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Posted at 08:25 AM ET, 02/01/2013

D.C. area forecast: Some early morning snow followed by a windy chill

11:40 a.m. update: The snow showers have moved out, but a blast of cold, windy conditions have followed in their wake. Temperatures are subfreezing throughout the region (in the mid-20s to near 30) with wind chills in the teens. Throughout the afternoon, expect very blustery conditions with near steady temperatures and winds gusting to 30-40 mph. Wind chills will remain in the teens and 20s. In open, rural areas (out towards Loudoun county), look out for pockets of blowing snow despite the sunny skies.

8:25 a.m. update: Snow reports continue to trickle in, and it appears many in the immediate area picked up about 1/2”, give or take. More prolonged snow to the east has produced some higher totals, with folks closer to the bay reporting up to a few inches. Other than a quick snow shower the next hour or two, prepare for cold and wind. Gusts are already into the 30 mph+ range with wind chills in the teens many spots. It remains icy in spots out there as well.

7:30 a.m. update: The snow squalls are pushing east of the area, with accumulation reports about about a dusting to 1” across the area. A few spots which caught the first bands and the second bands have even pushed past 1”. For most, just some “mood” whitening. With temperatures at or below freezing, a few tricky spots may be around on roadways. A few additional snow showers may dot the area for a bit.

6:30 a.m. update: The main story here is bands moving in from the west and now crossing the immediate D.C. area. A quick half inch or more of snow is coming from these squalls, though you may see less as well in spots. In many places it is quickly dusting the ground, including roads. It’s also accompanied with increasing wind and cold. Indications are that this is moving very fast, with activity mostly halting behind these bands, though additional snow showers are possible after they pass for a while.

5:40 a.m. update: Several bands of light to moderate (even briefly heavy) snow are over the area this morning. One is running southwest to northeast from south of Manassas through Alexandria and then off toward Annapolis. Additional bands of snow are pushing in across our western areas and moving east. Temperatures range between the upper 20s and mid-30s across the area. The Winter Weather Advisory is for up to 1” of snow. Take it easy on roads this morning.

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Early a.m. snow likely, then clearing and windy. 30-36. | Tonight: Mostly clear, breezy, and biting. 14-23. | Tomorrow: Increasing clouds. 30s. | Sunday: Cloudy, slight chance of snow or rain showers. Upper 30s to mid-40s. | A Look Ahead | Get Express Forecast by E-mail

TODAY'S DAILY DIGIT

A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10


Some whitened ground in the area seems good enough to upgrade above the median “5” line. Bundle up! Get the Digit on Twitter | Discuss on Facebook

SNOW POTENTIAL INDEX

A daily assessment of the potential for *accumulating* snow for the next week on a 0-10 scale. More info


SPI: 6 (↑) - Fri morning snow showers or brief snow bands could cause commuting issues. A few more chances ahead as well. Get the SPI on Twitter | Discuss on Facebook

FORECAST IN DETAIL


Snowflakes this morning could snarl the commute and leave spots with a coating to an inch or so. Washingtonians, who normally handle snow poorly, seem to be having an even harder time with these events during our recent snow-free winters. Does snow stun you? In a good or bad way? After our morning “fun”, clouds, cold breezes, and perhaps a few more flakes dominate much of our chilly next few days. We should start settling in back to at least near normal as we get deeper into next week.

Today (Friday): Allow extra time for the morning commute. Mostly cloudy skies produce snow showers, or even a band of briefly moderate snow in some spots, during the morning hours — primarily quite early, through at least parts of the commute. Some of us might only see flurries. But if a heavy squall enters your area, it is possible to relatively quickly pick up a half inch to an inch, or even a bit more, snow. Please drive carefully and decisively this morning if snow is falling.

As the system pulls away, winds pick up by the afternoon (gusting 30-40 mph from the northwest) as cold air slams into us from, well, Canada and beyond. After a freezing morning, temperatures rise only to around 32 in many spots to perhaps the mid-30s in the warmest locations. Please dress in layers, since you’ll be dealing with wind chills in the teens and 20s as those gusts kick up. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: We could stay breezy until at least midnight, so break out that heavy coat for sure. Even without the wind, temperatures drop precipitously as Arctic high pressure settles into our region. Mid-teens are possible in coldest valleys, with low 20s more likely downtown or other toasty spots. It could sting a bit! Confidence: Medium-High

For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock. Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend...

Groundhog Day (Saturday): We may start the morning with areas of sunshine, but clouds quickly increase. Could Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow and thus predict six more weeks of winter? Well, for Potomac Phil it might be a close call, but the media camera lights may, um, suffice. Temperatures stay chilly, ranging from near freezing in the cold spots to the upper 30s in the warm. This is decidedly below our average level, which has crept up into the mid-40s for high temperatures downtown. Some light-to-moderate southwest breezes could make you want gloves and a scarf. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: Clouds from the afternoon should stay put overnight. Snow flurries could occur for a while across the area, but any mixed in snow showers should not accumulate more than a dusting in spots. Overall, there’s about a 40% chance of some light precip. Low temperatures could only fall to around 30 downtown, but mid-20s are possible outside the beltway. Confidence: Low-Medium

Sunday: This one could feature not only more clouds than sun (mostly overcast conditions likely) but morning snow flurries could have some embedded snow showers. For now this still looks like a conversational affair, but we’ll keep an eye out with lots of upper-level energy around. If we see a few afternoon peeks of sunshine, temperatures could rise toward the 40s, and any remnant showers possibly becoming rain. However if clouds persist well into the afternoon, temperatures could be capped in the colder 30s, as a reinforcing shot of cold air should come in as a storm develops well to our northeast. Confidence: Low-Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

Sunday night should see breezes abate somewhat as the sun sets and takes away much of the energy behind the daytime wind. Some stars could be visible later, but sky conditions could vary from hour to hour. Bundle up just a bit, since low temperatures could be cold, even downtown in the mid-20s, with some upper teens possible in clear, normally colder, spots. Confidence: Low-Medium

Monday may be serene, but perhaps not very sunny. Partly sunny skies could warm us slightly (enough) so as to keep us relatively comfortable with temperatures in the low-to-mid 40s. We could get a bonus, if winds calm down. Roughly on-par for the first week of February, I think you would agree? Confidence: Medium

Tuesday could have a chilly start, as clouds shroud us in earnest--possibly staying overcast the entire day. High temperatures may still stick out their neck to the 50-degree line, especially if we have a south breeze steadily pumping in some moisture. Perhaps that breeze gets us a bit higher—toward the mid-50s? I shouldn’t rule out a 10% chance of a (rain) shower, as well. We’ll keep you posted if it warrants an umbrella, as we draw closer! Confidence: Low

By and  |  08:25 AM ET, 02/01/2013

Categories:  Forecasts

 
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