2:50 p.m. Snow continues to decrease in coverage and intensity, and we may be hard pressed to get substantially more accumulation. Interestingly, the steadiest snow is now north of the District, where models had projected the least snow - but that activity is breaking up too. For the next hour or two, snow looks to be quite light and intermittent. The National Weather Service has posted a map with snow totals through about 12:30 p.m. At that time, maximum totals were around 2" to the southwest. We continue to get reports of 1" or so around the metro region.
2:15 p.m. Now for some better news: radar shows the snow breaking up a bit toward the mountains so we'll probably see the snow gradually let up starting around 3 p.m. in the western suburbs. That probably caps accumulation potential to around 2" in the immediate metro region. In Frederick, Md. a snow emergency has been announced as chemicals for melting ice/snow have failed because it's so cold. In Virginia, between 5 a.m. and noon, there were 580 calls to the state trooper for traffic crashes. Here are some of your reports:
@randomduck: 1 inch measured at Georgetown U. (Photo)
@drgardner: About 1.5" now in Leesburg.
1:50 p.m.: Just when we had almost driven a fork through the weekend threat, models are bringing it closer to the coast, increasing the risk for more snow. Weather model wonks, the European model shows a strong coastal low...
With temperatures through afternoon mainly steady in the low-to-mid 20s, every flake will continue to stick until the snow peters out from west to east around 4-6 p.m., making for a potentially slow and slippery afternoon/evening rush.
Keep reading for earlier updates and comment with your reports...
1:40 p.m.: Federal workers have the option of heading home early (if they take leave) according to the Federal Eye blog. Snow continues to fall with totals generally around 1" in the metro region and more to the south.
1 p.m. Some delays at National Airport as many locations are approaching 1". Want a little more than text and pictures? Check out the live video chat with CWG's chief meteorologist, Jason Samenow, now getting underway.
12:15 p.m. The first general snow of the season has arrived in the D.C. area and it has snow lovers saying "YAY!!!" with childish glee, and snow haters saying "yay" with sarcastic dread of the winter to come.
At least the start of today's storm was well-timed, with the flakes having held off until after this morning's commute. Since beginning in the metro area around 10 a.m., though, reports indicate the light but steady snow has already accumulated a 1/2 inch or so in many spots (closer to or passing 1 inch to the south and west of D.C., in places like Stafford County and Chantilly, Va.) and a number of schools have called it a day (see latest school closings).
We're expecting total accumulations of around 2" in most spots (toward the higher end of the range shown on our accumulation forecast map; see storm timeline too), except a little less for the far northern suburbs and a little more for the far southern suburbs. The storm's "sweet spot" (~3-5") is focused well to the south, around Fredericksburg, Charlottesville and Richmond.
The potential for another storm this weekend has diminished (cue the divergent reactions of snow lovers and haters) [2:00 p.m. update: this was posted based on last night's model runs - newest model runs bring back snow chances];. Any warm-up in store? Find out in David Streit's full forecast.
Now for some eyewitness reports from Twitter...
@drgardner: Appears to be about an inch, give or take an eighth, in Leesburg. Slow, but pretty steady.
@hackeynut: Things seem to be getting treacherous at conn ave and k st. (photo)
And a comment from our blog...
conchfc: 13th & I -- my colleagues have stupidly gotten into their cars and are trying to flee back to the suburbs. Um, it is going to stop in a few hours and the roads will be plowed. Better to wait unless you must get home for kids.
Stay tuned for more snow updates through the day