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22 Jan 2014
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Wind-driven snow, falling temperatures as storm hits its stride

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.
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Basic information
8:50 p.m. update: We’re closing updates in this post. See this new post for the latest: Snow to wind down, temperatures to plummet; wind chill advisory
8:10 p.m. update: It’s still snow steadily out there, especially along and east of I-95, with lighter snow to the west.  We’ll see a gradual reduction in coverage and intensity of snow from west to east over the next few hours.  But snow may not totally cut off until between 11 p.m. and midnight along and east of I-95.  It’s getting very cold out there, with temperatures in the high teens to low 20s (17 at Dulles, and 22 at Reagan National).  Wind chills are in the single digits (3 at Dulles, 7 at Reagan National).
@capitalweather Snowing sideways out in Upper Marlboro!
— Meghan Malloy (@warunnerchick) January 22, 2014
7:40 p.m. update: It’s still snowing moderately across the region. Even as the snow shows signs of letting up a little, it’s likely to continue falling for another couple hours around the D.C. metro region. I promised SchoolCast and FedCast… so here goes:
3.5 apples: Most school systems will close or have closed already due to today’s snow and tomorrow’s frigid cold. It’s possible (25 percent chance) D.C., Alexandria and/or Arlington schools might try to open, but I’d imagine they’d delay a couple hours at least.
3 domes: I think OPM will open government, but with unscheduled leave and telework options; a delayed arrival isn’t out of the question
7:15 p.m. update: This last band – while making for snow-covered roads – is nice to watch from the comfort of your home if you have a spotlight. Some recent pics:
Chinatown Arch backed with snow…7th and H St NW. @capitalweather​
— Penn Quarter Living (@pqliving) January 21, 2014
And the look down 7th from H St NW. @washcaps fans faithfullly going to game! @verizoncenterpr​@capitalweather​
— Penn Quarter Living (@pqliving) January 22, 2014
6:50 p.m. update: The storm’s grand finale may put us over the top! In other words, this final band coming through should put down enough snow to give most spots in the immediate D.C. area at least 4 or 5 inches of snow, verifying our prediction. Of course, this storm will remain a bust for southern areas (no getting around that) even though this band will give you some snow too.
Radar view at 6:47 p.m. (Weather Underground)
6:40 p.m. update: Snow totals at the airports through around 6 p.m.: Reagan National 2.9″, Dulles 5.8″, BWI 4″
6:25 p.m. update: As this latest (and possibly) last moderate to heavy band of snow comes through, roads will again become slick and snow-covered. Temperatures range from the high teens (19 at Dulles) to mid-20s (25 at Reagan National) at 6 p.m., with winds gusting to 20-25 mph. A wintry night for sure….
This Logan Circle snowman is ready for St. Paddy’s Day! @capitalweather​@nbcwashington @dougkammerer​
— Keith Arnold (@karnoldphoto) January 21, 2014
6:05 p.m. update: The heavy band west of town (per the 5:40 p.m. update) has expanded to the east and south and is moving into the immediate metro area. So a little more accumulating snow should fall for another hour or so. 5:40 p.m. update: While snow has diminished in intensity around the immediate metro region, one perhaps final band of heavy snow is hitting northern Loudoun, western Montgomery and eastern Frederick counties. This may tack on another inch in these areas, which are already some of today’s big snowfall winners.
Capitol snow @capitalweather​
— Ian Livingston (@islivingston) January 21, 2014
5:15 p.m. update: Here’s a video I shot around 4 p.m. I said at the time up to 2-3 inches of more snow, but probably 1-2 inches more at this point (forgive my squinting, looking at camera with snow in your face harder than it looks):
5:10 p.m. update: How much more snow will we get? Best bet is another 1-2 inches across the region, maybe a bit more to the northeast and likely less to the southwest. Radar continues to show snow over the area, but it’s mostly light. Having said that, with these cold temps (low-to-mid 20s), the snow will be of a powdery consistency, so it will accumulate faster than a heavy, wet snow. We’re still looking for snow to end between 8 and 11 p.m. from southwest to northeast. I’d estimate probably around 10 p.m. in the immediate metro area.
Iwo Jima in the snow. Maybe 3-4 inches. No view of DC in distance. @capitalweather​
— Jenn Zadell (@JennZadell) January 21, 2014
4:40 p.m. update: Here’s a compilation of snowfall totals from readers…
@capitalweather Up to about 3″ in Chantilly.
— Shauna (@Jatamanzi) January 21, 2014
Generally speaking, the immediate metro area has received 2-4″, with northern Montgomery, Loudoun and Frederick counties in the 4-8″ range.
@capitalweather 3.25″ in SW Vienna, still coming down pretty hard!
— Noah Strike (@KingNoah22) January 21, 2014
4:15 p.m. update: Reagan National Airport, as of 4 p.m, had picked up 2.1 inches, officially ending the longest 2 inch snowstorm drought on record – dating back almost three years to January 26, 2011.
3:40 p.m. update: Snow continues falling steadily in the immediate metro area and northern suburbs. And for the southern suburbs north of Fredericksburg, radar has filled in a bit over the last half hour.
For the next couple of hours what you see now is what you’ll get, and we should add another 1-2″ of snow on top of what has already fallen (generally 2-3″ in the immediate metro region, 3-6″ in the northern suburbs, and closer to 1-2″ in the southern suburbs).
Enjoying the snow in Ashburn! Maybe 3 or 4 inches? @capitalweather​
— Nancy Gregory (@panamanancy) January 21, 2014
Rock Creek Park right now. Starts getting snowy! #snowday #snowstorm​@capitalweather​
— Katerina Matsa (@katmatsa) January 21, 2014
Swirling snow at 13th and V St. NW DC just after 2:30 p.m. (Clif Burns via Flickr)
3:05 p.m. update: The next several hours are prime time for this storm as snow mounts, winds crank (gusts over 30 mph are possible), and temperatures fall towards 20. Reports are that roads are deteriorating and even those that are treated may become slick as daylight fades. If you don’t have to be on the roads, best to stay in.
@capitalweather roads are treacherous in n bethesda! Be careful!
— Shane Onufrock (@SOnufrock) January 21, 2014
Lots of swirly #snow & poor visibility near Reagan Airport. @capitalweather​
— Beth Flanagan (@Clawz88) January 21, 2014
Presently, the heaviest snow is just west of I-95 between the District and Baltimore. South of I-66, the snow is generally lighter, but even there roads may become challenging as evening approaches. Note we have reduced our accumulation forecast for areas south of Fairfax County to 2-4″.
GALLERY: The worst storms, etc. to hit Washington in the past decade
View Photo Gallery —Snowstorms, floods, hurricane remnants — even an earthquake. The nation’s capital has seen it all in recent years.
Jason Samenow is the Capital Weather Gang's chief meteorologist and serves as the Washington Post's Weather Editor. He earned BA and MS degrees in atmospheric science from the University of Virginia and University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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Winter 2013-2014
Snowfall total to date
30-yr average: 15.4"
Record most: 56.1" (2009-10)
Record least: 0.1" (1997-98 & 1972-73)
Winter Forecast 2013-14