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Posted at 10:00 PM ET, 03/ 6/2011

Forecast: Sunday soaker, then seasonable

By Brian Jackson, Dan Stillman and Jason Samenow

1 a.m. Update: Some wet snow made it all the through the metro region, but any accumulation - mainly on grassy areas - has been limited to western Montgomery, western Fairfax and to the northwest. It's these areas that should lookout for some slick spots early Monday morning as temperatures drop back into the upper 20s.

11 p.m. Update: A winter weather advisory which had been mainly in effect for the mountains, has been extended to cover Loudoun, northern Fauquier and Frederick counties until 3 a.m. The National Weather Service is calling for 1-3" in the advisory region, but amounts will be at the lower end of that range except in the higher terrain. Having said that, with temperature dropping to freezing or lower in these spots, look out for slick spots on untreated surfaces in the morning.

10 p.m. Update: Earlier flood warnings and watches have been allowed to expire as the moderate to heavy rain now lifts north of the area. But lighter showers continue at least occasionally for a few more hours, and new Flood Warnings have been issued for Rock Creek in D.C., Seneca Creek in Montgomery County, the Monocacy River near Frederick, and the Rappahannock River affecting Culpeper and Fauquier counties.

The rain has turned to or mixed with snow well west of D.C., around Leesburg (see pic) and to the west, where there's been a little accumulation. Even the closer-in northern and western suburbs could see some snowflakes or sleet as the precipitation winds down, but no accumulation is expected. Can't rule out some slick spots in western sections - Loudoun, Frederick, western Fairfax, and western Montgomery counties - later tonight as temperatures drop to near and just below freezing, though increasing winds should help guard against that.

Many areas along and west of I-95 have seen 1-2" of rain, with some spots to the west topping 2" (like Dulles - just over 2.25" as of 10 p.m.). It's been more like 0.75-1.25" east of I-95. At 10 p.m. National Airport had reached around 1.4"

8:15 p.m. Update: We have one more area of heavy rain to move through the region over the next few hours. In the far west, northwest and northern suburbs, the rain may mix with or briefly change to sleet and/or snow before ending. Reports of rain, sleet and snow are now coming in from Loudoun county and accumulating snow has occurred in the mountains (see NWS reports). No accumulation is expected within about 60 miles of the District.

6:45 p.m. Update: Flood Warnings remain in effect for most of the area until 9:30 p.m. or 9:45 p.m. as the rain continues. Some locations should see storm totals approach or pass 2" before the rain ends later this evening. From the NWS: "ROCK CREEK IN THE DISTRICT IS AT 4.7 FEET AS OF 515 PM EST. THE CREEK IS LIKELY TO BRIEFLY RISE ABOVE THE FLOOD STAGE OF 7 FEET DURING THE EARLY EVENING HOURS."

3:55 p.m. Update: A Flood Warning for small streams is in effect through 9:45 p.m. for D.C., Montgomery and P.G. (except the far southeastern tip) counties, with a separate Flood Warning for small streams in effect until 6:30 p.m. for Fairfax, Loudoun and counties to the southwest all the way to Charlottesville (see map). There have been several reports of water covering roadways in the western suburbs of D.C., according to the National Weather Service, thanks to the heavy rain which has fallen at a rate near .50" per hour in some areas.

originally posted at 5 a.m.; updated at 8:45 a.m.. 11:25 a.m. & 4:20 p.m.

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

 

Little to like about the rain, except that we could use some. And at least it's warm-ish early.
 
Get the 'Digit' on Twitter

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Rain moves in, heaviest in the afternoon. Mid-50s to near 60. | Tonight: Rain ends, becoming windy. Mid-30s. | Tomorrow: Sunny & very breezy. Near 50 to low 50s. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail

FORECAST IN DETAIL

A slow-moving cold front, and an area of low pressure developing along it, bring us a solid soaking today - enough rain potential to warrant a Flood Watch for the area except the far southern/southeastern counties (Stafford, Charles, Calvert, St. Mary's). Anyone complaining of drought should rejoice with an inch or more of rain possible for most. Following this front, we'll enjoy a few seasonable days (though tomorrow is fairly windy) before another system approaches for the second half of the week.

Snow Potential Index: 0 (→) - Nada, naught, zip, zilch, goose egg, bupkis, need I go on?

