PM Update: Big storm out and wind in; cold, breezy Thanksgiving


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.

8:15 p.m. update: Some lake enhanced snow flurries and snow showers are making it past the hilltops and spilling into parts of the area on winds gusting as high as 30-40 mph from the northwest.  These should mostly be light and quick-hitting, but may cause a dusting of snow in a few spots. Temperatures are now near and below freezing in many locations north and west of I-95. The rest of the area is on the way shortly. Wind chills will also dip into the teens over the next few hours from west to east.

5:45 p.m. update: Precipitation has come to an end outside a few light sprinkles or flurries which will cease shortly. Clearing is already beginning across western parts of the area. We’ll see more breaks in the clouds over the coming hours as well as increasing winds. Winds could be especially intense, with gusts even past 40 mph, over elevated spots north and west. Winds should peak somewhere prior to or around midnight, and decrease somewhat heading into morning.

From 3:37 p.m.: Our drawn out storm is finally on the way out, but only after the area saw a good 30-36 hours or so of nearly continual precipitation. Cold air moving back in behind the surface low was kind enough to send us a few “conversational” snowflakes without adding to the already numerous travel headaches. We may see a little more of the white stuff fall from the sky the next few hours before trending clearer overnight and remaining cold through Thanksgiving.

Through Tonight: The last bits of upper-level energy are passing through now, and that keeps an area of precip, generally changing to snow, going into perhaps mid-evening (6 p.m on the late side, but earlier south and west). For most of the day, the coldest air has been hanging out where the heaviest precip wasn’t. As we get into dark everyone will cool toward the low-to-mid 30s, slightly upping the odds of a grassy/elevated surface dusting (maybe a bit more, but unlikely) in any sustained heavier activity. Roads should remain ice free as precip falls, but any remnant water may freeze as we get deeper into the night. A range of lows mainly from about 22-28 seems a good bet.

Winds that peak in the evening remain fairly strong through the night, sustained around 15-20 mph from the northwest much of the time, but diminishing a little toward dawn. Gusts as high as 40 mph are possible through the early night.

Thanksgiving get away morning rush in Silver Spring. (Dan Lawrence via Flickr) http://www.flickr.com/photos/hydroracer/11083178594/in/pool-capitalweather

Thanksgiving get away morning rush in Silver Spring. (Dan Lawrence via Flickr)

Thanksgiving (Thursday): Good news… We see at least partial sunshine return. Bad news… Another very chilly November day. Not like most of us will be spending a ton of time outdoors anyway? Highs only reach the mid-30s many spots, perhaps upper 30s downtown. One of the coldest Thanksgivings we’ve seen in recorded history. It’s breezy, but not super horrible, with sustained winds around 10-15 mph from the northwest and gusts to around 30 mph.

See Dan Stillman’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.

Rain totals: Through 3 p.m., National Airport has recorded 2.21″ of rain from the event with perhaps a few hundredths left to go. Dulles has picked up 2.23″ through the same time, while BWI recorded 2.28″. A large list of regional rain, ice and snow totals is available from the National Weather Service.

Also on Capital Weather Gang

Non-sticking sleet and snow falls in D.C. area