Update: Snow Tonight, Freezing Rain Friday
**Winter Storm Watch Thursday evening through Friday night**
A one-two punch is taking shape for the metro area tonight through early Saturday.
Tonight, as you go to bed, light snow is likely to develop, probably between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. Temperatures in the mid to upper 20s will be cold enough for snow to stick and accumulate by morning, with 1-3 inches a possibility for much of the metro area. A little more is possible north of DC where precipitation may be heavier, and a little less to the south of DC where some sleet may mix in toward morning.
Tomorrow, confidence is high that the entire metro area will change from snow to a mix of sleet and freezing rain during the morning hours. The changeover, from south to north, is most likely to take place between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. Indications are that the bulk of the precipitation on Friday could end up falling as freezing rain. Precipitation may be rather light at times. Nevertheless, icing could be significant with temperatures through the day expected to be at or slightly below freezing.
There's a chance that temperatures could nudge just above freezing in DC and points south and east late Friday (maybe late afternoon or evening), changing freezing rain to just plain rain. But this is probably the most uncertain part of the forecast.
Precipitation, probably in the form of freezing rain and possibly rain for DC and south and east, may continue Friday evening, briefly picking up in intensity, before tapering overnight and ending by Saturday morning.
Next update will be in this afternoon's CommuteCast. We plan an updated accumulation map, timeline and Schoolcast this evening.
Keep reading for the Snow Lover's Crystal Ball, including more about the uncertainty associated with the above forecast. See Josh's post for the weekend forecast and early next week.
Next Chance of Accumulating Snow: Tonight
While some snow may accumulate tonight as described above, the main story with this storm is likely to be the potential for freezing rain during much of the day tomorrow.
Keep in mind that forecast confidence for this storm is still moderate, at best. This is still a tricky, long-duration event involving two areas of low pressure and uncertain temperatures. Prolonged freezing rain on Friday, even if it is light, and a brief burst of heavier precipitation on Friday night, could produce poor driving conditions. There's also a chance that temperatures could warm to, or slightly above the freezing mark even in the close-in northern and western suburbs, which would limit the impact of icing.
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