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Posted at 1:25 PM ET, 01/ 9/2011

Tuesday snow chance looks real but light

By Wes Junker

Just a slight chance of a bigger storm

Nothing has changed significantly from yesterday's thinking although we're leaning toward lower amounts rather than higher. Our best guess right now for snowfall from Tuesday and Tuesday night's storm is probably in the 1-3" or 2-4" range with an outside chance of getting 4" or more. The heaviest amounts will probably be north and east of the city.

Next accumulating snow chance: Tuesday & Tuesday night
Probability of accumulating snow (1" or more): 60%
Probability of more than 4": 20%

The low that is tracking across the south is not projected to develop quickly enough to bring us a lot of snow and there's even the possibility (40% chance) it develops too late for any meaningful accumulation. There is also some potential for the precipitation to mix with or change to freezing rain mostly south and east of the city. The storm looks more like a mostly minor event that could cause a few problems but probably not widespread disruptions.

Snow that falls during the day Tuesday, probably starting after the a.m. commute, is likely to be on the light side (without much accumulation). The best chance of accumulating snow begins late Tuesday afternoon, continuing through mid-to-late Tuesday evening.

Keep reading for technical discussion...


The crux of the forecast problem continues to be how quickly the southern low will develop and how far west it will track. However, all the models develop another low in the Ohio Valley which complicates the forecast and raises the risk that we get caught in a dry slot between two systems.

For those really into meteorology, the system has a Miller B look with the upper low forecast to track to our north. That almost never gives us a lot of snow. In such cases, one swath of heavier precipitation tracks across the Ohio Valley with the northern stream energy and another misses us to the south. We usually get some precipitation but of the light variety unless the low along the coast deepens rapidly to our south.

Precipitation (melted liquid equivalent) simulated by this morning's (top) and last night's (bottom) NAM model between 1 p.m.-7 p.m. Tues (left) and 7 p.m. Tues - 1 a.m. Wed. (right).

You can get a feel for what minor differences in the speed of the storm's development and proximity to the coast can mean in terms of precipitation in the image above. The NAM run from last night only gave the DC area a dusting to maybe an inch. The latest NAM which keeps the coastal low strong relative to the Ohio Valley low is much wetter and even threatens areas just to our northeast with heavy snow. The differences in the evolution of the two lows also shows up in the temperature fields with today's run being colder than last night's.

Effect of a possible dry slot

Precipitation total forecast from NAM model in melted liquid equivalent for Tuesday's storm.

You can see (to the right) the impact effect of the Miller B-type development on the precipitation forecast from this morning's NAM. Note that there is one stripe of heavier precipitation across Indiana and Ohio with the northern low and another stripe across the southeast. We are caught in the middle with the dry slot extending across Virginia.

If the low pressure along the coast ends up being weaker relative to the Ohio Valley low, then the dry slot would be more pronounced and the D.C. area would get less precipitation, less snow and might end up with warmer mid-level temperatures than the operational models are now showing (increases the chances of mixed precipitation, see below for more on that possibility). If somehow, the southern low deepened even faster than the NAM is showing, the snowfall could be a little heavier than implied by the NAM. In the end, this morning's NAM suggests a 1-3" type of event with this morning's European model hinting at more like 2-4".

Note that once the low really starts deepening right around our latitude, the precipitation on the model blossoms putting New Jersey, New York and southeastern Pennsylvania at risk for a major storm. This morning's GFS has the transfer of energy and period of rapid deepening occur a little slower than the NAM so it has a more pronounced dry slot over the metro area. It's not a miss but only an inch or two with the far western suburbs at risk of only getting a dusting to an inch.

Precipitation type issues?

The other issue we have to consider with this event is precipitation type. Although it looks to favor snow, a warm layer may come close enough to parts of the region to allow for some mixed precipitation.

For most of the metro region, the entire column of air is below freezing which favors snow. The exception is in the far southeastern suburbs where they might mix with sleet or even change briefly to freezing rain. The soundings (atmospheric profiles from the surface to above the clouds) for northern St. Mary's county show a warm layer. The warm layer is not present farther to the north but one potential problem is the depth of the clouds and the cloud top temperatures. Water vapor does not freeze easily in the atmosphere without dust and other small particles for crystal growth to ocur. The temperatures of the cloud tops are pretty close to the temperatures where it gets hard to form snow crystals and instead you get supercooled water droplets.

Right now I'm guessing we stay all snow but toward the middle of the event, don't be surprised if a little freezing rain occurs especially if you live southeast of I-95.

For those interested in looking at precipitation type for their area here's a cool site that uses an algorithm-based on the vertical temperature structure to determine precipitation type: Cool Weather Precipitation Type.

If you want to look at the sounding for your area, here's another site: Twister Data. You can click on the map to change the sounding location.

Bottom line

In summary, we are expecting some snow with our best guess for metro area accumulations in the 1-3" or 2-4" range. But there is the chance for less - at this point probably a better chance of less than more - especially in the far western suburbs. Whereas locations to the northeast have the best chance at higher accumulations, especially northeast of Baltimore.

By Wes Junker  | January 9, 2011; 1:25 PM ET
Categories:  Latest, Snow Lover's Crystal Ball, Winter Storms  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Forecast: Chilly 30s 'til next snow chance
Next: Live blogging the models for Tues. snow event


Thank Goodness the update has been posted! I was so anxious for it!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Looks like NYC may be in the bull's eye...again...

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 1:30 PM | Report abuse

What I've got in mind is that Clarendon Ballroom dance Tuesday evening...seems as though the much-unneeded rain crowd is still handling precipitation timing around here!

Posted by: Bombo47jea | January 9, 2011 1:40 PM | Report abuse

CWG, I am curious how the National Weather Service resolves internal inconsistencies. Do the regional forecasters consult before they post?

Here are two posts at NWS within the last three hours:

New York NY forecast discussion, 12:32 pm: "Low pressure will deepen off Cape Hatteras and track up the coast." (Meaning more snow for DC and particularly NY)

Baltimore/Washington forecast discussion, 10:38 am: "Right now we are leaning toward ... phasing occurring northeast of the mid-Atlantic coast" (meaning less snow both for DC and NY)

There are more extensive discussions with caveats, but these are key pieces of information and they are in conflict. Which is the better outlook overall?


Posted by: erickoe | January 9, 2011 1:40 PM | Report abuse


Good luck with your dance!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh no, the timing of the little we do get may not be right for a snow day! Too late of a start on Tuesday for a snow day, to early of a finish for one on Wednesday!

Posted by: icecubedownthetoilet | January 9, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Bombo could do a snow dance, and then everyone would be happy.

Posted by: rj2835a | January 9, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, it's sounding like the most we'll get is an early release on Tues followed by a 2 hour delay on Wed. The last early closing was a pain at my school because all our buses ran late - we waited an hour and 20 minutes for the last bus! Early closings/delays are less disruptive to instruction though, but I at least want to use up our 3 built in snow days! February will be the best time for snow days though so I'll wait.

Posted by: mamory1975 | January 9, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

i could be wrong but i think this is a conservative forecast, especially the models tredning slightly better...they may continue to trend slightly better. looks like a lot of moisture to the south. i suppose a lot of that is expected to dry up as moves northeast. i'm gonna be bold and say 4-6" area wide for us. i don't think this is anything like the dec 26 storm. all it took was some nowcasting skills to see that was going to bust east for us. i don't think this storm will.

