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Posted at 1:45 PM ET, 02/ 7/2011

Thursday snow chance still low

By Jason Samenow
Surface low pressure is well to our southeast Thursday morning moving offshore in the GFS ensemble mean simulation shown. Less than 0.1" melted liquid equivalent has fallen from D.C. and to the west with just over 0.1" to the southeast between 7 p.m. on 2/9 and 7 a.m. on 2/10. 0.1" liquid is roughly about 1" of snow. Source: Raleigh Weather

The once ominous looking storm scenario for Thursday continues to look like it won't materialize as the system probably tracks to our southeast. No model predicts more than a glancing blow from it. However, a very slight shift back to the north in the track was seen in some of the model guidance this morning which may give snow lover's a little hope.

For example, both the NAM and European model suggest the possibility of a dusting Thursday morning. And the mean of GFS ensembles also indicate a little light snow could fall. Some additional shifting in the guidance to the north could put a light snow event back on the table but the prospects of a big storm remain quite low.

And once the cold pattern breaks this weekend, get ready for a chance of some warmth. Here's some commentary from Wes Junker, our winter weather expert:

The models continue to advertise a break in the pattern with a change towards one more typical of La Nina. For us that should mean more warmer than normal days than colder than normal ones starting around or a day or two before Valentine's Day and lasting for at least a week to 10 days if the models are correct. But that's a big if that far into the future. During that period our chances of snow would be low. How long the this new pattern will last is still in question as there are hints at least by some ensemble members that the Arctic oscillation may try to tip back into its negative (cold) phase late in the month.

We'll have more detailed analysis tomorrow about the Thursday threat should it look any more significant than it does today.

By Jason Samenow  | February 7, 2011; 1:45 PM ET
Categories:  Latest, Winter Storms  
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Next: PM Update: Late night shower or flake


i guess what you are saying is, the fat lady has yet to leave the dinner table.

i hope to hear her singing by this time wednesday!

Posted by: KRUZ | February 7, 2011 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Yesterday there was no hope

Today there is some hope

Tomorrow there will be hope

Wednesday there will be a snowpocalypse on the horizon.

Posted by: SNOWLUVER | February 7, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse


You've summed it up well in a few words...

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 7, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

well this is no surprise. Do you think March could be cold and stormy though? As much as I think Bastardi is totally full of himself, his recent forecast for the rest of winter said the Northeast could see a return of cold and storms from mid- to late March into April due to a strengthening La NiƱa. Granted, D.C. isn't exactly the Northeast, and the high solar angle and longer days makes snow chances rapidly diminish. But March snows are always dynamic (remember the March snow in 2009 when it was barely 20 degrees the day after and then over 70 four days later?)

For snow lovers, here's the glimmer of hope (though CWG's opinion on this will carry more weight):


Posted by: meteorolinguist | February 7, 2011 3:56 PM | Report abuse

jeez... talk about your snow hole... tonight's storm brings snow to our northwest, rain to our southeast, of course, nothing for us...

from the latest (18z) NAM:

thursday's miss is not as elegant, i.e., we're not completely surrounded by precip, but is "interesting" (grrr...) in that the carolinas, alabama and georgia are shown getting snow... while we get, well, nothing again. isn't that special?

do i have that right, CWG? is there some other factor (surface temps?) that would keep our neighbors to the south from getting snow thursday?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 7, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

My childhood sled is sitting outside our house, seeming to say "You brought me from NYC for THIS?"

On the bright side, if it's going to mild up (and I only believe it if someone other than Joe "Hype" Bastardi says it) I am going to be able to get into my community garden early.

On the not so bright side, it means the pollens are about to start and bring on allergies, asthma and HIVES!

Weather is the ultimate Doris Day "que sera sera" sort of thing. All we can do is deal with it.

Posted by: concepcion611 | February 7, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse




Posted by: SNOWLUVER | February 7, 2011 4:26 PM | Report abuse

1) this 'operation snow hope' is getting dumb.

2) Even if it does snow, we're not going to have a snowpocolypse.

3) Why can't ppl get it in their head its most likely not gonna snow. Dont wanna accept CWG? Look at all the news stations. There is 20-30 percent chance of snow. Those are BAD ODDS.

