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Posted at 3:15 PM ET, 02/ 2/2011

PM Update: Brief warmth quickly turns colder

By Ian Livingston

Many places, especially D.C. south and east, briefly hit 50+ today! This is a rare treat thus far this winter. In fact, December-January finished as one of the most extreme locally (at D.C.) in the "below 50" highs category. Only five days topped the mark, tying for 3rd in recorded history for most days below 50 during the period. Today marks only our 6th such day since December began. Unfortunately for warmth fans, this brief taste of more spring-like air will be a memory in a few hours as colder air rushes back in.

Through Tonight: It's partly cloudy and breezy overnight behind the cold front associated with the giant Midwest storm. Temperatures drop to the low-and-mid 20s in the suburbs while settling into the upper 20s downtown. Winds from the north or northwest are sustained around 10-15 mph with gusts past 20 mph.

Tomorrow (Thursday): We see a return to mid-winter chill tomorrow as temperatures struggle through the 30s and a continued breeze makes things feel even cooler. Highs reach the low-to-mid 30s. Winds should be strongest early (sustained around 10-15 mph) and into the midday before dwindling a bit headed toward sunset and beyond.

See Dan Stillman's forecast through the weekend. And if you haven't already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Storm impacts: The big storm that moved through the Midwest and Ohio Valley -- crushing Chicago -- also impacted many other locations. In and around NYC and up into southern New England, a bit of snow was topped by ice up to .5"-.75" thick leaving some (but less than feared) without power. Further west, Racine, Wisconsin saw over two feet of snow in one of the highest totals from the storm. And in the wake of ice and snow to start the storm, Dallas, Texas is expecting to near the coldest temperatures they have seen in over two decades tonight as lows reach the single digits!

By Ian Livingston  | February 2, 2011; 3:15 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Forecast: Chilly but sun in abundance

Comments

We didn't hit 50 nor have a "rare treat" in Fairfax. While Fredericksburg hit 62(!) and even the eastern and southern portions of Fairfax County hit 50, we seem to have a bank of clouds stuck over the western and northern parts of Fairfax County that won't move, and we've only been able to get up to 45. Looking at the current satellite map Fairfax County is cut in two, one half sunny and warm, one half cold and gray. Unfortunately I'm in the cold gray half. But I hope all you people who saw that glowing ball in the sky today and could open your windows in the warm weather enjoyed it. I might get the same experience you had today in March....maybe. Yes, I'm bitter.

Posted by: rwalker66 | February 2, 2011 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I've been trying to deny my snow envy...I DO like to get out of my house. It's nice not to battle with neighbors over painfully excavated parking spaces.

But it's just no good. That video of the Chicago T-snow just kills me. Want more.
Have problem I do.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 2, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

@rwalker66

It doesn't surprise me some folks got stuck in the cold wedge. It often happens that way. It was interesting to see DCA at 39 at noon and Fredericksburg at 60 - though DCA did get some warming the PM. I guess this was one of those days where's we should've forecast a high of 40-60 :) Some folks would've found that laughable...

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 2, 2011 3:51 PM | Report abuse

My heart aches each time I get a tweet from NY or Boston about the snow... I AM SO JEALOUS!!

Posted by: sigmagrrl | February 2, 2011 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Jason, the thing is my neighborhood always seems to be stuck in a cold wedge. Looking at your temps map I see it's 67 around Fredericksburg right now. And it shows 60 even out to the west in the normally cold area between Front Royal and Luray. It's in the 60's east of me too. Basically 60's all around me except where I am. It's so rare to have a day in the 60's this time of year, I'm just bummed I missed it while everyone else got to enjoy it :(

Posted by: rwalker66 | February 2, 2011 4:00 PM | Report abuse

still 50 darn serpent-melting degrees here, but dropping fast. today is the first day they've had school across the street since the serpent arrived. love watching the buses slow down and the kids all look over...

while i'm happy with a polite 4-6, i admit i'm jealous of those "buried" by this storm. i'm not wishing it on anyone but myself. ice - no thanks. all that snow - thank you sir. may i have another?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 2, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Shocker - the snow perverts have all weighed in on this poll. Shame we missed out on another devastating storm that costs millions - not to mention a life or two.

