From the ABC 7 Weather team

Questions remain for the approaching winter storm

February 11, 2014 - 07:00 PM
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Although snow is likely across the area, some questions still remain as to how much of a mix to expect and which track the storm will take.

Many of you asked why we put out a snow forecast map so late today and our answer is simply that the storm is still coming together and big questions still remain. The biggest question is still where exactly will the storm track be?

This will help answer the rest of our questions, which are how much warm air will intrude into the system and how will that affect the high end snowfall totals? Remember, just a few hours of sleet can have a huge affect on how much snow may accumulate. Here are some of our latest thoughts.

Questions Remaining about the storm

The latest thought is still to expect snowfall to start after sunset and after the commute tomorrow evening. Snow will continue to be likely overnight into Thursday morning, and will be heavy at times Thursday morning. Our concern is how much of a mix of sleet and rain will the D.C. area see Thursday morning as the main area of low pressure sits off the east coast.

If the track of the low is farther to the west, sleet and rain may be more likely and snowfall amounts will be less. If the track is farther east, snow will be a more likely scenario with less warm air filtering into the region.

Our latest thought is to give a range of values across the area. As this seems to be a more standard winter storm, snowfall totals should be higher northwest of D.C. and less southeast of D.C. One thing we please ask you is to not focus on the higher end totals. I know, I know, I always did the same thing when I was growing up as I wished for the most snow possible, didn't you?

This is our first look at snow bands, with the heaviest snowfall potential west of D.C. and much less closer to the Chesapeake Bay and Eastern Shore. The confidence level of this forecast isn't extremely high, but then again, we don't think you'll be going to work or school anyways as snow will continue through the early morning hours before the possible changeover to rain.

Current Expectations

What do we know? We are confident in heavy precipitation across the region, and that it will at the very least start as snow and continue as snow overnight into early Thursday morning.

Snow will begin tomorrow night, and the system will exit by late Thursday afternoon and high accumulations appear more likely west of I-95. We'll continue to watch this storm closely and update you with new information as we get it. Until then, be prepared to be at home Thursday!

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