus reducing totals?

is there something we can hope for to increase totals?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 11, 2011 7:51 AM | Report abuse

The storm next week has a better chance to be rain for us here in DC. Our a mixed bag of mess.

KRUZ, what side of the city are you on? We definitely have 1" in our range on the west side.

Posted by: MattRogers1 | January 11, 2011 7:53 AM | Report abuse

I just want to sleep-in a little. I'm hoping we get enough snow for that :-)

(***doing the snow dance***)

Posted by: readerl | January 11, 2011 7:53 AM | Report abuse

**joins in snow dance**

Posted by: NaomiHB | January 11, 2011 8:03 AM | Report abuse

"This year is more like normal: no snow and hardly any cold days."

Um, we have had far more cold days than normal for this area. What we have less of are those 45-50 degree days we usually get at times during the winter. I think we have had maybe three or four since November.

It just amazes how much people forget what winter is supposed to be around here. We don't get a lot of snow; given our climate, we are more likely to get a mixed bag. Last year was the exception people; not the rule. Ideabook, if the weather here makes you so sad, are you making any plans to try to move north? I know I would.

Posted by: SouthsideFFX | January 11, 2011 8:05 AM | Report abuse

My Forecast for CWG:

By noon there will be cries for the heads of area meteorologists as the radar images make people think it's a total bust. This is, of course, before it starts cranking up off the coast to give us the predicted snow. Confidence: High

By evening there will be great consternation as both sides of the 'school closing' argument duke it out. Confidence: Medium

At some point, depending on frustration levels, the character of 'snowlovers' will be discussed. Confidence: Medium

In the end, many will give thanks to CWG for a good and honest forecast, while others will blast the gang for not predicting the exact _________ (Fill in the blank). Confidence: High

Then, there will be a lull in storm potential for a while, and most will retreat to their normal lives until the next big snow is forecast. Confidence: High

I'm sure I have missed something, but this is my lame attempt at humor this morning since we will all be waiting and wondering until the first flakes fall. ;-)

May it snow where there are snow-lovers and rain where there are snow-haters... but if it is to snow on me, let it snow everywhere but my driveway (Send that snow to Walter)!

Posted by: dprats21 | January 11, 2011 8:12 AM | Report abuse

With the onset getting pushed back, now to 4-6 pm, I suspect that later around 8pm to midnight, when snow fails to materialize, we'll have to call this forecast bust.

It is not just snow totals, but accurate start and end times that are the hallmarks of a good forecast.

Nevertheless, I hope the WaPo gets the expected web traffic by hyping this event, and they are able to stay in business another week.

Posted by: doczoidberg | January 11, 2011 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Walter, I took the slower start to mean less snow potential as the energy phases farther north (along NJ coast).

Ideabook, from my count, we had seven snow events last Dec-Feb that gave us more than a trace of snow. And yes, so far, this winter is running colder-than-normal. Dec came in 4.9F colder-than-normal for DC-National Airport and so far Jan is running right at the 30Y normal.

Posted by: MattRogers1 | January 11, 2011 8:16 AM | Report abuse

I have noticed over the years that the Weather Channel consistently under estimates snow totals. There is usually a huge discrepancy between their forecast and the NWS. For example in my iPhone Weather Channel app (computer generated forecast right?) it says 50% chance of snow - both today and tonight, accumulations of 1 inch - TOTAL. Then there is a severe weather warning from the NWS that says "2-4". I usually just disregard the Weather Channel forecast because I generally don't like it and would prefer to see the NWS forecast happen. No idea who is usually "right".

Posted by: mamory1975 | January 11, 2011 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Dprats21, I love it!

Posted by: MattRogers1 | January 11, 2011 8:18 AM | Report abuse

dprats21 - Good idea... Walter can have my share, also.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | January 11, 2011 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Love it. Made me laugh out loud.

