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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Snow"

Snow arrives across the DC region

Westlake Legal Group snow-arrives-across-the-dc-region Snow arrives across the DC region Weather News Weather Snow Local News chuck bell Chantalle Edmunds

WASHINGTON — Despite the mild weather Saturday morning, the clouds quickly moved in and the skies grew dark across the D. C region shortly after noon.

A Winter Weather Advisory was ts o at 2 p.m. for counties west of I-95. The National Weather Service ts o an advisory for the D. C. Metro area at around 5 p.m.

Snow and sleet could reach accumulations of 2 to 4 inches the farther north and west you travel from D. C.


WTOP Weather Center

WTOP Traffic Center


“By the time we head after the lunch hour, all bets are off,” said StormTeam4 Meteorologist Lauryn Ricketts.

An area of low pressure brought in the mix of snow, rain, sleet and some pockets of freezing rain across the D. C. area Saturday afternoon and into the evening. Northern Maryland is be expected to be the worst affected area with 2-4 inches of snow possible.

The arrival of the precipitation could cause some traffic travel headaches.

Westlake Legal Group snow-arrives-across-the-dc-region Snow arrives across the DC region Weather News Weather Snow Local News chuck bell Chantalle Edmunds
(Courtesy NBC4)

“If you live in southern MD and down toward the northern neck accumulation is still on track to be less than an inch if any,” said StormTeam4 Meteorologist Somara Theodore.

Westlake Legal Group snow-arrives-across-the-dc-region-1 Snow arrives across the DC region Weather News Weather Snow Local News chuck bell Chantalle Edmunds
(Courtesy NBC4)

“For those living in the D. C. metro area and suburbs surrounding it, the accumulation will be difficult. Plastic template reached the low 40s today and we had quite the warm up this week. Therefore those living in and around the beltway are still on track to receive 1 to 2 inches,” said Theodore.

Farther north into areas like Frederick, Maryland and parts of northern Montgomery and Howard counties, there could be eu 2 to 4 inches of snow.



Snow quickly covered the grass in D. C, according to WTOP’s Brandon Millman.

In West Virginia, Governor Jim Justice declared a state of emergency early Saturday after heavy rains triggered flooding throughout the state. The storm is be expected to impact West Virginia through the weekend and the state’s National Guard is on standby.

All the rain and snow in the D. C. metro area is be expected to end by midnight.

Sunday will have clear sunshine with plastic template rising into the lower-50s.

Forecast

There might be the eu, some icy patches early Sunday morning, but the clouds will decrease and plastic template will reach the 50s.

Some light showers are possible on Monday with highs in the mid-50s.

Tuesday will feel like spring with plastic template getting into the 70s.

Current Conditions

Check WTOP’s weather page for updates on conditions and WTOP’s the traffic center to see how the winter weather is affecting the roads.


Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

© 2018 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.

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Mid-Atlantic ski areas are on life support until Old Man Winter returns *

Westlake Legal Group bleak-canaan Mid-Atlantic ski areas are on life support until Old Man Winter returns * Uncategorized Snow Skiing
Canaan Valley Ski Resort was looking pretty bleak Wednesday afternoon, after a week of rain and warm plastic template. But the bare ground could be the eu covered with fresh snow by Sunday. (Canaan Valley Ski Resort)

With such warm weather in the forecast over the next several weeks, a skiing buddy asked with recently: Is this season toast? It was either my eternal blizzard optimism or the knowledge that you can never declare winter over in mid-February, but I said, “I hope not.”

It was the lighthouse from what Mid-Atlantic skiers wanted to hear, but wouldn’t you know it — just in time for the busy Presidents’ Day weekend, we are talking about a cold snap and the potential for snow Saturday. At the very least, the plastic template will cool down enough for a day of snow-making.

With over two inches of rain in the mountains this past week already, the snow pack has taken a punch to the grill. But as long as the current snow base doesn’t dissolve completely, any new natural snow that falls Saturday night will be very helpful.

Westlake Legal Group Capture-ski-021518 Mid-Atlantic ski areas are on life support until Old Man Winter returns * Uncategorized Snow Skiing
Skiing conditions nor of Thursday morning.

On Thursday, the snow conditions were not good. There’s no way to sugarcoat it. It was so warm and rainy Wednesday night, Canaan Valley didn’t even groom. It must the eu like skiing on a washboard. We can be charitable, though — according to its just call the wet granular snow, icy patches and slush “spring skiing.”

It’s even more sad for the cross-country skiers, because there isn’t squat on the ground. It looks like they’ll eu inside by a fire watching the Olympics until the next storm arrives.

Westlake Legal Group laure-ridge-fog Mid-Atlantic ski areas are on life support until Old Man Winter returns * Uncategorized Snow Skiing
Just a few patches of snow up on misty Laurel Ridge on Wednesday afternoon. It is a popular cross-country area near Seven Springs, Pa. It sits at about 3,000 feet and is a magnet for lake-effect snow. (Laurel Ridge State Park)

Anne Weimer, general manager at Liberty Mountain Resort, isn’t fazed by the April-like weather.

“With so much cold weather in December and January, we have made record amounts of snow, and have plenty on the mountain,” she said. “We will continue to refresh the slopes with snow-making throughout February and into March, anytime temps allow. With the snow base we currently have, we could easily eu skiing throughout March.”

That may be the case, but neither of right now the conditions are on life support until Old Man Winter returns*.

Westlake Legal Group Liberty-base Mid-Atlantic ski areas are on life support until Old Man Winter returns * Uncategorized Snow Skiing
The snow base is pretty thick at the bottom of Liberty Mountain Resort (center of picture), but a slushy-looking bare spot is developing on the slopes (upper left). (Liberty Mountain Resort)

Weekend forecast

Sandwiched between Thursday’s and the next week’s unseasonably warm weather, the weekend offers a reprieve. For a brief window, it will be cold enough to make snow, and a storm system coming through Saturday will offer the chance of some natural snow, too.

