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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 02/ 5/2011

Forecast: Showers today, storm threats ahead

By Ian Livingston

Monday night snow risk; another storm after that?

posted at 5:00 a.m., updated at 7:45 a.m.

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

 

Morning showers may persist into early afternoon. At least it won't be a lot of rain, and it is the weekend!
 
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Showers, a flurry late? Mid-30s to near 40. | Tonight: Mostly cloudy early, then clearing. Upper 20s to lower 30s. | Tomorrow: Partly sunny. Mid-to-upper 40s. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Today's system does not bring much in the way of precipitation. But other than Commutageddon's quick onslaught, we have not seen a lot of big moisture this winter, so any rain that falls should be somewhat appreciated. I know, I know, not on a weekend! On the bright side, today's showers get out of here before the day is out and tomorrow is looking like a mid-winter winner. As we peer into the next work week (I know, let's not do that!) additional weather items of interest are brewing.

Snow Potential Index: 4 (↑) - No Snowmageddon, but someone may spot a random flake late today. Monday night's the next opportunity. Bigger storm later in the week?

 
The SPI is a daily assessment of snow accumulation potential 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 (Saturday): Today's event is mostly a nuisance. There are likely some showers around into the afternoon. While we've talked about potential (if also inconsequential) snowflakes as the storm departs, that idea seems tough to accomplish at this point. Nonetheless, don't be shocked if you see a few -- especially in the far north and west portions of the area. Highs reach the mid-30s to near 40. Confidence: High

Tonight: Clouds linger into the evening, but the overall trend should be toward clearer skies as the night progresses and the storm rapidly pulls away. As you'll notice in Sunday's forecast, this system does not have any cold air behind it to send into our area. That means lows in the upper 20s and lower 30s. There should be a bit of a northwest wind also, but nothing too intense. Confidence: High

Storms on the horizon with many questions still unanswered? It's the winter of 10-11, of course there are...

Tomorrow (Sunday): In a winter like we've had with cold days the norm, one like this is a welcome change, even if it's not super "warm." Partly sunny skies, and a light west wind, help highs rise into the mid-and-upper 40s. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: We're stuck (for now) with temperatures that are not too frigid in addition to partly cloudy skies. Lows again fall to the upper 20s and lower 30s. Confidence: Medium-High

A LOOK AHEAD

During the day Monday we should stay dry most or all of the day, but skies are increasingly cloudy as a clipper system starts heads to our north while more moisture gathers offshore and intense upper-level energy approaches from the south. We should have enough of a wind from warmer regions to push temperatures well into the 40s or near 50. By evening, the risk of precipitation (probably light rain to start) increases. Confidence: Medium

Monday night is tricky as the fairly powerful upper-level disturbance passes by in a potentially optimal path for some snow around here. However, it was quite warm during the day, and there might be lacking moisture. Regardless, I'd lean toward some snow falling overnight. Lows again in the upper 20s and lower 30s. Confidence: Low-Medium

By Tuesday, the Monday night system is racing northeast while quickly developing into a pretty strong storm. This means colder air comes filtering in and winds are gusty (especially early) from the northwest. On the bright side, it's looking dry with partly cloudy skies. Confidence: Medium

The mid-to-late work week threat is still shifting around quite a bit. The signal is there for a sizeable system somewhere in the late-Wednesday through Friday timeframe. But, guidance has featured a storm to our west to one that gives a foot or more of snow to out to sea and back over pretty short periods. As of recent data, it looks good for at least some snow. However, this winter has been rather chaotic on an atmospheric level, so anything is still possible. Confidence: Low

By Ian Livingston  | February 5, 2011; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: PM Update: Freezing rain advisory tonight N & W
Next: Update on upcoming wintry weather chances

Comments

If I needed to drive up to Parsippany, NJ on Monday evening, and back from there on Tuesday... how bad does this storm's northeast track look?

Posted by: wrytous | February 5, 2011 5:05 AM | Report abuse

I'm a snowlover, but I pay attention and certainly don't want to tangle with snow and this areas commuters ( why aren't snow tires required in snow emergencies on snow emergency routes?). Trying to decide whether to drop a Mon - Thu class near BWI airport. If I miss any of it, it doesn't count so I would hate to go Mon -Wed and have to choose between not attending Thurs or a 8 hour commute. Is it too early for timing info? If it's ugly by Thurs AM, people will stay off the roads and I can get to BWI no problem.

Posted by: biketraveller22 | February 5, 2011 5:52 AM | Report abuse

Hi Ian,
I normally don't ask these types of questions but it sounds like the forecast for Monday is "heading south" so to speak. We're heading down to GSO for my mom's 80th b'day and driving back on Monday. You mentioned a clipper (north) and intense energy/moister coming from the south. Will all this from the south be warmer and late enough in the day/evening to allow us a drive in the 85/95 corridor that's not a nightmare?

