11:30 a.m. update: The freezing rain advisory has been cancelled, with most areas now above freezing. Still look out for slick spots in colder areas (e.g. Loudoun and Frederick counties), especially on untreated roads and sidewalks.
Unless conditions warrant, this is the last “nowcasting” update. Scroll on down below for the forecast into early next week
10 a.m. update: The good news is that in the areas where temperatures are coldest, the precipitation is moving away (see radar below). In the areas where rain is continuing, temperatures are rising to freezing or a little above. Still, in those colder areas, even though precipitation is winding down, that’s where the worst reported conditions have been and it remains slick. In the temperature map below (readings from between 9 and 10 a.m.), I’ve drawn in a line north and west of which conditions will remain most slick for the next couple of hours. By noon, with the exception of isolated pockets, pretty much everyone should be above freezing.
Throughout the region, temperatures remain enough to freezing that everyone should continue to use caution on untreated sidewalks and streets through midday (and perhaps bit longer in Loudoun and Frederick county).
9:30 a.m. update: Freezing rain is ending or winding down out west as the western edge continues to push east toward D.C. As noted here in prior updates, major problems from this morning’s event appear minimal with many spots just seeing rain at this point. That said, reports from far western and northwestern areas (spots where the advisory continues until noon) indicate they are facing a bit higher impact with more numerous reports of icy roads and accidents. Fortunately out there, precip is pushing east, and temperatures are also on the rise.
8:55 a.m. update: The back edge of this morning’s precip shield is pushing through western parts of the area now and should continue to head east toward D.C. It may ultimately get a bit hung up while diminishing in overall intensity, but more showers are possible into the midday and afternoon, so long breaks may be limited especially south and east. A “surge” of temperatures above freezing should continue to push north through the immediate area in the time ahead, and everyone has very marginal icing temperatures at this point, helping to limit any further troubles.
Still, even as we get well past sunrise and see temperatures on the way (slowly) up, slick spots remain. Please continue to take it easy out there!
@capitalweather Just drove NW DC from Frshp Hghts to Tenley—roads icy or slippery in spots. Car lost traction half-dozen times. Go slow.
— Charles Fishman (@cfishman) January 10, 2014
8:10 a.m. update: Temperatures remain near freezing, with all the airports still checking in at 32 or lower. However, as noted below, other stations are rising just above freezing. With the cold ground, iciness remains an issue even just above freezing, but mainly on sidewalks at this point. Walking on grassy areas next to sidewalks will help quite a bit, if possible.
The back edge of widespread precipitation is nearing the Blue Ridge as rates lessen across the area before that.
@capitalweather a ton of wipeouts on DC sidewalks this am.
— Matt Sparks (@masparks) January 10, 2014
@capitalweather slippery sidewalks in Mt. Pleasant! Nearly wiped out twice within one block.
— Maggie Downing (@OnMaggiesFarm) January 10, 2014
@capitalweather flowing wetness from rain is SUPER deceptive. Slid/fell multiple times in icy slush trying to walk uphill in N Arlington.
— Kate Cox (@KCoxDC) January 10, 2014
7:35 a.m. update: More 33+ degree readings are showing up now across the area, as temperatures slowly rise to and past freezing. We aren’t hearing of many major problems out there, but reports of icy sidewalks and patchy iced streets continue to come in. The concentrated area of freezing rain turning to rain should persist another hour or so out west, with the back edge shifting east thereafter. More showers are possible after that, but should be much less widespread once this batch passes.
7:15 a.m. update: While a majority of reports are indicating roadways are in passable (but occasionally slippery) shape considering the freezing rain, if you happen upon an untreated road that might not mean much. You may go from few or no issues to big issues based on that fact alone until the sun and temperatures rise higher. Take it slow!
— Howard Bernstein (@hbwx) January 10, 2014
7:00 a.m. update: 7 a.m. temps haven’t really gone anywhere yet, with most everyone near or below freezing. The cold ground is certainly helping ice untreated locations, with some folks even just above freezing but getting surface icing. Some of the latest reports of slippery times across the region:
@capitalweather Town of Vienna streets and sidewalks made for a very scary walk to catch my bus. Town had just salted roads b4 I left house
— Jim Nunno (@jnunno) January 10, 2014
@capitalweather Sidewalks near Mt Vernon and Huntington Metro deceptively slick. Roads ok.