Posted by: scienceteacher3 | January 11, 2011 8:26 AM | Report abuse

12z NAM gonna be a pretty important run; if it looks like the 6Z you "may" see WSWs posted by Sterling for N and E of DC...for the first time there is a sliver of hope for actual over-performing in a storm. I think if the area ends up in a general 3-4 inches, everyone will be smiles. Thats shovel-able snow. See you all around 1030am!

Posted by: DullesARC | January 11, 2011 8:27 AM | Report abuse

So we may be up for a bit of shoveling in the morning, but not enough to warrant getting up earlier than usual. Sounds good to me! I'm a fan of whomping great heaps of snow too, but pretty, light, and easy-to-deal-with snow is just dandy with the heap o' work on my desk at the moment.

Thanks very much for all the detail y'all give us in these predictions. Especially the discussions of uncertainty - it's very difficult to present that in a clear way. I grew up watching Tom Skilling out there in Chicago, and while I don't know enough to navigate the world of models myself, he gave me enough of a look at the world of weather that I want to know more than just "50% chance of x four days from now".

Posted by: kickabout | January 11, 2011 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Dprats, love it, but you forget to include in your short-term forecast the point when snowlovers argue with CWG that they should be guaranteeing MORE SNOW. Also, you for to include in your long-range forecast a prediction of snowlovers discussion how winter just isn't like it used to be around here.

Posted by: SouthsideFFX | January 11, 2011 8:34 AM | Report abuse

dprats21, your post gave me a laugh- I think it's spot on :D

Posted by: Snowlover2 | January 11, 2011 8:39 AM | Report abuse

@Dprats loved your comment, it gave me a good chuckle.

Posted by: wjunker | January 11, 2011 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Do to the other short-terms look this AM: SREFs, RUC, etc? Is the NAM an outlier?

Posted by: jpl1019 | January 11, 2011 8:42 AM | Report abuse

No, SouthsideFFX, but dprats21 nailed the character assassinations on snowlovers and the bashing of school delay decisions, so you're covered.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | January 11, 2011 8:44 AM | Report abuse

dprats21 - That was money. Matt and Gang - I know this Low is going to take forever (will feel like it) to develop but it's starting to look like it's developing further to the north. Also, it looks like it might miss the Ohio Valley low a bit. As KRUZ mentioned, west of DC (I live in Reston), they dropped the forecast from 1-2 inches to maybe 1 inch. Is this one, again, starting to look like the last storm? It sure does smell like it to me!

Posted by: parksndc | January 11, 2011 8:49 AM | Report abuse

dprats21 - You forgot about Bombo's dance status updates at the Clarence Ballroom, Confidence: High

Posted by: dave67 | January 11, 2011 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Today is game day. At last.
How do the steps to the snow dance go? I want to get it right.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 11, 2011 8:49 AM | Report abuse

The 9z SREF trying hard to make a snow hole the same shape as Virginia

Posted by: sgustaf1 | January 11, 2011 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Yes, seems like an outlier, jpl1019. New NAM coming in now and it is not supporting the heavier look of the 6z model run- it's back in line with our forecast it seems.

Posted by: MattRogers1 | January 11, 2011 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Parksndc, yeah, I certainly don't think we're in a situation that favors a big upside here. Latest short range models gives DC area something in the 1-3" range. And your location leans more toward that 1" side.

Posted by: MattRogers1 | January 11, 2011 9:00 AM | Report abuse

yeppers...sorry all, the overperform looks about shot. Lets enjoy the day and have fun. Booo NAM for that morning surprise.

Posted by: DullesARC | January 11, 2011 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Not much of a southern stream system from pressure falls Not much on radar except what we see right now (exiting the coast). Not much on IR satellite except the old low out in the Atlantic (moving away). In short, this is a clipper situation with the storm from the west moving to our north. We can sometimes get a period of snow as the upper low moves though but that doesn't look as likely in this case (too far north).

