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Posted at 10:45 PM ET, 01/18/2011

PM Update: Some rain tonight, mix northwest

By Jason Samenow

All should be careful on potentially slick roads/sidewalks

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.

Midnight update: The National Weather Service has issued a Freezing Rain Advisory north of D.C. - including Montgomery, Loudoun and Howard counties - until 6 a.m. The combination of light rain now moving through these areas and temperatures near freezing presents the risk of slippery roads.

10:30 p.m. update An area of rain is approaching from the west. As it moves through the region over the next several hours, there may be a few pockets of freezing rain north and west of the beltway but most spots are above freezing. As the rain ends between 2 and 4 a.m., it may briefly mix with snow (mainly N & W). Between the rain, fog in many areas, and lingering slick spots, caution traveling is advised. For the morning commute, many spots may drop to near freezing - so be careful about re-freezing - especially in the normally colder locations.

SchoolCast (Loudoun, Fauquier & Frederick counties):

SchoolCast (everywhere else): (but slight chance of a delay for Fairfax, Prince William, Montgomery and Prince George's county)

8:30 p.m. update: A dense fog advisory has been issued for the northern Va. suburbs (map) through 7 a.m. Visibilities may be reduced to 1/4 mile or less. Be careful - slick roads and low visibility are not a good combination.

From 3:30 p.m.: Although the process was slow, temperatures steadily rose above freezing in most of the metro region this afternoon. Inside the beltway, most spots have reached the mid-30s. However, a few pockets well north and west of the beltway have not exceeded 32. It's these areas that may experience more iciness and even some snow as another area of precipitation moves through tonight.

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: Temperatures overnight remain steady or only fall a couple degrees. As most spots are now in the mid-30s, that means the risk of a hard re-freeze is low but not zero inside the beltway. North and west (of the western side of the beltway), the chance for slipperiness and refreezing is higher. Complicating matters, after midnight an area of precipitation moves in from the west. It mostly falls in the form of rain, but pockets of freezing rain can't be ruled out in those normally colder north and west locations. Irrespective of where you live, with temperatures so close to freezing and ice remaining on untreated roads and sidewalks from last night, everyone should use caution.

Also, it's not out of the question the rain mixes with and briefly changes to snow - again mainly from western Montgomery county into eastern Loudoun county and to the northwest. Little or no snow accumulation is expected. Lows range from 30 in the coldest suburbs to 35 downtown.

Tomorrow (Wednesday): There's a 30% chance of morning rain or snow showers (more likely snow north and west). By mid-morning, skies begin to clear and the sun emerges in the afternoon. The combination of sun and winds from the west help push temperatures from 40-45 (coldest northwest).

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

Snow/ice amounts: The National Weather Service Forecast Office in Sterling has posted a page summarizing snowfall amounts from last night's storm. While ice was the predominant precipitation type, anywhere from a dusting to 0.5" of snow fell in the immediate metro region, with 1-2" in extreme western Montgomery county, Frederick county, and central and western Loudoun county.

By Jason Samenow  | January 18, 2011; 10:45 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Snow/mix chance returns Thurs. night & Fri.
Next: Forecast: Next chance of snow? Thurs. night


Thanks Jason. Looks like I have to get up early yet again and see if a commute into DC is a wise move. Given that we've barely broken the 32 degree mark (33 now), I'd say it's unlikely I'll be going anywhere early. I'm betting we don't get to 40 out here in Ashburn tomorrow either.

Really getting sick and tired of constantly having to worry about icy roads.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | January 18, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Are we ever going to get a real snow event. All our storms have been less than an inch of snow or ice. This winter has sucked. Are we ever gonna get a good snowstorm?


Posted by: SNOWLUVER | January 18, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

This week reminds me of most winters in this area, a touch of snow, some sleet, some freezing rain & rain. Remember,for Dec-Feb, on the average, only 18% of the the prec. for this area is snow.
CWG, any idea about the wind for Wed? Would like to go striper fishing if the stinkin wind isn't blowing. NW wind is the worse.

Posted by: VaTechBob | January 18, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Yet another Miller B coming our way Friday. Guess that's La Nina for you. Chances are low for 4+ on those deals.