Posted by: ftwash | February 5, 2011 7:04 AM | Report abuse

To think that one year ago today we were all making our grocery store runs and preparing for a blizzard...Snowmageddon.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | February 5, 2011 8:17 AM | Report abuse

If you like reminiscing about last year this is going to be a good week to think snow thoughts. The atmosphere is putting itself in position to give us back our snowpack.

Posted by: DullesARC | February 5, 2011 8:40 AM | Report abuse

I like Sterlings choice of words- IN EITHER CASE...THIS TIMING YIELDS GREATEST PCPN CHCS WED NGT AND
THU AS LOPRES MOVES SE OF FCST AREA. MORE THAN SUFFICIENT COLD AIR
WILL BE IN PLACE TO GENERATE POTENTIALLY HEADLINE-WORTHY SNOW.
THIS CONCERN HAS BEEN HIGHLIGHTED IN THE HWO AND WILL CONT THEREIN

Posted by: jac8949 | February 5, 2011 8:48 AM | Report abuse

@ftwash

I don't think you have a lot to worry about. As Ian said, temperatures will be well into the 40s during the day Monday. If it snows, it would at night and it's probably is going to have a hard time accumulating.

@biketraveller22

It's way too early to be making decisions based on a forecast for Thursday's storm. It's not even a sure thing it's happening and we can't provide specifics about timing until probably Monday or more likely Tuesday. I think you should wait until then to make a call on this.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 5, 2011 9:15 AM | Report abuse

CWG,

When will the precipitation stop today because im going night skiing tonight from 5-10. Dont wanna ski in the rain!

PLEASE ANSWER

Posted by: SNOWLUVER | February 5, 2011 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone remember the big 2003 Presidents Day Snow Storm? That storm was like the little sister of Snowmageddon!!! I think schools closed for a week, and the Government closed for a couple days..

Posted by: BELLASNOWQUEEN | February 5, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

@biketraveler22
There are hotels in walking distance of BWI; rather than drop course, could you simply overnight in a hotel if needed, and still keep the course?

Depends on how vital or casual the course is to you, and what your financial situation is...

Posted by: briansnow | February 5, 2011 10:02 AM | Report abuse

This blong should be called. Advice Hotline from the CWG.

Posted by: Weather_Fan_Damascus | February 5, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Bellasnowqueen, I remember that one! We had just moved into a house in DC from an apartment and it was the first time we had to shovel. Oh, the pain!

Posted by: SubRosa2 | February 5, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Winter 2002-2003, was a winter, that was dedicated and loyal to all Snow Lovers "EAST" of town..
The Words that I don't like this winter are: Below Freezing, and NORTHWEST... North and West, seems to be where the snow loves to hang out this winter..
Poor little "EAST" of town is just a green spot on a snow covered radar..

Posted by: BELLASNOWQUEEN | February 5, 2011 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Winter 2002-2003, was a winter, that was dedicated and loyal to all Snow Lovers "EAST" of town..
The Words that I don't like this winter are: Below Freezing, and NORTHWEST... North and West, seems to be where the snow loves to hang out this winter..
Poor little "EAST" of town is just a green spot on a snow covered radar..

Posted by: BELLASNOWQUEEN | February 5, 2011 10:15 AM | Report abuse

at least the days are getting longer, 5:35 sunset tonight at IAD - 48 minutes later than the December trough

tip - to figure out sunset in the DC area throughout Feb add the date to 5:30, so the 5th is around 5:35, the 10th 5:40

Posted by: tgt111 | February 5, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I remember the President's Day 2003 storm! It was my 1st year teaching and my 1st winter that I lived in my townhouse! That whole winter was great - between snow day, delays, early releases, new teacher trainings, and sick days I didn't go to school a full week from Thanksgiving to Spring Break!

FCPS was closed the entire week! We had been scheduled to use President's Day as a make-up day but ended up having school. In fact, if memory serves, every year that President's day became a school day we have had snow on President's Day (bodes well for this year snow lovers!!!!) That was the year that FCPS extended the school day by 30 mins for 6 weeks or so - I think I'm the only one who actually liked that plan. I'd rather stay longer when I'm already there than have to go on a day that I wasn't planning to!

Posted by: mamory1975 | February 5, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Today's precipitation is only "somewhat appreciated"?!? Count me in as one who TOTALLY appreciates whatever falls today.

This week, the US Drought Monitor designated almost the entire state of Virginia west of I-95 in the "Moderate Drought" category, including Northern VA, with "Abnormally Dry" extending to Harrisburg.

National Airport was 1.27" below normal in December and fully an inch below normal in January.

