- Between a heavy coating and two inches of snow fell across the region today - on the high side of forecasts. The heaviest amounts of one to two inches generally occurred from the Beltway north.
- While snow ends early this evening, temperatures will be well below freezing through the overnight hours - falling from the low 20s into the teens in most areas. There are many slushy and slick spots on areas roads that will be icy.
5:00 p.m. - Snow ending
The last of the snow is streaking through D.C.'s northern suburbs and should taper off in the next hour although non-accumulating flurries could linger a bit longer.
We predicted a dusting to an inch for the immediate area, and amounts ended up mostly in the 1 to 1.5 inch range. The snow also lasted a few hours longer than expected although the bulk of the accumulation was over by late morning. All in all, this was a minor boom event - although the impact was pretty much along the lines we predicted. Due to the very cold temperatures and the prospect of accumulating snow during the morning rush, we rated this a Category 2 “disruptive event” on Thursday and that’s what it was.
Even after the snow ends this evening, temperatures falling into the teens mean there will be many icy and slick spots - especially on neighborhood roads. Please be careful through Saturday morning.
This is our last update. Our PM update with the forecast through the weekend will come out shortly.
4:15 p.m. - Steady snow Frederick to Baltimore, while tapering off to the south
From the Beltway south, the snow has largely tapered to flurries or ended. But a streak of steadier snow is streaking east near and north of Interstate 70, from Frederick to Baltimore. This closing wave of snow could put down a coating in this zone, mainly north of Gaithersburg, before the snow winds down - probably in the 5 o’clock hour.
Here are some new snow total reports from the National Weather Service, just posted:
Damascus: 1.7 inches
Rockville: 1.5 inches
Bethesda: 1.5 inches
Thurmont (Frederick Co.): 1.5 inches
Rossyln: 1.3 inches
Herndon: 1.3 inches
Annapolis: 1.2 inches
Ashburn: 1.2 inches
College Park 1.1 inches
Columbia: 1.1 inches
The Capitol: 1.1 inches
Leesburg: 1.1 inches
Vienna: 1.0 inches
Prince Frederick (Calvert County): 1.0 inches
Dulles: 0.9 inches
National zoo: 0.8 inches
BWI Airport: 0.8 inches
Centreville: 0.4 inches
3:00 p.m. - Steadiest snow shifts into northern and northwest suburbs, advisory lifted in immediate area
Radar shows steady snow north and northwest of the Beltway, but - from the Beltway south - the snowfall is very light and non-accumulating. For this reason, the National Weather Service has discontinued the winter weather advisory south of Montgomery County.
In our northern and northwestern areas, where the advisory remains in effect until 5 p.m., another coating to an inch is possible, before the snow tapers off.
1:35 p.m. - Snow eases but another mid-afternoon wave possible
Snow has lightened considerably in the immediate area, but radar shows another wave to the west, which may drift through the region mid-afternoon. Areas from the Beltway north have the best chance to intercept this wave if it holds together - and the snow would pick up some in intensity.
Snowfall reports into the National Weather Service have averaged around an inch - with a few 1.5-inch totals. Here are some select amounts:
Bethesda 1.5 inches
Ballston (Arlington) 1.2 inches
Leesburg 1.1 inches
Vienna 1.0 inches
Gaithersburg 1.0 inches
Upper Marlboro 0.8 inches
Reagan National 0.8 inches
Dulles 0.8 inches
Centreville 0.4 inches
12:15 p.m. - Snow could continue into the early part of p.m. commute. Expect slow, slick travel
For the most part, the snow has eased some in intensity and is mostly falling gently around the region (an exception is a moderate burst over Calvert County). But the snow still extends back to the Ohio-Pennsylvania border and will continue streaking east into the region well into the afternoon. The snow should be most persistent in our northern suburbs and may become more spotty/intermittent around the Beltway (and south - where that is already the case).
Short-term models, which have struggled some in forecasting this event, indicate it may still be snowing around 4 p.m. before rapidly tapering off this evening. This means expect a slow and slick commute home, especially considering temperatures are below freezing - mostly in the low 20s. As it starts turning dark later, untreated roads are likely to turn even slicker.
Consider leaving early or late from work to avoid a combination of congested traffic and slick conditions, allow extra time, and take it slow.
11:20 a.m. - Snow continues and many areas have picked up about an inch
The snow shows no signs of stopping, especially from Fairfax and Loudoun County and to the north. At the moment, a heavier burst is drifting across Montgomery County. We continue to receive reports of slick roads around the region. Untreated neighborhood roads are especially dicey.
Many spots in the immediate area have already received an inch, so this is shaping up to be another boom snowfall since another half inch to inch or so could fall, especially from the Beltway north.
Here are some totals through mid-morning (and these have probably increased some since last report) from the National Weather Service:
Bethesda: 0.5 inches
Bailey’s Crossroads: 1.1 inches
Dulles Airport: 0.6 inches
Herndon: 0.5 inches
National Zoo: 0.4 inches
10:15 a.m. - Snow may continue into the afternoon, but its intensity should ease - mostly
As a band of moderate to heavy snow pushes from the southern branch of the Beltway east-southeast through southern Prince George’s and northern Calvert County, we see the intensity of snow generally easing to the northwest. However, the snow is not over and may continue for many more hours.
Radar shows snow with this disturbance streaking back to eastern Ohio and pointing in our direction. Short-range forecast models tend to show the snow easing in intensity and retreating to the north with time, although they have not done a great job capturing the southern extent of this snowfall and some of the heavier bands.
