Powerful Nor'easter poised to pound Washington D.C. with 2 feet of snow

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:16 PM GMT on February 05, 2010

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A powerful Nor'easter is winding up along the Mid-Atlantic coast of the U.S. this morning, and stands poised to deliver the Washington D.C. region its second huge winter storm of the season tonight and Saturday. While the Nor'easter will affect a relatively small portion of the coast compared to other historic storms, a narrow region of Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C., Delaware, and New Jersey should see two feet of snow, and three feet are possible in the higher elevation areas to the west of Washington D.C. If the snow amounts top 20.5" in Washington D.C., it will rank as that city's second largest snowstorm on record. Blizzard warnings are posted for Delaware and southern New Jersey, including Atlantic City, where winds will increase to 30 - 35 mph on Saturday, with gusts to 50 mph. Snowfall rates of 2 - 3 inches per hour will create whiteout blizzard conditions near the coast, and snowfall amounts should approach two feet. Lesser snow amounts near a foot are expected in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and 4 - 8 inches is expected in New York City.


The top 10 snowstorms on record for Washington, D.C.:

1. January 27-28, 1922 ... 28 inches
2. February 11-13, 1899 ... 20.5 inches
3. February 18-19, 1979 ... 18.7 inches
4. January 6-8, 1996 ... 17.1 inches
5. February 15-18, 2003 ... 16.7 inches
6. February 11-12, 1983 ...16.6 inches
7. December 19-20, 2009 ... 16.4 inches (Snowpocalypse)
8. February 15-16, 1958 ... 14.4 inches
9. February 7, 1936 ... 14.4 inches
10. February 16-18, 1900 ... 14.3 inches


Figure 1. The Nor'easter of February 5 - 6 winds up in this 9:30 am EST image from 2/5/10. Image credit: NASA GOES project.

This weekend's Nor'easter is the second huge winter storm to affect the nation's capital this winter. The December 19, 2009 Nor'easter produced a record 24-hour snowfall in Washington, D.C. and Clifton Forge, Virginia, where nearly 2 feet (61 cm) of snow accumulated. Some interior areas of West Virginia saw 30 inches (76 cm) of snow. The storm broke the record for the amount of snow in a single event in December at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, where 16.3 inches (41 cm) of snow accumulated. The storm was the 6th-greatest snowfall in D.C. history. In Philadelphia, snowfall reached 23.2 inches (59 cm), surpassing the 21 inches (53 cm) snowfall of February 11 - 12, 1983, as the city's second-largest, and breaking a 100-year-old record for the largest single December storm, set on December 25 - 26, 1909 (20.2 inches). The largest storm in Philadelphia history was the North American blizzard of 1996, which produced 30.7 inches (78 cm) of snow.

Have a great Super Bowl weekend, everyone!

Jeff Masters

Ego Alley from Eastport (sckayaker)
Shot towards Ego Alley, Marriott Hotel on the left. Snow on fence is 9 - 10
Ego Alley from Eastport
Flooding, snow, and ice. 1st st Ocean City, MD (wildbillstikihut)
Flooding, snow, and ice.  1st st Ocean City, MD

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Quoting Bordonaro:


That sounds like a good plan, bring him out some hot chocolate to drink, strike up a conversation about something that causes him to think, grab his shovel, he needs to rest a bit!!
So I went outside, told him I had WUed about him and told him the plan (didn't want to take time making hot chocolate). AND it worked, he came in. Don;t know if it was the publicity on WU or the thought of making some hot chocolate or what, but it worked. He's in and looks like crap. Head soaked, hypothermic, and a little incoherent. We will watch him close and can have him at Fairfax Hospital in five minutes, but I think he will be okay. Thanks Bordonaro
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
They're calling it the "Snowpocalypse".
When I told my son that he came up with "Cryogeddon"!
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spathy - CO2 is a colorless, odorless, harmless gas essential to life on the planet.

