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Posted at 8:45 AM ET, 02/22/2011

Forecast: A couple cold days follow icy storm

By Matt Rogers

Warmer weather & rain return by late week

updated at 6 a.m. and 8:45 a.m., originally posted at 5 a.m.

Today's Daily Digit
A somewhat subjective rating of the
day's weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.


After last week's 70s, highs in the 20s and 30s are not nice.
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter


Today: Snow ending early. Becoming partly sunny. 29-34. | Tonight: Clear and cold. 10-20. | Tomorrow: Partly cloudy. 38-44. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail


If you are a snow/ice lover, you can enjoy an encore wintry weather landscape this morning as we start the last week of February. If you are a snow-hater, then hopefully, you can find warm solace in the memory of those beautiful 70s from Friday. And no matter which side, you would likely agree that volatility is king in this final chapter of winter. This variable pattern looks to continue with warmer rain later this week before another dose of cold and maybe more wintry weather by late this weekend.

Snow Potential Index: 1 ↓ - With the snow behind us, I had to leave a "1" behind for a slight chance of something late Sunday.

The SPI is a daily assessment of the potential for accumulating snow for the next week on a 0-10 scale. Get the 'SPI' on Twitter

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.

6:00 a.m. update: Only some remnant light snow flurries are around. All precipitation should end in this hour, but temperatures remain below freezing. Be careful on untreated surfaces.

5:00 a.m. update: Scattered light snow showers around. All temperatures below freezing around area. Mainly flurries expected next hour or two.

Today (Tuesday): Early morning snow should taper to flurries and then depart our area by or before 7 a.m. Use extreme caution on side roads and side walks which may be snow/ice covered and treacherous. In addition to the very slick roads, the storm leaves behind gradually clearing skies but very chilly temperatures. Normal high temperatures at National Airport are around 50 degrees, but not today as highs should only range from the upper 20s to low 30s (whatever snow you picked up last night will be very slow to melt today). Light winds from the north. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Skies clear and winds are light. With some fresh snow cover on the ground (especially north of town) and high pressure, our temperatures could drop to some of the lowest levels we have seen this month. Single digits are possible in the far suburbs with teens in the more immediate DC suburbs to near 20 in the city. Confidence: Medium

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend...

Tomorrow (Wednesday): Cold high pressure continues to dominate the weather, but the return of sunshine allows temperatures to more easily surpass the freezing mark with mid-to-upper 30s. The late February sun is getting stronger, so we should not rule out a few low 40s readings. Light winds. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: Partly cloudy with lows in the 20s (maybe around 30 in the city). Confidence: Medium-High


Thursday sees warmer winds returning to the area along with clouds and then afternoon rain showers (40% chance). Highs are expected to pop into the upper 40s and low 50s. Rain is then likely Thursday night with lows in the 40s. Confidence: Medium

Friday offers more rain and depending on the storm track details, it could be heavy at times. Highs in the 50s to possibly low 60s are expected, but a cold front arrives in the evening to clear out the rain and bring back more colder weather. Friday night lows should be in the 20s and 30s, but accompanying higher winds will mean colder wind chills. Confidence: Low-Medium

The weekend appears to fare on the colder side again with partly to mostly sunny skies on Saturday and highs in the 40s. Clouds could make a comeback Saturday night with lows in the 20s and 30s. An uncertain Sunday situation is unfolding as another storm system approaches the area. Some guidance suggests we'll be mild and showery with highs in the 50s. But other versions suggest colder conditions with mixed precipitation possible toward late in the day on Sunday. Hopefully, we'll get more clarity on this in the coming days. Confidence: Low

By Matt Rogers  | February 22, 2011; 8:45 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Snow totals fall short of forecasts: why?


We have about 2" of snow over ice in Laytonsville, MD. The sleet/rain lasted longer than expected.

Posted by: dprats21 | February 22, 2011 5:21 AM | Report abuse

So far 66 is just wet except a small stretch of sleety stuff west of the Blue Ridge. Salt trucks creating backups here and there. There was about 1/8 inch glaze on the van with an inch of sleety snow on horizontal surfaces. Although we didn't get the predicted depth of snow, we still ended up with a mess. Amendment: slush between lanes and some slush on the left lane at the Plains.

Posted by: eric654 | February 22, 2011 5:31 AM | Report abuse

I hope you snow fans are finally happy.

Posted by: angelicat | February 22, 2011 5:49 AM | Report abuse

Ultimately, the longer duration mixed precipitation really ate away at the snow expectations. Precipitation-type is always one of the most challenging aspects of winter forecasting.

Posted by: MattRogers1 | February 22, 2011 6:02 AM | Report abuse

In Catonsville, MD, the sleet changed to snow at approximately 8:00 PM. 4 inches total.

