The Washington Post

Hoped-for snow disappoints

A woman and two dogs make their way along N. Royal St. amid a dusting of snow in Alexandria, Va. (Matt McClain/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

For a moment in the past few days, it looked like a small snowstorm expected for Saturday might bring a winter wonderland, just in time for the new year. But it turned out to be a winter wet instead.

Saturday’s storm, which began in the early morning hours and continued through about noon, brought less snow and more rain than expected, with snow totals less than an inch in most places throughout the region.

Accumulation was higher in spots far to the west and north of the region, such as Cumberland and Frostburg in Maryland and Martinsburg, W.Va.

“It was slightly less than forecast — up to 1 inch in the colder suburbs, and at most a coating on the grass close to town — but no one expected anything but a very minor event,” said Jason Samenow of The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang. The precipitation was expected to clear out of the area by Saturday night, with Sunday bringing sun and gusty breezes and highs in the mid-30s to near 40.

Samenow said that a “snow hole,” described as a relatively dry spot between the storm’s initial low pressure passing to the northwest and a secondary low-pressure system to the south, caused totals to be even lower than initially forecast. The sleety day capped a year that was the warmest on record for the Washington area.

Across the area, residents tweeted pictures of fat flakes falling from the sky and a picturesque but fleeting dusting of white on evergreen trees. With children out of school and light weekend traffic, it seemed like a good day to stay inside and watch college football bowl games of dubious import (the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl!) and obsess about the coming Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys showdown.

There were few traffic problems reported but for a few minor fender-benders, authorities said.

Annie Gowen is The Post’s India bureau chief and has reported for the Post throughout South Asia and the Middle East.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Sleep advice you won't find in baby books
In defense of dads
Scenes from Brazil's Carajás Railway
Play Videos
For good coffee, sniff, slurp and spit
How to keep your child safe in the water
How your online data can get hijacked
Play Videos
How to avoid harmful chemicals in school supplies
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
How much can one woman eat?
Play Videos
What you need to know about Legionnaires' disease
How to get organized for back to school
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.