Here I am sitting at work on a nice December Saturday afternoon, seeing sunshine out the window and thinking how different it will be in 24 hours. Taking a look at the current surface map, high pressure to the west is helping push cool and dry air into the region, with dew points now falling into the 20s and high temperatures only in the low to mid 40s.
Tonight, winds will subside, temperatures will fall into the upper 20s to lower 30s, and clouds will begin to increase from the southwest as a disturbance moves into the region.
- Futurecast for 2pm Sunday showing a mix of snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain
Precipitation is still expected to start as snow in the D.C. area. It will move in from the southwest and spread to the north and east through the morning hours. At this time light accumulations are still possible, with the highest likelihood of only 1 to 2 inches of snow by lunch time or the early afternoon.
- Chances for Accumulating snow in the D.C. area (Highest totals West)
- Futurecast Snowfall Predictions (Probably a little overdone)
Here is a look at snowfall accumulations from our in-house model simulation. I think it is a little on the high end, so please take this with a grain of salt. Also, once precipitation changes over to sleet and freezing rain, these accumulations won't mean much as the snow will get compacted and eventually melted by rain Sunday night into Monday morning.
- Timeline from 6am to 2pm Sunday (Sorry the title is off!)
Snow is expected to change to sleet and freezing rain by the early afternoon hours. The timing is anywhere from Noon-3pm with snow hanging on a little longer in the western portions of the area.
- Timeline from 4pm to Midnight Sunday
Sleet and freezing rain should then be the predominant precipitation type through the late afternoon and evening hours. Areas to the east may see a change to plain rain in the afternoon, with the highest likelihood closest to the Chesapeake Bay. Locations west of D.C. may hold on to freezing rain a bit longer into Sunday night.
- Icing Chances (Highest likelihood west of D.C.)
Some locations west of the Blue Ridge in the Shenandoah Valley have the highest threat for freezing rain and icing accumulations. Some locations may stay at or below freezing into early Monday morning west of the Blue Ridge and at this time we think cancellations will be likely in those areas.
East of the Blue Ridge, enough warm air should enter the region Sunday night into Monday morning to change precipitation to plain rain, and temperatures should be above freezing Monday morning for the morning commute.
The chance is still there for cancellations and delays Monday morning east of the Blue Ridge, but minor changes in just one degree in temperatures could make the difference between more or less ice.
Our team will be starting on Newschannel 8 at 7am Sunday and will continue to be live throughout the day with updates on everything from where the precipitation is to how the roads are faring. Be sure to tune in during the day and charge your iPads and Laptops as if you lose power, you can always tune in online as well.