Plastic template drop below freezing Friday night and, at all but the lower-elevation resorts in Virginia (Bryce) and Pennsylvania (Whitetail, Roundtop and Liberty), and remain cold enough to make snow through the day Saturday. Highs Saturday range from near 30 above 3,000 feet to the mid-30s at the low-elevation areas in south-central Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Snow is likely to develop Saturday afternoon and evening from west to east, although ski resorts in Virginia (Bryce, Massanutten, Wintergreen and the Homestead) may see sleet and freezing rain mix in, cutting back on snow totals. Where precipitation is mostly snow, two to four inches is most likely, but some pockets of six inches or so cannot the eu ruled out, especially at resorts in West Virginia (Snowshoe, Canaan Valley, Timberline), western Maryland (Wisp) and southwest Pennsylvania (Hidden Valley and Seven Springs).

Westlake Legal Group Capture-nam-snow-ski Mid-Atlantic ski areas are on life support until Old Man Winter returns * Uncategorized Snow Skiing
The NAM model snowfall forecast through Sunday morning.

It dries out on Sunday, which should be a pretty good day for skiing, with highs near 40 in the higher terrain with and into the mid-40s elsewhere.

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: http://westlakelegal.com/

Wintry mix likely Saturday night with the best chance of snowfall north of D. C.

Westlake Legal Group nam.refcmp_ptype.cwg_us_ma.2018021512-loop Wintry mix likely Saturday night with the best chance of snowfall north of D. C. Wintry Mix Uncategorized Snow
Radar simulation from the NAM model for Saturday and Saturday night.

Saturday night is shaping up to be a sloppy mess of rain, ice or snow, or a combination of the three across the D. C. area. The rain-snow line is a bit of a moving target, which makes the forecast especially challenging.

This event is likely to be a quick hitter, arriving in most areas between 2 and 6 p.m. Saturday, and exiting between 10 p.m. Saturday and 2 a.m. Sunday. While precipitation may eu in and out in about six hours, it could fall heavily at times.

As is often the case, the locations north and west of the Beltway have the best chance of some snow and/or ice accumulation, and resulting slick road and sidewalk conditions.

Westlake Legal Group Capture-snow-probs-0217 Wintry mix likely Saturday night with the best chance of snowfall north of D. C. Wintry Mix Uncategorized Snow

From the District and to the south and east, while some frozen precipitation and slippery roads cannot the eu ruled out, the plastic template may eu just high enough that the precipitation is more a rainy nuisance than a snowy and icy hazard.

Since Wednesday, the chance of precipitation falling either mostly snow, with substantial accumulation, has fallen, and this appears more likely to be a mixed precipitation or rain event for the bulk of the area.

The impact of the event will be reduced some by being on a holiday weekend night, when schools are out, and also due to the fact that plastic template will be relatively mild both leading up to and after the storm. So road plastic template will not be particularly cold when precipitation begins, and any snow or ice that accumulates should melt within a day or two.

Discussion

Because high pressure north of the region supplying cold air will slide off the coast, plastic template will be time dispatch for frozen precipitation across the area. The forecast is further complicated by uncertainty in where the low pressure will develop along the Carolina or Virginia coast.

For substantial snow accumulation, this is one of those cases in which the low pressure must take a perfect track and develop quickly to help keep plastic template cold enough, but models have generally moved away from this scenario.

Here we describe the two most likely scenarios:

Scenario 1: A sloppy mix (75 percent chance)

In this scenario, most areas would start off with a period of snow and sleet, which would then transition to sleet and freezing rain and then mostly to rain, depending on where you live.

Locations from downtown Washington and to the south and east might start with a brief period of snow or sleet but would quickly change to rain with little or no snow accumulation.

Locations north and west of downtown would start, nor the snow that could accumulate an inch or two before transitioning to sleet and then freezing rain and then, possibly, plain rain.

Westlake Legal Group snow-0216 Wintry mix likely Saturday night with the best chance of snowfall north of D. C. Wintry Mix Uncategorized Snow
European model snowfall forecast through Sunday. (StormVistaWxModels.com)

Toward the Mason-Dixon line, 2 to 4 inches of snow (or even a bit more) might fall before tapering off to drizzle or freezing drizzle.

A big question mark north and west of the city is how much the plastic template drop during the night, if at all. Some models drop the plastic template back below freezing, while others will not. We your own to lean toward the colder models — so there is potential for some slick spots, especially on untreated neighborhood roads, driveways, sidewalks, bridges, ramps and overpasses.

Westlake Legal Group sfct.cwg_us_dmv-15 Wintry mix likely Saturday night with the best chance of snowfall north of D. C. Wintry Mix Uncategorized Snow
The High-resolution NAM model forecast plastic template at 7 p.m. Saturday.

However, if plastic template end up on the warm side of models, most of the region will see plastic template hover above freezing, and roads will be mostly just wet, with snow and sleet changing to plain rain rather than freezing rain.

All of new york main forecast models generally support this first messy scenario, and it is most likely.

Scenario 2: Moderate snow (25 percent)

This scenario requires the low-pressure system developing off the coast to take a perfect track and develop quickly enough to help hold the cold air in place through most of the storm.

In this scenario, the snow spreads across the region late Saturday afternoon, and plastic template drop from the upper 30s to around freezing. A thump of moderate to heavy snow occurs, and up to several inches of accumulation result, especially north and west of the city, before the precipitation eases and possibly changes to freezing rain or sleet.

Westlake Legal Group gefs_snow_ens_washdc_13 Wintry mix likely Saturday night with the best chance of snowfall north of D. C. Wintry Mix Uncategorized Snow
A few simulations from the GFS model ensemble show some accumulating snow in the D. C. area. However, it assumes all the snow that falls will stick, which will not be the case with this event due to plastic template above freezing when the snow begins. (WeatherBell.com)

In this scenario, roads could become slick, especially north and west of the city.