Posted by: swishjobs | January 9, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Bombo, rj2835a has a good point. You should do a snow dance! Make sure it's really good so the next storm doesn't miss us! :)

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

AKA another BUST for us snowlovers....I'm just tuning out for the next several days and hope that I wake up and see the radar Juiced up and snow coming down!! Models once again got us all excited and then at the last minute say OH HOLD ON....DRY SLOT!!! OTS...TOO FAR EAST....MIX....TRACE....I'm gonna go look at my pics from last winter!! So spoiled and jealous of New York/New England yet again.

Posted by: Crazy4weather33 | January 9, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

For snowlovers this is a "glass half empty or glass half full" type forecast.
We'll probably get an inch or so of snow....yay!
We'll probably only get an inch or so of!
Thanks Wes for weekend work.
Let's just hope that the next 24 hours doesn't take this down to "a dusting is still possible".

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 9, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Even my local Accuwx forecast for Ashburn is only saying 1-3. And that forecast is usually for higher amounts. The forecast above seems spot on.

On another note, I'm beyond done with the 989 mph winds. The constant dry skin isn't a lot of fun either. Oh, how I hate winter.

But, starting Tuesday, the sunrises start getting earlier in addition to the later sunsets. That's my silver lining for today.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | January 9, 2011 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for that report Wes :) even a couple inches of snow is better than no snow in my opinion. Was just curious if you would also apply the 1-3 or 2-4 scenario to the Frederick are as well? Is there less of a chance we would see a dry slot or same chances? Thanks so much!! My new favorite website to watch :)

Posted by: rudy1481 | January 9, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

First of all, great analysis Wes. I couldn't agree more with what you have said. Although a chance remains for higher acums, the most likely scenario is definitely fringe snow or none at all.

That being said, I kind of agree with swish jobs in the sense that like the dec 26th storm, this is an extremely complicated forecast. The 20% chance for 4+ is definitely there. Just need some things to go our way.

erickoe, those forecasts are not in conflict at all. The low will probably start to deepen off cape hatteras, but without a phase the precip will remain to our east. And for our forecast they say the phase will not happen until north of the mid atlantic, giving us little snow if any if that were to happen.

Posted by: bbirnbau | January 9, 2011 2:03 PM | Report abuse

rudy1481, I think the biggest threat to get dry slotted is greatest to the south and west and least north and east. I think you do have potential to get dry slotted but that doesn't mean you wouldn't see any snow.

erickoe, I don't think they are inconsistent. The phasing does look like it will occur a little to far north for us but in a great spot for nyc and the forecast offices do coordinate through a type of chat software. They can also chat with HPC.

swishjobs, it is a conservative forecast and we waffled back and forth whether to use 2-4 rather than 1-3 but chose the latter because Miller B storms with the upper center going to our north often disappoint. There chance of the coastal low developing a little slower than forecast by the NAM and euro is still there. Plus, there is potential for a dry slot. Te CWG will be updating amounts as warranted as we get closer to the event.

Posted by: wjunker | January 9, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse

55+ yrs of following the weather in this area has taught me 1 thing, it's almost impossible to predict snow storms here, just 2 many variables. Will the storm form 2 far W & result in mostly rain or 2 far E & be a miss. Track has 2 b almost perfect 4 snow, a shift of 25-50 miles can change everything, & no computer yet can b precise enough 2 predict the exact track.
The problem with Miller B storms is when & where the transfer of energy occurs, & the majority of the time it occurs N of our area. This results in imfamous dry slotting, with little or no accum. Hopefully this one will go against the usual trend & the transfer will occur farther S. I'll go with the usual trend & expect 1-3".
The ideal storm is the 1 that comes up from the gulf & travels up 95 & goes off the NC coast, strenghtens & takes a Northern track just far enough E 2 produce all snow. Even then, the track has 2 b prefect, not 2 close 2 bring in warm air aloft, & not 2 far E for a miss or little snow. Last yr we were lucky enough 2 go 3 for 3 on the tracks, when usually it's 1 out of 3 or 4, for all snow.

Posted by: VaTechBob | January 9, 2011 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I am a realist and the only thing that makes this town tolerable 99% of the time is a chance of snow in the winter. I know last year we had our snow times 10 and I said to myself last year NOT to get upset when it doesn't snow this year. Having lived here since 1968 (Feb), yes I was born here, I have had more than my fair share of let downs. I know have a 7 year old son whom I'm trying to teach an ancient snow dance/snow prayer/ancient Chineese secret too to make it snow. Just kidding except the prayer thing. I guess since there are a lot of people who are really smart on this blog esoecially the moderators and the PHD's and a lot of my fellow bloggers, can I put out a question. Actually two questions. First to WES, who rocks unlike any I've seen, is it possible that the secondary low or the low over Ohio does not form or forms and actually enhances the southern low adding moisture and the low develops and intensifies farther off the coast, starts earlier and generally is stronger than models predict which from what I understand all of which will give us an increase in snow accums? If just one happens than our snow goes up, if 2 happen than our snow goes way up and if all 3 happen we get hit like last year.? Second question to bloggers who are true snow lovers; "Are we cursed". It just seems like everytime I try to get my son involved and follow CWG almost like the Bible due to a really good chance of snow, this horrible "Dry Slot" from hell itself opens up and swallows Herndon(where we live)and surrounding cities like Chantilly, Fairfax, Falls Church, South Riding and Reston. I want to get him as excited as me for snow but last year I was in the hospital for 2 months. Don't ask but it all started with a stupid tick and I couldn't build a fort or snowman, my home nurse wouldn't let me. Now I;m ready to teach him the finer points of sleding and snowballs and snowmen but I'm afraid it's just not going to happen again until he's too old to really enjoy those magical years. So I guess I'm asking;" Is there a chance, just a chance that these models could be wrong and we could get 6 or 8 or 10 or 12 or even 24 inches"? Yours optimistically..not a realist which I am but I want to dream too so I sign with optimisim,

Posted by: MITCHRAPP | January 9, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

MITCHRAPP, for us really to cash in, the upper low would have to dig to our south instead of tracking just to out north like the models are forecasting. That happened during the feb 10 storm but it not very likely. We still could get .4" liquid which would be 4 inches snow if everything goes right but we're not likely to get more than that and right now, it looks like we get enough of a dry slot to keep the amounts in the 1-4 inch range.

Posted by: wjunker | January 9, 2011 2:43 PM | Report abuse

sorry typo....I NOW have a 7 year old son

Posted by: MITCHRAPP | January 9, 2011 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone else gotten a message that a post is being reviewed by the moderator before it is posted? Just happened to me, for the first time.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | January 9, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

It seems that when it comes to D.C. winters, trends are very important. This winter, the trend seems to be phasing happening later, dry slots, New England getting hammered and walloped, and so on and so forth.

We must all remember though, that last winter, the trend was a snow-lover's dream come true. Though this statement about trends certainly is arguable/debatable, I think for the most part it is true.

Last winter, it seems as though every single storm that was forecasted turned out to be a biggie, whereas this winter, it's the opposite.

Another trend I've noticed this winter is that at first, the forecast is for big amounts of snow, and then the forecasted amounts have seemed to gradually decrease day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute with every new computer model run. Earlier on in the week, it seemed pretty likely we'd see a solid 5 or 6 inches, but now I think we'd be lucky to see an inch.

