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Saturday's Substantial Snowstorm

A. Camden Walker @ 11:04 AM

Estimated Next update: 3:45pm

After a partly sunny day today and a high around 44, all eyes turn south toward the approaching winter storm ...

  • Probability of accumulating snowfall: 80%
  • The greater DC metropolitan area will receive 4"-7" mainly after sunset Saturday before ending Sunday morning.
  • Temperatures will dive near sunset Saturday, quickly facilitating accumulation.
  • Forecast confidence remains high, but unchanged from this morning.
  • No major changes have been made to the official team forecast.
  • Wind and Cold behind this storm will be felt for a couple days after storm departs.
  • Points as far south (as Fredericksburg) and east (as Annapolis) should remain all-snow.
Winter Storm Forecast: Saturday midday, Feb. 11 -- Sunday A.M., Feb. 12
10am SAT to 1pm: Snow showers begin far S&W, then spread toward DC and points N&E
1pm to 5pm: Light snow takes hold, becoming steady. 1" probable--limited to grass in urban areas.
5pm to 8pm:
Moderate to Heavy snow. 2" possible in metro area.
8pm to 3am SUN:
Light snow & wind. 2" possible in metro area.
3am to 11am:
Snow tapers- 1" possible. Wind & clouds remain.
Storm Impact: Travelcast:Schoolcast (Mon.):

What factors may raise the accumulation forecast?
  • Storm hugs the coast
  • Storm moves more slowly
  • Storm remains weak, but laden with moisture, not disturbing our cold air
What factors might lower the expected accumulation amounts?
  • Storm goes more out to sea, after passing Norfolk--and doesn't head up DelMarVa
  • Storm deepens "bombs" in close proximity to us-- throwing warm air over the region
  • A warm pocket in the atmosphere would changeover snow to sleet or rain (briefly well S&E of Washington) reducing moisture available to fall as snow crystals.
NOTE: Surface temperatures will not allow for immediate accumulation at the onset of snow. Travel will be most difficult after 5pm on Saturday evening.

N&W accumulation amounts (as currently illustrated) will likely not be the bullseye. DC and points just slightly S&E still have tangible chances to surpass 7". The team will continue to make very deliberate and measured forecast updates throughout today. We will tweak the accumulation map as soon as is possible.

ACCUMULATION MAP: I do not anticipate many changes except reducing the 7"+ swath of snow, currently placed N&W of Washington. You can still trust the contour lines as general guide to the striation of precipitation accumulation through the region.

The Washington Post company's storm article and Express(.pdf) "blog log" have commented on this upcoming storm. is a community venture also covering this storm's community impact!

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