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Snow Storm Doesn't Live Up To Its Hype In Nation's Capital

CLAUDIO SANCHEZ, BYLINE: This is Claudio Sanchez in Washington, D.C. By mid-afternoon, some parts of west and northern Virginia had gotten a foot of snow. Washington, D.C. was expecting at least half that, so area airports cancelled more than a thousand flights. Schools closed. So did federal and local government offices. Things look bad.

CHRIS VACCARO: This is certainly a significant storm and a dangerous storm.

SANCHEZ: That's Chris Vaccaro with the National Weather Service.

VACCARO: This is not a light fluffy dry powdery snow that we would typically expect in say January or February. The temperatures are just hovering above the freezing mark, so we're dealing with a very wet snow, high-moisture content.

SANCHEZ: Local forecasts had predicted a lot more snow for D.C. but by late afternoon temperatures were above freezing and the snow had turned into a slushy rain. Like a lot of things that make their way to the nation's capital, the storm did not live up to its hype. Even the Weather Channel's Jim Cantore, reporting from the National Mall, sounded disappointed.

JIM CANTORE: Occasionally a salt truck will come by and just kind of drop the salt just in case. But with the road temperature surface of about 40, nothing's going to be accumulating quickly unless it hammers snow, which we still have the potential to be happening. This is a very dynamic storm.

SANCHEZ: Before the storm is done, local forecasters insisted, D.C. would get at least 6 inches. Seeing is believing. With winds of 40 to 50 miles per hour the storm is on its way north, where it was expected to clip parts of New Jersey, southern New York, southern New England and drop up to 4 inches of snow in those areas by Thursday morning. That'll be followed by a rapid warming trend that's likely to cause some flooding, especially along coastal areas. Claudio Sanchez, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.