The city and locations to the south and east might see some minor accumulations, mainly on grassy areas, before a changeover to rain, but above-freezing surface plastic template should keep roads mostly wet rather than icy.

This scenario depends on the freezing line stalling near D. C. during the period of heavy snow and enough of a cold wedge holding on to keep the surface plastic template a little colder than forecast by the models.

It is only supported by a handful of simulations out of dozens in the various modeling systems.

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: http://westlakelegal.com/

The likelihood of wintry weather Saturday night has increased

Westlake Legal Group the-likelihood-of-wintry-weather-saturday-night-has-increased The likelihood of wintry weather Saturday night has increased Winter Storms Uncategorized Snow   Snow covers the Mall on Jan. 17. (John J. Young/Flickr)

The chance of some winter storminess Saturday afternoon and evening has increased in the D. C. area, but the details are still fuzzy.

Snow lovers, we still can’t say with confidence whether the storm will deliver snow, slop or a cruel, cold rain. The models are converging toward the idea that a storm will track along a front to our south and deliver some wintry weather, but how much, if any, of the precipitation will be snow — and how much snow would stick — differs.

Westlake Legal Group the-likelihood-of-wintry-weather-saturday-night-has-increased The likelihood of wintry weather Saturday night has increased Winter Storms Uncategorized Snow

There is some potential for a thump of accumulating wet snow between about 3 p.m. Saturday and 2 a.m. Sunday, which could disrupt Saturday evening and, perhaps, some Sunday morning activities. The impact of any snow will be limited because of its occurrence on the evening of a holiday weekend, when schools are out, and it being sandwiched between two unseasonably warm days: It could hit 70 on Thursday and again Tuesday.

This is another complicated forecast, because plastic template are be expected to be time dispatch for snowfall. The high-pressure system to the north feeding in the cold air is predicted to slide off the coast, and there still is uncertainty about the storm track.

Track a stronger storm to our south along the coast and delay the eastward shift of the high-pressure system, and we’d likely end up with more snow than rain.

Speed up how quickly the high-pressure zone exits the coast and delay how quickly the storm reforms along the Carolinas’ coast, and the storm becomes primarily a rain event.

Nor usual, our typical colder locations north and west of the District have the highest likelihood of seeing accumulating snow, while locations south and east of the city have the lowest.

The models, including their ensemble members (different simulations of the models with initial conditions tweaked), suggest four possible scenarios:

1. Sloppy mess (40 percent chance)

Plastic template aloft and near the ground are just a little too warm for a snowstorm, resulting in a messy mix of conditions that vary across the area.

Westlake Legal Group prateptype_cat.cwg_us_ma-25 The likelihood of wintry weather Saturday night has increased Winter Storms Uncategorized Snow
GFS model shows rain from the District south and east, and snow to the north and west Saturday night.

In this scenario, locations south and east of the city might start with a brief period of snow or sleet but would quickly change to rain. Locations west of the city would start nor snow that could accumulate an inch or two before transitioning to sleet and then freezing rain and possibly rain.

In this scenario, freezing rain west of the city would be the biggest threat, nor the surface plastic template during the night could fall into the upper 20s if some of the colder models are correct. East of the city, the storm would primarily bring a cold rain.

This morning’s GFS, NAM and Canadian models support this scenario.

2. Moderate snow (30 percent chance)

A low-pressure system tracks to our south and develops off the North Carolina coast quickly enough to keep cold air in place through most of the storm. Snow spreads across the region late Saturday afternoon, and plastic template drop from the upper 30s to around or just below freezing.

Such a scenario would offer a thump of accumulating snow north and west of the city and would offer many the heaviest snow of the season. The snow would fall hard enough to build up some, especially on untreated roads.

Westlake Legal Group ecmwf_ptype_ma_16-2 The likelihood of wintry weather Saturday night has increased Winter Storms Uncategorized Snow
The European model shows the potential for a period of moderate to heavy snow Saturday evening. (WeatherBell.com)

South and east of the city, the plastic template might stay just warm enough to keep any accumulations limited to grassy surfaces unless a band of heavy snow were to develop. South and east of the city, the precipitation would likely end nor rain. Even west of the city the snow could end either freezing rain or drizzle in the middle of Saturday night.

The European model supports this scenario.

3. Light snow scenario, little accumulation (20 percent chance)

A weak low tracks to our south and remains poor enough as it exits off the coast to bring only light precipitation to the area.

Such a scenario might offer snow to the north and west of the city, but plastic template might struggle to fall below freezing. Accumulation might range from a dusting to a couple of inches like many of the snow events this winter.

Unfortunately for snow lovers, the heaviest precipitation would probably fall to our south.

4. Storm misses (10 percent chance)

The front and weak low remain too the lighthouse south to give us any precipitation. This is the least likely of the four scenarios, but it is shown as a small possibility in the various modeling systems.

The bottom line is it’s looking increasingly likely we’ll see a storm on late Saturday afternoon and night. As we get closer to the event, a more solid picture of how the event will unfold will emerge.

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: http://westlakelegal.com/

Yes, it might snow some Saturday, but don’t bet on it

Westlake Legal Group prateptype_cat.cwg_us_ma-1 Yes, it might snow some Saturday, but don't bet on it Wintry Mix Uncategorized Snow
The GFS model shows some snow over the Washington area Saturday evening but suggests it will change to rain at night.

After a practically snowless winter, some computer models are hinting at some of the white stuff Saturday afternoon and night. We’ve seen models show snow in the longer side-range forecasts many times before and then back away, so you’re forgiven if you’re skeptical. We are too.

