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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 01/19/2011

Forecast: Next chance of snow? Thurs. night

By Dan Stillman

Icy spots early this morning, especially in suburbs

updated at 10:20 a.m.

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


Clouds slow to clear. But less ice & warmer temps are a vast improvement over yesterday.
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter


Today: Early a.m. fog & slick spots, then partly sunny. Mid-40s. | Tonight: Partly cloudy. Mid-20s to low 30s. | Tomorrow: Partly to mostly cloudy. Mid-to-upper 30s. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


It's an active pattern, and any time you combine that with cold temperatures you have a recipe for repeated wintry weather opportunities. Our next one comes Thursday night into early Friday - though first we have to deal with lingering slippery spots this morning - when there's a good chance of at least a little accumulating snow. It's another storm that doesn't have a lot of big-storm potential, but could be enough to bring a fresh blanket of white to be followed by a really cold weekend.

Snow Potential Index: 6 (↑) - Thurs. night/early Fri follows the theme of this winter with a decent chance of a little snow but probably not a big storm. Could be another wintry threat early next week.

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 (Wednesday): With early-morning lows near or a little below freezing, take it slow on any side roads and sidewalks where iciness remains, either left over from yesterday morning or as a result of rain showers that came through overnight. Early-morning clouds, fog and mist give way to partly sunny skies with highs in the mid-40s. Afternoon breezes pick up a bit from the west/northwest, increasing to around 10-15 mph. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Evening skies are mostly clear but clouds increase overnight or toward morning. We'll keep just enough of a breeze (around 10 mph) to prevent temperatures from dropping terribly far - lows in the mid-20s (suburbs) to low 30s (downtown). Confidence: Medium-High

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend...

Tuesday morning ice. By CWG photographer Ian Livingston.

Tomorrow (Thursday): High pressure should hang in long enough to give us a quiet weather day from start to finish, with highs in the mid-to-upper 30s. Partly to mostly cloudy skies are a sign of the next wintry threat looming just around the corner. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: Our next storm brings a good chance of snow, maybe starting as a wintry mix, tomorrow night into early Friday morning as lows dip to the upper 20s to near 30. I wouldn't take any accumulation forecast to the bank at this point. But a half-inch to 3" seems like a reasonable window to start from, with not a lot of potential to go much higher than that. Stay tuned to see if we can narrow that down, or if we need to adjust it higher (not likely) or lower. Confidence: Low-Medium


Snow probably ends fairly early Friday morning, with decent odds we wake up to at least a little accumulation on the ground. Again, the early read is a half-inch to 3", with chances fairly low for anything substantially higher. But that's just a rough estimate at this point and we'll be updating as we get closer. Clearing skies and increasing winds follow the snow with highs only in the low-to-mid 30s. Confidence: Low-Medium

We get a welcome break from the active weather this weekend, but not from the cold. We're partly sunny and quite chilly with highs only near 30 to the low 30s Saturday and mid-30s Sunday. Morning lows sink to the teens (suburbs) to the low 20s (downtown). Confidence: Medium-High

By Dan Stillman  | January 19, 2011; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: PM Update: Some rain tonight, mix northwest
Next: Why not to drive downhill on ice


Love the snow!!! Hate it when it hits right at morning traffic time. Hopefully the chance of snow will be pretty high thursday night and the will make the call before the morning. My wife is a teacher and says its a drag to have to get to school, THEN turn around and come home right after she gets there.

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 19, 2011 6:19 AM | Report abuse

Love the "6" for today's weather! Gonna try to get outside and enjoy the sunshine and "normal" or slightly above normal temps!

Posted by: ThinkSpring | January 19, 2011 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Looks like a more typical winter, with maybe, if we're lucky, one storm giving us half a foot. But several giving us icing. This /is/, after all, the South.

OTOH, late February, Washington's Birthday-ish, is a not unreasonable time for us to get a couple of feet...

Posted by: wiredog | January 19, 2011 7:29 AM | Report abuse

love the "6↑" for today's SPI! like that trend. gotta get the number higher, and add some "+" signs to reach or "normal" annual snowfall total of 16".

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 19, 2011 7:45 AM | Report abuse

here we go again, every weather outlet is predicting something different. abc 7 calling for a light mixed event thurs/fri. wusa 9 calling for a possible coastal event, nbc 4 calling for snow, twc calling for snow showers and fox 5 this morning calling for mix.

i reiterate from alot of my previous posts on here..... BRING ON THE SSSSpring!

looking forward to cwg prediction and zone map if neccesary.

Posted by: KRUZ | January 19, 2011 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Ugh, this is seriously getting depressing. Is this pattern ever going to change!? Would it be so much to ask to have sunshine and mid-40's for awhile?

Posted by: rumbly45 | January 19, 2011 8:04 AM | Report abuse


You asked on another thread:

"Is it too soon to start talking about the monster the GFS has for us on 2/2? ;)"

Tony Kornheiser (sp?) formerly a WP sports writer, has a podcast at 10:00 a .m. Mon-Fri. Keven Sheehan, a sportscaster on ESPN 980, and a weather buff, does a weather segment. He loves looking far out at the GFS and has mentioned that Feb storm would be a whopper if it materializes. I might also add that during last year's snow events, he had the blizzards coming out when everyone else was just saying "possible wintry weather". I actually think it's "luck-casting" since he is not a met, but it's intriguing nonetheless. The podcast can be downloaded from espn 980, or from ESPN podcast center. Download yesterday's podcast; Tony K is hilarious talking about the ice storm yesterday.

Posted by: luvhh1 | January 19, 2011 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Dan - You could really make me a hero in the eyes of my kids if you tell me that we could at least have one chance of sledable snow this winter. They are begging me and my 5 year-old daughter said, 'can't you ask your weather computer?' So here I am.

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

Its very easy to find a link to the GFS and click on 384 hours and see a rainbow of colors over the Mid-Atlantic and say, "looks like a blizzard on 2/2!". Dont't be that guy. Its worse than wearing a t-shirt at a concert of the band you're there to see.

Posted by: DullesARC | January 19, 2011 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I checked the only long-range model I know of that is always accurate 384+ hours out.

It's called... the calendar. 60 days until spring!

Posted by: nocando | January 19, 2011 8:41 AM | Report abuse


My comment was for JBernard, who specifically asked if it could be discussed. I was giving him a source where it IS discussed, and in no way advocating that it be discussed here on cwg, as CWG has expressly stated they did not want to discuss such long range projections.

Posted by: luvhh1 | January 19, 2011 8:44 AM | Report abuse

This morning in summary.
Pros: Not freezing, no wind, no spinning blades of sheet ice coming off cars during commute
Cons: Wet, dense fog, cold, depressing.

I will consider the exciting four letter word in this morning's forecast headline tomorrow & not a momembnt earlier....for today can I has sunshine?

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 19, 2011 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Well I guess another storm approach us, 1-3 Inches sound good to me..... At least they not predicting a high amount then have to change, lower the amount...

I'm wondering what schools will do Friday Morning.... Wait is this a coastal storm or just another so called "CLIPPER STORM"???

Posted by: Michael_Nguyen | January 19, 2011 8:47 AM | Report abuse

rumbly45, you said,
"Ugh, this is seriously getting depressing. Is this pattern ever going to change!?"

agreed! depressing indeed. weeks and weeks w/o snow - in the dead of winter, and with all this cold air around, no less.

we've had nothing but 1/2" here and 1/4" there in over a month - when we had that "big one" that dropped nearly 1.5" on us...! woo hoo! THAT was our biggest snow ALL WINTER. according to the "averages", we should have had 3" in december, and should get 5.5" in jan and 5.1" in feb. turns out snowphobes have had their "no snow" wish answered just about every day this winter. now, it's snowtime.

(btw, note that yesterday's crap was not an answer to snowlovers' wishes. that was just another in a long line of oh-snow-disappointing storms this winter. it was a bad day for snowlovers and snow haters. i suppose the "winners" were teachers, students, brave flexible flyer owners, and possibly snowplow drivers getting paid overtime....)

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 19, 2011 8:57 AM | Report abuse

The big winners in this weather are the carwashes.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 19, 2011 9:00 AM | Report abuse

LOL Walter! See, I'm the snow hater who is depressed by the constant barrage of storm threats. I'd love nothing more than a nice rainstorm to wash all this stuff away... ;)

But again, like it's been said before, if it *has* to snow, may there be a bubble over my little piece of the world and let it fall directly onto your lawn!

Posted by: rumbly45 | January 19, 2011 9:13 AM | Report abuse

thanks for taking that good-naturedly. ;-) i've often wished snow could be distributed more selectively to those who want it, and away from those who don't...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 19, 2011 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Whoa, I wake up to see an unfamiliar round orb in the sky giving off light.... what on earth is that? I don't think I've seen the sun in weeks!

Highs in the mid 40's? It's gonna be a scorcha out there today!

Posted by: CuseFan07 | January 19, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

"Dan - You could really make me a hero in the eyes of my kids if you tell me that we could at least have one chance of sledable snow this winter. They are begging me and my 5 year-old daughter said, 'can't you ask your weather computer?' So here I am."

I have to admit - I am a snow hater and this comment made me smile.

