The first snow of 2014 will fall later tonight, but the bigger weather story is the bitter cold heading our way.
- Snow began accumulating quickly in Bealeton. Photo: Rob Glenn
The New Year is starting off with tranquil weather conditions in the Nation's Capital.... but, that is all about to change.
A strong coastal storm will develop later today and will pound the Northeast with snow and wind. As of Thursday morning, moisture is streaming in from the Gulf and a cold front is dropping in from the Midwest. Check out the water vapor imagery depicting these features.
The two systems will essentially merge later today and a strong coastal low will develop. Watch the progression from our in-house computer model.
The low rapidly intensifies overnight off the New England coast. That is when the winds will really start to pick up across the region.
This will be a major winter weather storm for much of New England and the interior northeast. Snowfall totals will get close to a foot in some areas, and with gusty winds, near whiteout conditions will be likely, making travel a nightmare.
Blizzard warnings are in effect due to the snow and wind anticipated on Long Island and Cape Cod. Check out all the winter watches and warnings across the region.
For us in D.C., this will be a minimal impact storm. Snowfall totals will range from around an inch in the district (a trace over southern Maryland, if that) to around 2 inches in northern Maryland. That is where a winter weather advisory is in effect.
Here's a simulation of snowfall totals for our area. I think some of these totals are a tad high, but gives you and idea of the slightly higher totals the farther north you go.
The precipitation will start later Thursday afternoon/evening, as light rain and will then transition to light snow. Light snow will continue overnight, as temperatures fall into the 20s.
By Friday morning's commute, the snow will be over, but the cold and wind will be the big story. Here's a timeline for later today through tomorrow morning.
Temperatures Friday morning will be in the 20s, but with gusty northerly winds, wind chill values will be in the single digits and teens throughout the day. Here's a look at forecast wind chills for tomorrow at 6 a.m.
By the upcoming weekend, temperatures start to moderate a bit. But another winter storm could bring some rain and snow to the region by Sunday. Once we get through Thursday's storm, we'll hash out the details on the weekend weather.