Arctic blast hits DC region; snow possible Saturday morning

There is one week left until the official start of winter, but only one day left until you will wish it was summer. An Arctic front will pass the region late Wednesday evening, possibly bringing some late night snow showers to the D.C. region.

A few areas may wake up to a dusting, but this will be the exception rather than the rule. What everyone will be waking up to is frigid temperatures, which will be a good 10-15 degrees than they were on Wednesday morning.

More so then the temperatures, what you will notice the minute you step outside your door is the wind and the wind chills. Gusts through the day Thursday could exceed 40 mph at times. While air temperatures are expected to be in the 20s, those winds will make it feel like teens and even single-digits though most of the day for many around our region.

The full winter getup is recommended for Thursday: hats, gloves and the heavy winter coat. Friday remains cold, with most of the region starting the day with air temperatures in the teens, but the winds should be more manageable. With less sunshine, Friday could be the first December day temperatures fail to break 30 degrees in Washington in six years.

Saturday is the trouble day. Prior to sunrise on Saturday, a system will approach our region from the southwest. With temperatures expected to be in the 20s, precipitation looks like it will initially start as light snow around most of the region. By sunrise, a strong southerly wind starts pulling in some warmer air causing the snow to change initially to sleet and eventually freezing rain. Travel during Saturday morning could be hazardous as, due to the very cold conditions on Thursday and Friday, any snow that falls will stick or any rain that falls will initially freeze to ice.

With warmer air continuing to spill in however, most weather models agree on a change to all rain by the mid-to-late morning hours as temperatures rise well above freezing. Any morning accumulation would quickly melt away with temperatures heading for the 50s Saturday afternoon, and even low 60s on Sunday.

Winter offers no rest for the weary however. Another blast of cold air looks to push into the region on Monday and Tuesday next week. In the meantime, stay warm…and stay safe!