Calm today, winter storm brings heavy snow Wednesday

Today's Forecast

Tuesday: Mostly sunny early, partly cloudy later in the day. Winds: NNW 4-8 mph, High: 39 (35-42)

Tuesday night: Turning mostly cloudy then overcast by morning. Winds: ENE 4-8 mph, Low: 26 (22-29)

Wednesday: Cloudy with snow moving in around lunchtime, picking up in intensity into the evening. The heaviest snow will fall through the evening into the overnight. More of a mix/rain is expected near I-95. Winds: ENE 8-12 mph, High: 32 (28-35), Low: 25 (21-29)

Thursday: Mostly cloudy with AM flurries, then turning partly cloudy. Highs will be in the 30’s with lows in the lower to middle 20’s.

Friday: Mostly sunny skies. Highs will be in the middle to upper 30’s with lows in the upper teens to lower 20’s.

Saturday: Mostly cloudy skies. Highs will be in the upper 30’s to lower 40’s with lows in the upper 20’s to lower 30’s.

Sunday: Mostly cloudy skies. Highs will be in the lower to middle 40’s with lows in the middle to upper 20’s.

1st Day of Winter: Partly cloudy skies. Highs will be in the 40’s with lows in the upper 20’s to lower 30’s.

Forecast Discussion

We’re in the calm before the storm on this Tuesday morning. Skies cleared out as conditions got a bit windy last night, and now high pressure is setting itself up to the north. Expect plenty of sunshine but more clouds later in the day with chilly highs in the 30’s and lower 40’s. We’ll quickly be turning overcast again tonight as the next storm system approaches. As of early Tuesday morning, most of the viewing area has been upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning with confidence in heavy snowfall increasing. A Winter Storm Watch is then in place for southern Loudoun, Fairfax, and Montgomery Counties, with no watch or warning for the DC metro, as more of a mix and less snowfall is expected in these areas.

Timing with this system has not changed overall, as we’re expecting the snow to start between 11 AM-1 PM tomorrow. The heaviest snow will fall tomorrow evening into the early overnight, before wrapping up very quickly by sunrise on Thursday. Snowfall totals are still in track overall, with the highest totals being in the range of 12-16”, widespread amounts around 8-12”, and then a sharp decline in snowfall totals toward the I-95 corridor. One change that has been noticed this morning is a slight inward bump to the storm track. This pushes more warm air inland, creating more of a mix and less snowfall in and around the DC metro. Despite lower snow amounts, mixing could create icy conditions and treacherous travel. Along and now a little more west of the I-81 corridor through WV, MD, and southern PA is expected to still see the highest amounts of 12-16”. No matter what, travel will be extremely difficult across the entire area until Thursday, so if you don’t need to be out and about definitely stay in.

As is mentioned above, this mess wraps up with only a few leftover flurries on Thursday morning. We’ll stay chilly but quiet with high pressure in place through Friday. Temperatures slightly moderate this coming weekend, even despite nearby weak disturbances providing us with plenty of cloud cover and occasional mixed showers in the higher elevations. The 1st day of winter is looking a little warm but still quiet next Monday.

Have a great Tuesday, and enjoy the quiet while it’s here.

Meteorologist Damon Matson

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