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Posted at 3:35 PM ET, 01/25/2011

PM Update: Thinking about tomorrow's snow

By Ian Livingston

5:00 p.m. note: Check out this HPC Discussion:

THE INSTABILITY AND UVVS ASSOCIATED WITH THE DEVELOPING DEFORMATION ZONE/COMMA-HEAD WILL BE OFF THE CHARTS... POSSIBLY ALLOWING A CONVECTIVE ASPECT TO BECOME INVOLVED. THIS SHOULD TRANSLATE IN INTENSE SNOWFALL RATES ACROSS THE DC/BWI AREA FROM LATE TMRW AFTN TO VERY EARLY THURS MORNING BEFORE THE ENTIRE PHASING SYSTEM MOVES RAPIDLY UP THE COAST.

There's not much of note to talk about today other than tomorrow's snow potential. However, we did warm up above freezing finally! Despite plenty of clouds, most spots have hit at least the mid-40s with some upper 40s intermixed as well. We stay quiet through the evening and the vast majority of the night before precipitation tries to enter the picture in the morning. Of course, if you're a snow lover like me, you may just want to skip to about this time tomorrow...

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: Besides growing anticipation, tonight is pretty boring. Lows settle into the upper 20s in the suburbs to closer to freezing downtown. Some light precipitation tries to enter around or just before sunrise. It could be a wintry mix of snow northwest to rain southeast, but won't amount to much more than a slick spot or two.

Tomorrow (Wednesday): We should start the day with light precipitation entering into the area. The best odds to stay all snow are in the west and northwest suburbs, but anything that falls early should be light and fairly inconsequential. Look for highs to reach the mid-or-upper 30s around midday with temperatures falling back toward and below 32 as snow gets underway. Precipitation (mainly snow) picks up in intensity to the southwest by midday and any rain transitions to snow elsewhere as the afternoon progresses into evening across the rest of the area. Moderate to heavy snow is likely during the late afternoon through the evening, with snow persisting till about midnight when the storm moves off to the east. Read more details in Wes Junker's earlier post.

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

By Ian Livingston  | January 25, 2011; 3:35 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Odds increasing for heavy, wet snow late Wed.
Next: Winter storm on the way: Timeline, snow accumulation map, impacts, & FAQs

Comments

If the next GFS run stays consistent, do you think the NWS will start issuing some warnings? Or is too much still up in the air?

Posted by: jms12 | January 25, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

That 100% looks real nice!

Posted by: jaybird926 | January 25, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

so how much are we supposed to get?

Posted by: trollboy69 | January 25, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

trollboy69: depending on your location, 4-10" more north and west

Posted by: SnowDreamer | January 25, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

SNOWprise everyone.. perfect name for this storm.

Posted by: jrodfoo | January 25, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Good moniker, "SNOprise" works for me!

Posted by: Hoyas4Ever | January 25, 2011 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Warnings can't be issued until the storm is closer in time-range.

Posted by: parksndc | January 25, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

good... SNOWprise...

Posted by: SnowDreamer | January 25, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

First!

Posted by: getjiggly1 | January 25, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I started snowprise on an early thread! That's my baby! Keep using it! I want to see it start trending on twitter!

Posted by: homertuckumd | January 25, 2011 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 25, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

@BobMiller2

I don't think the NWS will issue warnings until later tonight and maybe not even until tomorrow morning.

Posted by: cubscapsfan | January 25, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

School is out for the day; get ready for a barrage of inane comments in the thread!

Posted by: natsncats | January 25, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

@homertuckumd Sounds good! It's a perfect name!

Yeah I'm starting to wonder when this watch will be moved to a warning... Sometime within the next few hours I would think if the Models are all trending to higher and higher amounts.

Posted by: jrodfoo | January 25, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

The NAM speaks for itself:

http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/namer/nam/18/images/nam_p24_036m.gif

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 25, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

______________________________

Nowhere onshore gets more qpf than our area if this model verifies! This is the inverse of the previous snow-hole events!

Snowphobes, time to hunker down.

Posted by: AsymptoticUnlimited | January 25, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Word is spreading thru the office about the snow potential for tomorrow. More folks are talking abotu taking laptops home to telework.

