* Winter weather advisory for D.C.’s far north and northwest suburbs through 8 p.m. today, except winter storm warning for Frederick and Carroll counties | * Winter storm warning 2 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday for entire region * | Some schools letting out early Tuesday *
See our latest forecast for the snow on Wednesday: Washington’s biggest snowstorm of the winter likely Wednesday, starting before dawn
2:40 p.m. update: Temperatures have continued falling, down to around 32 to 34 degrees around the Beltway. We’ve had sleet and rain falling, but roads are warm enough that there are no issues. And we think this should be the case into the evening commute, but will continue monitoring conditions.
North and west of the Beltway, we’re seeing reports of sleet starting to mix with snow. More snowflakes should enter the mix in the coming hours and we’ll need to watch out for a few slick spots, but they should be spotty as opposed to widespread.
It’s really not until you get into Loudoun and Frederick counties where there may be more widespread issues. Temperatures are down to the upper 20s to near 30 with accumulating snow and sleet continuing to fall. It’s these areas that will continue to be a concern through the evening commute, especially as it gets dark when surfaces freeze easier. The intensity of precipitation, however, should start to ease into the evening.
Unless conditions change dramatically, this will be our last update in this post. Stay tuned for our PM Update coming out around 5 p.m.
For earlier updates, that have now expired, scroll down to the bottom of this post.
Original post from 5 a.m.
TODAY’S DAILY DIGIT
A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.
2/10: Cold rain, sleet, then snow to ding first day of spring
Today: Wintry mix, cold. Highs: 32-39.
Tonight: Snow/sleet. Lows: 28-33.
Tomorrow: Morning snow, afternoon flurries/showers. Highs: 35-40.
View the current weather conditions at The Washington Post headquarters.
FORECAST IN DETAIL
A long-duration storm arrives today with a messy wintry mix this morning before an afternoon lull. Round two, mostly snow, begins in the predawn hours Wednesday and continues into the afternoon. Some accumulation is likely. The unseasonably cold weather persists through the weekend with yet another risk of wintry weather.
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Today (Tuesday): Cold rain and sleet greet us this morning. The sleet, possibly mixed with snow and freezing rain, develops first in our northwest areas and spreads southeast toward Interstate 95 by midmorning. Precipitation could be heavy at times. Our north and west suburbs may turn cold enough for a coating to an inch of sleet, and some roads could turn slick, especially during heavier bursts. Areas south and east of Washington are much less likely to see the wintry mix, and roads should just be wet.
Precipitation eases by midafternoon tapering to drizzle/flurries or light sleet at times into the evening. Highs are only in the 30s today, which is well below normal. Also, winds from the east and northeast at 10 to 15 mph with higher gusts make it very raw for the first day of spring standards. Confidence: Medium
Tonight: With colder temperatures filtering in after the sun sets, precipitation that develops after midnight should be snow, although it may mix with a bit of sleet. Lows range from the upper 20s in the north and west to the lower to middle 30s east and south. Snow could accumulate on roads where it falls steadily. This could mean a challenging commute Wednesday morning. Winds from the northeast at 5 to 10 mph with higher gusts at times make it feel even colder. Confidence: Medium
Tomorrow (Wednesday): Snow (possibly mixed with sleet east and south) continues through the morning hours but then gradually ends from southwest to northeast during the afternoon. Please see map below for total expected snow (and sleet) accumulation. Note that this may need to be adjusted today. Highs are in the 30s again, but a few spots could hit 40, depending on how quickly the precipitation ends in the afternoon. Winds blow from the north at 10 to 15 mph with higher gusts and continued chilly winds. Confidence: Medium
Tomorrow night: Partial clearing later at night and cold with lows from the middle 20s to low 30s. Wet areas may refreeze, so exercise caution. Confidence: Medium
A LOOK AHEAD
Thursday aims for partly sunny skies and breezy with highs only in the lower to middle 40s (well below normal). Thursday night runs partly cloudy and cold with lows in the middle 20s to low 30s again. Most areas hit the freezing mark or below for yet another night. Confidence: Medium-high
Friday tries to warm up a bit more under mostly sunny skies. Highs reach up to the middle to upper 40s with a few spots potentially touching 50. Friday night looks mostly clear and cool to cold with lows in the middle 20s to low 30s again. Confidence: Medium-high
Saturday brings the arrival of another potential storm system with increasing clouds during the day and then snow or rain/snow arrival later Saturday night. Highs on Saturday range in the 40s to low 50s with lows Saturday night in the upper 20s to 30s. Sunday could see morning snow and even more daytime snow/rain showers with highs only in the 30s to low 40s (much cooler than normal). 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.
