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Posted at 4:50 PM ET, 01/15/2011

Forecast: Tolerable weekend, then tricky

By Ian Livingston

originally posted at 5 a.m.; updated at 4:50 p.m.

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


Temperatures near normal feel pretty nice after all the chill of late. Evening cold front could drop a few flakes.
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter


Today: Partly sunny a.m., increasing clouds. Near 40 to mid-40s. | Tonight: Flurry/snow shower possible early, mostly cloudy. 20s to near 30. | Tomorrow: Partly cloudy. Near 40. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


Of the 45 days since meteorological winter began on Dec. 1, 33 (or 73%) have featured below average temperatures. Just keep that in mind when today's temperatures near average feel almost pleasant! For the most part, the news is all good for this extended weekend. After today's milder readings, we stay near 40 through Monday. By Monday evening, however, the forecast becomes tricky. While snow remains unlikely to pile up, some wintry mix could be around before precipitation turns to all rain and exits on Tuesday.

Snow Potential Index: 2 (→) - Today's flurry risk barely deserves mention. Monday night-Tuesday storm still looking like mainly rain, though some wintry mix is possible.

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

Radar & lightning: Latest regional radar shows movement of precipitation and lightning strikes over past two hours. Refresh page to update. Click here or on image to enlarge. Or see radar bigger on our Weather Wall.

Today (Saturday): As far as this winter has gone, we've got a decent day to head outdoors with temperatures near (maybe above?) average. Sunshine is most abundant early and clouds likely stream in late ahead of a cold front. A "warmer" breeze direction, from the south and southwest, helps boost temperatures past 40, maybe as high as the mid-40s downtown. Depending on the timing of the front, there could be a sprinkle or flurry before dark. Confidence: High

Tonight: A cold front moves thru during the first half of the night and it could be accompanied by some flurries or even a quick snow shower. Clouds help keep temperatures up a bit, so mainly mid-20s in the suburbs to nearer 30 downtown. Light winds shift from the south to the northwest behind the front. Confidence: High

What about the storm on Monday night and Tuesday? Keep on reading!

Tomorrow (Sunday): We lose a few degrees compared to Saturday, but overall this is another pretty decent one compared to lately. Partly sunny skies and relatively light winds from the northwest mix with highs in the upper 30s to lower 40s. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: Nighttime temperatures dip again thanks to slightly cooler air overhead. The suburbs probably shoot for the upper teens while mid-20s are more likely in the city. Increasing clouds may act to keep temperatures up a bit. Confidence: Medium-High


On Martin Luther King Jr Day clouds are numerous, though with any luck much of the day features high and thin ones, so some sun shines through. Still, the filtered sun doesn't help us warm as much, with highs probably in the mid-30s to near 40. Thicker clouds arrive near sunset and light wintry mix may follow during the evening. Confidence: Medium

Monday Night is probably the trickiest part of the forecast. As precipitation chances increase, cold air could hold on long enough to keep parts of the area near or below freezing into the night. All precipitation types are in play, though a transition from brief light snow to sleet and rain (or freezing rain) seems possible. Lows reach near 30 to the low 30s, probably rising after midnight. Confidence: Low-Medium

Tuesday features good odds for rain - iciness may linger into the morning north and west of the District - through midday or early afternoon before the storm moves off. Eventually, highs likely shoot for near 40 to the mid-40s, perhaps higher if there is less rain. As with other storms this year, it should gain strength to our north, and winds are likely to increase from the northwest late. Confidence: Medium [Updated @ 4:50 p.m.]

By Ian Livingston  | January 15, 2011; 4:50 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Rivaling reasons for world's extreme weather
Next: Forecast: Waiting on a Mon. night wintry mix


Good morning Ian,

Though I prefer snow over any other precipitation type in January, it is good that we are going to see some moisture fall from the sky. We are lagging a bit behind for the year. On another note, I am having issues with getting AmericanWx to load up. I keep getting "server not found". Know what's going on?

Posted by: pjdunn1 | January 15, 2011 7:09 AM | Report abuse


Is it too early to get a rough idea what the temperatures will be like in central Maryland, near Hancock, for January 26 to 29?



Posted by: igbrownlee | January 15, 2011 7:38 AM | Report abuse


I was reading an article from Accuweather that talks about weather in the upcoming weeks (paraphrased below). Is your thinking the same as Paul's or do you see things playing out differently? I personally think it may be a little bullish.