Posted by: bbirnbau | January 18, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

SNOWLUVER - it is still possible, only saying this because the Winter and "snow season" are far from over. Yet this Winter has far different atmospheric patterns than last year's record snowfall Winter. Did you get used to every storm being snow--just a question of how many feet, last year? ;)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 18, 2011 4:26 PM | Report abuse

ThinkSpring - The roads are fine, I've been driving around all day w/o a problem. You just can't drive like they're dry.

Posted by: parksndc | January 18, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

If you have to go out tonight be super careful. It may look wet but in fact be black ice.
Keep sending in the moisture. We need it, & odds are that eventually one of these will give us some decent snow.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 18, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Here, here. Drive very carefully tonight! Thank you to parksndc & FIREDRAGON47 for echoing this caution.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 18, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

What are the odds of a 2 hour delay in MoCo?

Posted by: BusyMom1 | January 18, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I didn't stay up late enough to measure peak snow levels... measured 3/8ths inch of mix this morning east of Front Royal which could include some compaction due to freezing rain...

I think we'll get a real snow this winter... which at this point I'd define as completely covering the grass...

Posted by: spgass1 | January 18, 2011 4:47 PM | Report abuse


I don't know about SNOWLUVER, but I know I did! Last winter, when I saw snow predicted, I didn't even give precip type a second thought. I just went straight to the models to figure out how many feet we would get; 1, 2, or 3? Actually, I'm hoping we'll get 4 ft some day, but I'm not expecting that to happen this year.

I don't konw about any of my fellow snow-lovers here, but the thought of getting buried under 36" is just fantastic! But may I be the first to recommend that you STAY OFF THE ROADS and STOCK UP AHEAD OF TIME if that happens!

SNOWLUVER, you said, "Are we ever going to get a real snow event?" Well, I'm sure that sometime in your lifetime you will see a real snow event. Maybe 2 weeks from now, maybe 40 years from now, but I'm sure it'll happen someday! ;)

☃☃☃ ❆❆❆BRING ON THE SNOW!!!!!!!!!! FEET AND FEET OF SNOW!!!!!!!!!!!! ❆❆❆ ☃☃☃

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 18, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm just hoping that the next event will have enough snow so that all the grass is covered. I'm still crossing my fingers for that 10%(4+)

Posted by: cubscapsfan | January 18, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

BusyMom1 - pretty high chance MoCo has 2 hour delay. I would bet on it. I am just one opinion tho ;)

cubscapsfan - keep up the cheering for snow lovers!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 18, 2011 5:02 PM | Report abuse

@ parksndc -

Thanks, but I was more concerned about tomorrow morning's commute with tonight's rain and likely sub-freezing temps out here in Loudoun.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | January 18, 2011 5:09 PM | Report abuse

re: Bob Miller 2 - I suppose snow can be fun but your glee at wishcasting for a disaster is immature and speaks to your lack of commonsense. Obviously you have forgotten the thousands of people whose safety and well being was jeopardized by last winter's blizzards, the power outages with folks trapped and freezing, the folks marooned for hours in cars on area highways. It's really time for you to grow up or at least - find another way to spend your time. Frankly I'm tired of your inane comments

Posted by: clemonssacks | January 18, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

What are the odds of fairfax county having a 2 hour delay?

Thanks !

Posted by: SnowEnthusiast | January 18, 2011 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I demand a schoolcast.

Posted by: heatherdc1980 | January 18, 2011 5:24 PM | Report abuse

You do make a good point; it would be nice if infastructure improved to prevent power outages, car accidents etc. Safety should always come first. But I'm just trying to point out the up side to a blizzard. Like they say, when life gives you lemons; make lemonade!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 18, 2011 5:33 PM | Report abuse

clemonssacks -

Your argument is made frequently, and it's tired. Nobody wants anyone to get hurt. But that doesn't mean you can't be a weather enthusiast. Storm chasers love tornadoes and hope they happen - that doesn't make them evil people, that just means they enjoy the excitement, aesthetics, and science that goes with severe weather events.

Likewise for hurricane chasers and snow/ winter weather lovers.

The thing you have to remember, is we don't CONTROL the weather. If we did, there might be some merit to your argument. But that's not the case.

I also bet you are FAR more concerned with the effect on your commute / disruption of your daily life than you are about safety. Usually safety is a red herring that sun worshipers trot out to try to "shame" snow lovers.

By the way - here's a safety tip for you - the number one cause of weather related deaths is not snow, ice, or hurricanes - it's HEAT. But I don't hear snow lovers saying you warm weather folk are "irresponsible" for enjoying hot sunny days.