Finally, the last trend I've noticed is that with the few storms we DO get, the bull's eye always seems to be more along the coast as opposed to the usual where the western suburbs get the bulk of it. That is a bummer for me because I'm in NE Loudoun county, an area which typically does fairly well with snow. Last winter during snowmageddon, I measured a whopping 31.8 inches. Then, during snoverkill, I measured 10.1 inches for a combined total of 41.9 inches, most of which stuck around for quite some time due to the cold. Before that, we had those two smaller storms in Late Jan/Early Feb which brought about 6 inches each. During Snowpocalypse I believe I measured about 26 inches. I documented both storms very well; I took hundreds of pictures and I went out and measured the snow depth every few hours and kept a log of it.

I just can't tell you how much I'd love to be in New England this winter. I just have to keep reminding myself that the folks in NYC probably felt the same way last winter as we do this winter. Then of course, there are the people who hate snow and they are probably loving the winter of 2010-2011.

I'm still keeping any eye on the two storms on the GFS, both of which are at least ten days out. As I mentioned earlier, if it was to verify, we'd see a good 20 - 25 inches.

Anyone who wants to be reminded of last winter, just watch this incredible video I found on youtube yesterday; it's a time lapse of snowmageddon:

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 2:51 PM | Report abuse

@BobMiller, Atlantic City had 7.7" yesterday, a record for the date. For the winter, 28.7" of snow in Atlantic City. AC can keep the casinos and send the snow our way!

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | January 9, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Accuweathers new snow map now has us in the 1-3 inch range.

Posted by: KRUZ | January 9, 2011 3:10 PM | Report abuse

BOB....thanks for that video...sigghhh...i remember it like it was yesterday...i too measured every hour....took walks....i remember walking over to 270 just off montrose rd in rockville and seeing it EMPTY!! 1st snow here in park potomac I measured 20.1, 2nd snow 29.2, and 3rd PHASING problems...but like you said...snowlovers dream!!! None of us ever thought we would FINALLY see a winter like that!! Remember we were rooting for the record??? I still have the WASH POST headline paper!

Posted by: Crazy4weather33 | January 9, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse

@JerryFloyd1, I couldn't agree more! But wow, 28 inches?! Gosh, that's more than I would've expected!

By the way, regarding your comment about not being able to see a post because it was being reviewed, yes, I got a message like that about an hour ago and had no idea what it was...

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Bastardi's 3PM blog post has DC/BWI in the 3-6 range...for now. He could just be predicting higher snow ratios with the .4 liquid though, as 15-1 or higher could be possible. Hoping the model data improves tonight for a bigger storm. One other thing I'm wondering is if it will snow before Tuesday night? Models seem to be delaying the precip...again.

Posted by: DLO1975 | January 9, 2011 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Wes. I can remember some winters where we saw hardly any snow at all in this area or every storm that came through was a dreaded "mixed bag". We were definately spoiled last winter, and we shouldn't forget that we still have all of February coming up, and even March, for the trends to switch a bit. :)

Posted by: rudy1481 | January 9, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

We moved from Ashburn to Wilmington, NC over the summer but I still check in with CWG because I get more detailed info from you guys. But down here, we are supposed to get a trace to an inch, changing over to all rain by noon, AND SCHOOL IS CANCELED!!! LOL!!!

Posted by: skbm1 | January 9, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Ill just be glad to get to January 20th so the thaw can begin! Its about 20 days late but the higher than normal temps are coming for end of January and alot of February!!!!!

Bring on the warmth! With all this cold since December 1st, somethings gotta give soon!

Posted by: KRUZ | January 9, 2011 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Whatdo you guys think the ratio of snow lovers to not? At least on this site 7-1? Is there anyway to get an accurate number. I take 3 numbers by myself because I'm a freak when it comes to snow. Like a you tube dog doing some silly trick. The guy who just posted before me whants any trace of snow to leave but I can't accept that from most of you you guys. I almost look at 70% of you as family

Posted by: MITCHRAPP | January 9, 2011 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Hey Guys... Just saw something... I see the NWS say 90% of Snow on Tuesday and 50-60% of Snow Tuesday Night pending on the area, but on TWC now I see on Tuesday they are saying on Tuesday PM Snow Showers... I don't know what's going on??... I'm assuming NWS will not be issuing no Winter Storm Watches around here, I see some parts of WV and Garrett County in MD/WV is under the Watch.... What's the latest model run? any improvement or just the same.... I'm really shocked that the model isn't favoring our way from the last model run, compare to Friday/Saturday Morning....

Posted by: Michael_Nguyen | January 9, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

sorry another stupid typo. ZI don't know whats wrong with me today. Please don't offer suggestions.

Posted by: MITCHRAPP | January 9, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

sorry another stupid typo. I don't know whats wrong with me today. Please don't offer suggestions.

Posted by: MITCHRAPP | January 9, 2011 3:38 PM | Report abuse

All the latest model runs that I have seen show precip starting late in the day on Tuesday. Not sure why some forecasts are calling for snow Monday night or early Tuesday AM? The latest Euro gives us some moderate precip for about 12 hours...but once again doesn't seem to have the precip in our area until Tuesday evening.

Posted by: DLO1975 | January 9, 2011 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Having grown up In Spartanburg SC. Im well used to being dissapointed when it came to snow days. I grew up near I-85 along the " DREADED SNOW/RAIN LINE. It always seemed were we always just below the line and got rain when 20 miles up the road was all snow.

I moved up here in the summer of 2009 due to job reloacation.I was blown away with the snow last year! I was in extreme delight to know I finally lived somewhere I new we could count on snow. However coworkers here warned me that last year was way out of the norm, none the less i was still excited about this coming winter. Now Im relising that its almost just as difficult to call the snow as it is back in S.C. One trend I have noticed here though is it seems snow amounts always start on the high end a few days out and rapidy decrease as the storm time draws closer. Is this a common forecast practice up here? Well Im hopeing for a big snow so ill keep my fingers crossed. Funny thing is, my Dad back home in upstae SC has enjoyed more snow this year than me way up here!! LOL!!!

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 9, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

@ DLO1975, I'm assuming the storm has slowed down according to the Euro and how much snow or precipitation is Euro giving us??.... I guess once again the model is still in disagreement, this might be another Dec 26 Storm, last minute changes.... But this time it sucks because this storm will not be on the weekend it will be on a weekday where schools have to make a tough decision with this storm and of course others have to work....

Posted by: Michael_Nguyen | January 9, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

And tomorrow they will be calling for a blizzard....whatever.

Posted by: rmcazz | January 9, 2011 3:54 PM | Report abuse

The 12Z euro gives us around 3 of snow. The 18Z nam shows a more pronounced dry slot and only looks to have somewhere in the high teens to .20 liquid equivalent over Dc which would probably be in the 1 to 2 inch range since most of the precipi falls in the late afternoon and evening. The GFS is a littel quicker with teh precip than the other models.

Posted by: wjunker | January 9, 2011 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I agree. my wife teachers school in Arlington and we live in prince william county. Schools closed all around here but her school never closed for those few inches we got back in Dec. She said her coworkers claim it has to be around 4-5 inches for schools up there to close,but they close for a single flake farther south. lol.

