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

7:00 AM | White Christmas possibilities and a big mid-week storm; active pattern continues into January

Paul Dorian

6-Day Forecast


Becoming mostly cloudy, snow likely to the N and W of the District this afternoon with rain or sleet possibly mixed in at times, mainly rain in the District and to points S and E, a coating to an inch or two possible in the northern and western suburbs, highs near 40


Snow likely N and W of the District possibly mixed with rain or sleet at times early, mainly rain in the District and S and E early, cold, lows in the low 30’s


Partly sunny, cold, highs near 45

Tuesday Night

Becoming cloudy, cold, some ice possible towards morning, near 30


Cloudy, chilly, rain likely or a wintry mix, near 40


Becoming partly sunny, cold, mid-to-upper 30’s


Mainly sunny, cold, mid 30’s


Becoming cloudy, cold, chance for rain or snow late, upper 30’s


Our active weather pattern continues and it looks like two storms will affect the Mid-Atlantic region by the middle of the week, and then a third storm is likely next weekend. That third storm could usher in the coldest air yet this season affecting much of the central and eastern US. In fact, there are signs that the first 5 days of 2013 may be the coldest start to a new year in places like the Midwestern US since the historically cold winter of 1976-1977.

The first storm will be weaker than the second, but certainly not inconsequential, and its timing is just perfect for producing a white Christmas for those in the Mid-Atlantic region from near the PA/MD border region northeast to the NYC metro region, and likely as far south as northern Virginia and northern Maryland. This storm will spread light precipitation into the Mid-Atlantic from Monday afternoon into very early Tuesday (Christmas Day) as it moves eastward from the Ohio Valley to the Mid-Atlantic coast. This looks like the type of system that could produce a coating to a couple of inches of snow in the Philly and NYC metro regions, and likely even as far south as the northern and western suburbs of the District. This first storm pulls out quickly by Tuesday morning and attention will then shift to the Deep South for a potential big one.

The second storm will be considerably stronger and more moisture-laden than the first and could end up being a major snowstorm for much of the interior Northeast US. This storm will likely head from the Deep South on late Tuesday to the Tennessee Valley by early Wednesday. From this location, energy will start transferring to the Mid-Atlantic coast and precipitation will likely spread into the Mid-Atlantic region during early Wednesday. Heavy snow is likely from this storm in inland locations with rain likely near the coast. The big cities along the I-95 corridor will likely be in a precipitation battle zone area during the storm between ice, snow and rain although snow accumulations are certainly possible in the northern and western suburbs. Stay tuned.