The Washington Post

PM Update: Quiet before the storm; flood watch Tuesday afternoon and evening

If you didn’t know the forecast ahead, you might think we were on our way back to some nicer (if a bit chilly still) springlike weather. Lots of sun helped boost highs into the low-and-mid 40s across the area today. A hefty breeze from the west has helped keep wind chills down into the 30s though. Still pretty wintry... but nothing like we’re about to see!

Through Tonight: Mostly clear, mostly calm, a bit of a breeze at times. After a seasonably chilly evening, lows eventually get down into the low 20s in the coldest spots to probably the upper 20s downtown.

Tomorrow (Tuesday): Any sunshine early in the day trends cloudier as we go. Those clouds also thicken and lower as we head through afternoon. Highs should range from near 40 to the mid-40s. Light precipitation, probably initially in the form of rain or rain mixed with sleet and snow (particularly west), may begin to invade the area after sunset. The worst of it comes beyond midnight and into Wednesday though. See our forecast for that period.

See Jason Samenow’s forecast through the weekend. And if you haven’t already, join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter . For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock.

Midday and afternoon models: Since our last forecast update, which remains largely on track, not much has changed. The latest Euro model (as well as its ensembles) continued to advertise a significant snow event across the area, with 1” or more liquid equivalent for pretty much everyone (a little less far northern area). The newest NAM took it a step further (see image below) by dropping over 2” liquid on a good portion of the region. Keep in mind, ratios should generally be less than 10:1 (10 inches of snow for 1 inch of rain) and some of the precipitation is rain initially. 4:50 update: The 18z GFS is in. It keeps very high precipitation totals across the area, but is also warmer than previous runs and would imply more rain near I-95 and to the east on Wednesday. Compared to recent GFS runs, that solution is an outlier.

We’ll be live-blogging the models tonight from around 9-11 p.m.

This afternoon’s North American Model (NAM). Shown is total precipitation in inches. Bottom line: It would be a clobbering!
Ian Livingston is a forecaster/photographer and information lead for the Capital Weather Gang. By day, Ian is a defense and national security researcher at a D.C. think tank.


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