Newsletters

Get Well+Being delivered to your inbox every Monday Morning.

The Blogger Beat: Capital Weather Gang
We check in with members of Capital Weather Gang and get their forecast on everything from Thanksgiving weather to government snow days. By Emily Leaman
Will it rain? Jamie Jones, Jason Samenow, and Dan Stillman are trying to decide. Photograph by Chris Leaman
Comments () | Published November 4, 2009
Jason Samenow launched Capital Weather Gang, a blog about Washington weather, in 2003. Back then, he was the only contributor. “I immediately recognized a blog’s potential to facilitate a two-way dialogue between readers and forecasters,” says Samenow. “I also liked the dynamic nature of blog content given the dynamic nature of weather.”

In 2004, Samenow enlisted weather techie Jamie Jones, who converted the site into a group blog and helped add contributors. Last year, the Washington Post picked up Capital Weather Gang to host on its own site. Entries run the gamut from daily weather forecasts (obviously) to weekly commentary on climate-change issues. Says Samenow: “We try to write accurate, informative, and entertaining posts for the Washington-weather consumer.”

Today the site has more than a dozen contributors, almost all of whom have other full-time jobs. We sat down with Samenow, Jones, and lead meteorologist Dan Stillman to get their bests and worsts on Washington weather. Read on for their predictions about everything from government snow days to Thanksgiving Day weather—and find out what they’ve promised to do if they’re wrong.

On a scale of 1 to 10, rate the difficulty of predicting Washington weather—1 being “easy as pie” and 10 being “you have a better chance of winning the lottery.”
Jason: “I’d say a 5. Forecasting here is pretty straightforward about half of the time, but the other half of the time it alternates between challenging and bewildering. ‘Bewildering’ being the operative word when trying to pin down the rain/snow line in winter.”
Dan: “I’d give it a 6. It’s certainly no piece of cake, but I also don’t think it’s any more or less challenging than a lot of places across the country. Seems like everywhere you go—except maybe San Diego—the locals always think they have the craziest and most unpredictable weather of anywhere.”
Jamie: “Seven. The metro area is so expansive—Gaithersburg to Fredericksburg, Annapolis to Winchester—that what is happening one place may be completely different than the other. Six inches of snow in Montgomery County might be a half inch of rain in Stafford, and trying to draw that line is tough.”

Pick one: rain or snow.
Jason: “Snow is the reason I’m in this profession. I loved it as a kid and wanted to be the first person to know it was coming—hence why I’m doing what I’m doing.”
Dan: “Oh, please—absolutely, positively, definitely snow! Rain doesn’t get you out of school or give you an excuse to be late for work. There’s just nothing quite like a fresh coat of snow. The outside looks, feels, and sounds different with snow in the air or on the ground.”
Jamie: “Snow. One’s a rarity and diversion from everyday life, and one just makes me find my umbrella.”

Al Roker or Sam Champion?
Jason: “Definitely Al. I don’t watch Sam, and Champion strikes me as a phony last name.”
Dan: “Al Roker. He’s just so darn jolly!”
Jamie: “Can I pick Punxsutawney Phil? Now, that’s a forecaster who can really make an entrance. He uses drama, a geek-like cryptic language, and a top hat to predict the end of winter. Let’s see Al Roker wear that sort of fur coat.”

Best season for Washington weather:
Jason: “Winter for the snow—when we get it. The snowfall output for the last six winters has been pretty pathetic.”
Dan: “The forecaster in me says winter because it’s always fun trying to predict snow and knowing that thousands are ready to call you out if you get it wrong. Personally, though, I’d go with early fall. It’s still kind of warm, but the humidity is no longer much of an issue. Plus, you get some really awesome days that start out a bit crisp, and then because the air is so dry, it can warm up as much as 30 degrees or more.”
Jamie: “Spring gets the nod because all too often, such as this year, autumn starts late or ends early. And autumn makes you deal with leaves.”

