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Posted at 8:25 AM ET, 02/ 2/2011

Forecast: Morning rain, midday warmth

By Dan Stillman

(originally posted at 5:00 a.m., updated at 8:25 a.m.)

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

 

Rainy/wet a.m. commute is no fun at all. At least we can look forward to midday highs near and above 50.
 
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Rain ends by mid-morning, then partly sunny & becoming breezy. Near 50 or into the 50s. | Tonight: Partly to mostly clear & breezy. Mid-20s to low 30s. | Tomorrow: Mostly sunny, a little breezy. Mid-30s to near 40. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Our solid soaking should come to an end by early-to-mid morning, with any icing issues likely confined to areas well north and northwest of the metro area. Once the rain stops, I bet you're gonna love today's highs near and above 50. They'll fell pretty great, even with some gusty afternoon winds. We get few breaks in the weather department lately, and the next storm threatens snow or rain Friday night into Saturday.

Snow Potential Index: 5 (→) - Next chance for snow is Friday night/Saturday. Storm track, lack of cold air may not be ideal for accumulation. But let's wait & see a bit.

 
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
 


Radar & lightning: Latest regional radar shows movement of precipitation and lightning strikes over past two hours. Refresh page to update. Click here or on image to enlarge. Or see radar bigger on our Weather Wall.

Today (Wednesday): Moderate to heavy rain, except possibly freezing rain well north/northwest of the metro area, moves off to the northeast in the early-to-mid morning. In its wake, skies turn partly sunny and highs surge to near 50 or into the 50s, helping to further melt snow that wasn't washed away by the rain. Afternoon winds pick up from the west, gusting to 20-30 mph. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: Breezes continue, more from the northwest than the west. The shift in direction brings in a cooler air mass, but still overnight lows won't be all that low as winds keep the atmosphere well mixed - mid-20s to low 30s should be the range. Confidence: Medium-High

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend...


A beam of sunlight breaks through the overcast above Great Falls on Sunday. By CWG photographer Kevin Ambrose.

Tomorrow (Thursday): Doesn't seem like we've had many quiet weather days from start to finish lately, but this should be one of them. Highs in the mid-30s to near 40 are back down below the seasonal norm, with mostly sunny skies and winds around 10-15 mph from the northwest. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: A colder night than tonight thanks to mostly clear skies and light winds. Lows dip to near 20 in the coldest suburbs to the mid-to-upper 20s downtown. Confidence: Medium-High

A LOOK AHEAD

Clouds increase from the south on Friday as a storm system gets going along the Southeast coast. They should be mainly high clouds, though, allowing enough sun through for highs to reach near 40 to the low 40s. All in all, a pretty nice day to end the work week. Confidence: Medium-High

Friday evening and overnight bring an increasing chance of snow, sleet and/or rain, which could last through around midday Saturday, as low pressure moves northward along the mid-Atlantic cost. Some accumulating snow is possible with this system, but not guaranteed at this point. A lot of questions remain about the storm's track, how strong it will be (it doesn't appear to be as intense as some of the other East Coast storms have been this season), and thus whether the it can pull down much cold air from the north. Friday night lows bottom near 30 with Saturday highs in the mid-30s to near 40. Confidence: Low

Sunday closes out the weekend on a calmer note. While we may not see a whole lot in the way of sun, highs in the 40s should be nice, even with the chance of a passing rain or snow shower. Confidence: Medium

By Dan Stillman  | February 2, 2011; 8:25 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Comments

Just wet in Warren county and on 66 on the way in. Looks like the salt trucks have been put away for now (at VDOT in Marshall)

Posted by: eric654 | February 2, 2011 5:15 AM | Report abuse

I was looking at iMap temperatures around the country. It is about 70 in southern Florida, freezing in southernmost Texas, and minus OMG in North Dakota.

Posted by: Murre | February 2, 2011 5:38 AM | Report abuse

33.5 and no ice in Scaggsville / Fulton. We are very low in the trees by middle Patuxent. When cold air is eroding, just driving to the top of our neighborhood raises it a degree. Betting on the areas normal "it's raining so brake like a crazy person in the left lane of major highways and / or make yourself a rolling roadblock" commute. :-)

Posted by: biketraveller22 | February 2, 2011 6:05 AM | Report abuse

Know the snow haters like it, but all this rain and warmth today is terrible for slope conditions (and business) for local ski areas - Wisp, Snowshoe, etc. Anyone at one who could give acreport - ice? All rain?Impact on snowpack?

Posted by: biketraveller22 | February 2, 2011 6:09 AM | Report abuse

Drizzling at the moment in Georgetwon.

Nuthin' fun has hit us since the '96 blizzard. Irene excepted.

Posted by: Georgetwoner | February 2, 2011 6:13 AM | Report abuse

35.1 precipitation-wasting degrees here. **sigh** saturday's thing is still looking like it will be precipitation-wastingly warm.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 2, 2011 7:21 AM | Report abuse

It was raining in Cabin John at 2 a.m. The CWG nailed it - no icing, that I could see. CWG nails it, again.

Posted by: flynnie321 | February 2, 2011 7:39 AM | Report abuse

Looks like it is going to trend cold in a week or so!

Posted by: snowlover | February 2, 2011 7:45 AM | Report abuse

In the mountains between Fauquier and Warren counties, it's still 31.5 at my location so there are still isolated spots below freezing.

Posted by: spgass1 | February 2, 2011 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Just above the freezing mark out here in New Baltimore and we got .75 inches of rain. But we still have nearly 4 inches of snow. Maybe the sun and 50s will rectify that today!

Posted by: weathergrrl | February 2, 2011 8:01 AM | Report abuse

"minus OMG in North Dakota."

Haha. Good one, Murre.

Posted by: tinkerbelle | February 2, 2011 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Mister above freezing's reign will soon come to an end, and all us snow lovers will be rewarded with lots of snow.. Well, it looks like even the "lucky folks" north and west of town got duked out of snow as well.. My theory is that these winter storms our bringing warm air to the DC area.. I am truly obsessed with this blog.. The capital weather gang rules.. Who needs facebook, when there is the CWG blog..

Posted by: BELLASNOWQUEEN | February 2, 2011 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Mister above freezing's reign will soon come to an end, and all us snow lovers will be rewarded with lots of snow.. Well, it looks like even the "lucky folks" north and west of town got duked out of snow as well.. My theory is that these winter storms our bringing warm air to the DC area.. I am truly obsessed with this blog.. The capital weather gang rules.. Who needs facebook, when there is the CWG blog..

Posted by: BELLASNOWQUEEN | February 2, 2011 8:03 AM | Report abuse

dan, CWG,

not that i'm obsessed with it... but... i've seen the criteria for the SPI waver between including and not including the word "accumulating".

not including "accumulating":
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitalweathergang/2011/01/forecast_flurries_possible_lat.html

i see that today it includes "accumulating".

1) what's the minimum criteria for "accumulating"? an inch? a dusting? a coating?

2) when you put today's SPI at 5, are you looking to this weekend? or something next week?

3) is there a place where i can see the daily snowfall totals for this winter? (i.e., how much it has snowed on each day this winter.)

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 2, 2011 8:09 AM | Report abuse

@walter-in-fallschurch

The SPI description is supposed to say "accumulating" in all cases, but a couple of our templates here and there were or have been slow to get updated. The 5 is for the late Fri/Sat threat. That may be too generous. But given it's still 48 hours plus away, I didn't want to back down from the halfway mark (we had 5 for yesterday's SPI as well) just yet.

I'd say accumulating snow is anything from a coating (so, a little more than a dusting) and up. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 2, 2011 8:18 AM | Report abuse

@biketraveller22

You might try the ski map on the new Washington Post's new weather front page - washingtonpost.com/weather. It's the 2nd tab from the right on the Weather Wall map. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 2, 2011 8:23 AM | Report abuse

@walter-in-fallschurch

To answer your other question, I'd start here for daily snow toatls - http://www.weather.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=lwx ... select "Preliminary Monthly Climate Data" from the products list, then your desired location and month, and then press "Go" ... daily snow totals are listed in column 8. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 2, 2011 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Dan - thanks. That helps. Long range (not terribly reliable) forecast from TWC / accu looks grim for Snowshoe's rest if season, but better for Wisp. A "vacation" forecast for local areas appropriate to season might be fun. Ski areas for Pres day. OC for memorial day. And so on. Or we can just talk about it.

Posted by: biketraveller22 | February 2, 2011 8:36 AM | Report abuse

@biketraveller22

We haven't regularly done mountain/ski forecasts (winter is just so darn busy), but it's something we can consider in the future. In the summer, though, we do a beach forecast for holiday weekends (memorial day, labor day, july 4th, etc.)

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 2, 2011 8:49 AM | Report abuse

thanks dan,
great answers to all my questions - even though i wish things looked better for saturday. actually, i was hoping that "5" referred to something other than this weekend because that one seems to my highly untrained eye like it's going to be way too stinkin' warm...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 2, 2011 8:55 AM | Report abuse

CWG,

“In the summer, though, we do a beach forecast for holiday weekends (memorial day, labor day, july 4th, etc.)”

I am having heart palpitations! :o)

Posted by: ThinkWarm | February 2, 2011 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Good morning fellow weather geeks. I guess the kids are all disappointed their schools aren't closed today. I thought it was amusing last night that the local news stations were still hyping this rain event as a "major winter storm that will cause disruptions!". I was watching the 10:00 news on FOX 5 and they were all proud saying "WE WILL BE HERE EARLY STARTING AT 3:55 AM TOMORROW FOR NON-STOP STORM COVERAGE!". Ummmmm there was no storm. We got rain. Even the Federal Government panicked after the "commutegedden" fiasco and offered another day of unscheduled leave for its workers. If they all would have listened to the CWG they would have known it would be rain unless you were way to the north.

Posted by: rwalker66 | February 2, 2011 9:15 AM | Report abuse

@rwalker66: It was very amusing (and annoying). On Channel 7, they were also hyping the dangerous storm at 11:00. Meanwhile, calm and cool Bob Ryan was reassuring us that this would be a rain event. It must drive him crazy to have to be associated with all the hype over nothing.

Posted by: NoVaSnow | February 2, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Livin' easy, livin' free... season ticket on a one-way ride... TO SPRING!

Posted by: nocando | February 2, 2011 9:27 AM | Report abuse

@rwalker66

Rainstorm = Storm

Posted by: AsymptoticUnlimited | February 2, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

I guess it's all about the ratings. Telling people "Tune in next to the news where we will tell you there will just be rain" won't get as many people to tune in as saying "TUNE IN NEXT TO THE NEWS TO HEAR ABOUT THE DANGEROUS WINTER STORM MOVING THRU THE AREA TONIGHT!"

Posted by: rwalker66 | February 2, 2011 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Very foggy with the sun trying to break through at the 301 Bridge.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | February 2, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

When will all the now unsightly snow melt?

Posted by: eunicedelrosario | February 2, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

@eunicedelrosario

Do you want that snow melt forecast for a particular city? Your front yard? Shady spot or sunny?

Posted by: AsymptoticUnlimited | February 2, 2011 9:42 AM | Report abuse

@rwalker66: It was very amusing (and annoying). On Channel 7, they were also hyping the dangerous storm at 11:00. Meanwhile, calm and cool Bob Ryan was reassuring us that this would be a rain event. It must drive him crazy to have to be associated with all the hype over nothing.

Posted by: NoVaSnow | February 2, 2011 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, all the ratings hype is what has caused some folks to be desensitized to weather forecasts. This behavior is only contributing to the mentality of people like those that were stuck in traffic for hours last week.

Posted by: kathyb39 | February 2, 2011 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I must have slept through it, but I see no evidence of any soaking rain here in Laurel. My un-plowed cul de sac only looks slightly less snowy than it did yesterday. My husband said there were just light sprinkles on his way to work around 7.

Posted by: megamuphen | February 2, 2011 10:03 AM | Report abuse

And by no means did I mean to imply that CWG was hyping this or any other storm. My kids knew not to expect any delay or cancellation this AM. As always, thank you CWG!!!