Posted by: eric654 | January 11, 2011 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Bravo, dprats21. Well played.

Posted by: rumbly45 | January 11, 2011 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Sleet and some light snow in northern Baltimore City.

Posted by: weatherwatcher1 | January 11, 2011 9:21 AM | Report abuse


im in the Hyattsville area which is east side of DC. About a mile out of DC.

Posted by: KRUZ | January 11, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Assuming the Dulles area gets the predicted 1-2" or so, does anyone have any insight on how that may or may not affect flights out? I don't fly very often and this is the first time I'll be flying out of the DC area during winter weather. I realize that it will probably be a crap shoot as to which flights are delayed, but I was curious to know if 2 inches of snow typically throws Dulles for a loop, or if it's closer to business as usual.

Normally I am all for the big snow storms and hoping for big totals like most of you... but this time I'll gladly take a miss! Don't hate me - I'll be back Jan. 18th hoping for lots of snow from there on out.


Posted by: mo26 | January 11, 2011 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Mo26, that is usually not a big deal for Dulles, but the bigger question is where are you going (Northeast connection hubs will be a mess) and when are you going (tonight and tomorrow, any planes arriving from the Northeast cities before going to your destination will probably be delayed or canceled).

Posted by: MattRogers1 | January 11, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Hey Guys! I'm kind of confused... Is the NAM overdoing itself with the model run?? I see the NWS forecast are predicting 2-4 Inches intead the 1-3 Inches....

I need someone to explain about the NAM model and the GFS model (THE LATEST), more snow or less or just the same...

Posted by: Michael_Nguyen | January 11, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

eric have patience. This may miss us but I think the chances of a non phase are next to zero.

Posted by: bbirnbau | January 11, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Acuweather is buying into the 1/20 "Miller Time" snow (i.e., the snow that BobMiller2 discussed a few days ago).

Just too bad Mother Nature is so fixated on Jersey Shore this winter.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | January 11, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Michael, I think the bottom line right now is that our CWG forecast shown in the blog above is still a decent forecast, but the risk is greater to the downside (lower) than upside (higher amounts).

Posted by: MattRogers1 | January 11, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse


So, it sounds like what we are moving toward is perhaps snow flurries and that's it? I have a 7:30 p.m. meeting that I was hoping to get out of! If there is snow falling at a good clip around 5:30 or 6:00, they will think it might get slippery because of dropping temps, and postpone the meeting.

Posted by: luvhh1 | January 11, 2011 9:40 AM | Report abuse

clever.... i like the confidence levels you've expressed. hahaha. i see some of the "bust" talk you predicted has already begun... btw, last year after i added the seal in front of the shark, you made one of my favorite sculpture comments: something about feeling empathy for the seal... cracked me up.

also, above, you said,
"May it snow where there are snow-lovers and rain where there are snow-haters... but if it is to snow on me, let it snow everywhere but my driveway (Send that snow to Walter)!"

that first part sounds like some ancient chinese proverb or something. but, yeah...why can't god do a better job distributing snow? after these little tiny baby 2-3" storms, as i'm stealing snow (they used to think i was being kind by shoveling them out...) from my elderly neighbors (who want no part of the snow anyway), i'm always struck by how so much snow is wasted on people who don't want it... IF ONLY all their snow could be diverted directly to my pile... but nooooo... it lands everywhere and mostly gets wasted.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 11, 2011 9:44 AM | Report abuse

bbirnbau, you are right that it will phase as the models say, but there is not much of a southern stream low to phase with. The midwest low is already taking over (lower surface pressure) So that is the low will pass just to our north and blow up off of NJ while absorbing whatever is left of the southern low. Maybe it's just a terminology quibble, but I would really not call it phasing.

Posted by: eric654 | January 11, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Matt.

My flight is tomorrow at 11:30am, heading to Dallas-Fort Worth on my way to Costa Rica. Hopefully my plane won't be stuck at JFK or Logan.

