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Posted at 3:30 PM ET, 01/ 5/2011

PM Update: Tranquil through tomorrow

By Ian Livingston

Not a bad mid-winter day! Highs topped out near 40 and into the lower 40s, or fairly close to average for this time of year. Just a few high clouds have drifted by in an otherwise clear sky, and winds have been light, at least compared to recently. There's nothing much to think much about around here weather-wise for the next 24 hours or so, but we're keeping an eye on some light snow that might work in tomorrow night.

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: It's mostly clear to start the evening, but clouds -- mainly high level -- should increase during the night. Lows range from near 20 in the coldest suburbs to nearer 30 downtown.

Tomorrow (Thursday): Another tranquil day is ahead, though it's going to be cloudier than today. Look for partly-to-mostly cloudy skies, with a tendency for lowering of clouds heading into evening as a weak storm system approaches. Highs should rise to near 40 or the low 40s.

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

Friday snow? The odds are good that we'll see at least a few flakes overnight Thursday and into Friday. The highest risk (60%) of meaningful snow, which could accumulate a bit, comes overnight, probably within a few hours of midnight and potentially lasting into Friday morning. During the day, a risk of snow showers remains, but they should be spotty at best. Accumulation potential is pretty low. We may see no accumulation at all, though a general range of a dusting to about .5" should be good, with a few locations potentially nearing 1", especially northeast of D.C. Impact right now seems minimal, but if the timing is a little slower the commute on Friday could end up tricky.

By Ian Livingston  | January 5, 2011; 3:30 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Forecast: Seasonable today, a few flakes tonight


Capital Weather Gang,

The National Weather Service forecast for the next two weeks calls for below average temperatures and normal precipitation.

Just how cold will it get? Will we see highs below 32°F?

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 5, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the early next week storm is moving to the south of us then right out to after another. Think I'm giving up on snow for Jan. I know it's very early but this year reminds me of last year...very consistent trends...unfortunately this one isn't favorable for DC snow...arg!

Posted by: parksndc | January 5, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse


Why give up???!!! Yes, we've been stuck in this trend of storms missing us, but you never know what Mother Nature might throw at us!

By the way, have you seen this model run?

Looks pretty favorable for a good 5 - 8 inches. And you never know, things could change for the better or for the worse, but we mustn't let that bother us.

I'm still confident that we'll see a good snowstorm by the end of the winter. But even if we don't, there's alway next winter, right?

Keep in mind that this is pretty much the norm for D.C., cold, dry winters. I think we all have higher expectations after last winter, though.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 5, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

So what I think you're saying is that it might snow a little tomorrow night.
*starts breathing into paper bag*

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 5, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Bob...I appreciate the pep talk! haha.

Posted by: parksndc | January 5, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

So what I think you're saying is that it might snow a little tomorrow night.
*starts breathing into paper bag*

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 5, 2011 4:43 PM |

Now, now, no need to get yourself all worked up about it! :)

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 5, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Bob...I appreciate the pep talk! haha.

Posted by: parksndc | January 5, 2011 4:44 PM|
You're welcome. I hope I was able to inspire you!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 5, 2011 4:48 PM | Report abuse

nnnooooooooooo! "out to sea" - what a waste of winter precip!

early next week storm,
come back... come back...

i did see that. i'm trying to remain rationally detached from that lovely storm (5-7.5"!!!!) until two or three days ahead of time - when the model experts tell me the models have more "skill".

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 5, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse


Totally understand the pessimism, but remember that this storm is still over five days out. Just look at trends. From the 12z to the 18z the storm has come back towards the coast. The Euro has also brought it back towards the coast. Although both tracks are still too far off for significant snow the trend is great. If you recall the last bust, only a few days out they didn't even think anyone was going to get hit along the coast. We were lucky enough to have even gotten FORECASTED for any snow.

Because if you also look at some other variables they look promising. For example the blocking high to the north is perfectly set up.

Despite all this, I'm still discontented until we actually see some accumu8lating snow. So what did I really just say here...

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

Only thing that bothers me about this winter is that the DC snow hole is back in full force.

It's pretty sad when both Norfolk, VA and New York City have 10 times the snowfall that we do and Raleigh, NC has 6 times the snow. You know the famous "DC screw zone" is back when those numbers appear.