What to Expect in Coming Months

"In short, Expert Long Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok says that we can expect to see more of the non-typical La Niñna events in parts of the country in coming weeks. For example, he expects colder-than-normal conditions to continue affecting the East through the end of January and possibly the first half of February. In contrast to December, which was coldest compared to normal in the Southeast, the upcoming cold in the East is expected to be most extreme in the Northeast.

In general, Pastelok also expects a continuation of stormy weather from the Tennessee Valley into the mid-Atlantic for much of the rest of the season. Storms that track through this zone can vary between producing snow, ice and heavy rain. The bitter cold destined for the East will first blast through the Midwest. So more extreme cold is in store for people across that region as well."

Posted by: Showmethesnow | January 15, 2011 7:52 AM | Report abuse

I'm also having trouble getting Americanwx to load - being a constant lurker there.

However, I'm not picky about snow. I just want a four day weekend. Any chance this could morph into enough of an icy event that schools would delay/close Tues. Morning?

Posted by: Lisse24 | January 15, 2011 8:15 AM | Report abuse

NWS is calling for SNOW monday afternoon and snow and sleet monday night.

Accuweather video update for our area now says 1-3 inches of snow monday :/

And now the weather blogs are talking about NEXT weekends storm thats supposed to last 3 days or more of snow.... I hate winter.

Posted by: KRUZ | January 15, 2011 9:18 AM | Report abuse


You're not alone in that sentiment. :)

But, we're halfway home on meteorological winter today. So that's a plus.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | January 15, 2011 9:23 AM | Report abuse

I am confident we will see a 6+ storm this year. If storms keep coming this way one HAS to work out for us, especially with the cold temps this year.

Posted by: bbirnbau | January 15, 2011 9:27 AM | Report abuse


There's been a bit of a snowier or wintry mix trend (as opposed to a faster change over to rain) in last night's models for late Monday/Tuesday. Though the forecast above allows for that, we'll keep an eye on today's models to see if any forecast changes are needed. Also, the European model does show a storm chance around Thursday/Friday. Precipiation type, if there is a storm, may again be a question. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | January 15, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse


We can't forecast weather details that far ahead. The overall pattern looks cold. Check back with us later this week.


I've also had issues accessing AmericanWx. Not sure what the problem is.


In my opinion, AccuWeather has pretty much overdone, overstated, and overhyped all of its forecasts relating to our area this winter (for example, Bastardi called for a 6-12" storm for us in December and snow cover on Christmas, didn't quite happen that way. Then he called for 3-6" for us this past Tuesday night, didn't quite happen that way either). But underneath all the hype/overstatements, there has been some element of truth. So yes, I agree the pattern looks cold for a while. But stormy? I don't know. There will be storms, but I'm not seeing indications it will be stormier than average.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 15, 2011 9:44 AM | Report abuse

@Dan, CapitalWeatherGang

It's interesting-- it seems the models are trending toward a much different storm evolution- as they're killing (reducing the impact for us from) the low heading up to the Great Lakes and now keying on a southern stream low. Either way, the cold air is eroding, so not sure the winter weather threat has increased that much - although it's certainly a close call. And with the track of the southern low a bit uncertain (whether it's closer to the coast or more to the east), unclear how much precip we actually get. Will be be interesting to see how the GFS/Euro handle this complex setup

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 15, 2011 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I'd almost bet the farm on it missing us. Just been that kind of winter.

Posted by: bodypolitic1 | January 15, 2011 9:57 AM | Report abuse

If In-Accuweather is predicting snow, count on rain. Or perhaps no precip whatsoever..

I confess. The nearly snowless winter is happening because I brought my lovely 60s era Flexible Flyer home from NY with me at Thanksgiving. It will snow again enough to use it sometime around 2017, when my younger one is off to college!

Posted by: concepcion611 | January 15, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Thx for the CWG. I look forward to your updates on all over next weeks storms. Its a holiday for me monday and I have the day off tuesday too, unless enough snow/sleet/ice builds up the i need to go into work to salt and/or plow :/

Im hoping for no accumulation of anything!

Posted by: KRUZ | January 15, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I'm not gonna think (too much) about this Monday-Tues. mess coming our way. Today is nice! Today is sunny! The wind isn't bad & I'm hoping that the temps get well up into the 40s. It's a heat wave!

