This is shaping up to be a pretty nice weekend, as long as you can stomach some wind. Today we see temperatures rising to near average in the mid-or-upper 40s, and by tomorrow widespread 50s target the region. A brief cooler air mass to start the week quickly gets punted by a big warm-up to follow.
Our long-awaited warm up is underway, and it seems like milder air should stick around a while with perhaps a brief interruption early week. The weekend is looking pretty fine with temperatures in the 40s on Saturday and the 50s on Sunday. However, a pesky breeze that should be gusty at times may necessitate some light cold-weather gear.
The results are in. We received nearly 50 submissions of 2010 weather images from our readers -- pictures of looming clouds, breathtaking sunsets, mounds of snow, moonlit nights and more. Together they illustrated our incredible year of weather. Without further adieu, here are Capital Weather Gang's top five favorites from each of the two categories - "Snowmageddon" and "Other Weather" - described in our December call for photos.
Yesterday, Stafford, Prince William, Fauquier and Spotsylvania counties made the controversial decision to close schools despite just 0.5-1" of snow. Lots of people had opinions on the matter that they expressed. Here are some of the most compelling arguments...
We've just experienced (endured) one of our coldest nights of the season in the mid-Atlantic, but prospects are increasing for a very mild period ahead. As a result, this may be one of my last opportunities this winter to say "How low did it go?" after a very cold night (for the record: Reagan National 22, BWI 13, Dulles 11). According to Infoplease, 27 states, including Maryland (but not Virginia and obviously not D.C.), have seen low temperatures of forty degrees below zero or lower.
Temperatures begin their moderation trend today and that should continue for most of the next week. We're still stuck a little below average though today as highs reach near 40 or into the low 40s. Plenty of sunshine and lighter winds should make it feel nicer than recently though!
With a big warming trend in the forecast, I decided to give the ol' sledding hill one last run, perhaps the last sledding run of the season. The bulk of the snow pack on sledding hill was deposited during our impressive January 26 snow thump. Since that snowstorm, the sledding hill has thawed, been soaked with rain, and ultimately compressed and frozen into a rock hard glacial mass, only lightly dusted with a coating of powder from last night's mini-snow event. It will surely melt soon, but at least it was good for one last sledding run. Could this be the end of sledding for the season?
Today's highs in the mid-30s were cold but maybe the fact we all know warm weather is right around the corner made it feel not so bad. Tonight is very chilly - perhaps as it cold as it will be the rest of winter? Time will tell. The much anticipated warming trend begins tomorrow.
For the second time this winter, snow covers the ground in every state except Florida. NOAA's National Snow Analyses indicate almost two thirds (65 percent) of the lower 48 is covered by snow today.
For much of the 2009-2010 winter, the eastern half of the lower 48 endured one of the most brutal combinations of cold and snow I've seen in my lifetime. And to a somewhat lesser degree (less snow in the mid-Atlantic), the combination has repeated itself this winter. To explain long-lasting weather extremes like the ones we've seen the last two winters, meteorological studies often invoke a phenomenon called the Arctic Oscillation (AO), or its close relative the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). For reasons I'll discuss, I find this connection misleading.
Light snow and flurries last night generally produced the dusting to half inch predicted by the Capital Weather Gang. Inside the beltway, amounts were generally around 0.1", with just a trace for most spots north of Montgomery county. However, in a some spots mainly east, southeast and south of town, snow amounts exceeded expectations - totaling 0.5-1".
Flakes are gone, and sunny skies emerge today. The afternoon is bright but cold & breezy. A wind shift from northwest to southwest tonight signals big changes to come. The warm up in the pipeline should remind us that spring is not far away.
After some morning sunshine, clouds have filled the sky ahead of a storm system passing mainly to our south. A few snowflakes are possible tonight, and in a few spots the ground could get dusted or a little more. But by tomorrow, sunshine returns along with breezes and still cold temperatures.
The winter of 2010-2011 is turning into a historic one in parts of eastern Oklahoma, Kansas, and northwest Arkansas. Heavy snow in the region from a storm in the region coupled with snow from the Groundhog's Day blizzard is bringing monthly and seasonal totals to record levels. Totals over 20" have been recorded in some locations in all three states.
After Snowmageddon buried the metro region with 18-32 historic inches February 5 and 6, who would've thought another 8-20 inches would fall within five days? Enter Snoverkill, the amazing storm that brought not only heavy snow, but winds gusting over 40 mph and temperatures that plummeted into the high teens.
This is a continuation of my futuristic journey into how the year 2076 unfolded, both weatherwise and otherwise--in retrospect from the year 2077.
Today we embrace a kinder, gentler cold. We're probably limited to highs in the 30s again, but gone are yesterday's fierce winds that made even a short walk to lunch a blustery experience. The cold lasts through tomorrow, after a chance of flurries or a dusting of snow tonight, before a warm-up that should make many of us quite happy.
NOAA's Environmental Visualization lab is featuring a neat image showcasing the highest impact snowstorms on record, using its Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale (NESIS). Good news for snow lovers? Three of the top five have occurred after today's date!
Winds have gusted from 40-50 mph throughout the entire metro region today, and blustery conditions continue through this evening. Overnight, the combination of wind and Arctic air is brutal before winds gradually relax for a cold but calmer Wednesday.
So the Groundhog said spring is around the corner and we're talking about a mild pattern settling in next week. Whether or not winter makes a comeback later this month, now seems like a good time to step back and reflect on what the season has delivered so far...
The models are increasingly bearish about the possibility of snow Thursday.
Our cold winter marches onward. For the second month in a row, Washington D.C. was colder-than-average. But, January 2011 wasn't as strong of a cold anomaly as December as the average temperature at Reagan National Airport was only 1.3F colder than the 30-year (1971-2000) normal.
Big high pressure rolling down from Canada sends in a burst of very windy and frigid air. A wind advisory is in effect from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. for gusts to 45-50 mph. The cold persists through this work week, but I'm seeing signs of warming initiating this weekend.
It was another mild (near average) day across the area today. That's all about to change as a storm system and cold front passing by overnight usher in another round of much colder air. Tuesday is looking pretty nasty with temperatures barely budging off morning lows and whipping winds gusting near 40 mph!
The once ominous looking storm scenario for Thursday continues to look like it won't materialize as the system probably tracks to our southeast.
So the Associated Press (AP) hooked up with Weather Underground to do a poll on weather, moods and sex. It found four in 10 Americans say the weather affects their mood, and winter by far is the season most likely to leave them feeling down. On the other hand, 15 percent of Americans who were cooped up by the weather reported having more sex than usual.
Between the Chicago blizzard, and the parade of east coast snowstorms that have dropped so much snow on the northeast that local news coverage in southern New England of late has been dominated by reports of roof collapses, this is certainly shaping up to be a winter to remember. Yet for a key region of the globe, it's actually proving to be a remarkably warm winter so far, which, believe it or not, may help explain why it's been so cold and snowy in the U.S
After we flirt with 50 this afternoon, rain showers may transition to snow showers briefly early Tuesday morning. Then it's generally cold and dry until some possible moderation this weekend. The once promising chance of snow on Thursday now looks dubious.
There are two chances for snow this week but neither look particularly promising for snow lovers.
Well, this is more like it. After yesterday's gloomy and chilly drizzle-fest, our forecast looks much brighter and warmer today. A quick distrubance moving through Monday night leaves more cold and wind behind for us. A more significant system bears watching for the Wednesday-Friday timeframe.