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 9, 2011 3:56 PM | Report abuse

@Michael_Nguyen Well not exactly like the Dec. 26th storm. Just about all the models are showing us with at least a 6 hour window of moderate precip at some point Tuesday evening/night. Will be interesting to watch the model runs tonight, but I have a feeling both rush hours will be dry on Tuesday. We'll see what always. Look forward to the CWG guys thoughts on ratios too.

Posted by: DLO1975 | January 9, 2011 3:56 PM | Report abuse

"teh precip" LOL Wes you are so 1337.

Posted by: samdman95 | January 9, 2011 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Sooo...this is sounding like ANOTHER tracing to and inch on to the next storm. This won't even impact travel from the sound of it.

Posted by: parksndc | January 9, 2011 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Can someone post a link to a weather model that predicts temperatures? I know where all the precip models are but I haven't found any that predict temperature. I know they must exist, I just cant find any. Thanks, BobMiller2

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Sorry but have a quick question. My son goes to school in South Riding. I live in Herndon, Va. When I leave I go down 28 from Fairfax county to Loudoun County. Traffic there is not bad but coming back on route 50 to Route 28 without snow on a sunny beautiful morning can tsake 45 minutes to an hour right about 8 am. All I can envision is taking him to school, getting home asn hour to an hour and a hslf later then having school calling and tells me to come get him. 4 hour round trips just to take care of resposibilities. Any thoughts as to what might happen? More snow out in Loudoun maybe or do I just have to endure taking day off?

Posted by: MITCHRAPP | January 9, 2011 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I guess we are definitely gonna get snow as the NWS now gives us a 90% chance of getting it.

Posted by: KRUZ | January 9, 2011 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Maybe its just me but the NWS forecast model has kept moving the low slightly closer to the coast every run for the last 36 hours. I remain skeptical about amounts but this makes me think we may be closer to 5 or 6 inches than people think.

I for one am all for it!

Posted by: deeeeeep18 | January 9, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

@Brad, over the long haul you'll definitely get more snow here than in the NW SC piedmont. And unlike this year, Norfolk, and Fayetteville, NC will get less snow than DC, whereas Atlantic City will match up more evenly. However, you'll still see a lot of "will it" or "won't it" snow forecasts.

This year's forecasts have been particularly dicey. Last year, snow forecasts were, for the most part, much more accurate because the Negative Arctic Osciallation was so firmly entrenched.

Something truly bizzare this winter: The much-maligned (for good reason) snow total at DCA, while only a modest 2.5", is still more than at IAD or BWI. A real anomoly (that probably won't last).

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | January 9, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

ABC7's Steve Rudin said on, "the snowfall jackpot will be from Philadelphia to New York City and into Boston, once again leaving the most of the Washington, DC area on the fringe"

and Bob Ryan said on twitter, "Latest ensembles no sign of big snow event or "major" DC storm/snow Tuesday."

Is it just me or am I re-living Dec. 26th??

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

It's not going to snow this winter is it? All "storms" so far have been downgraded. The maddening thing is that not only is New York getting it's share of snow, but even EAST (the beach/delaware) and the SOUTH are getting in on the fun. So it's not that there's no snow out there. IT's specifically missing DC.

So it's looking like no snow this year, even small stuff. Just 3-4 inches, some fluff, three or four inches to go outside have snow fights, take some pictures, see the kids having fun, etc.

Someone asked if DC was cursed, and I'm starting to wonder. Oh, and yes I know about last year--and probably just for that alone it will not snow ever again.

Posted by: superseiyan | January 9, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I am SOOOOO fed up with! Every time, they over exaggerate and over hype storms and cause thousands of people to delay and/or cancel their travel plans for no good reason. Once again, they have DC in the substantial snowfall range on their latest map, when in reality, we'll only see 1 - MAYBE 4 inches at best.

This is why I stopped paying attention to that website a couple years ago. I'd much rather read the CWG's forecast or watch Topper or Bob on TV, from whom I know I can get a reliable forecast.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 4:49 PM | Report abuse

@samdman95, +1.

@ThinkSpring, you said sunrise will start to come earlier. Can someone explain to me why this didn't start happening the day after the winter solstice? TIA.

Posted by: mmurphy70 | January 9, 2011 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Do to my military service i have lived all over the USA.I must say since living in Northern VA I have seen more back and forth/up and downforecast than anywhere else I haved lived. It feels like im in Russia. There famous quote when it comes to weather is " Weather changes hour to hour here" get used to it comrade!"

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 9, 2011 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I wish I could ream accuwx out. They are seriously mishandling their profession.

Posted by: bbirnbau | January 9, 2011 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Here's what the headlines should read until Monday "Cold temperatures through the weekend into Monday. Possibility for snow exists but we can't really tell you much until Monday night or Tuesday, so just go about your day until then ok, thanks!"

It's not that people are really that upset when forecasts of snow don't come to fruition, it's simply the anticipation of something trending on the light side that doesn't have to be a big deal. Anything less than 4 inches doesn't need a grand entrance. Chances are they'll stop everything with just 2 inches so why worry LOL

Posted by: tressoleilgoddess | January 9, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse


I just looked at that map. Were in for the big one huh??? amazing..simpley amazing how many different forecast there are for this storm..geeze!!!

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 9, 2011 5:02 PM | Report abuse

@mmurphy70 -

The daylight hours started increasing after the winter solstice, but that was primarily at the end of the day with sunsets now about a minute later each day. Sunrises have "bottomed out" at around 727am in DC for several days and slowly start getting earlier on Tuesday.

I don't know the scientific explanation for that however. Someone else on here likely knows better than me.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | January 9, 2011 5:03 PM | Report abuse

The GFS has trended wetter giving dc 2 to 3 inches. The GFS and NAM pretty much swapped sides. Based on the 18Z model guidance there is no real change in our thinking.

Posted by: wjunker | January 9, 2011 5:11 PM | Report abuse

For those folks who are experiencing slowdowns and general lagginess with the CWG site -- I indicated to that idiotic Facebook widget loading at the upper right-hand corner of whatever CWG page you happened to be on NOT to track my news/tracks. That thing was REALLY slowing down the loading of any page on the site, and once I disabled it (it takes you to a preference to uncheck on your WaPo profile), performance improved drastically. Seriously, does Facebook need to invade EVERY aspect of our web surfing?? FAIL.

Posted by: VAStateOfMind | January 9, 2011 5:15 PM | Report abuse


The accumulating snows - should they materialize - would be Tuesday afternoon/ I don't see issues for you dropping your kid off for school at this point. There could be early dismissals, but we'll have a better idea on timing tomorrow. Don't change plans based on the forecast - which is uncertain - at this point.


I wouldn't worry about changes to any automated forecast from Those forecasts are generated by a computer so you shouldn't read into minor changes you see from them. If there's a change in the forecast you need to know about and is meaningful, we'll be on top of it here and/or one of the local TV outlets should be able to give a decent explanation. In terms of reliability, trust automated forecasts generated from computers last. Much better to get a forecast from a real person with reasoning behind it.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 9, 2011 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Wes, I just saw the latest gfs. It's by far the strongest looking storm we've gotten in a few runs for us.

I live up in Howard County, just west of Bmore. Would I be out of line thinking that 3 inches is reachable if this map were to be the actualization of this storm?

Posted by: bbirnbau | January 9, 2011 5:20 PM | Report abuse

When is next possibility for precip? (Aft Tues)
Or is that too far out?

