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Posted at 9:30 PM ET, 01/ 9/2011

Live blogging the models for Tues. snow event

By Jason Samenow

Every 30 minutes or so, I'll post short updates with respect to the models coming in this evening and what they suggest about Tuesday's snow potential....

11:15 p.m.: As it's going to be a busy next couple of days, I'm going to end this little live blogging session with this entry. The GFS and NAM models, which suggest a light (GFS) to moderate (NAM) snow event, support our assessment from earlier today for about 1-4" - with the best chance of accumulating snow late Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday evening and the heaviest amounts northeast of D.C. We'll have a lot of coverage stay tuned!

11:10 p.m. GFS liquid equivalent precip amounts (remember 1 inch of liquid is about 10 inches of snow): 0.17" for Reagan National, 0.15" for Dulles, and 0.21" for BWI. The GFS simulates nowhere near the storm for Philly to Boston that the NAM does. This is a tough forecast for the entire I-95 corridor...

10:55 p.m.: The GFS is pretty slow (a bit slower compared to earlier runs) in getting the coastal low going and slightly further east. Dry air holds back much precipitation until mid-to-late Tuesday afternoon. By Tuesday evening, the coastal low finally begins to blossom and throws back a modest amount of snow but cuts it off by midnight or so. This is not an impressive run for snow and would suggest just 1 or 2 inches.

10:25 p.m.: While we await the GFS (coming out between 10:30 and 11 p.m.), interesting to see the storm's impact in the South. There has been crippling snow and ice in Alabama and Mississippi, up to 8" of snow in parts of Arkansas, and Atlanta is now getting heavy snow (reportedly, 2" in Centennial Park). Delta Airlines is expecting 1,400 flight cancellations due to the storm in the South Monday.

10:00 p.m.: The NAM model absolutely crushes Philly to Boston Tuesday night into Wed morning. The rich get richer. (10:10 p.m.: Actually, taken literally, the NAM might change Boston over to rain due to the proximity of the low to the coast and resultant wind from the east off the ocean)

Keep reading for earlier updates...

9:50 p.m.: AccuWeather's Joe Bastardi forecast (via Twitter) "NE snow forecast(mine)DC,bwi 3-6 phl 6-12 NYC near12 local 18 pvd, bos 12-18 local 24. US model underdone ( again) hi ratio helps". I'm not sure what his basis is for stating the U.S. models are underdone "again". I don't think they've been underdone myself - at least for our area this year.

9:40 p.m.: The NAM melted liquid equivalent simulated precipitation for this event is: 0.40" at Reagan National; 0.32" at Dulles & 0.46" at BWI. Assuming 10 inches of snow to 1 inch of rain (this assumption is just approximate), the NAM would suggest 3 or 4 inches of snow, with a little more toward Baltimore. Note: the NAM has a wet bias and has been known to overdo precipitation.

9:30 p.m.: The latest NAM model is out and intensifies the coastal low more quickly compared to earlier runs. This increases the amount of snow it simulates to 2-4" or so (I'll post the exact amounts in a bit) for the metro region compared to 1-3" in the run from this afternoon. Note: this model doesn't really get the snow going until Tuesday afternoon, with most of the accumulating snow falling between 7 p.m. and midnight (Wed.).

By Jason Samenow  | January 9, 2011; 9:30 PM ET
Categories:  Updates  
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Next: Forecast: Cold week with snow Tuesday


Yaaayyyyyy maybe snow.....

Posted by: SkinsForever22044 | January 9, 2011 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Dont get too excited over this model run, this exact thing happened this close to the dec 26 storm and we all saw what happened. Dont get excited until tuesday afternoon people, just a heads up.

Posted by: KRUZ | January 9, 2011 9:37 PM | Report abuse

any chance we get more than 6 inches??

Posted by: SkinsForever22044 | January 9, 2011 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Interesting, We will see.. I agree with you (KRUZ), I see the NWS has bumped there snow chance to 100% on Tuesday and 90% on Tuesday Night..... But not too excited until I see it happened myself, but off course this will raise everyone eyebrow up... let's see what other runs says....

