D.C. area forecast: Freezing rain north and west suburbs today, below-zero wind chills by Monday night!

** Ice Storm Warning until midnight Frederick/Loudoun counties | Dense fog advisory entire region thru 6 a.m. Monday | Wind Chill Watch N Fauquier, Frederick and Loudoun counties Monday evening to Tuesday morning **

11:00 p.m. update: Dense fog advisory has been expanded to cover the entire metro area.

9:30 p.m. update: Wind chill watches have been posted for northern Fauquier, Loudoun and Frederick counties Monday night into Tuesday morning for wind chills as low as 20 to 30 below.

9:15 p.m. update: As there are lingering pockets of subfreezing air in Loudoun and Frederick counties, the ice storm warning has been extended until midnight. Meanwhile, a dense fog advisory has been posted until 6 a.m. for Howard and Montgomery counties.

Scroll down below earlier updates for our full forecast through midweek…

2:35 p.m. Update: Temperatures continue to hover around freezing in Frederick and Loudoun counties and so the freezing rain advisory has been upgraded to an ice storm warning. It extends through 9 p.m., when temperatures should finally rise above freezing in most spots. Up to a quarter inch of ice accumulation is possible. The worst conditions are from around Frederick and Leesburg and to the north and west. Elsewhere, most areas are now above freezing and should just expect rain showers and wet roads. However, in colder pockets of Montgomery, northern Fauquier, Prince William and Howard county, a little freezing rain – affecting mainly side roads – may linger through around dark.

11:55 a.m. Update: Rain and freezing rain is mostly concentrated over northwest suburbs at this point. Advisories have been canceled in D.C. and south/east, but extended north and west. Places where it’s not precipitating have all pretty much risen above freezing and some into the upper 30s already. Temperatures remain near and below freezing in the Warrenton to Leesburg to Frederick corridor more or less, as well as northwest. Even with marginal temperatures, numerous slick spots have been reported in some of these areas thanks to the very cold ground from recent days. Over the next few hours and remaining freezing rain should change over to plain rain and remain rather light overall.

10:25 a.m. Update: Temperatures are reaching 32 and above now in closer-in north and west suburbs like Columbia, Gaithersburg and Reston, but remain below freezing as icing issues continue further north and west, including spots like Leesburg and Frederick. Meanwhile, there are reports of deicing delays at DC-Baltimore area airports, and of a plan skidding off the runway at JFK Airport. The further north and west from the Beltway you go, the more careful you need to be on the roads and sidewalks.

9:10 a.m. Update: Based on radar, temperatures and Twitter/Facebook reports, the trouble spots this morning continue to mainly be north and west of D.C. and I-95, and more specifically outside the Beltway and north of I-66. Places like Columbia, Herndon and Damascus have reported icing. Please drive and navigate sidewalks with extreme caution in these areas. Close to the Beltway, in D.C. and toward points south and east, it is mainly plain rain showers with temperatures above freezing.

8:05 a.m. Update: Areas of light rain and freezing rain are moving through the area from southwest to northeast. You’re more likely to see light icing from these showers north of I-66 and west of I-95, especially outside the Beltway, where temperatures are at or below freezing, whereas points south and east including the District are mainly near to above freezing. The NWS graphic below shows radar at 8 a.m. and where temperatures are below freezing…

(NWS Sterling)

(NWS Sterling)

6 a.m. Update: The National Weather Service extended the Freezing Rain Advisory to include D.C., Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties. However temperatures in the District and points south and east are already mainly at or above freezing. And precipitation everywhere looks to be fairly spotty through at least 8 a.m. So iciness due to freezing rain may not be widespread, but careful nonetheless if you are out driving of walking.

From 5 a.m. …

Today’s Daily Digit

A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 1 to 10.

2
Not so nice between the rain showers, some possibly freezing, and temps mainly stuck in 30s.

Express Forecast

Today: Freezing rain risk through morning. 60% chance of p.m. rain showers. Highs: Near 40 late.

Tonight: Evening drizzle possible. Increasing chance of showers late. Temps rising into 40s.

Tomorrow: Rain and snow showers likely. Breezy with temps fall through 30s.

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.

We’ve got two areas of emphasis for this forecast period. The first one is the possibility of freezing rain this morning that, combined with leftover snow, could slicken some roads and sidewalks especially north and west of town. By afternoon we’re looking at a decent chance of plain old rain showers with temperatures on the upswing through the afternoon and tonight. The second and more dramatic feature is an arctic front that comes through early Monday with the potential for a quick round of snow showers, followed by dangerously frigid air that sends wind chills down to below zero Monday night into Tuesday. Yikes!

Temperature Map

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

Today (Sunday): Areas of freezing rain are possible through morning, though they could be patchy in coverage. As usual, colder areas north and west of D.C. are more likely to see slick spots on roads and sidewalks, but with enough precipitation even the south and east suburbs could see some slipperiness into mid-morning. The urban heat island should keep impacts minimal downtown, but you should drive or walk with caution no matter where you are. Morning temperatures in the upper 20s to low 30s rise to the mid-30s (northwest) to near 40 (southeast) by late afternoon. Occasional rain showers are a decent bet (60% chance) during the afternoon with light winds from the southeast.  Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Temperatures rise into the 40s during the evening into the overnight, as winds from the south increase ahead of the arctic front. After possible evening drizzle, shower chances increase to 70% overnight as the front closes in from the west.  Confidence: Medium-High

How low can we go?  Keep reading for the frigid forecast details…

Tomorrow (Monday): The front arrives early Monday, but the really cold stuff takes some time getting here. Rain showers are likely and could turn to snow showers from west to east during the morning, with a quick dusting to half-inch or so possible before ending midday. Highs in the 40s occur early-to-mid morning, then temperatures drop into and through the 30s during the day as winds blow from the west-northwest at 15-25 mph with higher gusts.  Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: Temperatures drop into and through the 20s during the evening, perhaps into the teens north and west, as winds gust around 30-40 mph from the northwest. It gets worse overnight, when temperatures nosedive under clearing skies. While lows may hold up near 10 to the low teens downtown, most of the rest of us bottom out in the single digits, and some areas north and west could flirt with zero or a bit below! Winds continue sustained around 15-25 mph through the night, which means pretty much everyone experiences biting wind chills below zero.  Confidence: Medium-High

A LOOK AHEAD

Snow Potential Index

A daily assessment of the potential for at least ~1″ of snow in the next week, on a 0-10 scale.

2 (↓) Will be hard, but not impossible, to squeeze an inch out of Monday’s arctic front; Thurs-Fri not a major threat for time being.

Be ready for a shock when you head out to your car Tuesday morning, as wind chills will almost certainly be below zero. It’s a raw and blustery day as the axis of cold moves through. Skies are plenty clear but highs only reach the mid-teens at best, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see parts of Frederick and Loudoun counties only reach near 10 degrees. We’re still dealing with gusty winds that keep wind chills dangerously low, in the single digits and at times below zero through the day. Tuesday night lows sink back to near 5-10 above zero with slackening winds.  Confidence: Medium-High

Well it’s still cold on Wednesday. But with partly to mostly sunny skies, relaxing winds, and highs hitting the upper 20s to low 30s, it should feel like spring! (ok maybe not).  Confidence: Medium

Also on Capital Weather Gang

Freezing rain advisory for D.C.'s western suburbs Sunday morning