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Posted at 10:30 PM ET, 12/15/2008

PM Update: Cold Air Poised for Return; Ice N&W?

By Ian Livingston

Tuesday rain could turn icy by evening in northwest burbs

* Close Encounter with the Moon | Snow Jokes *

Winter Storm Watch N&W of D.C. Tue. evening through Wed. morning (includes Montgomery, Loudoun & Frederick counties)

Today was a rather pleasant start to the work week. Partly sunny skies helped highs reach the low-to-mid 60s across much of the area -- about 15 to 20 degrees above average. Now it's time to say bye-bye to the nice weather, because briefly colder air, clouds, rain and even a little ice look to be the major weather stories this week.

Tonight: By late evening, showers may approach the area from the west, associated with a fairly strong cold front passing through the region tonight. Showers will become likely after midnight through the early-morning hours. Winds from the north behind the front will whisk away today's warmth, dropping temperatures into the 40s by sunrise.

Tomorrow: We lose about 20 degrees for daytime highs Tuesday with temperatures holding steady near 40 much of the day, maybe dropping a bit by afternoon. Occasional showers are possible during the day, the most persistent of which should be north and west of D.C., which is also where some sleet and freezing rain may mix in by evening as temperatures dip toward freezing.

Tomorrow Night: The northwest suburbs could see the rain mix with or change to sleet and freezing rain as temperatures there fall to near freezing, potentially leading to some slick roads. Downtown and to the south and east, it looks like temperatures will stay just above freezing, so icing shouldn't be a problem even though these areas may also see the rain mix with sleet.

Snow in Pacific Northwest and Southwest: While flakes have eluded us, snow is continuing to fall in a number of places where it's pretty rare (e.g. last week in Houston and New Orleans). Measurable snow was expected in the Las Vegas Valley today for the first time in more than five years. Further north, snow shut down schools in Seattle and Portland, where bitter cold has accompanied the snow.

See Jason Samenow's forecast through the rest of the week.

By Ian Livingston  | December 15, 2008; 10:30 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Forecast: Falling Temps with Rain, PM Ice N&W


As usual, when it's cold & snowy in the west, the east is mild & rainy. The next 8 weeks r the coldest period 4 this area.

Posted by: VaTechBob | December 15, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand at all. Where did this sudden threat of ice come from. Here I am thinking the weather was going to be mild for the next 10 days or so, and now I'm getting a text message from Alert Montgomery telling of a Winter Storm Watch???

Posted by: Havoc737 | December 15, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm so confused as well! I was out enjoying a spring like evening and come to find a winter watch??? Is this really a threat? Even accuweather says only rain!

Posted by: jenniel73 | December 15, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

"just above freezing" may be my least-favorite weather phrase.

Posted by: KBurchfiel | December 15, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

I am reluctant to criticize the Mets. at Sterling. Winter Storm Watch for my area ???????????????????????????

But, figure it out for yourself.

Cold front moving thru. tonight. Very cold chunk of air trying to nose down tomorrow as it skipps across the lower Lakes.

At the same time a heat pump over the s.e. sends warm s.w. winds aloft. The question is, which wins?? This is a very strong cold push, but almost always the warmth wins except in the sheltered valleys where cold air gets trapped or advected in at very low levels.

Ice to interfere with travel tomorrow night should be rather far removed from center city, but BE VERY CAUTIOUS, especially bridges and overpasses.

Posted by: AugustaJim | December 15, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Havoc-- I mentioned sleet for the north and west suburbs in my forecast this morning. Winter Storm conditions (i.e. major ice accumulation) are unlikely in the immediate metro area, but in places like Clarksburg, Frederick, and Leesburg -- it could get pretty icy. In the immediate suburbs in Montgomery and Fairfax Co., don't expect it to be too bad, although some slick spots could develop on ramps, overpasses, etc. as Augusta Jim alluded to...

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | December 15, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

I've just noticed that the old link is no longer active.
A sad day.

Posted by: MKadyman | December 15, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Well, this is just lovely. What can I look for in my midnight commute home Tues/Wed from DC out to Fauquier?

Posted by: weathergrrl | December 15, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

MKadyman -- don't be too sad! ... it is still active. was just a temporary outage, and is working again.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | December 15, 2008 10:45 PM | Report abuse

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