Models are suggesting a storm could impact the D.C. region late Sunday into early next week.
WASHINGTON — TL/DR Key Takeaways:
- A storm along the East Coast is likely late in the weekend into early next week
- That storm could produce significant snowfall in the DMV
- The storm is still 5 to 6 days away and model solutions will change
- Certainly worth watching and thinking about, but still a little too early to take action
- The snow amounts could go lower or higher (keep checking this story for updates)
- Timing of storm and how much snow we see will come into better focus as we get closer to the event
While the storm on Thursday looks to be too far southeast of DC to bring much more than flurries or a brief period of light snow, the overall pattern is still active and the next threat for significant winter weather will be Sunday into Monday, possibly lingering into Tuesday.
It’s a tale of two models for what could unfold across the DMV next week.
The European model’s colder and snowier outlook generates a much larger amount of snow with some totals in excess of 18″ northwest of D.C. The GFS has more than 6 inches in areas near Hagerstown, but the heaviest snow is in the mountains of far western Maryland and West Virginia.
The European also shows a lot more snow for Metro D.C. than the GFS.
We need to get closer to the event to put together a true forecast for snowfall totals, but here’s a look at what we’re seeing now:
Let’s dive into the GFS model:
It has low pressure near Indianapolis Sunday morning with snow and rain across the DMV.
By 6 p.m., Sunday, snow has lifted north into Pennsylvania, while we have rain or dry weather in spots. low pressure is near Columbus, Ohio, but a coastal low is starting to form near Norfolk, Virginia (see the yellow spot below).
Monday morning starts with rain near the Pennsylvania border and snow in the mountains with low pressure deepening off the coast of New Jersey bringing colder air back into the DMV.
By 6 p.m. Monday, the strengthening storm off the coast is producing moderate snow from D.C. up I-95 into Maine.
Finally, by 6 a.m. Tuesday, the storm is pulling way from the DMV but the cold northwest winds are producing snow in our western mountain zones.
Let’s now look at the European (ECMWF) model:
The Euro is slower with the storm holding off on snow until Sunday night. It’s also a little colder at the onset. Like the GFS, it has low pressure near Indianapolis with a coastal low forming near Charleston, South Carolina.
By Monday morning, the snow is falling in DC and areas north and west with mainly rain east of I-95.
Monday evening sees the coastal low taking over east of Ocean City with the rain-snow line moving a little east past Fredericksburg, Virginia while Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore are still mainly rain.
Tuesday morning the storm is still off the Delmarva and hammering areas from Richmond to New York.
Monday finally produced recorded snowfall at Reagan National airport for the first time this season. It was a paltry 0.3″, but that is already 50% of the 2019-2020 winter’s total of 0.6″.
You have to go back almost two years to February 20 of 2019 to see the last 1″ snowfall at Reagan National when 2.6″ was measured.
The last BIG snow storm at DCA was January 12 and 13 of 2019 when 10.2″ fell with 8.3″ of that on the 13th.