For just this once... come on, dry slot! Or at least, come onnnnn Dulles plow crews!

Posted by: mo26 | January 11, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse

btw, CWG,
forgot to ask about that SPI of 8. is there really ~20% chance of NO accumulating snow?! so, really, your forecast is for 0-4"?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 11, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

@walter-in-fallschurch @doczoidberg

I'm not seeing much delay in this storm from our earlier forecasts. We've been talking a couple days now that this would likely be a late afternoon/evening storm, with the best chance of accumulation during the evening. That still seems to be the case. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | January 11, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I disagree with Eric. I also think the gang might be leaning towards preventing head calls for if there is a bust.

The radar looks very promising in my opinion. The low pressures are already showing signs of interaction. A band of snow has already kind of Linked" the two systems out north of us.

I'm gonna go ahead and be optimistic with this one. I think the NWS has it right for my area with 3 to 5 inches. I think the prior bad experiences with Miller B's is making the mets a bit more prudent. To me this is an opposite story of Dec. 26th. Radar and satellite are showing promising signs of snow for us but I think the mets are weary of crying wolf. Calling for accumulating snow when there isn't a tangible storm for meteo amateurs to track takes more guts than it seems if you understand what's going on.

My prediction for Ellicott City as of this morning: 4.1 inches

Posted by: bbirnbau | January 11, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I see everyone on here thinks this storm is another bust, but frankly if it another bust then it is, but i do recalled yesterday one of the CWG told us not too panic becuase the rador isnt showing much yet.....

Whatever the model are saying some of it is true others aren't, but with this winter pattern we are in it shouldn't surprise anyone.... 1-3 or 2-4 sounds good to me, but f we get nothing then oh well, not the end of the world!

Posted by: Michael_Nguyen | January 11, 2011 9:58 AM | Report abuse

bbirnbau, I agree that it's more gutsy when there's no blob of snow moving right at us, but it also reflects a reliance on the models (too much??) luvhh1, I would just hold the meeting, snow or not, and get it over with. Procrastination won't make it better.

Posted by: eric654 | January 11, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

And as for lack of southern stream, we knew that coming in, but it's a completely different storm when the lows begin to phase. They feed off of each other and then the coastal low begins feeding off the atlantic and the southwesterly flow of rising air.

Posted by: bbirnbau | January 11, 2011 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Walter, you can have my snow too. Since I'm right down the road near the Vienna Metro, I'll even loan the snow my Farecard. There seems to be moderate snow panic in the Springfield-Lorton area where I work, judging by the many cars in every grocery store lot I passed today. If there's one thing I dislike more than snow, it's sleet and freezing rain, because it won't slow people down and can turn roads into a skating rink instantly. Snowlovers, until you've been a hapless claims adjuster with 40 accident claims made by whining Washingtonians landing on your desk all at once, you have no clue how fast the childhood romance of fresh snow and a school holiday turns sour as three day-old red wine.

Posted by: GreybirdK1 | January 11, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Early dismissals already coming in. Are they jumping the gun or is there actual snow on the ground?

Posted by: joshvt | January 11, 2011 10:05 AM | Report abuse

screw this 1-2" (maybe) situation.. I'm taking a road trip to Boston, 1-2'+.... who's coming with?! :-)

Posted by: rudy1481 | January 11, 2011 10:08 AM | Report abuse

What schols or school district letting out early already?? Interesting, thought this storm supposed to hit us later this evening....

IS eveyone in a panic mode where htis can be a bust??

Posted by: Michael_Nguyen | January 11, 2011 10:09 AM | Report abuse

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

joshvt - no snow on the ground that I know of. A few flakes possibly flying in central Virginia...

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 11, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Can you provide the visuals showing the chances of school closings, Federal Government closings, etc...?

