D.C. spring snow: Four controversies


Radar & lightning:Latest D.C. area 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.

Quick forecast update: It’s snowing, but for the most part, not sticking.  We’ll have conversational snow at times into the afternoon, but little or no additional accumulation is expected.  And, when the snow wanes in intensity, it will likely mix with and change to rain.  Driving in this precipitation should be fine this afternoon, though visibilities may occasionally drop and a little slush could form in colder areas north and west of the Beltway – so allow a little extra time to get where you’re going and drive safely.  The radar is here for you to see what’s happening.

Four controversies:

A snow event is not a snow event in Washington, D.C. without a controversy. But why is this snow event different from all other snow events?  This one’s got 4.  In the spirit of Passover, here are four questions to be ponder:

1) Was Capital Weather Gang’s forecast good or bad for this event?  Here are two resources to help you evaluate and a visual: i) CWG’s forecast for the storm  made last night ii) Actual snowfall totals

2) Reagan National Airport measured 1.4 inches of snow for this event. Is that amount accurate, or another underestimate per frequent claims that airport errs in its measurements?


Moderate snow at the Capitol (Kevin Ambrose)

3) OPM opened the Federal government on time today. Should there have been a delayed opening and/or unscheduled leave policy in effect?

4) I announced on Twitter CWG would not be naming this storm given DCA’s accumulation of just 1.4 inches.  Some objected. Should CWG have named this storm?  Many have recommended we call it Pas”sno”ver given the start of said Jewish holiday today (Passover).

Feel free to weigh in on any of the above in the comments.

Jason is currently the Washington Post’s weather editor. A native Washingtonian, Jason has been a weather enthusiast since age 10.
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Jason Samenow · March 25, 2013