Not only is this extremely disappointing winter a "snow hole", but worse yet, it's a "precipitation hole" as well around here. So frustrating.

Posted by: TominMichiganParkDC | February 5, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Centreville VA There are worse weather tricks than heavy drizzle with temps in the 30s.
Really, it could be much nastier. It's above freezing so this is all quite mellow.
But I am so looking forward to seeing some sunshine tomorrow.
Will not think about future flakes forecasts. Too soon.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 5, 2011 11:28 AM | Report abuse

The NWS Forecast Discussion is rather encouraging in that they are suggesting that the Euro is the most likely outcome for next week's storm. That would mean a snowier, colder situation.

They also hint at the possibility of a major arctic blast hitting the region immediately thereafter with highs struggling to hit 20°F.

It seems too good to be true, but they are much more knowledgable about weather than me.

Also, I don't know what's going on with the GFS, but it still shows an OTS solution. CWG, is there some sort of error in the GFS output that is causing it to show no snowstorm whatsoever?

Posted by: BobMiller2 | February 5, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

@BobMiller2

I wouldn't worry about the GFS right now. I mean, we still have 4-6 days before the storm hits. I think the GFS will find the storm again by Monday. If not, then I would start to worry.

Posted by: cubscapsfan | February 5, 2011 11:37 AM | Report abuse

SNOWLUVER,
read the articles before posting?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 5, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

@TominMichiganParkDC--I echo your concerns about a dry winter. However, I'm really amazed at the amount of snow still covering my back yard/garden. The very wet snow has stuck around a lot longer than I would have thought, given the temps and rainfall this past week/today. The ground is pretty wet, and that's a good thing.

@Ian of CWG: Why would you add "On the bright side, it's looking dry with partly cloudy skies" for Tuesday? What's good about "looking dry"? I happen to know, from reading your posts elsewhere, that you like snow, so why are you hiding your true colors here? ;)

Posted by: petworthlad | February 5, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

petworthlad, I'm one of those weird snow lovers who does not like cold and winter all that much. I'd be happiest if we could have book-ended warm days with a blizzard in the middle. I like tracking and watching snow fall... after that it has less use to me. ;)

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 5, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

TominMichiganParkDC,
today's drizzle is a perfect rain for alleviating drought isn't it? snow is good too because it releases the water slowly.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 5, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Ian, I hope you/we get y/our book-ended week soon, maybe this week...

Posted by: petworthlad | February 5, 2011 12:11 PM | Report abuse

IAN has moved to the dark side.

Posted by: RJ16 | February 5, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

@briansnow: Good idea. The whole area is walkable. The finances aren't a huge deal but the class is absolutely required for me to legally do parts of my job (long story). I can always cancel if the snow doesn't materialize, which usually happens around here. :-)

Posted by: biketraveller22 | February 5, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Walter-in-Falls Church,

Unfortunately, drizzle will not alleviate our drought (and believe me, I love our all-too-rare drizzly days!). It serves only to minimally moisten surface soils. DCA has recorded .11" thus far today, which hardly puts a dent in the 6"+ we need to get back to normal since last year.

But I treasure every drop!

Posted by: TominMichiganParkDC | February 5, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

So, if this storm tracks more NW along the coast, will we see a more amplified storm? I refuse to believe we will finally have the cold air in place and this thing goes OTS. I thought the areas that are usually on the Oc line get screwed and storms track NW and head for NE. This time of year is notorious for snow in the DCA.

Posted by: MVPlaya8120 | February 5, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse

What is the 12z Euro showing for the upcoming storm?

Thanks,
Bob

Posted by: BobMiller2 | February 5, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse

What is the 12z Euro showing for the upcoming storm?

Thanks,
Bob

Posted by: BobMiller2 | February 5, 2011 1:27 PM | Report abuse

@BobMiller2

The Euro shows a pretty decent hit for our area with .87" QPF-all snow. It also shows 1.47" QPF for Richmond-also all snow.

Posted by: cubscapsfan | February 5, 2011 1:37 PM | Report abuse

It's also looking like ratios might be higher than 10:1

Posted by: cubscapsfan | February 5, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

@cubscapsfan

Thank you so much; that's exactly what I wanted to hear! Gosh, higher than 10:1? That would be fantastic.

One final question, if you don't mind, where does it look like the bull's eye for the snow would be (on the Euro)? South of town? West of town?

Thanks again for the info.

By the way, I wonder when, or if, the GFS will get on board with the Euro?

Posted by: BobMiller2 | February 5, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

THE GREATEST VIDEO TO COME OUT OF ACCUWEATHER for snow haters!!!!!

http://www.accuweather.com/video/778628464001/one-more-wild-week-then-the-b.asp?channel=vbbastaj

I love hearing and seeing 70s in DC in feb!