 
The SPI is a daily assessment of the potential for accumulating snow 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 (Sunday): Light-to-moderate rain moves in from west to east this morning, maybe with a lull here and there as things get started, before giving way to eventually steady and sometimes moderate-to-heavy rain in the afternoon into evening. A rumble of thunder can't be ruled out, especially south and east of town. The heaviest amounts likely stay just to the west - e.g., Frederick, Hagerstown, Front Royal. But amounts in and around the District should still be near 1" or in the 1-1.5" range, with locally heavier amounts possible especially in the western suburbs. Winds start the day from the south, helping to keep temps in the mid-50s to near 60 before dropping into the 40s later in the afternoon. Winds then shift to come out of the north toward evening, when they'll start to gust a bit. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: As slowly as this front worked its way toward us, it looks to pick up speed on its way out. Any moderate to heavy rain that lasts into early evening diminishes from west to east by or during mid-evening, and we should be mostly done with the rain by late evening. Winds from the north at 15-25 mph with higher gusts pull in colder air, dropping lows to around the mid-30s as skies clear toward dawn. Confidence: Medium

Keep reading for the forecast through midweek...

Tomorrow (Monday): Guess what? More wind! It shouldn't be windy enough to warrant an advisory or warning, but gusts from the northwest to around 30-35 mph are blustery enough to chill our colder highs - topping out near 50 to the low 50s under partly to mostly sunny skies. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: What, you thought March meant the end of winter jackets? Not so fast - it's cold overnight as high pressure parks itself to our north, calming our winds and keeping skies mostly clear. All this adds up to lows in the 20s (suburbs) to near 30 (downtown). Confidence: Medium-High

A LOOK AHEAD

Tuesday isn't going to set any records for warmth, but all in all it's a nice March day. Skies should be at least partly sunny, and with light winds highs in the mid-50s may be within reach. Partly cloudy Tuesday night as lows dip to near freezing. Confidence: Medium-High

On Wednesday, our next system approaches from the west. The result is increasing clouds, highs near 50 to the mid-50s, and a chance of rain by afternoon or night. Confidence: Medium

By Brian Jackson, Dan Stillman and Jason Samenow  | March 6, 2011; 10:00 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Forecast: Drying out, a little chilly

Comments

I have the drain cleared, and am looking fwd to soaking the bare garden

Posted by: pvogel88 | March 6, 2011 5:39 AM | Report abuse

DC now has a flood watch until 7 tonight.

Posted by: cubscapsfan | March 6, 2011 7:33 AM | Report abuse

CWG, perhaps you could make a collage of high SPI days as a sort of retirement of the index. Like Frosty the Snowman, it'll be back next year.

Posted by: ArlTeacherSnowman | March 6, 2011 7:55 AM | Report abuse

CWG: Do you think I can go ahead and swap out my winter tires for my summer tires on my RWD or should I wait a couple more weeks? Temperatures have been moving the right direction, so I would think it is a go, no?

Posted by: bugzbunny | March 6, 2011 8:08 AM | Report abuse

Bugzbunny: I decided to make the swap yesterday. My thoughts are unless you are going to the mountains you aren't going to see anymore accumulating snow. If I'm wrong, which I give a 2% chance at best, I could make an emergency swap in the garage as we did last year to go to Wisp in March. People tell me all the time I'm crazy for using winter tires and all seasons are just as good. Guess you are a believer too.

Posted by: biketraveller22 | March 6, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Woken by a loud downpour just before 7:00 this morning. Light rain now; wondering about t-storms in those radar echoes to our south.
Perhaps I should go to the store sooner rather than later.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | March 6, 2011 9:33 AM | Report abuse

YEAH! RAIN!

Really hoping that your forecast of 1" to 1.5"+ today comes true, although I am leery, as the bulk of the precip has stayed west thus far.

I will fully rejoice (with many cocktails!) when our Moderate Drought is officially over.

Filled 14 bags of winter detritus yesterday from the yard. Of the 139 evergreens and deciduous trees I've planted since moving to Michigan Park from Adams-Morgan, it appears that only two Italian Cypress have been lost to the drought and winds.

Bring on the rain!!

Posted by: TominMichiganParkDC | March 6, 2011 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Snow Potential Index: 0 (→) - Nada, naught, zip, zilch, goose egg, bupkis, need I go on? SOOOOO your saying we have a chance!!! :) Let me add this, NOW WE GET AN INCH OF RAIN :( Guess the snow dome only happens to snow lovers.

Posted by: dannythe357 | March 6, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Not sure if this has been covered, apologies if so..

but when will the SPI be retired for the season? Seeing that 0 puts me in a bad mood.

Posted by: Snowlover2 | March 6, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

@Snowlover2

The SPI dies on March 15.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 6, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

SPI dies on 15 March, thus a huge snowstorm will follow soon after........

Posted by: TBAlexandria | March 6, 2011 11:17 AM | Report abuse

so brian,
on a scale of 0-10, what do you think the chances of accumulating snow are in the next week?

(it's funny that most of the comments are STILL about snow, or in this case, the lack of snow...)

looking at that radar image, i can only imagine my consternation were all that precip missing us to the west snow... since it's rain, i'm like, eh, whatever.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 6, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Walter, 10 out of 10. Just not here.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | March 6, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Walter, Bust! No mud sculpturing for you!! Oh yes, and learn to ask the right question!

My rain is in the light to moderate category, I think spgass is getting the heavy stuff.

Posted by: eric654 | March 6, 2011 11:53 AM | Report abuse

jason,

why not just retire it now? the chance of snow between now and the 15th is 0.

eric,

mud sculpting? hey, there's an idea... :)

tom,

yeah, I'm beginning to think we won't see much of any rain. just look at the radar. enjoy your cocktails, though! :)

walter,

brian is right; it depends on the location to which you're referring. If you're talking about caribou, Maine, then it's a 10/10. If you're talking about são paulo, brazil, then it's a 0/10.

Posted by: BobMiller2 | March 6, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

1.25 inches so far... still at 50F in the Blue Ridge east of Front Royal.

Posted by: spgass1 | March 6, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

So are you keeping SPI until the 15th just to be nice and "let us down easy"...then maybe you should just take it down now and get it over with.
And by the way, when are the little gardening posts supposed to start and will there be a way to link to just the garden topics?

Posted by: manassasmissy | March 6, 2011 12:25 PM | Report abuse

It must have rained overnight or early this morning here in south Laurel, but I just spend an hour or so in the yard, and while it is fairly dark and foreboding out there, I stayed dry! (well, not my knees, but whatever!)

Posted by: megamuphen | March 6, 2011 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: megamuphen | March 6, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse

What the heck is this freakish rain hole?? Raining west of 95 and east of 301, but none in between. Is this a possible result of "The Bombo Dome" pattern which should only be instituted on Tuesday nights over Clarendon? :-)

Posted by: ftwash | March 6, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse

good thing this isn't a snow event..think some people would be getting pretty upset right now. Don't see how an inch of rain will still fall inside the Beltway at this point. Of course, if you're living anywhere along US Hwy. 15 right now you're probably wondering what I'm talking about..maybe even a rumble or two of thunder out that way?? And it is snowing steadily above 2000' in West Virginia...early spring is here!

Posted by: BH99 | March 6, 2011 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Heavy rain in Ashburn; loving it!

Posted by: natsncats | March 6, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

So....where is the rain? It's already 1:40pm and we've barely had a little drizzle all day. It's been so dry here that we really need any rain we can get!! When will the rain REALLY start?????

Posted by: tracksdc89 | March 6, 2011 1:41 PM | Report abuse

"Rain hole" - that would explain it. Although who can explain how a "rain hole" forms? How can it rain everywhere else, but not rain in DC? I look out the window -lots of people about, but not a single umbrella up? And, what's this about a flood watch? A flood of what, rainless air? A drought watch would be more accurate!

Posted by: tracksdc89 | March 6, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

it is currently raining very hard here in the Sterling area and doesn't show any signs of stopping.

http://radar.weather.gov/radar.php?rid=lwx&product=N0R&overlay=11101111&loop=no

Posted by: BobMiller2 | March 6, 2011 1:52 PM | Report abuse

for you season-rushers eager to retire the SPI, here's why it would be premature:

up high in the clouds:
http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/namer/gfs/12/images/gfs_pcp_300m.gif

down here on the ground:
http://www.nco.ncep.noaa.gov/pmb/nwprod/analysis/namer/gfs/12/images/gfs_ten_300m.gif

so, that's definitely snow on the 19th! it's debatable how much snow, as that blue freezing-line-at-ground-level is shown passing through during those 12 hours. nonetheless that whole amount is absolutely shown falling as snow (up high in the clouds), and some of it is shown falling while ground-level temps are cold enough for it not to melt on the way down. snow is even shown continuing beyond this frame, albeit lightly.

you see, the 15th is the EARLIEST the SPI would come down. i'm sure if this thing is still "out there" on the 15th, the gang would keep the SPI up beyond the 15th.... the point is, there's still a non-zero chance of snow for march.

megamuphen,
omg, what an ugly radar image that is... talk about your dry-slot... wow... that's really pronounced.

CWG,
IS there something to the dc dry-slot? are there environmental, geographic, topographic or other factors that would cause this? do precipitation totals from dc vs nearby stations bear it out?

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 6, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

The streets and sidewalks are already drying up here ("here" being the dead center of DC). If this were "The Ashburn Post" then the forecast would have been accurate. But it is "The Washington Post", and we need to have accurate forecasts for Washington, not for "around Washington" or "near Washington". Looks like if we want any flowers this spring, we're going to need to water everything by hand!

Posted by: tracksdc89 | March 6, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Just started pouring rain very hard here in Fair Oaks and when it did the temperature dropped like a rock from 58 to 48. So much for that "warm-ish" thing in the "2" forecast. Might wanna lower it to a 1 or 0.