9/10 (↑): Dulles looks likely, but we expect at least an inch around National too by Wednesday morning … and another chance this weekend!
Updates from earlier today
12:20 p.m. update: We’re definitely seeing the wintry mix line advancing southeast. We’re starting to get reports of sleet inside the Beltway and we’re seeing increasing reports of snow in our north and west areas. While snow has been steadily accumulating in Frederick Co., Md, we’re also seeing the sleet transition to snow in Loudoun County. Some flakes are even starting to mix in with the sleet in northern Montgomery County.
Per our 11:10 a.m. report (see below), we should continue to see the transition from rain to sleet to snow push southeastward to around the Interstate 95 corridor through this afternoon. It may not push much farther southeast, however.
Roads within a county radius of the District mostly remain just wet (with the possible exception of high spots in Montgomery County), but we can’t rule out a few slick spots as we get later into the afternoon/evening in any heavy bursts of precipitation.
11:10 a.m. update: We continue to see a mixed bag of precipitation across the area. From the Beltway and to the south and east, it’s mostly rain. North and west of the Beltway, it starts turning to sleet and even some freezing rain (sticking to trees, not to roads). Farther to the northwest into Frederick County and west toward Interstate 81, we have accumulating snow (up to 2 to 4 inches, so far). Temperatures are near freezing north and west of the Beltway, and in the mid-30s around the Beltway and to the south and east.
We should see the frozen precipitation (sleet and snow) try to push southeast toward Interstate 95 midday into the afternoon. Some of the modeling now shows this precipitation lingering into the early evening, and affecting the commute. Air and road temperatures around the Beltway should remain high enough that slick spots, if any, are isolated. The farther you go to the north and west, the greater the chance of some patchy slippery travel, especially on untreated surfaces. We will be monitoring this carefully and folks should consider allowing extra time for the commute home.
10:10 a.m. update: The winter weather advisory in effect for Frederick and Carroll counties in Maryland was upgraded to a winter storm warning as sleet has transitioned to heavy snow (with some sleet mixed in). Four to six inches of snow could fall through this evening in this area.
9:15 a.m. update: So far this storm is playing out as-expected. Roads in the immediate metro are still warm enough to prevent accumulation, but we’re starting to see sleet and snow stick in Frederick County. North of Gaithersburg, the air temperature is below freezing and a mix of sleet, snow and even some freezing rain is sticking to trees, branches and some untreated roads.
You can see how this is playing out in New Market, Md., just east of Frederick. The air temperature here is around 30 degrees as of 9:15 a.m.
8:15 a.m. update: Temperatures have fallen into the low 30s in our western and northwest, areas where we’re seeing an increase in reports of sleet and even some snowflakes, especially in Loudoun, upper Montgomery and Frederick counties. Around the Beltway and to the east, we’re still getting mostly rain with temperatures in the mid-30s.
Over the next few hours, we should start to see more mixing close to the Beltway, while sleet and snow increase in our far west and northwest areas. In those colder areas, we could see some slick spots develop so use caution.
6:35 a.m. update: Rain has overspread the entire region, while the transition to sleet has begun toward the Interstate 81 corridor and even parts of Loudoun County. Temperatures are in the upper 30s around the Beltway and east but low-to-mid 30s toward the Interstate 81 corridor.
Expect temperatures to slowly fall over the next couple of hours and for the sleet to progress eastward into our west and northwest suburbs by 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. We could see mixed precipitation reach the Beltway by late morning to midday.