Posted by: jennygenser1 | January 11, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I have a question for everyone who is a snowlover.. Someone at work asked me why I loved snow so much, and I couldn't really give a definate answer. For me, I think I find meteorology a fascinating science, and I get into any extreme weather event, but definately snow the most. So any good answers as to why from my fellow snow lovers out there?

Posted by: rudy1481 | January 11, 2011 10:15 AM | Report abuse

How is everyone handling the wait on the snow? It is still on its scheduled arrival for this afternoon with main accumulation starting into the evening, after sunset. As Jason said yesterday--and as I am seeing here this morning--the "wait" seems long for you all. Hope you are handling it ok?

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 11, 2011 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Schools panicking and closing 2 hours early when the snow is not even going to hit until 4-6pm. Nothing new there. In the past schools have closed for the day when all we got was rain but they got scared and thought it would be freezing rain. And people wonder why American kids rank near the bottom academically when compared to the rest of the world. They are hardly ever in school.

Posted by: rwalker66 | January 11, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I'm taking the train up to NYC this evening (business meeting on Wednesday morning that will not be cancelled!) Will let you know what I see from the snowy big apple, if I get there!

Jamie Y (aka Weather Checker)

Posted by: JamieYPotomac | January 11, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse


You think we're bad...imagine the school kids staring out the window: "Is it snowing yet, is it snowing yet?"

Posted by: joshvt | January 11, 2011 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Despite my skepticism regarding early school dismissals, we should all remember that school buses don't have the best traction even in a dusting of snow--especially prone to slipping on bridges or overpasses--moreso that small vehicles with lower centers of gravity and four-wheel drive.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 11, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Is wise to closed schools early since most of this wont begin later this evening??

Posted by: Michael_Nguyen | January 11, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Snowing at Rt. 301 Bridge!

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | January 11, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Hate snow. I have 300+ ewes ready to lamb in next 21 days or so. Last years winter
and record snow fall causd me to lose three times the number of lambs I usually do to natural causes ie birth defects, illness or weather. Yeah its great fun plowing and shoveling out fields with your tractors for over 1000 sheep and lambs. Come out and try it snow lovers. Snow is great if you work in your office and then commute home to your junior executive studio condo. But trying working in it even 4 to 8 inches makes live difficult and dangerous when you are moving round bales of hay with the tractor in slippery conditions. Back last Feb with the two snow storms I was working 20 hr days looking after the flock and my dogs. You want to see one mad and pissed off dog watch a good herding dog get frustrated because 5+ ft of snow makes it impossible for her to move the sheep where they need to go. I was out early Saturday morning in the second storm It was snowing so ahrd I couldnt see my dogs who were less then 10 ft from me. We were glad no dogs were injured from the snow.

Posted by: sheepherder | January 11, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Is there a possibility that this will be an all rain event? It's 33 degrees @ National already (there was a forecast of 32 for a high today). Isn't the warmest part of the day from 2-4 (when the snow is supposed to start).

Posted by: jojo2008 | January 11, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I live in Howard County, where they just announced an early dismissal. It's not convenient or easy for me to leave work early, however, I agree with Camden on the safety issue. I'd much rather know that the kids are safe at home, even if it turns out to be a false alarm.
**written while doing the snow dance**

Posted by: kathyb39 | January 11, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Sorry for your difficulty, sheepherder, truly I am. But since my love of snow can't really affect the weather, I think I'll just go on loving it.

Posted by: AsymptoticUnlimited | January 11, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Alright, I know how annoying these questions are but here goes: I have a flight scheduled at 6 in the morning out of BWI on Wednesday (tomorrow). IT's a direct flight to the west coast. I am tempted to leave as is and hope the storm underperforms. Do you think I should try to reschedule? It seems to me that the timing of the storm should give plenty of time to get roads and runways clear.

Posted by: soleil2000 | January 11, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Just talked with my sister in Richmond; she says it's a little icy down there this morning.

