Since the beginning of the week, computer models have come full circle in their forecasts. On Monday, they predicted Saturday’s storm would stay well south of the District. But then, on Tuesday and Wednesday, they shifted the storm north, and the region was staring at the possibility of a historic April snow event. They’ve since nudged it back south, suggesting just a glancing blow.
In short, as a snowstorm, this is what I call “a fizzler” (or one that fizzles out).
Saturday still is going to be unseasonably cold and damp, but heavy, disruptive precipitation is unlikely. You may even be able to do some things outside, if you don’t mind the chill and periods of light precipitation. The Nationals have a good chance to get in their afternoon game (first pitch 1:05 p.m.), after all.
Below is a rough timeline of what we expect to happen Saturday. But bear in mind that, as we’re on the edge of this storm, small shifts remain possible, so check our forecast updates late today and again Saturday morning.
Midnight to 4 a.m.: Areas of light rain develop. Temperatures falling from the 50s into the 40s.
4 a.m. to 8 a.m.: Patchy light rain may gradually mix with wet snow. Temperatures falling from the 40s into the upper 30s.
8 a.m. to noon: Cloudy, slight chance of patchy light rain and a few snowflakes, mainly south of Washington. Temperatures from 35-40.
Noon to 4 p.m.: Cloudy. Slight chance of rain redeveloping late, especially south. Temperatures 38-45.
4 p.m. to 8 p.m.: Light rain and/or wet snow, highest chances south. Temperatures 36-42.
8 p.m. to 11:59 p.m.: Chance of rain and/or wet snow, especially south, exiting to the east before midnight. Temperatures 34-39.
Because the storm track has shifted south, areas south of the District will probably see the most precipitation over the longest duration. North of the District, precipitation may be pretty spotty throughout the day.
These southern areas also have the best chance of seeing a coating of snow or so, mainly on grassy areas, Saturday evening.
Here’s the National Weather Service’s snowfall potential map, which we think is pretty realistic: