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Arctic blast to bring coldest air of season early next week. Will it snow?

After our three day flirtation with 50-degree weather, ending Saturday, an Arctic front charges into the region on Sunday. It may produce a few snowflakes on its way in, before the coldest period this winter, thus far, settles in. Late next week, as the Arctic air departs, some storminess is possible with precipitation of unknown forms.

Sunday: The Arctic front arrives

Behind the rainy system exiting the region early Saturday, gradually cooler air will stream into the region on Sunday, such that highs drop from near 50 to near 40.

The big drop in temperature comes Sunday night, behind a second storm passing to our east. Temperatures will plunge through the 20s, with wind chills dropping into the single digits and teens by early Monday morning.

Snow flurry potential?

The Arctic air spilling into the region Sunday combined with the possibility of some moisture being thrown back into the region from low pressure well off the coast may produce some scattered snow showers and/or flurries. Temperatures are likely to be above freezing so any flakes would be of the conversational variety.

Monday through Wednesday: Coldest stretch of winter thus far

The Arctic air during this period penetrates deep into the U.S.  For the D.C. area, highs may not exceed 30 on Monday or Tuesday, with overnight lows in the teens.  It may take until Wednesday or even Thursday for temperatures to finally rise back above freezing.

Forecast lows Tuesday from GFS model

Forecast highs Tuesday afternoon from GFS model

Next Thursday into the weekend: Storm excitement?

Let’s just say there is modest potential for a winter weather event, but – compared to yesterday – model simulations are in even less agreement and some have backed off the idea of storminess.

Neither the latest simulations of the GFS nor the European models forecast significant storminess.  They both predict a weak system to approach from the west Thursday with *maybe* a little light snow.  But they don’t show this system teaming up with a storm from the south to transform into a more significant precipitation producer.

However, a number of the simulations from the GFS ensemble predict a more significant storm system and last night’s European model ensemble also showed a somewhat promising pattern for winter storminess.

The overall setup is complex, so the best we can say right now is stay tuned.