Still waiting until the late run tonight to get excited tho....


Kim in Manassas

Posted by: ksrgatorfn1 | January 25, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

SnowDreamer where did you get your info? Local news is saying 1-3 inches for DC ... just wondering who else is going as high as 4 to 10?

Posted by: esmerelda123 | January 25, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

SnowDreamer where did you get your info? Local news is saying 1-3 inches for DC ... just wondering who else is going as high as 4 to 10?

Posted by: esmerelda123 | January 25, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Someone on the last thread was talking about the " LINES" forecasters use to divide areas and Zones for total amounts...

This may be a silly question,,,but how big is that LONE?? yards...or a couple of miles..WIDE????

I always wondered that if you live on the LINE..what do you fall under..how wide is that line? My best uneducated guess would be a few miles..maby 2-5??? What does everyone here think?

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 25, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps you haven't lived here very long; local news are idiots when it comes to weather.

Posted by: CYork1 | January 25, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

So Samenow is out of town for this one?
What rotten luck. I will throw a few snowballs on his behalf if this one comes thru.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 25, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

why are you naming a storm that will probably produce less than 10" of snow. Shoudn't we reserve names just for big storms...or is everyone that desperate for snow this year?

Posted by: trollboy69 | January 25, 2011 4:19 PM | Report abuse

NWS posted a 4-10" snow map at 3pm for the area esmerelda123

Posted by: kwojciec | January 25, 2011 4:19 PM | Report abuse

@esmerelda123

im sorry to tell you this, but local news is total crap when it comes to weather, i could do a better job. look at the models for yourself, you'll see that the freezing line passes us mid-storm, from there we get anywhere from .4-1" liquid equivalent- which comes out to around 4-10". also,(this applies to all readers who are skeptical of my data) just check out this link (IAD):
http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=38.95446976982263&lon=-77.45155334472656&site=lwx&smap=1&unit=0&lg=en&FcstType=text

that is 3-5" + 2-4" which makes at a MINIMUM 5 inches, MAX 9"

there will be more snow further north and west than IAD, especially west (the forecasts say up to 10")!

as you approach D.C. itself- the forecasts drop down to about 4-8"

Posted by: SnowDreamer | January 25, 2011 4:23 PM | Report abuse

@Michael_Nguyen

Please think about what you said. The snow doesn't know there is a zone dividing line. Assuming even perfect forecasting for this event, the snow will pile up less toward the east of a given zone and more toward the west.

It's a continuum, not a dividing line.

Posted by: AsymptoticUnlimited | January 25, 2011 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Nowhere onshore gets more qpf than our area if this model verifies! This is the inverse of the previous snow-hole events!
Snowphobes, time to hunker down.

Posted by: AsymptoticUnlimited | January 25, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse
-------------------------------------------------

@AsymptoticUnlimited

hahaha...yes, finally, the snow-lovers finally get revenge on the snow-phobes! And also, NYC won't be in the jackpot this time! It doesn't get better than this.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 25, 2011 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I bought a new can of whipped cream for my Bailey's and coffee in honor of this snowstorm. With a cherry on top!

Posted by: SusanMarie2 | January 25, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

@bradFinwoodbridge

The line/zones are used to give a rough estimate. If you live relatively close to the line then you can probably take the average of the two zones. Its certainly possible close to the lines that an area of zone one gets more snow than an area of zone two, even though zone two is predicted to have more.

Posted by: inthemiddle2 | January 25, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

the lines have no specific length. if you are on a line, just average the data for the two regions you are in between

Posted by: SnowDreamer | January 25, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

@trollboy69 yes, just because almost every person I've talked to thinks we're getting nothing tomorrow. And the local news isn't helping that cause, apparently. So while we're not in the snowmageddon and snowpocalypse level of storms, even a decent snowfall is going to be such a big surprise to people that I think snoprise is a funny name. And if the storm ends up being 10" or more, that's still a significant storm for this area historically.

Posted by: homertuckumd | January 25, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Guy on TV just said none of the snow will stick to the roads. "Those numbers could go up as the storm gets closer". How about you just tell everyone what you really know. No reason to pay attention to TV mets unless you want to get lied to.