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 15, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse


I was thinking the exact same thing. Those storms are forming by the dozens it seems and even though the trend has been either out to see or walloping New England, I still have confidence that at least one will wallop us, not them.


Today is a very nice day. I don't see the point of cold weather if it's not going to snow. And yes, 40°F would indeed fell like a heat wave.


What??!! You're hoping for no accumulation??!! Am I reading this correctly?? What good is a storm like this if it'll be all rain??


Yes, we are about halfway through meteorological winter, BUT, late Jan./early Feb. tends to be the snowiest part of the winter! But if you don't want to look at it that way, then YES, there are only 45 days until *meteorological* spring.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 15, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I'm away from home this a.m. so not sure what is wrong with AmericanWx... I will see if I can find out.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 15, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse


Yes you are reading that correctly i want ZERO ACCUMULATION!

Not everyone likes SNOW especially those who have to work in it. Nothing good comes from snow and/or ice, nothing, except for accidents maybe.

If i had the option to just sit inside and drink hot tea and cocoa all day and night and eat crumpets or whatever it may be ok. But some of us have to work out in this MESS. And its hard to be excited for it when id rather spend the evening/nights with my wife and son as opposed to dealing with NASTY weather and moronic drivers who insist on driving.


Posted by: KRUZ | January 15, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse


Thank you SO much for pointing out the fact that AccuWeather over-hypes just about everything. They had us in the substantial snowfall range on the accumulation map until the day before this week's "storm".

Are the guys over at AccuWeather actually certified meteorologists or are they just a bunch of amateurs who like to get people excited about nothing?? I personally think that Joe Bastardi should have his meteorological seal of approval revoked.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 15, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse


I see your point, and I want to make this clear: I absolutely detest freezing rain/sleet/ice. That stuff makes the roads treacherous and I don't like to be out in it either.

What I like is nice, pure, fluffy white snow. And lots of it too! You also mentioned that you'd rather be home with your wife than out on the roads. The best thing to do in that scenario is to just stay home, take the day off work, and just enjoy the snow.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 15, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

the NAM is hateful towards this storm (as a snow event). shows temps being way too warm.

jason, re accuweather:
the hype's more fun... by the time the actual storm comes along they can drop the big accumulation predictions, but move on to the next big storm threat! woo hoo!

is the storm that's bringing "3 days or more of snow" for dc? is that accuweather who's predicting a giant storm for dc next weekend?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 15, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I'll be driving back from Western MD Monday early evening. Is the storm Monday coming early or later at night? Also up from the South or from Canada? Trying to decide whether to come back earlier or wait until later. Would like to miss the snow and ice, but 2nd choice is wait until it is bad enough or late enough others are off the road.

Posted by: biketraveller22 | January 15, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

BobMiller - it's important for us snow devotees to acknowledge that not everyone shares our view. The "beauty" of snowfall after all is very much in the eye of the beholder. It's KRUZ's JOB to plow & he can't just take a snow day.
So thanks KRUZ for cleaning up the winter mess. If it wasn't for people like you I'm sure I'd find snow a whole lot more inconvenient.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 15, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse


I cant take off of work since salting/plowing is a big part of my job, its also the least favorite part of my job. But i work for a small municipality and i have no choice but to work these storms. I cant take the day off or id prolly get fired.

Thx for the comments FIREDRAGON, yeah i cant take a snow day LOL.

Posted by: KRUZ | January 15, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Yes, I'd like to echo what FIREDRAGON said- it's people like KRUZ and all the various workers (first responders, snow plowers) that make it possible for people like me to enjoy the snow days. So, thank you!

The forecasts keep remaining complex, which makes things a lot of fun- and frustrating!

Posted by: Snowlover2 | January 15, 2011 11:08 AM | Report abuse

As I look through the GFS model info for the next 2 weeks, I don't really see any big storms. I still have hope for February.

CWG: Does February look like it will be average, below average, or above average in terms of temperatures?

I'm hoping for below because cold temps + precip = snow!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 15, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse


Oh, sorry, I didn't realize you worked in the snow clearing business. I have a high level of respect for people like you! Thanks so much for all the hard work!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 15, 2011 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Something is brewing for end of next week. Weather Channel app keeps changing forecast. I hope we can do rain on Tues. Sunlight is starting to wan as light cloud cover moves in. It was very nice this morning though! If we hit the 40's It will be a nice respite.

