From the ABC 7 Weather team

Archive for category Travel January 2015

Winter Weather Advisory, Winter Storm Warning Monday

January 25, 2015 - 05:11 PM


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The Stormwatch 7 weather team has been working together a lot today trying to figure out the forecast over the next 24 to 36 hours. Our main thought is that this is a two-part system. The first being a clipper moving through the region tonight into Monday morning, and the second being the development of a coastal low which will take over tomorrow afternoon off the Delmarva and rapidly intensify as it moves into the northeast tomorrow night. Here is the latest.

The D.C. Metro is under a Winter Weather Advisory from 2am Monday morning through 6pm Monday evening. Areas of rain are already beginning to enter the western portions of the area and will continue to spread east overnight. Temperatures are still well above freezing and even eclipsed the 50 degree mark earlier today so will need to cool drastically overnight. Temperatures will cool into the 30s tonight into Monday morning, and rain will begin to change to snow late tonight closer to the Mason-Dixon line, and eventually to snow closer to the D.C. Metro tomorrow morning.

At this point, we think precipitation will change over to snow around the morning commute or towards the tail-end of the morning commute. Even IF precipitation changes over earlier, surface temperatures should still be just above freezing, so snow should be able to melt on contact with the roadways everywhere from eastern Loudoun, Montgomery and points east.

Locations that have seen colder air longer will have the chance for some accumulation on the roadways. Those regions include northern Loudoun and Montgomery Counties and points west. The highest likelihood will be in the warning area for Frederick Co. (VA), the Panhandle of WV and Washington Co. (MD) and points west.

The clipper's energy will transition to the coast Monday afternoon and light snow will continue to be possible throughout the day once it transitions from rain. The low is forecast to rapidly intensify off the east coast tomorrow evening into tomorrow night and race up the east coast.

When this happens, some heavier snow bands may be able to set up along and east of I-95 while the system is gaining strength off the coast. This will be the second part of the storm and another chance for disruptive snowfall in the D.C. Metro.

Currently, a Winter Storm Watch is posted along the Chesapeake Bay and points east Monday evening through Tuesday morning. There is a potential for 2-5 inches of snow in those areas along the Bay, with drastically more possible farther north and east along the Delmarva and into the northeast.

If the banding sets up a little farther west, the D.C. Metro or areas east including Charles, Prince Georges and north to Howard and Baltimore will have the potential for 2-5 inches of snow as well. Right now, there is a fair amount of uncertainty and we will have to follow the radar trends as the storm develops.

The D.C. Metro will have the potential for 1 to 3 inches of snow, with more north and west in some of the higher elevations as well as north to Baltimore and the Mason Dixon line. Regions south of D.C. such as Culpeper to Stafford and points south will have the chance for the least amount of snow from both portions of the storm.

This is a very difficult forecast and we will be doing our very best to keep you updated with the very latest information. Be sure to follow our facebook and twitter accounts and be sure to watch Eileen Whelan tonight on Newschannel 8 and ABC 7 News at 11pm. Jacqui Jeras will be live starting at 4am on ABC 7 News tomorrow morning and Newschannel 8 with Brian van de Graaff will start at 5am with the latest updates. Be prepared for delays, closings and travel disruptions through Tuesday morning.


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A Series of Storms Headed Towards Us For the Weekend-Latest Details

January 23, 2015 - 12:43 PM

Well here we go! A storm system that continues to approach us out of the southwest arrives this evening and will end by Saturday afternoon. A winter weather advisory (purple) is in effect this evening through tomorrow with the exception of Stafford, Spotsylvania, King George and the majority of Southern Maryland and a Winter Storm Warning is in effect for Winchester, VA, Morgan and Berkeley Counties in West Virginia and Washington County, MD.


If your commute takes you to the southwest of the region tonight, you may want to try to scoot out a little on the early side given Friday traffic …and with added precipitation , we all know too well what kind of headaches that can cause. I wouldn’t be surprised if any sporting events (basketball, wrestling matches, etc) at area high schools are canceled given the going forecast, so please be prepared for that.


We are looking at mainly rain to start as it moves in from the southwest to the northeast. There will be some snow mixed in and some pockets of wintry mix across the region as well. However, temperatures will still be relatively warm as the precipitation moves in. We will need to keep a constant eye on temperatures because of course, that will determine the type of precipitation as we move forward during the evening and late evening hours.


Caption: Surface temperatures around 7 p.m. Friday evening. Notice all temperatures around the region are above freezing.

Rain showers, moderate to heavy at times, around D.C and areas south will continue through the overnight with snow and a mix to the north and west – that’s again where we can find the heaviest accumulation of snow.


By the time daybreak comes around, we could see a changeover to snow for D.C. and areas north as temperatures drop to the lower 30s. There could be some sleet mixed in as well.

When it’s all said and done we anticipate a trace to perhaps a slushy inch around the D.C. metro area with a few inches possible north and west of town.

