With temperatures struggling through the 30s, and a slate-gray sky overhead, it’s sure feeling like winter today.
We may add snowflakes to the menu as a big upper-level disturbance passes by later Wednesday.
Although we do not anticipate widespread snow, a few localized heavy bursts are possible. Their timing could be problematic, potentially coinciding with the trip home, from between about 4 and 8 p.m. (toward the earlier part of this window in our southwest areas and latter end to the northeast).
If snow falls heavily, a quick dusting or coating is possible, even on roadways, given temperatures that will fall to near-freezing as it turns dark.
High-resolution weather models have shown the potential for snow showers or snow squalls for the past day or so because of the passage of this robust high-altitude wave in the atmosphere.
It has already spawned a few snow showers south of our region, and a new batch is developing to our west.
This new round of activity is set to swings our way through the afternoon and into the evening. There is some sign that any snow squalls that develop will be decreasing in intensity as they traverse the region from west to east, but they could still be heavy in a few spots.
Areas west of Interstate 95 may see the most activity. Generally, snow showers that develop will probably be hit or miss. The high-end potential here is a coating to a half an inch or so in any heavier squalls, although any persistent heavier activity could produce more.
With temperatures predicted to be near freezing around sunset, any snow falling steadily could stick and lower the temperature even further. This could cause some slick spots on roads.
Additionally, snow squalls can cause rapid decrease in visibility, although any should pass fairly quickly — less than an hour mostly.
If you’ve lived in Washington in recent decades, Dec. 5 snow might ring a bell. Between 2002 and 2009, Dec. 5 snow occurred routinely. So much that we even wrote about it in 2010.
While it’s unlikely this snow will amount to enough to make the list of Dec. 5 snow events above, even talking snow brings back snowy memories.
Today marks the first time we’re talking about the chance of accumulating snow on Dec. 5 since 2009. The biggest Dec. 5 snow event on record came in 2002, when 6.1 inches of powder fell on the city. That was the start of an El Niño winter just like this one.
As needed, we’ll update on any snow squalls through the afternoon and into the evening. Keep an eye out!