Posted by: moo1 | January 15, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I would love to drive a snowplow.
I'm sure I would make an unholy mess of things but it would be fun. Get off the pavement; crazy person with big blade coming thru.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 15, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Finally when we get a favorable track there's insufficient cold air. What do we gotta do to get some decent snow around here? Tues storm is looking rainy. Hope for end of next week.

Posted by: bbirnbau | January 15, 2011 11:27 AM | Report abuse


AccuWx meteorologists are professional in the sense of having at least a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Meteorology or related science. Many have risen through the ranks starting as interns or recent graduates of Penn State, which has an excellent meteorology department.

However, AccuWx is a private company where profit and ego are the primary drivers. Unfortunately, many of really good forecasters, including J.B., have, in my opinion, sold their professional souls to the AccuWx creed of the bottom line fed by hype and B.S. (its more familiar meaning). On a not for attribution basis, I personally know a couple AccuWx personnel that acknowledge in some cases selling the equivalent of snake oil.

It's to the credit of almost all CWG followers to recognize the difference between the hype, ego self-serving promotional motivated forecasts from those of the real, true to their science folks of CWG (and, of course, most other media outlets).

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | January 15, 2011 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I do get why KRUZ and others who have snow duty don't anticipate it with the glee the rest of us do. Twelve hour shifts in the freezing cold don't make for a fun time for the workers.

My husband is often one of those workers. And I can also tell you that it's no fun for spouses who have to stay home w/the kids and worry about our loved ones out in the freezing cold with the loons who think having an SUV means that you can drive at 70MPH with your lights off!

None the less, I'm still a NYC girl after 22 years down here, and I wish my daughters could be up at their grandparents' house sledding in the park across the street from their house!

Posted by: concepcion611 | January 15, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

"I personally think that Joe Bastardi should have his meteorological seal of approval revoked."

If the AMS actually cared about their profession, this would have been done long ago. But I don't think they have the bal, I mean guts, to stand up to companies hiring the hype-casters.

Posted by: tgt111 | January 15, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

To paraphrase a title of a Sondheim song, "Send in the Flakes".

If we can squeeze a couple of inches out of the Monday p.m. event, I'll take it, even if it is washed away by the rain.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | January 15, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Joe Bastardi is the PT Barnum of the meteorological world.

Posted by: concepcion611 | January 15, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Centreville VA The morning's nice sunshine has been abruptly snuffed out by incoming cloud cover.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 15, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse


I just want a weather event that will get rid of the stink bugs for good! :)

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 15, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

There is a pretty good chunk of cold air that is going to slide thru Sunday night and Monday.

I believe the temps will verify a bit colder that stated in the forecast, at least away from the National Airport "hotspot".

The low levels should start out plenty cold enough for frozen precip and with the coastal development taking over fairly rapidly, any low level warming will be slow.

I would say an inch or two of snow followed by a rather lengthy period of freezing rain from DC west.

Posted by: frontieradjust | January 15, 2011 12:21 PM | Report abuse

FIREDRAGON47, yep clouds have thickened pretty quick. A bit quicker than I would have anticipated. Still, with little wind it's not too bad out there.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 15, 2011 12:21 PM | Report abuse

frontieradjust, that's possible especially if the GFS is on to something. There is not a ton of agreement yet though. It's tough to get a big ice storm here.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 15, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

this is getting really frustrating. why are forecasts so hard this season?....

im off monday for MLK holiday and i took off tuesday to see family in VA. Now i cant stick to my plans because i may have to be on call for snow/ice. NWS has 80% chance of snow/sleet monday night so seems likely we are getting some :/

So i dont know what to do at this point.

Really hoping CWG does another good update for monday/tuesday event with some input from Winter wx expert Wes. Whats the thinking on this storm, are we getting excited for nothing. Models always do this and when the time comes we get less than expected.

Posted by: KRUZ | January 15, 2011 12:49 PM | Report abuse

MLK Holiday weekend is a time when we often get surprised by the weather? Anyone but me remember the 1994 ice storm where all we were expecting is rain and at my house our cars literally got frozen to the ground for 3 days?