The bottom line is that we should continue with light snow through at least mid-afternoon. The general trend should be for the snow to decrease in both coverage and intensity - while focusing more on our northern areas, but we may continue to see some localized bursts. Some snow could linger into the late afternoon, but should be over pretty much everywhere by 5 p.m.
Detailed forecast from 5 a.m.
TODAY’S DAILY DIGIT
5/10: Snow lovers rejoice; commuters recoil? Some snow plus very cold temperatures. Take it slow in the AM, and bundle up!
Today: Periods of snow possible. Highs: mid-20s to near 30.
Tonight: Clearing, dying breezes. Lows: around 20 to mid-20s.
Saturday: Fairly sunny, slight breeze. Highs: 40s.
Sunday: Mix of sun and clouds. Highs: 50s.
View the current weather at The Washington Post.
FORECAST IN DETAIL
It’s a good morning to stay aware of the weather. Even if we see just snow showers and/or a period of light snow, it’s been cold enough that anything will stick. Please commute slowly and safely! Fortunately, it won’t hang around too long into the day, so the drive home should be much easier. Plus, there’s a bit of a warming trend ahead.
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Today (Friday): Developing this morning, snow showers and even a few periods of snow are a good bet through early afternoon. This may coat much of the region. A dusting to an inch is likely most spots, but more than that is possible north and northwest. High temperatures may struggle to hit 30 degrees downtown — most of the region probably stays stuck in the 20s. Light easterly breezes help bring in a hint of moisture off the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic, assisting in the cloud cover that may last until late afternoon as well. Confidence: Medium
Tonight: Skies continue to slowly clear, and any light evening breezes calm down by midnight. Low temperatures in the teens to perhaps the mid-20s are probable. We may steady out by late evening and stay in this still-chilly temperature range for most of the night. Confidence: Medium-High
Tomorrow (Saturday): Skies continue to clear and may reveal mostly sunny conditions for much of the day. Groundhogs could be seeing shadows! High temperatures in the low to mid-40s appear likely, but a few spots in the upper 40s can’t be ruled out, especially with breezes picking up out of the (warmer) southerly direction by afternoon. Confidence: Medium-High
Tomorrow night: A mix of clouds and stars. Temperatures may only slowly creep down to the freezing (32-degree) mark before dawn downtown. Outside the Beltway, colder spots could still see some upper 20s. Scant but occasional southwesterly breezes are possible — celebrate their help getting the dew points back up near 30 degrees. We may need the humidifiers and moisturizer just a little less. Confidence: Medium-High
A LOOK AHEAD
Sunday: Another notch higher we go in our warming trend, with 50s possible throughout the region. Skies may have a mix of clouds with sunshine, but it should stay bright enough to enjoy the day — and shake off any additional Seasonal Affective Disorder you may have suffered from our recent outbreak of Arctic air. Light but steady southerly breezes may continue. Confidence: Medium-High
Sunday night: Could stay clear for the most part. Light southeasterly breezes may die down nearly completely. If they do go calm, we could see some upper 20s outside the Beltway, with mid-30s downtown. Confidence: Medium
Sunshine may dominate much of Monday as temperatures continue to warm. Upper 50s to low 60s are possible. Southerly breezes near 10 mph continue to pump in moist, milder air from the Gulf of Mexico. It may start to feel like more than a thaw! Confidence: Medium
Even warmer 60s are possible Tuesday, but some clouds mixing in with the sunshine can’t be ruled out. Moist dew points above 50 degrees may create a sense of wintry “mugginess” to our Arctic-acclimated bodies, as increased amounts of water vapor move in ahead of our next cold front. Can’t rule out a stray shower or even a line of quick thundershowers, either. Confidence: Low-Medium
SNOW POTENTIAL INDEX
A daily assessment of the potential for at least an inch of snow in the next week, on a 0-10 scale.
5/10 (↑): Good chance of a coating to an inch around the region Friday. After that, the SPI may take a rest.
Expired storm updates...
9:30 a.m. - Slick conditions widespread
We’ve continued to see the heaviest snow in the region centered right over us. With temperatures in the mid-and-upper teens, that’s a good recipe for messy roads, even if they have been treated. This morning’s activity may be about the worst of it from the current event, as intensity should tend to wane and shift north in the hours ahead. Once that is underway, conditions should improve. Thus far, about a quarter to a half inch of snow has fallen locally.
We’ll have an update on the snow’s progression and end time shortly.
8:50 a.m. - Main roads taking on snow
Even main roads are becoming snow covered in the immediate area with the burst of moderate snow that has been ongoing. Any of the sustained heavier activity will cause troubles given temperatures in the teens to around 20.
8:25 a.m. - Snow becoming steadier locally
We’re seeing some steadier snowfall lately, especially around the northern Beltway area into the city, where a burst of moderate snow has been ongoing. It’s a very powdery snow, so it doesn’t take much to start to pile up a bit.
While main roadways that have been treated are generally looking wet, some slick spots are likely, and even treated roads can become snow covered in moderate snow. On side streets and untreated surfaces, it’ll be even tougher going this morning.
7:35 a.m. - Light snow falling in much of the area
The atmosphere continues to saturate, which is allowing snow to reach the ground most spots at this time. The snow remains quite light most spots, but given temperatures in the upper teens and lower 20s, every flake sticks. Some slick spots are likely across the region this morning as snow continues to fall. Do use extra caution if out and about.
6:30 a.m. update - Snow starting to fall
We’re seeing some light snow break out across the area this morning. With very dry air in place, it’s taking a bit to get the snow to the ground. But it is reaching now over parts of the southern suburbs in particular. Andrews Air Force Base has recently reported light snow as an example. Once snow reaches the ground, it sticks to everything thanks to the cold weather.