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Models Waffle On Late-Week Storm

Jason Samenow @ 12:05 PM

In one of the most frustrating winters for snow lovers in some time, a disturbance passing to our north today will muster only the chance of a snow shower or flurry. A more interesting opportunity for accumulating snow and ice presents itself for late Thursday into Friday, but the models are having trouble getting a handle on the track of the storm, and thus the type and amount of precipitation.


Forecast Confidence: HighSome increase in afternoon clouds, maybe some snow flurries. After a mostly sunny start, a clipper passing to our north will cause an increase in clouds during the mid to late afternoon and a 25% chance of a snow shower or flurry, particularly north of DC (40% chance around Baltimore). High temperatures should range from 35-40. Overnight, the flurry risk will fade by midnight and skies will clear. Expect lows 19-24 (suburbs-city).


Forecast Confidence: HighPartly to mostly sunny and cool. Tuesday's clipper will bring a re-inforcing shot of cold air in its wake. Still, high pressure will build in from the west allowing for plenty of sunshine and highs from 34-38. Overnight, it will be mostly clear but for a few high clouds increasing late, with lows 17-23 (suburbs-city).

Snow Lover's Crystal Ball

Next Chance of Accumulating Snow:
Thursday PM-Friday AM
Probability: 40%
Potential Impact:

Commentary: Models have waffled back and forth with this event over the past couple days -- between an inland track that would scour out our cold air and result in a relatively quick changeover from snow to rain with modest accumulations, and more of a coastal track that would keep the precipitation mostly in the frozen form. The most recent model runs are leaning toward a coastal solution. If this solution is right, we'd be looking at a period of snow starting late Thursday afternoon or evening followed by a changeover to sleet and maybe freezing rain overnight. Some accumulation of snow and ice would be possible, though odds are it would be a minor-to-moderate event rather than major.

The model solutions will continue to evolve as the storm develops and draws closer. My gut says a compromise solution between the coastal and inland track is most likely. This might result in a quick inch of snow Thursday evening before a period of sleet/freezing rain late at night that ends as light rain and drizzle early Friday morning -- but this is a low confidence forecast. Stay tuned.

Pictured: An graphic paints the potential for a wintry mix in our region late in the work week.

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