Posted by: HeMustBeMagic | February 7, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse


so im hearing from a couple amateur mets in a couple random wx blogs that any precip seen in or around the DC area on any of the models in virga. What do you guys think about that?...

I would guess theres really no way of knowing that at this point.

Really hoping you guys will be updating here as the models come in the next couple days! Im hearing everything from the radio/tv mets, from partly cloudy thursday to flurries to even a dusting. I have a gut feeling this time tomorrow I'll be hearing 1-3 inches and god forbid wednesday i'll be hearing 3-6 :/

Posted by: KRUZ | February 7, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

This "operation snow hope" thing is REALLY getting on my nerves.

These boards are clearly being overrun by a bunch of kids posting downright annoying and senseless comments.

It seems as though this has happened just recently. I know I haven't been posting here very long, but I have been reading CWG for several years and I must say this is the first year I have seen all this.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | February 7, 2011 5:07 PM | Report abuse


When you say in the article 'light snow' do you guys project enough snow to close schools, government work and travel? As mentioned before I'm taking a trip on friday afternoon, and we all know how DC panics for hours on when sometimes when snow comes; just curious how you project I'll be affected.

Thanks! Love the site!

Posted by: HeMustBeMagic | February 7, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

If anything the whole snow hope is what seems to be causing all the snow fails. Its almost like it jinxes the chance for snow, so i say let the kids keep being kids!

I cant wait to come back here on friday to make it official that the whole snow hope operation will come to a halt until next winter!!!!!

Its just kids cant accept the fact that this winter is a typical DC winter and they are stuck in last winter still. It may take them a couple of years to realize last winter was a once in a lifetime deal for us here in DC.

But hey, kids will be kids****

Posted by: KRUZ | February 7, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse


No--at this point...not enough to cause school, travel disruptions. It may well not snow at all. But check back in case anything changes...


You got it right. But places to the south won't be as cold, so accumulation may be tough down there - especially precip falling during the day

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | February 7, 2011 5:29 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the forecast and see very little if any snow for at least the next week or so.

One straw for snow lovers to grasp at. There is a nice area of snow over Kentucky that seems to be headed our way. Bowling Green even had an observation of heavy snow. The models say it doesn't make it, but stranger things have happened.

The blocking pattern will probably establish itself again at some point. The question is whether it will be too little too late.

Posted by: frontieradjust | February 7, 2011 6:21 PM | Report abuse

I read this blog often and I think you guys have an honest and scientifically impressive approach to predicting what you can and admitting what you cannot. Thanks for the diligence.

I can't recall when it was (and I'm too lazy to look it up), but around 5ish days ago this blog was predicting/relaying the idea that this Thursday was going to be the beginning of a strong cold snap, with lows in the single digits and highs it the 20's (forgive me if I'm misremembering the posts). Suddenly, you're predicting that this weekend will be quite the opposite and usher in a week-plus period of above average temperatures. What happened to cause such a drastic swing in predictions?

Posted by: PowerhouseRowe | February 7, 2011 8:40 PM | Report abuse


All the mets in DC changed their tune after feeling the wrath of Puxatawney Phil ;) Even though some mets may call him a "lying rodent" he actually owned them all this year!

Posted by: KRUZ | February 7, 2011 8:50 PM | Report abuse

When you say "operation snow hope," do you mean there's "snow hope" for snow?

Posted by: bastings | February 7, 2011 9:38 PM | Report abuse

@Kruz, I'm not sure how long you've been living here, but last winter was not a once in a lifetime event for us. Rather, it was closer to what we typically experience two or three times each decade. Massive blizzards are not unheard of in the Metro D.C. area, they're simply infrequent.

Oh, and I'm not a kid, but I'm waiting for more snow too :-D

Posted by: TheAnalyst | February 7, 2011 10:19 PM | Report abuse

well, last year we had 3 separate once-a-decade-or-so snows - and they all happened in the same season. that's not likely to happen in our lifetimes (unless you're about 5, like SNOWLUVER). oh sure, we'll still have the occasional 10, 12, even 15" storm, but 3 in one season? i hope so, but i doubt it.

see the the charts near the bottom of the page titled, "Frequency of Daily Snowfall".

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | February 8, 2011 8:37 AM | Report abuse

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