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Goats, gripes, and grasping for greatness
Continuing the Snopocalypse of 2009-2010, we have a warning for Friday 
3rd-Feb-2010 04:20 pm
Summer
The 2 PM publication of a Winter Storm Watch for Friday came out. I’m especially charmed by the last sentence. "This storm has the potential to be similar to the December 19th storm. Plan for substantial disruptions to travel Friday afternoon through the weekend." (For the non-local people, that ended up being about 17 inches of snow at my house, and ranged from 15 to 24 inches locally.)

If I haven't mentioned it enough already, I really really REALLY appreciate CK's purchase of a snowblower last month right before that snowstorm. His timing was marvelous!

And yes, you northerners who are used to this kind of weather might laugh. But poor little ol' Northern Virginia is assuredly not used to this much snow. We get about one solid snowstorm every two years, along with a few random dustings and some ice once in a while. And by "solid" I mean 2-4 inches of snow, not 17. Before this most recent snowstorm (5 inches yesterday), we had already beaten out the rolling total of the past three years of accumulation.

from www.weather.gov
National Weather Service
Winter Storm Watch
URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
245 PM EST WED FEB 3 2010

DCZ001-MDZ003>007-009>011-013-014-501-502-VAZ028-030-031-040-042-
050>054-501-502-WVZ050>053-503-504-040345-
/O.NEW.KLWX.WS.A.0004.100205T1500Z-100207T0300Z/
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA-WASHINGTON-FREDERICK MD-CARROLL-
NORTHERN BALTIMORE-HARFORD-MONTGOMERY-HOWARD-SOUTHERN BALTIMORE-
PRINCE GEORGES-ANNE ARUNDEL-EXTREME WESTERN ALLEGANY-
CENTRAL AND EASTERN ALLEGANY-FREDERICK VA-WARREN-CLARKE-
RAPPAHANNOCK-LOUDOUN-ORANGE-CULPEPER-
PRINCE WILLIAM/MANASSAS/MANASSAS PARK-FAIRFAX-
ARLINGTON/FALLS CHURCH/ALEXANDRIA-NORTHERN FAUQUIER-
SOUTHERN FAUQUIER-HAMPSHIRE-MORGAN-BERKELEY-JEFFERSON-
WESTERN MINERAL-EASTERN MINERAL-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...WASHINGTON...HAGERSTOWN...FREDERICK...
WESTMINSTER...GAITHERSBURG...COLUMBIA...BALTIMORE...ANNAPOLIS...
FROSTBURG...CUMBERLAND...WINCHESTER...FRONT ROYAL...LEESBURG...
CULPEPER...MANASSAS...MANASSAS PARK...FAIRFAX...ALEXANDRIA...
FALLS CHURCH...WARRENTON...MARTINSBURG...CHARLES TOWN...
EMORYVILLE...HARTMANSVILLE...KEYSER...FORT ASHBY
245 PM EST WED FEB 3 2010

...WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM FRIDAY MORNING THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM FRIDAY MORNING THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING.

* PRECIPITATION TYPE...SNOW.

* ACCUMULATIONS...THIS STORM IS LIKELY TO PRODUCE 12 OR MORE INCHES OF SNOW IN THE WATCH AREA...WITH A GOOD CHANCE FOR LOCALIZED AMOUNTS OVER 20 INCHES.

* TIMING...SNOW IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN LATE MORNING FRIDAY...CONTINUING THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING.

* TEMPERATURES...HIGHS IN THE LOWER TO MID 30S FRIDAY. FRIDAY NIGHT AND SATURDAY...TEMPERATURES WILL BE 25 TO 30 DEGREES.

* WINDS...EAST 5 TO 10 MPH FRIDAY AND FRIDAY NIGHT...BECOMING NORTH 10 TO 20 MPH SATURDAY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

THIS STORM HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE SIMILAR TO THE DECEMBER 19TH STORM.
PLAN FOR SUBSTANTIAL DISRUPTIONS TO TRAVEL FRIDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH THE
WEEKEND.
Comments 
3rd-Feb-2010 10:59 pm (UTC)
Trust me, this northerner only laughs when they call 2-4 inches a solid snow storm.

6-12" isn't a joke when you lack the infrastructure to support it.
4th-Feb-2010 12:34 am (UTC)
::snort:: What? You don't think the 2 day lag time on getting neighborhoods plowed is reasonable?
4th-Feb-2010 12:40 am (UTC)
Falls Church VA and Colchester VT are similar population sizes. For all that Colchester is a town, and Falls Church is a city.

Colchester's snow budget for one year was 5-6x what Falls Church's budget for snow clearance. And that's not even taking into account the pre-existing capital infrastructure that existing, i.e., the number of snow plows (real snow plows) that we have.
5th-Feb-2010 08:06 pm (UTC)
I live in Falls Church. The only snow plows I've seen on my street were owned by locals. However, I think this is as much due to politics as resources: where I live is neither officially in Falls Church nor under the jurisdiction of the country, ergo when it comes to taxes and such both governments try to collect but when it comes to services each government says it's the responsibility of the other one.
4th-Feb-2010 02:50 pm (UTC)
Snow.... That is the white stuff we see in movies about Christmas, right?
4th-Feb-2010 04:36 pm (UTC)
Pbhtttt!
5th-Feb-2010 03:16 pm (UTC)
My husband's from Minnesota, and he was saying this morning, "This Yankee is sick and tired of snow!"
5th-Feb-2010 08:08 pm (UTC)
I recently got an alert... they're calling for as much as 30", with localized areas in excess of that.

If we get that much, a point on which I am dubious, then it will be the largest snowfall on record for this area.
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