Posted by: jahutch | January 18, 2011 5:50 PM | Report abuse

heatherdc1980 & SnowEnthusiast - most schools should have a 1 or 2 hour delay in the morning.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 18, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Re: SchoolCast- I'd say 1 apple, except 1.5 apples for frederick, loudoun and fauquier counties. Montgomery and Fairfax county would be 1.25 apples if we did quarter apples.

I'm going to do a short update post in the 10:30 to 11 p.m. time frame in which I'll update SchoolCast.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 18, 2011 5:54 PM | Report abuse


well stated!

Posted by: VAresident2 | January 18, 2011 6:05 PM | Report abuse

To further add to what jahutch was saying, there is nothing wrong with being a snow lover. Yes, I know, I'm probably snow's biggest fan in the DC area. Just like those guys on the weather channel who go chasing after t storms and tornadoes every spring/suer and actually look forward to them. As jahutch mentioned HEAT is the #1 cause of weather related death. I wish there was a way to have a blizzard without people getting hurt. So you all who accuse snow lovers of being evil, well maybe it's time the snow lovers go after the heat lovers and call them evil.

Furthermore, since Mother Nature controls the weather, not us, I think it's best we all make the most of what she throws at us. It is an invalid argument to suggest there's something wrong with you if you want 2 or even 3 feet of snow.

Lastly, I'd like to politely ask that people stop attacking every time a snow lover posts something about wanting a blizzard or loving winter.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 18, 2011 6:13 PM | Report abuse

BobMiller2 as a fellow snow lover I share your enthusiasm but wishing for a 3 - 4 foot event is in truth wishing a bona fide natural disaster on the area. Roofs would buckle and people would die.
It's just really just not polite.
You might find yourself the target of a lot of blog hostility. Just sayin'.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 18, 2011 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Damascus, MD 20872 Change Location
Jan 18, 2011 6:30 PM Temp


Hello??? There's no winter weather advisory no winter storm waring no frezzing rain advisory....if this crosses the mountains and doesnt get much bigger this could be a huge promblem. Just listen too WTOP roads should be good as it will fall as rain everywhere across the listen area?!?! How much precip. are we gonna get. The roads are already getting slippery and every one expects rain?!? In many parts of MD it is at or below frezzing or dang close to it. Can CWG ansawer my simple ? If this falls as ice (even 1/10 of inch causes pronmblems) how much is it going to be. LOL no one knows how to drive anyway. This sure won't help anyone the fact that everyone expects rain!

Posted by: danrusso10 | January 18, 2011 6:36 PM | Report abuse

I wish people would lighten up and just have fun with the site - nobody posting anything is actually going to change the weather or cause people harm! (as I turn on my LED snowman for good luck for a delay for school tomorrow)

Posted by: 3seasons | January 18, 2011 7:12 PM | Report abuse


I see your point, and to tell you the truth, I think 1 - 2 feet is plenty! I just went overboard with my previous comment!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 18, 2011 7:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm already down to 31.6 degrees in Alexandria-South. If temps drop any more, things could get interesting.

Posted by: bdeco | January 18, 2011 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Temps just above freezing here in Centreville, lots of wet surfaces, precip out to the west on radar.
I've got a bad feeling about this.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 18, 2011 8:00 PM | Report abuse

35 degrees, no winds, REAL damp & chilly in Springfield right now - ice melted off most of the trees and pavement today, but still a LOT on the grassy areas. I'm quite surprised most of it's held on this long.

Criticism of @BobMiller2 notwithstanding, @clemonssacks makes some excellent points - and for the record, I am still a snow lover in my mid 40s, though considerably LESS so since last winter. But to wish feet of snow upon this area is asking for a LOT of unfortunate risk-taking on the part of those who are responsible for public safety and cleaning the mess up afterward.

Also, @jahutch, please present ALL of the facts and not only those that conveniently make the point you're attempting to make. The AVERAGE leading cause of weather fatalities during the past TEN YEARS has been heat, but the 30 YEAR average cause has been flooding. Read 'em and weep here:

Finally, @BobMiller2, I think you're mistaking the "attacking of snow lovers" alledgedly going on here at CWG for the recent criticism of the content and number of your personal posts - apples and oranges, my friend...

