* Winter weather advisory through 1 p.m. for most of area | Winter storm warning Calvert and St. Mary’s counties | Wind chill advisory tonight | Delays and closings | Federal government two hour delay with unscheduled leave option *

10:47 a.m. update: The light snow and flurries on the back edge of this storm have stubbornly refused to pull away, so the National Weather Service has extended the winter weather advisory  (and winter storm warning in Southern Maryland) until 1 p.m. Little additional accumulation (more than a coating or so) is expected but the snow and gusty winds will keep things messy and reduce visibility at times.

8:10 a.m. update: From the District and to the west, light snow has tapered to flurries and snow showers and snow should start to decrease in our eastern areas around the Bay over the next few hours, diminishing to flurries.

Some snowfall totals through 7 a.m. include:

  • Reagan National: 0.8 inches
  • BWI Airport: 0.9 inches
  • Dulles Airport: 0.1 inches
  • Chantilly: 0.5 inches
  • Columbia: 0.5 inches
  • Waldorf: 3.0 inches
  • Ridge, St. Mary’s County: 5.5 inches

These are right in the predicted range. Little or no additional accumulation is expected.

Continue to use caution as there are slick, untreated roads out there; even some well-traveled roads have slush.

It’s a good idea to clear snow on sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots now while it’s still fluffy and easy to clear. By tonight, it will congeal, turn icy, and be more of a chore to get rid of.

With the snow moving out, the big story is the wind, gusting up to 30 to 40 mph, and cold. A wind chill advisory takes effect tonight, when the chill factor will fall below zero. Please scroll down below for the detailed forecast through the weekend.

For snow updates from earlier this morning (no longer current), scroll down to the bottom of this post.

Original post

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

1/10: Another polar vortex shift with frigid air returning on winds so swift. Yet snow so light the snow lovers are miffed.

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Light snow in the morning, clearing and blustery in the afternoon. Highs: 24-28
Tonight: Sub-zero wind chills under partly cloudy skies. Lows: 6-12
Tomorrow: Mostly sunny, painfully cold and windy. Highs: 16-20

View the current weather conditions at The Washington Post headquarters.

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Light snow this morning may not amount to much but roads may be slick and strong winds associated with the “bomb cyclone” could lower visibility. Those winds power another Arctic blast that could threaten cold records Friday through Sunday across the area. Temperatures finally moderate by Monday, but an approaching storm could threaten the dreaded “wintry mix.”

Listen to the latest forecast:

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Today (Thursday): Light snow tapers off this morning from west to east with some afternoon clearing. Accumulations of up to an inch or two in the immediate area are likely (more in Southern Maryland, but just a dusting in western areas). With northwest winds gusting to 35 mph, blowing snow may cause some visibility problems at times. Highs in the mid-to-upper 20s happen in the morning before falling through the afternoon with wind chill readings dropping into the single digits. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Frigid air continues to drive the wind chill down to the negative single digits as northwest winds gust to 35 mph through the night. Lows end up in the bone-rattling range of mid-single digits to lower teens. Confidence: High

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 (Friday): Gusty winds remain a constant through the day, with wind chill readings near zero or worse in the morning. Highs do no better than upper teens in much of the area which will be likely to break records for maximum temps (21 at Dulles; 18 at BWI and DCA both from the late 1800s!). Mostly sunny skies are the only consolation. Confidence: High

Tomorrow night: Winds only marginally weaken, coming from the northwest at 10 to 20 mph. That keeps wind chill readings in the negative single digits. Skies are clear, and lows drop to the positive single digits, which could again challenge records across the area (if there was snow cover they would certainly be in play). Confidence: High


The frozen Potomac River, Jan. 3. ( Fritz Myer via Flickr )

A LOOK AHEAD

Saturday remains firmly under the polar vortex, with frigid temperatures and gusty winds making it worse. Highs in the mid- to upper teens could again challenge records. Clear skies through the day persist overnight and winds finally calm, leading to lows in the single digits with more records at risk yet again. Confidence: High

Winds shift around to come from the south on Sunday but the warm-up is a slow one with highs mainly in the mid-to-upper 20s. Clouds increase overnight and help to hold lows in the upper teens to low 20s (mid-20s downtown). Confidence: Medium

Monday is very tough to call as a storm approaches the area. If it comes in early enough, a wintry mix is certainly possible. But if it arrives later in the day, rain will be the rule as highs should reach the upper 30s to low 40s. Confidence: Low

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.

6/10 (↑): The sure bet for an inch may lie just to our east but it is definitely possible this morning. Beyond that Monday looks more like a mix than snow.

Early morning snow updates (no longer current)

6:30 a.m. update: Radar shows the moderate area of snow over the Interstate 95 corridor has shifted east of the District with mostly light snow to the west. Over the next couple of hours, the snow will be mostly light with the exception of some moderate snow in our eastern areas. Between 8 and 10 a.m., it should start to taper off from west to east. However, winds gusting to 30 mph or higher will blow snow around and some flurries are possible even through midday.

Snow amounts so far range from a coating to an inch in the immediate area, but up to a couple inches east of the city.

Reports are that many roads are snow-covered and slick so take it easy. Our next update will be around 8 a.m.

5:30 a.m. update: Light snow began across the area between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. overnight and a more solid band of snow, moderate at times, has developed over the immediate area early this morning. Temperatures are in the low-to-mid 20s, untreated roads are snow-covered and slick, and most schools have decided to close or delay.

Because the storm is moving so fast, the snow should gradually wind down from west to east over the next several hours but up to an inch or two is likely (except a dusting to coating in our western areas), with greater amounts of 3 to 6 inches in Southern Maryland, under a winter storm warning. Winds, already gusting over 25 mph, will increase as the explosive ocean storm continues to strengthen, causing blowing snow and reduced visibility.

Stay in if you can or take it very slow.