D.C. area forecast: Snow showers today, new batch of cold tonight into Sunday

8:15 a.m. update: A band of snow has pushed into western areas, the problem for a snow lover is not much is reaching the ground as we’re still dealing with plentiful dry air near the surface. At this point, it looks like this band won’t do a whole lot more than drop a scattered snowflake or two as it passes, but some “thicker” snow showers may reach the ground in spots. Behind this morning band, we may not see much in the way of snow showers until the front approaches later, and those would be isolated to scattered most likely.

Today’s Daily Digit

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

4
We may flirt with freezing, almost like a heat wave! Snow showers make the cold a bit more worthwhile.

Express Forecast

Today: Periodic snow showers, mostly cloudy. Highs: Upper 20s to near freezing.

Tonight: Evening snow showers possible, partly cloudy and breezy. Lows: 12-20.

Tomorrow: Mostly sunny a.m., increasing clouds. Highs: 23-28.

FORECAST IN DETAIL


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.

It’s the cold that keeps on giving. Our only respites in the days ahead are in times when little systems pass by and briefly send us slightly milder air. Of course, on a day like today, that can also be accompanied by snow showers. While they’re mainly be of the conversational variety, given how cold it’s been and the fact that there’s a hefty snow-pack, getting whatever falls to stick shouldn’t be too difficult. Still, more mood flakes than anything, and a pleasant part of what might be becoming a slightly annoying chill.

Today (Saturday): Snow showers are possible much of the day, but the most likely period is focused on the morning into midday. Otherwise, mostly cloudy with maybe some breaks. Much of any snow activity should be light, but a few heavier squalls are possible, especially as the front passes late. Those squalls may be more isolated in nature but could pack a quick punch somewhere in the vicinity of sunset. Throughout, some spots may pick up a dusting to an outside shot of an inch or so. Others just conversational flakes, or nothing. Highs are a little tricky compared to usual, but upper 20s to near freezing should do it. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: After a risk of snow showers or squalls lingering into the evening, the main stories are cold and wind. Well, these days maybe not much of a story? Under partly cloudy skies, lows are mainly in the teens, with a range from about 12-20 most spots. Winds are strongest early in the night, behind the front, running about 15-20 mph with gusts past 30 mph through late evening before relaxing slightly after midnight. Wind chills near and below zero should make a visit yet again. Confidence: Medium-High

For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock. Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend…

Tomorrow (Sunday): We see more sunshine, at least most of the day. But it’s cold again, of course. Highs rising to the mid-20s, perhaps upper 20s, are accompanied by southwest winds around 10 mph. Clouds tend to increase around sunset as the next in a series of clippers passes by to the north.
Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: With the clouds around and a wind from the south/southwest, temperatures are held up a bit. Near 20 to the mid-20s is a good range most places. A few snow showers are possible (20-30%), especially as we get toward sunrise with the approach of our next front.
Confidence: Medium

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.

3 (→): Cold ground, snow-pack helps whatever falls on Sat to try to stick, but not much falls. Still eying midweek.

The parade of Arctic fronts continues on Monday, and this one’s got quite a punch. It should move through during the morning, with a few snow showers possible along it, then strong northwest winds and temperatures either fairly steady or falling behind it. So highs may be morning readings that make the near 30 to around freezing range or a bit higher depending on front timing. Temperatures rapidly fall through the night as winds likely persist, with lows eventually settling into the single digits to around 10. Confidence: Medium

Tuesday. Cold and windy? You got it. At least we’re increasing the odds that walking across the Potomac will become possible? (I wouldn’t personally advise it!). Highs struggle to rise out of the teens as that fresh northern air keeps on pouring in. At least it’s partly to mostly clear. Confidence: Medium

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.
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Ian Livingston · January 25, 2014

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