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Posted at 2:00 AM ET, 02/22/2011

Sleet & snow to leave icy mess for AM commute

By Jason Samenow

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.

2:00 a.m. update: Many of the locations that had sleet have now changed to mostly snow (including locations inside the District), though pockets of sleet remain especially south of Montgomery county and east of central Fairfax county. Suffice to say snowfall has been less than anticipated from Howard and Montgomery counties and to the south. The best chance of additional accumulation of an inch or so is north of the District. South of there, significant additional snow isn't likely as the storm races off to the east. But intermittent periods of snow - possibly mixed with sleet could continue through 5 a.m. when precipitation will have ended in most spots.

Despite snow amounts less than forecast, very icy conditions due to the falling temperatures (into the low-to-mid 20s) are likely to cause very slick roads (particularly those untreated) and sidewalks for the a.m. commute. Be careful and allow extra time to get where you're going.

This will be the last update until the 5 a.m. forecast post. We'll review what went wrong (and right) with this forecast tomorrow.

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.

1 a.m. update: So far this storm has underperformed from a snowfall accumulation standpoint primarily due to the heaviest precipitation falling north of the region, and sleet being more persistent than anticipated. Temperatures, on the other hand, have plummeted as predicted and many roads are slick and icy. An area of moderate sleet and snow to the west will move through over the next several hours - exacerbating the icy mess.

Temperatures aloft may cool sufficiently for the sleet to transition to or at least mix with snow where it hasn't yet when this precip moves through. But it's going to be a struggle for places from Howard and Montgomery county and to the south to reach forecast snow totals.


Let us know what's happening where you live and keep reading for earlier updates...

12:15 a.m. update: Sleet continues inside the beltway, but in upper NW D.C,. I am noticing a little snow mixing in. The sleet has lasted a tad longer than expected due to a small warm layer aloft but it should (though it's not definite) cool sufficiently for mainly snow by 1 a.m. The persistence of the sleet probably makes getting much more than 1-2" inside the beltway tough at this point. However, roads are becoming very icy as temperatures continue falling, as evident in very icy roads photographed on Capitol Hill by Twitter follower @mrmarriottSIG.

See our accumulation map, storm timeline, SchoolCast and answers to frequent questions for more details on our expectations for this winter storm.

11:25 p.m. update: Snow and sleet continue to battle in the north and west suburbs but snow will gradually win the fight. In central to northern Montgomery county and western Fairfax county, precipitation has switched to mostly snow in many spots. So far, the heaviest snow has been to the north around Frederick, Md. (where over 1.5" has fallen, see live video) and Baltimore. Inside the beltway, where it's mainly sleeting, the transition to snow should occur over the next hour or so.

Temperatures are now below freezing throughout a good chunk of the metro region, with the freezing line south of Fairfax county. In fact, from northwest D.C. and to the north, most spots have fallen into the 20s.

10:45 p.m. update: Examine our snow accumulation map, and take a hard look at the low end of the amount ranges. That is what is most likely to fall given latest model and radar trends - which suggest an earlier end to the precipitation and lower amounts (I am glad we did not go as high as the National Weather Service). The GFS, for example, just gives 0.09" at Reagan National after 1 a.m. (the NAM 0.13"), which is one inch of snow. So, if you're in the 1-3" band, expect closer to 1". If you're in the 2-4" band, expect closer to 2" - and so forth. Irrespective of total snow amounts, temperatures continue to fall and will bottom out from 20-24 degrees. So everything will still freeze and it will be an icy mess in the morning - especially on untreated roads.

10:20 update: Starting to see reports of snow mixing in with the sleet in western Fairfax, northern Montgomery, Howard county, and Loudoun counties. It's all snow in Baltimore. Sleet should changeover to snow inside the Beltway by around midnight, and probably around 1 a.m. in the southern suburbs. The latest NAM model would suggest the precipitation may end as early as between 3 and 5 a.m., and if it's right, totals may be on the low end of our range rather than the high end.

From 10:05 p.m. Look at how cold the air is to our north which is bleeding south - in the single digits to below zero in interior New York state: map of regional temps.

From 9:45 p.m.: Shocking news: The Weather Space blog reports chief long-range forecaster Joe Bastardi has resigned from AccuWeather. We'll have more on this tomorrow.

From 9:20 p.m.: The freezing line is advancing south through the District at the same time as mixed precipitation increases in coverage and intensity across the metro region. Right now the heaviest precipitation is in northern Maryland but it is rapidly filling into the south and southwest.

From Martinsburg, West Virginia to the just north of Baltimore, precipitation is in the form of snow, with a little sleet mixing in in spots. Sleet is the predominant precipitation type south of that line - impacting Montgomery county, Loudoun county, northern Fairfax county, the NW D.C., and northern Prince George's county, although rain mixes on the southern edge of the precipitation shield.

