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Posted at 3:30 PM ET, 01/31/2008

CommuteCast: Increasing Clouds this Evening

By Ian Livingston

Rain arrives by sunrise; some ice possible north and west

**Winter Weather Advisory 2 a.m. to 12 p.m. Friday N & W of DC**

Mostly sunny skies persisted through much of the day, allowing temperatures to warm into the low 40s across the region. High clouds are now beginning to stream in overhead in advance of the next low pressure system to affect the area. Tonight's ride home will be dry as temperatures dip back into the upper 30s.

Tonight: High cloudiness will lower through the evening and into the night. Spotty precipitation may form over the area prior to midnight, but the bulk will hold off until the early morning hours. In the western and northern parts of the region, temperatures should fall to freezing or just below tonight, leading to the possibility of freezing rain and ice. Locations currently under a Winter Weather Advisory will have the best chance of experiencing freezing rain through Friday morning. But even in these locations, temperatures should only be marginally colder and roadways should remain more wet than icy. Lows in the District will fall to the mid 30s, and no iciness is currently expected within the Beltway.

Tomorrow: Clouds and rain will be the story of the day on Friday and both commutes may be more difficult than normal. Any areas of wintry precipitation to the northwest of DC will come to an end by mid-morning as temperatures rise into the mid and upper 40s by afternoon. Rainfall amounts could be significant compared to what we have witnessed over the past several weeks, which would be great news overall. As Steve recently reminded us, the region still faces drought conditions. Even though snow fans might be disappointed, rainfall from this storm is much needed.

See Josh's forecast for the weekend and into early next week.

By Ian Livingston  | January 31, 2008; 3:30 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Update: Assessing Impacts of AM Ice


Biggest risk for me: Mid-afternoon thunderstorms. Hope they stay southeast of Arlington County.

Posted by: El Bombo | January 31, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

What puts us in a Winter Weather Advisory as opposed to a Freezing Rain Advisory as the fringe SW Virgina counties are in?

Posted by: Uncle Dak | January 31, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Uncle Dak-- It may be due to the potential for sleet in addition to freezing rain

Posted by: Jason, Capital Weather Gang | January 31, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Man, I completely forgot about the (slight?) thunderstorm threat due to all this ice talk. That would be cool (for me anyway)!

What are the chances that we'll see a good thunderstorm tomorrow? Anything like New Orleans is getting? If we get them, I hope it's more than just one boom and flash and that's it.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | January 31, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

I tend to think the thunder threat will be somewhat limited in this area largely due to cool temperatures at the surface and marine like airmass, though it could get close. In retrospect it probably deserved a mention in today's CommuteCast. The storm prediction center has a slight risk of severe pretty close by to the southeast and the LWX afternoon Area Forecast Discussion mentions the possibility of a tornado or two if convection organizes enough.

Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | January 31, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Not to jump the gun, but the GFS does seem to show a Nor'easter bringing frozen precipitation to the DC area. It's nine days away, but if it manages to stick around on the model, we could be in for a wintry day.

Posted by: mcleaNed | January 31, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

So how quick will temps lower? IAD is at 39. Will it be a gradual drop in temps? When do you think IAD will hit 32? If ever? Thanks.

Posted by: Big Goob | January 31, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

What do you guys think for western Loudoun in terms of ice accumulation? NWS doesn't seem to have the slightest idea. 34.5 right now.

Posted by: Model Monkey | January 31, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Conditions in McLean at 7:39 EST: 32.3 degrees and falling quickly, with 37% humidity. Pressure at 1029 hPa and falling. Indoor temperature 64.4 degrees and steady, with 25% humidity.

(I got a nifty little weather station :-)

Posted by: mcleaNed | January 31, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse


Long way off,however,I glad models show something besides rain and mild temps. There looks to be 2 systems to watch on long range GFS. between 2/12-2/16. Keep your fingers crossed...were gonna need all the luck we can this winter.

Posted by: ChrisfromVA | January 31, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

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