— Sparkle Girl (@halosparkle) January 10, 2014
— Jason D. Golden (@JasonDGolden) January 10, 2014
Sleet and freezing rain falling. Icy roads outside the station. pic.twitter.com/gvgtoWjIv7
— Alan Auglis (@alanauglis) January 10, 2014
6:30 a.m. update: Crowdsourced reports across the area indicate plenty of slippery conditions, but mainly on sidewalks and side-streets, with a lot of the main arteries already and still being treated. Enough accidents are out there that there’s no reason to think roads are totally fine though. The freezing rain transitioning to rain should stay fairly widespread the next few hours still as temperatures slowly rise. We’re still looking at much of the area being above freezing by around 9 a.m., with some pockets staying colder longer.
6:15 a.m. update: Temperatures are in the near 30 to freezing range across the area with light freezing rain mixed with some sleet and snow (mainly north) being reported everywhere. Though much of the precipitation is quite light, it will continue over most of the area the next few hours. Surfaces may appear just wet and be icy, especially thanks to the cold weather of late. Use caution stepping out the door, onto untreated sidewalks, and take it slow on area roadways particularly the next bit.
A look at delays and closings this morning.
— Erikson Young (@EriksonYoung) January 10, 2014
FORECAST IN DETAIL
From 5:00 am: On a ride we go in temperatures. Our pattern is going to oscillate somewhat rapidly through Tuesday with also some rain likely. Yes, after we thaw out from this morning’s glaze in some areas, we may still need our rain gear. Through perhaps Saturday night. At least we get a chance to thaw out (sweat too?) tomorrow and Monday! Me and my heating bill could use any breaks we can get.
Today (Friday): Light patchy freezing rain early (about a 60%-70% chance) transitions to rain by 9 a.m. or so most spots, hopefully. Not too much ice accumulation is expected. Temperatures are on the rise toward the upper 30s to mid-40s south of town. The rate at which the cold air is scoured out remains to be seen. A few colder pockets in the north and western valleys may take a few extra hours to rise above freezing. For the rest of the day, precipitation (70% chance of some falling on you) is to remain light, so don’t expect much puddling even after temperatures rise above freezing. Breezes are essentially nil, as is the sunshine. Confidence: Medium-High
Tonight: Passing showers are possible, but we may make it through the night without too much rain to worry about. With temperatures hovering nearly steady in the upper 30s to low 40s, we should escape icy problems. Light southeast breezes slowly turn toward the south at 5-10 mph. Confidence: Medium-High
For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock. Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend…
Tomorrow (Saturday): Yuck for outdoor plans, but good for our water needs. Rain ahead of our next cold front should keep us decently damp most of the day (80% chance), as southerly winds become a bit gusty over 20 mph at times. May sneak in some drier times early but don’t bet on it. Riding along those winds are much warmer temperatures—getting to around 60 to mid-60s south of town—despite substantial cloud cover. Confidence: Medium
Tomorrow night: Showers and some moderate rain could continue past dinner time, but should wane as we get later into the night. Total rain from this event could approach an inch or more for some of the wettest spots. Low temperatures do manage to fall into the mid-30s (west) to around 40 (downtown) as the cold air filters in. Confidence: Low-Medium
Sunday: Looks bright but cooler with high temperatures struggling to make the upper 40s to low 50s. Let’s enjoy the seasonable air while we can—and the sunshine. Keep in mind some moderate northwesterly winds could have you needing a scarf on the shady side of the street. Confidence: Medium-High
A LOOK AHEAD
Sunday night: Breezes should die down and skies are clear enough for some star viewing. Low temperatures before sunrise should bottom out in the 30-35 degree range for most of us. Confidence: Medium
Monday’s bringing the whiplash with temperatures shooting above-average into the 50s. Remains to be seen if we eye the 60 degree mark under mostly sunny skies. We will watch how strong the feed of warm air may prove to be (or not). There’s a slight chance (10%) of late showers near evening rush, FYI. Confidence: Low-Medium
Tuesday’s clouds and showers (40-50% chance) could persist for much of the day—but a few breaks are possible. High temperatures stay a bit more muted, but relatively comfortable, in the mid-to-upper 40s. Confidence: Low-Medium