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Updated forecast: A cold, heavy rain for most of area today except ice far west

7 min

* Winter weather advisory until 1 p.m. for northern Montgomery, western Howard, northern Fauquier and western Loudoun counties | Ice storm warning until 10 p.m. in Frederick County, Md., and along and west of Interstate 81 | Closings and delays *

Radar courtesy MyRadar | © OpenStreetMap contributors

10:30 a.m. — Cold, driving rain continues except for ice well west

Winter weather advisories have been discontinued in southern and central Montgomery, eastern Loudoun and eastern and central Howard counties as above freezing temperatures continue to progress farther westward.

For the most part now in the D.C. area, we’re dealing with just a cold, heavy rain. Through 10:30 a.m., most areas throughout the region had already picked up 0.6 to 1.0 inches. We should easily double these totals by the time the rain ends tonight.

The concern for icing is mostly confined to areas west of Route 15 and especially toward Interstate 81 and into the mountains; these areas remain under ice storm warnings. Ice may build up on trees and powerlines here leading to power outages. There have also been reports of accidents on I-81 due to icy travel. If you’re in a location under an ice storm warning, it’s best to stay in today.

Here are some ice totals so far:

Frostburg, Md.: 0.4 inches

Cedar Hill, Md. (Frederick County): 0.2 inches

New Market, Md.: 0.13 inches

Lovettsville, Va.: 0.12 inches

Damascus, Md.: 0.08 inches

This will be our last update for this article for today. Scroll down for the forecast through the weekend. Stay tuned for updated information on the rain and ice this afternoon in our PM Update.

8:10 a.m. — Mostly rain around D.C.; iciness confined to areas well north and west

Around the immediate D.C. area, a miserable, cold rain continues. Already, many locations have seen 0.5 inches of rain and another inch or more could fall today. It’s a snow lover’s worst nightmare: rain and 33 degrees in many spots. But for motorists and pedestrians, the lack of iciness is surely welcome.

Because of the lack of ice, the winter weather advisory was discontinued for the District as well as Fairfax, Prince George’s, Prince William and Anne Arundel counties.

Icy concerns remain confined north and northwest of Beltway, where temperatures hover right around 32. Even in these locations, it’s not cold enough for the ice to adhere to pavement although a few slick spots could form on elevated surfaces like decks, bridges and overpasses — where caution is advised. We’re also seeing reports of a light glaze on trees in some of these areas.

As noted in our earlier updates (below), we’re most concerned about significant ice build-up and slick roads in areas near and west of Route 15 which runs from roughly Warrenton to Leesburg to Frederick. Because it’s raining hard enough that water is running off rather than adhering to roads, we haven’t seen widespread reports of treacherous travel in this area. However, icy patches are possible, especially on untreated areas. As you head west toward Interstate 81, ice accumulation on trees and powerlines could become an issue as the day wears on, with power outages possible.

6:55 a.m. — Worst conditions west of Frederick, Leesburg and Warrenton

Right around the Beltway and to the south and southeast, temperatures remain above freezing (33 to 35 degrees) with plain rain falling and wet roads. Temperatures hover right around freezing north and northwest of the Beltway and generally west of Fairfax County, where you could encounter a few slick spots, especially on elevated surfaces: decks, bridges, overpasses, and ramps. Trees may also be coated in a light glaze.

The most treacherous conditions are mostly near and west of Route 15, from roughly Warrenton to Leesburg to Frederick. Along and west of this area, pavement and air temperatures are between 30 and 32 degrees in many instances. Use particular caution walking and driving in this zone, especially on untreated surfaces.

In Virginia, pavement temperatures are freezing on Interstate 66 just east of Front Royal, along Route 50 near Paris Mountain, and along Route 15 just south of the Potomac River. In Maryland, the pavement is freezing near the Frederick-Washington County line along Interstate 70.

5:50 a.m. — Freezing temperatures and iciness mostly focused north and northwest of Beltway

Steady rain has moved over the Washington region and it’s cold enough to freeze on contact on some surfaces mainly north and northwest of the Beltway.

Inside the Beltway and to the south and east, where plain rain is falling for the most part, temperatures are generally around 33 or 34 degrees, and roads are just wet. Still, use caution heading out as wet surfaces could be deceptively slick.

North of the Beltway and well to the west, toward Loudoun and western Prince William and northern Fauquier counties, temperatures are right around freezing. In these areas, watch out for patchy ice, particularly on untreated surfaces, and bridges, ramps and overpasses.

More serious, widespread icing is expected in western Loudoun and and western Frederick (Md.) counties toward the mountains., where temperatures are 31 or lower. Overnight, the National Weather Service extended the ice storm warning, mainly for areas along and west of Interstate 81, into Frederick County.

Temperatures should hold steady where they are now for the next two or three hours before starting to rise from southeast to northwest midmorning to midday.

Today’s daily digit

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

1/10: Early on it’s icy, making walking dicey. Then rain rules the day as winds spread a chilly spray.

Express forecast

  • Today: Freezing rain to rain, heavy at times. Highs: Around 40.
  • Tonight: Evening rain, late-night clearing, breezy. Lows: 34 to 38.
  • Tomorrow: Mostly sunny, breezy. Highs: 43 to 47.

Forecast in detail

Today is a mess with icy patches early, especially in colder areas west and north of downtown Washington, and then wind-driven rain all day and evening. Those gusty winds dry us out tomorrow. The weekend is sunny, chilly and dry, affording plenty of time to reposition any decorations that fly around Friday.

Today (Thursday): Venture out this morning carefully as icy patches are possible, especially north and west of the city. Most areas should “warm” just enough to be all rain by midmorning. Our farthest west and north areas may hold on to freezing temperatures into the afternoon in a few spots. Winds from the east gust to 25 mph, making the occasional downpours a soaking experience. Most areas see over an inch of rain, with two inches possible in some spots by the time the rain ends. Highs in the immediate are near 40, but closer to 45 nearer the Bay and 35 toward Loudoun and Frederick counties. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Rains persist through the evening. Winds shift to the northwest around midnight and start to bring showers to an end, with some partial clearing by dawn. Lows dip into the mid- to upper 30s, keeping most areas from refreezing. Confidence: Medium-High

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Tomorrow (Friday): Gusty west winds clear skies in the morning but make highs in the mid-40s feel more like the mid-30s. Some of those gusts could near 30 mph. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow night: Winds finally calm under ongoing clear skies. Lows slip to the upper 20s to low 30s. Confidence: Medium-High

A look ahead

Saturday and Sunday see plenty of sun. Highs are mainly in the low 40s and lows range through the 20s. For those with an open view of the setting sun, wait another half-hour and catch Venus and Mercury on the horizon. Then look farther up in the southern sky for Saturn and Jupiter with bright red Mars high in the sky, five planets at once! Confidence: Medium-High

Monday is more of the same with sunny skies and highs in the low 40s. Confidence: Medium-High