Capital Region Forecast: Clouds today before light snow Friday

Capital Region Forecast: Clouds today before light snow Friday

UPDATE 9 AM – Winter weather warnings have been issued for Friday

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for Friday from 4am to 7pm for Charles and Prince William counties northward, including most of northern Virginia, the District and Maryland.

“Plan for slippery road conditions,” the advice states. “Hazardous conditions will impact the morning commute.”

The weather service expects 1 to 3 inches north of Route 50 and Interstate 66 and about 1 inch to the south. This is slightly higher than our current expectations. We will have a new briefing on snow potential and updated accumulation forecast later this morning.

A somewhat subjective assessment of today’s weather, on a scale of 0 to 10.

5/10: The cold is not very bold. Readings above freezing are comfortable.

  • today: Partly cloudy, minimal breeze. Highest: from 32 to 38.
  • Tonight: Light snow may fall after midnight, and winds will be calm. Lowest: 27 to 32.
  • tomorrow: Light snow in the morning; Winds building late. Highest: 30 to 36.

Clouds will gather as a moisture-limited snow event approaches late tonight and into tomorrow. That’s probably enough to at least improve things, but it’s not very fun to drive. It’s back to the weekend of bone-chilling readings before the big January thaw begins next week.

today is Thursday): The clouds should fill up fairly quickly, but even so, temperatures in most of the area are rising above freezing and leading to some minor thawing. Highs are still only reaching the mid 30s in most areas. Wind is minimal. Confidence: medium-high

Tonight: The clouds will thicken as the humidity gradually increases, to the point that some snowflakes may begin to fall in the pre-dawn hours, especially west of Interstate 95. The winds will be calm. Lows are mostly in the upper 20s and low 30s, except for the mid 30s toward southern Maryland. Confidence: average

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tomorrow Friday): Light snow is a good bet in the morning, with snow coverage and intensity increasing north and northeastern Washington. In the south and west, the snow becomes lighter and more patchy. Models have trended somewhat northerly and drier with this system, so the chance of at least an inch in the area and southern points is down, and even our northern suburbs could end up on the edge of snowfall accumulation. The mornings are almost calm, but northwesterly winds pick up in the afternoon as the snow moves away. Highs are in the 30s (low 30s in our cooler areas, upper 30s toward southern Maryland). Confidence: low-medium

Tomorrow night: Northwest winds reach 20 mph with clear skies. Cooler air returns to the area with lows in the mid to upper teens and wind chills in the single digits. Confidence: medium-high

Saturday The weather is raw with gusty winds and temperatures struggling to reach the low to mid 20s despite mainly clear skies. Another cold night is coming, with low temperatures hovering in the teens. Confidence: medium-high

The sun’s rays hold on tight SundayBut so is the cold air. Only highs in the upper 20s to lower 30s are at least 10 degrees colder than normal, even in the middle of winter. A calm, clear night follows, with lows again in the teens. Confidence: medium-high

Monday It remains mainly sunny, with a warming trend just starting that will strengthen through the week. Highs reach the upper 30s to lower 40s. Confidence: medium-high

A daily assessment of the likelihood of at least one inch of snow falling in the coming week, on a scale of 0 to 10.

6/10 (←): Dropping this to 5 was considered as the models shifted the system slightly to the north and reduced the available humidity. Downward adjustments to accumulation expectations may be needed.

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