Mainly north of the District, the combination of sleet and temperatures falling between 30 and 32 is beginning to create slick spots on side roads. Conditions will deteriorate in the coming hours including in spots where plain rain or not at all is happening now. Locations now getting rain should transition to sleet in the next hour. Locations getting sleet should transition to snow in the next two to three hours.

By Jason Samenow  | February 22, 2011; 2:00 AM ET
Categories:  Latest, Updates  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Evening mix turns to snow overnight
Next: Forecast: A couple cold days follow icy storm

Comments

First? Just started hearing the ping on my windows in the Iwo Jima neighborhood.

Posted by: marathoner | February 21, 2011 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Ping of sleet that is.

Posted by: marathoner | February 21, 2011 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Sleet started here in Falls Church City about 5 minutes ago. Should be an ugly morning commute.

Posted by: terminator_x | February 21, 2011 9:29 PM | Report abuse

I just had an apple....but I think I might need 2 more....bring on the sleet!

Posted by: ArlTeacherSnowman | February 21, 2011 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Ground and streets are covered here in Ellicott City MD. Precip has been sleet for the past 1/2 hour. Temperature is 29oF.

Posted by: EllicottCity2 | February 21, 2011 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Lots of sleet from about 10 till 9 up to about 15 minutes ago and now we're snow here in Rockville (close to Aspen Hill).

Posted by: camb67 | February 21, 2011 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Down near the Bay Bridge (near Sandy Point side) we have an ice layer and now sleet is starting to build on top of it. I also notice that NWS has upped our estimate to 3-7" overnight, that brings our local grid estimate higher than the warning itself, which is for 3-6".

Posted by: RandC | February 21, 2011 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Heard a little bit of sleet here in east Manassas, but otherwise just cold rain falling.

Posted by: manassasmissy | February 21, 2011 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Sleeting here in Centreville at 9:40 - not quite as heavy as it was a little bit ago - don't know when it started - seems like it's mixed in with rain now, but definitely don't see any sign of changeover yet.

Posted by: bobosnow | February 21, 2011 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Sleet rain mix at IAD

Posted by: SnowDreamer | February 21, 2011 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Sleeting in Annandale ...

Posted by: betterbegood3 | February 21, 2011 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Nice dusting in Olney. Started around 9ish.

Posted by: johnslau | February 21, 2011 9:45 PM | Report abuse

We have a glaze of ice/sleet here in NE Loudoun. Currently light sleet and perhaps a few snowflakes here and there. Hopefully I'll see a changeover soon.

Currently 29.1°F.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | February 21, 2011 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Layer of sleet on car roofs, windshields, grass in Glover Park. 32.9. C'mon, let's it going!

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 21, 2011 9:47 PM | Report abuse

And now it appears to be sleeting little tiny pellets. The car roofs and windshields are covered by a thin white layer.

Posted by: Murre | February 21, 2011 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Has been sleeting in Columbia since around 8:15. Side roads getting slick.

Posted by: mickb1 | February 21, 2011 9:50 PM | Report abuse

And I'm in Silver Spring.

Posted by: Murre | February 21, 2011 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Prec. is really moving fast. B surpised if I c any snow here in Spotsy. temp still 40. Betting that snow totals will b on the lower end 4 most of the DC area.

Posted by: VaTechBob | February 21, 2011 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Question, when I look at the radar back into the Ohio and and WVA, it looks like the system is moving due east with the heaviest precip staying in PA. It looks like it breaks up some as it heads back into WVA. Could we be missing the worst of this?

Posted by: formerwxman1 | February 21, 2011 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Reston/Herndon has sleet, and it's starting to accumulate, even on pavement. Driving's OK still (with common sense), but if you're walking, watch out! It took only the 10 minutes or so that I was in Petsmart buying cat food to go from wet sidewalk to definitely slippery.

Posted by: fsd50 | February 21, 2011 9:56 PM | Report abuse

33.5 w/sleet in falls church.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 21, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

what are the odds that DCPS closes tomorrow

Posted by: ilikesnow | February 21, 2011 10:01 PM | Report abuse

I hope folks have gotten or are quickly getting to where they need to be for the night, as road conditions will deteriorate rather quick where they haven't already. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 21, 2011 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Freezing rain (?)/ sleet here in South Laurel. My back deck is coated in a slippery mess, but the street/sidewalks are just wet so far.

Posted by: megamuphen | February 21, 2011 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Still just light rain here in west of 210 in Ft Washington, MD...as usual, we'll be the last to change over....