Posted by: natsncats | January 11, 2011 10:34 AM | Report abuse

joshvt - I bet you're right that the kids are even more anxious than most of us, waiting for the snow to start

jojo2008 - precipitation brings down the temperature once it begins; but it has yet to begin in DC. The temperatures could enter the mid-30s before snow starts falling--that is a contributing factor to the delayed accumulation we are calling for--hours after the snow may initially begin falling visibly.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 11, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

JerryFloyd1 said: "Just too bad Mother Nature is so fixated on Jersey Shore this winter."

Perhaps the gods are punishing them for Snooki.

Posted by: mhardy1 | January 11, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I was looking a TWC surface map on the website, is it me or the Surface Low is a bit far East off the Carolina Coast... lol, I see the other Low is holding strong...

I'm wondering if CWG will do any updates coming soon, on this storm??

Posted by: Michael_Nguyen | January 11, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

@Rudy, count me in for Boston! Also, I'm a snow lover because I think it's beautiful. I'm from south Louisiana where we don't get much snow, and even though this is my 4th winter here, I still get giddy like a kid!

It helps that I don't have a car and live in an apartment so I don't have to drive in it or shovel my my driveway and sidewalk.

Posted by: kmill67 | January 11, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

It's looking more like this storm will drop a dusting to an inch here.

Posted by: tjack55 | January 11, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

GFS looking dry. Looks like areas to the west will be seeing the same dusting to an inch we've gotten three times so far. Meh.

Posted by: DullesARC | January 11, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I am not handling it ok. I am depressed about the lameness of all predicted snows this winter. Particularly because my former home of Atlanta, GA has received more snow than it can handle already this winter. I mean, come on, they got 4" and the city is shut down for three days. When I lived there, and we got a little ice, I would see people scraping their windshields with their credit cards. What I'm trying to say is, they just aren't prepared for the snow. Let us have it back!

Posted by: ltyahoo | January 11, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Weather Gang:

What is your best guess on Fairfax County cancelling after-school, night activities?

Posted by: jjjetplane | January 11, 2011 10:43 AM | Report abuse

@ tjack55 --> It's possible, but I doubt it since CWG says it's a 20-30% we will see less then an inch here, but I'm hoping for there updates since they are more professional then well at least me, I perfer to hear all this snowfall totals from them.... To be honest this wan't supposed to be a big storm fro us, who knows.....

Posted by: Michael_Nguyen | January 11, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

My computer models are still predicting a trace to 1" of snow for most of DC, Fairfax, PW, Loundon and Montgomery counties. Snow will start around 4:30pm -5:00pm.

Sorry snow lovers. I think the snow haters are deflecting all the snow this year. Or maybe Mother Nature is trying to keep Snookie (Jersey Shore on MTV) snowed in 'coz she's tried of seeing her everywhere!

Posted by: Firedude | January 11, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

GreybirdK1, you said,
"If there's one thing I dislike more than snow, it's sleet and freezing rain, because it won't slow people down and can turn roads into a skating rink instantly."

agreed. there's no redeeming value or "romance" associated w/sleet and/or freezing rain - i'll call those words "snowfanity" - and wish forecasters never had to utter them. this disdain for sleet and freezing rain could be the one point of common ground for snow lovers and snow haters - the union of our domains, if you will.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 11, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

This one looks like a bust folks.

Posted by: MDFan | January 11, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Why is the column called "Capital Weather Gang" when it is written by one person?

And "gang" no longer has the friendly, innocent connections of yesteryear; much more sinister now.

Posted by: foofoofoo | January 11, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

@sheepherder--good to see you back this winter, and sorry to hear about all the trouble the snow caused you last year. Here's hoping things go well in your area.

Posted by: mensan98th | January 11, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Looks like no more than a dusting for us in Vienna (like last Saturday). Kids better do their homework tonight :)

Posted by: Axel2 | January 11, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

It's a wonder how much can be said about so little.... snow.

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | January 11, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

@mhardy, it can get get cheesey over at the Jersey Shore.

