From the ABC 7 Weather team

Cold rain in the District… snow for the far western mountains?

October 1, 2011 - 02:53 PM
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Like the rain and cold temperatures? Well, it looks to be here through the weekend. But, wait; 130 miles west of the District, the first accumulating snow of the season is quite possible overnight!

An upper-level low pressure is spinning across southern Virginia with northwest winds on the northern side producing the chilly winds while instability from the low is generating the showery weather. This low is separated from the main upper-level winds, so we’re going to be dealing with it for a while. The pattern won’t unlock until Wednesday when a sprawling high pressure brings back the sunshine.

What all this amounts to is lots of clouds, periodic light showers with up to 0.25 inch of additional rain in the District through Tuesday. Highs will stay 20 degrees below average with 50s during the day and 40s at night. The low will slide to the east Monday and Tuesday, bringing more breaks in the clouds, widely scattered sprinkles and slightly warmer upper 50s to middle 60s. In the upper-levels, a high pressure ridge will build in mid-to-late week bringing back something we haven’t seen in a while… bright blue skies and temperatures back to average… around 70 with low humidity!

But, there is a second side to the weather story well to our west in the Allegheny Mountains of far western Maryland and West Virginia. The ridges here peak at about 2,900 feet where temperatures are border line with the freezing mark. However, just above the surface temperatures are below freezing. As the sun goes down, temperatures here will fall to the freezing mark, supporting a change from rain to snow! There could even be an inch or so in the highest peaks, such as Backbone Mountain and Keysers Ridge. Anyone planning to travel to places like Morgantown, W.Va., or Pittsburgh tonight or early Sunday should be advised for possible slick roads west of about Frostburg, Md.


An early morning snow dusts Snowshoe Mountain, W.Va., which ranges in elevation between 3,300 feet to 4,800 feet on the first day of October.

According to the National Weather Service in State College, Pa., if the highest mountain ridges in south-central Pennsylvania, such as Laurel Summit and Pennsylvania’s highest mountain, Mount Davis, get any accumulating snow tonight, it would be the earliest recorded snowfall on record. The record currently in place is October 9th.

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