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Posted at 11:00 PM ET, 01/10/2011

The latest on late Tuesday's minor snow event

By Dan Stillman

Models remain mostly consistent this evening in showing a minor snow event late Tuesday afternoon through evening.

Despite the consistency, there's still some uncertainty because snow in the D.C. area depends on a delicate dance involving an area of low pressure moving north up the East Coast and an upper-level system coming from the west. The two will almost certainly join forces in plenty of time for a major snow from Philly (4-8") to NYC (6-12") to Boston (12"+). But it's a closer call as to whether they hook up far enough south for meaningful snow in the D.C. area.

For now, even though this evening's models have shown a slight backing off in precipitation amounts, our forecast remains much as it has for the past two days. We're calling for a most likely scenario of 1-3", except 2-4" from just northeast of the District toward points northeast (close-in northeast suburbs may be hard-pressed to get to 4"). Note, there's still a 25% chance or so that we see less than an inch, if the two storm elements come together too late...


10 AM to 1 PM TUES
Light snow approaches from the south. 28-32.
1 PM to 4-5 PM TUES
Chance of light snow, mainly south. Little/no accum. 29-33.
4-5 PM to 10 PM TUES
Light snow west, moderate snow east. Accumulation likely, esp. after dark. 26-30.
10 PM TUES to 2 AM WED
Accumulating snow ends from southwest to northeast. 25-29
Overall Forecast Confidence: Medium

Accumulating snow isn't expected until late afternoon at the earliest. To that end, one point that Jason made in an earlier post this evening warrants repeating: "A point for us to emphasize: If you like snow, don't be surprised and panic if the radar shows little or nothing during the day tomorrow. It may well take some time for the radar to show impressive returns as it won't be until late afternoon or even the evening that low pressure offshore starts getting its act together."

We'll have more in the morning. See our earlier post for the SchoolCast, storm FAQs, the forecast for Wednesday through the weekend, and more.

By Dan Stillman  | January 10, 2011; 11:00 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts, Updates, Winter Storms  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Winter Weather Advisory up for D.C. & vicinity
Next: Forecast: Light snow this afternoon & tonight


Ok- I got it don't panic..don't panic..don't panic...

we'll see how I do tomorrow.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | January 10, 2011 11:06 PM | Report abuse

SOOOOOO CLOSE. Almost first...

Ahhhh it's worth it.. SECOND!!!!!!!

Posted by: SnowDreamer | January 10, 2011 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Anyone interested in throwing some snowballs in Dupont Circle Park tomorrow night - say, around 11pm? Could be a nice way to end your evening. This obviously won't draw a huge crowd, but all die-hards are welcome. More info here:

Posted by: mlipin | January 10, 2011 11:15 PM | Report abuse

Another great write-up, gang! Now get some well-deserved rest!

Posted by: kolya02 | January 10, 2011 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Ok so since there doesn't seem to be much hope for this "storm" when's the next possibity of a good snow?

Posted by: elizabethk611 | January 10, 2011 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Three inches would be enough to christen the new shovel.
But right now, I have absolutely no confidence that western Fairfax county will get any accumulating snow at all.
Pessimists are rarely disappointed.

It must seem so silly to the mainstream non-snowloving folk.....this wishing for "bad weather".

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 10, 2011 11:20 PM | Report abuse


I'm not what you'd call a snow lover at all...matter of fact, working in public safety as I do, I view it as causing nothing but headaches. But I will say that I enjoy having a Subaru now and feeling more confident driving around in it whenever it does snow!

Posted by: natsncats | January 10, 2011 11:24 PM | Report abuse

As long as the grass ain't showing, I'm happy.

Posted by: nlcaldwell | January 10, 2011 11:24 PM | Report abuse

good map. i agree. and to the negative nancy's wrt the snow totals so far this's freakin' jan 10. anyone who has lived in this area long enough knows that mid january thru february is our best snow opportunities. if we get 2-3 decent snowstorms here, call that a legitimate season here. last year was a FLUKE. plain and simple.

Posted by: swishjobs | January 10, 2011 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Since this forum is based around the D.C. area I didn't bother to actually check the Winter Weather Advisory for my town, Ellicott City. The NWS is actually forecasting 3-5 inches for us.

This seems to be a bit bold. I understand that this is a tough forecast - if the phasing is 60 N/S it could be the difference between a few inches - but this is a pretty bold prediction. It's basically one top end inch before WSW criteria.

Curious whether one of the gang knows whether the NWS uses a lot of information/intuition outside of the model forecasts that would lead them to this decision.

Posted by: bbirnbau | January 10, 2011 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Dropping my snow prediction 4 NW Spotsy to .75". Things r looking bleaker with each passing hr, but things could suddenly change in the next 12 hrs.
After 2morrow, no accum. snow 4 the next 8-10 days.
No wind 4 Tues., thinking about going striper fishing.

Posted by: VaTechBob | January 10, 2011 11:46 PM | Report abuse

i'm going to assume we have a virga storm in sw virgina because the radar echoes are certainly not going away. to a novice, you'd think we'd be getting snow by rush hour, but i imagine it will take some time to reach the ground?

Posted by: swishjobs | January 10, 2011 11:48 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't be surprised if this was a complete bust.

Posted by: ajfishman1 | January 10, 2011 11:52 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't be surprised if this was a complete bust.

Posted by: ajfishman1 | January 10, 2011 11:53 PM | Report abuse

GFS queuing up the next one beautifully tonight. Pattern looks kind of nice (too bad it's 8 days off and liable not to be there next run)...

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 10, 2011 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Again, is anyone seeing how benign this flow looks? This is the antithesis of a DC snowstorm, from a synoptic standpoint. As in NADA folks. Just my two cents...

Posted by: HurricaneSpud | January 11, 2011 12:00 AM | Report abuse

I Agree..cover the grass and Ill be happy at this point. I have to stop getting upset over the higher totals that show a few days out..then slowly drop off closer to the storm... Im an optimist by heart. After seeing what I did last year..i truley think we will get a good 6-10 inch storm before this winters over..its just staying too cold to not get a good hit eventually.

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 11, 2011 12:14 AM | Report abuse

HurricaneSpud , it looks benign because the precipitation that will eventually move in isn't even on the map yet. This isn't a watch and track the precip storm, like the miss on DEc 26. When these two storms phase the precip is going to look completely different than it is now.

Posted by: bbirnbau | January 11, 2011 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Thnx Ian. CWG chastise others who post of "fantasy" storms 5 days in advance but you go ahead and do the same. Whatsa matter, hits gittin low??

Posted by: pwilly | January 11, 2011 1:35 AM | Report abuse

New to this blog. Question, why does it appear harder to forecast weather here in this area? Do the mountains on one side and ocean on the other affect us to a great degree? Seems like the storms have fit right in this "alleyway" for us to get snow.

Posted by: mrmagoo066 | January 11, 2011 5:19 AM | Report abuse


You're onto something. I discussed this very thing in an online chat I did yesterday. Check it out here:

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 11, 2011 8:26 AM | Report abuse

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