D.C. area forecast: More snow and wintry mix today; hazardous conditions

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** Winter storm warning through Thursday afternoon for immediate D.C. area, then winter weather advisory 5 p.m. tonight to 1 a.m. Friday morning | Winter storm warning through 5 a.m. Friday north and west of the immediate metro area | Winter weather advisory through noon southern Maryland, then again 5 p.m. tonight through 1 a.m. Friday morning **

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Today’s Daily Digit

A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.

5
Splitting the difference since it’s a 10 for those with a day off to play in the snow, and a zero for those who must commute through the mess.

Express Forecast

Today: Snow to wintry mix except well north and west. Highs: 31-35.

Tonight: Light wintry mix may change back to all snow, ending by midnight. Lows: 24-29.

Tomorrow: Partly sunny, diminishing winds. Highs: 39-43.

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.

Most of us awaken to a winter wonderland or nightmare depending on your perspective. Parts of the area then goes into the classic “mix” mode fairly early in the morning through much of the day, while colder areas remain snow. Precipitation should be lighter by mid-to-late morning but snow could re-intensify into the afternoon and evening. Friday is back to quiet weather, but Friday night Valentine diners may encounter some snow showers coming home. The long weekend is drier but chilly temperatures make the melt down a slow process.

Today (Thursday): From the city and points north and west, snow should still be the main event to start the day, while to the south and east sleet and rain quickly become the dominant sky droppings. Sleet should make progress northwest into the closer-in north and west suburbs by mid-morning, and those ball bearings could pile up an inch or two to make walking a questionable endeavor. More and more freezing rain and plain rain may mix in from the city to the south and east in the morning, while the far north and west exurbs may stay all snow. Whatever your form of precipitation, the intensity should decrease late morning into the early afternoon afternoon, but not before a few more inches of snow/sleet have accumulated on top of the overnight totals.

A second round of snow could develop by late afternoon, starting in western areas. Winds gusting near 30 mph from the north add to the cold with highs in the low-mid 30s. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Snow ends by midnight in most areas, but some additional accumulation is possible – up to 2 to 4 inches (highest west of the District in all likelihood). Winds gust near 30 mph from the west as lows fall to the mid-to-upper 20s. Confidence: Medium

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

Tomorrow (Friday): Skies turn at least partly sunny, and most spots should manage highs in the low 40s despite the snow cover. The winds abate as well to just 5-10 mph from the southwest. Not a bad Valentine’s present, but I am still hoping for chocolate, myself. Confidence: High

Snow Potential Index

A daily assessment of the potential for at least ~1″ of snow in the next week, on a 0-10 scale.

9+ (↑) Many see a few more inches today on top of overnight totals. Perhaps a quick Friday night coating too?

Tomorrow night: The full “snow” moon rises early evening and ironically may quickly be obscured by an incoming area of light snow. This clipper brings a 60% chance of light snow mid-evening into the overnight. A dusting to 1″ is possible depending on how vigorous the system is. Lows fall to the mid-20s suburbs to around 30 downtown. Confidence: Low-Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

Saturday skies should clear out during the morning, but the cold air is back with highs likely stuck in the mid-to-upper 30s. With a fairly brisk breeze and a lingering snow cover for most, you’ll want to bundle up with all the winter gear necessities. Calming winds and clear skies allow areas with snow cover to chill effectively Saturday night, with lows likely in the mid-teens to low 20s. Confidence: Medium

Sunday may start out cloudy and there’s even a 30% chance of flurries or snow showers capable of a morning dusting. The clouds hang around much of the day but the precipitation shouldn’t. The cold air also holds on strong with highs in the 30s. Sunday night is another chilly one with lows in the mid-teens to low 20s. Confidence: Low-Medium

Presidents Day (Monday) does just fine with plenty of sun and light winds. Highs in the upper 30s to near 40 should help out those of you with some ice chipping to do. We’ll have to watch the potential for some mixed precipitation Monday night. Confidence: Medium

(Forecast prepared overnight)

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