PM Update: Storm approaching; wintry mix risk at onset, especially north and west

* Winter weather advisory north and west of the District Tuesday from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. *

9 p.m. Update: We continue to expect the possibility of precipitation anytime after around midnight. Any precipitation should be light, but if it arrives early enough could cause some icy issues in the metro area for the morning commute and perhaps some school delays, especially north and west of D.C. On the other hand, there’s a chance meaningful precipitation holds off until later in the morning or afternoon. Any steadier, heavier stuff should be in the form of rain and not until late afternoon or evening. Keep reading below for additional forecast details…

Temperature Map

Temperatures: Latest D.C. area temperature map. See interactive map on our Weather Wall.

After yesterday’s “coldest Nov. high since 1987” in D.C., we’ve tallied our second day in a row below 40 degrees. With today’s high of 38 degrees, this is our coldest  (based on an average temperature) two-day stretch in the city during Nov. since 1970. Following another frozen overnight, D.C. should crack 40 tomorrow, but we’ve got a lot of mess to go with it.

Through Tonight: Skies trend fully cloudy after dark, as winds remain fairly light from the south or southeast. Precipitation could move in anytime during the hours after midnight, but it should take a while for the air mass to saturate, so closer to dawn is when it becomes likely. Anything (mostly quite light) that falls in this time range could be frozen, particularly north and west of the city. Overnight lows should range from the mid-20s to near freezing.

Related: Complex storm to smack D.C. area in three acts Tuesday and Wednesday

Tomorrow (Tuesday): A mostly light mix of brief snow (mainly north and west of the city) changing to sleet, freezing rain and rain may continue into the morning before everyone goes over to rain. Temperatures should climb above freezing by mid-morning most spots, but ice concerns may hold on longer in a few isolated locations. Snow/ice accumulation should not exceed much more than a coating where it sticks. Highs eventually head for the upper 30s out west to the low-or-mid 40s in the I-95 area and east. It could end up even warmer near and east of the city by midnight with the low approaching the area.

The heaviest rain, which should last through the night, doesn’t arrive till afternoon or even early evening. Roughly 0.5″ or less of the expected 1.5-3.0″ storm total comes before dark. The commute home, like the morning commute, could be ugly — even without ice concerns.

See Jason Samenow’s forecast through the weekend. And if you haven’t already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter . For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock.


The 40 mph wind gusts took care of the ginkgo leaves on Swann Street, NW this weekend. Left is an image from Saturday, right is from Sunday. (Erin Kelly via Flickr)

Temperature forecasts through the end of the month from this morning’s Global Forecast System run. This would bring days below 40 to at least four in the city during November. (Weatherbell.com)

Historic November cold: As noted, we’ve already hit a few milestones — coldest Nov. day in 25+ years, and now the coldest two-day Nov. stretch since 1970. Today and Sunday averaged a 30.5 temperature for D.C. This beats out two-day streaks in Nov. 1987 and 1976 that averaged 30.8 degrees. It falls short of the next chronologically colder 28.8 degree average in Nov. 1970, which like this year happened the 24th and 25th.   The next Arctic invasion is slated to occur right behind the coming storm, and we appear on track to have more days with highs below 40 than in any Nov. since 1956. All this cold and not much or any snow. Guess we’re used to that around here?

RELATED: Washington’s biggest storms

Ian Livingston is a forecaster/photographer and information lead for the Capital Weather Gang. By day, Ian is a defense and national security researcher at a D.C. think tank.
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Jason Samenow · November 25, 2013

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