top border

Please note, not all links may be active. This site is a snapshot of an earlier time.

Storm mode: Snow on the way

Jason Samenow @ 7:45 AM


7:45am update: Winter Storm Watch discontinued. National Weather Service has lowered accumulation forecast to 2-4" for immediate DC. Sounds about right to me. Current radar trends, which show most of the precipitation sliding to the south and east and missing the area, are not indicative of the situation that will evolve later as low strengthens and moves northeast. meteorologist Steve Scolnik will be posting periodic "nowcasts" beginning late morning.

What to Expect In the Immediate DC Area:
  • Light snow should begin from late morning to early afternoon, south to north. Snow will not likely stick on paved surfaces through mid afternoon. Temperatures 33-38.
  • Steadier snow should begin during the late afternoon, and temperatures will fall below freezing. Snow may begin sticking after 4pm. The onset of darkness, falling temperatures and increasing snow intensity create the possibility of a very difficult evening rush hour. As this is the season's first storm, no prior salt/sand will be on the roads to assist melting.
  • Steady snow is likely to fall during the mid-evening hours, gradually decreasing in coverage and intensity after about 10pm. Temperatures 26-29.
  • Some delays/closings likely Tuesday morning.
Most likely total accumulation: 3 or 4 inches, with higher amounts to the south.

What Could Go Wrong...
  • The storm tracks further to the south and east than forecast: Very little snow will fall in this scenario.
  • The storm tracks further north and west than forecast: Heavy snow falls, with amounts of 6"+ and totals flirting with double digits.
This forecast is more uncertain than usual -- one of these alternative scenarios is a realistic possibility.

Additional Notes
  • The National Weather Service, at press time, was forecasting 3-6" for our area. Channel 4 was forecasting 4", Channel 5 2-4", Channel 9 (Tony Pann) 4-6" and Channel 7 (Joe Witte) 4-5".
  • Some totals taken from professional meteorologists at range from 2-4" to 6-10"
Despite uncertainties, the range of forecasts among the National Weather Service, major local media outlets and is quite narrow. Snowfall totals span the range of 2-6", with 4" a consistent central estimate.

Overall storm assessment

Storm Impact:
Travelcast (for tonight/Tuesday):
Schoolcast (for Tuesday):

Most Likely Snow Accumulations Across The Region

Snow Lover's Crystal Ball

Next Chance of Accumulating Snow: Friday, December 9.
Probability: 30%
Potential Impact:
Commentary: The large scale features are conducive for a major winter storm in the Mid Atlantic late in the week. This doesn't mean it will happen, but several models have been suggesting the possibility. Stay tuned.

Comments are closed for this archived entry | Link | email post Email this post