Posted by: kathyb39 | February 2, 2011 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure there were many grateful parents today in fairfax county.
A whole week at home with the schoolchildren probably converted some snow lovers to the warm side.

Can't wait to see some sunshine!

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 2, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

@megamuphen

Perfect timing for your husband's commute! But it did rain all night into the early morning. BWI received more than .75" -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 2, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse

The possible snow prospect later this week looks immensely bleek, due to the high temperatures.. I have very little "SNOW HOPE" right now.. If we do not have a major "snow" event by Presidents Day... I am going to officially throw in the "SNOW HOPE" towel, and get ready for spring..

Posted by: BELLASNOWQUEEN | February 2, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

The possible snow prospect later this week looks immensely bleek, due to the high temperatures.. I have very little "SNOW HOPE" right now.. If we do not have a major "snow" event by Presidents Day... I am going to officially throw in the "SNOW HOPE" towel, and get ready for spring..

Posted by: BELLASNOWQUEEN | February 2, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

The possible snow prospect later this week looks immensely bleek, due to the high temperatures.. I have very little "SNOW HOPE" right now.. If we do not have a major "snow" event by Presidents Day... I am going to officially throw in the "SNOW HOPE" towel, and get ready for spring..

Posted by: BELLASNOWQUEEN | February 2, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

The possible snow prospect later this week looks immensely bleak, due to the high temperatures.. I have very little "SNOW HOPE" right now.. If we do not have a major "snow" event by Presidents Day... I am going to officially throw in the "SNOW HOPE" towel, and get ready for spring..

Posted by: BELLASNOWQUEEN | February 2, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

By all means, make sure you post your disappointment copied 4 times in a row so we know about it.

Posted by: jiji1 | February 2, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

By all means, make sure you post your disappointment copied 4 times in a row so we know about it.

Posted by: jiji1 | February 2, 2011 10:52 AM | Report abuse

JIM CANTORE AND THUNDERSNOW....i have to post this link for everyone who missed in here at our favorite blog. We all know how Jim Cantore at the Weather Channel is prone to exaggeration but watch this link of him experiencing thundersnow in CHicago last night...it is hilarious:

http://www.weather.com/outlook/videos/cantore-surprised-by-thunder-snow-19541#19541

Posted by: GtownG | February 2, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Intro sentence from today's Badger Herald, the campus newspaper for the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison:

"After days of students hoping for a 'snowpocalypse' to hit the University of Wisconsin campus with full force, Chancellor Biddy Martin announced all classes and campus events would be cancelled Wednesday....."

It would seem that the CWG names for last year's storms have gone national.

Posted by: bigfish2 | February 2, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

A lot of the NW VA counties had a 2 hr delay this morning (Clarke, Warren, Frederick, etc). We had an icy glaze on mountain roads and 1/8th inch of ice on the trees...

Posted by: spgass1 | February 2, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

CWG,

I posted last night that weather.com and noaa.gov were reporting snow at leesburg. Do you know if that really happened? It was rain/freezing rain everywhere else. I find this weather report really hard to believe.
Thanks!

Posted by: rapotter | February 2, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Add Toronto to the list of areas using the name Snowmageddon (they're getting a foot, and for the first time since 1993, Toronto schoolchildren are enjoying a snow day mostly due to blizzard conditions). I have emails from friends back home who can't remember what school cancellations are.

Congrats CWG- you're now International stars!

Posted by: jcurrin | February 2, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

rapotter, Leesburg is a fully automatic station. It was likely an error.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 2, 2011 12:44 PM | Report abuse

jcurrin, I think DC owns Snowmageddon at this point but according to Google trends the term first popped up in major usage in Toronto in 2008. see here.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 2, 2011 12:48 PM | Report abuse

@CWG... Do the Chinese or Asian countries have better equipment to predict weather? or are we more advanced.

Posted by: RJ16 | February 2, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Sunny and 60 degrees currently in Fredericksburg? No fair! It's 20 degrees colder in Fairfax and completely clouded over and gloomy looking. Why does that warm/cold line always cut off before it reaches us?

Posted by: rwalker66 | February 2, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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