D.C. area forecast: More March snow, but will it stick?

March 24, 2013

Today’s Daily Digit

A somewhat subjective rating of the days weather, on a scale of 1 to 10.

4
Weekend takes turn for the worse with building clouds, cooler temps and precip by afternoon or evening.

Express Forecast

Today: Increasing clouds, 30-40% chance of p.m. showers. Mid-40s.

Tonight: Wintry mix. Low-to-mid 30s.

Tomorrow: Snow changing to rain. Upper 30s to near 40.

FORECAST IN DETAIL


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Somehow in this winter of little to no snow, we are still talking about snow in the last week of March. We’ll see the clouds build today ahead of the approaching storm, and a chance of accumulating snow late tonight mainly north and west of D.C. and mostly on grass. But some slick spots can’t be ruled out for the Monday morning commute. Snow turns to rain tomorrow morning as the strengthening March sun permeates the clouds. Temperatures remain quite cool through midweek.

Today (Sunday): Clouds quickly build overhead today as a weakening area of low pressure moves in from the west and begins to transfer its energy to a new storm center off the coast. A cold breeze from the northeast limits highs to the mid-40s, and by mid-to-late afternoon there’s a 30-40% chance for some light rain or drizzle, maybe mixed with a bit of snow or sleet. No accumulation expected.  Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Light precipitation — mainly snow west of I-95, and a mix of rain, sleet and snow along and east of I-95 including the District — should become more consistent during the evening. Accumulation is still unlikely at this point with temperatures still a good bit above freezing, falling into the upper 30s, except well west toward I-81 where an inch or so is possible by around midnight. In the pre-dawn hours, there’s a 40-50% chance a heavier band of snow comes through capable of whitening the grass from D.C./I-95 to the east, and putting down an inch or so of snow west of D.C./I-95 mainly on grass but with some slick spots possible. Lows dip to the low-to-mid 30s. Confidence: Low-Medium

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

Tomorrow (Monday): The main risk for the morning commute, besides wet roads, is that 40-50% chance of some slick spots mainly west of D.C. and I-95. Precipitation then sticks around through much of the day, but the potential for accumulating snow and slipperiness dissipates by mid-morning as that strong March sun percolates through the clouds. Total snow accumulations look to be…

*Nothing to ~1″ mainly on grass from D.C./I-95 to the east
*Nothing to ~2″ mainly on grass for N&W burbs (Montg, Fairfax, Prince William co)
*1-3″ in our far western counties (Frederick, Loudoun and northern Fauquier).

…Many places may turn over to plain rain as the day goes on, with showers likely to be heavier from near I-95 to the east and lighter to the west. We develop a breeze from the north and highs are quite raw, only in the upper 30s to near 40. Confidence: Low-Medium

Snow Potential Index

A daily assessment of the potential for *accumulating* snow for the next week on a 1-10 scale. More info

6 (↑) Not talking much, but decent chance part of the area sees light accumulation tonight, especially on grass north and west.
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Tomorrow night: Precipitation should taper as we head toward and into the evening and we may see a few breaks in the overcast overnight. Perhaps a few slick spots north and west of town toward morning and some fog as well, as lows drop to the upper 20s to low 30s (suburbs to city). Confidence: Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

Some upper-level energy lagging behind the front may be enough to squeeze out a light shower or two on Tuesday. Skies should be partly to mostly cloudy with continued chilly highs in the mid-to-upper 40s.  Tuesday night skies are partly to mostly cloudy with a slight chance for a passing sprinkle or flurry.  Lows cool to the upper 20s to low 30s. Confidence: Medium-High

Not sure if we’ll break into full sun on Wednesday, but it should be the most sun we’ve seen since yesterday. We’ll call it partly to mostly sunny, but temperatures remain well below normal, only reaching the mid-40s to near 50. Confidence: Medium

Several CWG team members contributed to this forecast.

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