Posted by: rwalker66 | March 6, 2011 2:05 PM | Report abuse

The front is slowly moving your way (DC), it seems to be going about 10 mph judging from radar. For some reason the rain got backed up behind the front. Behind the front it is in the upper 40's with a north wind. Further behind the front at 3k feet there are a couple inches of fresh snow already (Tucker county WV);
http://www.routeflap.net/whitegrass/webcam.html

Posted by: eric654 | March 6, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Wow, we are getting pounded with rain out here in the park of manassas. You sure that 1" rainfall total is accurate? I'm thinking it might be 3 or 4" easily by tonight if it continues to rain even moderately after this.

Posted by: j0nx | March 6, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Special Weather Statement for Fairfax, Virginia
Issued by The National Weather Service
Baltimore/Washington, MD
Sun, Mar 6, 2011, 12:00 AM EST

... HEAVY DOWNPOURS TO AFFECT EXTREME EASTERN LOUDOUN... SOUTHERN FAUQUIER... NORTHERN PRINCE WILLIAM AND WESTERN FAIRFAX COUNTIES... AND THE CITIES OF MANASSAS AND MANASSAS PARK...

AT 147 PM EST... DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A SLOW MOVING LINE OF HEAVY RAIN EXTENDING FROM DULLES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT TO 2 MILES EAST OF MIDLAND. THIS LINE COULD DROP AS MUCH AS AN INCH OF RAIN IN SOME LOCATIONS DURING THE NEXT HOUR... WHICH COULD CREATE PONDING OF WATER ON ROADWAYS AND FLOODING OF POOR DRAINAGE AREAS.

LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE SOUTH RIDING... HAYMARKET... CHANTILLY... RESTON... BULL RUN... HERNDON... MANASSAS... MANASSAS PARK... AND CENTREVILLE.

Posted by: rwalker66 | March 6, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Walter-spring is here, stop dreaming.

Posted by: weatherdude | March 6, 2011 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Oh for the love of Gawd. After I post then the new forecast (should be called postcast) comes out telling me what I already know - we are getting pounded. I can postdict the weather myself. I come here because I am looking for accurate PREdictions. Sheesh.

Posted by: j0nx | March 6, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

rain has finally resumed here in falls church.

tracksdc89,
by that definition, the post shouldn't cover the "washington" redskins, since they practice in va and play home games in md.... (can you tell i don't like that they moved the stadium off the rfk site?)

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 6, 2011 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Tracks, give it 20 minutes...

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | March 6, 2011 2:23 PM | Report abuse

SURF'S UP in Centreville VA.
It's been a while since we've gotten such sustained heavy rain.
Poor drainage in back common area of our block means a sizable shallow pond has formed.
Spring mud & mild temps.....YAY!

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | March 6, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Could someone please tell me why manassas park always get more rain and snow than anywhere else? Are we in some kind of bizarre location or something? Probably for the same reason we bore the brunt of the foreclosure disaster and mortgage crash in the area as well - this town is cursed.

Posted by: j0nx | March 6, 2011 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure what you guys are reading, but the forecast seems to be holding up so far. (Light to moderate rain in the morning turning to moderate to heavy in the afternoon to evening.) We've had .36 inches so far here and that heavy band affecting Manassas looks to be on our way.

Unfortunately, the wife just left for Syracuse, where they are expecting 10-14 inches of snow from this.

Posted by: Phils-in-Columbia | March 6, 2011 2:37 PM | Report abuse

@Phils-in-Columbia,

Well, you're west of the city. Here east of it, at least where I am (South Laurel) the rain is just now getting up to light (up from nothing to a drizzle) and seems far from moderate. Looking at the radar, it might turn that way later, but I was expecting moderate to heavy earlier than now.

Posted by: megamuphen | March 6, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Moderate rain has commenced. :-) Yay!

Posted by: megamuphen | March 6, 2011 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Rain has let up here for the moment in TP/SS area. Looks like from radar heavy stuff moving east of here now. I have recorded .92

Posted by: weatherdude | March 6, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I don't have measuring insruments, but here off Hwy 15 in northern PWC, I've NEVER seen such big floods, creek/drain overflows. My yard is a huge lake, and the creeks look like rivers. Surely MUCH more than an inch fallen in these parts!

Posted by: silencedogoodreturns | March 6, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

3-3.5" so far here in the manassas area. This forecast was botched for us. For DC it might be more accurate but for us we got/getting hammered.

Posted by: j0nx | March 6, 2011 3:56 PM | Report abuse

2.75 in my unofficial gauge. Not going out til the monsoon lets up to check the OFFICIAL gauge (CoCoRah). Don't laugh, but Fauquier once canceled school after the Rappahannock River flooded the town of Remington. We'll have some anxious kids tonite!

Posted by: weathergrrl | March 6, 2011 4:28 PM | Report abuse

well its been heavy rain for about 3 or 4 hours hear on the clifton centreville line, by backyard has flooded... and im scaed of what i might find in my basement, there are a few trees that just went down across the street and im sick of rain.....