Posted by: concepcion611 | January 15, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

"it's tough to get a big ice storm here"
It doesn't take a big one to do us all in.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 15, 2011 1:11 PM | Report abuse

KRUZ, a big issue has been the guidance spreads this season even down into the short range. Often you see a little more agreement save perhaps the smaller details (like rain/snow line etc). In this case the GFS looks pretty wintry especially NW but the others don't agree that heavily. It did well last week overall, but this is a different type of setup so it's hard to say it's right (or even has the right idea) here. But, the forecast above did weight it as are NWS forecasts.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 15, 2011 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I remember the ice storm. And it was a mess. But now we areich more advanced in our tools and methodologies, right????

Posted by: moo1 | January 15, 2011 1:34 PM | Report abuse

It seems that when it comes to D.C. winters, trends are very important. This winter, the trend seems to be phasing happening later, dry slots, New England getting hammered and walloped, and so on and so forth.

We must all remember though, that last winter, the trend was a snow-lover's dream come true. Though this statement about trends certainly is arguable/debatable, I think for the most part it is true.

Last winter, it seems as though every single storm that was forecasted turned out to be a biggie, whereas this winter, it's the opposite.

Another trend I've noticed this winter is that at first, the forecast is for big amounts of snow, and then the forecasted amounts have seemed to gradually decrease day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute with every new computer model run. Then, at the last minute, when you think things are making a turn for the better, it gets worse (ex. Dec. 26).

Finally, the last trend I've noticed is that with the few storms we DO get, the bull's eye always seems to be more along the coast as opposed to the usual where the western suburbs get the bulk of it. That is a bummer for me because I'm in NE Loudoun county, an area which typically does fairly well with snow.

Last winter during snowmageddon, I measured a whopping 31.8 inches. Then, during snoverkill, I measured 10.1 inches for a combined total of 41.9 inches, most of which stuck around for quite some time due to the cold. Before that, we had those two smaller storms in Late Jan/Early Feb which brought about 6 inches each. During Snowpocalypse I believe I measured about 26 inches. I documented both storms very well; I took hundreds of pictures and I went out and measured the snow depth every few hours and kept a log of it.

I just can't tell you how much I'd love to be in New England this winter. I just have to keep reminding myself that the folks in NYC probably felt the same way last winter as we do this winter. Then of course, there are the people who hate snow and they are probably loving the winter of 2010-2011.

I don't see anything signifigant on the GFS for the next two weeks so maybe I should just forget about snow until February.

Anyone who wants to be reminded of last winter, just watch this incredible video I found on youtube yesterday; it's a time lapse of snowmageddon:

I guess I should probably give up on seeing another storm that even comes close to snowmageddon this winter since this area averages about one 20+ inch event every 5 - 8 years...

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 15, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Would love, love, love for you guys to get something smart phone compatible with this site. It is a super pain trying to load it up on my droid.

Either way, love the site and forum and as always I appreciate the insights.

Posted by: PoorTeacher | January 15, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

According to Intellicast, the current conditions in Rio are:

Partly Cloudy
Temp: 82°F
Heat Index: 91°
Dew Point: 77°
Humidity: 84°

The 82° sounds nice, but the 77° dew point, not so much!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 15, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

There now seems to be some hope Tuesday's rain could be over by dance time.

There also seems to be some difference of opinion regarding the possibility of heavy rain during the event.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | January 15, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Bombo47jea - I really don't want the rain interfering with your dance event; but at least it isn't ice or snow that would otherwise shut it down completely, right?

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 15, 2011 2:19 PM | Report abuse

PoorTeacher, hey there. I suffer the same on my Droid and it kills me. I want to comment more but it runs so slowly; however, know that I have definitely been lobbying WaPo for help on this. Looks like the iPad app was their first priority --we'll see. In the meantime, while not a silver bullet, try downloading the Dolphin HD browser. Meh, a little better I suppose. But I want a CWG app for Droid--one can hope, right? :)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 15, 2011 2:22 PM | Report abuse

42.1°F in my backyard here in Sterling. That's the highest it's been all day, and with this cloud cover, I don't think it will rise much more.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 15, 2011 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Camden, a cwg app would be amazing!

Posted by: PoorTeacher | January 15, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Camden, a cwg app would be amazing!

