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Posted at 3:35 PM ET, 01/12/2011

PM Update: Cold and windy through Thursday

By Ian Livingston

It's been a fairly pretty day out there with the new snow around, though here in the city it's already melting off nicely even with temperatures not far above freezing. Highs reached the low-and-mid 30s across the area, but a stiff wind from the northwest gusting past 30 mph has sent wind chills into the 20s. Wind and continued cold temperatures are the main story the next 24 hours. A few spots may see a flurry through the rest of the afternoon into early evening.

Temperatures: Latest D.C. area temperature map powered by iMapWeather (base map by Google). Click and hold on map to pan. Double-click to zoom. Refresh page to update. See larger map on our Weather Wall.

Through Tonight: Watch out for a conversational flurry especially north and west of D.C. through early evening. Otherwise, it's partly cloudy, breezy and quite cold overnight. Lows dip to the upper teens in the suburbs to the lower 20s downtown.

Tomorrow (Thursday): I guess we're used to the cold at this point, but tomorrow's looking pretty bitter. Winds are gusty from the northwest again, perhaps slightly lighter than today, though still sustained around 15 mph with gusts near 30 mph at times. Highs reach near 30 to maybe as high as the mid-30s downtown -- I wouldn't be surprised if most spots struggled to hit freezing.

See Dan Stillman's forecast through the weekend. And if you haven't already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

NOAA & NASA - 2010 ties warmest on record globally: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced that 2010 finished tied with 2005 as the warmest year on record worldwide. In addition the global record, 2010 was the 34th year in a row with temperatures above the 20th century average. In the U.S., it was the 23rd warmest year on record. See more on 2010 climate numbers from NOAA. NASA also announced 2010 tied 2005 as the warmest on record in its temperature analysis.

By Ian Livingston  | January 12, 2011; 3:35 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: More than 70 percent of U.S. covered in snow

Comments

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 12, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

BobMiller2, that's all rain here on the GFS. See as the low passes by.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 12, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

bobmiller,
you say chuck bell "predicted" it. was that yesterday, while it was falling? or in the days leading up to the... uh... "storm".

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 12, 2011 9:54 AM |
-------------------------------------------------------------
Hi Walter,
Sorry for the delayed response; I was all caught up at work today.

Anyway, on Sunday evening, I remember Chuck Bell saying the storm will start off as sleet and/or freezing rain and transition to snow.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 12, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

i don't know bob, as far as i can tell, the bulk of that 60hr cumulative at 180hrs out precip you reference happens between 144 and 150 hrs out, when temps are above freezing.

144:
http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/namer/gfs/12/images/gfs_pcp_144l.gif

150:
http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/namer/gfs/12/images/gfs_pcp_150l.gif

looks like the models show rain, then becoming cold after that. harumph!

here's the awful loop showing the storm passing by and pushing cold temps out of the way. look like it's supposed to be cold before and after the precip...and warm during the precip....

http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/namer/gfs/12/index_pcp_l_loop.shtml

see the blue line move out of the way for the storm...?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 12, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

The GFS shows a rain event on 1/20 but the ECMWF shows a snow event on 1/19, does it not?

Posted by: Ayrwulf | January 12, 2011 4:00 PM | Report abuse

All those TV weather heads who hyped up this storm over the weekend should be paddled. Nothing you can say will convince me that they don't do this specifically to pump up ratings for the next few days while they back off on their initial accumulation projections.

But since Chuck DID specifically call for widespread freezing precip he gets a pass on this one.

What about that Joe B fellow who predicts a blizzard every week? Bring him out for some verbal abuse: I think I speak for a lot of snowlovers when I say that that crying "Big snowstorm coming in!" too many times will make you some enemies.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 12, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse

hi ian... i didn't see your response to bob when i posted mine.

bob,
so chuck bell said that sunday evening? well good for him. i think wes said today that he said something like that around sunday too, but then conditions changed and he didn't focus on it after sunday... anyway, it was sure unexpected to me. i imagine it held accumulations down a bit...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 12, 2011 4:04 PM | Report abuse

@Walter, Ayrwulf, and Ian:

Oh, now I see. I wasn't paying attention to the precip type.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 12, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Ayrwulf, the Euro looks like it would be mainly snow in the northwest suburbs though probably mainly rain east of there. It's too far out to think much about. The setup does not look that good though.. I'd favor the warm scenario for now.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 12, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

re: the sleet and freezing rain--

It was a tiny fraction of the overall precip. It was really light. It robbed 0.25" of snow at most in my opinion.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 12, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

@BobMiller2 et al.: You obsessive model-watchers really crack me up. A model of a storm on 1/20? Seriously? Over 7 days out? The models are having trouble with storms only 12-24 hours out this winter, to say nothing of the forecasters.