Posted by: snowlover31 | March 6, 2011 4:41 PM | Report abuse

@j0nx

Our forecast was for near 1" or 1-1.5", with locally heavier amounts possible especially in the western suburbs. That may end up being underdone, but there's a reason we call for locally heavier amounts (b/c it's unpredictable where exactly heavier bands set up). And at the moment radar estimates indicate max amounts in the western suburbs have been around 1.5" (and counting). So 3-3.5" sounds high though I guess not impossible.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | March 6, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

@tracksdc89

Western sections got the heavy stuff first, as expected, before it made it to D.C. and east. I think you'll find you're getting plenty of rain for those flowers this afternoon?

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | March 6, 2011 4:47 PM | Report abuse

1.8 inches here in the middle of Warren county. Since spgass had 1.25 when I had 0.75, he should have 3 inches for the storm. We're down to spits and dregs now, my lower holding area is full and leaking quite a bit, upper holding area never got full (leaks too much).

Posted by: eric654 | March 6, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I am up to 1.22" now in TP/SS

Posted by: weatherdude | March 6, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Pretty good, Eric. About 2.8" so far. Down below 34F now... I see some breaks in the radar to the south, but both 18z NAM and GFS showing some precip for the 06z period.

Posted by: spgass1 | March 6, 2011 5:29 PM | Report abuse

What a dark dreary day. What a contrast next Sunday will be when instead of the sun looking like it set at 2pm, it will be setting at 7:15pm. Woohoo!

Hey Walter,
The temp is down to 41 here in Fairfax. Are you crossing your fingers this may end as snow?

Posted by: rwalker66 | March 6, 2011 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Update: Sleet mixing w/ snow in the Blue Ridge Mtns east of Front Royal (elevation 1900 ft). Coating on deck...

Posted by: spgass1 | March 6, 2011 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Precip picked up again here in Warren county, 1.9 inches. A bit snow and sleet mixed in (36 degrees at ele 600) but there was sleet in Strasburg and all snow on the Massanutten when I drove by. Lots of full small streams, but Passage Creek was below flood stage, so probably no river flooding to worry about.

Posted by: eric654 | March 6, 2011 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I don't have a rain gauge, but my nearest one listed on Weatherbug says 1.93" in Ashburn so far.

Posted by: natsncats | March 6, 2011 6:26 PM | Report abuse

@walter-in-fallschurch

There is no data indicating there's any sort of precip minimum around dc. The area precip averages don't show anything the gives the d.c. split or d.c. rain hole speculation any legitimacy.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 6, 2011 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Some of my houseplants got a nice bath today.
OK, that's enough, thank you, it can stop anytime now.
Moderate to heavy rain in Centreville all afternoon. Right now it's pouring.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | March 6, 2011 6:33 PM | Report abuse

1.32" at nearest weatherbug station. still raining moderately.

rwalker,
it's still 43 degrees here (but dropping). i'm not even harboring hopes of it ending as snow here. but, i see spgass is getting a bit of "back end" snow. lucky duck.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 6, 2011 6:43 PM | Report abuse

It's ridiculous that these guys are still claiming 1-1.5"! We don't get floods like this with 1" of rain. 1" rain is nothing. This is at least 4+ inches in 12 hours. I think this might even rival that April storm of 2007 or 2008 I can't remember which where we got 9+" in 30 hours. This storm was vastly underestimated from a precip standpoint.

Posted by: j0nx | March 6, 2011 6:43 PM | Report abuse

j0nx,
are those totals you're reporting from a rain guage? somebody must be hiding behind your house spraying a hose in the air in front of your window....

jason,
thanks for the "precip hole" debunking. sure seems like we get less than surrounding areas, but i guess you can't argue with the data.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 6, 2011 6:53 PM | Report abuse

j0nx --

If you don't already have it, get Weatherbug on your computer and find your nearest location to check the rain totals.

Posted by: natsncats | March 6, 2011 7:01 PM | Report abuse

@jOnx

There's no evidence of 4" of rain anywhere within about 60-90 miles of DC. National Weather Service doppler indicated rainfall totals indicate MAXIMUM rains of just over 2" (maybe slightly more) near Manassas and Manassas Park. See this link: http://radar.weather.gov/radar.php?rid=lwx&product=N0R&overlay=11101111&loop=no and click "storm total" on the left (Wunderground's estimate shows the same thing). Notice from D.C. and to the east (half of the area we forecast for), less than 1" has fallen. We said locally heavier amounts west of town, and that's exactly what has happened. During moderate to heavy rain events, almost always someone gets more than the average amount forecast. It's simply impossible to say exactly where the bullseye will be.

Because some heavy rain is still to come through, we may end up seeing "average" totals closer to 1.5-2" - which we've indicated in our latest update. And so some spots in the locally heavier areas could near 3" or so.