I guess this just goes to show how absolutely terrible La Nina is for this area. If you have a block strong enough to get cold air during a Nina, it seems it is by definition so strong that stuff is suppressed south and out to sea.

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

when do the next round of models come out?

Posted by: fortheglory | January 5, 2011 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Did someone say snow?

Posted by: somdcommuter | January 5, 2011 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Did someone say snow?

Posted by: somdcommuter | January 5, 2011 8:02 PM |
Well, the answer is yes, someone did say snow.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 5, 2011 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I'm going to bite....:

Any chance of a school delay on Friday?

Kammerer on nbc4 said, though it's too early to call, perhaps a snow day next week due to Tue/Wed storm.

Let it snow!

Posted by: icecubedownthetoilet | January 5, 2011 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Hey can anyone here, CWG blogger or not, give me access to a site that gives me the Canadian and the UK models. I already have access to the models on a site I use but the thing is they only take me out about 84 hours or so, I don't understand why. The gfs on the NWS site takes me out like 14 days, I want to view models with that kind of time capacity.


Posted by: bbirnbau | January 5, 2011 8:30 PM | Report abuse


I can't find them either. Please, I beg of you, can someone post a link on here to the European models?? Please, please, please! I've been trying to find this for months!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 5, 2011 8:40 PM | Report abuse

The best place to access all of the models is the PSU weather wall. You may need to spend 5-10 mins on the tutorial to learn what everything on the wall means, and how to access what you are looking for. It is located here

On the early next week storm, I think abandoning hope is too early at this point. The 12z Euro shifted the storm westerly, bringing it much closer to DC.

Of course, the trend thus far this La Nina winter doesn't make me hopeful either...

Posted by: JDK4 | January 5, 2011 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Well, the answer is yes, someone did say snow.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 5, 2011 8:11 PM |

Did they mean it?!?! :)

Posted by: somdcommuter | January 5, 2011 9:05 PM | Report abuse


Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!! I had been searching for this for a looooooong time! The best thing about this is that it has all the models.

BTW, the latest model guidance looks pretty favorable for a big winter storm early next week!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 5, 2011 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Okay... here is the deal... I am new here and this is obviously a hype page for storms (aka support group for Model Addicts). I have been reading CWG since the Christmas storm hype but this is my first real post and my impression thus far is that CWG doesn’t want to go out on the Limb for anything... we have models pointing at the "big one" next week and these people are verifying the Farmer’s almanac... come on now. Help us out here and give us a technical explanation of what you think is really gonna happen next week... and Wes.. I don’t want to hear... well "until I see a storm, we really wont know what it is gonna do".... cause you said that yesterday, I read it, and plain and simple that is a cop out. Of course we don’t see a storm yet.. that is why it is called long range budy. And don’t give me no crap about a low over the great lakes… cause if it is in any way “anti-snow storm” it is not acceptable… I am sick and tired people saying OTS or "suppressed to the south", "doesn't really get its act together"... I want to hear words like blowing, drifting, cyclogenisis, and my personal favorite 18"-24"... If it Bleads it Reads... you here me Wes?? If it Bleads it Reads... now write me something good.. I dont care if it borders on meteorological and journalistic irresponsibility... do it now or I am going back to Marty frinckin Bass for my weather.

Posted by: jac8949 | January 5, 2011 9:12 PM | Report abuse


Pretty close to no chance of a delay Friday. A dusting won't do it.


Funny stuff, but we're not jumping on the big storm bandwagon. Sorry.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 5, 2011 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Good thing CWG isnt jumping on the big snow bandwagon just yet because we here in the DC metro have seen this scenario one too many times so far this winter.

Watch as this storm goes too far south then east/OTS to give us alot of snow, if any. At least thats what im thinking will happen, that has been the pattern and when it follows this type of track these storms havent been able to make that turn to really slam us with snow, this storm IMO will be no different.

Posted by: KRUZ | January 5, 2011 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Ya, what jac8949 said. Come on fellows, opinions are always fun.

Posted by: dannythe357 | January 5, 2011 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Guys, totally off the subject, but I just looked at the cool graphic "weather meters" (hair, golf, UV, etc), and I was wondering - is the "hair quality" meter simply a restatement of the relative humidity? If so, it fails to account for the fact that cold air holds much less water than warm, so even on the damper days in winter, hair quality is fair or better.