Your prediction for the number of government snow days this winter:
Jason: “I’m going to go out on a limb and predict one snow day this winter. The last time the federal government shut down due to snow was in February 2003 when we had the big blizzard. Snow days for us federal employees—I’m one of them—are actually quite rare. It takes a big storm.”
Dan: “Zero. We all know Obama thinks Washington snowstorms are wimpy. But seriously, since it’s not actually the President’s call, I’ll go with one. Yes, we’re due for some good bouts of snow around here. But with our luck, most of the snow chances will probably come on the weekend.”
Jamie: “Three. Expect a few big storms to drop enough snow to bring the city to a halt. Whether the Office of Personnel Management closes it down or not, I know I’ll be taking a few.”

Strangest weather pattern you’ve ever seen in Washington:
Jason: “In January 1994, it was decidedly cold, but storm after storm would come through with no snow and just ice. It was 18 degrees outside and raining at one point. Of course, that covered roads with thick sheets of ice and school was out for a week. I wasn’t about to complain.”
Dan: “I don’t know about the strangest, but one of the most annoying would be the one in early September when a storm system just sat off the coast for almost a full week keeping Washington mostly cloudy and showery at times. More importantly (for me at least), it socked Ocean City in with clouds, rain, wind, and temperatures no higher than the 60s. A whole week at the beach (with a 21-month-old, mind you) and not even one halfway decent beach day. For whatever reason, bad-vacation-weather luck is even more frustrating when you’re a meteorologist. I’m not bitter or anything though.”
Jamie: “This one time, it snowed when forecasted . . . . ”

Favorite activity to do inside when it’s raining:
Jason: “Read a good book or maybe play a game of Scrabble.”
Dan: “Sleep. Or watch the rain on radar and predict when it will end. (Yes, I know, rather pathetic.)”
Jamie: “Catching up on my never-ending pile of work and tasks, both for the Gang and my other endeavors. Oh, and Yahtzee!”

Your prediction for the weather on Thanksgiving:
Jason: “Partly sunny and breezy. Highs in the 50s.”
Dan: “My recollection is that the weather never seems to be ‘normal’ on Thanksgiving. I feel like it’s always really cold or really mild. So I’ll go with windy and a high in the 40s, maybe even a snow flurry. Or maybe sunny with highs near 70 and a chance of a passing shower. That should pretty much cover it, no?”
Jamie: “An overcast day but no rain. Cold, with temperatures starting in the lows 30s but rising to the low 50s. Under such seasonable fall temperatures, it’ll be just right for my family to try and con me into participating in the great Jones family tradition of raking the yard.”

Tony Perkins ate a sock when he got the weather wrong on Labor Day weekend. What do you promise to do if you’re wrong about Thanksgiving?
Jason: “I’ll write Black Friday’s forecast in Pig Latin.”
Dan: “How about I promise to provide a detailed explanation of how I wasn’t really wrong since I used words like ‘maybe,’ ‘chance,’ and ‘near’?”
Jamie: “What if I’m wrong? I’m gonna have to rake the leaves.”

Favorite weather-related movie:
Jason:Groundhog Day with Bill Murray—hilarious and uplifting.”
Dan: “Honestly, I wasn’t so into movies like Twister and The Perfect Storm. Following the real thing in real time is more exciting for me. It’s kind of tangential to weather, but I do love Groundhog Day.”
Jamie: “Tons to choose from, and although Groundhog Day was a close second, first has to be Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. What’s better than Steve Martin, John Candy, ’80s music, and a Midwestern blizzard? I can still remember my mom shrieking every time Neal Page uses Del Griffith’s underwear as a towel.”

Finish this sentence: “If I could name a hurricane, it’d be called . . . ”
Jason: “Jason. I’ve always wanted a storm named after me. In 2011, the J storm is Jose, which might be the closest Spanish equivalent to Jason. Look out!”
Dan: “Hmmm . . . I’m having a tough time choosing between Hurricane Snyder or Hurricane Cerrato. Can I have two?”
Jamie: “In French. As in, I don’t need a hurricane impacting anything on this side of the Atlantic. Having grown up on and around the water, I’m fascinated by the strong ocean storms and their power and fury but could do without ever having to see and deal with their results up close. That said, the traffic a hurricane would bring to the Web site would be great.”

Where we might find you when you’re not blogging about the weather:
Jason: “At a University of Virginia football or basketball game (Go, ’Hoos!), on the golf course, or having a nice dinner out with my lovely wife.”
Dan: “At the playground with my wonderful wife and son, watching Michigan football, or on the computer checking the radar and weather models (even when I’m not on duty!)”
Jamie: “When not blogging, I’m often out doing activities with friends and family or following University of Virginia athletics, the only endeavor that seemingly disappoints more than the weather. That, or trying to get ahead on my never-ending list of side projects and chores.”