The bottom line is that our original rainfall forecast may have been a little low but by nowhere near the margin you're indicating.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 6, 2011 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Now 30.5F with 1.25" snow accumulation in eastern Warren County

Posted by: spgass1 | March 6, 2011 7:25 PM | Report abuse

My gauge is registering 1.58 just south of Hamilton VA. Current temps of 36.8. Still raining and lots of localized flooding of creeks. The roads are hit and miss with water overflowing from the creeks.

Posted by: worldtraveler83 | March 6, 2011 7:29 PM | Report abuse

2.75 in my unofficial gauge. Not going out til the monsoon lets up to check the OFFICIAL gauge (CoCoRah). Don't laugh, but Fauquier once canceled school after the Rappahannock River flooded the town of Remington. We'll have some anxious kids tonite!

Posted by: weathergrrl | March 6, 2011 7:32 PM | Report abuse

It looks lke that snow is getting relly close to western fairfax.....

Posted by: snowlover31 | March 6, 2011 7:32 PM | Report abuse

The snows gettibg closer!!!

Posted by: snowlover31 | March 6, 2011 7:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm scared to death with all this rain. What precautions should I take to avoid floating down the creek behind my condo??

Posted by: rpcv84 | March 6, 2011 7:53 PM | Report abuse

A Twitter follower just mentioned snow mixing with rain in Purcelville in Loudoun county - could briefly mix or changeover in N & W suburbs before ending. Any other reports?

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 6, 2011 8:12 PM | Report abuse

rpcv,


Call a cab and evacuate to the nearest bar. Drink until they wont serve you anymore. Call a cab and then crash. You wont care.

Weather Gang needs to calibrate the rain gauges they use. I have six on my property in Upperville registering 4.5in or more. That was was about 84 minutes ago.

Posted by: sheepherder | March 6, 2011 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Giant flakes in Warren county with maybe 1/2 inch on some surfaces (pretty easy considering each flake adds 1/4 inch). 32 degrees. SP: get pictures!

Posted by: eric654 | March 6, 2011 8:14 PM | Report abuse

rpcv,


Call a cab and evacuate to the nearest bar. Drink until they wont serve you anymore. Call a cab and then crash. You wont care.

Weather Gang needs to calibrate the rain gauges they use. I have six on my property in Upperville registering 4.5in or more. That was was about 84 minutes ago.

Posted by: sheepherder | March 6, 2011 8:12 PM | Report abuse
____________________________
Thanks for the advice. You say you have "...4.5 inches or more..." Not very gifted are you? I have at least 6 inches...

Posted by: rpcv84 | March 6, 2011 8:21 PM | Report abuse

@sheepherder

Where did we say anything about rain gauges? The rainfall totals I cited were from Doppler indicated rainfall.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 6, 2011 8:22 PM | Report abuse

Moderate to heavy sleet here in Brambleton...started at 8:20

Posted by: bodyiq | March 6, 2011 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Sleeting in Ashburn. Appears to be mixed with rain and a few wet snowflakes.

Was wondering at 6pm why there was no mention of this as a possibility on local news.

Posted by: ThinkSpring | March 6, 2011 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Better up the SPI haha.
There's plenty of good wet snow on the grass here in Winchester!

Posted by: levi_stein | March 6, 2011 8:42 PM | Report abuse

I'll take some pictures in the morning... this is turning into our 2nd biggest snowfall of the season... 3" so far...

WTOP did mention snow could mix in the far N&W suburbs after it started snowing...

Posted by: spgass1 | March 6, 2011 8:44 PM | Report abuse

The snow is accumulating here on the top of Bull Run Mountain. My whole yard is white and I just measured about 1/2 inch on my deck railing.

Posted by: cdklktr | March 6, 2011 8:46 PM | Report abuse

@levi_stein

Thanks for the report. If we did an SPI for Winchester wouldn't have been zero-- much different climate there than in DC.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 6, 2011 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Mom Nature is ticked off. Heavy wet sleet and snow at the moment here in Leesburg. Roads quickly becoming slushy. Snow index should have at least been a 1.

Posted by: greg2010 | March 6, 2011 8:51 PM | Report abuse

We just had some lightning here in Falls Church. In fact, I think it hit something...there was a very loud, ominous buzzing sound and our windows on one side of the house lit up like Christmas. I can see a fire truck down the street now.

Posted by: 4620316 | March 6, 2011 8:53 PM | Report abuse

With the precip hanging around later than anticipated, won't icy roads be an issue west of DC?

Posted by: ThinkSpring | March 6, 2011 8:53 PM | Report abuse

@greg2010 yup...if it's the case that Loudoun County is factored into the SPI Index, I would say some kind of mention of snow might have been warranted...in any case, I don't think any snow was expected there.

Posted by: BH99 | March 6, 2011 8:57 PM | Report abuse

4620316:

That was a UFO. Please keep your posts on topic and and in the future report any UFO crashes to the Capital UFO Gang.