Posted by: ftwash | February 21, 2011 10:04 PM | Report abuse

@ilikesnow

I'd say at least a delay is pretty likely for D.C. schools. But it's always hard to predict whether DCPS will close. In our earlier post we said they'd likely remain open, but watching the way this storm is developing and the cold air streaming in, I'd give at least a 40% chance that D.C. schools close. Of course that means a 60% chance they'll open. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 21, 2011 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Hey CWG, Question, when I look at the radar back into the Ohio and and WVA, it looks like the system is moving due east with the heaviest precip staying in PA. It looks like it breaks up some as it heads back into WVA. Could we be missing the worst of this?

Posted by: formerwxman1 | February 21, 2011 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Capital Weather Gang freakin' sucks. You all couldn't forecast your way out of a paper bag.

Posted by: NyallsStJohnSmytheIV | February 21, 2011 10:12 PM | Report abuse

wow those ClimateProgress folks sure have a grudge to bear against Bastardi. I hope they're as critical of the ideas of those with whom they agree, but somehow I doubt it. :/

Posted by: kolya02 | February 21, 2011 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Been sleeting here in Bristow for the pas half-hour/45 minuets.

Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | February 21, 2011 10:13 PM | Report abuse

@NyallsStJohnSmytheIV

Odd timing for such a comment, given this storm appears to be developing as we've been forecasting.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 21, 2011 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Nyalls, what are you talking about? CWG is the best forecasting group in the area and they have gotten this storm completely correct. Cool it with the ignorant comments.

Posted by: PoorTeacher | February 21, 2011 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Been mixed sleet and snow up here in Baltimore for 1 1/2 to hours. Everything is now covered and the snow seems to be picking up nicely...

Looks like it could be ugly tomorrow am...

Posted by: Virgil_Caine | February 21, 2011 10:14 PM | Report abuse

How are things looking for schools other than DCPS, especially Fairfax County?

Posted by: McLeanAJ1 | February 21, 2011 10:15 PM | Report abuse

What chances are you giving for MoCo schools?

Posted by: pganelin | February 21, 2011 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Changeover to sleet in Fairlington within the last 20 minutes...

Posted by: EBagain | February 21, 2011 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Sleet in old town alex.

Posted by: cajunbaseball | February 21, 2011 10:19 PM | Report abuse

After 2 de-icings(?) and a wing check, 55 minute flight from DAY to BWI was so bad the attendants had to stay seated. Got to my car at BWI and had to chip ice. Drove home via 95/Beltway which is horrid normally. Pouring ice and rain. Visibility was bad at best. I think it was better that I couldn't see what was coming down. Finally made it to store to find the well around windshield full of ice. Home sweet home.

Posted by: rHairing | February 21, 2011 10:19 PM | Report abuse

ahh...finally I hear the the ping, ping, ping of sleet on my windows in Ft Washington....

Posted by: ftwash | February 21, 2011 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Hey CWG thanks for keeping us posted. What does the GFS say about when precip might end??

Posted by: BH99 | February 21, 2011 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Centreville VA Continued moderate winter mix has covered cars & lawn. Temp has dropped one degree in the last hour.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 21, 2011 10:25 PM | Report abuse

@formerwxman1

Thinking all along has been that northern MD into southern PA sees the most precipitation from this. But there appears to be enough energy and moisture with this storm that even if there's a bit of drying over and just east of the mountains, the precip should continue to fill in nicely over the metro area. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 21, 2011 10:28 PM | Report abuse

I hope that 40% chance of DCPS closing becomes a 100% by tomorrow morning, haha...

Posted by: Dest1 | February 21, 2011 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Dan.

Posted by: formerwxman1 | February 21, 2011 10:31 PM | Report abuse

@kolya02: The folks at Climate Progress probably just feel like they're tired of people denying climate change. You can understand, though, right? Every time someone tells you that the Earth isn't trapping carbon dioxide and slowly but surely heating up, I'm guessing you put your palms to you ears and hum until they go away?

Posted by: spankyman111 | February 21, 2011 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Sleeting pretty hard here in Cabin John, MD. Ice is so much worse than snow. I wish it (snow) would get here.

Surprised that, after being very proactive the last few storms, OPM is still silent about tomorrow's Fed operating status.

Posted by: Hawaiiexpat | February 21, 2011 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Who says "out of a wet paper bag" anymore?

Posted by: beetsnotbeats | February 21, 2011 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Steady sleeting on Capitol Hill. Cold little hard nuggets pinging all around.

Posted by: NaomiHB | February 21, 2011 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Fellow posters - we have an incoming snowstorm.
Squabbling about climate change can please wait for another CWG posting. Thank U.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 21, 2011 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Been sleeting here in New Balmer about an hour. Nearly a .10 so far ...

