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Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 12/29/2012

Update: Snow, mixed precipitation exit region with little accumulation

* Snow total reports from NWS | Full forecast through early next week *

Noon Update: The back edge of the snow has reached the District where big fat flakes are falling sometimes mixed with rain and sleet. Southwest of town, precipitation has ended for the most part. Over the next 30 to 60 minutes, precipitation will exit the region entirely. In our northern suburbs, snow has been heavy enough and temperatures cold enough for some slick spots to develop, particularly from around Germantown and north of there. So use caution if you’re out and about for the next hour or two. The sun should eventually peek out with whatever fresh snow lying on the ground melting during the afternoon.

Throughout the region, snowfall totals have ranged from a sloppy coating on grassy areas just west of I-95 to about half an inch north and west of the beltway and up to an inch or so in western Loudoun and western Frederick counties. These amounts are modestly below what were forecast, but not a horrible bust. The only problem with our forecast turned out to be the late start (i.e. the snow hole described below) - which killed accumulating snow chances around town (we needed the snow to start early when it was cold enough to stick) and generally lowered totals a bit around the region.

11 a.m. Update: Areas inside the beltway are seeing snow, mixing with rain at times, with no snow accumulation. North and west of the beltway, it’s mostly snow falling with some light accumulations on grassy areas and some untreated road surfaces. Unless you’re north and west of Frederick to Leesburg, snow totals are, and should remain, generally less than 1 inch. The back edge of the precipitation is in southern Fauquier county, meaning we only have another hour or so of precipitation in the metro region (less in the southern suburbs, and a bit more in the northern suburbs).

10 a.m. Update: The storm’s dry slot that was over us has filled in nicely and we should see a fairly steady mixture of rain, sleet and snow across the area (more snow north and west, mainly rain south and east) before precipitation moves out from west to east during the early afternoon. Any accumulation in the metro area should be light and mainly on grass, elevated surfaces, maybe some side roads in the colder spots. Reports of light accumulation have come in from places like Fairfax and Warrenton.

From 9 a.m...

If you were hoping to wake up to a fresh coating of snow, you are disappointed this morning unless you live well (and I mean well) north and west of D.C. (from northwest Loudoun, northern Frederick and northern Carroll counties toward points north and west). In fact, the region is only just now picking up some steadier areas of precipitation that could last into early afternoon.

But with temperatures above freezing in most locations, it’s likely to be in the form of rain or a non-accumulating wintry mix of rain, sleet and/or snow, except maybe some spots of very light accumulation mainly north and west of D.C. and I-95.

What happened to the snow?...


Surface map from this morning shows D.C. area caught in relative dry spot between low pressures to the west and south. (Unisys)
Well, as the models hinted at all along, we find ourlselves caught in a relatively dry spot between the storm’s initial low pressure passing to our northwest and weakening as it does, and a secondary low developing and strengthening along the North Carolina coast. That’s one reason why our snow forecast totals were so low in the first place, but now it seems precipitation totals will be even lower than our original underwheming forecast.

From here on out, look for occasional rain showers or rain mixed with sleet and/or snow with very little or more likely no accumulation. The best chance of seeing any snow accumulation is north and west of D.C. and I-95, and even that would mainly be on grassy areas, rooftops and maybe side roads. Any precipitation should move out by or during the early afternoon, leaving behind cloudy and chilly conditions with highs only in the mid-30s to low 40s (northwest to southeast).

For more forecast information, including details on tomorrow’s gusty winds, see Ian Livingston’s full forecast through New Year’s Day.

Below are a few pictures and videos of snow from readers and contributors (thank you for the submissions!)...

Video of snow in Centreville at 11 a.m. by CWG contributor Kathryn Prociv

Video from Capitol Hill - snow not sticking

By and  |  12:00 PM ET, 12/29/2012

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