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7:00 AM | *****"The Blizzard of 2016" begins this afternoon and continues through Saturday night*****

Blog

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

7:00 AM | *****"The Blizzard of 2016" begins this afternoon and continues through Saturday night*****

Paul Dorian

6-Day DC Forecast

Today and tomorrow

A blizzard warning is in effect for the entire metro region: (forecast details in the discussion)

Sunday

Early clouds give way to clearing skies, windy, cold, low-to-mid 30’s

Monday

Partly sunny, cold, upper 30’s

Tuesday

Partly sunny, not as cold, low 40’s

Wednesday

Partly sunny, cold, upper 30’s

Discussion

This continues to look like a crippling, high-impact and long-lasting storm for the DC metro region that will include significant snow accumulations of 20-30 inches, some serious blowing and drifting, isolated power outages, and perhaps even some thunder snow and lightning. The snow should arrive this afternoon in the DC metro region between noon and 4pm. There is a chance for some mixing with sleet at times, but this should primarily be a snow event for the District and northern and western suburbs. The snow is likely to come down at varying rates later tonight and on Saturday as small-scale or “mesoscale” banding is likely to set up given the impressive dynamics involved with this unfolding system. Specifically, the snow can fall heavily at times with blizzard conditions and can also slacken off to “little or nothing” at times as well if a dry slot develops. At the Eastern Shore, in addition to significant snow accumulations of a foot or more, coastal flooding and beach erosion are a major concern given the expected sustained period of strong NE winds (plus Saturday’s full moon). Wind gusts could reach 70 mph at coastal locations by later tomorrow and 50 mph at inland areas including near I-95 in DC. Also, given the expected long-period of strong winds and the possible mixture in some areas of snow, sleet and rain, power outages are a real concern closer to the coast as the weight may be too much for some tree limbs. Temperatures should generally be confined to the 20’s during the storm. One final note: the biggest DC snowstorm in recorded history is known as the "Knickerbocker Blizzard" of January 1922 (1/27-1/28) when 28 inches was recorded. It was called the Knickerbocker Blizzard as it was named after the theater that collapsed due to the heavy snow accumulation. The flat roof of the Knickerbocker Theater - the largest and newest movie house in D.C. at the time - collapsed during a Jan. 28 evening showing of the silent film "Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford," killing 98 people and injuring 133. This long-standing snowstorm record is in jeopardy.