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Weather forecasting and analysis, space and historic events, climate information

1:00 PM | Arctic blast arrives just before dawn on Friday the 13th

Paul Dorian


An extremely energetic Arctic front will roar through the region early tomorrow and it is likely to be accompanied by strong, and perhaps damaging, wind gusts of 40-50 mph, a burst of precipitation in the form of rain changing to snow showers, and a dramatic drop in temperatures. The time frame for this strong frontal passage here in the DC metro region is just before the morning rush hour between about 3 and 6AM. Winds will continue to gust past 40 mph in the afternoon as temperatures hold steady primarily in the 30’s or even continue to drop at a slower pace than in the early morning. This Arctic invasion will be even more of a problem upon its arrival just to our north and west in the higher elevations of central and western MD and western Virginia where a quick coating of snow and a "flash freeze" may cause some serious travel problems. Even farther to the north and west, from western PA and West Virginia to the Ohio Valley and eastern Great Lakes, there will be a few hours of blizzard conditions late tonight during this polar plunge. The cold air will stick around here right through the upcoming weekend despite some sun each day. Looking ahead, most of the next 7 days will be cold, but there will be a brief (modest) warm up on Tuesday followed by another blast of cold air for the second half of next week.