Posted by: MNguyen6551 | January 9, 2011 9:42 PM | Report abuse

The NWS forecast gives us a 100% chance of snow. In my experience; this is the absolute kiss of death for the storm.

Posted by: ArlTeacherSnowman | January 9, 2011 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Um, I have absolutely no problem with the storm starting up after most people get home (hopefully...)

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

Dec. 26th was a bitter pill to swallow. I learned (or relearned) my lesson and with a forecast as tricky as this, I'm waiting to nowcast.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | January 9, 2011 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Oh boy, oh boy, I can't take this much excitement! Hopefully this trend continues and we get at least six inches! But KRUZ is right; I shouldn't get over excited just because of one model run.

I'm trying to decide if I should stay up to watch one of the 11pm newscasts to see what Steve Rudin or Chuck Bell says about the storm, or if I should just go to bed early and hope for a surprise in the morning...hmmm...

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

This live blog post says "NAM suggesting snow mainly falling Tuesday late afternoon and overnight." Based on national radar returns right now, it looks like the precip shield over AL, MS, and GA is moving towards us at a good pace.

Why would it take more than 36 hours to get here? Is it going to slow down or dissipate? Looks like based on the radar trends that it will be here within 24 hours.

Am I alone in thinking this???

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

While I do love a good blizzard, I also understand that they can be incredibly dangerous, so please, if you don't have to be on the roads during a winter weather event, it's best to just stay home and keep the roads clear for the folks who might really need to get somewhere.

So, 4 inches from the NAM, still not what I was hoping for, but I'll take it. Like I said, maybe a surprise will await us in the morning.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 9:51 PM | Report abuse

I think we will get 4-8 inches of snow. I'm looking at this storm right now and it's looking a lot bigger then the one on X-Mas. I don't think it's going to be dry-slotting the area and I think the storm will phase earlier then predicted. Let's see what happens!

Posted by: lll1424 | January 9, 2011 9:52 PM | Report abuse


I was wondering the exact same thing...

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 9:53 PM | Report abuse


Would you still say that the probability of getting 4"+ is around 20%?

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

So if Atlanta is getting hammered right now; isn't that the big airport hub of the country?
For those people watching this storm because of imminent travel plans this storm might already be a disaster.
I'm of the "look out the window" mindset at this point. Would prefer not to have to sleep at the office Tues. night due to a freak ice storm, otherwise bring it on.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 9, 2011 10:00 PM | Report abuse


I'll need to analyze/digest more model data before changing anything about our forecast.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 9, 2011 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Im keeping the weather channel on the spare tv on all night. They seem to be consistant that the storms getting stronger and Dc and the surrounding area may get up to 6 inches or so. NO WAY am i going to watch the local weather at 11. Im 99% sure THEIR forecast will get me down in the fact Im tuning them out the rest of the way in. CWG and TWC are the only reports Im looking at. I know thats childish but its fun to blow off the local news

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 9, 2011 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Jason/Brian - besides the NAM showing more precipitation for the DC area, do you see any dynamics of the storm system changing....either the phasing occurring earlier or the upper level low tracking farther south?

Posted by: snowfan23 | January 9, 2011 10:05 PM | Report abuse

I RESPECT you CWG guys i wont say anything negative BUT.....yeah this storm does look rather impressive on radar, at least more impressive than the models had shown for the south....I'm drinking my wine and getting excited....for what? I HAVE NO IDEA hahahaha....a TRACE? I have my measuring stick ready

Posted by: Crazy4weather33 | January 9, 2011 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Plus Im gonna try and tune out WTOP 107.7 tommorow as well. THEY CHANGE there forecast every few hours..its hilarious .

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 9, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

crazy4weather: i agree. the models just look so impressive.....i see something nice for this area.

Posted by: lll1424 | January 9, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

@FIREDRAGON47 - I have a friend here visiting from Atlanta, who was scheduled to fly home @ 5 PM this evening. She found out early this AM that her flight had already been cancelled and rescheduled for Tuesday.
If we get snow on Tuesday and she can't fly out because of snow on our side, it will really be a hardship for her and her business.
Having said that, I am a snow lover and I hope this trend pans out...but late in the day.
Thanks, Jason for staying with us on a Sunday night. LOVE CWG!

