Snow Forecasted for Second Day of Spring

By Bill Brubaker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 20, 2006; 6:03 PM

It's the first day of spring, the home-and-garden centers are getting busy and the National Cherry Blossom Festival officially begins on Saturday. But Old Man Winter may not be done with us yet.

Snow is in the forecast for tomorrow -- one to three inches in some parts of the Washington region. But National Weather Service forecasters don't expect snow will impact the morning commute, and they are not convinced it will create significant road problems later in the day.

"Initially, the snow will accumulate mainly on trees, shrubs and grass," said meteorologist James Brotherton. "Later, it might stick on some roads and not stick on some others."

Light snow should begin falling shortly after sunrise tomorrow, and it may not stop until midnight, meteorologists said. The largest accumulations are expected to the south and west of the District, they said.

"In the Washington area, we have a very, very slight chance of some snow tonight," said Nikole Listemaa, a National Weather Service meteorologist. "By dawn, we think there's a 60 percent chance of precipitation, and we think it will turn to snow. We could have a changeover to snow and sleet in the afternoon. Then, after sunset, we expect a changeover to all snow."

The National Weather Service predicts an accumulation of one to two inches in the District and one to three inches in western and southern suburbs.

"Most of the snow in the beginning [early tomorrow] will not stick on the roads because the road temperatures have been quite warm," Brotherton said. The weather service uses sensors to measure road temperatures.

The temperature will drop to the lower 30s tonight and get no warmer than 35 tomorrow -- the second day of spring -- according to the weather service.

Wednesday? Not quite spring, but a bit warmer: mostly sunny with a high of 44, the weather service predicts.

© 2006 The Washington Post Company