@Walter, can you FedEx whatever snow your neighbors don't want my way?

dprats21, nice, plus there is 100% chance for a kvetch about rain/snow/gentle breezes interfering with ballroom dancing.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | January 11, 2011 10:56 AM | Report abuse

jjjetplane - if I were a betting man, I would think most NoVa school systems would cancel activities after 4 or 5pm tonight.

foofoofoo - many members of the Capital Weather Gang.. I am one of them.. several others.. and we try to share responsibilities and rotate schedules as best possible. The weather might not sleep, but we have to! :)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 11, 2011 10:56 AM | Report abuse


Since everyone is writing about this a BUST storm, are you going to give an update about this, it seems a lot of people on this thread is saying one thing and others the same... So I'm hoping for some clearify from you guys instead of people talking about the storm totals... :)

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


Don't change your flight. The snow will be over by then.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 11, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse


It never ceases to amaze me reading this blog over the years how much confusion there is about the winter weather in DC. Time and time again people complain about the lack of snow here, thinking we should have winters like Minnesota or New Hampshire. It's like the averages mean nothing...

Posted by: weatherdude | January 11, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

All- we have a new post up. Click here

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 11, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Waterfront, could you please continue the status? My meeting 7:30 meeting is in LaPlata so that would be very helpful! thanks!

Posted by: luvhh1 | January 11, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse


Go herd some sheep; nobody cares. If you are complaining get a new job or shut up.

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

I almost disbelieve my eyes, but it has started lightly snowing in Manassas.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 11, 2011 11:13 AM | Report abuse

sounds thoroughly crappy, sheepherder. For my part during the Feb snow storms, I got to sleep in and skip >2 hours of commuting/day for a week; met, worked next to, and shared coffee with neighbors we've lived next to for a couple years without ever knowing; reveled in the quiet that comes after a heavy snow; enjoyed the fairly mild weather, walks, and watching kids sledding in the park; got to take fabulous pictures of the neighborhood and a time series of the backyard as it slowly filled up with snow; laughed at the cats when they got hypnotized by falling snow in the lamp light; and even got some writing-related work done in the absence of useful but time-consuming meetings. Can you blame me for loving the snow any more than I can blame you for despising it? Tell you what, next time we have a series of major storms that shuts down the city, I and my incredibly sheep-naive ways (they're the ones that say "baaa", right?) will come help you out, and the time after that, you can come visit our home and enjoy some relaxation (though bringing an extra shovel would be most appreciated).

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

@rudy1481-the reasons I love the snow are many. Mostly because, for a little while anyway, the world looks beautiful and sparkly and clean. There's a quietness to things and the world stands still for a short while. Then, when the snow stops, everyone comes out to shovel and play. There is a camaraderie, a bringing together of people. And, during that time we are all friendly and civil to one another. Helping our neighbors and those that need help. That is why I love the snow.

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

@sheepherder - Good luck with those lambs! It's good to hear from someone working where it counts! Where are you actually?

Posted by: dottie_b | January 11, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Upperville, VA

Hey mjwies11 come work a 10 hr day with me tomorrow and we see how long you last and then I put in another few hours with my consulting business. Corproate CEOs are all upset about their personel security and safety.

Posted by: sheepherder | January 11, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Light snow here in woodbridge!!! finnally!

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 11, 2011 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Light snow here in woodbridge!!! finnally!

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 11, 2011 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Annandale here reporting flurries. Come on, clouds, let it snow!

Posted by: jhbyer | January 11, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Light snow just started on Capitol Hill.

Posted by: rockotodd | January 11, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Good luck, sheepherder. You've given us a realty check and could give us a break, also, for not all of us, who love snow, are what you imagine.

Posted by: jhbyer | January 11, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Good luck sheepherder, but don't slam those that can enjoy the snow. Take care.

Posted by: jckdoors | January 11, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

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