As for other environmental concerns, no question in my mind, that is where the resources and efforts should be directed.
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Oops. NWS hourly forecast is figuring on a -80 F dewpoint later tonight...break out the Eucerin!

Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Reston, VA has 30" on the ground, and it's still falling! An amazing snowstorm, beat out the Dec 19-20th, 2009 storm already!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting OuterBanker:
Staying at my in-laws in NOVA. Have about 2 ft +. My brother-in-law a forty-something, out of shape fellow, has been shoveling for 4 hours nonstop. He won't stop, despite the screaming, etc. I suspect he can't deal with the idea of not having his car available or maybe he has a death wish. Don't know. Its tough, as we are their guests for three months while my wife recuperates. I will go out again now and try to grab the shovel from him.


That sounds like a good plan, bring him out some hot chocolate to drink, strike up a conversation about something that causes him to think, grab his shovel, he needs to rest a bit!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Staying at my in-laws in NOVA. Have about 2 ft +. My brother-in-law a forty-something, out of shape fellow, has been shoveling for 4 hours nonstop. He won't stop, despite the screaming, etc. I suspect he can't deal with the idea of not having his car available or maybe he has a death wish. Don't know. Its tough, as we are their guests for three months while my wife recuperates. I will go out again now and try to grab the shovel from him.
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I'm with you spathy. I think the most likely case is that CO2 follows warming, rather than driving.

If that assumption is used vs. the opposite, it is a much better fit with the observations.
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Link below to NWS Baltimore-DC Snow Totals as of 2:28PM EST 2-6-10. Highest amount 36", in Frostburg, MD.

Also breaking news on a church collapse in the NE DC area. Joshua Church of the Firstborn has collapesed, no injuries. The official report at DC Reagan AP is 17", just reported.

Link

Ch 7, WJLA, Washington DC Live News feed:

Link
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56140
Still hangin' in. Was just about to post, all's well when hubby just looked out and said "Here comes the winds!"

Topper Shutt, Ch. 9,
shovel in shifts,
dig out storm drains,
dig out window wells,
dig out around furnace (phew, thanks for reminder, Topper);
check on pets,
dig out around mailbox (uh, no mail service...)

And from Fire & Rescue, pls. dig out hydrants.
Check on older neighbors (thank you, all, I'm older than ORCA, omg!)

Back to Ch. 9; feed the birds.

We're not in the heaviest part of map anymore (for now?) Guesstimate we have the same as all4hurricanes...haven't taken pics of it yet...got pretty good shot of frazzled yorkie in front of laptop, though! :)

ADD-ON, Fire and Rescue, VA, I think, recommended not going up on roofs...(jmo, pick your poison?)
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:
I would start worrying about roof weight.

We had that problem in 2003-04 Isabel threw a tree on our house then a blizzard came a few months later. Our roof was creeking constantly and occasionally a beam in the attic would fall. Our roof seems to be fine now *knock on wood*
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Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:
theshepard:"This is laughable.
Maybe one day we'll stop being Neanderthals and adopt the Ideal European Model.
Do you have any idea how much heat is generated in underground cable runs and the upsizing in conductor requirements to carry the same load?
Have you noticed how big our country is?
Ever been involved in a large construction project and faced with the chaos of existing underground utilities?
Ever had to dig up and repair lightning damage in the same chaotic enviroment?"

Well i don't know, just that i never witnessed a power outage in my life ...


AC vs. DC.
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Here's 2000 forward. Actual vs. projected. Already, about 1.3 degrees to catch up to the low end of the IPCC projection.

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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56140
Link


traffic cams
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seastep this must be very intresting for you to watch, as you clearly have high intrest in the work of IPCC and it's scenarios. Enjoy!
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Still waiting for an update from the NWS Balt-DC to see if the BWI snowfall record has officially been surpassed!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
theshepard:"This is laughable.
Maybe one day we'll stop being Neanderthals and adopt the Ideal European Model.
Do you have any idea how much heat is generated in underground cable runs and the upsizing in conductor requirements to carry the same load?
Have you noticed how big our country is?
Ever been involved in a large construction project and faced with the chaos of existing underground utilities?
Ever had to dig up and repair lightning damage in the same chaotic enviroment?"