Posted by: weathergrrl | February 21, 2011 10:39 PM | Report abuse

whats going on in montgomery county? is moco going to have school?

Posted by: fortheglory | February 21, 2011 10:40 PM | Report abuse

@BH99

Precip still could end as given in our timeline in the earlier post, between 5 and 8 a.m. from west to east. But I'd lean toward the earlier part of that range or even a little earlier. Should be out of here by 5-6 a.m. or earlier. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 21, 2011 10:41 PM | Report abuse

it is pretty weird of nyalls to criticise CWG for this forecast. it's unfolding exactly as CWG forcast. Nyalls may prefer the "sciencey" forecasts of bastardi instead of CWG's nuanced, qualified, science-based forecasts....

32.4 and sleeting loudly here.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 21, 2011 10:43 PM | Report abuse

I get weather forecasts from several different sources and this has to be the one that is the most intellectually disadvantaged.

Posted by: NyallsStJohnSmytheIV | February 21, 2011 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Sleet mixture in Woodbridge. A lovely icey coating on the cars. The sidewalks were manageable for now.

Can you smell the Code Red for PWCS?

Posted by: aquarnnr | February 21, 2011 10:47 PM | Report abuse

bastardi instead of CWG's nuanced, qualified, science-based forecasts....

32.4 and sleeting loudly here.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch
____________________

Science? You wouldn't know the first thing about science or meteorology for that matter.

Crawl back in your hole before I singe your whiskers.

Posted by: NyallsStJohnSmytheIV | February 21, 2011 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Apparently, Howard County didn't get the memo. No treatment on any roads, even major highways, 32/29 etc. and a nice coating of snow on top of the nice layer of sleet we've already gotten. Nice and messy.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 21, 2011 10:50 PM | Report abuse

"intellectually disadvantaged" ... ummmm, i dont think that's (a) true of CWG, or (b) even proper english.

Posted by: jms12 | February 21, 2011 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Nyalls you are crazy. CWG rocks!!!!!!!

Posted by: ilikesnow | February 21, 2011 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Don't feed!!!

Posted by: natsncats | February 21, 2011 10:53 PM | Report abuse

please do every loyal CWG reader a favor and do not respond to off-topic ridiculousness. It is just not worth it, especially when most of us are interested in keeping the current weather the topic of discussion.

Posted by: iceauctions | February 21, 2011 10:56 PM | Report abuse

and on that note, I can report a white layer of sleet on the sidewalks in NE capitol hill. Temperature right at the 32/33 degree line.

Posted by: iceauctions | February 21, 2011 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Snowing nicely in Fulton / HoCo. Radar looks bad though for enough snow to close Ft. Meade. Ft. Meade doesn't care about worker safety or usually allow telecommuting / liberal leave so ugly trudge tomorrow AM means starting out around 4am. :-(

Posted by: biketraveller22 | February 21, 2011 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Brian, thanks for the report from Howard County. Would be interested to know whether folks around the area saw much treating of roads going on this afternoon into evening? -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 21, 2011 11:00 PM | Report abuse

"intellectually disadvantaged" ... ummmm, i dont think that's (a) true of CWG, or (b) even proper english.

Posted by: jms12
_______________________________

Dude, CWG, much like other pedestrian weather forecasting sites, is an amalgamation of the weather channel and it's brethren.

Nothing original is posited here and I deleted it from my bookmarks long ago.

I just happened on WAPO tonight and came here for entertainment value only. Kinda' like a the fun of watching a slow motion train wreck.

Posted by: NyallsStJohnSmytheIV | February 21, 2011 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Anyone have any idea on the chances of school closing for Montgomery County? Can't decide whether to stay up for some late night TV or call it a night here! I'm hoping for some good news.

Posted by: BringOnSnow | February 21, 2011 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Centreville VA has switched over to all snow, and it is coming down at a decent clip.
The pavement has been vanquished. Yeah, no problem with sticking as it is plenty cold out there.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 21, 2011 11:04 PM | Report abuse

To NyallsStJohn...
Pardon the "pedestrian weather forecasting provided" where "nothing original is posited".

First of all, this is the first flaming I've seen of a weather blog. Not sure where your spite of meteorology comes from...

Second, what would a "non-pedestrian" forecast look like? Should they pop-culture references and snarky humor into their predictions? Should they offer radically different predictions from the mainstream weather media? We all know The Weather Channel is just a tool of the man--trying to keep us from really knowing the truth--about weather.

Oh brother.

Posted by: MisterFlak | February 21, 2011 11:11 PM | Report abuse

28 and the snow is coming down at quite a good clip here in Germantown. Not exactly sure when it switched over, but I am sure there is a good layer of ice from heavy sleet under the snow. Stay safe everyone!!!

