From the ABC 7 Weather team

Archive for category D.C.-centric January 2015

Light precipitation expected thursday for the evening commute

January 28, 2015 - 02:13 PM
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I’m going to start with the good news: Washington, D.C. gains two minutes of daylight on Wednesday! Finally, we have turned the page towards Spring…. Although yes, we are in the dead of winter and it feels like it today. Another piece of good news: I am going to write about some precipitation moving through the region on Thursday, but it looks LIGHT. However, it could impact the evening commute. We all know how one raindrop can affect the evening commute so I felt compelled it just mention it.

Winds will be light by Wednesday evening and clouds will begin to pile in overnight and through the day on Thursday. The first part of the day will remain dry while our next system moves out of the upper Midwest.

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Caption: Thursday morning an area of low pressure will move out of the Upper Midwest and into the Mid Atlantic.

The system will move southeastward into our region by late tomorrow afternoon and into the evening bringing some light precipitation with it. Temperatures are forecast to make it into the mid-30s to around 40 degrees on Thursday. So although observed temperatures and daytime highs will be above freezing by the time precipitation begins, road surface temperatures could remain below freezing, especially north and west of D.C. where some snow is still on the ground. Therefore, there could be some slick spots out there tomorrow evening and into the late evening.

We are expecting just some light snow and/or rain showers (some pockets of freezing rain) moving through the area during the evening commute and then zipping on out of there by the late evening hours. Again, you can see that just a little is going to fall across the region –so maybe a coating of snow possible in some areas with some light icy glaze in other parts.

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Caption: There is about a 5% chance (brown color) for more than 1.0” of snow to fall across most of our region with slightly better chances north and west of D.C.

After this, winds will pick up on Friday! We are talking wind gusts of up to 40 mph! That means with temperatures only in the 20s/30s, we are going to have wind chills in the teens for much of the day. High pressure will continue to build in on Saturday and by Sunday, we will be turning our attention to our next system that could bring us, once again, a mixed bag of precipitation Sunday night into Monday. Too early to get into details but if you are headed out for Superbowl Sunday, make sure you keep it here for the up-to-date forecast!

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Storm headed towards Washington D.C. right in time for the weekend

January 22, 2015 - 01:04 PM
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Welcome to winter. Finally it has arrived and finally we have something to talk about. A conveyor belt of systems are moving this way from different directions. Let’s take one at a time and first concentrate on the one Friday night into Saturday (the next after that will be Sunday night into Monday).

Most of the day Friday will turn out just fine. With a chilly start in store for Friday morning, we will start off with sunshine before clouds increase through the day. Temperatures on Friday will top out in the lower to mid 40s. While we are experiencing this in the D.C. region, a storm is getting organized moving through the deep South.

Thursday, a developing system moving out of the four-corners area and into the southern Plains is bringing lots of rain to Texas and eventually the deep South. On Friday, an area of low pressure will form along the northern portion of the Gulf of Mexico, eventually traveling north and east headed towards the Mid Atlantic.

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 Above Image Credit (Blacksburg NWS)

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Caption: Rain through the Deep South will eventually spawn a low off the VA coast as it moves towards the Mid Atlantic Friday.

As this low travels to the Mid Atlantic, it will eventually transfer its energy off the coast of Virginia Beach Saturday morning. In addition to that, there is a weak area of high pressure across the Mid Atlantic as well; therefore, we will have a feed of some relatively cold air filtering into the region but not arctic air and not a lot of it.

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As this low travels to the Mid Atlantic, it will eventually transfer its energy off the coast of Virginia Beach Saturday morning. In addition to that, there is a weak area of high pressure across the Mid Atlantic as well; therefore, we will have a feed of relatively cold air filtering into the region but not arctic air.

ZZZZZCaption: Area of low pressure off the coast of Virginia Saturday morning.

With all that being said, we can expect precipitation to move into the region late Friday evening moving from the Southwest to the North and East and moving out by Saturday afternoon. There are still some inconsistencies in models but the spread is decreasing with each run. We are still concerned about timing, track and the depth of cold air across the region.

It does look like we could see a mixed bag of precipitation ranging from snow, rain, freezing rain and sleet. We are not talking about big totals, but we are talking about enough precipitation to disrupt traffic through the area and areas north. This storm will eventually become a nor’easter as it travels up the eastern seaboard. Any bigger snow totals would of course be north and west of D.C. with more of a rain event for areas to the south, through central Virginia and southern Maryland. There is going to be a fine line with temperatures and the type of precipitation that will fall across any area. Just know to plan ahead and keep it here! We will continue to keep you updated.

After we get through this storm, we will have to watch for another clipper type system on Sunday night into Monday. Just fasten your seat belt, it could be a bumpy ride as we continue through the 2nd half of January.

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