From the ABC 7 Weather team

First the east coast blizzard, now extreme cold

January 3, 2014 - 11:30 AM
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Snowfall across the region was a little higher than expected, which could end up helping it be even colder overnight into Saturday morning.

The highest snowfall totals in the D.C. area were centered all around the city but the heaviest fell along and north of a line along I-66 and I-50. Up to 4.5 inches of snow fell across areas such as Loudoun, Frederick (MD) and even east of D.C. in Calvert and Anne Arundel Counties where snow lasted the longest.

Snow total map from NWS Sterling, VA

Above is a look at the map view. You can find the full report here from the NWS Sterling Office. Snowfall totals were a couple inches greater than we expected but that was about it. With our forecast in the 1-3" range, I think we did alright as I personally was expecting less closer to D.C. but temperatures weren't as warm as forecast and less rain mixed in. Always a lesson to be learned in each winter scenario in D.C.

Other areas along the east coast had moderate snow such as New York where 6" or greater seemed common. You can find the snowfall reports for the New York City area here.

The Boston area got the brunt of the system, with up to 2 feet in Essex County, MA. Here is the snowfall report for Boston.

The concern today through tonight is the cold. Winds have diminished enough that the Wind Advisory was cancelled, but not before wind gusts reached the upper 40s in the D.C. area and up to 64 mph at Wintergreen Mountain in VA. Below is a nice look at a graphic put together by the NWS in Sterling.

Lows tonight will be some of the coldest temperatures in over a year at Reagan National. In fact, I was compiling some statistics on twitter earlier this morning and realized it will be cold, but the duration of the cold won't be as long as it was only a year ago.

If lows tonight fall below 15 degrees, which is a high possibility, it would be the coldest night since March 3rd when it dipped to 14 degrees at Reagan National. There were also back-to-back nights in January in 2009 on the 16th and 17th that fell to 11 degrees and 8 degrees, so it could always be worse!

Forecast 4km NAM low temperatures tonight (Courtesy: WeatherBell Models)

Above is a look at the forecast 4km NAM low temperatures tonight, forecast to be in the single digits in the outlying suburbs and teens around D.C. The snow cover on the ground, coupled with light winds and clear skies overnight may help temperatures drop even more, so at this time we think the coldest air in about 5 years will be realized. I would probably hold off that morning run until the afternoon if possible.

850mb Temperatures and Winds next Tuesday per the GFS model

Not to steer you further into depression if you hate the cold, but an even stronger cold push is forecast for early next week, with low temperatures possibly in the single digits in the D.C. Metro come Tuesday morning! We will be keeping a close eye on that system as well as high temperatures next Tuesday may only reach the teens. Winter is here.

How serious is next weeks cold spell? Serious enough that the National Weather Service office for Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN (Twin Cities) already put out a full page graphic to warn about the impending dangerous cold. I hope no one is planning to travel to the Midwest early next week.

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