Posted by: snowsnowwheresthesnow | February 21, 2011 11:13 PM | Report abuse

sleeting here in crofton and has been for quite a while. ice is so much worse than snow for the commute.... come on OPM - delay please!

Posted by: nolagirl67 | February 21, 2011 11:13 PM | Report abuse

We've switched over to light snow here in Laurel. Starting to accumulate on roads and sidewalks.

Posted by: megamuphen | February 21, 2011 11:13 PM | Report abuse

My mile walk home from the Woodley Park metro was annoying - sidewalks are getting slippery and sleet is blowing like a sand blast.

Did not seem like most of the roads were treated, or at least whatever they were treated with did not stop the accumulation of sleet. Hope that gets fixed before tomorrow morning's commute for the drivers. I'm just hoping for enough snow to give me traction for walking on the sidewalks.

Given the fact that our temps have been lower than originally forecasted, could that give an extra boost for accumulation amounts? This storm has been low confidence so I'm going to hold onto hope that it overperforms and we end up with a decent layer of snow.

Posted by: dotyt | February 21, 2011 11:14 PM | Report abuse

So...is anyone going to wake up and ban the obvious troll? One of the reasons I don't read the blog/comments more often is the complete lack of awareness/management on that front.

Posted by: TheJoeGreene | February 21, 2011 11:15 PM | Report abuse

I haven't noticed any trucks here in my circle, but the HoCo snow plower tracker claims it's been done.

http://howardcountymdpublic.eroadtrack.com/

Posted by: Phils-in-Columbia | February 21, 2011 11:18 PM | Report abuse

SE D.C., off Suitland Pkwy...sleeting like crazy since about 10p.m...went on a short errand (20min) and had to clean my car off twice. Have nice thick crust already, everything under a smoky white glaze of ice pellets. PING!!

Posted by: NewbreedSE | February 21, 2011 11:18 PM | Report abuse

No offense intended I'm sure and none taken but if you're wondering why I mentioned Bastardi look at the 10:10 update...tomorrow's discussion of this should be 'on fire'

Posted by: kolya02 | February 21, 2011 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Prince William CPS closed Code Red for Tuesday!!

Posted by: sparkler39 | February 21, 2011 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Phil, I don't believe that map for a second. They may have driven a truck up and down the street, but there was no salt down as of about a half hour ago.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 21, 2011 11:20 PM | Report abuse

@ CWG - Can you block the nasty wacko?

Been sleeting at the 301 Bridge since about 10:30.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | February 21, 2011 11:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm in North Bethesda and there doesn't look to be anything falling right now.

Posted by: marie_d1 | February 21, 2011 11:25 PM | Report abuse

firedragon,
one benefit (the only?) of the sleet is it "prepares the way" for snow by cooling the ground and putting down a good cold surface for the snow to stick to. the problem of course is the snow will be "chunky" and non-homogeneous.

31.5 (and dropping fast), still sleet, but quieter. is it trying to changeover?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 21, 2011 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Good grief! Prince William closes at the drop of a hat!! We've got a light dusting here in Lake Ridge (Woodbridge). I work in FFX, though, so let's hope it doesn't let up quite yet :-)

Posted by: mdith4him1 | February 21, 2011 11:27 PM | Report abuse

@BringOnSnow

Don't take this as an iron-clad guarantee, but I'd be surprised if MoCo schools open tomorrow. -Dan, CWG

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | February 21, 2011 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Snow in annapolis. Salt trucks on the road.

Posted by: clarkjr | February 21, 2011 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Prince William County Public Schools
Tuesday, February 22 - Schools will be closed, Code Red for employees.

Posted by: Rockvillers | February 21, 2011 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Nyalls--

Please do us all a favor. If you are going to gripe so much about CWG, be constructive and tell us, specifically, about a better weather blog or site for this area.

I don't think you can. But we (and I suspect that includes Jason and Camden etc...) sure would like to know who in fact is demonstrably better for local significant weather events.

Posted by: pmichaels1 | February 21, 2011 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Nyalls--

Please do us all a favor. If you are going to gripe so much about CWG, be constructive and tell us, specifically, about a better weather blog or site for this area.

I don't think you can. But we (and I suspect that includes Jason and Camden etc...) sure would like to know who in fact is demonstrably better for local significant weather events.

Posted by: pmichaels1 | February 21, 2011 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Dramatic sudden change from rain to sleet in Greenbelt at around 9:50 pm. Was coming in from the car, and the sound of what was hitting the umbrella changed almost instantly.