Posted by: Kev29 | February 2, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

shocker... we've been admonished.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 2, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Remember when Obama said:
"We're going to have to try to apply some flinty Chicago toughness to this,"
well, considering their snow totals come nowhere close to the totals we had last February maybe they should apply some flinty DC toughness to this!

Posted by: wanker16 | February 2, 2011 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I drive a Dodge Stratus !

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

I follow CWG this time of year because I need to know the weather, and I read the comments because they often contain important useful information, but if I could avoid it entirely I would, because the wish-for-snow-and-all-its-accompanying-devastation sentiment just makes me feel ill. I wish I could figure out some way not to let it get to me so much, but I haven't.

I'm sure the inevitable responses full of scorn and superiority (Get yourself a wood-burning stove and an axe and a truck with chains and a bearskin pelt, you pampered babies - and hey, the weak have been culled by winter snow for eons, so just stop your whining and tough it out...) will ensue, since the "snow perverts" (thanks for the term, Kev29) are so overwhelmingly the majority of commenters on this blog. And of course there'll be the tired overused non-responses, about snow-lovers being "admonished" and the like.

I'd love for someone to explain, really explain, to me how they can truly want what has happened in Chicago. All I can think is that it must be nice to have a life that is so little affected by the kind of disruption and difficulty major blizzards bring that you can long yearningly for them.

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

Just sitting here wondering why we aren't hearing about 5.5 million customers without power in the Midwest, considering the size of the area and the strength of the storm. Or maybe I'm still bitter that I lost power (yet again) for 3 days last week, this time over a six-inch snow, and heard again how, in some way, it was partially my fault. I tried to call and ask PEPCO, but there were no humans answering, as was promised. So I vote nothing but partly cloudy and calm until they finally get it together. Thank you, groundhog!

Posted by: curtmccormick | February 2, 2011 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Just sitting here wondering why we aren't hearing about 5.5 million customers without power in the Midwest, considering the size of the area and the strength of the storm. Or maybe I'm still bitter that I lost power (yet again) for 3 days last week, this time over a six-inch snow, and heard again how, in some way, it was partially my fault. I tried to call and ask PEPCO, but there were no humans answering, as was promised. So I vote nothing but partly cloudy and calm until they finally get it together. Thank you, groundhog!

Posted by: curtmccormick | February 2, 2011 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm...only 61% of voters chose, "Yes, I was hoping for Megasnowpocalypse." Interesting. I'm surprised it's not more like 98% considering the vast amount of snow lovers (myself included) who comment on this blog.
---
Kev29, you said, sarcastically, "Shame we missed out on another devastating storm that costs millions - not to mention a life or two."

You must be living under a rock, because I, along with many other snow-lovers have made ourselves EXTREMELY clear when it comes to this issue. None of us want anyone to die, none of us want the storm to cause millions in damage. I have posted about this issue on previous threads, to which I recommend you refer. Lighten up already! We simply enjoy snow and if you don't have anything kind to say, don't say anything at all.

Oh, and in case you haven't noticed, many people also enjoy surfing, skiing, rock climbing, hockey, and YES, some (not me) even enjoy thunderstorms and tornadoes. All of those cause deaths, but it doesn't make someone a bad person if they enjoy them.
---
Oh well, I'm still hoping that the weekend storm turns into something. Although, Bob Ryan is saying, "it looks like it will produce some chilly light rain over D.C. Saturday, but there's a 30 percent chance some of the precipitation will start as sleet or freezing rain late Friday night. That makes me lose a lot of hope.

Well my fellow snow-lovers, it looks like we'll have to throw in the towel until next year. :-(

Posted by: BobMiller2 | February 2, 2011 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Forecast says breezy for tonight, but the winds outside my S. arlington house are gale force! This has got to be bad for PEPCO customers in MD and DC.

