wpostServer: http://css.washingtonpost.com/wpost2

Most Read: Local

Posted at 12:21 PM ET, 02/04/2012

Light rain and snow to taper off overnight

9:20 p.m. update: Especially for the north and west suburbs: watch out for slick spots tonight...temperatures are near freezing, and a few more snow showers may come through (even though steadiest precip is over).

Link: NWS Special Weather Statement on slick spots

7:50 p.m. update: Steady precipitation has abruptly ended across the region, and - believe it or not - is pretty much done. Patchy drizzle or snow showers/flurries (mainly north and west) may continue overnight, but no significant additional accumulation is likely. Tonight’s lows will range from near 30 in the colder north and west suburbs (where accumulating snow fell) to 35 downtown. Tomorrow, after a cloudy start, we should have sunshine emerging, and highs in the mid-to-upper 40s.

Accumulations: Enough snow fell to whiten the ground from central Montgomery county to near the Loudoun/Fairfax county line. Accumulating snow of a coating to 2” fell in western Montgomery, Loudoun and Frederick county - but mainly on grassy areas.

Link: Snowfall totals from National Weather Service

6:15 p.m. update: The rain/snow line is continuing to steadily advance southeast. Snow has moved into Rockville and western Fairfax county with some sleet mixing in to the south and east of those areas. Flakes may advance inside the beltway before the precipitation tapers but with temperatures above freezing, it should cause few problems.

Well to the northwest into Loudoun and Frederick counties, around 0.5-1” of wet snow has been reported. A little more is possible in those areas and a few slick spots are possible on the roads with temperatures around freezing.

The western edge of the precipitation is already to around Winchester, so expect the steady precipitation to end from west to east between around 8 p.m.and midnight. Patchy very light snow/flurries or drizzle may linger through the night, but any iciness should be limited to the far north and west areas which have received snow accumulation.

Overview: Remnants of the winter storm that buried the Denver area with record February snow Thursday night into Friday night are headed toward us. The storm, however, is a weaker version of its original self. That combined with recent mild temperatures means much of the precipitation we see will be on the light side and in the form of rain to start. The best chance of seeing any snow is late tonight into early a.m. Sunday. But even then, accumulation of note may be hard to come by except well north and west of the District.


Radar & lightning: Latest regional radar shows movement of precipitation and lightning strikes over past two hours. Refresh page to update. Click here or on image to enlarge. Or see radar bigger on our Weather Wall.

Latest Forecast: We start with a chance of light showers about mid-afternoon (a few sprinkles or flurries to the north are possible before that) with temperatures in the 40s. A period of steadier rain is possible this evening into the overnight as temperatures fall back into and through the 30s. This rain should mix with and change to snow from northwest to southeast overnight. It now appears that precipitation — snow north and west of D.C. and rain/snow mix elsewhere — should come to an end earlier than previous thoughts, by late evening perhaps as early as right around sunrise, but lingering longest south and east. Drizzle or flurries (well north and west) may last longer across parts of the area.


Snow forecast through Sunday morning as of 12:00 p.m. Saturday. Totals were shifted slightly downward on the low end compared to previous map.
Accumulation? Due to the warm ground and temperatures near the surface struggling to get much lower than around 33-38F, any snow is unlikely to accumulate on roads in the immediate metro area. If we see a heavier burst of snow, then grass, sidewalks and elevated surfaces could see a light accumulation, especially north and west of D.C. Far northwest and west (e.g., Frederick, Loudoun counties and northwest), we can’t rule out a brief light accumulation on untreated road surfaces at some point during the early morning hours on Sunday. this evening into the early morning hours on Sunday. Additionally, those areas could see up to around 1-2” on grassy surfaces if heavier bursts occur.

See our full forecast into next week, and stay tuned for our next update this evening. Keep reading for earlier updates...

5:40 p.m. Update: Based on ground reports and radar, the rain/snow line seems to be just south of a west-to-east line from Leesburg to Gaithersburg to Columbia (with mainly snow to the north of the line and mainly rain to the south). Light accumulations have been reported in the snow area, especially on grassy areas and elevated surfaces. Some slick spots are possible in the snow area as temps drop this evening. Snow may reach further south and east next few hours, but for the immediate metro area (D.C. and immediately surrounding counties), roads should be mainly just wet.

The current batch of precipitation may end up being the most siginificant of this storm. Precip looks like it will fizzle quite a bit heading later into the evening and overnight. Check back for further updates.

4:05 p.m. Update: Light precipitation has overspread the area this afternoon. It is mainly rain around the Beltway and south. But a rain/snow mix the farther north and northwest you go (e.g., northern Montgomery, Loudoun, Frederick and Carroll counties). Mixing of snow may work its way south and east over the next several hours, but little to no accumulation is expected in the immediate metro area where current temps are in the low-to-mid 40s. Areas well north and west, including Frederick County and west into Western MD and the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, could see 1-2” of snow accumulate with slick roads.

(Jason Samenow and Ian Livingston contributed to this post.)

By and  |  12:21 PM ET, 02/04/2012

Categories:  Latest, Winter Storms

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company