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

1:40 PM | Forecast includes rain, accumulating snow, and howling Arctic winds

Paul Dorian


A complicated weather picture for the next 36 hours or so that will take place in two different phases. Phase 1 will take place tonight and tomorrow morning and it will be “marginally cold” here in the DC metro region with rain, or a rain/snow mix, changing to snow. Phase 2 will take place tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow night and it will feature much colder air, strong N to NW winds, and occasional snow showers that could add to morning snowfall accumulations amounts. Here are the specifics:

As a storm begins to take shape off the SE US coast later today, precipitation will move into the region in the form of rain or a rain/snow mix. By later tonight, the rain or mixed rain and snow will changeover to snow showers and then some steadier snow is possible towards daybreak. The steadier snow will continue for part of the morning hours as the coastal storm lifts off to the northeast.

In the afternoon and evening, the powerful Arctic front will become the major player and we’ll see a dramatic pickup in the winds that will start howling out of the N to NW, temperatures will drop from morning highs in the 30’s, and there will be additional snow showers. In fact, the afternoon and evening snow showers can include brief heavier bursts of snow that can add to the morning accumulation amounts. Temperatures will drop through the 20’s tomorrow night and will bottom out in the upper teens by Sunday morning. The quick drop in temperatures later tomorrow and tomorrow night can cause some “freeze-up” conditions on the roadways all the down way to the coast. Total snowfall accumulations by later tomorrow night will be on the order of 1-3 inches. This total includes the steadier early morning snow associated with the coastal low as well as the additional small accumulations from the “Arctic-blast associated” afternoon and evening snow showers. The rest of Sunday will remain very cold and windy with highs struggling to reach the freezing mark. It appears that this active pattern will continue for at least the next seven to ten days with more accumulating snow possible on Tuesday and, in the “speculation department”, perhaps a big storm during the President’s Day weekend.

I told you it was complicated.