Posted by: kevinwparker | February 21, 2011 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Why do people keep asking the CWG about school closing? They predict the weather & as far as I know, none of them have any say about closings. Your guess is probably as good as theirs. Do what most people do, watch tv or listen 2 the radio 4 school closing or delays. The same thing can b applied to other things such as airport delays or Gov't closing. Hate 2 seem like a bad person, but it's not really CWG job 2 make closing decisions.
Looks like CWG agree with my assesment that snow amounts will b on the lower end.

Posted by: VaTechBob | February 21, 2011 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Thoughts, specifically, toward school openings in Fairfax County?

Posted by: bmxphenom50 | February 21, 2011 11:40 PM | Report abuse

there's no way fairfax opens schools, imo.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 21, 2011 11:44 PM | Report abuse

I agree with VaTechBob... especially since there is already a Schoolcast a few posts down! If the Schoolcast changes, they usually make an update!

Posted by: megamuphen | February 21, 2011 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Still no snow here, boy called from his room to see if "a window was open, the sleet is so loud" ... it is amazingly loud, in the quiet of the night. It has sleeted so much, almost a half inch now.

Posted by: weathergrrl | February 21, 2011 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Starting to get some fat snowflakes mixing in here in Cleveland Park.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | February 21, 2011 11:49 PM | Report abuse

~1.5" of very heavy sleet/snow on all surfaces and snowing hard in north Baltimore.

Posted by: iawebster | February 21, 2011 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Light snow falling here as of 11:50 pm I'd say a little more than a dusting to half an inch on the ground currently.

Made the mistake of going outside in only my t-shirt and jeans (again) yeah, fine for a short while, but definitely not longer than five minutes (and I was out for longer than 5 minutes).

Posted by: DelMarVaStormTracker | February 21, 2011 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Will I beable to walk to my paper box in morning or should I plan on waiting until later in the day? How about some advice on the stock market, will the sleet & snow affect it in any way? Will schools be open on time by Fri?
Come on people, use some common sense instead of asking the CWG about whether every school, Gov't org. or flight will be affected.
Sorry 4 the rant but this constant asking about schools, Gov't closings & flight delays is getting old. Once again, the CWG has no say so in these matters.

Posted by: VaTechBob | February 21, 2011 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Heavy sleet falling in Springfield, Va. Sidewalk, road and grass covered to about 1/2 inch. Very slick.

Posted by: ricschwartz | February 21, 2011 11:54 PM | Report abuse

All snow and moderate snow now in Leesburg!

Posted by: greg2010 | February 21, 2011 11:57 PM | Report abuse

No sleet problems up here in No. Frederick County, MD. Just snow since 7:30PM. 3 - 3 1/2 fluffy inches on ground, 20 degrees with moderate snow at the witching hour.

Posted by: dustygroundhog | February 22, 2011 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Light freezing rain & sleet in NW Spotsy. Not expecting more than 1/2 - 1" of frozen prec. here. Prec. seems 2 really b moving very fast.

Posted by: VaTechBob | February 22, 2011 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Possibly off topic, but, looking at the radar, are they getting thunderstorm activity Richmond and southwards?

Posted by: weathergrrl | February 22, 2011 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Centreville VA going back & forth between sleet (sometimes heavy) and snow. Not much accumulation, but enough to totally screw up roads & sidewalks. Precip seems to have eased up for now.

Unless some bands of heavy snow set up soon we won't have that much in my part of the suburbs.
But any snow is enough to be camera worthy....looking forward to my drive through the battlefield tomorrow.
Gnight & happy birthday George.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 22, 2011 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Sleet, quiet, then more sleet down here in the banana belt in Glover Park (even though it's now in the upper 20s).

So frustrating during the big snow in late January the temps never dropped below 32. Tonight it's twenty-something and we're getting iced down.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | February 22, 2011 12:05 AM | Report abuse

hmmm..gotta say that if precip is perhaps already going to be finished by around 4am, I don't even see how I'd get 2" of snow here in Berwyn Heights (College Park area). It is still sleeting here and it's pretty light at that. I'm starting to think CWG's forecast well north and northwest of DC will probably be spot on, but that the forecast for inside the immediate metro area will be a decent one, but perhaps not completely accurate. What do you think CWG? Thanks for all the updates...

Posted by: BH99 | February 22, 2011 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Still sleeting in Vienna at midnight, and the radars pictures don't all agree.....some of them show snow over central Fairfax County, some sleet or a mix. The precip in general, though, looks like it's lightening up west of Fauquier County. If it doesn't fill back in (which, of course, it sometimes does), it may quit in the D.C. area before dawn, in the next few hours, and not continue all night like the forecast.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | February 22, 2011 12:15 AM | Report abuse

In Adams Morgan we have seen a steady mix of freezing rain, sleet, and light snow during the last hour. Maybe 1/4" at most on the ground now.

Posted by: Ayrwulf | February 22, 2011 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Fat flakes. No sleet in Fulton / HoCo. Heard a plane bound for BWI about 20 minutes ago. Unusual pattern for this late. Probably due yo snow more planes circling trying to land.

Posted by: biketraveller22 | February 22, 2011 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Alright, two things. CWG prob do not mind that people ask them questions as it means they are getting more and more readers, which means better numbers, more money for the Post, and eventually more money in their pockets. So I dont know if the CWG agrees with you. So i suggest you chill your jets or go join Bastardi on the unemployment line.

On other news, Gaithersburg aint got nothing. We have a coating of ice, and a bit of snow. THIS forecast will be a bust if we don't get 1.5 inches more.

And last but not least. If they do not cancel schools tomorrow I am going to be upset. My childer have to walk to school on this mess? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

Now,

Posted by: Weather_Fan_Damascus | February 22, 2011 12:22 AM | Report abuse

weathergrrl, it's very possible that Richmond and south, as you suggest, could be getting some convection and some thunder. Despite the fairly cool surface temps, they're in the low's warm sector, pressures are dropping rapidly with the approach of the low center itself moving into central Virginia, and, of course, conditions down there are more unstable than up in this area.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | February 22, 2011 12:25 AM | Report abuse

We've got a solid coating of ice/sleet here in Dunn Loring near Tysons. Right now we're seeing moderate intensity sleet fall with some superfine flakes mixed in, but so far no real snow. It's a nasty icy mess, but the sleet makes a lovely sound as it falls...

Posted by: kedzie | February 22, 2011 12:28 AM | Report abuse

@BH99

I think some spots south from MoCo south may struggle to reach the low end totals the way things are looking now - but we still have some good echoes to the west-- just need the small warm (sleet causing) layer aloft to cool, and should turn the sleet over to snow .

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 22, 2011 12:33 AM | Report abuse

Sleet here has turned "whitish" in SE...still coming down like crazy. My car is now under a sizeable layer of white ice. Everything coated. Sidewalks, roads, grass.

@CWG: Just curious, if this were all snow given the precip, what would we be looking at? I know it won't happen, but 8 inches of snow is far better than 1.5" inches of ice.

Posted by: NewbreedSE | February 22, 2011 12:33 AM | Report abuse

No sleet, no snow.

Posted by: weathergrrl | February 22, 2011 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Take it back, sleet just resumed with a vengeance. Ack, sleep calls. Good luck with everyone's a.m. commute!

Posted by: weathergrrl | February 22, 2011 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Love this site, but I'm respectfully calling bust tonight. 1-2 inches tomorrow morning is going to be really pushing it at this point, and regardless of what anyone says, hype pushed this thing a little bit above that, expectations wise. I think that we can all share the blame for that -- even CWG.

Posted by: MarylanDChris | February 22, 2011 12:40 AM | Report abuse

Not understanding that...this wasn't a major storm anyway, the amounts look to end up pretty accurate barring something crazy. But the a.m. commute is looking like a zoo at this point. An ounce of ice is worth a pound of snow.

Posted by: NewbreedSE | February 22, 2011 12:54 AM | Report abuse

just saw on the CWG Facebook page that another batch is coming from the West. Right now it's not doing much of anything at all where i am (22191)schools are already closed tomorrow so it's time for bed =)

Posted by: lisajulia | February 22, 2011 12:54 AM | Report abuse

In Adams Morgan, I now see mostly light snow. It is accumulating slowly and roads are still not completely covered.

Posted by: Ayrwulf | February 22, 2011 1:07 AM | Report abuse

We'll see what the next two hours brings before this wraps up - but I have to second MDChris on the "bust" call. No mention of "freezing rain" anywhere in the prior forecasts - and that's all I've seen, mixed at times with sleet, since 7:30 inside the beltway, which has addded up to 1/2 inch or less of ice accumulation. Not a snow flake to be seen. Surface temps have been plenty cold enough earlier than predicted - but there's some warm air lingering up there somewhere. Maybe the last batch will be heavy enough to end with a few flakes - but the radar doesn't look good and time is running out.

Posted by: manatt | February 22, 2011 1:10 AM | Report abuse

I just re-read Wes Junker's take on this weather from earlier today. It's still holding true at this point; at least for us just South of DC.

Posted by: lisajulia | February 22, 2011 1:10 AM | Report abuse

CWG, you've said that accumulation will be lighter than predicted. How will this affect the schoolcast?

Posted by: heatherdc1980 | February 22, 2011 1:14 AM | Report abuse

... of course, it just went over to mostly snow for the first time as I posted that last comment ... obviously my plan is working! (Still amazed how big of a difference flakes versus ice pellets makes with accumulations - it's already looking whiter.)