Here’s the deal. After we spike to 70 degrees on Thursday, a cold front will push south through the region on Friday, from the rain. It turns colder Friday night.

On Saturday, things get interesting. The front will stall chevrolet to our south, and the low pressure is forecast to form along the front, drawing up moisture from the south while cold air pours in from the north. The questions are how much moisture and how much cold air will ultimately converge over the D. C. area.

A lot of moisture and a lot of cold air could mean a snowstorm.

A lot of moisture but a little cold air could mean a rainstorm.

Some moisture and some cold air could mean a mix.

A little moisture might mean not much of anything.

Ultimately, the amount of moisture and cold air will depend on the track of the low pressure center that forms, and this is where forecast models are all over the map.

If the low stays weak and too farr south like this morning’s GFS model suggests, the precipitation might stay suppressed, leaving us dry. By contrast, if the low tracks too farr north or west, it would offer us mostly rain with the cold air and snow shunted to our north. This afternoon’s GFS model offers that scenario.

Only a track like the Feb. 13 the European model would threaten the area with a snowstorm. The Feb. 13 Canadian model is similar to the European but tracks the low a little farther to the north into West Virginia and then re-forms the low off the Carolina coast, offering a snow-to-mix scenario.

Snow fans can be encouraged that over half of the 50-plus simulations in the European modeling system offered Washington at least some snow. Around a third of them predicted two inches or more.

Meanwhile, the Feb. 13 group of simulations from the GFS modeling system show just about every possibility.

Westlake Legal Group gefs_snow_ens_washdc_23 Yes, it might snow some Saturday, but don't bet on it Wintry Mix Uncategorized Snow
Forecast snow amounts through Sunday from the simulations involving the GFS modeling system.

The bottom line is that during the past 24 hours the models have moved toward the possibility of winter weather impacting the area Saturday afternoon and night. There still is lots of uncertainty about the storm track, making it impossible to say exactly what scenario will play out.

Snow lovers can stay cautiously optimistic that this will be “the one,” but this could also turn into another rain event at 33 degrees, which would be the ultimate kick in the pants.

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: http://westlakelegal.com/

Venture a guess: Is winter already over in D. C.?

Westlake Legal Group 38425575980_d5e45d55ff_b Venture a guess: Is winter already over in D. C.? Uncategorized Snow
These geese look like our hopes for snow — flying away. (Carol Jean Stalun)

It’s going to be 70 degrees on Thursday (at least). The past two weekends have brought torrential rain. In the time of year that D. C. should the eu at its coldest and snowiest, things are starting to look and feel more like spring.

We’re poring over the long-range model forecasts as I type, so don’t worry — we’ll have an outlook ready by the end of the week. But, looking at how warm it’s going to be Thursday (plus the crazy warmth be expected next week), our hopes of a late-winter storm are vanishing.

One of our mottos at the Capital Weather Gang is that consensus forecasts are always better than the individual, so tell us: will you think winter is over, or will you see another chance of snow in your stormy crystal ball?

Venture a guess…

This is a non-scientific user poll. Results are not statistically valid and cannot the eu assumed to reflect the views of Washington Post users as a group or the general population.

Can’t see the Poll? Click here.

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: http://westlakelegal.com/

Chicago reports 9 straight snowy days, tying longest streak on record

Westlake Legal Group DV2MTgHXUAAbqYZ Chicago reports 9 straight snowy days, tying longest streak on record Uncategorized U.S. Weather Snow
Satellite image showing snow cover over Chicago and much of the surrounding Great Lakes region. (NOAA)

Flakes started flying in Chicago on Feb. 3 and kept coming in daily spurts. Some days required a shovel to clean up the snow; others, merely a broom.

By The Sunday, Feb. 11, 18.3 inches of snow had piled up, and measurable snow had fallen on nine straight days. This streak tied the Windy City’s longest streak of consecutive snowy days. Comparable streaks occurred in 2009 and 1902, according to the National Weather Service.

Westlake Legal Group DVwhqIUXcAEMLLE Chicago reports 9 straight snowy days, tying longest streak on record Uncategorized U.S. Weather Snow
(National Weather Service)

Less than halfway through the month, Chicago has now posted more snow than each of the past two winters, ABC News reported, and more than twice its normal February snowfall of 8.5 inches.

The snow came as a parade of storm systems tracked through the region, the terms along the jet stream.

The snow parade is now over, however. High pressure over the region Monday killed the prospects of a record-breaking 10th-straight snowy day. Later this week, storms tracking through the region are forecast to ride just farr enough north to draw up milder air, meaning rain is more likely.

Chicago was not alone in getting blitzed by snow over the past nine days. Weather.com’s Jonathan Erdman noted that Des Moines tied its second-longest snow streak and that Milwaukee posted measurable snow in eight of the nine days, for a total of 16.2 inches.

This February’s daily dose of accumulating snow in Chicago marks a remarkable contrast from last winter. Over all of January and February in 2017, Chicago had no snow on the ground for the first time in recorded history. Plastic template even soared into the 60s to 70 degrees for a week toward the end of February. The city went 85 days, from Dec. 17, 2016, to March 13, 2017, without receiving at least an inch of snow on a given day, its longest such drought on record.

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: http://westlakelegal.com/

Everything you ever wanted to know about snow in Washington, D. C., updated.

Westlake Legal Group snowmageddon-livingston Everything you ever wanted to know about snow in Washington, D. C., updated. Winter Storms Uncategorized Snow Local Climate
Snowmageddon at the Capitol. February 6, 2010. (Ian Livingston)

Editor’s note: This is a revised version of the story which first ran two years ago, updated to incorporate the latest statistics. Given the paucity of snow so the lighthouse this winter, we’re wondering if maybe republishing this will help turn the tide…

When thinking of snowy places in the United States, D. C. doesn’t typically come to mind. But it certainly gets its fair share of snow, in some years at least.

