D.C. area forecast: Winter slop today; no sign of spring warmth this week

* Winter Weather Advisory for areas N & W of D.C., Fairfax, and Prince George’s county through noon | Snow accumulation reports from NWS *

10:35 a.m. update: After a lull (per the 9:00 a.m. update), snow has re-developed  west of the District and should shift and expand east.  Except for colder areas west and northwest of the Beltway – which may see a little bit of additional accumulation – most of the snow will have a hard time sticking, despite falling at a decent clip at times through midday.

9:00 a.m. update: Snow is really winding down now as far north as Fairfax county and the District and skies are brightening. Temperatures are now generally above freezing and snow will melt and compact during the day.  There’s still some moderate snow northeast of the Beltway which may reduce visibilities and result in some more accumulations in the next couple of hours, mainly on grassy areas.  But even there, by late morning, snow should taper off to flurries or drizzle.  This will be the last forecast update in this post… We’ll start a new post around 9:30 a.m.

Here are a couple photos to conclude:

 

 

8 a.m. update:  Radar shows the back edge of snow in Prince William and northern Fauquier counties so conditions are already beginning to improve to the southwest.Snow will continue to decrease in coverage and intensity from southwest to northeast over the next 2-3 hours, with meaningful accumulation pretty much finished from the District south.  In this area, temperatures are above freezing and main roads should be fine, though side roads will be a bit slushy.  To the northeast, steady snow will continue with additional light accumulations possible, but mainly on grassy areas with temperatures rising above freezing.

7:40 a.m. update: According to CWG’s Ian Livingston, this is the heaviest snow so late in the season since 1990 when 2 inches fell at Reagan National Airport March 24-25.  It’s possible we’ll surpass that (or already have).

Here are a couple more snow photos from our Twitter feed:

 

 

7:15 a.m. update: Here are some snowfall total reports from the National Weather Service: From Va: Ballston 2.3″, Centreville, Va 2.5″, Purcellville, 2.8″, Winchester 4.5″, Dumfries 1.5″; From Md: Frederick 4″, Columbia 2.4″, Dale Carlia Reservoir (MoCo) 2″, Lusby 1″

7 a.m. update: For most of the D.C. area, it’s a winter wonderland out there, with 1-3 inches of snow blanketing the region. It’s a heavy, wet snow that sticks to everything and makes for beautiful photographs.  Locations from the District and to the southwest have probably already seen their heaviest snow and, while it may continue snowing for the next few hours, not a lot of additional accumulation is likely as the sun comes up and temperatures warm a a bit (right now they are mostly between 31 and 34 degrees).  North and, especially, northeast of the District, moderate snow will continue with additional accumulation.  Up towards Baltimore totals over 4 inches are quite possible.

For the next couple of hours, everyone should use caution traveling and allow extra time.  Many roads are snow covered and slick in the region.

Here are a couple images from Twitter:

 

 

 

6:35 a.m. update: Reagan National Airport officially picked up 1 inch of snow. This is the first instance of 1 inch of snow in a day since January 26, 2011 (when 5 inches fell), ending longest streak on record (without 1 inch of snow in a day).

Here are a couple more photos from Twitter:

 

6:15 a.m. update: Heaviest snow is now falling in Montgomery, northern Prince George’s, Howard, northern Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Carroll counties. It’s these areas which I think will end up in the high part of our boom 2-4 inch range (with locally higher amounts even possible), as snow will last longest here.

Here are a couple pictures from our Twitter feed so far:

 

5:50 a.m. update: The National Weather Service has expanded the winter weather advisory to cover the entire D.C. area

5:45 a.m. update: Our “boom” scenario is playing out with 1-2 inches of snow having fallen in many areas already with more to come. Short range models and radar suggest we have a few more hours of steady, accumulating snow, particularly north and northeast of the District where some isolated totals over 4 inches are possible. The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center writes the following:

ACCUMULATING SNOW…WITH RATES UP TO AND LOCALLY IN EXCESS OF 1 IN/HR MAY … HOWEVER … OCCUR THROUGH MID-MORNING FROM THE BLUE RIDGE OF NRN VA/MD AND S CNTRL PA EWD INTO PARTS OF SE PA … MD AND VA JUST W AND NW OF PHILADELPHIA … BALTIMORE … AND DC.

mcd0330We expect snow to diminish in coverage and intensity by 8 a.m. southwest of the District and perhaps not until around 10 a.m. in the northeast suburbs.

5:25 a.m. update: An area of steady light to moderate snow has developed over the region with temperatures between 32-34 degrees. Snow is sticking and accumulating, creating slick roads. This activity should continue for at least the next couple of hours, so allow extra time for commuting and expect some rush hour delays.

Today’s Daily Digit

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

2
The cold mix of wet snow and rain is plain ugly.

Express Forecast

Today: Snow and rain. 35-40.

Tonight: Mostly cloudy, patchy fog. 30-34.

Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy, breezy. 44-48.

FORECAST IN DETAIL


Radar & lightning:Latest D.C. area radar shows movement of precipitation and lightning strikes over past two hours. Refresh page to update. Click here or on image to enlarge. Or see radar bigger on our Weather Wall.

The first full work week of spring will feel nothing like the sort. We kick it off with snow that mixes with and changes to cold rain. Then, for the rest of the week temperatures are at least 5-10 degrees cooler than average.  By the weekend, we may inch closer to end of March norms, but I doubt we touch 60 this week.

Today (Monday): Snow is likely in the morning, with the best shot at accumulation north and west of the District (see accumulation map below). By late morning and into the afternoon, snow probably mixes with and changes to rain and drizzle, especially along and east of I-95. It’s raw with highs 35-40. Confidence: Low-Medium

Tonight: Precipitation winds down early. Then it’s mostly cloudy with areas of fog.  It’s chilly with lows 30-34.  Areas west and north of the Beltway should look out for possible re-freezing and slick spots. Confidence: Medium

CWG's snow accumulation forecast for late Sunday through Monday afternoon. "Boom" indicates probability of more snow than predicted. "Bust" indicates probability of less snow than predicted.

CWG’s snow accumulation forecast through Monday afternoon. “Boom” indicates probability of more snow than predicted. “Bust” indicates probability of less snow than predicted.

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

Tomorrow (Tuesday): It’s windy in the wake of Monday’s storm and quite chilly. We may see some intervals of sunshine but with cold air streaming in at high altitudes, it’s more cloudy than not.  A rain or snow shower is even possible, especially in the afternoon.  Highs are mainly in the mid-40s. Winds are from the northwest at 10-20 mph, with gusts to 25-30 mph at times. Confidence: 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 (→) Better than even odds of a sloppy accumulation for some, colder ‘burbs favored.
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Tomorrow night: Partial but not total clearing, with lows 30-35 (suburbs to city).  It remains a bit breezy, with winds from the northwest at 10-15 mph. Confidence: Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

Wednesday and Thursday are variably cloudy, breezy and chilly.  Highs both day are near 50 with lows from near 30 in the colder suburbs to the mid-30s downtown. Confidence: Medium

Winds relax a bit, we see a bit more sunshine and temperatures moderate Friday through Sunday.  It’s still cooler than average all 3 days, with highs 50-55 Friday and Saturday, and perhaps 55-60 by Sunday.  The good news is that appears like a dry stretch and cooperative for weekend outdoor activities. Lows are mostly from near 30 in the colder suburbs to the upper 30s downtown. Confidence: Medium

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