From the ABC 7 Weather team

Current thoughts on Thursday's Storm

January 1, 2014 - 10:13 AM
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Snow still appears a likelihood tonight into Friday morning, but cold temperatures may be the bigger story for the D.C. area.

A Winter Storm now appears likely for parts of the Northeast including New York City and Boston Thursday and Friday. Some areas may receive up to a foot of snow with  blizzard conditions closer to the coastal areas.

Farther south into D.C., snow is likely, but we're not expecting nearly the same strength or impacts in our area compared to the Northeast.

Above is a look at the Winter Weather Advisories in purple,  Winter Storm Warning in pink and Blizzard Warning in Red along Long Island and Cape Cod. The advisories stretch from the Midwest through the Ohio Valley ahead of the upper-level disturbance tracking out of the Rockies this morning. Light snow is expected in those regions but enough to cause travel disruptions.

The areas shaded in purple under the Winter Weather Advisory are expected to be affected by low pressure as it deepens off the east coast.

A strong coastal low is anticipated to develop by tonight into Friday morning, which will overspread snow in the Northeast.

5pm temperatures per the 12Z 4km NAM forecast (Courtesy: WeatherBell Models)

Focusing on the D.C. area, as usual, the region will be right on the edge of snow and no snow. This has been the case so far this winter, and this scenario doesn't seem much different.

Parts of our region have the chance for light snow while others may not see any at all. Above is a look at the 4km NAM forecast temperatures at 5 p.m. Thursday. Notice temperatures are still in the 40s in D.C. and points south and east.

After 5 p.m., they should plummet into the 30s and eventually 20s closer to midnight. Precipitation is expected to develop in the late afternoon in the form of rain through the majority of the region.

The changeover to snow should occur after sunset closer to 6 p.m. and continue to fall as snow through early Friday morning (anywhere from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m.). Snow should exit the region prior to sunrise.

4km NAM 10pm forecast reflectivity (Courtesy: WeatherBell Models)

Above is a look at the 4km NAM forecast reflectivity Thursday at 10 p.m.. Notice precipitation has yet to change over to snow just south of D.C. We're not expecting much in the way of snow and minor to no accumulations south and east of D.C.

At this time, the heaviest accumulations appear like they would be closer to Baltimore and points north and east. Light accumulations will also be possible along and north of I-66. The problem will be determining how the roads will fare.

We are anticipating precipitation to start as rain, making for wet roadways. With high temperatures in the 40s for much of the region, this would make for roadways above freezing for the majority of the D.C. Metro and points south.

Areas with colder conditions earlier in the day such as northwest of D.C. and closer to the Mason-Dixon Line will have the best chance for accumulations on the roadways.

Winter Weather Advisories may eventually be posted for hazardous driving conditions Friday morning. Below is a look at our in-house computer model depicting forecast snowfall totals by Friday morning. Areas north and east may have slightly higher totals, but we will be able to pin this down even further tomorrow as the latest guidance comes in.

Friday is still expected to be very cold, with highs only near the low to mid 20s by the afternoon. Winds will make it feel even colder as they gust out of the northwest around 25-35 mph.

Friday night is expected to be the coldest night of the season so far, with lows in the teens inside the Beltway and possibly single digits in the outlying suburbs. Get ready for this cold blast for the end of the week and stay tuned to our latest forecasts!

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