Posted by: kathyb39 | January 9, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Snowlover2 has this one pegged, folks - don't take too much too seriously until this time tomorrow night, and you won't be disappointed when we A) get less than 1" if you're a powderhound, or B) get greater than 6" if you're a fair weather friend...just sayin.

Posted by: VAStateOfMind | January 9, 2011 10:09 PM | Report abuse

@HurricaneSpud @BobMiller2

What you'll see is that the northward progression of the precip currently over AL/MS/GA is going to mostly come to a stop as it runs into high pressure over the Midwest and mid-Atlantic. Instead, it will likely move due east with the low-pressure center along the Gulf Coast and then come northward, taking its sweet time doing so. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | January 9, 2011 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Just wondering. Back down IN SC a big storm to us is 4-6 inches..that pretty much shuts down everything for a couple of days at least. just wondering this far north what a big storm is by yalls standards? or at least what a decent storm is too yall?

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 9, 2011 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Thx Dan.

It is fun to watch no matter what happens.

Posted by: HurricaneSpud | January 9, 2011 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Just talked to my friend in HOTlanta and he said they are getting pounded at the moment and that people just are BESIDES themselves!!! He said the PUBLIX is out of milk bread water and eggs...hahahahahaha...i love it!!!! we definitely are getting at least 3 inches now!!!

Posted by: Crazy4weather33 | January 9, 2011 10:22 PM | Report abuse

@ CWG... Any word if the NWS will issued any WATCHES just incase?? or you yo think an ADVISORY will be the beast case as of now??

Posted by: Michael_Nguyen | January 9, 2011 10:24 PM | Report abuse

I've decided I'm not going to bother with the local news at 11 tonight. I agree with BradFinWoodbridgeVA, The Weather Channel and CWG have the best coverage. I'll only watch local news weather if I'm sure we'll get a decent snowfall.

I just can't believe this is happening again. The south is getting walloped, the NE will get walloped, but DC is caught in the dry slot as usual... According to the NAM, NYC is in for another 18 inches or so...

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 10:28 PM | Report abuse

I lived in Atlanta for 7 years and i remember we got a little sleet and the city basically was in a panic. If there is 2 inches in downtown Atlanta with no salt trucks it must be chaos.

Posted by: jbernard703 | January 9, 2011 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Come on GFS! Give us at least 6 inches! Please!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 10:34 PM | Report abuse

bobmiller....dry slot? thats not going to happen this time. we have to now look at whats happening in the south and how huge this storm is.....we are lookin good.

Posted by: lll1424 | January 9, 2011 10:35 PM | Report abuse

yes!!! atlanta is a mess right now!!! Memphis is getting hammered too!!! The SOUTH is under siege!!! GFS...PULL IT 2GTHER!!!!

Posted by: Crazy4weather33 | January 9, 2011 10:36 PM | Report abuse

@BobMiller2.. I'm with you!!! Let's just prey or do something let the GFS follow the NAM... But I see this way I kind figured the model will flipped flopped again.....

Posted by: Michael_Nguyen | January 9, 2011 10:37 PM | Report abuse

CWG, I have one question. I'm a school teacher. Have always followed you and I have gotten all my teacher friends to follow you. Are youre predictions for DC too different from what would happen in Damascus or Germantown? Or should we expect a bit of a better chance? I teach in MCPS and I love those snow days! Thank you for your time.

Posted by: RJ16 | January 9, 2011 10:38 PM | Report abuse

I hope you're right, lll1424.

By the way, I wonder what the clowns over at AccuWeather are saying about all this...

