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Posted at 8:30 AM ET, 12/16/2008

Forecast: Falling Temps with Rain, PM Ice N&W

By Matt Rogers

* Winter Weather Advisory N&W of D.C. from 6 p.m. this evening through 11 a.m. Wed. morning (includes Montgomery, Loudoun & Frederick counties) *

* Track Falling Temperatures: Weather Wall | Later: Forecast Update *


Today: Rain. Temperatures falling. 40-45 early, 30s late. | Tonight: Rain, sleet, freezing rain. 30-34. | Tomorrow: AM showers. Warmer. 46-50. | A Look Ahead


The weather is trying to hamper holiday activities in the coming days with plenty of precipitation, wild temperature swings, and challenges for us forecasters. The trouble stems from a large mass of Arctic air now spilling into the middle of the nation, a fast-moving jet stream, and a bountiful supply of disturbances that will affect our area. So, read today's forecast with caution as it is subject to change. But we'll do our best to stay on top of things!

Radar: Latest regional radar loop shows movement of precipitation over past two hours. Powered by HAMweather. Refresh page to update. Click here to see radar bigger. Or see radar bigger on our Weather Wall.

Today (Tuesday): Clouds will dominate with temperatures steadily dropping from early-day highs of 40-45. Much of the area should be at or below 40 during the afternoon. Periods of rain are likely (90%), but cooling temperatures could turn the rain to sleet and freezing rain in the far western and northwestern suburbs (e.g., Leesburg, Va. and Clarksburg, Md.) by the late afternoon/evening rush. Confidence: Medium

Tonight: Rain continues and for western and northern suburbs it could be sleet and freezing rain for several hours. There's concern that the colder air could reach into the District as well, so the forecast will be monitored closely today. Lows will fall to near 30 west and north to low-to-mid 30s south and east. Confidence: Low-Medium

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend.

Tomorrow (Wednesday): Morning showers should quickly taper, and warming temperatures should allow any frozen precipitation (primarily in the far northern and western suburbs) to melt away by mid-morning. Highs are forecast to be in the mid-to-upper 40s under mostly cloudy skies. Winds will shift and be from the west. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: Another cold front moves through the area bringing the winds from a more northerly direction again. Clouds should keep temperatures from dropping too far, though, with lows in the mid-to-upper 30s. Confidence: Medium


On Thursday, look for highs mainly in the middle 40s with clouds heavy in the morning, breaking up at midday, and then rebuilding again toward mid to late afternoon as yet ANOTHER disturbance approaches. Confidence: Low-Medium

Friday is another wet day, but temperatures could soar from morning lows in the 30s throughout the area to afternoon highs in the low-to-mid 60s due to a warm front. Rain chances are about 60% right now and should continue into Friday night when lows drop back into the upper 30s to around 40. Confidence: Low

The last weekend before Christmas week is looking very, very complicated right now. Another push of cold air should move into the region on Saturday and another storm system could approach late Saturday into Sunday. The way it looks now, the storm appears to have the potential to bring a wintry mix of precipitation Saturday night before possibly changing to rain sometime Sunday morning. Look for Saturday highs from 40-45, lows Saturday night in the 20s to near 30, and highs on Sunday only in the 30s. Confidence: Low

Updated: Dec. 16, 2008, 5:05 p.m.

By Matt Rogers  | December 16, 2008; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Update: Potential for Icy Evening in N&W Suburbs


39 with light rain this morning.

Wisdom would dictate caution later today, tonight and tomorrow morning for folks walking or driving. There could be a few icy spots, especially bridges, overpasses and normally shaded areas, but I do not expect this to be a significant wintry event for most.

If the last two runs of the GFS stand the test of time, many of us will receive our first real Winter Storm Sat. night and Sunday.

Posted by: AugustaJim | December 16, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

I see that snow has worked its way into the weekend forecast! Which I like a whole lot better than ice. Driving anywhere this afternoon/tonite is going to suck.

Posted by: weathergrrl | December 16, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

I plan to drive two small children through the Festival of Lights at Bull Run in Manassas tonight. Should I cancel because it will be icy? Or is Manassas far enough south that it will just be rain?

Posted by: CarefulNervousMotherDriving | December 16, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

At 9am we were getting sleet and snow in Frederick.

Posted by: crucialruddy | December 16, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Sleet now in Frederick

Posted by: crucialruddy | December 16, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

CarefulNervousMotherDriving -- I'll caveat this by saying to stay tuned for our updates during the day. But as it looks now I don't think you'll have to worry about icy roads south of I-66. You may have some sleet mixing in with the rain, but ground temperatures should stay above freezing. That said, I'm not sure when you're planning to go, but plain old rain by itself could make for an annoying commute

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | December 16, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

AugustaJim- In all honesty,I think there was no use and even mentioning sat night and sunday. I do believe there is a SE ridge or Gulf ridge how ever you want to say it but its there and we all know what that does for this area. Anywhere south of the mason dixon line is in fair game for rain rather then frozen. Just my opinon though.

Posted by: clintonportis17 | December 16, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Thank you very much, Dan. We plan to drive there 3:30-4:30-ish, eat an early dinner in Manassas, then get to the park when the display opens at 5:30. It was raining when we took this drive last year, too, but it is still just as beautiful. And thanks, in general, for this very informative blog!

Posted by: CarefulNervousMotherDriving | December 16, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

40 F here in Arnold with a sleet/rain mix.

Posted by: arnoldkh | December 16, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Brief burst of moderate sleet here in Ellicott City, now changing to a mix.

Posted by: BrianInEllicottCity | December 16, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

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