Welcome to fantasyland, 168-264 hours from now, all your snowloving dreams have a 0.005% chance of coming true!

Bring on the rain, and SPRING. ;) Pitchers and catchers report in 31 days.

Posted by: nocando | January 12, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the interpretation, Ian. I agree that the GFS scenario seems more likely.

Posted by: Ayrwulf | January 12, 2011 4:17 PM | Report abuse

@FIREDRAGON47

Yes, Joe Bastardi does predict a blizzard every week. I think he and all of his accuweather friends should be fired. Accuweather is the absolute last place I would ever go for weather info. I think I'm going to write a letter to the president of AccuWeather and let him know about the large number of people who are against his website. It makes me ill to see the way the exaggerate each and every little storm. Heck, they had us in the SUBSTANTIAL SNOWFALL range until yesterday! I have just about had it with them!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 12, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Ayrwulf, the Euro looks like it would be mainly snow in the northwest suburbs though probably mainly rain east of there. It's too far out to think much about. The setup does not look that good though.. I'd favor the warm scenario for now.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 12, 2011 4:07 PM |
-----------------------------------------------------------
Snow for the N and NW suburbs?! That's where I am, NE Loudoun! There's still hope!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 12, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

@BobMiller2 et al.: You obsessive model-watchers really crack me up. A model of a storm on 1/20? Seriously? Over 7 days out? The models are having trouble with storms only 12-24 hours out this winter, to say nothing of the forecasters.

Welcome to fantasyland, 168-264 hours from now, all your snowloving dreams have a 0.005% chance of coming true!

Bring on the rain, and SPRING. ;) Pitchers and catchers report in 31 days.

Posted by: nocando | January 12, 2011 4:15 PM |
-----------------------------------------------------------
If I want to pay attention to a model, I will. If you're so enamored with Spring weather, then move to Florida!

Sorry if this seems a little harsh; I'm not trying to bother you. But why is it that every time I (or anyone else for that matter) post something about a model, someone always has to come in and attack and tell us not to.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 12, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Joe B. now calling for a significant warm up...

Posted by: weatherdude | January 12, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

@BobMiller2,

You can pay attention to all the models you want...but you take them too seriously that far out, and quite frankly, it gets a little boring after awhile...

Posted by: weatherdude | January 12, 2011 4:35 PM | Report abuse

For those of us who like to comment on this website (like me), you will enjoy this also. It is a list of the best comments posted on this website during snowmageddon.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitalweathergang/2010/02/dc_reacts_to_snowmageddon_best.html

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 12, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

1inane adj \i-ˈnān\
inan·erinan·est
Definition of INANE

1
: empty, insubstantial
2
: lacking significance, meaning, or point : silly
— inane·ly adverb
— inane·ness noun

Posted by: kolya02 | January 12, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

weatherdude, the blocking pattern has backed off a bit and seems to want to stay that way for the short term.. forecasts are for a positive NAO for the next week at least. As long as that's the case it will probably be harder to get a snowstorm here and we may see a warm up eventually if the blocking does not come back big time as Nina tends to favor some warmth in Jan/Feb.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 12, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

i concur @nocando bring on spring and rain warmth! im gonna start spraying aerosol cans into the air and use all the electricty in my home to help the warm up along ;) bring on the warming!

Posted by: KRUZ | January 12, 2011 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Ian,

Is there a reason the blocking pattern has held for (seemingly) a long time so far this winter?

Posted by: weatherdude | January 12, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

@nocando

Actually, I am both a weather model watcher and a baseball statistics watcher, and I think they both are interesting and intrinsically beautiful pastimes. I am lucky that the month of March brings me a seamless transition from one pastime to the other; from snow to throw, so to speak.