Posted by: PoorTeacher | January 15, 2011 2:48 PM | Report abuse

everyone in washington dc is so ANNOYING about the weather. we get 1 inch of snow and everyone starts FREAKING out buying 200 loaves of bread and 10 gallons of milk. we all make a huge deal about these 1-2 inch storms. people in colorado and utah would say we are all a bunch of babies and WE ARE. DC WINTER WEATHER IS TERRIBLE. WE NEED MORE SNOW.

roll tide..

Posted by: SNOWLUVER | January 15, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

everyone in washington dc is so ANNOYING about the weather. we get 1 inch of snow and everyone starts FREAKING out buying 200 loaves of bread and 10 gallons of milk. we all make a huge deal about these 1-2 inch storms. people in colorado and utah would say we are all a bunch of babies and WE ARE. DC WINTER WEATHER IS TERRIBLE. WE NEED MORE SNOW.

roll tide..

Posted by: SNOWLUVER | January 15, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Wind looks good for striper fishing on Mon, caught 80 last Mon, & dying 2 get out again.
Looks like another snow-sleet-rain event late Mon.-Tues, which is more typical of this area. Would love at least 1 good snow this winter.

Posted by: VaTechBob | January 15, 2011 3:03 PM | Report abuse

BobMiller, 3p ob of 45 at DCA and 44 at IAD. Looks like the south wind has performed even with fairly thick afternoon clouds.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 15, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse


Thx for the reply.

It just seems so weird that there may be a wintry mix monday into monday night but its expected to turn to rain after midnight. That just seems like that would be hard to happen. i could see it warming up during the day time, but how often does it warm up in the middle of the night. Really hope we arent in for a surprise around here.

I could see the warm up not coming till sunrise, that would spell disaster.

Posted by: KRUZ | January 15, 2011 3:23 PM | Report abuse


The warm-up may indeed not come until sunrise, and afterwards north and west of town. Our forecast above allows for that. Wouldn't be a surprise at all. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | January 15, 2011 3:32 PM | Report abuse

KRUZ - we are in an interesting pattern right now where advective warming is happening because of southerly winds (today and again overnight Monday night) which reduces the need for sun's infrared to warm us up. I know it is harder to picture a "warm" southerly breeze in the Winter, eh?

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 15, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Is this storm supposed to be followed by another cold spell, NWS is calling for subfreezing temps one or two days?
I think its kinda off that it will rain after midnight, or mabe it'll be like cold rain that freezes on surfaces

Posted by: redskins-95 | January 15, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

redskins-95, there is no mention of midnight as a switching point. I would not expect major warming overnight in a scenario where it starts as snow, goes to sleet/freezing rain/rain. But if some places are near freezing to start they could rise to 33 or 34 by morning. As Dan noted the forecast allows for freezing conditions into the morning for some.. of course that may need to be refined (pulled southeast or pushed northwest) as the event nears. Some of the other guidance suggests much less in the way of precip overall, and even the "robust" GFS still has a majority of the precip as rain though it's close to the west.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 15, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

The Weather Channel says a high of 25° on Friday. Is is really going to be that cold??

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 15, 2011 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Temps rose this afternoon because clouds weren't that thick at all. My radiometer spun very slowly all afternoon, & the sun was visible through hazy thin overcast.
The little bit of snow from earlier this week is all melted now. Perhaps we'll get a tiny snow thingie tonight.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 15, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

you weather guys must be looking at more than model runs (i hope you are...) because i didn't see much chance for "wintery precip" for mon/tue in the last two GFS runs... (not that i'm watching model runs or anything...) - maybe just a tiny bit at the start, but then down comes a big wet blob of rain to wash the spider out.... the "ending in snow" that i thought i saw in yesterday's runs is practically gone too. wah wah wah... as for as "next weekend's" storm, i don't see that at all on the GFS...

if there's one area snow lovers and haters can find agreement it's probably in our mutual disdain for sleet and freezing rain.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 15, 2011 3:54 PM | Report abuse

CWG- what is so interesting to me is when you look at the set-up with the GFS, it would seem that everything we want is there. The southern system gets it's act together in plenty of time to give us precip (instead of last week when it waited till off the Mid Atlantic coast to start cranking) AND taking a track that would keep us on the northwest side of the storm and there is a nice high pressure over New England; there just isn't any cold air present. Or at least enough. Is there a chance the models are just underestimating the amount of cold air available? They DO seem to be trending colder with each run.