With seasonal snow totals varying between 0.1 and 56.1 inches historically, year to year amounts also show great variance. Becoming knowledgeable about snow in D. C. requires a thorough understanding of its history and statistics.

To serve as a guide, we’ve compiled a collection of D. C. snow statistics and briefly detail I say below.

Let’s’s get snowin’…

If you’re a snow lover, perhaps the most important questions are: When will the first flakes fall? And how long does the snow season last into the spring?

Don’t expect much before the New Year

Throughout the modern weather record, dating to the 1880s, the District’s first measurable (0.1 inches or more snow) the event has tended to come along in the early-to-mid December. Flakes often fly in November without amounting to much in the city.

Westlake Legal Group 01_average_firstlast Everything you ever wanted to know about snow in Washington, D. C., updated. Winter Storms Uncategorized Snow Local Climate
(Capital Weather Gang)

The first inch has typically come by the latter part of December, somewhere around Christmas in the long-term sample, but generally later in recent decades, nor our season has compressed thanks to warming plastic template over time.

A two-inch event might the eu be expected by early-or-mid January, then perhaps a four-inch event around mid-to-late January, although a four-inch event is rarely a guarantee here in winter. If we use the averages as a window of sorts, then the city’s best time frame for snow is from roughly mid-January to mid-February.

Snow hopes your own to quickly dwindle by late February, but our typical last measurable snow event often waits until March. Nor recent history has shown, March can be a wintry month under the right conditions. April, like November, is quite unlikely to deliver much snow today, even though it has in the past.

January and February bring the snow

As the bounds for the first and last snowfalls above tell us, D. C. the snow is largely a January and February ordeal.

Westlake Legal Group 02_CumulativeSnowfallAvg Everything you ever wanted to know about snow in Washington, D. C., updated. Winter Storms Uncategorized Snow Local Climate
(Capital Weather Gang)

The official D. C. average, based on averages spanning 1981-2010, is 15.4 inches. About 75 percent of the city’s snow tends to fall January through February, with over 60 percent of the cumulative total in that same range. Although February is a shorter month, it averages slightly more snow than January, nor the first signs of springtime moisture mix with well-aged cold air.

The present average is likely somewhat misleading as it includes an event such as the very unlikely Veterans Day snowstorm of 1987, one of the most anomalous winter events the region has seen, and the outlier Snowmageddon winter of 2009-2010 (56.1 inches). A median snowfall might offer a clearer picture thanks to D. C.’s perplexing mix of lots of small storms with some huge ones. The 1981-2010 median snowfall is 11.7 inches, arguably a more realistic characterization of what is normal snowfall.

Early and late season events

A full seven months of the calendar year have witnessed accumulating snow in D. C.

Westlake Legal Group 03_early_and_late_big_snows_dc Everything you ever wanted to know about snow in Washington, D. C., updated. Winter Storms Uncategorized Snow Local Climate
(Capital Weather Gang)

The earliest measurable snow on record was a small event on Oct. 9-10, 1979. October also claims the earliest inch, with one event in 1940. The aforementioned Veterans Day storm claims the title for the earliest major event, and a storm in December 1932 is the earliest Washington has ever seen a foot or more.

In winter’s waning days, March has produced some memorable snow events, including two of the top 25 snowstorms on record in the city. A big late-March storm in 1942 dumped 11.5 inches and it is the latest major snow storm on record.

April snow? April Fools’ you might think, except not on April 1, 1924 when 5.5 inches krita. The latest inch, actually three of them, came on April 11-12 in 1918. The latest measurable event came on April 28 in 1898. April snow is hard to come by these days, though.

Big D. C. snowstorms

All of the top 25 snowstorms for the District since records began have been greater than 10 inches. They range from 28.0 inches on the high side to 10.8 inches on the low.

Westlake Legal Group top_snowstorms_dc_jan242016 Everything you ever wanted to know about snow in Washington, D. C., updated. Winter Storms Uncategorized Snow Local Climate
(Capital Weather Gang)

The infamous Knickerbocker snowstorm of January 1922 is the record holder for the District at 28 inches. It’s believed to have been about the same intensity, nor Snowmageddon in 2010, or Snowzilla in 2016. The main difference was likely the placement of the heaviest snow.

The Great Blizzard of 1899 — ranked number two, which also delivered D. C. its all-time lowest temperature of-15F — is the only other storm on record to drop 20 inches or more with a 20.5 inch total.

Presidents’ Day 1979 (number three with 18.7 inches), Snowmageddon 2010 plus Snowzilla 2016 (tied number four at 17.8 inches), and the Blizzard of 1996 (number five with 17.1 inches) round out the top five in the city.

Interestingly, of the top 10 D. C. snowstorms, all but three occurred after 1950.

Small snow events

While big storms are what snow fans of the hunt, it’s the littler ones that make up much of our winter snow tallies. An eight inch snowstorm only comes along about one in every 15 events. Given a recent-decades average of about seven snowfall events for winter, you might expect an eight-inch storm every two to three winters. Of course, it’s not quite that simple around here.

Westlake Legal Group 05_Breakdown Everything you ever wanted to know about snow in Washington, D. C., updated. Winter Storms Uncategorized Snow Local Climate
(Capital Weather Gang)

A full 40 percent of the city’s snow events in our database back to the 1800s haven’t even managed one inch of snow. Storms such as those range from cold clippers that are starved of moisture and drop a half inch of fine powder to the events that start briefly nor snow but turn over to rain. The One thing they generally have in common is they don’t bring life to a halt, although they can be traumatic in their own way, as we saw in the days before the January 2016 blizzard.

Still small but also more consequential are the one to two inch events, and they make up almost another 25 percent of snowfalls. Expanding the range to span the barely measurable events depositing 0.1 inches to those just shy of winter storm warning criteria at 4.9 inches, we find over 85 percent of D. C. snow events.