Posted by: jojo2008 | February 2, 2011 6:36 PM | Report abuse

For what its worth (and because I assume I am not the only one who feels this way):
I like a good snowstorm.
I don't like losing power.
I feel inconvenienced when mother nature messes with my plans.
I feel great awe when observing the power of mother nature be it snow, ice, thunderstorms, etc.
I have no control over the weather and so opinions on weather that I don't like in no way bother me.
I do the best I can under whatever situation I am dealing with and try not to take things personally. I'm not that important.
Thank you.

Posted by: cqjudge | February 2, 2011 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Throw in the towel until next year? We have weeks of prime snow season stretching before us! Oh ye of little faith.....

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 2, 2011 6:40 PM | Report abuse

FIREDRAGON47,

you're right; I shouldn't throw in the towel JUST yet. I made that statement because I've been hearing that after another week or so, warmer temps will set in and that the active southerly storm track will calm down. I'm also not seeing any possibilities of BIG snow on the GFS for the next 16 days, except maybe around Valentines day?? That, however, is too far out to discuss and CWG has made it clear that models are not to be trusted more than 5 - 6 days out.

Thanks for the encouragement ;-)!

Posted by: BobMiller2 | February 2, 2011 7:07 PM | Report abuse

dang, i've been RE-admonished...

jeez, jcats... sorry we've made you ill. you must be a very sensitive person. if it helps reduce your disgust, when i wish for snow i don't wish for any of the "accompanying devastation".

i believe many people have offered their thoughts on why they like snow. you just don't like the answers.
-----------

so, how dangerous is a blizzard? how many deaths has this storm caused? does anyone know?

average u.s death rate = 8/1000 per year. 8/365 = .0219. so that 8/1000 rate = .0219/1000 per day. i've heard this storm affected 100,000,000 people. so over the course of a normal day out of the 100,000,00 people affected, we can expect 2190 people to have died per day.

i'd be curious to know how many people in the affected area died, and how many of those deaths were attributable to the blizzard. i wonder how many deaths didn't happen because people stayed home and didn't get in car accidents and commit crimes etc...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 2, 2011 7:11 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how many snowstorm babies were conceived....people stuck at home, gotta stay warm, you know.

Lots of puddles & big swaths of running water flowing from snowpiles here in Centreville. Such a re-freezing we will have overnight.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 2, 2011 7:16 PM | Report abuse

@cqjudge: Thank you. I needed that.

Posted by: weathergrrl | February 2, 2011 7:23 PM | Report abuse

cwg,

can we get a school cast for tomorrow?

I think all the snow and rain that fell today is going to refreeze with these windchills and cold air tonight. 2 hr delays tomorrow???

Posted by: SNOWLUVER | February 2, 2011 7:49 PM | Report abuse

@jcats and Kev29

I like snow. I like blizzards. I like thunderstorms. I like tornadoes. I like hurricanes. I love category 5 hurricanes. Clouds, fog, wind, and bitter cold are just alright with me.

I don't like the heat. In fact, I hate the heat with a raging passion. I also don't care much for the sun unless I'm at the beach or the pool.

To me, snow is beautiful, frozen bliss; I relish the shroud of silence it lays over the city. I like watching awesome displays of nature, being floored by the sheer energy and power of the skies. I certainly don't wish harm on anybody, and I sympathize with all of the people who are left without power or otherwise unfairly burdened by inclement weather.

However, the simple fact that snow can (and often does) cause problems does not mean that I should be castigated for enjoying that very weather, or wishing the heavens would open up and shower us in white, frozen glory.

Further, I would like to note that many of those problems could be avoided by a little common sense and planning (e.g. have appropriate food on hand in case the power goes out, don't drive when it's snowing at 2" per hour, get proper tires, etc.). In Florida, if you don't board up your house when a hurricane warning has been issued and there's a cat. 4 out there, well, you know whose fault it is (yours).

In fact, I grew up in Florida (and only left this summer), so I know first-hand how much destruction a hurricane can leave it its wake. I've lost power countless times to the beasts. But none of that makes me stop watching and waiting for a big one to churn up the Atlantic. And nothing will ever stop me from watching lightning strikes for hours on end. It's not about the consequences, it's about the weather itself.

Also, walter-in-falls-church was very clear about not wishing any of the disruptive effects of snow on anybody else: "while i'm happy with a polite 4-6, i admit i'm jealous of those "buried" by this storm. i'm not wishing it on anyone but myself."

