Christian Fay, 21, of Laytonsville, Md., plays hockey on a frozen pond in Montgomery County, Md. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)

It was slightly milder today, although we’ll forgive you for not noticing. Temperatures mainly reached the mid-20s, with a few upper 20s mixed in. Not exactly a heat wave, and nothing like that is on the horizon. We will add a few more degrees for tomorrow, but there’s also a snow threat plus more cold air on the way.

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Through Tonight: Skies are clear this evening and overnight. With winds much lighter than they have been, and dew points near and below zero, we should see temperatures fall rapidly with sunset. This will be one of those nights where much of the drop comes early, with some folks near the single digits by late evening. Lows end up ranging from about 5 to 15 across the area. Dulles could see a record low, with a mark to beat of 8, set most recently in 1979.

View the current weather conditions at The Washington Post.

Tomorrow (Wednesday): Clouds may already be increasing by sunrise. If not, they’re on the increase during the day. They should be mostly high-level around here, as a storm system develops off the Southeast coast. Highs reach the near 30 to mid-30s, which might mean a few hours above freezing for some. A rare treat! Any snow threat holds off until overnight, if it even makes it here.

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To snow or not to snow? That is the question, around here at least. For now, the best guess locally is that it won’t snow much, if at all. As a starting point, here’s what we generally consider the best model over time and its most recent forecast from this morning:


(weather.us)

The Euro, like other models, brings the storm as tantalizingly close as possible where it still misses most of us. A small shift west could bring much of the area into some snow, while a shift east could shut everyone out. The general consensus says southern Maryland or the bay is about as far west as accumulating snow gets, but there are models such as  the short-range Canadian (RGEM) that bring up to an inch or two back to the Interstate 95 corridor. This afternoon’s run of the American GFS also nudged slightly west and has more precipitation overall, enough to bring an inch or so to the city.


Comparison of the last two runs of the American GFS model. The newest is at right. (Pivotal Weather)

Given the European and the American NAM, and other models that tend to keep snow away from the immediate area, little or no snow locally might remain the way to lean for now. Still, snow gets into southern Maryland even on those models, so it’s worth keeping an eye out, as we know living on the edge is tough business.

Light at the end of the tunnel? As CWG’s Jason Samenow alluded to in his post earlier today, the cold after this coastal storm is even more intense than what we’ve seen. But there are also signs that this super-cold pattern might finally break in the near future. We’re not talking warmth but temperatures closer to normal. Of course, as we head into the coldest time of year on average, that’s still pretty chilly!


European ensemble mean forecast for Washington over the next two weeks. (weather.us)

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