Posted by: moo1 | January 9, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

The weather pattern as a whole befuddles me. I am wondering if CWG can do a piece on it? I know on the east coast, the NAO is largely responsible for "defeating" typical La Nina conditions... but what's responsible over the rest of the country? Let's compare some typical La Nina conditions to actual conditions this winter:

Souther California / Southwest: Typical is dry conditions with serious drought concerns. This year, we've seen record deluges in California and record snows in the southern Sierra.

Pacific Northwest: Typical is cold, snowy (relatively speaking) conditions with tons of precip. We've seen basically a normal winter (normal temps and damp).

Southeast: Typical is warm, dry, with drought concerns. We've seen record cold, lots of precipitation, and extremely strong (relatively speaking) winter events across even the deep south.

It's almost like we've got conditions nationwide that are the exact opposite of a La Nina. Yes, the NAO explains it on the east coast, but what about everywhere else.

And the other oddity - as long as I've followed weather here "north and west" is what you want for snow. Now it's east. I've never heard of Ocean City being a better place for snow than the Shenandoah!! What's going on this year, everything is COMPLETELY screwed up. Would love an article addressing why everything is, basically, opposite of what is expected for the atmospheric configuration.

Posted by: jahutch | January 9, 2011 5:26 PM | Report abuse

When is next possibility for precip? (Aft Tues)
Or is that too far out?
Posted by: moo1 | January 9, 2011 5:22 PM |
moo1 -

I think this GFS model at 264 hrs answers your question, does it not?

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 5:38 PM | Report abuse

@bobmiller2. IF (very small chance) that verifies, it would rival snowmageddon

Posted by: samdman95 | January 9, 2011 5:43 PM | Report abuse


I'll tell you what befuddles me: The fact that won't stop exaggerating things and making everything sound worse than it is, which I have observed on numerous occasions. Those people should all be fired and have their meteorological seal of approval revoked.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Good for snow 1/20 model looks like it can whoosh off the coast and no one NE gets anything. I'll take it. Then we get back to even with Philly and NYC.

Posted by: moo1 | January 9, 2011 5:47 PM | Report abuse

thanks so much for that tip. it DOES load quicker that way.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 9, 2011 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Ah, yes. The GFS at 264 hours. As entertaining as Fantasyland at Disney World, and almost always as much as a letdown as LEAVING Florida when those 264 hours are up and reality rears its ugly head.

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

Thanks for the heads up Jason. I am the one who called the D.C region cursed. I swear they should make a movie called "EVERYWHERE BUT HERE"

Posted by: MITCHRAPP | January 9, 2011 5:57 PM | Report abuse

wow vastateofmind thanks as well for that tip, the site loads much more quickly now.

Posted by: novajeffc | January 9, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Accuweather? Come on guys, they've got to make half their web traffic numbers for the year during just a couple weeks in January and February...

Posted by: prickles1009 | January 9, 2011 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Wondering why despite all the CWG advice not to give the GFS at 200+ hours any credence, individuals keep bringing it up. I don't understand at all. Especially in a winter where the models have consistently flip flopped and had difficulty in general.

If you want to live in fantasy land, that's cool. I'd prefer to focus on what could/should be DC's biggest snow so far this winter season...even if it's only 2 or 3 inches.

Posted by: HurricaneSpud | January 9, 2011 6:12 PM | Report abuse

The CWG couldn't forecast it's way out of a paper bag.

You are about as good at your craft as the Met Office in the UK or East Anglia is at climate science.

Posted by: NyallsStJohnSmytheIV | January 9, 2011 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Also, regardless of models, I do like that for the first time this season we're working with a WELL established broad area of precip to our south. Even with forecasts of it weakening with less upper level support until the coastal development, it looks good.

Posted by: HurricaneSpud | January 9, 2011 6:17 PM | Report abuse

So, I'm hearing all types of snowfall type, light/moderate/then back to light.... I know more then likely it's light during the day on Tuesday, but then I'm hearing we may get burst of Moderate Snow in the Evening time.... I just hope this storm isn't a BUST, where there was a sharp cut off in precipitation in the last storm and the sharp cut off perception happened in the DC Metro Area....

I'm assuming 2-4 Inches is likely? I'm just curious if the model for tonight's run will flipped flopped again either the good way or bad...

Posted by: MNguyen6551 | January 9, 2011 6:24 PM | Report abuse

A model of a storm 11 days out gets you snowloving-fanatics excited? Come on, seriously!

Models and forecasters for the most part can't get storms right 48-36 hours out this winter. This is the real world people... try living in it for a little while.

Posted by: getjiggly2 | January 9, 2011 6:26 PM | Report abuse

I just watched Channel 4's 6pm newscast and Chuck Bell's "futurecast" showed the entire D.C. region, including points north and west, under ice/freezing rain for most of Tuesday. I thought that freezing rain would only be a problem for areas SE of D.C. So is his "futurecast" incorrect or is ice going to be a problem after all?? If so, how much do you expect that to hold down accumulations?

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 6:34 PM | Report abuse

for our area, this is undoubtedly the best chance we've had. i feel like dec 26th was a true bust because i remember the gfs and nam really putting on us on the fringe close to the event. this storm has at least some light precip although back to the ohio valley. we ARE going to get something, it's just a matter of how much. i still think we could get 4-6", but wes, i completely understand you guys going 1-4" couldn't go that way, but this is the best chance we've had all season in my opinion.

Posted by: swishjobs | January 9, 2011 6:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm supposed to by flying up to NY on Tues night, then back to DCA on Wed night and then leaving again from DCA down south on Thursday morning. Any idea if I'll make it out of DC or NY?

Posted by: snl430 | January 9, 2011 6:42 PM | Report abuse

"Freezing rain" forecast west of the DC?
*hits orange alert buzzer*
An ice storm is the worst. Ice storms take out power & bring transportation to a screeching crashing halt.
I hope Channel 4's forecast is BS.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 9, 2011 6:42 PM | Report abuse

wow, whats up with STJohn? I hate people who takes the saints names in vain. There is a special place waiting in the afterlife for them. Why in the world would someone hate on you guys, take the time to register and then sign in and log in just to spew out hatred? Like I said; " I hate this town" I've lived here too long and being too close to inside the beltway, I have to deal with people like this STJohn on a regulasr basis. Nothing but a coolaid drinker. CWG, you are the best forecasters I have EVER encountered and I want you to know how much I for one as well as my wife think the world of you. You professionals are unrelenting and unselfish and the epitimony of everything good about this God Forsaken town and 75% of the people. You stay up late pouring over models just so we can have a better day. Tell me where I can contribute and I hereby pledge $250.00 to you right now. If the economy was better I would make it $500.00, but please tell me how I can get each and everyone of you money,

Posted by: MITCHRAPP | January 9, 2011 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Freezing rain = chaos. Hope that doesn't go down.

Posted by: moo1 | January 9, 2011 6:47 PM | Report abuse

ABC 7's Steve Rudin just showed his futurecast giving us the potential for under an inch?... Did anyone else see that, am I seeing that right?

Posted by: KRUZ | January 9, 2011 6:51 PM | Report abuse

From the NYC, NY NWS Forecast Discussion (4:27 pm). Thought it was interesting.

