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

1:00 PM | ***Friday to Wednesday - the worst weather that winter has to offer***

Paul Dorian

Tues_PM_fcst[12Z GFS forecast map for next Tuesday early afternoon (blue=snow); map courtesy "", NOAA]


Overview Get ready; it’s going to be a wild ride. The stretch from Friday to Wednesday will feature some of the worst weather that winter can offer in this part of the country. All of the following are on the table for the 6-day period from tomorrow through next Wednesday:

- Painful cold with 0 degrees within reach (Sunday AM, Monday AM) - Weekend accumulating snow (late Saturday, Saturday night) - Very strong winds with potentially damaging wind gusts (Sunday) - Dangerous sub-zero wind chills (Friday and especially on Sunday) - Significant snow threat (late Tuesday into early Wednesday)

Here are the details: Arctic air arrives today in the Mid-Atlantic region accompanied by snow showers and increasing winds. Those winds will remain strong tonight and temperatures will plunge in the overnight hours into the single digits in many suburban locations by early Friday. The winds remain strong through much of the day on Friday and this will produce sub-zero wind chills at times before the wind finally relaxes noticeably early tomorrow night.

On Saturday, another clipper system and Arctic front will be plowing towards the I-95 corridor from the Great Lakes region. This system has more potential in terms of snowfall in our area compared with today’s frontal system. In fact, snowfall on the order of a coating to two inches is possible late Saturday and Saturday night in the DC metro region, 1-3 inches in Philly, and 2-5 inches in NYC associated with this next Arctic blast. Then, Sunday promises to be the coldest day yet with painful cold, dangerous sub-zero wind chills, and potentially damaging wind gusts past 50 mph. The last thing we need on Sunday is for scattered power outages to develop, but that possibility cannot be ruled out with the most powerful winds likely late Saturday night and early Sunday.

After a bitter cold start on Monday - near 0 degrees in many portions of the I-95 corridor - moisture will begin streaming towards us from the south-central US. The combination of very cold ground temperatures, an entrenched Arctic air mass in the Northeast US and copious amounts of “southern” moisture does not bode well for the Mid-Atlantic region. Indeed, this could turn into a significant snow event for the Mid-Atlantic region from late Tuesday into early Wednesday, but since the storm track cannot be pinned down quite yet, it is just too early to make this call. And yes, this mid-week storm will be followed by more brutal cold.

Buckle up…the next 6 days will be quite interesting.

gfs_late_tues_night [12Z GFS forecast map for late Tuesday night (blue=snow); map courtesy "", NOAA]