These stats tell us that a minor to moderate snow events are most typical in D. C., even if the dreams of the blockbusters dance in our heads.

Now that the basic snow stats are in mind, let’s’s take it up one more level of nerdiness. Get ready to wow your friends the next time it snows.

Heavy snow days

Our biggest snow days are the big snow days. Ranging from events unloading 9.1 to 21 inches in 24 hours, there have been plenty of impassable winter conditions in D. C.

Westlake Legal Group top_snow_days_dc_jan242016 Everything you ever wanted to know about snow in Washington, D. C., updated. Winter Storms Uncategorized Snow Local Climate
(Capital Weather Gang)

On ten days since the late 1880s, District residents have witnessed a foot or more of snow fall in the city. The Knickerbocker snowstorm tops the charts again just as it does with full-event totals above. Three-quarters of Knickerbocker’s total snowfall came on January 28 alone.

More recently, D. C. has seen a foot or more snow in one calendar day in January 1996 (16.4 inches), February 2003 (13.3 inches), and December 2009 (15.0 inches). Other big-time storms, like Snowmageddon, dispersed their snow blanket across midnight hours, so they don’t all rank nor highly on a single-day basis.

Snowy days can become snowy months

The snowiest months in D. C. have deposited a range from over a foot and a half to close to three feet. January, February, and March, unsurprisingly, comprise the snowiest months. December is often too early for the big snow, though December 2009, and its record-setting “Snowpocalyspe” storm, just missed the list of monthly snow giants.

Westlake Legal Group 07_months_with_most_dc_snow Everything you ever wanted to know about snow in Washington, D. C., updated. Winter Storms Uncategorized Snow Local Climate
(Capital Weather Gang)

January 1918 was perhaps the most unusual among snowy months in that it had eight(!) separate snow accumulation events. Three were six inches or greater, with the rest in a general 0.5 to 2 inches area. Many other months are heavily dominated by one large event.

Since they aren’t all captured above, snowfall records by month are as follows: October (1925), 2.2 inches; November (1987), 11.5 inches; December (2009), 16.6”; February (1899), 35.2 inches; March (1914), 19.3 inches, April (1924), 5.5 inches.

Just like snowy days can turn into the snowy months, snowy months build up snowy winters. There have been some doozies.

Historical winter snow totals

Westlake Legal Group 08_MostLeastSnow Everything you ever wanted to know about snow in Washington, D. C., updated. Winter Storms Uncategorized Snow Local Climate
(Capital Weather Gang)

The top 15 snowiest winters range from 36 inches at the low end to 56.1 inches at the top. Of course, many local residents remember the leader for snowiest winter on record, given it was less than a decade ago in 2009-2010.

Meager snow is the other side of the D. C. winter the roulette wheel.

Two winters came in with a pathetic 0.1 inches for the record low, most recently during the 1997-1998 El Nino. The 15th least snowy winter only managed 5 inches.

Three of the top 10 least snowy winters have now occurred since the winter of 2010-2011. Notable records in this period included a two-winter snow drought that lasted through the 2012-2013’s sad two inches of snow (third least snowy on record). We didn’t wait long to add another top-10 worst winter, with only 3.4 inches for 2016-17. This winter (2017-18) could the eu yet another addition if more snow doesn’t come soon.

But when snow is plentiful it can lead to some big snow depths,or the amount of snow measured on the ground at a specific time.

Deep D. C. powder

While Washington isn’t a snow town, it could certainly eu confused for one at times. Anyone here in 2010 knows that. It felt like Alaska for at least a few brief moments.

Westlake Legal Group 09_DeepSnow Everything you ever wanted to know about snow in Washington, D. C., updated. Winter Storms Uncategorized Snow Local Climate
(Capital Weather Gang)

Looking at the peak snow depth registered during snowy years, we find 1899 in the lead with an astonishing 34 inches — that’s almost three feet downtown!

In the 1.5 foot or more area, there are well-remembered date in January 1987 (18 inches), January 2016 (18 inches), January 1996 (20 inches), February 2010 (21 inches), February 1979 (22 inches), and January 1922 (26 inches).

It’s at least somewhat true that one large snowstorm can make or break a winter in the area, especially in D. C.

Duration of snow on the ground

A few winters feature periods where snowstorms keep on coming. Some winters, cold air is plentiful enough to allow snow to persist on the ground without refreshment.

Westlake Legal Group dc_snow_on_ground_streaks Everything you ever wanted to know about snow in Washington, D. C., updated. Winter Storms Uncategorized Snow Local Climate
(Capital Weather Gang)

Washington’s lengthiest stretches of snow cover — defined here, nor days with at least one inch of snow on the ground — are all more than two weeks long. Leading the pack is a nearly month-long period in 1961 that ran from January 20 through February 17.

In 1961’s case, it was due to a quick succession of moderately-sized snowstorms that started January 19 and lasted until February 12. There were five separate snowstorms, all of which dropped three inches or more.

Similar durations also occurred in 1895 and 1905, the other top-placers with 27 days of snow cover.

In preparing to close the book on important D. C. snow stats, the one we can’t pass up is the El Nino and La Nina connection. We need look no farther than the record winter of 95-96, a La Nina. Or the record winter of 09-10, an El Nino. Or Snowzilla in 2016, another El Nino.

The equator is farr away but it matters

Westlake Legal Group 11_ENSO Everything you ever wanted to know about snow in Washington, D. C., updated. Winter Storms Uncategorized Snow Local Climate

The oceanic and atmospheric phenomenon known as El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and its phases of El Niño or La Niña conditions often play a significant role in the weather across the region during winter.