Favorite local blog besides your own:
Jason: “I like reading DCist for all things DC, and dcrtv.com to get the latest scoop on local media.”
Dan:Dcrtv.com. I’m kind of a local-media junkie.”
Jamie: “Dan Steinberg’s DC Sports Bog for the wit, snark, and modern perspective on all things Washington sports. My guilty pleasure, sometimes relating to Washington, is Textsfromlastnight.com.”

Next week, Washington Wizards whiz Mike Prada from Bullets Forever chats about the new season, new coach, and newly healed Gilbert Arenas. Check back on Wednesday for the interview!

Earlier:
DC Beer
What She Has . . .
All Blogger Beat interviews

Have a favorite local blogger you’d like to hear from? Send an e-mail to eleaman@washingtonian.com with suggestions.

More>> Capital Comment Blog | News & Politics | Party Photos  

Categories:

Blogger Beat
Subscribe to Washingtonian

Discuss this story

Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question. The Washingtonian reserves the right to remove or edit content once posted.
  • lll0825

    LYP-Nike as a historic brand is popular in all over the world,nike australia occupies a very important position. No matter what age the person will have a pair of Nike Shoes. This shows that people love the Nike.nike shoes australia's success depends largely on accurate market positioning and excellent quality. A lot of people are eager to buy cheap nike shoes, stores often only discount after last season's, how to buy a pair of cheap Nike? Now you can come to nike shoes online store. You can buy an ultra-low price of one pair of the latest nike free,nike sb.Or the girls favorite nike heels!Whether you own a pair of nike shoes to the face of such temptation, you should be in this hot summer,let your feet enjoy it.

    Order products in christian louboutin sale store are free shipping.If you want to be more remarkable,do not miss it christian louboutin high boots. They are sexy and gorgeous christian louboutin pumps. Welcome old and new customers christian louboutin sandals, we will offer you the best service christian louboutin slingback.All shoes has been worked by good craftsman and christian louboutin bags for men by hand and this is the result of a careful selection. If you are engaged in the vogue or you want keep the same pace with the trend, christian louboutin evening could be your best choice.It is really nice of you to share the excellent shoes information to others. christian louboutin shoes is absolutely representative of fashion and recreation, christian louboutin 2012, became a matter of course the popular protagonist of the season christian louboutin ankle boots. We will try our best to satisfy you christian louboutin wedges.

    I appreciate for your kind and generous sharing. Shop online at christian louboutin sale mall for a great selection of christian louboutin 2012, wedding shoes, evening christian louboutin ankle boots, boots and sandals for girls, women and men with free shopping on all orders.Welcome to luxury christian louboutin high boots online store.The best christian louboutin bags at best price, free delivery, easy returns & exchanges, 100% quality guarantee! Save 82% Off. Cheap christian louboutin evening makes a woman's feet dazzle and shine even after the twelve strikes of midnight. Own a pair of stylish and wonderful christian louboutin flats is women's lifetime pursuit. We offer christian louboutin pumps red bottom shoes online shopping by an elegant but easy way. Shopping online at discount price for red sole signature designer christian louboutin sandals, from christian louboutin sandals, christian louboutin pumps, christian louboutin wedges,christian louboutin slingback and christian louboutin boots.

    A lot of women like herve leger.This herve leger high neck dresses blue will make you very sexy and charming.Once you wear this beautiful,elegant, sexy and charming featured herve leger dress in the party,herve leger square neck dresses Black make your choice to go in the fashion front,herve leger strapless dresses the pursuit of fashion on the interpretation of the fashion herve leger swimsuit .Herve leger long sleeve dresses green make your choice to go in the fashion front, the pursuit of fashion on the interpretation of the fashion, sexy, charisma, temperament and so on.has always been favored in recent years,herve leger round neck dresses Green is enjoy a great reputation in the whole world,herve leger single strap dresses refined and elegant style of popular fashionable tide of people’s affection.herve leger bandage dresses is the famous brand from France. herve leger double shoulder is committed to shape the women’s line beauty, and the dress is known as the bandage dress.