Posted by: ToBeBlunt | January 18, 2011 8:10 PM | Report abuse

The NWS service issued a WSW for Elkins, WV- 6-8 inches most falling in the period of Thurs in to Friday. I like the timing that we have- >48 hours out. Maybe this is just anecdotal but I have noticed that when the NWS issues this far in advance the event comes to fruitition and is stronger than it is weak. Interesting forecast discussion also from sterling... they talk about the how GFS guidance indicates "NRN STREAM VORT BACK UP ACROSS NEW ENGLAND AND THE SRN STREAM VORT CONTINUING ON ITS WAY OFF THE SRN ATLC COAST - NEVER FULLY PHASING AS OTHER GUIDANCE INDICATES." But then in the very next statement they say that they are raising Precip Probabilities to Likely (70%). Perhaps the GFS is the outlier. Does this mean that they are using "other guidance". What do you all think?

Posted by: jac8949 | January 18, 2011 8:21 PM | Report abuse

@jac8949--I think that NWS quote you cited is referring to the 12Z Euro, not the GFS. It says "THE 12Z EURO SHOWS DILUTES THIS SOLUTION...MAINLY BECAUSE

Posted by: petworthlad | January 18, 2011 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Dense Fog Advisory for Northern Virginia. Be careful driving.

Posted by: cubscapsfan | January 18, 2011 8:30 PM | Report abuse


Don't see much more than 0.10" of liquid equivalent overnight. Most spots stay above freezing though a few pockets N & W may be around freezing per write-up above.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 18, 2011 8:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Bob Miller 2 , bring on the snow! I thoroughly enjoyed my snow day today and hope for more this year~Friday wouldn't be too soon :)

Thanks for the good coverage!

Posted by: icecubedownthetoilet | January 18, 2011 8:34 PM | Report abuse

So far my kids have had three delayed openings, one early closing, and one complete day off due to weather this winter. Between that, the winter break, and next weeks teacher workday, followed by parent-teacher conference school closings the week after that, we will not have a 5 day week of school for about two months. No, I do not think that schools are babysitters, but I do think that a schedule like that has to be bad for learning.
I hate having such a fragmented and unpredictable schedule, and I really would love to have the 'humdrum' pattern of a regular, uneventful 5-day week.
And no, Bob, I do not need to move just because I want the snow to skip us. Just like people who like lots of snow don't need to move to Vermont.

Posted by: 1Reader | January 18, 2011 8:39 PM | Report abuse


Look, I'm not trying to create an online battle here, and I'm sure you're not either okay, but you should really get off your high horse and stop trying to stir up trouble. I clearly explained earlier how there is no connection between wanting a blizzard and wanting bad things to happen. Like I said, I watched those guys on the Weather channel last year who went out and chased tornadoes and every day they kept going on about how much they would like to see a tornado and yada yada yada. Does that make them bad people? NO. They aren't wishing harm upon anybody, and it simply means they enjoy witnessing historic/extreme weather events as do many people. As long as you are properly prepared for a blizzard, you'll most likely be fine.

My condolences go out to people whose loved ones have been injured or killed in an extreme weather event and no person in their right mind would ever want anything bad to happen to someone during a blizzard, hurricane, etc. That is why it's important to take the proper actions to prepare when an event such as Snomageddon is coming. I urge everyone to stay off the roads during severe weather and to heed the warnings of the NWS and others, that way, we can all make the most of a blizzard, even if you aren't a snow-lover. So get out of the house, have some fun, take your kids sledding. There's a ton of things you can do during a blizzard.


Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 18, 2011 8:56 PM | Report abuse

does anyone remember what the GFS looked like before the huge snowstorm we got in february last year???

Posted by: bobdello01 | January 18, 2011 8:56 PM | Report abuse

The fog advisory, through 7 a.m., will increase the chances of school delays. Correct? So what do you all think about those apples? :)

I also keep wondering if it is going to be just a tad colder tonight than expected?

Posted by: holly6 | January 18, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse

There's a nice light green/yellow (on this radar light geen and yellow where the most precip) heading right towards us! Get ready this could be a quick drop of precip before the minor storm comes. Bring on the snow/ice/and rain. Anyone thinking no school for MoCo and Frederick !!!!

Posted by: danrusso10 | January 18, 2011 9:13 PM | Report abuse

holly6, I am in Columbia. At 4 PM, the predicted overnight low was 34 degrees. It is now 31 degrees. If it rains I think we are in big trouble again.
They can't do a delayed opening, either, because Howard County already has half days scheduled all week for high the schools due to mid-terms.