Posted by: Peterb58 | February 22, 2011 6:11 AM | Report abuse

Barely a dusting at the 310 Bridge.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | February 22, 2011 6:35 AM | Report abuse

I just want to say that I am very appreciative of what you guys do. You're about forecasting without the hype. And in a very difficult winter to forecast storms, you "busted" on one while the others have been all in the ballpark. Thank you guys and get 'em next time.

Posted by: Formerwxman | February 22, 2011 6:40 AM | Report abuse

about 1 inch in rockville. Can still see the grass thru the snow in some stops.

Looks like the late NAM won.

Posted by: jiji1 | February 22, 2011 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Centreville VA So it was mostly a sleetstorm. Less than an inch of ice/snow accumulation. Dreadful stuff that pleases no one.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 22, 2011 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Grass showing here in Fair Oaks, so about half an inch of snow I'd say.

Posted by: rwalker66 | February 22, 2011 7:22 AM | Report abuse

even though there was very little snow there are plenty of closings..... except forfairfaix

Posted by: snowlover31 | February 22, 2011 7:39 AM | Report abuse

The crust on hubby's windshield was nasty. Clearly, we had plenty of sleet before a dusting of snow on top.

Posted by: tbva | February 22, 2011 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Great forecast!

4-6 inches in moco.

we got a half inch in moco.


Posted by: SNOWLUVER | February 22, 2011 7:51 AM | Report abuse

No more than 0.75" of snow in Ashburn. I swept it off the driveway and made it to work basically on time.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | February 22, 2011 7:51 AM | Report abuse

All the snow must have dumped on my house in Frederick as I got 5 inches over a coating of icy sleet.

Posted by: tinkertoy2 | February 22, 2011 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Spot on here in East Columbia. About 2.5" on top of some ice.

Posted by: Phils-in-Columbia | February 22, 2011 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the local totals, everyone. You can tell that folks from Frederick and along areas north of DC clearly did better- while the immediate DC area had just too much sleet mixed in, which does not accumulate like fluffy snow.

Posted by: MattRogers1 | February 22, 2011 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Looks like ~0.5" of sleet/snow combo here in Lake Ridge.

Posted by: ZmanVA | February 22, 2011 8:07 AM | Report abuse

"Did better" is a subjective term. In my view, here in Fairfax we did better with our 1/2 inch of snow.

Posted by: FH59312 | February 22, 2011 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Today's forecast ...
>the storm leaves behind cloudy skies and very chilly temperatures.
So the bright sun and blue sky I see through the window is going to go away?

Posted by: Murre | February 22, 2011 8:11 AM | Report abuse

About an inch and a half to two inches of snow on top of maybe an inch of sleet in Columbia. HoCo still hasn't come back from the long weekend, none of the roads are treated, 29/32/95 were still a mess on my way in today. As soon as 95 crosses into PG county, nothing but wet pavement as opposed to the ice covered mess it was to the north.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 22, 2011 8:20 AM | Report abuse

I always wondered why some people put their windshield wipers up before snow. Today I learned. That snow/ice was like super glue.

Posted by: dantebouchot | February 22, 2011 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Haha, excellent point FH59312. And to clarify that my "did better" was in conjunction with our forecast- not so much whether we like snow or sleet better.

Posted by: MattRogers1 | February 22, 2011 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Another bust from LWX. What's with them this year? Only a few hours before the storm they were calling for 4-8" in MoCo and northern MoCo only ended up with about 2".

Posted by: Dylan0513 | February 22, 2011 8:33 AM | Report abuse

angelicat, you said,
"I hope you snow fans are finally happy."

uh... NO! what are you talking about? i can safely say snow fans are decidedly NOT happy. it DID NOT snow in falls church last night! ok, maaaaybe 1/8" on top of some pointless awful sleet. sleet! i'd say that's beyond "the low end" of the "2-4 w/sleet" we were forecast to get. we got about 1/16 of the minimum amount of snow shown for my house in the CWG accumulation map.... to say nothing of the higher-end amounts i heard mentioned (as predictions) here and reported as predictions from NWS, OCMs etc.... boy oh boy...

definitely NOT happy. it's definitely NOT as advertised out there. definitely NOT what i expected to wake up to. this is probably more disappointing than all the other busts this season in that this storm actually did start out how it was supposed to. everything was trending good and the cold "over-performed". precip started on time, as rain, as predicted. changed to sleet, exactly on time - everything was going according to schedule. i'm sure later today we'll hear all the reasons everything unraveled after that... but man do i feel like charlie brown.

i even vociferously defended the gang's forecast to naysayers last night saying things like, "it's playing out just as planned" and "the change-over's coming"....

i guess it's nice for frederick - 50 miles from the capital - that the forecast was within the low end of the range predicted for them....

grumpy old man.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 22, 2011 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Another pathetic "storm" in our boring, underperforming winter. Perhaps 1/2" here in Michigan Park.

