PM Update: Rain to snow showers tonight, at historically coldest time of year

8:40 p.m. Update: Rain showers have mixed with or changed to snow showers in the western suburbs. Scattered light to moderate snow and rain showers should continue for at least the next few hours. No significant problems expected for the time being with current temperatures mainly in the 35-40 range.


Radar & lightning: Latest regional 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.

As we reach – on average – the coldest time of the year, today’s mid-to-upper 40s ended up slightly higher than what we might “expect.” Skies also cleared for a while after the morning fog, and ahead of tonight’s light precipitation maker. Not bad! Snowflakes in the forecast are mostly of the conversational variety, though a few spots could pick up a dusting or so.

Through Tonight: Periodic rain showers (50% chance) mixing with snow showers arriving this evening transition toward all snow showers. Light and scattered activity may be around through around sunrise. However, temperatures struggle to get to freezing (or colder) along and southeast of I-95. Any accumulation – most shouldn’t see any – is limited to a light coating, mainly on grass or elevated objects out west. A slick spot or two could develop late at night, again mainly well west of the city. Lows reach the upper 20s to lower 30s. Winds also pick up for a while, from the north near 15 mph, with gusts to around 30 mph.

Tomorrow (Thursday): A remnant snow shower or two may be around early, particularly eastern parts of the area. Otherwise, we trend toward mostly sunny and are greeted by light southwest winds. Highs should head for near 40 into the mid-40s.

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.


Average daily temperature normals for D.C. (NCDC, adapted by author)

Bottoming out: Today and tomorrow feature the coldest average temperature of the year in D.C. as we dip to 35.7 degrees. Unrounded, D.C. has been at its lowest normal (or average) high of 43.1 degrees since Jan. 7. It ticks up to 43.2 degrees on Friday. When it comes to lows, today is our first with a coldest normal of 28.3 degrees, and that doesn’t rise again until Jan. 21. For a while yet, the rise is slow. We only gain 0.9 degrees on the average daily temperature through the end of the month and another 2.2 degrees by mid-Feb.


Today’s midday run of the GFS shows a clipper approaching the region Saturday night. It ultimately passes north on this run. (Weatherbell.com)

Clipper watch: In addition to tonight’s conversational snow chances, we’re still watching at least two more in the near term (Friday and Saturday night). Problems remain numerous if you’re looking for much snow excitement. Our winter weather expert Wes Junker had the following to say earlier today:

Nothing much has changed concerning the three upper-level troughs that swing through our area over the next couple of days.  All remain moisture-starved and probably only offer the potential for a few conversational flakes of snow if any at all.  Our best bet at a coating may be from a clipper Saturday night.  A fourth of these similar systems could cross the area Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.  Lots of quick moving systems,  probably lots of disappointed snow lovers.

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.
Comments
Show Comments
Most Read Local
Next Story
Jason Samenow · January 15