Thursday snow update: Accumulation potential

* Winter storm watch for most of Washington, D.C. metro area *

Forecast Confidence: Low-Medium

As a low-pressure center tracks by well to our south, the D.C. metro area remains near the border between what is likely to be little to no accumulation to the north, versus up to a few inches to the south.

Here are the key forecast takeaways as we see it now:

*Most likely time for snow is early afternoon into mid-evening; could be mixed with rain or sleet

*Accumulations up to around 1-2” are possible in the D.C. metro area, but only if snow falls heavily enough to cool the air close to freezing.

*There’s some chance that much of the area, especially the District and northern suburbs, sees little to no accumulation if precipitation is too light .

*The further south you are - especially from central Fauquier, central Prince William, southern Fairfax, southern Prince George’s, Calvert counties and to the south - the better your chances of seeing heavier, accumulating snow up to ~2-4”.

Model forecast (NAM) of accumulated precipitation through Thursday night shows D.C. area on northern fringe of storm. (StormVistaWxModels)

*Accumulation is unlikely north of Loudoun, Montgomery and Howard counties and north of Baltimore.

*An overachieving storm with accumulations of 4” or more in the District and close-in suburbs is the least likely scenario.

*Our forecast confidence remains on the low side given a slight shift south or north in the storm track could be the difference between many areas seeing no accumulation versus enough to make roads slick during the p.m. commute.

For a more detailed analysis, see our map, timeline and FAQ post from earlier today, which still looks on track based on the latest data.

Dan Stillman is a meteorologist and editor for the Capital Weather Gang. He earned an M.S. in Meteorology from Texas A&M University, and a B.S. in Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences from the University of Michigan.


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