NAM model forecast radar at 7 a.m. Wednesday showing snow streaking into the region. (Blue is snow, purple is sleet, pink is freezing rain, and green is rain.) (PivotalWeather.com/PivotalWeather.com)

* Winter storm warning Wednesday from 1 a.m. to 7 p.m. (except until 1 a.m. Thursday far west and northwest) | Winter weather advisory Wednesday for Stafford County and Southern Maryland from 1 a.m. to 4 p.m. *

3:30 p.m. - Updated forecast posted at this link:

Winter storm to unleash burst of heavy snow for Wednesday morning commute, then an icy mix and rain

Original forecast from 5 a.m.

TODAY’S DAILY DIGIT

A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.

7/10: Cold but calm without worry before Wednesday’s stormy story

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Mostly sunny start, clouds arrive late. Highs: 40-45.

Tonight: Cloudy, snow developing late. Lows: 25-30.

Tomorrow: Snow, heavy at times, followed by an icy mix, and then, in milder areas, rain. Highs: 30-35.

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FORECAST IN DETAIL

Sunshine is a rare commodity this week, so enjoy today’s dry respite before winter unleashes late tonight. A disruptive snow event greets us Wednesday morning before transitioning to sleet and freezing rain, and eventually all rain late in most areas by Wednesday night. Some clouds linger as we dry out later Thursday into Friday before a wet weekend looms. Temperatures have a shot to reach the 60s by Sunday.

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Today (Tuesday): Cold high pressure delivers sunny skies and crisp temperatures today with light breezes from the northwest. It’s a good day to get any errands done before the storm. Highs range from 40 to 45. Clouds increase late this afternoon and into the evening. Confidence: High

Tonight: Cloudy with snow developing during the predawn hours, between roughly 4 and 7 a.m. from southwest to northeast. Lows range from the mid-20s to around 30 with very light breezes. Confidence: Medium-High

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Tomorrow (Wednesday): A difficult morning commuting is expected as snow may be heavy at times with limited visibility and rapid accumulation, especially on untreated roads. Snow may mix with sleet late in the morning around the District and especially points east to the south. The transition from snow to a wintry mix of sleet and freezing rain progresses northward in the afternoon. Milder areas south and east of the District may well change to plain rain by sunset or before.


(CWG)

Temperatures in the upper 20s to around 30 in the morning lift to the low to mid-30s during the afternoon. Total accumulation of snow and sleet should be around 2-5 inches, but heavier amounts are likely to the northwest (and lighter amounts to the southeast). Ice accumulation along power lines and trees could trigger scattered power outages, especially north and west of the city (Zone 1 in the map below). Light winds from the east. Confidence: Medium


Forecast ice accumulation for Wednesday, Feb. 20. (CWG)

Programming note: Stay tuned for an updated, detailed briefing on this event midday. The above maps with projections for snow and ice may be adjusted some.

Tomorrow night: Expect rain around the immediate District and points south and east with some lingering freezing rain in our colder areas north and west of the city into the evening hours, keeping untreated roadways and sidewalks potentially tricky. Regular rain overspreads most of the area overnight as temperatures lift up through the 30s to around 40. Far western to northwestern suburbs could still hold on to near freezing temperatures, maintaining slick surface concerns. We still expect some delays Thursday morning, especially in Zones 1 and 2 in the above map. Confidence: Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

Thursday delivers some morning rain under cloudy skies, with temperatures lifting up through the 40s. Partly sunny skies are possible by afternoon as the rain exits and temperatures reach the warmer low to mid-50s. Partly cloudy with lows in the 30s Thursday night with some patchy fog around. Confidence: Medium

Friday could see some morning patchy fog with some partly sunny skies breaking through eventually and highs in the upper 40s to low 50s. Mostly cloudy Friday night with rain possible late. Lows range in the 30s. Confidence: Medium

Our final weekend of February looks wet, but warm-sided. Rain is most likely Saturday afternoon into Sunday midday. Temperatures Saturday lift into the upper 40s and maybe the 50s with warmer 40s Saturday night and highs in the 50s and 60s on Sunday. Confidence: Medium

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 (): Accumulating snowfall Wednesday morning is closing in on being a lock.