Posted by: MVPlaya8120 | January 25, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

for example: if you are on a line between a 3-6" zone and a 6-10" zone:

add 3+6=9
divide 9/2=4.5
add 6+10=16
divide 16/2=8

so you could say that if were on a line between a 3-6" zone, and a 6-10", you could expect ~4.5-8"

Posted by: SnowDreamer | January 25, 2011 4:31 PM | Report abuse

With apologies to Carly Simon---

Anticipation, anticipation
Is makin' me late
Is keepin' me waitin'

And tomorrow we might get snow but who knows for certain
I'm no prophet and I don't know nature's ways
So I'll try and see into the weather forcaster's eyes right now
And stay here by the fire in.....

Anticipation, anticipation
Is makin' me late
Is keepin' me waitin'

Posted by: djm-01 | January 25, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Usually when it is this warm (32 or above) the snow just melts - so it isn't that much of a disruption. Even if we get 10" of snow - it won't take that long to get things cleared. If it stays below freezing after the snow, then it is a different story.

Posted by: barbnc | January 25, 2011 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Their is a nice 50 50 low with a storm forming in the gulf on the Good For Snow at hour 192.

Posted by: jac8949 | January 25, 2011 4:33 PM | Report abuse

@All the people talking about the dividing line-
I think it is more of a general changeover zone. Then again, it is interesting to me because for this storm I'm right on the line in McLean on the Arlington border and hoping I'm in zone 2!

Posted by: cubscapsfan | January 25, 2011 4:35 PM | Report abuse

BobMiller2, I would think they issue warnings tonight if guidance holds.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 25, 2011 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Easily noticed on the temperature map above. The annapolis area did not get above 38 today i presume because of the water thats still frozen? It seems that Anne Arundel county in general stayed well below the forecasted highs. I think this will play a factor in the snow for tommorow. Many places warmed to near 50 and we struggled to get near 40. Is there any explanation for this? Also this is my first time posting here but to all those that want to use this board as a means to figure out there flights/travel plans etc. Just take the forecast and do your own deductions. Trying to ask whether your commute home will be safe on the beltway or if your sisters flight might be cancelled seems to me like a waste of resources when we could be spending that time analyzing the weather itself.

Posted by: Terrapunz | January 25, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

"And if the storm ends up being 10" or more, that's still a significant storm for this area historically."

Very true. But after last year I just can't think of Real Snow as anything under 10 inches anymore. Didn't even get excited when we got that ground coating awhile back.

Snowprise!! Using it everywhere.

Posted by: AdmiralX | January 25, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

dusting, slush, rain, more rain...don't know where you are getting your data, might I suggest NOAA?

Posted by: thw2001 | January 25, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

im gonna watch fox 5 at 5pm...very courious what they will say...some of the local stations have been very pesmistic about snow today...

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 25, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

MVPlaya8120, if we get 1-2"/hr rates it will stick to the roads. I think some warmth beforehand probably means this won't have the long-term impact on roads it could. I'd expect grassy surfaces to do much better but that's often the case anyway.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 25, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

The 18z GFS is coming out. Hopefully, it'll squeeze out even more precip & cold air!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 25, 2011 4:42 PM | Report abuse

WTOP on the radio is STILL being very timid..aint sure whats going on with them..there one of the last few hold outs to predict some decent accum....

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 25, 2011 4:42 PM | Report abuse

@Terrapunz

Cold Ches Bay waters kept Annapolis cool today relative to other areas.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 25, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I love the Gang's forecast and where NWS is going...but, maybe due to the winter we're having to-date, my gut says we get all rain or snow melting on the surface most, if not all, of the time.

But, typically the Gang proves me (no one) wrong...hopefully they do it once again.

Posted by: parksndc | January 25, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Based on my models with the most recent data, it is not going to be a sbig as everyone say. My models are still showing Springfield/Lorton 2.25" DC 2.5" Dulles 3"

Posted by: Firedude | January 25, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

@thw201

I JUST checked NOAA and they said ...

wait for it ....

Four to 8 inches.

Knowing is half the battle, homes.

