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Posted at 10:53 PM ET, 02/07/2012

Steadiest snow may coincide with Wednesday PM commute


Accumulation map for tomorrow is unchanged from the version posted midday.
Based on this evening’s model runs, our forecast for Wednesday’s snow event is on track. The most important point to emphasize is that the “worst” of this event now looks like it will come through during the afternoon and evening rush hour.

This isn’t going to be a crippling storm or a repeat of Commutageddon (January 26, 2011). It’s going to be hard for snow to stick (given above freezing temperatures) and the snow will not be as heavy or long lasting But, light to moderate snow may reduce visibilities and cause some slick spots, especially in the far north and west suburbs where temperatures will be closer to freezing.

You might think about building some flexibility into your schedule Wednesday to leave work early or work late to avoid the period from around 4 to 7 p.m., when the worst of it will come through. Conditions will be passable and, in a number of spots, where snow doesn’t stick, it may most resemble an ordinary rainy commute. Still, it may be slow going in those normally colder areas.

The fact that the timing of the storm has trended a bit later increases the event’s potential impact a bit as the sun lowers in the sky allowing temperatures to cool and snow to stick more easily more places.

On the other hand, the later start may allow temperatures to warm to near 40 before the precipitation arrives, meaning a possible period of rain before any snow, especially from the District and to the south and east.

We’ll have more in the morning. Please see our PM Update and earlier detailed analysis for additional thoughts on the storm, which remain valid.

By  |  10:53 PM ET, 02/07/2012

Categories:  Latest, Winter Storms

 
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