“So here I go again with another typical D.C. winter storm. I’ve been through all the guidance I’ve ever known! Like a drifter, earlier I was lost about this storm. But I’ve made up my mind. I ain’t wasting your time. Here we go again…”
Okay, so a little Whitesnake change of lyrics to start of this post –hopefully to lighten the mood for those who really wanted snow for Superbowl Sunday (and I can’t take full credit for the witty lyrics above – the ingenious forecasters from NWS Boston gave me the idea). Either way, let’s get down to details about the next event headed our way for Sunday, shall we? Rain.
Yes, this is looking more and more like a rain event for the ABC7 viewing area. I will just go ahead and throw it out there now. However, it could start off as some winter weather.
The Surface Details
High pressure is in charge for your Saturday, eventually calming our winds and bringing us lots of sunshine and a very dry atmosphere. An area of low pressure will push out of Colorado today moving northeast. By Sunday, it will trek through the Ohio valley, eventually shooting off the east coast by Monday bringing a swath of precipitation with it.
- Caption: Low pressure will be in Missouri by 7a.m. on Sunday morning. By Sunday night it will be just north of Kentucky eventually moving through northern Virginia by Monday morning at 7 a.m.
On Thursday, the track of the low was more to the south of the region which would be a better scenario for all snow with cold air filtering in. However, this is not the case over the last two days. The track of the low continues to trend north and as the low pressure moves eastward, intensifying as it travels; warm air will be pulled into the region changing our precipitation to rain. In fact, the most of the region (if not all) will be in the warm sector Sunday overnight as the associated warm front lifts to the north. Eventually the cold front associated with the low will cross through the area on Monday morning, bringing colder air behind it. High pressure will then move quickly in from the Ohio Valley by Tuesday.
What To Expect
While we could start off with some bursts of snow on Sunday morning – mid morning, the bulk of the precip will hold off until Sunday late afternoon - evening. I am keeping the chance of snow showers on Sunday morning but I do worry about anything reaching the ground considering dry air from our high pressure moving off the coast (in other words, as precip falls through the atmosphere, it would evaporate before it hits the ground with dry air in place). However, if we can overcome that, then there could be some snow showers tomorrow morning and even some light accumulation in some spots considering how cold it has been.
By Sunday afternoon/evening, the bulk of the precipitation will be moving in. I do expect a mixed bag of precipitation: snow to the north, a line of sleet with some spotty freezing rain and rain to the south. As we continue to pull warm air into the region through the overnight, the mixed bag of precip will eventually turn to a cold rain. The last of the area to see the changeover will be north and west of D.C., which means these are the likely areas to see some minor snow accumulations.
- Caption: Probability of snow accumulation of more or equal to 1.0” by 7 a.m. Monday morning.
We will hit our daytime high on Monday in the morning. Once the cold front passes, temperatures will begin to fall. We will have to watch for a chance for some freezing rain by early Monday morning, mainly north and west. I do believe the commute will be messy anyway with rain coming through and freezing rain will only of course add headaches.
- Caption: Best chance of some minor icing by 7 a.m. Monday morning will be along I-81 from Winchester to Hagerstown and I-70 from Frederick to Hagerstown.
The precip should be out of there by around lunch time on Monday however, if it lingers slightly longer, we could see a quick changeover to snow before it is all said and done. High pressure will quickly be moving in so most of the moisture feed should be cut off. With that being said, the incoming high pressure and the exiting low pressure will create a tight pressure gradient, kicking up winds Monday afternoon. Temperatures will drop and wind chills will be present, most likely in the 20s. After that, we will get some sunshine by Tuesday!
So sorry snow lovers, this doesn’t look like the store for us. However, we have to get through February AND March (remember St. Patrick’s Day snow storm last year?) so there are still some chances we could get snow, just not very much with this storm.