Posted by: manatt | February 22, 2011 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Sleet has changed to snow in Arlington near Ballston.

Posted by: AndrewArlVA | February 22, 2011 1:19 AM | Report abuse

As soon as I wrote that, it changed back to sleet.

Posted by: AndrewArlVA | February 22, 2011 1:26 AM | Report abuse

Finally....the changeover to snow in Vienna....around 1 AM. That persistant layer of warm air aloft over Fairfax County and much of the immediate D.C. area seems to be gone. I agree with several of the posters here, though, that the longer-than-expected sleet could affect the actual snow totals at both National and Dulles. We're probably not going to end up with the 2-3" that was predicted there.....although there does (now) seem to be a decent-looking band of moderate snow still off to the west that has not moved through yet.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | February 22, 2011 1:28 AM | Report abuse

We've gone over to snow in NW DC - coming down moderately, but there's probably not a lot left to come. This is a bit a bit of a bust.

@manatt

Interesting news about Joe Bastardi today. How about his 3-6" forecast for DC for this storm?

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 22, 2011 1:30 AM | Report abuse

Sleet changed over to snow about 1AM in SE near 295. Mixed large and medium flakes falling at a decent clip.

Posted by: NewbreedSE | February 22, 2011 1:38 AM | Report abuse

busta rhymes

Posted by: swishjobs | February 22, 2011 1:58 AM | Report abuse

less that 1/2 of snow in the last hour
you say 2-4, he says 3-6 ... both missed it by one warm breeze aloft. And in that case, see what the liquid output was - I think JB would have verified on the high side over 4 but for the freezing rain (and sleet). That said, I never care for a 3-6 range because it bridges that line from incidental snow to more significant problems, and people focus on the top digit. I think CWG (and JB) had a good forecast, if not quite "right" - we'll see which way the wind blows next time around. Say, maybe JB's could fill a spot on the CWG now in his spare time.

Posted by: manatt | February 22, 2011 2:20 AM | Report abuse

@manatt

I almost think you're being too kind to us, but I'll assess our performance tomorrow. I agree this was a tough one and our forecast wasn't notably better than JBs - although we did have the southern half of the region including (SE DC) in 1-3, not 2-4 - but splitting hairs admittedly.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 22, 2011 2:33 AM | Report abuse

Thud. That's the sound of the snow dud here in Alexandria. Sleet, yes. Snow? Not a sign of it. Same old, as always.

Posted by: TBAlexandria | February 22, 2011 2:52 AM | Report abuse

Mostly a dud out here in Warren county. Not much more than 1/4-1/2 inch of crust plus some snow on top but less than in inch total.. Time to start up the car and melt it off.

Posted by: eric654 | February 22, 2011 3:29 AM | Report abuse

In Baltimore City, it's been snowing hard since Midnight. I have to go to Wilmington DE on business via Amtrak at 7:30 and it's going to take me at least a half an hour to clean off/deice my car. Still snowing hard at 4 a.m.

Posted by: purdyjack | February 22, 2011 4:03 AM | Report abuse

Love the detailed forecasts here, but gotta call a spade a spade here....this was a bust. And that started with the temperature forecast for Monday.

But, take comfort in the fact that this site wasn't alone in that bust. Most people/sites got it wrong.

When all was said and done, this performed much like a clipper, and those types of storms are a)hard to forecast and b)rarely yield much snow for our area.

The one thing that I never felt comfortable with all along in this forecast of higher amounts was the fact that this snow was not coming from the south, but more from the north and west. As in b) above, that's just not a good recipe for snow here.

Thanks again for the info you provide. I'll continue to rely on you guys for my weather forecasts.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | February 22, 2011 4:16 AM | Report abuse

Montgomery County Public Schools just announced a 2-hour delay. http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/

Posted by: sessal | February 22, 2011 4:33 AM | Report abuse

Consider dropping collision and/or comprehensive coverages on older cars. Search online for "Clearance Auto Insurance" If your car is worth less than 10 times the premium, purchasing the coverage may not be cost effective.

Posted by: floydullery | February 22, 2011 4:41 AM | Report abuse

Definitely a bust, but at least CWG was more circumspect than most. SchoolCast stayed at 2.5 apples. At one point yesterday NWS said 4-8" for Montg. Cty. Last advisory said 1-3", which I think is a concession of defeat.

Posted by: PotoMack | February 22, 2011 5:28 AM | Report abuse

This is off topic, but is it true that southern Maryland is at risk for tornadoes next week?

Weather Channel

http://www.weather.com/outlook/weather-news/news/articles/severe-weather-outbreak-ahead_2011-02-21?page=3

Hard to believe in March/February

Posted by: Hosj | February 22, 2011 7:27 AM | Report abuse

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