Posted by: MakePlays | January 25, 2011 4:47 PM | Report abuse

CWG-Will you have your full FAQ tonight or will you wait until around noon tomorrow?

Posted by: cubscapsfan | January 25, 2011 4:48 PM | Report abuse

while we wait in anticipation, check out what our future "SNOprise" is doing to florida... YIKES!
http://radar.weather.gov/ridge/radar.php?rid=tbw&product=N0R&overlay=11101111&loop=no

Posted by: SnowDreamer | January 25, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Since there's been no rain there's still lots of salt & chemicals on the roads out here in Manassas & western Fairfax.
That will help commuters.
Not going out if you don't absolutely need to will help even more.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 25, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Suggestion: because of the volume of CWG comments likely in the next 36 hours, instead of copying and pasting the complete text of NWS statements, post only highlights and the link. This cuts down scroll time. I know folks are getting excited and want to share that excitement, but a brief intro and link are enough. And chances are CWG will also be providing some of these links as well.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | January 25, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

cubscapsfan, it's coming this evening.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 25, 2011 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm jumping the gun (and looking at the 24hr GFS), but it looks like that freezing line is shifting slightly south and east, as compared to the last GFS run, so we'd shift to snow earlier.

Posted by: wappledoo | January 25, 2011 4:52 PM | Report abuse

If it snows 1-2" per hour and sticks to the roads it will pack on the roads into a mess. The slush is bad enough but worse once it really gets packed onto the surfaces.

Posted by: eric654 | January 25, 2011 4:53 PM | Report abuse

GFS another BIG hit right down I95. Looks colder too earlier in the day.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 25, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Firedude: I would think that the CWG team has access to the most recognized models..why do you always refer to "my models" and care to share the details?

Posted by: jdtdc | January 25, 2011 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Continuing the song parody theme, with apologies to the Black Eyed Peas.... (on second thought, no apologies are needeed for messing with their already-terrible lyrics)....

__________________________

Boom Boom Pow
That lightning's jackin' with style
It's slicin' down like a dagger
Bring on some more s*#@ now!

Forget 2008
2010's back and great
We got that Boom Boom Pow
Mesoscalin' Walter right now...

_____________________________

Happy dreams, snow lovers!

Posted by: AsymptoticUnlimited | January 25, 2011 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Latest GFS run is AWESOME. At least for snow lovers :)

Posted by: cubscapsfan | January 25, 2011 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure the Thurs. am commute will be fun!

Posted by: eabgarnet | January 25, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Congrats everyone- GFS confirms what Canadian, Japanese, Euro, NAM, COAMPS have been saying- lots of precip and cold temps. GFS says roughly 1-1.25 QPF for DC, with strong convective snow dropping 5 or more inches of snow in just 6 hours alone, and 6-12 for snow totals.

Posted by: 4seamed | January 25, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

18z GFS showed what an earlier run of the NAM showed: more qpf S + E of DC. Is the qpf cutting of north and west to be taken seriously or just a quirk of this run?

Posted by: Dylan0513 | January 25, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Just drove home listing to WTOP. Doug Hill is thoroughly convinced, or trying to thoroughly convince everyone else, that nothing will come of this storm. He emphasized multiple times the difference between a watch and a warning and all but said the words "not gonna happen." I think a lot of people will be surprised on their commute home tomorrow.

Posted by: AnneinSand | January 25, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Well, Topper's back, leading off the 5pm on WUSA. (that was quick)

Posted by: petworthlad | January 25, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Based on the latest it does not look like there may be quite the disparity south and east as once thought. It may be the other way around possibly because the snow will linger longer to the east.

Posted by: Terrapunz | January 25, 2011 5:03 PM | Report abuse

My models say Firedude is trying to tamper his own enthusiasm by raining on ours.

Posted by: lingering_lead | January 25, 2011 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Just after 4pm Doug Hill said their "in house" model showed less than an inch of snow, which must have been disappointing for Hilary Howard who had mentioned the possibility of 6 inches in some areas as the teaser at the top of the hour.

Posted by: MDDem2 | January 25, 2011 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Sue Palka on Chann 5 said its a " Complicated forecast" She is VERY snow negative..switching over to chn 9 now to see what they say.

