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Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 01/21/2011

AM round-up: last night's "storm", cold & more

Who got snow last night? I actually awoke to a dusting in NW D.C., which surprised me as little as bleak as snow prospects looked around 10:15 p.m. last night.

It turns out our forecast for a trace to half an inch in the immediate metro area pretty much verified as did the dusting to 1" forecast for our northern suburbs. Totals varied from a trace or so in Fairfax county to 0.1-0.3" in Montgomery county. Locations in Prince George's county also reported about 0.1-0.3" according to the National Weather Service. Further north 0.5-1" fell in Howard county. And from Baltimore north, about 0.5-1.5" fell as we predicted - with a few spots topping two inches in the high terrain in northwest Baltimore county, Carroll county and Harford county. On the other hand, amounts were less than we forecast around Frederick county, which only got a trace according to reports.

Cold air: As mentioned in Camden's forecast, it's going to be very cold tonight and through the weekend. The Arctic air arriving is some of the coldest of the season. How cold? It dropped to a stunning -42 degrees below zero in International Falls, Minnesota. Some other temperatures this morning: St. Cloud, MN -28, Madison, WI -7,Milwaukee, -2, and Green Bay -9. These temps will make our teens the next several nights seem kind of toasty by comparison. Of course, I shouldn't downplay these temps - as they will be dangerous for the homeless (remember call the hypothermia hotline if you see anyone needing help).

Rest of the winter: Joe Bastardi of AccuWeather released his outlook for the remainder of the winter yesterday along with an early look at spring. AccuWeather - summarizing Bastardi's thoughts - wrote: "More persistent cold is expected to hold strong through at least the middle of February across much of the eastern two-thirds of the country."

In keeping with the seasonal trend, Bastardi predicts "the biggest snowstorms in February will target areas mainly north of a line running from the Mason-Dixon Line to the Ohio River and I-40 across the Plains."

Bastardi forecasts some moderation in temperature late in February into early March before the possibility of more cold later in March. Into April and May, Bastardi mentioned that the La Nina pattern will favor an active severe weather season.

Nothing he says seems terribly unreasonable to me, and his comments about La Nina and severe weather season have some legitimacy. I'm skeptical, however, there is much skill in his specific (practically week to week) predictions about how March and April will unfold with respect to temperature.

We'll try to post some of our own thoughts on the rest of winter in the next week or so.

By  |  11:30 AM ET, 01/21/2011

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