DC, dusting city, living up to name: light snow chance Friday and Saturday nights

Overnight, scattered rain showers changed over to snow showers. Of areas receiving snow, by and large, a dusting was the most common report. Accumulations ranged from none to an inch or so in high elevations to the west and southwest of the metro area. A ribbon of light snow this morning also put down a coating on grassy areas in southern Maryland.

We have some more dusting opportunities in the pipeline – Friday night and Saturday night…

First, some pictures of the spotty snow from overnight and this morning:

 

 

 

Interestingly, the western suburbs of Richmond – around Midlothian – picked up a surprise 1-2 inches of snow:

 

About the Friday and Saturday night snow chances: a clipper parade

Showing striking similarity to last night’s event, two more weak disturbances may lay down a dusting or so Friday night and again Saturday night. Both of these disturbances are diving south from Canada along the jet stream and are classic clipper systems. They’re moisture-starved but can produce some snow in a narrow band. Dusting amounts are typical, but locally higher amounts of 1-2 inches are always possible with these systems.

Animation of disturbances (vorticity) - at an altitude of 18,000 feet - passing through the region between this morning and Sunday morning, via the GFS model (WeatherBell.com)

Animation of disturbances (vorticity) – at an altitude of 18,000 feet – passing through the region between this morning and Sunday morning, via the GFS model (WeatherBell.com)

Friday night’s clipper

  • Timing: 10 p.m to 5 a.m. Saturday morning
  • Temps: Falling to near freeze
  • Precipitation types: Likely snow, possibly starting as rain or rain/snow mix along and east of I-95
  • Areas favored for most snow: North and west of Beltway, especially Frederick and Loudoun counties
  • Chance of at least a dusting: 30 percent east of I-95, 50 percent west of I-95, 40 percent near I-95
  • Chance of at least one inch: About 10-20 percent for most of area, except 20-30 percent from Leesburg and Frederick to the north and west
GFS model shows light precipitation having falling between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. Saturday morning. Freezing line, in purple, is just east of D.C. at 7 a.m. (StormVistaWxModels.com)

GFS model shows light precipitation having falling between 10 p.m. Friday and 4 a.m. Saturday morning. Freezing line, in purple, is just east of D.C. at 4 a.m. (StormVistaWxModels.com)

Saturday night’s clipper

  • Timing: 11 p.m to 7 a.m. Sunday morning
  • Temps: 28-32
  • Precipitation type: Snow
  • Areas favored for most snow: Equal chances for snow across area, perhaps a slight edge to colder north and west suburbs (given that’s typically the case)
  • Chance of at least a dusting: 50 percent
  • Chance of at least one inch: About 20 percent
GFS model shows light precipitation having falling between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. Saturday morning. Freezing line, in purple, is just east of D.C. at 7 a.m.  Sunday (StormVistaWxModels.com)

GFS model shows light precipitation having falling between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. Sunday morning. Freezing line, in purple, is well east of D.C. at 7 a.m. Sunday (StormVistaWxModels.com)

Caveat: Slight changes in these clipper tracks can have important implications for whether snow falls, how much and where.  Keep an eye on our forecast updates for the latest.

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