I do believe travel will be impacted overnight into the first half of Saturday. Again, if your commute takes you anywhere north and west of D.C., that is where we are going to find the highest amounts of snow.

All precipitation should be out of here as we go through the early afternoon hours on Saturday. Winds will pick up and we may even see some clearing as we continue into Saturday night. However, that will not last long. Our next system will be knocking on our door Sunday night into Monday morning.

Caption: Sunday evening through Monday morning could see some rain change to snow with some snow accumulation on the ground by early Monday morning.


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

January 22, 2015 - 01:04 PM

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.


 Above Image Credit (Blacksburg NWS)


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.


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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Another clipper headed for the D.C. area Wednesday (Update)

January 20, 2015 - 10:30 PM


Temperatures have dropped into the upper 20s to lower 30s across the region late this evening and should pretty much hang here for the majority of the night. Low pressure associated with the clipper system is still over the Midwest but will reach the D.C. area by tomorrow.

Looking at some of the latest data, we're still expecting much of the same with light snow and even some rain beginning in the morning hours. At this point, I would only expect a few flurries in the early morning between 6am and 8am. The more steady and possibly even heavier precipitation appears like it will move through the region between 11am and 4pm.

Snow appears more likely north and west of D.C., with a mix of rain and snow closer to the Metro, and more rain than anything else south of D.C. Travel problems appear likely during this time, and schools may be delayed, cancelled or even let out early because of this. If not, it may be a mess on some of the area roadways during the early afternoon.

If you're working tomorrow and commuting anywhere north and west of D.C., remember travel problems will be likely for the afternoon and evening rush, so plan accordingly. We will of course be updating the forecast and following the system as it pushes through the region so will have updates on air throughout the day.

Road temperatures in and around the Metro will have a chance to warm so may be marginal at or near freezing. This could allow for some melting, but areas north of D.C. may not be as lucky and may possibly experience accumulations due to heavier snowfall rates.

Forecast temperatures Wednesday in D.C. (Courtesy: NWS)

With this system, temperatures will be around the freezing mark, so a mix between rain and snow will be likely. Current forecasts tonight even bump temperatures up a few degrees after sunrise which will help the road temperatures. Be sure to monitor road conditions at the links below.

Current Road Surface Temperatures in Maryland

Virginia Road Conditions and Cameras

As far as snowfall totals are concerned, we still think the heaviest accumulations will be north and west of D.C. where more cold air is available. Here is a look at our snowfall map.

Snowfall Forecast for Wednesday

The D.C. Metro will have the potential for up to an inch or so of snow. Areas north and west including northern Montgomery, Loudoun, the Panhandle of West Virginia to the Mason-Dixon will have the chance for 1 to 2 inches of snow. Areas closer to the Mason-Dixon will actually have a chance for 2 to 3 inches of snow, especially norther Frederick into Carroll and north of Baltimore and points east.

Winter Weather Advisory for the D.C. Metro and points north and west Wednesday

A Winter Weather Advisory has been posted for the D.C. Metro and points north and west from 6am to 6pm tomorrow. Areas west of the Blue Ridge have the Advisory starting at 4am and continuing until 6pm. We will continue to have the very latest on ABC 7 News and NewsChannel 8 starting at 5am tomorrow.

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Chance for light snow or wintry mix Wednesday morning for the D.C. area

January 13, 2015 - 11:17 AM

Latest guidance has changed some over the past 12 to 24 hours to start depicting a better chance for light snow or a light wintry mix across parts of the D.C. area.

The system appears to have the same timing as last week's clipper which crippled the morning commute in the D.C. Metro, but this time around, the best chance for measurable precipitation looks to be south and east of D.C.

Snow and Wintry Mix Potential

Above is a look at our first guess, with light snow possible from around 4am to lunch time in the D.C. Metro. Regions south and east of D.C. may experience a longer duration, with precipitation beginning earlier and ending later tomorrow afternoon.

We have a low to medium confidence in this system as this has been slow to show up in the models. With temperatures forecast to be in the 20s tomorrow morning, even light snow will have the potential to stick to the area roads and treatments may not have much of an effect.

Advisories and Winter Storm Watch south of D.C.

Currently, there aren't any advisories in the D.C. Metro area itself, but places south of Richmond east to the Tidewater and south into North Carolina have the potential for light to moderate icing. Some locations are forecasting an inch to two tenths of an inch of ice through the day tomorrow. It is our guess that these advisories will spread north this afternoon and we will update you if they do.

Our team doesn't want to take any risks with this system since the same modeling that handled the Clipper very well last week is depicting the same light snow scenario for tomorrow morning. With the timing, the cold air in place, and the light precipitation again expected, we don't want to see a repeat of last week, so please plan accordingly and if you need to be at work tomorrow be sure to allow for extra time to get to your destination.

The system itself is much different from the clipper that moved through last week. The forcing doesn't appear to be quite as strong, and upper-level dynamics don't look as favorable with a weaker jet, but the potential still exists.

As always, this will be an evolving weather system and we will be here throughout the day delivering the very latest information.

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