Finally, the hypocrisy of decrying snow lovers baffles me. Heat waves kill many people across the country, but I've never heard anybody called a "heat pervert." I don't think anybody would be called-out for hoping for a hot and sunny 100 degree beach day, so why is it so wrong to want a 12" snow storm and a few skiing, sledding, snowball-fighting, snowman-making days?

P.S. Thanks for staying level-headed BobMiller2 and cqjudge.

Posted by: Zenith2 | February 2, 2011 7:50 PM | Report abuse


I love big snow and blizzards!

Primarily because they don't happen often here and the city is never more beautiful and quiet.

People die of heat stroke every year but I don't curse summer or complain about people who like heat and humidity.

Posted by: Gidgmom | February 2, 2011 8:18 PM | Report abuse

zenith, you said,
"I don't think anybody would be called-out for hoping for a hot and sunny 100 degree beach day..."

oh, i think some would admonish you. some can't stand the heat. and there are many who want mild weather all the time. i love how washington weather has it all.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 2, 2011 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Well, they wouldn't exactly be admonishing me: I hate the heat! Of course, I don't begrudge those who do like it.

Posted by: Zenith2 | February 2, 2011 8:32 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Walter, your sea serpent was inspired!

Posted by: Zenith2 | February 2, 2011 8:35 PM | Report abuse

"Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy." -- HL Mencken

I have snow pervert pride. Being dour and unhappy won't save any lives or shovel any sidewalks.

Posted by: snowvert | February 2, 2011 8:56 PM | Report abuse

walter,

how did you come of with the sea serpent idea? That was one of your best sculptures yet!

----

btw, the current reading on my deck is 32.7°F. that's a far cry from the 60° some folks to our south experienced today.

I have to admit, the 72°F temp in Key Largo, Florida DOES sound nice! After all, what good is cold without SNOW??

Posted by: BobMiller2 | February 2, 2011 9:00 PM | Report abuse

@cqjudge Nicely put.

Hear the drifts have been amazing in some places in the midwest. Sister in Illinois mentioned that her driveway barely has any snow and the house across the street is practically buried.

Posted by: crazer | February 2, 2011 9:25 PM | Report abuse

is it just me, or does posting a comment take forever

Posted by: crazer | February 2, 2011 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Currently 24.3 after a hi temp of 52.5 today in the mountains east of Front Royal. I posted a few pictures taken this morning of our Groundhog Day Ice Storm.

Posted by: spgass1 | February 2, 2011 9:52 PM | Report abuse

I know I am a snow lover but I want spring to come so we can enjoy warm temps. I really like severe thunderstorms and tornados. BRING ON THE HEAT MOTHER NATURE!!

Posted by: weatherfreak1994 | February 2, 2011 10:44 PM | Report abuse

For me, it's the schadenfreude of watching everyone around here panic, have a miserable experience, and then fail to learn anything.

Posted by: mason08 | February 2, 2011 10:58 PM | Report abuse

I like when giant snowstorms hit DC. Frankly, I also like it when ice storms hit DC. I suppose it has been burned into my brain since childhood that winter weather events = days off, or at very least a break from the usual. Now it's work, it used to be school Even on a weekend, hanging out with friends during a snowstorm is just more fun.

Yes, winter weather causes hardships for many. It also brings income to some. Honestly though, I'm just not a great person like some of you who thinks solely about others and just always wishes the weather would be just right to do the least bit of harm. Sorry, but no, I'm the type who likes a little extreme weather every now and then.

That and, for all those soooo concerned with the problems a storm causes, sorry but whatever misery running out of milk, or an extra long commute causes doesn't even compare to the amount of misery that people deal with every day. Partly cloudly 62 degree days will still have countless people without milk, unable to be where they want to be, and yes dying. So maybe rather than worrying about the few extra problems caused by a 12 hour weather event you should turn your attention to the much greater problems that exist every single day.

Posted by: MikeJC | February 2, 2011 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Dear CWG,

My birthday is February 12. I would really like a snow event to commemorate my day -- could you arrange that for me?

