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11:00 AM | *Arctic front brings scattered snow showers today – maybe even a heavier snow squall - and a nasty cold blast for the weekend*

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11:00 AM | *Arctic front brings scattered snow showers today – maybe even a heavier snow squall - and a nasty cold blast for the weekend*

Paul Dorian

 Latest radar loop with a pretty solid line of snow along the Arctic frontal boundary zone; radar loop courtesy College of DuPage

Latest radar loop with a pretty solid line of snow along the Arctic frontal boundary zone; radar loop courtesy College of DuPage

Mid-day and PM snow showers
There have been scattered snow showers in the Mid-Atlantic region this morning ahead of an Arctic frontal system that is now dropping rapidly southeastward from the eastern Great Lakes and right towards the I-95 corridor.  Any of these scattered snow showers can produce a quick burst of snow over the next couple of hours; especially, in areas south of the PA/MD border.  

In addition, a solid line of snow showers and embedded heavier snow squalls has developed along this Arctic frontal boundary zone and that is a concern for later today (3-6pm) as it reaches the I-95 corridor; especially, in areas north of the PA/MD border from Philly to New York City. There is a good chance that some of the "frontal zone" heavier snow squalls make it all the way across the Appalachian Mountains and into the immediate metro regions of Philly and NYC - and perhaps as far south as northern Maryland.  Low-level lapse rates are steep and very supportive of this type of "snow-burst" activity to survive the trek down the eastern side of the Appalachian Mountains and into the immediate I-95 corridor.  Any burst of heavier snow today can cause a quick reduction in visibility and a coating on grassy surfaces.

 High-resolution NAM (4-km) surface forecast map for 4pm with a pretty solid line of snow (in blue) along the Arctic frontal boundary zone; map courtesy tropicaltidbits.com, NOAA/EMC

High-resolution NAM (4-km) surface forecast map for 4pm with a pretty solid line of snow (in blue) along the Arctic frontal boundary zone; map courtesy tropicaltidbits.com, NOAA/EMC

Nasty weekend cold blast
Once this Arctic front slides off the east coast later today, winds will pick up noticeably out of the NW and they will remain quite strong right through Saturday.  In addition to the wind, very cold air for this time of year will flood the Mid-Atlantic region and overnight lows are likely to drop to within a few degrees of 20 by early tomorrow morning.  On Saturday, temperatures will struggle to pass the freezing mark in Philly and NYC and should hold in the 30’s across the DC metro region.  This is quite a dramatic change from the recent warmth and it will be well below normal for early March (normal high now is 48 degrees at Philly, 51 at DCA, and 45 in Central Park, NY). Low temperatures tomorrow night could actually drop well down into the teens in many suburban locations along the I-95 corridor and it'll stay cold on Sunday, but not as windy.

Meteorologist Paul Dorian
Vencore, Inc.
vencoreweather.com