Posted by: prickles1009 | January 5, 2011 9:49 PM | Report abuse

So, the model is hyping another storm, not going to say a big storm yet... Not sure if all the model is in an agreement about the storm hugging the coast or out to sea.... But I'm just curious, with the storm in December there was a huge I mean huge cut off in precip, I wonder if this storm is going to be the same with the December Storm.... If anyone knows what does the latest model indicates, I mean models like GFS, NAM, EURO, and whatever the local meteorologist use.... I just hope this storm does play trick games with the area... I was so hyped about the last storm then the storm didn't favor our way just by several miles, well I guess this is another waiting game, hopefully no nowcasting the last minute like the December Storm....

Posted by: Michael_Nguyen | January 5, 2011 9:52 PM | Report abuse


The hair meter takes into account dew point (not to mention wind and rain) in addition to RH for the reasons you state.


Our opinion - subject to change - is that the storm threat for tues/wed looks suppressed (i.e. to our south and out to sea). Notice there's been no Snow Lover's Crystal Ball... that means we don't think there's a 30% chance of 1" of snow at this point based on the pattern and what the models are showing. But as Wes said yesterday, because it's a complicated pattern, you can't necessarily rule anything out at this range.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 5, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Jason, when are we going to see another video? So many possible topics: the Siberian snow & its impact on our climate, the dead birds (it still appears to be a combination of firecrackers, darkness, and cold), why this winter is so much colder than originally forecast, and of course, perhaps a quasi-significant snowfall next week?

If it looks like it's going to happen, I'm hoping Swami Samenow appears, wearing a magician's hat, a cape, snow globe... a real tzimmes.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | January 5, 2011 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Some precip would be nice. Rain would be just fine. Do you think the pattern will change? I am so mindful of the drought situation that occurs in the summer.

Posted by: moo1 | January 5, 2011 10:10 PM | Report abuse


I'm doing a video tomorrow (these are each Thursday at 1 p.m.). Last week's video touched on the Siberia snow/cold connection. I'll probably focus on the pattern and snow chances tomorrow.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 5, 2011 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Jason, would you consider adding a video link in the left-hand navigation panel, under Entries by Category. Makes it easier to find them. (There's so much content on CWG, that it's easy to miss posts.)

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | January 5, 2011 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Jason please send snow & chocolate chip cookies.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 5, 2011 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Jason,thanks for the response. Really just confused I think. Accuweather has the storm over us heading north and have heard suppressed moving south. Hopefully they can meet in the middle for us. Look forward to more updates on the storm.

Posted by: dannythe357 | January 5, 2011 10:26 PM | Report abuse

I completely disagree with virtually all of your post, except the funny and hyperbolic parts, but only because I'm a big fan of hyperbole. I have been following CWG for a couple years now, and I prowl several other East Coast weather communities, and IMO, CWG blows all of them out them out of the water in accuracy, integrity, quality of explanation, and responsiveness. In short, you've stumbled upon the very best place on the internet to watch the weather. Now stop complaining and lay back and enjoy it!

Posted by: JDK4 | January 5, 2011 10:34 PM | Report abuse

From Margusity's blog tonight "Guys, don't get depressed over the computer. We are going to have a major snowstorm next week from the Plains to the Northeast. Many people will see snow and a lot of it. The I-95 corridor from Baltimore to Boston could be buried in 6-12 inches of snow. When the NAO starts going to positive, that's when the big east coast storms hit."

Posted by: DLO1975 | January 5, 2011 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Berk is also on board with a Tues-Wed storm. Here's a tweet from tonight "#Snow problem for Friday morning travel around #Baltimore. Regardless of how much- it will peak close to the commute. Bigger storm Tue-Wed"

Posted by: DLO1975 | January 5, 2011 10:37 PM | Report abuse

I hope to see the snow lover's crystal ball soon! Not for the little flurry event expected this week, but for the *potentially* bigger storm next week.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 5, 2011 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Capital Weather Gang,

The National Weather Service forecast for the next two weeks calls for below average temperatures and normal precipitation.
Just how cold will it get? Will we see highs below 32°F?

