6:10 p.m. update: The band to D.C.’s west has survived and is now pivoting back towards the east, with snow and some sleet redeveloping. This precipitation is mostly light but could become moderate briefly. With the sun going down, temperatures should slowly fall off so be careful of some slick spots forming especially in our colder areas west of the Beltway (where it’s around 32 or a bit colder). But note the back edge of the snow is from around Gainesville to Leesburg and into western Montgomery county, so the snow will start to wind down in our western areas by 7 p.m., inside the Beltway around 8 p.m., and our eastern areas around 9 p.m. Less than one inch additional accumulation, if any, is likely.
Generally, one to four inches of slushy snow fell today, mainly on grassy areas. There’s a little more snow to go this evening, before the storm pulls away and sets it eyes on eastern New England and the Canadian Maritimes. Cold, windy air surges southward in its wake, setting up an uncomfortably blustery Wednesday in Washington.
Through Tonight: Where snow temporarily shut off late this afternoon, it may redevelop between 5 and 6 p.m. Then the entire complex of snow shifts east, ending by around 7 p.m. in our western suburbs, 8 p.m. in the immediate metro area, and 9 p.m. in our eastern suburbs. There’s a chance – rather than merging – the band west of the region fizzles, and the eastern band misses us – so additional steady snow is not guaranteed. Any additional accumulation this evening, mainly on grassy areas, is probably 1″ or less. With the sun going down and temperatures falling, however, slick spots could develop – especially in our colder suburbs. Lows range from the low-to-mid 20s in our colder suburbs to the upper 20s downtown. Late tonight, winds really start to crank out of the northwest, becoming sustained at 15-25 mph by morning, with gusts to 30-40 mph possible. Wind chills dip to the high single digits in our colder suburbs to the mid-teens downtown.
Tomorrow (Wednesday): Mostly sunny but windy and very cold; watch for possible slick spots when you get up and head out, but schools and government offices should open on time. Highs are only 35-40 and feel much colder factoring in winds from the northwest at 15-25 mph, gusting to 30-40 mph. That makes for wind chills in the teens and 20s much of the day.
Snowfall and cold weather records set: Reagan National Airport received 1.7″ of snow today (through 5 p.m.), besting the previous record of 1.5″ from 1906. Dulles Airport also set a record with 3.8″, passing the old record of 3.2″ set last year (2013). Dulles Airport’s preliminary high for the date of 32 is the coldest maximum temperature (and high at 32 or below) so late in the season on record (dating back to 1963).
Blizzard, extreme storm for eastern New England and Canadian Maritimes: As I discussed yesterday, this storm is going to absolutely explode overnight into tomorrow and will be the strongest since Sandy near the East Coast. A hurricane force wind warning has been issued for extreme eastern Massachusetts.
A blizzard warning, for 5-10 inches of wind-whipped snow, is in effect for the same area.
Waves offshore New England and eastern Canada may reach 30 to 45 feet:
Look at this visualization of the storm:
And watch this simulation from the GFS model: