Temperatures range mostly between 28 and 32F across the area at the moment, and should stay there until they start to climb above freezing around 7 to 10 a.m. (see forecast temperatures below). So watch out for icy spots if you are headed out in the car or on foot in the morning, especially north and west of D.C. where temperatures are a touch colder, but slick spots are likely across the region.
That said, treated roads should be fine and you should be able to get where you are going, even if it takes a little extra time. Skies remain mostly cloudy tomorrow with a few scattered rain showers possible and highs in the upper 30s to mid-40s.
This is our last planned update for the evening unless conditions warrant otherwise. Have a good night!
8:35 p.m. — Sleet and snow tapering for now, period of freezing rain possible overnight
Precipitation has tapered across the region. Areas of light snow and sleet (perhaps some light rain in Southern Maryland) may continue the next few hours, but are unlikely to add much accumulation to the coating currently on the ground. Many roads and sidewalks will remain icy, though, with temperatures near and below freezing.
Short-term modeling suggests we may see precipitation pick up again around 2 to 6 a.m. (see radar simulation below). This would likely be in the form of light freezing rain. As we get into the early-morning hours, road and sidewalk conditions will continue to be worst north and west of D.C. But slick spots could linger even from the District to the south and east.
8:05 p.m. — Slick roads and sidewalks across the area as precipitation tapers (at least for now)
Snow and sleet have put down an icy coating on roads and sidewalks from D.C. to the north, with mainly sleet (after earlier rain) across the southern half of the region. In fact, sleet has been reported as far south as Woodbridge, Waldorf and Southern Maryland.
Temperatures are near or below freezing across the entire region, so take it slow if you have to go out, especially north and west of the Beltway where temperatures are around 28-30F.
But as quickly as the precipitation broke out, we’re now seeing the back edge moving in from the west. So at least temporarily we should see a break in the steadier and heavier precipitation, though we could see a few more bursts later this evening. We’ll assess and post our next update around or before 9 p.m.
7 p.m. — Coating of sleet and snow from D.C. to the north and west; more snow mixing in
Sleet with a bit of snow mixed in has coated most areas from Northwest D.C. toward points north and west. Road and sidewalk conditions will continue to deteriorate, most notably north and west of the Beltway where temperatures are at or just below freezing. Drive or walk very carefully in this area if you have to head out.
We’ve seen increasing reports of snow mixing with the sleet, or changing to all snow, across our northern and western suburbs. We expect the precipitation to flip back and forth during the evening.
South of the Beltway has been mostly rain to this point, but with heavier precipitation now moving in, we expect the rain to mix with or change to sleet, and could even mix with some snow. Already we have a report of sleet in Waldorf.
Our next update will come around 8 p.m.
6:05 p.m. — Sleet increasing, especially north and west of downtown Washington
As anticipated, rain is increasingly mixing with and changing to sleet, especially in our colder areas where a light film has already accumulated in some spots. In the city and points south and east, it’s more rain with a bit of sleet mixing in.
Over the next hour, we should see more areas seeing liquid precipitation turn frozen, and an increase in snow entering the mix as well, especially north of city. There are already some reports of snow mixing with sleet in Howard County. The hours between about 7 and 11 p.m. are those when we foresee the best chance for accumulation of sleet and/or snow and some slick spots.
Temperatures are currently mostly in the mid-30s except the low 30s from roughly Leesburg to Gaithersburg and to the north and west, which is where roads will turn icy first.
Our next update will come around 7 p.m.
5:00 p.m. — Rain and some sleet expanding north
Light precipitation has spread into areas south and west of the Beltway. It’s still mostly in the form of rain, but we’ve seen some reports of a bit of sleet in western Fairfax and Loudoun counties. Some dry air north and northeast of the area has slowed the arrival of precipitation, but it should reach the District by 6 p.m. and our northeast suburbs by 7 p.m. It’s around that time when it’s intensity will likely increase, and the rain may transition more to sleet and snow.
Temperatures are mostly in the mid-to-upper 30s in the immediate area, but low-to-mid 30s to the north and west where precipitation will change to sleet and snow fastest and where accumulation will also most readily occur. Over the next couple hours, temperatures everywhere should drop several degrees as darkness settles in and precipitation increases.
4:00 p.m. — Precipitation arriving in Prince William County, should overspread rest of region next 2 to 3 hours
Radar shows some light rain, which may be mixed with frozen precipitation, arriving in Prince William County. This precipitation should reach the rest of the region by 6 or 7 p.m. It may start as rain or a mix of rain, sleet, and snow, before likely changing to snow and sleet, except in our southern areas where rain may dominate.
The time period of greatest concern, when snow and sleet may accumulate, especially in our colder areas, is between roughly 6 and 11 p.m.
Here’s a radar simulation from the HRRR model which is a rough approximation of how the next 7 hours may evolve:
2:30 p.m. — Winter weather advisory expanded into District as well as Fairfax and Prince George’s counties
As models have trended colder and are predicting more snow farther south tonight, the National Weather Service has expanded the winter weather advisory, previously in effect for just our northern suburbs, into the immediate area. The advisory now includes the District and immediately surrounding counties and all locations to the north.
Within a one county radius of the District, the Weather Service predicts up to one to two inches of snow and sleet and perhaps a bit of freezing rain. This forecast is consistent with Capital Weather Gang’s predicted amounts, shown below in the 11:40 a.m. update.
Given the possibility of light accumulation of snow and sleet in the immediate area Monday evening, this event rates as a Category 1 “nuisance” event on our winter storm impact scale, meaning it’s capable of causing some slick spots on untreated roads, but unlikely widespread, long-lasting hazardous travel.
North of the District, it ranks as a low-end Category 2 “disruptive” event, due to colder temperatures and more frozen precipitation that lasts longer. After the possibility of 1 to 3 inches of snow this evening, freezing rain and drizzle could add a slick glaze into early Tuesday morning. The effect on schools is expected to be limited due to distance learning, although it’s not out of the question that those that are open will delay or close on Tuesday.
11:40 a.m. — We have slightly increased predicted snow and sleet amounts
Computer models are showing enough cold air and precipitation over the region tonight that we’ve decided it’s prudent to gently increase our prediction for the amount of snow and sleet that might fall. Here are the changes from our earlier forecast (previous map posted below):
- We’ve expanded the zone where 1 to 3 inches of snow and sleet could fall into southern Montgomery County and northern Fairfax County.
- In what was previously a coating-to-one-inch zone, we’ve increased that to a coating to two inches and expanded the zone south through Prince William and central Charles counties.
We still expect rain or a wintry mix to develop late this afternoon and early this evening from southwest to northeast. Where precipitation starts as rain, it is likely to change to a wintry mix of sleet and snow after dark (except in our far southern areas, where it may remain mostly rain).
The period of greatest concern for a mix of snow and sleet and slick roads is between about 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. Areas likely to see the most accumulation and hazardous travel conditions will generally be north of downtown Washington, and especially the zone under a winter weather advisory.
Accumulation of snow and sleet will be dependent on where the heaviest precipitation develops, and it’s hard to pinpoint the location hours in advance. Where this occurs, it will help cool the air enough for rain to change to an icy mix or even snow. Where precipitation is lighter, more rain is anticipated (or light freezing rain in our colder areas).
Although the cold temperatures for supporting snow and sleet accumulation may exist north and west of the District, if a heavy band of precipitation develops in the city and even its nearby southern suburbs, it could result in some accumulation — which is why we’ve increased possible amounts. We will post updates as we get more data and the situation unfolds.
Forecast posted at 5 a.m.
Today’s daily digit
A somewhat subjective rating of the day’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.
2/10: Would much prefer a legitimate snowstorm over this wintry mix mess.
- Today: Rain or mix develops late in the afternoon. Highs: 34 to 39.
- Tonight: Wintry mix and rain. Lows: 30 to 35.
- Tomorrow: Morning drizzle, drying out in the afternoon. Highs: 35 to 40.
Forecast in detail
It’s a wintry week, but it remains to be seen how much snow there is to show for it. Today’s storm brings a mixed bag of precipitation starting this afternoon and continuing tonight. The chance for accumulation of snow and ice and slick roads increases as you head north and northwest of Washington this evening and overnight. We catch a breather late Tuesday into Wednesday before another storm approaches from the south. It could be a snow producer but may end up missing us. Another chance of wintry precipitation may come along Sunday.
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Today (Monday): Cloudy and cold as afternoon high temperatures only reach the mid-30s to around 40. During the late afternoon, rain develops, which may mix with and change to sleet and snow in our colder areas (north and west of the city) as darkness settles in. Temperatures fall back to the low to mid-30s by dark. Winds are light from the east. Confidence: Medium.
Tonight: A period of snow and/or sleet is likely in our colder areas during the evening and is even possible in the immediate area for a time. In our milder areas to the south and east, rain is likely, possibly mixed with sleet and snow. The mix of precipitation probably transitions to freezing rain in our colder areas after midnight, and plain rain elsewhere. The coverage and intensity of precipitation tends to ease as the night wears on as temperatures hover around 30 in our colder areas and closer to 35 into southern Maryland.
Snow and sleet accumulation, before the transition to freezing rain and rain, ranges from around a coating in the immediate area to 1 to 3 inches in our far northern suburbs. A light glaze of ice is possible on top of the snow and sleet in our colder areas. Confidence: Medium.
Tomorrow (Tuesday): Spotty light rain and drizzle (and freezing rain/drizzle in our colder areas) early in the morning gradually tapers off. We should start to dry out in the afternoon, although clouds may be hard to shake. It’s rather raw, with highs reaching 35 to 40. Confidence: Medium.
Tomorrow night: Skies remain mostly cloudy through the evening, though we may start to see a few breaks after midnight. Lows range from 30 to 35. Confidence: Medium-high.
A look ahead
Tranquil and seasonably chilly weather on Wednesday, and we’ll see at least partial sunshine return for the first time this workweek. Highs reach the mid-40s. Confidence: Medium-high.
Clouds increase Wednesday night with a small chance of snow developing late. Lows are near 30. The small chance of snow continues into Thursday morning before gradual clearing in the afternoon. The best chance of snow will be in our southern areas. Highs Thursday are in the mid- to upper 30s. Clear skies and cold Thursday night, with lows in the 20s. Confidence: Low-medium.
Sunshine is expected Friday and Saturday with seasonably cold highs both days in the mid- to upper 30s and lows at night in the 20s. There’s a slight chance of snow late Saturday night into Sunday. Confidence: Medium-high.
If somehow we miss out on snow chances Monday night and Wednesday night into Thursday, Sunday offers one more opportunity. Any snow that falls may become mixed with sleet, freezing rain and/or rain as the day wears on. Highs will probably be in the 30s. Confidence: Low-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.
4/10 (→): Hard to say whether what falls Monday night will even exceed a coating while odds of more than light snow Thursday have lessened. Sunday may offer a third chance. Could it be the charm?