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Posted at 8:00 AM ET, 01/ 6/2009

Forecast: Icy Challenges Today

By Matt Rogers

Most travel woes well north and west of city

Winter Weather Advisory in effect through 9 a.m. tomorrow N&W of D.C. (includes Montgomery, Loudoun, Howard counties and points N&W; advisory discontinued for Fairfax and Prince William County)


Today: Wintry mix and/or rain. 31-35. | Tonight: Mix to rain. 31-35. | Tomorrow: Morning Rain. 41-45. | A Look Ahead


A classic clash of air masses is creating a complicated weather picture for the D.C. area today. Cold air that filtered southward overnight will interact with warmer air and precipitation from our south today. North and west of town, occasional sleet and freezing rain will develop and gradually increase in intensity as the day wears on. Inside the Beltway and to the south and east, sleet will probably turn to plain rain, but temperatures will be close enough to freezing that some icing cannot be entirely ruled out.

Today (Tuesday): In the normally colder north and west suburbs, morning sleet will probably change to freezing rain by midday. Temperatures should generally hover near freezing. There may be some lulls in the precipitation and it is forecast to be heaviest in the late afternoon toward evening. Although the ground is not very cold, watch out for slick spots especially late in the afternoon with the loss of daylight. As usual, bridges, ramps, overpasses, and untreated sidewalks will be the main trouble spots.

Inside the Beltway and points south and east, it should be at or just above freezing through the day, reducing the threat of iciness and resulting in mainly a cold rain. However, some sleet may mix in with the rain during the first half of the day and temperatures will be close enough to freezing for the evening rush hour that the situation will bear watching. Confidence: Low-Medium

Tonight: Precipitation continues overnight. Areas well north and west of the city may remain at or just below freezing so significant accumulations of ice are possible (stay tuned for updates through the day today) especially towards Frederick and Loudoun counties. In the immediate suburbs, city, and south and east mostly rain should fall, but temperatures will remain perilously close to freezing. Confidence: Low-Medium

Keep reading for the forecast through the weekend.

Tomorrow (Wednesday): All areas should see just plain rain by Wednesday morning with temperatures rising into the low to mid- 40s by midday and afternoon. Areas well to the east and south of the city could briefly surge into the 50s even. Rain should taper to showers by the afternoon. Confidence: Medium-High

Tomorrow Night: Some showers are possible as temperatures head back lower again. Expect low to middle 30s by dawn with continued cloudy skies. Confidence: Medium


On Thursday, cold air continues to pump back into the region. The atmosphere looks unstable, so we cannot rule out some stray flurries during the day. Highs should only get to the upper 30s or very low 40s. Look for variable sky cover. Confidence: Medium

Friday might possibly be our sunniest day of the week with a cold start (lower to middle 20s) and a daytime temperature near to below normal in the upper 30s to lower 40s. Confidence: Medium

The weekend is currently looking split between a milder Saturday and a colder Sunday. Saturday is favored to feature temperatures in either the upper 40s or lower 50s with late day showers, while Sunday should see more sunshine, but colder weather back down into the 30s once more. Confidence: Low-Medium

The long range indications are hinting about possibly much stronger January cold in the D.C. area by later next week.

By Matt Rogers  | January 6, 2009; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Update: Light Rain and Patchy Ice Settle In


Here in G'burg the temp is around 34 ( but still falling) and just plain cold rain. The humidity is still rising however which I think indicates that there is still some cooling effect from the moist air so we may continue to chill down - but unlikely to be much of a winter event for us.

Posted by: MDScot | January 6, 2009 5:46 AM | Report abuse

Oh how glad I am I didn't get my hopes up. Whew.

Latest closings per Channel 9:

VA Public Schools

Clarke Co Schools - VA - Closed
Culpeper Co Schools - VA - Closed
Fauquier Co Schools - VA - Closed
Frederick Co Schools - VA - Closed
Page Co Schools - VA - Open 2 Hours Late
Rappahannock Co Schools - VA - Closed
Shenandoah Co Schools - VA - Closed
Warren Co Schools - VA - Closed
Winchester Public Schools - VA - Closed

WV Public Schools

Berkeley Co Schools - WV - Open 2 Hours Late
Grant Co Schools - WV - Open 2 Hours Late
Hampshire Co Schools - WV - Open 2 Hours Late
Hardy Co Schools - WV - Open 2 hours late
Mineral Co Schools - WV - Open 2 Hours Late

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | January 6, 2009 6:04 AM | Report abuse

That is a nice summary of the weather. I cringe at posting positive comments but I have to say the Capital Weather Gang does a great job year round.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | January 6, 2009 6:08 AM | Report abuse

I agree MdScot. Just drove in for work and the roads were clear. A slight bit of sleet mixing in with the rain. I don't think temperatures will drop low enough to see anything significant.

Posted by: PoorTeacher | January 6, 2009 6:34 AM | Report abuse

Its 32 here in culpeper with a dewpoint of 30. I would say that we have probadly bottom out. Doesnt look like the rain is freezing to anything. unless the temp drops, I look for the NWS to scale back the WWA even more.

Posted by: clintonportis17 | January 6, 2009 6:37 AM | Report abuse

Just below 32 here in Silver Spring. Everyone drive carefully today!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 6, 2009 7:26 AM | Report abuse

As expected I can hear it tonight on the news: "Well Doreen, we cretainly dodged another bullet! Just up to our North on the Mason-Dixon line they are getting a significant ice storm. Here in the immediate D.C. area just a cold rain."

I am sick of dodging bullets.

Rainman Greg

Posted by: stinkerflat1 | January 6, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

32.4 and light RAIN. 0.4 degrees above freezing. 0.4. Really?

I'm pretty tired of cold rain as well, Rainman Greg. Maybe if you changed your user name to Snowman Greg we would have more luck?

Posted by: Sterlingva | January 6, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Don't we all love 33 degrees and rain?

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 6, 2009 8:49 AM | Report abuse

I donøt know...I kinda like dodging bullets.

Posted by: dkf747 | January 6, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

What is the record for the LEAST amount of measurable snowfall in DC? Anybody know?

Posted by: tjack55 | January 6, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

33 degrees and rain can't get any worse!! If only it was say 10 years ago, we might actually be getting snow! Quick Question, Ever since the NWS started using heavy snow warnings again, Have we ever been under one!?

Posted by: clintonportis17 | January 6, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

What's so bad about 33 degrees and rain? Maybe I missed something, but I thought that cold rain was pretty much the standard in winter?

Oh well. I've got plenty of blankets, working heat both in the house and car, and about four pairs of nice, thick fuzzy socks, so I'm not concerned about the temps or the weather.

Although I would like to see another snow squall like we had the other day.

Posted by: Strawberry23 | January 6, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm. Temps holding at 32, but my icicles are melting. Dreary winter day. I'm waiting on Augusta Jim's report from the Valley .....

Posted by: weathergrrl | January 6, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

To tjack 55:

For the 1997-98 winter, it was 0.1. Same amount for 1972-73.


Posted by: tnewton726 | January 6, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse


Basically no snow fell in 72-73 and 97-98...

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | January 6, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Cold rain is the worst least snow doesn't soak in and chill you to the bone when you're out in it!!!

Posted by: Bombo47jea | January 6, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

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