Posted by: SouthsideFFX | January 19, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse


Weather computer (a.k.a., Dan) says, "Yes, of course theres a chance of sledable snow this winter!" It's only mid-January... still 2 months-plus of snow potential to go. That said, the La Nina pattern favors smaller storms rather than larger ones, so we'll just have to see.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | January 19, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

@CuseFan07 -

Right on! Sunlight outside my office window has energized me today. Heading outside at lunch for a much needed stroll.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | January 19, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse


I'm with ya... would love a nice stretch of mid-40s or, dare we say, near 50? Unfortunately, the colder stuff returns tomorrow into early next week. Maybe we warm back into the 40s again toward the middle of next week. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | January 19, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

The Thursday night event does not look very impressive, maybe an inch or two.

The GFS is showing a second event for Monday night and Tuesday. Looks like snow changing to wintry mix, then back to snow before ending, but of course the forecast is subject to change this far ahead of time. Looks like maybe a 2 to 4 inch event.

Posted by: frontieradjust | January 19, 2011 11:42 AM | Report abuse

LOL @CuseFan07's strange orb and DullesARC's T-Shirt comments - great stuff! The only thing that MIGHT be worse than wearing a band's shirt at its concert is to go to a foreign country and eat at McDonald's.

Posted by: kolya02 | January 19, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

@Walter in Falls Church:

Not sure the word "snowphobes" is either accurate or conducive to discourse. If some folks do not like snow, it does not necessarily mean they are afraid of it.

Posted by: weatherdude | January 19, 2011 12:05 PM | Report abuse

According to some website, the opposite of snowphilia might be snowekhthra rather than snowphobia. Not sure if the Greeks had much snow, we might want to ask Eskimos instead.

Posted by: eric654 | January 19, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Tomorrow night's event: Several local mets are saying "snow or mix" while the Weather Channel is insisting on all snow...may have to try & check the MOS predictions to settle this disagreement.

Since the forecast is for "snow showers" I'm expecting a small accumulation, but not a lot.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | January 19, 2011 12:33 PM | Report abuse

accuwx has up a new snow map

looks like we are barely on the edge of the C-3, we just make it in would that put us more in the coating-inch range of this map with the higher end of 3 inches up towards the PA border?

Posted by: KRUZ | January 19, 2011 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I see nothing wrong or innacurate about snowphobe -- russophobe and russophile are commonly accepted terms that represent dislike or like of Russian culture, respectively.

Walter-in-Falls-Church's term "snowphobe" may now officially be added to CWG's lexicon...all I ask is that my earlier-conned "individucast" be entered into the record as well!

Posted by: kolya02 | January 19, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

@ bobmiller2

Looks like your model from last week might hit.

Posted by: rb227 | January 19, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse


nothing wrong with going to a foreign country and eating at mcdonalds, its prolly the only place you can get free and decent internet service and are allowed to watch TV ;) (inside joke)

Posted by: KRUZ | January 19, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I get tired of hearing NORTH AND EAST OF DC will get more now...seems the same pattern for every storm this year.

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 19, 2011 1:06 PM | Report abuse

1pm temps are in. Both IAD and DCA have cracked the 50 degree mark. Woo-hoo! Great day outside!

Posted by: ThinkSpring | January 19, 2011 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Forecast called for temps in the mid 40's. It's 52 degrees out. Now this is the kind of wrong forecast I support. WOOT! WOOT!

Posted by: rwalker66 | January 19, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

i appreciate the weighing in on this important issue:

fair enough. i used "phobe" to be in contast to "phile". (and in fairness to me, many of the snow haters sure do seem to be afraid of it....but i digress...)

but really, eric is right that the sentiment i was going after was "snow hater". can anybody who studied latin or perhaps greek give us a better expression to stand in contrast to "snowlovers" (snowcontemnos? snowodis? snowhostis?) maybe eric's "snowekhthras" (thanks eric) is the proper term.

maybe the right term is just snow hater - but i remember being admonished last year for calling someone that, so after that i used the cumbersome "snow-i've-had-enough-of-iter"....

speaking of words i'd like to add to CWG

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 19, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

dang.... i hit submit too soon... grrrr...

speaking of words i'd like to add to CWG lexicon is "snowfanity": it refers to sleet, freezing rain, ice pellets, etc... any non-snow frozen precip.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 19, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I love some cold & snow, but I have to admit, today felt pretty nice! Car thermometer showed 56 degrees at noon driving through Falls Church.

Posted by: petworthlad | January 19, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

@kolya02, don't say that till you've eaten at a Japanese McDonalds! I wish they'd consider marketing the McTeriyaki burger over here, it is seriously yummy. And that white grape soda too. =)

But anyway, looks like more itty-bitty snow events ahead, which is fine by me. X'ing my fingers for no blizzard bearing down on my birthday (2/1)...

Posted by: angelicat | January 19, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

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