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Posted at 10:15 AM ET, 01/ 5/2009

Forecast: Some Ice Possible Tuesday

By Jason Samenow

Seasonably cold conditions most of the week

Winter Storm Watch in effect Tues. afternoon through Wed. morning N&W of D.C. (includes Fairfax, Montgomery and Howard counties and points N&W; excludes Arlington County, Falls Church and Alexandria)

* InaugurationCast | Kennedy Inauguration Forecast Bust *

EXPRESS FORECAST

Today: Variably cloudy. 45-50. | Tonight: Increasing clouds. 28-32. | Tomorrow: Wintry mix. 31-35. | A Look Ahead

FORECAST IN DETAIL

Winter will try to assert itself this week, but not in a snow-lover friendly way. A significant storm will bring an unwelcome mix of ice and rain to the region tomorrow into Wednesday. Maybe the precipitation starts as a little snow. After the storm passes, cold air gradually re-establishes itself over the area but without a lot of precipitation.

Temperatures: Current area temperatures. Powered by Weather Bonk. Map by Google. Hover over and click icons for more info. Click and hold on map to pan. Refresh page to update. See map bigger on our Weather Wall.

Today (Monday): A cold front pushing through the region could (20% chance) generate a shower or two -- mainly in the morning. For the afternoon, expect variably cloudy skies. Temperatures will be pretty typical for the season, with highs in the mid- to upper 40s. Winds will blow from the northwest at 10-15 mph and may be gusty at times. Confidence: Medium-High

Tonight: As high pressure moves offshore, clouds move in with a 30% chance of sleet or light snow late at night. Little or no accumulation is expected and the precipitation may begin as rain. Lows will range from the upper 20s in the north and west suburbs to near freezing downtown. Confidence: Medium

Keep reading for the detailed forecast through the week.

sunrise_web.jpg
The sun rising Jan. 1 from the Mount Vernon Portico, overlooking the Potomac River. By Capital Weather Gang photographer Kevin Ambrose.

Tomorrow (Tuesday): As low pressure develops to our southwest and cold air bleeds into the region from the north, the stage will be set for a light wintry mix of precipitation. Sleet or snow will develop from southwest to northeast during the morning and likely change to a mix of sleet and freezing rain by late morning or early afternoon. Accumulation of snow/sleet, if any, will be less than an inch.

Between the early afternoon and evening, the mix may change to plain rain from the District and to the south and east but with a persistent wind from the north, temperatures may be hard pressed to rise. High temperatures will generally be around freezing. Confidence: Medium

Tomorrow Night: The ice will probably change to rain from southeast to northwest. However, cold air in these types of situations can be difficult to dislodge, so we'll need to watch temperatures closely. In areas that don't rise above freezing until late at night, significant icing may occur -- most likely in the far north and west suburbs. Temperatures should rise into the mid- 30s or so due to the northward passage of a warm front. Confidence: Medium

A LOOK AHEAD

By Wednesday, the freezing air should have finally eroded everywhere, and rain showers are likely. Temperatures may make a run well into the 40s before a cold front works its way through the area late. Overnight, expect gradual clearing and blustery conditions, with lows from the upper 20s to the low 30s. Confidence: Medium

Thursday will be variably cloudy, windy and brisk with highs in the low 40s. During the afternoon, a reinforcing blast of cold air arriving from the northwest may trigger a snow flurry. Overnight, skies should gradually clear but it will be windy and cold, with lows from 20-25 (suburbs-city). Confidence: Medium

Tranquil weather returns Friday as high pressure briefly settles over the region. Skies will be sunny and winds should gradually diminish. Highs will be near or a hair below normal, right around 40. Confidence: Medium-High

As high pressure moves offshore, a wind from the south will warm things up a bit for Saturday. Highs should reach well into the 40s before the next cold front passes through the region. Said front may trigger some rain showers before it turns sharply colder Saturday night, when lows may drop through the 20s. Confidence: Medium

Sunday looks breezy and cold but dry, with highs in the 30s. Confidence: Low-Medium

By Jason Samenow  | January 5, 2009; 10:15 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Comments

Current temperature in Burke: 40.8 with a few clouds in the sky.

There is a winter storm watch for my area at this moment:

WHILE THE EXACT MAGNITUDE OF THE COLD AIR REMAINS SOMEWHAT UNCERTAIN AT THIS TIME... THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SLEET AND... OR FREEZING RAIN. THIS INCLUDES THE POSSIBILITY OF A QUARTER INCH OR MORE OF ICE ACROSS THE WATCH AREA. PREPARATIONS SHOULD BE MADE NOW FOR A POTENTIALLY HIGH IMPACT WINTER WEATHER EVENT TUESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING.