Now I can pin my hopes on CWG's forecast calling for "heavy" rain on Friday! Let's hope so, as National Airport only received .21" of precip last night.

Posted by: TominMichiganParkDC | February 22, 2011 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Just about 4" here in Baltimore City.

Posted by: weatherwatcher1 | February 22, 2011 8:46 AM | Report abuse


Indeed skies are already clearing. We've tweaked the forecast to better communicate that.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 22, 2011 8:59 AM | Report abuse

TominMichiganParkDC, I noticed that too. And 0.3 inches of precip at Dulles. I think the main reason this was a bust is that the storm weakened and the precip didn't fall, frozen or not.

Posted by: eric654 | February 22, 2011 9:01 AM | Report abuse


We predicted 2-4" for most of Montgomery County. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 22, 2011 9:01 AM | Report abuse

@ Jason, thanks.

I shoveled my barely-half-an-inch of snow-and-sleet at a leisurely place in the most welcome sunlight.

Posted by: Murre | February 22, 2011 9:06 AM | Report abuse

But Walter, I remember you weren't completely happy last winter either, with record, once- in-a-lifetime snow amounts...

Posted by: weatherdude | February 22, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

CWG did have most of Montgomery Co. in the 2-4 inch range; however they did post the response below late yesterday afternoon. Just curious how many inches Northern Mont. Co. received.


"Remember, Montgomery County is a big county, and 4-8" is a big range. If you look at the NWS snow map - - the 6"+ totals they're predicting are once you get toward the northern part of they county, which I'd agree with. -Dan, CWG"

Posted by: Showmethesnow | February 22, 2011 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Looks like PEPCO dodged a bullet!!!!!!!

Posted by: Jimbo77 | February 22, 2011 9:23 AM | Report abuse

I'm hearing tales at work of courts left unplowed, no ice melt down, side roads left unplowed, I think some folks didn't take this one as seriously either but thankfully the timing of this one saved us from Commutergeddon Part Deux.

Posted by: wadejg | February 22, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Interesting to see about the same amount of snow/frozen stuff in Fairfax City as in Alexandria...

Posted by: MKoehl | February 22, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure how I feel about this. Last night, before going to bed I got out a bottle of wine and my snuggie, like I normally do when snow looms; however, when I woke up there was just less than two inches here in Laurel.

Bummed that I wouldn't have one last snow day, I went in to work, only to discover that my agency is CLOSED. Not just delayed, but closed. I'm reading here that most places under-performed so I'm not sure of the reason for closure. I suspect that it may have been a fear of another Commutergeddon.

I'm just depressed that my bottle of wine and my snuggie are at home without me.

Posted by: WorfsBabyMama | February 22, 2011 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Now, I may be crazy, but I dare say that I heard some thunder late last night. Around 3AM I woke up with a jolt with one really loud crack, then there was another one about 15 minutes later as I was dozing back off. Maybe it was just some trees out back cracking under the ice but it sounded a lot like thunder to me. Anyone else up in the northern suburbs hear anything?

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 22, 2011 9:40 AM | Report abuse

LOL wow this storm was super hyped up by every met in town. As we got closer to the event there was talks of up to 4"+. I live a mile outside of DC, i can still see the grass!

We were never destined to get much snow in DC from this imo.
Say hello to my little TREND!

Posted by: KRUZ | February 22, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

not sure what you're remembering.

there's a big difference btwn complaining over getting 16" when forecast 16-24" (and hearing 30" from my sister in ashburn), and complaining about 1/8" when forecast 2-4". we only got a tiny fraction of what was predicted. how i wish we'd gotten even the low end of the predictions.

something went seriously wrong with this forecast.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 22, 2011 9:44 AM | Report abuse


You only got 16" from snowmageddon? How much did you get from snoverkill?

We got 31.8" here in NE Loudoun during snowmageddon and 10.5" from snoverkill.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | February 22, 2011 9:49 AM | Report abuse

We got probably 6-8" at the MD/PA line near the Frederick/Washington County border.
They nailed it up here...almost exactly what was forcast.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | February 22, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse


I heard one solitary rumble of thunder around 10 or 11 last night - can't remember exactly - here in Linthicum. I'm very near BWI, and thought for a moment it had to be a plane but, no, definitely thunder.

Also, snow total here is 3.5"

Posted by: allagar | February 22, 2011 9:58 AM | Report abuse

What were the final totals at DCA, IAD, BWI, etc?

Re: forecasting, Bob Ryan started to back off at 11 p.m. last night, calling for about 1" in the immediate DCA area. But by then a sleety fox had snatched the snow chickens.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 22, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Here's how difficult it is to predict what schools will do. Yesterday night I commented that I'd be surprised if Montgomery County opened today. Turns out they only delayed, but with seemingly similar or even better conditions P.G. County closed. Go figure. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 22, 2011 10:01 AM | Report abuse

We got probably 6-8" at the MD/PA line near the Frederick/Washington County border.
They nailed it up here...almost exactly what was forcast.

