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Monstrously Mixed n' Messy: SLEEZE STORM

A. Camden Walker @ 10:30 AM

In one of DC's hardest to predict winter storms in years, Capitalweather contributor Camden Walker will be "liveblogging" its progress throughout the night and be answering questions about what to expect. -Ed

WINTER STORM WARNING expired at 8am (Ice glaze melting in most locations)

Latest on the Mucky, Crusty Mess! Final Update
Stay attuned to road and sidewalk conditions despite clearing

9:00am: AND WE'RE CLEAR! Most roads plowed, salted, and melting quickly outside of the center lane where lines or barriers are located. Still use caution crossing between lanes. Finalized delays and closings available with links included below. Most flights, if backlogged earlier, will have ample time to catch-up by noon today. Look for a gorgeous day, with temps rising above freezing under sunny skies. Be sure to sweep & shovel this "sleeze" before refreezing takes place at sunset tonight. Report here your location with snow totals!

STATUS listings: WTOP(comprehensive list), BWI, IAD, DCA, Metro, MD, MD-MTA, VDOT

Kevin Ambrose took this JUST BEFORE 10am TODAY!7:00am: Precip is rapidly ending AS SNOW from West to East. Just a little powder to finish off our wintry sandwich, NOTHING MUCH. Your car will be frozen-- encased in ice, if you live around or south of the Beltway. Roads aren't impassable, but take it VERY slowly. Flights are delayed, but clearing should begin soon after sunrise. The ice coating in many places will also start melting after sunrise (even if skies remain overcast) since temperatures are bumping up against 32, once again. Major road arteries are well treated and moving adequately. Mass Transit is doing satisfactorily as well; however, you might want to check the latest with links listed above.

6:15am: I shall list as many status updates as come to mind. Metro reports no major problems. I shall soon link here the NUMEROUS school closings (delays S&E, sorry kids), plus government delays. ROADS are improving slowly. Traffic friction + salt + temps rebounding again to 30 degrees + moderate precip intensities applying more kinetic energy... glazes are only appearing so far on power lines & shrubs. Let us hope winds stay low so as not to blow branches into/onto fragile infrastructure through sunrise. BWI & IAD still stand solidly in the upper 20s... but cold air is eroding. Please report if you still have snow... PRECIP ENDING in the Blue Ridge, heading eastward...

5:15am: Glorious, rare ThunderSnow has been experienced by all still awake at 4:12am this morning. Roads are extremely bad. Treatment by salt can still work at temps holding around 29 degrees. Cold air is eroding away and Freezing Rain becoming the predominant precip type around the Beltway plus S&E. Look for minimal additional accumulation in this area, outside of 1/8" coating of this ice. Roads will not reveal the effects of this icing (through Sunrise; before melting quickly) as much as cars, powerlines, trees, and shrubs. Major closings now being called for governments and school systems.

4:00am: The lower-layer of the atmosphere has cooled very efficiently with heavy precip in the area. Most locales report Upper 20s. Downtown DC has moderate snow and just a slightly detectable proportion of sleet. 15 minutes from the Beltway, moving Northeast-ward, is a ring of sleet echoes on the radar. This could indeed represent the change-over and deathnell for current (decent) snow accumulation rates... CHO is 28, EZF is 30. So as far south as Charlottesville & Fredericksburg, the shallow layer of sub-freezing temps is still preserved by Northerly component winds... we shall see how long snow can survive. Downtown DC has snow still, composed of noticeably smaller crystal lattices (indicating dry air)... Dewpoint and temp now have met at 27 degrees for full saturation.

2am: Snow, mixed with sleet in some places, now seems to be pervasive. Heavy echoes on the radar are moving through NoVa and s.MD.... look for the next phase to start around 4am for points inside the Beltway plus points S&E. Accumulation estimate for downtown DC: 0.4" -- Temperature 31 degrees. While there has been sleet reportedly mixing in... it's still patchy. Note returns over 45 dzb on radar indicate probability of sleet mix...

This will be an ugly storm for DC, and points south and points east. The I-95 corridor along the Fall Line will be the classic demarcation line on this developing situation. Just several miles outside the Western portions of the Beltway--spots could see significantly more snow than downtown DC. The gradient will be set up with a matter of 20 miles within which 1" snow+sleet turns into 4" of all snow. VERY HIGH would be ARROGANT with this complex storm. Agreed?

Snow will likely reach the ground more steadily after 1am here in DC and points South. Look for a few hours of light snow.. some grass accumulation.. and then a changeover with SLEET mixing in by 4am. Temperatures will be steady for a few hours around 31. Wind spurts from East and Southeast will bump temperatures S&E of the city slowly higher after 4am.

By dawn, expect heavy sleet and freezing rain over much of the area. The Beltway will be very hazardous, despite not seeing too much in the way of SNOW accumulation. Schools will at least be severely delayed/closed and local governments will likely shut down. Snow, moderately heavy, will continue to accumulate N&W of Dulles Airport. This area shall, too, see snow END FIRST.

Moderate snow/sleet, gusty winds, lowered visibility... will characterize the final storm period after 7am; an additional one inch is possible during this time around the Beltway. Total accumulations have a lower priority than the treacherous conditions present with SLEET and FREEZING RAIN around the I-95 corridor. You can see the breakdown of precipitation striations throughout our area--below in our accumulation--map if you wish.

Overall storm assessment
Storm Impact:
Travelcast (through noon Friday):
Schoolcast (Friday AM):

Ex Post Facto
This afternoon will be very windy and quickly clearing with temperatures languishing in the 30s. The sun will melt ice/snow off of power lines, roads, and trees.
TONIGHT: Clear and very cold with lows from 20-25 in most locations plus blustery conditions.
For any events Saturday and Sunday: You'll have milder weather with highs in the low 40s and overnight lows ranging from the low 20s in the cooler suburbs to the upper 20s downtown.

The Tropics are dead?!
Say goodbye to Epsilon. The final advisory has been written. NHC says "about time."

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