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Yes, after dose of spring, snow opportunities return next week

From spring-like 60s, a tornado watch, and thunderstorms to winter storm conditions in the same week? Could happen.

After a mild weekend, a cold front coming through Sunday night sets the stage for a decidedly wintry week to follow.  Snow could fall on more than one occasion, with the best chance coming Wednesday.

To begin, some models hint a few rain showers could change to snow showers Sunday night as the regime-changing cold front sweeps through.  I doubt it snows in the immediate D.C. area, but some of our colder areas from Leesburg to Frederick could see a period of conversational flakes.

These same far north and west areas also have the best chance to see some light snow late Monday night into Tuesday morning when a weak disturbance passes by.  Compared to Sunday night, this system offers a slightly better chance for the immediate metro region to at least see some conversational flakes in the air.

GFS model forecasts a period of light snow or mixed precipitation early Tuesday morning (

The best chance of snow next week, by far, is in the Tuesday night to Wednesday timeframe.  All of the operational models (GFS, Canadian, and European) suggest a period of accumulating snow as an area of low pressure forms along a cold front stalled over the Southeast and then tracks just to D.C.’s south.

GFS model simulates snow falling Tuesday night into Wednesday morning (

Canadian model simulates snow falling Tuesday night into Wednesday morning (

European model simulates snow falling Tuesday night into Wednesday morning (

It’s too early to speculate about amounts as the storm’s evolution and track could change.

“There’s some potential for it to pass too far to our south and fringe us,” says CWG winter weather expert Wes Junker. “The other wrinkle is possibly enough warm air for some mixed precipitation, though most models keep us snow.”

Behind this potential snow event, models are  close to unanimous that bitter cold air will follow Thursday and Friday with highs perhaps struggling to around freezing and lows in the teens.

Of course, there’s been a lot of talk about a possible snowstorm Friday into Saturday, but – at present – the models suggest the cold  following Wednesday’s storm will suppress to our south a storm trying to develop along the Gulf Coast.  But – it’s too soon to completely dismiss the possibility it tries to turn north, so we’ll continue to keep an eye on it.

Jason is the Washington Post’s weather editor and Capital Weather Gang's chief meteorologist. He earned a master's degree in atmospheric science, and spent 10 years as a climate change science analyst for the U.S. government. He holds the Digital Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association.
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Jason Samenow · February 21, 2014

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