    Once you wear this beautiful, elegant, sexy herve leger sale shop, you will immediately love it. Buy now cheap herve leger shop enjoy take one week to your door. They have become the most loyal fans in herve leger dress sale. Herve leger is equal to the charm of the Hollywood stars. Buy now herve leger dress free shipping. You herve leger dress clothing close friends as human beings, especially women, is necessary and important to the modern women shop herve leger dress.It is really nice of you to share the excellent shoes information to others.herve leger bandage dresses with beautiful clothes,herve leger dresses have the best durability, is to use artificial silk, nylon,herve leger dress shop spandex clothing popular with the people around the world of harmony. Ladies, show the perfect body for clothes.

    christian louboutin sale is french hot brand in the world,We provide different kinds of christian louboutin usa. Choose the woman wearing louboutin slingback, often has realised that many men somehow to high-heeled shoes have deep interest, wear cheap christian louboutin sneakers can easily outright conquest many men, can easily get many men worship,can easily make many men excited.In fashionable arena occupies a place of christian louboutin ankle boot forever and always makes women fascination.christian louboutin pumps foot that one wipe enthusiastic red, no matter how plain clothes, they were unable to hide the hostess as fire the lively personality.christian louboutin sandals is fashionable and beautiful, recently new appearance of new women's sandals, presenting an one colour profusion, design and material collocation also ingenuity, pretty, both restoring ancient ways, full of female lasting appeal, sweet call a person fondle admiringly.christian louboutin 2012 is fashionable and beautiful, recently new appearance of new women's sandals, presenting an one colour profusion, design and material collocation also ingenuity, pretty, both restoring ancient ways, full of female lasting appeal, sweet call a person fondle admiringly.Delicate the luxury of girl for oneself of each clothes to acquire a pair of high heels to match, but always than a double take christian louboutin ankle boots to reality.A pair of shoes match different dress, you can mature, can also be lovely, shoes with a woman share experience, no matter you are in the life which stage, whether a portly figure or thin, christian louboutin sales store always with you.But this kind of pretty woman flavour, just a kind of thin with the christian louboutin high boots predraft high-heeled shoes peculiar patents.

    The summer came again, if you have love to choose a pair of christian louboutin shoes right now? christian louboutin pumps daffodile match herve leger bandage will make you a shine at the moment.Don't do the most brilliant and also don't do the lowest. christian louboutin sandals with its own language, confided women the curve of the gentle, sending out the mature female charm. herve leger dress replica a fair maiden temperament, both costly and qing li, both charm and cute. Thank you for giving the awesome suggestions for us to order. summer comes, want to follow the trend of the front line, still please read the article. christian louboutin sale and clothes, the fire and herve leger dress is popular all over the world. Women like the bandage as the sexy details, they use replica herve leger bundle out of sexy figure concave and convex have send.

    nike high heels as a classic in nike numerous series is popular in the majority of female friends.In 2012 summer,Nike released a slew of new,including nike heels,jordan heels get consumers alike.nike high heels australia store have hundreds of styles,every nike dunk high heels are carefully selected.The feedback has been supporting our new and old customers,all our goods are at the lowest discount sales.And you do not have to worry about that we have any quality problems.Because all of our nike high heels shoes are made ​​to order directly from the factory,no tax,so our prices are far lower than the stores.If you are a passion for the Nike Madam,Please come to our store to buy it.

    NIKE name, in the eyes of Westerners was very lucky, easy to read and easy to remember,it is known.nike shoes trademark symbol of the Greek goddess of victory wings of feathers,representing the speed, but also represents a dynamic and gentle.nike australia's trademark,the pattern is a small hook shape concise,rapid as lightning,and a look reminiscent of the speed and explosiveness of nike shoes australia.For the first time named "Nike" athletic shoes, soles square convex tablets to enhance the stability, the body of the shoe on both sides of the knife-shaped curved hook,a symbol of the wings of the goddess.God's wings.nike shoes online store for Australian consumers,sell cheap nike shoes.Our aim is to let people around the world dressed in Nike. Whether you want to nike shox,nike dunk,or nike free,you can certainly find in our mall. We will provide you with the best online service!


blog comments powered by Disqus

Posted at 06:23 AM/ET, 11/04/2009 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Blogs