....Prolific lightning over the north central Gulf of Mexico may be indicative of stronger shortwave ridging ahead of the system than most model forecasts...which may force an eventual farther west low track...and the NAM seems to be picking up on this.

Posted by: banweiler | January 9, 2011 6:52 PM | Report abuse

@ban. what exactly would that mean for us?

Posted by: MITCHRAPP | January 9, 2011 6:54 PM | Report abuse

re: GFS forecasts beyond 168 hours:

Those forecasts have about zero skill and it is pretty useless to discuss them. Anyone could basically make up their own forecast within reason and it would be about as accurate.


Our thoughts about other precip types are stated clearly in this post. As I said to Michael_Nyugen, if the forecast were to change in any meaningful way, we'd post an update. Not sure what Chuck Bell's FutureCast is based on-but given what you say it's indicating, I wouldn't trust it.


Our forecast is what's stated in this post. The afternoon models have not changed anything.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 9, 2011 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Snow to freezing rain. Just demonstrates the difficulty of snow forecasting for the area. Model guidance is not an exact science for sure.

Posted by: moo1 | January 9, 2011 6:57 PM | Report abuse

MITCHRAPP: I agree. If you someone doesn't have something nice to say, then don't say it.

The fact the the CWG takes time out of their lives to go pouring through models, weather info, etc. for us is incredible and I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to each and every one of you for making this site possible.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I agree. CWG is totally responsive to their readers. They are an usually dedicated team. And WAPO execs - they should get a nice salary adjustment.

Posted by: moo1 | January 9, 2011 7:02 PM | Report abuse


I was watching channel 4's newscast this evening, not 7's, so I can't help you there. Chuck Bell said 1 - 2 inches, I believe, but I wouldn't heed his forecast, since he was the one that showed freezing rain for us on his futurecast. I wouldn't be surprised, however, if we were to see less than one inch. Sigh.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Bob, I understand you make a very meaningful contribution when we get enough snow or ice. I am in no way an atist but wish I had one and I mean one bone that had that streak in it. Your stuff is awesome. I don't have anything to contribute but I will fight for what I beleive in and this is one of those situations. Why on earth would anyone even say something meanspirited and demeaning just to hurt another. I am serious though, if there is a way to help show these guys I and you or anyone else cares, I will post $50.00 for Bob with his permission "family" members would have to set up an account that only Wes, Jason, Ian and any of the "gang" could access. Do you 2nd the motion anyone?

Posted by: MITCHRAPP | January 9, 2011 7:04 PM | Report abuse

From the NYC, NY NWS Forecast Discussion (4:27 pm). Thought it was interesting.

....Prolific lightning over the north central Gulf of Mexico may be indicative of stronger shortwave ridging ahead of the system than most model forecasts...which may force an eventual farther west low track...and the NAM seems to be picking up on this.

Posted by: banweiler | January 9, 2011 6:52 PM | Report abuse

@banweiler, this is very interesting news. This means that the low over the gulf may not weaken as much as they believed, which would definitely be more conducive to earlier phasing. I'm very interested to see the upcoming NAM and GFS. Being that I'm in Ellicott City, about 20 miles or so north of D.C., I'm starting to feel the optimism I had a day or go returning a bit. The latest GFS already has me down for about 2-4 or 5. Hopefully this gulf low can keep it's act together.

Not to mention it's beginning to get to that point - just like with the dec. 26th storm - that the radar can tell us something. The precip is already beginning to move E/NE rather than just E. Yes, a lot of this is due to the pluming of the precip shield itself, but the strength of this low is promising.

Posted by: bbirnbau | January 9, 2011 7:07 PM | Report abuse

wow, my post got crushed. What I said was I will post $50.00 with BOB's permission and another $250.00 from my family making a $300.oo contribution that only Jason, Ian, Wes or any other "gang" member could access. I would need a member from our community to set it up and I will donate $300.00. $50.00 from BOB with his permission and $250.00 froim my family. Does anyone else 2nd the motion??

Posted by: MITCHRAPP | January 9, 2011 7:09 PM | Report abuse


I happen to think Chuck Bell is a really good forecaster and 1-2" is a very reasonable forecast. I'm just not confident in the FutureCast product he may have used which I believe comes from a forecast model developed by Weather Central - which is the company that provides NBC4 with its weather graphics.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 9, 2011 7:11 PM | Report abuse

So I don't get why people complain about forecasts (along with a lot of other things). There are tons of choices on where to get your weather info so instead of bashing the guys here, why don't you go somewhere else and be miserable there?

Rant over.

ps love the Mitch Rapp member id, can't get enough of Vince Flynn

Posted by: deeeeeep18 | January 9, 2011 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Moderator, please delete the first post. It somehow was cut here and there and I didn't proof it so it sounds really weird. So if you are in fact on line please delete my 1st post. I'm just trying to see if we could get a group to show that we are thankful for you all. Heck even gift cards could be in order

Posted by: MITCHRAPP | January 9, 2011 7:14 PM | Report abuse

CWG, seriously, don't they ever give you guys a day off?? You deserve one for all the hard work you do. And also, thank you for answering questions in the comment section of this site. It's great to have that feature. :)

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Thanks deeeeeep18. I AM a HUGE Vince Flynn fan and also can't get enough of him.Peace

Posted by: MITCHRAPP | January 9, 2011 7:17 PM | Report abuse

It looks like all snow for dc and points west based on the latest forecast soundings unless you get down in southern Calvert or Charles counties. The cloud top temperatures looks colder.

it's way too early to guess at any storm beyond Tuesday. Any model storm at 200 hrs is in fantasyland.

It's also too early to guess at ratios. They depend on flake type, size and ground temperature.

Posted by: wjunker | January 9, 2011 7:17 PM | Report abuse


I agree that Chuck Bell is a very respectable forecaster. They all are; Bob Ryan, Doug Hill, Topper Shutt, Sue Palka, Adam Caskey, Steve Rudin, etc.

I think that they should establish a "National Meteorologist Appreciation Day" to honor all of you in the forecasting business.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Unreal with the dry-slot depiction, here on the most recent QPF forecast for days 1-3. Another snow hole around DC. What are the chances?

Posted by: HurricaneSpud | January 9, 2011 7:23 PM | Report abuse

I see Chuck Bell is the only one on TV showing his snow map, I'm curious if any other local meteorologist will show there snow map... I really like how other meteorologist have different snow fall accumulation.. with Chuck Bell I see a mixed in the DC Area, which isn't a good thing, I prefer Snow instead of this nasty icy mixed.... I was reading something on here where they said the Low in the Gulf is getting stronger then expected.... Is that true??

Posted by: MNguyen6551 | January 9, 2011 7:25 PM | Report abuse


Wow. That sure is a dry slot. I'm still not giving up hope, though. :)

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Thank Wes. Ice is beautiful but very scary.

I see the temps aren't forecast to get past of the 30's this week. A little snow would do a lot to brighten up a dreary & bleak winter landscape.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 9, 2011 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Hey.... Does anyone know the latest on the NWS Discussion, I like reading about the discussion forecast? or what's the link so I can read up on it....

Posted by: MNguyen6551 | January 9, 2011 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: deeeeeep18 | January 9, 2011 7:41 PM | Report abuse


Wow, apparently you weren't here for the post-Christmas storm... they did regular updates on Christmas Day. This year the storms are harder to forecast - for all the weather folks.

I suggest you stick around so that you can appreciate the knowledge and expertise of this group, as well as their willingness to say it like it is when they don't get it right. They haven't earned the respect of so many for nothing.

Posted by: MKoehl | January 9, 2011 7:43 PM | Report abuse

@deeeeeep18... Thanks! I'm reading it, but still confusing, but I tried.. LOL.... I guess the discussion is still about the same when someone wrote on the wall/thread....

Posted by: MNguyen6551 | January 9, 2011 7:45 PM | Report abuse


I saw Chuck Bell's forecast as well. Yes, it did call for iciness, BUT, Wes Junker posted a comment on here earlier saying that ice should only be a problem in southern maryland.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 7:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm watching radar in realtime. That thing(storm) is "booking". It seems the low is a lot farther south and much nearer the coast than I had thought it was going to be. Based on the speed and amount already on the ground and where it's located are we sure of the timing and intensity of this thing. Has something changed that I missed? Not saying anyone is wrong or it wasn't suppossed to do this but it just seems to be packing an iron fist and getting ready to strike fast.

Posted by: MITCHRAPP | January 9, 2011 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Rats, checking Mosaic,
the low center is tracking east across the northern Gulf, parallel to the Florida coast, very similar to the track the 12/26 storm took. If the predicted dry slot is strong enough, 'twill be another snow whiff on Tuesday.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | January 9, 2011 7:58 PM | Report abuse

@MITCHRAPP... Interesting that you said that, if that happens what does it mean for the DC Area?? Your on the same page as me just looking at the radar, and just questioned what this storm is doing and going?? We will see what the next model runs will say if they observed the same thing you did or other ppl did....

Posted by: MNguyen6551 | January 9, 2011 8:01 PM | Report abuse


Maybe if we're lucky, we'll wake up to a surprise tomorrow morning. I'm hoping that when I come on this website tomorrow morning, the headline will read "Models flip - - 6 to 12 inches now likely". I'm gonna go watch the weather channel for a little while. I'll come back on here and tell you what they say about the storm. As I type this, Mike Seidel is reporting live from Grenada, MS. He is one of my favorite TWC reporters. It's coming down pretty hard there, believe it or not.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Will CWG be posting school closing/ airports (you know, the apples and planes) tommorrow

Posted by: redskins-95 | January 9, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

@BobMiller, is that sleet or snow in Grenada, MS that's now falling (it was sleet on NBC's 6:30 nightly news)?

I hate to snow on anybody's parade, but right now, I agree with the 1" or less prognosticators. Ready to be proven wrong, though.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | January 9, 2011 8:09 PM | Report abuse

I see some ppl are now comparing this storm to the Dec Storm, where we were in a huge dry slot, I hope it's not true, yea some model are also saying this also.... I'm at the point where this winter is not our year compare to last winter.... I wonder if dry slot didn't occur in this storm what will the snowfall be??

Don't we have two storm system to deal with this time, not sure the last storm if we had two storm system or just the coastal storm?

Posted by: MNguyen6551 | January 9, 2011 8:09 PM | Report abuse

JUST WATCHED THE WEATHER CHANNEL..what is going on?? they just said at least 4-6 for DC and surrounding areas for Tues afternoon.
They said the low has become stronger and the low the weather storm from the west is pushing futher south..this combined could 50/50 give the mid atlantic a MAJOR STORM..12 or more going crazy!!!!!!!! Im thinking about turning off the old laptop and radio until know i wont be able too

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 9, 2011 8:19 PM | Report abuse


Yep...tomorrow afternoon, we'll roll out the whole package with accumulation map, impact scales, timeline, etc.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 9, 2011 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Just watched the weather channel. they said the 2 storms could possibly merge and give the mid atlantic to include DC) a major im going crazy!!!! Im gonna turn off the PC and tv till know i wont be able too...

For real the TWC is saying possible big storm for I hope so.

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 9, 2011 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else think something is wrong with these models. I have a feeling we are going to get more snow that we think. Looks like 2 very strong storms that are going to meet right over top of D.C. We are so close to getting some decent snows around D.C.

Posted by: dannythe357 | January 9, 2011 8:30 PM | Report abuse

BradFinWoodbridgeVA, if you're screwing with me right now I'm gonna seriously figure out where you live and cause some trouble. Despite this possibly indictable threat I just made, if you aren't joshing me I wanna kiss you right now.

But still not ready to believe that. I think you may have either misinterpreted something they said or they're just being idiots (the weather channel is full of them).

Here's to hoping you're right. I'm going bowling. I'll see you guys at 11:30.

Posted by: bbirnbau | January 9, 2011 8:31 PM | Report abuse

@BobMiller, is that sleet or snow in Grenada, MS that's now falling (it was sleet on NBC's 6:30 nightly news)?

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | January 9, 2011 8:09 PM |

It's all heavy, fluffy snow now. Mike Seidel said that it was sleeting earlier, but it has changed over to all snow. I suggest you tune in to the weather channel. They said that they will have live team coverage all night long. They've had people on from the power companies, they have reporters scattered across the south/mid-atlantic (including Mike Seidel, my favorite) and I think that when there's no local news on, TWC is the best option :)

@BradFinWoodbridgeVA: I heard them say that also. I hope they're right about the storm dumping 6 inches of snow on the entire eastern seaboard... It still sounds like NYC will be the bull's eye...

Oh, Mike Seidel just came back on... gotta go...

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 8:31 PM | Report abuse

I love the variety of forecasts that are now coming in for this "storm".
There will be much pie on face wrongness for some big name forecasting entities. Ice storm? Four to 6 inches? CWG sez this looks like a very modest event.
Can't wait.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 9, 2011 8:34 PM | Report abuse

@BradFinWoodbridgeVA... Really??? I know what you mean when you hear different sources from different places, wish I heard that on TWC along with you, but I kind of given up @ this time.... So, at this point I dunno... I'm just going to trust CWG along with a few local meteorologist....

Posted by: MNguyen6551 | January 9, 2011 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Bob Ryan tweeted about a half-hour ago:

Drat snow lovers - we in DC miss out again Tues-Wed and PHL-NYC-BDL and BOS get all the fun.

@BobMiller2, I must be one of five people in this universe that doesn't have cable. Sometimes I can get weather stuff on Channel 7.2. Glad the folks in Grenada are getting snow.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | January 9, 2011 8:36 PM | Report abuse


I agree, this storm is very exciting. No wonder 125+ comments have been posted to this thread...

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 8:37 PM | Report abuse

moo1 -

I think this GFS model at 264 hrs answers your question, does it not?

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 5:38 PM | Report abuse
Bob Miller, you've been so excited about this potential storm at over 10 days out that if it does somehow materialize, we should call it the BobMiller (Miller B) Storm of 2011.

Posted by: bdeco | January 9, 2011 8:43 PM | Report abuse

I would not pull anyones leg about what i heard them say. it was that doctor guy with the glasses who said the storms could merge. man im hopeing he could be correct. just called my dad in Sc and there just now begging to see light snowfall. i hope it stays on a northern course like TWC says it might.

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 9, 2011 8:48 PM | Report abuse

I'll be honest we will have to see what the model runs tonight to see what TWC is talking about if they were right...... but the local meteorologist is saying different, let's just see what CWG is saying also... hopefully the TWC isn't playing games with us..... What TWC is stating has anyone noticed if the storm is getting stronger and the track changed by looking at the radar or any sources??

