From the ABC 7 Weather team

Snow possible in D.C. on Friday night - what are the odds?

December 15, 2011 - 11:11 PM
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There's a slight chance that the D.C. region could be in for a Flaky Friday, although no significant snowfall accumulations are expected.

The Washington, D.C., region has about a slight chance of getting some flakes on Friday. Snow making the White House whiter during the blizzard on Feb. 6, 2010. (Pete Souza / Official U.S. Navy Imagery's Flickr photostream)


5:45 A.M. Good morning, Adam Caskey here.  The latest data points towards a cold rain briefly mixing with wet snowflakes mostly south of D.C. from roughly 5 P.M. to 1 A.M. It will be light and no snow accumulation is expected with the exception of some ridge tops along the Blue Ridge.  Along the higher elevations of Highland, Augusta and Nelson Counties up to an inch is possible. The D.C. metro area could get clipped by this precipitation, but it would just cause some reduced visibilities and wet roads for a brief period of time this evening. Even the rainfall totals should be slim (0.01"-0.10"). As a side note, don't be surprised if you witness a few flurries early Sunday morning caused by a shot of upper level energy. Neither is a big deal, and my snow excitement factor remains very low (0.5 out of 10).

11:00 P.M.  Bob Ryan here. The trend is a bit more north so light mix Friday evening to Friday 3 a.m. There's now a 50 percent chance that the D.C. area could see flakes but no accumulation. Light rain is expected in southern Maryland. Flurries are possible Sunday with colder air coming in.

4:45 P.M.: Chad Merrill joins the fray:

I see a few sprinkles along I-66, mixed with a flurry or two from about 5 p.m. Friday to about 1 a.m. early Saturday morning. South of I-66 along the I-95 corridor could see up to 0.1 inches of rain. Places like Shenandoah, Va., and Charlottesville would stand the best chance at an inch of snow… Culpeper, Va., could get a dusting to a half inch. The highest peaks of the Blue Ridge could get 2 or 3 inches along that latitude (well south and west of D.C.).

It looks like a quick moving system that would stay south of the metro area, with the only snow chances falling in the extreme southwestern part of the D.C. area (where there could be a winter weather advisory issued for one or two counties). North of I-66 will be dry. Sunshine by sunrise. Snow melts by midday in the areas that get snow. Those are my thoughts on the early weekend weather hiccup.

3:15 P.M.: Here is ABC7's Devon Lucie giving his thoughts about Friday:

I’d give a 20 to 30 percent chance of light snow/flurries mainly south of D.C. The south metro area could see some of these flakes with little to no accumulations on grass and trees only. North metro probably doesn’t see a thing with northern Maryland even receiving a healthy dose of sun Friday.

UPDATE 2:40 P.M.: New intel from the ABC7 weather team has arrived. Here's the outlook from senior meteorologist Bob Ryan:

I think this storm will be a “sleeper.” If anything much happens it will be when we are sleeping Friday night. There is a 30 percent chance of some light snow/mix in the southern suburbs and southern Maryland, but right now everything I see and the weather ensembles indicate a “TOSOUTS” storm: To Our South Out Uneventful To Sea :>).

And meteorologist Chris Naille chimes in:

Cold air will be in place but there is not much moisture to work with, so even if we see some rain/snow there is no chance of it causing problems. Also, most of the weather guidance keeps the heart of this system to our south and only southern area have a slight chance of seeing some moisture.

ORIGINAL: This winter is being such an unimaginable wuss that it's hard to write this: There is a chance of snow in the D.C. region on Friday night. A slight one, but a chance nonetheless.

The temperature at Reagan National is currently 60 degrees. It's 61 at BWI. However, a cold front will be barreling down onto the Mid-Atlantic late tonight. People living on the far side of the Appalachians could even see some drifting flakes.

On Friday, cold air hissing into the 202 will chill things down to the lower 50s or upper 40s. A stalled front is expected to sprinkle light precipitation along the East Coast and, when night falls, a bit of it could freeze into snow. How likely is that? This morning, the local office of the National Weather Service gave it a one-in-five chance:

snow dc friday dec 16 2011

But! The NWS has just revised its forecast to omit even those crumby odds:

snow dc friday dec 16 2011

Over here at ABC7, meteorologist Alex Liggitt explains that the big Friday storm bullet is traversing to the south of D.C. That means that any snow that falls is likeliest to whiten the skies of southern suburbs, like Fredericksburg south Maryland. Liggitt thinks it's possible that the precipitation will take the form of a "wintry mix" of rain and flakes. No accumulations are expected. (Check out Liggitt's video discussion about Friday.)

And then D.C. will be back to its mild winter. Check out this map from NOAA – last month ranked as the twelfth warmest November on worldwide record, with D.C. in particular basking in heat:

snow dc friday dec 16 2011

D.C. was slightly more than 2 degrees above average for November, according to preliminary data from the NWS. Meanwhile, Norway had its warmest November since 1900, the date people there started keeping records.

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