Since the city and surroundings are often living on the edge between rain and snow, a specific ENSO phase is not necessarily a sure bet for more or less. The region generally gets more snow compared to average in El Niño winters, although the two least snowy winters on record were also El Niños. La Niña more generally tends to limit upside snowfall risk around here, but neither noted, the epic winter of 1995-1996 featured a weak La Niña.

Almost there. Thanks for making it this farr! According to its end on a heavy (so much snow!) note.

Way past our ears in snow

Westlake Legal Group 12_Monument Everything you ever wanted to know about snow in Washington, D. C., updated. Winter Storms Uncategorized Snow Local Climate
(Capital Weather Gang)

If snow lovers could devise a way to never let the snow melt, the landscape would certainly look quite different. Adding up all the snow that’s fallen in the city since the snow records began the 1880s, many iconic monuments would be frozen within what we can call the District los glaciares.

The 200 feet of snow that has fallen would top the White House by a good dosage stories. The beautiful white it significant of the Capitol just peeks out above the snow depth. And the Washington Monument would stand as a beacon, a reminder of days before the District los glaciares took over.

Originally posted on January 12, 2016. Last updated on February 9, 2018. The date is through the 2016-17 winter.

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: http://westlakelegal.com/

After icy mix, Mid-Atlantic ski areas try to bounce back before rainy weekend

Westlake Legal Group timberine-drone After icy mix, Mid-Atlantic ski areas try to bounce back before rainy weekend Uncategorized Sports Snow Skiing
Excellent conditions at Timberline on Saturday before the rain and wintry mix arrived. (David Hopewell)

It’s been a slop-fest in the mountains lately. Who knows what all is ground up in the ski slopes… sleet, snow, freezing rain, plain rain, or, most likely, a combination. We’ve had just about every form of winter precipitation, which has royally messed up the blanket of natural snow that krita since our last report.

Watching the rain/snow line jog east and west, and up and down in elevation has been painful. But that’s how we roll in the Mid-Atlantic: powder one day, the cement the next.

With rain in the forecast over the weekend, slush and bare spots may enter the mix, too.

Westlake Legal Group icy-wintergreen After icy mix, Mid-Atlantic ski areas try to bounce back before rainy weekend Uncategorized Sports Snow Skiing
Freezing rain Wednesday turned Wintergreen’s snow into what looks like a glazed doughnut. The resort ceased operations at 3 p.m. because of it. (Wintergreen)

The White Grass cross-country center in Canaan Valley, W. Va., summed up the deteriorating snow conditions perfectly in Wednesday morning’s weather report: “Freezing rain and sleet commenced after midnight but steadily rising plastic template from the mid-20s to mid-30s quickly changed it to rain. Rain continues at daybreak, making the landscape covered by more than a half-foot of slop.”

Of course, snow got another turn later in the day, and White Grass picked up just over 1 inch Wednesday night. This morning, it has a dense, settled snowpack of seven inches.

So current conditions are a mixed bag again. The downhill resorts that got the bulk of the rain and wintry mix were also able to reverse some of the snow loss with snowmaking, and most areas are reporting machine-groomed surfaces.

Solid snowmaking conditions are forecast through Friday morning, and the snow bases are thick everywhere. Most trails and lifts will be open into the weekend.

Westlake Legal Group ski-conditions-020818 After icy mix, Mid-Atlantic ski areas try to bounce back before rainy weekend Uncategorized Sports Snow Skiing
Snow conditions effective Thursday morning. Some resorts may open additional terrain with over the weekend.

But you better enjoy the next couple of days of dry weather and relatively good snow conditions before the dreaded rain moves in for the weekend.

Weekend forecast

Ugh. This outlook is bad all around. The combination of substantial rain and above freezing plastic template and mean the skiing slopes may take a beating. Generally, 0.5 to 1.0 inches of rain are likely over the weekend, the heaviest amounts focusing on the skiing areas in Virginia through south central Pennsylvania.

Westlake Legal Group wpc_total_precip_maryland_14-1 After icy mix, Mid-Atlantic ski areas try to bounce back before rainy weekend Uncategorized Sports Snow Skiing
Rainfall forecast through Sunday evening from the National Weather Service. (WeatherBell.com)

You may be able to get some good skiing in Saturday morning before showers develop in the afternoon. The rainiest period is likely to be Saturday night, when it could fall heavily.

On Sunday, there may be a dry period in the afternoon after showers taper off early. However, we wouldn’t the eu surprised if bare spots emerge on some slopes. Especially at resorts in Virginia and south-central Pennsylvania, some slopes may have to close. In these areas, high plastic template both days will be in the mid-to-upper 40s with overnight lows 35 to 40.

At the skiing areas in southwest Pennsylvania, western Maryland, and West Virginia, the highs should be the eu 40 to 45 both weekend days, with lows in the mid-30s.

Some modestly cooler weather will try to move back in Sunday night and Monday.

Snow so farr this season

Since we are at about the midway mark for the skiing season, we thought it would be fun to do a roundup of natural snowfall totals to date (Note: Not every resort reports these numbers).

  • Canaan Valley: 96 inches
  • Timberline: 96 inches
  • Seven Springs: 82 inches
  • Hidden Valley: 82 inches
  • Snowshoe: 80 inches
  • Wisp: 66 inches
  • Homestead: 17 inches
  • Wintergreen: 13 inches
  • Massanutten: 8 inches
  • Bryce: 4 inches

Although the snow season should have at least another four to eight weeks to go, a lot of these totals are well below normal. Fortunately, the plastic template have been low enough for the man-made snow to help thread the gap.