Posted by: 1Reader | January 18, 2011 9:16 PM | Report abuse

@1Reader, yep, kinda looks not so great your way. I am further south and west, near Warrenton, VA. I'm thinking a delay tomorrow will happen for us.

Posted by: holly6 | January 18, 2011 9:35 PM | Report abuse

NWS is predicting freezing rain for some of the northern suburbs now.

Posted by: Dylan0513 | January 18, 2011 9:45 PM | Report abuse

the snow lovers in here always get love from cwg ;) but what about us snow haters!?!

when is our warm up coming?.... where is our la nina?.... something in this cold pattern has to give, but when?

Posted by: KRUZ | January 18, 2011 9:54 PM | Report abuse

CWGang - what are the chances of freezing FOG? I imagine some folks to the N/W might experience that...bizarre phenomenon.

Posted by: ToBeBlunt | January 18, 2011 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Plain rain here in Warren county. I checked around and it doesn't seem to be frozen on any surfaces anywhere. All of last nights sleet melted during the day (sun must have come out). I can't guarantee it won't freeze further east, but if it does it will be very marginal, the roads should be fine.
For current temperatures, Winchester is reporting 32 degrees with a dewpoint of 33.

Posted by: eric654 | January 18, 2011 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Temp is actually rising tonight in my part of Ashburn: 33F.

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

How late into winter is there still a chance of snow in DC? ( jusr moved here a year and 1/2 ago) does Dc have snow chances in March?

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 18, 2011 10:27 PM | Report abuse

1reader, I'm in south Columbia / north Laurel (okay, it's really Scaggsville) and read 30.5. Tons of salt though so my street isn't frozen. I too worry the kids are off way too much. I blame lawsuits.

Posted by: biketraveller22 | January 18, 2011 10:40 PM | Report abuse


Accumulating snow is not at all uncommon in March. It does become uncommon in April, though sometimes we get slushy accumulation on the grass early in the month.


I'm not that concerned about freezing fog since temps are marginal, but I am a little concerned about refreezing after the rain comes through in the 4 to 7 a.m. timeframe.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 18, 2011 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Centreville VA Very dense fog out here. Digital thermometers at 34 & 36 degrees.
I'm really looking forward to pushing up into the 40s tomorrow.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 18, 2011 11:05 PM | Report abuse

@bradfinwoodbridgeva-- We had about 8" of snow the first week of March 2009. I had to go to Huntsville, AL for a conference that week (just after the snow stopped) and got stuck at DCA for 8 hrs trying to get a flight that never left that night. By the time I returned that Friday, it was 70 degrees.

BTW, Prince William schools open on a 1 hr delay tomorrow. Per PWCS web site, and was just on NBC-4.

Hope this helps. Welcome to DC, and the DC area weather -- always an adventure. :)

Posted by: southbridgemom | January 18, 2011 11:35 PM | Report abuse

This just in --

Urgent - Winter Weather Message
National Weather Service Baltimore MD/Washington DC
1132 PM EST Tue Jan 18 2011

Washington-Frederick MD-Carroll-Northern Baltimore-Montgomery-
Howard-Central And Eastern Allegany-Loudoun-Morgan-Berkeley-
Including The Cities Of, Hagerstown, Frederick, Westminster,
Gaithersburg, Columbia, Cumberland, Leesburg, Martinsburg,
Charles Town
1132 PM EST Tue Jan 18 2011

, Freezing Rain Advisory In Effect Until 6 AM EST Wednesday,

The National Weather Service In Baltimore MD/Washington Has
Issued A Freezing Rain Advisory, Which Is In Effect Until 6 Am
Est Wednesday.

* Precipitation Type, Light Freezing Rain.

* Accumulations, Trace.

* Timing, Light Freezing Rain Will Spread Into The Area By
Midnight And Continue Until Temperatures Rise Above Freezing Late

* Temperatures, Near 32 Degrees.

* Winds, Calm.

Precautionary/Preparedness Actions,

A Freezing Rain Advisory Means That Periods Of Freezing Rain Or
Freezing Drizzle Will Cause Travel Difficulties. Be Prepared For
Slippery Roads. Slow Down And Use Caution While Driving.

Posted by: natsncats | January 18, 2011 11:36 PM | Report abuse

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

Posted by: jbernard703 | January 19, 2011 12:15 AM | Report abuse

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