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Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 12/29/2012

D.C. area forecast: Today’s wintry weather more a nuisance than a big mess

* Winter weather advisory 3 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday for Loudoun, northern Fauquier, Montgomery, Howard, and Frederick counties and north and west for 1-3 inches of snow *

7:50 a.m. update: If you’re looking for snow (or rain) in the immediate D.C. area, the situation remains unpromising. Folks in our far north and west suburbs have reported some light snow, light freezing rain and some sleet this morning. Most other spots remain dry. There are signs that precipitation may become more common across the region in the coming period as showers develop to our southwest. Temperatures have ticked up many places though and most spots are above freezing, with readings already near forecast highs. It remains hard to say how much, if any, snow might be able to be salvaged.

6:05 a.m. update: First thought after an overnight nap: Even the low end of forecasts is going to be hard to reach. A glance at radar early this morning shows something lacking — precipitation. Some light snow has fallen over western parts of the area, but nothing worth writing home about, and the “look” as of current is not promising for the area at all. Add in temperatures still above freezing in many spots, and snow lovers have some problems that might be tough to overcome. Even if radar does fill in over coming hours, we’ll be seeing it do so as the sun rises and temperatures begin to warm.

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Light snow mixing with or changing to rain, except north and west. 33-39. | Tonight: Clearing and breezy. 24-29. | Tomorrow: Mostly sunny with gusty breezes. Mid-30s to near 40. | 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


As a snow lover in the city, I’m afraid of the rain. I’ll be holding out hope until the very end. 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: 9 (↑) - Not a lot of snow, with N & W favored. Should look more like a rain event when done S & E. Get the SPI on Twitter | Discuss on Facebook

FORECAST IN DETAIL


If you like snow, it seems like every storm in recent memory has been a nail biter. We’re again down to the wire with some questions unresolved. As tends to be the case, I-95 is a bit of a dividing line. The further southeast you happen to be, the more you might wonder what the fuss is about. And places north and west are set up to see measurable snow accumulation for the third time this week.

Forecast posted at 5 a.m. ...

Today (Saturday): Light snow overspreads much of the area early this morning. Places well south and east may start rain, but most spots should see at least a short period of snow before the transition to rain begins to push north and west. Our accumulation map and timeline from yesterday remains about where things should end up today. Given that periods of moderate precipitation appear limited, I’d lean toward the lower end of the ranges shown. Snow, rain or rain/snow mix should be getting out of here by early-to-mid afternoon.

Temperatures don’t rise much off lows, with a range of highs from about 33 to 40 likely. Any travel issues should not be widespread, though some slick areas are possible with any heavier snow to the north and west. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Skies should be clearing as we head through evening, though it’s possible a stray snowflake is still around through shortly after sunset. Colder air filters in behind the departing and strengthening offshore storm. That means most places get into the 20s -- probably between about 24-29. The city may be stubborn and hold a bit higher. Confidence: Medium-High

For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock. Keep reading for the forecast into next week...

Tomorrow (Sunday): Sunny skies are in abundance, but it’s a deceptive shine. With temperatures ranging from the mid-30s to near or a bit above 40. Winds are up too, with sustained periods as high as about 20 mph and gusts near or past 30 mph. Feeling like winter... Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: Clear skies and calm winds are almost always a good combo for cold, especially when the air mass is fresh. Though it might not be too much colder than typical for this time of year, lows dipping as far as around 20 to the mid-20s should be as cold as many have seen so far this winter. Confidence: Medium-High

A LOOK AHEAD

New Years Eve (Monday) is shaping up to be more cloudy than not as some energy rolls by. It may even touch off a sprinkle or flurry at some point late in the day (20%), though even that is sort of doubtful for now. Temperatures reach near upper 30s to lower 40s. Plan on midnight temperatures to range from near 30 to the low-and-mid 30s, with lows reaching the upper 20s and low 30s. Confidence: Medium

New Years Day (Tuesday) continues our run in with clouds, and there are probably higher odds (40%) of more noticeable showers or snow showers. We may have to watch this one for further development, but right now it looks pretty strung out and disorganized. Highs are similar to Monday, but perhaps a touch higher. Near 40 to low 40s should do it most spots. Confidence: Low-Medium

By  |  05:00 AM ET, 12/29/2012

Categories:  Forecasts

 
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