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Inauguration Forecast, and weekend storm outlook

Jason Samenow @ 1:34 AM

Snow photo by Mark YoungInauguration Day is here (and I'll be skiing at Whitetail). Expect cloudy and cold (but dry) conditions during the daylight hours with scattered light snow this evening. And while the Inauguration is today's big event, the weather will be the big event for the weekend.

Inaugural event forecasts
  • For the swearing in ceremony at 10am, expect mostly cloudy skies with temperatures around 30 degrees. Many folks may remember that during Reagan's second Inauguration, it was so cold the swearing in ceremony was forced inside. The noon temperature was 7 degrees. The National Weather Service has a great page that features Inauguration weather history.
  • For the Inaugural Parade at 2:30pm, expect mostly cloudy skies with temperatures around 34 degrees.
  • For the host of Inaugural Balls, that begin at 7pm, expect cloudy skies with temperatures around 30. By the time they're ending after 11pm, some scattered light snow is possible with a dusting possible. Temperatures will be around 27 degrees.
The weekend snow event
Unfortunately, considerable uncertainty remains regarding the evolution of this storm. However, during the day today as more information becomes available, forecasters should gain a better grip on details. Nonetheless, based on the latest information I have analyzed, I believe there is a strong likelihood of at least 4 inches of snow over the weekend, most of which would fall Saturday. Here's is my probabilistic assessment:

Here are the key conclusions to draw from this graphic:
  • 25% chance of less than 4 inches
  • 50% chance of 4-10 inches
  • 25% chance of 10" or more
  • Most likely snowfall is 6"
AccuWeather is bullish about a "major" snowstorm for the area, whereas the National Weather Service is advertising a "moderate" one. I would emphasize either or neither is still possible. Tomorrow, I will be more definitive and will take a crack at a (deterministic) snowfall accumulation map.

Pictured: Some people found using an alternative form of transportation the best way to get around in the snow that covered the metro area Wednesday morning and afternoon. By photographer Mark Young.

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