9:50 p.m. Update: Initial model data this evening (from the NAM) supports the forecast below of limited accumulation near the District and to the south and east, up to an inch or two just to the north and west, and a bit more far north and west (scroll down for our detailed accumulation map).
Pictured here is the accumulated precipitation forecast from the NAM model through 1 p.m. Saturday. You can see a noticeable precipitation hole clipping the D.C. area and centered to the southeast. This is the short-range model that performed best with Snochi, and often does a decent job of capturing smaller-scale minimums and maximums in precipitation.
One more model run (from the GFS) comes in around 10:30-10:45 p.m. We’ll add an update here if warranted. (11 p.m. update: The GFS shows a slightly more energetic system, but doesn’t suggest any significant changes are necessary to the forecast.)
From 5:03 p.m. … Sunny skies helped temperatures overachieve today, spiking to around 50 despite the snow cover. Clouds increase tonight as a fast moving weather system approaches. Areas of rain and/or snow develop late at night, continuing through early afternoon Saturday. Sunday is sunny, but quite cold.
Through Tonight: Clouds increase as temperatures slowly decline. There’s a (40 to 60 percent, east to west) chance of rain or a rain/snow mix in the immediate D.C. area and for locations south and east after around 1 a.m.. In our colder suburbs to the north and west, precipitation may begin as snow or mixed precipitation (snow, sleet and rain). Lows range from near 30 in those colder suburbs to 35 downtown and south and east.
Tomorrow (Saturday): Where there’s rain and mixed precipitation, it gradually should change to snow by mid-to-late morning. Snow ends early in the afternoon, with gradually clearing skies into the late afternoon. Cold air streams into the region during the day, keeping temperatures steady in the low-to-mid 30s. Light winds from the southeast early crank up out of the northwest in the afternoon, at 15-25 mph, with some gusts over 30 mph. Little or no accumulation of snow is likely inside the Beltway and to the south and east. To the northwest, chances of light accumulations increase, with 2 inches or more possible in western Loudoun and Frederick counties.
Here’s a snowfall accumulation forecast:
Saturday night and Sunday: Blustery and very cold. Lows Saturday night range from 15-20 (suburbs-city), with winds from the northwest at 10-20 mph, producing wind chills into the single digits. Temperatures recover modestly on Sunday, with highs near freezing.
Volcanic eruption in Indonesia – incredible satellite view: Via NOAA: “At 17:30 UTC [12:30 p.m. ET] on February 13, 2014, the Suomi NPP satellite passed over the Indonesian island of Java, capturing the ash cloud emanating from the Mount Kelud volcano. Mount Kelud erupted just hours before, causing the evacuation of over 75,000 people, and impacting air travel in the region. Satellite analysis shows that the ash cloud is moving southwest into the Indian Ocean.”
Here’s the image: