PM Update: Winter storm watch expanded into D.C. suburbs; record rainfall

** Winter storm watch Tuesday evening through Wednesday afternoon for Loudoun, Montgomery, Frederick and other counties northwest. **

(NWS Baltimore Washington) (NWS Baltimore Washington)

8:50 p.m. update: The National Weather service has expanded the winter storm watch to the closer-in northwest suburbs of D.C. The counties recently added include Montgomery, Howard, Loudoun and Northern Fauquier. The watch runs from Tuesday evening through Wednesday afternoon and is for the risk of a coating to an inch of sleet and the potential for a quarter inch or more ice.

An early ice forecast from the NWS is also below. It seems like a reasonable first look at what might be expected.


(NWS ice forecast map)

Temperature Map

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

From 5:00 p.m…. All things considered, today was less messy than it could have been given temperatures were a little too warm for an impactful snow event for most of the area. Daytime highs rising into the mid-30s and around 40 were colder than normal, but since many spots picked up a midnight high, many probably won’t remember it for much more than abundant precipitation when thinking back in the future.

Through Tonight: Some breaks in the clouds may be around at times this evening, and into the night. Perhaps a nice sunset ahead? Otherwise it’s pretty calm, and that mixed with some breaks helps temperatures dip to near 20 in the colder suburbs, to perhaps as high as the upper 20s downtown. Winds are light from the north. Watch out for a slick spot or two in any areas water remains on roadways.

Tomorrow (Tuesday): Skies remain mostly cloudy, though we may see an extended break or two especially early. Highs should be fairly uniform in the mid-30s, but some upper 30s are possible as well. Winds are light, around 5-10 mph from the north and northeast. We should get through the daylight hours dry, but I can’t totally rule out showers by sunset, and rain or freezing rain becomes likely overnight.

See Jason Samenow’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.


Radar estimated rainfall. Note: there is likely some contamination from melting/bright banding in spots, like near the Maryland border. (Weather Underground)

Today’s wet system: With all the precipitation out of the area, today’s final rainfall totals were all quite high. Reagan National airport set a new daily record with 1.48″ (more than half the normal monthly rainfall!), Dulles also came in with a record for the day with 1.33″. Further north, BWI’s 1.34″ also squeaked past the old record for the date. Much of the region picked up at least 1″ of rain, with the highest totals focused on the local area.

When it comes to snow in Maryland and Virginia, max amounts were generally up near the Md./Pa. border, with upwards of 5-7″ in the highest zones, but less in many spots. Check out the full list of both rain and snow totals from the storm.

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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