Get out the galoshes, the skis and the scraper. Abandon incredulity. Confront reality. Sunday is the 16th of March. This isn’t January, or February. But, if the Sunday morning forecast is to be believed, snow will fall on Sunday night.

At 1:30 Sunday morning, this is what the National Weather Service had to say in its forecast for the immediate metropolitan area:

“Sunday night...a chance of rain in the evening.

“Snow. Snow accumulatikon of 3 to 5 inches.”

That is for the District and the close in suburbs. No doubt disparities will be observed. On one street in Fairfax County perhaps the full five inches will fall. On a road in Montgomery, for dimly understood reasons, perhaps it will be less than three. Maybe there won’t be any.

It is not yet etched in stone, an inevitable and irrevocable threat.

But it is close to that, it would seem.

The very forecast that warned of 3 to 5 inches of snow, gave this figure for the likelihood of precipitation of some type.

It said :”chance of precipitation near 100 per cent.”

That was the forecast issued not days, but only hours from the onset of the expected storm.

So, in a city trained to read the fine print and seek the nuances inherent in any statement, does that not hold out some possibility, even at this late hour, of snow avoidance?

The likelihood of precipitation was not a firm, full 100 per cent. It was merely “near 100 per cent.”

How near? Perhaps 99 per cent. Or, on the other hand, perhaps 96.5.

And note that the forecast did not place the probability of SNOW at 100 percent, or “near” 100 percent.

Only of precipitation. Of an unspecified sort.

Maybe it will rain.

Unlimber the umbrellas. .