Most Read: Local

Posted at 04:45 AM ET, 12/26/2012

D.C. area forecast: Wintry mix to heavy rain today, then windy tomorrow; Saturday snow?

* Winter Weather Advisory for most of metro area and points N&W (see map) *

8:55 a.m. Update: The National Weather Service has expanded the Winter Weather Advisory to include D.C. and surrounding counties until 1 p.m., as light accumulations of snow and sleet are making for some slick spots on area roads. Take it slow out there!

7:30 a.m. Update: Light snow and sleet has broken out across the area this morning with many reporting a dusting on cars, rooftops, grass etc. Any accumulation on roads should be mainly north and west of D.C. and less than 1”. Still expecting precipitation to change to all rain from southeast to northwest later this morning into early afternoon, with heavy rain mid-afternoon into evening totaling 1.5-2” in many spots.

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Wintry mix changing to rain, heavy at times in the p.m. Upper 30s to Mid-40s | Tonight: Rain, heavy at times before tapering mid-to-late evening. Mid-30s to near 40. | Tomorrow: Gusty winds. Chance of a.m. rain or snow showers. 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


Wintry mix changing to cold rain is lousy weather for those returning to work, or making returns at the mall. 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: 5 (→) - Maybe a light accumulation north & west this morning. And still watching chance of some snow Saturday - details remain sketchy. Get the SPI on Twitter | Discuss on Facebook

FORECAST IN DETAIL


Quite an active weather pattern we find ourselves in here between Christmas and New Year’s. The first storm - the same system that triggered a tornado outbreak across the Deep South yesterday - moves through our area today with a wintry mix changing to rain, heavy at times this afternoon into evening. Tomorrow brings a gusty, blustery day. And then we repeat the pattern with a storm threatening some snow or mixed precipitation Saturday, followed by a windy Sunday. No blizzards on tap, but a rather bumpy weather ride ahead it seems.

Today (Wednesday): Ultimately, the main story in and around town today is a cold rain, moderate to heavy at times this afternoon into evening and likely totaling 1-2 inches (maybe even isolated thunder south and east of D.C.). But as precipitation arrives from southwest to northeast around 6-11 a.m., it may start as a light wintry mix, especially from around I-95 and the District toward points north and west, before changing to all rain from southeast to northwest around 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Highs max out in the upper 30s to mid-40s, and breezes blow 10-20 mph from the northeast and east.

Any snow/sleet accumulation would probably be less than a half-inch and confined to the north and west suburbs north and west of the Beltway. Morning temperatures a touch below freezing could cause some icing on roads in Carroll, Frederick, Loudoun and northern Fauquier counties where a Winter Weather Advisory is in effect through tonight. Closer in - Montgomery, Fairfax and Prince William counties - roads should be mainly just wet, but some scattered slick spots are still possible so drive with care. More significant and hazardous snow and ice accumulations are expected in northwest Virginia, West Virginia and Western Maryland. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Rain continues heavy at times before tapering from southwest to northeast during the mid-to-late evening. Occasional showers may linger overnight (60% chance) as lows slip back a few degrees to the mid-30s to near 40 (so no re-freeze issues expected). Confidence: Medium

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

Tomorrow (Thursday): We start out with mostly cloudy skies and maybe some lingering morning rain or snow showers. But the main story is winds from the northwest sustained near 20-30 mph with gusts to near 40 mph. Highs should top out in the mid-40s with partial afternoon clearing, but wind chills probably don’t escape the 30s all day. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: Winds diminish and skies become mostly clear. We still keep enough of a breeze to stop temperatures from sinking too far. Lows should bottom in the upper 20s to low 30s. Confidence: High

A LOOK AHEAD

High pressure builds in for a partly to mostly sunny Friday. Highs are similar to Thursday, in the mid-40s, but feel a good bit warmer thanks to light winds (from the northwest). Clouds are on the increase again Friday night with lows in the upper 20s to low 30s. Confidence: Medium-High

Our next storm looks to arrive on the scene with snow or a wintry mix fairly early in the day Saturday and tapering by or during the evening, though timing could still change. Models are hinting the storm could intensify too far to our east/northeast to give us a significant snowstorm, but some accumulation is possible with highs only in the 30s to low 40s. Stay tuned as we hope to get a better handle on this storm over the next couple days. Confidence: Low

Behind Saturday’s storm, winds crank up from the northwest on Sunday, likely limiting highs to the upper 30s to mid-40s with colder wind chills, despite partly to mostly sunny skies. Confidence:Low-Medium

By  |  04:45 AM ET, 12/26/2012

Categories:  Forecasts

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company