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Posted at 05:00 AM ET, 03/05/2012

Forecast: Cold start to week with possible flakes, then a warm-up

10:00 a.m. update: As a few flakes have been spotted as north as Leesburg, Alexandria, and Arlington, heavy snow is a mere 60-100 miles south of the metro area. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning in a band from Charlottesville to Fredericksburg for 4-6” of snow through earlier this afternoon! 1-4” (northeast to southwest) have already fallen in that area.

9:30 a.m. update: Light snow and flurries are trying to move into the immediate metro area but evaporating in the dry air. Flurries have been seen as far north as Fairfax City and near Tysons Corner. But, generally, the steady snow is south of Fairfax county. Many areas in Prince William county are seeing snow accumulate on grassy areas, including around Manassas. Farther south, 2”+ have accumulated in Charlottesville (with more west towards Waynesboro).

While the immediate D.C. area could get into some light snow or flurries later this morning, it looks Prince William and Fauquier counties will represent the northern edge of where a dusting or more occurs (mainly on the grass). The 1” line will probably be near Fredericksburg, with conditions deteriorating to its south (including accumulation on roads).

Today's Daily Digit
 
A somewhat subjective rating of the
day's weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.

 
A few flakes may put a smile on the face of this snow lover, but otherwise just a cold and gray day
 
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EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Chance of snow and rain showers. Mid-40s. | Tonight: Clearing and cold. 24-30. | Tomorrow: Partly sunny. 45-50. | Get Express Forecast by E-mail

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Some conversational snowflakes may be in the air today, but the best chance of a dusting or better is south of Fredericksburg. The first couple days this week have a wintry feel, but warmer weather springs back for Wednesday and Thursday. Perhaps some rain showers Friday before what *should* be a pretty decent weather weekend.

Snow Potential Index: 4 (↑) - Best chance of a dusting is from Fredericksburg south, but we're close enough to edge to watch closely.
 
The SPI is a daily assessment of the potential for accumulating snow for the next week on a 0-10 scale. Get the 'SPI' on Twitter
 

Today (Monday): A weak clipper slides by to our south. The metro region falls near the northern edge of some light precipitation - so we may see some snow showers in the morning. Any precipitation in the afternoon may transition to rain with temperatures rising to 40 or higher (but lower where/when it’s precipitating). Chance of precipitation varies from 30-40% in the northern suburbs to 60-70% towards Fredericksburg. The most likely time for any precipitation is between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Skies clear and it’s quite chilly. With a light wind blowing in from the north (at 10 mph), temperatures fall to near 30 downtown with mid-20s in the colder suburbs. Confidence: Medium-High

Keep reading for the outlook through the weekend...

Tomorrow (Tuesday): A third straight day kind of on the cold side. Who knew that was even possible this year? Cold high pressure hangs over the region for one more day. The strong March sun, though, pushes afternoon temps to 45-50. Winds are light. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: Mostly clear and chilly, but not as cold as Monday night. Lows range from the upper 20s to near 30 in the colder suburbs to the mid-to-upper 30s downtown. A light wind from the south (5 to 10 mph) enters the region. Confidence: Medium-High

A LOOK AHEAD

A pronounced warming trend kicks in Wednesday and Thursday . Winds from the south and a healthy dose of sunshine lift high temperatures to near 60 Wednesday and 65 to 70 on Thursday. Lows Wednesday night range from the mid-30s to mid-40s (suburbs to city) and from the upper 40s to low 50s Thursday night as clouds increase along with a chance of showers. Confidence: Medium-High

With a cold front passing through the region, we may have showers Friday morning (50-60% chance). The front may stall out over the region, keeping us in the clouds and showers Friday afternoon, or it may progress far enough south that the sun comes out. I’m optimistically favoring the drier afternoon forecast. Highs should range from 60-65 (cooler if it’s cloudier). Clearing Friday nights with lows in the 30s to near 40 (downtown). Confidence: Low-Medium

The weekend looks pretty promising right now, but we need to watch the stalled front to our south. If it retreats far enough north, we’d get into clouds introducing showers chances. But, for the moment, it looks like high pressure builds into the area giving us mostly sunny skies Saturday, and highs near 60. Mostly clear Saturday night, with lows 35-44 (suburbs to city). Sunday may be quite mild, with highs into the 60s under partly sunny skies. Confidence: Low-Medium

By  |  05:00 AM ET, 03/05/2012

Categories:  Forecasts

 
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