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Someone in Atlanta has set up live streaming video of the snow...all I see is swirling white stuff, so at least they will have a very white morning tomorrow. :-)

Now, just waiting to see what happens here on tuesday (and if I have to go into work or will be telecommuting)

Kim in Manassas

Posted by: ksrgatorfn1 | January 9, 2011 10:39 PM | Report abuse

I hear ya jbernard703. In upstate Sc people go INSANE with an inch or more. im sure i would have stayed that way if i had not traveled due to the service. Im not sure but i think my county back home has only like 8 plows and salt spreaders for the whole dang county. it just doesnt happen enough for the highway departmant to invest the money.

Plus, if you think about it. it really does take a good amount of snow to actually STRAND folks IMHO. I will never understand the grocery store deal. ICE storms are far more dangerous than blizzards IMHO. Power heat..very slick roads.. alot worse than shoveling snow from around your car or truck as far as im concerned.

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 9, 2011 10:40 PM | Report abuse

When you say the NAM model "absolutely crushes Philly to Boston", could you please be more specific on Philly, where my 91-year-old mother lives? The Inquirer doesn't have anything like this blog and I need more info before deciding whether to drive up there on Monday morning or wait. Thanks.

Posted by: Rhea1 | January 9, 2011 10:41 PM | Report abuse

It's funny AccuWeather hasn't update none of there status it seems like, not status there website..... I'm wondering if Chuck Bell from NBC4 will changed or re-think his thinking with his snow map, earlier he is saying 1-2 Inches of Snow/Sleet/Rain, well let's everything..... GFS PLEASE MAKE SOME CHANGES, I mean the NAM did, wondering what the EURO will do, and let's not forget the Canadian Model...

Posted by: Michael_Nguyen | January 9, 2011 10:42 PM | Report abuse


Our forecasts are not for DC alone, but for the entire metro region. But compared to DC proper, I don't think you guys do much better or worse from this event. You're a little further north which could help (because the storm gets going the more it gains latitude), but a little further west (away from the storm center) which could hurt.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 9, 2011 10:42 PM | Report abuse


I would wait until the GFS comes out before making a final decision.

Good luck and stay safe!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 10:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm DEFINITELY not staying up for the Euro. In fact, I'm going to bed right now!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 10:49 PM | Report abuse

As for driving to Philly on Monday or waiting, I mean "wait for several days", so no need to tell me not to wait until Tuesday, thanks.

Posted by: Rhea1 | January 9, 2011 10:49 PM | Report abuse

And not to get off subject but it makes you wonder how they predicted weather back in the 70s and 80s when I was a kid without all the MODELS and Doppler and stuff? I remember the storm of 1988 as it was yesterday.I was in the 11th grade. Went to bed at 11pm and ole Jack Roper on channel 7 said light to no snow when we woke up. I arose at 6am to find 5 inches on the ground and another 8 fell before it was all over. The area was hurtin man, no school for a week that time lol. They messed up and it was AWESOME!!!!!

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 9, 2011 10:50 PM | Report abuse

I love these frequent updates... of course it makes it awfully hard to go to bed ;)

Thanks, CWG for all you do- you work tirelessly and give such excellent, interesting coverage!

Posted by: Snowlover2 | January 9, 2011 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Ch 5 is really hedging.

Will look forward to the runs tomorrow.

Kim in Manassas

PS; it's reallllly cold outside!

Posted by: ksrgatorfn1 | January 9, 2011 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Grr...... The suspense is KILLING me... I soooo want to seewhat is going to happen... But I soooo need to go the bed the make it school tomorrow.. CMON GFS!!!

Posted by: SnowDreamer | January 9, 2011 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Do you guys think the White House has some sort of Machine that keeps all bad weather away? Some sort of conspiracy? lol.

Posted by: RJ16 | January 9, 2011 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Rhea1 -
Not to advertise e competition, but you can check for their discussion. Personally I think CWG goes much more in-depth, plus I get a lot of info from the discussions here, which is why I continue to check in even though we moved last summer.

That said, CWG I'm sure you have a lot more fans up here in the Philly - NYC corridor....any chance we could get you much-valued perspective on the effects on this area Tues into Wed?

