WASHINGTON - A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for the greater DC metro area, as snow sleet and freezing rain and rain falls through Saturday night.
The wintry mix fell through Maryland, Virginia and DC through Saturday afternoon into the evening. The snow will become more sleet and then rain from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m.
Central Maryland, DC and North and Western Virginia may get one to three inches of snow, with northernmost Maryland getting three inches and up.
Skies will turn mostly clear with sunshine by Sunday. Any snow that did accumulate on the grass will quickly start to melt away as temperatures across the region head well above freezing.
In Maryland, Montgomery, Northwest Howard, Carroll County, Central and Eastern Allegany, Frederick, Baltimore, Northwest and Southeast Harford, and Washington Counties are under the Winter Weather Advisory through midnight.
In Virginia, Prince Georges, Fairfax, Arlington, Loudoun, Frederick and Western Loudoun, as well as Northern Fauquier Counties, are under the advisory.
Drivers are asked to use caution if out and about, especially if roads start to become slushy and snow covered.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
1. In DC, snow mixing with sleet and rain from time to time is expected. It is more of a snow event north and west of town. More rain mixing with sleet south and east of town.
2. Snow may fall at a moderate to heavy pace from time to time, especially during the early evening hours, causing reduced visibility.
3. Majority of snow accumulations will be on the grass, although untreated roadways may become covered in locations where snow falls heavily enough.
4. This is a short duration event, NOT a blizzard. The system will exit the region late Saturday night, and the sun is expected to return on Sunday!
What precipitation type we get will be an issue for the I-95 corridor, although recent model trends have favored more snow and sleet as opposed to rain despite surface temperatures being marginal to even a little above freezing during the afternoon.
Snow may come down a little heavy at times, and a slushy one to two inches are possible on grassy surfaces around the area. Less traveled side streets and untreated roadways could pick up a coating as snow continues to fall.
Southeast of D.C., warmer air looks to be more of a problem. Sleet or snow may mix in early during the event in the northern neck of Virginia, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore. The majority of weather models favor mostly a rain event in these regions.
Northwest of D.C., as usual, is where models favor more of a snow event and therefore the highest snowfall totals - although nothing too extreme. Generally favoring one to three inches of snow on the grass in these areas with an isolated area getting a little more.
Closer to the Maryland / Pennsylvania border, three to four inches is expected, while the western highlands in the Maryland panhandle and West Virginia could pick up three to six inches of snow. Temperatures in these regions are more likely to stay around or just below the freezing mark during the event meaning there is a better chance for roadway issues. Drivers are asked to be cautious if you are traveling in these areas Saturday evening as road conditions could be slick.
Unlike the blizzards that bring the big snowfalls to our region, this event will be a short-lived once. The vast majority of our morning weather guidance has the storm exiting our region later on Saturday night.
By Sunday, skies turn mostly clear and the sunshine returns. Any snow that did accumulate on the grass will quickly start to melt away as temperatures across the region head well above freezing. In fact, temperatures are not expected to return below freezing at all early next week, meaning there is no strong risk of any refreezing issues. By the middle of the week, another early taste of spring returns as temperatures return to the 70s across the region. In fact, temperatures look to be near record levels both next Tuesday and Wednesday.