Walter:
Temp is down to 34 here in Fairfax. I recommend standing outside in the downpour until it turns to snow so you can catch the last snowflake of the season on your tongue.

CWG:
Heavy rain continuing in Fairfax County and my local weatherbug station now reports 2.18 of precep.

Posted by: rwalker66 | March 6, 2011 8:57 PM | Report abuse

People, it's snowing/freezing rain out here in New Baltimore. It's 33 degrees.

Posted by: weathergrrl | March 6, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse

@greg2010

The SPI is not for Loudoun. It's for metro D.C.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 6, 2011 9:04 PM | Report abuse

@spgass1....wow 3"
I'm guessing you have at least some elevation where you are. Chester Gap? The
ridge adjacent GR Thompson Wildlife Mgmt. Area?

Posted by: BH99 | March 6, 2011 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Last Tuesday, I said there was a chance of snow Sunday night. Everyone thought I was a complete idiot. At least it snowed in the general area. I may be an idiot, but maybe not a complete idiot!

Posted by: frontieradjust | March 6, 2011 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Is it possible that the ground just isn't holding much water today? I agree with others that it seems like there's a lot of casual water out there for 2 inches of rain.

Posted by: ornery11 | March 6, 2011 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Wet snow falling, temp is 33. Grassy areas and cars are covered with snow, and an icy mixture looks to be accumulating on the pavement.

Posted by: LeesburgNorth | March 6, 2011 9:38 PM | Report abuse

BH99, yes between Linden and Chester Gap around 1850 ft or so... 4" snow at last measurement.

Posted by: spgass1 | March 6, 2011 9:41 PM | Report abuse

@frontieradjust

Your sense was right. We saw the same thing in the data, but downplayed it because there was never any sign/chance there would be any impact in the DC metro area with temps well above freezing. Flakes of snow mixed with rain while temps are above freezing and there is a warm ground are fun for conversation, but from an impacts perspective are no more meaningful than rain.

Around Leesburg, it is a different story admittedly with a little bit of sticking--we did not give this enough attention in the far western areas.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 6, 2011 9:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm hearing reports of slick conditions and numerous accidents on Route 340 near the Frederick/Washington County Line (between Brunswick and Harpers Ferry).

Posted by: rmm999 | March 6, 2011 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Been snowing in northern Prince William county for about 90 minutes now...

Posted by: silencedogoodreturns | March 6, 2011 9:56 PM | Report abuse

So....what's the schoolcast for Loudoun?
Just kidding (but it wouldn't surprise me).

Posted by: bodyiq | March 6, 2011 10:04 PM | Report abuse

I'd be curious to know if there's been any studies done comparing doppler radar rain data with actual rain data collected by rain gauges. If you could see all the standing water around here, I don't think there's any way you say it was "only" 2 inches in isolated areas. It doesn't flood like this after just 1-2 inches of rain...

Posted by: silencedogoodreturns | March 6, 2011 10:04 PM | Report abuse

36 and falling in McLean, VA. Still moisture on the radar. Looking like a few wet snow flakes in the immediate DC area if the precip lingers!!

Posted by: rapotter | March 6, 2011 10:06 PM | Report abuse

I'd be interested to know if there are any studies comparing doppler radar indicated rainful with data collected from actual rain gauges. No way we have the flooded land we have out here with just 1-2 inches of rain. I've never seen standing water like this in the last three years, or creek beds this high with water. Methinks something is amiss with doppler accuracy.

Posted by: silencedogoodreturns | March 6, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

@silencedogoodreturns

Depending on the kind of event and location, doppler indicated rainfall can overestimate or underestimate rain. There are studies that have looked at this. It's certainly possible it may have underdone the amounts in some of the spots where gauges were giving higher amounts, but on average, I'd bet it's more or less right. Generally it's showing 1-2" fell in Fairfax and MoCo (highest amounts west), 1-1.5" in DC, 0.5-1" east of DC, and 2-3" in Loudoun, western Prince William. These numbers would indicate our forecast was pretty close.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 6, 2011 10:14 PM | Report abuse

thanks for that. And I had no issue with the forcast - just curious about indicated rain totals. It's a real frog choker out here:)

Posted by: silencedogoodreturns | March 6, 2011 10:18 PM | Report abuse

2.4" south side of Rockville thru 10:30 pm

Posted by: DOG3521 | March 6, 2011 10:37 PM | Report abuse

2.23" in Fair Oaks. Book it.

Posted by: rwalker66 | March 6, 2011 10:50 PM | Report abuse

11:00p update for eastern Warren County south of I-66:

2.8" rain
5" snow

Posted by: spgass1 | March 6, 2011 11:05 PM | Report abuse

knife to the heart, spgass!

Congratulations, though ;).

Posted by: jlsb | March 6, 2011 11:25 PM | Report abuse

8:30 pm update: "No accumulation is expected within about 60 miles of the District."

