Update: Heavy rain through tonight around D.C.; ice far west and northwest suburbs

* Winter Weather Advisory for Loudoun and Montgomery counties and points N&W until 7 p.m. (see map) | Snowfall totals | Wind advisory Thursday *

Overview: Most of the immediate metro area has changed from snow and ice to rain, but pockets of freezing rain continue in the normally colder areas. Mainly rain, heavy at times, continues through 6-10 p.m. or so. It’s a cold, miserable rain - the worst kind - with temperatures holding in the low-to-mid 30s - maybe to near 40 southeast of town.

In our outer northern and western areas, a wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain continues in Frederick, Carroll, and Loudoun counties where 1-3 inches of snow has accumulated. These areas will see an icy wintry mix into the afternoon and overnight hours (with a winter weather advisory through 6 a.m. Thursday) with slick travel conditions. Some spots in the eastern sections of these counties may change to plain rain for a time. Not a lot of additional snow accumulation is likely in these outer counties, but towards extreme northwest Virginia (Winchester), northeast West Virginia (Martinsburg, Berkeley Springs) and western Maryland (Cumberland, Frostburg and west) accumulating snow as well as some ice will continue, with hazardous travel conditions.

4:45 p.m. update: Winter weather advisory discontinued for District, Prince George’s and Fairfax counties as temperatures are well above freezing. However, it remains in effect for Montgomery and Loudoun counties and to the northwest. Radar shows southern edge of precipitation in Stafford and Fauquier County. Steady rain should end south to north next between 5-7 p.m. although patchy light rain could continue a bit longer. Watch out for slick spots in the normally colder north and west suburbs (outside the beltway, where the advisory continues).

3:00 p.m. update: For the most part, moderate rain is the story (temps 33-37) until you get to Leesburg and Frederick, where it’s still icy (temps near 32), and to around Martinsburg, Hagerstown, and Cumberland (and points west, temps 30 and lower) where there is still snow and sleet. In the immediate D.C. area, about 0.75-1.00 of rainfall equivalent has fallen (rain plus melted snow/sleet).

To the southwest, we’re actually seeing a big dry slot develop which should shutoff precipitation over a large part of the area for a while in one to two hours. That will improve conditions throughout the region. However, one thing to keep in mind in our far northern and western areas is that roads may become slick as the sun starts going down.

1:50 p.m. update: Just what we needed: The National Weather Service has posted a wind advisory for the entire area from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday for gusts up to 50 mph.

1:20 p.m. update:A light wind from the northeast is holding the cold air in place across much of the region, even as warm air tries hard to force its way northward. Temperatures range from 32-36 for the most part, coldest north and west of the beltway and warmest in town and to the south and east. Most locations have plain rain. The rain/ice line is near the Fairfax/Loudoun county border extending into northern Montgomery county (ice to the north and west of that line, rain to the south and east). The snow/ice line is from around Purcellville, Va. to Frederick, Md. (mostly snow to the north and west of that line, ice and then rain to the south and east). The rain/ice line may not move much the next couple hours, but the snow/ice line should eventually work northwest reaching Winchester to Hagerstown.

Select reader photos from Twitter

@capitalweather still snowing in Cumberland twitter.com/agilistine/sta…

— Drew Broadhurst (@agilistine) December 26, 2012

@capitalweather Still snowing in eastern Mineral County, WV. This is our road when snow was at 5”. We’re at 6.5” now. twitter.com/karigregg/stat…

— Kari Gregg (@karigregg) December 26, 2012

@capitalweather not moving on us-68 east before sideling hill twitter.com/Kirygrl/status…

— Kirsten Barger (@Kirygrl) December 26, 2012

@capitalweather Still snowing heavily just west of Winchester, Va. We have a little more than 4” so far. twitter.com/EmilyElizabeth…

— Emily Elizabeth (@EmilyElizabeth) December 26, 2012

@capitalweather still coming down in wv, just north of martinsburg twitter.com/jsmits81/statu…

— Jennifer Smits (@jsmits81) December 26, 2012

@capitalweather On US-15 N just passed PA state line. Roads are incredibly bad. #mdwx #pawx #cww twitpic.com/bpmghy

— tPFmariah9999 (@tPFmariah9999) December 26, 2012

@capitalweather Snow and sleet mix in north Frederick, 31.8 deg. twitter.com/btwarner/statu…

— Bruce Warner (@btwarner) December 26, 2012

@capitalweather Still snowing steadily in Frostburg, MD. twitter.com/mashasapper/st…

— Masha Sapper (@mashasapper) December 26, 2012
Jason is currently the Washington Post’s weather editor. A native Washingtonian, Jason has been a weather enthusiast since age 10.
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