Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sunday Wintry Weather Overview and General Update

This is a picture of snowfall so far today way up in Frederick County, Md., as posted on Twitter by user Dalchico and reposted in a Capital Weather Gang entry (first of the two links below).

The picture shows about 3 to 4 inches of snow on the ground and porch deck. I think this is a bit more than was anticipated, at least this quickly. Here in the District, we've had about 1" of snow.

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General surface weather forecast map for today issued around 3AM this morning by the NWS/NCEP/WPC.

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The weather is rather wintry messy this afternoon across the Metro D.C. and Baltimore areas as a vigorous upper level low swings across the region in a larger overrunning situation involving an Arctic high to the north and a stalled out stationary boundary (the old Arctic front from several days ago) on the Georgia - Florida border stretching back into the Gulf of Mexico off the Texas coast (where it appears to have reverted to a warm front).

High-resolution U.S. surface map valid at 15Z (10AM EST) Dec. 8, 2013 showing most of the Lower 48. (These are large images, and I had to shrink down the view to 50%, and even still, I couldn't get the whole country in the screen snippet image. The direct link is here. The maps are regularly updated. Click on image for much larger version.)

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There was a burst of heavy snowfall around 130PM even here in the District with ginormous snowflakes -- some of the biggest I've ever seen. Some of the clumped together flakes collectively were easily 4" across.

It was basically a convective situation, and the composite mode Sterling LWX radar showed orange and red returns (from high-reflectivity ice and sleet plus heavy precipitation).

The Sterling (LWX) NWS radar in composite mode at 12:36PM EST December 8, 2013.

Note the orange and red returns over Montgomery and Frederick Counties. Unlike base reflectivity mode, composite mode includes activity inside the clouds, and so tends to look more dramatic, especially in convective situations.

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Another Sterling (LWX) NWS composite mode radar at 1:17PM EST December 8, 2013.

This shows the orange and red returns inside the Beltway as the heaviest burst of convective snowfall was moving across the immediate D.C. area. 

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Some apartment view pictures ...

My 5th floor Hampton Courts apartment view overlooking New Hampshire Avenue and the Brittany across the street, 1:04PM December 8, 2013. This was as it started to snow heavily and was coating the cars.

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Another view from my apartment looking down on the parked cars along New Hampshire Avenue (they park in that funny diagonal way on that side of the street), Washington, D.C., 1:33PM December 8, 2013. This is when the snow was at its heaviest and the flakes their weirdly largest.

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The view to the southwest from my apartment overlooking New Hampshire Avenue and the intersection of U and 16th Streets NW, Washington, D.C., 1:33PM December 8, 2013.

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The same view two minutes later (1:35PM) with New Hampshire Avenue quickly becoming coated in snow.

The snow stopped a few minutes later. Boo.

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Snowfall totals out in the suburbs, especially in parts of upper Montgomery and Frederick Counties have been in the 3 to 6 inch range -- justifying the winter storm warning. D.C. and Baltimore City and points south and east are in a winter weather advisory. At this point, another batch of precipitation is moving through the District but it is sleet and freezing rain.

Below are a couple more pictures posted on Twitter that were reposted in either one or the other of the two Capital Weather Gang (CWG) links below. These are pictures posted by CWG readers as they report in the weather in their localities.

Snowfall in Damascus, Md., earlier today as taken by Twitter user Gina La Croix and posted on CWG (second link below). This is a very serene image.

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(Note: Jason keeps changing the name of the second entry even though the URL is the same.)

Snowfall in Oakton out in Fairfax County, Va., earlier today as taken by Twitter user Stephen Repetski and posted on CWG (second link above). It looks kinda pleasant in that backyard.

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Temperatures are still below freezing area-wide although a warm nose of air is already moving in aloft.

2PM EST temperatures are as follows at the main regional climate stations:

KDCA: 30F
KBWI: 27F
KIAD: 28F
KDMH: 30F
Down in Charlottesville (KCHO) it is still 27F.

The nastier sleet and freezing rain are set to happen this evening and into tonight. It is unclear how long temps at and near the surface will remain below freezing and in what locations, so the impact tomorrow morning in schools and work is also unclear.

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Changing subjects ...

I'm not really sure what to do today. I could try to go to the gym -- I would go to the National Capital YMCA today rather than my usual Anthony Bowen one. I think I'm meeting Wendy for dinner tonight, and then I'll go to Larry's Lounge. I'm also working on another situation involving a friend of mine and Bishop Charlie, but I'll relate more about that at another time.

I spent way too much money last night in my Old Ebbitt Grill and Nellie's two step. I had dinner and drank too much (typically Saturday night). I walked the whole circuit from my apt. to the restaurant to Nellie's (via Vermont Avenue mostly) and then back to my apt. I think that's about 3-1/2 miles in all. It was cold but not windy, and I was bundled up. (It was while walking up Vermont Ave. that I had a phone conversation my friend regarding the Bishop Charlie situation and what he might be able to do for him on Wednesday. Again, I will relate that another time.)

A very dark picture with my low-quality cellphone camera at the Old Bar at Old Ebbitt Grill, Washington, D.C., 12:33AM December 8, 2013.

The place was rather crowded and a bit raucous at this late hour and my server -- not the usual bartender Larry (he was farther down the Old Bar) but a young lady named Elizabeth -- was overwhelmed with five table servers simultaneously demanding complicated drink orders. I felt badly for her and left her a nice tip.

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The downstairs bar at Nellie's, Washington, D.C., as seen at 1:30AM December 8, 2013.

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OK, that's all for now. I intend to update the blog tomorrow night.

--Regulus

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