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Dangerous Ice Storm Gradually Ending
Precipitation to taper off over next several hours

Team Forecast @ 6:30 AM

A serious ice storm consisting of heavy freezing rain and sleet will impact most of the DC metro area through mid morning. It will be the first significant ice storm for the region since January 1999:

  • Major sleet and ice accumulations have already occurred throughout the metro area with almost all area schools closed.
  • Travel is treacherous throughout the metro area, especially on untreated roads
  • The ice, combined with strong winds, could cause power outages.
  • Precipitation will taper off from southwest to northeast between 6am and 10am this morning.
Winter Weather Forecast: Today

6am to 10am WED: Sleet and freezing rain taper off southwest to northeast ; Temps 27-31.
10am to 2pm WED:Some lingering freezing drizzle or flurries, becoming windy; Temps 28-32.
2pm to 6pm WED:Partly cloudy, windy and cold; Temps 30-34.
Storm Impact: Travelcast:

Frequently Asked Questions

Where will the heaviest frozen precipitation fall? Significant icing, on the order of a half-inch or more, is probable in the metro area.

When will travel be most difficult? During the overnight hours and into the first part of the morning.

Could there be power outages due to ice and wind? Yes. The combination of heavy ice and strong winds may very well cause power outages, especially north and west of DC where temperatures will be slightly colder and a higher percentage of the precipitation could be in the form of ice. Power outages could end up being one of the biggest stories of this storm.

When will conditions improve? Icy and windy conditions could cause travel and power woes throughout the day and into tonight and tomorrow morning.

How much snow is possible as the storm exits? Not a lot. Typically we don't get large accumulations from wrap-around snow on the back side of departing storms. In this case, there's not much potential except for a few scattered flurries.

What are other forecasters saying? As of 11 p.m., the main local TV outlets (Channels 4, 5, 7 and 9) were all calling for major ice accumulations in the metro area, with at least a couple of them predicting worse conditions for the immediate metro area than they did at 6 p.m. The National Weather Service is forecasting total ice accumulation of .5"-.75", and has been consistent in its forecast since the afternoon.

What's the bottom line? This will likely be a major ice event for DC. Travel is likely to be treacherous across much of the region through the morning hours, with effects lingering into tomorrow.

Pictured: Snow and sleet lightly accumulate yesterday afternoon near P St., NW. By photographer Ian Livingston.

Tonight and Tomorrow

Forecast Confidence: HighWindy, very cold. Behind the storm, clearing skies tonight with lows in the mid teens, wind chills in the single digits. Tomorrow, partly sunny and continued windy with highs only in the mid-to-upper 20s.

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