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Posted at 3:10 PM ET, 02/12/2008

CommuteCast: Caution Advised for PM Voters

By Ian Livingston

Iciness a concern especially north and west of D.C.

**Winter Weather Advisory area-wide until 7am Wednesday**

5pm update: Temperatures remain below freezing everywhere in the metro area with widespread reports of accidents due to icy conditions. Please be careful, especially on bridges, ramps and overpasses.

Spotty flurries and snow showers that moved through the region this morning, mainly to the north and west of D.C., have come to an end but a new round of icy, slick precipitation is moving into the area. Extra caution on roadways is advised.

Before polls close: Temperatures will remain near or below freezing throughout much of the area as sleet and freezing rain showers move through. At most risk for icy conditions between now and 7 p.m. (Virginia) or 8 p.m. (D.C. and Maryland) poll closures will be locations west and north of D.C. in Maryland and Virginia, where 3 p.m. temperatures remain in the upper 20s. In the city, some spots may become icy, but most will remain wet instead as temperatures move towards the freezing mark by mid-evening. In the portions of Maryland south and east of D.C., iciness should pose little to no problem as temperatures are approaching and should eventually edge above freezing.

Though it is arriving at a bad time for the evening commute and last-minute voters, this batch of precipitation is showery in nature and moving fairly quickly, so most locations will not see prolonged wintry conditions. Elevated roadways and walkways will be most at risk for slippery travel.

Overnight: Some frozen precipitation may hang on into the late evening far north and west (upper Montgomery, western Loudoun and Frederick counties). Otherwise, warmer air moving in should helps transition most of the metro area to all rain this evening. Periods of moderate rain may fall after midnight, with temperatures by morning in the mid to upper 30s and rising.

Tomorrow: Much of the area is in line to receive a decent rainfall as a low-pressure system organizes off the Delaware-Maryland-Virginia coast. More than a half-inch of rain is possible. There may be a sharp western cutoff to the rain shield, but right now it appears our entire area will be affected by it, with the highest amounts from D.C. toward points east. Highs will reach the mid 40s to the west and upper 40s in D.C. and southeast early in the day before temperatures begin falling in the afternoon in response to winds from the north generated by the coastal low.

As precipitation ends in the evening, some snow may mix with the rain -- especially west of the city -- as colder air gets drawn into the region.

See Matt's post for the Valentine's Day forecast and through the President's Day weekend.

By Ian Livingston  | February 12, 2008; 3:10 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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