NAM model shows precipitation arriving midday and exiting by about 7 p.m. Friday.

Snow, the kind that’s pretty to look at but causes minimal disruption, is likely on Friday between midday and early evening. We call it “conversational” or “mood” snow because it doesn’t stick to pavement and is essentially harmless. But people do talk about it. And so will we.

“Warm air being lifted over the last vestiges of our current cold snap is likely to couple with a very weak disturbance to offer a last gasp chance for a little light snow,” said Wes Junker, Capital Weather Gang’s winter weather expert.

Precipitation is likely to develop between midmorning and midday on Friday, after the morning commute and when temperatures will be above freezing. It could start as rain or a rain-snow mix but may turn to a steadier snow for a time Friday afternoon.

It may be a case where it’s more rain or a rain-snow mix when the precipitation is light, but turns to a moderate wet snow, with some big flakes, when the precipitation turns heavier.

As usual, when temperatures are just marginally low enough to support snowfall, the best chance for accumulation — mainly on grassy areas — will be in colder areas to the north and west of the Beltway, especially hilly spots. Here, we can’t rule out a coating to an inch or so on the grass.

The National Weather Service has posted an accumulation forecast map, with which we agree.


(National Weather Service)

Some models actually spit out up to 1.5 inches inside the Beltway, but a lot of that will melt considering that temperatures will be in the mid- to upper 30s. Our colder areas north and west of the Beltway could dip to 33 or so during the snow, which might allow for patchy accumulation on colder surfaces (grass, mulch, car tops, tree limbs, decks, etc.).

Note that if you’re traveling into the mountains west of Interstate 81, you could encounter up to a couple of inches and some slick spots on roads, especially as you climb above 2,000 feet. That’s where temperatures may fall below freezing.


Forecast temperatures by NAM model between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. Friday. (PivotalWeather.com/PivotalWeather.com)

The snow or rain-snow mix should end by about 7 p.m. Friday or shortly thereafter.

By Sunday, it will be a distant memory, with highs eclipsing 60 degrees.