Posted by: MNguyen6551 | January 9, 2011 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else watching the storm as it moves through the south? Look at that band moving through ATL:
Last hours obs say its snowing there but I'm betting that's a band of some pretty heavy sleet/ice. If that's snow, wowza!

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 9, 2011 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Dear CWG. Thank you for all your great weather analysis! You guys are the greatest.

I have a question which I am afraid to ask, but here goes: My daughter and I are scheduled to Megabus to NYC on Wednesday afternoon, departing at 4:30. Cannot reschedule. Important doings there early Thursday morning.

Are we going to make it??? I just went out and bought better boots. Should we also pack shovels?

Posted by: bipi | January 9, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Seems to me that with Snowmageddon, there was a low where the energy "jumped" from the OH valley (or east somewhere else) to the coast...

(I don't understand how atmospheric energy "jumps" but that was the explanation that I got when I googled it. Sounds like weather voodoo to me. :P)

Meanwhile, I've done my grocery run - which really isn't anything more than what I buy every week. Though I bought a lot to make meals at home... like I did before Snowmageddon... hmm... maybe Bombo's dance schedule, and my getting stuff to cook, and various and sundry snow dances are helping? :)

Posted by: MKoehl | January 9, 2011 8:58 PM | Report abuse

It figures that even the ATL will pick up more snow than the Snow Hole Formerly Known as the DC Metro Region.

Posted by: bdeco | January 9, 2011 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Ive been watching this all day ( yes Im bored) i still have good hopes were gonna at least get the grass covered here around DC. thers too many different forecast to give up hope in my opinion.

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 9, 2011 9:04 PM | Report abuse

I just saw TWC as well. I honestly am looking at these models and that storm is looking huge. In my gut feeling, I predict 4-8 inches in the DC area. Yes, I know. It might be wishful thinking but you never know.

Posted by: lll1424 | January 9, 2011 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Bob Ryan is a snow hater. Always has been and always will be. I wouldn't pay much attention to what he has to say. Most models and forecasters point to 2-4 or 3-6 for the DC/Baltimore area...starting later in the day on Tuesday. Perhaps things will change later tonight or tomorrow and there will be a chance for us to get more...or less.

Posted by: DLO1975 | January 9, 2011 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Things are looking good for snow guys. Lets do more snow dancing!!!!!!

Posted by: lll1424 | January 9, 2011 9:16 PM | Report abuse

The NWS is saying a 100% chance of snow and 90% chance of snow from about 9am-7pm. I suppose this could be just a light snow but i am hoping for a real storm. 8 inches and i will be happy. When will CWG give us the new models? Don't those come out around midnight.

Posted by: jbernard703 | January 9, 2011 9:21 PM | Report abuse

So, what's the deal on TWC for what they made that statement about the storm is getting stronger, is that a true fact?? Not saying it's phasing already, but getting stronger then what model are saying with the current position??

Posted by: MNguyen6551 | January 9, 2011 9:22 PM | Report abuse is saying 2-5"

Posted by: SnowDreamer | January 9, 2011 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Joe Bastardi just tweeted the GFS is under doing the moisture of tuesdays storm. I would argue the foreign models are over doing the moisture.

Im sticking to T-3 inches for the storm.

Posted by: KRUZ | January 9, 2011 9:26 PM | Report abuse


Latest model runs are showing more snow for the area...a nice hit for us!

Posted by: lll1424 | January 9, 2011 9:26 PM | Report abuse

DLO1975 --

So we should not pay attention to Bob Ryan, one of the most experienced and respected mets around, because you say he's a snow hater?


Posted by: natsncats | January 9, 2011 9:27 PM | Report abuse

JBernard, the 00z models have started to come in, the NAM is working now and looks like its going to end up with a little more snow than previous runs. Still, only one run though, but something to hope on if you're rooting for snow.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 9, 2011 9:27 PM | Report abuse

The NAM is more intense and further west on HR 54. Also looks to be slowing down. Wes, what you thinking on this. Is it possible for D.C to still be in the game for some decent snow fall totals?

Posted by: dannythe357 | January 9, 2011 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Looks like we are getting hammered at 54 hr on the NAM. That would get us to 4 inches right there... If that happens :/

Posted by: KRUZ | January 9, 2011 9:30 PM | Report abuse

It's all have reeled me in.

Yes that is snow in metro Atl (I just moved from there last summer). My family and friends are all posting pics on FB of the event and the place has shut down.

For once in my life, I want to see more than 3 inches of snow. I missed the blizzard of 93 by 1 week (was in college). And now that I live up here, metro Atl is getting hit again. What gives?

Posted by: former-gapeach | January 9, 2011 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Best news i've heard all weekend! I need at least one good snow fall per winter to feel fulfilled. Can't wait to see the analysis when all the newest models are in.

Posted by: jbernard703 | January 9, 2011 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Folks, I have a new post up where I'm live blogging the models. Click the banner to get back to the main page to follow.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 9, 2011 9:34 PM | Report abuse

keeping TWc on constant on the Tv upstairs. They still seem to be stickin with the possibilty of the storms merging and giving us a decent snow around DC. thats low around my dads down in Sc looks huge at this point and growing bigger. IMHO

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 9, 2011 9:34 PM | Report abuse

This run looks like its making a pretty large jump from previous runs, I don't know if I'd trust it if it stands alone. While an improvement, storm-wise, it's not giving us anything like we saw last winter. Max snowfall still wouldn't be much more than 5 inches or so, until you get toward and north of Baltimore.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 9, 2011 9:35 PM | Report abuse

After watching the latest coverage, if i wake up and the CWG s latest report still says" LIGHT SNOW" im gonna admitt i will be super suprised.

Posted by: BradFinWoodbridgeVA | January 9, 2011 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Jason just posted a new update; let's move the discussion over there.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | January 9, 2011 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Brian-CapitalWeatherGang : But the fact that things are actually changing for more snow is amazing in its own way. Who knows? Things might get even better for us as time goes on!!! This storm is looking huge. I predict 4-8.

Posted by: lll1424 | January 9, 2011 9:43 PM | Report abuse

as Jason noted the NAM trended much wetter getting the .50 inch line to the west side of the bay. The 18Z run had had swung drier now the 00Z has more southern development and consequently more snow. Like him, I'm not sure what to make of it.

Posted by: wjunker | January 9, 2011 10:13 PM | Report abuse


It's the "George Costanza Theory":

"My entire life, every decision I've ever made has been wrong. So, now I will do the opposite."

Posted by: putdepuckindenet | January 9, 2011 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Hi Wes,
"Our best guess right now for snowfall. . . "

What do we communicate with the word "guess"?

From . .yea sure they are should not be a source either but

"To guess is to risk an opinion regarding something one does not know about, or, wholly or partly by chance, to arrive at the correct answer to a question: to guess the outcome of a game. Guess at implies more haphazard or random guessing: to guess at the solution of a crime"

I'd rather have you/CWG write/say "our best analysis right now. . . ". Let's leave the term "weather guessers" in the trash bin of meteorology.


Posted by: rtryan1 | January 10, 2011 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Per Vaisala/NWS...Lightning/thundersnow reported in northern Alabama...pls. check mesoscale discussions.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | January 10, 2011 12:28 AM | Report abuse

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