This brutal winter has more tricks up its sleeves for D.C. area

Winter has dealt D.C. two doses of snow the last two mornings, colder than normal temperatures, and it’s not done delivering. Forecast models are advertising a late week blast of arctic air, a touch of Saturday snow, and the potential for a major wintry mess late Sunday into early next week.

Friday cold air outbreak

It remains colder than normal through Thursday, but the arctic floodgates open Friday, when temperatures plummet to about 25 degrees colder than normal.

Friday morning’s lows could reach the single digits in our colder suburbs, with teens through the region. Wind chills may drop to near zero.


Friday morning’s low temperatures forecast by the European model (WeatherBell.com)

Highs on Friday struggle to reach freezing.


European model forecast forecast high temperatures Friday (WeatherBell.com)

Yes, the bitter cold can be traced to the fracturing of the polar vortex, a chunk of which will  sink south towards the eastern Great Lakes late Thursday.


GFS model simulates high altitude weather pattern. Piece of polar vortex is positioned over eastern Great Lakes (WeatherBell.com)

Saturday morning dusting?

A weak disturbance glides by to our south Saturday, offering a chance of snow.

GFS model simulates spin center (vorticity) tracking through south central Virginia Saturday morning (WeatherBell.com)
GFS model simulates spin center (vorticity) tracking through south central Virginia Saturday morning (WeatherBell.com)

Its exact track will dictate whether we just get flurries or even a light accumulation.


GFS model simulates some light snow moving into Virginia Saturday morning (WeatherBell.com)

Timing-wise – it’s similar to the two systems from the last two days based on current simulations – starting in the morning and exiting around midday.  We’ll keep you posted on this system – which should be fairly low impact – but another strong signal from winter that it’s not ready to retreat.

Late Sunday to Tuesday storm

This is one to keep an eye on. Models show the potential for a fairly juicy storm system forming along a front stalled to our south.  Precipitation could break out as early as late Sunday afternoon and continue well into Monday or even Tuesday.


GFS model shows mixed precipitation moving into the region Sunday night (WeatherBell.com)

The huge challenge with this storm system is going to be the evolution of precipitation type.  Today’s European model simulates more of a rain event.  However, both the GFS and Canadian model position a strong area of arctic high pressure to our north and suggest a significant ice to snow threat.


Canadian model shows snow and mixed precipitation over the region late Monday (Environment Canada)

CWG’s winter weather expert Wes Junker will write an initial analysis of the setup tomorrow, so be on the lookout for that.

Cold pattern through mid-March, perhaps

The 6-10 day and 8-14 day outlooks from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center both favor colder than normal temperatures.


8-14 day temperature outlook

6-10 day temperature outlook

For cold weather fans, winter 2013-2014 is the gift which keeps on giving.

Jason is currently the Washington Post’s weather editor. A native Washingtonian, Jason has been a weather enthusiast since age 10.
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