Usually low pressure moving out of the Gulf of Mexico towards the Mid-Atlantic means trouble.  This time – though – the storm should pass just far enough to our southeast for a glancing blow to be the worst case scenario.


GFS model shows D.C. on the edge of a little light snow or mixed precipitation falling Friday between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. (WeatherBell.com)

In this glancing blow scenario, we have just enough cold air in place for a little mixed precipitation to be a minor concern early-to-mid Friday morning, especially in our southern suburbs.  A little sleet, freezing drizzle, and/or light snow could develop from around Fredericksburg into Southern Maryland pre-dawn and may ooze northward into the immediate D.C. metro area after sunrise.


European model shows frozen precipitation over the southern part of the metro region falling between about 4 and 7 a.m. Friday morning (StormVistaWxModels.com)

I’d completely downplay this event but for the fact the ground is cold and just a little icy precipitation could cause slickness.  The issue is whether, outside our far southern suburbs, the precipitation even makes it here.

Consider this excerpt from the National Weather Service’s morning forecast discussion:

WE ARE CURRENTLY ADVERTISING THE POTENTIAL FOR A LIGHT WINTRY MIX…INCLUDING THE THREAT OF LIGHT ICE ACCUMULATIONS FROM FREEZING RAIN OR DRIZZLE. WILL WAIT TO ANALYZE THE [MORNING MODEL] GUIDANCE BEFORE MAKING ANY RADICAL CHANGES BUT AM SKEPTICAL OF PRECIP MAKING IT AS FAR NORTH AS THE CWA [FORECAST AREA].


National Weather Service infographic on possible wintry mix Friday morning

We’re right on the edge of this event, and we probably won’t have a great handle on exactly where the edge sets up until the precipitation is encroaching on the region

I’d suggest just staying tuned to the forecast. The period to watch is 4 to 11 a.m., from south to north. By mid-to-late morning, the air warms up enough for the mix of precipitation to transition to plain rain.

Rain is a decent possibility especially along and southeast of I-95 in the afternoon into the early evening hours Friday, with perhaps 0.25″ of rain falling. West of I-95, if the precipitation field advances that far inland (it may remain dry and just cloudy), 0.10″ of an inch of rain or so is more likely.