From the ABC 7 Weather team

Additional snow chances and return of arctic cold air

January 16, 2014 - 04:02 PM
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Areas of light snow and some colder air will pay a visit to the region this weekend. Another arctic plunge may enter next week.

Light snow fell across parts of the region Wednesday night into Thursday morning, and additional systems will soon follow. Another disturbance will move into the area Friday night into Saturday morning, and a following clipper will move through Saturday night into Sunday morning.

Each of these systems have the potential to bring flurries and light snow, but it may not add up to anything other than a dusting on the grass.

GFS 500mb Vorticity Forecast for Saturday morning

Above is a look at the mid-level pattern, with the bright yellow, orange and magenta colors denoting areas of energy and lift in the atmosphere. For more technical information on 500mb weather plots, check out this site.

On the model forecast above, a trough is depicted over the Eastern U.S. Energy associated with that system will push through Friday night into Saturday morning.

Our current thought is that light snow will fall across the region with up to a dusting to a half inch possible mainly in the western portions of the viewing area. Areas at higher elevations will have the potential for up to an inch. Snow will come to an end by Saturday morning and gusty winds and cooler temperatures in the 30s will settle into the region during the day.

The next system on the model forecast above can be seen over the Dakotas moving in to Minnesota. This system will continue to push southeast south of the Great Lakes and eventually into the Mid Atlantic by Sunday morning. An additional chance for light snow will be possible Saturday night into Sunday morning.

ECMWF Predicted Snowfall through Sunday afternoon (Courtesy: WeatherBELL Models)

We're sorry if you're snow lovers, but both of these systems will have rather low levels of moisture involved so precipitation is expected to be light. One model shown above is showing the chance of a quarter to a half inch of snow east of the Blue Ridge and more in the higher elevations to the west. Ski spots in the mountains have the best chance for measurable snow, so it may be a good weekend if you're headed out that way!

Snowshoe Mountain Resort Cam

Beyond this weekend, an additional chance for snow lies on Tuesday, but there are more questions than answers on that system right now and if anything it appears like it would be light. We'll update you as confidence increases.

850 Temperatures next Wednesday

Temperatures look to be the bigger story next week. Monday should be the warmest day of the week with highs in the upper 40s. Beyond that, the arctic plunge appears to return, with highs in the 30s Tuesday, and possibly only in the 20s next Wednesday and Thursday.

Related Blog: Coldest January's on Record in D.C.

Below is a look at the ECMWF forecast model 2-m temperatures next Wednesday morning. If you can't see the tiny numbers, they are in the teens in the suburbs and 20s closer to town. Not quite as cold as earlier this month when it bottomed out in the single digits, but still quite cold!

(Courtesy: WeatherBELL Models)

Cold air may hang around for a while too, with chilly conditions expected next weekend and another strong cold push possible the following week. We don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves here but we wanted to outline the possibility of another cold air outbreak returning to D.C. next week.

Here is a look at the Climate Prediction Center's 6-10 Day Outlook, showing an 80% probability for colder than normal temperatures from next Wednesday through Sunday. I would call those pretty good odds. Be sure to have your cold gear ready next week!

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