The calm before the storm! Snow is back in the forecast for Friday. Rain should begin overnight with a transition to snow by the morning hours. Reduced visibility may be the biggest concern for motorists during the Friday morning rush-hour. The snow will likely change to rain by the afternoon and the entire system should be out of the area by the afternoon.
- This Is Not February
The average high temperature in DC for February was 39°, with temperatures falling well below freezing on all but 4 mornings throughout the month. Our average high so far through March? 54°, which makes a big difference. The warmer weather, especially recently, has helped warm those ground temperatures. The sun is also a lot higher in the sky this time of year than it was even at the beginning of the month as we approach the spring equinox. This means that getting a significant accumulating snow this time of year is very difficult, as it requires all the pieces of the atmospheric puzzle to be in place. This is not the case with the coming storm.
- It's a Rare Breed of Snowfall
We call it spring for a reason. We are ready to throw our winter coats and snow shoes back in the attic, throw the snow shovel in the shed and say "good riddance" to old man winter. In fact, only five times in the past 25 years (since 1990) has the year's last measurable snowfall in DC come after today's date (March 18th). Last year was one of those years as we received nearly 2" of snow on March 25th. The good news in all this is that the "cutoff" date for measurable snow is fast approaching, as no measurable snow has been recorded in DC after April 7th in the past 25 years.
- Snowflakes Hitting My Windshield
Like most snowfalls in this region, the best chance for snow will come when temperatures are coldest. For us, that means just before sunrise and right and the morning rush hour get underway. The good news is that we are not anticipating much to stick to the main thoroughfares as those asphalt temperatures have been steadily rising, and the sun today and early tomorrow will help that trend to continue. Temperatures as the event gets underway are currently expected to be above freezing in the metro, which should farther help to keep us safe from accumulations. However we all know DC traffic, and no matter if it's rain, sleet, or snow hitting your windshield things do tend to move at a slower pace so do plan on the AM commute taking some extra time. If the snow falls heavily enough, there could be some periods where visibilities are reduced as well which could farther the travel issues.
- #Fox5SnowDay? Not For Most...
While models overnight were aggressive enough with the snowfall that we could be looking at delays around the DC metro area, as the snow gives way to rain by the late morning conditions will rapidly start to improve locally. In area that see the snow remain past the AM rush hour we could in fact be looking at some closings. Biggest concern for these closings will be north and west of DC where snow totals are expected to be highest. This is also where some snow could accumulate on the roadways as temperatures in this region should be colder. So if you head into the city from Frederick, Hagerstown, Cumberland, or other areas around that region know that you are in the bullseye with this one and have the best chances of dealing with those slick roadways. As we have learned time and time again this winter, a lot can change in a day when it comes to snowfall forecasts. Count on us to bring you the latest as our computer models continue to update over the next couple days, we will keep you informed on any forecast changes.
- It's Springtime…Where is the Warmth?
Time for some brutal honesty. The calendar will indeed say "springtime" beginning at 6:45pm this Friday, but Mother Nature is not yet ready to bring is predominate warmth. Much like the first half of the week, we will have periods over the next several weeks where we poke into the 60s and low 70s for a few days, but they (unfortunately) look to be the exception rather than the rule. In fact, we cannot even promise that Friday will be the last time we see snow falling from the sky. The reason why? The overall weather pattern is just not in the right setup for warmth yet. It's not just about the weather here on the East Coast, but what is happening in the Arctic, Canada, and Alaska that will continue to keep our temperatures generally below normal even as we head into April. The good news ? "Below normal" will soon mean 50s as opposed to 40s, as our normal high temperature reaches the 60° mark on March 27th. Only 2 days until spring, but a long 95 days to go yet until summer.
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