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 25, 2011 5:05 PM | Report abuse

The NWS graphic on the upper left has a low of 21 on Thursday, is that in the morning? If so, things would be quite frozen, no?

Posted by: apeirond | January 25, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

CWG, it seems the latest GFS cut back on precip here in eastern Loudoun. Do you think that will be the case, or is this just a glitch?

Also, when will the next update be posted?

Thanks,

Bob

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 25, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

the 18Z gfs remains pretty wet and snowy across the area. No reason to change thoughts from earlier.

Posted by: wjunker | January 25, 2011 5:14 PM | Report abuse

1"-3" at National, but 2"-4" within city limits. Well above that in the 'burbs.

Posted by: dkp01 | January 25, 2011 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Regarding local television meteorologists: I agree with some of the other posters. They are not very good. In particular, I can't stand Doug Hill. Unfortunately, he's all over the place, being the lead guy on channel 7 and on WTOP. He commits to nothing until it's a sure thing (meaning nowcasting). If I had to put my money on one guy, it would be topper. I think the CWG is by far the most reliable weather forecasting outlet.

Should be interesting to see what happens. Looks like a pretty complicated system.

Posted by: danog224 | January 25, 2011 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Isn't the forecast for "rain/snow shower" for Wednesday on your 7-day forecast page understating things a bit? If I saw that without reading the blog, I'd figure no big deal!

Posted by: dottie_b | January 25, 2011 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Guy on NBC 4 just said we will finally use those snow blowers we all bought after last year.

Posted by: AnneinSand | January 25, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Ole topper just said its gonna be a 5 on the bread o meter!!..lol

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 25, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Ole topper just said its gonna be a 5 on the bread o meter!!..lol

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 25, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

TWC met is saying 4 to 8 inches for DC.

Posted by: lilymama | January 25, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

My wife just called on her way home..she said the same thing..Doug Hillof WTOP is playing it down big time.

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 25, 2011 5:30 PM | Report abuse

This morning Doug Kammerer of NBC4 was insisting that we might get 2-3 inches, but it would all stick to the grass. Just now he said 2-4 at least, perhaps more and there's no mention of the grass. :D

Posted by: concepcion611 | January 25, 2011 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Hip Hip Hooray! Let it snow!

Posted by: mjwies11 | January 25, 2011 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I think that GFS just trended the whole storm to the South and East. Could this be a sign of yet another Bowing Day Bust for DC/ Balt? I think I might just kill my self if that happens. I NEED SNOW!!!

Posted by: jac8949 | January 25, 2011 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I love reading the blogs and usually don't post. It's amusing enough just to see the banter back and forth from the snow fanatics and those who hate the mention of the word.

That being said, I have to say I'm not a fan of the weather anchors on local stations. I mean, I love snow but give it to me straight, I can handle the truth! Sooo, although I get a tad disappointed when totals look lower than anticipated, I deal with it, break out the galoshes and move on. But what gets me steamed more than not getting snow is weather anchors that consistently call for 1-3 just to save face in case a 5+ forecast doesn't pan out. Put on your big girl and boy panties and ante up!! Don't call for 1 inch of snow and have me stuck in a daggone blizzard unable to get back from visiting grandma! It'll take a reindeer just make it down the damned street.

Rock on CWG, there's not another weather team for me!

Posted by: tressoleilgoddess | January 25, 2011 5:40 PM | Report abuse

jac8949 - Before you post, or do something worse, please take a deep breath...maybe read a few comments like say...Wes' post that the model doesn't change the forecast and reinforces it more? I think it'll help you sleep at night...more solid "end result."
I would also suggest you don’t hang your hopes on EVERY single model read…they will vary. If they didn’t there wouldn’t be much guess work.

Posted by: parksndc | January 25, 2011 5:52 PM | Report abuse

right on tressoleilgoddess

Posted by: SnowDreamer | January 25, 2011 5:52 PM | Report abuse

what do yall think about the output seen in a couple of the higher res models?
http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/namer/hiresw/12/images/hiresw_p48_048l.gif

Posted by: cjespn | January 25, 2011 6:57 PM | Report abuse

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