Posted by: DaveB2 | January 9, 2011 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Well im hitten the sack too folks. The 10 year old kid in me doesnt want to check in on the site in the morning for fear of what happened on the 26th of DEC. lol. However Im going to bed with much better hope for snow than i would have earlier today. TWC really got my hopes up when they boosted up the storm tonight. hope they dont let us down. nite.

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 9, 2011 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Ouch I guess the GFS isn't doing us a favor! :(

Posted by: Michael_Nguyen | January 9, 2011 11:01 PM | Report abuse

GFS is too far EAST again. Tomorrow is another day...for all the models.

Posted by: DLO1975 | January 9, 2011 11:04 PM | Report abuse

GFS sucks...I'm throwing in the towel.

Posted by: rocotten | January 9, 2011 11:04 PM | Report abuse

So if the last one was No-mageddon, does that make this one "No-pocalypse" ???

Posted by: vtavgjoe | January 9, 2011 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Sweet snowdrift dreams to all fellow flakes.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 9, 2011 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Okay i have been sucked in again and REALLY need to get some sleep..but i do feel like a little kid again waiting for the updates! Thanks CWG...and BradF in Woodbridge, i'm in Woodbridge too. Hopefully we will be happily surprised tomorrow! Goodnight everyone!

Posted by: lisajulia | January 9, 2011 11:11 PM | Report abuse

@DaveB2: thanks for the site-- more informative than the others I could find.

Posted by: Rhea1 | January 9, 2011 11:15 PM | Report abuse

The GFS model shows it loses strength as it goes up the Carolinas and out east. If it catches pace with the rest of the models will the storm still weaken and head east?

Posted by: MVPlaya8120 | January 9, 2011 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Re: Philadelphia--

Most of Philly's snow would fall Tuesday night with the GFS suggesting 3-6" and the NAM 8-10+" or so. Whereas DC's looking at a light to moderate snow, Philly's looking at a moderate to heavy snow.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 9, 2011 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Yikes!! Stick a fork in it . . . it's done, and the DC metro area is cooked. Kudos to Philly and NYC. Unless there's a BIG swing in the models tomorrow, the trend is NOT our friend.

Posted by: johnnierat | January 9, 2011 11:21 PM | Report abuse


I like the site. The guy that runs it does a great job.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 9, 2011 11:25 PM | Report abuse

im really going to sleep to saty up and watch TWC newest update. TWc still has us in the 4-6 range . they have the low com ing up faster and more intense than anyone else including CWG. I respect CWG and TWC. I hope TWC is more right this time. Nite folks!

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 9, 2011 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Blast..i was almost asleep. my wife woke me up saying Steve rudin said we are getting NADA!! and Philly is gettin gonna have dreams of dumping 3 feet of snow in Rudins driveway!!!

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 10, 2011 12:22 AM | Report abuse


Uh, Steve Rudin just tweeted he predicts 1-3". Link.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 10, 2011 12:37 AM | Report abuse

JUST LET ME know....if NYC is getting a blizzard? IM TAKING the train to NEW YORk!!! I wanna film it....i willleave early tuesday and i guess come back thursday or tired of missing the snow!!!

Posted by: Crazy4weather33 | January 10, 2011 1:38 AM | Report abuse

Watches put up from the west side of the Bay eastward.....Why the change in thought compared to last night's dicussion?

Posted by: jcmcgrath1969 | January 10, 2011 4:15 AM | Report abuse

Watches put up from the west side of the Bay eastward.....Why the change in thought compared to last night's dicussion?

Posted by: jcmcgrath1969 | January 10, 2011 4:16 AM | Report abuse

@jcmcgrath1969 ---> I saw that too, interesting that NWS issued a Winter storm Watch for our Eastern Neighbor, I'm wondering if they will expand the WATCH for the DC Area?

Posted by: MNguyen6551 | January 10, 2011 4:50 AM | Report abuse

This is an absolutely hilarious message board. I love it. It's one of the few that doesn't immediately devolve into ridiculous fighting and accusations.

And am I correct that @Crazy4weather33 is actually taking a train from DC to NYC just to see the snow?? Love it. Stay crazy.

Posted by: ddg6g | January 10, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

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