8 a.m. – Immediate metro area upgraded to winter storm warning
Early this morning, the National Weather Service upgraded the District, Fairfax, Prince George’s, Loudoun and southern Montgomery County to a winter storm warning (from a winter weather advisory). The warning takes effect at 4 p.m. Saturday, when snow should be beginning, until 1 p.m. on Sunday. In this zone, the National Weather Service increased its snowfall prediction from 3 to 5 inches to 3 to 6 inches, which is consistent with our forecast.
Areas to the north of the winter storm warning are under a winter weather advisory from 4 p.m. Saturday to 7 a.m. Sunday and should receive 2 to 5 inches or so of snow.
TODAY’S DAILY DIGIT
A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.
5/10: If you’re a snow-lover like I am, any day with accumulation is a 10. Maybe for some, it’s a zero? Let’s go with the average.
Today: Thickening clouds. Snow developing in the afternoon. Highs: Near 30 to mid-30s (before snow).
Tonight: Snow, may taper somewhat after midnight. Lows: 22-28.
Tomorrow: Morning snow, ending with time. Highs: Near 30 to mid-30s.
FORECAST IN DETAIL
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a sizable snowstorm in the middle of winter. We have to go back to the Blizzard of 2016, in fact. While this isn’t going to rival that in any way, it’s coming at a prime time to take advantage of cold air and, if you like snow, maximize enjoyment. It’ll stay tranquil through the morning today, but snow should increasingly fill the air as we head toward sunset.
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Today (Saturday): It’s a mostly cloudy start, but perhaps just enough to let the light in. (I’ll check the comments to see how the sunrise was.) Clouds thicken through the morning, and snow may start to break out up in the air. The air is dry so it will take a while for it to saturate, but flakes begin to reach the ground as soon as early afternoon in west and southwest parts of the area, then progress eastward from there. By sunset, most or all of the region should be seeing snow, with perhaps about an inch on the ground in spots south and west, and more like a dusting to a half-inch or so elsewhere. High temperatures in the low to mid 30s fall below freezing as snow begins. Confidence: Medium
Tonight: We’ll continue to see snow during the evening, and it should generally pick up in intensity deeper into the night. It may ease at times as well, but it seems like the heaviest snow of the storm may come in the overnight period. Several inches are likely to pile up through the night and untreated roads will become snow-covered and slick. Temperatures are mostly in the mid-to-upper 20s. Winds are light. Confidence: Medium
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Tomorrow (Sunday): Shovels and plows seem likely to be busy in the morning. Accumulating snow could continue for a while, with amounts settling into the three to six inch range for much of the local area — more south and less north. The storm should be tending to wane as we get into midday if not prior, but it could be a slow process to totally shut off. Even once the accumulation stops, some snow should stay in the air during the afternoon as well. Highs are near or below freezing most spots, with a range from near 30 to the mid-30s overall. Confidence: Medium
Tomorrow night: Winds are gustier and a few snowflakes could linger into the evening. Otherwise, it’s calming down as the storm pulls away. Lows range from the upper teens north and west to the mid- or upper 20s in the city and southeast. Confidence: Medium
A LOOK AHEAD
The storm is out of here by Monday. Some of the upper-level disturbance lingers, though, which may mean a few snow showers, and skies are likely cloudy. We’ll warm up enough to get some melting underway, with highs headed toward 40 or so. Confidence: Medium
Pleasant weather is back for Tuesday. Sunny skies and calm winds team up with temperatures rising to the mid-40s, which should keep the dripping going. Confidence: Medium
SNOW POTENTIAL INDEX
A daily assessment of the potential for at least 1 inch of snow in the next week, on a 0-10 scale.
9/10 (↑): This should be our biggest January snow event since 2016. Flakes begin flying late day.
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