(Weather Underground)

Blizzard warning | Latest forecast | Radar | Live news updates | Watch the storm live | Power outage tracker | What does two feet of snow look like? | Snow totals from NWS.

Key points:

  • This is a long-duration event, with snow forecast for 36 hours or so through Saturday evening.
  • Periods of heavy snow continue for at least the next few hours. Additional heavy snow is likely after.
  • Thunder snow is still a possibility, but extreme snowfall rates of up to 2-3 inches per hour have occurred without that.
  • Winds may gust to 40 mph on Saturday, causing whiteout conditions and some blowing and drifting snow. Stronger gusts to 50 mph are possible east of the District toward the Bay.
  • Power outages are possible.
  • Total snow accumulations 16-30 inches. Highest north and west of District, lowest southeast.

5:10 a.m. update: Waking up in the immediate area, you’ll certainly notice it snowed a whole lot overnight. The last few hours in particular were pretty intense. While we’re nearing the final part of the first half of the storm, D.C. and surrounds continue to be under the gun. Snow will continue to pile up in the short term. While intensity should wane a bit overall after, blizzard conditions are an increasing risk as winds kick snow around.


Radar loop ending near 5:00 a.m. this morning showing rounds of heavy snow passing through overnight. (College of Dupage)

We will resume live-blogging in a new post around 6 a.m.

From 5:00 a.m…

TODAY’S DAILY DIGIT
A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.

1/10: For many people it’s probably a 0, but I like snow so it gets a point. Good day to stay inside.

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Snow and blizzard conditions. Highs: 26-31.
Tonight: Snow tapering off. Lows: 16-22.
Tomorrow: Partly to mostly sunny, breezy. Highs: Near 30 to mid-30s.

Capital Weather Gang's Angela Fritz takes snow accumulation measurements from downtown D.C. and makes predictions for the potentially historic blizzard hitting the Washington area and the mid-Atlantic. (Ashleigh Joplin,Angela Fritz/The Washington Post)

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Well, I hope you like snow. After huge amounts fell overnight, more is on the way today. We’ve got at least a few more hours of periodic heavy and somewhat wet snow, and we’ll gradually turn back toward the fluffier type as the system prepares its departure. That’s not necessarily good news given that winds rage into the evening and snow persists as well.

Today (Saturday): You might be a bit stunned to see how much snow is on the ground this morning, even after we’ve all been talking about it so long. And it’ll snow most of the day. While the heaviest of the heavy starts to wind down this morning, additional rounds of moderate to heavy snow remain likely thereafter as backside banding from the storm rolls through. The wind situation is also just getting started. It really began to whip in the pre-dawn hours, and we’ll see sustained winds around 25-35 mph. Gusts in the 40s to near 50 mph are likely. The strongest sustained and gust are mainly D.C. east, particularly near the water. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Mainly light with occasionally moderate snow is likely to persist into the evening. It should tend to wind down by midnight or so, if not prior. Once we get past sunset, the main stories are the gigantic amount of snow on the ground and the wind still blowing it around. Those winds do taper with time, eventually falling off to around 10-15 mph with higher gusts by morning. Skies remain rather cloudy till near sunrise, with lows in the mid-teens to low 20s. Confidence: Medium

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest updates. For related traffic news, check out Dr. Gridlock. Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend…

Tomorrow (Sunday): The big dig gets underway with partly to mostly sunny skies returning. Winds remain brisk from the northwest, and highs are only in the near 30 to mid-30s range. That means we won’t get too much help with melting. It’s likely to be a slow go. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow night: We should start the night largely clear. With a fresh snow pack and diminishing winds, expect plummeting temperatures. The main wild card may be a potential increase in clouds. For now, I’ll go with the colder idea and say single digits are a good bet in many suburbs while downtown heads for the mid-to-upper teens. Confidence: Medium


Already past one foot of snow in northwest D.C. around 4:30 a.m. (Ian Livingston)

A LOOK AHEAD

I think Monday is the first day of several that starts to take a chunk out of Snowzilla. Despite a cold start, sunny skies and a warmer air mass moving in both help to deliver highs in the near 40 to mid-40s range. It’s not exactly toasty. Slow and steady. Confidence: Medium

On Tuesday, we start with skies turning cloudier coming off lows in the 20s. The day ends up fairly cloudy and there could even be a few rain showers late in the day. Highs rise to the low-and-mid 40s. Confidence: Medium

SNOW POTENTIAL INDEX
A daily assessment of the potential for at least 1 inch of snow in the next week, on a 0-10 scale.

10/10 (→): Unless we can subtract snow, this one’s already been met. Blizzard weather all day.