Posted by: 4seamed | January 15, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Did we lose the "cold air eroding" on model, comment by Jason at 9:53 a.m.?

I'm in Jefferson County so I'm not sure our cold air would erode anyway even if D.C.'s did but I would greatly prefer rain to sleet.

Posted by: tinkerbelle | January 15, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Walter, While I don't see anything about a weekend storm on the GFS, I do see a low pressure system coming up the east coast from 144 - 168 hrs on the Euro.

CWG, Is that something that could produce snow for us?? If so, how much?

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 15, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Holy Camole! I just looked at a newer run of the Euro and the low pressure system off the coast on Friday looks huge!

Go to this website and click on 144 hrs and you will see it:

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 15, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

@4seamed I noticed the same thing in regards to temps. The last couple of days it looks like the forecasted highs have gone from 45-46 to 40-41. If we could just get the cold here a little earlier we could get some snow. I know a lot of people here don't want a foot of snow but that's still not as bad as a day of cold rain.

Posted by: deeeeeep18 | January 15, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

BTW, regarding the *potential* storm on Friday, precip type would NOT be a concern as highs that day are forecast to be below freezing.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 15, 2011 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Hey Everyone! I see Tuesday Morning commute, maybe a little slippery, hopefully it won't be that bad, be honest I prefer RAIN or SNOW then ICE/SLEET...

CWG or anyone how much ICE ACCUMULATION does the model gives us?? Hopefully it will all change over to RAIN, speaking of RAIN how much are we supposed to get??

Give us updates!!

Posted by: MNguyen6551 | January 15, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse


Temperatures that day would depend on the track of the storm, if there is a storm. With almost no support from GFS (a couple GFS ensemble members hint at something), neither temperatures, storm track, nor whether there will even be a storm are very predictable right now. -Dan, CWG


Our latest forecast is above, valid as of late this afternoon. Basically there's some chance of ice Monday night into Tuesday morning, with a better chance, and a better chance that it will last longer, the further north and west of the District you are. As for how much rain, a bit of model disagreement on that for the time being. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | January 15, 2011 5:30 PM | Report abuse

The problem with late Mon.-Tue isn't surface temps it's the temps aloft. It can b 20 on the surface, but if temps aloft r above 32 it will b sleet or freezing rain. It's always the temps aloft.

Posted by: VaTechBob | January 15, 2011 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Folks- we'll have a full update (separate post) that keys in on the possible scenarios for Monday night and Tuesday tomorrow and offers analysis. Right now, the GFS model would suggest a period of snow, then freezing rain and sleet, and then some rain - although west of town - it would suggest most of the precip is frozen. The NAM model suggests mostly rain and the Euro model keeps a lot of the precip offshore, but what falls would be mostly rain. So a lot of different options are on the table, except a big all-snow event.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 15, 2011 5:40 PM | Report abuse

I have found a new weather model site that I am finding to be very helpful/useful.

You can choose practically any city in America from the list and get the weather info predicted for that exact spot by the GFS, the NAM, or the GFSX.

So I selected DCA out of the list and voila! I had found a whole new weather resource!

So, CWG, I'm going to try to interpret the GFSX DCA forecast for 1/21, tell me if I'm right or not:

High: 31
Low: 22
Wind: 10 - 21 mph

Now, with this, along with, I will have a much better understanding of what the meteorologists on tv mean when they talk about computer models.

Of course, no matter how good I get at reading weather models, I'll always come to the CWG first. After all the CWG forecasts are generated by real people. Model forecasts are computer-generated! :)

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 15, 2011 8:06 PM | Report abuse

"Of course, no matter how good I get at reading weather models, I'll always come to the CWG first. After all the CWG forecasts are generated by real people. Model forecasts are computer-generated! :)"

I enjoy all the comments and friendly banter too. Very similar to the Central FL Hurricane Center site where trackers and weather buffs post updates and comments(

Let's go snow!

Posted by: kygurl94 | January 15, 2011 8:40 PM | Report abuse


Beware! The "new" weather site you found simply spits out computer generated forecasts referred to as MOS (Model Output Statistics). They provide a reasonable starting point as "guidance" for forecasters, but ...

MOS only provides single valued (deterministic) prediction of parameters w/o any measure of uncertainty. It should not be taken seriously (final word) in isolation of models and forecaster interpretation of all relevant input - even at short ranges.

There is an Ensemble MOS, but I'll have to address that some other time: remind me.

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | January 15, 2011 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Ok the NWS now lists the high temp for Tuesday at 38. About 48 hours ago it was listed at 45. Is there any chance that this storm Mon-Tue ends up being all or mostly sleet/snow? It just seems like everything is pointing towards this thinking.

Posted by: deeeeeep18 | January 15, 2011 9:00 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for that advice! I had a feeling that website was too good to be true. But who needs computer models when you have the CWG??!! :)

By the way, I would once again like to express my sincerest gratitude to the entire CWG for making this site possible. I have never, ever, ever, ever seen such a wonderful weather website!

You guys are the the post office; neither rain nor sleet nor snow nor heat, night and day, you're here for us and thank you for that! I also love that you answer readers' questions in the comment section; that is a great feature!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 15, 2011 9:07 PM | Report abuse


So, what's the most likely timeframe this wintry mix will start then hopefully change over to all rain... I was planning to go out Monday Night for this event thing, but I'm thinking will this impact me going back home later that night? Well I know you say further North and west, tis dinner thing is up in Gaithersburg and I lived in Bethesda, will any of those cities be impact with this WINTRY MIX Monday Night as well as Tuesday Morning??

Posted by: Michael_Nguyen | January 15, 2011 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh no! Oh no!!!!! I just found another STINK BUG in the living room!! Someone, please, tell me it isn't so! Those little pests are back! Thats the second one I've found in one day! I'm ready to get on the phone with my exterminator and tell him to get himself over here and get rid of those things once and for all! Although, he'll probably tell me that's not possible... Sigh...

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 15, 2011 9:24 PM | Report abuse

@ BobMiller2 ---> STINK BUG??? DOes that mean a sign of something??... LOL

Posted by: Michael_Nguyen | January 15, 2011 9:27 PM | Report abuse

CWG: I'd like you to try and answer a question I've been trying to figure out for quite some time now:

How is it possible that Manassas is 33° while the rest of the area is a good 10 - 15° warmer? I've been told before that it may be attributed to clear skies there, but this happens every night. They are always at least 5° colder than the rest of the area. Is there a problem with the thermometer down there or are they in some sort of valley that keeps them cooler?

I ask this because I'm in sterling where it's 41° and I find it hard to believe that it could be 10° colder just a few miles south of here.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 15, 2011 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Even though it didn't snow 2day, it was a great day, Steelers beat the hateful Ravens & the Hokies beat Wake in BB.
Temp aloft, at this time, still look 2 warm 2 support an all snow event.

Posted by: VaTechBob | January 15, 2011 10:15 PM | Report abuse

i know accuwx isnt popular around here but the video section for the DC area forecast is still calling for 1-2 inches of snow monday night before its changeover to rain sometime tuesday.

Whats the deal here, im hearing it could be sleet/ice/snow/rain but all im hearing and seeing elsewhere is snow monday and monday night then rain sometime tuesday.

Does CWG really think we could get 1 inch or more of SNOW like accuwx's video forecast says?

Posted by: KRUZ | January 15, 2011 10:23 PM | Report abuse

NWS says mixed precip end of the week. How can that be when it will be quite cold??? Is it valid to assume temp aloft will be too warm to produce snow?
I must say it is warm tonight!!!

Posted by: moo1 | January 15, 2011 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Commenters tonight sure are an excitable lot judging by all the exclamation points being used.

I am concerned about the amount of icing early Tuesday morning, it seems counterintuitive looking at the models (as of this point, of course we all know how quickly they can change) to think it wouldn't be an issue.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | January 15, 2011 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I don't buy the idea of any ice til I see the dreaded fang cloud graphic.

Posted by: chrissie413 | January 15, 2011 10:49 PM | Report abuse

"Personally, I don't buy the idea of any ice til I see the dreaded fang cloud graphic."

That's true. Right now it shows were only getting macaroni....

Posted by: Snowlover2 | January 15, 2011 11:02 PM | Report abuse

temperatures have cooled a bit, but the cold front has yet to move through...still a couple hundred miles away. Has anyone seen a sprinkle or flurry? We had some moisture move through earlier, but nothing may have reached the surface.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 15, 2011 11:20 PM | Report abuse

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