Well i don't know, just that i never witnessed a power outage in my life ...
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Dupont Circle @ Connecticut Ave D.C.

Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Quoting Seastep:


Sorry, just saw your source request. I made the graph from the data.

Here it is:

UAH Temps

IPCC Fourth Assessment


You read back? Post 592.
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Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:

Cite your source please. As i read you have been ask this already several times now but you keep on posting the same again ...
Do you really want a discussion on future scenarios? I don't think so ...


I've given my sources. Here's more specific to what you replied to for now. I'll find the exact quote for the model range and most likely.

"...warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected..."

"...a further warming of about 0.1°C per decade would be expected."

Source

What, specifically have I not sourced?
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SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
1231 PM EST SAT FEB 6 2010

DCZ001-MDZ004>007-009>011-013-014-016>018-VAZ042-050>057-501-502-
062200-
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA-FREDERICK MD-CARROLL-NORTHERN BALTIMORE-
HARFORD-MONTGOMERY-HOWARD-SOUTHERN BALTIMORE-PRINCE GEORGES-
ANNE ARUNDEL-CHARLES-ST. MARYS-CALVERT-LOUDOUN-ORANGE-CULPEPER-
PRINCE WILLIAM/MANASSAS/MANASSAS PARK-FAIRFAX-
ARLINGTON/FALLS CHURCH/ALEXANDRIA-STAFFORD-SPOTSYLVANIA-
KING GEORGE-NORTHERN FAUQUIER-SOUTHERN FAUQUIER-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...WASHINGTON...FREDERICK...WESTMINSTER...
GAITHERSBURG...COLUMBIA...BALTIMORE...ANNAPOLIS...WALDORF...
ST MARYS CITY...LEESBURG...CULPEPER...MANASSAS...MANASSAS
PARK...FAIRFAX...ALEXANDRIA...FALLS CHURCH...FREDERICKSBURG...
WARRENTON
1231 PM EST SAT FEB 6 2010

...EXTREMELY DANGEROUS WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS CONTINUE THIS
AFTERNOON AND EVENING FOR THE BALTIMORE-WASHINGTON REGION...EASTERN
PANHANDLE OF WEST VIRGINIA...AND NORTHERN SHENANDOAH VALLEY...

...BLIZZARD CONDITIONS ONGOING IN SOUTHERN MARYLAND...

...POISED TO SET ALL-TIME STORM TOTAL SNOWFALL RECORD FOR
BALTIMORE...

BLIZZARD WARNINGS CONTINUE UNTIL 10 PM FOR MARYLAND EAST OF THE
INTERSTATE 95 CORRIDOR BETWEEN BALTIMORE AND WASHINGTON DC AND WEST
OF THE CHESAPEAKE BAY. WINTER STORM WARNINGS FOR HEAVY SNOW
CONTINUE ELSEWHERE ACROSS THE REGION UNTIL 10 PM.

AT 11:45 AM THIS MORNING...WEATHER OBSERVERS AT BALTIMORE`S THURGOOD
MARSHALL BALTIMORE-WASHINGTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT REPORTED 26.5
INCHES OF SNOW ON THE GROUND. THIS IS ONLY 0.3 INCHES SHY OF THE
26.8 INCH RECORD FROM THE PRESIDENTS DAY FEBRUARY 2003 STORM. THE
AIRPORT IS FORECAST TO HAVE AN ADDITIONAL 3 TO 6 INCHES BEFORE THE
STORM ENDS THIS EVENING. A RECORD REPORT WILL BE ISSUED WHEN THE
RECORD IS REACHED.