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 5, 2011 10:55 PM | Report abuse


Yikes... I'm not even sure how one gets "on board" for a storm chance a week away. Models frequently simulate big snow storms a week out. Often they don't come to fruition. Every once in a while they do. Gonna be at least a couple of days until we can begin to make an educated guess what the Tues/Wed storm might do. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | January 5, 2011 10:55 PM | Report abuse


I should add that the opposite is true as well. That is, some of our biggest snowstorms have been those that were simulated as complete misses a week (or even less) out. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | January 5, 2011 10:58 PM | Report abuse

I feel obligated to share this, concerning snow measurement at DCA...

I was discussing buying a hot plate for my lab today, and how much to spend on it. An answer I got was: "Nothing. Go to DCA."

Posted by: cleombrota | January 5, 2011 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Friday, the latest American models look anemic for our area... I'm somewhat surprised anyone's calling for more than flurries... but who knows?

Currently 20.3F in the Blue Ridge Mtns east of Front Royal

Posted by: spgass1 | January 5, 2011 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Dan... I definitely agree that it's too early and Margusity, Berk, and Bastardi are typically bullish on storms. Still will be entertaining to watch models the next several days. 0Z GFS is rolling in now. Maybe and inch or so here in Eldersburg on Friday...we'll take what we can get this winter.

Posted by: DLO1975 | January 5, 2011 11:05 PM | Report abuse

I am not saying where Margusity and Berk will, or will not be, correct with their early predictions. Who knows.

But perhaps they are acting as meterologists and not modelologists and basing their forecasts based on other scientific or atmospheric features instead of just the models. I am no expert in this, but surely if the weather models suddenly crashed, aren't this still weatherman who could at least take a stab at putting out a forecast with having to rely on every model run??

Posted by: realclear | January 5, 2011 11:15 PM | Report abuse

GFS operational run now shows a nice snowstorm for us Monday night through Wednesday. Let's see if other models start jumping on board. We'll post analysis tomorrow.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 5, 2011 11:20 PM | Report abuse


A meteorologist - irrespective of what the models say or don't say - at this range knows you can't make a firm call on a storm track in which 60 miles can make the difference between a foot of snow and a dusting. No matter how good you are at identifying the pattern, you can't resolve these kinds of issues this far out.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 5, 2011 11:26 PM | Report abuse

@Jason 11:20 PM --

cue the snow hysteria in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...


Posted by: natsncats | January 5, 2011 11:35 PM | Report abuse

I understand its impossible for anyone to pin down a storm at 6 days in advance. My only point is I don't see a need for criticism of those two for saying -- before the latest model apparently came out showing the exact same thing they were touting earlier - a big storm is possible.

I think most people understand things can change, and do not take a 6 to 12 inch forecast at this stage literally. And if they want to hype it, so be it. It's their reputation on the line if they are wrong. Or they could be right, based on instincts other than models. I guess I don't see the harm to me or your profession if they are way off base. However, after seeing your post about the GFS, they very well could be right and ahead of the curve?? Who knows

Posted by: realclear | January 5, 2011 11:40 PM | Report abuse

I also like what I see from the Canadian appears to concur with the GFS about the snowstorm on Tuesday.

Posted by: Ayrwulf | January 6, 2011 12:12 AM | Report abuse


Don't disagree with anything you're saying. I just think the more responsible forecast right now is to say something could develop, and that a lot of uncertainty remains rather than sounding any alarms. The GFS and other models are likely to waffle in this chaotic, highly sensitive pattern.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 6, 2011 12:14 AM | Report abuse

The 0z gfs is KIIIIILLER duuuuude.

Posted by: bbirnbau | January 6, 2011 12:16 AM | Report abuse


I was very critical of weather forecasters in this area including CWG with the last non-event snow storm for this area. I really appreciate NOT seeing the snow lover's crystal ball this far out. I think given this year's unpredictable winter weather patterns, that's very responsible of you and your crew.

Posted by: tjack55 | January 6, 2011 1:10 AM | Report abuse

latest Euro was a miss, latest GFS a hit. Hmm where have i seen this happen before. And who knows come next monday they could both agree on a hit and we end up with an inch like Boxing days storm.

Im still calling south and OTS with a miss or maybe an inch or 2. Still cant see the storm making the turn.

Posted by: KRUZ | January 6, 2011 1:45 AM | Report abuse

OMG... Why isn't anyone saying anything about the GFS at hour 324?????

Wes... 324 hours definitely within Al Rokers range... What do you have to say about this:

Posted by: jac8949 | January 6, 2011 6:12 AM | Report abuse

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