Posted by: Ayrwulf | January 12, 2011 4:53 PM | Report abuse

weatherdude, I'm not completely sure on the why, but it has been pretty persistent over the course of the last year+ which might be a good reason to think it’s not going to go away fully even if a typical La Nina would argue for that.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 12, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

First major snow won't be till feb 8th, 5-10 inches
untill then it will be cold->warmer/rainy->colder, then a dusting then a little below average temp before the noreaster or whatever.

Posted by: redskins-95 | January 12, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

@bobmiller2


I love the optimistic in you keep it up.!! Including those dreaming 10 day models you post, cuz dreams do come true! :)

Posted by: bobdello01 | January 12, 2011 5:03 PM | Report abuse

@Ayrwulf

Very well-written, interesting & entertaining comment. I'm going to include this as one of the featured comments at http://www.washingtonpost.com/weather - will be updating in next hour. Nice work!

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 12, 2011 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Let's all hope and pray that the GFS for 1/20 will be all snow! I know it's not likely, BUT, it could happen!

http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/namer/gfs/12/images/gfs_p60_180m.gif

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 12, 2011 5:28 PM | Report abuse

According to the thermometer on my deck, it's 29.7°F and VERY windy.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 12, 2011 5:32 PM | Report abuse

@Jason

Thanks for the compliment! Now that I know there is a reward for being clever, I'll try to do it more often.

Posted by: Ayrwulf | January 12, 2011 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Per Ian's PM update if I do see a passing snow flurry I'll run outside & try to chat it up a bit.
Maybe it will be able to explain why my neighborhood isn't the cool place to hang out anymore.
Slippery spots aplenty out there tonight....be careful.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 12, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Hi BobMiller2 - thanks for being such a frequent commenter. It isn't windy here in downtown DC; but I'm curious where you are located? Sounds very chilly, so I hope you are bundled up and/or staying indoors

FIREDRAGON47 - yes still slippery, especially on those colder (less heat retention) surfaces like slate, marble, brick. Oh, and I had a flurry in Metro Center last hour. ;)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 12, 2011 6:09 PM | Report abuse

@BobMiller2 The GFS shows rain for next Monday/Tuesday, but the DGEX and ECMWF show snow. Like Meatloaf says...two out of three aint bad. Bastardi is calling for a warmup this weekend and the first half of next week. I'm a fan of his, but he has not been forecasting the mid-atlantic as well as the Philly/NYC/Boston area this winter. We'll see what happens, as the cold seems determined to come back strong every time it starts to disappear. Extended forecasts have several chances for mixed precip between now and the end of the month...which shows it will be a battle. Eldersburg, MD is usually north/west of that battle line, so I'm all for it.

Posted by: DLO1975 | January 12, 2011 7:09 PM | Report abuse

BobMiller2 - ok I now have experienced a couple sudden wind gusts to 20mph, in an otherwise quiet environment here downtown! Brrrrrr

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 12, 2011 7:11 PM | Report abuse

I know its far out, but if the lows monday and tuesday are below freezing, would that mean freezing rain=icy

Posted by: redskins-95 | January 12, 2011 7:28 PM | Report abuse

@Camden-CapitalWeatherGang

I'm in Sterling.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 12, 2011 7:52 PM | Report abuse

I hate this winter. No snow in Manassas and the same story as always...dry slot, all the potential storms turn into busts the day of. I hate no snow.

Posted by: manassasmissy | January 12, 2011 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Little late posting, but on the wind: it was fairly tame in DC today - not what I was expecting. Then BOOM - I hit Vienna Metro a little after 5:30 and felt like I'd walked into an alternate weather universe. The gusts out in Fairfax were unreal. I made a few stops down Route 50 at Fair Oaks and Greenbriar (and pumped gas, the real test of high winds!), and got home to Centreville around 7:30. All in all, the 'burbs were far more windy than anything I experienced at work downtown. Downright frigid gusts and I could feel the wind driving on 66 - a notorious wind/tug at your steering wheel tunnel on an average day, let alone a really windy one, and then against my bedroom windows when I got home. Running those few errands required putting it in "mental neutral" otherwise I'd have gone straight home.

Posted by: bobosnow | January 12, 2011 10:18 PM | Report abuse

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