After the snow and sleet, up to one to two tenths of freezing rain accumulated on tree limbs and other elevated surfaces in some areas. Now it will melt. Do watch out for any checks of ice which fall and/or tree limbs that may snap as the ice drips away this afternoon.
This evening, we’ll need to watch for the possibility of refreezing of untreated surfaces in our colder areas and the possibility of some slick spots but we’re not expecting a widespread hard freeze, with lows tonight in the upper 20s and low 30s.
Here are some reports of snow and sleet totals to the National Weather Service; amounts were mostly around a coating inside the Beltway, up to an inch in our northern suburbs, and 2 to 5 inches in northern Maryland:
- Thurmont, Md.: 4.5 inches
- Sykesville, Md.: 2.0 inches
- Damascus, Md.: 1 to 1.5 inches
- Elkridge, Md.: Around one inch
- Columbia, Md.: 0.8 inches
- Rockville, Md.: 0.7 inches
- National Zoo: 0.7 inches
- Purcellville, Va.: 0.6 inches
- Herndon, Va.: 0.3 inches
- Arlington, Va.: 0.2 inches
- Fairfax, Va.: 0.2 inches
Scroll down for our forecast for the rest of the week. This will be our final update on this event.
12:10 p.m. — Back edge of precipitation approaching immediate area
Radar shows moderate to heavy precipitation, mostly rain, along Interstate 95 but ending abruptly west of Fairfax and Montgomery counties. There is a bit of sleet and snow still mixed in and quite a few areas still have freezing temperatures. So untreated surfaces may be slick even with mostly liquid precipitation falling.
But this mess should end by around 1 p.m. in our immediate area and 1:30 or 2 p.m. near the Chesapeake Bay. This afternoon, everyone should rise above freezing.
11:05 a.m. — Sleet and icy precipitation continues with mostly rain in our eastern areas.
As a mix of sleet, freezing rain and rain continues, temperatures are hovering between 30 and 33. Areas along and west of Interstate 95 tend to be near or a little below freezing, while east of the Beltway we’re seeing more readings around 33 degrees.
Precipitation is mostly rain and freezing rain, with some sleet mixed in. The rain-sleet-snow line has advanced farther into northern Maryland, where locations as far north as Westminster have changed to sleet. However, parts of northern Maryland from Hagerstown to Thurmont to Westminster have seen 2 to 5 inches of snow.
Radar and short-term modeling suggest the mix of precipitation and rain should continue for another 2 to 3 hours before tapering off. Temperatures should rise another degree or two before precipitation ends, but remain at or below freezing in our colder areas so watch out for slick spots on untreated roads and sidewalks.
Scroll down to the bottom of this article for wintry mix updates from earlier in the day.
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.
3/10: Snow or mixed precipitation changes to a cold rain. Hard pass. At least it moves through fast.
- Today: Wintry mix to rain. Highs: 35 to 40.
- Tonight: Slow clearing. Lows: 29 to 34.
- Tomorrow: Becoming mostly sunny. Highs: Near 50.
Forecast in detail
For the past month, we’ve been in a wintry weather regime with colder-than-normal temperatures, on balance, and lots of storminess. This week, we transition out of that pattern. But cold air seldom departs gracefully, and today we’ll have some nuisance mixed precipitation before a welcome warm-up midweek. We will see some slightly chillier weather — but close to normal for the time of year — return for the second half of the week.
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Today (Monday): Between about 7 and 10 a.m., probably around 8 or 9 a.m. in the immediate area, we’ll see a mix of precipitation develop that could become heavy for some time. It’s probably more snow, sleet and freezing rain northwest of Interstate 95 and a mix of snow, sleet and rain elsewhere. We can’t rule out a quick coating of frozen precipitation in the immediate area and perhaps an inch or so of snow farther north. Slick spots on roads are possible, especially in our colder areas.
Between midday and early afternoon, most of us should see a transition to plain rain. In most spots, precipitation ends by around 2 or 3 p.m. Afternoon highs range from 35 to 40. Winds are light from the south but could be a bit gusty during a burst of heavier precipitation possible around midday. Confidence: Medium
Tonight: Variable cloud cover overnight and not as cold as recent nights. Lows settle in the upper 20s in our colder spots and the low to mid-30s downtown. Light winds from the west. Confidence: Medium-High
Tomorrow (Tuesday): The nicest day in quite a while. We’ll have bright sunshine and highs up around 50 degrees. Breezes from the southwest are a bit nippy at times, sustained around 10 mph with some gusts over 20 mph. Confidence: Medium-High
Tomorrow night: Mostly clear and seasonably cold. Lows range from the mid-20s in our colder spots to the low 20s downtown. Light winds from the west. Confidence: Medium-High
A look ahead
Wednesday could be the mildest day since at least Feb. 5, when it was 57, and possibly since Dec. 24, when it was 62. Skies are mostly sunny, and we’ll make a strong push toward 60. A cold front does come through at night as lows sink into the 30s. Confidence: Medium-High
Thursday and Friday are mostly sunny and turn cooler, with highs both days in the mid- to upper 40s, which is close to average. Thursday night is clear and cold with lows in the mid-20s to near freezing. Clouds increase Friday night with a chance of rain or wet snow, with lows in the 30s. Confidence: Medium-High
The weekend appears like it will be unsettled with rain showers a good bet on Saturday followed by a pause at night into early Sunday, and then a chance of some more rain Sunday afternoon or evening. Highs Saturday should be between 45 and 50 and into the low 50s on Sunday. Lows Saturday night should be near 40. Confidence: Medium
Snow potential index
A daily assessment of the potential for at least one inch of snow in the next week, on a 0-10 scale.
3/10 (→): It’s unlikely we see much if any accumulation today, but our far northern areas could pick up a quick inch.
9:50 a.m. — Snow transitions to wintry mix in immediate area. Snow continues in northern Maryland.
After a quick coating of snow in the immediate area, precipitation has transitioned to sleet, freezing rain and, in some of our warmer spots, plain rain. On radar, the transition zone between snow and mixed precipitation has pushed north of Interstate 270 and is just south of Frederick and Columbia.
Untreated surfaces are slick and, even if it seems like it’s just raining, temperatures from 30 to 32 degrees mean they will remain that way until they warm a couple more degrees. That should occur, but it may take at least another couple of hours in the immediate area and perhaps until the precipitation ends early to mid-afternoon in our colder areas to the north and west.
9:00 a.m. — Winter weather advisory expanded as snow falls steadily
Many parts of the immediate area are reporting snow and a quick coating already, with slick untreated roads. As a result the National Weather Service has expanded the winter weather advisory to include Fairfax, southern Montgomery, eastern Loudoun, southeast Howard, and Prince William County. A quick inch or so of snow and sleet is possible before the changeover to more of a wintry mix and rain. While the advisory doesn’t include the northwest part of District and northern Arlington County, similar conditions could be seen here.
Temperatures are currently between 30 and 32 degrees in much of the region allowing the snow and, in some places, graupel and sleet to accumulate. These temperatures are expected to slowly rise, but it may take until early afternoon for some of our colder areas to eclipse freezing and for precipitation to turn to the liquid form and/or taper off.
Parts of Loudoun County and areas to the north and west have already seen 0.5 to 1 inches of snow (Thurmont, Md. has reported 1-inch along with Leesburg while Bunker Hill, W. Va. along Interstate 81 has 0.5 inches).
8:00 a.m. — Snow and mixed precipitation breaking out in D.C. metro
Snow and mixed precipitation is moving into the D.C. metro area from west to east, with ice pellets noted in some areas. While snow and sleet may coat the ground for a time even within the Beltway, areas north and west of there, into northwestern Montgomery County, for example, are favored for receiving up to 1 to 3 inches of snow today before precipitation changes to sleet and rain by early afternoon.