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Posted at 3:20 PM ET, 02/16/2011

PM Update: Springlike air returns

By Ian Livingston

Today's wind shift to the south got our workweek ending warm-up underway nicely today as highs reached the mid-50s to near 60 across the area. Winds occasionally gusting past 25 mph have helped add a slight chill to the air, especially in the shade, but they should die off as we head into sunset.

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.

Through Tonight: Breezes of the day continue to dwindle heading into the night, as skies stay mostly clear. It's not going to be warm out there, but not too chilly either, as lows dip to near freezing in the coldest spots and around 40 downtown.

Tomorrow (Thursday): Here comes the first of two very stellar days! Mostly sunny skies and a light wind from the southwest conspire with a mild air mass to send temperatures toward the mid-60s most spots. Try to find a minute or two to spend outdoors if possible!

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

Commutageddon ranked: Folks at the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) have completed a preliminary analysis of the January 26-27 storm that dropped between 5 and 10" of snow across most of the area. The Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale (NESIS) ranks storms based on how much snow fell in populated areas along the urban corridor. Commutageddon comes in as a Category 1 (least impactful on the scale), pretty close (but higher) to the ranking of the March 2009 storm system.

By Ian Livingston  | February 16, 2011; 3:20 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Bad pattern for snow through end of February
Next: Cloud streets, Hawaii calls, Commutageddon, communication, and climate change


I still see daily the aftermath of Commutageddon. Snapped trees and branches littering the side of roads. We got a lot of tree damage from that one. Some trees in my neighborhood were completely uprooted and pulled over by the weight of the heavy snow.

Posted by: rwalker66 | February 16, 2011 3:56 PM | Report abuse

LOVE this forecast - Will spend some time outdoors and enjoy the 60s tomorrow and the 70's on Friday. How far are we from meteorological Spring?

Posted by: creativekev | February 16, 2011 4:00 PM | Report abuse

With all the sunspot activity, do you think there's any chance that we'll get to see the Aurora Borealis from the DC area?

Posted by: aarondc | February 16, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse


Yeah, we lost a lot of trees in my neighborhood as well.


12 days until meteorological Spring.


Aurora Borealis, eh? Hmmmm...that would indeed be interesting.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | February 16, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

rwalker66 - Indeed. The water content of that snow was remarkably high.. very heavy.. for the commutageddon event.

creativekev - as BobMiller also contributed to answering, yes we are approaching it! March 1.

aarondc - was it you who asked earlier today about the Aurora potential tonight? Here is the latest map, and it doesn't put DC in the highest chance of seeing anything tonight. But not zero chance, either.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | February 16, 2011 5:10 PM | Report abuse

yeah, i still see the aftermath of commutageddon (gosh i hate that name...) too:

in the form of sand on our kitchen floor... we've mopped etc..., but it keeps coming back. i guess the salt just washes away into our streams and lakes etc... but at least some of the sand, maybe the big particles, seems to hang around. in fact, there is still sand all over my neighborhood from LAST WINTER'S storms. i wish they wouldn't use that stuff.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 16, 2011 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Always thought Carmageddon was a much better name for it.

Posted by: curtmccormick | February 16, 2011 5:17 PM | Report abuse


Our Space Weather expert, Steve Tracton, says you could possibly see an aurora over the next several nights.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 16, 2011 6:13 PM | Report abuse

If that traffic snarling/tree snapping/power destroying nightmare was only a category 1, the experts need to go the drawing board.

I haven't seen what the scale is based on, but the water content of what falls and rate of fall is far more important than the mere depth of the fall when it comes to disruption.

Posted by: frontieradjust | February 16, 2011 6:43 PM | Report abuse

RE: Seeing an aurora
I would imagine that only those lucky enough to live WAY out from the light pollution would have any chance of catching a glimpse.
Might be worth camping out but only if you don't have to get up tomorrow morning.
Good luck; send in your photos.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | February 16, 2011 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Still surprised by the mud and small snow areas on some of the trails I run. I lived in Anchorage for nine years and it would be great if I could see the aurora again. Not holding my breath though.

Posted by: marathoner | February 16, 2011 9:43 PM | Report abuse

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