Thanks!
Born-in-a-blizzard-and-dying-for-snow

Posted by: jbrickey | February 2, 2011 11:59 PM | Report abuse

MikeJC, it's precisely because of those people who suffer every day that wanting to pile more problems on top of them is unbelievably cruel. I know it's a huge assumption, but I imagine the majority of the big snow lovers here have the luxury of not having to go to work or can telework when the weather is too extreme. People on the poorer side of things often don't have that privilege. Many rely on public transit, and when that stops working they're faced with the dilemma of how to get to a job that they'll be fired from if they can't make it in. Not every place of employment closes down and not every employer cares a hoot that there's a foot of snow out there.

To everyone else, I've yet to see anyone seriously post a comment in the middle of hurricane season saying they're doing their storm dance so the approaching hurricane hits us with all its force. So while other weather can hurt and kill, people aren't exactly pulling for it the way people seem to want every snow event to turn into a blizzard around here. Plus, in this area even a small event can shut everything down for days.

Posted by: mountainmolehill | February 3, 2011 4:41 AM | Report abuse

How's that climate change denial working out for ya?

Posted by: Nymous | February 3, 2011 6:21 AM | Report abuse

I live in Syracuse, NY. As of 9pm last night, we have had 128 inches of snow, and it is still snowing this morning. Our average snowfall is 111", so we are above normal at this point.

I must say however, that we just keep on going when it snows here. The plows keep our roads open, and our driveways as well, and salt and sand help a lot. Most homes have an assortment of snowshovels, ice-melt, and snow removal items! We did not get the "Monster Storm" that was predicted yesterday, and for the first time this winter, schools and some business decided they would be closed on Wednesday. Then, the storm was not a MONSTER at all, and people were mad that things shut down!

I, for one, do not mind the snow, but hate ice. As I always say to my friends in Florida who like to rub it in about our SNOW....."We have NEVER had to evacuate because of SNOW!".

One more thing.... here in this area, the SKIING is FANTASTIC! Ski resorts are THRIVING!

So there!

Posted by: cashmere1 | February 3, 2011 7:48 AM | Report abuse

I live in Syracuse, NY. As of 9pm last night, we have had 128 inches of snow, and it is still snowing this morning. Our average snowfall is 111", so we are above normal at this point.

I must say however, that we just keep on going when it snows here. The plows keep our roads open, and our driveways as well, and salt and sand help a lot. Most homes have an assortment of snowshovels, ice-melt, and snow removal items! We did not get the "Monster Storm" that was predicted yesterday, and for the first time this winter, schools and some business decided they would be closed on Wednesday. Then, the storm was not a MONSTER at all, and people were mad that things shut down!

I, for one, do not mind the snow, but hate ice. As I always say to my friends in Florida who like to rub it in about our SNOW....."We have NEVER had to evacuate because of SNOW!".

One more thing.... here in this area, the SKIING is FANTASTIC! Ski resorts are THRIVING!

So there!

Posted by: cashmere1 | February 3, 2011 7:48 AM | Report abuse

I live in Syracuse, NY. As of 9pm last night, we have had 128 inches of snow, and it is still snowing this morning. Our average snowfall is 111", so we are above normal at this point.

I must say however, that we just keep on going when it snows here. The plows keep our roads open, and our driveways as well, and salt and sand help a lot. Most homes have an assortment of snowshovels, ice-melt, and snow removal items! We did not get the "Monster Storm" that was predicted yesterday, and for the first time this winter, schools and some business decided they would be closed on Wednesday. Then, the storm was not a MONSTER at all, and people were mad that things shut down!

I, for one, do not mind the snow, but hate ice. As I always say to my friends in Florida who like to rub it in about our SNOW....."We have NEVER had to evacuate because of SNOW!".

One more thing.... here in this area, the SKIING is FANTASTIC! Ski resorts are THRIVING!

So there!

Posted by: cashmere1 | February 3, 2011 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Personally, I don't care for the heat. I prefer mild temps in the summer and snow in winter. I agree, what's the point of cold if there's no snow? Ice can just stay away, thanks.

Posted by: TBAlexandria | February 3, 2011 8:07 AM | Report abuse

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