The DC area is preparing for this year's third snowfall and a bitterly cold Thursday night, with wind-cooling temperatures expected to drop below teens around the region.
The timing of the snow could slow Thursday morning commuting.
Rain will continue to move to snow, starting west and moving toward DC. Expect all snow to arrive in the district at 7.00. Slippery to briefly snow-covered roads could get stuck in traffic very quickly, especially as rain would prevent crews from pre-treating roads.
Storm Team4 declared a weather alert and a winter weather advice is in effect in the district, most counties in northern Virginia and Maryland counties like Prince George's, Montgomery, Anne Arundel and others. Go here for a complete list.
Get yourself together before you walk out the door Thursday morning. Temperatures will quickly drop below freezing. Expect a biting cold afternoon with northwesterly winds of 15-25 mph, then feel like temperatures in your teens and single digits in the late afternoon and overnight.
Federal agencies in the DC area open with a two-hour delay Thursday with the option to allow unplanned leave / telework. However, the DC government will open on time, said Mayor Muriel Bowser.
Several school systems in the area have announced that they are closed, delayed or doing virtual learning. Here is a complete list of school closures and delays.
The timeline (and how it affects your morning commute)
Before 7:00: About half an inch of precipitation, which started late Wednesday night, is expected to melt the snow remnants from the last storm. This means that the roads will mostly only be wet - until the snow starts to fall.
Around 7 or 8:00: It's snowing, but chief meteorologist Doug Kammerer of Storm Team4 says temperatures above freezing are likely to prevent significant accumulation on roads and melt it on contact.
As it will rain overnight, road staff will have limited options for pre-treating roads. This, combined with the fact that snow plows would get stuck in the morning rush hour, could lead to a very slow commute and things could get slippery.
The heaviest snow could fall around noon
Thursday's storm will be a challenge for the road staff, just as the morning commute will increase. News4's Shomari Stone reports on residents' last-minute preparations taking place overnight.
At dinner: The snow is moving out, except for a few possible showers in the southern part of the region.
Afternoon: It blows strong northwest winds all afternoon and evening and lowers chills into the teens at. 15.00 or 16.00
Evening: Be prepared for a solid re-freezing of any wet or untreated surface tonight. Wind chill is set to be single digits during the evening and overnight.
How much snow could we get on Thursday? Here are potential snow totals
Bitter cold and bone-dry air from the Arctic will limit the snowfall potential, says Storm Team4.
Snow accumulations are expected to be about 1 inch, but can approach 2 inches during the 6 to 10 am window.
As the snow was slow to arrive in the DC area, the volumes could be under an inch. But if the snow hangs longer, higher amounts are possible.
Here are the odds of snowfall predicted by Storm Team4:
- 80% chance of at least one inch of snow
- 50% chance of 2 inches of snow
- 10% chance of 3 inches of snow or more
Windy, arctic air will calm down for the rest of Thursday. Temperatures start in the 30s, but drop to the 20s in many areas, and wind cooling will drop into the teens as the day goes on.
Friday and Saturday will be below freezing. Wind cooling on Friday morning can be close to 0 ° in some places as the coldest air in almost three years moves in. Friday highs will be 26 ° cold.
A winter storm previously expected on Saturday will hit our area. Southern Maryland can expect some snow. Next storm chance we will see is on Tuesday.