Posted by: KRUZ | February 5, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

@KRUZ, It's JB. You can't take anything he says seriously.

Posted by: samdman95 | February 5, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

well, tom, here's to us alleviating that drought this week with lots of easily-absorbed snow.

so i remember before wednesday's thunderthump steveT said the models were "artificially" sending the storm up the coast. is there some other flaw which is now "artificially" sending it out to sea? is there any reason to think the gfs will trend toward the euro instead of the other way around?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 5, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

KRUZ - Thanks for the link to the always entertaining Accuweather. I treat it like a tabloid at the supermarket checkout aisle; you glance at it and either laugh or sneer.

Seriously, this snowlover would be perfectly content with one last deep powder snowstorm. Then it's time to start powering up the outdoor agriculture projects. Hard to do that when it's buried in snow & in the 20's.
Hang in there & thanks again for your efforts keeping the pavement clear.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 5, 2011 2:06 PM | Report abuse

@KRUZ

I wouldn't mind some nice 70 degree days towards the end of the month. Especially if they come after a nice foot of snow and a few days off to enjoy it. :-)

Posted by: megamuphen | February 5, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

@BobMiller2

It looks like the bulls-eye for the Euro would be south of town. Here are some other quick QPFs-

DCA .87
BWI .79
NYC .39
RIC 1.47
PHL .60

Posted by: cubscapsfan | February 5, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

@tgt111

thanks for the tip on the sunset time. Ive definitely noticed the longer daylight. I have a printed chart of the civil twilight times for the year on my desk. As you prob know, thats usually about a half-hour after sunset. I use that as my guide to finish up outdoor activities before it gets dark.

anyone interested can get the charts here:
http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/RS_OneYear.php

Also Ive noticed the weather underground pages include civil twilight time on their area pages.

Posted by: apeirond | February 5, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

@TominMichiganPark...This RAIN is a DRAG with the temperature so close to freezing and the coastal low in perfect position to give us a good snowstorm if we had the subfreezing air in place!

At least this Tuesday evening figures to be nice...breaking the streak of much-unneeded interference with my Clarendon Ballroom dances. There seem to be no "private-event" interruptions through April 1. Let's hope the March 8 Mardi Gras parade in Clarendon doesn't get doused by a much-unneeded Tuesday evening storm.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | February 5, 2011 2:33 PM | Report abuse

@TominMichiganPark...This RAIN is a DRAG with the temperature so close to freezing and the coastal low in perfect position to give us a good snowstorm if we had the subfreezing air in place!

At least this Tuesday evening figures to be nice...breaking the streak of much-unneeded interference with my Clarendon Ballroom dances. There seem to be no "private-event" interruptions through April 1. Let's hope the March 8 Mardi Gras parade in Clarendon doesn't get doused by a much-unneeded Tuesday evening storm.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | February 5, 2011 2:34 PM | Report abuse

The Euro was a pretty big hit. It's hard to see a storm that gives far SE Va 18" of snow give us a ton as well but it's good to see the storm still there if you want it to snow.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 5, 2011 2:35 PM | Report abuse

To all re: Thursday storm potential. The ensemble is not promising: http://cms.met.psu.edu/sref/ensembles/20110205/gefsgifs/12Z/Sterling,VA-ptype.png. Should we still hold out hope even though only 3/20 ensemble members have anything in the cards?

Posted by: bethdb1 | February 5, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I;m no expert, but I think it is WAAAAAY too early to give up hope, particularly with at least one model (Euro) showing snow.

Posted by: megamuphen | February 5, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Uh, no one wants 70 degrees in Feb...everything will stink with dead vegetation and soil. Too early for spring, and the blooms aren't in. It's also an early invitation for bugs. If you like the smell of warm mud, dead grass and humus, go for it. Plus, temps would drop off rapidly. Who cares about 2 hours of out of season temps?

I also wouldn't worry about hugging every model every minute, either. If anything, I'm starting to wonder if the whole 'model' deal should be scrapped for something else! You know, like aches, pains, and old wives tales.I hear these methods are great for guessing weather.

Someone hit a possum down the block. Tells me we're gonna get 18"-24" of snow next week!

Posted by: NewbreedSE | February 5, 2011 5:41 PM | Report abuse

70F in February would be awesome. A break from winter, and some Vitamin D!

Posted by: bastings | February 5, 2011 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Why are the "at a glance" forecasts on the Post Local weather front page and CWG front page almost always different?

Posted by: GD1975 | February 5, 2011 8:32 PM | Report abuse

@GD75

They're provided from different databases and are updated at different times. We'll be harmonizing them in the coming months.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 5, 2011 9:10 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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