GENERALLY...24 TO 32 INCHES OF SNOW HAVE FALLEN ACROSS NORTH OF A
LINE BETWEEN ANNAPOLIS MD TO WASHINGTON DC TO PETERSBURG WV. SOUTH
OF THIS LINE TO CHARLOTTESVILLE VA...APPROXIMATELY 14 TO 20 INCHES
HAVE FALLEN.


AN ADDITIONAL 4 TO 8 INCHES WILL FALL ACROSS THE REGION BEFORE THE
SNOW TAPERS TO FLURRIES LATER THIS EVENING. AREAS SOUTH AND EAST OF
BALTIMORE AND WASHINGTON WILL SEE ACCUMULATIONS AT THE HIGHER END
OF THIS RANGE...ALONG WITH WIND GUSTS TO 35 MPH CREATING BLIZZARD
CONDITIONS.
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting all4hurricanes:

Already got a few more inches
I would start worrying about roof weight.
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Quoting Seastep:


They state "... will increase by xx per decade, on averaged until 2100" or similar.

How it increases is irrelevant.

Cite your source please. As i read you have been ask this already several times now but you keep on posting the same again ...
Do you really want a discussion on future scenarios? I don't think so ...
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Already got a few more inches
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Quoting OldLefty19081:


Just for the sake of fairness, here's the graph from the IPCC AR4 (figure SPM5). You'll notice that the "Year 2000 constant concentrations" line looks pretty similar to your projection of the historic UAH data. There's probably a reason for that. You might also notice that the IPCC warming projection for the A2 scenario does't look particularly linear.


Photobucket



There is a reason for that. They know the actual temps for 2000-2007.

Below is through 2007 and then through 2009. Actual is moving farther from the prediction. It is not moving closer. Maybe that will change. But for now, the actual temperature trend isn't supporting the prediction.

Through 2007:



Through 2009:
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I got 6 inches of snow last night, another 6-10 coming monday

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Quoting OldLefty19081:
"Wouldn't it have been nice if they had workers shoveling roofs?"

Maybe not for the workers on the roof when it collapses. Rule of thumb is that you don't risk lives to prevent simple property damage.


:) Well, yes, understood, Old Left Guard!!

And stay outta' the way of the First Responders;
Don't become part of the problem;
Broads and and Videotape ruined Television (whoops, that's another old tape playing on an audio-loop in my head.)


Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
WJLA Channel 7 News, Washington DC live DC Snow coverage below:
Link
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
I can hear my gal-pal in Indiana laughing hard, too!
CRU-EL!!
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Ow I just came back from shoveling and our driveway is long. I left a sled out 45 minutes ago there already an inch and a half on it. The snow is so high the swings on the swing set are resting in the snow. I get some pics and totals soon but for right now I'm going to lay down
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one storm wrapping up, another right behind :)

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Quoting charlottefl:



I can tell you in 1995, in my hometown of Port Charlotte, we had 16.5 inches of rain in 10 1/2 hours. They called that a once in 500 year event. Some places in town the water was 6 1/2 ft deep.


I hate flooding worse than any other disasters, because of long-term health & environmental effects as well as short-term extreme nastiness; jmo.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting AwakeInMaryland:


Wouldn't it have been nice if they had workers shoveling roofs) (Aside: this is just chiding a town in VA that was very unpleasant to an immigrant labor-employment social service agency.) Shoveling roofs as opposed to funding machines that see through our clothing? Okay, I don't know if it's even the same fund...hope they enjoy looking at our cellulite!

Our power just glitched a few minutes ago...uh oh. I am going to boil up some hot water, just in case Beltway-Hell does freeze over shortly!


Stay warm, hopefully you get to keep your power. Looks like about 2 or maybe 3 more hours of heavier snow, then it should begin to taper off. Reagan National has 15.4" at 12Noon EST, with maybe about 2-5" more to come.
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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