A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT SLEET OR ICE ACCUMULATIONS THAT MAY IMPACT TRAVEL. CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS.

Posted by: Yellowboy | January 5, 2009 6:34 AM | Report abuse

I'm having a hard time seeing how we get enough CAD for this to be a major ice event, even in Washington County where I'm located.

Any thoughts?

Love the site, it's a very cool mix of weather and information. I really appreciate your efforts and the fact that you're very candid in your assessments of the data.

Posted by: bendersx6 | January 5, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse


Huhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.......Henry Margusity said that a warming pattern will start around the 20th of Jan. :(

Posted by: Yellowboy | January 5, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

@bendersx6

Up your way, I think at least some icing is a pretty safe bet. It's more marginal in the immediate metro area, but the model data show temps around freezing...and often they underestimate damming. This will definitely be one of those storms where we'll have to closely watch temps and a couple degrees is a big deal...so uncertainty is high.

Posted by: Jason-CapitalWeatherGang | January 5, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

After a few showers this morning at Rush Hour, Silver Spring and the National Mall area have both started to clear off. The sun is peaking out downtown... just in time for lunch.

Anyone else planning to go out for lunch into the sun? let me know if you have weather conditions that are vastly different, where you are!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 5, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I'm under the WSW here in Culpeper Va. The NWS just said that they will probadly go with a winter weather advisory with the excpetion of western counties. I do not agree with that, IMO all the areas in the WSW now should be under a warning. I have seen them time after time go with an advisory and then later upgrade to a warning. So sometimes I don't always see what there thinking is.

Posted by: clintonportis17 | January 5, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Based on late morning discussion, Sterling does not think that storm will be big deal in metro region - likely to issue advisory except for far N&W areas. Although I don't understand their Feb '07 comment

BUT MDLS ARE IMPLYING THAT THE SUB-1300M LN HANGS ACROSS THE
"USUAL SUSPECT" IE THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY THRUT DAY TUE WHICH COULD
MEAN A SIG ICING EVENT. WHEN I SAW THIS MY THOTS IMMEDIATELY
TURNED TO FEB 07...WHERE THE MDLS PORTRAYED A SIMILAR SITUATION
BUT W OF I-95 ENDED UP HAVG A MAJOR SLEET EVENT WHILE THE ICING
HAPPENED IN ANNE ARUNDEL. HOWEVER WE`RE A MONTH AND A HALF EARLIER
IN WINTER SO I DON`T SEE THAT SOLUTION BEING REPLAYED.

Why does the month and half make such a big difference - esp given that Jan is the coldest month of the year? Historically speaking, which month do sig ice storms occur with the greatest frequency?

Posted by: mciaram1 | January 5, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

clintonportis17 -- I'm with you ... if anything, this morning's model runs trended slightly colder for the northern and western suburbs, so I don't see any support for shifting away from the winter storm watch yet.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | January 5, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

why can't we just get snow?

Posted by: madisondc | January 5, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Thinking about this some more, though, the precip may be too light to warrant the warning vs. the advisory. If I were NWS I'd wait to see this afternoon's model data before deciding whether to go with advisory over warning for the immediate metro area.

Posted by: Dan-CapitalWeatherGang | January 5, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

What are the chances of roads being affected tomorrow morning (Tuesday AM). I have a 9am appointment in Gaithersburg - wondering if kids' schools will be affected...

Posted by: someonelikeyou | January 5, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Any chance the temp forecast is overdone? It's already pushing 50 at both DCA and IAD, yet the expected highs for today were in the mid-40s. That plus the easterly winds expected through tomorrow evening would lead me to believe that it's all cold rain for Loudon County and eastward in VA, with temps in the mid to high 30s instead of the forecasted low 30s.

Posted by: heatmiser | January 5, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I just don't see this one coming together. This would make for our second (I believe) Winter Storm Watch here in MoCo this winter. The previous one went with an advisory, we ended up with rain.
I see the same scenario happening again tomorrow/wed. This is based on no scientific/meteorological evidence, just my own gut feeling. Traditional winter in the D.C. Metro area is going the way of the Dodo.

Posted by: Havoc737 | January 5, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Sunny?? It's been cloudy all day in Bethesda. The clouds do look pretty cool at the moment though. Moving pretty quickly east.

Posted by: UMDTerpsGirl | January 5, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

18z NAM looks a lot warmer...

Posted by: mciaram1 | January 5, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

the 18z NAM is colder then the 18z GFS. and the 18z NAM looks a tad colder then the 06zNAM. I don't think the NWS had enough info to cancel the watch so fast and put the advisory up. They are the pro's but sometimes I have to question there thinking.

Posted by: clintonportis17 | January 5, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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