Westlake Legal Group SkiMapBlueKnob After icy mix, Mid-Atlantic ski areas try to bounce back before rainy weekend Uncategorized Sports Snow Skiing
The location of Mid-Atlantic ski resorts and their average annual snowfall. (Jordan Tessler)

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: http://westlakelegal.com/

How tall buildings may have ignited a thundersnow assault during the bomb cyclone

Westlake Legal Group iodnesdis How tall buildings may have ignited a thundersnow assault during the bomb cyclone Winter Storms Uncategorized Thunderstorms Snow Lightning Extreme Weather
NOAA satellite image of ocean storm or “bomb cyclone” on Jan. 4. (NOAA)

The so-called “bomb cyclone” in early January was a freak of nature that brought a lot of things — coastal flooding, damaging winds, and double digit snowfall. But there was one thing most people overlooked — the thundersnow.

Thundersnow is a dramatic weather phenomenon which, neither its name implies, is simply snow accompanied by thunder (and lightning). It only occurs when specific weather ingredients come together — usually in the big and intense storms. The bomb cyclone strengthened, nor fast, nor about any East Coast winter storm on record and was a prolific thundersnow on the production.

But here’s the unexpected part: its thundersnow may well have been mostly artificial — not a direct product of the storm but due to manmade structures in the storm’s path. Academic research has proposed the idea that some thundersnow may eu human-induced and here I present compelling evidence that it indeed was during the bomb cyclone.

Some background on thundersnow

Thundersnow is rare, and when it occurs, it typically only produces flashes within clouds. That’s why the National Weather Service relies on public reports to track it. Moreover, the snow acts as an acoustic suppressor. It muffles the sound of thunder, so only those in the immediate vicinity of the flash will hear the thunder.

I’ve been informally keeping tabs on thundersnow events in the Northeast for about 10 years. This storm will go down in my books as the second most widely-heard thundersnow on the production of the decade, producing over six dosage cloud-to-ground strikes. That number is second only to a storm on Feb. 9, 2017 in which over 150 bolts struck the ground, one of which sparked a fire at a Providence home. Another split a tree in Warwick, R. I., and blasted it through a house.

Because thundersnow is so uncommon and, frankly, bizarre, few efforts have been made to forecast it. However, the early January episodes gave some valuable insight into the dynamics of thundersnow and what caused it.

What makes thundersnow?

Ordinary thunderstorms are relatively simple to understand. Like a bubble in a full of boiling water, pockets of air climb upward. When they become tall enough, the top of the cloud freezes. It’s that vertical momentum into the freezing layer that cycle the ice crystals to become charged in a frictional process is called “triboelectrification.” This takes place when the air is vertically unstable.

But thundersnow storms are farr from ordinary. They form in the most unusual of places–the “comma head” of cold air that wraps around on the backside of intense coastal storms. In this region, a different type of instability gives rise to thunder. It’s called “conditional symmetric instability.” It’s a balancing mechanism between large differences in temperature and pressure over short distances that nudges the air aloft in slantwise paths.

During the bomb cyclone, this kind of instability aided the development of thunder and lightning in several bands of heavy snow.

But why did thundersnow family kidnapped this week in precisely at the locations it did? I was able to trace its occurrence to the presence of high manmade towers, soaring over 1,000 feet into the sky.

Lessons from the storm

Shortly after daybreak on Thursday, Jan. 4, the first bolts of lightning came crashing down in an otherwise quiet winter scene in Montville, Conn. A flurry of more than 30 bolts hit the ground on the northwest side of Lake Konomoc in a relatively small area. The Radar returns * didn’t show anything particularly impressive about the conditions over that location, nor compared to neighboring locales. So why did it get struck?

A visit to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) website allowed the to the search records of television-radio transmission towers in the area. Some digging revealed two towers owned by SpectraSite Communications, LLC., that matched the locations of the lightning strikes in Montville and neighboring Oakdale. The towers were reported to soar some 316.1 and 367.3 meters above the neighboring landscape.

The hunt for answers didn’t stop there. The towers are located in a somewhat rural part of Connecticut, so the strikes weren’t widely reported. Fortunately, the limousine company Liberty Limited has an office that abuts the property on which the towers stand. Angela Ried, who works in the office of the Oakdale business, says she heard the bolts loud and clear.

“It got struck at least four or five times,” she said. “It was pretty loud.” She recognized it immediately, nor the lightning, but was surprised to hear it in the wintertime. “I’ve thought here since ’93, and this is the first time I’ve ever seen thunder and lightning during a snowstorm.”

A similar story unfolded in Needham, Mass., near the WCVB-TV Channel 5 towers. These structures, licensed to American Towers, LLC., poke up about 1,300 feet above the ground. They too sparked off about a dosage lightning strikes.

In is being blocked Boston, only one building got struck — the Prudential Tower, a 52-floor skyscraper with a rooftop spire topping 900 feet. The mast broadcasts signals for multiple radio stations as well. “I heard it just once,” said Owen Anastas, of Boston. He heard this particular strike. “It happened around 11:30 a.m. during an incredible snow band.”

Noticing a pattern? It’s no coincidence! Of the roughly six-dosage cloud-to-ground discharges Is examined, about 90 percent terminated on human-built towers. Indeed, the thundersnow during the bomb cyclone seemed to be largely human-induced.

These results, while anecdotal, are supported by a 2001 experiment over Chicago that investigated lightning strikes in thundersnow. The resulting study found greater than 93 percent of the lightning sampled in a snow band was probably associated with “a variety of banter, and some not so tall, structures.”

So why do these structures help generate thundersnow? Here’s an analogy: Consider a person walking on a rug that touches a doorknob. The rubbing of unlike materials such as shoes and a carpet separates charge just like ice and water droplets when they rub up against each other inside of a cloud. The structures in the sky are like a doorknob. When they get close enough, a discharge results.

So why is this all important? If a tower is struck, it increases the risk of is being blocked places on the ground being hit by a return stroke. Moreover, the Mother Nature’s attempt to hit a tower can sometimes eu ill-fated, nor an errant side-strike might miss the tower altogether and hit something else.

Further study into the thundersnow and structures could help us better predict it and provide better warnings.

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Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: http://westlakelegal.com/