Really? Did you think about how far 60 miles extends to the west before saying that? Did you look at the radar? Sounds a little defensive in light of the non-mention of snow in the forecast (and, obviously at this point, it's inaccuarate).

Posted by: manatt | March 6, 2011 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Big snowflakes flying in Oakton, VA. The snow began here about 15 minutes ago. Yes, it's kind of funny to see the Snow Potential Index at "Nada, naught, zip, zilch, goose egg, bupkis" while it's snowing outside.

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | March 6, 2011 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Power is out in NW Spotsy. generator is up & running, mixed prec. 36.

Posted by: VaTechBob | March 6, 2011 11:41 PM | Report abuse

manatt --

Weather happens.

Posted by: natsncats | March 6, 2011 11:52 PM | Report abuse

33 and sleet with a few flakes inside the beltway (or in CWG terms - "no more meaningful than rain" except, of course, it's frozen)

Almost makes an entire day of rain worth it.

Posted by: manatt | March 6, 2011 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Some mighty big flakes here in potomac, loving the last possible snow sighting of the season!

Posted by: mkbf26 | March 6, 2011 11:55 PM | Report abuse

snowing in mclean, va!! looking at the radar...im guessing we could get a half inch of slushy snow. if temps continue to fall it is going to be a very very tricky commute in the morning. BOY OH BOY did the mets get this one wrong. what a storm!!

Posted by: rapotter | March 6, 2011 11:55 PM | Report abuse

@manatt

I made a 15-30 mile error three hours ago it seems. I should've said 30-45 miles instead of 60, it seems Leesburg (40 miles away) is as close by as I've seen reports of accumulation - and it's a slushy coating.

@kevin-capitalweathergang

remember the SPI is for accumulating snowfall in DC...sloppy wet flakes in oakton don't count.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 6, 2011 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Sleet/snow mix in NW DC.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 7, 2011 12:01 AM | Report abuse

nats, yes, it does: currently 32 with snow and sleet inside the beltway (or, in CWG terms, "no more meaningful than rain," except, of course, it happens to be frozen) - come to think of it, clouds aren't much more meaningful than sun most of the time - so we could pretty much just go with a forecast of "weather, not meaningful" 95% of the time.

At least a few brief flakes at the end of the day almost makes an entire day of rain worth it.

Posted by: manatt | March 7, 2011 12:03 AM | Report abuse

snow in Silver Spring, MD...after some really impressive downpours tonight. What a lion :)

Posted by: amandap2986 | March 7, 2011 12:11 AM | Report abuse

manatt --

All you can do is go with it. No sense in being upset with the vagaries of the weather.

Posted by: natsncats | March 7, 2011 12:19 AM | Report abuse

@manatt

You love to nitpick and take pokes whenever you can. The bottom line is yes, we obviously missed this forecast by not mentioning this period of sleet/snow. The models suggested it could happen earlier in the week and then backed off it a bit. Obviously, it's now come together late in the game.

The bottom line is that there was never potential for this to be an impactful event in the metro area (due to the warm ground, the marginal temps, etc), we knew it, and didn't focus on it much or choose to get people hyped up about it. Now it's turned into a conversational little sleet/snow, and a mini-bust you can make much of. Congrats. As a snow lover, I'm going to try and enjoy it...

@natsncats

Thanks for appreciating what this is... You're right sometimes these little events just happen. Weather is full of surprises... we do our best to call it like we see it...and learn from, be accountable for our mistakes

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 7, 2011 12:24 AM | Report abuse

"Snow Potential Index: 0 (→) - Nada, naught, zip, zilch, goose egg, bupkis, need I go on?"

I love you guys but saying the SPI is for accumulating snow only is a cop-out. The SPI is designed for snow lovers & we would have really wanted to know about the potential of our last conversational snow of the season!

Posted by: caphillse | March 7, 2011 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Jason, I for one have always got your (and the rest of the gang's) back. You all work so hard to give us the best information that you can, and you do great work :-)

Posted by: natsncats | March 7, 2011 12:58 AM | Report abuse

It's been snowing hard in Cabin John for the last hour.

Posted by: flynnie321 | March 7, 2011 1:02 AM | Report abuse

@caphillse

I completely understand that we failed to mention the snow in our forecasts for this event. And we let snow lover's down in that respect. But the SPI is what it is, which by definition is a tool that provides the odds of accumulating snow.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | March 7, 2011 1:04 AM | Report abuse

The forecast is a mini-bust, but still, I'd say overall, the CWG has done the best job overall this winter in analyzing and predicting what the weather would be. For Arlington and DC, it really isn't a bust at all--non-accumulating snow is dead to me. It may exist, but I will not acknowledge it because it is really a painful reminder of betrayal of hope (for a snowlover).

Posted by: xandersun | March 7, 2011 1:20 AM | Report abuse

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