A fast-moving storm system dropped a mixture of snow, sleet and rain across the area that ended around 8 p.m. A coating to several inches accumulated from southeast to northwest across the region, and slushy conditions developed in many locations. We’ve received reports that roads and sidewalks, while passable, are quite slick. If you don’t have to drive in this or are uncomfortable, stay in.
A refreeze is possible late tonight, so slushy conditions could turn into icy conditions early Sunday morning before it thaws out by late morning. Both pedestrians and motorists should check conditions before heading out and use caution.
8:15 p.m. update: Precipitation has exited the region, but we still are hearing reports of slushy and, in some places, hazardous roads. The big issue moving forward will be the potential for temperatures to fall some later tonight, causing a refreeze of this slush.
This is not going to be hard freeze as temperatures, currently from 31-35, remain steady for the next few hours. But later at night- they may drop a couple degrees, just enough so that slush turns icy.
Anyone, whether driving or on foot, should be careful for ice early on Sunday morning. The biggest potential for iciness will be north and west of downtown.
By midmorning, most areas should be well above freezing and thawing out.
Unless conditions change, this will be our last update for the evening. Scroll down to see snow totals and read the forecast for Sunday into next week. as well as review earlier updates.
7:10 p.m. update: Accumulating snow has ended, for the most part, except north of Columbia and Baltimore in Maryland. We’ve rounded up snowfall totals from around the region:
Va.: Reagan National Airport 0.2″, Alexandria 0.5-1″, Dulles Airport 1.5″, Great Falls 1″, Winchester 2-4″, McLean 1.5″, Falls Church 1″, Ashburn 2-3″, Reston 1.25″, Warrenton 0.5″, Bluemont 3″, Fairfax 1″
D.C.: 0.5-1.5″ from SE to NW.
Md.: Takoma Park 1.5″, Germantown 3″, Wheaton 1-2″, Dunkirk 1″, Olney 2″, Frederick 3″, Damascus 3.5″, Laurel 2″, Elkridge 2″, North Bethesda 1.5″, Columbia 2″
See also: List from National Weather Service
Forecast for Sunday and beyond
Tomorrow (Sunday): High pressure slides quickly into the region behind the departing storm system, setting the stage for very comfortable and seasonable day. Partly cloudy skies in the morning will give way to mostly sunny skies by the afternoon. Temperatures will be mild despite a light (5 to 10 mph) northwest wind. Afternoon highs will range from 47 to 51 degrees. Clouds thicken overnight with lows in the mid 30s.
Activate the blowtorch next week: Don’t worry, within a few days, you will have long forgotten about the wintry mess of this weekend. Next week, a ridiculously strong ridge of high pressure will park itself over the East Coast for a few days, pumping in some record-breaking warmth pretty much everywhere east of the Mississippi.
Here in the DMV, we should hit break the 70 degree mark easily on both Tuesday and Wednesday, which would mark the first time we’ve had back to back 70-plus degree days in February since — 2017. However, if we look at the daily temperature data for Reagan National Airport, which dates back to 1942, I can only find 10 years in which we hit 70-plus degrees on back-to-back days in the month of February. In any case, feel free to break out the shorts and T-shirts for a few days next week.
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6:30 p.m. update: Southwest of the Beltway, precipitation is rapidly tapering off and we will see precipitation coming to an end over the next 90 minutes or so from southwest to northeast. The heaviest precipitation has shifted east and northeast of the Beltway, along the west side of the Chesapeake Bay up to around Baltimore, where a nasty mix of precipitation (more snow north, and more rain and sleet south) is falling.
Temperatures are hovering between 31 to 35 across the region, from northwest to southeast. Generally, there could be slick spots anywhere it is 33 or colder and snow and sleet has fallen, so continue to use caution…even with precipitation starting to ease or end.
5:37 p.m. update: The snow was relatively short-lived, and now precipitation has transitioned over to a true “wintry mix” — or sleet, rain and some snowflakes that will not add much in terms of accumulation on the grass or roads.
While it looks like the brunt of the snow is over around the Beltway, we still advise caution on the roads. Many untreated roads and sidewalks still have slush and a wintry mix continues falling.
4:23 p.m. update: A wintry mix of rain and snow is coming down hard across the metro. Areas north and west of the city are seeing snow stick to roads. Temperatures are still at or above freezing, but it has gotten cooler in the past 2 hours because of the heavy precipitation. The District is still warm at around 35 degrees, but even places like Arlington and College Park have dropped anywhere from 2-4 degrees since earlier this afternoon.
3:52 p.m. update: Not much has changed since we last checked in. Temperatures are still above freezing across the D.C. region which is (thankfully) preventing snow from sticking to the roads. In NW D.C. and areas north of the Beltway, the grass has a decent coating already. On the other hand, in Arlington, snow has been falling at a decent clip but warmer surface temperatures are preventing it from accumulating on the grass beyond a little slush here and there.
The Storm Prediction Center issued a statement earlier this afternoon, noting that their area for highest concern was up in Pennsylvania, where the temperature is at or below freezing. Here in D.C., it looks like the air will stay warm enough to prevent this from being more than a nuisance event:
Southeastward across the piedmont toward the Greater Baltimore and Washington D.C. metropolitan areas, even with boundary layer evaporative cooling of initial precipitation [translation: it got colder when it started to rain], surface temperatures may generally not fall below the mid 30s. This seems likely to result in lower potential for sustained and/or accumulating snow.
3:08 p.m. update: Fat snowflakes are falling in the northern suburbs, but warm temperatures are keeping accumulation at bay. It’s above freezing up into Frederick County, which is hovering around 33-34 degrees this afternoon. Father south, temperatures are more like 34-46 degrees.
Grassy accumulation is happening up in Montgomery, Loudoun and Frederick. Snow and sleet are mixed in with rain in the District, Arlington and southern Prince George’s and has only just started to appear on the grass.
Roads are still in good shape, albeit wet. As temperatures drop this afternoon and evening, we’ll be watching roads for slushy — potentially slippery — conditions.
Original forecast through this evening posted at 2:30 p.m.:Snow and sleet is overspreading the region this afternoon but should mostly melt with temperatures above freezing. From there, we will be on the temperature watch.
Heavier precipitation will move into the D.C. area rather quickly, especially between about 5 and 8 p.m., and the increase in precipitation intensity and nightfall will drag surface temperatures down to around 30 to 34 degrees; 1 or 2 degrees will make a huge difference in what falls from the sky and on how many surfaces it accumulates on. We still think our forecast map (below) from this morning holds true, with the bulk of the precipitation falling in the early evening hours in the form of a sleet/snow to rain (in that order) in and around the Beltway.
Areas that have the potential to see more snow are perfectly outlined in the county map below. For the rest of us, some snow/sleet will accumulate on grassy surfaces, but in general, main roads will just be wet. That said, there may be some slushy accumulations on secondary roadways near the District during the heavier bursts of precipitation after dark.
All of the precipitation will be out of here by 10 p.m., leaving us with mostly cloudy skies and temperatures ranging from 29 to 33 degrees. Some icy spots are likely to develop, especially to the north and west of D.C. where any standing liquid should be able to refreeze.
View the current weather at The Washington Post.