Since when is Washington County considered part of the DC metro area? Maybe a reason some of these forecasts aren't as accurate as they could be is that the CWG is trying to cover too big of an area?

Posted by: Axel2 | February 22, 2011 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I was in the 2-4 inches on CWG's snow map. There is 1 inch outside (barely).

As far as the DC metro goes, no met anywhere got this storm right. This was all waaaay overhyped here in the DC metro. No one got the amounts forecasted. Of course far north and west of DC got their amounts, they always do. Those totals maps will show the epic failure that is DC mets!

Posted by: KRUZ | February 22, 2011 10:02 AM | Report abuse

KRUZ, the trend is your friend till it invariably breaks. Tricky storm, we needed lift down here around D.C. and we mostly did not get it.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 22, 2011 10:17 AM | Report abuse

@Weatherdude, I wasn't happy with last winter's totals, either. 56.1" at DCA was lame when practically everyone else around here had 70-plus inches (and if you read the "Snowageddon" book, some places in our immediate region had more than 100").

You think DCA could have at least made it to 60" last winter, which NYC has already done in 2010-11.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 22, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I'm snoooow unhappy with this event.

Posted by: manassasmissy | February 22, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse


We wouldn't consider Washington County part of the metro area (and I don't think the poster was implying that either). But our snow maps, as do those from most other area forecast outlets, do include up to north of the MD line. Still our primary focus is always the greater metro area (which does include the southern part of Frederick County). -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 22, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

lots of snowfanity (h/t Walter) out there this morning, be careful!

Posted by: kolya02 | February 22, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Storm played out just as I thought, a little ice here in NW Spotsy. & 1" or less of snow over most of the local DC area. By watching radar last night you could tell that the prec. was moving very fast & that the change over wasn't occurring as expected. I learned a long time ago, it's best to expect the least & hope 4 the best when it snows. More times than not the snow totals r over predicted.
Off to the 301 Bridge for some striper fishing.

Posted by: VaTechBob | February 22, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Ian hits the nail on the head with not getting the lift. The upper level energy needed to get good vertical motion - and thus heavy enough precip to really cool the atmosphere and give us more snow than sleet - never looked that great on the models for this storm. That's one reason why our forecast hedged lower than most, but wasn't low enough. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 22, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I thought you guys did a great job for the most part. It sleet/snowed as much as you guys thought, just didn't accumulate well in some areas. Gave us a day off anyway in Loudoun. What happens with school districts, though, has a lot to do with how many snow days they have built in the system. Loudoun has tons. Fairfax is out. Not sure what Montgomery has, so maybe they've run out and didn't want to have to make up days if they didn't really, really have to.

Posted by: capsfan4toolong | February 22, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else receive 8"? Axel2 up in Washington Co MD (on PA border) may win the prize!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 22, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

yeah, as i recall we got about 16-18" for feb5/6 and about 10" more for feb 9/10. people complain about national not being representative, but my personal snow totals in my yard seem to track those pretty closely. i remember for sure that we were under 30" as a combined total.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 22, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse

dan, re school closings:
i wonder if that has anything to do with how many snow days they have left w/o having to make up any? the cynic in me says of course it does - though i don't know the snow-day facts maybe i'm just being grumpy.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 22, 2011 11:37 AM | Report abuse


no lift in DC, that is the trend has been all year.

Posted by: KRUZ | February 22, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Way under fact so much so that we STILL need nearly six inches to get to average.

Looks as though my grade for meteorological winter will be no higher than a "C". The cold weather performed well, but snow and precipitation of any type grossly underperformed.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | February 22, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"single digits are possible in the far suburbs with teens in the more immediate DC suburbs to near 20 in the city"

Why does the NWS graphic at the top have a low of 31 for Wednesday. Shouldnt it be closer to 20 as you have in your forecast?

I think CWG is great, but ditching the NWS 6 day forecast graphics is something I would consider changing. I realize it would prob take a bit of effort/programming/graphics to do so.

Posted by: apeirond | February 22, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Apeirond, I agree, that graphic is a bit off. The 31 is referring to tomorrow nights (Wednesday night/Thursday Morning's) low temperature. Looking at it, it's really not set up well at all.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 22, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I see, thanks. Yeah, I was reading as the first temperature would be the low in the morning, which it often is, but understand not always (as was the case Monday I think the low was just before midnight).

Posted by: apeirond | February 22, 2011 1:04 PM | Report abuse

IF you get rid of that graphic, please replace it with another similar (CWG-generated?) one. that at-a-glance is an invaluable tool for getting a quick general sense of what the next week has in store.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 22, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse

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